That is fantastic. I am so glad to hear that Debra's friend was so supportive. Although it is bad what happened to her, the fact that she had the same feelings as you had to be enormously helpful to you. As a survivor, it can be a lonely journey to recovery. Having someone who understands can be priceless.
I agree with her, it is a long and hard road. But once it is done, you are equipped with the tools to handle any reoccurrence of your feelings and issues. And when it does reoccur, you approach it in a much more calm way too. It doesn't have the same effect as it once did
, which in itself can feel so good. The power it had over you is gone.
Like Debra's friend said, it is common to want to set a goal and feel your work is done once you reach it, just as she did with her feelings of shame. It is not easy to go through such a horrible experience then add
years of therapy on top of it. But each little step you take gets you closer. And you will know when you are done. It's a feeling that you thought you would never have, like you are complete- strong and well equipped.
It's good that you recognize that you didn't feel ready to deal with people at church just yet. It sounds like the drums are therapeutic for you, but people can add stress
and exhaust you with all the needs and issues that come with them. Easing into coming back may take time. It's hard to set boundaries with people who don't understand why you are setting them, but sometimes they just need to understand.
I am glad that Clark and Debra were there for you when Jim approached you. They seem well aware of Jim's issues and that he might have intended on approaching you in a much different way. I imagine them being there might have put a stop to anything he might have done.
It does make sense that your nightmare has changed. You are dealing with some very strong issues around what happened to you, facing some of the deeper feelings. You not only are talking about how you might have died (a big thing to face) but you also found some very good support through Debra and her friend. Your mind might use that to alter how you feel about what happened and change your perception of the attack in your dream. It is a good sign.