Psycho-Babble Social Thread 221574

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Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 23, 2003, at 21:28:27

In reply to Re: I'm fine sienna, posted by Dinah on April 23, 2003, at 19:19:05

Even though you don't have any specific memories of trauma, you may have had intense fears that something wrong would happen which would have been traumatic. It sounds as if you may not have had any sense of safety when you were a child; This could be the equivalent of actually having been abused or traumatized. My father was an alcoholic, and although he never abused me sexually, I felt a continual sense of danger around him-something I'm working on now in therapy. I am finding how intense these fears still are, so many years later; I didn't know how much I was minimizing and denying them until now: because I wasn't actually abused, I kept telling myself that my anxiety was uncalled for. When you have a "meltdown", I wonder if you aren't re-experiencing an extremely fearful state that you originally experienced as a child. To me, how you describe your life seems to have PTSD written all over it .I, too have heard interesting things about EMDR; maybe you shouldn't reject the idea of it completely. My new therapist has favorable views of it as an adjunct. It's so good that you are bringing these topics to the board, Dinah. You are not not the only one by any means, but you often have the most courage in leading the way.

Pfinstegg

 

Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by judy1 on April 23, 2003, at 23:55:20

In reply to Re: I'm fine sienna, posted by Dinah on April 23, 2003, at 19:19:05

I have a history Dinah, and for me a specific trigger (it can be a memory, smell, etc.) will cause me to dissociate during sex. it certainly doesn't happen all the time, but when it does it's pretty clear to my spouse who will do everything to reassure me (doesn't really help, but it's a nice gesture). has this been happening a lot Dinah, or just occasionally? I went the EMDR route, it was somewhat helpful- but it really is for specific memories, and I had too much fear to continue. would it help to have your spouse come to sessions with you? just some thoughts. take care, judy

 

Re: I'm fine Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:49:18

In reply to Re: I'm fine Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on April 23, 2003, at 21:28:27

Fools rush in.... (grin)

I haven't ruled out EMDR. It's just that my understanding is what Judy said. You have to have a target memory. I don't have any traumatic memories. I guess I have a few sad ones, but they aren't very specific. It would be hard to isolate one given memory. By this time they're more memories of memories than actual memories, if that makes any sense. And they have long since been stripped of their emotional content. So I can remember my first panic attack, and my brand new brother almost throwing up on me, I can remember how I felt, but it's not even movie quality memories. It's more like transcript memories. They have no power to move me at all any more.

Are you planning to use EMDR as an adjunct?

 

Re: I'm fine judy1

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:55:19

In reply to Re: I'm fine Dinah, posted by judy1 on April 23, 2003, at 23:55:20

My husband doesn't really know about it all. I mean he *must* know to some extent. I was far more overt about the fear before we were married, and it was in fact a condition of our marriage that I get over it, or overcome it or something. He *can't* be totally oblivious. Although my husband manages to be oblivious to a lot of things, and that's just as well I guess.

It's a pretty global fear and it comes up with any sort of touch with sexual overtones. It also comes up when someone very tall enters my personal space, even when no touching is involved. At least it *feels* like the same fear. Similar at least. Feelings of suffocation and urges to flee. Dissociation can be a terrific thing sometimes, and allows me to function as if.

 

Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 24, 2003, at 20:23:09

In reply to Re: I'm fine judy1, posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:55:19

I think I have an unusual psychoanalyst- he uses art therapy regularly, and is thinking about EMDR and sensory integration therapy, although not recommending them yet. He thinks that a lot of stress reactions to neglect or abuse aren't accessible to memory or verbal expression, and he wants to use as many non-verbal channels as he can. It is becoming a fascinating, terrifying and tremendously powerful experience -undergoing therapy with him.

I do notice something, Dinah. You don't have any memories of anything terrifying in your childhood- just "memories of memories" and sadness. But you have intense fear reactions now to particular people and situations when no actual danger is present. Where do these come from?

Pfinstegg

 

Re: I'm fine Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 20:36:32

In reply to Re: I'm fine Dinah, posted by Pfinstegg on April 24, 2003, at 20:23:09

I guess I always assumed it was because I was crazy. Not insane, but crazy, nuts, whatever. I do remember that. I remember the looks I got back when I was crazy. Maybe that's why I can be so honest here on the board. No one to look at me as if I was about to go off. Well, maybe once or twice the looks made it through the written medium, but not often.

Is remembering how people looked at me as if I were a live grenade a sufficiently traumatic memory for EMDR? I know it's still traumatic. I have the vague memory of crying and accusing my therapist of looking at me that way just recently.

 

Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 24, 2003, at 21:15:33

In reply to Re: I'm fine Pfinstegg, posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 20:36:32

I feel crazy, and even worse, paranoid, myself, sometimes, too, but we are, for better or worse, stressed but sane! I have had that terrible feeling of not wanting anyone to look at me, too. It's hard to offer suggestions to anyone, as it's so hard to know whether they fit or could be helpful. I would say that staying with the feelings around your fears, and trying to explore them- honoring their reality, even though you don't know their origin- would be the way to go when you are working with your therapist- of course, I know you are doing a wonderful job of that already, but I do feel from reading your posts over the last 7 months that some kind of trauma or intensely fearful state occurred when you were a child, even though you can't get in touch with it now. If I am completely off-base, just ignore it; I know I am influenced now by my present therapist's thinking, which is very PTSD-based for everyone with disabling psychiatric symptoms, whether anxiety, depression, phobias or a tendency to dissociate under stress.

Pfinstegg

 

Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by sienna on April 25, 2003, at 14:47:32

In reply to Re: I'm fine sienna, posted by Dinah on April 23, 2003, at 19:19:05

hi dinah i dunno maybe that T that does the EMDR could tell you if it could help. I dont rememer much details in what hapenned to me and i am going to see if i can try it. but i dont now will it work or not. somthing needs to fast though.
sienna

 

Re: I'm fine Dinah

Posted by judy1 on April 25, 2003, at 18:46:10

In reply to Re: I'm fine judy1, posted by Dinah on April 24, 2003, at 17:55:19

Dinah, forgive me if I've asked before- have you been hypnotized? I know you insist on having no memory of abuse, it's just so many of your symptoms are indicative of that (or a severe PTSD response). Has your therapist ever encountered someone with your symptoms who didn't have a history? It's amazing what the brain can store away. (If this bothers you, please don't answer).
As far as your spouse, he seems comfortable with his denial, but are you? Would it be too stressful for you to have him involved in your recovery, or would he prefer not to? I was amazed how willing my husband was- but it came down to acknowledging or ignoring the 'elephant in the room'. take care, judy

 

Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing)

Posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

In reply to Re: I'm fine Dinah, posted by judy1 on April 25, 2003, at 18:46:10

Actually, while I thought my therapist had finally accepted that nothing had happened, this subject cropped up in therapy today (as topics often do after I post here). And it turns out he still can't quite believe that nothing ever happened.

I do have one memory. I checked with my mom when I first remembered it, and she verified it and asked me if anything had happened.

I tend not to give to much weight to this memory, first of all because I remember that nothing had happened, and secondly because according to my gyn I was at least partially errr... "intact" in young adulthood.

It was between ages 3 and 4 1/2 while I was living with my Mom in my grandparent's house. I had insisted on wearing a too small for me shorts outfit. A shirt with a cute little frog in the same blue fabric with tiny white polkadots that made up the matching shorts. That evening my mom noticed a bloodstain in the shorts. She and my grandma grilled me about whether anything had happened that day. Where I had gone, and who I had been with. I remember quite distinctly looking down at the shorts in my hands. The blue fabric with the tiny white polkadots. There in the crotch in the relevant area was a blood stain about 1/2 inch on either side of the seam. About 2 inches long. As best I can judge from memory image. They were insisting that something must have happened. There was the evidence right in my hands. And I knew that it was my fault because my mom hadn't wanted me to wear the too tight shorts. I was confused and upset at their questions. I honestly couldn't remember anything unusual happening that day. I promised them I had stayed around the house area. I hadn't gone in the corn fields.

They probably at least looked me over. I can't remember. They finally decided it must have been the too tight shorts. And the matter was dropped.

While I'm pretty sure nothing happened (because I remember remembering that nothing happened) I guess that could have been traumatic in itself. It never did feel traumatic as I remembered it, and surely that isn't enough to account for my fears which extend all the way to kissing. It is just a stray childhood memory. No more traumatic than the other embarassing things I remember from childhood.

I'm gonna regret this post, I can tell even as I hit submit.

 

Re: Ugh. Never mind. Don't read above post. (nm)

Posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:16:35

In reply to Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing), posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

 

you may regret post but cathartic nontheless I bet (nm)

Posted by lostsailor on April 25, 2003, at 20:22:15

In reply to Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing), posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

 

Re: mostly embarassing :( (nm) lostsailor

Posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:24:43

In reply to you may regret post but cathartic nontheless I bet (nm), posted by lostsailor on April 25, 2003, at 20:22:15

 

gotcha, but safe here--we all say things, ya kn (nm)

Posted by lostsailor on April 25, 2003, at 20:38:57

In reply to Re: mostly embarassing :( (nm) lostsailor, posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:24:43

 

Dinah

Posted by kara lynne on April 25, 2003, at 22:28:58

In reply to Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing), posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

Dinah,
I understand how you would feel vulnerable after writing what you did, but I really hope you don't feel bad about it. There is nothing embarassing about what you wrote; it's a very powerful memory. It made me retrieve some of my own, really early memories that I would like to have more clarity around. I wish I didn't understand that dreaded feeling of vulnerability so well, but I do. But maybe it will help to know that your post was meaningful to me.

 

Heavens, that was nothing to be embarassed about (nm) Dinah

Posted by whiterabbit on April 25, 2003, at 22:29:45

In reply to Re: mostly embarassing :( (nm) lostsailor, posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:24:43

 

friends..here..

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 25, 2003, at 22:30:23

In reply to Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing), posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

dinah,
remember this is like journaling..
its all good..let it out...
sort it out..
we will listen with patient, friendly ,loving...understanding..
ears...
j

 

Re: Thanks guys. That makes me feel better.

Posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 22:33:37

In reply to Dinah, posted by kara lynne on April 25, 2003, at 22:28:58

I'm all too familiar with Babbler's remorse, I'm afraid. This place is like a journal in some ways. And in some ways it's better, because there are others to help me sort things through and gain perspective. I tend to wrap myself in circles.

 

dinah..so true Dinah

Posted by justyourlaugh on April 25, 2003, at 23:15:28

In reply to Re: Thanks guys. That makes me feel better., posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 22:33:37

dinah,
journaling for me was scary,,because at the time i was writting ...a novel(i am a closet artist and writter like everyone else here)
i dont like the idea that there is a chance it would be read..
journaling...books...artwork...more more more...
myself included..
have "it" let "it" go.....forget"it"
?
?
j

 

Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) Dinah

Posted by leeran on April 26, 2003, at 2:06:55

In reply to Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing), posted by Dinah on April 25, 2003, at 20:14:02

Please don't have babbler's remorse. You remembered it in such detail that it must be a memory that you need to address now and then.

Your story reminds me so much of one of my best friend's stories of a man who lived down the street from her family. He lured her onto his lap one day, while he sat in the garage wearing only his boxer shorts. She has vague memories of perhaps seeing his *****. She was close to the same age you mentioned. Maybe a little older, but definitely no older than five.

Because of our work (lol, no were not streetwalkers), she and I spent years together - day after day - just the two of us.

If I'm remembering correctly this memory came up in one of our many conversations and it was something she hadn't thought of since childhood.

Her sister made her tell her mother, and it turned out to be another case of sweeping unsavory memories under the rug (Dinah, I'm not saying you or your mother/grandmother were "under the rug sweepers" - I'm referring to a mention of the "proverbial family rug" in a post I just made under Pax's thread).

My friend's mother simply forbade her to ever go near this man's garage again, and told her she must never tell anyone else what had happened . . .

Can you imagine??? I know her mother, and she was one of the best mothers you can imagine (and not just from my observations, but from my friend's viewpoint as well). But those were different times. Maybe people didn't make as many waves? Maybe she was in a sewing circle with guy's wife? I don't know. She doesn't either, but I know that she has wondered, as an adult, if it has affected her sexuality. And when you think about it, how could it not? She's never been all that thrilled about sex so it's certainly a possiblity.

On a slightly different note - I told my husband about my "comrade in vomit" last night and he thought it was so wonderful (how do I put that, this late at night, that it doesn't sound totally weird/surrealistic???) that there was someone I had finally connected with about that fear.

You are so open and it is such a gift to everyone else, so BR shouldn't even enter into it! Gosh, that one post of yours about vomit may have saved me some valuable time to discuss other issues in the therapist's chair. One babbler's remorse is another babbler's salvation.

As for me, I'm sure I'll feel like I have babbler's hangover when I wake up in the morning.

p.s. I have now written three different responses to your sexual aversion post and each one sounds flakier than the one before it so I'm going to have to decide. If only it had been a mechanical only problem because I have the short story on overcoming that one. I'm still grappling with whether or not I've ever had sexual aversion or if I just eventually despised my first two husbands so much that I fell hopelessly in love with my v*brator.

 

Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) leeran

Posted by Pfinstegg on April 26, 2003, at 10:53:49

In reply to Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) Dinah, posted by leeran on April 26, 2003, at 2:06:55

It's so good that you brought that memory up, and I hope that you will see that you have only accepting, warm and loving responses here. Many of us have memories like yours- fragments which don't seem to add up to much, but which are, nonetheless, surounded in shame and fear, for reasons which are hard to explain. When you talk about them, be sure not to retraumatize yourself by becoming overwhelmed by anxiety or shame; you are truly safe here because you are speaking to unknown people who REALLY understand what you are talking about. Hopefully, you can re-experience and work through these traumatic memories, insignificant as they may seem ( they aren't!) slowly and in a safe and loving atmosphere with your therapist.

Pfinstegg

 

Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) leeran

Posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 11:37:03

In reply to Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) Dinah, posted by leeran on April 26, 2003, at 2:06:55

Thanks for thinking of me, Lee. I suspect there are no easy fixes for this problem. :( It's just too pervasive and longstanding. I looked it up on the internet, and was quite discouraged.

My therapist asked me yesterday if I wanted to learn to enjoy sex, as opposed to just merely not hating it. And my knee-jerk reaction was. NO!!! YEACH!!!! BLECH!!!! IT IS JUST TOO AWFUL TO CONTEMPLATE CHOOSING TO DO THAT!!! PEOPLE (well, husband) WOULD BE TOUCHING ME EVEN MORE OFTEN!!! LEAVE ME THE %#*@ ALONE!!!

I have this vague idea that I'm not quite making the cognitive leap that if I enjoyed it, my feelings about it would be different. Even the concept is too much for me to tolerate. Maybe over time the very idea will seep in and I'll be able to entertain it.

P.S. I'm not particularly a prude. It's not like throw-up. I don't mind watching sex or kissing in movies. I even enjoy it. I'm fine with auto-eroticism. Sex is great as long as it doesn't involve PEOPLE TOUCHING ME!!!

P.P.S. I'm glad that vomit conversation helped you. It helped me as well. And thanks for the heads up about that opening scene. I wish they would give warnings for that.

 

Re: Thanks :) Pfinstegg

Posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 11:40:31

In reply to Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) leeran, posted by Pfinstegg on April 26, 2003, at 10:53:49

I think that memory is thoroughly explored. That was all there is to it, and it's not particularly traumatic. I'll ask therapist if it is a potential target for EMDR. But I think the goal is to make the memory less distressing, and it already isn't distressing.

I was more embarassed about mentioning something so graphic and, well, ultimately meaningless in such a public forum.

 

Warning for Lee and Dinah

Posted by whiterabbit on April 26, 2003, at 12:35:08

In reply to Re: Well... (unpleasantly graphic and overdisclosing) leeran, posted by Dinah on April 26, 2003, at 11:37:03


Never watch Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life".
You guys would lose your mind.
-Gracie

 

My husband's response Totally whiterabbit

Posted by leeran on April 26, 2003, at 13:24:51

In reply to Warning for Lee and Dinah, posted by whiterabbit on April 26, 2003, at 12:35:08

I just asked T. (a Monty Python lover) if he had seen the movie you referred to and then read your post out loud. His response was "totally."

Thank you, Gracie, for the heads up.

My worst televised vomit experience (because it came without any warning and it was so graphic) was Adriana's interrogation scene at the beginning of this season's Sopranos run, when she suddenly threw up all over the conference table.

In typical cathartic fashion, I just now realized as I typed that last paragraph why I was bothered for more than a week by that scene (so thank goodness my real life "therapist" was at his computer so I could blurt out the revelation).

My first grade vomit phobia started (in part) with a kid who threw up, in a projectile fashion, across the four desks that were pushed together where I was sitting. The Sopranos scene was shot at a very similar camera angle to what my mind's camera remembers.

Okay, I FINALLY realize why journaling is so important. But, this is "journaling for voyeurs" and so much more insightful . . . I guess I'm a "you show me yours and I'll show you mine" kinda gal from way back when it comes to exposing my issues.

How are you doing this Saturday, Gracie?


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