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StrugglingMama

hello... this is weird for me

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Thanks for letting me join this site... I have never been on a forum like this before for this specific reason. I am currently in the midst of a horrible PTSD episode related to when I was raped 20 years ago my first semester of college at age 18. It erupted when I heard the details of the highly publicized Stanford rape case - even though it wasn't the same scenario as "my rape", it sort of cracked something open that I thought I had put away in The Vault (surpise!). I am so exhausted to still be dealing with this crap 20 years after the fact. I am a hot mess right now, so I appreciate a space to vent and find support. I am a wife, career woman, mother to a 4 year old, and I don't have space or energy to cope well right now with this kind of emotional hijacking, but I am a little out of control and it is scary. I broke down crying to my boss the other day and had a really intense supportive conversation with her where she disclosed she was also a rape survivor. This felt comforting at first but now I feel really exposed at work and uncomfortable. I feel so hopeless to ever fully move on when I have failed to do so after all this time. I'm recently started seeing my therapist again (who I love) and taking some medication to help with the extreme anxiety and hyper-vigilance and repetitive thoughts. Yesterday I retold the story to my therapist - it was the first time I told anyone the details in 10 years. Then suffered from rape nightmares all night long. FTW!

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5 hours ago, StrugglingMama said:

Thanks for letting me join this site... I have never been on a forum like this before for this specific reason. I am currently in the midst of a horrible PTSD episode related to when I was raped 20 years ago my first semester of college at age 18. It erupted when I heard the details of the highly publicized Stanford rape case - even though it wasn't the same scenario as "my rape", it sort of cracked something open that I thought I had put away in The Vault (surpise!). I am so exhausted to still be dealing with this crap 20 years after the fact. I am a hot mess right now, so I appreciate a space to vent and find support. I am a wife, career woman, mother to a 4 year old, and I don't have space or energy to cope well right now with this kind of emotional hijacking, but I am a little out of control and it is scary. I broke down crying to my boss the other day and had a really intense supportive conversation with her where she disclosed she was also a rape survivor. This felt comforting at first but now I feel really exposed at work and uncomfortable. I feel so hopeless to ever fully move on when I have failed to do so after all this time. I'm recently started seeing my therapist again (who I love) and taking some medication to help with the extreme anxiety and hyper-vigilance and repetitive thoughts. Yesterday I retold the story to my therapist - it was the first time I told anyone the details in 10 years. Then suffered from rape nightmares all night long. FTW!

Welcome, to the group:)  I am so sorry for what brought you here, but I'm glad You're here.  I felt the same way about joining an online group.  I have not been on the site long, but my experience at AS is that it is safe, respectful, kind, responsive, and understanding.  Although I have wonderful professional support, I personally needed to connect with other survivors. 

 I really related to your post.  I have a lot in common with you.  

1.  I was also r:(::(:( when I was 18, a week before I went off to college, during a family vacation to the beach.  I never told anyone at the time.  I mentioned it to a few friends and therapists over the years but blew it off as no big deal.  

2.  I am a mom too, although mine are now teenagers (15&17) that come with their own set of needs, but I remember the rigors of having young ones.  

3.  I am now 47.  The Stanford case was the final straw this year that broke me wide open.  The young woman's letter to the judge during the sentencing part of the trial made the feelings I never delt with say, "ready or not, here we come..."  I'm glad In some ways because the letter made me see and beleive it was not my fault, it was never my fault, I was a victim of a really sh:(:(y person.  But her list of all the things he had taken from her and how long it would take to rebuild also made me realize I was living with....

4. PTSD from trauma.  Sometimes my panic is so bad I can't breathe, sometimes I completely shut down.  Sometimes I find I can't go outside the house because Im full of fear,  or because I can't even contemplate getting dressed.  I don't have nightmares because I am often afraid to fall asleep.  

5.  My business is suffering because I'm afraid to return phone calls.  As an artist, I can't create.

I am sharing this with you because I want you to know I'm in it with you.  You are not alone.  I think you are brave to get help, and to tell your therapist your full story.  I have found that the more I tell my own story, or parts of it, the less fear I feel.  This never ever should have happened to you.  You are not to blame.  I also want you to know it will get better.  Try to go at your own pace.

Someone here told me that our brains are smart.  They hold onto our experience and let it out when we are ready.  I'll add to that: when we are ready is not always when it's convenient.  You mentioned you were already on overload.  So was I.  We will get through this.

I also wanted to tell you that I have decided to be the superhero of my own story.  (Did you know there is a superhero called Crisis Girl?  No joke).  

Lots and lots of love to you as you continue your journey.  Carolyn

Edited by SignIn

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:aswelcomesu: :youcanheal: :notalone: :bighug: if ok

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6 hours ago, StrugglingMama said:

Thanks for letting me join this site... I have never been on a forum like this before for this specific reason. I am currently in the midst of a horrible PTSD episode related to when I was raped 20 years ago my first semester of college at age 18. It erupted when I heard the details of the highly publicized Stanford rape case - even though it wasn't the same scenario as "my rape", it sort of cracked something open that I thought I had put away in The Vault (surpise!). I am so exhausted to still be dealing with this crap 20 years after the fact. I am a hot mess right now, so I appreciate a space to vent and find support. I am a wife, career woman, mother to a 4 year old, and I don't have space or energy to cope well right now with this kind of emotional hijacking, but I am a little out of control and it is scary. I broke down crying to my boss the other day and had a really intense supportive conversation with her where she disclosed she was also a rape survivor. This felt comforting at first but now I feel really exposed at work and uncomfortable. I feel so hopeless to ever fully move on when I have failed to do so after all this time. I'm recently started seeing my therapist again (who I love) and taking some medication to help with the extreme anxiety and hyper-vigilance and repetitive thoughts. Yesterday I retold the story to my therapist - it was the first time I told anyone the details in 10 years. Then suffered from rape nightmares all night long. FTW!

Hi and welcome to AS, I am sorry for the  trauma you have gone through. Not sure if it make you feel better or not but this case has opened a lot wounds for many women, you aren't alone in this. This is a good site with lots of support, we are here for you as you start this journey of healing. I am glad you have a good T, they are hard to come by. I am sorry you are now having nightmares, they can really shake you. Take your time to get to know the site.

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Hi StrugglingMama,

Welcome to AS. I am very sorry for the trauma you have experienced. Nobody has the right to hurt another in this way. You have found a very supportive site tho, with many understanding and kind members. I understand suppressing back ugly memories, as I had done it for over 30 years. Unfortunately sometimes it is triggered without warning and you feel back at that place you were. I can understand it being awkward with your boss, but she shared with you, as well. Try to take it as two women relating to each other's traumas, as women and survivors, and has nothing to do with work. Talking about it and reaching out to others who understand is actually a very big step to take. I wish you well as you journey along your healing path.

Mary

:notalone:

 

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Welcome StrugglingMama. I am really sorry for what you have been through but glad you found AS. This is a great place to be supported through your healing and exchange experiences. :hug:

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Oh wow, ladies, my eyes are brimming with tears seeing your replies right now. I can't tell you how much it means to me to feel heard and understood, and that you took the time to send these thoughtful messages to me. I'm sure many of you can relate to the struggle of intellectually knowing it wasn't my fault vs emotionally still feeling very ashamed and tarnished and full of self-blame. I really try to do the whole "if this happened to your own daughter, would you want her to feel this awful?" thinking, because OF COURSE NOT, but I still get stuck. The PTSD experience has been so much more awful than I could have expected. I have no better way of describing it than feeling like a caged animal who wants to claw out of my own skin into a new body. Or like I'm in a dream where my feet are stuck in mud and I'm desperate to run or escape but I'm moving in slow motion. Or that feeling of walking a tightrope where every muscle and every sense and every bit of concentration is required just to exist, and the sheer amount of exhaustion I feel is debilitating. I am hearing the awful things my rapist (i hate saying "my rapist" btw) said to me on loop in my brain. I wake up feeling nauseated and wound up in fear every morning now, IF I can actually sleep through the night. I didn't really tell my story for the past 10 years, because I convinced myself that if I didn't think about it or give it weight, the details would fade and it would hurt less. DIDN'T WORK APPARENTLY. I struggle with intimacy and trust and enjoying sex. I finally told The Story to my therapist on Wednesday and have felt so much worse since then, so so much worse to the point that I went off on my therapist and yelled and cursed at her for leaving me so raw and exposed until next week (we talked it out and are fine now). I have so much rage and anger inside. I just want it all to go away. I want to erase that this happened to me somehow. I am so tired of thinking about it. I'm so frustrated that this one awful experience has been such a defining moment of my life. Thank you for listening.

ps. I'm sorry I can't seem to figure out how to directly reply to each comment!

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p.s. if anyone has suggestions for prior threads that I should definitely check out, please share. Once upon a time my situation was referred to as date rape, but my therapist gently corrected me recently saying, "we just call it rape now".

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34 minutes ago, StrugglingMama said:

Oh wow, ladies, my eyes are brimming with tears seeing your replies right now. I can't tell you how much it means to me to feel heard and understood, and that you took the time to send these thoughtful messages to me. I'm sure many of you can relate to the struggle of intellectually knowing it wasn't my fault vs emotionally still feeling very ashamed and tarnished and full of self-blame. I really try to do the whole "if this happened to your own daughter, would you want her to feel this awful?" thinking, because OF COURSE NOT, but I still get stuck. The PTSD experience has been so much more awful than I could have expected. I have no better way of describing it than feeling like a caged animal who wants to claw out of my own skin into a new body. Or like I'm in a dream where my feet are stuck in mud and I'm desperate to run or escape but I'm moving in slow motion. Or that feeling of walking a tightrope where every muscle and every sense and every bit of concentration is required just to exist, and the sheer amount of exhaustion I feel is debilitating. I am hearing the awful things my rapist (i hate saying "my rapist" btw) said to me on loop in my brain. I wake up feeling nauseated and wound up in fear every morning now, IF I can actually sleep through the night. I didn't really tell my story for the past 10 years, because I convinced myself that if I didn't think about it or give it weight, the details would fade and it would hurt less. DIDN'T WORK APPARENTLY. I struggle with intimacy and trust and enjoying sex. I finally told The Story to my therapist on Wednesday and have felt so much worse since then, so so much worse to the point that I went off on my therapist and yelled and cursed at her for leaving me so raw and exposed until next week (we talked it out and are fine now). I have so much rage and anger inside. I just want it all to go away. I want to erase that this happened to me somehow. I am so tired of thinking about it. I'm so frustrated that this one awful experience has been such a defining moment of my life. Thank you for listening.

ps. I'm sorry I can't seem to figure out how to directly reply to each comment!

You are one strong woman.  I love that you yelled at your therapist, and that you worked it out.  That's trust.  I just had a fight with my therapist too because I didn't feel like she was taking me seriously about all the pain I felt.  We worked it out too.  

Anyway, I love all your visual descriptions of how you feel.  I'm no Professional, but I support and honor how you feel now.  It's real, it's a process, and you are not alone.  Keep telling your truth, keep  swearing and keep letting that anger out!

(I see relief in your future). I'm sending You lots of love and hugs.  Carolyn. 

Edited by MeTooo

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Hi and welcome to AS! I hope you find our community informative/supportive. I wish you well on your healing journey.

:aswelcomesu::notalone::youcanheal:

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