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.