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

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
basically have you ever told your therapist about graphic triggers and if so how did they react and how did you feel.

I think it's a good thing to do this. I tried - first in email and then in person - and he really didn't seem interested in addressing them. Well...he's very, very laid back and I suspect they will come up later, but I was a little disappointed that he didn't pursue an exploration of them.
 

oakleaves

Confident
Tried to specifically address a trigger today (the stupid masks we're supposed to wear) and he wants to wait until we meet in-person. Grrrrrr.
I guess I can understand that if he was worried about you being too overwhelmed and not being able to manage that? I'm sorry that is feeling so difficult though.

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

Thank you - we did this recently actually talking about the fear of being minimised and also the fear that it is too disgusting and horrible. I am also scared that talking about it might mean I feel I have to do something about it.

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. 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.

Thanks so much this makes massive sense. And I struggle SO much with the summer and certain smells and things (even things that are only loosely associated like tarmac smells which for ages I didn't realise it was that that was making me feel so so weird but then I realised and I think it is because of going for walks in the summer when it was hot and things would then happen). I thought it was only me who struggled with the seasons or weather.

Your therapist sounds really good. I saw this woman once (didn't see her for long) and I don't know why she did this but she described an experiences someone had told her of having to perform oral sex and I had the most awful reaction, shaking and crying, she didn't know about my history and was using it to describe something else but it was awful I felt so reduced and ashamed.
 

oakleaves

Confident
I wanted to come back to this because I tried to talk more to my therapist recently and I feel flooded with things I wanted to say or want to say and I really don't know if I am weird for wanting to say them. But I have been able to say some things that were not so bad but the things I wanted to talk about were

When we went swimming and would be in a public place but far away from people and he'd put his hands inside my swimsuit
And I could see people but no one could see what happened.
So the oral sex thing and my mouth never feels clean and I can't eat certain things and it is horrible the things that reminds me of so like disgust associations and body memories. I lose a sense of time and I don't know how often it.
The feeling of being held and pressed down against and the weight of that even though it wasn't a thing itself it is horrible that sense of pressure on my chest
I said touching but really what I mean is having hands in my underwear and messing around. That's not really just touching - is it???
And the feeling of being touched now I can't be touched in certain ways even things that seem innocent (like a hug from behind) because it feels so creepy.
Oral sex is bad isn't it? I don't mean between adults.
I always said if he did anything violent I would tell someone but it didn't so I didn't. Is it bad enough to feel bad about? Because it feels terrifying and when I remember it and have the memories it makes me feel like I can't get away from myself. BUT it is like there is a part of me desperate for someone to know and desperate to be listened to and told it wasn't ok but also really concerned that if she says she will be completely squashed down and recoiled from.

I haven't said anything about my dad and wondering whether if this other person knew about my dad then maybe they thought it was ok to do what they did. I don't even know what my dad did but I know he did something because my mum came in and was horrified and he was on my bed drunk and I had nightmares about things that I can't say. But I know it didn't happen after that.

I can't get away from 'it wasn't that bad get over yourself' or 'you're disgusting because that happened and it was on you'

Do people actually tell therapists things like that in those words?? Or worse words. I feel like I want confirmation that other people actually have these conversations in therapy and that it is not weird or voyeuristic or whatever to want to share. I am just so tired of being on my own with the knowledge of what it felt like even though I always will be.

I feel like I am repeating myself but I hope someone doesn't mind answering.
 

osiris

Not Active
Hey @oakleaves I’m glad you came back. That takes courage to keep talking and trying to work through things.

It sounds like you’ve started talking to your therapist but you feel there is more to say.
Building a relationship with your T where you can share these things takes time, but you can get to the point where you can say things which right now are stuck in your head or in here.

I have only been a member of this forum for a couple of months, but I have found that I have built courage in naming things that have happened here in my trauma diary - even some stuff that I have never told anyone that happened 20+ years ago.

My therapy has stopped for the moment with lockdown, but now I have things written down that I can take to those sessions, and if I can’t voice them I could show T printed pages.

Therapy is a safe place for you to work though whatever you need to. A trauma T will be used to dealing with these things and you aren’t going to shock them with specific details or words. If it helps you to name and explain those events then it’s important.

It’s not easy. I can’t say I practice what I preach as I merrily avoid certain areas, but also I am hopeful that as I work longer with my T I will get to the darker places as and when I am ready.

What you went through was terrible. Truly terrible.
It was wrong.
They abused you.
It WAS that bad and it is NOT on you.
It is on them entirely.
Not your blame to take. Honestly.

Repeating yourself is fine too. There is always more to consider and new ways to deal with stuff.

Sending you gentle thoughts.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Is it bad enough to feel bad about?

Oh, I ask myself that all the time. What I've learned from being here is that there just really is no comparing my bad to everybody else's. It was bad for me and it seriously affected me and that's enough.

it wasn't that bad get over yourself

I'm still working on this one. But I think folks who even think what happened was "bad" think that, too. It's common.
 

WonderWriter

Confident
My T asked me to make a list of things that trigger me so we can try and figure out what specific events they might relate to. For example, my husband was looking for something on my bed and when I felt his weight next to me, I smelled fresh, cooked meat. That never happened before, but I told my therapist and that’s when she suggested I make a list.
 
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