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what counseling is right for my girlfriend?
May 8, 2002
12:19 am
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Keiran
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My girlfriend of 1.5 yrs has yet to get over the trauma she experienced while having an abortion earlier in our relationship. Immediately after the procedure and to this day, she is not open to me in emotion or body. I have waited and been supportive this long to see if the defense mechanism would go away on its own. It has been about 9 months and we only have the motions of a relationship. I think she believes that to get close to me again opens her up to the possibility of getting pregnant again and experiencing the pain of loss and considerable physical pain again. I love my girlfriend very much, I can't just dump her when I am responsible in part for the wall she has created between us. Is hypnotherapy the answer for her? What specialty should i look for...trauma recovery, grief, women's issues...?

May 8, 2002
12:25 am
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gypsygirl
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She is going through the grief process. It takes time. How long depends on her. Counseling would help, but she has to want it. She will never be over the loss, but she will accept it with time. I lost a son 5 1/2 years ago. It took me several years to complete the grieving process. Women have a bond with thier babies from conception. Be there for her emotionally. Find a grieving support group if it helps. You might be able to find one through the hospital. Everyone reacts to loss in their own way.

May 8, 2002
12:46 am
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Keiran
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Gypsygirl--
Thanks, i realize she is stuck in the grieving process, but it is more than that.
She doesn't want to do anything more than a cursory kiss on the lips...nothing, even though we were so passionate before.
One night when i was talking to her about it, she actually got so upset that she passed out. I assume i was causing her so much anxiety that she couldn't shield it fast enough and her brain just POOFED her. I know it can happen from my psych in school.
She also stays sick constantly. Maybe the price of shielding such guilt and anxiety takes a toll on one's immune system? Perhaps, but i DO know that this behavior she is exhibiting is not normal recovery behavior and she needs help. what kind?

May 8, 2002
12:55 am
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gypsygirl
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I lactated for years after my son died. I felt pregnant for a long time afterwards. She should seek help if she is so upset by it that it is causing her physical symptoms can't spell. What kind of therapy she needs depends on her personality. take her to get consultations with a couple different therapists. Let her choose which one. Talk with her about her sypmtoms. maybe start with a family Dr. he can give reffearls. still can't spell. But if she is not ready than there is not much you can do but wait and love her.

May 8, 2002
8:53 am
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nikka
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Kieran,
Grief is such a delicate and terrible animal. Gentle like a doe and fierce like a shark, all at the same time. Be gentle, be there. -- Sounds like she's gotten caught in a moment she lived 1.5 years ago. We people do that sometimes. When she's ready to see that moment has passed she will. And even the best intentions will probably not hurry that process. Be gentle. Understand what this moment has in it to teach you. All the best.
Listen to Gypsy and the other wise ones you'll hear from soon.

May 8, 2002
9:35 am
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julie2
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She will not open up until she's ready. Keep encouraging her and be ready to love her through it. She may be hiding some anger and rage. It might help if you give her permission to be angry. If she's a gentle person she may not know how to vent that type of anger.

When I went for counseling with husband number 1, I had never learned to express anger...it was deep inside and had to be brought out. Being in a situation where I felt protected, I allowed myself to say everything that I needed to say to him with the counselor's there to "let" me and encourage me. I was so emotional that I don't remember everything I said, but the counselors said I did good. It helped nothing in our relationship except that I know he heard me, and I felt better. At least, there was no change in our relationship. Therefore we divorced several months later.

Keep being there to hand her a tissue and a shoulder to cry on. Grief is a weird thing. Everybody handles it differently.

I wish you the best...

May 8, 2002
11:59 am
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Molly
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There is no doubt in my mind, that emotional illness,will effect the immune system. She really does sound like she could use some support besides you, no offense. Interview counselors, call them on the phone, and explaine many of the ads aren't real specific, or your hmo might be able to guide you. I am sure she is fearful with relations, women are so deep, we process things different than men. Our sexual buttons are connected to feeling safe, and secure, and obviously after her trauma she doesn't feel that right now. Time.

May 9, 2002
2:03 am
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Keiran
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I am 22 and she is 21 Blondie. And I do accept equal part of the blame. I just believe that she was so injured by the trauma that she closed up emotionally and physically. No one can talk to her about it without running into a brick wall. Yes, time will help, but i think that maybe if someone can talk to her while in hypnosis, she will be able to communicate. She really can't otherwise. Thank you all for your advice. I think my next step here will be to look up some counselors and see what they have to offer.

May 9, 2002
7:27 am
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Keiran
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Blondie...glad you agree with what I've been thinking for the past 4 or 5 months...she is definitely stuck and not on the road to healthy recovery on her own. I am ashamed that I did not trust myself when I thought she needed help. I listened to her when she said she just needed time. Well it is plain to see that time has done zippo. I'm emailing a professor at college that knows a lot about this right now to see if he can give me some good ideas and references. Thanks for kicking my butt into gear. Will keep posted.

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