Jump to content






Photo

Day 144: How to be Held - But, How to not be Afraid

Posted by intrepidshe , in Crying, Touch, Healing Work 03 May 2014 · 271 views

May 3, 2014 Intrepid Age = 73 Days:
 
I have a couple questions at the end of this post I hope others will answer, if they feel comfortable doing so.
 
I am following advice I received from Jiva about sitting with this topic of touch/nurturing/crying a little longer, perhaps until I reach a place of achievement. I'm not sure quite what "achievement" is for me with regard to being held. I was about to move on yesterday to something else that popped up when Jiva offered this advice:
 

Right now, your body and emotions need to connect and breathe together in a new way. Often, when most relaxed, truth opens the door naturally and speaks to us. I just want to help you not get overwhelmed and to pace yourself through this major step. You've had a big week.

 
This resonated for me; and as I have thought more about it I have had a lot of reactions.
 
I feel at a loss because I don't know how to pace myself, how to stand still, how to wait, how to listen to myself, how to feel, or how to cry. I thought about this question of crying for quite a while again last night. It is such a puzzle. I was chatting with AngelFriend (that's DDF's new name Posted Image) and she said some things that pulled at my heart, making me feel I could cry. I hope she doesn't mind me repeating them. I think it will be OK; and she'll let me know otherwise.
 
Actually, she has said several things this week, not just last night, that have pulled at my heart:
  • "My dear friend. I'm am humbled by your story and tears run down my cheek as I write this. You my friend are the miracle. I am honored that you trust me enough to share your story and fears and feats of courage. Your gift to me is listening as well. Good night little one. Sweet dreams. And once the child sleeps the guardian can rest. Good night dear friend."
  • After she read my blog entry last night she asked if I was OK. This is incredible to me because I wrote something that could have been concerning to her, but instead she wanted to know how I was. I told her I would cry if I could; and I couldn't get over how kind she is. She is quite humble and responded she is not always so kind.
  • I asked if my posting last night created any worries for her: "None that I can think of," she replied. And then she said something funny, she knew would make me laugh. It helped me greatly to relax before going to sleep.
  • She again wished both me and Little Intrepid a good night's sleep.
I think the reason all this is on my mind is because of pondering how to feel my emotions, how to allow them to surface, how to name them, and how to share them with another person. AngelFriend has a way of touching my emotions, of reaching through my armor. If she said such things while holding me I imagine it would be very intense for me. So, after telling her last night that I would cry if I could over what she said, I imagined different ways of being held, wondering what they look like. I was also thinking very much about what outside_the_box said about holding my children.
 
I have been thinking all day about the contrast with holding my children. I am so completely comfortable with them. I hold them, play with them, and show my love to them in dozens of ways. And, it is joyful, satisfying, peaceful, warm, and safe for them and for me. It does give me solace and grace, as outside_the_box described. So, I am feeling very raw right now about not getting this kind of nurturing anywhere else. I don't know if I'm angry or sad, or just wanting to accept it. I don't know what I'm feeling, but I think I know what my T would say about it. "The anger is a layer over the sadness; and the 'wanting to accept it' is fear of experiencing it."
 
I am feeling afraid thinking about how I hold my children as a model for how I might be held. It scares me greatly to think of this in such concrete terms, to visualize actual possibilities.
  • Sometimes it's just a quick hug. I have learned I'm ok with that. In fact, I am able to enjoy hugs from a number of friends.
  • Sometimes with my kids I hold their hands. I have already found I am comfortable when AngelFriend holds my hand. Her hands have an amazing quality of safety and healing to them.
  • Sometimes with my kids we sit together arms around one another. When I imagine this with AngelFriend, I can't hold onto the image.
  • Sometimes with my kids I lay down with their head on my chest, like when one of them is sleepy. Whoo! This one is hard to imagine with AngelFriend.
  • Sometimes, especially when one of them is sad or sick, I lay down and they cuddle up against me in a spooning type position. Thinking of this one with AngelFriend scares me most of all.
I think with each type of holding in this list there is an increasing amount of body surface contact. So, fear increases from one to the next. I think this implies an approach, a progression.
 
None of these forms of holding scare or bother me with my kids. Not in the slightest. It all feels natural.
 
It feels natural.
 
I think I have just discovered what I need to achieve with regard to being held. I need to get to the point that it feels natural. I need to face these fears, and get to the point I no longer have them. Also, I need to learn to discern who is safe for this type of touch.
 
I am wondering as I see the words form if any others here have that experience? Does being held feel natural? Are there rules you follow about being held?
 
And, finally, I recognize the need to name my fears, to determine if they are reasonable, and to have a plan related to them. Before I write the fears and plans, I want to review again, what holding has looked like in my mind (I find this humiliating to write still, even though I have written it before). My heart clenches with fear looking at this passage:
 

She asks me if she can hold me. She sits next to me. She wraps her arms around me and I lean into her, laying my head on her shoulder. She rubs my back telling me, "It's OK to feel whatever you're feeling. I'm sorry for all the pain you've experienced. It's OK to let it out. You are safe with me. I promise I won't hurt or betray you. I'm here for you. Just let it out if you can. It's OK if you can't. Know you are safe and I care about you." If I cry, she just holds me and keeps reassuring me.

 
I am afraid that when she holds me:
  • I will not reach my emotions, and I will be a failure. I will have to accept I really can't feel or express my emotions. Ever.
    • OK, maybe I won't feel them first thing. Maybe it will take several attempts. I need to be patient.
    • I want to know what she thinks about this too.
    • And, I am pretty sure my T would encourage me not to think about the future so much.
  • I will reach my emotions but only have the physical symptoms, rather than the needed tears.
    • In fact, this is likely to happen. My body has been wired to respond this way pretty much my whole life. Again, I think the answer is patience.
  • I will need several or even many attempts; and it will be too much.
    • I need to talk to her about this. I don't want to burn her out.
    • I need to trust her to draw her boundaries and not allow myself to decide them for her.
    • I need to know she will tell me if she needs space long before it could become a problem.
    • I believe with some experience I will be able to be more open with others too and this will become less of a concern.
 



Photo
FinallyHere
May 03 2014 09:43 PM

I will spend some time with these questions and answer tomorrow. These questions are the very thing I have been struggling with for the past several weeks, fighting to overcome. Thank you for pushing through this struggle and sharing your process. It is such a gift.

Photo
intrepidshe
May 03 2014 09:45 PM

Hi FH, I hope you're doing OK. I've been thinking of you.

Photo
outside_the_box
May 04 2014 12:04 AM

POSSIBLE TRIGGER

 

Dear friend,

I tell you the following only for reference.  I was repeatedly molested by a neighbor boy when I was less than 10 years old.  I grew up with an alcoholic father who did not have the time for me or my siblings. He was an unhappy man with a mean tongue, especially when he was drunk.   I was raped when I was 19 years old by someone else I knew.  All this said to clarify that I do not have the best boundaries and am still trying to figure out what is the norm. 

 

I believe this to be true, but would be open to your thoughts or anyone else’s. 

There are different types of friendships that dictate the amount of contact and/or closeness between people.  The more superficial friendships would typically not have any contact beyond maybe a handshake or “fake” hug and light conversation.  A closer friendship would likely include a warm brief hug and more detailed conversation with minimal to moderate amount of personal details.  In a close friendship the hug might last a moment or two longer with real feeling (emotion) and when you are struggling there is no hesitation to comfort the other because they either know intuitively or from the telling what the other needs. It may be one needs a light touch on her arm or her hand held, she may need a shoulder to lean on when she cries; or one friend might casually put their arm around the other’s shoulders in a comforting or encouraging way. This type of friendship is not so common; I think because so many people are not comfortable with their own emotions, they cannot tolerate strong emotions from another. 

 

I don’t know that friends would lie down together or lay ones head on the other’s chest as adults.  Possibly as children or if they have known each other all their lives and they are more like siblings or one is very ill.  These actions I think are common or normal with your children and are more likely in a more sexual or intimate relationship with another adult such as with your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend.  I think the arousal that is felt when someone shows us sincere kindness is due to the primal attraction that yarnfoolishness commented about your post yesterday.  Instinctively we are drawn to goodness or kindness or light because it is nurturing.  Unfortunately our sense of arousal was peaked too early as macgyver commented.  And as our sexuality was turned on too young, many of  us “chose” to have sex at a younger age than we might have if our situations had been different likely due to the early arousal or maybe in hopes of someone else finding us worthy.  The “inappropriate” arousals happen whether we want to admit it or not. (I really denied such feelings for a long time).  I find it helps to recognize the situation and then choose to let it pass. 

 

Please do not feel humiliated for the picture show in your mind of being held.  I think it is a very natural desire to be held and comforted and it breaks my heart that you have never had that.  It is such a huge part of nurturing and growth. 

 

When your angel friend holds you and comforts you, it likely will not matter to her whether you cry or not.  More than likely she understands that you are struggling with finding and feeling your emotions.  Be patient with yourself, so your angel friend can be patient with you.  I would hope that she can draw appropriate boundaries for herself in order to protect herself and nurture the friendship.

I think if you can navigate this friendship with angel friend, you will have experience to draw upon for the friendships that will continue to come your way.  Continue to ask the questions about what is appropriate, right or wrong.  Your friends here can guide you and maybe your angel friend as well.  I wish you luck, fortitude, insight and grace my friend.

Hi Intrepidshe! I have found that for me I prefer to hold my partner rather than being held by him. I can't think of any other rules that I have, and this is an interesting idea! Thanks for sharing it! Love, Salemkitty
Photo
intrepidshe
May 04 2014 12:14 AM

Outside,

 

I am sorry you had those terrible things happen to you. And I appreciate your courage to speak your truth!

 

This is so very affirming and helps me gain clarity. I have such a childish understanding. I assume because of being frozen in time where this issue is concerned. You're so right about boundaries. I have kept mine like a fortress because without the mote and the double walls I wouldn't have any. But, your response gives me another perspective, one I will learn and understand with time and with trust.

 

Thanks for giving me the gift of these details. It helps me think concretely about something that feels ethereal.

 

I will feel much more comfortable talking with her about this. Thank you!

Photo
intrepidshe
May 04 2014 12:32 AM

SK, thanks! I need to think also about where I am with regard to holding someone else besides my kids. I am seeing how I failed to learn about any of this and why it's necessary for me to ask.

Intrepid, I shall do my best. I apologise if I have misunderstood anything.

For me, AF is basically working with a transference issue - of your very deep need to have a good, safe, maternal touch. One that little intrepid never had. You talk about how you are with your children (I am the same), and the touch you so greatly desire - from my understanding- is the same.

I believe being able to receive and accept such a touch would be massively healing for you. Your awareness that your miswiring about touch (touch=sex) should also improve your chances of being healed in such a way.

I feel the emotions - lack of understanding and then being able to release them (I SO get this one- it totally resonates with me!), will happen as little intrepid receives safe touch and starts to grow up (I am actually going to blog about this, my meal out last night with my SIL and brother showed me how much Manderoo has grown up!).

Your remark about it 'failing'. You must not look too far into the future, you recognise this yourself I believe. Just 'be' and accept what is happening in the moment. Your mind will heal and allow you to feel at a pace that is right for you. So yes, it might take a long time. You consider how old you are now - that's a lot of years (sorry ;-D) of believing, thinking, and feeling a certain way. It is a big knotty mess that is going to take considerable time and emotional energy to unpick. Patience my friend.

Healing is also not linear. And you might find that as your inner walls soften and crumble, you will start to feel odd emotions in situations that do not appear to correspond with what you are feeling (I warn you about this now because this is what happened to me as I integrated my Mand's. I feel they are me so very much now!), and if this happens, don't worry. It's odd, a little confusing, but I am quite excited by it because it tells me I am healing.

Good luck, you are so worth healing. Good things will come of it - hard and exhausting though it is! :hug:
Photo
intrepidshe
May 04 2014 11:46 AM

Mand,

 

You consider how old you are now - that's a lot of years (sorry ;-D) of believing, thinking, and feeling a certain way. It is a big knotty mess that is going to take considerable time and emotional energy to unpick. Patience my friend.

 

That made me laugh. You're right. It has been now 47 years of being emotionally stuck. I need to be patient with the getting unstuck process.

 

I am glad you used the term "transference." That feels right and, again, helps me be conscious, enabling me to talk to Little Intrepid. I have been following your lead, and the advice of others as well, to try to envision her, talk to her, be with her. It's slow going for me but I had a real moment last night where I could see her hiding under a counter in a cabinet. She didn't want to come out or be seen. But, she was able to let me be there with her. I sat on the floor leaning against another cabinet humming a lullaby until she fell asleep. And, then I did as well.

 

Healing is also not linear. And you might find that as your inner walls soften and crumble, you will start to feel odd emotions in situations that do not appear to correspond with what you are feeling (I warn you about this now because this is what happened to me as I integrated my Mand's. I feel they are me so very much now!), and if this happens, don't worry. It's odd, a little confusing, but I am quite excited by it because it tells me I am healing.

 

I so appreciate you sharing and giving me some ideas about what's possible. It will be less confusing to me as a result. My sense is this piece will take even more time to resolve.

 

Thank you, Mand, for your encouragement and constant support!

POSSIBLE TRIGGER

 

Dear friend,....

@Outside_the_box- this was amazing.  Thank you for having the courage to share your story and thoughts on this subject.  It greatly helped me in my own struggles.

 

@Intrepid

This is an amazing question. You read my blog so you know that I am not the best one at boundaries of personal space, people take whatever space they want and I give it because doing anything else makes me feel bad.

 

I think this step of gathering input is very important. Not so much because you should do what everyone tells you- I do believe that it's 100% your choice and that you need to do what is comfortable for you.  It's just that this step might help you gain insight to decide what it is that you want.  This is kinda hard to explain.. basically I think that as kids we learn by example.  We had shitty examples.  Healthy (whatever that is) kids we also learn by experimenting and often doing things that our examples tell us are "good" or "bad."  I think this is an important step in development because it's kids testing their free will.  Trying on different hats through the best method there is- field study. Our input of examples have feed into what we decide and choose to experiment with and those experiences lead to us becoming who we are.    

 

Of course experimenting has some pain.  Lessons.  We learn the good and bad outcomes and impacts of our choices first hand.  It's important feedback and once again informs who we decide to become. 

 

This is why I think the gathering of feedback, giving yourself plenty of time to think through the decisions or each step, and then taking each step very slowly to give yourself plenty of time to gather feedback.    You've got a lot of lessons to learn and you want to ensure that you have plenty of time to process them along the way.  This way DDF, you and little intrepid have a chance to learn and grow in a way that wont leave you feeling overwhelmed and triggered to an extent that you get re-traumatized by accident.     

Photo
intrepidshe
May 04 2014 02:26 PM

Nebulas,

 

This conversation is helping me so much. I am struggling today with the shame monster: shame for being this way, shame for how I came to be this way, shame for needing to learn all of this.

 

But, that's the vampire's rage and Little Intrepid's fear.

 

I realized reading your comments I have a long-time friend who has always been there for me. Who will put her arm around my shoulders sometimes. I have always "allowed" it and have never felt threatened or afraid. She lives a good distance away and I don't see her very often. She's the one who went to the Wailin' Jennys concert with me. I told her what is happening in my life, about my history (the things she didn't know). She was very compassionate. I didn't feel or show any emotion.

 

However, I think this is an example of what you described, an experiment, a careful, thought-out step. It took me months to decide to tell her. I knew for sure she'd be supportive and understanding. And she was.

 

I told my colleagues in my office that I'm going through a healing process from a history of r*. You probably read that in my blog back when it happened. So, that's another example. Again, it took me months to decide to do this and it was done with careful boundaries. They were supportive and understanding too.

 

I have been actively imagining being held. This has helped me especially when I wake at night to soothe and quite my noisy brain.

 

So, I have taken a number of tentative steps and it has been OK. Since meeting AngelFriend (I have decided to give her this nickname because she is more than a "doctor" friend to me) I have already taken a few more steps. I have told her about my fear of doctors. I have received safe, healing touch from her. And, I have now shared with her my problem with needing to cry and to be held.

 

Looking at all of this, it seems like a lot of progress . . . not something to be ashamed of. I feel Mamma Intrepid in there saying, "It was not your fault what happened. You were neglected. You were abused. This was done to you for no good reason by people with something wrong with them. It is not your shame to bear, it is their shame."

 

Nebulas, thanks for your comment and steadfast support. It means more to me than I can say.

For me being held rarely feels natural. If I'm upset or in pain being held is almost always out of the question, being held feels like an attack, a violation. I see that for other people this is different, when they are upset or hurt being held is a comfort, I long for this comfort but it does not exist for me.

 

When I'm not upset or hurt then being held by someone I am close with is acceptable, not always natural feeling but something I can deal with. A hug from a relative saying hello or goodbye, a friend holding my hand at the movie theater, snuggling with the girls I babysit (who are younger than any of the people who hurt me) all can be acceptable and can sometimes feel natural but sometimes not.

 

I sort of do have rules about being held but they are sort of fluid. Touch at all without my permission is not ok but that doesn't mean the other person always has to out right ask for permission, the girls I take care of are allowed to touch me all they want, hug me all they want, close friends who have proven that they respect my personal space are allowed to hug me and hold my hands and such without asking but at the same time I might pull away, I might not always allow it. When it comes to someone I've just met or don't know well anything more than a handshake is normally not ok.

 

Being held can come from outside or inside my family, its more about trust and respect than anything else, blood or water, that doesn't matter, but the way the other person treats me, the way they see me maters. If they don't respect me then I'm not safe in their arms but if they do respect me then I might be, then I should be safe in their arms. 

 

I need to be able to set my own boundaries, decide for myself what is or is not acceptable, I need to allow the other person to do the same. 

 

I need to be able to expect that the other person will not hurt me and I need to know that their touch will not trigger me in such a way that I lose control, that I lose my grip on the safe reality because if that happens I can't be sure that I won't hurt them, I need to know that I will be able to control myself. 

 

I hope what I've said makes sense and answers your questions, sorry its such a long comment

I wish you nothing but the safest healing Intrepid.  

Photo
intrepidshe
May 05 2014 07:09 PM

For me being held rarely feels natural. If I'm upset or in pain being held is almost always out of the question, being held feels like an attack, a violation. I see that for other people this is different, when they are upset or hurt being held is a comfort, I long for this comfort but it does not exist for me.

 

When I'm not upset or hurt then being held by someone I am close with is acceptable, not always natural feeling but something I can deal with. A hug from a relative saying hello or goodbye, a friend holding my hand at the movie theater, snuggling with the girls I babysit (who are younger than any of the people who hurt me) all can be acceptable and can sometimes feel natural but sometimes not.

 

I sort of do have rules about being held but they are sort of fluid. Touch at all without my permission is not ok but that doesn't mean the other person always has to out right ask for permission, the girls I take care of are allowed to touch me all they want, hug me all they want, close friends who have proven that they respect my personal space are allowed to hug me and hold my hands and such without asking but at the same time I might pull away, I might not always allow it. When it comes to someone I've just met or don't know well anything more than a handshake is normally not ok.

 

Being held can come from outside or inside my family, its more about trust and respect than anything else, blood or water, that doesn't matter, but the way the other person treats me, the way they see me maters. If they don't respect me then I'm not safe in their arms but if they do respect me then I might be, then I should be safe in their arms. 

 

I need to be able to set my own boundaries, decide for myself what is or is not acceptable, I need to allow the other person to do the same. 

 

I need to be able to expect that the other person will not hurt me and I need to know that their touch will not trigger me in such a way that I lose control, that I lose my grip on the safe reality because if that happens I can't be sure that I won't hurt them, I need to know that I will be able to control myself. 

 

I hope what I've said makes sense and answers your questions, sorry its such a long comment

 

Sugar, that is very helpful, yes! I really appreciate the way you laid out the rules for yourself and for them. I like the blood or water doesn't matter part.

 

This makes a lot of sense and I appreciate so much you taking the time to write the details!

Photo
yarnfoolishness
May 07 2014 11:59 AM

So much wisdom here.  :metoyou:

 

This post and all the responses have been challenging and illuminating for me.  Before reading this through, if someone had asked how I feel about touch, I think my response would have been different.  Given the opportunity for reflection, I see more clearly.

 

Touch is difficult.  I both want and reject it.  Without thinking about why. 

 

To get this part out of the way...

I know that one piece (a smaller piece) is related to having Asperger's.  If I'm in a state of sensory overwhelm, touch feels like sandpaper on sunburn - too much - too intense.  Having said that - I don't live my entire life in a state of sensory overload.  It's a thing that comes and goes, and I can pretty much predict what situations will set it off.  So the pertinent question is:  how does touch fit into my world outside of this one particular situation.

 

So - outside of the sensory overload situation...

1) with my children.

 

Touch with them is "safe" 90% of the time.  It used to be 100% of the time, but I started having trouble inside myself when my oldest grew to the size of a small adult.  He's nearly 5' and growing still.  He didn't know his strength.  He would "tackle" me with all the full hearted exuberance and affection of a child, and hurt me, and I actually started to become frightened of this.  I denied it for too long of course, until I figured out what was happening and why.  So he and I had a few conversations about how things change when we become big and strong.  How we can accidentally hurt someone without realizing, and how to be careful with our strength.  He has since been very careful with his strength.  (I tell my children that their strength is not for hurting.)  The fear has now mostly gone.  Sometimes he forgets himself, and I remind him (kindly).  One day I hope it will return to 100%.

 

Types of touch with my children - holding hands, leaning against, hugs, spooning, absent minded touches of affection, and various iterations of mom=pillow.  It's all good.  Sometimes we have a kid-cuddle-fest.  Me and all 3 of them in the bed snuggled under the blankets telling stories.  That's mostly a wintertime thing.

 

2) with my brothers.

Hugs, holding hands, arm in arm, arms over shoulders or around waists, leaning against.  Generally for fairly brief periods of time.

 

3) with other family members who are trustworthy

Hugs, hand holds

 

4) with DH

I prefer to hold him.  He likes to hold me, but I can only tolerate it for a short time before I get panicky.  Not his fault as he's never ever held me against my will.  It's just that the body remembers I guess.  We do good leaning against one another (it's not confining).  Holding hands, arm in arm.

 

5) with other trustworthy adults/friends

hugs.  touches to the arm.  clasping of hands.

 

In all cases - I have to see it coming.  Any kind of surprise with send me round the bend. 

 

Sex is particularly difficult due to the triggers and fear of confinement.  DH would love to take his time, but I become frightened quickly - which escalates almost instantly to panic and flashback.   So, intimacy between us is a pretty quick encounter.  I feel bad about this because I would love to give him the extended intimacy time that he'd so much love to have.  I just can't control the panic, and I'm lucky enough that he loves me enough to accept what I can do.

 

It's interesting to me that I remember both craving touch from my parents and being repulsed by it.  I have difficulty with mom in that way even now.  I think it's because there is a lack of some form of needed trust.  I think I wanted and needed that bone-deep acceptance from a parent, but it was inconsistent and therefore untrustworthy.

 

I'm sorry if none of this was helpful.  It's just my perspective.

There is so much depth and insight here.

It was very hard for me to read and I have avoided reading this post right through until now, despite seeing it when it first went up. Each response, and they are all very helpful, has also been hard to read and I have paced around a lot. I blogged on this, because it is an issue for me. Thank you intrepid for starting this and all others for your insights. I'm treating it all as a gift for me because it's what I need right now.

Photo
intrepidshe
May 07 2014 07:23 PM

I wasn't able last night to respond to others. I was a mess after my posting. It might be the same tonight. We'll see.

 

So, if I don't respond to your blog, Max, for a day or two, know that I will when I am able.

 

Intrepid

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors (which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them) to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

View postings specific to touch.

View postings specific to crying.

 

The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

More Healing:

 

- Framed and Unashamed

- Yarnfoolishness' Journal

- Susanna's Blog

- What's Inside my Head?

- Healing Resources

Search My Blog

Contact Me Outside Pandys

I can be reached by email at a Gmail account based on my userid here in Pandys. I'm sure you can piece it together. I won't enter the address here because of bots that read email addresses from screens. I really don't want spam. But I wanted people outside of Pandys to be able to reach me.

July 2015

S M T W T F S
   123 4
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.