So it's safe to say yesterday's session led to a rather massive meltdown, on a visceral level.
Through a wierd twist of fate, I was able to take advantage of a cancellation and get back in today. Yeah, that was a good thing. No more processing today. Today was all about what happened yesterday and last night and preparing for more of the same (because this work will bring more emotional pain) by building some more/better coping mechanisms into my life.
One thing he wants me to do is connect with other people to have them help me through those dark moments. I explained that it's tough to do at 2:00am. He asked me to try to find a way. I have a few friends on facebook that are night owls, so I am going to connect with them and just ask if they will stay available on chat when they are up late. Then I need to make sure I stay logged into chat and take advantage of it. He would like me to practice whenever I'm up late when I'm not in crisis. That way, I'm more likely to take advantage of it when I am in crisis. If anyone out there reading this would like to be my friend on facebook, who might be willing to help sometimes, let me know (send me an email or a facebook request -- Robin Reed Grosland). I'm not asking anyone to stay up waiting for me to need help. But the more people I have on call the more likely I'll find someone when I need them.
My other assignment is to come up with some more visceral coping strategies. I have several logical/intellectual ones, but when I melt down I am not in the thinking part of my brain. I need something that works when I bypass that part of my brain and am just looking for pain. Basically, I need to find non-destructive ways to hurt myself. That doesn't sound quite right, but that's what it is. Deep tissue massage that hurts. Exercise to the point of pain but not injury. Going outside in the cold without a coat on to really feel the cold but not to the point of freezing. So I am to find ways to address my need for physical pain in those moments that isn't damaging. Suggestions are welcome.
I am in a better place, although I'm still fragile. I have made some connections for support. And we're going to take things a little slower in therapy.
On the bright side of the dark side, he says that all the emotional pain and the fact that I self-injured indicate we are on the right track. We are not working on a decoy. He's proud of the fact that I didn't hurt myself worse, even though I spent a lot of time pondering doing so. And he's proud of me for telling him that I injured myself instead of hiding it.
I'd say I'm out of the cold, dark water but still shivering on the shore. Luckily, there are people trying to warm me up and keep me safe.