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Charmed 01-01-2015 11:11 PM

Titles are hard.. finding everything difficult.
Hi... I recently made quite a long thread here but go scared and deleted it about 10 minutes later. I'm trying again because I could really do with some support or kind words at the moment, I'm really struggling and running out of options. I shall try really hard not to delete this. I thank anyone who takes the time to read this and/or reply and really appreciate any support or hugs.

Erm so I was s*xually abused as a child by an elder male who was a friend of my mother's. I have never really dealt with this, choosing denial over acceptance and basically ignoring that it happened. So things have escalated, and seem to have escalated pretty quickly since I started opening up and talking about it. My previous issues stemmed from the abuse I think, but it was easier to deal with the self harm and ED than to face the abuse. Recently things have been incredibly hard, and I can't always find a reason to keep fighting and stay alive. I'm finding it quite hard to function and I'm irritated and frustrated that I cannot seem to cope, especially as it ended 5 years ago. I think about it nearly all the time, I know it sounds ridiculous that I can't possibly think about what happened so much but I honestly do. I barely sleep because there are too many nightmares that feel so real, and I can't help thinking about it while trying to sleep. Sometimes the thoughts and memories progress into a flashback and/or panic attacks. Sometimes I can bring myself back to reality ad distract myself. People obviously notice, and it's awful I have no idea what to say to them when it's over. I can't shift the guilt or blame, I'm ashamed that I let it happen and completely disgusted in myself. I hate myself so much. It makes me feel sick and I'm often thinking back to suicide. Very few people know, bar my ex whom I no longer speak to, a very close friend and various psychs/therapists. My mother/family know nothing.

In March I attended a family event in which he was there, this was the first time I saw him since the abuse ended. It was very hard and I did some silly things but it was over. He is moving back to where I am from at the end of January. I have absolutely no idea what to do about this. I can barely cope being over 200 miles away from him. I know people live in the same house or same city as those who have hurt them so I feel ridiculous being so scared. I think you are all the strongest people. I live in a different city for uni so it's not currently a huge problem. But i don't know how I'm going to come back home. And I know my mother will talk to him and they'll become friends again. I'm so so scared even though I'm a grown adult and shouldn't be. I should be over this by now.

I have been offered Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy by a uni counsellor. However I work in the same building as the lady who administers it, and also work occasionally in the same department. Work cannot find out and I'm reluctant to have EMDR with her, because it deeply worries me others will find out. I know this is quite irrational but I can't seem to shake it. I am also starting therapy in January alongside a support group for general MH which is a positive. It's taken me a lot to reach out to get the support I need, and I'm glad I have but I'm quite apprehensive.

I'm really sorry for such a long post. I really hope I don't delete this. I'm not sure what I'm asking for from this thread really, maybe just some spare hugs if anyone has any or any words of support/advice/ I'm sorry to post, I hope you are all okay.

talaiporia 01-01-2015 11:29 PM

Have you ever told anyone in your family about it, about what happned?

With therapy, it can be worth asking to be referred 'out of area' or to another service if it will impact work.

Amaryllis 01-01-2015 11:37 PM

Have you considered talking with your mom about what happened? I'm glad you lived in a different city for some time and will continue to do so the majority of the time but it might be a good idea to talk about not wanting to be around that man.

EMDR therapy has had a lot of success and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity. Could you discuss the practicalities of her keeping your sessions private with the woman before making a decision? Perhaps you could meet in a third location (a colleague?) for the sessions so people do not see you together. Alternately, most people will not connect you being with her sometimes to her giving you therapy and in any case, HIPPA prevents them from knowing the reasons if they do find otu!

It sounds like this is really disturbing a large portion of your life. It would really be worth it to try to work through some of this before you have to visit.

Epicene 01-01-2015 11:42 PM

I can relate to the escalation of despair that comes when denial stops being effective. I would urge you to try and accept some sort of help, but EMDR is quite intense and I wonder if it might be a lot to cope with. Do you get help outside of uni? There are other services that could support you in beginning to talk about it all and assess exactly what treatment would be appropriate. However please try not to worry about what work will think; even if anyone found out you were accessing support they wouldn't know what it was for and it wouldn't affect your fitness to practice.

I really hope you can start talking about this and moving forwards. It's really brave of you to post and although what you went through is horrific, you are not alone.

Charmed 02-01-2015 12:07 AM

Thank you all so much for your replies. I really appreciate it.

Soph, no I haven't told anyone in my family. The only people who know were those mentioned above. I'm nt sure there are any other services for EMDR near where I live. Unless they are private, which I wouldn't currently be abe to afford. Those outside the uni have a nearly 2 year waiting list, which is understandable but I may not even be living in te same city by then when I finish uni.

Ama, thank you for your reply. I have thought about talking to my mum but I just don't know if I can. I don't think she would be able to cope with it and I'm not sure id ever build up the courage. I was always too scare and the fear has never left even though I know he can no longer hurt me. I've discussed telling her with a past therapist, but I don't think I was strong enough. Part of me is angry that she didn't notice, and didn't realise which I know is very wrong. And I think she would feel that way about herself too which would kill her. Thanks for the advice on EMDR therapy, they are good suggestions I didn't think about meeting outside. I shall ask her if that's possible. I understand that she would never be allowed to disclose anything but there's still a part of me that's worried. I haven't been put in contact with her yet, so I might ask my current therapist of there are any other options and if she can ask her some questions for me. Thank you so much.

Thank you as well J for your reply. I am also worried about the intensity of EMDR as she said it would be hard and that we would have to discuss a few things before. I've sat in on assessments for EMDR at work and I've panicked afterwards due to topics discussed so it worries me what it would be like during the actual therapy when it's related to me not a stranger. I have help outside of uni and I have had a lot of different support I'm the past. But these have mostly been for other reasons (MH/ED etc.). I have mentioned the abuse to a few of them, but if I talked about it I often dissociated or had a flashback so we mostly avoided talking about it. I've never been a very strong person and I'm scared that it'll be like this forever and I'll never be able to move on. I'm hoping to speak to the therapist I'm starting to see in jan outside of uni about the abuse because I know I need to talk about it. I just find it hard. I'm not really sure hot to go about dealing with it because I find everything hard! I've found that psychs etc.will back off if you become distressed and not mentioned t again, which I understand but I feel sometimes I need to talk about it and I need someone to force me.

I'm really sorry this is so long... But thank you all for your replies and support. It's really appreciated <3

Uglyducklin 02-01-2015 05:54 PM

I'm so sorry I really low on words but I'm thinking of you x

Epicene 02-01-2015 07:33 PM

I'm glad you're seeing a therapist in January that you can talk to about this. Based on what you've said about work, it sounds like EMDR would be very triggering so hopefully you can use your new therapist as a safe person to just explore options and disclose some of what you went through. I do also think that if you see someone (CPN, ED therapist) on a regular basis it would be worth raising it. After all, the trauma probably contributes to those problems.

You say you are not strong but I think that's really far from the truth. You are beginning to accept what happened, despite dissociation and flashbacks, and that is an amazingly brave thing to do. The fact you are starting to accept and open up means that in all likelihood you will be able to overcome thus, even if it takes time.

Charmed 03-01-2015 06:58 PM

Thank you Jessie I really appreciate it x

Thank you for your reply again J. I really hope the new therapist is helpful. I find it really difficult to open up with this but I feel I need to in order to get better. And hopefully shel be able to advise me on EMDR and may know other practitioners outside of where I work. Thank you J, I really dot feel strong at all. I feel very weak and pathetic. But I really appreciate the kind words. I hope you're okay.

Crazy Cat Lady 24-01-2015 01:13 PM

Hi sweetie,

I just wanted to say I read this and I am really proud of you for making a post.

I don't have the words at the moment but please know that I am here for you and you don't have to go through this alone.

K xxx

Charmed 29-01-2015 10:15 PM

Thank you Kerry <3 I really appreciate your kind words.

I'm sorry to bump this. I'm reLly struggling and could maybe do with a few more kinda words. Or I don't know. I started therapy and I vaguely told her what happened today. I feel broken. It was awful. I don't think I can see her again I told her too much and I can't. She mentioned child protection issues and confidentiality etc at the end and I can't handle telling other people I don't know what to so. I'm such a bad person for not telling anyone. I feel so guilty and ashamed and disgusted in myself. I have so much hatred for myself. I don't know how to cope with it. The only way is to kill myself. And I. I just. I don't know. I'm so sorry. Thank you so much for any support. I really so appreciate it. I'm sorry I've been so crap. Thank you <3

Epicene 30-01-2015 06:27 PM

I know how overwhelming it feels, but I promise you don't have to kill yourself. Coping is hard and you're allowed to feel fragile and sad and lonely because that's all completely normal for anyone who has gone through what you have. But you CAN get through it, even though it won't be an overnight thing.

I think you should be really proud of talking to a new therapist the way you did. You must have connected with her on some level to open up, and I think that's a really good indicator that therapy could work with her.

I can relate to the child protection stuff because I too was asked to think about it, but it just felt/feels too much and I know I would be safer not going down that road. It's entirely up to you. If you choose not to pass on any details, it doesn't mean that you can't do so in the future. Right now you need to keep YOU safe.

I'm around if you want to meet and have a coffee/hug/distraction.

Charmed 01-02-2015 09:50 PM

Thank you J, I really appreciate your reply and your kind words. I'm finding it hard to believe that I can get through this, but it am trying. Thank you.

I'm not really sure opening up to her was a good idea. I kind of regret telling her some things. But I think talking to her about others can help me work through things. I know I need to talk about it so I can deal with it, it's just so hard.

I'm really sorry you have experienced something similar especially with child protection. I really appreciate your reassurance, I'm finding it difficult and I'm not sure what to do about child protection. It's too painful to thing about.

Thank you so much. I'm here if you ever want to talk or meet up as well.

up652392 26-03-2015 10:53 PM


I'm really sorry to hear about everything you have been through whilst managing to keep everything together, and it sounds like you are extremely selfless, not wanting to tell your mum. You seem to have dealt with it in such a strong way, choosing the logical route of psychs and therapy, whilst balancing studies that accelerate your symptoms, a task in itself.

I don't want to force anything onto you because only your instinct knows what is best but I just want you to be kind to yourself because you're already feeling scared of exposure. If you foresee feeling worse about it with him moving closer, can you imagine that you would feel better if you were to tell your mum, or at least one member of your family or somebody in your home-town who, at the last minute, would protect you from potential confrontation?

Your mum sounds like she would feel incredibly guilty and that says to me that she's a caring woman. If you had a child, would you want them to suffer in silence, or would you want to share?

There's no need for you to act so selflessly and kindly to other people rather than yourself - I hope you can find it in you to tell somebody close to you, because I think you will find peace, after the initial shock of feeling like you have been exposed - it is your decision ultimately, of course, and you may want to wait til you finish uni.

The reason I think you will benefit from telling other people I went through something similar and had to tell my mum years later, and believe me, for the sake of safety, and knowing there'd be no way he'd happen across my path, it made the world of difference. I genuinely felt as though I was in ruins when I was exposed, and afterwards I had this sudden safety net - these people around me who could keep somebody away from me.

I think you're so brave. You've been incredibly strong, and you sound like an amazing, selfless person. I hope you can treat yourself with the care that you absolutely deserve. It's the hardest thing in the world to be kind to yourself. But you deserve to be.


Charmed 19-04-2015 11:09 PM

^ Sorry I didn't see your reply, but I really appreciate the kind words and support <3

I'm really sorry for bumping this again... I didn't want to make a new thread as that seems really daunting at the moment but I'm really struggling. I know it's unlikely anyone will reply, but maybe just writing it out will help, who knows.

Erm so my grandad died just over a week ago now, we were very close, he and my nan raised me, I lived with them for 6 years as a child and see them everyday when I am at home (not in uni). Sorry this hit me really hard and was a massive shock. I've never experienced bereavement before and it's obviously really hard. I'm struggling to handle my grief well and I feel incredibly guilty about everything.

Aside from the grief, I feel guilt about everything else. I'm really struggling to get a handle on the past, I feel as though because of what has happened and how horrible it is, my struggles with my past shouldn't matter anymore. I feel as though i should be over everything because right now the main focus is the loss. But I'm still struggling with the past, I'm still dissociating, having panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks etc. This is making me feel incredibly guilty, even more so than normal. I have also been self-harming more and have taken a few overdoses which could have ended badly. My grandad obviously wouldn't have wanted for me to do this, cue increased guilt.

As well as this. Erm, this is hard. But the man will be there at the funeral. The last time I saw him was last March. When I found out I would see him in March I attempted suicide, this was before even seeing him. When I did see him it clearly did not go well at all. He will be there comforting my family, but mum and him were close so he will comfort her. He will be source of support for her. I don't know how this makes me feel. Part of me feels disgusted but part of me feels this is what she needs and makes me regress back to thinking he is nice, he cared for us, he cares for my mum. Then there is also the part which is incredibly scared. I really don't deal with seeing him well, and I don't want to freak out at the funeral. I'm scared he will touch me as an act of comfort. I'm just scared. I freeze and can't react. I think it's a very real possibility I will attempt suicide. Which for obvious reasons cannot happen. I feel guilty for even thinking about this when my grandad should be the main priority. I just feel so so guilt and conflicted. I hate myself for thinking like this, for it still being a problem. I miss my grandad so much and I love him with all my heart, It hurts me so much that this is still a problem.

I'm really sorry I know this is long and confusing and that no one will probably read thus. But I'm really hurting at the moment and I'm struggling to keep it all together. I want nothing more than to fall apart. To be with my grandad but this is the one time when I can't be selfish. I don't know what to do. I'm really truly sorry :(

Epicene 20-04-2015 03:59 PM

I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. It must be a huge battle knowing what is the 'right' thing to do, but I think the right thing is always whatever is safest for you.

You attempted suicide at the last prospect of seeing your abuser; I think this occasion seems like it might be even more triggering still if he is somebody who will be quite a prominent figure in terms of giving people support. I wonder if it would be safer to miss out any services/funeral that he is a part of. I understand that your grandparents were your primary carers and were a massive part of your life, but they would not want you to die for the sake of attending their funeral. They wouldn't want you to die, end of. I promise you that and I think you know that ultimately loads of people want you alive and well. If that is the dilemma then don't go. You will still have to deal with grief and guilt and sadness even if you go to the funeral, those are all natural and understandable emotions. But there are so many other ways of saying goodbye.

My gran died recently and the situation was not as extreme as yours, but there were people at her main funeral which were triggering to me so I didn't go (if I had felt more well and able to manage it, I might have done). Instead there was another small service to bury her ashes, and I went to that one. I plan on returning to the site and seeing the headstone again at a later date to say my own personal goodbyes, with nobody else around. Nobody can judge you for the way you choose to grieve, because everyone is so different in that regard. So whether anybody knows about the abuse or not, it shouldn't matter. Your main issue is keeping alive and it sounds like there are so many triggers for you to face, it would be better to be creative about officially grieving (most grieving is a long and personal process irrespective of funerals).

Drop me a text if you ever want some company or support.

Charmed 21-04-2015 06:35 PM

Thanks so much for your reply J, I really appreciate it. You are right, and I agree I do think the safest thing for me to do would be not to attend the funeral. I realise I'm contradicting myself now, but it's just my grandad and I were so close, I would feel incredibly guilty and ashamed if I did not go. I want to go to the funeral, because he meant so much to me and I want to say goodbye properly to him. I also think it might help to give me some closure. I feel like I have to go to the funeral. I'm just obviously scared. I don't think i would go as far as attempting suicide, because right now I don't think my family could handle anymore trauma and I can't be that selfish. I just feel I'll be in such a high level of distress I won't know what to do. I don't want to dissociate, have a panic attack, etc etc during the funeral and cause a massive scene. Sorry I'm rambling. I'm just really conflicted right now.

I'm so sorry to hear about your nan, that must have been incredibly difficult. I'm really glad you made that decisions and going to the service to bury her ashes instead was a really good idea. I don't know what to do anymore. I've already booked my bus home tomorrow. I don't know. Why does everything have to be so difficult?

I'm so sorry for rambling. But thanks for replying, it helped to write everything down.

Epicene 23-04-2015 08:31 AM

I think its really promising that there are protective factors for you not to try to kill yourself. Can you make yourself some kind of reminders of the fact that you don't want to upset your family? Something that if you become dissociated might kick you back into reality. For example, tucking your money behind a family photo in case you go to buy harmful things when dissociated.

It sounds like you really want to go and say goodbye to your grandad at the funeral. I think if you go, they key thing will be going and focusing entirely on that. Don't pay attention to other people, just literally go keeping in mind you are only there for your grandad. If you go to say goodbye despite the man being there, it could really boost your strength and your grandad would be super proud of you. So in a way, going and coping could really prove to you how strong you are. Because you are a strong person.

Charmed 23-04-2015 08:03 PM

Thank you J. It was okay. Well as okay as it can be, it was obviously really sad. But nothing dreadful happened. I self harmed and I think I dissociated for only a short amount of time. But it was okay.

I just feel quite numb and sad now.

Thank you for your support.

Aubergine 23-04-2015 08:37 PM


I'm sorry that I can't give any advice on the abuse side of things. I have no experience of that, so can only imagine how very difficult it must be for you.

I lost my Nan 18 months ago and we were also very close, similar to you in that she helped bring me up as a child. Bereavement is so, so tough. Remember that there's is no way that you're supposed to feel, there's no set way to deal with it and there's no time limit on it. You feel how you feel for as long as you feel it and that's OK.

You did really well to go to the funeral and I'm glad nothing dreadful happened. Feeling numb and sad is expected with grief, even more so if you've got other stuff going on ontop of that.

Is there anything you can do to be kind to yourself tonight?

Charmed 26-04-2015 08:12 PM

Thank you. Sorry it's taken me a while to reply. I'm sorry to hear about your nan, it sounds very difficult. Thank you for your kind words and reassurance. It's good to know how I am feeling is vaguely normal.

I'm struggling quite a lot at the moment and feeling incredibly guilty for the past and the present and it's tearing me apart. I feel suicidal but I don't want to be it's all very confusing. Sorry. Thanks for all your replies they have been really helpful.

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