August 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm #40795
Hello, I am new here. I apologise for the following rant, but I feel it might help get it off my chest. Any advice on how to deal with this would be lovely.
To make it short, I was sexually abused as a child and I am now suffering from PTSD and depression. The PTSD started about freshman year of high school, and the depression since middle school. And it’s only getting way worse. I am starting to become more angry and irritable, and I have no idea what I should do.
Now the longer version (Basically my life story):
For starters, I was raped many times when I was about 7 by a babysitter/family member. At the time, I didn’t realise how serious it was due to the fact my family branded me with the idea that “god made it happen on purpose”. (Not trying to bash on Christianity, that’s just what I was told at the time.) So I didn’t worry about it.. and then I found out how serious it was during my middle school years. The ex-babysitter was now married and had two children, and I feared that if I spoke out, the entire family will be broken.
So I still stayed quiet. And it didn’t bother me much either. However, I started shutting myself off from everyone – friends, family, peers, ect. I didn’t feel right around anyone. Whenever someone would try to get me to talk, I would mumble something to get them away from me asap. I cancelled many plans, avoided parties, social events, all just so I could reside in my dark room that I knew best. I also got insomnia, which my parents didn’t believe me about and got a bit strict about what I do during the night (like any parent would). I have been this way ever since.
But then came freshman year of high school. During one of the school breaks, I decided to watch a movie called “The Book of Eli” one night. It was a great movie and I was really enjoying it, but then a little tiny scene came up… it was a girl who *almost* got sexually assaulted by some men.
And those 10 seconds were the end of me.
As soon as I realised what was happening, the memories did a giant slap to my face and I had what some call a panic attack. It was harsh enough to bring temporary suicidal thoughts, which is when I realised that I really, REALLY need help.
I told my father the next day, and the fear I predicted years before came true – the close family ties collapsed. After that day, I only had my parents. I didn’t see any other family member for months after that, and when I did see them, they would keep as far away as possible. Which is.. fine, I suppose, but it felt like I did something very wrong.
It’s been two years now since that day. And I’m only getting worse. It has now gotten to the point where I am now being really angry at little things, and when I have a panic attack, I occasionally break a thing or two (no self harm or harm to others, I draw the line even when freaking out.) I am seeing a therapist now, and soon enough I’ll be getting anti-depressants to see if it will help anything. Otherwise, I’m just at a loss of what to do. I can’t really control my PTSD. Have any of you had/have PTSD? And how are you coping with it?
If you took the time to read this, thank you. I know I’m not the greatest writer, so I apologise for any grammatical errors. But I felt telling about my experience might help a bit? It’s worth a shot.
Hope you have a good rest of your day.August 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm #40814David V.Participant
I am truly sorry for what you are going through, and I do not think no one can completely feel what you must be going through. Secondly, PLEASE… please, do not blame yourself for what happened to you in the past. The decisions that others might have taken and that will take are not something that you can control. I am happy that you had the courage of speaking out, the need for you to talk is and was the first step for you to heal.
I could encourage you to do several things, some of which, would/will take time, patience, and a lot of love.
1) I suggest you to go to your school counselor. They are trained individuals who have been trained to act and help you in though times, like this.
2) YOU ARE A GORGEOUS PERSON… Love yourself and love others, but do not remain quiet… you already took the first step, you told your parents. They might have not had the best reaction, but you did your best. Now, it is time to seek for other sources of help, they are not the only source of aid.
You are set for a great future!!!
P.S. Do not think you are not “a great writer”… great writers speak from the heart, and you did more than that!!!
I hope these humble words are of good encouragement…
NamasteAugust 20, 2013 at 8:41 am #40833ZenhenParticipant
I am sorry to hear of your abuse. I too was sexually abused as a child and deal with anxiety, depression and a mild form of PTSD. I actually had an episode last night when my boyfriend and I tried to have sex. Since I have been healing, I have avoided penetrative sex. The emotions which I have suppressed for so long are so raw now. I have recently been seeing a therapist, which has been helping a lot. Also reading about abuse victims has given me greater understanding of my emotions. I started this thread about abuse and many people have shared their own experience with abuse and how they have worked towards healing: http://tinybuddha.com/topic/how-can-i-ever-forgive-my-past-abusers/. I hope it can help you.
Here is a really good podcast about PTSD and restoring the body: http://www.onbeing.org/program/restoring-the-body-bessel-van-der-kolk-on-yoga-emdr-and-treating-trauma/5801
You did the right thing by speaking up. Just know that it was not your fault. You didn’t deserve to be abused. You don’t have to carry the shame and guilt around. There is nothing wrong or bad about you. You didn’t do anything wrong or bad. You can heal and the process will be very painful. You will be angry. At times you feel just like a child, unsafe, anxious and scared. You will feel alone, isolated or you may not feel at all at times. It will be a roller coaster ride. But just go slow.
Sending you much love and understanding,
ZenhenAugust 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm #41012
Thank you, David. Your words mean a lot. My school counselor knows about the situation, and he is very understanding towards it. There is not much that him or I can do, but when a class shows a video including such visuals, he usually excuses me for the period. Otherwise, I’m trying to work on speaking out more. Thanks again.August 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm #41013
Thank you, Zenhen. I read the thread, however it only brought another attack. It was worth a shot though. But thank you, it’s hard not to feel shameful, but I’m working on it. I hope you start feeling a little better soon.August 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm #41020ZenhenParticipant
The attack is a result of a stage called the emergency stage. It is quite normal. Here is a link explaining the different stages you may experience: http://www.archmil.org/offices/sexual-abuse-prevention/stages-healing.htm.
Thanks for your well wishes. I wish the best for you too!
ZenhenAugust 25, 2013 at 7:20 am #41109BillyParticipant
Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. Partially because I also was abused physically (not sexually though) all the years through my childhood by my brothers and both my parents and I can feel how you feel. What I know is that in such difficult cases professional help seems indicated so I will offer you only my personal wisdom.Myself, I never found any help ,not even consolation, even though I seeked guidance and I resorted to teachers, to church,to doctors. What I realized especially regarding professional therepists is that often you find yourself diagnosed and treated with medication while the most powerful grug and cure and unfortunately the most difficult to find is Love and mainly love from yourself. No matter how cliche it is this is the only answer to all kind of pains. People cause problems,people solve them.
Meanwhile, there was a moment, after all the ineffective efforts to find help and cure I felt that I had to take a decision, I had to choose whether I was going to kill myself or keep living. I understood that deciding to live meant that I would never be able to erase everything that happened to me, that I would always know that I’m not like other ”normal” people who are loved and happy,.I was fully aware that all of these traumas I endured, all of this abuse and ill treatment is irreversible.It was a very difficult dilemma,I admit being enticed to choose death many times even after deciding to live.
So what I think wise to do is for you to understand that since you acknowledged what happened to you and realized the dimension of the atrocity commited on you,you have to answer that question and if you choose life, don’t hide and don’t suppress your feelings.If you choose to live one thing is sure, YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT ,accepting that is the key to everything accepting that what happened is horrible but it happened. So you have a choice to either dwell on and rationalize it or live beyond it ,in spite of it, use it as strength, as weapon no matter how hard it is . All of the problems you face are most likey deriving from the child abuse so expecting complications is consequent and instead of getting scared, you can be better prepared and take preemptive measures because it’s inevitable that what happened poisoned your soul and this poison is still inside you.
I strongly believe that aswering thas question will help you start dealing with your problems, will give you a perspective in the mess that is going on in your head, will help you start putting your controversial emotions in order. I suggest you choose to live because dying is inevitable either way so ,YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE TO TRY!!!!November 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm #45891Marjorie LavenParticipant
I was physically and sexually abused my adoptive parents. In the fifteen years I lived with them, I suffered greatly. I desperately wanted to feel loved and wanted, but instead I felt as if I was worse than garbage. I often wondered if I was only adopted so that they could abuse me. I have seen many different types of counselling over the past 30 years to improve my life situation.
It happened, it has affected you, and will probably continue to affect you for the rest of your life. You will find healing is an iterative process. You will get better / deal with certain aspects of your circumstances and feel “healed.” Something else might come up a few years later and need to be dealt with. I know that this has been true for myself.
What I have found most helpful is a type of therapy call “Tapping” or “EFT” or another type called EMDR. I found these very helpful in processing my own trauma.
Also, forgiveness is important. You must forgive your family, yourself, and yes even the person who hurt you so deeply. I don’t know if you are still a Christian (it took me years to return to the church). God does not make things like this happen. It happened because the person who hurt you was broken in some way. Their suffering and their brokenness changed them into a person who could behave so wrongly. The most important thing for you to remember is that you did nothing wrong. What happened was not some sort of cosmic punishment for something you did, something you are going to do, or something you did in a past life (if you believe in past lives.)
True forgiveness takes time. Forgiveness does not mean that what they did was okay, that it didn’t matter, that it wasn’t that bad. What happened was awful, it will always be awful. Forgiveness means not holding on to the pain, suffering, anger, sadness, ambivalence, fear, as if they define who you are now. In this way I think Buddhism has a lot to offer us. Titch Hat Nanh has written some really great books on suffering and forgiveness.
Blessings and healing Carly.