Posted by: Marie | August 19, 2013

(857) Giving myself protection – Part 2 of 5

Post #857
[Private journal entry written on Friday, June 1, 2012 – continued from previous post]


(We sat in silence for a few moments . . . )

Me: So, anyway . . . that’s all that’s been going on in my life lately . . . I don’t have anything in particular I would like to talk about today . . . nothing pressing . . . I’m doing well and I don’t really know what we can talk about.

Edward: It’s okay that you don’t have anything in particular that you would like to talk about . . . it is not your responsibility to come to our sessions with an agenda.

Me: I know . . .

I’m assuming you do have ideas on what we can talk about . . . ??

Edward: Yes, I do . . .

I realize that even though you are doing well, there are still issues that need attention. They might not be issues that are causing you great discomfort in the moment, but they are areas that need attention at some point.

Photo by Martin Chen

Photo by Martin Chen

Me: I agree . . .

When you put it that way, the “smaller” issue I’m most interested in talking about is how I’m still getting triggered by exercise . . .

Edward: Great! Let’s start there! Can you tell me about that?

Me: Sure . . .

Up until the last month or so, I was doing really well with going to the gym on a regular basis. But, this last month has been so busy . . . I haven’t gone to the gym for about a month . . . well, I did go yesterday.

I still struggle with getting triggered just from doing an easy work-out on the treadmill. I’d like to get into weight training . . . I’d like to work with the personal trainer I’ve found to get that going . . . but I feel like I can’t handle doing that yet.

I think trying to do the weight training would really trigger me and I think I might get emotional if I were to work with the trainer, or I might have to climb in bed after working out and then have a hard time getting out from under the covers.

Edward: Do I understand correctly that you would like to be able to exercise on a regular basis, and to work with your personal trainer, but the fact you are being triggered when you do those activities makes it difficult for you to do them . . . ??

Me: Yes . . .

Edward: My first thought is that your wanting to do those activities seems like a healthy and reasonable goal to me . . .

My second thought is . . . if I remember correctly, you are concerned about being triggered if your personal trainer were to direct you to move your body into a position that feels vulnerable to you . . .

Me: Yes . . .

Edward: What else can you tell me about what you experience when you get triggered by exercise?

Me: (After some thought) Well, there are two things that could be causing it . . .

First, exercise causes me to be very aware of my body, so sometimes that awareness becomes too intense while I’m exercising and I want to be finished quickly so I can disconnect again.

Edward: When you become aware of your body, what do you feel?

Me: Hmmm . . . well, exercise causes me to feel centered and powerful for a few moments . . . and then subtle thoughts start to form . . . not really clear thoughts, but a general sense of fear, really . . . I start experiencing a fear that starts small and grows and grows . . . I often find it hard to identify what I fear . . .

But, if I can identify what I fear, it usually has something to do with my belief that it is not safe to be attractive . . . or I’m overwhelmed by the possibility of dating . . . I mean, if I lose weight, dating then becomes a real possibility, and that scares me . . . I don’t know if I could handle that.

I haven’t been in the gym for a month . . . two weeks of that is because I was so busy trying to keep up with the commitments I had made. But, during the last two weeks, I could have gone to the gym. But, instead, I locked myself in my room and worked on my blog instead of taking care of my health.

During these last two weeks, I didn’t go to the gym, I lived on junk food, I didn’t take showers as often as I should have . . . I abandoned my self-care to work on my blog . . . while working on my blog is a healthy thing, I didn’t maintain a healthy balance around it.

I’m struggling to get back in the “healthy” and balanced mode. I went yesterday to the gym and only worked out on the treadmill for 30 minutes – I was doing almost an hour before – and the 30 minutes was psychologically challenging. I’m struggling to make myself go to the gym again this week, even though I’m telling myself I only need to do 35 minutes this time . . . I’m not even pushing myself to do an hour.

More often than not, if I’m going to get triggered, it will occur after I get home and as I have time to relax a bit . . . when I’ve had time to think and feel . . . that’s when I start feeling fear around what might happen if I do lose weight and become attractive . . . I might get attention I don’t want . . . dangerous attention . . . or, I might get attention I do want from men but then I might be compelled to do thing with my body – sexual things – that I don’t really want to do just because it is expected of me as part of dating.

Edward: Is it possible that it’s not so much the exercise that is triggering, but rather that the emotions come up for you as your body starts relaxing after a vigorous work out . . . that it is the “relaxing” part of the process that is triggering?

Me: Hmmmm . . . I hadn’t thought about that before . . . but, yes, I think you are correct . . . at least for this part of it.

I can get triggered in a second way, which is more closely related to the exercise itself . . . you already said it . . . that I am triggered when I am doing exercises that put me in a vulnerable position, especially when someone is directing me on how to move my body.

Edward: What comes up for you in that situation?

Me: I guess it is a sense that I’m going to be attacked . . . I mean, I know no one is going to attack me in that moment . . . I know that logically . . .

Edward: But your body doesn’t know . . .

Me: (Nodding my head) Right.

Edward: Can you think back to a time when you felt the same thing . . . but when there was a good reason for you to fear being attacked?

Me: I know that, when we’ve talked about this before, you’ve wondered out loud if it was due to the sexual abuse. But, I’m thinking it has more to do with the abuse from my dad.

Edward: Yes, I would tend to agree with that.

(He waited a moment to see if I had more to say . . . when I didn’t, he continued)

Edward: Can you tell me more about that . . . ?? Can you describe what you felt in your body when you were in fear of being abused by your dad?

Me: I remember being hyperaware of my dad’s moods and movements . . . I would hang out in my room most of the time because that was the safest place in the house for me . . .

When my dad would come home, I would sit very quietly in my room and listen to see what his tone of voice was, what he was talking about with my mom . . .

If he was upset about something, he would tell my mom about it, or they would get in a fight – a verbal fight – as soon as he got home. If things were in upset, I would get a sense that the area around him was “hot” . . . it’s almost like I had a thermometer in my head . . . or, it would feel “cool” if things were more on the safe side.

I could even get a feel for his mood before he walked in the house . . . I could feel him as he was driving the last block or two to the house, and I could feel him getting out of the truck . . . I usually had a sense of his mood even before he got in the house.

Edward: What do you mean . . . like you could hear a difference in how he drove the truck, or if he slammed the truck door, for example?

Me: No . . . it was more telepathic than that . . . my dad and I were pretty connected on a telepathic level . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 767

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