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I woke up feeling afraid today. No, I didn’t have a dream or even a nightmare. Upon opening my eyes, my heart was pounding and my gut felt so tight, I had trouble breathing.  I have no idea what brought on the fear; it made no sense. Yet, there it was.

I learned in psychotherapy training that fear  is one of the 4 major emotions – mad, sad, glad and scare. All others, i.e., frustration, resentment, etc.  are combinations of those four. And, just so you know, emotions don’t make logical sense – those feelings simply are what they are.

Yet, as human beings, we seem to want to make sense of everything.

As a survivor of abuse, I have been afraid just about all of my life.  Only I didn’t know what caused it. Told over and over that I was too sensitive, I didn’t have anything to be scared of, that it was all in my imagination, I thought there was something wrong with me.

It wasn’t until I became a psychotherapist and worked with other survivors that I realized fear was their prominent emotion as well.  It makes sense to me now, especially with recent clinical research that has shown what trauma does to the brain. Read the rest of this entry »

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