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Answered in 48 minutes by:
6/15/2012
TherapistMarryAnn
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5,896
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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It sounds like the retelling of the attack has traumatized you. Going over what happened in detail can feel overwhelming. You are facing some of the very things you spent years avoiding. You had a whole mindset around the feeling that nothing was wrong and that you had dealt with whatever the effects were from the attack. Now you are looking at everything in detail and exposing yourself to all the feelings. It's bound to affect you by bringing up all of your defenses and raw emotions.

The need for time to yourself is a natural response. You have so much going on inside that outside distractions are too much to handle at the same time. Everyone needs time alone, but with what you are going through, time to yourself is an important way to cope with what you feel. Is there a way to explain to P that you need time to yourself? Sometimes it is necessary to set a boundary in order to get what you need. Or is it an option to go away for a few days to a local hotel? You could take your work with you and get the time you need there.

There is no way that wanting to know why this happened is you placing undue significance to the situation. Wanting to know why is a very normal desire. And your feelings are important. They are as much a part of you as your logic/thought processes are. It may not feel right to you because of how you were raised. Being told that feelings are not normal and that you are weak for thinking them important has a great effect on how you value your emotions. But denying them is just as harmful as saying that thinking is not important. Having feelings makes you human- capable of love, care and empathy. And having feelings about what happened is a part of who you are. Although your feelings are difficult and painful now, they will level out and you will feel ok, just like the friend of Debra told you she has experienced.

Kate
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Why can't I just let go of these parts that don't matter (like the why and stuff)? Isn't that the goal - to put I behind me? I know I can't ever know why. I can guess or ask you or Linda or dr. M, but we cannot know. Even if I could ask them, they wouldn't tell me. Wondering goes nowhere. It just hurts me. The bot***** *****ne is that the reason can't be anything that would be acceptable to me anyway. There is no good reason. Nothing that would make it fair. It's not like I've never wondered why before. But I think it has hit me lately, as I am forced to think about these things and I am telling it in detail and looking at every part of it as real and feeling how hurtful some even small parts of it are (I think that makes it different for me than thinking about it as a whole with maybe some worst parts) that I ... I'm not sure what word to use - paid? Had to put up with? Went through? (I don't know the right words) ... So much. Even in some of the most seemingly inconsequential things. It just makes it seem more pointless.
But I also don't understand why telling/thinking about a small part - like the oral sex part - & the small details of it can keep me upset for over a week or even get me that upset at all. I've been really upset. Way more upset than I should be. It's beyond the kind of upset I've ever been before.
I will talk to p. the thing is - she is going through a really tough time too. She lost both of her parents within 6onths and is having to deal with the loss, plus deal with their estates (which means dealing with some difficult family members), etc. her needs and my needs just seem to clashing right now, and mine aren't any more important than hers. I can't go away for a few days it would be more stressful arranging and explaining than it is worth. P is going to the cabin on 7/1 and I wasn't going until 7/4 and I think I will stretch it out until 7/5 or 7/6. So if I can hold on until then, I will have some time alone and also can drive by myself. I will be busy work-wise, since we will still be competing the move and will need to get everything done for the time I will be out of the office, but I will be able to have some time alone at home. I am not thrilled that p changed plans again and we are staying at the cabin now and will be surrounded by everyone, but i need to do what she needs me to do.
I just feel like I can't stop these feelings. I want to make them go away and I can't. I know you say I can't get totally overwhelmed and can't really lose control. But how can you know that? People do lose control sometimes. I don't think I would. I don't see that happening. But I new to be able to function and work and cope. I don't want to have to pay any other consequences in the future for not being able to handle myself and do what I need to do.
Most people can't just let go. It has to be worked through first. You are in a lot of pain and just letting go is not an option unless you shut your feelings off. And it's not about knowing why as much as it is about the pain of why it happened to you. It is human nature to want to understand.

You are judging yourself and how upset you should be about what happened. There is no measurement that says you are too upset about this. That is a ruler that your parents gave you. It needs thrown out because it is a dysfunctional ruler. There is no shoulds when it comes to feelings. You feel what you feel. That is all. It hurts and it's awful, but accepting that helps you work it through. The shoulds only hold you back.

I'm glad you are making plans to be alone some time before you go to the cabin. In the meanwhile, try to spend as much time as you can by yourself even if you have to go out to do it. You will be able to process this a whole lot better that way.

You will not lose control. You may feel that way because you are measuring your emotions against what you were taught so they seem bigger than they are. Plus you are focused on getting them to go away instead of accepting them. That is going to make them stronger. Try telling yourself that it is ok to feel. Acceptance is ok.

Kate
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Okay. Thanks. I feel like I am too upset based on the fact that I feel too upset to function regularly. I do accept I have feeling. Believe me - it has become abundantly clear to me.
I will try to get some alone time when I can. Just a bit over stressed right now. I am sure it's fine for me to be upset, like you said And I will be fine. It's just outside of my normal experience. But these things happen. I will accept it.

I see, that makes sense. It can be hard to function when you are coping with so much. That is why it is so important to get time for yourself. You can't process all of this while trying to work, especially not with what you do for a living. These things do happen but that doesn't mean you don't need to take extra care of yourself and depend on those around you to help.

I hope you had a good night,

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
It must be hard for people who are married and have children to get any time alone.
it is!
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