Sometimes the past just won’t let you go.
I had finally broken free from an abusive marriage – I got a divorce, moved back to Arizona, and to all outward appearances, was moving on with my life.
I wish it was that simple.
I Was Stuck Because the Pain From My Trauma Would NOT Go Away
Even after almost a year of regaining my “freedom”, I still felt bogged down and burdened by so many uncontrollable negative feelings –
- Shame –How had I ever let myself be treated like that?
- Guilt –Had it all been MY fault?
- Regret – I had wasted almost 4 years of my life.
- Self-esteem – Had I DESERVED it?
- Depression –Who could ever love me now? I was “damaged goods”.
- Anxiety – I was afraid all the time.
Except for work, I almost never went anywhere or did anything. I was such a mess that my family started to worry about me. Finally, my sister said I should call a place that had helped a friend of hers.
Trauma Therapy in Phoenix Was NOT What I Expected
To be honest, I had ZERO idea of what trauma counseling would entail. Sure, I guessed that I was supposed to talk to someone about what was bothering me, but I wasn’t sure how they were supposed to help me.
I actually felt kind of silly and guilty seeking professional help just because I was unhappy after my divorce. Wasn’t that how I was SUPPOSED to feel?
When I met my therapist, she surprised me by NOT immediately prying into my past. Instead, she only seemed interested in how I was feeling right now and how I was dealing with those feelings – was I eating, was I sleeping, was I self-meditating with alcohol or drugs, etc.
She said that above all else, she wanted to make sure that I was safe.
That took me by happy surprise. It actually made me feel like my well-being was a priority to someone. I hadn’t felt that in a very long time.
I Found an Arizona Trauma Treatment Program That Worked for ME
Of course, we eventually got to my personal history and how it was still affecting my life. Over the next couple of sessions, my therapist assisted me in setting up step-by-step goals that would help me let go of the burden that I was carrying around.
Best of all, she knew several therapy techniques that each helped me in their own way, and which allowed me to progress at my own pace, with no added pressure.
- I could tell MY story –I learned how to process each painful experience as something that had HAPPENED, instead of as something that was HAPPENING. My trauma was in the past and didn’t have to control my present or determine my future.
- I could have REAL emotions–When I was married, I learned to keep everything bottled up, or else risk becoming an even greater target. I was taught that whenever I felt old feelings overwhelming me, it was all right to cathartically release that negative energy by crying or even yelling.
- I could be MINDFUL of my own feelings– I learned that by having better awareness of my own physical and mental states, I could identify problematic feelings and take positive action before they got out of control.
- I could allow myself to be HAPPY– I came to understand that I was not to blame for my traumatic experiences, and more importantly, that I was worthy and deserving of a happy life.
I’m glad I decided to seek trauma counseling in Arizona. I feel blessed that my therapist at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling approached my recovery from trauma with such patience and understanding. It has taken time and has required a lot of hard work, but I feel more like a complete person than I have in years.
And for that, I’m grateful.