Life Update

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I guess this is a (probably very long) life update of sorts.

I went to a DBT group this semester before my university closed down. At first, I was worried about dominating the conversation, so I listened most of the time. As I got more comfortable with the group, I contributed more.
I had never been in group therapy before this, so it was an interesting experience. We had a mindfulness exercise at the start of each session, and I liked them because I could put my thoughts and worries to the side for some time. I found new ways to cope with stress.
When other people talked about the feelings they experienced, I felt seen. I could relate to them. There were moments when I wanted to jump up and yell, “EXACTLY.”
The sessions were insightful, and I felt more relaxed at the end of each session. One skill I took away from DBT is to think of other interpretations of a stressful/negative situation. I’m still practicing this skill, but it has helped me calm down so far.

In my last update, I mentioned that I wanted to read the messages from my assailant. Because I was curious, I tried to log into the Gmail account where those messages were. The account was deleted.
After the assault, my assailant sent questionable messages (which made me extremely uncomfortable), which my parents found out about. They helped me break things off with him. My dad asked me for the password for that account, and I remember giving it to him. It looks like my dad deleted the account soon after I broke things off with my assailant.
In one way, I’m almost glad because I don’t have to read those messages. I have a feeling that reading those messages wouldn’t have been good for me. I remember most of it, and my memories are enough. I know that it happened, and I don’t need those messages to trigger me.
In another way, it’s disappointing. I reported my assailant last year, and I thought I would have proof in case there was an investigation. I haven’t heard anything regarding the report, but now I don’t have proof. I have a feeling CPS won’t pursue an investigation, but it’s a little disappointing,
As for forgiving him, I don’t know if I’m ready for that. On some days, I feel more compassionate. On other days, I feel angry and dejected. I decided to give myself space to feel everything as well as detach from making a decision about forgiveness.

As of right now, life is interesting.
I’m finishing college at home, and it feels weird. Sometimes I feel unmotivated. I’m trying to follow a schedule so I can get things done and give myself time to relax each day. These last few weeks are going to be hectic, but I’m taking it one day at a time.
I’m trying to stay in touch with my friends. There are times when I worry about bothering them or being a burden. However, I try to reach out because I care for them, and I don’t want them to feel alone.
I haven’t had to see my assailant in a month and a half because church services were cancelled. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this relaxed on the weekends, and not having to see him has made a massive difference. It’s a much needed break. I was struggling for a while before this.
When it comes to healing, I believe I’ve made progress in a couple of ways:
1) When my parents are upset about something and take it out on us, I’m not as influenced by their mood. I’m learning to think, “I can’t control their reaction in this moment, but I can control how I respond.” I’m not perfect when it comes to this, but I’m getting better.
2) I don’t know if I can say I’ve forgiven my parents. Their behaviors are harmful. Yet they might fear they’re losing control. Due to that, they may be reacting in certain ways. They might be passing this behavior on from their parents without realizing how harmful it is. With that being said, I’m aware that these reasons are not excuses. However, understanding where their behavior comes from is helping me make peace with it. I know that I don’t have to pass this behavior on to anyone else. I’m trying to heal my wounds – for myself and for the people around me.

These past few months have been tumultuous, but I believe I’m doing the best I can and making progress.


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33 comments

  1. zelda Volunteer

    Hi, music2799,

    I remember reading a few of your posts late last year, and they definitely stuck with me. I know I’m commenting close to a couple months later, but I still want to commend you for your personal growth. Honestly, you sound like you’re on the right path.

    A therapist of mine was talking to me about the process of positive change yesterday, and how there are several steps until you reach your “peak,” so to speak. While the first step is thinking about the changes you want to put in place, the next steps are all about taking action, reinforcing healthier behaviors, and embracing the evolvement.

    I really just want to give you a huge high five and a big hug. I am so, so proud of you. You have incredible insight, empathy, and dedication (despite the setbacks you’ve encountered). The DBT group session sounds like it was a very enlightening experience for you, and I hope you can continue with it. I feel like you’ve come such a long way, and I just want to continue to see you take charge of your life, while letting go of what (and who) you can’t control.

    I really do hope that you’re continuing to take things day by day, and that you are able to find more and more peace and relief. Let me know if there is anything you need or if I can do anything to help you.

    I’m so glad that you were in a good place on April 24th, and I hope that you’re in an even better place now. However, if you’re not, please do not feel down on yourself or dejected. The process of changing, learning, and growing is not a linear one. It takes time, dedication, and patience. There will be bad days; there will be setbacks; there will be heartache. Just try to take it one day at a time.

    Remember this: Even if you only move an inch forward a day, you’re still moving forward.

  2. JWorks Volunteer

    Hey!
    I’m glad your DBT is going well! You seem to be doing a really good job of practicing the skills from the group. The email thing is completely understandable as well, as some of the things could have led to a memory trigger and those can be difficult to handle sometimes. I’m sorry your parents aren’t helping you out as much as they should. I really hope you keep making progress.

    -Jay

  3. Ashley Day Captain

    It’s wonderful to hear from you, music2799.

    It sounds like the DBT group helped you truly recognize that you’re not alone in the emotions you carry. I’m happy that the mindfulness exercise helped ease your mind from troubling thoughts. When it comes to completing college at home, the fact that you attempt to stick to a schedule is wonderful. I encourage you to continue reminding yourself that you can only control how you respond to the reactions of your parents.
    In regards to the messages, I’m thinking that if you would have been able to read them, they might have influenced you to feel like you were back in that difficult situation; I wouldn’t have wanted the messages to make you feel triggered. I’m sorry that you haven’t received any updates about the report. I believe it’s reasonable to alternate between feeling compassion to feeling anger. I can recall how anxiety-provoking the weekends were and knowing that you haven’t had to spend time around your assailant makes me happy.

    I hope you feel elated about making progress 🙂

    Ashley

  4. Edjay Volunteer

    Hi music2799,

    Thank you for the updates. It sounds like DBT group has been helpful with regards to helping you connect with others who may be facing similar experiences. It’s good hearing that you’re still trying to practice some of the takeaways you got from your DBT group.
    As for the email account, I see what you mean by it having a good and bad side to it. It’s okay to have changing feelings about your assailant, however you’re feeling is valid.
    The progress you’ve shared is also amazing. Hoping you continue on this path. We’re here for you if you need it. Take care.

  5. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Thank you for coming back and updating us. I am glad you have been making progress. Do the best you can because that is what matters. I hope you find a technique to help yourself figure things out. Please reach out if you need additional support.

  6. Jess Volunteer

    Thank you for coming back and updating us! I’m glad to hear that you’ve been making progress. All you can do is continue to do the best that you can. You are absolutely not required to forgive your parents. Forgiveness is very personal, and you’re allowed to understand their behaviors without excusing it. Keep working on yourself the best that you can. <3

    It's great to hear that you joined a DBT group! I'm sorry that you joined and then things got waylaid for a while. Mindfulness is SO important. You can find a lot of mindfulness activities online, if that's something you think may help you on a day to day basis. I also love to utilize music as mindfulness. Pick a song with a lot of scenery (What a Wonderful World or Somewhere Over the Rainbow, as examples) and then picture the scenes that they are describing. The 54321 Grounding is great, too. (5 things you can see, awareness of 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, two things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.) Hopefully you find a technique that works for you!

    If you need anything else, you know we are always here. Stay strong and keep fighting. <3
    -Jess

  7. mikaylaanne11 Volunteer

    Welcome back music2799,

    I’m really glad to hear about all the progress you’re making. It’s awesome that you’ve been able to use the tools you found in your DBT group and been able to put them to use when you need to! I do a lot of CBT in my own therapy sessions, so I can relate to the effort it takes to use those skills in your everyday life. It sounds like this has been especially helping with being off-campus and with your parents all the time. You’re definitely making the best of a weird situation!

    I can see why you would be having so many mixed emotions about reading the messages from your assailant. As for keeping them as evidence, do you think your parents would have saved a copy of them before deleting the account? That probably would be a really uncomfortable discussion to have, but if it starts to weigh on you, having the answer might help. I also sympathize with the curiosity of re-reading them. Every once in a while, I also am tempted to look at things from my own assailant, and I think, in my case, it’s to remind myself that I’m not making up my story. We believe you, and it sounds like you know what is best for your own mental health. I’m also very glad for you that you haven’t had to confront him in a while! I’m sure it feels good to not have that extra stress.

    Keep treating yourself with kindness, and good luck with your last few weeks of class 🙂

  8. Breanna Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    Thanks for sharing another update! I agree that it seems like you’re making progress. It’s so cool that you joined a DBT group – I have been intimidated by it, so I’m glad you were able to have that courage and that you find it comforting, easing some of those loneliness feelings. And I see how the account being deleted is a double edged sword – there are pros and cons to either side. I understand being disappointed, but if an investigation arises, there may be a way to get the messages back. And there is no rush to forgiveness. It’s your story – you can forgive on your own time. I am happy that you have a break from seeing your assailant and it’s been helpful. Staying home and keeping a schedule is tough. I am wondering if you could reach out to the DBT group and get some of those mindfulness activities. I’ve been trying to place 10-15 minute blocks in my calendar to meditate. It’s helped me focus and generally feel well. I’m happy you’re doing better!

    Sending love and hugs,
    Bre

  9. april-federico Volunteer

    Dear music2799,

    I think it’s great that you joined a support group and I’m so happy with that last line; that you ARE doing the best you can and you ARE making progress! It’s natural to feel curious about messages from people of your past, but trust me when I say it’s not worth the aggravation and anxiety. I, too, am finishing college at home — you’re on the home stretch!!! Every day, do something to remind yourself that you really are doing wonderfully and maybe even treat yourself in some way or another, by making a nice meal, meditation and/or prayer — something to practice gratitude!

    So happy to hear that you’re doing better — keep it up!

    Sending smiles,

    April

  10. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear music2799,
    Thank for giving us an update. I was wondering how not having to attend church and seeing your assailant was affecting you. It is great to hear that it has given you some space to think and heal. Your insight about your parents and their reactions is very wise. It took me many years and a lot of learning to fully understand that and separate myself from it.
    I hope that you are able to continue healing in ways that are helpful to you.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  11. Starling Volunteer

    Hi music2799,
    Thank you for continuing to share your story with us. I’m so glad that you’re doing better at the moment. I know you mentioned previously about being nervous abut group therapy, so I’m glad it’s working out well and helping you. It seems like you’ve made a lot of progress during this downtime, which is great. You should be proud of how far you’ve come. If you ever need anything, let us know. We’re always here for you.

  12. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    Thank you for coming back with an update. I’m so glad to hear that DBT was a good experience for you and that you felt heard during those meetings. You deserve to be surrounded by people who believe and listen to you. Your dad was probably just trying to protect you by deleting any form of old contact with your assailant. In the end, it might be better not to be able to read the messages and risk triggering old emotions. The online classes and life transition is tough so its good that you are reaching out to your friends to stay in touch with them, I’m sure they love hearing from you! You are doing super well and its great you are seeing progress.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  13. meg Volunteer

    Hi Music2799!

    Thank you so so much for updating us! I am so happy to hear how much progress you are making. I am so proud to know that you are taking it one day at a time, and allowing yourself to feel things as they come up. I understand how difficult it must be not having access to that email account anymore.. maybe it’s a silver lining. Maybe not having access is helping shield you from reopening wounds that have just started to heal. Please know that we are always here for you. I am so inspired by how you are moving forward.
    -Meg

  14. Turnschaosintoart Day Captain

    music2799
    Hi there,
    Thanks so much for the update. Yes life is interesting right now. I am glad you tried the DBT program. That was a big step. I am sure it is nice to be a little bit relaxed but I get the unmotivated part. I am glad you are doing well. Sending positive vibes

    Kristin

  15. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,

    Thanks for giving us an update. Wow! Your progress is incredible and so inspiring. I’m so happy for you! Have you looked into virtual group therapy sessions? I don’t know if they exist, but if they do, they might help you to continue your progress! I completely understand how you feel about the deleted emails – on one hand, you may have gotten some closure from reading them again, but on the other, they might have just rubbed you the wrong way and been counterproductive to your healing process. You will never know, but either way, I’m sorry they were deleted. That should have been your decision. The progress you described is so amazing and I can’t wait to see how your healing process continues. You’re so incredibly strong!!

    Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you through everything. We’re here for you!!

    Marissa

  16. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi music2799,
    I’m so happy that this group has been helpful. It sounds like you have come a long way. I think that it is a good thing that your parents deleted that account because like you said, those messages could have been triggering and this group that you are in has helped you so much. Those messages might have pushed you back.
    Not going to church is probably the best way you can recover because you don’t have to see your assailant. The more you had to worry about him the more you backtracked in your recovery.
    Forgiving can be hard. You for don’t have to forgive anyone until you are ready. If you don’t want to forgive anyone you don’t have to. I’m so proud of all the things that this group has taught you. You are so strong and have come a very long way.
    -Alyssa

  17. Lex Volunteer

    Hello music2799,

    Thank you for sharing an update with us! I am so happy that the DBT group has been beneficial, it sounds like the exercises done in the meeting have shed light on a new way to cope with stress! School right now can be slightly challenging now that everything is online, so it is great that you have created a schedule for yourself. This will be so helpful in ensuring that you stay organized! It is also good that you are giving yourself time to relax, it is so important to have a good balance between schoolwork and free time! I am so impressed by how much progress you have made in terms of healing! Please remember that no one is perfect at anything, it is just important that you are trying and doing the best you can!

    Proud of you! Stay strong!
    -Lex

  18. Amysue43 Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing with us! We’re glad you decided to do so. I’m proud of you giving group therapy a chance with an open mind and that you found it to be beneficial for you. It seems like this could become something you would like to include in your weekly regimen. In terms of your current life with college and what not, I’m impressed that you have built a schedule for yourself in order to get your work done accordingly. That kind of determination is crucial and it shows in the steps you’re taking in your healing. So proud of you.
    Stay strong <3

  19. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there music2799,

    Thank you for giving us an update! It sounds like you are overall doing well and making a lot of progress! I know this is a really weird time right now and that kind of makes everything else a bit more weird. I am also finishing up college from home, and I know it has been difficult for me to keep a schedule. But, I think it is great that you are trying to give yourself time to relax. I think that is important! I also think it is great that you are trying to keep in touch with your friends! I would not think you are a burden, because everyone needs some time with friends during this time! So that is very kind of you to keep in touch with them!

    It sounds like a the DBT group was very helpful for you and that you learned a lot of things! That is awesome! I am so happy for you! right now, It is okay to now know whether you want to forgive anyone. It is okay to have up and down days. That is normal in fact! You are doing all of the right things! Keep pushing and stay strong! And remember we are here for you anytime you need it!

    -Natalie

  20. tbird830 Volunteer

    Music2799,

    Thank you for the update! While it sounds like the past few months have been challenging, it also sounds like you have made a lot of progress and are doing some great things in an effort to heal from your assault. You have some really great techniques that I know will be helpful for other survivors! I’m wishing you the best of luck in the next few weeks that you’re able to get all of your school work wrapped up and continue on your path of healing. I look forward to reading your next update!

    Tori

  21. Solongago Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    I am glad your experience with group was good, and you have acquired some life-skills in the group. I am glad that you do not need to see your assailant at this time, and that your weekends are so much less stressful.

    I think working on our family of origin stuff is hard, whenever it happens, but when we are still living with them, as young adults, it can be specially difficult. I give you a lot of credit for being so thoughtful and for the growth that you have accomplished.

  22. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there music2799,

    It’s always good to hear from you. I’m glad you had a positive experience in group therapy. It can be exciting to try something new and enjoy it. With regards to the account being deleted, I sometimes like to think the universe can be watching out for us. Maybe it’s meant to be that you can’t access those e-mails. Maybe this is the path you’re meant to take to continue healing. I know times are weird right now. You are doing the best you can to continue with a schedule, finish school, and adapt to this new normal. I know from your posts that you make tremendous progress (even like the ones you mentioned in this post – which is awesome). That’s all we can really do, right? I’m proud of how far you’ve come.

    Sending light,
    SFM

  23. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Music2799,

    Thanks for coming back to share with us. I remember saying that you were going to start a DBT group! I hope you found some of that helpful. It’s great to see that you were able to share with the group, it takes a lot of bravery to do that. I’m also glad you found the mindfulness exercises to be helpful. I also do a practice and I find that it helps me as well. I know it must have been disappointing to not have them pursue and investigation. I also know it must have been difficult to make the choice to read those emails. Even though the account was deleted, you still made a big choice to log in and that’s something to be proud of. I think you’re doing a great job handling everything.

    I think it’s completely normal to feel unmotivated during this time. I’m finishing college at home too and I’m also trying to follow a schedule but I feel the same way! I loved how you said you’re reaching out because you don’t want your friends to feel alone, that shows how kind of a person you are. These really are some strange times. I’m really glad that you’re getting a break on your weekends. It must have been so hard to see your assailant every week like that. But now, I hope you can spend the weekends resting! You said that you’re doing your best to make progress and I think you’re doing a great job!

  24. Amel Volunteer

    Thank you so much for the update. It’s great to see that you’re taking steps towards progress and really working on the healing process. Quarantine has brought about many changes, and I understand why you may feel as though it is hectic. Keeping a schedule and managing to maintain a routine can be very beneficial during the days to come – in terms of course load and any upcoming assessments. I’m glad that you are finding comfort in your life and have gotten a break from seeing your assailant. Continue to stay strong and good luck!

    Amel

  25. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi Music2799,

    Thank you for stopping by to update us. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve made progress recently and that you’re doing well. I’m also glad to hear that you’ve been able to get a brief reprieve from being forced to see your abuser on a regular basis. Sometimes that’s all it takes to push the healing process forward. Please feel free to post more updates. It’s good to hear from you.

    All the best,
    Becca

  26. colton95 Volunteer

    I’m still working, but even I feel unmotivated and even dejected at times. I’ve been arguing a lot with my parents lately, and I have been in the same situation where I was in a group meeting and I stayed silent most of the time out of fear of being judged for dominating the conversation. All of these things that you’re feeling are perfectly normal, and I applaud you for staying strong and making progress. I hope that you will continue to be strong and that life will get better for you. Also, stay safe out there if you ever have to leave the house!

  27. Thomas Volunteer

    Hey Music2799,

    Thank you for the update. I’m glad to hear you are begining to heal and progress. You’re working on yourself and you should be proud of where you are. Remember, healing isn’t a straight line. Take things a day at a time and look back at how far you’ve come to see your progress. Stay strong.

    Thomas

  28. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Friend

    I am so glad that you’re working on healing for you and people you care about. It sounds like you are making progress and i am glad that DBT group was beneficial. You should be proud and have taken so much steps. Please come back anytime and update us anytime you like and thank you for sharing your story and how you are doing today. Sending love and hope!

  29. musicislove

    Hi music2799,

    I’m so glad that you’re working on healing yourself for you and the people you care about. It definitely sounds like you’re making progress and I’m so glad that the DBT group was beneficial for you. I’m also really glad you’ve been able to get a break from seeing your assailant every weekend at church, I could see how that could be so helpful for you. The two ways you listed that you’re making progress on are amazing,both are huge steps in the healing process and you should be proud of them. Please come back anytime and update us anytime you’d like and thank you for sharing how you’ve been doing today. Sending you hope and strength!

    Delaney

  30. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey music2799,

    Thanks for the update. It’s nice to see that you’re making good progress. It’s normal for feelings to ebb and flow like you’re experiencing, so I am glad that you have supports in place to help you through that. It sounds like your group has been quite helpful, especially in helping you feel seen. If you’re ever feeling like a burden to your friends, it’s probably in your head but you can always check with them to see if they have the mental space to talk about what you’re feeling or explain to them that you’re checking in because they’re important to you. You should be proud of the progress you’ve made so far. Hang in there!

    KatherineL

  31. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for updating us, and I’m glad to hear you feel you have been making progress and that even during the pandemic, you have been able to feel some relief because you don’t have to see the person you harmed you. Also happy on these last two points-I think these are really difficult things to learn, and the fact that you are getting there is really great. I know I’m still trying to remind myself of these things, too. Keep coming back here to share whenever you need.

    Erin

  32. tolleytn Volunteer

    Thank you for sharing your update with us. I’m so glad that you’re able to take your experiences and find some positive light in them. I’m sorry you have to deal with all of this, but I’m very proud to hear of the things you have accomplished thus far and look forward to continuing to hear of your healing journey. We’re always here to support you in whatever life may bring to the table and I hope you continue to stay safe and well!
    – Tiffany

  33. rkr18 Volunteer

    music2799,

    Hello it’s so nice hearing from you. Thank you for sharing your accomplishments. I am so happy that you are making progress and healing from past behaviors. I am so proud of you, and I wish you continued healing. Please continue to keep us updated and know we are always here for you.
    -Marie