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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5821
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Talked to L last night. She said she talked to another

Customer Question

Hey Kate. Talked to L last night. She said she talked to another psychologist and told me that they talked about the fact that when this happened, I had no control, and they had total control over me and that's really scary. She still didn't seem to understand, and thought that I was upset yesterday because I was processing and thinking about my past feelings. But I told her it was more of what I was feeling in the present. She also was talking about how, yes, if I stopped blaming myself for what happened, I may have to adjust my thinking some, but she sees that only as beneficial for me. She didn't understand what I had been telling her earlier, but that's because I didn't explain it well. But that's okay. She knows she didn't understand, but was trying to help. She asked me again to write all this down, if I can. She said it hurts her that I have felt so upset an disgusted with myself for what happened.
I got a call from the sleep doctor' office yesterday. He had to me that they may call me earlier, saying they had an opening, so I would only have a few days to worry about it, instead of weeks. So I'm going to do the sleep test this Sunday. L. just had a sleep test this week, so she told me what it was like. She said that I can call her that nightif I can't get to sleep. And she wants me to call her this weekend to check in on the other stuff.
I called Dr. M yesterday about my sleep meds and also asking if when I take the test I can take double the ambien. She called me back and said I really shouldn't take more than the max Rx amount of the ambien, and she sai on Sunday nigh I should go ahead and take the seroquel, since that seems to work best, ***** ***** I take the regular dose and can't get to sleep, I can take another. So I don't think I will have any trouble sleeping. And she said I could start taking both the ambien and amitriptylene at night. I did last night, and it helps. Dr M was pretty glad I will be doing this Sunday. She is pretty convinced I have some sleep disorder, whether it be apnea or REM sleep disorder. Linda said she think it's a big step that I'm willing to do it, since a few months ago, I said there was no way I'd go to an overnight one. I'm not really worried about it, which is good.
So I will take out posts yesterday and try to write out all of this.
Meanwhile, I will try to get some work done today. I got little done yesterday, and was already seriously behind. Working on this is NOT helping my productivity!
I actually called my former law parter 2 weeks ago and asked him to think about me returning. I told him I just didn't like practicing by myself. He doesn't either (although he has an associate there now). He told me last week at The visitation thing for P's dad that they were "working on that other thing" so he's at least thinking about it, which is good, considering how hurt he wa when I left. But I didn't leave because of him or because I wanted to be on my own. I left because of his wife. If we got back together, I think my life in general would be a lot less stressful. I would have more legal work, because I always picked up a lot of his stuff, but I wouldn't be responsible for all the other business crap. And he is 68, so I think he would like to know his firm will go on if something happens or he retires. So pray for God's will in that! It would be stressful to actually implement, but would be a relief knowing it was going to happen.
But, back to the subject at hand, I don't feel so anxious or upset today. Butast night I felt like I had been fighting with you all day on posts. I don't know why I feel that way, because in re-reading the posts, that's not really what was happening.
I do feel blessed to be able to talk with you and get your input, almost instantly, and I feel blessed that L. Spends so much time and effort with and for me, and that dr M has as well. In fact, since Dr M is not on my insurance plan and I have to pay out of pocket, she does almost everything over the phone, and she's the one who set me up with this sleep doctor, & she has spent so much time for which he hasn't been paid. I'm not sure why they've been willing to give me so much, and I feel bad, but I really appreciate it.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


I'm not sure about what Linda and the other psychologist meant by you not having control. Or that they didn't have control over you. Psychologically that is an odd thing to say. It could be that they meant something other than what I am thinking. But my thoughts are that you had control over yourself the whole time. You may have cried a lot when you talked to Linda, but there is nothing wrong with that at all. You were upset, your feelings were on the surface and you let them out. All healthy and in control behavior. And they are not supposed to have control over you. No one can control another person. Linda may have felt that she couldn't help you at the time, but that is not loss of control so much as just being caught off guard and not being sure of what the problem is. That happens and it's no one's fault.

You are not going to lose control. Letting your feelings out may feel that way, but you are not crazy nor are you out of control. Deep emotional pain has little to do with control. It has all to do with allowing your pain to surface and dealing with it. And it's a way to help your body and mind to heal. It's healthy and a good sign you are doing well.

I'm glad to hear you are doing the sleep study! I am interested to hear what they feel is going on with you and how they want to address it.

It's also good news that you are considering going back to your old firm. It will be a big help to you to not be alone anymore. I will definitely pray that it all works out for you.

I don't feel you were fighting with me either yesterday. It could be that you were trying to cope with your feelings and fighting the need to repress them and our talking did not allow you to do that. Sometimes it's a struggle to want to let your feelings out but yet be fearful of them getting out. So you do an internal battle to keep things under control, but that is not ultimately what you want.

I'm glad you feel our talks help you and that you have Linda and Dr. M. You have a great therapist and doctor who do go the extra mile to help you. And everyone cares about you.

I need to go out to attend to a previous appointment but I will be back later if you have time to talk. I hope you get caught up on your work!


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Oh - I didn't explain well at all. L. meant that at the time of what happened, i didnt have any control and the GUYS had total control over me - back then - not that L or the other psychologist had control over me yesterday. Sorry! That WOULD be really odd for her to say. I did not explain that well at all. Sorry!
She just did not understand that I was talking about present feelings and not past feelings. I'm sure one plays into the other, but she was responding as to how I felt back then and what the reality was, an then my feeling of losing control in the future if I stopped taking responsibility for what happened.
I am also interested in what the sleep yet may show. From the very first time I met her, Dr. M has felt strongly that there is something physiological going on as well, in my sleep, that is exacerbating the nightmares, inability to sleep, and also the ADD stuff. Dr. Krakow said he would be surprised if I didn't have a breathing and/or REM sleep disorder. They both think, too, that because I have had some fairly severe head injuries, that that might play into it. We will see. It would actually make me feel better if there were some physical issue and not just mental/emotional. Partly because it seems easier to treat.
I don't know if maybe I felt like I was arguing with you yesterday because I was resisting what you were telling me and maybe angry because what you said or what I was writing evoked strong emotion that I wasn't prepared to deal with. ???
Oh yeah - and even though L. didn't understand what I was feeling yesterday and was kind of addressing a separate issue, it did make me realize something. During that whole thing, when I wasn't in control, it was because they were controlling me. But now, if I gave up some control, it would not mean that I was giving control over me to another person. Also, I think what you were talking about yesterday was not all about giving up control of myself, but rather giving up my need to control others and my environment. Is that accurate?
I do hope I end up going back to my old firm. I don't know what possessed me to call and ask him, except I knew from the office manager that nobody can get along with his associate, and that his wife (who can't stand me) said that he would never find anyone as good as me or who worked a hard. I didn't even think it through (odd for me). I just called him, because it seemed like what I was supposed to do. And my staff is totally cool with going over there. His office manager (good friend of mine) apparently told the Rest of his staff (except the associate attorney who is out of the loop) that I called him, and they are all really hoping I come back, even though I neer worked with the rest of them (except my dealings with them when I am against than in a case). We will see. I think it would be a win-win, but the fact is that I chose to leave and he may still be hurt. I haven't even told anyone else or asked for advice. I would normally ask my dad his advice, but I didn't and haven't told him. Wonder what he will think.
Do therapists/psychiatrists always go this above and beyond for clients? Or do they just really like me? :)
Well, already late to start work, so ........
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


Oh, that makes sense. Whew! I knew your therapist was good and probably wouldn't say something like that but everyone has off days so I wasn't sure.

It makes more sense that you feel the perpetrators are controlling you from the past. What they did to you is still very present for you and as you are working to move it to the past, you are going to have feelings that are related to what happened. All of your emotions are still in the past because you were not able to work them through until now, so it makes a lot of sense that you would feel that way.

I am curious what the sleep study will say. I was not aware you had a history of head injuries so it could be that they are to blame for some of your symptoms.

Yes, it could be that you had strong feelings coming up from what we talked about yesterday. And that is good. It means that you are feeling safe enough to express those feelings, even in an indirect way.

I agree that while you were being attacked, you were not in control physically. But emotionally, you were working to try to cope. You knew instinctively when to give in and your mind was working to find a way to survive. They may have forced you into the situation and you had to cope, but you were resourceful and did what you needed to do to survive.

And giving up control now is not the same. You are right, you are not giving up control to someone else. You are giving up the control you have on your emotions and your environment. You are undoing what the attack did to you emotionally which is make you feel the need to control yourself and those around you. You are taking back control of yourself as you were before the attack. That part of you that still lives back with the attack will no longer exist after you let go of it. But you will gain stronger control of yourself when that part of you is gone because right now, it does control part of you.

I think going back to your firm is a great idea. Asking your dad might help. Do you feel he would be supportive?

Some therapists and psychiatrists do go above and beyond, especially the good ones. A lot of people get into the field because they care about people and they want to do what they can to make a difference and that often takes longer than just one session a week. And I think they do really like you too :)


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

All very interesting.

Yeah -- I had a pretty serious concussion in the first grade. I was trying to do a cartwheel on the top of the jungle gym, and someone stepped on my hand, and I fell straight through to the ground and landed on my head and got knocked out. It was in the day when playgrounds were asphault. I didn't have a skull fracture, apparently, but I was really sick and had to stay home from school for 2 weeks and my mom said I wrote backwards, like in mirrored vision. That's the one and only time I ever went home from school sick. Then I had a few concussions in HS - mostly from basketball. I was always the shortest one, and was at the taller girls' elbow height. Then in college, while playing intramural flag football for our sorority, somebody knocked me down and another girl had jumped and landed on my head. She didn't mean to. I was pretty sick with that one, too, and initially couldn't see, but just for a few seconds.

But I have had tons of neurological tests, MRIs, MREs, CT scans, etc. in the past few years. I had an episode about 3 1/2 years ago where half my face went numb for a few days. I thought it as weird, but didn't worry about it. Then, several weeks later, it happened again, but then I got a big blind spot in that eye. So I went to urgent care, and they ran some tests, which showed nothing except that when the doctor stuck a needle in that side of my face, I couldn't feel it at all. So she sent me to the ER for a CT scan, which showed nothing, and they referred me to a neurologist, but my appointment was like 2 months later. Then, over the next 10 days, I started losing feeling in or control over much of that side of my body, then some of the other side. And I was so fatigued I couldn't believe it. By the next week, walking up one flight of steps was a huge chore, and I was slurring, etc. So I went back to the ER, had the same Dr. who was there a few weeks before. They did a CT scan and MRI, and ultrasound of my carotid artery, and all sorts of stuff, but couldn't figure it out. I was in the hospital for several days, in which time I had the worst headache I have ever had in my life. Before that, I would get bad migraines, but only like once or twice a year. They gave me what I call a "default diagnosis" of having had a stroke, which I seriously doubted. After that, I had an echocardiagram because they thought maybe i had a hole in my heart letting clots through, which I didn't, and so many other tests. I got a different neurologist, and she doubted the stroke diagnosis, too, but wasn't sure. They thought i had MS, and I had endless tests, but they concluded I did not. They also ruled out seizures and a bunch of other stuff. Since that eposide, I have migraines all the time now. My neurologist finally concluded that I have complicated migraines, where I don't have the pain, but my symptoms mimic a stroke. I agree with that. I have had a number of such episodes since, and to someone who doesn't know me, it looks and sounds like I am drunk. I have those much less often then the actual migraines with pain. I can't take the regular migraine meds because of stroke risk, because she wasn't totally positive I wasn't having strokes, and for some other reason having to do with the MRE - some vascular thing in my brain. So I take stuff to try to prevent migraines, which works fairly well, and then just pain meds when I have them. But usually about once a year, my neurologist would decide that she wasn't sure this was it, and so send me for another round of a ton of tests. She moved, so I am actually seeing my new neurologist for the first time this afternoon. ALL THAT LONG, LONG STORY TO SAY that my head injuries have not caused any lasting, visible effects on my brain, I'm certain, since I've had the thing looked at so many times.

ANd I think you are right about the reason I felt like I was fighting with you -- because our talk was not allowing me to bury my feelings.

So, you agree with L that my present feelings are actually my past feelings? I'm not sure I totally grasp that.

As for asking my dad's advice -- it would probably be good, but I will probably wait until my former partner gets back to me with some proposal (assuming he will). I'm sure my dad will be supportive of whatever, but he will tell me to make sure I set the ground rules right off the bat vis-a-vis the wife, since her actions were such a problem. But the fact is that I have grown up and learned from leaving, too, and so I don't think the ground rules would have to be as restrictive as I would have insisted upon when I left (such as she cannot step foot in the building :) ) Also, my partner was kind of like a dad. He is totally unemotional, but he made an effort to come and hear me whenever I was singing, when I got baptized, etc. He would come over and fix things at my house, etc. He has 3 sons and no daughters, so I think he liked it. And I think that was a small part of his wife's issues -- because he never bothered to go to his kids' stuff, even football games or whatever in HS, but he did with me, and he and I talked more than he ever talked to her (or vice-versa) or to his kids. He's a quirky guy, but I like him, and we are totally opposite as far as work/our practice goes, which makes us a good pair. His wife is a totally depressing, self-centered, strange, socially awkward, crazy individual who is so lacking in attention it's scary. Someone told me they think she has aspberger's syndrome, but I doubt she'd seek any help or diagnosis, because she doesn't think there is anything wrong with her. She and I go to the same church, which has been quite awkward at times.

And I really did feel a little bette rafter feeling yesterday. But it is EXHAUSTING! Go figure.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


Wow, you did go through some bad physical injuries. I'm glad they have ruled out all those possible scary diagnosis. When you experienced the numbness on your one side, your symptoms did sound like a stroke. But stokes do leave evidence behind so it would be unlikely your tests would come back negative if that was the case. At any rate, it's good you take your health seriously and keep up with your appointments and mediation. It never hurts to be careful, no matter what anyone says.

I think because you did not deal with your feelings around the attack, you repressed them instead, they are just coming out now. So emotionally, at least in terms of the attack, you are still in the past. But that is normal when someone is abused or traumatized in any way. People often stop at the point in their lives that a trauma occurs and they need help to move forward. It is often seen in childhood abuse survivors. But with therapy and insight, these issues can be overcome and the person can move on feeling whole emotionally.

It sounds like your former partner's wife is quite interesting! But it's good you get along so well with your former partner. From your description, he sounds like he would want you to come back. He seemed to really like you and enjoy being part of your life.

It's normal to feel so tired after working on your feelings. Therapy is a lot of work! Many people feel that therapy is just talking about your feelings and the therapist does all the work. But it is actually the person in therapy that works the hardest. But it is a good kind of work because they end up feeling so much better and able to cope with their life and those around them.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

well, I had some head injuries, but otherwise no health issues until the last few years. I never even had stitches until I was about 30, and that was only because of a minor surgery. I've never broken a bone, except fingers and my nose (which isn't really a bone). Until those strange things happened a few years ago, I had only taken 2 sick days from work -- one for surgery on my pinky, and one for a knee surgery, and I was fine after those and only missed the day of surgery.

I thought strokes should show up too. The neurologist at the hospital said they were "inconclusive," but i think that a stroke is kind of a serious diagnosis when the real answer is "we don't know." I totally believe they are the complicated (or basal or hemiplegic or whatever they are actually called) migraines. I did see my new neurologist a little while ago. I really like him. He said he doesn't agree that the regular migraine meds are likely to cause me to have a stroke. He said nobody knows for sure, but he thinks the complicated migraine symptoms are caused more by misfiring neurons, and not really some vascular reason. He said that he is not 100% sure, but would feel comfortable prescribing them to me. I told him I would really like to try them because when I have a bad migraine, I can only take the pain stuff, and if it is really bad and lasts a long time, I end up taking way more than I am supposed to in a 24 hour period. He also told me that the pain stuff I'm taking (which is the only stuff that works for me, except for one other med that worked awesome but then they stopped making it), it will give me rebound headaches and make the migraine last longer than it otherwise would. So he gave me some samples to try, and if they work, he'll call in a prescription for the other stuff. I'm really glad.

So, I'm really hitting a home run lately with the doctors to whom I've been referred!!

Plus - C. texted me while I was at the doctor's office, and I get to play drums this Sunday for church, which will be fun. And I am actually not anxious about the sleep study thing on Sunday night. And I actually got some (but not enough) work done today. AndI haven't felt like crying at all today, which is a bonus after yesterday :).

So -- overall, I am having a great day! And I have already decided that I'm not going to have a nightmare tonight. I wish I could sleep in until noon, but I have a banjo lesson tomorrow morning, and I really should go because I have missed the past several weeks. Oh well.

"Interesting" is a very generous way to describe J. (my old partner's wife). But if I take a step back from the strange and damaging things she did to me and the firm , she is truly the most unhappy person I have ever known. I could tell you so many weird stories. She's one of those people who tries to manipulate things, which manipulation just prevents her from getting what she wants, which was why she was manipulating to begin with. And she's not even good at manipulation -- it is super obvious and just makes her look totally crazy. And she is not a big fan of mine, although she has been pretty cordial in the past several months. But I have seen her true self come through once or twice -- and she's actually fun and funny. If she was just herself, she'd have friends who loved her and gave her attention because they wanted to. Oh well. I do feel bad that the last thing I said to my partner when I left on my last day was that his wife was an f-ing psycho. I at least should not have cursed, or said it softly enough that everyone in the office including his wife didn't hear. Oh well. Not my finest or most mature moment. I have been told on numerous occasions (especially in church) that I need to get a filter. C. told me that just because I think something doesn't mean I have to say it. I told him I know, but sometimes it just shoots out of my mouth :) I can't tell you how many times in Sunday School, I have said something and the room got totally silent. Everyone is used to it, now, though, and I have had a number of people tell me that they were thinking the same thing but didn't say it. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up Baptist or because I was saved when I was an adult. I don't know. Maybe once I start letting my feelings out I will be better at keeping my thoughts in, at least when to say them would be inappropriate. I wonder if that's part of my defense mechanism?? I think it may also be part of the ADD I never knew I had.

Well, I am going to finish up some work and pack a ton of stuff to do this weekend. I like to work at home, and have a remote desktop thing so I can tap into my work computer from laptop, instead of coming in to work on the weekends, if I can.

Thanks for being patient with me this week. :) And thanks for talking. It makes me feel better to know that irght now, when my feelings seem to be all over the place from day to day or hour to hour, I can talk to you, instead of having to wait until my therapy appointments and try to explain every back and forth and try to figure it out there. And it helps me to check in with you to hear whatever I am feeling is normal, because it seems so crazy and "out there" to me.


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


Your new neurologist sounds very good! He seems to be thorough and upfront with you, which is what you want in a doctor who is taking care of your brain ;) And if he is willing to work with you on the pain medication, that can be a big relief.

Drums and banjo. Hmmm, that is a lot of musical talent. I hope you have a great time on Sunday at church. It's great you got offered a chance to play. I wonder if it's God's way of helping you through the day so you feel relaxed about Sunday night?

I can understand why you feel as you do about your former partner's wife. Telling him she is a psycho was probably just a way to vent your frustration with the situation. Mixing swearing with such situations is a way to express anger and feeling overwhelmed. Swearing is also used to express fear of being dominated. If you are in a group and feel threatened, swearing helps give you the persona of someone who is angry and therefore not easily messed with. Swearing in church can be a way of shocking others so you create some distance between you. It may be that you feel threatened in large groups or you fear that places like church bring out emotions you are afraid of, so you use swearing to help you distance yourself.

I do agree that letting your feelings out will help you swear less and do it by choice only. By expressing your feelings and facing your fears, you will give them less power and therefore less control over you. And you will not need to keep your distance from others or protect yourself like you do now (protecting yourself some is expected and normal). You will trust your instincts and find it easier to read people. So you would not need to protect yourself anymore by doing things like swearing.

You're welcome! I am glad to be here and get the opportunity to help you. You have had a tough time of it and I'm happy to lighten your burden even just a little.

Sleep well!