Confused, looking for insight (triggers)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
Confused, looking for insight (triggers)
4
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 9:14am
OK, here goes. I spent alot of my life (im 30 now) scared of the dark, of being alone, feeling like someone was always after me. I felt like if I did certain things I would be safe. IE, don't let my arms or legs dangle over the bed when sleeping, looking under the bed in the closets etc. I also had a very early knowledge of sex/masturbating etc. Starting at about 3 or 4. I was attacked by a guy that I baby sat for when I was 12, he jumped on me, started kissing me etc. I threatened to tell my Mom, and he took me home telling me he couldn't wait to see me again. Told my Mom, nothing ever happened to the guy. Was raped at a party at 13. Never told my parents. Recently told my father, who started crying. Big tough biker guy crying. I thought in the back of my mind that maybe I had been sexually abused as a child, but only had a flash of being in my little pool with a blue bathing suit on, and looking up at the sun and feeling scared. End of memory. Another flash of being a little body in the bathtub, and someone coming in and scaring me. End of memory. I have also always had really horrible bloody nightmares that my family members (usually my mother) were trying to kill me with a nail file, an electric potato peeler, biting me, with an axe, gettin kidnapped etc.) Have never had a real strong sexual desire. I could take it or leave it. Not that it's not good, just could care less ya know? The other night my husband and I were having sex, and I flashed into this little girl body, with long skinny legs and arms, like maybe I was 7 or so. I was being raped by a big body. I didn't tell my husband, just let him finish, and curled up into a ball. He didn't even notice anything. The next time we tried, I shoved him off of me and said I can't do this, and told him about the first memory flash I had. He's very supportive. I just don't know what to do. Can you really be abused as a child, and have no memory of it until now? I should say i've had anxiety, depression, anorexia bulimia, insomnia. Tried suicide a few times at 12 and 13, for no reason that I knew of except I just wanted to do it. Anyhow, I'm confused. I just want this to all go away, and have a normal life. I don't want to know anymore. I can finally be alone and not have a total freak out. I deal with the insomnia, etc. Then again, I have 2 children an 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter. If the abuser was someone in my family, I should know because my family is still very super close. I've always talked about abuse w/ my children and veen very open letting them know things like that could happen, and tht they should always tell no matter what. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Thank you for listening. Kristen
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 1:17pm
I do think that you can have been abused and have no memory. I blocked out my abuse for 10 years. I had flashabcks and certain triggers and I would diassociate my mind from my body during sex. I am starting to deal with it now. Do you see a therapist? Maybe discusiing the memory further would help to stop flashing back to it. I wish you luck

Annie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 2:54pm
Yes, it has happened to me. And to my sister. And to many of the people who post here on this board. It happens a lot. One of the things that can trigger the memories coming back is when our child reaches the age we were when the abuse started, or when we get married, or when an abuser dies, or when we for some reason feel safe enough to remember. I repressed my memories until I was around 28. I also had depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings, and compulsive overeating throughout my life. After 3 years of individual and group therapy, I am no longer depressed, suicidal, and I am abstaining from compulsive overeating one day at a time. I do still have some problems with anxiety, but I'm working on them. They have definitely improved, though, that's for sure.

If I could presume to make some recommendations for you . . . Find a therapist right away--TODAY. If possible, find one that specializes in sexual abuse issues. I find that I prefer female therapists. It's important to find a therapist soon because sometimes you have to wait awhile for that first appointment. It's also crucial because if you start having lots of flashbacks, it can be very, very, very overwhelming. You are going to need support. When the memories first start coming back, it can be difficult. Please remember that this phase is temporary. ALthough it is difficult, you are worth what it takes to make the choice to heal and recover.

Also, another recommendation--get the book, The Courage to Heal. It is a treasure of information. You can find it at most libraries, and it's easy to find cheap used copies online at places such as half.com.

Keep coming back here, too. You might want to read through our archives. (((hugs))) and welcome. You are not alone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-07-2003
Thu, 05-08-2003 - 9:17am
I guess I feel that if I start buying books or going to therapy it will be real. Right now, it could just be my imagination. I don't have time in my life to pick off all these scabs and deal with what could or could not have happend. It's not fair. I'm finally so happy. I love my work, my husband, my children. they have a safe and loving home, stability, dinner every night. I don't want to be a statistic. I guess I have ostrich syndrome, where i'd rather keep things buried. I finally eat breakfast now, instead of starving myself. I can walk in the house when it's dark, and don't have a heart attack. My daughter is 8, I wonder if that's my trigger? When I think or write about this my heart gets a sqeezed feeling, and I feel really sad. If I don't talk about it, then it goes away. Of course, eventually i'll have to have sex again. Maybe if I leave the light on, and my eyes open it won't happen again. I don't know. But I appreciate the posts, and warm messages. It helps not being alone. I'm the fixer usually, not the fixer upper. It's so hard to be a control freak, and feel out of control. ((((((((((hugs))))))))))) Kris
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 1:33am
(((Kris))) My first therapist suggested that I think of the "not wanting to think about it/maybe it didn't really happen" feelings you're expressing as a way of letting my mind take a break from the recovery process, which is difficult (but WORTH IT!!!).

Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. It just pops up in other parts of our lives. It's a very personal and difficult decision, making a commitment to recover. All I can say is that for me, it's been hard, but I am so much happier & I'm a better wife and mother than I was before I faced these issues. Better by about a thousand-fold. I never knew life could be this good.

And, I'm a control freak, too. I very much understand your hesitance to surrender to this. But I have to say--I have more control over myself and my life now than I did 3 years ago.

(((((hugs)))) to you.