A dark week- life after abuse.

It has been almost a week of darkness now. I have been stuck in this terrifying, suffocating blackness. Trauma and fear and horror every single moment. It feels like the past is infringing on the present, like he is here, watching and waiting to pull me back into his control.

Whenever I leave the house he immediately appears, a ghost on my shoulder, a shadow chasing me. And even at home I can barely make it through an hour without having to fight his presence. Even where I am safest, he still finds his way in. I cannot explain just how frightening that is.

 

My T was incredibly understanding yesterday -as always. He told me I am traumatised following my flashback last weekend. He said that my mind believes it has just happened and believes that I am still trapped. He said it is shock and it will take time.

I feel better for having seen him and for the space to be completely open about my fears and pain. With a new and surprising raw honesty, I shared the impact this is having on me. It was a relief not to pretend and a release to let some of it out. His understanding and validation and the freedom to talk has helped a little of the darkness lift. He help me find my strength and renew my faith in my abilities to climb out of this black hole.

It wasn’t all good stuff, I also left feeling somewhat frustrated and even sad. We talked of the future, how to ensure that feelings of being trapped do not always trigger.. it is a conversation we have had many times, over other feelings- fear, abandonment, rejection etc. I know it has to be tackled, so it  doesn’t happen again- having a way out and a way forward normally appeals to my need to control, my determination and even my stubbornness. Yesterday though, it only served to upset me. Even during the session, as he encouraged me to face a trigger I was experiencing, not only could I not do it, I didn’t want to.

I don’t have the energy for it right now and just the idea that I will have to at some point, pushes me close to despair. More things to do, more challenges to face, more pain, more difficulties. Another battle to fight and to win. I want to get through, of course I do- and heck, I know myself well enough now to know I will do whatever it takes.. but it isn’t fair is it? I’ve already been through hell, a thousand times over. Sometimes I get so very tired of living a life tarred by the remnants of my past.

 

Not OK

I fear it will always be this, ups and downs, highs and lows. Are my aims as impossible as a vision as they were a goal? I know I cannot get over this, I know it will always be with me, but what does that even mean? Will I always suffer so in the Autumn and Winter? Will I ever feel a freedom from those triggers that are all around me right now?

I have to work harder than in Spring and Summer, every day becomes a battle. An exhausting effort to stay grounded, constantly checking in with myself. I want to hide at home, where it is easier to ground, where I can find some sense of safety, where I can shut the darkness out.

Friday’s therapy session was big progress.. perhaps I should celebrate? How can I celebrate when the reality is so terrible? With one weight released, another replaced it instantly. I walked away from my session filled with so much pain and my recent feelings of defeat are now amplified. I feel used and powerless and deeply, deeply ashamed.

On Saturday I struggled with these feelings, with my desire to push them away. I comforted myself with the knowledge that I am doing the right thing. This isn’t fixable, I cannot simply be rescued, I have to feel what I should have back then. It helped a little, to reassure myself that this will be worth it.. it certainly got me through the day. Then Sunday came along, with a horrific flashback that has left me quite unwell.

On top of what I am already going through, I have feared this flashback might push me over the edge. Paranoia and fear and an overwhelming sense that he’s still here holding me against my will. I cannot tell you how terrifying it was and it is for me. I keep asking myself “am I really safe?” “is he here?” and I seriously wonder if I am safe and if he is here.. God, have I been stupid all this time? Are my fears really unfounded? What if? oh God, what if he finds me?

It was the worst flashback I have ever had.  I hate feeling this way.

 

Today, is a little better- better compared to yesterday at least. I am not OK, not even close to OK. And when I have to leave the house I am fighting constantly. Grounding from the constant triggers every second until I return home. Work is not helping, my oversharing colleague, my ignorant boss.. the needs and demands of the clients leave me wanting to crawl under my desk to hide.

This is too much, it is too hard. I would love to say “I can’t do this”.. wouldn’t it be good if there was another way, another choice, an easier way through? I can do this, because I have to do it. For me, for my family, and because I am sure as hell not letting him win. This defeated feeling makes me want to vomit, it is not a feeling I wish to hold onto for any longer than necessary.

Will it get better? Will I be OK? Am I really safe?

 

Trapped. Life after abuse.

Trigger warning.

 

Naked and silently sobbing, she was curled up tightly, pressing into the floor. Shrinking into to herself, in an attempt to be invisible, so perhaps he wouldn’t see, perhaps she could hide her distress, perhaps he wouldn’t know.

She was completely trapped, her fate dependent on him as always. No way out, no escape until he allowed.

Yesterday, I was back there, silently sobbing on the floor, unable to ground, stuck in that flashback, trapped in the memory, until 20 minutes later my husband pulled me out.

24 hours on and I still can’t shake that feeling of imprisonment. The overwhelming and very frightening feeling that I am still being held against my will. I feel trapped and today, I have to go out into the world with that feeling. Into a season that stifles me, into responsibility that feels too much to bear.

And that is just a taster of what life is like after abuse.

 

How a Victim becomes a Defendant in the British Law Courts: Cross Examination.

SheddingLightOnDarkness:

And this is why women don’t report. This is heartbreaking but sadly, not a shock or surprise.
I am sickened that she was treated in this way. I am sickened that we are treated this way.

I believe her.

Originally posted on Revoking My Anonymity:

I have already uploaded a post outlining the failures of the British Justice system in regards to my rape case and the process I had to go through to get to where I did, to then be told it was a ‘not guilty’. This, this is about my experience in an isolated video link room, his barristers eyes staring into me, and how cutting her words were.

I was cross examined for a total of over 11 hours, spread over the course of three days – being torn apart and having to see things I never thought I’d have to watch with an audience, an audience that I would never be able to see – complete strangers.

The first day I sat and watched my video statement, I watched myself – a scared 20 year old girl who had jet black hair and a pale face. I sat there cracking…

View original 2,345 more words

Abuser- fears.

 

There are times when I see how different I am to my abuser. Polar opposites, extremes of each other. Then there are other times,  on days like these, when I am so badly triggered by the weather, the season and the dark light. When I feel so unsafe, even in my own home and when I have the sole responsibility of my children, that I fear I am more like him than I want to admit. I start to feel out of control and I yell and I shake with rage, just like he did. I look in the mirror and it is his angry eyes I see looking back at me.

Even though I feel terrible right now, I do not cry. He did not cry either, even as he told me heartbreaking stories of his life, there was nothing from him. He told it like a story, as I know I have many times since. I would cry for him back then, real tears, real anguish, real pain. He would remain numb, distanced, disengaged. I fear I have been the same way, numb and shut off from my own feelings, for far too long.

 

I try to remind myself of the ways in which he and I are so different. I carry shame and blame, for things I did not do. I worry endlessly about others. I scrutinise my own behaviour and reflect on things I have said and make changes where necessary, to ensure I am not hurting or upsetting anyone else. He would never do any of those things.

He wouldn’t care that I still suffer, in fact I think he would be incredibly smug that I still think and talk about him. The incident I have been struggling with recently.. if he knew that I still blamed myself, he would be thrilled. He told me it was my fault, he spoke of it so differently to all the other times. The constant reminders of that day, what he said I did, what he said we did together. The shame, the blame, all forced on to me. I was so ashamed, I am still ashamed.

I hate this, feeling so vulnerable and unsafe, fearing I am like him, blaming myself and feeling ashamed. This isn’t right, or OK. The impact of grooming and abuse is catastrophic, isn’t it?

Will I ever break free from this?

 

 

 

My Vision.

I have had this vision, for some time. It used to be my goal, until the pressure turned problematic for me. So now it is a vision, a vision of the future of how I want to feel and who I want to be.

My vision is full of light, hope and beauty. I have always imagined it as an entity, one that is existing within me, waiting, watching. An awesome light waiting to shine.

My vision, my dream, my hope and my desire, is to be free. Free from shame, free from guilt, free from control and free from the grooming.

Free to be me.

And while that vision is primarily for me because I so desperately want to be free, equally I want to shine for others too. I want to create ripples in this world, that will reach far and wide. I want to spread love and light where the darkness has encompassed. I want to break through the ugly and replace it with beauty, I want to tear away the evil and leave only good and truth.

 

Today, I feel utterly defeated- and like so many times before, what is keeping me going is that bright vision of freedom. And I think today I finally understand that the light that is guiding me is one I have been shining for myself all along.

Responsibility. Blame. Control.

* Trigger warning*

I think something changed today, in some way. Shifted perhaps?

Blame, blame, blame. Responsibility and shame. It is my story this time, what I had to do…maybe soon I can grieve over what was done to me too?

I was numb as a teen, it was like all my feelings were just switched off. Dull, hidden from me. I faked it, I pretended well, but inside I felt dead.

Until she came along and made my heart beat again. Somehow she gave me the capacity to love again.. and she took up all that I had. I adored her. My soul friend.

It  was mutual, I think. She loved me fiercely, completely it seemed. No matter what I did, she was there, right by my side without question.

One day that friend, the person I loved most in the world was in danger and no one else was going to get her through it. It didn’t cross my mind to do anything but step up.

It’s so easy to say you would die for someone; living.. doing things that you don’t want to do-now that is the real sacrifice. And I did that, I sacrificed myself for her.

And although I would do it again a thousand times over, I’ve hated myself for it ever since.

What I did, what I said, what took place that day. Oh, the things I did…

 

Have I had this confused all this time? I took control that day, I did what I had to do, I know that. It became my responsibility to save us both and I guess somewhere along the way that responsibility became blame. I took that on and hated myself for all of it. Everything.

Such twisted, ugly lies that I’ve carried for almost half of my life.

 

I had to protect her, I had no choice.  As far as I was concerned, the abuse was my cross to bear, my life, my fate, my torture. My hell. I never wanted her to experience that. I never wanted her to know. I had to do it, I had to save her in the only way possible. Damage limitation at the very least, I guess.

I cannot write here the things that I did that day, just thinking of them is killing me. It has shifted though, some of that pain is for myself, for that teenager who had to take control of a nightmare, that no teen, no person, should ever have to face. And though, I think I still blame myself for it, I know I made the right decision.

Today, my T said he saw nothing but bravery in my actions. I am starting to believe him. I know the truth, even if I don’t feel it completely yet. Truth, that day, I submitted to my abuser and I did what I had to do, to save her. Truth, it was not sex, it was never, ever sex. Truth, I was horrifically and brutally raped too.