I woke up in a pretty damned good mood this morning. Then I had my weekly therapy appointment at 10am. It went excellent today. I learned quite a few important things.
Firstly, I am very solid in my recovery. As bad as I have been feeling and struggling as of late with personal relationship issues I never once have reached back to my previous habit, slipped or regressed in my recovery. THAT is major. And it’s something I am proud of and that makes me feel much better about what I have to offer the world and other people.
We talked about how any crisis in any relationship usually equals potential growth opportunities for those involved if they want it to. There are revelations and lessons in the ways that each of us responds; lessons for ourselves individually as well as the ideal opportunity to grow together as a couple and add another brick to the foundation.
Also recognizing the reaction of a trauma survivor, often a victim of some form of former abuse by someone close to them – either from childhood or young adulthood – and understanding what triggers the protective withdrawal response the person has is important and must be understood. This is something I definitely recognize.
Also, I can’t be the “rescuer” in any situation. Because of who I am, my experiences and understandings, I am more of the “coach” mentality and less of the rescuer mentality. I like to see people grow and learn and free themselves – not need me to free them, instead maybe just need some compassion, understanding and guidance from me as an outside source to their healing. A support, a coach and someone who can empower someone else, someone they can trust and lean into for support.
It’s not my job to tell anyone how to grow from an experience, I can only offer myself as being there for the person and being willing to help them -and myself – learn from a difficult scenario, possibly to bring each to a better, higher understanding. Some get stuck in the modes of feelings and feel helpless or unable to change anything or get out of the space of that bad feeling on their own. Being a supportive mentor, listener and sort of “coach” is what I can do best, due to who I am.
It’s somewhat natural for me to want to “fix” everything for someone I love sometimes. Especially if she is a real giver, doer and puts herself out there often for others. When she’s not feeling appreciated for all she does she tends to withdraw or abandon things because maybe she feels unworthy or abandoned herself because no one was there to help when she needed it. See, I can’t “rescue” her from those internalized emotional responses and feelings. I can only help her acknowledge them, try to work through them and be there for her; letting her know I am there and want to help her. It’s then up to her, in her own time and mind, to accept me – or not – back into her life. Either way, I have to respect her decisions.
We all have to learn to create new, healthier ways of dealing with trauma triggers – which many of us subconsciously hold. I know I have mine for sure, but I try to stay aware of their destructiveness. Continuing the often self-destructive emotional ride of punishment can lead to other issues in other areas of life, depression, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and other unhealthy self-abuse. That is why we want to use the crisis as an opportunity to grow and learn.
I managed to continue with my own self-care and commitment to my recovery despite the stressful and somewhat personally traumatic circumstances of the last few weeks. That’s pretty damned good. My old ways of dealing with these things no longer serve me. My new ways are far more healthy and give me the strength and commitment to deal better with difficult situations that may come up in my future. That was the way I used to deal with my own trauma experiences and I changed it, so yes, this is good!
So, that’s some of what we discussed in my session today. It was perhaps the best one I have had in a few months. My therapist said I had to get to a place mentally where I could “see” these things more clearly and understand them. She was very encouraging and I felt great leaving her office. And I’ve actually come to look forward to my weekly sessions now as well, they’re definitely good for me and making me a better person.
Thought I would write this down while it was fresh in my mind. I have more reading to do and things to think about. Life is flying by fast! I need to make sure I don’t use my time to think about things the wrong way. I need to do things as right as I am able! I have to live my best life and be happy with who I am.
Peace! ~~ MB