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No problem. I don't know that there was anything to which to respond.
I am just wasting time and procrastinating when I really have a lot of work to get done ... I am just so tired!
That is very understandable considering the stress you have been under lately. You said you were feeling pretty anxious earlier last week about the sleeping test and you were dealing with some pretty big issues last week. You probably just need some down time.
I agree, talking about how you are feeling right away instead of chatting first will help you have time to work this through.
Last weeks issues may stay with you for a while, but that is to be expected. These issues are not simple nor are they easy to deal with. It takes time to work through them. And you don't want to speed through then find out later that you have feelings come up that are unresolved.
You probably feel like crying because of the stress you have been through, how vulnerable you may have felt with the testing, and because you are tired. Being tired causes your defenses to come down and makes it harder for you to control your emotions. So if you are sad, upset or angry, you will have a difficult time holding these feelings back, as opposed to when you are rested and you can regulate your emotions better. But this can be good in a way because you will have an easier time accessing your feelings and expressing them. And crying is a good release of the stress you have been under since last week.
I agree. Now that the sleep study is over, you are "letting down" all the stress and you are able to relax. This lets your feelings come out easier. Add that to being tired and you have a situation where you want comfort and a place to let your feelings out. And right now, Linda represents comfort to you. She is safe, cares about you and can help you understand how you feel. It's a good sign that you rely on her and that you feel safe with her.
I just was starting a new thread, but after I wrote a bunch, I lost it all. But it is late, so I will have to catch up with you tomorrow. I just wanted to tell you 2 things about my appointment with Linda this evening. (1) there was no crying. I really felt I needed to, but the way the session started and proceeded, I didn't even bring up how I was feeling until the end, and we had already gone way over. We haven't set up our next appointment, She's supposed to call me. I told her I wanted to meet again this week, because I felt like I need to get some stuff out. But I don't want to have to plan an emotional "release" a week in advance or even plan it at all. It was okay before, maybe, but not okay right now; (2) she asked me if I had written down what I was thinking/feeling last week, and I gave it to her. She read it a few times and asked me some questions, then we got off track talking about our family dynamics for a long time. But towards the end, she brought it back around to that and said that it seems so important to me - such an important thing - for me to have had responsibility and, thus, control, and she really didn't want to destroy that and didn't want to take that away. She said she felt that doing so would be mean, and she didn't want to be like my "mean sister." Certainly will stop a lot of back and forth between L. and me, which is good. But my concern is that you said I have to work through that to be healthy and for it not to come back and bite me. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know if she was saying she didn't want to - but was going to do it or if she's planning to drop it now. (3) we talked a lot about family dynamics. We have talked about my parents before and their lack of emotion, etc. and have also discussed my siblings. I don't know why, but she always thinks I am the youngest child, instead fo the middle, When she describes a typical middle child, I keep telling her that was me growing up, but I think she sees me differently than I am, She asked me a ton of questions and apparently just today started to figure things out, I guess, because she kept telling me that she has a much better picture and it explains a lot. I don't know how she had a different idea of things before or what that idea was, or what this explains? I have some more to say about this and will do it tomorrow.
Well, after sleeping only about 4 hours last night, I am so tired, but I can''t fall asleep. very frustrating. I still don't understand how I cannot fall to sleep within 2 1/2 hours of taking an ambien and 3 amitriptylene. ??? I'm going to ask Dr. M. if I can just take the Seroquel every night. I know it's an antipsychotic, and I'm not thrilled about taking it - for that reason alone - but I'm only taking 25-50 mg/night and I don't seem to have any side effects.
Well, goodnight. If you are on EST, I sure hope you have been asleep for a good while now! Hope you slept well.
It sounds like you had a productive session with Linda, even though it did not go as you thought it would. Planning an emotional release is probably not going to get you as in touch with your feelings as just letting it happen would. But don't get that confused with the feeling that you need to cry. Sometimes it is just there and won't go away. It can be from getting in touch with your feelings or an issue that you need to address. Either way, if you still feel like crying next time you see her, then mention it but don't push it. The tears will come if they need to.
I need to defer to your therapist on the issue of your responsibility in the attack. Linda seems to know it's an issue but might be saying at this point, your belief that you are responsible is so strong that trying to get you to see it otherwise is not a good idea, right now. Or she could feel that it is no longer the issue it was, for whatever reason she has. The last thing I want to do is to confuse you with my input vs Linda's input. She is your therapist and therefore her treatment is primary. I did say that I felt it is important to work through your feeling of responsibility, as did Linda at one point. It is an issue but if Linda feels it needs to be on the back burner, then I need to agree.
It sounds like Linda is seeing something in you that makes her feel you have more youngest child traits than middle child traits. I agree, exploring this more with her is needed. It might help to first look into middle and youngest child traits so you can better understand what she might be seeing. Then ask her more about it the next time you see her.
Maybe you are having some trouble falling asleep because you are overtired. There has been a lot going on lately for you and it could be that your thoughts won't shut down enough for you to relax. Have you tried relaxation techniques before bed? It might help get you calm enough to sleep. And check with Dr. M about the medication. She might have something else that works or advise taking the Seroquel.
PS Thanks- I did sleep pretty well. By 2 pm, when your post came through to me, I was passed out!
Therapy is much like peeling layers. It takes time and work to get to the root of who you are and what you feel. Linda may be surprised at things you tell her because she might be making an assumption about you based on what she already knows. Then you bring up another part of you (layer) and she readjusts her perception. You may also be very practiced at hiding your feelings and your true self since you were taught as a child to do so. In your case, it may be a surprise to reveal something new because you appear on the outside much different than you are on the inside.
There is nothing wrong with where you are now in therapy. When it comes to trauma, each person heals at a different rate. You have to factor in past experiences, personality and current support system. All of these influences are different for everyone. So there is no set time for anyone to be in therapy, contrary to what the insurance companies believe!
It is normal for one trauma to define your treatment. I'm not sure you are aware of the level of trauma you went through when you were attacked. You are on the same level as a war survivor, childhood abuse survivor and someone who made it through 9/11. All of you have been faced with a life and death situation and had to react to save yourselves. Because of that, it has greatly impacted your life and changed it in a fundamental way. How you cope with that and how long it takes you to find a new normal is completely up to you. And you will know when that time comes for you. I know you are anxious to work through this and put it behind you. It's hard to face the trauma day in and day out. You are reliving the pain all the time. But this will pass. You are on a journey and it may take a while, but each step you take brings you closer to the end.
You are working plenty hard enough. It is not about how hard you work, it's about pushing ahead and making progress. Some days you make a lot of progress and others not so much. But what is important here is why you feel the need to push yourself to be normal. You are normal. You are just a normal person coping with a very bad situation.
When you think of the people that did this to you, what do you call them?
You have two different contradictions going on here. On one hand, you feel the attack was bad enough to hide it from others. You call the attackers "guys" or separate them into "the mean one" and "the other one". This is a way to distance them and the attack from you.
On the other hand, you feel the attack was no big deal and that your trauma was not comparable with other traumas. You feel you should be over this and what happened to you was an every day thing that people do anyway.
Wanting to get away from the pain is normal. Seeing what happened to you as an attack and calling the guys who attacked you perpetrators brings what they did to you too close, so you distance yourself by giving them neutral names. This is not wrong, it's just your way of coping. As long as you know why so you can work through it.
Minimizing the attack is also normal. It takes away the pain and makes it feel like something ordinary. But it was not. Your type of trauma is different than other types of trauma but the end result is the same. You feared for your life, you suffer from PTSD and the effects of what happened caused you trauma. Even if another woman was attacked by these guys, her experience would be different than yours but she would still suffer from the same level of trauma. You are not weak. You are seeking help for what you are going through and that is a sign of strength. I wonder how much of your parents issues with emotions has affected you to the point you see having emotional trauma as a sign of weakness?
People may do similar things in their sex lives, but they do it voluntarily. If they do not, it is considered rape and/or assault. What you went through was not voluntary. If it was, you would not be feeling the way you do now.