It's not that your feelings are wrong. No feelings are wrong or incorrect. But recognizing how you feel then changing it is the goal. If you repress your feelings, you won't know what they are and you then can't change them. By letting them come out and recognizing them, you can see which are healthy and which ones are not.
You are going on what you are feeling, which is different than what you think. You know that what those guys did was about them. And you know that you are who you are regardless of what happened. But your feelings tell you differently. So you have two sides to the same coin. It is up to you to decide which one you go with. If you feel it is ok with you to accept that you had no value and that you were simply there for them, you can. But what value does that have for you? If you continue to believe that, what purpose does it serve? It is not the truth, so it's not about reality. It serves some value to you, then. What would it be?
You do care that those two hours mean so much to you. You care because you are a decent person who has the capacity to hurt, care for others, love and feel compassion. And the fact that they tried to take that away from you and selfishly take it for themselves is painful. That is ok. Putting the blame where it belongs is what is important. They did this, not you. Who they are may have been in your life for a while, but it does not automatically become you. It stays about them. You stay who you are.
You may have felt good about yourself before the attack, and that is good. But your childhood did affect you. You had to create who you felt you were out of what you went through. For one, you point out that maybe you had little value before these guys came into your life. Where did that come from? The idea had to come from somewhere. That is important. You may have felt so good about yourself because you had to. You had to create your own self esteem. Add to that the fact that you were young and most people at that age feel invincible and on top of the world. The attack took you down from that. But again, that is about who they were.
Are you feeling okay with what we talked about? Or do you feel you don't want to talk anymore for now? This is not easy to deal with so I just want to be sure you are ok.
I think considering I am just now even identifying these feelings and really feeling them, it is an unreasonable expectation that in 15 hours I could have felt them, identified them, processed them, thought them through, and replaced them with "healthier" feelings.
I feel like I was told to just go with my feelings, then when I expressed them, I am being told that they are not valid, have no basis in truth, and are ridiculous. You are saying that no feelings are "wrong," but I should make myself feel differently. that may be true, but I don't think it happens instantly, and I have been putting myself at risk to face my feelings, which is against what I have been taught forever, and I get the same response as I used to -- different motivations behind it, but still the same result: you need to change your feelings.
I think understand what you are saying. You feel that it is too soon for you to take on changing how you feel and that more time is needed for you to sit with these feelings as they are. And that you feel you need more time to understand these feelings as they are, and as you feel them. Does that sound right?
If you do want to spend more time exploring them, that is fine. There is nothing wrong with that. The idea here for you is to not push towards the end result so much as to see what the feelings are about and let them be for a while, correct?
Well think about it and when you feel ready, let's try again. This is important.
The messages I feel were inconsistent were that you have been telling me to "sit with" my feelings and wanted me to examine my feelings as I talked through this with Linda. So I am doing that, but when I shared my feelings, you say I need to decide to feel differently. I understand that sometimes feelings and beliefs may not be based on the truth and may be held onto only because it benefits me in some way. But give me a small break. I feel how I feel. I'm not saying it won't ever change, but I am being honest with you and you say I'm choosing to feel how I feel instead of what I know to be the truth because there must be some benefit to me.
Message I am getting is: don't disclose what your real feelings are. Wait until you have processed them and thought them through and feel more healthy and acceptable feelings before disclosing them. Otherwise, I will be told that I am choosing to feel miserable. Please read your first response above. Can you understand where I am coming from? I don't understand what you want.
I am so confused and now so unhappy. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. All I was trying to do is tell you the feelings that came up last night, and now I feel like it was a mistake. I was actually pretty proud of myself before we had our last chat.
There is no "supposed to" here. I am not here to tell you what you should be feeling. I'm only here to guide you through your experience.
You can express any feelings you want to. In no way do I want to stop you from doing that. I encourage it. But I think there is some confusion here. There is no right and wrong. This is not about judgment. This is about helping you. And I am doing that by saying that some of these feelings are misconceptions created by what you went through.
For example, if you feel the attack made you less valuable, that is a your feeling. And that is ok. But what do you want to do with that feeling? Do you want to accept that feeling and let it go, sit with it for a while then decide, or do you want to look at it deeper? That is something you decide then let me know what you need from me. But you also have to have some trust that I am not here to hurt you. I use what I know to help, not hurt.
Therapy is there to help you feel better. In order to do that, the therapist guides you to that point. But if you need something different, then it's ok to say so. We are not here to dictate to you what you "have" to do. The whole process is about you. But there are also going to be parts of therapy that are uncomfortable and parts that cause you to put up defenses. That is when the trust comes in. You need to let the therapist guide you through. Of course you always have a choice, but if you want to work through it, facing it is a good option.
This is a mess. And I did not say that I felt like you are here to hurt me -- and I don't feel that way. If I did, I wouldn't be talking to you.
I feel like you think I am choosing to dwell on this, and I feel like every time I am confused or there is an issue, it is because of my defenses. I know you say you're not here to judge. I know that's not your job, but everyone does it. But I don't care one way or the other ---- the point is that I do trust you to "guide" me, and I get frustrated when I think I am going the right way, and then you, essentially, say I'm not.
You keep saying there is no right or wrong here, and that I always have a choice. That may be technically true, but the choices are apparently: (1) do one thing and recover; or (2) do this other thing and never get past it. Not really a choice. Of course I want to do what I need to work through this. I know it's uncomfortable and not pleasant. None of this has been, and I think I've stuck with it pretty well. But I feel like if I don't make certain progress in this, then you assume I am basically "choosing" not to deal with or face it. But that's not true. Maybe sometimes it is, and sometimes it takes a while to see things differently. But you have been telling me and telling me I need to experience my feelings, and I am, although it is difficult for me. I am not used to this. So -- I was able to feel my feelings and identify them somewhat or at least describe them. But because that's only how far I've gotten, you imply that I am choosing not to be open to change my feelings or choosing not to change. Seriously? Does everyone else do this at lightening speed? You have been telling me to focus on my feelings not my thoughts, and today you are telling me to follow my thoughts and not my feelings. You word things in such a way that technically there are choices and technically there is no right or wrong, but that's not really what you are saying. You certainly know what you think is the best route. I understand maybe therapists aren't supposed to come right out and say what you think people should do. But it's still fairly apparent. And that's okay. I want your advice. But things are becoming confusing. And I feel like when I say something about it, you aren't so much listening to it as a true issue, perhaps in our communication; you are searching for what issues or defenses I have that are creating the problem.
I know this is scary. I am asking you to trust me and allow me to help you. And it may feel difficult and upsetting. You are exploring things about yourself that you have not looked at before. And it can seem like you are under pressure to "perform" or to feel something you are not comfortable feeling. But I am here to support you through that.
It is easy to see this process as confusing. Feelings are not logical. They go up and down, this way and that. Sorting them all out can make you feel lost and scared. But that is what I want to help you with. Making sense of your feelings takes time. You just have to allow it in.
Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoy yourself. I'll talk with you when you get back.