I understand your conflict. But I wonder who told you that there is a time limit on how long you are allowed to feel bad about something from the past? Does that mean that once a certain period of time is passed, you have to stop feeling anything about what happened?
Why is it surprising to you that you feel upset about the place the attack happened? Do you feel places are not meant to remind you of things that happened when you were there? If you follow that type of thinking, then any places in your life would hold no meaning to you at all. By neutralizing the place the attack occurred, it does not change anything. It still happened whether it was there or somewhere else. By visiting the place, you can use the feelings that come up to help you process your emotions and work through them. This is not weak or wrong. But by distancing yourself from the place, you try to feel less vulnerable. That is understandable. This is not easy to face. And that is what makes you strong and right to do this.
You might be feeling down and dark because you are battling yourself over how you feel. Part of you is listening to your parents message that you are not ok for how you feel. But your emotionally healthy part is pushing through wanting to help you feel this and heal. And the two together are creating conflict and making you feel upset about which way to go. You are switching between the two. Seeing the site that the attack happened has highlighted this conflict. By going there, you brought up your feelings about what happened. The nightmares are a sign of that you tried to repress of your feelings. And the displacement of your feelings onto me also says that dealing with how you feel as a result is difficult. And that is ok. By "blaming" me, it makes it easier to say it's my fault that you are experiencing strong feelings about the place rather than owning those feelings. Because for you to own the feelings, in your mind it makes you weak and vulnerable. Wanting to numb yourself is also part of wanting to repress. But it is also a way to try to get away from the pain, which is natural. This is good, Shay. It does not feel good, but from an emotionally healthy point of view, you are heading in the right direction.
Why do you feel you do not deserve forgiveness? God is equal with everyone. And who is confessing? You did not do anything wrong. Forgiving yourself maybe for what happened, but other than that you did nothing wrong.
Shay, you need to know what you are experiencing is very normal. You are not odd, wrong or complaining. Letting these feelings out is good, anyway you need to. And it will get better. It's hard to say when because working through this depends on a lot of unpredictable factors, but every step you take brings you closer.
There is nothing wrong with how you feel so please don't feel sorry for it. You are allowed to feel however you need to. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about what you are experiencing. This is your journey, not someone else's. It seems from what you are saying that you expect others to judge you and to have an opinion about what you are feeling. But no one else went through this with you, so no one else gets to have an opinion of anything you feel or how long it takes you to work through this.
You do not need God's forgiveness. What I originally said was "God would not have given you the ability to feel if you were not meant to use it. And he would not have given Jesus if we were not meant to be forgiven and be blameless." Whatever you feel your sins were in what happened, it is time to forgive yourself and let go of blaming yourself. Because if Jesus can forgive you for anything, then you can forgive yourself for anything you think you might have done. And you did not do anything wrong. But you seem to feel as if you did. Letting that go is an important part of your recovery.
It is a new concept to you that your parent's taught you to repress and blame yourself for everything, I agree. But hearing it and accepting it are two different things. I'm not sure if you see how much what they did influences your thoughts and feelings about what you went through. It is there, woven into your self blame and how you express your feelings. Being aware of it helps, but accepting that it is blocking your progress is another. And that is what I was trying to clarify with you.
Sharing with your parents would not be an option, I know. It is the desire of any adult who has suffered through trauma to have a parent care enough to support them and help them through. And that is a loss for you. Your parents refuse to be there for you and understand what you need. It can add to the pain of what you feel. It might help you to spend some time soothing your inner child. If you could help her, what would you, the adult Shay, do for her? What would you say? How would you show her you care?
You are not going to explode although you may feel that way. It is your feelings coming to the surface that causes you to feel like this. And since you are used to repressing your feelings most of your life, having these feelings come out now is going to seem overwhelming. But you are not crazy, losing control or falling apart. You will not do any of those things. Eventually, you will work through these feelings and they will become less and less intense.
By the time you talk with Linda tomorrow, you may feel differently than you do now so it depends what is foremost on your mind at the time of your appointment. You can try sitting down and writing out whatever comes to your mind from the past week. If you had to pick highlights, what would they be? And what feelings do you associate with those highlights? You may find that you have so much to talk about that it'll take a few sessions to work through it!
Good night, Shay. I hope you have good dreams.
You're welcome! I hope your night went well.
I understand your frustration. But your feelings are part of you, not a separate entity to be discarded or shut off. They are going to be there even if you do try to repress them.
Your feelings are an integrated part of you. They are how you look at what happened to you. The issue here is that you were taught to equate your feelings with fear and punishment. You were never allowed to develop and learn how to handle your feelings as a child. There wasn't anyone there to sooth you when you felt upset, calm your fears or help you learn how to cry. The answer to all your feelings was that they are bad and need shut down. So strong feelings, like the ones you have now, are completely overwhelming to you.
The feelings that make you most frightened are the ones that make you grow the most. The feelings you have now are the deepest and most frightening emotions you have. And you are trying very hard to defend yourself against them by throwing up all the barriers you can think of. Right now, it's anger. Anger at yourself through your inner child and young adult self.
It may help you to work on learning to accept your feelings. Like I mentioned, your feelings are a part of you and they are not going anywhere. You have a choice to either accept them or spend the rest of your life trying to repress them. Trying to make them a separate part of you is only going to make it harder for you to work through your feelings and recover. And one day you will recover from this and get the quite calm back into your life.
Right now it doesn't seem worth it. The nightmares I was having weren't as bad, and I didn't have them all the time. I can tolerate having them for a few months at a time. I don't think I can or want to tolerate this, though.
I don't understand --- I have a really high IQ. Why can't I sort out basic emotions? I am absolutely overwhelmed and the only thing I can think of to do is to push everything away. I know now that I should have dealt with it back then, but I didn't, and I can't change that, and now I am being punished, and I feel like I just continue to screw myself over. How did everything become such a mess?
I know it doesn't seem worth it. What you are feeling is overwhelming and it's exacerbated by the guilt and shame you feel expressing your emotions. It's not an easy place to be in.
Understanding your own emotions has nothing to do with your I.Q. Being highly intelligent helps you when you need insight, but unless you are willing to allow your feelings in, the intelligence doesn't help.
You are not a mess, Shay. You are just experiencing your feelings. But instead of letting them in and accepting them, you try to intellectualize them and push them away. If you can't do that, you blame yourself and try to convince yourself this is a punishment. As a result, you are going in circles rather than working through how you feel.
You are looking at the whys of your situation without looking at the solution itself. The solution is to work through the feelings, to allow yourself to integrate with your emotions. Telling yourself that you are to blame, shaming yourself and pursuing intellectual thinking only leaves you in a painful position. You feel the emotions but you fight to push them away so you cannot move forward. You stay in one spot feeling horrible about yourself and your life.
The next time you experience a defense, try backing down instead. For example, if you feel sad about what you went through instead of fighting it with intellectualizing or blaming, practice letting the feeling in by saying "it's ok to feel the way I do" and "I may feel afraid but my feelings cannot hurt me". It might be hard at first, but with practice it will get easier.
I received an email that said you had posted but our thread does not show the post. Are you doing ok?