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***Mention of CSA***

Hey friends,
I am wondering if this happens to any of you? I'm sure it does, b/c I have read about it before but I just need to ask specifically. After I share something with T that was traumatic regarding CSA, I am so terrified afterward that she will think about what I have told her over and over until she decides she just can't handle hearing anymore, or seeing me anymore. I worry if it is the worst thing she has ever heard. Because if it's not the worst thing, then she can handle it, but if it is the worst thing then it might be her breaking point. She reassures me over and over that she is not going anywhere. Sometimes (like this last time) she teared up when telling me that her heart hurts for me and that she was so angry for the disgusting person that did this. I end up thinking that if what I tell her, makes her heart ache and makes her angry then why would she put herself through that? I don't want to make her heart ache or make her feel angry. My fear is more related to the week in between when I see her again that she will think about the details of and it will too much for her. Even if she believed in the moment of session that she was ok, during the week she may change her mind.

I don't know if this makes any sense?
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I feel this way alot. I know my Ts heart aches for what I go through on a daily basis being a "survivor". I just have to talk to myself ALOT and tell myself that T is strong enough to handle my pain, that she can handle the words I speak and the secrets and the pain that I share with her. For me it comes down to trusting T with my feelings and myself and knowing that my pain is not to great for to handle and that she loves me despite my pain. I remind myself that it feels odd to have to someone listen to me, to see my brokeness and to feel safe.
I end up thinking that if what I tell her, makes her heart ache and makes her angry then why would she put herself through that?

I felt this way a lot in the initial throes of ET. I was terrified that my T was experiencing the same apprehension, aversion and confusion that I was - plus the uneasiness of dealing with a client with such intense feelings.

Then, one day, this thought just clicked in my brain: It's not the same for him. Because I was opening up a lot of trauma, and investing a lot emotionally in my therapy, my feelings seemed consuming and overwhelming. But for my T, this was just a day at the office.

I actually brought this up to him, and he confirmed my conclusion. He said that while he is also emotionally invested, the stakes for each of us are very different. He understands (and empathizes with) what I feel, but he doesn't feel what I feel. So for him, it is much easier to handle.

(He actually told me, "Doing this work with you is easy." He's also assured me that he's not going anywhere.)

Ts may cry, their hearts may ache, but their level of heartache is different. They know this painful place we're in is a bump in the road, not the final destination. They're looking at this situation from the other side, months and years into the future, where we've exited survivor mode and entered into full, healthy living. They know because many of them have taken the journey themselves. And that's why the good ones are not just able, but also willing to sit with our pain: they know it's not the end.

A good T will also engage in a lot of self-care, and has more resources to do so. Your T does think about you outside of session, but it's probably not to dwell on the details of your trauma. She's thinking about your present situation and how to help you into the future. So don't worry: whatever you say is not too much for her to handle.

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