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Author Topic: Feeling Frustrated
skiesofgreen
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This is partly me just needing to vent but I'm feeling incredibly frustrated right now.

At the beginning of November I went in to counselling at a local youth clinic to talk about my previous sexually abusive relationship. It was good to go in and talk but I've found that I just don't mesh with the counsellor very well and on top of that she doesn't have training specifically for sexual assault, which makes me feel less comfortable talking to her.

Because of this I contacted WAVAW (local centre that provides counselling for people that have experienced sexual abuse/assault) and while they were helpful their wait list for one-to-one counselling is around six month, give or take. And while I've put my name on the list, I feel like I need something more immediate than that.

So, finally, I contacted the people who run the sexual assault support group on campus and they directed me to on campus counselling services which I went to today. But it turns out they don't actually provide long term counselling at my university. Instead I'll be able to have a couple appointments with them but it will have to be very short term and more about them referring me to someone else. However the options for referring me seem to either be to a private practice in my city (which would be very expensive and my health plan only covers 300 dollars a year) or back to WAVAW, which as noted has a six month wait list.

Basically I'm feeling very stuck right now. I'm TRYING to be proactive about this and get something accomplished but the more places I try the more I feel like there's not much I can do other than wait. I never expected working through these issues to be easy but I didn't think the hard part would be finding help and it's just SO VERY FRUSTRATING to finally want to do something about it, and finally want to work on this and to find I might have to wait months before I can actually get in to see someone who can specifically adress my concerns.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for here necessarily, other than a space to vent, but I suppose if you had any recommendations for where else I might look for service, or things I could try on my own, that would be ideal.

Posts: 245 | From: British Columbia, Canada | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Ugh, that does all sound really, really frustrating, and I totally get how crappy it can feel to be ready to get proactive in your healing process, and to have it held up.

It really looks to me like you have done your homework here in a huge way: I can't think of any other resources to suggest, so I'm afraid that if your campus group doesn't have any more for you, I wouldn't have any myself. The only other thing I'd suggest is talking to some private therapists, telling them you're a student, and seeing if they'd discount your fees so you could at least get started, and maybe be able to have sessions your insurance would cover until your number comes up on that waitlist.

In the meantime, you're certainly welcome to talk here, and if you want to give me a picture of what you feel like you need to move your healing process forward right now, I'd be glad to brainstorm with you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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skiesofgreen
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I think what I really want right now, more than anything, is to talk to someone in more detail about what happened in my relationship. I've been told here, and by the counsellor that I met with that what happened to me can be classified as rape and sexual assault but I think I have a lot of unpacking to do around that, and just in general around the relationship. There's just so much I haven't talked about and even stuff outside of the sexual abusive aspect that I've never fully talked to anyone about. I really feel like before I can start work on dealing with triggers, or really even understanding what those are, I need to start working through what actually happened. Especially because when I do feel triggered the way it manifests is I become obsessed with thoughts about my past relationship, of trying to remember what happened, when it happened and whether it was or wasn't my fault.

I do feel I could use some direction in how to do that though because I have a hard time talking about it and having it actually feel like I'm talking about me. I have a hard time feeling anything about it, and not because there's nothing there to feel but because I think I've just gotten really good at suppressing my feelings. I also don't really know where to start. There's just SO MUCH to talk about. So much that happened, over an extended period of time (two years), that I don't even know where to start with all of this. I also have a ridiculously hard time saying the word rape, typing it's not so bad, but saying it, in a way that applies to me, is incredibly difficult for me.

Also I think it's probably important to say that Jude and I have taken everything sexual off the table for now. We decided it's just not doable, for either of us, and giving both of us too much stress. He's especially been finding it really hard because I think he feels somewhat responsible for me being triggered and he feels like he constantly has to be on his guard to make sure I'm speaking up about my boundaries which, understandably, is taking a tole on him. So, ya, everything other than kissing is off the table for now, until I've done more healing around this, especially in terms of being able to set boundaries and make them clear to him.

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Heather
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So, before anything else, do you feel like just writing out your story here, in as full as you want to, and having someone read it and just sort of hold it would be of benefit to you?

It's certainly something we could do in the passworded area with you if that felt like way to much to expose in a public area.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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skiesofgreen
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I think it might be beneficial. I think it'd be beneficial to write out at least. I think doing it in the passworded area would definitely be something I'd be more comfortable with.
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Heather
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You got it. I'll get that information to you via email today. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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skiesofgreen
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That would be great, though I think I have the wrong e-mail address attached to this account. Could I e-mail you with the proper address?
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Heather
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Of course. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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skiesofgreen
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Hey,

I just wanted to let you know I did get the e-mail and I'll be getting on it when I have a chance. Life just got incredibly crazy this last week, both with school and emotionally, it's kinda been a crappy last five days. Regardless I have a paper due Friday so I don't have time right now but once that's over I have a week before my first exam so I plan on taking some time to work on this, I really want to and I really do think it'd be helpful. I've kinda vowed not to think about everything that's been happening/happened until I get past my deadline though.

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skiesofgreen
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Ok nevermind, considering I just broke into tears while reading a paper on nationalism I think I probably can't just ignore how I'm feeling anymore. So I'm giving myself 20 mins and I'm going to try and write about this. Not the abuse, that can wait, but what happened this past week that's made me such a mess.

To say the least I feel like I've been crying since Saturday. I'm surprised I even AM crying. I can't remember the last time I really cried. I generally can't be upset, even when I want to, even when I'm thinking about something terribly upsetting (ie my abuse) in fact especially than. I usually just think of someone else being upset (a girl, presumably me) and I see them being incredibly upset and crying, calling out for help, but that rarely, if ever, translates into me feeling anything. I think this sudden burst of emotion might be related to me switching back to Alesse from the ring (along with what's happened this weekend), though I didn't have emotional problems the last time I was on it. Is it odd to say that if that is the case I'm glad? I don't like this feeling, I hate feeling like this, but I love it to. Because I'm feeling something. And it hurts like hell, but it's a feeling. God have I missed feeling, or rather feeing anything but anxious and obsessive/disassociated, when something like this happens.

But what happened. Well back story first

#1 - Three Saturdays ago I had sex in a position that ended up being very triggering for me. I didn't know this for sure before hand, I haven't had intercourse in that position since my ex, but I suspected it might. I did it anyway. I freaked out afterwards (I never, or very rarely, freak out in the moment). I cried. But not like now, in a disconnected way, where I felt like I was forcing myself to cry because I knew I should feel like crying but it still felt like someone else was upset not me. Jude comforted me, held me, talked to me. I thought I was ok.

#3 - Thursday afterwards we had intercourse. I was having a constant dialogue in my head over whether I wanted it or not. I couldn't decide. I defaulted to yes. I admitted this later to Jude. We both cired, we were both exhausted (emotionally) we both decided we needed to stop being sexual until I am capable of listening to myself and vocalising what I need.

#3a - the next day we spent the night together doing nothing but lying in bed talking. It was the best night I can remember in a long time. It was the first time I ever told him I loved him.

#4 - Wednesday this past week (when I first posted this) I was very upset about my ability to find counseling. I called Jude. I talked to him. I was feeling incredibly distraught. I brought up the fact that if I plan on working out of the city this summer I won't be around when I'm expected to come up for counseling.

#5 - Thursday, I could tell Jude was being distant when we were hanging out that morning and he confessed it was feeling a little hurt (if irrationally) by the fact that whenever I brought up the future that I never mentioned us. I had to go to school. We talked when I got back. He further confessed he was scared of getting hurt. He also told me about how he had been bullied severely as a child for what, as a child, he thought was being himself. And that's where the insecurity in me hurting him comes from, because he's been opening up to me in a way he hasn't done anyone else.

I haven't told him this but nothing scares me more than the possiblity of me hurting someone. Ever since Alex I've been terrified not only of getting hurt myself but of ever hurting anyone else.

#6 - Saturday we did work together. We were lying together before I went home. We were just saying sweet things to each other. I was about to tell him I loved him, using his full name, what came out instead was Alex's. (It would be important to interject here that IRL Jude and Alex have the same first name). I didn't notice. He asked me what I said. I said it again (mistake and all). Only then did I realise that I'd said the wrong last name. I've never freaked out more in my life. I can honestly say I've never hyperventilated before but I did then. Hyperventilated cried, stared blankly into space. I couldn't think, I couldn't move. I couldn't do anything.

Jude held me, he helped me calm down. I've never been more triggered by anything in my entire life. Saying his name, SAYING IT, and in that context, was like fire. Like a knife. And only making it worse was the fact that what I had done was not just something that hurt me, but obviously something that hurt Jude too.


But I'm going to stop this now. Not only am I good 16 minutes over my 20 minute time limit but I'm not feeling anything anymore. And if I'm going to be emotionless about this I might as well take that time to work, not to mention that I really don't want to work on this if I'm not feeling anything about it. I need to feel something about this. I need it so badly.

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skiesofgreen
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And I'm just feeing numb and anxious. This is so much worse than feeling upset.
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skiesofgreen
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My thoughts are getting pretty obsessive about Alex and my abuse, I've gotten to the point where I start obsessively reconstructing a timeline of events, and I'm having a really hard time getting work done that is due tomorrow. In fact I haven't even started writing. Breathing exercises not really cutting it. Any suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated.
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September
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First things first: is there any way you can ask for an extension on that paper? You're in pretty deep crisis, and a decent professor should be able to recognize that you can't finish a paper in that state. If you don't think you can contact the professor directly, could you maybe go through the university's counseling center and ask for some support from them? After all, you have reached out to them and they know the situation you are in.

Either way, you obviously can't concentrate on that paper right now, and you can't start to process your emotions with the academic pressure on your shoulders. So the most important thing now would be to get you some breathing space.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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skiesofgreen
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Counseling services are closed right now though I suppose I coud get in to talk to them tomorrow morning. I probably could e-mail my professor and ask for an extension but I'm kinda torn on how to do that without divulging too much information, after all I don't think just sending a request the day before something's due without any explanation would really cut it. What could I say to get the point across without having to tell them what's going on?

Part of me also doesn't want to ask just because finals start next week and postponing the due date of this assignment is just going to cut into my ability to study for exams... I'm not sure if that would just make me more stressed in the long wrong or not.

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September
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That was why I suggested contacting someone from the counseling center, so they can back you up and your professor doesn't need to hear your whole story to understand what is going on.

As far as finals go, I hadn't considered those as we are on a completely different schedule here. That does make it more sticky - I'm so sorry to hear that this is hitting you so hard at such an unfortunate time! There may not be a best solution here, then, and you'll have to feel out for yourself how much you can take on, and whether you can focus on your studies for now and come back to talking about this later.

I totally feel you on this, and how frustrating this is. I'm so sorry! Whatever you decide to do, we're all here to help you out. If you want to sort this out now, we'll be glad to do that, or if you want to get through this paper and finals first, we can help you find some coping strategies for the meantime.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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September
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Just so you don't feel like you've been left hanging: I am heading out now, as it's 1am over here and that's bedtime for me. I have left a note with the other volunteers, so someone should be around shortly if you want to talk some more. And I'll check in on you again in the morning.

Wishing you all the best until then!

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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skiesofgreen
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I think my plan for now (since i can't contact counseling services at this point regardless) is going to be to try and get my paper done and out of the way tonight. I know if I can focus I'm capable of turning out a good paper in a night. If that ends up not being possible (focusing that is) I'll go into the counseling office first thing tomorrow and tell them my situation and go from there. Ideally however I'll be able to get this done before my class tomorrow.

So I think for right now what I'd really like is some suggestions on coping strategies so I can try and get some work done.

For the record I am doing a bit better right now. I've managed to come up with a thesis and get about a 100 words down so I'm making progress at least.

[ 12-01-2011, 06:21 PM: Message edited by: skiesofgreen ]

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skiesofgreen
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Thanks for letting me know, have a good sleep.
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September
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Sounds like you came up with a good plan! How is that paper coming along?

I am back for the day now and will be keeping an eye on this thread, so if there is anything you want to talk about, I will be around.

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Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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skiesofgreen
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Thanks for the message. I managed to get my paper done and handed in. Didn't get much sleep last night but went straight to sleep after school. Will be back asleep in a couple minutes. I'm glad it's done. My first exam isn't until Thursday so it'll give me some down time before I have to get right back into it.
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September
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Congrats for getting the paper done on time! That's a pretty awesome accomplishment.

Get yourself some sleep now, you deserved it. [Smile]

And when you need anything from us, we'll be here.

--------------------
Johanna
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"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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skiesofgreen
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I got the paper back and I got an A- on it. Which, all things considered, I'm pretty pleased about. I feel like this has all been taking a pretty big toll on my school in general (I had to drop a course and got my lowest mark on a paper ever this term, largely due to how stressed I was about all of this when writing it) so it's good to see something positive come back.

I'm very worried about all of this effecting my grades, especially since I'm in the last part of my degree and plan on going on to grad school after this. But at the same time I know dealing with this is important and at this point just really can't be put off.

But I'm getting side track. The point of this was I got a good grade, and exams are going well so far, and this week has been a good week. So yay for things looking up for the time being, right?

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