New registrants - please do NOT register using your real name (or anything resembling such) - your privacy is important to us and real-name registrations will be deleted. Please re-register with an anonymous display name.×
From the day I said the word, “abuse” people started treating me differently. I had no idea how bad it would get. Because the responsibility for the abuse has always been put on me, I thought that by directly confronting it, the dynamic would change. I had no clue that it would escalate so badly, or how incompetent my therapist was. I thought that clearly stating my needs in my health decline would bring compassion and support.
I was so wrong.
My (now ex) husband tried to rape me while I was sick with a mosquito virus. It was violent. He tore my clothes. My friends did not believe me and said it was my fault because I wasn’t having sex with him during my illness.
When my family kicked me out of it, I thought that my wonderful friendships would help me get through it, and that I would be ok because they would care for me as deeply as I have cared for them through the struggles of life.
I was wrong about that, too.
when my health issues deteriorated, I tried to communicate clearly with my doctors about my very serious concerns. I thought they would order tests and help me at least identify and hopefully alleviate the extremely painful and disruptive symptoms. Instead they tried to diagnose me as borderline and malingering. (No offense to borderlines - I understand & have great compassion, but I’m not borderline so the misdiagnosis is dangerous.)
when I told my therapist that a man was soliciting my attentions, and that I felt unsafe, she went full throttle into getting me to accept him into my life. she shot down every healthy defense mechanism I tried to employ. She dismissed me when I tried to talk about my family kicking me out. She undermined an attempt to communicate with my doctors about the cognitive issues I was having. She said I was ruminating when I had flashbacks, and gave zero space in our professional relationship to talk about the disturbing memories that came up through the EMDR and somatic exercises. When I was in shock after he SA’d me, she sent me back to apologize to him for hurting his wrist in self defense.
when I tried to tell my remaining friends about the trouble with the therapist, they wondered when I was going to turn on them, and stopped talking to me.
When all the covert sabotages of my life from the stalker became clear, and I ended up in a safe house, my friends attacked me and helped him. They promised support then didn’t follow through and left me hanging.
I told my sister that the seizures were getting worse, and she said “what seizures?” Id collapsed in front of her and been hospitalized multiple times, and been talking about them for three years. My father asked how my (ex)husband was doing a year and a half after I’d been talking about my painful divorce. They made demands upon me and punished me when I couldn’t meet them due to my health. They also punished me when I pushed myself to meet those demands. It is like I don’t exist. I went dark because I was on the run for my life.
I contacted family members asking for help and they accused me of being on drugs
it took a full year of being completely alone, on the run, dealing with relentless stalking, homelessness, vandalisms, injuries, corticosteroid insufficiency, kidney failure, ptsd, back to back seizures, ostracism, shaming, interference with my legal case, being laughed at and called crazy before I finally started screaming at people. The direct line from the message that my life and safety don’t matter, to my hysterical emails is clear. I was fighting that message and trying to invalidate the senders with everything in me, even as I begged them to care about me. My situation became so big and desperate, that even people who cared about me just backed away for lack of knowing what to do - which was yet another cruel door slammed in my face. i got raped as the direct result of being homeless. My remaining friend was nasty and told me she was sick of my drama. I became suicidal, and I started screaming at everyone who had played a role in the trauma.
But this is when the shame kicked in and I started to believe that message. That it is all my fault and I deserve it.
I stopped asking for help from any person or institution and just started isolating to stop the painful attacks on my person and to try to prevent any further outbursts. My best friend of 22 years made me promise that I would not isolate or withdraw from her. I did, easily, because I felt so safe with her.
but then she got really angry with me for not staying out during Covid, even though I had no place safe to stay and I did everything I could to follow the protocols.
When I finally received a small buyout from the stalker, my son and his friend convinced me to let them build me a tiny house in exchange for part ownership of the land. As soon as their names were on the title the abuse began. My son was screaming at me to go on medication. I did, and had a reaction that almost killed me. He screamed at me for that, too. They robbed me and left me in a field in the middle of nowhere to freeze to death, and turned my remaining support system against me while the stalking was at full force and I was being sexually assaulted by his crew every time I left the house.
my best friend of 22 years then attacked me for what I was doing to my son. I tried to explain the situation and she called me crazy. I asked her not to talk to me like that, and she eviscerated me. She and my son escalated the smear campaign.
On every single side I was silenced for nothing more than trying to confront, and leave an unsafe situation. I lost everything amd everyone I valued in a snowball of misinformation, misunderstanding, and refusal to just try to find out what was happening.
I tried to un-alive myself five times. I almost succeeded and had a near death experience, but even the suicide souls didn’t want me and said I didn’t belong there. The next morning I sent out probably 50 messages saying I had no transportation and had about 24 hours of heat left. One person responded. One.
that was all it took to save my life. One person who cared about me.
slowly, slowly for the last six months I’ve been pulling myself together. I’ve found some deep, valuable friendship and support. I’ve found a good therapist, decent doctors, and a medication that alleviates the ptsd. But it doesn’t get rid of it. I’m still suffering. I’m still trying to clean up the logistical mess I’ve been left with on the property, and I’m trying to clean it up and salvage my life from a place of utter depletion
I don’t understand. I’m a good person. I’ve always been a stable, respected and respectful member of my community. I’ve known that I was dealing with a dysfunctional family, but as all the trauma came up I started seeing over and over, throughout my life, how my family has punished me for my attempts at healthy boundaries and relationship. The CSA memories I thought I had dealt with flooded me, along with the deeper understanding of my family’s role. The trauma episodes are terrible. All the PTSD models assume that the trauma has ended and safety has been established.
These aren’t all terrible people, although some of them are. They are just self absorbed and misinformed.
i broke down last night and sent more messages to the mission my family is part of. I sent messages to my father, and my sister, and a friend who betrayed me. I’m afraid my outbursts will threaten my living situation & the friendships I’m starting to feel safe in. I feel like I’m caught in a hall of mirrors with no way out, and I’m doing better and better at managing but the episodes of grief and fear and pain turn into panic and I just can’t manage myself. I didn’t harm myself last night, and that’s good.
my friends say that I’m the best friend they’ve ever had. I feel heard and seen and understood. My therapist says I’m the most skillful client she’s ever had. Why isn’t it enough?
I just want the trauma symptoms to leave me alone. I just want to feel safe. I just want to do something, anything, to restore my relationship with my son, but it’s beyond my power to change.
Moving into recovery does not change the harmful obstacles and social norms that contributed to my breakdown in the first place.
I am in recovery. I am healing.
I thought that meant restoring my sense of confidence and empowerment, and to some extent I have done that, and will continue to do so. Mostly, I just feel resignation. Acceptance of the things I can't change feels like resignation. I want to un-live these experiences, I want to backtrack and rewind and restore a mind that can feel even somewhat safe in the world. I'm so overwhelmed by everything that has happened to me, the impacts to my heart, body, and mind - and the impossible choices I have to make every single day. I want it all to go away.
My life, safety, and well-being did not matter to many of the people in my life. Not only did they ignore, deny, minimize, dismiss and blame me for the severity of my situation, they actively contributed to the harm and undermined my ability to find safety. I don't think that was their intention, but that is what they did. My life as I knew it is gone. The way I understand and engage with the world has intricately changed, and I don't know how to be this new person yet. Both my memories and desires for my future are shattered. I was left voiceless, and I continue to be voiceless in the face of so many violations, when I long for restoration and mutual understanding. Those are the facts.
These last few weeks, since the active shift into recovery, have been exhausting. I just made one big final push to return home, clean up the mess, and restore my independence. My attempt crashed and burned and created another mess. The truth is I simply don't have the emotional, financial, mental, physical, or social resources. My small handful of friends patiently and faithfully helped me deal with the mess - they did not shame me or blame me for having a mess, they are listening to and supportive of my choices even though I was pushing through by the skin of my teeth, and it was unsuccessful. They see that I'm trying to responsibly clean up a mess that I didn't make, and salvage what is left of my life.
I have a safe place to live. I'm slowly restoring a reciprocal, equal relationship with my benefactor. She has been patient with me. She trusts me. She lets me speak AND she holds good boundaries. Our arrangement has slowly shifted from being clearly temporary, to her offering me a long term home. The financial arrangement is unclear, but I do trust that we will have a sit down in proper timing.
The cyber-stalking ended with my recent tech changes. It is a huge relief. I have been able to step back from my constant fear about the stalker. Right now, he is not an active problem. I can work with that.
I don't have to pretend I'm ok when I'm not. I can be gentle with myself even when others are not. I can restore gentleness towards myself and others even if I lose sight of it during a ptsd episode.
I'm filing for bankruptcy. I'm taking it one day at a time, and I have to let go of the things beyond my control and capacity. Even the mess that I did not create but which I am left responsible for. I escaped with my life, and just barely.