We touched upon a lot of things... I'm still very new to the therapy process in general, so we're kinda figuring things out as they go along with what works and what may need to be changed.
Two weeks ago I started writing in a journal daily for how I felt, how
things were going, etc. Last week I wasn't so bad with being overly
wordy, this week I was. She didn't mind- she was glad that I was
writing. But it took up too much of our time and she felt bad that most
of it was just discussing the week, not what I felt needed to be talked
about currently. But it was okay, I've figured out that I'll continue to
write but I'll scan it in 2 days or so before the appt, email it, and
I'll let her read it on her own time.
We touched upon quite a few things. Flashbacks, my relationships with
people, being triggered, etc. I'm writing it all down now before I
forget later...as my memory likes to do with me.
She was glad to hear that my SO has been figuring out how to help calm
me down when I get triggered. She's also learning just what triggers me,
and how to watch out for it. Talking about past CSA obviously is a
trigger, but more than that- any time I start feeling very scared or
emotionally overwhelmed, I react as if I'm back in the situation when I
was 4. It was an eye opener...and it made sense. She explained to me
that people who represent my dad will probably always trigger me, I
can't control what appearance those emotions are tied to. BUT I can
control how I react to being triggered, and help myself to overcome it
safely. Right now I know how to comfort myself slightly afterwards, but
not keep myself from spiraling out of control. More on that in a bit.
We talked about dreams and nightmares too. I had a few bad dreams within
2 nights, and so I wrote them down and showed them to her. She
explained that dreams are our body/mind's way of processing things
during the night. If a dream comes back or turns into a nightmare, it's
likely that it's repeating some unprocessed emotions or events. They
need to be resolved, so your mind can be at rest. Someone with a high
level of anxiety and worries a lot during the day is more prone to
nightmares because of all the unprocessed feelings that get shoved to
the side during the day. She urged me to avoid watching the news, and
try to keep writing it down if I get more of these bad dreams.
The last thing we touched upon for sure was my anxiety over the
holidays...and how my bf's stepdad is a trigger back to my CSA AND to my
current anxiety. He looks like him, uses fear to control, and gets
drunk nightly- and he's an angry drunk. Controlling and imposing. She
gave me tips on how to center myself if I get confronted again, and
reminded me that these feelings didn't make me "broken", they were all
valid feelings! I needed to hear that. I'm always so down on myself
about it. She told me to call or email her if I need anything, and
she'll get to me as soon as possible.
Small thing that was mentioned was that she was there to help me process
all these things I feel, and learn how to react to them in a more
effective way. She was quick to tell me that I'm learning quickly and
I'm already making some progress- I went from being afraid of being
touched by any stranger/someone not super close to me, to allowing
myself hugs from her and feeling safe and centered while getting the
hug. It shows that I'm getting more comfortable- which to me is both
scary but good.
I finally remembered the other important thing...We talked about the art I showed her...even though I was afraid to show it.
She loved the picture, but we went through and discussed why I was
feeling the words etched into the background. She then said that with
100% certainty she can name several good qualities about me that would
prove I'm not "broken"...Such as having a significant other, having a
circle of friends, and having online circles I can go to..But I said I
don't function in society as well as I want to. The key words were "as
well as I want to". I do function in society to an extent- I can leave
the house to do errands, and I started college, etc. She said it's okay
to be different, and that she herself would rather be "different and
unique" than "normal and the same", and that it's alright to feel
different. I said I like being unique, but not different to the point of
disabling. I can't even feign relationships with people in order to get
things 'done', such as study buddies for college. Relationships that
serve a purpose and only that purpose.
At the very end when we both got up to walk out, I stopped for half a
second kinda waiting for her to walk first and 'lead the way' since I
need guidance for the smallest of things like that...and she turned to
me, opened her arms wide and said 'Hug!!' all excitedly, and gave me a
big hug. I melted for the split second and said thank you at least 5
times. I felt loved. I'll miss her next week, but I'll probably call her at some point.