If you have been following along with my journey, you will know that I participated in a three-month program for Dialectical Behavioural Therapy at the local hospital. (If you’re new to the site, and would like to read about the program, you can click here to go to the blog post.)
I finished the program at the end of April, but wasn’t completely discharged from the hospital. There is one more course to take – one that the therapists do not allow patients to start until they have gained the coping skills and emotional balance from the dialectical behavioural therapy. The course is called Emotional Resilience, and I started it yesterday.
I have been terrified to start this course – it was explained to me as “delving into the complex trauma that affects your day-to-day life, and figuring out what triggers you, which causes anxiety and depressive episodes.” Yikes.
But I see it as a necessary evil: it will be hard, yes. I will cry, yes. I will drudge up memories that I have stored in the back of my brain in a locked box marked ‘do not open‘, yes. But it will help me to heal, fully. So, I will attend this class for the next eight weeks, do the homework, and keep working on me.
A hand-out given in yesterdays class defined Complex Trauma: the kind of trauma experienced in early childhood when bad things happen repetitively. The experiences may not be life threatening, but they are repetitive, are associated with no real escape, and usually perpetrated by trusted care-givers. The trauma interferes with the normal bonding or attachment process that a child has to have in order to soothe oneself. Whatever the trauma may be, it is the individuals experience of the traumatic event(s) and the meaning it has for them that is the most important issue to understand.
Complex trauma creates a disorganized attachment (ie – Is it safe for me to be attached to this person?) The hand-out states, “when early attachments are dangerous, it creates an internal struggle between the yearning to attach and the drive to be safe. ‘Do I run toward, or do I run away?'”. The teacher in class described it as a push-pull scenario, which resonated with me deeply. I have always had a yearning to have a relationship with my mother, but when I get close to her I always get hurt.
I want to leave you with these song lyrics that I heard a few weeks ago, and felt very attached to, as they reminded me of her.
Julia Michaels – Issues
“…you got hands like an ocean, push you out, pull you back in”