**Potential triggers for CSA**
I just need to type out what happened in the most recent session. I can’t concentrate with this all floating around in my head.
A few days ago, I woke up and felt depressed. It’s like it came in and crept up on me in the middle of the night. I have been in a funk since then. This was not helped by the fact that I had to cancel my original session time, which was yesterday, because something came up that I had to take care of. Having to wait an extra day is fine, but the thing that bothered me is that I was worried T was angry with me for cancelling – a worry that popped up based on how she sounded on the phone. Later that day, I ended up “partway” in a flashback, because anger is so triggering to me. I have been somewhat dissociative and spacey since then. As I explained to T, my car, being closed in and secure, felt like the safest place this week. The rest of the world is just too open.
I am unsure what triggered me in the session, but I sort of ended up in another flashback, although half of me still knew where I was. It started out just with the feelings of dread and fear coming up, followed by broken images. At the time, whenever I would talk, I was surprised that my voice sounded grown up. T was trying to help me get out of it and eventually did a sort of role-play with her “taking my father away.” She even left the room to do this, but by the time she came back, I was a ball of tears.
I said I was confused by the tears, which she inquired about. I explained that they didn’t feel like tears of relief. Rather, it reminded me of the tears I would shed after he would leave. T slowly let out her breath at this and said, “So we didn’t prevent it, he still ended up abusing you in a way?” I said that was extreme, but she asked if that’s how it felt, and I said it was. And it was. She said that she wanted her office to be a safe place for me and hated that today it wasn’t.
She also brought up what I shared with her last week, the secret I talked about in my last post, and asked if perhaps that was part of the reason why I kept getting pulled into the past. I was filled with even more self-hate at the thought that what she was saying was true, but I was still very dissociated and could only get out a few broken words. She told me to think about it, although she said that she didn’t think it caused what happened today (I’m not sure I believe her, although I have no reason not to).
Another thing that triggered me today, that normally doesn’t, is that my view of the door from where I normally sit is at the exact same angle of my childhood bedroom door, which I would stare at with dread when I’d hear my father come up the stairs as they creaked under his weight. So when I get pulled into the past when I’m in T’s office, I constantly look at the door, waiting for that moment. Today, at her suggestion, T and I moved to see if that helped, although I was still acutely aware of the door not matter where I sat. So she suggested I go open it and see that it just leads into the hallway and not my old house. I felt stupid, because I was “there” enough to know, rationally, that it would still just be her office, but when I opened the door and walked out, I felt something shift inside – a small moment of surprise – that it really was just her office.
We had to wrap up soon after that as the hour was almost up, and her other client had just walked through the door (T made sure I knew who it was when we heard the other door open). She offered to walk me out to my car, which was sweet of her. I probably looked extra wobbly between being very dissociated, shaking a bit, and the giant brace I have on my knee, which I’m still limping on. I said no, though. Mostly because it takes me a day and a half to get down the stairs.
It’s a few hours after the session now, and I’m fighting off the spaciness pretty unsuccessfully at this point. But I realized a cycle that I have when it comes to my self-hate. As I explained to T today, I always have to have a reason to hate myself. And this secret that I told her ensures that. It’s the safeguard. And just when I’d possibly understood and accepted why I have this horrible, secret wish, I had to find a new way to be punished, which was perhaps part of the reason the flashback held onto me for so long. I don’t know what triggered it, but it’s almost as if my unconscious then hung onto it for dear life.
I don’t know how to let go of the self-hate. I have no idea. All I want to right now, though, is curl into a ball and cry. I’m tired of being in pain.