This is a massive breakthrough (is that the word?)
I hope this is ok by all the rules etc, which I am confused by and find really complicated.
Today I had a flashback, when an online chat with a man went in a triggering direction. Not sure if you'd call it a flashback or a panic attack, but it was like this: racing heart, hyperventilating, curling up in bed, crying, pulling hair. And it wouldn't stop. It went on and on and on. Thoughts like "bad girl", "you deserved it", "he doesn't love you" "you're worthless" were rattling around as I cried. I wanted the man I was chatting to to give me a virtual hug, but he disappeared.
So I decided to phone a helpline though I felt an exhaustion that made picking up the phone difficult.
When they answered, I explained to the woman that I was panicking and slowly began to talk.
The upshot is, things that happened in childhood (physical and emotional abuse) were very traumatic and left me feeling bad about myself. This set me up to look for men (unconsciously) who resembled my abusers, so as to try and be loved by them. Those men I found abused me and r*ped me and they treated me badly because in some cases they were survivors and didn't know better. I was feeling so bad about myself that I attracted people like that!
She told me what happened in childhood was very traumatic and it wasn't my fault. She told me the same was true of the sexual assaults later on.
Oh. This means that I have been really hurt and damaged since childhood and only just realised. That is sad. It's so sad. But at least now, I can understand what happened and move forward.
...and maybe I was so desperate for the man I'd been chatting to online to send me a virtual hug, because I have always been desperate for men to love me. I still am. Hug me, tell me I'm a good girl. Tell me it wasn't my fault. Tell me you love me. I'll do anything for you if you hold me and love me. Please..... Well NOT ANY MORE! I only give my attention to you, if you value me, from now on.