My Therapy Journal

{5/8/19 - UPDATE: "Latest CSA Revelations begin at 5/7/19 and continue forward through page 2 & 3 -- before that is my Therarpy Journal and things that I was planning to discuss with my T on my next appointment (late May) ....until this new development was uncovered}

{5/13/19 - UPDATE: "Lastest CSA Revelations" - I have MOVED this portion to an entire new thread in the Members Only Section here: https://forum.malesurvivor.org/threads/camping-latest-csa-revelations.75875/ }

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Last night (4/9/19): 1st time appointment with new T (1st male)

Someone mentioned journaling after therapy appointments. I **HATE** journaling, but love to post here. So doing this instead. Maybe it will help some of you in your Healing Journey. Hope it helps me too! (I plan on adding new posts to this same thread as I go to more T sessions.)

Tuesday but was my first appointment with my new T. Also first male T (He is also a Christian T, which I prefer). He is also African-American, which is perfect, since he looks nothing like my father (triggers!), and also is not my SSA "type" (if that makes sense). First he introduced himself and his background, trying to develop trust. He said it may take a while for me to feel safe enough to open up. I thought that was hilarious since I already planned on DUMPING, he just didn't know it yet! He mentioned he had a closer professional relationship than I thought with my former T (who I very much liked. She recommended this T to me). Apparently he interned under her. And his current group also accepts my insurance - ♥Bonus♥

I spent most of the rest of the hour reading the different posts on my Signature Line here: Church Testimony, My Intro/Story, Current Struggles, DID post.

Some I hadn't read since I posted the first time. I actually surprised myself a few times by what I had written. He not only listened to my words but watched my face as I read. Good for him. He could tell when some of the words started to "get" to me. To my surprise, I did not scare him off.

We discussed specific goals. I really didn't have any other than to "get better." I mentioned my learning about PTSD/cPTSD and treatments for that. Talked a bit more about my DID stuff. Also expressed my concern that most of the symptoms of PTSD/cPTSD encompass pretty much all of my personality. I shared my concern that if it gets treated, what is left? Who is the *real* me?

Someone here recently mentioned my avatar pic. Looks like I am having fun, with a little mischief. (I was about 4, mid-jump, when the picture was taken, about a year after the abuse with perp-father.) I tell him that his description still somewhat describes me! Perhaps that really *is* the REAL me. (eyes tearing up now)

I end up outside, getting the newspapers. Our dogwood tree is in full bloom. I look and notice 1 large branch that isn't blooming at all. It must be dead. Time to prune that branch - make the tree healthier....

Funny, God! Seriously, I am dealing with this crap, wanting to get rid of it and you present me with an actual branch that needs pruning. Yes, I get it! (Yes, God has a sense of humor - thus the reason he created penguins!)

So I go ahead and get my saw and start pruning the dead tree branch (yes all of this happened just this morning). Yes I get the analogy! Time to trim the dead wood inside so I can "bloom" more strongly.

back to the T appointment... I let him know I really want to pursue treatment from a PTSD perspective. This means looking at the various treatment options available: EMDR, Somatic therapies, Touch Therapy (talk about triggering!). Also looking into faith-based treatment options.

I also want to look at the "black hole" of my memory from 1st grade. Something happened then. No idea what. But I believe it needs to be unlocked to allow me to take the next steps on my Healing Journey.

Funny, as I mention the PTSD and the "black hole" to my T, I could feel small TREMORS on my left arm (it happened twice!)! Was that real?!? Like my body was reacting to just the thought of uncovering more stuff! (eyes tearing up again)

Due to our schedules, we are only able to meet about once per month. I think that will be fine. With MS, my 2 CR meetings weekly, my monthly ASCA meetings, I have enough to keep me busy, grounded, and learning between T sessions.
 
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Things to mention during our next session....

1) The TREMORS

2) my overactive Cowper's Gland

3) PTSD Article - (Thanks @F.A.) https://theconversation.com/complex-trauma-how-abuse-and-neglect-can-have-life-long-effects-32329

4) quote from article: "For this reason, people who have experienced complex trauma may display symptoms including poor concentration, poor attention and poor decision-making and judgement. They may also appear highly reactive and respond to threat even if it is not present. Their behaviour may be aggressive in response, or they may take flight or simply freeze."

5) another quote - same article: "If someone presents to a mental health setting for help and is accurately diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the treatment options are pretty clear. But if that person has experienced complex trauma and the assessment does not recognise this, then simply treating for ADHD may well not be effective. The person’s ability to comply with treatment or medication may be limited, and other important characteristics such as associated developmental and mental health concerns may be present but overlooked." [I was given ADHD medication for my supposed Adult ADD, but I do not know if it actually made me more attentive - it was SPEED and helped me GET THINGS DONE and get HYPER but didn't actually help the attention. perhaps I did NOT have ADD after all!!!]

6) another quote - same article: "It is not surprising that children who have experienced complex trauma often grow up in families that have difficulties. These may be families that are emotionally volatile because they’re struggling with poverty, or where parents have substance use or mental health concerns. Or mum and dad may be poorly equipped to parent as a result of their own experiences as children."

7) Easter Saturday Service

8) my continued "exploits" with the United Methodist Church

9) Depressed day on 5/6/19 after discussing tremors during CR Step Study (5/5/19)

10) recent IM chat with my aunt (co-victim of my perp-father)

11) should I have a Psych Eval done??

.... (to be continued)
 
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KMCINVA

Registrant
I found writing in a journal helped me in many ways. I helped me to uncover the past and the damage done as well as the damage being done in the then present. I also allowed me to expand my circle to surround myself only with kind and compassionate people. I came to realize I looked at the world with negative eyes and lived in a negative world. After I could my own damage I could see many in this world are damaged by their life experiences and like me live in denial, except today I do not live in denial. I re-read the journal every so often (sometimes difficult because my handwriting is quite bad). It reminds me of my journey and the importance to remain on this journey.

The thoughts of PTSD confused me at first. When told I was suffering, I went into denial. I believed it solely related to war. After some time and continued dissociation, flashbacks, etc I did some research. I learned it can hit anyone who lived with trauma--either living or witnessing the trauma. I helped because I could better understand my behavior.

NC-Survivor you are on a good path and you openness and willingness to uncover the past will serve you well.

Kevin
 

PRFL

Registrant
NC, it sounds like the session went very well and I’m glad about that. It sounds like you are on a good path, so keep it up!
 
I have no idea what to do with my therapist. I’m sort of at a dead end. I don’t want to go back (wife is on me to) and I don’t want to start over...
 
I have no idea what to do with my therapist. I’m sort of at a dead end. I don’t want to go back (wife is on me to) and I don’t want to start over...
Maybe it's time to switch things up. I took a break from my last T since August. Of course that was more of a financial reason, but we left at a good spot in my healing Journey. Do what you think is best for your own Journey. Only you can decide this. Different T's will bring different perspectives. They will help you in different ways.
 

PRFL

Registrant
Gracias mi hermano. Bendiciones para ti en tu viaje.

(thanks Google Translate!!)
Very good translation! Thanks!
BTW, I'm fortunate that both my DBT counselor and my T are bilingual and although my therapy is mostly in English because most of my therapy through my life has been in English hence I'm more familiar with those terms, once in a while only a Spanish expression or cultural reference really makes a difference.
Muchas gracias por compartir tu viaje y tus experiencias! Muy agradecido!
 
Kal -

Sounds like you are off to a good start with the new T. I totally understand what you said by his difference being good because of no similarity to the perp or your "type."

I did something very similar with journaling on the MS forums. I didn't really call it that, but that was essentially what it was. and I didn't force myself to journal if I didn't feel I had something to say. so it was kind of irregular - sometimes several times in one day, sometimes not for several days. the only time I journaled on paper was:
1. if my T told me he wanted me to do it that way for a specific exercise because the hand motion in connection with the brain made a difference.
or
2. if I was not near my computer and needed to get something recorded immediately so as not to lose it or to relieve some pressure.
or
3. if I was still working things out in my mind and wasn't ready yet to put it all into complete thoughts with sentences and paragraphs. it often helps me to scribble lists or bullet points and then try to connect the dots or reorganize fragments into coherent statements later.

anyway - glad it seems to be working out. BTW - I believe it will help you move ahead to have a male listen and empathize with you. there are things about being a male survivor of abuse that only another male can understand. That's why MS is so helpful.

Lee
 
if I was still working things out in my mind and wasn't ready yet to put it all into complete thoughts with sentences and paragraphs. it often helps me to scribble lists or bullet points and then try to connect the dots or reorganize fragments into coherent statements later.
Thanks Lee - I write a "Draft" ion the Notes section of my phone, took some time, then when I was happy with it, I posted it (then still made some edits ;) ) -- good ideas! thanks!!
 
So, I also want to discuss with my T about First Grade - have a huge memory gap for almost that entire year - I call it my "black hole". I always remember NOT remembering first grade. Few memories escape. I have clear and positive memories of Kindergarten and Second Grade, but First Grade I remember almost nothing. I feel another traumatic event must have happened during this time.

I am jotting notes about what I *do* remember so I can share them with my therapist. Let me know what you think (Always value some MS perspective on things)

1) first day for First Grade, we have a bathroom break. we were lined up to go to the restrooms. I saw boys standing up to pee on these weird white things attached to the wall. I had never seen these before! I had no idea how to use 1. I ended up using a regular commode. I now know, of course they were urinals. Apparently my perp-father never bothered to take me to a men's room!!

2) We lived within walking distance of the school and we had long lunch breaks. Kindergarten was only half day, so I would leave school at lunch time. When First Grade started, I would normally walk home for lunch (my mom stayed home and worked nights). When I walked back to school, it would be lunch recess and all the kids would be playing on the playground behind the school. I would simply join them. After about the first week of school, it rained. I did my normal routine of walking home for lunch (with a yellow rain slicker). When I returned to school, the playground was empty. I did not know where all the kids were (even though it was raining). I thought maybe they were inside of the classroom. They were not - the classroom was empty. The lights were turned off. I freaked out. I had no idea what to do. I started crying. I could only think of running back home to get my mom. I did, crying all the way, in the rain. I told my mom what had happened. She got on her rain jacket and escorted me back to the school (she did not drive at this point). We went into the office and she was outraged that I was so upset and that the teacher never bothered to give me instructions on where to go for recess when it rained. Apparently, all the kids (1st grade thru 6th grade) were all in the gym.

3) (really a continuation of "2") Well I was probably still teary-eyed, but found a place to take off my rain jacket and my shoes (I think only gym shoes were allowed in the gym, otherwise you had to wear socks). they were playing DODGE-BALL - with the older kids ganging up on the younger kids (again 6th grade down to first grade) and I was the one who showed up late with tears in his eyes. So I was a target. Dodge-ball was always traumatic, but that day especially so. It may have been my first exposure to the sport.
 
4) They were trying to develop a Wrestling Team and invited all the boys to try out. as an incentive, they had a very large trampoline. if you made it on the team you could play on the trampoline. I tried out (really wanted to play on the trampoline) but as soon as I got pinned during my first practice match, I freaked out. I did not like being pinned down. Even though I wanted to play on the trampoline, I did NOT want to wrestle.
 
Unfortunately NC, kid swapping IS a real thing. Sometimes organized rings, that may look like men's clubs, have been known to do this.
How groups of perverts find each other is a mystery to me.
 
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