When things become triggers when they were safe before

I have his ability to swing from feeling completely trusting of something, completely safe, or at least just safe, to then as soon as something nerve-wracking happens or something a bit too much or something a bit overwhelming happens, I’m off. I don’t go there anymore. I sprint a marathon in the opposite direction. It is as though my mind pieces together a bunch of information that perhaps isn’t actually entirely relevant to each other, but in it’s scared sense it makes it linked. It then mixes this information with glue and water, pastes it all over a life-size cut out of my inner critic that then follows me round, kicks the shit outta any trust or any confidence I did have in what I was doing…it leaves me fallen on the floor, swimming in a load of theories about what is going to go wrong and what already has and how I am such an idiot to believe that things would be different.

Today it is EMDR. It has been going so well. Yes, it has been motherfucking intense and yes I was doing too much, but it has healed SO much. So. Much. And I know I have found ‘my therapy’ for a while. But it is as though I go from one extreme to the other and I don’t notice or trust the warning signs, or the middle ground, inbetween. One day I’m sure I will, but I just wish that day would come. I’m not saying it isn’t just around the corner – perhaps it is, or perhaps it’s just down the street – I just could do with it right now. I get so easily put off, things so easily become triggers when they weren’t before…a combination of events result in something becoming a trigger. If something goes a bit wrong, something becomes a trigger. EMDR hasn’t been a trigger, in the going-to-it-sense. Of course a little, but more just nerves.

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But because we hit a rough patch, and because I did way too much and then cancelled a session, and have a big gap inbetween, and because I don’t actually really like my therapist, and because I am dwindling down work with my American therapist who is wonderful and I absolutely love (this is mega news which I will write about soon but I feel like I’m still in shock), and because last week I did an EMDR session and then spoke to my American therapist the following day – which was way too much because of the work we were doing and so resulted in one motherfucking awful week for PTSD symptoms – I feel lost in a haze of fear and terror about EMDR and a desire to just sprint TEN marathons the other direction.

But, then I wonder whether this is the time or the chance to overcome this pattern a little. Not completely, but a little. I WISH I liked her. I wish wish wish wish, but perhaps this is a chance to voice that I don’t like her (I’m pretty sure I’ve actually already told her!) and to allow myself to continue with her, because I do still trust her. Perhaps it would be a different story if I didn’t, but I do feel as though she is safe. It’s the work that I am fearful of, yet I know HOW MUCH good has come from it…so much healing it’s unreal, it’s just a rough anxious patch right now (PERIOD). I’m so scared that because of this weeks events I will run a mile, or sprint a marathon, but perhaps I won’t. Perhaps I will, gently, listen to myself and the desire to continue to heal. And perhaps I will just let myself trust that my body and mind and soul will also find the right time to alter patterns like this. The theory of honouring the defence is definitely one I believe too, but I know there comes a time when I want to step through this defence too.

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I’m just motherfucking SENSITIVE. And of course I would be. And of course this is part of the journey – getting to know the middle ground and learning how to walk through it. It feels as though my body goes to protect myself, naturally. It clicks into survival protection mode – when I suddenly experience a scary/boundary pushing episode with something/someone, they/it becomes dangerous…it becomes a trigger. When something was safe and I was gently trusting it before, despite the apprehension, and then something flares up and I get put off, my body and mind associate danger. They associate GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE kinda thinking. And so that is what I do, or that is what it feels like I need to do…and at the moment it is so hard to know whether to trust this or whether to push through. Most of the time I trust it, but it means I disappear off the radar – from friends or from therapists. In places or with people I was trusting, I suddenly flip to the other side of un-safe-land and go quiet. But, with people, I tend to come back round again and I let the angst and feeling of triggering settle…perhaps this is the pattern gently undoing itself, naturally.

Perhaps perhaps perhaps…I don’t fucking know. What I do know is I don’t want to stop it – EMDR – I just want to make sure I’m safe. And the other thing I do know is that, perhaps as so much change is happening with the lessening of the work with my American therapist, it actually feels like the rest of my life isn’t safe – it’s not the EMDR, it’s the rest. It’s all the unfamiliar terrain of having to create a different support network, or way of supporting myself, etc. It’s a bit like moving house, but it’s moving support networks – it’s foundations I have known, that are shifting. And so when one foundation shifts, the rest feels wobbly too. Just like when one trauma is ‘up’, the rest are too…one stability feeling unstable, means the other stabilities feel unstable too.

So it’s not the EMDR, it’s the rest of life that feels unsafe right now. EMDR is just included in that haze of changing-the-safety-net…it’s included in life not feeling as safe as it was before. And that’s okay…because it doesn’t mean it isn’t, it just means it’s how I feel.

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One thought on “When things become triggers when they were safe before

  1. I just wrote about ptsd too. It comes in waves especially during therapy; your brain and body fight for control of who’s right… real threat or perceived potential threat. Keep going lady. You don’t have to like your therapist to work with her 🙂

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