Sun. May 31st, 2020

Anais ForReal

Straight No Chaser

Therapy Session 25: Trauma Responses, Relationships, Agency and Autonomy

5 min read
Photo by Mikey Rodriguez on Reshot

Photo by Mikey Rodriguez on Reshot

I have been diving deep into relationships past, present, and future in the last few sessions for a few weeks now. These sessions are sort of like peeling back more and more layers each hour. The more time spent discussing things allows me to peel back more layers, and that does increase my understanding of how I’ve dealt with relationships in the past. Having a comprehension of past behaviors presents you with a choice, either you change or stay on the same path, which is probably the most comfortable. If you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. Growth is almost always uncomfortable.

Although I was not stress cooking after this session like last week’s hour, this sixty minutes did give me lots of food for thought. I will sit with the things I learned this week, as I do every week, try to come away with some actionable goals, and move forward in this growth and healing process.

I often have conversations with friends that disbelieve the role that a person’s childhood has played in their adult life. I was always aware, to a certain degree, that one’s upbringing played a significant role in their adult life. However, I recently realized how much, and I understand this more and more with every session.

Last week we discussed HOW I interact in platonic and romantic relationships. We talked about the difference in treatment that I have for platonic friends versus romantic friends. This week touched a bit on how that may have come about. The foundation of how I deal with relationships is due to influences by childhood interactions.

To a certain degree, the amount of openness I’ve had in the selection of those I invited in my life was heavily impacted by childhood and even adult affects. None of this was a conscious thing. I never realized it was connected until recently, after discussing relationships, and my selection during these therapy sessions. A lot of that was general influences, some of it due to childhood trauma and some by strong adult parental influences.

“Oppressive Regimes Impact Every Aspect of Your Life. Trauma From That Does As Well.”

These influences were always in place, and they molded some of my behaviors. Despite that, I have operated outside of the impact of them in some areas of my life. Those areas were in professional and financial areas primarily, but those areas have never been as challenging to me as personal areas. So, there has been some degree of agency and autonomy professionally. Personally, not so much or not to the degree that is needed.

“I Sense That You Have a Fear of Opening Yourself Up in Relationships Beyond Your Platonic Friendships.”

In my session 24, we discussed that I valued platonic relationships differently than romantic relationships. The hour ended with the above bombshell question asked. I had no answer last week, but after giving it a lot of thought after the session, I realized I trust on a different level with platonic friendships. I think that’s because I am super selective about who I chose as platonic friends. Not to say, I’m not with romantic interests. I select based on different criteria. I choose platonic relationships with long term goals in mind in a “friend for life kind of manner” I don’t use that thought process when selecting romantically.

“Everyone is not like the people you grew up with or was exposed to in childhood. I think you know that on a certain level. That’s because you’ve purposely selected people that were not like those people.”

Ultimately, I guess I trust my judgment when selecting platonic friends way more than I do when choosing romantic partners even though I never once picked a person that exhibited behaviors like I grew up seeing. Due to this, I must start to feel more comfortable in my judgment.

GOALS: Intimacy and friendship in ALL relationships

A part of being more comfortable in my judgment will be embracing agency and autonomy. That will include recognizing that I have more power in my choices, although I never thought I didn’t. However, I guess it was a bit of an unconscious thing. Ultimately, I think this entire process has been evolving and unfolding as a part of me coming into and realizing my true self in the past year.

“The death of your father opened you to things you may have been oblivious to previously. That was due to his strong life force. Without that, things have shifted in practically every area, for you.”

So many things have happened since the passing of my father. A huge part of that is realizing how influenced I was by his presence on this earth. I could never view that as a negative thing. Moving forward without him has allowed me to see things from a different perspective, and it’s unearthed quite a lot of things to process. Ultimately I will be moving forward with a different perspective on practically everything. Some things I know but a lot of things I will be discovering and are in very uncharted waters. Either way, I am looking forward to learning, embracing, and discovering so much without any outside influences, well-intentioned as they may well be.

“Trauma responses are due to past hurt, that lives in your brain.”

This therapy process continues to help me understand, process, and gather my thoughts around so many things that I would have never had the capacity to see, let alone comprehend. I’m sure I will continue to learn more about myself, understand my reactions to things, and recognize which behaviors are trauma responses and use those ques to alter the path, moving forward on this new journey I find myself on.

Today’s session was my 25th session, and I have an understanding of so many more things about myself today than I would have ever had if I’d not gone this route. Therapy can be challenging because it makes you self reflect, but you owe it to yourself to DO THAT WORK.

As black people, we work at education, jobs, looking good and hustling to secure our bags, but we rarely put in the type of work needed to make us better people, from the inside out. Therapy is doing that INSIDE work. We owe it to ourselves to do it.

I would love to know your thoughts on this session, therapy in general, and more about your journey in getting better in touch with who you are through therapy. Reach out, let’s chat on FBIG, and Twitter. Until then, Happy Healing.

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