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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate: Interestingly, when I watched the news last night and

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Interestingly, when I watched the news last night and this morning, I found out that a teenager on her way to school yesterday morning was assaulted within a block of where I meet with Linda. Apparently there had been an earlier assault in the same area last week or something, they think by the same person. Kind of glad I didn’t know that before I went to my appointment last night. I feel really bad for the kid, obviously. That sucks.
It’s not really that much of an issue hearing about other incidents. I watch documentary crime shows every night, so I think I am kind of used to hearing about these things. I think the reason it bothered me last night was because Linda was saying “why did he have to stab her?” and “It was so cold that night. Why did he leave her outside in a ditch?” I don’t know. It just kind of hit home, even though it’s not really too similar.
I don’t like any words for it. I don’t like r***, I don’t like “attack” or “attackers,” I don’t like any if it. But I guess it needs to be described in some way. I feel most comfortable with “assault,” I think, because that could be minor or major, and not necessarily sexual, and technically, it doesn’t mean any physical contact. That would be battery. It technically means attempted battery, and was a crime because of the fear and emotional damage – not any physical damage (although even in statutes today, assault is frequently used to include physical contact). Should I just try to start using the r word?? I used to not like it because I felt like it wasn’t accurate and didn’t account for my part in it. Now it just seems to denote such a .... I don’t know .... kind of raw and brutal thing. Like the word itself has some power.
You think the embarrassment is about how I feel others perceive me? It might be. I don’t know. I just feel embarrassed that she and you know all these things - and I think that independently of what I think you might think of me because of it. However, it does also concern me what you guys think of me in light of the fact that you do know all this stuff.
I agree with you about the nightmares.
I am so tired today, though. I feel really down. I was going to call Linda, but I don’t really have anything to say, and I don’t think she can make me feel better anyway. I took extra zoloft this morning. I don’t think it will probably make a difference. I think that stuff has to build up in your system.
Oh – and I wanted to expand upon what I was saying about not being suicidal. It is not at all the case that I feel there’s “no other way out” or something. I have hope. I have a lot of hope. And even though I feel miserable right now, things otherwise in my life are pretty good. I do see a way out of this – in fact, it is the way out of this that is making me miserable in the short term. Anyway, if I were ever planning on hurting myself or worse – and really wanted to do it, I certainly wouldn’t tell my therapist. That would defeat the goal, if it were my goal (which it isn’t). I do see that all of this is going to be for the best and I will be better after all this than I was a year ago. I have confidence in that. However, the process sucks and it is way too long. :)
Is there any way you can think of something to make me feel better just for today?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


Not using the r word or any other words about what happened to you is a way to distance yourself from what really happened. It can keep the meaning and the reality of it away. There is really no word that is going to make you feel totally comfortable with what happened to you, but this is not so much about the word as the meanings you assign to them. In other words, what those words mean to you.

From what you have told me about your feelings of embarrassment and shame, it seems to be about what others feel about you, in light of what happened. Embarrassment stems from an awareness of yourself that you are doing something or was a part of something shameful. The standard in which we measure that by is how others see us. But in your case, I think it is how you perceive others view you. Because Linda and I do not see what happened to you the same way you perceive that we do. Until now, that has been difficult for you to accept.

Why you feel the way you do today could be from the nightmares and the effect it has had on your sleep and on how you feel. Is there a way to get a nap in today? You could also try distracting yourself for a while. Do something out of the ordinary. You can also plan something special for yourself tonight so you have something to look forward to. That sometimes can help you get through a difficult day.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.


I can't take a nap today. I have too much to do and meetings this afternoon. I thought about going to a movie tonight with P and her brother, but they are going to see the "Avengers" in 3D and that will make me vomit for sure. I tend to get motion sickness when I see action movies in the theater. Plus, I just want to sleep. I will look forward to a bath and sleep. Or maybe I can call P and ask her to fill up the hot tub today.

I know why I feel bad today. It's just the feelings and the sleep problem. You are right. I just want these feelings to go away. Without the feelings, I can handle the lack of sleep. I will try to distract myself. It will be easy this afternoon when I am meeting with clients.

Sorry. I'm just complaining and feeling sorry for myself. I know that's not right- I am really a blessed person. But I just am.

I know I have opinions about how you and Linda perceive me. I would imagine some of that comes from how I perceive myself?? I don't feel like either of you are judging me harshly. I just can't imagine you don't feel differently about me than you would in other circumstances. I mean, we'll never know. I met both you and Linda specifically because I need help due to what happened, so ... But I mean, don't you think it would be awkward for Linda to sit in the same room hours a week, week after week, with someone who swallowed somebody else's urine and did/said those things and had a bottle used in that way and was all torn up?


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It's perfectly fine to have an off day, especially given what you are dealing with! I would expect you to feel down, sometimes for often than not.

Yes, how you feel Linda and I perceive you comes from how you perceive yourself, especially if you have not seen any signs that we feel that way. And you have checked in with both of us and we both have told you we don't feel the way you see us feeling. I don't think it is awkward at all for Linda to see you after knowing what happened to you. That is your perception. I don't feel that way either. I don't think of those things when I talk with you. But you do, so it is about your perception.


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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Does that make sense, what I said? Let me know if you feel it didn't address what you were talking about.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It makes total sense -- you addressed what I was talking about. Thanks! I am just having a hard time this morning.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

It is understandable that you feel as you do. You have spent the last several days talking about some very heavy duty topics, things that you have been trying to confront for a while now. And you are gaining so much insight every day that I'm struggling to keep up! :) Therapy is exhausting work, and it could be that you are more tired than you realize.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That might be true.

I'm glad i will be seeing Linda again tomorrow.

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
I think it'll help a lot to see Linda again.