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quick question. 
1st-May-2007 02:02 am

I was just wondering, how could I get keep myself from stop shaking (my heart beats really fast and I shake a lot, sometimes I feel like I can't breathe) when i am around men. I mean for those of you who read my posts you know I was raped, and I take karate & also have talked to my instructor. 

She is very helpful and I only work with girls, but i still get very nervous when  a guy is around me just watching go through the moves with the partner. This is a problem because I have testing for karate next week and there are four guy instructors and one female, they all have to watch us. This sounds so stupid, you'd think I would be able to let a guy watch me and be around me but I get still get so nervous even when they aren't touching me.  I just don't want to fail my exam, and all of the instructors  have to be in the room with us there is no way around it. 

I mean, I try (and will try even harder) to suck it up the best I can but sometimes it's out of my control. 

do I make any sense? I'm not sure I do


1st-May-2007 08:50 am (UTC)
You're definitely making sense, and I can relate.

If I suspect I'm going to get into a situation that might require me to need a little grounding, I take along my Rose Quartz rock. I don't know whether you are religious or anything like that, but for me, Rose Quartz (because of its colour and the innate healing properties) is very soothing. If I'm starting to feel panicky or to dissociate I can grasp the rock as hard as I can, and will the negative energies out into that.

Another technique I've found helpful is to really focus on my breathing while repeatedly reminding myself that this is now and now I am safe.
1st-May-2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
You make perfect sense :)

The best way to do this is called "selective desensitization". It's a process that takes time, but it is the most effective way I've found to reduce the impact of triggers like that.

The first step is to put a number value to the intensity of the reaction. I prefer a 1-100 scale, where 1 is no reaction, and 100 is absolutely overwhelming uncontrollable reaction. The trick will be with this technique to reach about 60 - enough of a trigger to get a reaction, but low enough that you can still cope with the effects of that reaction.

In a safe environment (and it's important that the other people in the situation know about the goal) - maybe even with some of your instructors? Somewhere you *know* that man will not cause you harm, put yourself in a safe situation with a man in the room. Let yourself get triggered a bit, and then cope with it.

Do whatever you can to let yourself calm down, but it's important you calm yourself while you're still in that situation. So even if it means starting out *thinking* about being in a room with a man, that's fine. The most important part is that you *not* need to leave in order to come down to about a 20-30 on the trigger scale.

If you do this consistently, effectively "practicing" coping with this, you will notice results. What once triggered you on a 60 will now be a 30-40, and you can work on the more triggering things, like having physical contact with a man (like a hand on your shoulder, something light).

Over time, you can desensitize that trigger to the point where it will barely bother you at all. And the good thing is, you will be able to practice your coping, too.

This was the only method that worked at reducing my most intense triggers, and its effects have lasted for years :)
2nd-May-2007 02:25 am (UTC)
You are making sense. I think it must be an automatic reaction to feel afraid of men after being raped. I never really understood it until I began dealing with my own rape, and suddenly I found that I wasn't comfortable around men at all, other than my husband and a close friend. I would look at them and wonder what they were really thinking, and if they had ever hurt someone, and if they ever would. It was worst right after I started actively dealing with my rape, but it's eased off since.
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