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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hi Kate. Were back from the cabin. Quick trip. Were pretty

Customer Question

Hi Kate. We're back from the cabin. Quick trip. We're pretty beat. I actually got a lot of work work done last night after everyone else was asleep. Then they all got up before 5:30 and I slept till 9:00. Oops.

I have a question: I am assuming, as I keep feeling worse about all this, I assume there will be a bottom point and then it will start feeling better. Is that assumption correct? If so, will I know when I hit that point?

Also - do you think we're doing the right thing in therapy - me telling it out loud and exploring my feelings about every little thing? Why is it so much harder for me to tell it verbally than it was when I wrote it out and let her read it?

On Friday, I just told her about the mean one having sex with me the first time. But that was really difficult for me and I felt awful. Linda said a few times that I didn't have sex with him, he r***d me. I told her it still is sex when it comes down to it, but I wish there was a different word for it to differentiate it from a voluntary situation.

I feel so bad about what happened. I am sad about it. My heart feels heavy. I felt so detached the last 2 weeks and then I tell one part of the thing Friday and bam - I have all these feelings again. I feel loss. But I don't know specifically what loss I feel. What did I lose? I feel used and upset that I know that I can be put in a position of having no control and being there strictly for the pleasure and use of someone. That doesn't jive with my self image that I am important and valuable. I had no value at that time. I was a play thing for 2 people. I was a thing almost, not a person. And when I was most lik a person during the whole thing, I jut did things to please them, affirming to them I had no individual value and was there for their pleasure and fun. I feel bad about this. It is hard to accept that I can be (and was) reduced to that. I'm not sure exactly what the feelings are. They're just bad.

Sorry. I just am feeling ba an I'm trying to figure it out.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Hi Shay,

Your back already! That was a fast trip but you did a lot in those few days. I bet you are tired, but maybe a good kind of tired?!

There really isn't a bottom in therapy as far as my experience goes. It's more about exploration and insight. Remember the time you had the realization with Dr. M? That is what I am talking about. You may feel bad, cry, feel down, anxious or angry. And sometimes you will feel raw. But it is not really considered a bottom, not like in alcoholism for example.

Exploring your story in therapy is a good option. But the only way to tell if it works for you is to evaluate it along the way. No technique in therapy is a surefire thing. And everyone is different. So something that works for one person does not really work for another. I know that is not the concrete answer you were looking for, but feelings and people are not that predictable.

If you feel exploring your story in therapy is making you too upset, angry or overwhelmed, then you may want to re evaluate doing it. The balance is to find a way to express what you need to express but not re traumatize yourself.

I'm not sure why it was easier for you to write your story out than to say it. It could be that writing it provided some distance emotionally for you. Telling it requires you to say it out loud, making it more real. You don't have time to step back and protect yourself. It's right there out in the open.

Breaking down the attack and saying it was sex rather than rape does what for you? If it was sex, how does that make you feel? And if you feel you consented to it, then why think about it? People who agree to have sex with someone do not usually feel bothered about it afterwards. They just do it and move on. So there must be a reason that you are going back to what happened and feeling bad about it. I do understand why you feel that way, but it helps you to reason it out.

You did lose a lot that night. You lost your boundaries, your sex life, your peace of mind, your innocence, your control and your self in a way, just for that night. When someone is traumatized, they lose that part of themselves that can feel safe and has certain boundaries with the world. The right to themselves, body and soul. The loss may be for one night, or it could be for years at a time. But it is a loss and because of that, it can cause you to grieve. But you can also gain in ways that you never would have otherwise as well. You become stronger because of your survival. And that is important to recognize. There is a balance.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Wow. Okay. I didn't say I felt it was consensual. In fact, I think I specifically Said I wished there was another word for it besides "sex" when it is involuntary. I don't see it the same as when I chose to have sex with my HS boyfriend. But it did involve sex. I didnt say it wasn't rape. But rape necessarily involves sex They were inside of me. The mean one was inside of me in every way possible. And that means something to me. I feel like I wouldn't be so upset if they had just beat the hell out of me. The sex part makes it mean more to me. And the fact that I felt like they physically and sexually ruined me. The fact that he cut me up and tore me in the most personal ways is particularly upsetting to me. It wasn't only sex, but it was sex. I hate that..I don't think telling it is retraumatizing me, but it is not easy and it is upsetting. It is bringing up intense feelings. How can I tell if it is good or bad for me? It feels bad, but I get the sense that anything that might help me process it will feel bad. .And I know that there are positive things that have come out of what happened and I'm stronger for it in ways, but I don't feel right now it was worth whatever benefits I gained. I'm not glad it happened and I don't appreciate it. Maybe I will get to that point some day. Maybe I will get to a point where I'm a big enough or gracious enough person to say "I'm glad that happened, because I gained so much from it." But I'm not even close to that now. Sorry. .I get that you are growing weary of my negativity, and I don't blame you. I just find it difficult to look on the bright side of all this. I know you will say you are not, but I can read the frustration in your posts. It's okay. As I said, I don't blame you, but I can't be in the place where everyone thinks I should be. Whatever that means about me, it is what it is. Sorry.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

I can see what you are saying. Yes, by definition what happened was sex. And that can be painful to realize because it was especially brutal. It was the tool they used to hurt you and they took full advantage of it. And it could be that picking another way to hurt you might have felt different. Or maybe not, There is no real way to know. Any type of pain perpetrated on you by someone else is going to hurt, physically and emotionally. It will be traumatizing. And recognizing how traumatized you feel is important.

The goal of therapy is not to encourage you to be able to say one day that you are glad about what happened to you. No one is going to wish that. But there are good things that will come out of it. Just like any other trial in life. But never does anyone wish to survive such a horrible attack just to have the good that does develop from it.

I'm very interested in the feelings you transferred onto me in my last post. I am not growing weary of your feelings. They are what you need to work through in order to feel better. Any feelings are acceptable here. And what you suffered through is not going to be better overnight. It takes time, lots of work and determination on your part to see this through. I am here to help you, not judge you. You may see me trying different avenues to help you, but there is no expectation of instant recovery. I actually encourage that you take your time with this. The last thing you want to do is to come back later and find something you did not resolve.

I hope you had a good night!

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Did you need to talk further about this?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. Thanks.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Let me know if you need to talk. You are in my thoughts!