hope your all well i just need some help and advice as its been bittersweet recently

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hey guys i hope your all doing ok and are ok during this
virus crisis stay strong and safe i hope you guys dont mind but alot has gone
on since my ex boyfriend pimp or whatever happened ive been couch surfing alot
as i signed my rights away for my daughter until i can get better its for the
best but my ex husbend well now because ive relizied its toxic ive tried
leaving him 14 times and he takes my money so i cant leave the house kicks me
out calls the police leaves me homeless for 2 weeks sometimes months or since
im 20 and i recently btw found out through witnesses  and paperwork of cas that i started being
trafficked at 15-17 and found out i actually ran away at 15 my ex boyfriend hes
in jail now for 5 years thats what they sentenced him on all the charges they
found him guilty of it was on the news which i thought would make me feel
better but ive been using non stop i recently have stopped for 2 weeks because
i had to quarantine at my ex husbends so im back here again its hard to leave
also because my daughter lives here with his family and he will stay stuff like
if you leave ill take you to court for custody all that recently also my
episodes have become worse i apperntly attempted suicide 4 days ago but i dont remember
all i thought was my ex boyfriend was there taking the pills out of my mouth
for me like hed always do when id try and kill myself to have him not leave or
so i didnt have to work my daughter is in good hands with my ex husbends
parents its manly i get to depressedd to care for myself anymore sometimes or
anxious idk but on the bright side i am now a trauma mentor therapist online as
a volenterr i do it daily idk thought id say that but i hope your all good and
if you guys have any advice as ill probably have to leave as of monday again i
hope your all well your all strong 🙂 also ive been having dreams were its me
and my ex boyfriend but the good times only so id wake up crying for him i also
just get anxious to sleep now and im just having more thoughts of him and other
stuff i found out before him with other traffickers so its been hard is there
any advice anyone can give to help with these dreams and flashbacks sorry hope
your all well maria


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26 comments

  1. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    Hi Maria
    Thank you so much for sharing an update. It sounds like a lot of stuff is going on and it can be difficult to cope. You are a very strong person to be able to open up and share all of your struggles with us. I love the fact that you are helping others. I found that responding to stories and supporting our storytellers helped me a lot in my own healing journey and even help lead me down the path back to school. It can be very rewarding and an amazing feeling helping other trauma survivors and I hope you are able to experience those feelings. The best advice I can give when helping others work through trauma is to give yourself the self care you need. You are most important and your mind space and your own health needs to be in a good place to help others.
    Good luck. I hope you are staying safe

    Kristin

  2. dzreid Volunteer

    Maria,
    How have you been doing since you shared on here? I’m glad that your still here! To me, that shows determination. It sounds like you have a lot going on. You are so courageous. It takes so much strength physically, & emotionally to give custody of your child to another person. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult this must be for you knowing that your daughter has to remain behind. You mentioned that she’s in safe hands, focus on that as you are focussing on you. I can relate to your heartache about giving custody to someone else. You made this decision to better yourself. In the long run, both of you will be better as you are taking steps to care for yourself. You mentioned that your a trauma mentor therapist volunteer. Thank you! Think of how many you offer hope to by taking the time to be there for these individuals. As you are helping others, take time for yourself as well. Take some deep breaths, & take things minute by minute. You can get through this! I believe in you.
    Dawn

  3. Ashley Day Captain

    Maria,

    I hope you are doing okay during this pandemic too!
    I’m thinking it was heartbreaking to sign your rights away, but I can tell that you feel okay with the decision since you mentioned that your daughter’s in good hands. It’s not okay that your ex-husband has prevented you from leaving the house and the relationship.
    Your ex-boyfriend should be held accountable for his actions and I hope that knowing he’s sentenced for five years brings a sense of relief; I get the feeling that it was difficult to hear news reporters tell your story. It’s awful to have dreams about people from our past who didn’t treat us well, especially when the dreams revolve around the good times. I see that other volunteers have suggested grounding techniques.
    Although you have been having a difficult time with various things in your life, you made the selfless decision to become a trauma mentor therapist volunteer and that says a lot about your character. With time, things will get better.

    Ashley

  4. musicislove

    Hi Maria,

    I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time right now. Dreams and flashbacks can be so hard to deal with, in my experience writing about them has been helpful for me to get out my thoughts and emotions about them. I definitely understand being anxious to go to sleep, when I’m having a rough time I try to focus on breathing exercises and writing before I go to sleep to put me in a calm state of mind. I also can’t imagine how stressful it’s been staying with your ex husband and worrying about what’s coming next but it’s good to hear that your daughter is in safe hands. I hope that you find a place to stay that is safer and better for your mental health soon, do you have any friends or know of any shelters you could stay at? Sending you hope and strength and know we’re always here for you!

    Delaney

  5. Jess Volunteer

    Thank you for coming back to update us. I’m sorry that you’ve been through so much recently. It’s so difficult to find safe housing right now. I’m sorry that your ex-husband is treating you that way while you’re staying with him. Is there anyone else who would be willing to let you stay with them? If not, do the best you can. I’m glad to hear that your daughter is safe with his parents. It’s so hard to acknowledge that we need time to work on ourselves, so recognize the strength it took to ask for that! Learning about your ex-boyfriend being convicted had to be difficult, especially when you have these conflicted feelings. It’s completely normal to feel all of these things. I’m sorry that you’re having dreams and flashbacks. I don’t have any specific advice, other than to seek out a therapist/counselor and use your coping skills. Therapists are super helpful for navigating our paths to healing and helping us explore those conflicting feelings you mentioned, as well.

    I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found a bright spot in being a mentor therapist online. It is so amazing to have the ability to assist others on their paths to healing. If you need anything at all, please know we are always here for you and we believe you. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  6. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Hey again, Maria,

    I’m so sorry to hear about all that you’ve gone through. You didn’t deserve for these things to happen, and we believe you. It sounds like you are taking some steps to better your situation, and that’s great. It’s very hard to break out of the cycle of abuse. We’re here to support you through that. I know it’s especially hard to seek help and find shelter with all of the quarantining going on right now. I think that you are doing the best that you can right now, and I’m very glad that you’re here and are sharing your story with us. Healing is messy, and all you can do sometimes is just take it day-by-day. Any time you can talk to us, we’re here! I also hope that volunteering your time mentoring others is helping. I know that volunteering here has helped me.

    Take care, and be patient with yourself!

  7. Breanna Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for coming back to share – I’m really glad you did. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with all of this. It sounds like it has been a stressful few weeks. I’m so proud of you for how strong you have been through all of it. I can only imagine how difficult it is to process that your ex boyfriend / pimp was put in jail when he caused a lot of pain but you also have some good memories. I’m so sorry you’re feeling all of this pain. We are here for you. It is good that you know your daughter is in good hands while you work on yourself and try to heal. That can be really difficult, I’m proud of you. If you’re ever feeling unsafe, you can text VOICE to 741-741 and talk to someone. We care about you. Keep your head up, and you’re always welcome to come back and give us an update.

    Sending you love and strength,
    Bre

  8. april-federico Volunteer

    Dear Maria,

    Please don’t be sorry for reaching out. You’re doing the right thing by asking for help. You are so brave to share your story and your struggles with us. This time is certainly hard for everyone. You are a strong woman, and you’ve been through so, so much. Just know that you are needed in this world, and there is sunshine beyond that rain. Have you tried using the “Find Help” section on this website? I think it could benefit you very much. Do you have anybody else you can stay with? I’m not sure if that’s an option, but it could be beneficial to you.

  9. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Maria,
    Thank you for writing to us again. These times are strange for everyone, but it sounds like they are very stressful for you. It must be very difficult to be stuck in a place where you don’t feel safe. I cannot begin to imagine all that you have been through and what your life has entailed. All I can say is that we are here to listen and help when we can and that you deserve to be happy and treated with love. You deserve to live and you are needed in this world. Please take care of yourself or find someone to help you take care of you.
    It is awesome that you are helping others. I hope that it will provide purpose and healing for you as well.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  10. Starling Volunteer

    Hi Maria,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this. You don’t deserve this and it isn’t your fault. If you go to our “Find Help” section, you’ll find resources that could be helpful for you. It might be helpful to talk to a professional to help you with your dreams and flashbacks. You can talk to one at any time by texting VOICE to 741-741. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  11. meg Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for sharing with us. I am so sorry to hear you are going through such a difficult time.. I want you to know that you taking the steps to help others in need is major and you should be so proud of that accomplishment. You are growing and moving forward. If you go to our “Find Help” tab, you might be able to find an organization local to where you are that can help you with using and finding a safer place to stay for you. You are so strong, Maria. As far as the dreams and flashbacks go, my only advice is to when you feel yourself slipping is to try to regulate your heart rate and breathing. Look up the 4-7-8 breathing cycle. It is super helpful and it will help you feel like you have your feet underneath you again. We are always here for you. Never apologize for sharing with us. Keep us updated and be gentle with yourself.
    -Meg

  12. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m so sorry this has been your current situation. You should’ve have to go through this. In those few experiences you mentioned, it seems that you are feeling helpless and I would like to encourage you to check out our resources page. When those emotions hit, you can text VOICE to 741-741 and you’ll receive immediate attention to help you through those hard times. You are not alone. We are here for you and want to support you in any way possible. You are capable and you have the strength to get through this.
    Stay strong <3

  13. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your well wishes. I’m glad to hear from you, and glad you gave us an update! I wanted to start out by saying that you are an inspiration to me. In all of the struggles you are having you chose to be a trauma mentor therapist online and you started out your story hoping that we are all okay before you got into your story. That shows how king hearted you are. So, thank you for doing those things! I am sorry that you are struggling right now and that a lot if going on. I am sure quarantine can add an extra struggle for you, especially with your ex-husband. Please know that your safe is the most important. Let us know if you need anything or if there is anything we can do to help you. We are always here to listen, and I hope you continue to come back and update us as much as your would like.

    Also, if you ever need to talk to trained counselor right away, text VOICE to 741-741 anytime 24/7! Remember to be kind to yourself during this time. You are the most important and you are so strong!

    Sending lots of support,
    -Natalie

  14. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for coming back to share with us. We are always here to listen and to help in any way that we can. I’m sorry to hear that you are stuck at your ex-husband’s place during the quarantine. He sounds extremely manipulative. It’s great that you have been able to start helping as a trauma mentor therapist. The hard thing about dreams and flashbacks is that you can’t really control how your subconscious acts while you are asleep. What you can try and control is the environment before you go to bed. Whether it’s reading or meditating or journaling about happy things, you can help set your brain up with positive memories.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  15. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi Maria,

    Thanks for posting again. It’s so amazing that you’re a trauma mentor therapist online now! Not only are you helping others, but it’s also a great way to distract yourself from everything else going on. I’m so sorry for the situation you’re in. Like others have said, you deserve to be loved, safe and secure. I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned it before, but have you gone to a woman’s shelter or anything? Or are there rehabilitation centers you could go to for help?

    Never forget your worth. You’re so incredibly strong! <3
    Marissa

  16. Stellablue Volunteer

    Hi Maria,
    I am so sorry about your situation. You do not deserve to be treated that way. Please remember to stay strong, especially now stuck in a situation with people you do not want to be with. There are a lot of coping strategies to use when you get flashbacks. I like the five senses one. When you start to get a flashback, think about 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. This is a good technique, because it will bring you back down when your anxiety gets your head spinning. Please remember that it will get better, and we are all here for you if you need us!

  17. colton95 Volunteer

    I’m sorry that you’re going through all of this. You deserve to be loved and cared for and to live a good life. I hope that you will be able to get through this and stop having those dreams. Stay strong and safe!

  18. Lex Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    You have been through so much, and I am glad that you have decided to share what you are going through with us! If at any time you feel self-destructive, please reach back out to us, as well as our crisis text line by sending VOICE to 741741. I am glad that you have started volunteering as a trauma mentor therapist, that is so amazing!! I am so sorry that you are waking up crying. Anxiety, especially a night can be so challenging. Meditation before bed or listening to relaxing music could help quiet your mind and maybe alleviate these dreams and flashbacks.

    Never forget that you are strong!

    -Lex

  19. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Maria,

    Thank you for coming by with another update. You have been through a lot lately and I’m really glad your here. I hope your staying well during this pandemic. I’m so sorry to hear about everything that’s recently happened to you. I also understand that you quarantined at your ex husbands house. I know this must be a difficult thing to do I hope you are safe. Please be sure to text 741741 if you are ever in a crisis. I know how hard it must be to get these dreams as well. I hope that the anxiety surrounding them goes away with it. I hope you are kind to yourself. One thing I recently read was that we should treat ourselves like we would a friend who is dealing with the same thing. I hope the advice given by everyone here can bring you some comfort, you deserve it! Please be sure to come back anytime for another update.

  20. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Friend

    I am sorry you are struggling now and it is a unusual time. I understand how difficult can be feel trapped in a relationship with someone who has abused you. You are alone and we are always here for you. Anytime you feeling self destructive please reach out to us or our crisis line by sending voice to 741741. You can overcome this and we are here for you!

  21. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling right now. It’s such an unusual time for us all right now during the Corvid crisis. I understand how difficult it can be to feel trapped in a relationship with someone who has abused you. You are not alone. We are always here for you. Anytime you are feeling lonely or self-destructive please feel free to reach out to us or our crisis text line by sending VOICE to 741741. You are important and strong. You can overcome this. We’re here for you.

    All the best,
    Becca

  22. Solongago Volunteer

    Since you are asking for advice, I can only stress self-care. It sounds like your position is very precarious right now. I am worried about your safety first. Do you have a plan, somewhere you can go, day or night, if you need to? Sometimes just having a plan makes the necessity of using the plan go down. It is like, when we are feeling completely trapped with no options, we can be reacting to that as much as anything else. Once we feel like we do have some options, sometimes it can make a huge difference.

    Sometimes self care means taking care of our body, eating the right things in the right amounts, sleeping enough, exercising and taking the medicines that we are prescribed. Sometimes it means taking time to do something creative, something fun that you enjoy. And sometimes it means saying no, even to good things that we may do for others, because we are really over-extended.

    Listening to other people’s stories can help us not feel so alone or singular and helping other folks might make us feel like we did something positive. Sometimes, focusing on other people’s problems gives us a break from our own. But hearing this stuff can also trigger our own stuff, and if we are finding it hard to get through the day without flashbacks, dreams, self-medicating, being so depressed we cannot take care of our self, then maybe taking a step away, until we can identify our own triggers, and maybe have a plan to deal with stuff that triggers us, might make sense.

    I am hoping for you a balance where you feel secure.

  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Maria,
    I’m so sorry things have been rough for you recently. I think it is great that you ex abuser is finally in jail. I know it can be triggering to hear news about an ex abuser even if it is good news like this. Just continue to stay strong. If you need anything we are here for you. I’m happy that you started working on as a trauma mentor therapist. That is amazing. That is also very helpful in a recovery process to work in the field like this. If you need anything we are here for you. Thank you for updating us.
    -Alyssa

  24. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Maria,
    I hear you’re going through a lot right now. I’m glad that you’re volunteering, and it’s great that you’re helping others. I like what Erin said about talking to the other trauma mentor therapists. They may have tips or other resources that you might be able to use.
    Do you have any ways to calm down before you sleep? Maybe you could meditate for a few minutes, do breathing exercises, read a book, listen to calming music, use grounding tools (a small object that you can hold and you can focus on how it feels), etc. You might be able to use these things to cope with the aftermath of flashbacks as well.
    Thank you for updating us. I hope you’re safe and doing okay. We’re here to support you, and you can get through this. You matter, and we want you here.

  25. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for sharing with us. It seems like you’re having a rough time — you’ll get through this. I hope that you find something positive in your volunteering – it’s wonderful that you’re doing that and I’m sure you’re doing well helping others. I encourage you to use the support sources and resources that are available to you, and continue to share with us as you’d like. Stay strong!

    KatherineL

  26. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Hi Maria,

    Thank you for coming back to share. That’s great that you are able to volunteer, though I’m sorry you’re still going through some tough things right now. Are there people at the place you are volunteering who you could rely on? Maybe asking other therapists for advice/help might work? I know many friends who use melatonin to try to sleep when they can’t sleep well. Maybe that would help? Hope you are able to stay safe during these times.

    Erin