Still processing

…I want to write something about Monday’s therapy, but I’m still processing it. It wasn’t overly heavy, but it’s still churning in my head.

We talked more about the impact of abuse on a healthy, adult sex life. It certainly has a ton of impact. I mentioned to Dr. C that I found it easier to fully immerse myself in the experience without flashbacks when we are not at home. At first I had thought it would be different after the move because these walls held no memories, but it turned out to be just as triggering here as it was in my childhood home. She mentioned that it seems to be a “thing” for people with a sexual abuse history (at least in her experience)… I’ll have to look more into that. Maybe it’s something about associating home with unsafe situations? I dunno…

She also pointed out something I’ve know for a while, but she tied it to the self-harm: the most effective schedule of reinforcement is random-intermittent reward. Translated to plain english; giving in to the urge to self-harm even just once-in-a-while reinforces the connections making it a stronger habit… We also talked about easier ways to step away from the concept of self-harm being soothing. She suggested I work to find other skills that I can randomly toss into the mix. She said it would be easier to build-up other habits than to work at breaking the reinfocers for the sh. We didn’t really come up with other options, but I’m again tasked with working other coping skills into my bag… On the plus side: I have not cut recently, so I have not reinforced that habit lately…

I had started wiring this yesterday after therapy, but got distracted. I don’t really know what else I was going to write. There was a thought about it a few hours ago, but I wasn’t able to take notes. I don’t remember what it was anymore. Guess that’s the story of my life: have a thought, don’t have a chance to write it down, forget the though…

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4 responses to “Still processing

  • Preslee

    Coping skills – you can color – it’s distracting. Reading – it immerses you in a different world. Go for a walk – it gets you out of the house and away from the situation. There’s HALT- before you engage in self-harm ask yourself are you: Hungry- When did I Last eat? Is my hunger emotional or does my body need food? Find something nutritious to eat. Angry- What are you dealing with right now that is stressful? Is this stress making you angry? Lonely- When is the last time you socialized? Was it a positive or negative experience? Reach out to your support system, let them help you. Tired- Have you been getting enough sleep? Have you been getting enough rest and giving your body the break it needs? Take some time to yourself and relax.
    Grounding exercises help you retain the moment. Find something that you can taste – candy or a drink. Find something you can smell – perfume, maybe. Find something you can hear – music. Find something to touch – a stuffed animal, your pet, your favorite sweatshirt.
    Hopefully, these help you.

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