A New Chapter

I am starting a new chapter of my life; it is called The Chapter of Self-Regulation.

My therapist says that we will only go on to do trauma work if and when I have found a way to regulate my emotions more effectively without relying on others. I am not engaging in target 1 behaviours, but there are other ways she needs me to stop being ineffective. I am too dependent on her regulating my emotions for me and we both know it. So I need to move from regulating myself for and through others to regulating emotions for and through my self. Slowly but surely, fine. But it does need to happen.

This means:

  • Goodbye reassurance seeking
  • Goodbye explicit judgements
  • Goodbye “can’t”s and “should”s
  • Goodbye mind reading and telling her what she thinks of me
  • Goodbye contacting her when I don’t need to
  • Goodbye getting other members of the team involved
  • Goodbye getting my parents approval in order to validate things
  • Goodbye self-invalidation
  • Goodbye emotional escalation just to prove I’m in pain
  • Goodbye lengthy texts and emails
  • Goodbye ineffectively or overly contacting old therapists
  • Goodbye all or nothing statements like “Everyone hates me”
  • Goodbye catastrophising statements like “It will always be this way” and “I may as well kill myself”

We had the most profound session today and I feel really motivated to implement these changes. She is so right; engaging in the above only perpetuates my pain, even though my aim in doing so is to get others to realise how much distress I am in. My attempts to feel seen and heard and taken seriously hinder the core work we need to be doing.

Maybe she is right and there are other ways for me to communicate my pain without it having to be an emotional crisis. Plus she kind of knows how painful things can get from all the states she’s seen me in, so maybe I don’t need to explicitly show it. Maybe I don’t have to justify or prove my pain any longer.

Maybe just saying “Today I am noticing a lot of sadness” or “Right now I am experiencing intense amounts of pain” is enough.

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