I came across this picture today & I thought how gorgeous she was. I've missed my mermaids, I owe them a lot, I still carry them around with me but not in the way I used to.
In my PTSD sessions, the counsellor would ask me to take myself back to a happier place, visualisation, except that for some reason I couldn't. I could only remain stuck in the one place and time that was my trauma.
I'm a great believer in self help however, that's what made me feel so sad when I knew I'd reached a point where I needed to reach out for help in dealing with my PTSD. Because up until my trauma I'd always thought of myself as "superwoman" able to multitask, able to pick up the pieces.
So it made me think about what I could find instead if I couldn't visualise... The first thing I realised was that I am a sensitive emotional person. Meaning, I need to hold something, I need to feel something. That is why visualisation was so difficult.
Instead I thought about what I loved, blues and greens, the colour of the sea, the ocean. Mermaids.
On line I searched, for different mermaids, lots of lovely pictures that showed mermaids in different ways, a sleeping one, one looking away, one rising up through the water, one that looked like a warrior, one who looked glamourous, pretty, laughing, thoughtful.
I printed the pictures out and cut them onto small pieces of card. I took care with this and I gave it everything I had. I gave the mermaids my love.
And they helped me. I would turn them over so I couldn't see the mermaids, I would shuffle them, I would turn the cards depending on what number day it was and then turn the card over... Whatever mermaid it showed me I decided was how I was going to live my day. So if it was warrior mermaid, I would stand my ground that day, if it was sleeping mermaid, I knew that I should rest and not let things get to me.
It helped so much, it was my own coping mechanism when I started leaving my house to go out again, when I started to live my life again instead of being stuck in the bubble that PTSD puts us in.
A mermaid is also the tattoo that I have on my wrist. That in itself marked another important step in my PTSD recovery in a world where we seek to make sense of what happened and try to blame ourselves for it, for not being to make it not happen.
If you have any similar issues and you also struggle with visualisation, try this technique instead. It doesn't have to be mermaids. It could be flowers, or birds, or something more diverse.