Fight

 

 

He asked me yesterday what fight I have inside

Could I pretend he was fear and show of what I’m made?

I told him I couldn’t do it, that I wanted to run away.

He pointed out that I fight, every single day.

 

I am stronger than I know, to ever get this far.

but I don’t just fight the past, I am in a constant battle

A struggle with myself, feeling versus control

Yesterday he saw it, the conflict in my mind

 

I lost control briefly and I was terrified

The fight was automatic, my defences kicked in

Oh it feels so good to win, almost euphoric

To feel, then regain control whenever I want it

 

He says I’m like a shaken coke bottle

barely containing, ready to explode.

I cannot continue with conflict, I need to let it go.

So the fight will no longer be my life.

 

 

 

 

Downs and Ups

I’ve had  a rough few weeks, with so many downs and no real ups, but that seems to be changing.. YAY!

I’m back to ups and downs lately.. that’s good, that’s great compared to what it was. The ups are wonderful, even if I just feel ok, ok is a huge improvement on how I often feel. It makes this all worthwhile. When it’s continual downs I question whether it’s worth it, if I made the right decision blah blah blah…

Therapy is going well, I am looking forward to each session, I need the reassurance and validation. We are not doing any trauma work right now, no having to talk about details in my sessions and that is a welcome relief.  My weekend wasn’t too bad at all, Saturday evening was difficult and PTSD was trying to ruin my day Sunday, but there were considerable amount of up moments on both days. Yesterday was not ok at all, I’m feeling down and angry today as a result, which is the purpose of this post really- to remind myself that things were very dark for me but I am coming out the other side. To remind myself that it isn’t all going to be plain sailing, it doesn’t suddenly just go from crap to good. To remind myself that there really have been up moments just a day or so ago. Those up moments aren’t far away and they will return.

I’m angry at the way PTSD ruined the day yesterday and I am angry that I couldn’t regain control, in fact it got steadily worse as the day went on. I’m angry that as a result of the PTSD I was unable to voice my distress to my husband, to tell him what I needed/ didn’t need so it all just got worse (it becomes a cycle that is very hard to break out of). I’m angry that this affects my husband and my children.

The grooming “stuff” has my head in a spin, I feel in constant turmoil, I wake each day with that feeling like I have an important exam that day. The up moments make even that worth it, but after a day like yesterday, I need the reminder.

I think in every session for the last few weeks I’ve started each session with my head in my hands telling my T “this is so hard”. It has seemed so relentless lately.

But there are up moments, there really are! And that is something to hold on to.

 

 

Washing away Innocence

 

There seemed to be no sound

just pictures of the horror.

She couldn’t even feel the water

washing away her innocence

 

Yet aware she was scrubbing

scouring and squeezing

forcing the foam to release

over every inch of stain.

 

Her gaze was fixed,

she could not avert it.

Watching the foam

making it’s descent

 

intertwining with the stain.

With the weight it carried

it was gaining momentum

seemingly eager to escape.

 

Spinning  down together

there was no way to prevent it

blotting out the purity.

crimson seeping into white.

 

Colours merged together

far too familiar.

Red chasing white

her innocence and his crime.

 

The term Rape vs Sexual Assault/ Abuse

I was prompted to blog on this after reading a post on a blog I follow:

“They are Rapists and Should Be Labeled As Such” (thank you Kerri)

“Any time someone touches another person, forces themselves on another person or makes another individual do something sexual that they do not want to do, do not consent to do and do not want to experience– IT’S RAPE. Society can call it whatever they want, but its rape. They are not sexual predators, pedophiles or child molesters; THEY ARE RAPIST and should be labeled as such.”

I was nodding my head at this- absolutely! 

I struggle with what to call it to be honest, I tend to go with terms laid out by the law to explain myself (which I do with very few people). The term Sexual anything implies it’s about sex and as Kerri in her blog post stated “It is sexual only in the sense that all humans have sex organs.” It’s about power, control and violence not sex.

Personally, I find the terms sexual abuse and sexual assault too broad. Though there’s nothing minimal in any kind of abuse, I find the numerous times I’ve had my breasts and bottom groped a lot less traumatic than the abuse my abuser inflicted on me.  I don’t want anyone to get me wrong, so I’ll explain further. There’s a term used in UK law “Serious sexual assault” that bothers me a lot because it seems to suggest anything that doesn’t fall underneath that category isn’t serious. All types of unwanted sexual contact is wrong, completely and utterly. All brings about a sense of violation, it’s degrading, humiliating and traumatic. So any comparisons I am making are simply about my own experiences.

Ok, now that is out the way, I will be brave here (mostly because I’ve already put it in the comment box of the blog post I’ve linked too), I’m deeply affected by “incidents” that did not involve the strict term “rape”. Calling it a sexual assault minimises it for me, even serious sexual assault.  It was as bad as my experiences of rape, worse in some ways and I won’t delve any deeper, not just for myself, but I don’t want to over share any more than I may have already (yes I’m now worrying – what’s new there?).

Wow it’s going to take me a huge amount of courage to actually post this!

Even though I don’t like how broad the term “sexual abuse” is, I tend to use it anyway, partly for that very reason. I don’t want to be specific with many people, I would rather most people not know the details. I don’t want the questions, I don’t want the embarrassment, I don’t want the pity and I don’t want anyone to change their opinion of me. Perhaps these are things I shouldn’t worry about, but I still do.  The other reason I use it is because what else can I say, “I was raped” ? That brings about problems of it’s own, not just the whole over sharing, too much details aspect, but it also suggests “just” the once, (once is enough and utter hell) but again it minimises my experiences. 

So, I’m undecided, I don’t like the term Sexual Abuse or Sexual Assault, it references those experiences as sex crimes rather than violent acts, it downplays and generalises. On the other hand, what other term can I use without perhaps being more detailed than I want to be, or over sharing? 

Rebuilding my world.

We all live in this world together,

But in our heads we have our own private worlds

Billions of mini hidden worlds within the world.

One day mine was destroyed. It all came crashing down

Though it was imploding, it was hidden within the shell.

I had been laying in the debris for years

lost and utterly alone.

Too much for me to handle,

I created a dream world to live in

I built walls around the destruction

until even I could no longer see it.

 

I’ve finally awoken from my dream

and the walls are coming down.

Though it feels like my world is coming to an end again

I’m merely back where I began,

laying in the debris of where it first fell apart.

This time it is different,

I am no longer lost or alone.

I am mourning for my broken world

I am weeping for what has gone,

But in the midst I am rebuilding

With help, I am picking up the pieces

to create my new and better world.

 

Reading.

Third post today, after two weeks of barely posting, I feel the need but I’m not feeling well, the PTSD is bad. I want to write but cannot write about my feelings or address what I know or at least think I know is going on for me. So I’ve been reading lots (as I mentioned in my post on Grooming, The Impact of Grooming) on grooming, abuse, acceptance and healing.  All stuff I’ve read up on before, but it’s somehow different for me now.

I feel like I’m desperate to read anything I can get my hands on, all the details and facts are spinning around my mind as I try and make sense of it and how it applies to me. It’s not about torturing myself with other people’s stories at all, been there, done that years ago. I’m finding it helpful not torturous, though it is not pain free. I keep being hit by.. “really?” “how can this be?” moments. I think my T was right (he usually is!) I am in the process but not out the other side of accepting what I went through.

I found an article on Pandys (a site I’ve turned to many times over the last ten years or so) that has been really stuck a cord with me, it’s something I have bookmarked and I know I will return to it again and again. It upset me but also has filled me with hope at the same time. Here:

“Accepting Our Broken Bits”

“But if to be “over it” means never feeling any more pain attached to it, this is not possible for me and this I accept. I will feel the pain”

Refreshing to hear but painful too. I don’t even want to delve into that and what that stirs up for me right now. It stood out for me, so I will come back to it, possibly with my T this week.

“owning, accepting and moving through your pain whenever it pops its head up IS moving on.”

Wow! My T talks a lot about owning my feelings and letting them sit. He has told me over and over about the importance of feeling what ever I feel and not to fall in the trap of denying and suppressing my emotions.

I have come across many reports and articles, some very painful, some empowering, mostly a mix of both. Some things apply, some do not, but its helpful to read up on it, particularly the experiences of others. I don’t know that I feel better for it, it just feels necessary for me right now. In some ways I feel like my world has crumbled again, that what I knew has been taken away, that I don’t know who I am or who I was. I feel like my whole identity has changed, I’m questioning so much. It isn’t the first time, but it feels very big right now. I know it’s a massive step, my T keeps reminding me that this is supposed to be painful, it’s supposed to be hard and that acceptance is always the hardest part. Arming myself with as much information as possible seems to be my only way through this right now.

Taking Control

 

Following my post this morning (“Hyper Vigilance and a general whine”), I could feel myself deteriorating very quickly. When I get this way, one of two things happen, I can follow the path downwards (though it isn’t quite that simple, it’s more like I’m pulled down that path and have nothing in me left to resist) or I can take control (again not as simple as it sounds).

 

The children were pushing me over the edge, they were fighting, being loud and jumpy and it was becoming too much. If I was feeling ok, firstly it wouldn’t bother me so much, secondly I’d recognise the signs of them either needing a snack, attention or for the baby, a nap. I was unable to recognise any of that this morning.

I could feel myself spiralling downwards, I was feeling angry and attacked because of the hyper vigilance and I was feeling negative that my very looked forward to night out, caused this. I had a chat with my “besty” online, where we discussed the children mostly and how I was handling them, he encouraged me to separate them (sounds so simple, but I was struggling to even think straight). With his support and encouragement I decided enough was enough and I needed to take control of my morning and my hyper vigilance (as much as is actually possible).

I separated the boys, the big one sent to his room to play and I lay the baby down for nap. Then I got changed into comfort clothes (sounds silly but jeans, long sleeves and/ or hoody help a lot). I made tea and a snack and then spent a little time outside before coming in to be comforted by my sofa, cushions and blankets (soft items really help). I can’t take away the hyper vigilance, I can’t make my symptoms go, but I can help myself. I wasn’t doing that this morning, the children were a trigger, they were feeding the symptoms and I was feeling so negative I was feeding it too. I wasn’t taking the steps I needed to do everything possible to help me feel better. I was making it worse for myself, which now I’m calmer seems ludicrous, why wouldn’t I help myself when I feel bad? In the moment though, it’s like a negative spiral and once on it, it is very hard to get off.

 

So, I am feeling calmer, the children are quiet and I feel a sense of achievement for taking control of the situation. It could have easily gone another way and does sometimes, where my husband would need to intervene, I’d beat myself up for not achieving and the symptoms would worsen and the effect would be prolonged.

I also feel better about last night and my day yesterday. A fellow blogger (her blog “Echoes of Yesterday”) reminded me that even though I feel bad today, I still had a good day yesterday. The way I feel now does not detract from yesterday. The come down was inevitable, the aforementioned blogger reminded me of this – feeling ok and holding onto that feeling takes a lot of effort and energy. Beating myself up for having this come down is not going to get me anywhere.

I feel a sense of achievement for yesterday as well as this morning, I had a good day at work and I was excited to go out last night. I enjoyed being with my husband, I managed to be out of my comfort zone and I grounded quickly when triggered. I think I did pretty well.

 

I am trying to hold on to the sense of achievement and take comfort in my surroundings right now, hopefully the hyper vigilance will pass soon so I can enjoy some of my time off work.