This is new...self-medication, helpful or hurtful?
I was convinced that because I was in a relationship since my experience that I was okay, that I had dealt with it and was over it.
My last boyfriend (Jay) and I split about 7 months ago. He was the first guy I was intimate with since my experience.
I have recently started considering getting back out there, only to realise I have to almost start from scratch. My previous progress, which I thought was healing, was actually just because of the amazing trust in, and support of, Jay. With him around, I began to think about it less. Less fear, less guilt, less self-hate..I felt like myself again and I finally enjoyed intimacy.
But now that I am getting back out there, it has triggered me. The fear is back, the guilt and blame is back, the worthlessness is back.
Was my progress attached to Jay? Not all of it was, I know, but a great deal of it. I may have long-lasting difficulty with getting physically and emotionally close to anyone, because once that trust is gone, its gone.
I am afraid, deathly afraid, that the next guy I find will hurt me like I was hurt. I couldn't stand to have that happen even once more after my countless experiences, I feel that if it did happen again it would truly break me.
So in the last few days, I have started to take an active role in my recovery. Rather than just letting it be attached to someone else in my life. It will be mine. But it is harder than I anticipated. I have become less and less engaged socially. I have ended up pushing people away because I simply do not have the emotional capacity to deal with their day-to-day issues, I'm too drained.
I have no one to talk to about it anymore, no one to sit with - thats literally all I want sometimes. For the last few years when I try to reach out to people. I would say, "my first boyfriend was not as......'respectful'.....as he should have been". In my mind, they clearly understand what I am referring to. But now I'm realising, maybe they don't understand, maybe I have to be more blunt.
I think it has to do with the fact that my experiences occurred during my first relationship, with someone who was socially presentable and trustworthy (or so you would think). I loved him, I trusted him.
Up until yesterday, I had even doubted my experiences, thinking 'you're stupid, it can't have happened, he wouldn't do that, everyone says so, everyone knows so, it must be you'. Now I recognise this for what it truly is - Denial, the first stage of grief. I have always hung around this in my own mind, and lately I have been reading about how people in my situation feel. Then I realised, it wasn't me. For the first time, I knew in my heart that it wasn't me. Relief.
Through my reading I also realised that I have never directly thought about my experiences. I have always tried to keep it out because of the anxiety it causes and my denial. I have read that it is an important part of recovery, mapping out the experience, having a clear picture. But OUCH. I can't describe how much I feel like actually doing it will be the end of me. But no one wants to hear the grizzly details, so I must do it myself.
I've gone from relief to depression in less than two days. I don't know where to go from here. I feel like I am drowning in the memories.
A memory that constantly plays like a broken record is the explanation he gave me for his actions when I confronted him about it. He said: "I am like a tiny child in a grocery store who wants some candy. I will do anything to get that candy, much like a child has a tantrum. Once you let me have it, I realise just how far I have to push, just what I have to do to get it, so I do it. You let me do it, its your fault. It becomes a game to me."
It makes me physically sick with anxiety to think of this.
I am out of my depth.
For anyone who has the time to read this, any advice is appreciated.