The hours after therapy are usually difficult- there’s no surprise there. I have blogged about coming home feeling so disturbed, I did not know what to do with myself. Two years of therapy and I know that those triggers do pass, it is a matter of comforting, grounding and mostly, just waiting.
Often I leave therapy feeling terrible and desperately in need- yet not knowing what it is that I need. A hug, on some level I guess; a safe, comforting and loving embrace. Except that I often find touch difficult, more so, when triggered.
I am sure I am not the only abuse survivor to feel this way about touch. Sometimes it is if I am plunged into my memories and I cannot differentiate between now and then. I feel like a teenager again and just the idea of any sort of touch makes me want to vomit. Back then most touches were unwanted, intrusive and violating. I remember feeling like I wanted to scratch my own skin off, or burn away anywhere he had forced his touch on me.
There are times where I feel sort of “touched out”- like I have been touched enough for a life time. Sometimes after therapy, or on a bad triggered day, those feelings are back and I find myself thinking that I never, ever want to be touched again.
Today is different- I suppose looking back, it has gradually been changing. I leave my sessions grounded, I don’t always stay that way- even if we aren’t talking specific “incidents”, I am still talking about a very traumatic time-but mostly, I am not having to ground as much as I used to when I return home. The “touched out” feeling still happens, but not nearly as often as it used to.
I came home from therapy today, feeling terrible as I often do and with the usual desperate need for comfort. Except that today and a few times recently, I actually sought that comfort in the arms of my husband, in the sloppy kisses of my baby, and the nuzzles of my big boy.
The embrace of my husband, with his strength, his warmth and his love, does not make me feel “touched out” -not right now, not today. Instead, I find I am soaking up that comfort, wanting and needing more and more. It is as if I am trying to fill all those empty and lost areas within myself that have been crying out for comfort all these years.
I need it, I need him, I need people. I need love and I need touch- good touch, wanted touch.
Today, more than ever.
Because right now I feel what I felt then. Lost and alone, ashamed and afraid. Rejected and abandoned, suicidal and utterly, completely, broken. :(
Just a few hours ago, my T held those feelings with me, with an unconditional regard for how terrifying and all encompassing those feelings were for me and what I went through- day in and day out. He heard me. He heard me.
And though I wish I could have left those feelings in his office, I brought them home to be met with a loving, comforting embrace. Touch I often dread, is so very necessary to my healing right now.
As usual on a Friday, it is back to waiting it out, waiting for it to get easier, waiting for the now, to cancel out the then. Except this time with a difference, with the healing and safe touch from my beautiful family, that helps to reassure me that I am no longer alone.