Have you ever talked to your therapist about specific triggers...

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you so much that is really helpful. So I could write them down email but set boundaries around what feels OK. And say I want him to know but don't want to talk about any events. I think I'm as ashamed of my response to the trigger as I am of the experience.

I worry a lot that I'll say it and he won't realise what it's linked to and then I'll feel even more ashamed.

If I said yoghurt triggered me and you knew I had a history of csa (sorry) might you get why that is so horrible?

I get it...it feels very vulnerable to discuss something of a sexual nature to possibly have some resolve. The thing that has stuck with me most is when I read, "When you feel dirty and bad you will go live like you are dirty and bad." At some point, I hope you can realize that you aren't dirty or bad and that having a trigger like that is totally normal for what you went through. I hope you can set your shame aside in order to discuss with your therapist. I am so sorry that happened to you. The shame is with your abuser. You are incredibly brave.
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
I think I feel like I need to address these things to feel less ashamed if that makes sense. I need to rip the plaster off. I'm just scared and I remember things and then doubt my memory too.

I think that having the bravery to come and post about these things shows you are already preparing yourself to talk these things through with your T.
Shame can be so totally overwhelming that stressors and triggers can take you right back to those original moments.
I hope you are gentle with yourself and allow yourself the space to start naming these things (with your T) so that you can start to see a way forward.
The shame isn’t yours to carry.
Sending peaceful vibes your way.
 

oakleaves

Confident
I get it...it feels very vulnerable to discuss something of a sexual nature to possibly have some resolve. The thing that has stuck with me most is when I read, "When you feel dirty and bad you will go live like you are dirty and bad." At some point, I hope you can realize that you aren't dirty or bad and that having a trigger like that is totally normal for what you went through. I hope you can set your shame aside in order to discuss with your therapist. I am so sorry that happened to you. The shame is with your abuser. You are incredibly brave.

Thank you so much for saying this. I do feel as though this is stuck on me. I desperately want to talk about it but I feel like if he doesn't understand what I mean it will compound the shame. I'm also so tired of it and I just want to talk and be heard and not have to sanitise it anymore. I have talked a bit about abuse in therapy with my old t but it was very sanitised. So even though it helped to say it and be heard, I feel like still those things make me disgusting and it is so hard.
Like do people really talk about the grim details or the grim horrible bits with their therapists. Like how it felt to have their hand on you or their skin or the hairy arms or the other stuff like I said with this trigger. I feel like it is really hard to explain. I am suppose to be working on shame and I don't think I can untangle the two like shame and this are linked.

I think that having the bravery to come and post about these things shows you are already preparing yourself to talk these things through with your T.
Shame can be so totally overwhelming that stressors and triggers can take you right back to those original moments.
I hope you are gentle with yourself and allow yourself the space to start naming these things (with your T) so that you can start to see a way forward.
The shame isn’t yours to carry.
Sending peaceful vibes your way.

It sounds like you think it is ok to name things and to want to talk it through. I worry I am weird or odd for wanting to be heard. But we have talked in therapy about a younger part of me (not literally) that is stuck at a certain time emotionally and I feel like that is why it is important because maybe that part of me needs to be heard.
 
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osiris

MyPTSD Pro
It sounds like you think it is ok to name things and to want to talk it through. I worry I am weird or odd for wanting to be heard.

If you want and need to talk about these things with your T then yes, absolutely it is ok to name them and talk them through. It doesn’t make you weird - you have an absolute right to be heard. I have only just discovered how cathartic this can be.
 

Wonder Woman

MyPTSD Pro
Hi, oakleaves.

Have you considered maybe broaching the subject by telling your therapist that you want to discuss something, but that you are uncomfortable doing so because "______." List every reason why it's difficult for you.

When I do this, my psychologist is able to help combat those things causing my resistance. Then, I can share the shameful thing, and begin working through it.

Sending you strength, courage, and peace.

I
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
Like do people really talk about the grim details or the grim horrible bits with their therapists. Like how it felt to have their hand on you or their skin or the hairy arms or the other stuff like I said with this trigger. I feel like it is really hard to explain. I am suppose to be working on shame and I don't think I can untangle the two like shame and this are linke
Yes, they do. Bits and pieces until it all comes out and there is a resolve. I have told my therapist some awful details that I swore I would go to my grave with. Horrible stuff that I couldn't wrap my mind around. I would suggest that you discuss with your therapist what that looks like bc as I found out, just vomiting details isn't processing details. I could vomit something then not understand why I didn't feel better. I would say them without meaning or affect, literally just vomit them out then sit there, like a robot. It has taken me YEARS to be able to learn how to talk with meaning in a way that is therapeutic and helpful. But, I am a slow learner so I came upon that very slowly...lol.
The thing about getting it out is this, by the time you are actually ready to get it out, you understand what feels right about saying and what needs processing. Talking about food you eat being a trigger is really important to discuss. Its huge actually. It happens to a lot of people. Me too...and brushing my teeth can make me gag. I felt stupid and ashamed. When you realize how completely normal it is for what we went through and being able to find some peace in that normalcy, you are able to conquer a little of the shame. Bits and pieces, slow and steady, grounded and with volition not because you are backed in to the proverbial "corner" of needing to just do something/anything to find relief. Relief is in remembering those awful things aren't happening now, today is 2020 and what happened then cannot happen now, you are safe and you are in control. Big issues for me to grasp before I could go in to details... Wishing you the best with all of this... I am here to listen if you need to vomit... I get it!!! Hang in there.
 

susannahsays

Confident
Yeah, I've discussed some triggers. For example, I have a very low tolerance for being hot and sweaty. This is pretty inconvenient as I live in a region where summers are really hot and extremely humid. Every year, I go through an adjustment period where I get flooded with flashbacks when the temperature changes.

I definitely relate to feeling contaminated.

As for if your therapist would know why yogurt is triggering, I would think so, but who knows. It might depend on how much experience they have with sex abuse. The one I see is pretty good about most stuff and has asked if I was having trouble with certain memories based off of things I said. For example, one time I was bitching about yoga and how I hate breathing exercises and how I find them triggering. She asked why and I said they paradoxically make me feel like I can't breathe and I get triggered. So then she said some stuff that kind of led to her ultimately saying that lots of people who have been forced to perform oral sex feel like they can't breathe when it happens, and was that why I got triggered (she knew about the CSA, we just hadn't really talked details). So then I said yes and also sometimes having a hand over my mouth and other stuff during the abuse. I guess I'm just saying that I've found disclosing triggers to be helpful.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Thank you so much for the support on here. I feel like I don't know what to say or *how* to talk about it if that makes sense.
So I worry that the things I feel like it might help to talk about are things other people with similar experiences don't talk about. Do people with a CSA history talk about specific incidences (e.g. so when I was about x or y age this thing happened and it was horrible' type thing. Do people say 'well I went here with him and he touched me in x place and then I didn't know what to do' and what does it say that I let that happen or I was in x place alone with him and then (x - a specific thing) happened and then I tried to get to a different place so I could get away and then he followed and this other thing happened. How do you say the things. Do people say the things in therapy or do they talk super generally - so what am I expected to say... I have never really thought about how I would properly say it because

ALSO some things were HIM and then when I was younger there was a thing with my dad and I sometimes worry I might have got things confused.

So then she said some stuff that kind of led to her ultimately saying that lots of people who have been forced to perform oral sex feel like they can't breathe when it happens, and was that why I got triggered

And this is the thing so I don't even know how to say this to a therapist - so do people actually say 'it was oral sex' or 'it was having to kiss x place' or the back of my throat feels really tight or 'it reminds me of semen' or whatever.

I worry I might actually throw up or become catatonic if I describe things OR that he will listen and be like 'oh it was 'that'' and implicitly - 'it wasn't that big a deal why are you so bothered'. I also worry that I will regress and become really childlike and then what will he think of me.

One of the things that actually bothers me the most as a memory is the feeling of his hands on my breasts and the tops of my legs, inside my underwear etc. That is one of the worst parts for me because I still FEEL it as though it is there sometimes. And the sound of breathing in my ear and the feeling of not being able to just get up and leave.

I would suggest that you discuss with your therapist what that looks like bc as I found out, just vomiting details isn't processing details.

Thank you for saying this. I was thinking about this because I did email and described some triggers (like the food thing) but then we didn't talk about them and I was so relieved not to. So I was thinking talking about triggers and what they link to might be a start for me. I mainly want to be able to cope with the sense of being overall horrible, disgust feelings. I also want to be heard although maybe my expectations of that might be a bit too high. So talking about things as linked to details that bother me now I guess.

I feel so confused in my mind at the moment like my mind is looking for all the things I might have done wrong and things other people might think I have done wrong. It is so confusing.

If you want and need to talk about these things with your T then yes, absolutely it is ok to name them and talk them through. It doesn’t make you weird - you have an absolute right to be heard. I have only just discovered how cathartic this can be.

Thank you so much for saying this.
 

osiris

MyPTSD Pro
@oakleaves I am thinking of you. It’s really hard to navigate these things so it’s understandable that you are unsure of what to do.
From my experience there have been times when I’ve been able to be really blunt and say exactly what I mean, and there have been times when I haven’t been able to. I am doing EMDR and had some pretty crappy body sensations to do with my jaw. I couldn’t tell T but they clearly knew and understood what I was feeling from what I could share.
They aren’t going to think badly of you. They are there to help.
Sending you healing thoughts and support tonight.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
IME if you got things confused doesn't matter as much as how they effect you.

A good therapist will be able to help you out even if perpetrators of your CSA are blended one over another.

I mean a lot of people start therapy not knowing who abused them. Or IF they were abused. Or if their thing is abuse. Or deal with repressed memories. Or deal with suppressed memories. Or have just a vague but very nagging sense of discomfort at things even they don't understand.

And all of them can get helped.
It's not an issue things are a lil bit unclear. ;)
 

Rumors

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you for saying this. I was thinking about this because I did email and described some triggers (like the food thing) but then we didn't talk about them and I was so relieved not to. So I was thinking talking about triggers and what they link to might be a start for me. I mainly want to be able to cope with the sense of being overall horrible, disgust feelings. I also want to be heard although maybe my expectations of that might be a bit too high. So talking about things as linked to details that bother me now I guess.

I feel so confused in my mind at the moment like my mind is looking for all the things I might have done wrong and things other people might think I have done wrong. It is so confusing.

What you are experiencing is totally normal for the process. I am sorry you are having to go through it and seemingly feeling like you are alien. You aren't. I went/go through the exact same things and there are days where I am able to handle it better than others. Keep posting here if it helps.... Sending good mojo your way.
 
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