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  • Writer's pictureMyranda

Dealing with Trauma is Tough

I have a 2-hour therapy session coming up in a few days to start working through some trauma. Quite frankly I don't even truly know where to begin. The man that caused a lot of my psychological trauma has no idea that, almost 18 years later, he is still causing me pain.

Here's the thing. I can talk about several events that took place where this man manipulated me, controlled me, and even abused me without getting real emotional. The part that I'm struggling with is that I can see someone who looks like this man and I get a physical reaction. I start shaking. I start crying. I feel like I am going to be physically ill right where I am. I know that man is nowhere near me. I have not set eyes on him since like 2006...yet this is the response my body has just by seeing someone with similar facial features.

This happened to me a few years ago on the metro. I don't remember if I was going to school or on my way to work. The man just walked onto the train and sat down towards the front of the car and I was about 30 feet away from him. I kept telling myself that it wasn't him. I tried to calm myself down by focusing on my breath. I think I even put on a meditation. It all failed and I ended up getting off the train and either switching cars or trains completely. It also happened several years before that when I was working at a small airfield. I saw someone from probably close to 50 yards away that looked like him and I got the same physical reaction. I was still a smoker at the time and I'm pretty sure that I quickly finished what I was doing and went to the smoking area for probably 20 minutes trying to calm myself down.

I bring this up because during my therapy session I have to pick a specific event. What we will do is I will run through the entire event in my head and then say it out loud. This process will be repeated 10-15 times with the point being that by the end of the session I don't have as much or any response to that event. Like I said a moment ago, I can talk about some of these events that this man put me through without crying and usually without getting angry but it's the physical reaction to seeing this person that I don't know how to deal with.

Making a mental note to message therapist about this since I didn't think to ask about it the other day.

This was one of the reasons I wanted to go to therapy. I wanted to be able to not forgive and forget but to move forward without this hold on me. I'm going to be 38 in a month as of today. These events all took place with this man between the ages of 19 and 20. I am just glad that we are in a time where it's okay to seek help. We don't have to keep this bottled up. We can talk it out without shame. People are now praised for seeking help in therapy. Just about 20 years ago when I went to my first therapist after an incident on my boat (a story for another time), whatever I was dealing with was brushed off, diagnosed as separation anxiety (being away from home for the first time at 18), mild depression (from being away from home for the first time) and the solution was to put me on Paxil send me to assertiveness classes...oh I wish that I was joking. I remember having to drive the 15 passenger van an hour away to go to these classes and felt no better once complete.

When it comes to posts like this I never know how to wrap them up. Like I feel like I should say something positive but really I'm so not sure what to expect in a few days. I just know that I need to be rested, fed, and hydrated prior to my appointment. That said, I guess depending on how the session goes maybe y'all will get an update over the weekend.

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