Day 53 - Lessons from Heroic Efforts
Yesterday the effects of the gynecologic consultation caught up with me. I was OK until the last half of the day, when I was alone in my office. I think I learned a couple lessons from pursuing heroic efforts.
First thing yesterday I went to therapy. We talked about plans for the upcoming physical exam appointment. We talked about what I learned from my reactions to the consultation. I asked her to call the doctor and discuss my reactions, as well as what I wrote in my blog the night after the appointment.
My therapist was surprised about me experiencing a trigger from the crinkling paper because it was so specific to the environment. She said most PTSD triggers are generalized, meaning that normally any crinkling paper would be triggering. I was at a loss as to how to respond to that. Does it mean it wasn't really a trigger? Does it mean I was making it up? Does it mean I was imagining it? Am I some character in a play and acting a part, but not really having the experiences?
She was also pleased with me that I was able to go to work after the appointment. As I sat in front of her and talked about the previous day I was perfectly calm and collected, as I always am. I was reflective and thoughtful about the prior day's experience.
I imagine during therapy I nearly always come across as having nothing difficult going on. I certainly show no emotion, except reserve. If something is awkward for me I look away and try to think of anything to say. But, I speak animatedly about other aspects of my life, like my family and my work. When I talk about myself it's as if I'm describing someone else. I tend to take an objective, 3rd person view.
She'll say things to me like, "it's sad that your parents didn't acknowledge you were raped." I just nod in agreement and say, "yeah." I have no emotion to go with that nod. I can't feel the emotion I know is there somewhere underneath. I know I feel sad. I feel betrayed. I feel angry . . . incredibly angry. That buried anger is the source of the self loathing that came out last night.
I think, as long as I can't access and release the emotions buried inside of me I'll end up focusing them on myself. That can get dangerous. It's a pathway to SI and SU thoughts.
At least, I believe it is. Maybe I'm wrong. I feel like I'm inside of gelatin trying to understand what's outside of the container.
She applauded me for being able to go to work and I now wonder if it really was a good thing that I did that. I think the lesson is that I need to purposely take time to recuperate. I will definitely do that after the physical exam appointment.
Another thing that I tripped over yesterday was reading a post of something very healing and pleasant that was going on for someone. When I read it I first was thrilled for the writer and hopeful about such a possibility. Then, I felt bereft at the absence of such wholeness in myself, the lack of true companionship in my life and the pain of the overwhelming need I feel for it. I could suddenly see the distance between two points and it felt like the dots in between are infinite, a gap I will never close.
But, there's nothing like a good night's sleep and the dawn of a new day to provide a new perspective.
What I realized is that I believe that other dot exists; and I am moving toward it. I don't know what my path will be like between here and there. I don't know how long it will take to reach that point, nor what will follow. But, that point exists on my path; I'm sure of it.