Does It Ever Get Any Better??

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Does It Ever Get Any Better??
14
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 1:33pm

So it's been 18 months since I began unfolding the CSA I underwent from age 2-5 years old.

My abuser (father) has just passed away. I am not sure how I feel about this.

Have done tonnes of healing but I just wondered does it get any better?

I still feel depressed, have trouble sleeping, have physical pain, still isolate from the world, feel very, very alone.

I have great counsellor and I am working as hard as I can but I wondered if thing ever get any better as some days I feel there is no hope?

I feel like I don't belong anywhere, have tried to fit in all my life but it doesn't ever quite gell and I end up feeling left out, abandoned, rejected.

I do know I am a lovely person and am a good friend just wish I had someone else like me in real life, I give and give and give to people and yet so often I feel completely alone, where is everyone when I need help?????

I wish I could feel 'normal' just relax and not all this overwhelming anxiety and stress.

Does anyone esle understand what I am doing right now? I constantly compare myself to other people and constantly tell myself what a failure I am or how I have got things all wrong, this has been getting a lot stronger of late, anyone else been through this?

Also even if I isolate myself, if that is true, then why do I feel like people don't love me or care when it was my decision, I feel most people are dangerous or could cause me harm or are toxic.

One more thing and this drive me crazy, for everytime I feel something, I get another voice telling me the opposite of what I feel and I never know which voice to trust. I get so anxious and upset about this, constantly trying to figure out which 'voice' is the one to listen to as I am scared of making a mistake and I feel if I don't get things right, it will be a disaster.

My T says this is because I learned to ignore my feelings as this is what my family did, so I learned my feelings are not important

Has anyone else healed to the point if reurning to a 'normal life' where they have close friends, a partner, a job etc.?

I struggle to cope right now and lose hope.




Edited 1/9/2009 1:52 pm ET by fluppet
Fluppet x  x

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2000
Mon, 01-12-2009 - 6:25pm

Hi Jen......you got it right...the whole point is to get the feelings out that were pent up for so many years.

PTSD began as a diagnosis for soldiers...."shell shock" that called it. The very last episode of MASH was great at explaining what it was.....something so shocking your conscious mind could not cope with it so it was tucked away in a safe part of your psyche. But psyches aren't so smart. Things slip out at inappropriate times. Someone seems like the person who hurt you and you're suddenly treating them in ways you don't understand. I had almost no memories of my abuse until I was in my 30's so I would really act inappropriately(and very self-destructive)and didn't know why. So once you get the memories back and feel the feelings, then you can put them where they belong, in the past, and look at your present day feelings and figure out which ones have been affected by that long ago abuse.

What do I do when I get those days when I'm so angry I could kill? Some days I just stay by myself and try to cry it out. Other days I start cleaning the house, furiously. I do have a therapist and sometimes I'll call or see him or just write a really long letter for him to read at the next session. Like you, I do isolate myself and I don't think it's bad. I don't feel it's right to dump my past on other people so I deal with it as best I can or talk to the T. I don't even dump it on my hubby. The only people who really understand are those who have been there and it not fair to dump it on someone else who's suffering either. If I knew of someone who had been as abused as I was and was as far along in therapy as I was then I'd share but I haven't found that person yet.

This will sound strange, but I ran a group for incest survivors at one point in my life and the first thing I noticed was that people divided themselves up by how much abuse or abuse by age. I've seen this in the hospitals too where people divide themselves by disorder or depth of depression. Bi-polars tends to stick with bi-polars, self-injurerers tend to stick with self-injurerers. Just like we all tend to divide ourselves by occupation or children or faith.

But what that does do is make me a good person for others to talk to. I've been there. I don't get "triggered" by others problems. I am a "safe" person. And it makes me feel god to help even though I can be very "tough" on people who I think need it. "Tough" doesn't mean you care about someone...just the opposite.....you care enough to tell them the truth and pray they get it.

So you can yell at me anytime....I don't take it personally. I know what you're going through. I'd rather have you yell at me than a boss or a relative or someone who doesn't understand that you just need to YELL!

Oh....and the next time you color.....color something happy for inner Jen!

gentle hugs........JennyB

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2006
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 1:40pm

Hi Fluppet,


You are welcome.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 6:34pm

"Try this.....go get yourself some crayons and paper and let her draw"

Hey Jenny, I did this yesterday for he first time, dominant/non dominant writing. It was shocking what I got, whichever part of me it was she was very angry and said a few things I didn't even realise.

I have had to stop doing any type of healing work today as I was starting to feel very overwhelmed.

Is the whole part of this to get all the feelings out??? I guess for years I was numb to so much stuff going on.

You know when your in one of those places where you feel so bad and want to lash out at others or yourself etc, how do you deal with that?

I guess what I would like to know is how to learn to deal with the effects of CSA. Sometimes when your right in the middle of intense emotions it's hard to get any kind of perspective and of course isolating myself doesn't help that either.

Jen aka Fluppet xx


Fluppet
Fluppet x  x
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2000
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 11:19am

Hey Fluppet/Jenny(may I call you Jenny?...do you use a y or an ie or just an I?)

You are getting it girl!!!!!!!!!! Your inner child is right...you need to play. And your inner child's feelings are healthy and correct. She is angry and hurt but not at you...at your parents. They hurt you, you didn't hurt you. You just haven't let her express herself.

Try this.....go get yourself some crayons and paper and let her draw. Let it be happy or let it be mad. Embrace that child. She is your salvation. Find a craft you did as a child and haven't done since and do it. It will bring you peace.

You have been mourning your lost childhood for the past 18 months. That is what we have to do and the essence of therapy. It is time to start re-living that lost childhood in order to start the long task of putting it behind you. Visit a zoo. Go to the library and take out some great childrens books to read. Take a walk with Mother Nature and admire her work. Pick you interesting things and chase the squirrels. Sing to the birds. Be a child again. Just because you are an adult doesn't mean you can't recapture that innocence and wonder of childhood again. I look for it everyday and at 57, I still find new stuff every day.

You are doing great work...keep it up. Only you can let your parents take your childhood away and by letting them rob you of it...well....they win. You can have it all over again and this time, you get to understand and enjoy it! I think it's actually a far better way to grow up. As a child I loved the magic of a sunset but as an adult, I really, really love the magic of a sunset! I can name those colors and bring them into my home if I want to. I can check to see what time it will be so I don't miss it. Sunsets were magical...now they are gifts from God to my senses.

I'm here to play with or if you need to cry, I'm here too.

gentle hugs(and a little tickling too)JennyB

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 8:34am

I say I have had a codependency issue but I think this is less about people are more about addictions to things.

I feel this sums me up completely...

"My comment about broken relationships was in regard to many which were broken as a result of choices I made. I have never had any sort of problem with co dependency. On the contrary, I never allowed too many relationships to flourish. I'd been conditioned to never trust anyone and held people at arms length. When my PTSD symptoms were at an all time high I had a great deal of anger that would show itself at the most inoppurtune times. As a result of this I said and did many things that were hurtful to others as relationships were destroyed"

I asked two people who know me well if they think I have an anger problem after a comment made by someone, and those two people said 'yes' one said I had a lot of anger for my age and the other said I just have a red mist around me at times.

I really struggle to know how to deal with the anger. Since my memories came back I have deliberately smashed a few things.

Also I think for whatever reason, I overreact to lots of stuff like it's a matter of life and death, not sure how to deal with this either.

The good and bad emotions come from black and white thinking. The only way I could survive when I was young was to believe things were all good or all bad.


Fluppet
Fluppet x  x
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2006
Sat, 01-10-2009 - 5:19am

Fluppet,


My comment about broken relationships was in regard to many which were broken as a result of choices I made.

LUCKY

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 8:27pm

Hey Melissa

Thanks for your answer, I was suprised to see so many answers so quickly and so much empathy.

"I am scared of making a mistake and I feel if I don't get things right, it will be a disaster. Your T says this is because you learned to "ignore your feelings". I have a different take on it, IMO the fear of making a mistake is because you felt you had to be perfect as a child or bad things would happen"

I think there has been slight misunderstanding here, sorry if it wasn't clear. My T didn't say about "ignoring my feelings" in response to making a mistake, she was saying it in response to me not knowing which voice to trust and feeling like I can't trust myself. I felt very confused and didn't know which voice to trust, she said it was because I had been told to 'ignore my feelings that caused confusion'

I totally agree about the perfection thing, you know Sleeping With The Enemy, and American Beauty? my father was exactly like the husband in SWTE and the military neighbor in AB. Our house was totally immaculate and completely perfect, he had very bad OCD. I am quite chaotic and messy and think I am still rebelling against the extreme order I grew up in.

I do have a lot of panicky thoughts and worry and stress a lot, find it hard to relax and just let go, I get panicky thought all the time especially before I am going to sleep I am frantically trying to work things out, most of my thought are negative about someone else's behaviour in the past that upset me, or worry about my life or where it's going. I wish I could control this anxiety, is it a case that panicky thoughts are an emotion trying to be released? I heard that somewhere, that anxiety was a cover for fear.

Sometimes I just wish I understood things from a true perspective rather than stuff being so muffled in my head, it's hard to tell what is real. You can convince yourself of something, like a fear can take hold of you and you know it's wrong, but you feel you have to respond to it.

Hey I have just though of something else, anyone have any thoughts?

What's the difference between irrational fears/emotions and inner child? How can you tell that what your feeling is totally irrational and not worth paying attention to?

What I mean is, so my T is trying to get me to trust my inner feelings more (which I have ignored due to SA) and not pay so much attention to what my head tells me (rational mind)

BUT you know people that have OCD have irrational fears that if they don't wash their hands 100 times they will get ill, so in their case they should NOT be listening to their feelings and should be listening more to their rational mind.

Not sure if you understand what I mean but I guess that in that case listening to your inner feelings can have a negative impact on your life, so why should I listen to mine?

Anyway, don't worry about that last one, probably doesn't make much sense anyway.

Just so glad I have somewhere I can come and write down all this nonsense in my head and people actually understand feels like a real breakthrough, to be the real me and not the pretend me.


Fluppet
Fluppet x  x
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 7:56pm

POSSIBLE TRIGGER

Thanks Lynne for your words.

Hey Jenny (great name, same as mine!!! ;)

I understood what you said I think your right, for me it's the conflict between my rational thinking part and my inner feelings, but also it's hard to tell whether emotions are coming from adult self or inner child.

I did some writing to my inner child tonight(for first time) and she said she was very 'mad' and 'cross' she said her 'heart hurt'. She was also quite harsh towards me but then I guess not having a voice all these years it's quite normal. After the writing I screamed a bit then curled up on the sofa and seemed to have regressed as when I woke up I felt like a kid again in a big person's world, I got very scared to be in an adult world and felt very panicky about being grown-up. I then wrote about who I wanted to be a kid again and play and have fun and I was fed-up with being a 'big person'

I didn't have much of a childhood as I was mom to my mom and of course used by dad for other stuff. Now I feel I am ultra responsible BUT the great thing about writing tonight made me realise that I could start having all that fun again and maybe I need to relive being a kid again and let go of being so sensible and responsible

"Be aware that you send out unconscious vibes that you are a victim and that you draw victimizers to you. This will continue until you are no longer sending out those vibes and you will get there. I way prefer "alone" to being "used"

This is sooooo true, I have been running around looking to anyone and everyone for help as a 'wounded child' and been hurt so many times I can't tell you. Like I have been looking for someone to 'tell' me the answers, I have been rejected, cheated, betrayed many many times. I have trusted so many people and have got burned so many times but when you don't trust yourself, or were taught not to trust yourself or feelings you can get very panicky, so it's natural to look to others for help or reassurance, but people take advantage of that vulnerability and use you, so you end up feeling even worse, with no answers and even more bad feelings after getting used and so it goes on and on until one day you breakdown.

Understanding is absolutely the key because it's all the confusion that causes so much mess, but the happiest piece of info I have recently learned is all the things I am looking for the answers, the love, reassurance etc are all INSIDE me NOT outside. Getting others involved trying to solve my stuff is a recipe for disaster, they give their opinion but how can they know if they have never been through it? they can do more damage than good.

That is one of the worst things is the manipulation because a 2 year old being told they are 'wrong' is unforgivable, it's like your parents saying your a boy if your a girl, you spend your whole life looking in the mirror thinking your a girl BUT you believe what your parents have said so believe your a boy, then get so confused. It's truly unforgivable.

I find it so hard to think how I could ever forgive my mother for some of the lies she has told me about myself, the put downs, the lack of protection, the negligence. Sometimes I wonder how people can sleep at night knowing what they have done, but they do sleep very well, and get on with things, and no justice ever happens. Due to their mess I am the one left picking up the pieces of their lies and nonsense and they just get away with it, I don't understand how life can be so cruel and unfair at times.

Sorry to hear about your neck, hope it heals and thanks for your words xx


Fluppet
Fluppet x  x
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 7:24pm

Hey Lucky

Thanks for your reply, hope you don't mind but I have some questions that arose from reading your post.

I think I understand what you meant about the poor relations made as a result of PTSD.
Do you mean the people you chose to have relations with were not good for you or do you mean that once you got into relationships that the effects of PTSD took over and you pushed people away? (as in you got close, then panicked and maybe destroyed things?)

See I tend to periodically get depressed, isolate then become so desperate for companionship that the first offer of someone liking me that comes along I take. Like now I am quite panicky in my isolation and needing some human company, I think this may lead to poor choices on who I become close to.

Also the codependency thing which I am trying to break, for years I felt powerless to make my own decisions so if someone offered me friendship I would take it as though they were the last person on earth. So often I find myself unhappy or unfulfilled with people. It's fine in the beginning, just after a while I start to notice things that get to me and after a while of this frustration building, I tend to get out of the relationship. I am always the outsider, the friend of a friend never really belonging to one group and never really get close to people, or if I do it's in an unhealthy copedendent way with someone controlling (I mistake their 'control' for 'care' this was the way my father was)

But I get very, very confused, like if I feel hurt or annoyed at someone or they did something that upset me, I can't decide if it's just me being silly or if the person really is being hurtful, I dismiss it so often and put up with things and ignore my inner child, but sometimes it feels like if I do listen to that voice, I will end up having nothing and no-one.

For example, I have known one person for 10 years and everytime I see her she says something to hurt or upset me, I have told her how I feel and it feels it gets dismissed, I feel she has no real respect for me and I guess if you look at her parents and my parents she is the controlling one and I am the passive one. She has these little digs at me but they are all mixed up with nice words, she can be very nice.

Anyway it's been this way for years but for the last few years I have been trying to distance myself. I saw her over Xmas and once again I came away feeling hurt and upset, I am angry at myself because I know I am sensitive and I think perhaps I am being too sensitive. BUT then again I think perhaps what I am feeling is all nonsense and I am telling myself all this negative stuff about her as a way of not getting close.

I have a trial of broken friendships and relationships behind me and so often blame myself for what when wrong, but am so busy blaming me, I really don't know why it happens.
I concentrate so much on my relationships with female friends for support as the thought of getting really close to a guy in a relationship terrifies me, I haven't had a boyfriend for 2 years since all the memories came to the surface.

After getting to know someone for a while I start to mentally pick out the negative parts of them but get very panicky about being abandoned all at the same time. I start finding fault with them and seeing their bad points or maybe I am just getting to know to real them, can you see how confused I am???? The first hint of something going wrong I mentally reject people before they reject me.

How does PTSD affect your relationships? Do you pick people who are 'bad' for you or did you and how can you tell? Or is it more you that get scared of getting close to people?

I do think I test people a bit, I often feel people distance themselves from me then get panicky and am convinced they are going to hurt me. But people I have chosen to be 'close' to are not healthy at all, quite often very controlling.

"There are some relationships that I know are basically irrepairable"

So from reading this it seems you feel responsible for the break-up of some relationships, is that right?


Fluppet
Fluppet x  x
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2005
Fri, 01-09-2009 - 6:32pm
I first of all must say YES I feel the same way. I felt as if I were reading my own fears as I read your post. About wanting to feel "normal" and wanting to know which voice I need to listen to.. Please know your not alone and none of this is your fault and the people/person who violated you are the only ones to blame and that when that first action starts as a child your brain is messed up permanently its like having cancer or any sickness you can treat it but can never cure it and at times I have learned there will be bubble ups or boiling over feelings that you need to deal with again . But it so helps to talk to those who have been where U R or R where U R right now and understand what your feeling.. Hang in there Gentle ((hugs)) and all my best thoughts and prayers your way - Tressa

Pages