Last summer I was in a situation where a guy pushed me further than I was willing to go physically. After, I acted like it didn’t happen for a while but eventually got counseling, which went horribly. Now a few months later, part of me knows there’s probably a lot to deal with though I’ve mostly controlled the effects, but anything like that atmosphere totally freaks me out, which makes even thinking about dealing with it incredibly overwhelming. Any advice on where to start?
I am sorry that you were put through that, both the boundary violation and the bad experience with the counselor.
There is an old proverb: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That is one of those things that is a cliche because it is true. No matter how far you have to go, the first step is always taking the first step. From your question, it seems like you recognize this. The question, of course, is “what is that first step?” In this case, it is simple but not easy, you need to talk to someone.
It doesn’t have to be a counselor or a professional. Even without your negative associations, some people see that as an intimidating environment, which is understandable. It would be a good idea to sit down with someone you already have trust built up with. Preferably another woman, just because that tends to make things simpler. The key requirements for who this person should be are: 1) you trust them and 2) you respect their walk with the Lord.
Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” It is important to have someone, or a few people, in your life that you can be real with. That sharing will be indispensable to working through tough things in your life.
When a situation lives only in your own head, it has a way of growing into something that seems super scary and insurmountable. That is because you are refusing to look at it head on. When you say it out loud and bounce it off another person without fear of judgement, that lets you drag it out into the light. The thing in your periphery, in the shadow, are always scarier than something you can see straight on. When you see what you are actually dealing with, you can get an idea of how to move against it.
The first step is to get it into the sunlight outside your own brain, then the next step will be clearer.
-Matt from The Bridge