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Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Yep! It worked! :-)

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry

Thank you for your post, it was nice to hear from you.

Yeah, i do struggle with no parents around to love and support me.  This is the hardest part of my journey not having my family along me. 

My memories came out 6 yrs ago when I was seeing a psycholgoist for work stress.  After a few weeks of sessions, he was asking me questions about my childhood, family, siblings - it all came out.  I couldn't talk, i just sobbed and sobbed.  I couldn't tell my husband or children.  I finally told my husband with the help of my psychologist after a few weeks. And then i waited about 6 months to tell my parents - what a mistake that was.  The biggest mistake i ever made. I thought that by telling them i would get the love and support - but no it was the complete opposite.  yelling at me my mum says 'how dare you wait over 30 yrs to tell me' and 'you have betrayed the family'. 

yes i suppressed the abuse for over 30 yrs.  and i dissociated so many times.  i am married and have 3 adult children (24,23,20).  they are supportive to a certain extent, my husband struggles to understand my mental illness but i do have a great GP, psychiatrist and about to see a new psychologist in November.  i suffer from depression, anxiety and also have borderline personality disorder.

i find writing a bit difficult, i get very emotional and then can't stop sobbing.  Although i do find writing poems okay, it gives me a chance to express my feelings good or bad, sad or happy.

take care @Sherry,

 

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Yes @BlueBay, I imagine it would be more of a struggle after being rejected like that.

And like you, I also was found out quite by accident with my psych dragging my traumatic past out of me when I was there for something else entirely.

And yes, initially it was just all about shaking uncontrollably, being unable to speak at all, and tears in free fall. Pretty awful.

My husband knows that I have been raped.  I met him about 6 months after the rape, and when we became engaged I felt he had a right to know about my past. So I told him very briefly that I had been sexually assaulted the year before I met him. But I haven't told him that I have been diagnosed with PTSD. It is of no use anyway because of his belief that only military people get it. So I would be wasting my breath in telling him. But thats okay, I dont like to bring the subject up anyway.

In fact the only time my rape ever comes up with him is when he gets drunk and abusive and then he uses his knowledge of it against me. So I try not to discuss it at all.

That is awful how your Mum treated you when you told her. I cant believe anyone would be so cruel and unfair. But as I said before, it is highly likely that she blames herself in some way. Even if she is unable to admit that.  Hard as it is on you, it is her loss.  You are obviously a lovely person and she no longer has you in her life.  That is indeed very sad for her.

I am pleased that you have reasonably supportive hubby and children. And it makes a big difference to have a great GP and psych.

I had never told my GP until about 2 months ago. And that was only at the urging of my psych, and she helped me to tell him in the end. It has definitely made life easier now that he knows. And I guess he now is more understanding of why I just zone out sometimes, or burst into tears for no known reason, or just sit there and shake uncontrollably. You could say that he now understands me much better. And that does help.

Since I discovered that writing helps me, I have done a lot of it. Initially I could barely see to write, such was the amount of tears. But it definitely got a lot easier. A little bit of self exposure therapy I guess you could say.

I am only very new to poetry, so have a lot still to learn. But I do enjoy it and hope to do more. It is such a great method of self expression.

So far I have written a poem about my little Dog. Plus a poem I wrote for my brother who lost his little 11yo daughter in a car accident just over a year ago. I wrote it and gave it to him to mark the one year anniversary of her death last month. Very sad occasion, as you can imagine.

Anyway thankyou sadgirl for taking the time to respond again. Please do not feel obligated to respond if you dont feel like it. Just when you are feeling better, okay?

Kind thoughts and healing wishes.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry,

I'm not too sure that my experiences are the 'same' but, I feel my reaction has been.

I've had some expereinces of CSA that I won't talk about, but the ones I can talk about have been mainly sexual assaults while I was a teenager (11-19) where I was assulted, in seperate situations, by different people in public spaces. I found the worst one for me was when I was 11, just started wearing a bra and going through puberty and feeling incredibly self conscious about it all, and a man started talking to me in a bookshop (I love reading) and he.... assulted me. My mother was 50m away. It was in public. (I don't know how someone didn't see or stop what he was doing.) And I don't have the best relationship with my parents, so when he finally let go and stopped, I ran away thinking 'I won't tell my parents'. I started crying and eventually told her. She asked me if I wanted to go to the police and I said no. And it was never mentioned again.

At the same time my home environment was quite violent, but my parents refused to acknowledge it or do anything about it. 

I didn't feel safe. I realised that as an 11 year old girl, anyone could do anything to me, and no one would stop it or intervene. I was alone. And I was never safe.

And then it happened again. And a third time. Not as severe as the first, but enough to really upset me.

I was so fearful and anxious. All the time. I lived in constant fear. At home, at school, when I was out in public alone.

I lived with semi-PTSD until I had EMDR at the age of 24. EMDR was hard. Really hard.

But I'm not scared anymore. I'm not anxious going out in public. I can go out and travel and do the shopping and it's all fine now.

I'm not so great in intimate situations, and I'm still very easily tipped into anxiety, but so, so much better. :-)

I was also taught some relaxation exercises - I do a progressive muscle relaxation to a tape that my psychologist gave me and it's amazing. Like magic. If I do it infrequently it doesn't do much, but if I do it regularly its so amazing for controlling my anxiety. And just even deep breathing exercises. I also do the relaxation exercises to some relaxing songs, so I've found I can just put that song on, and it makes me feel relaxed just by listening to it.

Telling your story also helps. It sucks at first, but it gets easier as time goes on.

I really want a relationship, but I don't know how. It scares me too much. And I can't imagine anyone would want my damaged goods.

Sorry if this has been all self-absorbed and whingey. I'm just having a crap day. I'll probably come on here tomorrow and delete it.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Thats really horrible mate... its never too late to go to the police! I really feel for you...take care.

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Thankyou @Hamburger. Yes you are right, I have checked and there is no time limit for charges to be laid. This is something that I hold close to me, and its almost like a power I have over him.

I moved house several times soon after what happened. Then I moved about 7 hours drive from where he continues to live. And yet, I still dont really feel safe.

I still continue to imagine I see him - in the supermarket isles, alongside me at traffic lights, walking down the street.

But he is in an occupation that I am able to check that he is still where I know him to be. So whenever I think I see him, I go and check to reassure myself that he is still at a safe distance.

But yeah - the knowledge that I can still actually press charges, is just a small thing I have over him. I hope he knows that too, and I hope it plays on his mind.

Yes I am doing my best to take care, and thankyou for your kind thoughts.

I hope you are having a reasonable weekend, and that you too take care. xx

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Bec, and thanks for getting back to me last night.  It looks like it was quite a party at the Beer Garden last night.  All a bit much for me I'm afraid.  I expect once I get to know a few more people, it may be a little easier.  So perhaps another time I will get to enjoy all you good people's company over a drink.

Yes I agree, everyone's experience of trauma is different, even if the circumstances are similar. But the aftermath is unfortunately very much the same.

You have been through a number of dreadful experiences Bec, so you are doing incredibly well to be where you are currently at - still battling on.  Thankyou for sharing some of those traumatic experiences with me too.

Yes, I too found EMDR to be incredibly hard process.  During therapy we actually targeted 4 different components of my trauma and processed each part seperately.  The most difficult part was immediately after the actual rape, where I felt my life was threatened.  

I still dont know what happened - either I blacked out, or else I dissociated for a time.  My psych says probably the latter, and that I am never likely to recall that part. Maybe thats a good thing? All I remember is becoming aware a couple of hours later, crumpled up in the corner of the room - cold, confused, sore all over and throwing up everywhere.  Pretty awful.

Anyway it was when we were targetting this part of the memory, where I actually thought I would die, that I had the most problems.  Several times my therapist had to call a halt to the session because she couldnt get me back from reliving that part.  She said it would be too dangerous to continue, so she aborted the sessions. 

But even the less difficult parts, left me in a highly anxious state with renewed nightmares and flashbacks for up to a week.  But gradually as therapy continued, my reactions became less intense and the length of time it took to recover afterwards also reduced.

So yes, even though I only completed my EMDR therapy about a month ago, it has definitely helped.  As far as the anxiety goes - that will always be there unfortunately.  As my psych says - people with ptsd already have an anxiety bucket which is nearly full.  It doesnt take much to spill over.  So this means that even everyday things which happen as a matter of course during life, can put us over the edge into very high anxiety states.  

So this is what I need to work on next.  I have been trying to learn Mindfulness, which I find very difficult because my brain just wants to run at 100 miles an hour.  But I am getting there.  Breathing exercises I also use, which my psych gave me too.  It does all help.  And I try to keep distracted when things get difficult.

I totally understand your thoughts about 'damaged goods' Bec.  I still feel that way also.  My heart tells me that  that is the case, and yet my brain knows that it really isnt the case at all.

You are no less of a wonderful person because of what happened to you.  None of it was your fault.  When you meet the right person and enter into a close relationship, that person will respect you even more for what you have had to go through.  Have faith in yourself Bec.

Sorry you had a crap day yesterday.  You are welcome to come and 'vent' on my forum thingy here anytime you like.  Please dont delete your post.  I hope today is a better day for you.  Talk again soon.  Smiley Happy

 

 

 

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry,

You have a very beautiful way of writing about an highly emotive subject. I am really impressed by the grace you have in your manner of discussing sexual abuse. It's not easy.

I realised earlier this year that I have a serious anxiety problem. It is quite understandable that this had previously been accepted as part of my bipolar. However once the anxiety reached a point where even I could recognise that this was distinctly different from my bipolar, I mad an appointment with my GP to discuss this anxiety.

He has put me on an SSRI antidepressant which is particularly effective for anxiety and within 4 days the difference this medication has made is extraordinary. I do hope you can find similar relief.

Last night in the Beer Garden was rather over-the-top so I'm not surprised you felt overwhelmed. As you've already noted as you get to know the members here better I'm sure you'll feel able to join in with the frivolity that erupts periodically.

Have a good day Sherry. 💕🎶

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Thanks @Kurra for your kind words. No it isnt easy discussing these matters. And it wasnt long ago, that I simply could not have done so. So the fact that I now can, is a definite sign of progress.

I too am on an AD, only a low dose. And it is one that is meant to help with nerve pain which I have as a result of a long term back injury. But given that the pain is usually what brings on Depression, then that is appropriate I suppose. I am not sure yet whether it is effective for the nerve pain or not, but happy to continue it because I think it does help with the Depression. And as I have recently been through a difficult period where I was having suicidal thoughts, then I guess I need a little bit of help.

I am also on a medication which is meant to help with anxiety and my resulting tachychardia (dangerously high heart rate). It has a slightly calming effect and is also being used a lot now for PTSD-related sleep issues such as nightmares and other disturbances.

The combination of both meds is helpful. I just hate the way I feel the following morning - dizzy, lethargic, etc. Its hard when I have to work. Thankfully however, I only work 2 days per week.

Perhaps I will see you in the Beer Garden on another occasion.

Until then, take care and have a nice day.

Something I have noticed is a few of you have the title of 'Community Guide'. What is that?

Re: My introduction - Living with PTSD

Hi @Sherry  Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.  I still haven't been able to get on top of things, but wanted to thank you for the info on Exposure Therapy.  

I have had quite a bit of different therapy.  Then I worked on myself for a long time and recently started having EMDR with a psychologist.  I have had 6 visits with her and have tried the EMDR twice.  So far I haven't found any relief with the EMDR.  I am sure it works, but unfortunately I have a "protective wall" which goes up.  I am so used to having a "protective wall" that I don't even know I'm doing it.  I want the EMDR to work so much, it is very frustrating.  It took alot for me to make an appointment etc.  Last week was the worst, as I became very stressed in the traffic and had trouble finding a park.  By the time I got to the psychologist I was so stressed and shakey.  I haven't been able to get myself back up since then.  

Sometimes I feel like I am going ahead, then I go backwards again.  When I look back, I am better than I used to be.  I have read alot of self help books, eat healthy and try to exercise every day (not always possible).  I take different vitamins etc.  Have tried MANY anti depressants.  They all made me feel worse.  I wish they did help me, as it is very difficult living life with PTSD, anxiety and depression etc...................

I was raped when I was a teenager, kept it to myself until I was an adult. Was raped again in my 20's and again in my 30's.  Have had alot of abuse, physical and emotional, most of my life.  I'm sounding like a whinger now.  I'm not used to talking about it all.  Life has been a roller coaster and still is.  But it is gradually getting better.  But healing is too slow.  I really don't understand why it is taking so long to feel well.  I feel so sad, tired and depressed again today.  I don't like to be negative, but I guess I am searching for an answer to all this.

I am married and have a teenager.  I find being married very difficult.  

Sorry for the whinge.  I was going to reply when I was feeling a bit better, but it's taking longer than I expected.  

How are you feeling today?  

It's good that you can chat about your experience.  It certainly helps to talk about it.  Holding it in only causes us to be depressed etc.  What happened to us wasn't our fault and we should never feel guilty or ashamed about something someone did to us.  

I was wondering what "community guide" means as well.  

Anyway, I hope that I haven't been too negative in my reply.  Look forward to chatting.  HeartSmiley Happy 

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