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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5482
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have a slight problem at work. OKMH48211

Customer Question

I have a slight problem at work. One of my colleagues is close friend with the girlfriend of a classmate that I have nearly not spoken to since I was ten because of a shamefull act involving three naked boys having fun in an innocent way. They got over it I guess, but I dont know how to handle it and I dont want to confront it. It was the cause of my drug addiction or one of the causes. My family was the other and I did'nt want to surface it to them. It would have totally destroyed my dailylife and further future. My mother figured it out and have forced me to deal with it. Therefore I hate her. I'm 31 years old. Try not to judge me, it wont do any good. I have been in psychiatric care and it totally destroyed my life. I could'nt have peace with that I need to re-evaluate my sexual preference because of an outside source or sources. Basically my insecurities about this event are still haunting me to this day.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

It is not uncommon for most people to have at least one or two incidents in your past that cause them to feel shame. Most people experience this because at a young age, it is very easy to make mistakes and use poor judgment. Or you might experiment with something and not realize the impact it has on your life until afterwards. At the time, it may seem to be ok to do because of the circumstances in your life (which you mentioned being your family and drug addiction) that no longer exist. So looking back and feeling shame about what happened is normal.

How you deal with the feelings you have about the incident, especially when faced with someone possibly bringing it up, how you look at what happened matters. You can "reframe" it to help you feel better about it. While it is easy to see the incident now and feel bad about it, at the time it happened your life circumstances were different. That is one way to reframe what happened. When you do think about it, tell yourself that you were young, there was drug addiction involved and family issues. So there was more to it than just what happened.

Also, it helps to change your thoughts about the memory. When you do think about it, say to yourself that it is in the past and it's over. You are not the same person and you have moved on. Anytime you feel the memories intruding, think about those words.

Consider writing down how you feel. Sometimes it can help to write it out so you can look at what happened and how you feel about it. Then you can either keep the note or do something with it to represent letting go such as burning it or tearing it up. Tell yourself that you have dealt with it and it's gone.

If anyone would bring the incident up such as the girlfriend of your classmate, it is probably best to avoid the topic. Neither confirming or denying it will help and both will make you look guilty (even if you are not). Although it is unlikely anyone involved will bring it up (it would be cruel to do so) it helps to be prepared ahead of time. Practice how you would react if someone did ask you about it or make a comment. That way, you will seem casual about it if it is brought up and the other person will see that you really do not care and most likely let it go.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5482
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus! I appreciate it.

Take care,
Kate

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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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