Jump to content


Photo

Telling your story vs. learning to cope


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#31 ray1986

ray1986
  • New Member
  • posts: 4

Posted 09 January 2013 - 07:32 AM

Details are triggers for me, some stories are harder to tell than others, and I think that if it was fresh, or if I was feeling unstable in general I would not benefit from reliving the experience by retelling it. But from the point in my healing where I am, I think it isn't doing more damage.

I used to be more open to telling my stories. My roommates were all sex positive feminists and I thought I was safe sharing, particularly since they shared their DV and SA experiences. But I found when I landed in another situation of sexual assault, and yet another of physical assault that left me permanently scarred, my current day stories were not welcomed.

I can think of many reasons. All stupid ones. I eventually realized that they had no right to belittle my experiences. But ultimately I began with-holding those stories. I've got half a dozen or so so it's alot to with hold for a talker like myself.

But my friends now don't know my stories. The few who have an idea don't know the details, or that I have more than one story to tell. Just that something "of that sort" has happened to me. Right now my community is dealing with figuring out accountability processes for sexual assault and DV and it's a big challenge. I wonder now if my stories would help. I also wonder if I could get more healing from telling a story that helps others, silver linings and such.

Edited by ray1986, 09 January 2013 - 07:34 AM.


#32 EVH

EVH
  • Member
  • posts: 30

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:09 AM

Hi everyone!

First of all Iíd like to say that English is my second language so Iím very sorry about any mistakes I may have made or any grammatically incorrect sentences. But Iím wondering, when it comes to rape donít we all speak the same language? A language of shame, pain and fear? We understand each other without words no matter where we come from, donít we?

Last week I decided to share my story with someone and Iím not myself anymore since then. Itís hard to describe what is happening with me right now and I donít know how to make it stop. Iím not much of a talker or writer but right now this blog seems to be the only thing that can stop me from falling and hitting the ground. So here I am. Blogging.

ďA woman's whole life... in a single day. Just one day. And in that day... her whole lifeĒ (V.Woolf). Youíve been dreaming about this day for so long, havenít you? About the day when you finally can break the silence. Remember how many times you tried to imagine how it would be like to talk about it to someone? To cry it all out? To share your memories with someone who you hope will help you fight your demons. And finally the day has come. After all these years of being silent about what happened youíve finally found this special someone you think you can trust. And suddenly you start feeling better and worse at the same time. A freaking roller-coaster ride. You want to laugh and you want to cry. You donít know what to do. Because youíve already forgotten what it feels like to trust someone. And you donít know how to talk about it, which words to choose to describe it. So youíre scared. And you have all these questions running through your head: Can I trust him/her or do I just think I can? What if she/he wonít believe me? What if she/he says it was my fault? Will she/he understand? Will she/he judge me?

To tell or not to tell, thatís the question. Before you decide to share your story with someone think about it. Think about it twice... and again and again. And then once again. Donít hurry. Think. Your memories and your pain arenít going anywhere. Theyíve been there for years. So take your time. Because if youíre wrong you know exactly whatís gonna happen. Yes, youíre gonna get hurt. Again. Be careful. Secondary wounds can hurt as much as the original wound itself. So think. Are you ready to go through this again? Can you handle more pain? Words can be painful. Very painful. They can break you into a million pieces. They can knock you down on your knees. And who will help you to put yourself back together? Who will help you to get back on your feet again? Thatís right. No one. So be very careful. This decision is gonna change everything. Forever.

It has taken me about 14 years to find her.

I had to travel the whole world from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere to find my person. She was my musculoskeletal therapist trying to figure out the cause of my lower back pain. The treatments started triggering my flashbacks and she said:ĒYou know that one day youíll have to tell me whatís going onĒ Ė and I just thought ďYeah right, forget it.Ē But it just got worse and I started to feel like a liar. She was trying to help and I knew there was still one piece missing. This one little piece - the key to the whole thing. It wasnít fair and I knew it but I just couldnít bring myself to tell her. And then one day she said: ďIf itís something I should know just tell me.Ē And I did. Iíve had many therapists before her but Iíve never mentioned the incident(s) to anyone of them. It wasnít even an option. But this time it was different. I donít know why. Maybe because I was so sick and tired of my back pain driving me crazy every day or maybe because there was something about her imbuing me with strength and peace. Some inner quality that made everything in my world feel right. I trusted her.

Have I found what I was looking for? Has she reacted in a way I was hoping she would? While working as a translator for the police in Germany I talked to many rape survivors so I knew exactly what I didnít want to hear. And I was scared. I was scared to hear what all these girls I met had to hear.

But I was lucky.

A week ago I was sitting there right next to her staring at my feet, trying to find the right words and fighting the voice in my head screaming: Donít! And then I said it. I said ďI was rapedĒ. Three words. Just three little words like ďI love youĒ or ďhow are youĒ but so much more powerful and filled with so much pain. I let it out. I felt exhausted. I felt naked. I was scared.

And she was great. I think she has said and done everything just right. First of all she believed me. Or at least she said she did. But thatís enough for me. She listened. She actually really listened to me. Wow. People like her really do exist. And she didnít give me this oh-Iím-so-sorry-mercy-look I hate so much. Thank you K.

Finally she said that she was there for me if I wanted to talk, that if that helps sheís there. And in this very moment I felt like my heart was going to explode, I thought Iím gonna burst into tears. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full (S.Path). How could this happen? Iím a control freak so how was it even possible? I still donít understand it. Iíve built this wall, so strong that nobody could ever get through. It was bulletproof. All these years I tried to learn to control myself, I learned to hide my feelings so deeply inside that no-one would ever be able to find them. Unless theyíd dig deep enough. And she did. These words I was longing for all these years. These stupid words I was dying to hear: ďIím here for youĒ. ďIím here if you want to talkĒ. These few words so simple and so special. I hate them and I love them at the same time. I want to hear them and Iím so scared of them. They made me feel better, they made me feel worse, they made me feel weak. Yes, weak. Why? Because it took me so long to get back on my feet after being raped, to gain control of my life again. And suddenly I was ready to cut this wound open and let it bleed again. I wanted to tell this stranger everything, every single detail. I wanted her to hug me and say that everything is gonna be fine. I wanted her to hug me so I could cry me heart out. I wanted her to hold me in her arms and never let go. I felt like a little girl, hurt, helpless and so confused. Is it stupid to feel this way now when Iím almost 30? I mean it all happened so many years ago. Shouldnít I have got over it by now? Can you ever get over it? And then I realized. It hit me so hard that I couldnít breathe. Telling someone is not the worst part. Itís what happens after that. Telling your story is just the beginning. Itís a beginning of a very long journey through your painful past. After itís out it becomes real. You think about it day and night. You have to face it. You have to stop living in denial and admit that it really happened to you. But do you know how to do this? Are you prepared for this? No, youíre not. And you never will be.

On my way home, after I left her clinic I almost got hit by a car and you know what? I didnít care. I didnít care at all. I yelled at the poor guy for no reason and it wasnít even his fault, but I was yelling at him like a crazy bitch, mad, furious. Angry that (and here comes the funny part) he didnít hit me! I was so close to shout it right into his face: Why didnít you hit me you f*cker?! Why? I needed to stop thinking, stop feeling, stop existing for a little while, that was all I wanted. So whoever you are blue-ford-falcon-guy - Iím sorry! And no, I will not have dinner with you. Thanks for asking though.

As the life of the people you told about it doesnít change a bit, your life is going to turn upside down. So did talking about it help me? No. It didnít. Itís been 9 days and all I know is that the disclosure has shattered everything I told myself for years to keep going on with my life. 9 very long days of feeling horrible, frustrated, depressed and very alone. 9 days and still counting. I knew itís not gonna be easy to confront the past. But I did think it would be easier. Itís not. It has left me devastated.

And by the way, how do you even know how much you should say? Should you just say ďI was rapedĒ? Or should you go into details? How do you know whatís better for you? How do you know what you want? How do you know what you need? And first of all how do you know if your person wants to hear all this? I still have mixed feelings about it. I feel like Iíve said too much but still havenít said enough. I havenít said it all. I feel like being stuck in the very middle between what I need and what I should or shouldnít. And right now I canít even look her in the eyes. What am I afraid to see there? Or am I afraid that when she looks in my eyes she'll see that there's nothing inside of me? Just an empty space.

Nevermind. No matter how much you decided to share, when you decided to tell your story whoís gonna be there for you? No one. Well Iím a grown up, so I have to suck it up right? I have to live through it because I have no other choice correct? I have to be strong for myself because no one else is going to be strong for me. I canít cry. Tears are a luxury. Even if sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak theyíre not for me, because ďyou should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead." (E. Gilbert. So thatís what I have to do.I have to pull myself together. Get up. I have to open the door and go outside. Go and look life in the face. Remember The Hours and Virginia Woolf saying: ďTo look life in the face. Always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it. To love it for what it is, and then, to put it away.Ē Remember? I do. And although my whole life is a one big PTSD/RTS over the years Iíve learned to control it, IĎve learned to control my eating disorders, my obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, paranoia, flashbacks, hysteria, insomnia, workaholism, depression ... One day I woke up and said to myself: F*ck it. Enough. I was still hurting but the pain and the PTSD were manageable. Iíve been well trained to love my darkness.

But things change after you speak out. You lose this control. You have flashbacks 24/7 reminding you of every second of the horror youíve been through. You feel pain, anger, hate and frustration. You are broken inside. And the worst part is, you have to learn to hide it from the world again. From your family, friends, from everyone. You have to go out there and play your social roles. You have to be a daughter, a wife, a boss, a friend. Do you know the song ďCrippled InsideĒ by John Lennon? He sings: ďYou can shine your shoes and wear a suit. You can comb your hair and look quite cute. You can hide your face behind a smile. One thing you can't hide-is when you're crippled insideĒ. Well, I donít agree. You can hide how badly crippled you are inside. Practice makes the master. So you go out there and you smile. You laugh. You know why we laugh? We laugh because it hurts and it's the only thing to make it stop hurting (R. A. Heinlein).

Oh, Mrs. Dalloway...always giving parties to cover the silence...

I remember Ed Harris saying in an interview: ďThatís what people are doing. They are facing the hours of the day. Every day.Ē Well isnít that what weíre doing? Facing the hours, days, months and years of our life trying to escape our new Ėselves and to become our old-selves again? Iím wondering, my life has been stolen from me when I was 15. Then again. And again. So can I be the same person I was before it happened? And which me exactly do I try to be? The 14-year-old teen full of beautiful dreams and hopes, always believing in the good in people? Or the 20-year-old woman always funny, happy and optimistic, with lots of friends, crazy in love and planning on having a family? Who am I? And who do I want to be today?

She asked me why I haven't told anyone. So why didnít I? Why have I been silent all these years? Was I ashamed? Was I scared? Or maybe because I got my mouth super-glued, and even though my lips healed perfectly they never stopped hurting constantly reminding me of my past. Or maybe I just wasnít ready to talk about it? Well I do know why I didnít tell my family. Because I didnít want to hurt them. One person hurting is enough. And by the way Iím a huge disappointment to my family anyway, but thatís another story. I didnít tell my friends because since my friend raped me I donít believe in friends. I donít have friends. I cut them all off, pushed them away because in the end everyone is going to hurt you anyway. And I donít need a certified counsellor. I donít need to learn how to trick my brain, I already know that, but it doesnít help to relieve the pain. Will a counsellor be there for me to dry my eyes? Will a counsellor be there for me to hold me when I need warmth and compassion or when my wounds begin to bleed again? I bet he wonít. So what do we need? Who do we need? A well trained, certified counsellor who is a total stranger and has no idea who we really are or a good friend, a soul mate who can eventually betray us one day? And what if you canít or donít want to have either of them? What choice do you have then? Are we all alone? We are, arenít we? I am.

So when we say we want to be left alone, when we say that we donít need anything from anyone are we lying? Are we just pretending weíre ok? And if so, why are we doing that? I canít help but wonder, when it comes to getting help, what do we really want or expect? Do we want to show how tough and strong we are because we donít want people to pity us? Or do we need someone to look behind the mask and take care of us and heal our hurt souls and hearts? Could K. possibly break down my wall someday? Well, Iíll never find out.

So many questions but no answers.

My brother (passionate soldier) would say: ďWhat the f*ck sis? Get your lazy ass up and fight!Ē But after 14 years of fighting Iím tired. Maybe I shouldnít have said anything? Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. How can I ever get up off my knees? Looks like Iím not as strong as I thought I was or as I used to be. But there is still something I can do. I can put on my pink-blue racing flats and go for a run. I can run. I canít run away from myself. Everywhere I go I take myself with me. But I can run. Run the pain away...

So run Forrest! Run!



"I wish I could help you"- I whisper.
"You are" - she murmurs against my knee - "just donít leave me, okay? Everyone leaves me."
ó S. Elkeles

#33 Soo

Soo
  • SusanGrace

  • Member
  • posts: 805

Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:16 AM

EVH the way you write your thought processes here is incredible. I just want to say that there are so many things you say that I totally GET.
It's like - in part - you are reading MY mind!
Can't say anymore.

#34 EVH

EVH
  • Member
  • posts: 30

Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

EVH the way you write your thought processes here is incredible. I just want to say that there are so many things you say that I totally GET.
It's like - in part - you are reading MY mind!
Can't say anymore.


Thank you Soo! It's such a relief that someone actually understands the way I feel! Safe hugs to you if ok

#35 Alex12345

Alex12345
  • Member
  • posts: 2,421

Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:23 PM

EVH, I so feel like you and could have said a lot of what you said... (((EVH)))

#36 Cherline

Cherline
  • Member
  • posts: 1,232

Posted 20 March 2013 - 03:08 AM

EVH, I can totally relate to a lot of what you said. It's extremely hard to disclose. And you know what? When I disclosed for the first time to a friend (who was great), afterwards I felt bad, too. I had been denying it for months and living a lie. I wore a mask, I tried my best to be happy and to be 'me' and to forget about the past, and to go on with my life.

So I had really held the balloon down the water for too long, because some day it just slipped from beneath my hands and it jumped out of the water and hit my face. That's what happened. I got all this shit right in my face and I had to tell it, because I was having some kind of mental breakdown. And afterwards, I felt good and bad. Relieved and ashamed. But at least, I shared.
Afterwards, as you, EVH, described, I thought about it 24/7 and had plenty of nightmares and flashbacks and stuff. It was horrible. It was the beginning of a long journey that hasn't ended, yet. I still have a long way to go.

I told my full story once; to the police. I didn't tell it to my T, yet. But I told him a few details. And even though you could say it was extremely upsetting and maybe even retraumatizing, at least I knew afterwards that there was nothing to be ashamed of. Because if he knows about details, he could judge me, too. But he doesn't. And in the end, that helps me.

I truly believe that, if I wouldn't have gone to my T, or if I wouldn't have found Pandys, I would have ended up worse.

I believe that everyone should decide for their own whether or not to disclose. But I don't think any scientist has the right to tell survivors to shut up. We had a well-known legal doctor saying lately that therapy is doing more wrong than good, for survivors. He said that therapists make things worse by telling survivors that what happened was very bad. He said that CSA and rape is 'overrated' and stuff.
I think that this only adds arguments to the people who don't want to hear about all this and who are looking for excuses to keep it a taboo.

But again, I believe that it should be an individual decision and that everyone is different.

#37 EVH

EVH
  • Member
  • posts: 30

Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:22 PM

Thank you guys for your replies! It really means a lot! Don't know what I'd do without you and your support :(

#38 Pinkie

Pinkie
  • New Member
  • posts: 2

Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:52 PM

What an interesting thread!

Just to add from my own personal experiences: I am a rape survivor and a very wonderful therapist shared some wisdom with me. The act of telling itself can be extremely traumatic (I've had sessions similar to what has been mentioned here, where I felt overwhelmed etc.) because you ARE essentially re-living the trauma. However, HOW you tell and in what circumstances, and understanding the roles of the players involved is extremely important. For me it helped to envision myself taking the narrative role, so to speak, in reconstructing what happened (I have very unclear memories of much of it). In other words, I re-appropriated the story and reaffirmed myself at the same time in the safe place in which I was relating what happened. Turning the event into a fact of the past was painful, and in a lot of ways didn't take away the pain or the difficulty of dealing with the aftermath, but I think over time, practicing this strategy (which might not work for everyone) helped me come to terms with and lesson the effects the trauma has on my life now. I was able to firmly place the (unfortunately unchangeable) event in the past and focus on what I could change in the present and the future. (I realize that repetition runs the risk of becoming a memorized dialog, or of making the teller numb to what happened, so this can be tricky, I'm sure...)

In my case, I didn't speak about what happened for three days afterwards, at which point I went to the police, filed charges, went through a medical exam, etc. and called my parents (I was abroad at the time) all within a matter of hours. This left me utterly wrung out and numb, and for months I was in denial, not wanting to repeat the "telling" again. This went on for a year or so until I felt ready, and comfortable telling and seeking T. It wasn't until that point when I really began to heal.

Thank you everyone else for all your comments! I'm so happy to find such a supportive community!

Edited by Pinkie, 17 April 2013 - 03:06 PM.


#39 Helene

Helene
  • One by one my leaves fall; one by one my tales are told

  • Member
  • posts: 22

Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:59 AM

To be perfectly honest about things, I do feel that there is something almost scopophilliac about this need that people apparently 'helping' have to wallow in all the delicious, juicy details about other people's trauma. I have shared my own stories (plural - I have been raped twice, two years apart) and both times told only two people - my mother and an ex-boyfriend. I felt no need to add details, I just mentioned the fact that the barest sketch of the circumstances. They were sufficiently intelligent not to force information from me, and sufficiently objective not to try to arouse in me feelings that I didn't have. I have never felt, and will never feel, broken or robbed of anything by these incidents. They are facts of life; I have no anger. And I certainly have no need to wallow in 'details'. I feel sure I can't be the only person here who shares these feelings. We are all different, and I am sure that what is healing for one, is poison for another.

#40 Wil

Wil
  • Contributing Member
  • posts: 2,822

Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:35 AM

I've just had a conversation about this with my T. It was good to hear her say that there's no 'right' way, or 'right' balance to this. I knew as much, but I needed the confirmation.

For me, it's gone in little steps, and very slowly (infuriatingly slowly, most of the time). And most of it has been more to do with me engaging with what happened, than about me telling somebody else. But I feel like I'm a good way down my healing path now.

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with what was happening. But equally, I couldn't think of it, not the details, anyway. I so wanted to tell. I'd practice in my head for hours about what I could say, I'd gear myself up to say it...but I never managed it. I could never really imagine what would happen afterwards, though, even in an ideal world. I became a nervous wreck.

I had the opportunity in my teens to talk to a child psychologist about it, but as he could barely be bothered to remind himself of my name, let alone my case details, I couldn't disclose anything to him at all.

For ages, I couldn't think about it. Like literally, I'd try and think about it, and my mind would just shut off. I'd end up thinking round it, or more often than not, just switching off and zoning out completely.

By the time I was in my late teens I had every PTSD symptoms going, I was a mess, too paranoid to go out, never speaking to anyone, terribly agoraphobic. And I was getting psychosis with my depressive periods. I'd get totally fixated on little flashes of it, over and over again for days. Ugh. It was hard to tell what was real then. I spent a lot of time drinking it away. I cried loads, deeply and often. I think people knew that stuff had happened to me, but I could never admit any of it. I acted like the suggestion was almost funny. I was like this all through my twenties and early 30s.

When I was raped I tried to tell my mum. She didn't believe me. I didn't tell the police, I couldn't face it, and I assumed they wouldn't believe me either. I still regret this.

I saw psychs and MH staff periodically and accidentally but never admitted anything. They mostly acted like if I couldn't tell, then I was weak and silly, and that I deserved every bad feeling that I had. Ah, the caring profession......

Once a nurse asked me directly if anything had happened (I was haven't some trouble letting her do my smear). I was too shocked at being asked to tell her the truth. She was quite cross with me. Other girls, she said, have REAL problems. I felt for years that I'm missed an important opportunity here.

When I could think about it a little more, I started getting tics (saying No loudly, grunting, turning my head sharply) - the clearer the image, the stronger the tics were. I still get these, sometimes, but less so now. But it was important for me to get to this stage...

...cos the next one was actually being able to put everything (or at least, a lot of it) in the right order, in my head. I had some very bad MH episodes during this period, and for many months I felt completely obsessed and quite consumed by it. I really felt that that was all that was in me.

A couple of years ago I felt ready to get some help. I spoke to my pdoc - no details at all, just said that the CSA and R had happened.

Then I found PA! And read, and read, and read (I could hardly stop), and was totally overwhelmed by so many people trying to hard to work through their awful experiences. And I was more relived than I have words to express, to find that my feelings, my reactions, the things that had changed in me were not unusual at all. And I started posting, and received so much fantastic support. Honestly, this is what made the biggest difference to me.

Then I found a T. I've been going for about eight months now. I believe I have been lucky this time. I was very apprehensive at first, and distrustful. But I feel a thousand times more relaxed there now. My T knows my quirks. She knows never to touch me. She talks to me very clearly. She explains why she says things. She accepts what I tell her and never makes me feel bad or guilty about it. She looks for ways to move forward instead of dwelling on the past. She pushes me to be kind to myself, and teaches me how when I don't understand how this can done. she never compares me with anyone else. I needed all of this, but I didn't know that when I started seeing her.

First I talked about how I am now. And how I've coped so far. And then about the guilt. And then the anger. And sort of worked backwards, from the R to the CSA. And more recently, about other bad stuff that happened, that 'd not even thought of in that context before. If it's hard, I type it out and give it to her. Sometimes I give her posts I've made on PA. I think I'm finally able now to put the CSA away for now, which is a massive weight lifted from me, and inspires me to continue with T. I still have never told the gritty, revolting details, and I flit between thinking that I need to, that it's essential, and then thinking that it's unnecessary. If I ever choose to disclose, I will probably start by writing everything down and posting on here first, before sharing with my T. Actually, I think I'm starting to do this today....


I told a nurse, very recently. She was kind, and angry on my behalf. I had never thought that someone might react like that. If I did physical contact, I'd have hugged her.

I have no intention of telling anyone I know in RL. It's too late to tell my family now, and I think that just very recently, I've come to terms with this. I would never share it with anyone else. I can't think of a single reason why I would ever want to.

Edited by Wil, 05 June 2013 - 12:49 PM.





Recent blog entries on this topic

Photo

From: Telling your story vs. learning to cope

By Wil in Wil's Blog, on 05 June 2013 - 10:38 AM

I've just had a conversation about this with my T. It was good to hear her say that there's no 'right' way, or 'right' balance to this. I knew as much, but I needed the confirmation.



For me, it's gone in little steps, and very slowly (infuriatingly slowly, most of the time). And most of it has been more to do with me engaging with what happened, than about me telling somebody else. But I feel like I'm a good way down my healing path now.



When I was a kid, I was obsessed with what was happening. But equally, I couldn't think of it, not the details, anyway. I so wanted to tell. I'd practice in my head for hours about what I could say, I'd gear myself up to say it...but I never managed it. I could never really imagine what would happen afterwards, though, even in an ideal world. I became a nervous wreck.



I had the opportunity in my teens to talk to a child psychologist about it, but as he could barely be bothered to remind himself of my name, let alone my case details, I couldn't disclose anything to him at all.



For ages, I couldn't think about it. Like literally, I'd try and think about it, and my mind would just shut off. I'd end up thinking round it, or more often than not, just switching off and zoning out completely.



By the time I was in my late teens I had every PTSD symptoms going, I was a mess, too paranoid to go out, never speaking to anyone, terribly agoraphobic. And I was getting psychosis with my depressive periods. I'd get totally fixated on little flashes of it, over and over again for days. Ugh. It was hard to tell what was real then. I spent a lot of time drinking it away. I cried loads, deeply and often. I think people knew that stuff had happened to me, but I could never admit any of it. I acted like the suggestion was almost funny. I was like this all through my twenties and early 30s.



When I was raped I tried to tell my mum. She didn't believe me. I didn't tell the police, I couldn't face it, and I assumed they wouldn't believe me either. I still regret this.



I saw psychs and MH staff periodically and accidentally but never admitted anything. They mostly acted like if I couldn't tell, then I was weak and silly, and that I deserved every bad feeling that I had. Ah, the caring profession......



Once a nurse asked me directly if anything had happened (I was haven't some trouble letting her do my smear). I was too shocked at being asked to tell her the truth. She was quite cross with me. Other girls, she said, have REAL problems. I felt for years that I'm missed an important opportunity here.



When I could think about it a little more, I started getting tics (saying No loudly, grunting, turning my head sharply) - the clearer the image, the stronger the tics were. I still get these, sometimes, but less so now. But it was important for me to get to this stage...



...cos the next one was actually being able to put everything (or at least, a lot of it) in the right order, in my head. I had some very bad MH episodes during this period, and for many months I felt completely obsessed and quite consumed by it. I really felt that that was all that was in me.



A couple of years ago I felt ready to get some help. I spoke to my pdoc - no details at all, just said that the CSA and R had happened.



Then I found PA! And read, and read, and read (I could hardly stop), and was totally overwhelmed by so many people trying to hard to work through their awful experiences. And I was more relived than I have words to express, to find that my feelings, my reactions, the things that had changed in me were not unusual at all. And I started posting, and received so much fantastic support. Honestly, this is what made the biggest difference to me.



Then I found a T. I've been going for about eight months now. I believe I have been lucky this time. I was very apprehensive at first, and distrustful. But I feel a thousand times more relaxed there now. My T knows my quirks. She knows never to touch me. She talks to me very clearly. She explains why she says things. She accepts what I tell her and never makes me feel bad or guilty about it. She looks for ways to move forward instead of dwelling on the past. She pushes me to be kind to myself, and teaches me how when I don't understand how this can done. she never compares me with anyone else. I needed all of this, but I didn't know that when I started seeing her.



First I talked about how I am now. And how I've coped so far. And then about the guilt. And then the anger. And sort of worked backwards, from the R to the CSA. And more recently, about other bad stuff that happened, that 'd not even thought of in that context before. If it's hard, I type it out and give it to her. Sometimes I give her posts I've made on PA. I think I'm finally able now to put the CSA away for now, which is a massive weight lifted from me, and inspires me to continue with T. I still have never told the gritty, revolting details, and I flit between thinking that I need to, that it's essential, and then thinking that it's unnecessary. If I ever choose to disclose, I will probably start by writing everything down and posting on here first, before sharing with my T. Actually, I think I'm starting to do this today....



I told a nurse, very recently. She was kind, and angry on my behalf. I had never thought that someone might react like that. If I did physical contact, I'd have hugged her.



I have no intention of telling anyone I know in RL. It's too late to tell my family now, and I think that just very recently, I've come to terms with this. I would never share it with anyone else. I can't think of a single reason why I would ever want to.



Source: Telling your story vs. learning to cope

Read Full Entry →

Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.