I would like to tell you about a powerful woman, whose permission I received to write about in this blog.
This woman, whom we will call Nancy (the subject’s real identity has been concealed for confidentiality purposes), came to work with me 7 months ago. Nancy had experienced traumatic events that began in childhood and continued throughout her adult life. Relationships throughout her life led her to believe that she’s not worthy, not good enough, and not smart enough. Sound familiar?
In the 7 months of work together using therapeutic modalities such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Guided Imagery, and coaching, Nancy made a remarkable transformation.
- She developed a healthier sense of self
- She created stronger boundaries for people in her life who used to overstep them
- She learned to quiet down the voices of others that used to dictate what she should be doing, and she began listening to her inner voice
- She increased activities that made her feel good and decreased activities that were done for the sake of pleasing others
- She processed traumatic memories of an abusive marriage and was no longer triggered by the many triggers that were standing in the way of her day-to-day functioning
Nancy recently composed a poem describing her psychological victory over the person who was responsible for much of her trauma. I was speechless when I read it, and I believe that sharing it with the public could inspire others. It opens our eyes to the power of the human mind to persevere, succeed, and have a second chance at a healthier life. No matter how dark things may seem, the mind very much wants to heal and if given the right resources, it will find a way.
Here is Nancy’s poem:
I HAVE VANQUISHED THE DRAGON
I’m done, I’m done, I’m finally done
I have vanquished the dragon and punctured its lungs
Fire and venom that spewed without stop
Malignancy and evil that emanated from its snout
The beast is gone–vanished without trace
I’ve gouged its eyes, its intestines laid waste
No more roller coaster…. no more rides
No more sitting in the dark, contemplating suicide
In sickness and in health, for what it was worth
‘Til I no longer mattered….valued less than some dirt
But now it is over…..the torment is gone
I have faced my demon, and am ready to move on
Thank You, Creator, for this second chance
Thank You for believing in me… allowing me to take a stance
I pray I don’t disappoint You….that I meet Your expectations by far
Thank You, G-d in Heaven, for this opportunity to shine like a star
- Nancy’s strong desire and motivation to heal – She came to therapy not knowing HOW she will heal from her traumas, but she knew that she WILL heal
- The therapeutic alliance between Nancy and her therapist is very strong – From the moment Nancy began working with me, she connected to me and believed that I’m a good match for her specific needs. This helped develop a strong level of trust in the process and feeling safe to be her true self in my office. Feeling like there’s someone who really gets what you’re experiencing and knowing that you have an ally in your journey is a powerful tool that facilitates healing.
- Nancy’s diligence in doing her “homework” – Each session, she returns with accounts of what happened when she applied new skills in real life. She often reports having incredibly positive results, and when she has difficulty applying what we learned, we discuss it in the following session to help her get unstuck.
- Nancy is in charge of her therapy – Although we started with EMDR, which was very effective in processing a lot of her trauma, Nancy found that she greatly benefited from our talk sessions and requested that we transition more toward talk therapy. It is through talking that Nancy felt validated and safe, as well as learned very important skills for monitoring her automatic thoughts, changing self-harming behaviors, and applying relaxation skills when needed. We challenged her core beliefs, and she began to recognize that she’s actually quite a remarkable woman.
- When she experiences a dip in the process, she does not get discouraged – Healing is not only an upward process. Sometimes we take two steps forward and one step back. When Nancy finds herself in a situation where she doesn’t feel well equipped to handle it, she can temporarily fall back to an old thinking pattern, which in turn affects her emotions and her behavior. It’s human nature to beat ourselves up about it and say “I shouldn’t have done that”, “I can’t believe I fell right back into it”, “I thought I had changed”, etc. However, recognizing that fall backs are NORMAL, and with each time we become more and more equipped to handle this type of situation in the future, can be the key to ensuring that the steps forward exceed the steps back.
If you are currently in therapy or are considering therapy, I hope that this poem inspires you and reminds you that with the help of the right professional, you can achieve true victory over your dragon.
Tags: Get Help Israel, one woman's psychological victory, PTSD, successful therapy, therapeutic journey, trauma