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It sounds like you are making great progress! OCD is about control and it is about the fear of feelings. After all, it is an anxiety based diagnosis. But your therapist gave you good advice about your OCD. One step at a time and allow her to take on the burden of some of your fears. Just assign some of your fears to her and when you feel them, remind yourself that you gave those feelings to her for a while.
There is nothing wrong with feeling sad or upset about your sessions. Therapy brings out all kinds of feelings, whether or not your sessions feel beneficial. Therapy works regardless of how the sessions progress because you are making the effort to get better. And that is why it works no matter what. Your effort makes all the difference.
Feeling sad or upset is actually a good sign. It means you are working through your feelings. Allow yourself to experience these emotions, think about what might be causing them. I can certainly help you if you feel stuck while you do this.
You will not go crazy. There is a saying that if you are worried about going crazy, you are not crazy. That means you have too much insight into your own behavior to be crazy. Very few people qualify as crazy. And I can tell you from talking to you that you are not even close.
Feeling crazy is a common feeling with people who are working on themselves and start to get close to a break through. It means that you are poking at your defenses and you are starting to make progress. The crazy feeling comes in when you start to strip away defenses. When you think of it, defenses are what has protected you from seeing what you really feel. But defenses do not work. They cause more problems than they solve. The real feelings underneath is what you need to let back out. You have already felt them before, so they cannot hurt you. But they can feel overwhelming and that is where your therapist (and me if you would like) come in. Support is the main key to working through this.
Thanks Kate for your thoughts and support.
Nobody said therapy would be easy but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end. I just worry (constantly), that I don't have it in me to keep at it. It is exhausting work and often I leave my sessions emotinally drained.
Plus I do keep a journal and writing in it, although helpful, is also tiresome emotionally.
Your response sounds much more positive than I think I am. I realize that i have let some of my more hard feelings out before, but they still feel very fresh to me. They certainly feel like they can hurt me. Plus you are right, I do feel very overwhelmed by them at times and have no clue what to do at that point that is constructive rather than how I usually react which is destructive.
I am terrified of my feelings especially the ones about the attack. Do you think that when I do not talk about the attacks in a session this means my therapist thinks I am over them? I ask this because I know I am not. Is it important to always talk about that or is it okay if I choose to discuss other things going on in my life?
I am so tired of feeling sad and I find it disappointing to feel that way especially when I have a good session with her. I understand what you are saying though. I just feel badly so much of the time that I wish for a break from the feelings especially the sad ones. I feel weak when these ones sweep over me.
Thanks Kate for your continued support and help. I find the combination of my therapist and working with you to be very helpful especially during the time in between my sessions when it can be quite difficult for me and when I feel very alone. It is nice to think that I am not alone with such huge emotions.
You're welcome, Kathy! I am happy to be here for you, anytime.
The trauma you went through caused many deep emotions. It is quite normal for you to feel down, depressed, sad and anxious. It is also normal for you to feel anger, rage, and want revenge. The feelings probably feel fresh to you because you are just getting back in touch with them.
When trauma happens to someone, they cope in different ways. But no matter how you respond, your mind tries to protect you. The initial shock causes your defenses to go up. And depending on your coping mechanisms, your defenses may stay up (most people's do) and you have to work to allow the true feelings about the trauma to come through. This is where you are now. You are very similar to soldiers from the war, abuse victims and people who have gone through such things as 9/11.
It does not feel good to feel sad all the time. And it is hard work to go to therapy and face your feelings. But this is a process. You are healthy. You are facing your feelings. And you are consistent at trying to deal with how you feel. All of those signs mean that you will get through this and feel better someday.
Your therapist realizes that just because you do not talk about your trauma each time you see her that you are over it. You could never maintain facing your trauma that often. No one could. Your therapist knows this. You also need to work on other things you feel, because it is part of the whole picture. People are complex and so there needs to be a lot of leeway in therapy to help cope with all feelings that come up.
You are not alone with how you feel. I am glad to be here for you and help you through this. You are very brave to face what you have been through and I feel honored to be there for you.