I have been bad about posting in my PTSDiaries. This is due to a combination of symptom reduction and life events. I recently moved away from home to the first time, got a new job, and I attended a writing conference, one contests, got published and generally had a good summer. The therapy worked well, too, and I’ve had a reduction in symptoms.
Note that I said “reduction” and not “elimination”. I still have nightmares. I couldn’t handle reading over materials on abuse for work–I couldn’t deal with how clinical they made it all. Abuse must be quantified and categorized, of course, but it’s also so deeply personal and deeply emotional that when I read clinical text on abuse it really bothers me. I still have nightmares. I still evaluate everyone I meet, especially men, as potential threats first and see any positive attention from a man I don’t know well as grooming. It’s not over.
That’s not to say that the therapy was ineffective. I loved my therapist and I honestly miss going to see her once a week. The staff at the clinic were so positive and kind that I always left with a good feeling. I also made some decent art, which I will upload in the next PTSDiaries. In PTSDiaries Seven, I mentioned that during my exposure therapy I could feel R. assaulting me all over again. My panic attacks are getting better. At the end of the therapy, I felt the emotions without physical sensations, but they were easy to sit with and move past. I think the therapy did it’s job.
I’m still angry. I’m not angry at the world in general, though. I’m angry at R. I’m angry at all the people who turned their backs on me. I’m angry at the adults who I told who did nothing. And I deserve that anger. It’s controlled, and it reminds me of why I do stuff like this: to help people who are going through things.
R. is no longer my monster. He is my ghost: he exists, and he haunts me, but I can leave him behind, and he can be exorcised.