“It feels the same, but it’s not the same.” This was the first relevant and useful suggestion I received from a therapist.
Losing control of a situation, whether not receiving an expected payment from a client, or being cut off in traffic, triggers my feelings of victimization.
Matthew, my therapist from late 2016 to the end of 2017, was the first person who worked with me to specifically deal with CPTSD. He understood the mechanism of emotional flashbacks that trigger responses before the cognitive area of our brain can sort out what’s actually happening.
This was the first validation of my experience, and it seemed to offer a tool to help me to respond to a triggering event more appropriately. This single idea, easy to remember, became a wedge to separate a contemporary experience from a conditioned response.