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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5822
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate: What am I feeling? i am feeling like running around

Resolved Question:

What am I feeling? i am feeling like running around the office and breaking everything. Fear? Maybe. Of what, I don't know. It may be that I'm scared of what is happening to me. And of something overwhelming? This is ALL ovewhelming.
I feel totally out of control. Like if I was driving right now, I might very well just run into a telephone pole - just because. I feel so screwed up. I know you are going to say this is all normal - but it doesn't feel normal TO ME.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I know it doesn't feel normal to you. You have come from a background where anything you are feeling right now would have been a big no-. You would have been made to feel ashamed and made to repress all of this. So it's no wonder that you feel as you do. It is also the nature of what you are going through. Trauma and childhood issues at the same time is a lot.

Anger is a natural response to what you feel. It is a defense against something you feel is larger than you are, that might threaten you. It may also be a more acceptable defense to you. And society tends to see anger as a threat. It makes others back away, keeping you safer.

You may feel angry at me as a displacement for what you feel towards yourself or even the guys that hurt you. Or as a substitute for someone else you cannot be angry at. It also could be a way to get me to back off so I do not try to continue to help you see things about yourself and how you feel that frighten you.

Keep in mind that feelings are just that- feelings. They are important but they also can seem bigger than they really are, or even bigger than the problem. They are guided by thoughts, which is the real source of how you feel. By continuing to work with what you feel, it will make it easier to uncover and cope with. Changing your thoughts can help a lot. When you tell yourself that you are ok and that you will get through this, it can help you feel more in control.

You can also do some things to focus your energy. Grounding yourself is not only good for flashbacks but it can also help you with anger and overwhelming emotions. One of the ways to do this is to substitute what you feel like doing (like driving into a pole or cutting) with something you can do, like taking a deep breath, playing drums, etc. Each time you have a thought about doing something hurtful, think of a good coping mechanisms. We can work on this together if you get stuck.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm not really going to drive into a pole or cut myself. Sorry if I was not clear about that. i just feel like doing it. I'm not really going to do it. I am not that blatantly and outwardly self-destructive. But I might break some things. Nothing irreplaceable. Maybe I'll buy a bb gun tonight. Actually, that might be a really good idea, don't you think?

I know you keep saying this is normal. Maybe I DO want you to back off. On the one hand, I feel like I need you, and of course, I really like you. On the other hand, I want you to tell me this is not normal and how to instantly fix it (but I want it to be the truth). I want to be happy. I want to be normal and peaceful. I want to be rewarded, and not punished for making it all these years without thinking about it too much. And I want to be rewarded for finally working on it now. I understand that ultimately, it should be rewarding, but I can't see that far.

And you know, maybe I'm just mad. Maybe I have good reasons. Maybe not to be mad at you - but good reasons to be mad.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just sent Jamie out to buy me a bb gun. She thought it was odd, but was glad to get out of the office, so ....
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I'm sorry, Kate. I know it's not smart or nice to take out my anger on you, who is trying to help me. I know you probably also feel like you are giving me constructive advice and I'm not doing anything to help myself. I'm sorry. I suck at this game. I apparently get thrown off very easily.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I understood that you won't really hurt yourself but just the fact that you thought about it is telling me how strongly you feel right now. So I do want to try to help you with it.

Getting really angry and breaking things is ok, as long as no one gets hurt (sorry, had to say it!). I imagine that is what you are thinking with the BB gun. Target shooting is a good way to get out aggression and make yourself feel better. Many people do it to express anger in a perfectly acceptable way (that may be good for Jamie to know!).

You deserve to feel all of the things you listed. You deserve happiness, normalcy and peace. And you also deserve to be rewarded for what you have had to go through. It may be a good idea to think of ways to reward yourself for what you have done so far. Do something that celebrates that you are facing some of the hardest and most difficult feelings you will probably ever deal with. Make a special day out of it. Be silly with it. Whatever you want. You do deserve it.

And you also have good reason to be mad. You have gone through a very horrible experience, lived with it for a long time, dealt with therapy, medications and people telling you look at stuff about yourself you really don't want to deal with, you'd rather not ever deal with. And you have your feelings about the guys that did this to you, and what you feel is injustice about what they got away with. You have really suffered a lot. It can make you feel a lot of things, anger being one of them. It is unfair. And it should not be this way.

It's ok to want me to back off. And it's also ok to depend on me. You can feel both at the same time and still be completely normal (it doesn't feel normal, I know!).

Thank you :) I like you too, Shay. I like talking with you, and I appreciate you sharing your feelings with me and letting me help.

And don't worry about being angry with me. It is to be expected given the kind of work we are doing here. I understand your anger and that you don't mean it. Right now, it is not easy for you to accept the advice because of how you feel. Let's just go with it and work with what you are feeling. And actually, you do very well at this game. You have not been thrown off at all. You are going through a process which has no set course. To expect yourself to follow it in a certain way is only going to put undo pressure on you.

I need to be away for a while tonight so if you post, I won't be able to respond until later, just so you know.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm going to try to take a break tonight. by the way, Jamie already made me promise not to shoot BBs at animals or people or inside the office. I was more thinking about lining up cans on the back wall (we all have concrete or stucco walls here in NM - not wood fences, because it's so dry), and shoot them from the back upstairs deck. There's city open space land behind our yard, and nobody is ever back there. Or I'll go to the mountain trails. (I live right at the base of a mountain, so I only have to go across the street to start up the mountain). I can just shoot cacti or something (although, admittedly, it might be tempting to pick off joggers ...)