My life has been in turmoil for 6 years and my health is all over the place.It was only this year that I discovered that I am suffering from Psychological Trauma due to a work related rape that happened to me 10 years ago that I have no memories of, but I know happened because the rapist made sure I knew about it. I just moved on with my life at the time as my Doctor told me that as I had no memories the rape would have no impact on me,so I should just move on,which is what I tried to do but the body never forgets. Since then I have changed from being a healthy, vital,functional confident woman to someone whose life has shrinked down to the size of a peanut! I feel unsafe in my body and in my life and and no amount of willing will change that (I have tried). I have seen great improvements working on myself but I am struggling to reconnect to myself and others and potentially make sense of my role in the world after what happened.You would think that after so many years I would have got my act together and moved on but when I realized what I was dealing with I stopped feeling like a failure.Dealing with trauma isn't about failing to get my act together,it's about healing. I now know the difference, but a part of me still struggles with this.
I have had alot of CBT but it had been limited in how it works for me, I have never been formally diagnosed with PTSD because despite being given loads of CBT no CBT therapist ever connected the dots, because I don't have flashbacks. So now I am waiting for a diagnosis, but after several sessions of rape counselling recently I feel it's now very important to find the right therapist and the right therapeutic model. I think it's crucial to find someone who is an expert at treating trauma, otherwise I can be in therapy for years on end without seeing any real significant improvements which has been the case with me and so much CBT. As I went through the NHS and not privately CBT is usually what is provided because it's cheaper therapy and the NHS think CBT fixed all mental health issues.So if I want to get more specialist help I will have to find money to pay for it myself privately or wait months to be diagnosed properly and hope that I will have access to a trauma specialist via the NHS. I can no longer put my life on hold and since I was the one that bothered to figure out what all my symptoms were about I can no longer wait for so called NHS experts to treat me or even diagnose me in their own time.
I found the Rape Counselling very useful to start as the therapist used the Rogerian approach which was to set up a safe, non judgmental therapeutic relationship(this didn't happen in therapy before for me as the therapist just takes a passive role by listening) and it helped me in dealing with my family issues. I really responded well to this way of therapy.However several sessions down the line and we started talking about the rape and she wanted me to relive it, and I struggled with it.She took me through a visualization about the rape that brought up real fear unlike nothing I have ever experienced: I was trembling and shaking all over the place and then I had to stop as the fear was too intense. She said I looked like I was embarrassed by my own reaction when that was the last thing on my mind.I was just living pure fear there was no space for embarrassment or anything else. I think after that our relationship went down hill as I started to increasingly notice that she didn't understand me as I had felt she understood me previously. I started to feel worse symptoms-wise and dreaded coming to therapy. I said to her many times that I wanted to go where she wanted to take me I just did not want to do it in the full on way she wanted me to. I ended the therapy because I felt she had undone all the work of setting up a safe nurturing accepting space when she started to ignore what I was saying to her and insist that her way to proceed was the only way. So I want to find someone who is a good therapist(I think the rape counsellor was good but struggled with staying constant in her approach, which was a shame) and uses the same model of setting up a therapeutic relationship that makes me feel safe and accepted however this time round I need to find someone who is skilled enough to be able to be constant and to be able to respect my boundaries because that is important to me. I feel if that is available to me that I will heal remarkably, as I had noticed I was doing.
Does anyone living in the UK, London know of a brilliant Trauma Recovery Therapist that they can recommend?Are there any meet up support groups for PTSD that anyone knows about? There seem to be many therapists that do trauma recovery along with dealing with many other things but these are not trained to follow a recovery model, which makes all the difference. Specialist trauma recovery therapists can monitor recovery by the different stages that recovery is structured to, however average counsellors/therapists that have no trauma expertise,will not be working from this model which means I could be in therapy for many years without having a structured way to address the trauma and see improvements in my life. I have already wasted so many years suffering not knowing what's wrong with me and now that I do, I am very focused on knowing that I want someone to help me heal that knows about trauma intimately and has had success in getting others onto the path of recovery and wholeness, something that I am sure I will reclaim.