I’ve decided to separate the DBT and trauma entries. Both are useful, but the trauma stuff is going to be more emotionally charged and have triggers. Less, explanation, more narrative. Sometimes, I’m not gonna realize that’s it triggering, because I’m already triggered. (tw health, surgery, being alive)
To break it down, I do one private session where I’m starting to do trauma work and then a group session to do DBT.
I felt very strange afterward. Not bad. Not good. But strange.
Moments with major aggression. Some man looked at me cockeyed from his car, and I lunged my neck forward and gave him a menacing glare. I never do that. In that moment, I felt threatened and needed to fight back, for what was nothing.
Other parts where kinda like disassociating, when you feel outside reality. But I felt still in this reality. But not quite there. I was also trying really hard to stay in 2015, I kept hopping between 2012 and 2013 simultaneously.
Rubbed raw, but not in pain, well some pain. I always get pain in my scar like Harry Potter.
We triggered a flashback, one I dream about, one I’ve joked about, but a trauma that I thought I over played, but it turns out, I really do remember things I shouldn’t. I thought I was being dramatic, but that’s just how I dealt with the reality.
We triggered me remembering parts of my surgery and interspersed with another traumatizing appointment. Ya, one of the awful things is being partially aware during surgery.
I haven’t considered the surgery a major trauma because I don’t think about it. I also never really 100% believed it actually happened. I didn’t have 100% awareness, but enough so I remember sounds, colours, faces, light, pulling, and tiles. I don’t think I’ve ever said beige tile so venomously.
That’s a pretty big thing to start with. Basically, I mentioned I need to do bloodwork, but I can’t. She said “So if I walked you across the street you wouldn’t do it.”
‘across the street’
- trigger my gyno teased me about being afraid of across the street. Apparently at some point I went white.
“You mean, the about 5 story, glass building across the street?”
She looked at me quizzically. “yes.”
“No. Fuck no. I’m not going there. That’s where the private clinic is who started this is. I am not going there.”
“We aren’t going to the private clinic, but the lab in the same building. You won’t go into the same building?”
“No. NO NO. If I go there I will blow up the entire building, because I know they are there. I know they are doing the same thing to some other woman. I will loose it.” (Said this while smiling.)
We continue the conversation, about my health. How I’m refusing to do anything. I won’t take my iron, I won’t get my blood tested. She explains that if I do this I am removing my ability to choose my treatment. That I will make myself so sick, that I’ll get any doctor who is in the ER when I pass out. I tell her I know this, but I can’t do it.
She goes through all the things my rational mind has already told me. But survival mode wants to protect me, so rationality is not respected She asks me about my family doctor, and I tell her I like her, and she suggests getting her to find me a new gyno that she likes.
“Ya, and she’s the one that convinced me to go back to the bad one. Because he’s so good. I was ready to leave, but no no other patients loved him and he is so respected, it must have been a mistake. And where did that get me? How can I believe anything they say?”
“you go to the one they use.”
“And doctors lie. I get another procedure, and they lie to my face again. They laugh at me and say oh they don’t do that procedure. They just use that as an analogy. No. NO. I’m not doing it. I’d rather die.”
“Do you mean that.”
“I will not be tortured again. I won’t do it. It doesn’t matter how smart I am, or what I say, they don’t listen. They do what they want and they treat you like you are crazy. I have already been to hell, I’m not going back. When they wheeled me into the operating room the table was set up wrong, I had to lay there and wait for them to re-set up. I smiled because I knew this was it, I was finally going to die. I was so grateful that they were finally going to kill me because I wouldn’t be in pain anymore. I wouldn’t have to remember the months of pain and fear. I accepted death and I was happy. And then I didn’t die. But I was in so much pain and remembered too much, but no one believed me. So it didn’t matter. I wish they had killed me.
So what, I get another surgery and say “This time put me out. This time kill me, so I don’t wake up, remember and be in pain?””
“And that’s where you are stuck. That you should have died.”
“Close your eyes. I want you to focus on your body and where you are feeling things. I want you to tell me what you are seeing.”
I kept my eyes open. I could see tiles, green, light, the operating table, the room, the sound of metal, people standing over me, a man in particular, coldness. The operating room parts I described in the present tense and the appointment. It was hard to say it out loud.
She asked me to track where I felt it, my scar, my back, my chest, my throat, ear. It moved based on memory. I felt better when she asked me to sit with “I want to die” and tightened up again when she asked me to say “I don’t want to die.”
She brought me back and we used the rest of the session to put me back in the present. She asked me to imagine water pouring over me and imagine all the pain flowing out. I kept imaging more and more water, until I imagined being on the coast and walking into the ocean, and waded in lets the tides wash over me; I dove under the waves. There wasn’t enough water, so I swam deeper and deeper until I was at the bottom. And then I was at the bottom of my parent’s swimming pool. I use to sit at the bottom of the pool and look up at the world. It was quiet and safe there.
I mentioned were I went, she said that was gold, and we needed to look at that. I always laugh at the word safety and it never sits with me well when she asked me to imagine being safe. But I found a safe place in the bottom of my parent’s pool.
I felt strange. Not ripped apart. Not broken. I went out with my best friend and I felt heavy hearted, but okay.
I don’t think I can tell her that I need to deal with the fact I am alive. It’s hard thing to hear.