Is This the Final Frontier?–Starting Trauma Informed Therapy

It’s not the first time I’m in therapy, I’ve been to more therapists and psychologists than I can count since I was 12. I do occasionally try to count them, but some have been pretty much repressed from my memory at this stage, and I have actual memory loss on top of that.

As I began to realize I probably have C-PTSD and wanted to unravel that mess, I realized that I probably needed a trauma informed therapist to help me figure it all out. So I reached out to a fairly local one, and asked for their availability.

While I wont be talking about any specifics about our sessions, I will probably end up writing about things around it, things it made me ponder in the inbetween and made me realize about myself. Maybe? Or I don’t publish this, I don’t know yet. I’m probably going to ask where the limits are. But instead of distracting myself about those details… let’s get some thoughts down.

I think I expected a lot more to happen already in the first session, probably because when growing up every time I had a first session with a therapist I had to go through my life story to catch them up, and it was often involving a lot of crying. This time that’s not quite what happened at all, so I came out of it tired, but not totally exhausted. I still tried to give myself grace and rest a lot during the rest of the day though, so there was TV shows, and naps, and gaming, and cuddles on the sofa with partner and doggo.

Putting word to things you know but can’t talk about is incredibly valuable, and knowing that I’m in a safe space where I can do that, and figure things out is also very good. I am very privileged that I can spend the little income I have on going to see a therapist privately, and my brain is like “It’s only x / month”, while in the past that would’ve been way too much money.

In our first real session, but our second meeting, I was able to ask for something I needed, twice. That felt revolutionary. I often just believed I had to deal with what I was given, but this time I realized that, no, this is a give and take realtionship, and if I don’t let them know where my limits and boundaries are, it’s going to be hard to have a working relationship with them.

It does feel significantly more different than it has in the past, maybe I’m just in a different place, and have other pieces of my puzzle in place, like my ADHD diagnosis, and my pain diagnosis, so I can be more goal oriented to keep moving forward, instead of confused about what’s wrong with me. And now I get to pull at some of the threads to see what’s what around the things I already know of, and see how it overlaps (yes I love my mixed metaphors, deal with it).

I want to talk about the boundary I set with my thereapist, but I want to wait for a while as well. So that’s what I’ll do. In another post maybe, in the future.

Before moving on I want to say this: You can make great things happen if you allow yourself to take just a tiny bit of space, with the people who are supposed to help you, even when you’ve had really bad experiences with it in the past.

A few weeks have passed since I wrote this first draft, and I’ve since asked my therapist about their thoughts about me writing. I had kind of created a blockage by not asking, so I didn’t write nor edit even though I wanted to.. The result and response was perfectly in line with my needs, luckily! So, I will definitely keep writing and then decide how much I’ll publish.

I think I celebrated a bit too quickly about not feeling too bad after the first meeting, or it changed after the second. I kind of don’t know, because my sense of time gets really screwed up when I shut down. This was the long way to say, I’ve pretty much been in quite a bad state since the week following that first meeting, and had some other stuff come up too causing some stress and anxiety and exhaustion. It’s definitely something I think I could talk about more, and have on my Mastodon account.

At this stage it became important to me to give myself this space to feel like shit, while also trying to take care of myself and our household. Over the past few weeks. This interlocks a lot with my physical disabilities too, which occasionally makes it tricky to untangle what’s going on and how to manage it. Because I know that when it’s only mental health things affecting me, going outside is one of the best medicines, but when physical health gets in the way of that it can get really difficult to come back to some semblance of normal, whatever normal looks like for you.

I was reminded that I’d spent pretty much the past year always focusing on my baseline, to such a degree that I forgot I was doing it. It just became routine, even if it had its ups and downs in regard to success, I always kept coming back to it with a lot of compassion for myself when I was faltering, because the easiest way to come back was to give myself that space, that break.

Another subject for another post, again. So yeah, there’s a lot to talk about, and I expect we’ll keep talking about it over the coming months and years as I continue therapy and untangling the mysteries, and the traumas and processing and learning to forgive myself for the struggles I’ve had.

I am hopeful that this therapy will help me greatly, but I doubt it’s a miracle pill, it will require a lot of work, but I truly do appreciate being in space where I can slowly work through things at the pace that feels right and safe for me until we get some more breakthroughs and then work through them.