Healing update

Today I went for my second acupuncture session in a community acupuncture clinic. I learned about it from a flier in a cafe. It’s low cost – from 20 – 40 dollars, depending on what you feel you can afford. The price means I feel I can go at least once a week without worrying about the cost, which is a load off my mind as I’m also paying for therapy. The difference is you recline in a large room with maybe ten other patients at a time. This means you don’t uncover, so just the more basic points are used, and there is no longer discussion, as you’re in a room with other people, so you just mention your problem briefly (stress).

The first time I went, it was comfortable, but it seemed to set me off with a lot of sadness for quite a few days after. I looked this up online, and apparently this can be seen as a ‘release’, therefore fine. But it’s not what I was looking for really – I’m already sad. However, it did show that there is an effect from the needles – if nothing happened whatsoever, I wouldn’t go back.

Today I think was better. She added a needle for the centre of my chest, where she thought I needed to move energy through that was stuck there. Reclining there with the needles in for about an hour felt fairly good this time. Last time I’d felt a bunch of trauma type feelings come up, but this time, I felt kind of warm and supported, and I could feel a warmth seeping into my chest. I think I’ve got a positive transference to the acupuncturist, because even though we didn’t have a lot of conversation, her manner is kind and caring, and I think she’s doing me good. I’m hoping this will be another tool in my arsenal against depression and anxiety. I really need something that doesn’t trigger more stuff out, but that helps me bear what’s already there instead.

I just feel an edge of happiness this evening, the first time I’ve felt anything much positive for weeks. I’m also real tired, which is a common side effect. It’s evening, and I have nowhere to go – it’s not a problem.

Every day, I’ve been considering whether to go back to my therapy. I have these strong misgivings and feelings of distrust towards Ron. I just think I might do better with a more body-based approach that focuses on calmness.

I know Ron’s approach makes sense to him. He wants to always explore feelings and open them up further. Go to the hard places. He is very good at not shying away, which a lot of therapists do. If you need to go somewhere bad, Ron is able to accompany you.

Just that I think I need to learn how to be stable. How to bear the bad stuff without shutting down. I think my main issue is this strong habit I have of shutting down, which happens so fast to be almost outside of my awareness. So while he’s wanting to address all the strong emotions, my nervous system is clanging shut automatically.

I know though also that my issues with men have now well and truly been triggered. My distrust, after six years of seeing him, is very high, and he’s done nothing to really deserve that. In addition, all the feelings I have had before of needing to leave therapies, basically five times, are now also in play. I can see there might be sense in staying to work this through and leaving from a more stable place.

I still have not decided what to do. I’m also not sure how much pain I’ll be in if I decide to leave someone who has cared about me for so long. Actually though, I think I’ll be in less pain than if I’d tried to leave in the first year.

I guess if he’d had any explanation for why I feel apart and couldn’t function for an entire week after his therapy, I’d have more trust in him. The things he says don’t actually seem to fit my situation.

For instance, he mentioned that he personally has had a psychotic type experience that seemed to have lasted for the length of a therapy session, where he lost touch with external reality. Well, OK. I appreciate that he’s trying to show we’re similar and he doesn’t hold himself as better than me. I’d said that a feature of what I went through was that ‘my mind stopped working’. For me though, this is not psychosis. My mind doesn’t throw up hallucinations. It just becomes massively difficult to do ordinary things – it’s like I’ve forgotten the automatic parts of processes I usually do without thinking. I try to explain, but he doesn’t get it.

Anyway. I don’t really want to think about it. If I must think about it, I try to concentrate on the advantages I might find in working with someone who is more on my wavelength regarding trauma and how I might help myself with it. I might just push my first session in January out a week, and see how I feel then.

I do notice a pattern here – it’s that I want to leave things. Job, Christmas dinner and family, therapist. Criticism and distrust – that’s me at the moment.

 

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12 comments
  1. ellen I hope you can work things out. do what is right for you. if that’s finding someone who is more on your wave length, do it. that’s what we had to do. xxx

  2. Ashana M said:

    Ellen, Yes, that is exactly what happens for me also, and it seems to be incredibly difficult to explain this. I don’t think I had ever even tried–it was like seeing a ghost, so outside ordinary experience it couldn’t be possible. But I did try in November or so when I was really having a hard time and reached out to my therapist and her response was such that it made me realize she has absolutely no idea this happens. Her suggestions were things that would make it worse. I think it does happen with complex trauma. It becomes impossible under stress to make connections to very ordinary tasks. To me, it’s this huge indication I need to slow down and concentrate on what will help me feel safer, which does involve taking less information in, because not being able to organize my experience in itself is stressful. And it is completely different from having a psychotic episode. A strong adrenaline response does dampen activity in your cerebral cortex, and it might just be surprising that this can be felt and noticed by the person experiencing it.

    • Ellen said:

      It is hard to explain and would be extra hard by email. Ugh. Sorry you also experience this. Slowing down and concentrating seems like a good thing to try. I hate that I have this. Thanks Ash

  3. I think one of the basic tenants of trauma therapy is establishing trust and stability before the hard stuff – no matter how long that takes. It took me 8 therapists to find A. And I’m so glad I did, honestly. I learned from all of them but she knows when to push me and when not to. I can’t outsmart her, and she operates from a relational perspective. I didn’t know I needed her methods until I found her.

    Whatever you decide remember you have a right to change your mind and make a different decision later. And that we are here for you regardless.

    • Ellen said:

      Glad you found A. I used to trust Ron, but now no longer do. I think a relational perspective would be helpful.

      Thanks PD

      • You’re welcome Ellen. I wish there was more I could do.

  4. Laura said:

    If you did leave based on how you feel in this post, would you give yourself and Ron a few weeks to discuss? Or would you leave him an email?

    • Ellen said:

      I would discuss in person. Not so much his theories though, as that leads no where. He offers what he offers. But there are other things we could talk about. Right now I just need support and cannot leave, even though I’m pretty sure he can’t help me in a deeper sense. He still provides support and someone to talk to who won’t reject me. Thanks

      • Laura said:

        would you tell him directly that you’re needing his support? I find that Howard is pleased to ‘get direction’. Happy New Year!

  5. One thing I have difficulty figuring out is whether my desire to leave things (therapy, medication, job, place I live…) is because I am giving up/unfocused/unwilling to keep trying or is because I genuinely need to organize my life differently. Since I can’t decide it’s “bad” to quit, I often keep going and going and going. Sometimes writing in a journal helps me with this, especially if I write about the same topic over time. It’s not easy though.

    Could you start exploring options, just to see what is there, without leaving Ron? Exploring is not a commitment to actually switch therapists. It’s just providing yourself with information.

    • Ellen said:

      Sometimes I wonder if my desire to leave is a kind of a panic, that I can’t handle the situation, it’s too hard. And sometimes I wonder if I stay too long in bad situations….

      Yes, I can explore. I have researched, and do have a list of possible T’s with websites I could contact. Ron and I are discussing things though, and at the moment I feel more positive about my therapy. up and down.

      Thanks Q

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