[New Born Story 8] "I found my true self behind the trauma"

This is a letter from a previous client who graduated the Prolonged Exposure Therapy for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  

Anonymous

I still vividly remember the first day I met my clinician. It was when I would still shake by simply seeing the subway station related to the trauma. Back then, taking the subway to go to the Tree Group was a big challenge for me.  

I remember crying every day after starting the prolonged exposure therapy. I cried during the therapy session, cried while doing homework… every single day during the 12 weeks were full of tears. Intentionally recalling the trauma for exposure was never easy. I had so many moments of urge to quit the therapy. But I was able to take hold of my heart with support and encouragements from people around me.  

“But I was able to take hold of my heart with support and encouragements from people around me.”

I no longer feel intimidated when I encounter men with similar age, body shape, and appearance as the attacker. When I dream about the trauma, I just forget about it and let it fade. Initially, I thought I would never be able to overcome the trauma. Nevertheless, the trauma no longer takes control of my life. 

I once thought that I would never be able to free myself from the haunting memory of the trauma. I considered it to be all I had. I thought the trauma defined who I am. But it was not true.  

I found out that I am a person with various sides. I laugh about small things, I am quiet and calm but can be playful in times, I enjoy reading books, and I can also act charming. I was able to find my true self behind the trauma.  

 

* We are sharing the testimonials of the Tree Group Psychological Clinic participants upon their consent.