Have Relationship Questions? Ask a Counselor for Answers ASAP
Hello! My name isXXXXX hope to help you with your dilemma. How long has this been going on for?
Okay, I see in there you said it's been going on for 5-10 years. Did something significant happen at or around then?
Hi Lindsey. I got married during this time but my husband and I had a really great sex life, as well.
Hi Lindsey. Thank you for your email. For some reason, I'm still a bit confused. (Oh BTW, I realized after I sent my Q that I don't really behave aggressively or want someone to be hurt. I think I just like, occasionally, the thought of the loss of control, OR, loss of PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY) (I'm not yelling lol I'm just getting a lot of insight at the moment). Maybe, I feel personally responsible for the sexual things that have happened to me (even though I tried to stop it from happening but couldn't, no matter how hard I tried. Also horrible things were said to me that shut me down completely like "go ahead tell and you'll found out that your mommy and daddy don't love you and you'll be left all alone". I never wanted to test that hypothesis. Also, the sexual abuse, while being done just for the enjoyment of the perpetrator (and too young for me to feel stimulation), I often had to tell them that what they were dong when I was 3 yrs old, "felt good". I often felt like sometimes I could leave my body, or I would be looking away crying, to try to avoid knowing or experiencing what was happening to me or even letting them know that I was experiencing anything be it hurt, shame, loneliness, overwhelmed, trapped. Actually, this is making a lot of sense because I have not worked through these issues (except for letting people know it happened, after the potential murder). Now, it feels almost like not a sexual thing but a control thing and becoming like a perpetrator myself. I think I'll keep writing about this another time.Does my interpretation make sense to you?
Upps, didn't mean to send you that last response yet.,,,
To answer your question, I've been with my younger, married (why did I write that???!! lol) Dr. for 4 years now. He's quite a serious guy and never really flirts with me or anything, but I was surprised a few years ago, when I talked about being hit on and such, he said "because your very attractive"?. I was like, ahh, yeah. It surprised me when he said that though. We talk and he doesn't just give me medication but he's the first therapist I have had who is younger than me (because I'm a lot older now; I'm not just talking to a therapist about something that just happened, like when I was 19 or in university, etc.) and that feels a little weird (perverted?) I don't want to make him feel uncomfortable or possibly aroused, either. I'm old enough to be his teen-aged mother!
damn I keep doing that! return before I'm ready
I'm not sure what you meant when you wrote:" Okay. Well I think you answer your own question in describing your situation (feelings of guilt, wanting to me seen in a certain way, etc)."
I'm not sure what Q. I'm answering or how...how does "wanting to be seen in a certain way relate?"
Should I quit drinking or do you think I could make myself stop the occasional 'acting out' behavior (because that's how I'm viewing now as I write to you). That I was hurt so much, so silently, with no one to tell (I'm an only child) maybe, subconsciously, since I am now loved unconditionally for the first time, I take on the role of perpetrator, expressing my anger and also potentially hurting my husband by acting in ways that are not normal for me or what I would do if I was not quite drunk. I'm so glad that nothing physical or ongoing has ever happened. I've never regretted that the next morning. I just wipe things away. I remove the conversations, delete the site or phone number and so on. I would be so hurt to hurt my husband and it would be really screwed up for me to ever jeopardize this relationship. It's been the best thing of my whole life. And I've learned slowly, in turn, to trust, to love and to be loyal like he is to me.
It's just that if I keep drinking it seems like there would still be the distant possibility that I could hurt someone. Does working through it, preclude that possibility? Or will it jump out one day, and I'll act out again as a result? I know that's a really difficult question to answer but I guess I'm asking it because maybe, by working out my hurt and trauma, I wouldn't act out again. Is that how healing works? Thank you so much, Lindsey.
I think you're on the right path, as you're beginning to process what happened to you -- I would agree that there is a large control piece. I also think you blame yourself for a lot of what happened to you (when you say what you were wearing/how you were dressed, and that you feel personally responsible for the actions of others.) Your interpretation not only makes sense, it follows along with other clients I have worked with who have a trauma history.
As for your statements regarding your therapist, there are times where therapists may be attracted to their clients...this is normal...it is something that should be discussed within therapy and if there is an attraction and the therapist does not believe they can be professional they should refer the individual to someone else. Now it is also very common for clients to become attracted to their therapist, as they are the person they may be sharing things with that they don't share with anyone else -- this again, is something that can be discussed and processed through. Does the age gap bother you?
So the reason I say you answer your own question -- regarding the drinking...is that you state it makes you feel guilty and feel horrible later after you've made phone calls to people in your past...this is your answer as to whether or not you want to continue drinking...do you want to continue to feel like this, even if it's a few times a month...are the feelings worth it?
So when you say you wake up the next morning and you don't regret it...are you sure? What is the purpose of "wiping things away"? You are removing the conversations/deleting the site or phone number...as if it never happened? It is too painful to think that the reality is that it did happen?
You also talk about hurting your husband and you don't want to do that, that he is like your rock and the first person you can trust and hurting him would be bad news. So the question you have to ask yourself is why do you only do this when you're drinking? I think that working through what you've been through can get to the deeper seeded issues you've experienced, especially if you have a trauma history beginning at or around age 3, this is all you've really known and processing what happened to you can bring you to a different level of understanding yourself, your feelings and your behaviors. It's possible that it might jump out one day...trauma affects people in very different ways and at very different times. Trauma is different for everyone, but once you begin to heal that is when you truly begin to see how powerful YOU are...you take back what is yours and not the perp's...you begin to develop a different level of empowerment...and as many of my clients have said, it's amazing.
You are very welcome.
Yes, thank you so much for your depth of understanding and coverage, Lindsey. It's been so long since I've considered, if I ever did, the real effects of being so young and so cruelly abused. I was never really allowed to, or encouraged to, mourn for my losses. Except for one person (who did not get charged or anything), my perpetrators were never held accountable nor confronted for what they did to me. For 3 years, I went to public school and was abused by my vice principal, until one other girl was approached by him, I guess, and he went away. My teachers tried so hard to get me to say that he had been abusing me (he used to pull me out of class whenever he " needed me"). God, I feel so sad just writing this. I was all alone and used to get in trouble at home for being "so moody". There was just no winning or catching a break. I have had a lot more trauma than this, as well.
Was there anything else I can help you with?
Hi Lindsey. I am so sorry to have seemingly disappeared (because you provided "excellent service" , plus I want to leave you a tip for all your time and compassion.
I just wanted to clarify a couple things I wrote. w
Oh no that's okay, I just wanted to make sure you were satisfied and if you needed any assistance or clarification! I am ready!
When I used the R WORD, I never imagine anyone hurt, scared or crying. The aggression I refer to is the abandonment of her self responsibility, in the sense of being"taken, but then enjoying it and secretly being satisfied. THAT HAS BEEN A FANTASY A ND IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM is anything At All related IN ANY WAY to what actual rape victims go through, as I all too well know. I also realize that this used to be and, unfortunately, is still sometimes the case still is impression of the experience of many rape victims. Rape is terrifying, humiliating, degrading and horrifically painful and I mean painful!
For both genders.
"The aggression I refer to is the abandonment of her self responsibility, in the sense of being"taken, but then enjoying it and secretly being satisfied." Who is the her you are referring to? I think you are very correct when you say that fantasy and actual rape are VERY different. But that's also the distinction you are making...is that one is actually taking away something from a person where as the other is consensual with someone else.
I appreciate that you didn't judge me on that, but I wanted to clarify it, for myself, and in case someone reads this.
Yes, of course.
Also, you referred to my drunken escapades as occurring a few times a month. These have actually occurred a few times - though all is too many - a year. As a result of our work together, I have already decided, and told my husband, that I chose to no longer drink alcohol, and wish to experience our experiences, sober and mindfully.
Oh I am sorry I misread that. But as I said before, if you deem it to be problematic, which is sounds like you do, then I would go ahead and either limit the amount of alcohol you drink, or (as it sounds like what you're doing) cut it out completely.
Just got your message, thanks! You are very kind (I was at the hospital all night having tests) and couldn't use my phone till now.
Thank you. Is everything okay with you physically?
Unfortunately, no. I am getting extensive tests (which are driving me crazy, like MRIs,booked at all times of day and night!) but, at least, I'm being cared for :-)
I am sorry to hear that...it can't make what's going on mentally any easier! Make sure you're taking care of yourself! I am glad to hear you're being cared for, that is always important when you're not feeling well...mentally or physically...
You have rendered me a lot of thought and attention to details that really work for me, in terms of getting in touch with my abuse and some of its consequences for my sense of self, especially regarding intimacy. I have had therapy after being attacked and then again, told about my other abuses and parental cruelty and abandoments, and I'm sure it has helped a lot; but I ve forgotten a lot of it. Also, I think when there's been a lot of abuse, there are probably many levels of self forgiveness, and so forth, that occur as you revisit what your life has been like. I think that's what I'm experiencing with your help.
This maybe a bold question, but would you be available for on-line (payed) trauma work?
Well I am glad to hear talking about this is helping. As I've said before, just because you start to process it...doesn't mean it will all go away. This is something bad that happened to you, it sucks...it's horrible...no one should have to experience ANY form of abuse. But beginning to process all the experiences as an adult may be different for you.
Thanks for all your help and insight.
While I am flattered that you would want me to assist you with this, I believe that the best healing, especially with trauma work, is done in person. I wouldn't feel like I was doing you justice if it were online. I can suggest that you find someone who specializes in trauma work...that doesn't just focus on cognitive behavioral therapy....but focuses on what your trauma means to you and how it has shaped your life.
You are very welcome. And the flattery is the truth. It is somewhat difficult to find a therapist that can help you unlock and understand what you are going/have been through.
I'd be happy to give you my location if it can remain private.
I appreciate what and how you feel is the most important way to do therapy. I would still be very interested, if you think it could work. I am also not very mobile right now. And, yes, all I've really had is CBTAND maybe that's why I'm coming to different assessments. What is your therapeutic approach? Are there any books you can recommend?
Thanks again, Lindsey.
Hi. Thanks for trying but I didn't receive any thing!
Oh, I realized something else I wanted to clarify. The way I wrote it was confusing. I really regret things the next day . What I don't regret is unsubscribing to anything I used to get access. eg I had messages in response to my temporary mailbox, last week. I immediately closed my account and unscribed from it. And I don't regret that.
Do you have access to the email address I use for this account?
Thanks for replying :-)
Well, thank you so much Lindsey. I really, really appreciate your efforts and have ranked you excellent in the follow up survey they send out. I am very happy that you are available for people looking for help. You have really helped me and I'm so glad that you'll be there for other people, as well.
It may take me awhile before I get the books (my husband is concerned about me doing this because I do have a vast history of trauma and he doesn't want revisiting it to bring me a crisis or anything) but I appreciate them anyway. I'll contact you when I've read them or before.
I'm glad you joined JustAnswer Lindsey! You are definitely in the right profession!
All best wishes
Thank you for your advice regarding the trauma work. If you didn't write back, I probably would have read the books on my own, not realizing.
I wish you all the best too.
I wanted to tell you about what an expert in another field does to make an impression so that it's easier to contact him again. He sends a direct link to his Just Answer account so you can contact him directly, instead of just posting a question to anyone.
All the best, Lindsey!!