*My trust wound tells me other people are not safe. It tells me that I will be hurt and abandoned by people who are important to me. It triggers a very strong instinct to protect myself. This feels safe but it also shuts down connection. This results in a sense of rejection and abandonment because I don’t let people in. This proves my theory that people will hurt me and aren’t to be trusted.*
With the help of a lot of amazingly insightful people, my reaction to yesterday’s session now makes a lot more sense.
I have a very sensitive trust wound that is massively triggered by my attachment with Anna. (A really useful thing I learned is that we have different attachment styles with different people, what triggers me with certain people is not an issue with others… this seems obvious now but it kind of blew my mind!). Deep down inside me I still believe Anna will hurt me or leave me (to simplify things she triggers my mother wound – big time). Despite my adult managing to form a trusting connection with her, there is still a lot more work to do. The parts that hold most of the trauma went into hiding over the holidays. Which is why I felt mostly secure and calm. The night before my session, the young parts felt very excited about seeing Anna again (maybe because that is the only time they are fully seen). Then when I (we?) got to her office, in a millisecond without me even realising, the protective part of me switched in.
As a very insightful person commented on my previous post – Little Lucy hid behind Adult Lucy’s legs as the adult took over. ‘I’ll go first to check she’s still a safe person…’ then Anna and Adult Lucy got carried away with all the chat about work etc and Little Lucy got left behind, forgotten about. It wasn’t until I was out at my car again (safe) that I felt her ache and longing. But I interpreted that as, ‘I imagined the connection, Anna never cared about me, this is just her job and I am just her client and she just uses techniques to trick me into thinking she cares about me… I’d be a fool to fall for it and let her in!’ This brought on the panic and disappointment… hello inner critic!
Realising that I’d reverted back to being guarded reminded me that the softer, younger parts of me desperately need physical evidence of safety before they can get their needs met. I felt better knowing that Anna was probably responding to my outer displays of a need for protection by holding back a bit to ensure I felt safe… except it had the opposite affect. When Anna replied to my text offering me a phone call it provided evidence that she does care. I told her I didn’t need a call after all. I said, ‘I was really worried because I didn’t feel as close a connection with you yesterday and left feeling so much worse than I’ve felt for the past two weeks. I thought something had changed with you and how you feel about me but I journaled about it last night and I’ve woken up with a different perspective. I think unintentionally I was more guarded and the break had maybe made a part of me go into hiding. I’ve decided it’s important even in the sessions where my adult is the one that’s doing all the talking, my child needs to see and feel that we’re ‘okay’ and that might mean you always sitting closer to me or something. It is important but I’m happy to wait and talk about it on Saturday.’ She replied saying. ‘I’m glad you’re feeling more settled this morning. We can talk on Saturday to ensure that not only your Adult is supported, that your child is not excluded and feels supported also. Take care and hope you’re first week back goes well too.’
I’ve learned that when my trust wound is triggered, I get very protective and I am almost blind to the reality of the situation. I shut people out, the inner critic makes me believe no one cares and I panic because I feel alone and rejected. The thing that I did differently (provoked by a lot of awesome people sharing their perspective on what was happening) is that I reached out to Anna, I took a leap into trust-ville and explained what was going on. Which gave her the opportunity to prove to me that she is still here, she does still care and she is willing to help me work through this. I didn’t abandon myself… I was my own advocate. There is no way I could have done something like this a year ago. I was too frightened to be that vulnerable. This platform has enabled me to share (anonymously) my experience which has shown me I’m not alone in my experience. It’s also invited other people’s perspectives in which has given me a fresh insight. I’m feeling super proud and super grateful right now!