Trauma Therapy Session 5: post session day 2

Wow not really sure what to write. That was definitely a productive session. I am learning these sessions never really go exactly as I expect but that is ok, in fact maybe even good.

We started the session reflecting on homework. The homework I was set was to continue to mirror back negative emotion when I see those around me experience it. ✅ – I have been doing good at this.

The extra homework I had given myself was to repeat some strong negative emotional words out loud every day. So I have literally once or twice a day been reeling off a list of words like Hate, Afraid, Petrified, Ashamed, Trapped. I had given myself the homework because I noticed at the end of the last session how much I didn’t even like to use these words, so I thought if I could take some of the sting out of the words…when it came to associating the words with the memories it would be a little easier. Chris confirmed that was a sensible action to take which was reassuring. ✅

I had also started to do some more research around negative emotions. I like to understand the science and the logic. I find it gives me courage and drive to push through some of the discomfort with connecting with them. It lets me buy in to the power and benefit of negative emotions. In my research I came across a few Interesting things… One was this study about the benefits of negative emotions in decision making…

The other thing I came across which resonated with me was this video. Now I hope I am not as annoying as the woman in it, I really hope I listen to people, but I am very aware that my default to anyone feeling down is to try and lift them up, push them forward, drag them out of it.

After homework review Chris asked if I would like to experiment with some real time negative emotions. Ok I said wondering what was coming next. How do you feel about Putin? Well I didn’t expect to be talking about that this week. We explored my feelings of anger and fear, much like lots of us I am sure it was not avoidable.

Then the really hard stuff. The timeline…

We picked an event. Well I say we, there was one which had been nagging at me to talk about and it was one of the harder ones. There were points in discussing it I couldn’t even string the words together to say what to wanted to say. I did find myself getting upset but…

It felt great to be able to tell someone. To mention all the things about it which were awful to air all the parts which haunted me. Chris listened, asked the occasional question, empathised and responded in his usual awesome way.

Then came the interestingly impactful part. “If you could go back there now what would you do?” He asked.

“Whisk up that little girl up and take her away… somewhere safe and happy.” I described the fantasy cottage in the woods where she could live out her days like sleeping beauty with the fairy godparents.

“And what would you tell her?” He probed.

“That it would all be ok. That it was not up to her to save anyones life and no one would take hers.”

Even now it seams daft saying it had such an impact but impact it did. Then I found myself getting annoyed again, with myself. ‘Why didn’t I call out the danger? Why didn’t I throw up the red flags? Why didn’t I do more?’

We had a brilliant conversation about how adults in abusive relationships found themselves trapped. The fear of making it worse, the worry people won’t believe them, the worry the other person will hurt themselves. We talked about how they often don’t say anything to friends or family. He asked how I would feel towards them would I blame them, or think less of them. Nope I would feel sympathy and worry for them. And then he stated clear as day, as he often does and they are adults, you were a child.

For some reason or another I still fort to give up this idea that it was my fault, I had failed, I should have done more. But he gently challenged me and although I started feeling physically sick he defiantly shifted something.

After the session I felt exhausted but better some how. I went away with a clear sense of needing to be a little kinder to myself. And so I will. Hope you are being kind to you too. X

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