I have grown silent and become nearly absent on the forum over the past several months. I have my reasons, not excuses but true reasons for my extended absence. It’s not wholly intentional that I’ve been distancing myself recently from the public forums & groups. I have not abandoned you all or completely disappeared. I still log in somewhat regularly but due to current circumstances even my profile has become an issue for me to cope with.
This is an explanation of why, an apology to both you dear members who have so amazingly stood beside me in my healing and also an apology to myself. You have all been so patient, understanding & supportive of me through all the nightmares & flashbacks.
In the last few months something has changed drastically for me with my ongoing struggle to heal from all the trauma and cope with the increasing resurgence of symptoms from PTSD. For many who have come to know me here, the trauma I suffered in February created a PTSD crisis that was beyond my ability to understand and cope with. I’ve had several traumas that have caused years of struggles with PTSD but never have they been on the level of what I have experienced this year.
To complicate matter, not only is it medically related trauma that caused this PTSD but it was continuously aggravated by an inconsiderate mental health provider who at the onset of my PTSD refused to treat it while I was in crisis. I have moved since then and have an amazing new psychiatrist who has repaired much of the damages done by the previous provider but it has now reached 9 months since I chose to seek treatment for my PTSD and other than my psychiatrist, I am still waiting to begin actual therapy. I am on a waiting list to start DBT but it’s unlikely to happen by end of year, and the soonest I can even see a psychologist or therapist isn’t not until January. This has caused many worsening issues that seem to be creating new ones every day.
In a few days it will be the 35th anniversary of me telling my parents that I was being molested by my minister, six days after my birthday every year & it has always caused difficulties with depression, anxiety, and general distress. I have been expecting this year to be much worse than previous years as the severity of the anaphylaxis PTSD has been so far beyond my abilities to cope with that it is reasonable to expect my other PTSD traumas to be more aggressive than ever before. But nothing could have prepared me for just how aggressive or the shape of the symptoms.
In the past, I’ve had very few memories of my abuse (thankfully). When triggered, my flashbacks have almost always been in the form of extended blackouts that I have no memory of afterwards. I’ve always considered that a blessing. Unfortunately that blessing has been revoked.
In the past few months I’ve been plagued by a resurgence of flashbacks, and though some still are thankfully blackouts, most have not been. Every day I am remembering more and more of the abuse from my minister, the other abuses I suffered at the hands of others, and the worst of all is the remembrance of witnessing my sister be assaulted and abused both sexually & physically. These are memories that have been buried so deeply I had no idea they existed until they’ve come flooding back over the past few months.
Due to the flashbacks & the unfortunate ability to recall them afterwards, my whole healing journey has been turned upside down. I now longer know what may trigger them, what effects will come as a consequence of remembering but it is wrecking havoc on my life and sanity. For me these are things I should not remember.
The result of this overload of memories has been an increasing and overwhelming amount of fear bordering on paranoia. The panic attacks have returned in full force, the nightmares take turns with insomnia to ruin every night, and my anxiety and fear are so out of control now I nearly have a nervous breakdown just in the waiting room to see my psychiatrist. I’m terrified to leave my house unless my daughter is with me, afraid of everything and everyone. Old, once upon a time resolved, issues have returned with renewed vengeance and everyday the dissociation and hyper vigilance grows stronger.
My reasons for sharing this is because now even the much needed support and help I could receive from so many others like me here has become in its own way another trigger for me. I’ve tried so hard to overcome it, work my way through it and around it but it continues to cause severe anxiety to point I’m scared to even read posts or comment. Even more so I’ve become terrified of participating and posting my own experiences on the forum, scared beyond words of burdening all of you with the nightmare mess my PTSD has become. I am afraid of comments, of rejection, of doubts, of disbelief, of being too needy, too selfish, too weak, and too insensitive. I feel horrid every day I stay silent and absent and so intensely guilty and ashamed.
Old fears that were the result of years and years of persecution from the community and religion for prosecuting my abuser have resurfaced and settled into my heart. They dug in so deeply that I have this constant void just above my stomach, this pit of anxiety and fear where it is constantly simmering and growing until some days it become so consuming I feel like it is physically dissolving me from the inside out. Of all the traumas I’ve lived through by far the worst and most damaging was what happened to me after my abuse, what people did to me, how they treated me, how I was hunted by my former religion every new place we moved to, how I was ostracized and blamed, called a liar and a bad influence on others, how people should not let there children associate with me because I was..., ugh..., they treated me like I carried the plague and was intentionally trying to infect every person I came across with my disease.
With the return ability to recall at will horrific memories I previously had no access to of not only my abuse but also that of my sister has brought back all the feelings of fear, isolation, persecution, guilt, shame, distrust, hate and anger. I’ve been drowning in it for the past several months..., too afraid and ashamed to share it, to admit it, to even recognize it at all. I’m terrified of it and have been doing everything possible to avoid triggering these memories and the feelings and fear that accompany them.
I think some of you will understand my reasons, and I’m trying so very hard to believe that you will accept them as an explanation of why I’ve been absent and not see them as just excuses. They are not excuses, they are reasons of why I’ve been so horrendously selfish and inconsiderate of all of you by isolating myself and hiding. I am sorry and sincerely apologize for the effect it has had but I don’t want forgiveness. I know my demons and my sins and I accept them and take responsibility for them & my actions. That is why this I am so adamant that this is my reasons and that they are not excuses.
One of my issues that always gets severe is my sense of accountability and acceptance of when I have been wrong or mistaken. If my actions have been misguided or inconsiderate or selfish, I must take full responsibility for them and in these cases I do not want forgiveness but would appreciate that you understand I am flawed, I have my own unusual issues, I am both good & bad in many different ways, and that you respect that part of me and if you can..., accept it as well as my sincere apologies.
I know this is a very long post, but I know that I must explain these things. I own that to all of you who have been so generous and supportive to me & everyone else here on DS.
I’m might still be absent from the public forums and even less active on my profile until I can find a way to minimize the current effects & triggers I have been struggling with. Regardless, I am grateful to each and everyone of you, eternally and forever in your debt, and with you in heart and spirit, supporting and caring for all you you even if I don’t show it.
I do so much regret and apologize that currently the aggressive changes in my PTSD has caused me to force a retreat into myself, to become silent, to hide, to live in fear of everyone & everything right now. Unfortunately I must choose which battle I have the strength to fight right now, the ones that I might have a slender chance of succeeding in overcoming.
All my love, support, heart, and hope for you all.
Do you have fond memories of vacations with your family? If so, what was one of your favorites? Where did you go?
As I have pondered the results of my recent "Testing" post, the term, "Gaslighting" has been floating through the ponderations like a street sign. When I finally started taking my amnesia therapy seriously in the mid to late 80's, the term was used extensively to help me explore what was going on with my memory dysfunctions and resulting psychoses (pl). I was self-gaslighting like a toxic mother...