Overreaction to triggers in therapy- am I really just attention seeking?

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applestopears
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:57 am

Overreaction to triggers in therapy- am I really just attention seeking?

Post by applestopears »

Ok, I have an extensive history of abuse of all since early childhood, the worst of the abuse for me was the verbal emotional physical abuse from a father. And a mother who was also a victim and unable to leave him.

Further experiences of sexual abuse bullying at school and abuse from churches as an adult. Diagnosed with BPD and told maybe have CPTSD as well. had Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, the first course of it in 2014.

Been in trauma based therapy with a brilliant therapist since 2018 (I know, I should be cured now but it isn't that simple). back in April my one to one sessions ended as therapist wanted to put me in a group therapy, and I was happy with that.

I knew therapy could bring up some triggers but I honestly thought I made so much progress since 2018 when I was a real wreck i honestly didn't anticipate how much I would struggle.

Basically I Been finding in group situation although I find it so helpful and know I need and want to come back, I have been triggered to an extreme and possibly unreasonable extent .

I started off therapy group having an inability times am cry and kept minimising my abuse , as part of my brain knows others had worse and I was constantly told as a child that i was making it up or exaggerating.

Well I had a huge meltdown the other week, felt.unheard and invalidated (and I realise it's on me to use my skills from DBT to manage this) . I was v manipulative and lied a lot but was also v genuinely distressed and slipping back into self harm and suicide....I apologised the following week and rightly so, my therapist was v stern and told me I can trust the team and not lie to them. I was open in group as to why it happened and thought I had cleared the air a bit. Lots of group hugs and apologies from me all around.me


Then a week or so after I got triggered again and have been crying a lot in group and feeling panicky.at first they hugged me and let me cry but their patience has worn thin now.

Three weeks on I was told in group that in was taking on a victim mentality .which is true in some ways I guess though it isn't conscious. I honestly was hurting and wanted to express it in a safe place....so I was being v open about my abusive past. But I been told am stuck and I need to move on. Thing is, others in the group with similar history and also crying and flashbacks in group aren't being told this.

My therapist said he is concerned if we comfort and soothe my inner child too much all at once I might be come addicted to it. He said those with a lack of love their upbringing can end up craving it and that I needed to be sure I didn't binge on it. But I politely pointed out to him that I had abuse as well as neglect and pretty severe flashbacks relating to violent abuse.

I tend to ask a lot of questions when i.don't understand something that's being said a nd sometimes I don't process when the other person has stopped speaking or not...so I was basically told off for interrupting and that made my tears worse. He then told me he wasn't going to waste time on this and as someone who feels shame easily that sounded to me like he was saying "you.are a waste of time."


Since I told those lies a few.weeks ago he won't respond anymore to my.emails or texts of apology. I do struggle with fears of abandonment and I'm terrified I will be kicked out of therapy. I already am on a warning because of lying and using phone too much to them....I am.trying hard not to seek reassurance from them constantly.

But now I am terrier because I did try reaching out to th their crIsis team (not N H S, but a private trauma charity) because I thought in was in crisis the self harm and suicidal thoughts v bad and it's stupid but my therapist use to really "get me" and has been So kind to me.

Ive.ruined that because I have so little self control even though am trying so hard!
Qwerty
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Posts: 88
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:59 am

Re: Overreaction to triggers in therapy- am I really just attention seeking?

Post by Qwerty »

It sounds like that group is not a good fit for you. In my own life I have had many horrendous group therapy experiences. Not everyone is cut for group therapy. In my experience, it's usually not for people who actually need help. It's for people who need light support.
I would encourage you to find a new therapist. Not because you did anything wrong, but because your therapist isn't helping you. You deserve to be listened to and encouraged and for heavens sake be able to cry. If a therapist can't handle being lied to, he's not good at his job. Victims, tend to lie. A lot. It's a coping mechanism we learn so our abusers don't kill us. If anyone should understand that it should be the therapists and group. Trust is earned, and while we can only get real help if we a truthful, it works both ways. We need to know the therapist can handle the truth.
You did not ruin anything. Very few therapists can handle the actual truth of victims of severe abuse. Some don't even believe ritual abuse happens. Even Sinead O'Connor is doubted on a regular basis about her mother torturing her, and she's famous!
I hope you find a place where you can fit in. In the meantime feel free to write away and cry here. We believe you and hear you.
~Qwerty~
"We're not broken, just bent and we can learn to love again"
applestopears
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Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:57 am

Re: Overreaction to triggers in therapy- am I really just attention seeking?

Post by applestopears »

Thank you so much

It's so good to be heard
greendreamdays
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Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:08 am

Re: Overreaction to triggers in therapy- am I really just attention seeking?

Post by greendreamdays »

Three weeks on I was told in group that in was taking on a victim mentality .which is true in some ways I guess though it isn't conscious. I honestly was hurting and wanted to express it in a safe place....so I was being v open about my abusive past. But I been told am stuck and I need to move on. Thing is, others in the group with similar history and also crying and flashbacks in group aren't being told this.
Sounds like this groups has been really invalidating and not offering consistent support.
My therapist said he is concerned if we comfort and soothe my inner child too much all at once I might be come addicted to it. He said those with a lack of love their upbringing can end up craving it and that I needed to be sure I didn't binge on it.
And having a basic human need like the need for self-soothing is never an addiction. Your inner child deserves to be soothed as much as it needs. People are taught to self-soothe by being soothed!
Ive.ruined that because I have so little self control even though am trying so hard!
You haven't ruined anything.

It sounds like while the therapist and the group may have been helpful for you at some points, it also sounds like they have also been really invalidating and inconsistent with how they have been supporting you. I can imagine how triggering this must have been for you and I am sorry you have felt unsupported and betrayed by the very people who were supposed to help you.
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