For Dan and Janet,
I actually studied karate from the age of 12 to 17. I received my shodan a month before I was raped, and I never returned because I was too ashamed to go back to class. I was looking to go back into martial arts, and I stumbled into Aikido. The dojo cho is a very kind and honorable man, and I felt safe going to classes with him. After studying with him for about a month, it was Aikido itself that I fell in love with, in terms of philosophy as well as the martial aspect.
I hadn't actually considered that Cady, thank you. I hate the thought of people seeing me as a victim, and this is a conversation I have only had with three people, all of them men I was in long term relationships with. My family doesn't even know what happened.
And Marc, where does one locate a psychologist who is also familiar with martial arts, specifically Aikido? This isn't sarcasm, I just don't even know how to go about finding someone who would have that kind of experience.
When you meet a therapist, you are interviewing that person as much as they are interviewing you. Explaining your situation to the therapist and listening to the responses will tell you a lot about whether the person is aware of the trigger points that need to be "de-activated."
You are not a victim. Everybody is a survivor of some type of negative experience. Obviously, some experiences are far worse than others (with the potential of longer lasting consequences). As I stated before, you have an tremendous amount of bravery and courage to be facing these experiences. There is never any shame in being courageous and brave. You are more than welcome to e-mail me directly and I might be about to help you find a good therapist near you.