Prolonged Exposure Therapy…

… is a beast! I have never felt so very run down. The aftermath feels like the flu, insomnia, and migraines all rolled into one. Don’t know what prolonged exposure therapy is? Let me tell you. It is a therapy method for PTSD where you will describe your trauma, from beginning to end, with as much detail as you can possibly remember, in first person, and it is recorded. Your homework in between sessions is to listen to yourself. REALLY listen to yourself. I had never had flashbacks before. I would get flashes or feelings from time to time and I would stuff those down as best I could. Now, it is like I’m convulsing. My body remembers what it was doing. I’m like a puppet and my memory has the strings. It is the weirdest thing I’ve experienced. Part two of my homework is to pretty much induce a panic attack, acknowledge it in all its glory, and calm myself while still in the midst of what I’m scared of. I have to do both of these things every day until my next session. Then we record again, pick a new task, wash, rinse, repeat.

My logical self knows that this is needed. I feel a change in me. Really really feel it. I’m not sure it is good or not yet, but something is stirring in the dark cave of my brain. I know that the only way out is through. I can do this. I will do this.

I have a non logical self as well. I see her as a 12 year old me. She’s hurt. She’s trying to hide. She just wants the pain to stop. Can’t we just be quiet again and let all this dust and debris settle?

No, little one. We can’t. But, I guarantee you are safe. You’ve already gone through the worst, and survived. We just need to remember, and create a whole memory that can be filed away. We need a beginning, middle, and end before we close the story.

I want to hug her. We’re going to be alright.

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