Twice in one day…

Twice in one day…

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Hi all. It’s me again. I’m sorry for posting again today.  I don’t have my therapy appointment until Friday and I’ve got no one else to tell this to. 

Today I went with my partner to an 85th birthday party for his great uncle at a beautiful park outside the city.  All his side of the family. There were a lot of people there. I’d say more than fifty. Including a cousin of some sort that I didn’t think I knew, but his wife looked eerily familiar. 

I guess I should back track.  When I was a child my biological parental figure (I don’t call him Dad, I will call him Ben for this entry) was a raging alcoholic.  My mother worked shift work and when she wasn’t home he was the one who watched the kids.  He would have his friends over and they would party.  Ben and my uncle (Ben’s sisters husband), had already been using me in their sexual games for sometime. I know this because we moved before I started kindergarten at age 5 and I remember the house we lived in before.  My uncle would do things with me in the bathroom.  I remember the basement and the single lightbulb that hung in the bathroom.  I would stare at it and eventually I could float up there and not have to feel him on top of me. There were many more instances. So many. Too many. 

Back to him drinking with his friends when my mom was at work.  I would have to do things in front of them. With little or no clothes on.  Eventually he gave me to his friends. I’d have to be alone with them. Some were nicer than others. Some were not nice at all. I always had the light to go into though. I don’t know what Ben got out of it. I don’t want to know.  

So today at the BBQ bday party.  There was a lady who looked so familiar but I had no idea who she was.  At some point someone said her name and it sort of *pinged* in my head.  So I asked my partner who she was.  My partner said it was the cousins wife and said his name.  I hadn’t seen him.  His back was to me. 

Boom!  Instant panic inside me.  It was one of Ben’s friends from when I was a kid.  All I could think was “is he one of the ones who fucked me”.  I pretty much shut off my body and mind and took the kids for a walk by the river.  Then left.  Always have to wear the mask and play the part… I know the memory is there but I’m afraid to let it out.  I stuff my feelings and I don’t know how to feel them. Literally. My body is rebelling  though. So I guess I feel them physically? I’m not sure. I know my heart continues to race. My stomach hurts. I want to vomit. My head aches. 

So what do I do?  I’m terrified of the feelings. I don’t even know what they are. Just that they’re not safe to feel. Or maybe that’s old thinking. I’m in a relatively good place in my life. I think that’s why things are coming back to me again. 

So I’m done rambling now  

thanks for listening  

DiiO

I’ve always known about it, but am remembering things I’d forgotten. 


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14 comments

  1. Leximcclelland Volunteer

    Hello Diio,
    Moments like this where something triggers you to remember everything so clearly can cause so much panic and anxiety. I am so proud and happy you got through it and took yourself away from the cause by taking the kids to the river and leaving. Your feelings are valid. You did the right thing by removing yourself from the situation.
    If you are ready and comfortable, I hope you reach out to a therapist who can further help you work through this so you are able to reach a place of peace. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, you are so brave.
    Take care of yourself and know we are here for you.

  2. mkyuellig

    DiiO,

    I’m so sorry that you experienced that triggering moment, and encountered someone that may have hurt you as a child. It absolutely makes sense that you would react the way you did both emotionally and physically. You showed some amazing coping skills by removing yourself from the situation and getting out of there despite experiencing a panic attack. I hope that you are able to take some time to do some self care in between now and when you see your therapist. If you are able to speak with your partner or a close friend, or even journal or set aside some time to create some art. Please keep us posted.

    Stay strong and be gentle with yourself,
    Keight

  3. brodie_james Volunteer

    Hello friend,

    Thank you so much for the update. Please never feel like you’re a burden or weird for posting more than once; we’re here to listen and support you through whatever you need, as much as you need it.

    I’m so sorry that this abuse happened to you, and I’m also sorry that you had this moment of panic when realizing you were in the same space as one of your abusers and his family. I’m glad you were able to remove yourself from the situation instead of forcing yourself to stay at the party for the sake of your partner. It sounds like you’re continuing to do things that are healthy and positive and that contribute to your “self-preservation” – in other words, you’re doing the things necessary to take care of yourself, and avoiding things that are unnecessarily harmful or uncomfortable to yourself. That is such a great thing to do, especially because sticking up for ourselves can often be incredibly difficult yet brave thing to do.

    You said in your message that it seems as though your emotions are getting bottled up and expressing themselves physically. That’s actually something that’s relatively common after people experience trauma; it’s almost as if the bad feelings are demanding to be felt, and if they’re not going to be felt emotionally, then the trauma can cause things like headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, nausea, and other things like that. This is even common with people who have anxiety or other kinds of mental health struggles. It can sometimes be scary when we recognize our emotional trauma being expressed as physical pain. Sometimes taking medications like headache or anti-nausea medicines can help in the short-term, but it might not make them go away permanently. I think that as you continue through therapy, and process your trauma at your own pace, those physical symptoms might ease up a little bit. No matter what, trust your judgement regarding whether you’re in a safe place to experience and process those bad feelings. If you believe you’re in a good place in life – and physically in a safe place, either by yourself or with people you love and trust – and you’re ready to try and process those feelings, that’s great! If you’re not, that’s perfectly fine too! Know your own limits and trust that your partner, your therapist, and all of us are here to support you if you need it.

    You’re doing such a great job. You’re an incredibly resilient person, and we are all so proud of you for being courageous through all of this.

    Cheers,
    Brodie

  4. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    Thanks for the update, just remember next you are in a situation like this remain calm and take deep breathes , if you see your self starting to panic leave the situation don’t do more harm by staying. Know we believe in you and are here for you. Stay strong and looking forward to your next update.

    -Brianna

  5. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi DiiO,
    I’m sos try this happened. The something like this happens, just remember to stay calm. You are strong. Breath in and out. Deep breaths. You are going to be okay. Always remind yourself that you are safe and you have nothing to worry about now. Hopefully you are feeling better now. If you need immediate help or we do not respond fast enough you can always text VOICE to 741-741. Thank you for updating us.
    -Alyssa

  6. Northlane1991 Volunteer

    Hey Diio

    You dont need to apolgizing for expressing yourself. We are here for you to be your safe space. I am sorry you have awful memories of all those abuse you had gone through. It would be best to talk with your therapist and to express what you had gone through. Only if you are ready to talk to others about what you have gone through you should.

  7. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi again DiiO,

    First off, please don’t apologize for posting!! Post as many times as you need. That’s what we’re here for!

    I’m sorry you were having such a nice time and then had those awful memories flood back. It’s so unfair that, even though the physical abuse stopped so long ago, you still have the lingering thoughts that pop up when you least expect it. I agree with what music2799 said, though. It sounds like you’re in a much better place, so your brain is letting a few things back at a time because, deep down, you might be ready to work through these feelings. It would probably be helpful to sit down with your therapist and unpack what happened, but please only do so if you’re comfortable. If you’re not, feel free to post again with more of your thoughts. We’re here for you.

    Marissa

  8. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi DiiO,
    I’m so sorry that these repressed memories are coming back. I can’t imagine how difficult and scary that is. However, I do know that it’s normal to have physical sensations that correspond with the emotions we may be feeling. Sometimes our brains repress memories (or we dissociate) to protect us. Yet after some time, when we are in a good place, these memories can come back because we’re more ready to cope with them. I think that talking about these feelings can help us work through them. Maybe talking about this with your therapist could help.
    There’s no need to apologize for posting. We’re glad to listen and to respond to you, and we’ll always be here for you. I know you can get through this.

  9. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thanks for coming back to share-I know having the memories come flooding back can be overwhelming, and scary. Hopefully talking through these feelings during therapy will help-I know I’ve done that, and that’s been most helpful. You can also text VOICE to 741 741 in the meantime. Let us know what else we can do for you.

    Erin

  10. Brianna W Volunteer Volunteer

    I’m sorry to what happened to you as a child and recently, you didn’t deserve it then or now and it wasn’t your fault at all. Thank you for not only sharing once but twice. Sharing takes a lot of strength and courage and I’m glad you were willing to share with us. We are here for you and always will be. We believe in you. Stay strong.
    -Brianna

  11. Amysue43 Volunteer

    I’m sorry to hear what you had to go through as a child and most recently. You didn’t deserve any of it, nor is it your fault. With the feelings you are experiencing now, perhaps talking more about them (like you are now) could help. I would hope that after posting your story that you felt a little bit of the wait off your shoulders. Fingers crossed that these comments also reassure you in the fact that the new memories and feelings you’re getting are normal. However, you have the strength and heart to get through this. Like you said, you are a relatively good place in your life and you had to work for that!

    Also, we are happy to see that you posted twice! We are here for you and want to ensure that you are listened too!

    Stay strong!

  12. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there DiiO,

    Agreed with Becca – absolutely no need to apologize. We are here for you! We are a community.

    Our brains can be weird, strange places. Sometimes they block out harmful things to protect us. It makes sense that you’re not comfortable with these feelings, whatever they are. The physical feels from what our brain is trying to tell us can be startling. These are all normal things though and you are not alone in them.

    You are brave for sharing your story and voicing these feelings. It’s sometimes hard to remember that others have felt them before too and get exactly what you’re going through. I hope your therapy session goes well. We’re here for you whenever you need us.

    Sending light,
    SFM

  13. Megan Volunteer

    Hey DiiO,

    I’m sorry that this happened to you as a kid. You deserve so much better than that. It is actually fairly common for memories to not resurface until they are triggered (i.e. by seeing a former abuser) and also for the physical reaction to happen first and more heavily than the emotional reaction. We can often distract ourselves to not deal with the emotions of the trauma but oftentimes the body will react anyway. I would definitely discuss this in your next therapy appointment. It tends to be easier to sort through memories and instances like this in a safe place with someone who has practice helping people do it. If it gets really bad though, you can try to call the office and possibly move your appointment up if needed.

    I hope things get better soon. Remember that you are strong and you will get through this,
    Megan

  14. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi DiiO,

    No need to apologize for posting twice in one day. We’re here for you anytime you need us. I’m so sorry you are struggling with these unpleasant memories and the physical sensations attached to them. It’s quite normal to experience these feelings as repressed trauma begins to rise to the surface. My advice would be to pause, close your eyes if you feel comfortable doing so, and take ten slow deep breaths. Make sure to exhale completely. This is a way to reset your nervous system after a triggering event. Also, running your hands under cold water while focusing on your immediate surroundings ie the smell of the room, the color of the walls, the sound of the water running from the faucet etc can help curb the overwhelming physical sensations. I hope this helps a little bit until you can speak to your therapist.

    All the best,
    Becca