Thank you for your question. Before providing suggestions, I have a few questions. First, what type of thoughts are you having? Are you feeling fearful of what you disclosed to the group? Second, do you feel safe? FYI, your reaction is typical for someone who disclosed a secret you kept for a very long time because disclosing it stirred some emotions.
After your response, i will have some recommendations.
The main thoughts are those of guilt, shame, anger, sadness, being vulnerable and exposed. I feel that anyone can look at me and know my 'dirty' secret. I am feeling safe(ish) but like I want to self harm because I want to regain control. There is a very small part of me that wants to go to sleep and not wake up because I am so tired of thinking about this. Realistically that is not an option though because I have children to look after so I suppose having them here keeps me safe! I just need to find a way of containing my emotions! I feel as though I have ripped open an old wound today so my emotions and feelings are very raw!
My first suggestion for you is to write create a thought log with three columns. The first column should indicate your current throughts. The second column is to write down why you feel this way. The third column is to refute the second column. For example, you stated that one thought you have is that you feel guilty for sharing your secret. Next to this, write down why you feel guity. After that, write down why you should not feel guilty.
I can go through this with you if you like as well
Yes please. The guilt is not so much about feeling guilty about sharing the secret. I will try to explain.
why do you feel guilty in sharing the secret?
13 years ago I lost a baby 35 weeks into the pregnancy. 5 days before this I was raped by a family member. The guilt I feel is because I feel as though I should have protected that baby.
You feel that the rape caused you to lose the baby? Is that correct?
Yes. I guess I will never really know but I desperately want to blame him.
I understand that the baby may not have survived anyway but I find it hard/impossible to seperate the 2 events.
I apologize for the technical difficulties I am experiencing
I can see why it would be difficult to separate the two events!
What was the reason you were given for the miscarriage?
we had a post mortem and discovered the baby had Down Syndrome but, if I'm honest, that made me feel more guilty because I felt he needed protecting even more!
I know, therefore, that the pregnancy was higher risk because of his condition!
I see, so you were most likely to have the miscarriage if you were not rape.
is that correct?
There was a higher chance because of the Down Syndrome. Yes
You originally said you felt guilty of sharing this secret in group. Was this guilt about the sharing or about the loss of your baby?
The loss of the baby
Have you considered attending individual therapy?
I think I need to but am not meant to do so whilst in group therapy. I was referred to the group once I had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I did think about going though just for a few sessions because there isn't enough time for me to deal with this during a group session. Once I have finished at the group (which is up to 2 years) I go into a therapeutic community for 12 months and receive therapy 3 days a week! I do feel I need a whole hour each week which is entirely mine though so I can explore this further. Would you suggest that this is probably the way forward?
Yes, my suggestion is for you to obtain individual therapy with someone who is experienced with trauma therapy. Trauma therapy process typically involves learning coping skills when feeling emotionally flooded (just like the way you are feeling now). Once you master these coping techniques, the therapist will guide you through the trauma in order to resolve the experience. Through this reexperiencing, you will be using the coping skills you mastered so you will not feel emotionally overwhelmed.
Brilliant. I just feel I need to deal with this now. 13 years is too long! I will start looking tomorrow and, meanwhile, I will try writing things down anyway. Maybe that way it will release some of these feelings from my head, even if just for a short while. I will try using the 3 columns .... I will try anything!
Thank you so much for listening.
I will now accept your answer.
Thanks once again.
I wish you all the best!
Please let me know if you have any further questions!