Posts Tagged ‘journaling’

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Feeling out of touch…

June 4, 2012

Ahh…here it is!

Life can be difficult enough as one who has been through serious trauma. Add to that the changes that take place in day to day life and it can be difficult at times to find my footing. It is helpful to have things I can do to help ground me and bring some continuity into my life. Most of the things that really help me, though, are still out of reach.

For example, a regular routine would be nice, along with some alone time. My hubby is finally back to work, but his schedule is as frustrating to him as it to me. His days off and hours worked on those days are always changing from week to week. He never gets two days off in a row. It makes it hard to plan when you don’t know his schedule more than a week or two in advance. They don’t even post the schedule on a consistent date.

Our son is home educated, which is fine, but he is so far behind that he will be schooling through the next couple of months. That means he won’t be able to take days off to go work for someone here and there doing odd jobs. No real alone time for me. Plus, I need to be available to help him with his schooling although, thankfully, he is able to do most of his work independently. (One bright spot, though…he will be gone for about a week sometime this month.)

I really miss being able to soak in the bathtub. I call it “cheap therapy”.  What a wonderful thing to be able to just sit behind a closed door and soak away the stresses of this life and this healing journey. It has been seven and a half years since I had regular access to a bathtub and, boy, has that been felt. I miss it SO much and, even now, just writing about it makes me want it. We have the bathtub, but it isn’t finished to the point of being able to use it.

Then there are the regular times of meeting with someone. I miss being able to just go in every week and know that I had one hour in which to talk about anything I wanted/needed to talk about. No judgment. No lack of understanding. Full acceptance. Unconditional love. To just be able to have a sounding board for the events of my life and how I was handling them. It wasn’t even about “therapy”. We both agreed that I pretty much did that on my own. It was just about being able to put my thoughts and feelings into some sort of order and be able to articulate them to someone who really cared and understood and who had the expertise and knowledge to put things in perspective.

Journaling helps, but it really does not help nearly as much if someone else isn’t reading it. In other words, writing for myself is not as effective and helpful as writing for someone else. I started journaling because life’s events were happening too fast for me to be able to share with my therapist without taking the whole session time each week. So we agreed that I would journal and email it to her so she would be caught up by session time. That really helped because she knew what was going on and she knew how I was handling it. She gave me feedback, if she felt I needed it, during the session and we could work on anything of concern. In fact, many times, she was going to bring something up, but found that I had already handled it by session time. It was important to know that someone was reading what I wrote and keeping an eye on my progress. I really miss that. Blogging is sort of like that, but not really. People may or may not respond and there is no real continuity. Plus, I don’t typically go as deep with blogging as I would with private journaling.

When I first moved here, I tried doing phone sessions. She agreed to it because we had worked together well for some time. But it was awkward. So, I tried to find a local therapist while she and I continued to talk a couple of times a year. Working with the local therapist turned into a nightmare. Even if I had the money, I am not sure I would ever work with a “local” one again. I put local in quotes because there is no such thing as truly “local” where I live. The closest ones are about an hour and half away.

I recently left a message for my former therapist to talk with her again. I have NO idea how I will be able to afford it, but I am asking her about the cost of maybe a once a month time of talking. I really feel as if I need to be able to check in with someone on a regular basis and I just don’t know of anyone like that around here. Naturally, I prefer face to face, but phone will have to do. Although, after reading the post by Dr. Kathleen Young that I shared two posts back, now I am wondering if maybe she has Skype. It would be SO nice to be able to see her, as well as talk to her again.

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Phew!

August 25, 2011

I finally finished the Webinar presentation for this weekend. I don’t typically like to cut it this close, but life has been happening.

The good news is that my hubby got a job. Yay! Things will still be incredibly tight for a while, but at least we are looking at a future and potential raises. I applied for a job and did NOT get it…which I am fine with, especially now.

The place we are living in is still unfinished…and while be for a LONG while. It takes money and time to finish it and we have neither. In fact, the time factor just went WAY down with hubby working…but I would rather have him working.

That also means one less person in the house during the day. I am introvert. Need I write more?  Awhile back I ran across a post titled 10 Myths About Introverts . It is an excellent article. Boy, do I relate! Having just one more person out of the house really makes a difference for me. I am still not alone, but I am one down. Woohoo! I do love him, but I live with one extrovert and another extrovert in the making.

Well…I am signing back off. The Webinar this Saturday is called Journaling: Going Beyond the Book. It deals with non-traditional types of journaling and, if you hurry, you can still sign up for it. Just go here. They have a sliding scale fee and, if you can’t afford anything at all, you can ask for a scholarship. All money goes to the support of Survivorship.

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Benefits of Journaling in Healing – Forum Journaling

March 20, 2009

Another form of journaling is forum journaling. There are forums which are basically groups of people who post/write together on one site. Usually, these are people who share some common interest or experience. The ones I am talking about are the ones populated by survivors.

Some forums are open, which means that anyone can read it, although you typically have to register to post there. Some forums you have to register even to read. With forums where you register, there can be different levels of privacy. With some, since anyone can register, you really don’t have any privacy. Anyone who registers can see what you write. The forums that offer the greatest privacy are ones where you have to apply. You register and then request admission to the forum. There is an admin, which could be a single person or a group, who decides if you should join or not. If it is a go, they set it so that you can get into the forum.

I have been on several survivor forums now. Most have different levels of privacy. They have tiers, or levels. You gain access to the first level and, once everyone is satisfied that you are “safe”, you can gain access to another level. Sometimes the other levels have to do with different issues. For example, you might want to be part of a level that deals with eating disorders, but maybe you don’t need the one that deals with self injury. Forums tend to have different folders for different things ranging from the light hearted with jokes and games to gut level serious processing and journaling.

As with anything dealing with the internet, there is really no guarantee of 100% privacy. There is always a backup on a server somewhere. There are always administrators of the sites that host the many different forums out there who can, if they need to, get into the forum. After all, they run the software for the site and need to be able to get into every part of it to fix things. Yes, even software can break, especially if there is an upgrade!

I think, though, that the vast majority of people tend to mind their own business and stay out of sites that require that permissions be given. Clearly, the most secure forum would be one on a private server where limited people have access. However, so long as info is traveling across cyberspace, there is always a chance it can be snagged…although the likelihood is pretty slim. Most of us live pretty uninteresting lives!

The nice thing about forum journaling is that others can read it and respond to it…if you wish. I have found it very helpful when I have written about things I have experiened, or am experiencing, to have others who have had similar experiences able to come alongside and assure me that I am not alone. They have shared what helped them to get through it. They have cheered me on. How powerful that can be! Sometimes, it is simply fulfilling the need to be heard, believed and accepted.

It takes a lot of trust to journal where others can read it. That is one reason that many forums of this nature are private and why there are levels. Survivors have been deceived so many times. There is a built in wariness that comes from the abuse…and rightfully so. There are people out there who love to take advantage of the brokenness of survivors. They will try to manipulate and reabuse them.

I have found that I heal the most, and the fastest, when I can have the highest levels of trust in the ones around me. That is not to say that I have not had that trust abused. I have been betrayed…and seriously so…on forums. However, I find that I would rather take the risk to trust and gain healing than to not trust and lose out on the healing opportunities.

Now, I am certainly not an advocate for blind trust. I totally believe in being cautious. I also don’t believe that any one place is 100% safe…that there can be no infiltrators. I just think that we each have to weigh things out and decide if there is an acceptable risk. If you decide that there is, there can be a lot of blessings in forum journaling. I have found a lot of the feedback that I have received to be invaluable. I have also developed friendships along the way, although some have been temporary.

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Benefits of Journaling in Healing – Private Journaling

March 20, 2009

I have found journaling to be very helpful in my healing. It allows me a way to get my thoughts out where I can see them. This sometimes helps me to make sense of the things that go swirling around in my head. It helps me to process through things I am feeling or experiencing…things I am going through.

Oftentimes, too, I will write one thought only to have another one triggered. This has led me down trails and into all sorts of insights about myself. I am often amazed at what I can learn…simply by journaling.

I like to do free flow writing in which I just start with whatever is on my heart and mind and write whatever flows out from that. I like to just start and see where it goes…without being concerned about grammar and spelling and all that.

My journaling has taken many forms. In the beginning it was simply a pass coded document on my PC. The main reason I started it was because my family and I were getting hit so hard and so heavily that it was taking most of each weekly session to just catch my therapist up on what had happened since we had last met. So, when I suggested journaling and emailing it to her, she said to go for it. This freed up valuable time with her during my sessions.

Another benefit is that it also gave her a chance to see my heart…to see just what all was going on inside. I wrote a lot and I was able to share way more with her that way than I could possibly have done in sessions. I really owe her a lot. She read volumes of journaling from me, in addition to seeing all of my artwork (which is a subject for another post). It gave us a place to start from in sessions.

It also gave her a lot of solid information about me so that, when some horrific accusations were leveled against me, she knew me better than anyone…perhaps even better than I knew myself. We were able to work together, building on that foundation, to get down to whether or not there could be any truth in the accusations. In other words, could it be possible that someone who does not lose time could actually have a dark alter who persistently came out and made phone calls (that did not show up on the phone bill) and wrote Instant Messages and emails (neither of which showed up in the archives) that intentionally contained trigger words for the express purpose of hurting friends who trusted her…without her, her therapist or her husband (who was off work, oftentimes around and a light sleeper to boot) to not have even an inkling or clue of? I am so grateful for that foundation of journaling while I was trying to unravel what was happening at the time.

The whole thing raised so many agonizing questions about myself. It really shook me to think that it might actually have been possible. As it turns out, my therapist had been watching all along for any signs…any indications…that there could be a side of me that we did not know about coming out. She had been watching during sessions and watching in my journaling and artwork. I did not consciously know she was doing that as we never discussed it until the whole issue came up. However, I think I did recognize that she probably was because it makes sense for her to do that. Thankfully, she never saw any indication of any alters doing anything that I was not fully aware of, which also meant that there were no dark alters surfacing.

In my next post, I will get into another form of journaling.

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