Dizzy means its working

When we approach tough topics in therapy, I get this odd dizzy feeling, like right before you pass out. I guess digging up old memories and reconnecting the feelings is so overwhelming, like system overload. If we go slowly and tackle topics I have tackled before, I almost enjoy the tingly, dizzy, disorienting feeling I can now recognize. It must actually be neurons forming or firing, or something, I have no idea, no science for this feeling. I may research it one day. Or I may not I don’t know. But I do know if we tackle topics that hit me unexpectedly, my head actually hurts. The dizzy is more like a fiery wave of hammers expanding in my skull. It gets difficult to see and to sit upright, then I struggle to breathe, and then I lose control. My emotions break free, I shake, sweat, cry, moan, twitch, try not to vomit.

This happened today when we explored a thought I still have, that I would be better off if I never told anyone about AF and finished high school with my secret in tact. I felt the shame I felt as a 16 yr old, ostracized, hated, alone. My therapist asked me how it felt when kids that used to be my friends looked at me with disgust and fear and pity…I felt today what I was never able to fully feel then. I thought I might die a moment, but I didn’t. I did stifle it though, it was too much. Way too much. So we get to explore this topic again next week. She said I am not done feeling it and have more to process.

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6 thoughts on “Dizzy means its working

  1. Hi, that dizzy feeling sounds like dissociation.

    I’m a new reader, and thank you for being so courageous to share. I didn’t experience child sexual abuse, but other types, and your words really strike a cord.

    Please also know that being triggered by physical and sexual intimacy is normal for us survivors. It is hard.

  2. I meant the dizzy feeling sounds like the warning signs of dissociation.

    There’s grounding techniques your counsellor and you can learn, so you stay present in the room and less spacey.

    What your counselor is trying to do is to keep you within your window of tolerance, where you are emotionally affected but not so overwhelmed that you completely check out involuntarily. Sounds like it is working though the dizziness hints it’s slightly bit too much maybe. Keep at it, you are really hardworking and your counselor sounds really good.

    • Thank you, yes that dizzy feeling could also be some dissociation. My counselor does an excellent job watching me, keeping me grounded, we take breaks often, she asks me to tell her how my body feels, my hands, stomach, throat, etc. We breathe, count, do lists, stand up and walk, so many things to keep me present but feeling what I need to feel. So much of this floods and overwhelms me quickly without warning, so it is more a matter of going forward and pulling me back. Exhausting. I appreciate your comment here, really helpful!

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