How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Kate: I had sent Debra's friend an email yesterday afternoon

Resolved Question:

I had sent Debra's friend an email yesterday afternoon and I just got an email back from her. Wow. She said that when she read what I was struggling with, she felt like it could have been something she wrote when she was in the middle of dealing with it. And the things she said about how she felt when she was going through it are so similar to things that I think and feel, but hadn't mentioned.
She said it was a long road and a hard road, but from the other side now, she said it was more than worth it. She said that also, it was not a linear process, as she had thought it would be. She said she thought once she talked through the shame issues, they would be resolved, but she had to revisit an revisit some of the same issues. She said it took her a long time to put the blame for what happened where it belonged, and also the blame on the adults that should have been supporting her but didn't.
She said that before she went through the years of therapy, she was unaware o the coping mechanisms that she had built into her life that needed to be undone.
She said, as you have, that she still struggles with it sometimes and something will come up out of the blue, but she understands it better now and is much more equipped to handle it, and it doesn't take as long to deal with whatever it is.
She seemed to know exactly how I felt!
About the church thing, I don't think Jen has any clue even that I haven't been to church. She works with the youth. She just knew I was taking a break from praise team. But she also knows I enjoy filling in on the drums. And I said yes less out of obligation than the fact that I usually really like playing drums - I don't play with actual people except there. Otherwise, I play along with my iPod which is not the same at all. I just didn't think it through or weigh whether it would be worth it. I just always like to fill in on the drums so I said yes. It will be okay. It was kind of funny ... When jim approached me, both Clark and Debra came closer. I appreciated that, but he didn't confront me at all. He actually took Jamie and Debra's advice from Sunday and just said "we've been missing you.".
I had a nightmare last night. It was different. I mean, kind of the same in the situation, but it felt like it was different, if that makes any sense.
Talk to you later.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

That is fantastic. I am so glad to hear that Debra's friend was so supportive. Although it is bad what happened to her, the fact that she had the same feelings as you had to be enormously helpful to you. As a survivor, it can be a lonely journey to recovery. Having someone who understands can be priceless.

I agree with her, it is a long and hard road. But once it is done, you are equipped with the tools to handle any reoccurrence of your feelings and issues. And when it does reoccur, you approach it in a much more calm way too. It doesn't have the same effect as it once did, which in itself can feel so good. The power it had over you is gone.

Like Debra's friend said, it is common to want to set a goal and feel your work is done once you reach it, just as she did with her feelings of shame. It is not easy to go through such a horrible experience then add years of therapy on top of it. But each little step you take gets you closer. And you will know when you are done. It's a feeling that you thought you would never have, like you are complete- strong and well equipped.

It's good that you recognize that you didn't feel ready to deal with people at church just yet. It sounds like the drums are therapeutic for you, but people can add stress and exhaust you with all the needs and issues that come with them. Easing into coming back may take time. It's hard to set boundaries with people who don't understand why you are setting them, but sometimes they just need to understand.

I am glad that Clark and Debra were there for you when Jim approached you. They seem well aware of Jim's issues and that he might have intended on approaching you in a much different way. I imagine them being there might have put a stop to anything he might have done.

It does make sense that your nightmare has changed. You are dealing with some very strong issues around what happened to you, facing some of the deeper feelings. You not only are talking about how you might have died (a big thing to face) but you also found some very good support through Debra and her friend. Your mind might use that to alter how you feel about what happened and change your perception of the attack in your dream. It is a good sign.

TherapistMarryAnn and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you