Putting myself first. A desire for peace.

Preparation for therapy used to take a great deal of time. Time, fear, worry, anxiety, all that fun stuff. I would set aside at least a few hours for it. I’d think about it for days, planning carefully what I would allow my T to know and what I could bear to share. I would spend time balancing and weighing up the desire to let it out with the potential dangers of dong so. It was complicated and risky and quite frankly, exhausting. It was like I needed therapy to prepare for therapy…
Things are different now, I have settled into the routine and pattern of therapy. Even when things are new and different, I am more at ease and even comfortable enough, to mostly let my thoughts flow freely. Preparations continue on a Thursday evening as always, but where it was once pages of writing, it is often just bullet points. 
I had set aside this time to do just that. Twenty minutes perhaps, to gather my thoughts ready for tomorrow’s therapy. Five minutes in and I’ve already hit a wall. So much going on, endless thoughts of the past, nightmares, triggers, work issues, an anniversary, the body memories that are hurting so much today…. where do I begin. Which do I pick? 
I know not to force it, but if you know me at all, you will know how hard it is for me not to plan, at least a little. What will be, will be. What needs out, will be released. I have faith in that, in the process, in my T and also in myself. However, it remains difficult to just let go.
I hit the wall, decided it was there for a reason, so found myself reflecting on the last week or so and my last therapy session instead. My last session seemed like a waste of time. I was so upset at some work issues which we spent the majority of the session on. Work, vulnerability and fear. If I am being honest now, I think the session last week was more worthwhile than I first thought. I think it is behind a decision I feel I made today. Perhaps decision is the wrong word, I am not sure, maybe a realisation perhaps? I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Whatever it is, it has made me feel a little better. Control and strength and relief at the freedom to choose for myself. I haven’t felt so free lately, quite the opposite in fact. 
Last week at work, someone shouted at me. I won’t go into the circumstances, they really are not important, but it was a horrible experience. At another time, maybe it wouldn’t have got to me, I am not sure? On this particular day however, it caused great distress. I was triggered and I felt attacked. Attacked, afraid and vulnerable. I cried in front of my colleagues and as crying is something I rarely do because it makes me feel so unsafe, I was left with fears that I had not only lost a coping mechanism (to not react at all to upsetting situations) but I had also lost part of my identity (to always be in control).
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I have been beating myself up for reacting to anger with distress, yet knowing full well that it is to be expected. My teen years were filled with anger, hate, aggression and hostility, therefore, it makes sense that anger would cause such upset. I had wondered if it was another goal to add to the plan- to become more comfortable/ able to react appropriately to anger directed at me. Today though, I made the decision that actually this need not be the case and as I instantly felt lighter, I think it must be the right thing for me.
 
Rightly or wrongly, I believe that after all I have been through, I am entitled to a life without anger or hostility from others. Why should I continue to suffer because other people cannot control themselves? Or worse still, because they don’t want to control themselves? I think that I deserve love and peace and kindness, which as a teen was in short supply. I decided I have experienced more hatred and aggression than most, therefore I believe it is OK to want the rest of my life to be free from those things (is that selfish?).
Now, I am not crazy (I don’t think), I realise that I can only control my own behaviour and actions and not those of others. I can though, takes steps to minmise it and react appropriately afterwards. I will no longer tolerate anger directed at me, I will not allow aggressive, hostile people to be part of my life. It is time I put myself first for once because you know what? This is not my fault. None of this is my fault. It was not my fault that I was shouted at last week, the same as it was never my fault that I experienced violent, angry abuse. 
 
Anger is a healthy feeling when dealt with correctly. I actively encourage my children to feel what they feel.. I have no intention of banning a feeling from my home or my life- heck I am pretty sure I have a lot of deep anger, desperate to get out. No, it isn’t about removing a feeling, instead it is about removing (as much as is possible) those people who make me feel as I did last week, or for much of my teen years. People who cannot control themselves, people who are proud of their anger and aggression, people who choose hostility, people who look for an argument, people who refuse to face and work on their anger issues, people who make me feel threatened and attacked, people who take out their anger on those smaller/ younger than them. Those people are not welcome in my life.
I am a person, a real, live human being and maybe you wouldn’t believe that if you knew the way I was treated.. hell, you wouldn’t treat an animal like that, but I am. I am a person with feelings, a soul and a heart, all of which have been trampled on enough. I wrote last week about feeling broken. I do feel that way, because I was broken. Broken and destroyed by other people. I have been forced to rebuild myself and my life from the debris of what they left behind..haven’t I suffered enough?
I have been through enough. I have been hated enough. I have been yelled at and screamed at enough. I have been beaten enough. I have been abused enough. Too much, for far too long and I do not ever want to experience those things again
I desire peace for myself and my life and that is new, or at least clearer than it has ever been. I hope it isn’t selfish, but I desire peace and I believe I deserve it as well.  What do you think?

 

Feeling unreasonable

Tomorrow we hope to be out for the day, therefore, I set aside some time this evening to do therapy prep for Friday.

A short while ago, I opened my journal but found I couldn’t pick up the pen. So, I switched to my mini journal, but couldn’t bring myself to open it. Then, I logged onto my online journal to see if that would help – nothing. Too much chaos, too many things to think about, I don’t know where to begin.

There is so much, how do I prioritise? Things I know I should say, worries about him and us I need to share. The thing is though, I DON’T WANT TO.

So how about the recent memories, or even the triggers today? Or maybe I should talk about this damn pain, the dull ache that is my fucking unwanted companion right now. Or how about I just call him and cancel, because all that stuff, memories, pain, I should talk about? Well I DON’T WANT TO.

I am resentful, frustrated. I want the good moments, the good days. The enjoyment and peace I find at home, the joy and the love I have for my family, the excitement and plans for the future- those things I want and those things only. No past stuff, no pain- none of it.

I know what my T would say and will say if I still feel this way Friday, let us sit with those feelings of resentment and frustration. ARGH- I don’t want that either!

 

I am angry. I want this done, I want this over. I don’t want to hurt, why should I have to hurt? This was not my fault, I didn’t deserve this. I want to get on my life, free of this, beyond this and without this. I am not feeling reasonable and rational, I just want it gone, all of it erased.

I don’t want to do this anymore.

Hatred

*Trigger Warning -swearing*

I am lost in a vast red mist.

Seething with rage because worked sucked, body memories continue and PTSD symptoms are pissing me off. I can see what I am doing, that I am not helping myself. I know later there will be hindsight where I will find steps I should have taken to ground and to reduce stress today. But right now I am angry, I feel attacked and out of control. My children are clashing, one is grumpy and demanding.

I am tired of unwanted disclosures, of gossip and ill feeling at work. On days like today I feel stupid for ever believing that I am ready to be a part of the rest of the world. I resent work and the people there for how under attack I feel and equally hate myself for blaming them for my failings. It is my issue, not theirs.

I hate him too, for making life so difficult. I fucking hate him right now for the spike in hyper vigilance and for the sheer terror I felt when I returned home to an empty house and the back gate wide open. And I hate him, for making me hate myself for that fear too. I hate him for the grooming and control that did such a number on my self esteem that in these moments I cannot find anything but feelings of self loathing.

I want to be a better mother than I am being this afternoon. I want to laugh with them, play with them, cuddle with them; not grit my teeth as they hug me nor clench my fists as they yell and fight. I am not handling them very well right now. And I hate him for that and I hate me too.

I feel as if the new self I am discovering is lost today. I want her back. I want that strong, brave, loving, kind person to return to the fore and take control again.

PTSD sucks. I hate him for doing this to me.

Triggers, anger. God.

*Trigger warning* (rape and abuse references, swearing and a whole heap of anger).

 

I felt OK this morning, but by 9.30am, I was a wreck. I was triggered as I got to work.

 

The trigger was smoke, not cigarette smoke but I guess someone was burning something, the smoke was covering the road across from my work place. There was ash over the cars. By the time I walked from the car into work, the smell had clung to my clothes. The smell was horribly triggering and it lingered throughout my shift.

It’s not unusual, I can struggle with bonfires, in fact we have a fire pit, that we have barely used because of the trigger. It reminds me of the flat I was abused in, the smell of smoke, of burning cannabis, of cigarettes, pipes and bongs.

The memories it is triggering are mostly vague, but I keep feeling like I am waking to a room surrounded in smoke. I can taste it, I can feel it stinging my eyes and I know the monster isn’t far away.

 

I’ve been stuck at work badly triggered, with no chance of grounding while that smell was on my clothes. I don’t know how I got it through it, but I did, so I guess that makes me strong?

As I made it through a meeting, I started to wonder if those telling me I’m strong are actually right. Because I could hear myself leading part of a meeting, despite the distress I was feeling inside. I was fighting hideous memories, I could feel my abuser with me, I could smell him, I could taste him, yet outwardly I remained calm.

Or perhaps something is wrong with me? Is it strength or something else?

It got a whole lot worse after I had to notify a client of a return date, which is an anniversary I’ve been dreading.

Then when I got home, my landlady contacted us, to inform she’s put our house up to let and has assumed we are now on notice (we are buying a house and not ready to give notice yet). This is not what I need right now. It’s all too much stress.

 

I’m home, I’ve changed, the TV is on, the house is light, it smells good. I have a hot drink, huge boot slippers, pillows and blankets- all things that help me ground. Yet I am so exhausted and churned up inside. I feel traumatised.

I can’t ground properly, I feel like he’s with me now. That smell of him, that distinctive taste. The body memories are making me feel sick- my throat hurts, my windpipe aches. I swear it’s as if he’s just hurt me..

 

I often feel like he is still alive within me, as if I’m living with his shadow over me. And on days like today, I feel that darkness like it is crushing me and I’m afraid. I am afraid.

 

 

When you read this shit- the moaning posts, the references to abuse, parts of my story- do you even believe me? Do you get what a struggle this all is? Can you even comprehend? Because I know I get sick of myself. I get sick of writing it, sick of feeling it, sick of all of it.

 

And to all those who talk of God, if he’s so great, why the hell doesn’t he just take this from me? And I don’t want the free will shit- what about my will? What about my choices? I never had any choice. None at all.

For non survivors -can you imagine what is to live in constant fear of rape and abuse?  Do you know what it was like for me to have no say in what was done to me? To have no choice in who or what penetrated me? Do you know the terror at staring death in the face, the humiliation of pleading on your knees? Do you know how much it hurts to be abandoned and rejected by everyone? Do you know what the meaning of alone really is?

Because I’ve been there, I’ve lived it, for 7 damn years. And right now, it feels as I am still in it, I’m frightened and feel alone. So please don’t tell me God loves me, don’t send me Bible passages or prayers. I am way too triggered to find any comfort in God.

I hope this passes soon.

 

 

Angry today.

Trigger warning- swearing (I know some of you are triggered by swearing, please be careful).

 

I feel as if I’ve been living in a fog over the last few weeks, but on Sunday that fog lifted!

Since then, I’ve been trying to catch up a little. Job number one has been to contact friends and family who emailed, text and called during my few weeks of fog. I’ve also missed two birthdays I normally buy for and I haven’t written thank you cards to people who sent gifts for my son’s birthday last month. I guess I’ve been a little selfish the past few weeks.

I feel a bit overwhelmed, to be honest. While that “fog” has lifted, I’ve had a really rubbish day. The pressure of all those things I need to catch up on as well as the normal every day stuff I have to do and it feels a bit too much. I am so glad to be experiencing less symptoms, but I am not OK, not even close. Today, I had a flashback at work, I coped fine, I handled it, it’s not unusual, but it takes its toll.

And I hurt. I ache. I need to explore the way I feel, but I don’t want to. I want it to go away.

 

 

I’m a mum to two young children, I work part time and you know what? That’s enough. Enough, to keep me busy and to tire me out. All this other stuff on top- well it’s tough.

I love being a mother, I am happy to accept my duties of cleaning children, feeding children, nappy changing, constant battles over – well everything and repeating myself 300 times, to get them to listen. I am happy (well, OK, maybe not happy) to get up at night and administer medicine, or comfort a scared child and all the zillion other things I do for them. I am happy to work too, I like my job. I just wish that is all I had to focus on.I wish my past would leave me be.

 

All my posts have been kinda negative lately, I guess. I’m fed up, I’m pissed off, I’m angry. I’m mad at the world, I’m mad at God. I’m so done, with all of it.

I had to go through utter hell on Friday in order to relieve the symptoms that have been making me so ill. Yet, even though the symptoms have subsided, I still don’t get a break. How is that fair? How is any of this shit fair? I don’t want to do this anymore.

That emotional detachment that is supposed to be getting me through? Well, that’s not fucking working anymore. I am doing way too well and connecting to my feelings (which I am sure is something good and my T will piss me off smiling about it on Friday), but right now, that just fucks me off.

I feel like a big ball of angry, seething, rage.

 

So, I am angry. I suspect I need a release, but I am too much of a fucking wimp to write about what I am aware is underneath. So for now, it’s getting through until Friday.

I feel desperate to see my T right now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Love?

Christmas and I was so in love.

Excitement, danger and you.

You held my hand, pulled me close

kissing me gently, I just couldn’t let go.

I adored you in those moments.

 

I know I was abused, I know he groomed me. I know the person I loved didn’t actually exist, but that love felt so real to me. I loved my abuser. I really did. I’m ashamed of that in a way, even though I am fully aware that he was at fault, not me.

This is the first Christmas that I have fully accepted that what he did was abuse, I have accepted that he groomed me. And now I feel like he has ripped away my only good memory of him and that time- us at Christmas. Because of those moments, the ones I treasured, for years, I believed he had to love me on some level at least. That and the harder it got for us to be “together” the more he held on. I saw that as love rather than his control and arrogance. Now I don’t see those tender moments as anything but ways to get to me and to keep me.

And it leaves me angry for sure, but I also feel a sense of loss and that confuses me. It’s the sort of thing I’d take to therapy and I know my T would reassure me that it’s normal, in the way he assures me that everything I feel is OK and valid. I know he’s probably right and it’s OK to feel what I feel, but I don’t like feeling it. Anger- while I’m not comfortable with, I know I’m valid in feeling it, the same with hurt/ pain and sadness. But loss? That is not something I’m used to with this.

I guess it’s understandable given the recent anniversary that I tried to ignore, that won’t make much sense here but I cannot explain here right now (or in my own journals). But I think It makes sense to me, I think I better understand some of my own actions around that anniversary now.

Oh I’m missing my T already and it’s not even been a full week yet.

My abuser and injustice.

I think this has been brewing for a while. I’ve been having a lot of violent nightmares and I can’t place them, I’m having body memories, but cannot relate them to a particular memory. Last week I was dealing with a lot of irrational fears, I was angry at the way authorities had treated me and paranoid about the involvement of similar authorities now. Though the irrational fears are calmer and paranoia now gone, I’ve been left angry and with some trust issues. I wonder if that is behind the nightmares? Or perhaps it is due to an anniversary last week of an incident I actually reported to the Police right away.

Either way, I am feeling really angry, there’s so much injustice, my own and all around me..

Trigger Warning.

I was not the first to be abused by my abuser.He was well known to the Police for various violent crimes, he was also well known to them for his unhealthy interest in young teen girls. He had even been arrested on several occasions for suspected “sexual contact” with underage girls. He was never punished and their lack of action didn’t just physically allow him to re offend, it also gave him the confidence to do so. He was as aware as I am now, that the Police would not prosecute.

The Police spoke to me on more than one occasion, they warned me to stay away from him, but mostly, they told me off for getting involved. Wasn’t he the predator, just like they said? Why was I treated like the criminal, while he walked free, yet AGAIN?

In the years I knew him, he was arrested numerous times for sexual offences against teen girls. The Police had to know he was guilty, yet with every arrest, he was at most, cautioned and then released. Even after a harrowing video interview, where I had to disclose the details of a rape I had just endured, I was patted on the shoulder, ensured he’d be warned and then I was sent on my way.

I just cannot understand it, how many times can one person be arrested for similar crimes, yet still get away with it?

And how many are there of us? How many have been his victims, before, during and after me? I have spent a lot of time agonising over those potential victims since and those that may still be in danger. I know I cannot carry that, I know I cannot change it, because nothing would be done anyway. Even if I reported now, my experience time and time again has proven that he will not be prosecuted. But right or wrong I do still carry that. I am haunted by the idea that he abused others after me. I know I cannot do anything to bring him to justice, but if there’s something I can do to raise awareness of abuse and to help other abuse survivors then I have to do it.

I know I am not the only one feeling like I got the life sentence, desperately trying to deal with the aftermath and work towards healing from the crime an abuser got away with.

I’m so angry with him and various authorities right now. I am angry that even good moments are fleeting because of the PTSD, an issue I proabably wouldn’t have had he been caught and punished right away. Instead, I was left with no defence, I had no way out, no escape from abuse that then continued for years. I had to endure rape and torture, I was physically and emotionally abused. I had to live for years with lack of choice and only drugs, alcohol and an alternative reality to keep me sane. I was utterly abandoned by the only people who could keep him away from me. He should have been in prison, not free to abuse me.

I am angry about the abuse for sure, but it is the impact on my life now that makes me sick. I want to hold on to what I felt on Monday, when I was so grounded, I was excited for Christmas and for my future. I still feel like I have so little choice, because if I could choose, I would choose to feel as I did on Monday, I would grab it with both hands and never, ever let go. Yet PTSD and memories of abuse seem to rule my life, I do not get to choose when it strikes, only how I handle it. Because of failing of others, my life is affected now, I am tormented now, I am living with it now.

They (he and them) are the reason I have nightmares and flashbacks, they are the reason I lived the horrors of abuse. I blame them for difficulty to be close to others, my fear of the dark and of being alone. It is their fault it took me years to enjoy sex, that still I cry in my husband’s arms so often after. Their fault that I feel dirty and ashamed, that I feel worthless and unlovable and their fault that I struggle to find my Faith, that I feel anything but fear and anger towards God.

I blame them for my inability to feel anything for years. I blame them for my jumpiness at my own children’s touch. I blame them for my controlling nature and my need to always blame myself.

They crushed my self esteem, I lost my self worth, I was a shell for so very long. I blame them for my inability to ask for help even now. I blame them for my shame that I feel this way. I called Samaritans tonight (a UK helpline, who are fantastic btw) because I was feeling desperate yet too ashamed to call anyone I know and right now, I blame them for that too. Because I shouldn’t be here feeling this, I shouldn’t be ashamed of what I did not do, I should not be tormented by horrific memories, nor carrying responsibility for crimes I did not and would never commit. Not only did he abuse me, but they failed me spectacularly and right or wrong, I blame them and him for all of it right now.

I hate him and I hate them. Where is my justice?