Trust Issues in Therapy.

I woke up and was tired. My throat was sore. I just felt blah.

That hasn’t changed and it’s early afternoon. I’m tired. Really, physically, worn out. I hate being sick. I get whingey when I’m sick (can you tell?). It sucks.

I need to go out this afternoon – therapy. I’m out tomorrow morning to see my public mental health team. Also out on Wednesday morning to see my GP. Then work Wednesday and Thursday. Busy week again!

Therapy today. I have to leave in 45 minutes. I’d rather not go. I’m in avoidance mode. This avoidance is coming out of fear and dread. Fear of my past. Fear of uncomfortable and intense emotions. FEAR. Dread… well, I dread feeling emotional and vulnerable during and after therapy.

In therapy I’m always on guard. Always. I’ll shut things down the moment I feel like it’s too much. That often, I think, means dissociating. I’ll just fade out. Slowly (or not so slowly sometime) disappear. The room, my therapist all slide out of focus. Then my head is foggy, thoughts are slowed, I somehow lose any connection with my body.

Think that’s bad? I can slide further…. I don’t mean that it’s a choice though. It somehow just happens. If this happens with my therapist she usually spots it before I get to the point of no return. She can help bring me back, get grounded, be more present. If I reach that point… no one stands any chance of getting me back.

I’ve spent hours completely dissociated. Unable to move, talk, or respond. It’s scary how little control I have over my body at those times. I’ve had doctors and nurses (in emergency) shouting at me, shaking, pinching, rubbing – everything to get me to respond. I can’t. I can feel what they’re doing some of the time but I can’t respond.

In those situations I just have to wait it out. Eventually things will settle enough inside that I’ll slowly become more present and be able to move and talk again. I think losing control in that way is what I dread. I know it happens most when I’m stressed and emotionally overwhelmed. It’s just a bad combination.

I don’t want unrealistic dread or fear to stop me doing good work in therapy though… but it does. It really, really does. I know there’s a lot I could be working on… am I? No.  In saying that, I do find therapy useful. I am grateful to have the space to explore things (at my own pace) with someone who gets it.

do get really irritated with what I see as a lack of work in therapy though. It pisses me off that I don’t do more in sessions. I do most of my work at home. I find that easier. I’m more comfortable doing the hard stuff alone because I feel so awkward, embarrassed and uncomfortable expressing those big, intense, negative emotions to or in front of other people.

It comes down to trust, basically. I don’t trust people. Even my closest friends. I don’t trust anyone in my life enough to really talk about the big stuff in person. I’m okay with that, mostly. It is how it is. I can write though. All the big stuff comes out in writing. It just frustrates the crap out of me that I don’t do much work in therapy because I don’t trust my therapist.

It’s nothing personal thought. It’s not actually anyone’s fault that I don’t trust them. I think having being hurt in the past has destroyed that ability to trust. Maybe one day I’ll be able to trust some people a little more.

I trust people up to a point. Some more than others. My therapist and close friends I do  trust more than many other people.

I suppose you have to learn to trust though… and learning to trust means taking risks. Trying something to see what happens. Testing the waters. I’m too scared to even do that.

Where does this leave me? I’m not too sure… it means slow, slow, slow progress in therapy… although, it’s still progress so I won’t knock it. In saying that, I have to get my stuff together or I’ll be late to therapy!

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