Do you put words to things or have you

oakleaves

Confident
Ok so I'm having emdr and I have a memory and I want to say - I can feel his hands on me - or I can feel the feeling of his *horrible 'stuff'* on me like it's sticky or I can feel him touching or doing x or y. But I can't so I just say I can't say it. But I feel like I need to be able to say it to move past it and also to not feel alone.

Tell me there are people out there who have actually said proper works about sex stuff that is horrible to their therapists. I was a child too so I feel like maybe it's harder to say because I'm in that child headspace feeling vulnerable when I'm processing. I feel like if I could say it I'd connect with it more and then move on more. I hate myself for still being bothered and affected by this stuff.
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I have never done EMDR but I did have to tell my T gross things that my dad did to me. And it felt like a child was saying it. It took me a long time. Lots of sessions with freezes and regressive behavior before tiny bits ruptured out.

I don’t know what makes it come out. I think the main thing is to not force it and plan for aftercare—Epsom salt baths, extra water, rest, art journal. It is helpful for me to expect it will take a long time because that’s a lot of healing taking place on a developmental level.
 

Renly

MyPTSD Pro
Yes, 100%. For me, the verbalization and narrative of my trauma story is extremely important. I need someone to know my truths and my story - even if it’ll only ever be my T.

For some of my memories during EMDR, I can work through it enough to verbalize while processing during the first session. Other memories have taken a lot longer and numerous EMDR sessions on the same memory before I could say things out loud.

For example, I wanted so badly to say the phrase “he raped me in my bedroom”…but the words were legitimately locked in my throat. I could not get them to come out no matter how hard I tried. It took me 6 months of EMDR (and nearly 20-years since the event occurred) and I was finally able to say it. And it came out clear as day and the emotional overwhelm was gone. It was a HUGE breakthrough for me. That was when I knew that memory was fully processed.

Sometimes when I can’t speak, I tell T there’s something I want to say, but it’s stuck. That helps me so she knows there’s something more I need to share. I’ve also written things down that were stuck and that has been helpful as well.

Don’t put too much stress on yourself. There’s usually a reason it’s locked in there and if you continue with the EMDR process and be gentle with yourself, it will come.
 

Friday

Moderator
Tell me there are people out there who have actually said proper works about sex stuff that is horrible to their therapists
For sure.

And the difference between fully processed trauma & unprocessed trauma?

- I can talk any and all aspects of rape & sexual assault all damn day. Just like talking about grocery lists, or moving furniture, or global events, whatever. In absolute detail, or generalities, and everything in between. In point of fact, every time I switch therapists? I usually “have” to do exactly this for at least 15 or 20 minutes. “Have” in quotes, because it’s stupid easy.

- I’m sick right now, so I don’t even have the energy to THINK about any of my unprocessed trauma. Nope. Not gonna do it. And forget about actually talking about it. At all. In any way. Even just talkin around it like I am now is exhausting. But to give an idea about how stupidly reactive I am to it? Just writing out a general timeline took me 2 years. Of trying to almost every day.

I feel like if I could say it I'd connect with it more
My experience is the opposite.

It’s the things I cannot talk about, that I am TOO connected with.

Being able to think/talk about them? Starts happening as those connections start weakening & breaking, altogether.
 

Skywatcher

MyPTSD Pro
Sometimes I found myself describing some things with my hands when the words wouldn’t come out. I also tend to dissociate so we had to switch to less intense forms of emdr where you typically don’t say much of anything till you come back the next week. I once told her that parts of me want to tell her and other parts don’t want her to know. She advised I not tell her at that time. Even if I had tried, I doubt I would have been able to speak.
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
Sex was not a part of my trauma so yes we couch things in understandable terms but I feel no need to be vulgar when we do talk about sex.

Your T though is trained to deal with that stuff. It's a part of what they do. I would tell my T if I was going to describe things in detail to prepare them but use whatever words make it come out.

I hate myself for still being bothered and affected by this stuff.
Everybody here feels or felt that way at one time, before they uncover the true extent of the damage done. Someone did something to you that created trauma, you didn't catch it like you catch a cold. One of the sad effects of PTSD is how it hides itself from everyone, you included and makes us want to hide its effects. You will realize how much at some point.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I also haven't done EDMR, but totally yes: not having words come out.
T equates that to not having a voice as a child, and fear of shame or judgement from her etc.

The ability to use words comes and goes. There is still one assault I haven't been able to name the body part it happened in with my T (or anyone?) But she knows what body part it is by me linking it to another rape that happened in that body part. It even took time to be able to write it in my diary.
It's too emotionally painful to name out loud.

But when I have been able to put words to things, it has helped. That validation from T, believing me, witnessing my story, still being there, really really powerful stuff (I found). However, I agree with @OliveJewel , don't force it. Forcing it can be re traumatising (I found). Having a conversation with your t that there is something you want to say but it's hard to get out is valuable. Talking around the trauma and how you hold it is still a way to healing.

Take it slowly. And stop when you need to.
 
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oakleaves

Confident
Thank you for all the helpful responses.

Yes so that all makes sense. It is the fact that at the moment I can say very small things or things I have said before and that have stuck (vague things like he touched me or we were in one room and other people were in the other and things happened) but I think my t thinks I need to name it put words to it because it is a way of avoiding for me which blocks processing and so he will ask for clarification - so when you say it's on me what is on you - and then of course I'd have to say bodily fluids of whatever kind or the feeling of his mouth and that isn't crude or horrible like if I were not talking about this subject it wouldn't be a thing. But it feels unsayable.

Have talked a bit about finding your voice which I have struggled with a lot and putting words to lots of things so I think I need to but it just feels grim.

I have never done EMDR but I did have to tell my T gross things that my dad did to me. And it felt like a child was saying it. It took me a long time. Lots of sessions with freezes and regressive behavior before tiny bits ruptured out.

I don’t know what makes it come out. I think the main thing is to not force it and plan for aftercare—Epsom salt baths, extra water, rest, art journal. It is helpful for me to expect it will take a long time because that’s a lot of healing taking place on a developmental level.
Thank you for saying this and also the importance of self care after. I am bad at that and I need to get better. Thank you for sharing it makes sense. I am sorry for what happened to you.

Yes, 100%. For me, the verbalization and narrative of my trauma story is extremely important. I need someone to know my truths and my story - even if it’ll only ever be my T.

For example, I wanted so badly to say the phrase “he raped me in my bedroom”…but the words were legitimately locked in my throat. I could not get them to come out no matter how hard I tried. It took me 6 months of EMDR (and nearly 20-years since the event occurred) and I was finally able to say it. And it came out clear as day and the emotional overwhelm was gone. It was a HUGE breakthrough for me. That was when I knew that memory was fully processed.

Sometimes when I can’t speak, I tell T there’s something I want to say, but it’s stuck. That helps me so she knows there’s something more I need to share. I’ve also written things down that were stuck and that has been helpful as well.

Don’t put too much stress on yourself. There’s usually a reason it’s locked in there and if you continue with the EMDR process and be gentle with yourself, it will come.
That's how it feels to me like it is stuck. Like my mind freezes as well as my body. I have done quite a bit of emdr with two different therapists but one of them was online and I do think it felt different because of that. I think that is what my t is getting at if I say it it will mean or help the emotion so I can look at it more objectively or take the emotion out of it. Thank you.

For sure.

And the difference between fully processed trauma & unprocessed trauma?

- I can talk any and all aspects of rape & sexual assault all damn day. Just like talking about grocery lists, or moving furniture, or global events, whatever. In absolute detail, or generalities, and everything in between. In point of fact, every time I switch therapists? I usually “have” to do exactly this for at least 15 or 20 minutes. “Have” in quotes, because it’s stupid easy.

- I’m sick right now, so I don’t even have the energy to THINK about any of my unprocessed trauma. Nope. Not gonna do it. And forget about actually talking about it. At all. In any way. Even just talkin around it like I am now is exhausting. But to give an idea about how stupidly reactive I am to it? Just writing out a general timeline took me 2 years. Of trying to almost every day.


My experience is the opposite.

It’s the things I cannot talk about, that I am TOO connected with.

Being able to think/talk about them? Starts happening as those connections start weakening & breaking, altogether.
Thank you that is what my T is saying I think not sure if I explained it very well. So I'm so overtaken by the emotion I can't speak so if I can speak it will help the processing but I need to process to get to that point. I don't know. There are some things I can say now that I couldn't before I suppose. I hope you are able to take care of yourself.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
My experience is the opposite.

It’s the things I cannot talk about, that I am TOO connected with.

Yes, this is me too. For me I think it is preverbal issues. For others I think it is because there ARE no words to describe it. I very much relate to your thoughts about being able to rhyme off facts about events like they were nothing.

Have talked a bit about finding your voice which I have struggled with a lot and putting words to lots of things so I think I need to but it just feels grim.

For me it was about finding a word for something about it which started to unpack things. The feelings of 'I am disgusting' turned to 'the act felt disgusting' and then being able to assign healthy responsibility towards the perp. 'What (s)he did was disgusting'. To finally, 'S/he is disgusting'.

In this culture I feel we are discouraged from judgement of others, which makes it harder still to not take on the shame. Shame that is solidly someone else's. It took years for me to realize that my being in the DV situation I was in was NOT of my doing. Took even longer to get over the shame of feeling like a bad person for assigning it to who abused me. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) btw, for me, was a great way to bust up my mis-assigned shame over the situations. That led me to words that became helpful to moving forward.

It is sometimes so much easier to believe in my own weaknesses I think than to believe that evil like that exists. And that I may be prey to it again.

My thoughts are with you @oakleaves .
 

oakleaves

Confident
Yeah
Sometimes I found myself describing some things with my hands when the words wouldn’t come out. I also tend to dissociate so we had to switch to less intense forms of emdr where you typically don’t say much of anything till you come back the next week. I once told her that parts of me want to tell her and other parts don’t want her to know. She advised I not tell her at that time. Even if I had tried, I doubt I would have been able to speak.
That makes sense. I tended to dissociate too but I don't really anymore. That conflict is hard when different parts pull you in different directions. I'm sorry you have that. I feel like that too sometimes and have been told it can be protective.

Wjr
Sex was not a part of my trauma so yes we couch things in understandable terms but I feel no need to be vulgar when we do talk about sex.

Your T though is trained to deal with that stuff. It's a part of what they do. I would tell my T if I was going to describe things in detail to prepare them but use whatever words make it come out.


Everybody here feels or felt that way at one time, before they uncover the true extent of the damage done. Someone did something to you that created trauma, you didn't catch it like you catch a cold. One of the sad effects of PTSD is how it hides itself from everyone, you included and makes us want to hide its effects. You will realize how much at some point.
When you say vulgar it feels like you are saying I shouldn't say things in detail? Like if I were going to say things I don't know what I should say like my t has said you can say he's touching me here or making me do x or y and that is vulgar but it is part of what happened. So when my t asks in emdr I don't know what to say I don't know how he expects me to say. But I do think not saying is avoidance and that keeps the emotion live and keeps it hidden so talking is like going over the worst part of the factory conveyor belt or whatever if it's a metaphor. I don't know.

I do feel and have felt for ages like my experiences were not bad enough to be PTSD and I do have a lot of generalised anxiety too so I feel like that makes it worse. The attachment stuff yes I get that I have that but not the PTSD even though I have stuff and startle response and constant anxiety and feel changed by things etc etc.

I also haven't done EDMR, but totally yes: not having words come out.
T equates that to not having a voice as a child, and fear of shame or judgement from her etc.

The ability to use words comes and goes. There is still one assault I haven't been able to name the body part it happened in with my T (or anyone?) But she knows what body part it is by me linking it to another rape that happened in that body part. It even took time to be able to write it in my diary.
It's too emotionally painful to name out loud.

But when I have been able to put words to things, it has helped. That validation from T, believing me, witnessing my story, still being there, really really powerful stuff (I found). However, I agree with @OliveJewel , don't force it. Forcing it can be re traumatising (I found). Having a conversation with your t that there is something you want to say but it's hard to get out is valuable. Talking around the trauma and how you hold it is still a way to healing.

Take it slowly. And stop when you need to.
Thank you. It's so hard isn't it I'm so sorry you have that. It has been retraumatising in the past I think. I said something once and I got my t to say it back so I knew they had heard but it felt like the words burned so much I couldn't cope and I still can't. I also feel like the actual stuff was horrible and makes me feel horrible but the process of grooming and I hate that word but feel like it was horrible too because I was so trusting and it was like out of one horrible situation into another like I was so desperate for affection and to be listened to I went along with it in a way. Like an idiot.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
Like an idiot.
This is most likely one of the perceptions I have had young children and now I have young grandchildren. What I know about young, impressionable, trusting souls is that they do the best they can to please. No matter what. Until they give up.

All they want back is authentic love and connection. Know why? Because children must have it for their very own survival.

because I was so trusting and it was like out of one horrible situation into another like I was so desperate for affection and to be listened to

This sentence doesn't feel like it matches your assessment of yourself (above).
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Yes this is basically the whole story with me . I guess I was trying to tell someone my whole life but I didn’t know it. I couldn’t anyway, first it was repressed and then it started coming out by itself . I tried to kill myself rather than tell anyone . Or I tried to kill that part of me . So nobody would ever know . So you get caught between having to tell and not being able to say it. Then there’s the stop it from coming out part.

It’s a process and they used to tell me to trust my process. It has in many ways a life of its own . There are rough places and there are things I have to approach very delicately. But we’ve been together more than five years I think. There is a lot of relationship building in that.

So you are doing very well and yes it’s a tremendous struggle . Your voice was taken away and you are fighting to get it back . I hope writing helps, they all say journal, and I couldn’t write hard copies of anything, but when I joined here I was able to do it, another process, but it has been really helpful.
 
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