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_Survivors_
A safe space to share stories and ask questions
Just needing to get this out, it's kinda long. Sorry 
31st-Jul-2009 12:10 am
Disguise
This is my first post, so I'm sorry if I missed out any warnings. Some if it is detailed.


I've been a member here for a wee while, and as I read everyone else's stories I always feel such strength and hope, because while they're all different, they all tell me that while I or they may be at our wit's end, there's something there to grab onto. I've told very very few people of my story, simply because I'm a very private person and don't like other's knowing things about me that doesn't really affect them. But lately I feel as if I'm literally coming apart at the seams. So I hope it's okay that I share this here.

I'm not a touchy feely person, never have been. My father walked out on my mum and us when I was little and I had to grow up pretty fast to help out. I have a cousin that is the same age as me and for years, right up until I was 16, we were pretty much inseparable, and it cause numerous arguments between my siblings and myself. It's only now looking back that I can understand that things were not 'right.' We would mess around, and he would touch me, and encourage me to touch him. Occasionally it went further, pinning me and rubbing himself against me, but we never had sex, it was always just touching. He had this friend who was older and had a learning difficulty. One day we were in the park and his friend pulled me to the ground and pinned me, I can remember thinking the stones on my back really hurt more than him grinding down on top of me. My cousin stood 10 feet away and kept telling us to hurry up and stop messing around. I saw him in court one day while i was taking law classes and nearly bolted right out of the room. I've only ever seen him a few times since. I don't know if I fear him or my cousin more.

When I turned 16, my younger cousin died while on holiday, that summer the rest of my cousin's family and I had a major falling out due to the death, even now, his mother can't be within two feet of me in the same room, she'll leave it before she even has to speak to me. All I can think about is the amount of times we all sat in the same room and laughed. Now? Now all I think about is 'I didn't do anything!' Even though that took me years to finally believe in.

I went of the rails that summer. Started acting out like I have done, I skipped classes, didn't do homework, ditched my friends when I could, I started smoking and drinking and self-harming in any and every way i could think off. I met a boy that year and he turned my world upside down. It was later on that, when I was out with him and some of our 'friends' that I nearly died. Out of the 7 of us that went out that night, - not including me - 5 of them raped, sodomized and used an object on me repeatedly. I was beaten to almost an inch of my life and spent the next year in a hospital learning to walk again and regain my memory. There are still things that I do not remember. And I still carry the scars, some of my friends know, others don't. Since then, i've become much more closed off and untrusting and anti-social. There are days that I jump at every single noise and I zone out for hours at a time. I've been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and I suffere from regular bouts of insomnia too. I had a friend tell me today that one those friends thought I was fibbing. It hurt more than I can put into words, because the friend he is talking about, is one I've told the most too.

In March of this year I was involved in a car accident that led to my fiance and the child I was carrying dying. I had several injuries and am still suffering from amnesia. I find myself getting confused about the times I'm trying to remember. And when I wake up from a dream and recall that I was in hospital, I panic. Because I'm in two times. One is a few months ago while the other is nearly 10 years ago. And the One person who helped me deal and got me to where I am is no longer here. And the one person I wish i could call, I can't. Because she might think I'm fibbing.

I've been to counselling, and pyschiarists and they've helped only so much. Talking hasn't made everything easier, it's made it all the more difficult, because this time...outside of my family who walk on eggshells 90% of the time...I feel as if I now have no one to fall back on. I've never been very good at talking about myself, always been a better listener, but I guess I just need to get this out. With everything else that's happening with my family, I don't think I can deal with having to put this on them, and professionals make me twitchy and anxious to a the degree that I get panic attacks thinking about talking to them.
Comments 
31st-Jul-2009 12:10 am (UTC)
Looks like you did a great job with the trigger warnings to me.

And it probably took a huge amount of strength to write this all out. You described some pretty horrible things and it makes a ton of sense that you'd have wanted to hold onto that for a while until you were comfortable. I am so glad that you have been able to at least get that strength and hope you described from reading the other posts here since you've joined.

Talking in therapy can be excruciating, but being able to write it down here can be a great first step towards developing a comfort level with what you want to (eventually) say and feeling like you have control over it.

You certainly don't have to spill everything in therapy right away. I know I bullshitted about work issues for a full six months before I even mentioned abuse. After I finally started talking about it, I told my therapist that I'd felt like I'd wasted all that time... but he said it was all part of the process. Without those six months, I'd have never gotten to know him or forged a bond with him and wouldn't have been able to talk to him about anything more personal. Once I looked at it that way, I felt a lot better about all those sessions where I'd sat there fidgeting. Everyone needs to work at their own pace.

In the meantime, I do hope you feel okay after posting. Sometimes if you share so much, you can feel sort of down afterward, so definitely try to do some nice things for yourself tonight.

We are here for you whenever you want to post to listen and support you.

*safe hugs*
31st-Jul-2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
Writing has always been easier for me that outright talking. And thank you too
31st-Jul-2009 04:43 am (UTC)
It's always okay to share things here. That's what this space is here for. It took a lot of strength to share that with us, and thank you for trusting us with your story.

I want you to know, it's normal for therapy to bring up enough stuff that it will feel like it's getting worse - and I also want you to know it's completely normal to have a big upswell of emotions and PTSD symptoms after such a major loss. What you're going through right now is a completely normal reaction to some extreme stuff happening to you.

With your family, if you think it would help you to talk with them, let them decide if they're ready to listen. Many survivors have an overdeveloped idea of being a burden to others - and I've found more often than not that my friends (who are my Chosen Family) would rather know the demons in my past than face the anxiety of not knowing what's going on in my mind.

With your current therapist - remember that it's okay to ask for a break from the nitty-gritty work. Some sessions, you just need to go in and talk about present-day stuff, get a little bit of distance on the hard work, before going back into it when you feel more stable.
31st-Jul-2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm always nervous about telling anyone anything about me. And thank you, they're some great advice and something I shall take onboard.
1st-Aug-2009 09:35 am (UTC)
Seconding all of the wonderful things sistahraven said here.

I have had the people closest to me abandon me at critical times. It was always when I was at the bottom and needed people around me most. The lack of support both forced me to get to a place where I was functional, but also prevented me from dealing with my grief and distress when I really needed to work it out.

I have been seeing my current therapist for two years, and she is my stable place to work things out, whether day-to-day stuff or more serious stuff. But after the last big friend-abandonment-blowout, I forced myself to diversify my support network. Right now it looks something like this: _survivors_ (urgent, deep stuff), therapist (all), boyfriend (varies, but he is rarely first line of defense with serious stuff), close friends (varies), family (emergency only). It took a really long time to build all that. But immersing myself in opportunities to meet people got me out of the house and helped relieve a lot of the anxiety of having no supports. It particularly helped when I was in groups with a larger purpose (religious, GLBT activism, etc).

Maybe you're not ready for that. But we're here, so think of us as a first step. A sturdy support.
2nd-Aug-2009 01:43 am (UTC)
You're dealing with a lot of hard shit and there is no "what I should do" with therapy or opening up. You've been through a lot and trying to force yourself to talk about it when you're not ready is only going to compound it.

I'm glad that you were able to get that all out. If it weren't for livejournal, I would have never been able to open up about the stuff that happened to me and start to process it.

I'm sorry that you've been through so much. I don't really have much to add to anything that anyone has already said, but I am behind you 100%. Post whenever you need to talk. ♥
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