Childhood Sexual Trauma therapies and experience. Sharing welcomed.

I am in a region where many types of therapy are in high demand and therapists abound. It’s hard to find one who is available, and well trained. There are many who need therapy for what I’m dealing with, here’s a video to expose the reason: Video about male childhood sexual assaults and rape.

Here’s a story, similar to mine, about the evil of being taken advantage of and subjected to rape as a minor, age 16, by two men I had met that evening. A story of childhood rape.

I have found, that my connection with my therapist, her willingness to get to know me, and especially my idiosyncrasies has given the best results. I’ve experiences from about a dozen therapists in my lifetime, and some 3 or more psychiatrists. I’ve seen she takes her training seriously, and knows my need to question how things work, so I know what to expect. It has been instrumental toward the progress I’ve realized thus far.

I’ve also studied Janina Fisher, Pat Ogden and Bessel Van Der Kolk among others, to understand what my mind and body are going through. Here are therapies I’m now aware, please review: A video about the importance of Sensorimotor Therapy

I’ve mentioned EMDR therapy in a previous diary: EMDRIA, and overview.

Here’s a video about Polyvagal theory.

Dissociation and childhood trauma therapy: An overview of Dissociation.

A therapy unknown to me, but on my radar is Neurofeedback via brain mapping:

An overview of Neurofeedback therapy.

 

A video explaining Internal Family Systems therapy.

Depression, self loathing, dissociation, and the effects of survival mode with body reactions are entwined in all this. Every survivor has parts to heal that move toward healing, protecting, or escaping, but somehow with the hope of thriving. I know the therapy work, studies and research, writing, advocating for myself are helping me with healing. I share to interest others in finding what helps themselves, comparing to my experiences if they wish. I share to be relatable and I’m open to listening to others, to validate their experiences, and share in community.

 

The parts I’m working on need safety to heal, to deal with all the above. I’m doing things for my youngest memories to my older youth, it’s called Internal Family System and relates to a lot of me. The connection of my parts, my inner children, a sense of my internal family system, linking the depth of my parts to their trauma, neglect, bullying, molestation and rape, is this added description and next link :
Janina Fisher helps describe therapies

I have spent a lot of time on parts, the IFS therapy. It’s been important especially because I’ve been blocked from seeing my inner self by dissociation. That’s where I block a problems source and its affect on me. The revelations were profound, especially self loathing and need for self love. It’s physically felt with sometimes visceral intensity, so my therapist also taught me self care. She worked with Sensorimotor therapies that sought to bring to my core, what small love could be built with the work.

Metaphor describes the work: It took months for me to fix a massive hole in the bucket of my core, unable to build any beginning of self worth. The internalized loathing so deep, I wished not to be, that I wasn’t worth to be. I cried and cried… I couldn’t stop and she (my therapist) let me, and guided me back, showing me a few tools that helped build some self worth. It’s then that I began to see myself and my parts, thereby realizing the depths of trauma in my mind, and felt by my body. The dissociation had hid to much from me. The work leads me to accepting my parts and their past traumas.

I continue my work, accepting, because I’ve discovered all these things. This journey has ups and downs, memory triggers and trials of pain. To me, there’s the lessening of that impact, finding my brains way of rewiring the circuits to build ways I can cope. There are those, who will find this work extreme, and too difficult. There needs to be hope, and study, and small steps that their next therapy can help get them there. Small steps are key.

My therapist has some intuitive connection to what makes me tick. She’s begun using buzzing paddles, toward small experiences of fear and rage, etc…. I’m to take a single memory and visualize, see connections to me, but to visualize it up on an imaginary screen. She wants it like a movie is playing to disconnect it from the part of me that owns the memory, it’s to make a safe space. While I do that, she’s asking: “what do I see?” and my imagination is excellent, it’s a gift and helps my discovery of the unknown, to unlock old fear. This fear has been lurking with my hyper vigilance, and triggers fight, flight, freeze, fawn, submit or attach Survival Mode responses.

One session for a fear memory, seeing a particular fear, and what it looked like to me, became intense. I started by creating a mist on the imaginary screen; it roiled, it moved, as if alive, tendrils, swirls, masses of something moving. It was white/gray/yellow/orange, and I didn’t know what it meant. That mist/fog was all I saw at first. Then I saw the nightmare, a scene in the mist. I had that nightmare when I was about 6 and it may trigger you? In the nightmare, I am barely holding myself up at the surface, having fallen into a hole, and hands grasping my ankles, pulling me down. This time though, with some vengeance, with anger as the adult seeing me at 6, I imagined my adult self intervened, and got in there trying to attack what was attacking me.

My therapist uses regular intervals to stop and ask what I see and suggest things. That nightmare was intense during my youth, and recurring irregular times over my lifetime. The nightmare memory was putting me into a strong physical reaction, so we went back to that mist. I was having blocks, other emotions invading the space. We ended it when she directed me to put it all away in my safe storage, which we had set up in our earliest sessions.

I will say, I think I’m still a fearful man, but, maybe seeing that mist nightmare, and my adult intervention, it’s allowed me to feel less fearful and understand why I feel fear. I had no connection to a caregiver that relieved my fears. I managed by not thinking about them, and that led to dissociating.

Rewiring is the purpose of this and many therapies; to engage my thinking brain. To take a part of wiring from the survival mode part of my brain and rewire to my Frontal Cortex region. That’s the thing about these types of therapies, it’s for interrupting the circuit I had about fear, and seeking to find new circuits for processing fear.

If you’ve questions or reactions, ask/comment below if your moved to? I ask you consider this topic, and why I share; it’s intent is to help others while sharing what’s helped me.

Thank you community, for your consideration and care.

Sad Poem

The hot height
swirls smoky mists
near, never return ridge
seeing severed rock
crags created, fissures
thrust, broken, tangled
the light reflects on tiny micca
quartz or shiney surface
on walls defended by sheer
strength of impassable sharpness
falling away from the edge,
the ridge. never. return. ridge.
Stand to face, the sun
in the misty swirls
of hot heights
and there, there is no comfort
never comfort, only the constant!
The brain that never settles,
the brain that fights,
and fights for what?
To have some time alone,
to wish, not to be alone!
And know, even if out; There!
Then what… then who… what to do?
What to say, on. that. day, evening, night?
Will I say hi with a faint smile,
embarrassed of my style, the sad eyes,
the wistful pain, trying so hard to hide?
Who will listen, who will want to, why?
Why care, if I dare. to. try?
I might burst into tears, I might cry.
Like I do every time I think about this.
Every single time…
The sad, tired thoughts stop me
stop it all, and…
nothing.

A movie break, helps the sadness.

Last Thursday was the last day I could see this film locally. I wouldn’t have time to go to another venue further away. A Trans Woman’s blog I read almost every day had written about it the end of February and I had been watching for any local listings. I finally found one on Monday of last week and planned seeing it Thursday, Feb., 8th.

I went a bit early for the show-time of 2:20pm. That was the only time I could see it. I knew I would likely find parking if I went a bit early, and I succeeded. I walked a few blocks during the low 30f, sunny afternoon, and then went into a small mall on the block. I warmed up until it was a bit after 2pm and began walking to the theater. It had opened at 1:50, and I had hoped to smell fresh popcorn? Unfortunately, it was stale, but, I endured it with my water. The seats are very comfortable, and spacious for my very long legs, I’m 6’4″ and too much of that is legs. I drive a wonderful Mazda 3 hatchback, that someone considered large people when engineering space. I love them for that. I love my Mazda.

 

Well, I sat and nibbled my popcorn and waited for the greeting by management prior to the film. When he was finished, I noted to myself, that as usual, I had already turned my volume off and pocketed my phone. While I had waited, I enjoyed looking at the old and new which remodeling does to an ageless theater venue like the Uptown in Minneapolis, MN.

 

The beginning of “A Fantastic Woman” drew me in, and I was kept in the film throughout. Drama peaks and intensity, ameliorated by the stoic strength of our fantastic woman character Marina, played by Daniela Vega. She is a wonder and powerhouse on the screen. Her portrayal, and in some way, from seeing interviews of her, it could be imagined she drew from personal experience, flowed seamlessly throughout the film.

 

Marina faced the death of her beloved with emotions many of us can relate to from those close to us passing. She’s devastated, and must endure an oppressive, dismissing attitude from Orlando’s former wife, son, police and some doctors. She’s abused again by those against her attending her beloved’s wake and funeral! She must also deal with unexpectedly intrusive police. The Police from the start evoke denying her, and implying she must prove she’s innocent of being complicit in Orlando’s death. We get to see Orlando a few more times, his visits are timed with Marina’s need. I love how it was done.

 

A note, this is either too much information, or the only information some of you will get about this film. I’ve tried to engage a few people who might consider the film of interest, but none respond, so I’m just doing what I want. This review gives away the plot, and I don’t really care, how many of you are actually going to see the film, and by the time you  might find it available to rent, I believe you’ll have forgotten reading this. I don’t believe more than few will read this anyway. Thanks if you do read, I don’t mean to discount your readership, I’m only making a point that I shouldn’t have to be concerned about giving away the film’s plot.

 

I’m endeared to characters like Marina’s. I have dealt with marginalization and depths of emotions like her character endures. Bullies and neglect created a stoicism in me that denied my needs for decades. It’s amazing how doing that fails at some point. I have noted, it’s like a dam breaking, and one’s life must spill out and be dealt with, or it consumes the rest of it. Marina shows how dealing with her life, in the time it’s happening, has given back to her. What that means to me, is she is working on self-hood; what’s it more commonly called, “self-determination”? I’ll look it up later, I’m almost out of time. I started this too late.

 

I am delighted I was able to see this film, and have sensed it could open conversations about self-hood, or self-determination. I am getting to know myself better at my middle 50’s, than seemed I needed to, but, the necessity is clear to me now. These many blog posts are that discovery and sorting. My interests are working to avail me a deeper sense of what I like and will always be, and maybe I encourage myself to further endeavors in the course of discovery.

 

I hope you’ve read this today, I do want to share about this film, and hope some find it interesting.

 

Best wishes and hopes to you.

Being sad to the core.

Why am I writing this? What’s to be gained, what is any of this worth to me? To anyone? I suffer so intensely and no one knows, so no one can care, but the fear of suffering is in itself the distraction that internally intonates self recriminations and inherently derives dismissing myself. I don’t matter is the gist.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder is too much for me to handle. It’s weight of pain is beyond my bodies capabilities to discuss and I’m shaking and crying…

 

Ok, some day.

Thinking out loud…

Should I describe myself, on this International Women’s Day, 2018? A cis, white male, with so much to say, and writing the outlet? I write that and it feels right, the words are truth, but I ponder the necessity of “cis” and “white male”? They’re part of a lexicon I’ve found in posts, and blogs, other’s writing, where pronouns and description are nuanced in our spectrum of humanity. That’s a humanity I desire deeply, having inclusion, where being we is normal, any way we are. I am someone more than the perceptions or norms of society, but to be and be known for these words, and not first sight, or even an awkward moment first meeting.

 

Meeting? I must work hard to manage my state of being, in order to be more outgoing, to meet friends, family, someone new. I don’t really do very much with others, and when out alone, I notice being alone. I wonder if others ponder their alone time like that? I wonder how many feel alone most of the time? Then that seems an irony to me, in that I do go out a bit, and I do see people and know a lot of people. What I mean, is that it seems none really know me, and I really don’t know them. I have learned about impermanence, and that’s such a long story, I’ll bore you with it another day.

 

I know I’m writing without purpose, I’ve declared nothing and am supporting nothing, in essence, I’m just talking a bit, it’s boring, and I’ll end with a poem.

Did you mean it?:

When we meet,

and greet

with casual

‘how are you?’

be ready to walk

and talk.

 

Honesty, writing, and therapy

I’m still working out why I want to write this in public? I think I’m nobody, in that no one really knows me, note that what may be perceived as ‘something to lose’ does register. I might find that this is read in future by a potential employer, and be denied employment. That will be their loss, my honesty and integrity are impeccable, with a depth I haven’t delved to reveal here. I do tell you a lot about me, but, I’m not being outspoken, this writing is all about my trauma and healing narrative.

 
My personal views have barely been hinted at. I want to continue my narrative, without the baggage of my politics, or other. This is meant to be part of my process. Furthermore, processing requires recharge, and my rape post has shaken my emotional wellbeing
Today I’m off, and it’s a sunny day, I love music, there’s a lot to read, some place I might go, and a few things around the house I must do. I also am taking this time to write, it’s motivation for my parts, which is the sense of an understanding that what is considered me, delves into how I know the many ages of my internalized boy, their age of me is work and what they need is now my concern.

 
Therapy is very interesting. It will incorporate a new field of study, it is being a student again. Many of us refer to all this as our journey, and employs processing upheaval and doing work on brain circuitry occurs. I’ve studied this phenomenon and have found it fascinating. There are a few ways to describe it, and this will be my take. I’ll look at the body, mindfulness, the brain featuring EMDR and Sensorimotor, survival mode, and lastly dissociation .

 
This book “The Body Keeps the Score” in my humble opinion is quintessential reading to understand trauma as it relates to one’s body. I look at it as taking the long view of a recovery journey: https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/06/20/the-body-keeps-the-score-van-der-kolk/ . The book is one way to get to the point, and then, I have done enough work for myself, that to me, I want to get to the gist and to get right into the work. I will work on the nuance, and Bessel works on presenting breadth, I can stay his course, or find the chapters and passages that work for my self direction. The book is good, he’s being inclusive, but each distinct part of that breadth is repetitive to me, and I seek work on cptsd from rape. That’s my two cents.

 
The eminent value of Bessel’s book has been a keen introduction and in time real perception of attuning to my body. He wakens that consideration, and two therapies in my experience partake of being aware of the body, and that awareness of one’s body becomes evident. The first is EMDR, and the second is Sensorimotor. Mindfulness or self care are also needed when doing any of this work: http://www.meditation-ptsd.com/, I’m putting this here, instead of the end, because this study enables the work of EMDR and Sensorimotor. It’s that imperative to realize the work must have self care.

The rest of this post are links. It will take a lot of time to read and research. I encourage it as I’ve done. These are how one recovers. They’re not exclussive, there are others, and a good trauma informed therapist will get to know their patient and direct therapies to their needs. Therapy is a process and evovles as one peels away layers of themself. Then, the person gets to know themselves better and will be more involved in helping with their care, being a partner with their therapy. Please read these links when you’ve a chance.
EMDR:
http://emdria.site-ym.com/?page=emdr_therapy
Sensorimotor:
https://www.sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org/articles.html
Dissociation:
http://www.isst-d.org/default.asp?contentID=76#diss

Why tell my childhood trauma story?

I’m writing to Moby’s : “Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt” –note: I still hurt

When I see the title in the waterfall  I will reflect on my childhood. There was some portion of my childhood spent at Minnehaha Falls Park, before it modernized starting about 2000 (note: childhood would be my 1968-1976 timeframe). There has been a far greater time spent there in adulthood reflecting on my childhood than is likely healthy. However, nature dissociation could be worse, say… walking endless hours in a huge cemetery. Years of meandering, dissociated hours, walking among the headstones.

I’ve been processing my childhood trauma two years this May, 2018. My journey has been wrought with depths of pain I’ve felt most of my adult life. Terrors of the mind describe it; which I call mind storms (taken from the Blue Book of AA). These (miond storms) don’t settle without work, and that work is tiring, and often exhausting. Depression can settle in, and it did when I sobered in March of 2000. That sobriety has lit my brain on fire sometimes, because, without dissociation, without weed or beer, I have to think, I will think, I can’t escape thinking. I processed the effects of sobriety with passion, like it seems I often do. ‘Just do it’ seems to be my mantra, and the other is ‘F-it I’m doing it’!

I have a tendency to avoid doing what I want to do without my mantras, and find either excuses, or distractions that will get in my way. That’s how I can wish to do something, maybe with new people, but avoid doing it. I do get out, very rarely, and I do- do some things. But, I wish to do much more. I discuss it online, I can make calls for some cause, I will email or DM, chat, I march, and I am probably an excellent ally, unless I have to do something alone. Then, I have that voice, the one I’ve fought all my late teens through this adulthood. The loser, the failure, the nobody, the worthless. See, that chokes me, hurts me, and in me, I know I don’t deserve that, but, pushing back at the trauma of what bullies and trauma forced into my young, hopeless brain has been a struggle of desperation. I don’t win… Yet? I am told I can/will win? I wish I wouldn’t be told that, the work is daunting, circumstances sabotaging, I can’t go into all my secrets. See, I’m a thinker, I need input and research, I must have distractions until I’ve definitive, nuanced information.

I’ve fear or anxiety based difficulties. They’re not something that distraction and good just turn off. I don’t have good circumstances, I have sabotage, so I’m stuck until that changes? Will it, I hope so? I attach to distractions with a passion, with my sense of purpose that helping others foments goodness to my self worth, and builds my self worth. The balance though, the other never ending voice, my advisor, is my consultant about caution, I think ‘don’t get hurt’, ‘don’t be unaware of threats’. It’s not paranoia, I’ve been raped and I won’t trust easily, I will vet you, I will test you, I must know you, are you safe?! I’ll look you in the eye, I’ll see your soul; my sensitivity isn’t just to be an emotional man, I see very well. I’m a purposeful man in much of what I endeavor, one who derives purpose by fomenting inclusivity and herculean efforts to overcome trauma and marginalization. (I ask, do you see a white man, and have you ever thought ‘marginalization’? I know you haven’t, but, with me, you should). (I know marginalization, and I get yours, judging me, like I’m cis, white man, as if I don’t know pain, bullies, marginalization, fear of authority, is mistaken. I know, I get it). Do I have to live it every day, no, I have too much fear to be too exposed, and I isolate. Do I understand systemic racism, and the issues of marginalized groups whose circles I am not connected… ask me about it, talk to me, don’t judge me. I’ll have learned much more than most cis white men. A cis white man with some dysmorphic issues.

I’m also a man who knows he’s perceived as privileged (I disdain my label, but own it) white male. I’m not seen as an immediate threat by police, by authority, and I do have an attitude that if I ask something of my political representation, I better get somewhere at some point. It’s that innate pushiness of a white male. That’s privilege. I get that it is, and I use it for you, and far less for me. I don’t have an innate sense to stand up for myself, that’s buried by trauma. I will have to force myself to stand up to those I have perceived are creating a situation that’s not taking care of what’s good for me. I have discussed, and read perhaps over a thousand blog posts about Trans issues since late 2015. I’ve read tweets, supported, advocated online for Trans issues, and have not a personal acquaintance whom is Trans. I recently have had to ask myself why?

I started reading others blogs in 2015, a Trans woman in particular. I’ve been online since around 1997 and I’ve interacted online the entire time, I’m comfortable with my sense of whom I am presenting. I’ve learned more online than all other connections to learning, and the woman whose blog I read has helped me. I’m very good at research, and love to read, she advocates Trans news, needs, issues and other. I don’t think people want to talk to a person like me, and she’s in a quiet part of my world. I don’t have a good memory, and I forget too much. Here, online, I can refresh my memory, the internet has my crib notes. I feel better to have my internet resource, in the immediacy of discussion, I can follow her links, see some of my own, and post. What if it were in real life, and I forget what I want to convey? I don’t think it may be too bad, but, I may quickly lose the interest of someone, and be left out? What if I only have one chance to make a first impression and they don’t like me? See, I’m still stuck in a teen mind, and I’m over 50! I have found that trying to help people might attract attention, and maybe I’ll meet some people some day? What will I do? What if I say: ‘I’m afraid…’ I see eye-rolls, and wtf is his problem, just get over it. I like the online world, I can be myself, and in essence, be me in relative safety.

It’s taken a while to get to this point, since 1997… to a point where I can write about myself, and that I can actually write believe I’m writing coherently. The nagging (self worth doubter) in my thoughts will evoke such deep doubt, I may delay, or delete what I’ve worked on. These past two years, I’ve gotten to a point, where (choking…) I must push forward, and let the chips fall where they may. I have my best interest at heart, and I don’t have as much to lose for being honest as maybe someone who is a politician, lawyer, clergy or whomever would feel put out by the honesty on my pages. I won’t be stopped now, not with how much I’m already into the second half of life. I can’t expect, I must create, foment, help my desires with my passionate nature and go for it. Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!!

There’s no telling whether I’ll be able to do what I want to do; what depends on others? There are the risks of health, money and stability looming in anyone’s life. I will have to make changes, seek to stabilize what I can, and search to figure out what helps other parts, especially income. It’s always income.

Writing this out, I think I’m giving myself a guideline about how I think and you might see my humanity? what I’m seeking, what all this healing and processing is meaning to me, is to heal at a time, when I see time is of the essence. I’ve made a few dear connections to other survivors, all online, and their connection means the world to me. I have felt like I can be myself, I have felt that the blog I’ve followed, My dear Trans mentor, whom has given to me, her style of presenting, and I in turn am thinking about who I am, and where I can go… she’s why I am now connected Trans advocacy, she’s so dear to me, and has been an integral part of how I found my voice, and I’ve told her that. She’s an older sister by another mother; I haven’t told her that, I don’t want her to think awkwardly about me. I fear I go to far too, but, what is too far? Tell me? I don’t see that anywhere, no one writes about wanting to be kind, and what too kind may be like? I don’t mean in the sense that on loses their agency, which is what happens when one is a Fawn personality.  http://pete-walker.com/codependencyFawnResponse.htm                        I mean that being a bit too effusive is more awkward, and off putting. If I ask you some day, let’s talk about it? What if my personality is to hug you (consensual), and say, ‘dear friend, you mean the world to me’, do you feel put out? Is a man’s emotion embarrassing to you? I am tired of it seeming I must keep all of me to myself (situational of course), it’s on me, right (note: I mean socially)? We say, do what you feel comfortable doing, but then, that takes so much time to discern, and I would prefer just being me…?

I’ve read and studied what I need to do, Pete Walker, Janina Fisher, and Bessel Van Der Kolk among them, and I’ve found a therapist whom I trust. She has shown me the work. There’s more to learn, so much more, and I’ve not started to process any of my sexual trauma. I have worked on the deepest sense of self worth, and the words that choke me to the core “I don’t matter”. I got an intensely visceral, physical response from those words. I note, I did not get the same, at that particular time from “I don’t feel loved”. I’m not sure why.

I’ve longed to say with conviction, ‘I’m loved’. I’ve longed in the depths of my core to say those words, to feel it, and know it without doubt. I have a long way to go, and I hope my baggage isn’t such an impediment that others will find me too much effort to be with? I hide all this when I’m with people, I won’t talk about this unless it’s apropos to the occasion, and I can manage my state. I don’t have a lot of social experience, but, given a chance, I can learn. That’s the crux behind all this writing, I am learning more about myself and where I am today, I’m seeing myself as my guide to the universe, and maybe someone else will convey a bit of help too? Hearing how others live is helpful with the context conveyed toward an intent to help.

I am being an open book, you’re seeing me, if you want to?

To be continued…