My therapist and I have, in my opinion, a good working relationship.  We have had our ups and downs, but throughout this process of dealing with my C-PTSD, I have tried to be honest with her and have had the courage to tell her how I feel about how things are going between us—from my perspective, at any rate.  This past Thursday, however, as I thought about my session, I realized that perhaps I have, at times, failed to let her know how much I appreciate her and to include her in my process.  I intend to apologize to her for this lapse when I see her on Monday.

You see, I have hit a spot in my therapy where I feel as if I’m in transition from one phase to another.  However, I’m not sure where I am going or what the next phase truly is.  I feel a tension in my therapy, as if I’m dangling over a crevasse and don’t know which way to jump—should I jump back to where I was comfortable or should I jump to the other side, unknown territory?  As you may know, the unknown is sometimes scary, and at times it’s a lot more comfortable to stay in the territory that is known.  That was—and IS–my dilemma.  I don’t know which way to jump!

I am, however, highly motivated to get through the process of recovering from Complex PTSD, and my dithering frustrates me no end!  I get angry at myself, and I browbeat myself, knowing all the time that this activity simply makes the situation worse.  And then I say things such as, “If I have time, I’m going to get through this all by myself this weekend” or “I know I could do this on my own if I just forced myself to do it.”  That’s what I said to my therapist on Thursday.  And then later, when I was riding the bus home and reflecting on my session, I remembered what I said, and then I remembered something else:  I’m not in this process alone!  She is there with me!
 
As soon as I remembered this simple fact, a peace settled over me, and I resolved to make this coming Monday my personal “Therapist Appreciation Day.”  I am not in this alone.  I have a companion on this journey, and I need to include her.  She can help me make this transition.
 
How could I have forgotten this simple fact?  Well, people with my background of abuse often get through life without a whole lot of help.  If a child learns at a very young age that the world is not safe and that no person, including parents, can be trusted to help, then often that child learns to cope with abuse without asking for help.  If, later, the child-become-adult is abused, then the person still does not ask for help—with anything! Such was my pattern. I never asked for help and never expected any help.  Never, that is, until I realized one day in 1980 that my world was crashing around me and that getting help was a matter of life and death.  Then I asked for and received the help I sought from a skilled, kind, and compassionate therapist.
 
That was about thirty years ago. I learned a big lesson on the day I asked for help in 1980:  It is possible to ask for help and to receive the help I need and want with no strings attached.  And along with the help, it’s also possible to receive a bonus gift of unconditional kindness, understanding, and empathy.

But old thought patterns die hard.  I certainly realize that now!  So, as I said, Monday will be the day I observe “Therapist Appreciation Day.”  Have you observed this day with your therapist?  It can’t hurt, and it might help.

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