I'm on my phone and too lazy to link to my previous posts about being in therapy relative to my hospital/blood/needle/doctor phobia.
I am still going weekly for 45 minutes to an hour. I've had homework almost every week that included printing and bringing photos of syringes to getting children's books about hospitals.
There have been a few very challenging and exhausting sessions.
One of the particularly difficult sessions was a result of confronting my anger with myself that I haven't addressed my phobia earlier. I am very hard on myself about everything. When it comes to my phobia I'm no different. I'm angry that I'm not there physically for my husband for his testing (see my posts about his health) and I'm angry that I've come this far in my life without doing anything about it. It makes me embarrassed when people say I should be proud that I'm going to therapy because I'm almost 30. I should have done this before. My therapist is making me repeat that I'm doing this now. That I have control. That I'm working on getting better.
Another issue that has come up is my need to please others. I need to please doctors. Instead of stopping them or saying no to something I don't want, like inoculations, I will sit silent and end up passing out. We are working on me regaining control so I can feel safe in a doctor's office.
Friday night we talked about the first time I passed out. Revisiting and telling the story of course elevated my anxiety but it wasn't nearly as bad as if I had retold the story prior to therapy. Again the recurring theme was that at 7 I was so focused on the doctor being happy with my behavior. I was 7 and getting an allergy test.
For those that don't know it was a scratch test. On the underside of your arm they apply extracts of various known allergens (various pollens, animal hair, etc.) and slightly agitate then wait to see results. I can recall wanting to get up and leave but being praised by my mother and the doctor that I was being so good so I said nothing and passed out.
The focus is repeating and reminding myself I have control and I can say no.
I just hope my sharing these stories will help anyone considering therapy for a phobia or currently in therapy for a phobia.
And sorry if this is a bit all over the place. I find it difficult to write about therapy in an organized way.