April 22, 2013 at 11:31 pm #812
I’m 57 years old and was sexually assaulted (I can’t say the “R” word) 36 years ago. I never was diagnosed with PTSD until recently. I guess that’s because 36 years ago, there never was a “label” associated with this. At any rate, I wake myself up screaming from terror dreams at least once per month. My husband knows to calmly and slowly wake me up with compassion. But why does this still haunt me after so long? And, has this affected my behavior during my awake hours as well? To top it off, I have also been diagnosed with chronic depression which has hit an all-time low just recently based on a situational occurence within my family. Aarg. How much can a person take?
April 23, 2013 at 9:43 am #3421
Hi gbsooze ,
The effects from a trauma last a long long time .
Even though we put them to the back of our mind and try to carry on as normal they are always there waiting to attack our mind whenever an opportunity arises such as sleeping .
Carrying a secret like yours for 36 years must of been hard on your mental well being all this time .
Have you ever had counselling or been able to talk freely about what happened ?
April 26, 2013 at 12:59 am #3422
Indeed, they last a lifetime—they never go away completely…just crop up when you least expect it. Yes, it’s a secret to most, but my husband and dear friends are aware. I don’t even remember telling my sisters because of the shame. Yes, I’ve had lots of counseling for my chronic depression because of this incident and others; also because it’s in my family heredity. Thanks for responding Strawberry! Yes, however the only person I can talk freely regarding this is my husband. He knows not to sneak into the bedroom as to not wake me up. I sleep with a bat under my bed. When my husband isn’t around, I bring the bad to a reachable position. Our dog helps to warn me. I have already, in hind sight it’s comical, been alone-heard the dog bark-got up-grabbed the bat-and screamed “I have a bat and I know how to use it.” 🙂 It worked at the time, but now I chuckle at it. But, you know the creepy creeks and noises you hear in the middle of the night….quite scary. But my dreams just don’t go away.
I also have replied to one of the depression forums but really should tell my story. There are soooooooooo many people who feel the way I feel. I just hope that those on this site reply to others with either comisseration or help. I appreciate your response Straw! I’m in the midwest US, so for me, have a good night. 😛 _
April 27, 2013 at 1:32 am #3423
This is still a ‘working theory’ for me but I ‘m getting closer to understanding (believing in) how it works. I think in order to move past the traumatic events in our life, the secret is to not, self medicate/drink or ‘insert whatever else you can think of’ to avoid or suppress the intense emotions attached to the past. No instead, it’s only by full on, embracing the pain, we are able to face & work on moving past it. Yes your past will certainly ‘define you’, but it can be in a good way.
We don’t get to choose what happens to us but we do get to choose how it affects us.
Finally for your consideration, a tree gets stronger by wind. Without wind, the tree tip will actually start growing towards the ground. Basically the same wind that can potentially blow a tree to the ground, is actually imperative for strong, solid growth. So ya… just some of the theory’s I’m working hard on. 🙂
Oh & welcome gbsooze. ~eco
May 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm #3424
You sound like me gbsooze ,my dog sleeps on the bed with me and is my warning system for noises 😉
But then I dont sleep all night anyways – insomnia has been with me since I was a kid due to bad events which made me fearful of sleep and the dark.
Now I just am ‘used’ to it and gave up fighting the dark demons that lurk at night,it is easier to be up all night and sleep when I do have to ,not that I am saying that is right thing to do but it works for me .
With a family history of depression or mental illness issues it is hard to be the one that does escape but remember it is not your fault .
As Eco says it is about ‘understanding/believing’ in how it works .Find the points/issues that are the more troublesome and face them head on ,dont let them rule your head.
Feel sad ,feel angry ,feel frightened ..all these are normal responses and are needed in the next step of understanding and laying them to rest .
By letting these feelings overwhelm you ,you are giving them power still to bring you down mentally .Time to reverse that power and take it back .
Take our little internet hands and walk with us through this madness until we reach that place where life is somewhat good again :).
btw gbsooze I was mentally abused and physically abused ( and the R word ) by the two people that were supposed to love me and care for me .
Now I am a mother of grown ups kids and a grandma of 7 and although the demons are still there ,they play by my rules now ;).
May 2, 2013 at 8:55 pm #3425
Thanks for sharing your story gbsooze, it meant something to me
I was a victim of an attempted murder in 1991, as I lay sleeping….long story…. but, I can say, I don’t think getting over something so big in our lives is never going to be easy. What someone says earlier about facing the pain, full on, I would agree. However, sometimes, for me, it feels too painful. It is as raw today as it was back then, not helped by continual reminders of my “notorious assailant” in the British media.
Sleeping with a bat under the bed isn’t new on me; mine was a knife under the pillow! Now it’s my wee Jack Russell sleeping on the bed that makes me feel safe 😀
I suffer vivid dreams and nightmares. Sometimes, in the early days, I would get up in the morning feeling like I had truly lived the terror of my dreams. It escalated over years, resulting in severe bouts of depression.
Somehow, we need to find the will and strength to continue to move forward. Talking therapy, whilst difficult, is probably best for addressing something like this. There are even special PTSD therapy services where I live, London UK., but imagine it is different where you are.
May 17, 2013 at 12:53 am #3426
Thanks so much catbj! I’m sorry for your experience but grateful for the understanding. I also suffer from deep, chronic depression. This and other expectations that have not come to fruition have caused me to be stupid three months ago. I took an OD of sleeping pills which only resulted in me being held against my wishes in a psychiatric facility for three days. Not a pleasant experience, not to mention not feeling safe at that place … hey, I didn’t have my bat nor my dog at my side 🙂 At any rate, indeed we need to continue our journey through life carrying our specific burdens. They will never go away and creep up when we least expect it. Drat. I am in therapy and seeing a psychiatrist which seem to help to a certain extent. Take care cat…I’m with you.
May 19, 2013 at 6:36 pm #3427
That sounds one awful experience gbsooze. I hope you are recovering
March 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm #7508
Hope that you will get well soon….
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