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Re: conflicted feelings about csa ***trigger*** bent

Posted by daisym on May 11, 2006, at 19:04:26

In reply to conflicted feelings about csa ***trigger***, posted by bent on May 11, 2006, at 13:30:38


I'm sorry this happened to you. How old were you, if you are willing to share?

I think as we trust ourselves to handle more, more of this stuff wants to come out. I often think that I trust my therapist, I just don't trust myself. Because if he hears it, and holds it, it makes it true. At least for me, I keep going back to the question, "How could this have happened? How can this be real?" Especially the dark, dark, ugly stuff.

I also struggle with the question, "how much detail do I say? What crosses the line for my therapist? Will he hurt like I hurt?" I really don't want to hurt him, or make him worried or sad, or especially, disgusted, like you said. He always tells me that he wants to know, needs to hear the details so he can be there with me and it isn't too much, unless it is too much for me. He is righteous in his anger and his sadness for me, and tells me all the time that what happened deserves his sadness and anger.

I've found that processing certain things happens over several sessions. I think you've already put it out there -- now you need to pick up the ball again. There are no pretty euphemisms for forced anal sex, (which is still rape by the way)-- nor should there be. I think you can say, "I've been thinking about something we half talked about a while ago, but I'm haunted by it and need to talk about it some more." And tell her how ashamed you feel. You aren't alone about that. The shame you feel I know so well. This act forced on another is humiliating and violent and intentional. There is no way to cloud your thinking with "they lost control" or "my body responded so they thought I wanted it." Trust me, I've tried all those excuses and they don't fly around this. Which makes the telling twice as scary because then, at least for me, I have to admit I had no control and that it was abuse. Not too much love, not misguided passion, not an accident. And that about killed me.

I think I'm in the minority that doesn't find the telling all that cathartic. I usually feel physically sick and I'm terrified for days that I'm going to get into trouble for telling. I need a lot of reassurance that my therapist not only believes me, but isn't planning to terminate me because he can't handle the stories. And mostly, I need to hear over and over and over again that it wasn't my fault.

So I'll say to you: It wasn't your fault. You didn't deserve it and you didn't bring it on yourself. Keep yourself surrounded by support and be gentle with your own expectations as you explore this. I've learned to say, "I'm dizzy" or "I'm leaving" and my therapist works with me to bring me back. Usually he will ask, "where are you going -- can you try to come back?" If I say no, I'm up on the ceiling or out the window in the tree, he'll ask if he can join me. And then we will talk about what I see from "up here" and talk about why I needed to move away from the painful material. It is tricky if you don't give off signals or know you are going.

If nothing else, please know that as you try to make sense out of these memories and your need to tell someone and talk about them, we are there with you, holding your hand and lending you strength.




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