Nuance of therapy


A month ago my therapist told me I hid my trauma well. At the time, this truly triggered me and I felt defensive. The deep feeling I had was I was being told I am a liar, a fake, a fraud or even invalidated (which is my childhood MO and it bothers me but also it is a feeling that alerts me to inner world so I do not often go against feelings of invalidation and may look even if my reality is the same as others at that point).
Anyhow, I tried to defend but then realized the futility of it and let it go. The feeling lingered though and never came back to therapy.

I do journaling so I write everything in my therapy and go back often to see areas of improvements or areas still under construction. I came across this and thought (second time around seeing my feelings) that hmmm what is wrong with hiding (as long as I know it) my trauma? I mean I am OK knowing my trauma and if I can hid it and not put it on my forehead even better. I am wondering now if this is cognitive distortion or just acknowledgment of growth to know it is OK if my trauma is not always on the foreground. But then the question is, this is therapy, should I come off as hiding my trauma? Maybe my therapist's feeling of calling this out was good.

I feel all are true but today I am also experiencing a lot of self-doubts and confusion so maybe I am soothing for feeling all are true to avoid being a liar! I also feel maybe I am justifying my feelings. Does anyone relate to? As I write this I feel and see I am looking for validation for my feelings and this recognition itself is good work in process but I see slipping back to my self-soothing and self-autonomy. ooh well. I smile now. thank you for reading and giving feedback both valid or invalid are welcome. Cheers.


I've been told I hide my trauma really well by previous Ts and friends that know (online friends I've met irl n stuff). N it basically always leaves me not knowing how to react cos half of me is like "well duh. I'm *trying* to hide it in normal life. So thanks?" N other half is convinced it's just a polite way to say they think I'm lying :laugh:

I think it's always okay to hide your trauma outside of therapy, but if you're hiding it while there, especially if it's partly conscious, makes their job harder so I imagine that's why she said something.

I have no advice really. But I get it


Thank you for responding. I think there is some validity to what you say and it all really depends on the situation.

I think in therapy, I was not aware of hiding it and honestly I still do not know what that (hiding trauma) means exactly. As defensive as I was to her at that moment, I am obviously exploring and processing as I type to understand what could I consciously display as part of my trauma. My comment to her at that time was I think that is judgement rather than a therapeutic cause the way she delivered felt to me I should be broken down or something to show overtly how hurt I was from trauma (or maybe at the moment but the words did not land on me the same).

Like I said it is nuance cause I can only share my side of the story and lack great precision into her experience of me at that time. I think the whole trauma self vs normal self is maybe just another split rather than a thing. I am both the traumatic child, the adult carrying that experience, and the normal and functional person hiring the therapist and going to work and maintaining relationships.

I think deep down inside, I wished (wishing magically?) she used a more useful words like feelings....something like I feel now you are not coming forthwith or is that the truth (whatever I was saying) which I do not recall sadly. I think the words at the time of "You hide your trauma well!" felt judgy, blamey and non-therapautic language (now I feel that the time I felt judged and expressed it right away and she apologized BTW).

I am holding this feeling to see if it goes deeper, expands in my body, and maybe opens some channels I do not have access to right now.

I truly appreciate your comment though. Or maybe I am splitting hair cause I am bored! Throwing arms in air!

Allie D.

Or maybe I am splitting hair cause I am bored! Throwing arms in air!
I'm really out of it right now but your thoughts on therapy struck a cord! I enjoyed reading these posts , grit. I wish I could write something more responsive but, I'm all medicated up for the night. :( Thanks for writing, though.


New Here
Someone's tone of voice and body language could make all the difference in the world. I would say that the wording is such that it accepts you have trauma and acknowledges you have more than you let on. In that case, saying that would be very validating. However, that doesn't mean that's how they meant it. Regardless of how they meant it, you have every right to be triggered and feel the way you feel about it.

I recently realized that for all of my life of which I can recall, I have been overanalyzing pretty much everything that I think and feel. It occurred to me that I even gaslight myself frequently with this question: "Do I just feel this way or think this way because of my [insert diagnosis here]?" I actually think this is very harmful due to its reductive and invalidating nature. Our PTSD is caused oftentimes by healthy alert mechanisms which are stuck in the on position. This doesn't mean everything we feel is fair or healthy but it doesn't mean that everything we feel is unfair or unhealthy even if it is due to our PTSD. Our trauma actually holds advanced lessons on life, ourselves, and relationships. I think we with PTSD and the world can often start to see everything we with PTSD do, say, and think as "just" from our trauma.

I've actually had abusers use that against me a lot. Because I was willing to internalize and allow that, I stayed with them for much longer than I would have. It's damaging and scary to think that no thought is safe in your head and no feeling is safe in your heart. Almost as if now that we have PTSD every thought and feeling is tainted and we must submit our minds and hearts to someone else to tell us what to think and feel.

Also, impostor syndrome is quite pervasive with mental health disorders and I think almost feels comforting to many of us sometimes. Because we don't feel safe inside of ourselves it feels easier and somehow safer to think ourselves even more unwell. If it helps, I believe you and I think it can be a healthy part of our PTSD to "hide" our trauma. We can't trust it with just anybody. As long as we don't hide it from quite everyone, I think.

I know you wrote this a long time ago so maybe this is already processed but I wanted to add my thoughts especially if you were still struggling with this. Good luck!


Weird to be reminded of this post...I left that therapist and met another therapist in June for 2Xweekly therapist and working well so far. From what I processed since, the old therapist was poking around aggression points in my character and that was not a way to go about it apparently and experientially.