Pre therapy nerves on steroids.

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
I'm spamming this board like f*ck, and I apologise, but shit's on my brain all the time, so hey.

So back in them days when I was a teenager and lived with my douche of a dad and marshmallow of a mother (very sweet, melts under the tiniest flame) I had court mandated therapy (I ran away and social work involvement n witness to a thing, no criminal history) that extended into not entirely voluntary cos I was pressured to say yes, but also not entirely mandated either. But before each session my parents would have phoned him telling him how I'd been and given me a list of acceptable topics and phrases to recite. And I essentially did that, but T was a massively stressful thing with him probably knowing shit was weird with his biweekly calls about what to talk to me about and my generic answers.

But yeah, at some point he guessed CSA and I neither confirmed or denied, and then he requested a meeting with parents, which I couldn't really refuse so they came along and he said something about "due to the information I have disclosed he feels like he should continue therapy with less parental input as I've now hit 16 etc." so yeah. Then I got a broken arm from that interaction.

But my point is really the feeling f*cking trapped before every session that you would think, years later, with years of therapy in the middle, I'd be over it. But it's like for the 24 hours before I'm filled with SI thoughts and the only thing that stops them is basically like "its f*cking 24 hours, in 24 hours it'll be over n you'll have a week free of dealing with it". And I understand most people have pre-T nerves, but that seems uh a bit extreme and probably reminiscent of T as a teen actually not being safe. And people tell me that basically everyone feels like that, or I'm not with the same T now, and Im an adult now etc etc. And it's not that I don't understand that, it's just instinctual.

Like I know my position now is safe, and I know confidentiality is a thing, and I know nobody is trying to f*ck me over etc. But I mind a member here telling me that I think I'm special because I get nervous preT, but everyone does. And it seems normal to be nervous pre T, but not normal to be like "you can survive this, just wait it out".

And I still go, and I'm still honest and they're aware of all this shitshow in my head. And I can stay safe cos it's literally every single week so suicidal ideation becomes boring, cos I don't really mean it, it's just a childish "get out of this shit before you're caught and in trouble" thing, not *real* ideation. I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong and everyone feels like that and I'm just trying to be special. But if so, Ts got their work cut out eh.

Yeah thanks.
 
Considering that talking to a T previously caused at the absolute least your father to break your arm, I think it's pretty smart of your brain to try and protect you.

(And that's what NHS therapists do when they suspect CSA? Sit the perp and victim down together to hash it out? Shit, I'd be shitting myself if I ever had to visit a T again if I'd had that experience.)

And as far as safety is concerned, your father is deranged enough to just walk into your house, punch you in the face, and leave, and it seems like he could potentially do much worse. So I don't think it's very weird for you to feel the way you do.
 

Friday

Moderator
Like I know my position now is safe, and I know confidentiality is a thing, and I know nobody is trying to f*ck me over etc. But I mind a member here telling me that I think I'm special because I get nervous preT, but everyone does. And it seems normal to be nervous pre T, but not normal to be like "you can survive this, just wait it ou
Yeah. It’s normal with trauma & PTSD.

So are panic attacks, anxiety attacks, suicidal ideation, suicide itself, nightmares, flashbacks, disassociation, dysreg, aaaaand every other symptom & problem that comes along with PTSD.

That. Does. Not. Mean. that a person can’t or shouldn’t do anything about any of it, or that with time it will just “go away”. I mean, it might. It all might. But if you’re in therapy, actively working on the theory that luck is great, but taking action is better? Why just decide to depend on luck for one symptom, whilst actually working on sorting the rest? It doesn’t make a whole lotta sense.

Now… if I am consistently suicidal in relation to something else?

((And that happens a lot. My brain is very black and white, in it’s attempts to “help” me / in finding solutions for things. <casts eyes skyward> It DOES mean I ignore myself completely, about it. That doesn’t mean I stop feeling suicidal, it DOES mean that it would be utterly stupid to kill myself.))

So if I know that every time I get sick, injured, don’t want to feel this way, have therapy in a few days, etc. I get suicidal? I ignore myself. That’s a very different thing from ignoring the problem and it will get better in time. It means I ignore the presented solution, and take a step back, to find different solutions.

Excerpt from the link above
That is my #1 mistranslation. My brain is pretty black and white. I don't want to feel like this ...and my brain jumps to dead. Dead fixes that. Yep. I want to die. 1,000 different ways not to feel this way that don't equal death, but that's exactly where my brain goes. That's its solution. Yo! Brain! Instead of wanting to die, do you think you can back up a step? I don't want to feel like this ... I can actually do something about. That gives me options.
 

Freida

Sponsor
Considering that talking to a T previously caused at the absolute least your father to break your arm, I think it's pretty smart of your brain to try and protect you.

(And that's what NHS therapists do when they suspect CSA? Sit the perp and victim down together to hash it out? Shit, I'd be shitting myself if I ever had to visit a T again if I'd had that experience.)

And as far as safety is concerned, your father is deranged enough to just walk into your house, punch you in the face, and leave, and it seems like he could potentially do much worse. So I don't think it's very weird for you to feel the way you do.
This
All of this
 

Sideways

Moderator
I know my position now is safe
Yup. And I know (I do, honestly I do) that I'm not gonna get attacked at the grocery store.

Yet here we are. Ptsd.
#Ihatemyamygdala

Applying the tried (and painfully slow) and tested method of exposure, is there anything you can do to roll back the therapy appointment scenario to make it less threatening? I know, it sounds like a dumb question.

So, with the grocery store, I got myself an assistance dog, I wear sunnies, and I go first thing when it opens on a week day when there's minimal people (like, I'm there waiting when they open the door).

It may take some brainstorming, trying a few different things (oftentimes things that may seem ridiculous at first, but give them a go, because sometimes the weird things land), let your T know that this is something specific that you're working on so that they can support you if you ask to have 15 minute sessions or bring your bongo drums with you...you know what I mean?

This is your amygdala doing its ptsd thing. So apply what you know works theoretically, give it some time, track it over time to see what makes a difference, make small incremental steps... How much do you need to change, how much do you need to do to persuade your amygdala "this situation isn't that situation" to make it work? Find that safe spot, and start from there.

If that means we do 5 minute appointments where we literally just comment on the weather and leave? (Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat) That's where you start.

ETA There's more that you can experiment with than just length of session and agreed topics of discussion. Does having the radio on help? Does sitting outside help? Does making a cuppa together in the staff kitchen first then sitting across from each other at a table help...etc etc
 
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Freemartin

Sponsor
Holy shit! I knew your childhood was one big near-death-experience, but this shit with the T and your parents??? Just... fuuuck. I mean, getting nervous and suicidal 24 hrs prior to T? Who wouldn’t, with that history?

You’ll probs just shrug at this, but anyways: you’re a goddamned superhero, still going to T and all. Like, practically no-one would be alive and kicking, still standing and fighting, and going to T after all you’ve been through.

This forum consists of people who are extraordinarily resilient and brave. By default. We’re here, having lived through hell and working our ways out. Helping each other on the way. So it’s easy to kinda lose the perspective. To not realize how badass we actually are. Cause everyone gets nervous before T, everyone struggles with things from the past etc. And they fight it and they prevail.

I find it helpful to, from time to time, realize that this is not the norm. It’s the norm here, but in the general population? It’s much more common for traumatized people to deny their problems, to blame others, to abuse all kinds of substances and make life miserable for people around them. So, when you compare yourself to other people here? You’re doing it in a good company. We all are fighting the good fight. But even so, some battles deserve extra credit. And you still going to T is one of them.

It is extra hard for you. And for a very good (i.e. horrendous) reason. Give yourself some credit. Otherwise, I’ll ask Freida to featherdust you. 😁
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @Chris-duck
Your post is really apt. I too personally get the jiggers before therapy sometimes (not all the time). One time I forgot I had therapy and when she called me, she caught me off guard and interestingly enough I was such in a good mood and said so and that was the beginning of my lessening anxiety pre therapy. I also realized the depth of that pre-T anxiety and for me it was associating therapy to my childhood which I do (cause that is the only reason I am there in the first place).

Like I know my position now is safe, and I know confidentiality is a thing, and I know nobody is trying to f*ck me over etc. But I mind a member here telling me that I think I'm special because I get nervous preT, but everyone does. And it seems normal to be nervous pre T, but not normal to be like "you can survive this, just wait it out".

And I still go, and I'm still honest and they're aware of all this shitshow in my head. And I can stay safe cos it's literally every single week so suicidal ideation becomes boring, cos I don't really mean it, it's just a childish "get out of this shit before you're caught and in trouble" thing, not *real* ideation. I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong and everyone feels like that and I'm just trying to be special. But if so, Ts got their work cut out eh.
I was quite taken by this quote cause it seemed it was coming from a deep place in you but was not being acknowledged for its worthiness on the surface (as it seems to met that way at least). Sometimes things have to go on "steroids" for us to notice what it means and find peace with it or let it go. It felt to me you posting this and calling it this and putting it this way seems you are processing it directly. Kudos! Not an easy route of things but you are on it for now. All the best in your journey.
 

Freida

Sponsor
I was thinking about this last night and remembering how terrified I was every time she closed the door because I KNEW this would be the time he was waiting outside and would shoot me in the head when I opened it. Just knew it - in my soul

I still kind of believe it, which is one of the reasons I like doing the video appointments instead - less chance of death in my own house. But those were just fears

You had the reality of your dad breaking your arm for daring to try to get help
And you still had to live with him.
And now you wonder why you are nervous about therapy?
Holy crap

I agree with @Freemartin - you are a bad ass superhero
Just sayin (with feather duster in hand!)
 

RNrecovery

Learning
out".

And I still go, and I'm still honest and they're aware of all this shitshow in my head. And I can stay safe cos it's
Don't feel like just because it is "normal" for people with PTSD to have anxiety before therapy as a reason for your feelings to be invalid. It's normal for us to feel a lot of really f-ed up things. Just because it is common doesn't mean your feelings aren't real. It doesn't mean that this isn't horrible and a crock. Is it normal for people with my trauma history to have flash backs of blood pools? Totally, I am not special. At the same time it is not normal for the rest of the world. And I get to work towards a life where those flashbacks don't derail my life.

From your history you have direct therapy from trauma layered over the usual PTSD anxiety and flashbacks. Tell you therapist. I started telling her how freaked out I get before therapy. I started telling her "I want to hang up right now, time to peace out." I haven't hung up on her but it helped me to work through why I felt that way. Any decent therapist will know how to deal with it. Mine didn't press me to hard to go into details when I first told her that I spent the 24hrs before a session thinking of ways to cancel. As time went on we have talked more about it. Go at your pace but open that door.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for replies guys
(And that's what NHS therapists do when they suspect CSA? Sit the perp and victim down together to hash it out? Shit, I'd be shitting myself if I ever had to visit a T again if I'd had that experience.)
To be fair, he never said he suspected CSA to dad, and didn't suspect him, so yeah. An accidental f*ck up really.
And as far as safety is concerned, your father is deranged enough to just walk into your house, punch you in the face, and leave, and it seems like he could potentially do much worse. So I don't think it's very weird for you to feel the way you do.
So I'm not scared of my dad, people keep telling me I should be, but I'm not. So even though T shit is based around getting into shit from him, I stress about T, do not stress about seeing him. He's not a real threat. Used to be? Okay. But not now (And now you'll say a punch to the face is assault, and technically yes but we aren't arguing legalities here, we are arguing what affects me personally).
So if I know that every time I get sick, injured, don’t want to feel this way, have therapy in a few days, etc. I get suicidal? I ignore myself. That’s a very different thing from ignoring the problem and it will get better in time. It means I ignore the presented solution, and take a step back, to find different solutions
Yeah, I'm pretty solid on the ignoring SI cos it is basically how you describe, a shitty go-to for every problem, but different solutions don't really exist outside of just dealing with it, which is what I do now. Cos yeah, I'm hanging out with the NHS Ts where a year in (although second T, this one I've only met three times) I'm already overstaying my welcome. And really, if I can ignore that issue and keep on then that's kinda ideal because I'm basically f*cked if I spend all this time on working on being okay with Ts, just to run out of time and be left with everything else, with no T (therefore, the T issue, is no longer an issue, and back to where I started).

So yeah, better way to deal? Outside of discussing with T, which has proven f*cking frustrating on all sides for years.
is there anything you can do to roll back the therapy appointment scenario to make it less threatening?
It's probably better with it being online so like extra confidential (nobody can see me entering the building etc), but yeah, time is an issue, so I kinda consider this one a thing I just gotta deal with myself cos I don't have the time to go through all the ways with them that could potentially help just for that to use up all my sessions. So like she's aware, and last T would ask what he could do to make himself safer but then it just feels like people are asking how to manipulate me best and I don't have an answer, and even if I did, I'm not sure I'd say. But outside of that discussion, I can be honest and work on different shit, just the discussion about me and T I'm like "nooope" at.

So I guess like, how much does working it out with a T matter? Cos it's an issue that exists with Ts, so if I no longer need a T, it's no longer an issue, so if I fix other issues, that one is no longer an issue, assuming I continue to ignore my crazy preT suicide ideation brain. Cos yeah, tried for ages to fix that and nope, no luck, but can with other shit, cos it's not really convo/topic-dependent, it's showing up at all really.
There's more that you can experiment with than just length of session and agreed topics of discussion. Does having the radio on help? Does sitting outside help? Does making a cuppa together in the staff kitchen first then sitting across from each other at a table help...etc etc
Yeah so stepping back a step, heh. I'm good with actual sessions as they are, and can overrule my brain wanting to just rhyme off phrases to be left alone, and I'm just not sure anything actually would help, cos Ts can't help when Ts are the problem, like obv it's good they're aware, but it's like talking about it just shuts me down more. And like it's not like recent Ts have done anything wrong, or have anything to change, it's just the fact that they are my T. Same for every T I have, not anything they've done or anything. It's like anything I do or they do to make it easier, actually makes it harder somehow. Like online helps cos distance and secrecy, but everything else that is designed to make things easier feels more like a trap so I guess I'm trying to not be resigned to this lasting for as long as I have a T, but also kinda am. And I hate myself for that.
Holy shit! I knew your childhood was one big near-death-experience, but this shit with the T and your parents??? Just... fuuuck
Um, not near death, just an arm. And I genuinely thought I'd posted about this before, but hey, who even knows.
Give yourself some credit. Otherwise, I’ll ask Freida to featherdust you.
Heh, thanks.
Your post is really apt. I too personally get the jiggers before therapy sometimes (not all the time). One time I forgot I had therapy and when she called me, she caught me off guard and interestingly enough I was such in a good mood and said so and that was the beginning of my lessening anxiety pre therapy. I also realized the depth of that pre-T anxiety and for me it was associating therapy to my childhood which I do (cause that is the only reason I am there in the first place)
Okay yeah, so I get the jitters before things like doc appointments, where I frantically wonder what kinda excuse I can use to get outta it, but I don't automatically jump to "you need to kill yourself right now to get out of that". So it's a similar idea, nerves before something uncomfy, but it's not the same thing for me, because for doc appts the appointment is uncomfy so I wanna cancel, with T I know I'll be in an undefined amount of shit if I'm caught going, so I'd rather take control and just end it now. And obv logically, untrue. But also, can't stop myself thinking that is just cos I'm not caught.. yet.
But those were just fears

You had the reality of your dad breaking your arm for daring to try to get help
Past reality, not current reality.
So same thing, just brains being f*cking weird.
Any decent therapist will know how to deal with it. Mine didn't press me to hard to go into details when I first told her that I spent the 24hrs before a session thinking of ways to cancel. As time went on we have talked more about it. Go at your pace but open that door.
My T is aware, as was my last, but since it's literally what their job is in relation to me that makes me uncomfy, there is really very little they can do. And it's not even trauma, just over an argument with dad really. So like I guess we are both stuck and are kinda like "It'll go as we process other shit", but it's so f*cking exhausting all the time really.

I have read and reread and edited this to f*ck so now my brain is mush and I'm not sure it even makes sense anymore. It's definitely repetitive, sorry. It's just all conflicted, like I probably should discuss it with T, but that's a waste of sessions if that's all we manage to fix before sessions run out, cos if I no longer see a T then it's not a problem, Is not discussing it with T (although aware, not really about SI, cos honestly, never thought to, cos it's just my normal) just avoiding an issue or a smart decision to work on root cause of this whole thing? And like, does it even matter if SI is just baseline, and I'm well versed in not acting?

And yeah, I wanna go smash my face off a wall now* cos I frustrate myself.. Good luck making sense of this.

*I won't, figure of speech.

Thanks.
 

internal

Sponsor
i am sorry of that i do not have any advice or wisdoms for you chris but i just want you to know i am listening and reading along with you and i really hope that you are able to get in a place that this is more of peaceful for you.

i under stand what it is like to speak around in circles and then become frustrated because of not making much sense. or perceving that others may not make sense of you. (although to me you do make sense, just so you know.)

it truly sounds very stressful and agonizing but no matter what you choose to tell your t just remember it is your choice. you have the control when it comes to that. if you are not ready to discuss it then you do not have to.

i told my t about the self harm because i want to stop hurting my self. but if that is the coping mechenism which works for you in the moment? it is not bad. it is maldaptive? perhaps. but is it keeping you alive? that matters.

apolegies if none of this is helpful or relevent.
 

Chris-duck

MyPTSD Pro
no matter what you choose to tell your t just remember it is your choice. you have the control when it comes to that. if you are not ready to discuss it then you do not have to.
I have discussed this with Ts, it just doesn't help or go anywhere n we both end up frustrated. Cos nothing I've tried in the past like three years with three Ts has changed it at all.

So don't wanna be resigned to it cos it's f*cking exhausting. But also half am.
 
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