Today was my sixth session of Somatic Experiencing® -SE®. My Therapist (T) asked me how I was. I said that I felt 'wired' that I had felt myself dissociate slightly, leaving above my body previously in the day and that now I had tension in my whole left side from the tip of my head down through my face and into the left side of my left neck and arm. I reported it was an unpleasant sensation, but that the rest of my body felt "good" and comparatively "OK." We talked a little about whether I had been abused, physically or sexually and I answered.
I had started the session on the floor with my back against the wall and my legs outstretched. T suggested that I moved to a very cushioned area of the room and heaped as many cushions as possible so that if I were to fall I would feel safe. I sat with my legs crossed. T noticed that I was sunk into my left hip. I said that this was a common posture that I adopted, even whilst sitting at my desk. T asked how I felt. I said that I felt an almighty pull to the left lead from the head. T asked me to imagine that there was a spring of equal force attached to the right side of the room that could equally pull me back to the right. T also gave me a towel to put under my right hand so that I could gain sense of presence if I became too involved in the unraveling trauma. I asked whether it was OK to get upset and that I was worried I would get too upset or out of control and that I felt afraid. T said that the idea was not to take me so into the trauma that I got to that stage and that we needed to do this work very very slowly, millimetre by millimetre so that overwhelm and overload were not the case otherwise we were allowing the nervous system to continue going around the same loop it had been for many years. The idea being to very slowly, and in a very controlled way, let the body go through the essential process of discharging this energy and physiology to re-set the nervous system. T requested that T be the one to tell me when I was to start either rotating to the left or falling to the left. I agreed to do this and that I would stop the millisecond something became difficult.
My first attempts just ended in me 'spasming' (twitching) and having to stop. T kept bringing back into the present, and into the room. On other attempts I would end up feeling strangled. We stopped the SE® work for a moment and I told the story about one of (two or three) reasons for this held trauma, one story being the most plausible. That story is not for the blog, but we continued to talk and were going to continue the SE® work, but I had to urgently use the bathroom. I realized that I would certainly not have had the option of using the bathroom whilst I went through what I experienced (at the time).
When I returned from the bathroom, T decided that we should conclude the session for the day. I felt a little mixed by that, almost confused, but also dazed and quite exhausted, so perhaps that decision had been for the best. For another two hours following the session I still felt "in it" to some degree and did not leave my place of work (a holistic health care centre) until I felt safe to do so. Even so, I managed to change onto the wrong bus and had a somewhat delayed journey home.
Now that I am writing this up, I feel quite sad. There is obviously more to uncover and T and I will do this during my next session in two week's time. I quite possibly need some processing time and also now some well-deserved rest.