Little Laura wasn’t tough. She was disturbed.

A few days ago I wrote about remembering harming myself as a child. I was in a therapy session, talking to J about self-harm and how it often emerges in adolescence. It suddenly dawned on me that I self-harmed long before I knew what it was. That was a shocking recollection. It’s left me feeling anxious…

Therapy today: Hold on hope

Sometimes I think I want to retrain as a therapist. Other times are like today. I can’t imagine ever having to sit with someone as hopelessly depressed as I am. I hate myself intensely and I’m not sure how I could find compassion for a person like me. Today I didn’t want to speak. I…

Therapy today: Little Laura

Dissociation is very common in people with PTSD. Those who have experienced trauma, particularly from childhood sexual abuse, often fragment themselves. At the time of the trauma, it is a very effective defence. By dissociating yourself from events that feel like they threaten your existence, those events seem less real. The dissociation enables a victim to…

Passenger

Sitting small, holding the pieces as I rush through our life She’s along for the ride my silent passenger Jealously watching as I ignore her and forget willfully her fallibility and imperfections Her green eyes wishing she’d learned to break before me Longing for a different story, a narrative rewritten with self upheld Instead of…

Therapy today: Attachment

This morning I stubbed out a cigarette on my own skin because I wanted to feel something. I wanted to feel anything but sad. I was trying to shake myself up in preparation for going to the office and functioning externally as though I am a normal human being. Walking to J’s for therapy today…

Mutual assured destruction

It popped into my head earlier today; the concept of mutual assured destruction (also called MAD). After I finished my BA in English, I took a new direction and got an MSc in Politics. One of the modules on that course looked at nuclear weapons. The main discussion was around whether they keep the peace…

Therapy today: Rupture and repair

Apparently therapists are human. I suppose I’d like to think otherwise. Wouldn’t it be great if we had these superhero counsellors that could understand our inner world completely and know exactly how to fix everything? It’s tough when you’re really attached to a therapist. They become one of the most important people in your life….

Therapy today: Patience

I’m in turmoil after therapy today. It was such an odd session.  On Tuesday I dissociated, and J doesn’t want that to happen again. So she asked me to sit somewhere different. That made me uncomfortable. I hate sitting in the ‘therapising’ chair, so we compromised with me taking a seat beside her. Then I was…

Therapy today: His lingering shadow

I had mixed feelings about my first session after the Christmas break. Unlike everyone else in the office I was glad things are back to ‘normal’ this week. I like routine. I like knowing how all the hours stretching out ahead of me at the start of a day will be filled. Dead time is…

Therapy today: Finally speaking the unspeakable

I don’t feel proud of myself very often these days. But I do today. I took a huge step in my therapy session; in trusting and in letting myself be vulnerable. A month or so ago I wrote down a first person narrative account of the sexual abuse I experienced at the hands of my…

Therapy today: Please don’t leave

Today I pushed myself and took a risk. I’m low on energy, but I know I need to make progress. I can’t keep treading water. I’m tired and something has to change. I’m not even sure why I’m bothering to write this, as nothing happened . I went way out of my comfort zone and…

Mindfulness: You’ve got to dare to be present

For a long time, silence was synonymous with my misery. Being still and quiet would mean drowning in negative thoughts and self-criticism. Panicking about everything I needed to do and all that is past and won’t ever change. I constantly distracted myself, with work, TV, sport, alcohol, whatever was easiest at the time. Anything to…