Do I keep going?

Do I keep going?

130 20

Hi all,

I feel like I can’t do this anymore. I can’t deal with the things inside me. I’m torn as to what I should do.  I’m no more suicidal than normal.  I’ve stuffed everything for so long that I’ve forgotten things I used to know.  Now they are coming back.  My therapist says she doesn’t think I’m crazy, that whatever is going on inside me is real. I still struggle to share with her, with anyone really.  I think I’d rather be crazy and have made all this sick stuff up, than it be true.  Does that make sense?  I feel like I can’t do it.  That I can’t  deal with anything else. If it was just the things I know now, maybe I could cope, maybe I could work through it.  More and more keeps coming up and I don’t know how to stop it.  Going to therapy once per week, there isn’t time to bring up everything.  I don’t know what to even bring up, then the hour is gone and I feel like I’ve gotten nowhere. 

Any advice on how to make the stuff that comes up, stop?  If I stop going to therapy, will it stop?  Please help. 


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20 comments

  1. mkyuellig Volunteer

    DiiO,

    I am so sorry that you are struggling to cope right now. Unfortunately, I don’t have any easy answer. Dealing with trauma can be so difficult and draining, and I absolutely empathize with what you’re going through. Sometimes it certainly feels easier to just ignore the thoughts and push them down sometimes. That’s okay to do sometimes, but that is not a viable long term plan. Eventually those memories and feelings are going to bubble back up, and you are going to have to deal with them. I think you’d much rather deal with them with your therapist who has been trained to help you, than on your own. You are so strong, and I fully believe that you can do this. Remember to practice self care as you continue on this healing path. Stay hydrating, get lots of rest, don’t skip meals, and listen to your body. You can do this.

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,
    Keight

  2. Megan Volunteer

    Hey DiiO,

    I’m sorry that you aren’t feeling very well right now. Dealing with these kinds of things can be very taxing emotionally and physically. Starting to talk about your story does have the possibility of bringing up more memories. It can be overwhelming. There’s no sure way to make the memories stop. Everyone is different. However, there are more coping skills that you can learn to better deal with the memories as they come up. I do think that you will be better equipped to handle the memories resurfacing if you continue therapy though. She can help you learn how to cope with them and process through what you are remembering. I would maybe talk to your therapist about possibly increasing your appointments, like maybe twice a week?

    We are always here for you in whatever you need. You are strong and you will get through this. I believe in you,
    Megan

  3. Jess Volunteer

    I just responded to another one of your stories, so pardon the double response.

    What you’re experiencing is completely normal. Therapy is difficult, there isn’t any other way around it. However, therapy is worth it. Healing is so difficult, it takes a lot of work, and it’s never truly “done.” Therapy helps you get through the roughest bits though. I’d suggest sharing these feelings with your therapist. I saw in your other post that you’ve had difficulty talking to your therapist about the things you want to bring up. Like I said there, it may be helpful to show them your posts here. Or to bring a journal with the information you’d like to discuss. Find a system that works for you and share what you can. The assistance you’d receive will be worth it.

    In the meantime, practice lots of self-care. Do something you enjoy that puts a smile on your face. Find something that helps you feel better that’s an active activity – like reading or hiking or spending time with friends/family. Find your self-care and coping skill tactics that work for you. That will help with these feelings in between your therapy sessions.

    If you need anything else, please let us know. We are always here and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  4. Ashley Volunteer

    DiiO,

    Everything you are experiencing is perfectly normal. You aren’t crazy, and everything including these flashbacks and even the lack of memories can be expected. I have personally been through all of these so I empathize with how awful it is, and I am so sorry to see you go through it, too.
    Working through trauma is hard. It’s like running a marathon once a week (or however often you see your therapist) but for your brain. That also kindof means that after each session you need to allow yourself to decompress; do something you enjoy. A self-care routine, watch a funny movie, or go see a friend; whatever makes you feel good.
    Another way to prepare for this brain marathon is to keep a little list of things that may pop up in the mean time that you may have forgotten in the last session and would like to mention next time.
    It takes time, yes, but the fact that you’re trying means so much! You should be incredibly proud of yourself. You are doing great.
    Stay strong, and please reach out again if you need us.

  5. grothkat8 Volunteer

    Hello DiiO,

    What you are feeling is valid 100%, and you are most definitely not crazy. You’ve been through quite a bit, but just know it is going to be okay. Sometimes when we push away and suppress memories of trauma, it can come back when we least expect it. Unfortunately trauma takes a lot of time and healing. You should try to keep in mind that you need to do what’s best for yourself. I would focus on what you’re comfortable with and try to go from there. Also it’s amazing that you are taking the steps to see a therapist. It may seem like you’re not making progress now, but I’m sure with time it will get easier.

    Thank you for reaching out, and we will always be here for you when you need us.

    Katie

  6. Deanna Volunteer

    Perhaps working independently during the week might help you. There are all sorts of books with companion workbooks, perhaps even your therapist could recommend something. It might help you organize your thoughts and feelings even more than journaling. The book/workbook combo I use is called The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. It was recommended to me by a therapist who specializes in sexual trauma.

  7. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Hey they,
    To start you are definitely not crazy. As for everything else I don’t want you to think way you’re feeling is made up. Therapy can be hard but it’s worth it in the long run, just trust in the process. Also know that we are here for you and always will be , whenever you need us. Stay strong you’ve got this.

    -Brianna

  8. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hello again friend,

    You’re definitely not crazy. I know it can be incredibly overwhelming to have all of these feelings and memories come up all at once, and I can only imagine how scared and helpless you’re feeling. Everything you’re sharing makes perfect sense.

    I’ve had a similar experience regarding not knowing what to share – or finding certain things difficult to share – when in therapy. One thing I’ve tried is between sessions, when something happens that I want to tell my therapist about, I write it in a little notebook and bring it with me to our next session. I try and take that time to write as much – or as little – as I want. If I want to talk about how the situation made me feel and I want to make sure I remember it, I’ll write it down. If I want just a little note to jog my memory, I’ll just write a little sentence or a few words. That notebook is more to just organize my thoughts and make sure I remember certain things, especially if I’ve had a lot going on. I’m wondering what it would look like for you to do something similar – if it’s something that you’d be comfortable doing and then deciding in your sessions which memories and feelings you’re ready and comfortable to share with your therapist.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know how to make the flood of memories and emotions stop. In my personal experience with trauma, it seems like once our brains decide it’s a safe time to process and experience our trauma, trying to force it to stop can sometimes make it worse later on. I can only imagine that processing and acknowledging these experiences is terrifying and anxiety-provoking by yourself, let alone doing it with another person. However, it can be safer and more productive to try and process and acknowledge things with someone who is qualified and trained to helping people do that, like a therapist. One thing you could explore with your therapist is scheduling more frequent sessions; instead of therapy once a week, maybe increasing it to twice a week. That could provide you with a little more support a little more frequently, and maybe could provide you with the extra time you need to become comfortable sharing. That being said, continue to gauge what you are and aren’t comfortable sharing, and don’t push yourself too hard.

    You’re doing an incredible job! Please continue to update us with as much as you’re able to share; we’re always here to support you!

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  9. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Revisiting your experiences can surely be scary and create this anxiety bubbling up inside. You feel like you shouldn’t share anything or any details because it will only bring up the memory and maybe some other details you forgot were there. It does make sense to be cautious with sharing this information, but you should know that your therapist will not think you are crazy or making these incidents up. She is a professional and has every motive to be invested in your health and feelings, as well as to help you. This flow of memories you are not wanting to experience will continue to come up, but your therapist should be able to help in organizing the manner in which they do. She will help with gradually encountering the memories rather than these sharp and erratic flashbacks that are frightening. Simply not attending the sessions with your therapist will most likely make it a worse encounter than you’d like. I hope these comments have reassured you in your feelings and thoughts. We support you and we believe you!

    Stay strong!

  10. CarmenR Volunteer

    Hi there,

    I’m sorry for what you are going through right now. I know how hard it is, and please know that you are not alone. Therapy can be hard, but you should talk to your therapist about what you are feeling. Or maybe you can journal out what you have been feeling. That has always helped me. Thank you for trusting us, and please know that we are here for you.

    Carmen

  11. Lizzi Volunteer

    Hi DiiO,
    I’m sorry for how hard this is for you right now, and it all makes sense to me. Like others said, feelings can become way more intense when you’re working through things in therapy so it’s understandable that stuff is coming up and hard to deal with. Things are going to come up while you’re working through it, and that’s why it’s so important to work through it with a therapist because they can help you when it gets too intense like this. I don’t think stopping therapy will help, as these thoughts and feelings will still be there, even if you’re able to ignore them a little more. Use your therapist to help you cope with how much more difficult it is right now. If you find yourself in crisis, please reach out to a crisis hotline like Crisis Text Line (text 741741). You matter and you deserve to have support during this time.

    Much hope,
    Lizzi

  12. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi DiiO,
    I’m sorry you are feeling like this. I think these feelings are coming up because of therapy. That happened to me when I first started going. You should talk to your therapist about this. If you need immediate help text VOICE to 741-741. Hopefully things get better.
    -Alyssa

  13. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    You feelings are valid and just know you are not crazy. This type of pain never ends but being open and knowing that you can help others also by expressing yourself is so important. I hope you can find someone who will listen and be a safe space for you in person. Know we are here for you. We care About you and know its okay to express yourself.

  14. colton95 Volunteer

    You are definitely not crazy. What happened to me occurred over three years ago and I’m still dealing with some very heavy mental and emotional issues. Unfortunately, this type of pain never really ends but it does help to have someone in your life who you can share this stuff with and who will eagerly listen and be there for you. I hope that you will be able to find someone who will listen and that you will stay strong and persevere.

  15. Solongago

    I don’t think you’re crazy. Maybe write what you have written here and read it to your therapist so that she knows how you are feeling and you have a starting place for your next session.

    This stuff is hard. And right now you are going through a phase of your journey. It is not going to always be like this. You will have peaks and valleys. In a perfect world, your therapist would have been able to have developed a good working relationship with you, and have helped you develop skills to get you through the time between sessions, and to develop a support network, and a crisis plan. But in a perfect world, there would be no sexual abuse/rape/incest. Right? And stuff comes up when it comes up. This is temporary and it will get better.

    A thought is to write the stuff down when it comes up. Get a small notebook and write it down. Free-journaling. Don’t worry about sentences or structure or even making total sense. Just get it down on the paper. Then do something really hard: distract yourself from thinking about it — some ideas:

    Go for a vigorous work out.
    Take a hot shower.
    Listen to music, LOUD.
    Clean out that cupboard you have been avoiding.
    Pet your cat or walk/train your dog.
    Call a friend.
    Get an ice cube and let it melt in your hand.
    Scrub the floor.
    Get a math or technical textbook and work through a chapter, doing each problem.
    Go swimming.

    Avoid the following:
    Don’t drive if you can help it.
    Don’t call an involved family member — do call a supportive family member if they are in no way at fault for what happened.
    Don’t watch lifetime feel-good movies about family crisis.
    Don’t get on social-media.
    Avoid mood-altering substances, like alcohol or drugs.
    Avoid over-eating opportunities.
    If you are training your dog or doing something with your kids, and you hear yourself being harsh, stop and do something different.
    Don’t make life decisions. (don’t quit your job, tell off your land lord, sign your kids out of the school — sleep on that kind of stuff the decision will wait overnight).

    The idea is to get your brain fully active on something else, and save what you wrote in the notebook for your therapy session. At the same time, don’t do things that will make life harder for you, things that will set off a pattern of addiction/shame, avoid dangerous situations, because even if you aren’t suicidal, you can be reckless. The thing is, the crisis is temporary, but the things we do when we are in a crisis might make recovering from the crisis a whole lot more difficult, like getting a DUI or worse yet, and accident where you or others were hurt. Write down what comes up, and then distract yourself in positive ways until you can meet with your therapist. Bring the notebook with you and read it to her.

  16. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi again DiiO,

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time with all of the new memories coming to light. To be honest, I don’t think stopping therapy would be the best idea, for the reasons others have spelled out below. I think asking your therapist to slow down would be a good idea, and maybe you could journal your thoughts to get everything out and bring up later? I’m not sure. That might not be helpful at all. Everyone is different, so if that doesn’t sound like a constructive method of working through things, don’t do it!! I’m definitely not a professional.

    If you need instant help, I think you should definitely use the references we have listed. At the very least, you would get some much needed support.

    Please don’t forget that you’ve got an army behind you. We support you, no matter what.

    Marissa

  17. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi DiiO,
    I’m really sorry about how overwhelming this has been. I think it can be difficult when these memories come back after repressing them for so long. I unfortunately don’t know how to stop the flashbacks because each person is different, but I think it is helpful to have a variety of coping mechanisms to rely on when the flashbacks do come up. The ones Roxie suggested are a great start. I don’t recommend ignoring how you feel – it can accumulate, and you may feel worse later on. Acknowledging how you feel and getting it out in a healthy way can help you cope. Maybe you could also talk to your therapist and explain that you may need to slow down. Then you can fully process how you feel about these memories.
    Thank you for sharing how you feel with us. If you need anything, please feel free to write back to us and/or use the resources provided below. We’re all here to support you, and we want you here. You can get through this, and we believe in you.

  18. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I wish I could tell you what would make the flashbacks stop, but I can’t-recovery and trauma are different for everyone, and unfortunately, different things work for different people. I think continuing therapy would absolutely continue to be helpful, especially since it seems your therapist is helpful and supportive. You can also text our Crisis text line when the flashbacks become too overwhelming, VOICE to 741 741. You are not alone.

    Erin

  19. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi DiiO,

    I’m so sorry that things are overwhelming right now. It’s important that you share this with your therapist if/when you can so she can alter her course of treatment and slow things down for you. I don’t believe abandoning therapy all together will help to stop the overwhelm. Maybe in the short term, but not permanently. I would encourage you to continue, however, you know yourself best. If you feel that therapy is too painful and/or dangerous for your stability right now then yes. Please take a break and regroup. The organizations Roxie listed are available for times of crisis and we’re always here for you. Maybe you could practice sharing in a safe place before you get to therapy? Have you tried writing things down to share with your therapist? I don’t mean a list of talking points, but actually writing down the painful memories. I had difficulty actually speaking about my trauma for a long time when I first began therapy. Writing everything down and allowing my therapist to read through it helped my treatment move forward. Maybe you could try something like that. Whatever you decide, we’ll be here to support you. This is your healing journey. It’s entirely up to you.

    All the best,
    Becca

  20. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear DiiO,
    Thank you for reaching out; it sounds like you are feeling overwhelmed right now. Healing from trauma is extremely difficult and can take a really long time. It is good to hear that you are going to therapy, but also understandable that the hour goes quickly and more stuff than you can get to comes up within you. Is there something/someone (a support group, a friend, or an activity) that has helped you get through difficult times before? There are many resources and hotlines you can reach out to if you are in a moment of crisis: National Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-8255, Crisis Text Line (text VOICE to 741-741 to be anonymously connected to a trained counselor for free 24/7), and RAINN (specifically for sexual abuse/assualt) has both a hotline and web chat 1-800-656-4673 or http://www.rainn.org. We have a variety of other resources under our Find Help tab that you may find useful as well. I can’t say that stopping therapy will stop the hurt and memories, you began therapy for a reason…what you were doing wasn’t helping. Sometimes people have to go to several therapists before they find the right fit or right type of therapy for them. The only advice I have is to work through the stuff that comes up. Find a way to get it out and see it from a place of compassion and love (for yourself). Everyone is different in the way they get things out. Some enjoy writing it down, putting it in a safe chat group, painting, listening/making music, running, exercising, drawing, meditation, or talking. The important thing is that it works for you and keeps you safe. We are always here to listen and support you. You are not alone in this and we can help you hold your hurt if you want us to. Please make sure to take care of yourself, take one small moment at a time, and reach out to someone if you are thinking of ending things. You matter and we want you to stay.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie