I have recently started at college and am finding myself very anxious about going in. I have been sexually assaulted a few times in the past and come from an abusive home so what is unknown is interpreted as threatening by my brain. Yay! (sarcasm)
All the understanding the mechanisms and once a week therapy will help long-term but for now I'm stuck in my house and, if I try to go to college again, I'll just get more and more anxious the closer I get. It's like a really useless GPS system. When I get to class I break out in sweat and get squeaky voiced if I have to talk. I get paranoid about the guys eyes on me. I end up finding a sppot on the grounds and have a cry - well, it feels like the tears burst out of me. So, I probably am on my way to class basket case.
The stress I'm experiencing is affecting my friendships and relationships and health, I think the problem there is resentment (eg my bf gets to w@nk but my body has a 75% chance of deciding it's not going to feel anything at any sexually enjoyable moment alone or as a couple) and feeling disguted with myself for having this dip again. I've experienced this before and never been able to get through it with the relationship intact but this guy's different and for the first time I am HOPING that I'll be able to get ok. He doesn't understand that the 25% of the time it works is an anomaly. Ususally when my body shuts down/decides it can't trust you sexually, it's gone.
So, I've decided to treat the resentment with changing my negative outlook around but how do I do that? My therapist pointed out that the "affirmation" "most people don't want to hurt me" was negative but that was what I came up with when trying to be "positive" so how DO I get my brain to give me positive reinforcement? How do I get to colege without feeling like my chest is going to turn into a blackhole and an unpuffy, hasn't been crying face? How have other people dealt with sexual numbness post-trauma? And, how do I keep my relationships when I'm all negative, self-obsessed and prima donna like (those things are very unhealthy defense/coping machanisms that need an alternative in place before they can stop)?
You're being very hard on yourself for a start OP. If you're only starting college, and you don't mind me saying so - relationships don't necessarily stay intact for very long, even if you're the most together person in the world.
I'm thinking about your question as to how you treat the resentment and change your negative outlook. Again, saying that about yourself is maybe hard on yourself. You just sound scared, and why not? This social stuff is scary, especially when you're not feeling right in yourself. Only advice I can give you is to carry on seeing your therapist, but also remember (and this is important) nobody can see into your mind. People in your class don't know there's anything going on for you, so it's like you can be a new person, pretending you're feeling ok.
If you are feeling like crying all the time, and all of your experiences and feelings are that raw for you, have you considered medication? I've used anti-depressents before (perscribed by a doctor) to enable me to feel less. They can be very effective and let you get on with the necessary stuff in life (in my case looking after my kids, in your's perhaps - going to college) until you feel better able to look at the parts of your past that cause you such grief (not now. I'd say don't look at them/think about them too much till you feel a bit objective or removed from what you feel about your experiences). Perhaps ask your therapist about medication. I hope he/she is well qualified hon, cos it sounds like you properly need a person or two to trust. Good luck XX
PS. EVERYBODY is self-obsessed. That only becomes a problem when you're also obsessed with being hard on yourself - like telling yourself it's a bad thing to be self-obsessed and a prima-donna. We're all at it! Don't let anyone tell you dfferrent ;-) Mind yourself.....you will be feeling good one day, I'm sure. Hugs.
Positive reinforcement. Nearly forgot to talk about this.
Here's a positive for you: you describe your feelings very, very well and I'm nearly there with you. You struck a chord with me, big time, remembering some of how I felt at your age (I'm 41 now). So when you next go about examining your feelings in such great detail, using the interesting descriptions as you do - as soon as you feel positive about anything (anything at all, whether it's getting yourself out of bed and having a shower, or eating a healthy breakfast, etc.) describe that to yourself too, in as much detail as you have with the difficult feelings you are having. Practise that, over and over. Practise telling yourself you have achieved something good for yourself. That is positive reinforcement, and slowly it will get easier to think well of yourself.