QUESTION: "I have always had a kind of bad family situation. My mom is well I guess the closest word to describing it would be crazy and I met my dad once when I was about 6 or 7 I think and haven't seen him since. I was taken away from my mother when I was a few weeks old because she wasn't taken care of me and I was then put in my grandparents care, well mostly my grandmothers because when I was about 5 my grandfather had a stroke and suffered brain damage leaving him with the mentality of pretty much a child.Living there my mom would come by every once and a while sometimes stay for a couple days and then leave for weeks. When I was about 10 my grandmother found out she had breast cancer, she went through the chemo and surgery but she was just getting worse and was unable to take care of me and my grandfather anymore so I was sent to live with my cousins that I had spent a few weekends here and there with.
My grandmothers house wasn't really a good place for a child, with my mother there talking about people taking her wheels and saying she was going to take me "home" when she got a place, and with one of my uncles(now deceased) who was homeless and a druggie, there was people coming through that house that weren't the best for a child to be around.
My question has to do with, I have this strong feeling that one of my other uncles let's call him Bob, I just don't know why but I have this strong feeling that he did something to me, i'm not really sure what exactly, either him making me touch him or him touching me or what. I just remember when my grandmother was in the hospital I was just mean to him specifically when he would tell me to do things such as come and eat dinner or go to sleep and I just had this strong feeling against anything he said.
Well I am 19 now and my cousin/mom was talking with my cousin/dad and he was like there were so many bad people going through that house when she was living there, how do we know that she wasn't sexually abused, and she told him that well if she was she might not even remember it. She told me about this and I was like yeah I don't remember anything really but I was also so young that I don't remember a lot of stuff from when I was living there. I think that is what has got me thinking a lot about it.
Also most of the time after me and my boyfriend have sex, I just feel really sad afterward and I just want to curl up in a ball and lay there. Also if we are in like the middle of something, and he does something accidentally that makes it hurt I just try to get away from him and face the wall but I have no idea why. He recently asked me why after we have sex that I always want to like curl up in a ball and I was like I don't really know, I think that has also got me thinking that maybe it has something to do with "bob".
I guess the question is really is there anything you think I can do to determine if anything really happened? Maybe I remember since I have such a strong feeling against him maybe my mind is just blocking out any of those memories because of how bad it was and is there anything I can do to maybe unblock it? Maybe you have an insight on it being about something else rather than abuse?
Also I can't talk to my uncle "bob" about it because he is in jail for stabbing a woman and there isn't anybody left really from my childhood that I can talk to about it because my mom was rarely there and my grandparents and uncles are now deceased.
ANSWER: Veronica, I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. It was a problem with my email. That's been remedied. I hope this is still timely for you.
I would not be concerned about what happened in the past. What's important is what's going on with you now. That is because now is the only time that you can fix any problem. The more you think about the past, the more that becomes part of your present. If it's negative, it just continues to create more problems.
Veronica, feelings are the bodies expression of some mental state, be it positive or negative. These expressions can be in the form of tightness in the chest or stomach, pain in some area of the body, or emotional distress.
How do you know you have a problem? You can feel it somewhere in your body.
As we grow up we learn to suppress our feelings instead of fully expressing them, and letting them go. As a result they get trapped in our subconscious, and come out when triggered. If they are negative, they motivate certain behavior. You know fully what I mean. How did you behaved the last time you got angry? How would you have behaved in that situation if you didn't get angry?
The answer is to let go of those feelings when they come up. When you do, you will find your behavior changing.
There are several ways of letting go of feelings. I would be glad to share one way if you want it. Just let me know.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I would very much appreciate it if you could share a way of letting go.
Think of something which creates within you in uneasy feeling. That feeling could be characterized as anger, guilt, fear, or anxiety. Most the time, it is something that you describe to me about your relationships.
Live in that moment, and identify the feeling. Now, identify the intensity of that feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 is the most intense.
Now ask yourself these three questions. Nothing magical about these questions. They're just there to facilitate this procedure.
Could I let go of the feeling of (name the feeling) when I think of (name the thought?)
Would I let go the feeling of (name the feeling) and I think of (name the thought?)
Now major the intensity of that feeling on that scale again. Where is it now? As a gone down or up? If it has gone down continue the procedure and tell it goes completely away or there is just a little bit remaining.
The goal here is to release all the feeling. Work until it is all gone.
If the intensity does not go down, ask yourself the question, could I allow myself to feel (name the feeling) when I think of (name the subject of the thought?)
Now check the intensity again. Most often, if it does not move down it's because you're unwilling to allow the feeling space in your life.
Once you have released the feeling and there is none of it left when you think the same thought again, you can also notice something strange. You'll have the same thought again but the energy will be gone. You will no longer feel like behaving the way you dead because of that thought.
It took you a long time to store these feelings. It will take work to release them. The great thing is that a little of this works and you can see it immediately. That will motivate you to continue wanted to you let loose of all of your negative feelings.
Once you've done this, I want you to realize that releasing feelings, even if they are good ones, is what you need to practice. A good feelings always return because their part of who you are. The bad feelings will go and not return.
Work with this a bit and if you're willing let me know how you're doing.
As usual, if you have any more questions or need clarification please contact me again.