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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, sorry to bug. What do I do about all the anger built

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Kate, sorry to bug. What do I do about all the anger built up towards myself? I feel sometimes like I may explode. Yet, I feel nothing at all towards the guys.

Hey, no problem. I am always happy to help.

It sounds like you feel anger at yourself for not being able to stop what happened. When we talked last, you mentioned that you felt you participated in the attack because you went along with it and complied with the demands the attackers made of you. Although blaming yourself is part of your symptoms, it is also self destructive behavior. Taking what happened to you and blaming yourself can create anger at yourself. You feel that this was your fault, even though nothing could be further from the truth.

Facing your attackers and setting the blame on them, along with anger you feel, would make you have to face that the attack was done to you for no reason that makes any sense. Meaning, that it was a random act with no reason behind it. This may make you feel unsafe and confused. Finding a reason for being attacked is much more comforting. You can focus on yourself as the one to blame, be angry at yourself and find an reason for the attack all at the same time. Like saying to yourself, it had to be something about me that caused this.

Children who are abused do the same thing. Mom and Dad could not love me because there is something wrong with me. That must be why I was targeted and why they hate me and hurt me so much. The fact that Mom and Dad are mentally ill and cannot handle their own problems does not make sense to the child. That would make their abuse a meaningless act since mental illness is hard to understand. It is the same for attackers. There is no real way to find out why they did this to you. So blaming them seems nebulous. Blaming yourself is easier.

Working towards focusing your anger on the attackers takes time. It is harder to blame them. They are not there to yell at or be angry at. They are beyond your reach. But taking your feelings and putting them back on the attackers can be done. It takes some work but it is possible. You need to first stop blaming yourself then you can begin to blame them.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Kate, I have another question. My psychologist wanted me to see a psychiatrist for meds, and after trying someone who didn't respond for more than a week after I had an allergic reaction to a med he put me on, I decided to go to a psychiatrist that my psychologist really liked, even though she did not accept my insurance, thinking that it was worth the money to go to someone who may be able to help. I really liked her and since the initial meeting, she has done everything by phone, since I have to pay myself. She's been great. My psychologist wanted me to tell someone all the details of what happened, so that I could see their reaction (she thinks it will help with my guilt issues). However, I have told 2 of my friends in the past. I don't trust their reactions, however, because they are my friends, and they wouldn't say anything that may hurt me, even if it's the truth. Same for my psychologist -- I know she says what she is supposed to say. So we figured my psychiatrist was maybe a good choice -- I have only told her that I was assaulted by 2 strangers when I was 21 and was working through it in therapy. However, I do not want to tell her. I don't think I can right now. So I asked my psychologist to tell her, then I can talk to her and ask her questions. I have an appointment with the psychiatrist tomorrow morning, and I am kind of panicking because I don't think they have spoken yet. Is it a cop-out to have her tell the psychiatrist instead of me? I only have a 45 minute meeting with her tomorrow, and even if I wanted to tell her everything, I wouldn't have time, and I don't want to have to pay for more long appointments, since I am paying out of pocket, and it's really expensive. Should I cancel the appointment if I am not certain they have spoken by late this afternoon? Will the psychiatrist think it's weird for me to have someone else tell her? Is there a chance she'll refuse and say if I want her to know, I need to tell her myself? Will it do any good anyway for me to have her reaction or feedback?

Hello! It's good to hear from you.

You're feelings are very valid and normal. You may like this psychiatrist, but you have not established a bond of trust yet, or if you have, it's new. Plus, repeating this story not only is difficult, her reaction is up in the air. You mention telling your friends about your attack because they would not hurt you. But you do not know the same about your new doctor. The fear of getting hurt over something so painful is very real and very valid and it's natural to protect yourself.

It is not odd at all that you feel more comfortable letting your therapist tell her. That way, your therapist can gage the reaction. Plus, you may feel that your therapist would protect you from any negative reaction (which I doubt your doctor would have), which is a comforting feeling right now.

There could be a chance she would refuse to hear your story from your therapist, but that is highly unlikely. You are already being treated by your therapist so there is no motivation on your part to avoid dealing with how you feel. And refusing to allow your therapist to tell her would be based on personal feelings, which is not a good enough reason. Your therapist would pick up on that and do something to protect you, if that was the case.

She may bring your attack details up with you just to try to help. From your description of her, it does not sound like she is anything but kind and caring. So far, she has put your feelings first and tried to make your experience good with her. I can't think of any reason she would try to hurt you or try to force you into a situation you are not comfortable with.

You may want to keep your appointment and see what happens. It is ok to tell her, if she brings it up, that you feel uncomfortable talking about it right then. She should understand. You control how this is discussed and handled. You are the client and this is about you. If someone tries to do something that bothers you, it is perfectly fine to say so. But from what you have said about your doctor, I think she will respect you and your feelings and not hurt you in any way.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I think I wasn't clear --- I am not afraid of someone hurting my feelings with their reaction. I want to know the truth about my culpability. I can't rely on the reactions of my friends, because even if they thought I was responsible for certain things, they would not say so, in fear that it would hurt me. I also don't totally believe my therapist, because she likes me and has a kind of relationship with me, and would also not want to hurt my feelings. In addition, I am sure there are certain things she's trained just not to say or to say, regardless of her true feelings.

I think the psychiatrist may be more objective, because I don't have much kind of relationship with her. We like each other, but she has little invested in me, so I think she would be more likely to be honest with me (although i am sure she is also trained in what to and not to say).

I'm not afraid she will react in a way to hurt me -- I am afraid she will react in a way that is not honest, sinply to avoid hurting my feelings.

Does that make sense?

Are you saying that you are concerned that the doctor will not tell you if you are responsible for the attack?


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i want someone to be totally honest with me, and not candy-coat things because they think to do otherwise might hurt my feelings.

I see. You may want to let your doctor know how you feel upfront. Most professionals in the field are going to try to do the best they can to help you get to the point that you feel emotionally healthy again but they also appreciate that you are prepared for honesty. They may not come out and say what they think if it's detrimental to your well being because they have a code of conduct, but neither will they purposely hide the truth from you, especially if it is helpful to you in any way.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What if they don't think it's helpful to me but I do?

You cannot control how they act or think, but you can open the lines of communication and let them know how you feel. After that, it is up to them to respect your feelings and be as honest as they can. You always have the option of moving on to someone else if you feel they are not being as honest as you need them to.


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