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.

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.

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

The Pain

Hello, write a comment if that works for you? CPTSD takes a lot out of me. I have so much work to do, and while I do it, I have to manage my emotional state, my hopes and the requirements to keep going. Today, this day is not easy, and I want to document it, and wish others would convey a small token of understanding, that loneliness is very complicated.

I’m going to need some self care, and I’ll start that after I write this. I don’t really matter in the scheme of the universe, so whether I be or not be seems like self pity and drama, quintessential victimhood. There are those who know this isn’t pigeon holed, that depression manifests with the other parts playing in mood and emotional management.

I have to go, and if I feel better, that would be great.

 

Am I three months old?

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I’ve awoke to something horrible about three months ago, that happened 39 years ago. It’s incredibly difficult to write about, let alone think about. The trauma it induces has no boundaries, it’ll impact my mind at any time it pleases. No, I can’t bring myself to state it publicly yet, to me, this is public.

The fall is a fear, fear that those who are aware, take it less seriously than  I desire. Those who perpetrate may get away with it, and those who survive wait silent years or decades, packing pain tightly away, but the trauma refuses to recognize its fate. It’s a Pandora’s Box opened.

When this trauma is opened, my mind races. The old hamster wheel analogy, or mind storm no longer fits. There’s an urgency, so much needs to be done. There’s anger, even rage, and to those who know it…. I want to relate that rage, let me try. It’s different, and tempered, you wont believe the rage is tempered, but dear reader, my soul cries from an emptiness you don’t know, the survivor knows, but dear kind soul, please try.

My rage at bullies, at those who take, who push and want their way with me, those bullies without boundaries, inflicting harsh words, punches, assaults, power deeds and molesting or rape… My hate for you is unmeasurable, adrenaline filled rage, heated by a thousand suns. I shake with tears, holding in a power that wills you terror.

That dear reader, I wish to be left alone, it’s an homage to the work ahead of me. To assuage that horrific adrenaline will take time. Three months or so in to seeing what I am, was I anyone, will I be anyone, and that’s top on my list. It’s got to be dealt with. And I write, I read, I discuss, and hope. I’m no pillar of strength, if this writing projects it, wait, my insides are tight, the tears barely held. I’m not with a lot of people, few know and those who could be close are long years away and no contact to make. People leave, it’s life, and some pass away. So, in time, maybe there will be a new me? Aging with new steps, new hope.

I don’t want to be alone, but I am in some ways. I’m so needy, I want someone around all the time, not anyone, someone who knows, who gets it, who can be there when that far away look comes. Someone to hold, to care, to love. Oh, that last, such pain, so much pain. Hope is what there is, survivor hope.

 

Note: This is my first ever public writing about this. It makes me sad.