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day 8: Struggling with fears, unsent letter

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Alibumbayay, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Alibumbayay

    Alibumbayay New Member

    I woke up feeling positive and strong today and slid backward after completing the Unsent Letter activity for Day 8. Now I am having a mild panic attack and feel upset and very negative about life and the future.
    What happened is this: A few days ago when listing my fears, I was very surprised at what I wrote. I expected to write about my fear of pain and injury. But as I wrote I realized my actual, deepest and ongoing fears are about violence toward women: the possibility of rape, abduction, assault, and verbal and physical abuse. I live in a big city so verbal harassment for just walking on the sidewalk is a common part of my life and I never get used to it. (I have dressed modest and masculine and in dark colors my whole life because of this but still get cat-calls.)
    So today, in consideration of my biggest fears and stress triggers, for my activity today I wrote an Unsent Letter to Donald Trump. This is because of the Access Hollywood tape of our future president describing and laughing about how he likes to grab women by the pussy. When it was released last October, it was like a punch in the gut to me. (Twice men have grabbed me there as I was just walking along, enjoying a sunny day, and once I was ganged up on while on my bike by a group of five tween boys who just wanted to grab my boobs, butt, between my legs and drag me off my bike. All three times, not one bystander did a thing, even though it was in broad daylight, and I saw grown men watching and then looked away as I was yelling and trying to defend myself.)
    So fast forward to today, and I cannot think about that tape and Trump's voice without my heart racing, my breath shortening and my chest tightening. And, yes, my sciatica pain intensifies and my migraines start up.
    So I thought writing a letter to Donald Trump about how that tape made me feel, and how he never apologized and how he thinks its funny to grab women by the pussy, would make me feel better, but it only made me feel horrible and insignificant. Writing unearthed a ton of bad feelings, and has made me feel hopeless for the future of women and my safety as a woman. I just feel like random men will always hate and hurt women, religion will always encourage the subjugation of women, and that women will always be under threat, and that my life will never be peaceful knowing this.
    Even writing this now, I can feel pain flare up in my neck. So my question is: how do I get past real, possible fears? How do I NOT have a panic attack when I know that my life is always at threat, and that most of the world does not encourage the equality of women? How can I walk around my city and not feel anxiety knowing that the second I relax and drop my guard, someone could potentially hurt me? If these legitimate fears are indeed at the root of my TMS, I do not feel very positive that I can move past it and heal, and that makes me feel hopeless and negative.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Alibumbay. I'm sorry you ever watched or listened to Donald Trump and his disgusting remarks about women. He has made a lot of women fearful about men.

    I think writing him a letter and not mailing it was a good thing, but in this case I would go ahead and mail it. Just don't sign it.

    You need some strong positive input about decent men. Not all men are animals like Trump. Think about the men in your life who respect women, from family and friends
    and those in public life who have good and long marriages.

    If you can possibly do it, get a dog. When you're outside and need assurance of safety, a dog can be your best protection. If not, carry a flashlight with you. If a man approaches that you sense could harm you, just waving it at him could make him go away. Also, try to walk with some friend or family member. And try to walk there there are other people.

    The thing is not to dwell on Trump's filthy words. Let them go. Replace them with thoughts about good men. I think good men far out-number the bad ones.

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