Can I live with the truth of my past? I already am!

I was a psychological mess when I walked into my therapist’s office seven years ago. Barely in my body and just trying to keep myself alive. It felt as if I was literally standing behind myself, as if I was witnessing somebody else’s life from behind them. No longer able to suppress the memories of my past, I was driven by an insatiable need to tell him everything that I had kept secret for thirty years. At the same time, I wanted him to stop the memories from coming. Because I had buried everything so deep and vowed never to talk, I kept being shocked by what I said to him out loud. It was a paradox. I couldn’t believe that I was saying those words, but I also knew that what I was saying was true.

The first eighteen months of therapy was really about learning distress tolerance tools and safety. I was having memories but didn’t have the tools in place to deal with them in a non-threatening way. My therapist didn’t stop me from trying to recall the memories, but I wasn’t in a place to do the processing around them yet. When I had some solid tools, some rules around ignoring programming and a good support system in place, we began the memory-processing work. During those sessions, my emotions would sometimes get so intense that I felt as I would die from them. I would cry an ocean of tears in my therapist’s office, more than once begging to be somebody else with somebody else’s past, not mine.

I made a conscious decision not to research any details of my mental health diagnoses or any memories that were resurfacing. I didn’t want to put anything in my head that wasn’t already in there. I wanted my memories to be my own, pure, without any information from other sources. So we imposed a “puppies and kittens” rule. I wouldn’t read, watch tv, movies or research on the internet anything that could trigger my memories. It was difficult at first, and of course sometimes, I couldn’t resist a good thriller movie, but as far as specific research, I kept my end of the bargain.

Flash forward to one month ago. June 2016, seven years, 3 months since I walked into my therapist’s office. Last November I had felt that I  fully recovered and processed the memories of my past. But I still had some unanswered questions about how I fit into the big picture.  It felt as some pieces were missing from the middle of a jigsaw puzzle. I wasn’t missing memories, rather, explanations about how I fit into it all.

I came across a couple of lines in a book I was reading, that sparked a question to my therapist. After some discussion, he suggested I read a book that would explain the details I was looking for. I bought the 800-plus page book and read it in five days. I now saw how I fit into the big picture, who the players are and how these things could happen. Then I found a current podcast interview that answered more questions. I felt as if I was no longer telling a story, but that this was my life, my past. Last week, I read a biography that outlined all the horrific PTSD symptoms that I still have, and how trauma affects and changes a person.

For me, I find absolute comfort in the truth! Even though it’s disturbing, it’s still the truth. Until last week, in a state of panic, I looked at my therapist and said, “Can I live with the truth of my past?” He replied, calmly, with compassion, “You already are.”










Thank you for reading Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

photo: pixabay


19 thoughts on “Can I live with the truth of my past? I already am!

  1. zeiglerjac July 18, 2016 / 8:41 pm

    May I ask what the 800 plus page book was?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alexis Rose July 18, 2016 / 7:19 pm

    Thank You Terry! It helps being able to share when I have support like you! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  3. spearfruit July 18, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Love, love, love this post! So true, I relate very much to the response “You already are.” Thank you Alexis for sharing your story!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alexis Rose July 18, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    I know, isnt that wonderful! It was enough to stop me, so I could say, oh yeah you’re right!! 💜


  5. srr July 18, 2016 / 5:51 pm

    3 little words; “You already are..” full of wisdom and truth. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alexis Rose July 18, 2016 / 3:50 pm

    Thank You! As goofy as the puppy, kitten rule sounds, it actually worked very well the past seven years. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sasperella July 18, 2016 / 3:31 pm

    Thank you so much for this post I am also on this horrible ptsd journey it’s so comforting to known other people are winning at life with it. I will also be incorporating the puppies and kitten rule I think that’s a brilliant idea

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Alexis Rose July 18, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Thank You, wow, thank You so much, your feedback touched me a lot, as I just was saying to myself, ugh…lets just keep moving this morning. Have a great day!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Alexis Rose July 18, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    The biography I read? It’s called The Evil Hours by David J. Morris.


  10. Courage Coaching July 18, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    You already are indeed and doing remarkably well! You are a true inspiration to me and many others! hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. bethanyk July 18, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    If you dont mind me asking, what is the name of the book? And do you take any medications that help the symptoms? I just got the ptsd diagnosis. Although i have been dealing with the memories for some time i never had a diagnosis until now. Thank you for sharing this

    Liked by 1 person

  12. imani July 18, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    You’re an inspiration to me xxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

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