Rape. Triggered. And being brave sharing some of my story.

*Huge trigger warning, especially towards the bottom. Please, please be careful. I have shared details of my own experiences here, if you would rather not know details of my abuse, please do not read.*

 

Third post of the day, is that a record?

I went to bed and lay in my husband’s arms. Sleep would not come, so here I am, posting. I need it out and I need to feel less alone.

I am no longer feeling so angry, it seems to have been replaced with a deep hurt.

 

Today my T said he sensed that I had a need to tell people how I feel about the recent abuse cases in the news (Rotherham). I told him I was too involved to come up with a well thought out argument.

Once at home, I figured out what he meant and what I needed. Rather than tell the world about the abuse in Rotherham, about the failings etc etc, I simply posted on my Facebook that I was feeling angry. It felt particularly important to post it there for friends and family to see. I did have a need. My T was right. I needed them to know that it hurts. They won’t ever know the depths of that pain, but they know I am hurting at least. I even had replies, some even helpful! I think it was the right choice. The anger has certainly dissipated somewhat.

I didn’t realise this would have such an impact on me. I was surprised when my T said he’d thought of me when he heard the news this week. I don’t think I realised until I sort of exploded at him.. how much it has got to me. 

 

It’s too familiar. The way those children (and less face it, that’s what they were- children) were treated by those who should have protected them- it’s so close to my own experience. It reminds me when I really didn’t need the reminder. I have been so close to those aspects of my abuse for a few weeks now. Up until this week, it was at my pace and relatively controlled.

This feels intrusive, the reactions particularly. The continued blaming of victims. People are outraged, they want someone to be held accountable, while at the same time victim blaming and shaming, and with denial of what really went on. And that is why this continues. Nothing changes.

 

It has triggered me in a way I did not expect. I am back to blaming and questioning myself. Back to an inner battle. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought, maybe I didn’t make myself clear? Maybe he didn’t know that it hurt? Maybe I deserved it? :( 

My T suggested that it is because the reactions of others I am seeing now are so (and too) similar to my experience back then and as a result I am responding in the way I did then. I took on the blame back then because it was easier. I looked for the good in my abuser, to explain the abuse. And today, I have had a nightmare and several flashbacks of those times I used to use to convince myself he was actually good to me.

Except, I can no longer see those times as good, or positive. Instead they are horrifically traumatic for me. Because now I see the whole picture.

A flashback today- I sat next to him on his couch, holding hands as we watched music videos on TV.. a memory I would remind myself of often.. I used to convince myself that I loved that living room and being with him- as it was away from the monster that lived in the bedroom.

Now that memory is changed, the truth has been revealed to me fully. I remember sitting with him, watching TV, holding hands for sure, but I also remember the time I was pushed to my knees and raped. I remember the many, many times I was taken to his bedroom after watching TV and was forced to lay down on a filthy mattress, where the darkness would ensue and the true hell began.

 My safety nets are gone. I am reacting as I did for so long, except now, I see so clearly, those memories do not help me, I am not comforted. Instead, I am suffering.

I  used to do what I could to avoid the details of abuse, however, often it isn’t a trigger. Triggers come from the strangest places sometimes and not usually the obvious ones. These abuse cases however, have affected me greatly. I have not searched for details in anyway, I have deliberately not read the reports, but some of the things on the news or in articles, which mentions particular details– Oh they have hurt. They too are familiar.

I am by no means comparing myself to the victims and the horror that they must have endured. :(  I was not trafficked- those poor, poor children. :(

The details of the abuse that have hit the headlines have been too close to home. On my posts, sometimes I refer to the abuse as “brutal”, I have used the word “torture”, I have talked of violence. I cannot and will not go into the specifics, or the real details here. It’s easy to read those words and not really take notice. You can read reports and see the words “rape” and read that it was brutal, without really considering the reality of those words for those that went through it.

I have seen rape described  as “a bit of unwanted sex”. Rape is violence. Whether the rapist held down their victim, beat them up, or not, they still committed an act of violence, they still took their victim by force. Rape is always horrific. I don’t like to compare and say one experience of rape is worse than another, however, in my own experiences, I can certainly tell which affected me more and which felt worse.  I have been raped too many times. Those times that did not seem as bad as others- were when it wasn’t as brutal.

As I read some of what these girls endured, it was far too similar (and it’s easier for me to continue this in the third person- Trigger Warning here). The levels of violence. The brutality. The threats- to you and to your family to coerce you. The frequency- multiple times a day- leaving no time to physically heal. The rapes whiles drugged.  The rapes that leave you unable to walk. Rapes that makes you feel as if you might split in two, or your insides might burst through your pelvis. Rapes that make you feel as if your hips might snap or your throat might collapse. Rapes where you genuinely fear you may die- and worse rapes where you wish you would die.

Brutality. Torture. It has to end. We cannot keep failing children.

I had hoped, naively, for many years that my experience was unique. Not just the level of abuse, but the failing of the authorities.

 

I hurt, massively right now. For my teenage self and the abuse she endured, but also for the shame and blame I have carried for far too long as a result of the failing of others. 

My heart is very heavy tonight. :(

Feeling angry, attacked and violated.

I wish I could have spent several hours with my T. He gets it.. he really gets it. He said he thought of me this week when the news over Rotherham hit headlines this week..

Today, he was leaning forward in his seat, watching me carefully, trying to tease out the way I feel about all of this.

His concern and his understanding certainly worked as I exploded with anger and pain, I was shaking so badly, I could barely get the words out.

 

I am angry for the victims. I am angry at the victim blaming. I am angry with the Police, with Social services and every other person who failed and continues to fail victims of sexual abuse. It is too personal, too close to what I have been discussing in therapy of late.

I am angry for myself, for the failings of others. I am angry that the Police did nothing, that they shouted at me and made me feel ashamed. I am angry at the Drs who said nothing, the teachers who did not report it….

Too many people saw, but chose not to really see what was going on.

 

I am angry that the new footing I have found seems to be lost. It’s like a backward step in my own self belief. I have only just reconnected with the rest of the world. Only just become confident enough in what I believe and what I know.. and now I am being dragged back. Dragged back into a world I wish did not exist, one that abused me and let me be abused, one that left me to be repeatedly raped by a violent and sadistic child abuser.

 

Earlier I told my T I feel as if I have been raped again.

I am triggered and I am hurting. I feel like the world is against me, I am even arguing with my husband over his innocent comments- that I am finding fault with. I considered leaving, taking the car and just driving, driving far away… but the cries of my children playing stopped me. How can I do anything but cope?

 

 

PTSD, abuse and being you even though it makes others uncomfortable.

There is no getting used to some PTSD symptoms is there?

Nightmares and the resulting body memories particularly right now. I am thankful that my symptoms have improved greatly over the last year or so. As we move away from disclosure and into feeling and telling “my story” the PTSD symptoms are up and down. Last week, very much up, this week, until today, not so bad.

Last night was my first nightmare in a couple of weeks. I am glad about that. Once I was plagued by nightmares every time I went to sleep.

One nightmare about my abuser is still too many. Waking up next to my husband and fearing, just for a second, he is my abuser, is one second too many. Terror. Utter terror.

Why does terror make me feel weak and embarrassed? I am still so afraid of what he did. I hate that. Afraid of my own memories, scared in my own skin.

 

All those abuse survivors, living that way right now- the millions- it breaks my heart. The recent news estimated 1400 victims of abuse at the hands of a group of men in Rotherham- I cannot get them out of my head. What they must be going through still :(

The abuse may end, but the effects do not. They were failed, we were failed. I was failed. And I continue to live with what was done to me.

 

I rejoined Facebook recently and while not intended, I am back to sharing things I am sure most of my Facebook friends would rather not know. Nothing about the abuse- but how I am feeling and how I am coping. The last few days I have had an inner battle where I have wondered if it was a mistake to go back on Facebook. I know I irritate people, people have actually blocked me because of the things I post.

This morning, once I calmed down from the nightmare and possibly even as a result of the nightmare, I decided that if everyone on Facebook wants to block me, then so be it. It says a lot about them.

Why should I be quiet about this? People need to know the devastation of abuse. They need to know that is does not end when the abuse ends. Everyone should know that turning a blind eye hands that person a life sentence. My family and friends need to know what  I go through. I’ve hidden it for far too long. I have protected them and suffered endlessly for it as a result.

The abuse has to stop. I cannot leave it to other people. So I won’t shut up and if you don’t like it then don’t read it.

I cannot understand the resentment towards me, I am hated because I was abused, hated because I am surviving, hated because I refuse to be silent. Why hate me? Hate the men that violated me. Haven’t I been hurt enough?

I know some of what I say and do is a reminder to those that have also been abused. I am a trigger and while I am sorry for their experiences, I will not apologise for being me. I am careful about what I write, I am mindful that I can trigger others, but I won’t keep my feelings to myself just to make other people comfortable. I did not ask for this, I did not choose this life.

If you need to hate me for that, then go ahead. I am not stopping. I am who I am and I feel what I feel.

Hate and Love.

I do what I can to avoid news as much as possible, I have enough going on.. yet unless I shut myself away and never leave the house, I am going to come across some of it sometimes.

Death, destruction, rape, war- so many people dying, famine, disease, persecution. Doesn’t it make you ache?

I have been so bitter the last few days, bitter and angry. Hating God and hating the world around me. I am somewhat upset with myself for that now.

I know I am entitled to feel what I feel, but what kind of person am I if I carry rage in my heart? I don’t want to add more hate to a world already consumed by it.

It’s not who I am or who I want to be. I love, I care, I put everyone in front of me, perhaps sometimes to my own detriment, nonetheless, it is who I prefer to be.

 

Those turning a blind eye to abuse, those continuing to victim blame- they fill me with rage. I find myself thinking thoughts that scare me, a type of hate that will eat away at you. If I hate, then surely I am no better than them?

We cannot solve things with hate and violence. I don’t believe that, I will never believe that.

There is enough hate, enough persecution, enough rape, enough war, enough murder. These are hate fueled actions that I want no part in.

 

 

Tonight, this week, the last month, all have been truly awful. There are moments where I wish for the end. Sometimes, I am so hurt, I can barely control the rage, I cannot see past the red fog that descends where I find myself wanting to push everyone away. Where I fear I will tell you all and everyone I know, to fuck off and leave me alone. In those moments I want them and you to see that hateful side of me, because so often, I fear it is the true me.

Then the storm blows over for a short time and I pull myself out of the debris. The rage subsides and I find my heart- expecting it to be shattered in pieces, but instead, while bruised it remains whole. Full of love and forgiveness, not hate, not rage.

So if you ever see that hating side, I ask in advance, please forgive me, it is not who I am or who I ever want to be.

 

Alone. One day.

Your family are out and you are busy tidying up the destruction only two small children can make.

In your son’s room, wading through the pieces of plastic and tiny bits of Lego you are trying to find the floor among the chaos.

On your knees, picking up the pieces of a board game, paying attention to the colour, the texture of the pieces of plastic animals in your grip, you are ensuring to keep grounded while you are alone.

When you look up and out of the window at the sun breaking through the clouds, at the beauty of the green trees that almost but not quite, block the sun.

The sun is like a spotlight- you on your knees, looking right up. And you can’t contain it, just for a few moments, you just can’t keep it in any longer.

As much as you fight it, even though you try to block it out with your hand, it keeps on shining down on you. Shining so brightly, which seems so very wrong because you are paralysed. On your knees and paralysed by your grief, by an agony that no one you know could ever begin to imagine.

You fight it, you battle it with every piece of you, but still you can’t move. So you pray. You beg for it to stop and you wonder if He is listening, if He even gives a shit, because He never seemed to back then..

You are alone now, as alone as always. So you push it away and you get to your feet, like a thousand times before.  With a throbbing head, you reflect on the loneliness, the pain and on almost breaking down.

You wonder if it will ever be safe to let go and you reach the usual conclusion:

One day. Maybe one day you will feel safe enough to let it out. Maybe one day, you won’t feel so alone.

 

 

Shining your light on the dark.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light

~ Stanley Kubrick.

 

Yes, absolutely. It’s not always easy though, is it? 

Sometimes it seems almost impossible to find the smallest light within the overpowering darkness. I have done it though, back when the dark was all around me, choking any flicker of light. Even then, I found it eventually, I found my way through.  I saved myself back then and I am saving myself now. If I don’t continue to shine a light on this darkness, who will do it for me? 

This week I am aware more than ever at how alone I was. I found myself forced to face that reality this week- the agonising, raw and terrifying truth that has remained hidden in the lies I accepted in order to survive.

I don’t need those lies anymore, so my T tells me- I hope he is right, because I sometimes find myself wishing I was still in the dark, so to speak. I seem to be searching for a safety net I didn’t know existed until it left me this week. The lies are poisonous and secrets keep the memories alive- but oh the truth is so very painful. 

As I have mentioned in previous recent blog posts, I cannot help but remember when I was attacked at 17. It isn’t far from my mind right now. Today I find myself drawing strength from that terrible night, from my own healing and from the freedom I am beginning to feel.

I suspect I am moving to a new stage of healing with that awful night. I have been quite concerned at the timing- I have enough going on with where I am at in therapy right now. However, perhaps this, like so many other things over the last two years, it will actually prove to be perfect timing. 

As much as I try to separate all the many incidents I have suffered, the further forward I journey, the harder that is becoming. Perhaps those boxes I have relied on for so long are broken down enough to enable me to see and feel multiple incidents at once. While that is scary, maybe it isn’t just about pain, maybe, those that are well on the way to healing can help with those that are still in the early stages? 

That night has so many similarities with where I am at now, not just actual memories of other incidents, but in terms of how I felt before, during and particularly after. Perhaps this has something to do with the need to dredge up that night again, to look at the feelings, to look at the rejection and abandonment, to feel the loneliness and pain.

And there’s also another need, a desire and a want for some kind of closure from that night. As much as I hate it when my T uses that word “closure”, I need it. I need closure. Can I work on that at the same time as everything else? Can they help each other along?

Maybe this doesn’t make sense, yet I believe that my continued healing from that awful night could actually be the very light I need right now. The light that will shine through the darkness that is so close right now. 

The importance of telling your story.

I think most survivors reach the point where they want and need to tell their story. They need to be heard, not just about what happened to them, but how much it hurt and how it still hurts..the damage it did, the damage they are still trying to repair.

I have been in therapy for some time now, telling my T about my past. As time has passed and I have become more used to telling, I have noted a difference in disclosure versus telling my story.

Disclosure to my T feels almost medical, like a necessary procedure in order to kick start the process that is healing. Now I have reached the point of feeling, it is as if I am sharing my story, rather than disclosing. The more I feel, the more I need to be heard and the more I need to share that story with (some of) the world. 

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you. – Maya Angelou

 

In recent weeks I have been telling my T how it was for me back then, how much it hurt-while I was still able to feel (before I shut off emotionally). We talk “incidents” but sort of skirt around them, talking about them, but not in detail. I have been talking to him about it as a whole- at least the “stuff” that was done to me when I was 14. That is new for me and it’s horrible. I hate it. But, I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t healing for me. He hears me. My T sees me and he hears me. He is hearing my story. It helps, it’s necessary and I need this, so, very much. 

I have talked and continue to do so to a few individuals about my past. It is becoming increasingly more important and the benefits are greater than ever before. It helps to tell. I want to tell. How it felt, what he did and how badly I was hurt. I need to be heard. Not for sympathy, nor for attention. Simply, because I need people to know and to witness what no one knew back then. I deserve to be heard and understand as much as is possible. 

 

The last few weeks have been rough- more than rough. Unfortunately, I have had other issues and memories contributing to an already difficult time. I am doing my best to shelve them as much as possible and in some respects I am succeeding. One particular “incident” though continues to bother me. 

I don’t feel it is on my mind because I have issues or concerns. I don’t need to disclose it again. I have done that, but what I haven’t done with this, is tell my story. I am issue free as far as this is concerned. I would even go as far as to say that I am not just living with it, I am living beyond it. A few months ago I posted on here to say I felt free from the men who did it. That still stands. I think. Yet the need to tell my story remains. 

I don’t mean I need to tell all the vile details- that is for me and my T only, instead it is simply a want and need to share some of that awful experience with another person. 

I see my T tomorrow and I desperately do not want to side track to this incident.I am hoping by reaching this understanding that I need to tell this story will be enough to sort of appease that need for now. 

Does anyone else ever feel that way? Desperate to share? I am at the point where I even considered putting my story out here and that has always been a huge NO NO (and after a mental shake, remains so).