1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Triggered, catching it and somatic experiencing therapy

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Bodhigirl, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Hi, guys,

    I woke with panic at 6AM this morning, running last night over and over in my mind... and body. I was tense as a board, with my heart pounding and the adrenaline wondering which trigger points to take up residency in.

    I thought I had debriefed with a colleague thoroughly before going to bed, and getting support from my husband as well. Still, I had nightmares and then panic. I am writing before it gets worse.

    I was verbally attacked in my own office lobby last night by the unhinged mother of a patient I treat. In California, we can treat minors over the age of 12 without parental consent if we think that the parent is, well, part of the problem and they "don't believe" in psychology.

    This young woman has blossomed in therapy but mom got enraged at a report to family services and came raging into my office and I got a small dose of what this child has been exposed to for the past 17 years. Yelling and accusing and threatening. This child watched her mom do this to her father, to the parents of friends, to school counselors; isolating the child from anyone who might help her or care for her. While I understand the mom and even feel compassion for her, I have helped the child - now a young woman - differentiate herself from mom so that she is no longer depressed or anxious. She was succeeding in school but mom inserted herself into her social outlets and cut them off. Naturally, the kid fell back into depression and hopelessness.

    I do not fear for my life or even my license to practice. I have done nothing wrong. I do know that this woman regularly threatens to sue the high school, other parents, anyone who forms meaningful connections to her daughter. She has never sued any of them. It's just part of her rage.

    Still, I feel rattled at a deep level. I feel the threat she wanted me to feel. It's under my skin. I know that there are certain personality disorders that get under our skin and continue to hurt us long after the encounter, if we let them.

    I feel some relief as I write this. I also feel a little bit of shame, as if I should be stronger than this, that I should not need support, that I should soldier on and laugh it off like some folks might. I know me, and I know that I am a goodist, as Sarno called it. I only want to be liked and in my field, I sometimes have to say things that do not please the listener.

    I hope that my years of meditation will stand me in good stead in this situation. I cannot live in yesterday or in some horrible future this woman has brought down on me. I can understand, as Schubiner suggests, that I understand the current stressor, how it connects to a stressor in the past (dad raging) and my personality characteristic that arises as a natural defense to protect me: victim. If I lie down as the victim and let the rage continue to victimize me, if I go to the physical symptoms and let them continue the rage against me, then I continue the legacy of being a victim.

    Just for today, just for now, I am not a victim of this woman and my father has not raged at me for nearly 30 years.

    I am whole. I can let go the frozen hurt, I can heal again and again with every exhalation and, yes, even smile as I do so. It helps to smile.

    I'm so grateful to this group. So grateful to be willing to be honest and open, both for my sake and for anyone who might feel triggered and be helped to jump in and be just as honest and vulnerable as I chose to be this morning... rather than generate panic and physical pain.


    PS: Thought of posting more on a separate thread... maybe later... but wanted to share that after writing, meditation, 30 minutes on a spin bike and 20 minutes of floor work, I felt a gripping pain in my right psoas region, deep inside my right hip. In somatic therapies I have always related to this as the pain I felt when my father stood on that side of me and raged at me when I was six weeks old and mom was sick in bed with a high fever. I have never felt the full impact of it till this morning, when I felt like kicking with that leg. And kicking harder and then kicking with both legs, little baby legs that were incapable of kicking my father away and that have felt frozen and tense, tentative and scared of making a mistake ever since.
    I kicked until I felt relief. Then I rested. Then I tried another six inch hold of my legs off the floor with core and pelvic floor engaged: NO PAIN! Not a smidge. Just a smile of relief. I know it's probably not permanent but it felt huge. I will take this recovery however it comes.
    Someone told me HOPE stands for Hold On, Pain Ends.
    I believed them.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Bodhigirl. It's no wonder you had a painful and sleepless night, after that woman verbally assaulted you. Your work also is stressful and can keep you awake at night.

    I like a video on Youtube: Guided Meditation for Detachment from Over-Thinking, by Michael Sealey

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=detachment+from+ (detachment from - YouTube)

    He really helps with thoughts on how to put a racing mind to sleep. Be sure to do it with deep breathing.

    And don't watch TV news or anything else stimulating before bed.
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  3. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi bg,
    I feel tender when I read this. It reminds me of times when I get really activated about something, and then I reject this arising constellation or "complex" in me. How nice it is, through work and grace, to fall right into what I am experiencing, not rejecting it any more. Falling into tenderness and self-compassion, realizing that the flavors I feel ---many of them difficult, are a result of the vulnerable human condition we all find ourselves in. Thanks for your post, and I am glad you found some relief.
    Andy B
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  4. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    Thank you, Andy and Walt. I am so grateful for the process and those of you who have gone before me and come after me. I love the we-ness of TMS recovery. To me, it's one of the safest places in town.

Share This Page