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About StrugglingMama

  • Birthday 06/15/1978

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  1. I think a good therapist could help you with all the things you mention above. Therapy is especially good for learning/practicing how to talk about it in a safe place where no one else has to know what you're saying except the two of you. My therapist really has helped me so much in being able to see things from a less distorted perspective - her 'objectivity' about a rape that I was sure I was to blame for made me see things in a new light.
  2. We're basically the same person. Just wanted to tell you that Check out the post I just made:
  3. Hi Dani, so many of us here understand the feelings you're feeling and have tried to keep everything inside and hope it would just go away. It takes courage to reach out. You'll find a ton of compassion and support here!
  4. Welcome to AS - you'll find a ton of support here. I'm a fellow anxiety/depression sufferer so you're right at home here.
  5. So many hugs to you, Marta. I'm so very sorry he hurt you - none of this was your fault.
  6. Hitting the 20 year milestone was intense for me, too, and was right around when I joined AS last summer. Welcome, you'll find a lot of support here.
  7. One of the biggest repercussions of the rape that I cannot shake after all these years is not trusting my own judgement. Specifically, not trusting that I am a good judge of character. I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and not see the bad in people, but internally I am always second guessing myself. I am also indecisive to a fault, I cannot make decisions and so I lean on others to make them for me or advise me before making even simple decisions. Hugs to you, as I think we really relate on this topic.
  8. I am afraid of not being believed. Of being told I should "put it behind me" and "move on". I am afraid people will think I led him on and because I was drunk that it was my fault. I am afraid of hearing the words "it could have been so much worse, it was so long ago, you're giving this one incident too much power." I am afraid of being pitied. My fears don't equal the weight of my shame though. I am more ashamed than anything. And I can't really explain why.
  9. As you know, it happened a long time ago for me, so when I finally told someone 1.5 years after it happened, I disclosed to a close friend first. Then my other best friend. Then two more best friends (I have a tight crew of 5 girlfriends). They were all understanding and supportive. With their help, I figured out a plan for how to tell my parents. Then once I told my parents - which was hard though I don't remember the details of how that conversation went other than that they cried and were supportive - I started going to therapy (since I was young, I needed their financial help/insurance to cover the costs). It took me 5 years before I told anyone else, and that person was my boyfriend. He was supportive too, having come from a physically abusive home. But during that era, I was painting myself as "the girl who had something bad happen but don't worry it wasn't THAT bad, and I'm totally fine now!" because I was afraid of rejection by men. I did the whole fake it till you make it thing. I told my husband when we first started dating, but again can't remember the details of how that conversation went whatsoever. Then over the years I told 2-3 other close friends that I made along the way - all supportive in their reactions. When I first started seeing my current T, I told her that I had been raped by a friend, but said I didn't want to talk about it because "I was fine" and had other things to work on at the time. Only within the past year did I tell my T all the details, and I have been seeing her off and on over the past 7-8 years. I also told my niece via email when she went off to college because I wanted to warn her about what happened to me. In spite of me having 100% positive feedback and support, I'm terrified of telling people and convinced they think I'm making a big deal out of nothing. My husband is hurt that I wont' tell him the details, but I just can't.
  10. I could have written every word you wrote, JustSam. I have felt the EXACT same way too many times to count. Word. For. Word. Just know you aren't alone. I grieve for the person I might have been, too. I imagine this confident, cool, happy other me that could have come to be. If I had a nickel for every time I had a self-loathing thought about freezing rather than fighting, I'd be a millionaire many times over. Freezing is the most common response to being raped (just in case you weren't aware) but our society loves the fighters, and even the flight-ers who escape somehow. The freezers... well, no one knows what to make of us, do they? A while back I posted in AS about this analysis of a poem called The Blue House by Tomas Tranströmer. The poem is about acknowledging the different lives the narrator might have had, and the analysis of the poem concluded that the different paths that life takes us on are almost like sketching the same house from a different angle - you are sketching the same thing, but what you see from different angles are different shades, different shadows, different light, different backgrounds, different assumptions, different realities, different end results on paper. Tranströmer's point is that every life “has a sister ship,” one that follows “quite another route” than the one we ended up taking. We want it to be otherwise, but it cannot be: the people we might have been live a different, phantom life than the people we are. “The sketches,” Tranströmer writes, “all of them, wish to become real.” Somehow this metaphor of the ghost ship comforts me. I think of it a lot when I'm trying to make big decisions, but also when I try to think about this ghost ship of a life that sailed away on a different path when I was 18 - that life cannot be, no matter how much I wish it could have been. Yes, it was taken from me without my permission, but that does not change the end result that that other sketch of my life could not become real. So the real question that I keep coming back to more recently as I try to move forward from this PTSD, is not actually "what could have been" or "why did this happen?", but who do I intend to be now? The sketches of your real life and your future unlived sister lives are right there before you, only now you get to decide what to do. Only one is the life we’ll be able to have, the others are the ones we won’t have, that cannot be. And yet, there remains my sister life, the life of the un-raped me... all the other things I could have done and been instead, had the rape not hijacked my life to force it in a certain direction. But those things could not be, that sister Me cannot be. I’ll never know (and neither will you) of the ghost ship that sailed away from me after that trauma. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not theirs to take from us. That life was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us to where we are today. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore and try to live the life we do have, warts and all. Sorry to get so esoteric!
  11. Welcome, this is SUCH a safe space. I think you will a lot of comfort here.
  12. It's so timely, because I just wrote this crazy email to my T yesterday, in a much less eloquent way than you put it: I really struggle with trusting my intuition or feeling confident in my perception of things, I think largely because of my inability to see danger coming when I was 18 and a new college student. I just don't trust myself and I look to you or E or my boss or or my mom or whoever to confirm that what I'm thinking or feeling is appropriate, and if it isn't, I attempt to self-correct. I hate that I still feel like I am a poor judge of character - it makes me question everything and doubt myself constantly about whether what I'm seeing/feeling is real. So I have this push/pull tension about seeing you, because it makes me needy for your insights, and then I don't have to rely on myself as much to figure things out, and then I feel weak and unsure of myself and it's a cycle of insecurity. The truth is that I have been shell-shocked ever since you told me something along the lines of "I'm not sure he wouldn't have raped you some other time, even if it hadn't happened that night. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it." I rattle those sentences around in my brain ALL THE TIME, every day, many times per day. I turn it over and over in my head like I'm kneading a foam stress ball. It had never, ever EVER occurred to me to think of things that way, and it's unsettling, especially because the more I think about it, the more I think you are correct. Once I met him, and once he got fixated on me, it was probably inevitable. I'm sure it seems basic and self-evident to you, and here I am 20 years after the fact not even able to see things rationally without you pointing out what increasingly feels like the obvious. Anyway, I feel no relief whatsoever. I feel more shame when I accept I couldn't have controlled what happened, which feels upside down. Nothing makes sense or makes me feel the way I want it to. I'm losing faith, and starting to think that healing from sexual assault isn't really a thing, it's like striving for perfection and impossibly out of reach. That anyone who feels healed just is lying to themselves because society wants reassurance that healing is something worth striving towards, but it seems impossible. Working on healing doesn't lead to healing, it just stirs stuff up and keeps it fresh. Can you have PTSD from experiencing PTSD? Like PTSD2... I feel terrorized by the fear of PTSD symptoms rising up again. I'm really sick of myself and sick of thinking about myself and sick of the having the same thoughts for years and years and years, sick of feeling self-absorbed and yearning for normalcy and whining about my problems. I'm tired of trying and being stuck in the mindset of an 18 year old when it comes to basic stuff like sex and intimacy and trust and self-confidence.
  13. Welcome. This is the safest space ever. You will find lots of comfort here. No need to push yourself to find words until you are ready.
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