Oh, it has been a challenge lately. The torment and hell I have been going through were just too much to bear.
There had been one stressful event after another since the beginning of the year. I was operating on overload and overwhelm.
Then there was the house fire across the street that was more traumatic than I thought. Then a few weeks ago, my new little kitty got hurt wrestling with one of the older cats.
Hearing that painful squeak from Onyx and seeing in his eyes how much pain he was in, about did me in. I’m very much in tune with pain and cries of an animal.
Therapy Was Not Working
Doing therapy sessions had been helping in the beginning but soon turned into a painful experience. At first, I didn’t spot it. I just thought I was dealing with so much stress and was doing the right thing to work through it. The torment and hell continued.
However, after the therapy sessions, I would get so depressed and agitated and angry. I didn’t really see what was happening. Okay, I saw it, but I wasn’t connected to it.
So each time I would go back thinking I was working through more of the rough stuff coming up, but instead, I was putting myself back into torment and hell. There was no resolution.
Disassociating In Therapy
Of course, it wasn’t as easy to see as it is writing these words. I thought I was getting better. I thought I was doing the right thing with therapy. Little did I know just how much I was disassociating.
Not only in the session but also during the rest of the week I was disassociating and disconnecting and numbing. I was not aware of what was going on like I thought I was. In the therapy sessions, I thought I was seeing things and participating in what was taking place. However, as I found out recently, I was anything but present.
I’m not sure if the therapy just wasn’t the right thing for me at that moment or the therapist couldn’t see what was happening. It was probably a combination of both things.
While I know I disassociate in life and in therapy sessions, I didn’t realize just to what degree I did that. I mean, I can go through all the bodywork moves on the table and convince the therapist that I’m present when I am not. It is probably very hard to tell, and without someone trained fully in that skill set, it is just asking to be pushed into torment and hell.
After the last session I had, I came home and was so angry and agitated, depressed and anxious. I had no desire to go on. I wanted my life to end. No one close to me was allowed to touch me. I wanted to find a cave and hide.
Anxiety From Torment In Life
My anxiety got the best of me. I began having severe anxiety going into stores or being around people. I tried to avoid it as much as I could. The final straw was spending time with a family member and almost losing complete control of my emotional side that day. The torment I was living in was just too much for me to deal with anyone in a rational way.
I had not been sleeping much and the night after the last session, I found myself (after I had done this) locked up in a spare bedroom, frightened of everything and anything. It felt as though something was lurking. Even my cats were comforting to me at that moment.
I know my husband struggled with what to do. Does he touch me and hold me or keep his distance? He was walking on eggshells around me, afraid of my anger outbursts about anything that was taking place.
Further Into Despair And Hopelessness
Each day, I went further and further into despair. I had no energy and I didn’t care if anything improved. I had lost my ability to pull myself out of this and life felt completely hopeless. The torment consumed every part of me.
Even though I tried to explain to the therapist that I was canceling future sessions and why, either my words didn’t come out right or the therapist didn’t understand. I gave up trying to explain it in frustration. I knew I was in a bad place.
It felt like there was no way out. I felt like it would be better to give up, and I was slowly moving to that outcome. Nothing anyone said was convincing to me and I just hurt, both physically and emotionally. I felt so alone and I was at a point where I didn’t want anyone to help me. In my mind, there was no sense. It was all hopeless.
Called Dr. Canali Out Of Desperation
Finally, I called Dr. Canali out of desperation and left a voicemail. I waited for his return call. It felt like forever before I heard back from him. I remember telling him I felt so fucked up (pardon my language) and like there was no hope for me. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
He listened and heard me. It was what I needed. I knew that he was there in my corner and he heard me. We agreed that I would get down to see him for a therapy session. He texted me a message that meant the world to me. “I believe in you.”
Felt Like I Was Being Heard
God, I needed to hear that. I felt like I was not being heard or supported. I felt like I was being pushed up into the torment and hell of triggers with no way out. His words meant the world to me.
It also helped that my husband was there to support me, even when I couldn’t even be there for myself. I know I put him through hell and it hurts me deeply with that realization. There just seemed to be no way out.
Sleep was difficult and so finding the energy to make the appointment with Dr. Canali and drive down there was challenging. Even the drive down was about all I could take. My anxiety was so high, I could barely stand any traffic around me.
Making it to the hotel, I was glad to hide and rest for a moment. Through that night I struggled to sleep. At one point, I got up and recorded the following symptoms so I could share with Dr. Canali.
Symptom List Of Torment
Here is a list of some of the symptoms that I was experiencing during this time of torment and hell.
After once again getting off to sleep, I was woke up to a fire alarm going off while it was still dark out. Someone had burned some food and set it off. Of course, this was just another connection to a trigger that was already snowballing through my life.
Hotel Fire Alarm Woke Me Up
Fortunately my appointment was later in the morning so I had a chance to sleep in.
Getting to Dr. Canali’s office was stressful because he had just moved and I didn’t know where I was going. In addition to the anxiety I was dealing with, the busy roads near his office drove me to the brink. I got to the office, and next door in a grocery store there was another fire engine. Great, another reminder of a trigger I badly wanted to forget. It just brought on more torment for me and I was wondering just how much I could take.
Anxiety In The Waiting Room
Sitting there in his waiting room, I was struggling. The despair and hopelessness were raging. Anxiety was at maximum output. Dr. Canali came through the door to see another patient and he took one look at me. It was then that he fully realized just how much I was struggling.
Later he told me that he could see it in my eyes as if my eyes were saying, “HELP ME.”
As I waited, the lights in the room felt like they were getting darker. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it or pass out on the floor. I’ve not had anxiety that bad for many years. I was wondering if there was a way out of this torment and hell because it felt hopeless.
I Was In Hyper Mode
When he finally came to take me back to the treatment room, I was in hyper mode. He listened to me and helped me feel validated. He kept reminding me that we will get through this, but I can’t recall all he said. My body was checking out.
I remember him working with a big heavy ball on me instead of physically touching me too much. He knew I was already overwhelmed, and so any touch by him was probably not a good thing. I could feel the weight of the ball and ground to it, rather than being in fear of being touched by someone else.
Slowly Into The Safe Place In My Body
Slowly he took me back into the safe places of my body, helping me ground to myself before he did much at all in the way of therapy. I was so far disconnected that I had to slowly come back in and not hide. He has found with me that sometimes if we do a little and then let me process it, my body will once again accept touch and help without dissociating.
Thankfully he knows how to do this because outside of him, I know no one else that can help me find my way back. I’m in tears of gratitude for what he means to my life. I wouldn’t have made it this far without him.
Seemed Like No Way Out Of The Dark Place
I knew that day I was in a very dark place and at that moment, I didn’t believe there was a way out. It was just pure torment and hell.
He asked me what events had happened and I started to rattle off a lot of stuff. He stopped me and said, “Let’s take this very slow – we’re not rushed – there is plenty of time.”
As we kept going into the session we started to bring the events up and they were challenging. It wasn’t just a fire across the street that was the issue, but the connection to past experiences. This was the trigger. It was the trigger to the moment that kicked conversion disorder in for me with the pigs in the farm fire. The fire triggered me back to the animals screaming and being badly burned with the look of terror in their eyes.
Hearing The Pain Of The Animals
Hearing their pain and seeing their eyes connected me to the moment my dogs and cats were killed, shot at, hurt, and beaten. It was all too much then and is still too much to this day. The flashbacks of those moments are nothing but pure torment and hell.
The fire also triggered me back to the house fire we had as kids. We had to run across the street to the neighbor’s house while the fire department came and rescued our house. I remember the black smoke filling everything as my mom rushed us out the door and the smoke alarms were going off.
All of these moments were difficult then and in the session, as they came up, I was struggling with them. Dr. Canali gently and slowly guided me through as he kept me feeling where I felt all of this in my body. From my stomach and abdomen with worry, to my chest with breathing and my back pain, all was connected.
I don’t recall all of what happened, but we gently went into it and this time I was more connected to it. I wasn’t lost in it. This time, I was present and connected. Dr. Canali made sure of that. There was no sense in re-traumatizing me again in the horrible experiences of torment and hell.
The Angel Appeared In the House Fire Across The Street
As we went through the fire scenario and experiences, the story of the angel came up in the house fire across the street. There was a message in it that I did not realize was important or meant for me until this session. It totally passed my awareness, but in this situation, it meant everything.
Click on the image below to read the story about the angel. It is where the torment and hell really kicked up for me in triggers.
I remember Dr. Canali telling me he would not abandon me. He would not leave me. Those words mean so much to me because I went through so much of that growing up. I struggle to believe that others are there for me and far too many abandon me.
In the afternoon session, we went further into the “stories” behind the trauma and torment. They involved my dog and how my dad shot it, along with other animals like my cats and the squirrels. All these stories connected with the fire because the animals were screaming out in pain.
I Found Healing From Despair And Anxiety And Torment
When I left Dr. Canali’s office that day, I was in a much better place than when I got there that morning. I felt much more aware and connected to myself. Anxiety, despair, and depression were radically lower. My body felt less tense and back pain had disappeared. I felt hopeful and more like talking to people – happy and eager to live life once again. I felt as if I was back home in my body.
No longer was I in a state of feeling like everything was lurking around me. I felt like I had the capacity to be around other people without wanting to hide or having a short fuse. My skin tone improved dramatically and the dryness started to disappear. My mind felt more clear and less foggy.
No longer did I want to give up, but I wanted to see what all lay in store for me. I felt more energetic, peaceful, and calm. For the first time in many days, I had a desire to eat again. Overwhelm was gone.
A Complete Shift From Torment
It was a complete shift from fear and being triggered to one of a desire to live again. I’m still amazed at how far I came in just a little time.
Dr. Canali reminded me that when our lives are in complete chaos, that is when the potential for growth is at its highest. It can take us to new heights and levels of awareness and consciousness if we allow it. We can also let it pull us completely under, which is what it was doing to me.
That night I called two people close to me and they both could tell that I sounded so much better. My husband and I reconnected because I could show up and be present. Before that, I was hurling off into the dark space where things weren’t pretty.
The Hidden Tears Showed Up
The next day, my eyes watered all the way home and it felt like I had a cold. Sometimes the release continues long after the session is over. While I realize that, these things went into the following day.
I called Dr. Canali about the watery eyes because this was something different. He had done a lot of work on my eyes. He told me that it is the tears releasing and helping the brain to release. All of that made sense and by the next day, the watery eyes had subsided.
You see, I couldn’t get myself to cry during all the torment and hell of the triggers. My body wanted to cry but no tears would show up. I had shut down my emotions because the triggers and PTSD flashbacks were too overwhelming.
I’ll be doing some bodywork therapy that does work for me and I can control more. This is one of the things we talked about in my session because I can easily feel out of control. Unless the therapist recognizes that or I can call the shots more easily, it doesn’t do much good for me.
Re-Balance And Re-Regulate
I’m still seeing my body re-balance and re-regulate. One of the things I’m doing is giving it time and space to do this. That includes spending time resting and relaxing in my hammock so I’m not rushing myself through this process.
None of what I’ve been through is easy, but I know there’s hope. I know I have someone in my corner when the going gets rough. Hopefully, I can find more ways to help deal with the triggers and flashbacks before they get this bad.
I’m grateful for those in my life that help me and remind me there is a way back home to my body. The abuse of the past took that away and it is a constant endeavor of remembering to return to my body.