It just feels so wrong being moody ad upset all the time. Although I can be a royal b**** sometimes, I am generally a really positive person. But I appreciate that you are trying to help me fid ways to feel better.
I just wasn't sure if what you said about my hanging around older women to get what I didn't get from my mom was normal, and your statement that the sexuality issue was normal, too, were true. Because if it is something I need to resolve in therapy, how can it be normal? And how can it be normal for me to be trying to gain maternal affection or whatever from older female friends when I am 40 years old be normal?
I'm not sure I understand exactly what you mean when you said that the fact that Linda is my mom's age was actually a good thing. Can you explain this more?
I also am not sure what you mean when you said: "You and Linda can use this to help you explore this need." Can you explain this further, as well? How would we use that? Also, I'm not sure if Linda makes the connection yet. I have for a while now. As soon as we started talking about how my mom was not totally emotionally "there" as a mother should be (and Linda and I had discussed that before, when we talked about why I didn't tell them what happened and their reactions when I did, as well as how she responded when the thing happened to her daughter), I gathered that my being drawn to older women must be related to that. But Linda hasn't really said anything about it. Except she asked how P was with me, and asked if it was hard for me to get used to such an affectionate and loving person. I told her no - that I really liked it. But we also talked about it a little when I told her I was confused and had been confused about my sexuality.
Do you think that my sexual confusion comes from what happened in college or how my mom was or a combination?
I do understand what you said about my picking her, in part, because subconsciously I felt comfortable with her because she was a female and my mother's age, and I think you are right. And I understand what you say about the fact that I am surrounded by people my mom's age and that this tells me how deep my need is to be maternally cared for. But is that healthy? And am I unintentionally being manipulative because I subconsciously "want" something from P and my other older friends? And isn't it a bit unfair of me to expect - whether consciously or unconsciously - my friends to act as a mother to me? Linda, of course, would have boundaries, but I can tell you from experience that others don't. Like P. - her instinct is to be maternal, in general. I am actually younger than her kids. So she does act maternal to some extent with me. In a lot of ways - like doing my ironing, cooking for me, etc. (don't get me wrong - it's not a one-way street. I do other stuff for her that she can't or doesn't like to do). But also, when I am sick, she is very caring and takes care of me, and if she hears me have a nightmare, she will wake me up and will hug me and sit there with me until I calm down. And when I am upset, she is very caring. And I have to say - I like that. It is nice to have her treat me that way. And I'm sure it is because I never had that. But now that we're talking about all this stuff, I wonder if that's healthy or fair to her. I love her. She's been my closest friend for the last 8 or so years. And her family treats me like family, which is nice, since my whole family lives across the country. But should I change the way I interact with her?
It does kind of help to know this is normal to feel this bad. But it doesn't make me feel a lot better. I have worried since this happened about my being "normal" and especially since I started therapy. I'm not sure why that matters to me - except that if what I am going through is typical or is normal, then I can rely more on you and Linda and Dr. M's experience. It's not like you guys have not seen it before or know about this kind of thing. Can I ask you something? Have you ever had a therapy client who had a similar experience to mine? If so, how did she deal with it initially, and how did things turn out? I know everyone's different, but part of it has got to be what actually happened, right? So, have you ever dealt with someone who went through a similar thing?
Linda keeps telling me that I don't understand how severe an "attack" this was and how violent and stuff, and that it was much more than a r***. Dr. M told me all sorts of things she has heard from people - stuff with animals, ritual abuse, etc. (she said this when I asked her if she thought it was common for guys to use foreign objects). I know things could have been a lot worse, and I know it would be so much worse if it had been someone I knew or trusted or if I had been a child or if it had been long-term abuse.
But I'm not sure whether it makes me feel better to think it could have been a lot worse or not. On the one hand, it makes me feel a little better knowing that people go through similar or a lot worse things and end up being fine eventually. But on the other hand, when Linda says it was really bad, it makes me at least feel that it is not so pathetic for me to not be over it. I don't know.
I know you say burying the feelings is worse --- but from my current perspective, it seems that things were much better and easier to handle when the feelings were buried. The nightmares, it turns out, were a small price to pay.
I also understand what you are saying about letting myself feel bad. Your explanation makes sense. Is it kind of like if it all is allowed to come out, the pain won't last as long? Like pulling off a band-aid? But I WANT to feel better. I don't want to feel bad anymore and feel so negative. Anymore, when I'm feeling this bad, I am unable to act like everything is great. I find it harder and harder to hide my feelings from everyone else. I can do it in spurts (like - I'm not going to show it with clients or in court or something), but I find it takes so much energy, that when I am not in that kind of situation, I find it difficult to totally hide things. Is that normal?
And I never thought about it until you said it in your post today - but you are right -- - thinking I need to feel better is putting a lot of pressure on me. And I DO feel like I should be over it quickly (over it already), and it stresses me out that I'm not. It just makes me feel more weak. But I guess it makes me feel a little better to know it's not healed so fast. But could you tell me what "not so fast" means, in terms of time? :)
And I also agree that this is probably even more uncomfortable to me because feeling feelings, let alone expressing them, is counterintuitive to me. I'm not used to it, and it feels wrong. But I am getting to the point now where sometimes I don't have a choice. And it DOES take a lot of energy to fight it.
It seems weird for you to talk about "abuse" in relation to my childhood. Linda has never used that word. She is getting stronger and stronger in her opinions of my parents' emotional health and treatment of me, but I don't think she's used that word. Would you really consider my childhood as "abusive"? Do you think it was mild? Severe? This is so strange to me. And I don't want to blame my mother or father or anyone else for anything in my life - I have a strong sense of personal responsibility - but all this stuff you have been explaining certainly explains a lot. And it makes me feel not as bad about things I wanted when I was younger and even want now that I thought were unreasonable, selfish, or just abnormal.
I know God is with me. But I sometimes feel like I have to do this on my own because I got myself into this mess and need to get myself out. I know that is not His nature. But that's how I feel sometimes. And thank you for explaining how things will be when this is all done. It sounds like it will be kind of like when I went on the ADD meds - this fuzziness in my brain, which I never even knew was there - was all of the sudden lifted and things were much clearer. I walked around for a week thinking "I can't believe this!"
The funeral was not for someone close. In fact, I had never met him. It was the son of one of my friends from church. He was only 39 and had some rare disease, and he died within about 6 months. He lived in CT, and this was a memorial basically for the family. I feel so bad for his mom. She's a great person and I know she must be so heartbroken.
The St. Patrick's day music thing went fine today. It was kind of fun, actually. We went to eat after and so it took almost all day. C kept saying that he thought I should hang out with them all day, so I wouldn't have time to be worried about my sleep test tonight. I tried to tell him - several times - that I wasn't really worried about it. The first one was so much better than I thought it would be, and I wasn't too worried about this one. But it was a nice thought.
That's where I am now. I have wires all over me, but they haven't hooked me up to the machines yet. Fun times! Speaking of which, I need to get ready because they'll be in to hook me up shortly.
Thanks for everything, and I will check in with you tomorrow.
By the way -- what was your seminar about?