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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Church was good. Our duet went well. And the other 2

Resolved Question:

Hi Kate.
Church was good. Our duet went well. And the other 2 female praise team singers said c asked them both to sing every week indefinitely, and they are both glad to do it, so I'm off the hook for that as long as I want. They didn't sound too thrilled when I told them d was willing to come back. I understand because she has kind of an abrasive voice and isn't always in tune. I think c wanted her off pt before, but didn't know how to do it. But now if she's coming back, it's c's own fail for not replacing her and having me fill in for a year. I don't care what they do, because none of the scenarios involve me having to do it anytime soon.
We went to a little town and had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant with P's brother and sister-in-law after church. That was nice. Now I'm really in need of a nap.
It's hard for me to convince myself of the "they took, I didn't give" thing. I keep saying it to myself. But because of the way things unfolded, it doesn't seem so correct. I will have to convince myself that even if I technically consented, offered, agreed, did ... It wasn't really voluntary. But it was a choice. I chose the consequences of doing those things rather than the consequences of the bottle. But on the other hand, I didn't want either. Maybe this is my continued payment for not getting the bottle any more than I did? I keep going back and forth. I know it's not the same as my having mutual sex with them (my gosh I hope it's different!), but I can't help but seein it as like my whole sex life, you know? And that implies consent. Ack. So up and down!
Seems like everyone knew this morning about me going back to my old firm. That's totally fine - it's not a secret, but I wonder who told everyone and why it seems to be big news. People must be pretty bored. But I'm hoping it was LPs wife who is telling people, because that means she thinks it's a good thing too.
I am so glad I didn't have a bad dream last night!! But I feel kind of down as the day goes on. I think I keeP expecting to suddenly be fine. Like a switch will be flipped, you know?
Oh well. Thanks for being here, Kate. :)
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


It sounds like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders with you no longer having to be on the praise team. It's good you worked it out. You can really use a break.

Looking at the "they took, you didn't give" - by breaking it down by saying that technically you did give really doesn't address what happened. It is taking the psychological coercion factor out of it and saying that being forced to choose between getting physically ripped apart and doing what they said to do really doesn't matter. Psychological coercion can be an extremely powerful tool in a criminals hands. Many people who are victims of crimes cooperate so they are not physically hurt. How many times have you heard of someone doing that? Even the police advise doing what a criminal says to save your own life.

You do not deserve to pay for anything that happened to you. Just because you made a choice under psychological duress does not mean you are at fault. You had to choose between one bad thing and another. Either you did what they said and had a chance to survive, or you took a risk and refused and hoped that they did not hurt you further or even killed you. What kind of choice is that?

Also, you did not know what they were going to do so you had nothing to base your decision on. You didn't know these guys. So your decision had to be based totally on the situation, while you were being brutalized in a horrible way. How in the world can that be your fault no matter what you decide?

What you did with them is in no way mutual sex. Mutual sex is really consenting sexual contact and you did not consent to this, even if you agreed to do what they asked of you. Since you did what they asked under duress, that cannot be considered consent. What you did then moves to the category of force through psychological trauma. When someone is made to choose under psychological trauma, they cannot be responsible for what they do.

What these guys did to you may be your whole sex life, to this point. But that is only because you were so brutalized, physically and psychologically. That does not mean you would not have made different choices for yourself if you could have. It plays a part in what choices you did make because of what they did to you. Just as an abused child might make different choices based on what happened to her, especially regarding relationships, you did the same. It also does not mean that you won't be able to have a relationship and sex as you recover from this. Anyone who has gone through a trauma cannot just ignore that trauma and carry on in their lives. They have to stop and deal with it in one way or another. And that is what you are doing. Once you work through this, it will change for you and you will find that you can move on and get what you want out of your life.

One day you will find that you will be fine. You are well on your way right now. I always say that anyone who reaches out for help will not only get it, but is almost guaranteed to get better. I think this is very true for you.

Good night, Shay. I hope this is another good night for you with no bad dreams!


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks. I will continue to think all this through trying to look at it like that. It is hard to reconcile. It's hard to think of just walking away taking no responsibility. Like how can I just wash my hands of it and put it all on someone else? It seems like such a cop-out. I understand that it's how I grew up - personal responsibility for everything was almost a requirement (to be fair, most of the trouble I got in growing up was my own fault). And also, it probably helps me maintain a sense of control, like you have said. But it's hard to think I don't have to pay for it. The problem is that I don't know if I will ever be able to pay it fully. But maybe that's because it's not mine to pay??? As for the control, I'm not sure why I would want to claim control of what happened. If I did have control, then doesn't that make it worse? I wouldn't have arranged such a situation, or really any part of it. My thoughts about this whole thing and my feelings about it are really conflicting.
Also, I was really angry yesterday at them. And now I am angry at them (not as much as yesterday) and I'm really mad at my parents. I havent talked to them in weeks. I guess I'm avoiding it, although they haven't called me either. I was thinking today that when we were going through my file, we ran across a list of questions I had given Linda, and she answered them the next session. She had written down some of her answers. One of my questions was whether she was glad she had found out about what happened to her daughter. She had said (and had written) "of course - she is my child". She had underlined child about 5 times. When she had told me her answers, she said that she said she was so glad to know so that she could do whatever she could to help her. That makes me sad and mad. Maybe there's a difference because her daughter was only a teenager, but I sense she'd feel the same way now that her kids are grown. I feel angry that I couldn't go to my parents for any help at all. Now, at that point, I didn't even want to, because it would have been awkward. We didn't have that kind of relationship. But I think that I maybe should have felt I had that option.
Why is it that I would have had more support of I had been run over by a car or shot or sonehing?
Oh well. Need to stop thinking about this for now and get some work done. I have a bunch of stuff due tomorrow.
Night, Kate.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


It is hard to see the situation differently because you are looking at through the lenses of your parents point of view rather than the healthy point of view which is that no one who is a victim of a crime wanted it, deserved it or caused it to happen in any way. And if you did not want this to happen to you, how are you responsible in any way for it?

Your parents taught you something that they themselves believed in. But just because they believed it, doesn't make it true or realistic. Many parents things that are wrong or hurtful. Some believe that children should not have any rights. Other parents believe that it is ok to leave children home alone or let them play with guns or in the street, but that doesn't make it right. Your parents believed that making their children responsible for everything that happened was right, even if it wasn't your fault. Does their belief in this point of view make it right?

This belief is also setting a huge burden on you. It is telling you that you are not allowed to see being attacked as something that was done to you rather than something you should be punished for. It also says that you had some responsibility in this and therefore some control. If you can find the source of that control, I'd be very surprised.

How do you feel you should pay for being attacked? In order to pay for what happened to you, you would first need to be responsible. So how are you responsible? Did you want to be attacked? Did you seek these guys out and ask to be hurt? How did you instigate this? Secondly, you would have to have had some control over these guys. What type of control did you have? What did you make them do? Thirdly, you would have had some control over how it ended. Did you stop it at any time? If not, why didn't you? If you wanted this to happen and are responsible for it, then why do you have nightmares and other symptoms related to what happened? People who choose what happens to them do not suffer from PTSD or RTS. They go on with their lives normally. So how did you end up with any symptoms?

Being mad at your parents is a good sign. When we first started talking, you used to spend a lot of energy protecting them, avoiding any blame on their part for how you felt. But if that follows what they believe, shouldn't they accept responsibility for what you feel? For not being there for you after the attack? Linda told you how she felt with her daughter. I can tell you I'd feel the same with mine, no matter what age they are. If most parents would protect their daughters and would be there for them, what makes what your parents did ok? You deserve to have had the option of going to your parents for help. Being angry at them is part of the process of seeing what they did and how wrong it was.

I hope you had a good night!

Talk to you soon,


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