Sitting with my feelings.

I had a bit of an epiphany this morning as I read the comments to my post from yesterday.

Yesterday was a very bad day, I was alone much of the day, then alone with the responsibility of two children in the evening. I missed my husband and the comfort and security his presence brings. I was not in a good place at all, very afraid, paranoid and frankly quite unwell.  I was physically sick with the PTSD symptoms. I couldn’t eat, I felt like I could barely breathe at times.

I couldn’t reach out for help, I didn’t want anyone to see me in that state. As I wrote yesterday, I feel like I have lost a part of myself by doing just that earlier this week. I couldn’t ask for help, I just couldn’t.

Today is a little different, I guess I feel a little more positive. While I don’t feel better- I am as ill as yesterday, I suppose, I am just more accepting of it all. The suffocating anxiety, the deep and agonising pain and I feel more broken than ever. I have stopped fighting it though and that is a relief.

This week is not turning out to be about recovery and healing in the way I thought it might be. It is not recuperating in the way I hoped. Instead it seems to be that it is more about finally letting go of the control a bit.. however scary that may be. It seems I am finally sitting with my feelings and I think that may be more about healing and recovery than I could have ever imagined.

Admitting the truth is something I did some time ago, but feeling it is another matter. It is a whole new level of acceptance. You see, not only do I know, I remember it now. How it felt to be so trapped. Imprisoned in hell. Even when the door was wide open, there was still no way out for me. I may as well have been in chains, I could not leave. He had every part of me. He destroyed me. He broke my spirit and he shattered my soul.

And now here I sit, in this brokenness, hoping that soon, I will find the way out.

Sit with me? It is such a lonely place to be.

Broken.

There’s no let up this week, it is like something has snapped, or maybe the veil fell from my eyes and revealed the truth I have long been concealing.

I feel broken.

Not newly broken, it didn’t just happen. It is more like it has been there all along and I have been kidding myself that I am OK. Busy, busy, work, work. Strive to be the best at everything, keep going from strength to strength, winning each battle, crashing through each goal.

Now the pain and the trauma has forced me to a stop, it as if it has all caught up with me and now I am stuck. Trapped in this brokenness. Trapped just like back then.

With added complications and fears at allowing others to see that vulnerability.. I feel like I have a lost a part of me. My identity that I have been striving so hard to keep, the control, power and strength I need others to see, that is part of me. And I don’t care if that’s part of the grooming, it is what I need to hold onto, it got me through then and it gets me through now. It is what pulls me from my knees when I fear I cannot go on.

Is it gone? Am I stuck in this broken mess? Will I recover from this? I have fleeting moments, perhaps even full hours, where I think it has changed or improved somehow. I am fooled into believing I am fully grounded, then it hits and I’m pulled back down.

I am doing the right things, I think? Yoga to ground today and some calming music, funny films on TV, cuddles with my children. Momentarily it helps and though they are blissful minutes, I am soon back down, where it’s now worryingly, almost familiar.  I needed this time off work to be about healing and recovery, but how is that possible when I cannot climb out of this hole? Or is this healing? Am I already doing what I need to do?

I feel alone right now. Alone and lost.

Wish me luck.

 

Is it possible to recover from rape and sexual abuse? Yes and No

Long but well worth the read.

WOMEN. HEALING. VIOLENCE.

OneHourInParisCoverFinalBy Laura K Kerr, PhD

When she was twenty-two years old, philosopher Karyn L. Freedman was viciously raped at knifepoint. She narrowly escaped being murdered and her body disposed, perhaps never to be found. In her memoir, One Hour in Paris, Freedman recounted her efforts to heal from this horrifying ordeal. Nearly 25 years have passed since she was raped, but she has yet fully recovered and doubts she ever will. Even after years of therapy, support group meetings, and educating rape survivors in Africa about the effects of trauma, Freedman claimed:

“The biological truth of my trauma is anchored in me, but it lives there like a parasite. And as I move in and out of recovery I am reminded that however much work I do, healing from a traumatic experience is never complete. This is one of the most significant facts about psychological trauma. It is…

View original post 4,624 more words

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.

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.

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 post 2,345 more words