Dreading next session - I'm worried everything is being "brought to the surface" and I can't mask or continue daily life

So last week's session was TOUGH! Don't get me wrong, T is lovely and ensured I was calm and ok before leaving, but Jesus was it a rough one. I know I'm new to this ptsd lark, but it's really shaken me how the session affected my thoughts and reactions since starting therapy, and now I'm dreading today's session. I'm worried everything is being "brought to the surface" and I can't mask or continue daily life, work etc without breaking down. I know its a process and needs to be done, guess I just needed somewhere to vent x
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @JustMeAndMyMind, yep it's definitely part of the process of healing but it's essential. We can't learn how to deal with those thoughts and emotions until we bring them out and address them in a room with a professional. There will be days when that makes you feel awful but...(famous last words)... it gets easier!!!

Yesterday I had my 93rd counselling session!!!
 
Thank you, I know you're right. I've had extensive grief counselling some years ago (pre awareness of ptsd symptoms), but this is a whole other ball game isn't it!
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you, I know you're right. I've had extensive grief counselling some years ago (pre awareness of ptsd symptoms), but this is a whole other ball game isn't it!
Yes it is but trust me it pays off. Sometimes in my experience when to talk to your counselor/therapist about your trauma and worst fears you feel like a massive weight has been lifted, but it is painful and it does feel like your re-traumatising yourself, but that acknowledgement of vulnerability gives your therapist insight into the best things to say to you. Have faith in the process!
 
Yes it is but trust me it pays off. Sometimes in my experience when to talk to your counselor/therapist about your trauma and worst fears you feel like a massive weight has been lifted, but it is painful and it does feel like your re-traumatising yourself, but that acknowledgement of vulnerability gives your therapist insight into the best things to say to you. Have faith in the process!
Yeah I get what you're saying there, and I keep reminding myself this process is to help, not hinder. I guess I'm still shocked at how long it took for my symptoms to become apparent enough to be noticed by myself, or anyone else. Apparently when I was in grief counselling it would still have been too early to see the full impact my trauma had on me, so I guess I'm still a bit pi$$ed that I worked so hard in counselling to now be back here again, its just frustrating.
Ironically I'm normally pretty good at articulating how I'm feeling, but at times I really struggle to find words that fit my thoughts and feelings properly 🤦‍♀️
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
steadying support, justme. i'll add my voice to the assurance choir that this is part of the process and the gain is most definitely worth the pain. through my 20/20 hindsight glasses, i often wonder if the **extra** pain of my breakthrough sessions were more the shock of gaining an awareness of just how much pain i was already experiencing and repressing.

whatever the evers of those whats. . . steadying support while you take the next step.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah I get what you're saying there, and I keep reminding myself this process is to help, not hinder. I guess I'm still shocked at how long it took for my symptoms to become apparent enough to be noticed by myself, or anyone else. Apparently when I was in grief counselling it would still have been too early to see the full impact my trauma had on me, so I guess I'm still a bit pi$$ed that I worked so hard in counselling to now be back here again, its just frustrating.
Ironically I'm normally pretty good at articulating how I'm feeling, but at times I really struggle to find words that fit my thoughts and feelings properly 🤦‍♀️
Yes, I can really relate to what your saying about not being aware of just how unwell you are to yourself and other people, I was like that for decades.

What things in life currently bring you enjoyment? Are there any? Do you have any hobbies? It's important to have relief in something alongside doing therapy.
 
steadying support, justme. i'll add my voice to the assurance choir that this is part of the process and the gain is most definitely worth the pain. through my 20/20 hindsight glasses, i often wonder if the **extra** pain of my breakthrough sessions were more the shock of gaining an awareness of just how much pain i was already experiencing and repressing.

whatever the evers of those whats. . . steadying support while you take the next step.
I think that's what's really hit me, the shock of quite how much pain I'd been trying to cope with and how deeply it had affected me

Yes, I can really relate to what your saying about not being aware of just how unwell you are to yourself and other people, I was like that for decades.

What things in life currently bring you enjoyment? Are there any? Do you have any hobbies? It's important to have relief in something alongside doing therapy.
I love to sing, and they charity I help run started a Choir which is amazing, but post lockdowns have drastically changed people's wants and abilities to do extra hobbies etc, so at the moment it's going very very slowly. Its frustrating, but I see how amazing it could and hopefully one day will be.
I also love to paint. Not massively good at it, but I find it calming. Went to a pottery painting evening tonight which was really nice, but needed to drown out some horrid conversations around me. Popped on my headphones and soon forgot all about the triggering chat around me x
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I think that's what's really hit me, the shock of quite how much pain I'd been trying to cope with and how deeply it had affected me
It is a shock when you first really realize whats going on and how much you are suppressing.

Everything will come to the surface sooner or later. But with a good T, you will work your way through it, piece by piece. It may not be easy but its sure worth it to move on......
 
It is a shock when you first really realize whats going on and how much you are suppressing.

Everything will come to the surface sooner or later. But with a good T, you will work your way through it, piece by piece. It may not be easy but its sure worth it to move on......
Thank you for your comforting words, and ironically tonight I remembered something from a very long time ago and I'm now wondering if that was, at least in part, the start of my trauma.
Part of the complexity for me is my trauma is so intertwined with overwhelming grief that it feels impossible to "move on" from it. I guess I need to learn how to separate the grief/loss from other trauma caused by others at the same time? I hope in time I can "move on" from the trauma, whilst acknowledging my grief will always be there and that's ok
 

Freddyt

MyPTSD Pro
I guess I need to learn how to separate the grief/loss from other trauma caused by others at the same time?
Depends on what therapy is recommended for you. I do EMDR and we just deal with whatever is bothering me most. Sometimes we start reprocessing tasks other times there is a lot of talk and things to learn and think about.

My part of therapy is to be open and honest with my T.....
 
Depends on what therapy is recommended for you. I do EMDR and we just deal with whatever is bothering me most. Sometimes we start reprocessing tasks other times there is a lot of talk and things to learn and think about.

My part of therapy is to be open and honest with my T.....
I think it's mostly talk therapy with some cbt, at least for now. T has suggested the maximum allowed of 20 sessions because of the complexity of trauma. I must admit, I found the thought of 20 weeks to be quite daunting at first, but I guess she wouldn't recommend that if not needed because the average is 12-16, so I'm going with it. And I'm being super honest, but to be fair that's not normally a problem for me. Probably too honest sometimes lol.

I learnt from previous counselling that sometimes I have to set my own boundaries with T. The 1st session T suggested (I guess she was trying to reassure me) that not to worry because "we can fix this", however unless she's found some way to raise the dead, the grief element at least, can't be "fixed". I find this very difficult to discuss with folk because so many people think there is a time limit of grief, like "give it x amount of time and you'll be fine", when in reality grief is now professionally understood to not disappear or get smaller, but more it evolves and your life continues to grow around it. Rather than shut down and feel completely unheard, isolated or stupid, I was thankfully able to explain not everything can be fixed and such phrases can be really quite jarring for me, so I guess that's good progress at least!

Thank you again for your replies x
 
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