My therapist asked me what I feel like regarding the fact that we decided to work more on trauma stuff. I told her that I was kind of relieved that we’ve finally arrived at the topic but that I was naturally really scared. She wanted to know what I was most scared about and I could immediately answer that: Being ashamed. There are so many things where shame overwhelms me, for me it’s one of the most uncontrollable feelings. I have this deep-rooted conviction that if any person knew everything about me they would definitely leave me which is why I have to conceal thousands of little things others could hate. This is a very typical BPD-thing so my therapist wasn’t surprised. She says that we need to start with small things and work on controlling this intense feeling of shame before we can continue. There are three things I have to try until the next session:
1: Use emergency skills when the shame is too strong, especially as I tend to dissociate when I’m really embarassed.
2: Use the safe place exercise more often. This one works great for me, I can always visualize my safe place within seconds, I just have to actually think of it more often. My therapist wanted me to describe my safe place and was quite surprised by how detailed I can see/hear/smell/feel it in my mind. She is the first person I’ve entrusted with this knowledge, I always thought my safe place might be a little weird but when she told me that she actually has a client who imagines being inside a huge mountain of cotton candy I felt that mine was actually pretty ordinary 😀
3: Make a list with things I find embarassing on a scale from 1 to 10. Just so you can imagine what we’re talking about – breathing loudly when I’m climbing stairs would be a 3, someone hearing me sing when I think I’m on my own would be 7, if not 8. And those are totally trivial everyday things, not traumatic events. I’m so scared of this, there are just so many things of which I think nobody can see them…but I also really hope that if I can work on this with my therapist, I will be less stressed by stuff that just happens. We’ll see.