Recent Thoughts

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Hi everyone. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

I struggle with sharing my feelings with the supportive people in my life. I always have this fear that they’re not going to respond well, even if they have a history of responding well. Even though I tell myself that I’m not a burden for sharing my feelings, something stops me. When I do share, sometimes I regret it. I regret it because I feel like I’m dumping my problems onto them or being too self absorbed, not because of their response. Sometimes I wonder if I’m relying on them too much instead of trying to solve things on my own, even though I usually try to handle everything on my own. I wonder if I’m weighing them down or if they’re thinking, “there’s always something wrong in her life.”

It’s so hard to break this pattern. I know it’s not healthy to keep my feelings to myself. I write and that helps sometimes, but I want to tell people without questioning myself so much.

On a related note, I’ll share what’s going on. It may sound very disjointed, but I’ve been struggling to put these feelings into words for so long. This post is one of the first steps towards doing that.

Every 6 months or so, I have this urge to look into the past. I have these memories with my assailant that aren’t related to the assault. These memories are of small interactions between us. I think I remember these things because these ‘small’ moments were the buildup to the assault and what happened afterwards. I don’t remember such small interactions with other people. Sometimes I try to find evidence to support my memories – maybe as a way to verify that everything happened. For example, a few days ago, I found a few pictures of us that confirmed a memory I have. The thing is, I know the assault happened. I know what led up to it, but maybe this is a way of piecing this narrative together into a story so it feels more real. Maybe confirming these memories with evidence is a way of saying “Okay, this happened. It was real, and these things led up to it. I’m not imagining this because I remember these interactions, these dates align with the right days on the calendar, and I have a few pictures.” I’m not shaming myself for doing this, but I wonder if it’s normal.

I haven’t told my friend about my feelings for him. It’s hard to keep this to myself, but my fear of ruining the friendship is stopping me. I feel like my hopes are distorting how things really are. I want him to like me, so I’m probably over-analyzing things. I almost want to get over him so I don’t have to over-analyze anything, and we can have a peaceful friendship. I’m not really sure what to do about it.

Other than that, everything else is going well. I’m trying to take care of my mental health as much as possible, and college starts tomorrow. My classes are online this semester, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m going to take all this one day at a time and hope for the best. Thank you for being here.


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32 comments

  1. jlanderos16 Volunteer

    Hey Music2799,
    Thank you for sharing how you feel! I haven’t read or seen your original post, but I’m glad you came back to AVFTI and giving us an update. First of all, I wish you the best with your college journey being online, you got it and stay focused! But I’m glad you’re trying to take care of your mental health, it’s really important! But just know you could always let out how you’re feeling on this website, we are always here for you and anybody.

  2. cindy024 Volunteer

    hi, music2799,
    I hear from you. Thanks for sharing this with us. As always, we are here to assist and help you. I understand that things weren’t as you expected them to be, but just know that we are here.

  3. caitlynmmiller Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I didn’t see your original post, but I’m so happy to see this update. I know online classes aren’t ideal, but I hope you still find a way to make them enjoyable! I wish you the best with your college journey. I heavily relate to the first part of your update– about seeming like a burden. I, unfortunately, cannot offer much advice on this since that’s something I’m struggling with too. Have you maybe looked into therapy? You can get a pretty unbiased answer on things, and listening to people is what they’re there for! Or I’ve heard writing on a plate and smashing it/writing on paper and burning it can be helpful too. I think the part about remembering certain small memories is normal. They were obviously important or significant. I find myself doing the same thing whether the person impacted me positively or negatively. Therapy may be able to help you understand those aspects too if you’re ready and/or comfortable with it. The part about liking your friend– I say go for it if you can handle it. Maybe say something like “I like you but if you don’t like me back just let me know. I don’t want this to change our friendship!” I’ve done that before and things were awkward for a bit, but our friendship went back to normal within days. That’s all the advice I can really offer, but I hope you figure these things out. You deserve all the love and happiness in the world. We’re here for you.

    Caitlyn

  4. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back on here and updating us. I hear you when you say you struggle with opening up to other people because you don’t want to feel like a burden. Showing utmost vulnerability when sharing your feelings with others can be a very scary and confusing thing, and it’s completely normal to be a little hesitant. It must be very frustrating to break this pattern and I’m glad that journaling is really helping you de-stress. Take it one step at a time, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to share your feelings with others. At the same time, I don’t want you to view yourself as a burden on others because you are far from it! I can only imagine the inner conflict and struggle you must be facing to share your true feelings with your friend. My only advice for you on that is to confess whenever you feel like you’re ready, and not to beat yourself too much if you back out.

    I’m really sorry that you find yourself drifting your thoughts into experiences that happened in the past. It definitely must not feel good to relive those moments leading up to your assault and what happened afterwards. But again, I want you to know that thinking and reflecting on instances of the past is completely normal. Our mind tends to wander to strange, random places; that’s just a part of the reflecting process. Although, I would really recommend looking into some distraction/relaxation techniques that will take you out of those trains of thought, especially when you feel like you’re becoming too overwhelmed.

    All that being said, I’m really glad that you’re actively taking care of your mental health as much as possible and wish you all the luck for your college semester, and hope it goes smoothly. We’re always here to support you through your healing journey. Feel free to come back on here at any time and update us. All the love.

    – Rohina xx

  5. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    It can be difficult to reason through our feelings and emotions sometimes and even though things may not make sense, that doesn’t mean you’re handling things wrong or not normally. If you have solid relationships with your friends then I would doubt that they think you rely on them too much. If you don’t feel that the responses that you are getting from them are helping you with how you are feeling then it could be beneficial to talk to a professional therapist or counselor instead. It sounds like you are doing the best you can to help yourself with the healing part of your journey and you just need to be patient with yourself. Sometimes the way events happen, especially coupled with some sort of trauma, everything becomes a blur and recounting how things got from A to B makes sense. I don’t think you are alone in this sort of thinking at all. It is only after something has happened that we can piece things together that make the overall picture more clear. It can be such a challenge when we recognize that we like someone and then worry about every single interaction with that person – I truly wish you luck with that and that things will naturally fall into place for you soon. Good luck with school – hopefully starting out with online classes for the semester keeps things smooth for you as far as learning goes and no matter what could happen with the pandemic the rest of the year. We’re all hoping for the best for you!

  6. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for updating us. I don’t think what you’re doing is abnormal. It makes sense to weave together a narrative to affirm exactly what happened – hopefully the complete picture will help you heal from the trauma he inflicted on you. As for your friend, I totally understand what you’re going through. It’s so hard to think about a relationship changing, especially one that is so important to you. It’s normal to be scared about changing your relationship! I’m sorry I don’t have great advice on that topic, but I’m totally pulling for you! You’re awesome and I’m sure he knows it 🙂

    Good luck with college! It’ll be different than normal for sure but I know you can do it. Let us know if we can help in any way!
    Marissa

  7. lizzi

    Hi music2799,
    It’s understandable that you’re having a hard time being open about your feelings with the people in your life, even if some of them have been supportive in the past. I was actually just in a workshop that talked about the reasons we keep things to ourselves instead of sharing them, whether we’ve received poor support or good support in the past. So much of it comes down to our own price, our beliefs about ourselves and what happened, and shame. I don’t know if any of this applies to you, but basically that there’s a million reasons why we struggle to be open with people and that it’s really hard for most of us. Even if they’ve responded well in the past, what if this is the time that changes it? Or by talking about it, it makes it more real? But at the same time, it sounds like you’ve got some great people in your life that would be there for you and maybe it’s worth taking that risk of being vulnerable and sharing with them so that they can be there for you.

    As for the memories of the past, it makes sense to me. As I read how you explained it, it didn’t seem weird at all. It was all very logical, and as long as it’s not causing you harm or distress (or if it is, that you’re able to work through it), I don’t see anything wrong with thinking about memories with him. Even if someone hurts us that badly, sometimes there’s a history prior that we don’t want to give up. Or like you said, maybe it’s a way of validating your memories that it did in fact happen.

    It’s hard to tell someone you like them when you have such a good friendship. I’m no good at relationships, but I would hope that if he’s a good friend, either way you can still be friends. Maybe he feels the same way and things will work out great, or maybe he really enjoys being friends and you stay friends. Up to you if/when you tell him but it might give you some peace of mind to get it over with and know how he feels.

    Glad to hear things are going well! Good luck with college starting! You’re going to do great. Keep us updated with how things are going!

  8. pianogirl44 Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I totally understand what you mean when you say that you have a fear that people won’t respond well or that you’re a burden. I’m the same way, but I think it is important to note that most people will be incredibly supportive and want to see you in a place where you can recover from the trauma you have experienced.
    I understand what you mean when you say that you have this urge to look into the past. You want to validate your experience. You are searching for evidence of abuse. It’s important to note that your wondering if this is normal is valid. People deal with trauma in different ways. Everyone’s journey to healing and recovery will look different. This may just be the way that you are approaching recovery. I think it is also important that you speak to a therapist. Therapists will always support you and will provide you with the tools that you need to deal with painful emotions and memories. It sounds like you do want to reach out to people, whether that be through friends or through this discussion board. I encourage you to continue to reach out.

    I hope that you have a nice time transitioning to college! I wish you all the best in your journey to recovery.

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to share.

  9. haesol Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you so much for updating us!
    Sharing your story or simply just talking to other people about things that are troubling you are entirely your choice. Sadly, our very own brains can turn into our enemies–making us overthink, regret, and make choices that might actually be the correct ones but that our brains don’t quite process them and turn them into a mess. As you’ve mentioned your friends have been responding well so that’s definitely a positive thing. You can maybe take some time to think if you truly want to tell them and how. Maybe it’s just your brain trying to stop you from reaching out and easing yourself from some thoughts and whatnot. However, you know the best about what is going on, so I wish you the best on that. I’m glad you have writing though, it’s a great outlet for times like these.

    As for the memories thing, I don’t see why that would be weird at all. As you’ve mentioned, it sounds pretty reasonable that you’re doing it as a way of piecing up and threading up events and moments with a purpose. It can be helpful, I truly hope it is.

    Good luck with college! online classes are definitely challenging but I’m sure you’ve got this!

    Come back anytime! we’re here for you.

    Stay safe,
    -sol.

  10. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back to update us on how you’re doing. I’m sorry that you’ve been struggling with sharing your feelings lately. I can relate to that, and I know that it is very difficult to do. Maybe talking with a therapist will help you let out some of your feelings. And whenever you feel ready to share them with your friends and family, I hope they continue to be supportive and receptive. I hope things with your friend go well also. Good luck with college, and we are always here for you!

  11. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    I’m sorry that you are still struggling to validate and share your feelings with those closest to you. What you have described here is not that unusual when breaking out of a toxic or abusive relationship. I know you have mentioned speaking with your counselor in the past, I think this would be a great thing to discuss with them in greater depth as you’re able to do so. Please understand that there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way, or seeking to validate your memories of the past. Don’t hesitate to share with us anytime you need to. We’re always here to listen. I’m glad you’re doing well otherwise. Good luck with your classes this year!

    All the best,
    Becca

  12. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello music2799,

    First off, thank you for coming by to share more of your story. It’s great to have you back for more and trusting us with these stories from your life.

    I know you stated that you have a hard time sharing your feelings with others, but here you do a great job of it. You’re right, it can be bad to keep feelings to yourself but you are sharing them with us so you are making some good progress. I know that if you do decide to share with your friends, they’ll understand. I remember from past stories that you are always there when your friends are in need and I’m sure they will do the same.

    I think its normal to go over these things in your head from time to time. In fact, I once read that once you’re healing from a traumatic experience you begin to question if it happened because you feel so different mentally from the time it occurred. Also, we have this belief that we’ll never get past trauma so when we do we question things. I really hope that is true for you! You are doing great work and are very mindful about whats going on and I know you will make the right choices regarding your mental health.

    Hope you had a good first day of class, and hope to have you back for another update soon. Stay safe!

  13. colton95 Volunteer

    Too often I have that same urge to look into my past and look into moments where people hurt me and assume that maybe somewhere along the line I did something to them that caused the whole situation to be my fault, even though it’s not. What you are doing is normal. I’m glad that you are trying to take care of your mental health. I hope that school will go well for you. Stay safe and strong!

  14. snandi2 Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    Your struggle to share your feelings with the supportive people in your life is completely valid. Whenever I’m receiving praise or support from a friend or family member, it’s really hard for me to come up with the right words to let them know how much their support means to me because I’m afraid that I might come off as too needy or dependent on them. However, whenever I feel like this, I try my best to let them know by openly admitting how much their support means to me. Most of the time, they’re really appreciative and supportive! They feel happy that they’re able to make a difference in my life, no matter how small. Please continue to give us updates and good luck with college!

  15. nvehovc Volunteer

    Hey music2799,
    Thank you so much for sharing this- I think you did a great job of putting it into words. I completely understand you when you say you’re hesitant to share your feelings because of being scared of being a burden. I think the same thing sometimes, but as you know it’s important and helpful to get your feelings out to others. Your friends definitely have no problem listening to your feelings and will no way feel like you are weighing them down. Having these thoughts must be very difficult for you and we are always here to talk to you before you are ready to talk to your friends and family. Maybe to make you feel more comfortable talking to them you can start by telling them about some of the feelings you expressed above? But of course take your time and talk to them at your own pace. I am always here to talk to you if you ever need anything!

    Nadia

  16. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    I completely understand and share your feeling of burdening your support system. When I feel like I’m being a burden, I try to make sure that I express my gratitude for their support and listening to me, but also ask up front if they have the emotional space to talk with me about what I’m going through. It’s been helpful for me in alleviating those concerns. Maybe it will be for you too, if you don’t do this already. Just remember that they love you and want to support you. It’s a reciprocal relationship – they know that you’re there for them as well.

    KatherineL

  17. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    You’re definitely not alone in feeling like you don’t want to burden your support system with your feelings. It’s common to feel like you’re sharing too much but just remember that they love you and want you to be okay. I also understand the relief you get from confirming your assault. Even though you know it was real and happened to you, the confirmation is helpful when your struggling with certain memories. Good luck with your friend, whether you decide to tell him about your feelings or just try to be friends, do what you feel is best and take it one step at a time like you’ve been doing. I hope college goes well for you! Please come back any time.

    Delaney

  18. ZJC9753 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing. A lot of people have a difficult time sharing with their support system because they are afraid of how others will respond or they are not sure if others will be uncomfortable hearing their experiences. I think it is important to remember that these people are in your life because they care about you and it is up to them to respond in a supportive manner. And I just want to say, when a bad thing happens to somebody it is never their fault and it is never because there is something wrong with them. So, it is not your fault and their is absolutely nothing wrong with you!

    It is okay for memories to be disjointed, that can happen when people experience traumatic events. I think it is really important to trust yourself and to have a lot of kindness with yourself as you’re figuring out and remembering what happened. You are not alone in going through this process.

    I am glad to hear that you are self-caring with your mental health. That is exciting, good luck with starting college! We will continue to be here for you so please come back and share with us whenever you want/need!

  19. Neesha Volunteer

    Hi,
    It is common worry if you are oversharing with someone even if they have been responding well to you in the past. In my experience it is normal to have disjointed memories especially if trauma is involved. There is nothing wrong with seeking support the people. The people have supported you are wanting to be there for you in that way. I hope school goes well and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  20. ryannlashea Volunteer

    Hi, I think it’s common to feel conflicted on how much/how often to share. I definitely have had that feeling in the past. It’s important to remind yourself that they are there for you because they want to to be and that there is nothing wrong with needing support. We all need people to lean on. We are all here for you and proud of you. I hope school goes well, I know it’s definitely going to be an interesting semester.

  21. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    Thank you for updating us. Don’t feel like you can’t talk to us or your friends about how you are feeling. Friends are supposed to be there for you thru thick and thin. Never feel like you have too many problems because that is not true. You went through something traumatic and with that comes thoughts, what if’s, and anything else that you might think or feel.
    To be honest I go through memories like you do. I can’t really find evidence they way you said you did, but I think of moments/actions leading up to what happened to me too. I think that’s normal because I see it as even though it is in the past and you might wish it didn’t happen, remembering everything helps you remember that it did. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s normal and people who have been through something traumatic sometimes go through theses things. Just remember you are never alone. We are always here for you. Thanks again for updating us. Always good to hear back from you. Good luck with this semester!
    -Alyssa

  22. MarciaD Volunteer

    Hi music2799 – Thank you for coming back to share with us. I want to validate your feelings. It sounds like you are weighing all these memories carefully to see how all the puzzle pieces fit together. If you want to explore more what resources are available for you, I encourage you to check out the Find Help tab at the top of the page. Sometimes talking to some that you know is listening just to listen to what you have to say makes a difference. Please come back again and let us know how you are doing.

    Much love,
    Marciad

  23. Breanna Volunteer

    Hey music 2799,

    Thanks for coming back to share. I completely understand what it’s like to be stuck in that thought pattern. It’s really tough – the what ifs can really start a spiral. Something that I’ve found helpful is acknowledging when those thoughts come up an then try to find evidence that they’re true, and I typically don’t. It’s not perfect, but it helps. And that kind of ties in to what you’re saying about your assailant. To me, it sounds like your brain is trying to process and gather that information to have a whole story and try to heal. And if that is the case, I would say it’s normal. It can be very stressful and disorienting, so make sure to take care of yourself when you’re reflecting. I hear you about your guy – you have to do what you’re comfortable with. If you’re not ready yet and want to see if feelings fade, that is totally okay. However, taking that leap might lead to something great. Again, it’s whatever you’re comfortable with. And we will be here to listen, no matter what you decide to do. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself and I hope classes start out okay! Keep your head up.

    Sending you love and support,
    Bre

  24. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear music2799,
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. As others have said, “normal” is relative…whatever our mind and body does to protect us is normal. I found the resource Zelda shared to be extrememly helpful and you might too. The other thing to keep in mind with aking for help and support is that you may have to retrain your brain to do it. If you learned very early life that it didn’t do any good or wasn’t safe to rely on others to meet your needs, you learned to keep everything to yourself. This is something I struggle with and part of my own healing is to reach out and ask for help or to ask if it is okay if I share something “heavy” with others. Trust is so hard to learn when you have been let down in the past. Be gentle and keep small promises to yourself and work your way up to trusting others with small things.
    Good luck with classes!
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  25. Rustin Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for being here and sharing what’s concerning you. I think everyone tends to look into the past for one reason or another. If you are still trying to put pieces together, this will cause you to look into the past and for good reason. Not knowing what happened would cause anyone to try to figure things out. I know that you’ve mentioned things are going well and you’re trying to take care of your mental health, but it may benefit you to discuss this with a counselor or therapist if you work with one. These are topics that a therapist can always help to reflect and allow you to find some understanding. Good luck with your college classes! I’m sure you’ll do great! Thank you for sharing!

    -Rustin

  26. zelda Volunteer

    Welcome back to the forum, Music! It’s nice to hear from you again.

    Your post reminded me of a conversation I had with my therapist yesterday. He was telling me about stuck points. Here is a link to the sheet he sent to me: https://deploymentpsych.org/system/files/member_resource/Stuck_Point_Help_Sheet_Patients.pdf

    You may find it really helpful. I struggle with those same thoughts, and I have to remind myself that these thoughts are derived from the traumas I’ve experienced. For example, I’ll think, “I am unworthy of anyone’s love, trust, or concern.” Even though I know this statement isn’t true, I still believe it is. Through the EMDR variation Flash Technique, I’m hoping stuck points similar to the one above will no longer be a part of my mantra.

    I can definitely relate to how you’re feeling, but I hope you can work on changing that narrative in your mind. If these people are truly your friends, then they won’t mind if you talk about your concerns or vent about your problems.

    If you don’t feel ready to talk to them yet, try confiding in a person you feel completely comfortable with and zero judgment from.

    Or, if you have a therapist (or are thinking about seeking one out), you can talk to them, instead. They are there to help you sort through your issues, while providing a safe space for you.

    Of course, if all else fails, you are always welcome here at AVFTI. Whatever you need to get off your chest, you can do so on this platform. Don’t ever feel otherwise. You are an important part of our community, and we want to help you in any way we can.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great rest of your evening. Congrats on starting a new school year! I’m sure you’ll do great. 🙂☮️

  27. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. I don’t think there is anything that is “normal” in terms of our recovery process. It’s messy, and it’s not always linear. And I think that’s okay. I can’t remember if you’re currently seeing a therapist, but maybe now that college is starting back up it might be good to get back in and talk about some of these feelings and memories coming back? You can also share here whenever you need to vent it out-I’m glad that helps.

    Erin

  28. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    This is such a well-though out analysis. My current girlfriend went through the same thing with her ex. We sometimes talk through the relationship and she brings up similar points- looking at what led up to the abuse. I’m sure that’s relatable because your brain is constantly trying to figure out what “you could have avoided.” But I feel like it’s important to remember that this was not on you. No matter what the red flags were, he was in the wrong. He is completely at fault. While it’s healthy to look back at the situation (every six months is very fair amount) I’m glad you know you aren’t shaming yourself.

    The bottom line is this is very normal. I’ve even in done it with people that weren’t necessarily abusive towards me, but mean and difficult to be around. Keep doing your thing! You are moving along very well. We are always here for you.

    Ryan

  29. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there music2799,

    I know we’ve chatted about it before, and maybe I sound like a broken record about it by now, but our brains really are such weird places. I get it that sometimes you feel things won’t turn out great even with no evidence to prove so – I’ve been told it’s called catastrophic thinking. We want to protect ourselves so badly that we imagine the worse case scenarios. Sometimes we just can’t make sense of why we think or feel a certain way and that’s okay. I’m glad you’re going to take it one day at a time. Keep doing that and be sure to do nice things for yourself along the way. We’re here for you.

    Sending light,
    SFM

  30. meg Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. I want you to know that sharing with us is never ever a burden. We are always here for you. As for telling your friend your feelings, I think that honesty is so difficult but in my experience it’s worth so much. If it’s one thing you can do to help ease your mind, it might be worth it. You can’t control what someone feels about you, but you also don’t know how they feel until you ask!

    As you keep working through recovering your memories, remember to take time for some self care. Reading, dancing around to music for a half hour, going on walks. Taking care of yourself with doing the things you love. Be careful of burning out, especially when your semester starts! I am happy to hear about the work that you are doing.

    -Meg

  31. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi there!
    I’m glad you returned to share. Thanks! Sometimes, I find I already know the answers to what I face, but often reach as a reassurance, or valadation. Your struggles are real & are understandable. You are stronger than what you may believe. We are our own worst critics & enemies. I hope as Amysue said, you’ll be able to find reassurance, hope, & peace of mind knowing we care & are here to listen. Keep taking care of you. You are worth the battle & deserve the fight it takes to keep going! Keep taking things day by day that’s sometimes all we can do. Take some deep breaths. You will make it!
    Dawn

  32. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us. It’s not always easy to share, like you mentioned, but I hope the comments that are soon to come reassure you in that we are here for you and want to support you in anyway that we can. There’s nothing wrong with seeking out advice. Sometimes it’s better to have two brains than just one. Perhaps, it could be helpful to start journaling in a similar way you’ve done here. Can help you collect your thoughts and download them to something other than your own mind. This can help you map out an action plan if you’d like or share with ease because it’s already written down and you are simply reading.
    I’m glad that you felt like you could share with us your first steps. We are here to walk along side you in these first few steps. Feel free to check out our Get Help tab if you’re looking for more advice and resources.
    Stay strong <3