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Talk to the hand!So do you know what you’d do if you ever saw him again?
Do you have a plan? Not even seeing him the street face to face.
But just imagine what it would be like if you were safe in your car, and you saw him on the street somewhere?
asked H, my therapist.

I’m a very visual person and this scenario played out as clear as day in my mind’s eye.

A swirling pit of muddy water deep within rose up past my throat and then poured out my eyes. Panic. Distress. Anxiety. I was gone.

Neither H nor myself saw that one coming.

This was towards the end of a very fruitful session, in which we talked about all the positive changes I’ve been making. Where I discussed how I feel I’ve been making progress, working with the PTSD episodes and things were slowing getting better.

But it appears neither of us realised the power of those words. The nugget of anxiety and fear held within the very idea of a physical confrontation.

It seems, I’ve managed to handle this in the past with statistics. As in – it’s just so unlikely that I’ll ever see him again. I’ve moved to another part of town. I’ve changed my car and I’m about to change my job and mobile number. Nothing is the same as it was when he knew me. We don’t socialise in the same circles at all. So I had completely discounted the possibility.

And I didn’t have a plan in mind, I still don’t.

However, I do see now, that I need some sort of strategy. I need to think it through and feel comfortable with a scenario of some sort. Even if it’s not how it plays out if we ever did cross paths again.

During this session, H and I also discussed in detail how the assault was a total loss of control for me. And that since then, I’ve been dealing or not dealing with the issue of control in various ways.

In the last few minutes of our session, my house of cards tumbled down. Back to square one. No control. Right now, if I saw him again, it would be incredibly distressing.

Thing is, I really wouldn’t want to be in that situation in real life.

So… time to pop that bubble. Can’t keep carrying that one around now I know about it. I’m not sure how yet. But I’ll keep you posted…

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P.S. So now, I have this PTSD hangover… they always come after an episode. My gut feels like a swirling pit of water, heavy and murky. My heart quivers and feels oh-so-delicate, as if it might break into a million pieces with the slightest impact. It will pass, it always does. But the feeling of impending doom is a little unbearable right now! Even though I know the bad things are over, it lingers…

~Svasti

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