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    • #90163

      Hi everyone. Recently I went to a sort of networking event. I was so nervous, and worked for several weeks beforehand preparing for the event and often doubted my decision to go thinking I’d make a fool of myself or have a panic attack and have to leave.

      I went and it was actually very good, I enjoyed it, was able to speak to several interesting people, people liked my work and I didn’t have a panic attack or have to leave.

      I found myself starting to downplay the achievement afterwards, since it was quite a small event and the kind of thing a lot of regular working people would do every day. But today I remembered, for me it is a huge big deal because of what I’ve been through and how far I’ve come.

      I’m proud of myself. A few years ago I was suicidally depressed and it was a struggle each day to get up, shower, prepare food. My routine was usually just get up at midday, eat, watch tv, go for a walk, eat dinner then watch videos about understanding domestic abuse, emotional abuse etc then go to sleep again. All I wanted to do most days was read about, listen to and talk about domestic abuse and my old relationship trying to make sense of it. I had bad PTSD and was in complete shock for months and months because I’d had no idea I’d been in an abusive relationship until he threatened to hurt me.

      It has taken me a long time to very slowly build my life back, and I’m still only really beginning to do that. The first year I was focused on learning how to live alone, furnishing my new place etc then this year I’ve had a few health problems. But it’s ok that it’s slow. It’s better to go slow and get there, than to rush and keep ending up back at square one.

      I do struggle with comparing myself to others. I met a few women at the event who were a lot younger than me and they were so pretty, vibrant, confident and stylish. It made me feel a bit disorientated because I was like them before I went through all of these difficult life experiences. I was in a photo at one point and I don’t like how I look in this photo, sort of tired and frumpy. I’ve been through so much over the past 15 years and have struggled a lot with depression so keeping up with what was fashionable felt absolutely pointless and frivolous. So it feels weird when I do rejoin society because I feel kind of unfashionable and out of touch. I’m never going to be into being super fashionable but I would like to dress more stylishly again because it makes me feel better. I’ve been looking at some videos of style bloggers today, not something I’d normally do, but it would be nice to feel a bit more confident in what I wear.

      Anyway, I realised I was downplaying what was actually a big achievement for me so thought I’d share it on here to help myself acknowledge it. Thanks for listening and I hope everyone is doing ok this evening.

    • #90344

      Well done, that’s a massive achievement! I understand how you feel about comparing yourself to others and feeling unfashionable. I’ve been looking at new outfits online as well, it’s difficult to know what to wear at this time of year haha x

    • #90354

      Well done, SunshineRainflower, on your achievement.
      You have travelled a hard and lonely road to get this far but you did it. I completely understand how you feel when mixing with other people post abuse. I guess it’s the result of layers of ourselves being stripped away by our abusers. But we can put those layers back bit by bit, day by day. You’re doing great! Keep going x

    • #90459

      Hi SunshineRainFlower

      This is great news and achievement, well done. It certainly took a lot of courage to go out there. I hope you’ve treated yourself with a reward afterwards and hope you’ve created plenty of new contacts.

      I understand your concerns about being stylish, I too had to rediscover who I am and watched tutorials to help me find out and now I feel comfortable and trendy in my style.

      There is a youtube channel I am following passionately atm, it’s about abuse at the workplace which might be of interest to you as well.
      She is currently analising the book ‘Corporate Cults’ and already covered 4 + hours on the first couple of chapters, I find her reviews insightful and always bringing new awareness. Her name is Permission to Exist you can find her on Youtube. No worries she’s not a talking head, you can just listen to her like a podcast there is very little visual just fantastic in-depth audio content. Enjoy!

    • #90482

      Thank you ladies! Hopelifejoy I’m off to look up your YouTube recommendation, thank you. I often put you tubers or podcasters on whilst cleaning, tidying or doing my hobbies and they’ve helped me enormously. Maybe we could create a thread sharing YouTube channels and podcasts that have helped us recover if Lisa is happy for us to do that (without posting links to other sites). I spend most of my time alone with my cat so they feel a bit like new friends. They’ve helped me to understand abuse, manipulation, coercion, see red flags, build my self esteem and work towards my goals. And most recently I’ve been watching some style bloggers as I realised I felt totally out of touch and it has been making me feel embarrassed when meeting potential new contacts. I’ve found a couple of good channels (Dearly Bethany and Audrey Coyne) who have helped me and I’m feeling better about it now and less lost. Depression and PTSD affected my memory so I have big chunks of time, years even, I can’t remember and wearing clothes that were fashionable 10 years ago was just adding to that disorientated feeling of wondering where that time had gone. I think rediscovering ourselves in all these different ways is part of recovery.

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