Tag Archives: Complex PTSD

TRIGGERED SO DOING THIS. OBSERVING AND DESCRIBING EMOTIONS WORKSHEET

FEELING INTENSE EMOTION RIGHT NOW. AM REALLY TRIGGERED. SENT EILEEN A TEXT TELLING HER I FELT OVERWHELMED AND EMOTIONAL AND TRIGGERED. DIDNT HAVE WORDS TO TELL HER WHY. SHE’LL UNDERSTAND. SAW THIS ON ANOTHER BLOG AND DECIDED I’D TRY AND FILL IT OUT. HERE GOES.

Name: LIZ Date: 8/27/15

Primary Emotions: SADNESS, ANGER, OVERWHELM, DESPAIR Intensity (0-100): 90

Prompting event (for emotion, who what, where, when):

WAS HAVING FLASHBACKS. THEY CAME ON SUDDENLY. REMEMBERED STUFF AROUND MY ABUSE. STUFF ABOUT BEING RAPED. COULDNT GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD AND SPIRALED THEN.

Interpretation (beliefs, assumptions, and appraisals of the situation):

THIS IS NOT HAPPENING, IT CANT BE. ITS NOT FAIR. I HATE FLASHBACKS, I HATE MEMORIES, I WISH IT WOULD JUST STOP.

Body changes and sensing: FEELING LIKE PUNCHING SOMEONE, PREFERABLY MY ABUSERS, WANTING TO CRY, FEELING ALONE AND FRUSTRATED.

Body Language (facial expression, posture, gestures): EYES TEARING UP, SCREWING UP MY FACE, HITTING MY HAND ON THE TABLE

Action Urges (what did I feel like doing, what did I want to say):

PUNCHING SOMEONE, CRYING, LASHING OUT, REACHING OUT TO SOMEONE, CUTTING.. Taking PILLS. .

What I said or did in the situation:

EMAILED MY THERAPIST, DRANK A CUP OF COFFEE, LOOKED AT MY EMAIL, PATTED NITRO.

After Effects (secondary emotions, memories, thoughts, state of mind, behavior):

THE ANGER TURNED TO OVERWHELMING SADNESS ONCE THE RAGE SUBSIDED. FELT LIKE JUST CRYING MY EYES OUT. NEEDED A HUG FROM SOMEONE.

(expectations) and the root emotion (anger.)

Function of Emotion: ????

Other possible interpretations:

I SHOULD USE MY COPING SKILLS, IF I DO, THEN PERHAPS I’LL FEEL LESS INTENSE EMOTIONS AND BE LESS TRIGGERED.

New Intensity (0-100): 50

Todays appointments with both Karen R and Dr Barry

I went this afternoon to meet Karen R, who used to be dr Barrys social worker, but who is now team leader. She still does some social work though, but mostly when people are in patients in the hospital. She kept one or two of her former clients when she changed positions, and luckily we were one of the people she kept as a client. Today we met up to talk about the funding for transportation, and also I had recently applied to the same organisation who fund my transportation for some extra hours for an aid to help me with housework etc. So we had to discuss the logistics of all that. Karen asked me what I wanted to use the hours for if I got them, as the case manager in the organisation who is going to provide the funding wanted to know. I said I’d like to get some extra help around my house, with coleaning, as having a dog who sheds hair a lot its near impossible to keep the place clean unless its vacumed almost every day. So there is that. Then I also told Karen I wanted to join spinning classes and need a ride to get there so the aid could help with that too possibly. So she wrote those things down and she’s going to send an email back to my case manager about it. We also talked about the ongoing appointments that I have, as the case manager had said if the organisation had a clear schedule of when I needed taxi’s they could reinstate my funding for them. So we figured that I need them for my appointments weekly with Dr Barry and Karen O the nutritionist, and once a month for my appointment with Mark the OT. We also put in that I may use them to go to the basement club but that it wont be that regularly once college starts up. We didnt want to leave it out of the costs though as then I’d never be able to go unless I payed my own taxi fare. Karen said that she’s going to send another email with this info to the case manager, and in the email she’s going to tell him that she’s happy to write to him once a month with the journeys I’ve taken, so that he has a record of how often I am using the taxi’s, so its on file. I was happy with this idea and I think its a good idea and I hope he will too.
After the appointment with Karen I saw Dr Barry. A lot of our appointment was taken up with me telling her about the stress of last week, when I came in she said she’d been reading my notes and saw all what took place about the funding for taxi’s, and the school stuff. I told her I never ever want to go through that level of stress again. I told her my mom had been an invaluable support to me during last weeks crisis. She noted that my mom and I seem to be getting along much better nowadays than say a year ago. She said she noticed how our relationship has changed. I agreed. In the past year mom and us have gotten along far better than we’ve ever done in the past. We talk more, do things together more, she’s more of a support to me in so many ways. We have a much better mother daughter relationship. Whereas before she got on well with my sister and not so much with me, that dynamic has changed and I am so thankful for that. Dr Barry asked me if I was excited about starting school. I was like yep I cant wait. I talked to her about Mondays therapy session. I told her we’d worked with some triggered parts around triggers surrounding school and their anxiety around that. She thought that it was great that we’d spent time working with these triggered parts. She said that even with the stress of last week, that it shows a great level of healing that I went to therapy on Monday and spent the majority of the time working with the triggers and triggered insiders. Of course we did talk about the stress of last week but the whole session wasnt spent on that. She kept saying to me how resourceful I am and how she knows Eileen says this all the time, and she is just echoing eileen on that. She said I have huge potential and am really intelligent and that will stand to me. I told her I was a little worried too about starting and it not working out due to past experiences in education where it didnt work out for me. I told her my mom is kinda pressuring me to do well, and for things to work out. How she is saying I need to grab this opportunity, see it through, live my olife. I told her my mom doesnt have words for a lot of things but she uses phrases like its your life, your getting older not younger, you need to take this opportunity and see it through to tell me how she feels. She doesnt have words for the issues surrounding my mental illness. But the other day she did say to me that I was doing really well with all of my issues. That was her way of saying I am proud of you without actually saying it to me. I told Dr Barry that there is no way I could sit at home doing nothing all day every day. She agreed that this would not be a good idea so she was glad the school situation worked out for me. I told her I dont care what mental illness I have, I am determined and I will not let it beat me. She said I was really high functioning and that made me so proud. I work so hard to be high functioning and not let my mental illness drag me down. Dr Barry said that I am more than my illness. My mom thinks so too but she just doesnt have the words to say it in the same way Dr Barry does. Today Dr Barry said to me what my mom is trying to say is I am more than being unwell, I am more than my hospitalisations etc. I told Dr Barry that I am grateful every day for my whole team. They keep me ticking over, stable, because of them I can lead a very full and rich life. If I did not have the weekly support from both Dr Barry and Eileen I may be in a different position. I said I know that most service users dont get the same level of support that I do and I know how incredibly lucky I am. In a way my diagnosis of did as complex as it is allows me to have the extra support. For that I will always be grateful. Allie wanted to have a little time to talk to Dr Barry today but we ran out of time so it will have to wait until next week. I did tell her how Eileen had read the in my heart book to the kids on Monday. I didnt go into too much detail as I wanted to let allie tell her herself. It was a great appointment, very productive as always.

This weeks therapy session working with triggered parts

Yesterday in therapy we did a lot to work with some parts insiders. After I welcomed Eileen home, I told her how last week things were really tough for us, and how on wednesday I was very distressed, having heard both that my account with the taxi firm was to be canceled, that is, for my medical appointments, and also having heard that the school may not fund me for part transportation grant. I told her how it had really overwhelmed me and stressed me out, that I had cried a lot, gotten really anxious, emotional, almost to the point where I was physically ill. She wondered how that had happened, saying that usually I am so resourceful, and she was wondering how my coping skills hadnt kicked in, and how I’d become swamped, overwhelmed to the point that my stress levels got up to a 10 and I couldnt bring them back down. So we worked with it for a while. Well, it turns out there are parts, insiders, we call our insiders parts, anyway, there are parts who are really panicking about us starting college. Basically these parts are afraid it will all go wrong, and we’ll end up disappointed and hurt in the process. So they feel it would be better if we didnt go at all. Eileen and me figured out that they are helping or trying to help by trying to pre-empt what will happen. They think its their job to do this. Eileen told me to step back and try to show them that we are safe, and that I can deal with whatever pops up, there were also some younger insiders who were panicking about starting, in case we’d have a system collapse, or something else would happen to make me go inside and leave them to cope alone. I had to work really hard to reassure them that actually we are in a much better place now than we were the other times we tried to pursue education or training and that I would do my best to never leave a young insider to cope alone. I told them that if things got tough I’d either talk to Dr Barry or Eileen about it before things got to an unmanageable point. They seemed satisfied with this and eventually they calmed down. We focused a little bit on breathing but I wasnt really able to do the breathing properly. Eileen said she could really notice how difficult it was for me to breathe deeply and focus on the breaths going in and out. So instead she had me focus on a part of my body that felt strong at that moment. I was successfully able to do that. It was a really good session. It felt really good to do the work with the triggered parts. Like we got a lot accomplished. They are really starting to trust me and hear me which is key I think. Since I am the front runner, main front person and current host it is important that I show leadership and show the younger parts that we will be ok. Eileen did read to us but I will let allie talk about that in another post since she was the one out for the story with all the other young insiders crowding around behind her to listen too.

Dr barry and The conversation around triggers

We saw Dr Barry this morning. When we went in she knew something was up, she straight away asked me how I was, she said I wasnt looking too hot. I told her I’d gotten really triggered last night because that guy had come to the door, remember the guy who was supposedly selling make up? Anyway I told Dr Barry that when he was at my door I was real dissociative, foggy and fuzzy, couldnt think clearly, couldnt concentrate to tell him to leave, but how eventually I did it somehow and he left quietly and without a fuss. Dr Barry said it was unlike me to just open the door, and I told her I’d been distracted and hadnt been thinking clearly. She said that it could happen to anyone, and how when its summer time and not dark outside, and only 7 o’clock in the evening, you think it is ok to open your door. She reassured me that he’s on my cameras, and that I could get the file off the hard drive if I needed to. She asked me what I’d have done if he hadnt left, and I was like I dont know! I didnt think of that. My phone had been in my bedroom, I suppose I could have screamed, someone might have heard me, but well not really sure what other options I have. I dont know marshall arts or self defense. I’m not tall and I dont think I could win if he put up a fight. Luckily he didnt though which is good. I told Dr Barry I’d been pretty unsettled for the rest of the night after he’d gone. Luckily I’d been texting my friend sarah and that kinda grounded me and kept me from totally zoning out, although we did have quite an amount of switching for the rest of last night. Taylor whose six was having hallucinations after he left, i think the fact that some strange man was at our door scared her and sent her into trigger mode. She always hallucinates when triggered. Even when we went to bed we werent able to go to sleep for a long time, and when we eventually did, we kept waking up and having bad dreams. It was just an all round hard night. Dr Barry was really noticing how unsettled we were today. We talked a little about the dissociation, and how eileen always catches it when we’re in therapy, but I told her that when we’re on our own there is no one to notice and ground us orientate us back to the present. It feels overwhelming to try to do it all by ourselves. It was a good appointment and Dr Barry reassured me which was nice and something that was much needed by all of us in the system.

Saw Dr Barry today, and the meeting that Our OT attended for us

Just home from an appointment with Dr Barry. It was a good appointment as always.
We mostly discussed stuff around college, especially my anxiety around that. I told her that I was afraid I would become unstable again when I start, that the stress of doing the course would cause me to decompress. I know when I start the course we will have teething problems, mostly due to my blindness, and the fact that I am the first blind person to do this particular course. They’ve had parcially sighted people before but not someone whose totally blind. So I do know there will be problems. I told Dr barry that I did not want my mental illness to be the focus point, but that I’m afraid when I start it will take a dive and I will become unstable again. Dr Barry said that she can understand why I am worried, but she said she thinks I’ll be ok, that I’ve spent the last 12 months stabilising and doing lots of hard work in therapy, and that she doesnt think that I will undo it. She’s hopeful I wont. She said to take things slowly and I should be ok. Mostly our appointment today focused on the college stuff, it was a shorter than usual appointment, I was done in 30 minutes when usually I am with her for an hour or more.
Yesterday Mark our OT went to a meeting with the school psychologist and the manager of the college and himself about me and about what supports I’ll need in order that I can deal with my mental illness effectively. He rang me when he was finished and he said it all went off ok. Apparently they wanted to know what they should tell the other trainees on the course, whether they should mention our did to them or not. Mark told them to consult me about it, but that he thought I wouldnt want them to mention it, as I dont usually tell just anyone, that I prefer to only tell those who I think will have an understanding of the disorder. He told the school that if there was a problem with my mental health or if I was in crisis that I’d contact either my psychiatrist dr Barry or my therapist Eileen, he said to leave it up to me to do that which the school agreed to do. He told them that I prefered to keep my mental illnesses separate from the academic side of things, that I am there to learn about IT stuff, and not to focus on my mental illness. They seemed to be ok with that which I am glad about. I am meeting Mark tomorrow to discuss the anxiety and ptsd stuff so I will probably talk omore to him then about stuff. Yesterdays call was just to touch base after the meeting.
I told Dr Barry today that we’re going away for the weekend, me, my mom, my sister and her kids. I’m so looking forward to it too. It will be nice to get away for a couple of nights and I know we’ll have a good time.