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Hi Dr Catalyst

Thanks, doc. I understand that it wasn’t my fault. I usually don’t dwell on the past like this. I wish I was stronger or smarter or nicer back then. I might have been able to save myself. Or if I were a time traveller I could go back and save her from being abused.
I understand that you may have thoughts of wanting to change the past or wishing you had been different in some way. It's natural to reflect on the what-ifs and imagine alternative scenarios, especially when it comes to experiences of trauma. However, it's important to remember that your worth and value as a person are not defined by what happened in the past or what you could or couldn't do to prevent the abuse.

It's essential to recognize that the responsibility for the abuse lies solely with the abuser, not with you. As a child, you were not responsible for the actions of those who hurt you. It is not a reflection of your strength, intelligence, or kindness. Abusers exploit vulnerabilities and power dynamics in ways that are beyond a child's control.

Instead of focusing on what could have been, it can be more productive and healing to channel your energy towards the present and future. Reflect on the strengths and resilience that carried you through those difficult times and continue to carry you now. Recognize your own growth and progress in your healing journey.

Engaging in self-care practices, such as therapy, mindfulness, or creative outlets, can help you cultivate self-compassion and nurture your emotional well-being. Surround yourself with supportive and understanding individuals who can remind you of your worth and offer validation and encouragement.

As for the idea of being a time traveler, while it may be intriguing to imagine changing the past, our reality is in the present. Focus on using your experiences to shape your present and future in positive ways. How can you honor your strength and resilience today?
I feel like my trauma isn’t bad enough because I don’t remember it.

The only thing I remember is my mum stabbing me in the eye as a child. I remember screaming and cowering on the floor at her feet. I screamed that she stabbed me and I don’t remember what she said but I remember how emotionless she was and how she growled at me to get up and go to bed.
I'm truly sorry to hear about the traumatic experience you went through as a child, Teddie. Experiencing such violence and betrayal can be extremely distressing and have a significant impact on your well-being.

It's not uncommon for individuals who have experienced severe trauma to have fragmented or incomplete memories of the events. Traumatic memories can be stored differently in the brain due to the overwhelming emotions experienced at the time. This can result in difficulties recalling specific details or even a partial or complete memory loss (known as dissociative amnesia).

The memory you do have of your mother stabbing you in the eye is incredibly distressing and traumatic. It's understandable that this memory would have a profound impact on you.

It's important to remember that your experience and the emotional distress it has caused are valid, regardless of whether you have complete or fragmented memories. It's not necessary to have full recollection of the traumatic event to validate the pain and impact it has had on your life.

If you feel comfortable, it may be helpful to speak with a mental health professional who specializes in trauma. They can provide support, help you process your feelings, and explore the impact of the trauma on your current well-being.

Remember, you deserve care, support, and validation for your experiences, regardless of the details you remember. How do you feel about seeking professional support to further process your trauma?
Thank you. Is it okay to wish I could go back to before the trauma started? I wish I was 5 or 7. That isn’t real life, though.
Thank you. Is it okay to wish I could go back to before the trauma started? I wish I was 5 or 7. That isn’t real life, though.
It's absolutely okay to wish for a time before the trauma started, Teddie. Wishing for a time when things were different and longing for a sense of safety and innocence is a natural response to experiencing trauma. Many people who have gone through traumatic events may have similar thoughts and desires.

However, it's important to acknowledge that we can't change what has already happened. The past is beyond our control. While it's normal to have these yearnings, it's essential to shift our focus towards healing and creating a sense of safety and peace in the present.

Instead of dwelling on what could have been, try to focus on building a fulfilling life in the here and now. Engage in self-care practices, seek support from trusted individuals, and consider working with a mental health professional who specializes in trauma if you feel it would be beneficial.

Remember, healing takes time, and it's a journey that looks different for everyone. It's okay to process your feelings and longings for a different past, but also try to find ways to create a present and future that honors your strength and resilience.

What steps can you take today to create a sense of safety and peace in your life?
Why did I forget? Why do I not remember what happened?
The experience of not remembering or having fragmented memories of a traumatic event is actually quite common, Teddie. When someone goes through a traumatic experience, the mind and body can employ various coping mechanisms to protect itself. One of these mechanisms is called dissociation, which involves a temporary detachment from one's thoughts, memories, emotions, or sense of identity.

Dissociation can manifest in different ways, and one of them is dissociative amnesia, where there is an inability to recall important personal information, usually related to a traumatic or stressful event. It's important to recognize that dissociation and memory gaps are natural responses to overwhelming and traumatic experiences.

The brain's primary goal during trauma is to ensure survival, and sometimes that means minimizing or blocking the memories of the traumatic event. This is the mind's attempt to protect itself from the overwhelming emotions that can accompany memories of trauma.

It's important to note that memory is a complex process influenced by various factors, including emotional intensity, individual coping mechanisms, and the nature of the traumatic event itself. The fragmented or missing memories you have of your traumatic experience are not a sign of weakness or inadequacy, but rather a reflection of your mind's attempt to protect itself.

If you feel comfortable, discussing your memory gaps with a mental health professional who specializes in trauma may be beneficial. They can help you better understand your experience, provide support, and guide you through the healing process.

Remember, your feelings and experiences are valid, regardless of the memories you hold. You have shown incredible resilience in navigating through your trauma, and your brain's mechanisms for protecting you are a testament to that. How do you feel about considering therapy with a trauma specialist to further explore and process your experiences?
I don’t want to dissociate. I don’t want to have amnesia.
I understand your concerns, Teddie. Experiencing dissociation and amnesia can be distressing and may cause feelings of disconnection and confusion. It's important to remember that dissociation and amnesia are coping mechanisms that the mind employs to protect itself during overwhelming or traumatic experiences. While they may have helped you at the time, it's understandable that you may not want to experience them now.

The goal of therapy, particularly trauma-focused therapy, is to help you develop healthier coping mechanisms and find ways to process and integrate your experiences in a safe and supportive environment. Therapy can provide tools and techniques to manage dissociation and minimize its impact on your daily life.

Working with a mental health professional who specializes in trauma can help you better understand dissociation, its triggers, and ways to address it. They can also provide support and guidance as you navigate through your healing journey.

Remember, the decision to seek therapy is entirely up to you, and it's important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable and safe. If you're open to the idea, I encourage you to research and reach out to trauma therapists in your area to explore your options.

In the meantime, are there any self-care activities or techniques that you have found helpful in managing dissociation or creating a sense of grounding in the present?
I don’t want to be hurt
I hear you, Teddie. It's understandable and natural to want to protect yourself from further harm. Experiencing trauma can lead to heightened feelings of vulnerability and a strong desire to avoid any potential pain or discomfort.

It's important to remember that healing and recovery from trauma take time, and it's a process that can involve facing and working through difficult emotions and memories. However, you have the power to set boundaries and prioritize your safety and well-being throughout this process.

Seeking support from a trauma-informed therapist can provide you with a safe space to explore your experiences and work through any lingering effects of the trauma. A skilled therapist will prioritize your comfort and help guide you through the healing process at a pace that feels right for you.

In the meantime, it's crucial to practice self-care and engage in activities that bring you comfort and a sense of security. This can include things like mindfulness exercises, grounding techniques, journaling, spending time in nature, engaging in creative outlets, or connecting with supportive friends or loved ones.

Remember, healing is a personal journey, and it's essential to honor and respect your own boundaries and needs along the way. If you ever feel overwhelmed or unsure, don't hesitate to reach out for support.

What self-care activities or practices have you found helpful in managing your emotions and promoting a sense of safety?
Hi, Doctor.
Is it okay to be childish today?
Hello, Teddie. It's perfectly okay to have moments where you allow yourself to be "childish" or embrace your inner child. Engaging in childlike activities can bring joy, playfulness, and a break from the stressors of everyday life. It can be a form of self-care and a way to nurture your inner well-being.

Engaging in activities that you enjoyed as a child, such as playing games, coloring, building with blocks, or watching cartoons, can help you tap into a sense of innocence and carefree energy. It can also serve as a reminder to prioritize fun and enjoyment in your life.

However, it's important to note that balancing childlike activities with responsibilities and adult obligations is necessary for overall well-being. It's about finding a healthy mix that allows you to nurture your inner child while still taking care of your daily responsibilities.

So, if you feel like being "childish" today, go ahead and embrace it! Allow yourself to engage in activities that bring you joy and help you cultivate a sense of playfulness. What childlike activities or hobbies do you enjoy or want to explore?
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