28th April 2016 at 2:47 pm #15656
I totally sympathise with ladies here who feel immobilised and terrified of doing the tiniest things.
I myself was at that stage when I woke up to panic attacks, was sick every morning with nerves, was terrified of leaving the house and needed to wear a certain fluffy coat buttoned up to feel safe.
The panic still rears its ugly head at times, so I empathise. And many of you are still at the stage of needing to just stay safe and feel protected.
I was reading a message I received on FB the other day, and it went along the lines of : we can tell ourselves after traumatic events that we will do x, y and z when we feel stronger, that we wouldn’t enjoy or cope with x because we are in too much of a mess.
This message said that, rather than think of the memory or problem as something to be overcome or pushed away, we need to just sit and accept that the thing that happened to us happened, that it is a part of our present experience. Trying to fight the reality of it is exhausting. We role against the fact it ever happened, we question our own innocence, we dwell on how unfair and intolerable it is. Which indeed, it is, but maybe hd of our energy is trying to eradicate it from our minds, when in fact abuse takes a long time to get over.
Maybe it might help some of is who are a little bit further along the journey to say that yes, I am suffering, yes, this awful thing happened, but going to watch that film or going to that meeting isn’t denying it happened, or that I am a mess ; it is saying that I can still cope with going even if I am hurting, and I will still learn something from going and may even learn something from going and grow from the experience.
Maybe then, the abuse won’t dictate our day and affect how far we progress so much as if we let the memories paralyse us.
We can still watch a good film- even though he abused us.
We can still get fit- even though our body felt so abused.
We can still pass that exam- even though he tried to make us feel stupid, and we believed him.
We can still wear that skirt
And look lovely- even though he put down our figure.
Maybe by doing things here and there and not waiting for the pain to completely subside will mean that the story of our abuse will become a background track rather than the theme tune of our lives- and will gradually in time fade away to very little noise at all. And we will have created our own, more powerful theme time to replace it.
28th April 2016 at 3:01 pm #15658mixed-up mumParticipant
This is me ……waiting for it all to get better,
waiting to heal,
waiting for it all to be in the past,
waiting to start living again…….
28th April 2016 at 5:43 pm #15674Bridget Jones Is FreeParticipant
The longer I try to cope with my situation, the more I hide…
28th April 2016 at 9:13 pm #15710
Sereneity, this has given me fantastic insight. I realize that I’m mentally holding on a alot, holding onto the past and my upsetting relationship. Sitting indoors and making it the sole focus on my life. But now you have written this, i feel this will help me to move on. I’m going to get back to the gym and start exercising. Thank you Serenity. X*X
28th April 2016 at 9:18 pm #15711
This reminds me a bit of cognitive behavioral therapy and how that is used to treat depression. When depressed you feel lethargic and don’t want to do anything. Treating it with CBT, despite the depression you take part in activities, eventually your depression subsides.
28th April 2016 at 9:39 pm #15716Peaceful PigParticipant
That’s great Serenity, you are so right. It was a lightbulb moment for me when I realised it was possible to feel anxious and be competent at things. Van der Kolk writes about how trauma victims hold onto the trauma because of a sense of loyalty to the experience, as if by not thinking of it all the time we feel we are saying it wasn’t so bad and invalidates us, we feel we need to ‘honour the memories’. So in recovery we need to go towards the feelings just as you say, honour them, and incorporate them into our life stories x*x
28th April 2016 at 9:58 pm #15718
I identify with your words Peaceful Pig. I’ve got trauma bonding and will look at Van Der Kolks website. Thank you X
28th April 2016 at 11:11 pm #15729
This really resonates with me. I feel like my life is on hold until I don’t wake up at ten to five evry morning feeling overwhelming, dread, panic and fear about each day ahead. I watched my amazing talented son win a very important competition tonight and for the first time in a long time I was absorber in that moment and felt actual joy. It made me realise what I’ve been fighting for and how important it is. I wish I knew how to let go of the fear and the panic. I’m forcing myself to do things I don’t want to do but up until tonight I’ve just gone through them in a numb void fog. The pain is back again but I realise it might be possible to feel something else if I keep pushing myself as far as I’m able. X
28th April 2016 at 11:13 pm #15730
Yes, I think instead of trying to eradicate the pain and put our normal life on hold until the pain goes, we need to try to find a way of integrating it into our lives, so we can continue with essential tasks whilst recognising that we are still healing.
It’s like we are ‘holding’ the pain and not denying it- but are allowing ourselves to fe creative too.
I will look up Van der Kolk too x
28th April 2016 at 11:17 pm #15732
Escaped not Free,
It is like not trying to push the feelings away, being fearful of them or being paralysed by them. My counsellor says when they rear their ugly head, to even greet them. You could even give them a name. Recognise they are there, and carry on doing stuff despite those feelings being there x
28th April 2016 at 11:41 pm #15736
I’ve just started counselling today. Apparently it’s person centred not cbt so I’m not sure it’s going to help me deal with these feelings. I did offload in a muddled tearful mess which made me feel slightly lighter…I think. It is just so hard not to be paralysed by my spinning head that he is still controlling from inside me. He keeps turning up as well, today passing us at school drop off time (detail removed by Moderator) miles from where his new bail address is….no reason to be there, just to make his presence felt. Didn’t do anything, just drove slowly past. If I could just get a period of space I think I’d stand a better chance x
28th April 2016 at 11:42 pm #15737
I will try though. Thank you. As always, great advice. X
29th April 2016 at 4:17 am #15765Eve1Participant
Thank you Serenity. This helps a lot with what I’m going through at the moment, It really does.
29th April 2016 at 6:28 am #15770Peaceful PigParticipant
Van der Kolk has some good YouTube videos: ‘how trauma traps survivors in the past’ and ‘the body keeps the score’. The second one is over an hour long but very interesting. It covers the loyalty thing quite early on and towards the end explains what happens to the brain x
29th April 2016 at 6:32 am #15771
This is one of my favorite quotations, it has got me through some difficult times …..
You know quite well, deep within you their is a single power, a single salvation….and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it, it is only your aversion that hurts, nothing else. Hermann Hesse
29th April 2016 at 6:47 am #15778
That is an amazing quote x
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