Today’s session was interesting. I cried a lot, and I don’t really know why.
Today was an introduction to trauma work. She looked at the forms I had filled in, which I talked about in my last CBT post, and said “it’s definitely trauma isn’t it?”
I don’t know if this was a horrible realisation as it is accepting that things happened, or strangely calming, as it somehow justifies how I’m feeling.
Then we looked at grounding techniques and safe space. These are in preparation for next week when we will really start the trauma work, with retelling.
The grounding technique is basically making you aware of reality, where you are, and that you are in the present.
A said I should look at the walls – the colours, what is on the pictures. I should press back against the chair so I can feel it against my head and back, and tap my feet on the floor to feel that it is there. It is a strange thing to do, and if anyone had ever told me that I would be doing this, I would’ve laughed. But, strange as it is, it does help.
For homework this week I have to practice this. A also said it can be used when I am feeling anxious, and when I am dissociated to bring me back.
The safe space was difficult. The idea is that you picture a “safe space”, where you can go to in your mind and feel safe there. I had to close my eyes or look at the carpet and think about a safe space. A asked questions like “is it outside or inside?” “what is the weather like there?” “what does it smell like?” etc. but they were not questions to be answered out loud, just thought about.
I found it very hard to imagine this place. My thoughts kept interrupting, and with my eyes shut I kept feeling dizzy, or like the world was shaking.
Afterwards we talked about it. We talked about my favourite place. It is somewhere in Malta, and A said I should try to use that as my safe space.
That’s the other bit of homework – to practice getting into my safe space.
A said I should try to practice everyday. I need to be able to go there when we are dealing with the trauma memories, to feel safe again afterwards.
Today’s CBT was quite different. I am worried for next week, where I will be bringing memories to the surface on purpose. Even filling in the trauma questionnaires last week had triggered memories I had forgotten about. I can see that it is going to be a long journey, but hopefully in time, it will be worth it, and I will get better.