PTSD, aftershock, and financial issues

It’s another day of doing nothing for me – almost- but for a first time in a week, there is no hidden mounts of pressure, no insurmountable challenges and feeling of despair. I’ve just receive my next chunk of money, my next payment, and the suffocating feeling like there is a ring around my heart(or lungs) constantly squeezing, has released a little. I can finally breathe. For about 10 days, I’ve reverted back to whom I was when I was scared, panicked, in shock and generally depressed. Sure, partly for money reasons, but let’s face it, it’s not only that. Once again, I’ve went from a period of regular weekly income, to having almost nothing. Literally- nothing in my bank account or wallet. Spending my last money for the bus and wondering how I will pay the next bill. Again. It’s not such a novel concept. I freelance, which means I’m floating from periods of getting more than I need, to periods where I just have to be patient for a month or two while I am trying to get new work.
But this, it’s like a physical reaction, and I completely lose all my logic, and ability to get myself out of that situation. It’s debilitating. I’m just starting to think there’s no getting out of it, and it’s all dire and impossible, until, when I receive my money, there is a day of shock and relief, whilst I’m fighting to forget that paralyzing fear…And then I’m back to real life. Like I just awoke out of the haze(which I pretty much did) and became real. It’s like my reaction to losing weight. It’s one of the hardest because I wonder if I can ever get over it. Continue reading

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Rape, Deflection and a Good Night Sleep

For the past year, despite all the other progress I have made with recovery, I have struggled to go to sleep on my own. My boyfriend goes to sleep later than me (we live together), and that means one of two things- I either do something (anything) until I am so exhausted than I have to fall asleep, or I watch.

I tell myself it’s because I got myself into this horrible habit of watching too much, and I’m not sure how to stop.

That, while it is the truth, is not the full truth.

I started this blog few years back, working through my issues of being raped. When I began writing, I couldn’t even say the word rape out loud. The first time I said it, I cried for hours.

Since then, I have written in forums, I have read books on recovery, I have written on here, I have gone to counselling, and for the most part, I have shared with the people I wanted to share it with. I have taken big leaps; put myself together, started a new life. Other than the first few months when I wrote on here very often, I have been writing on here only on occasion, when I had something to share.

And here is the BUT. While sharing, in so many way, has been so helpful at first, it’s now also restricting my recovery.

It feels as if sharing it, talking about what happened, would always be a release, a way to get rid of any leftover feelings I have. While that’s true sometimes…sometimes it’s deflection.

I’m not taking feelings out each time (though there was one time lately when I did share and that was a whole LOT of feelings). I’m rather…telling a story. It has me as the main heroine, and it’s deep and sad and profound. Except, I have said it so many times at this point, in so many ways, that telling it again is like a rehearsed speech. It’s nice feeling support, and sharing, but all that talking, it’s just deflection for my real feelings. See, I am telling what happened; in the past. It’s an old story, one I’ve moved on from, and as such my feelings about it aren’t quite as new. And because it’s a long story, I never get to my current feelings about it.

I write on here, but by sharing my previous experiences I avoid talking about the fact that there are feelings that linger even now. I avoid it so well I don’t even know what I’m doing, until I reach the evening. And I’m alone. In bed.

If I allow myself to be alone with my thoughts, I’ll know the truth.

I will know that I’m not anymore sad about what happened in general. I’ve chewed over it again, and again, because it’s easier. Because I am sharing old feelings. I don’t allow myself to accept that while I can be happy with my new life now, I can still sometimes be sad, or triggered, or have flashbacks. I know it’s natural, I just don’t allow myself.

I will know that sometimes I am so deeply sad, in a way that can’t be shared. In a way that doesn’t require long talks with resolution, because there isn’t anything to resolve. I’m just sad; I have to let it be. I can use a hug at those times, with no words attached to it, just warmness. I can use not talking, because then I can just feel however I’m feeling, and still know I’m not alone in it.

I will know that I’m sad that so many times when I feel certain way about a part of what happened, I have no way to share that. That I’m not sad for the things I do tell others, but for those things that I can’t; the things that I can’t digest, or which I can’t share because I need to share with the person the background story first.  Or because the person I’m sharing with is my friend, and I don’t want them to worry. Or because… Continue reading

End of the Semester: About Concentration and the Fragmented Life

I’ve blogged about most of that first year after my SA and what it was for me, in a way.

But before I move on to the second year, there are few more things to mention.

Oh, and for those of you new here who are new to the story, if you scroll over “Story and Background” you can choose time period, and then go backwards in it to see what I’ve written. I’ll soon add few pages with chronologically linked posts for easier access. I’m also possibly writing a memoir book/guideline for those going through rape recovery. I’ve learned some things on the way of getting here, and although I am not an expert, there are things I learned in the past year that I wish someone had told me when I was first struggling with this. Anyway, that book is in the process of making, and meanwhile, there are few more things I would like to share.

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1. Counseling

I’ve mentioned in a previous post, that counseling somehow helped me, even though I told the counselor very little. One thing that struck me though- and that I tried to conceal from her, because I thought it made me a freak or crazy- was my inability to separate how I feel.

She started asking me things about how I feel.

I remember I mastered some answer, even though I knew that at best I’m twisting the truth.

But she kept asking me how I feel, and what was I supposed to say?

I was spending most of my time at my favorite university, with my friends, completely miserable? And despite that most of the time I am not sure how I feel? I can’t make difference between good, bad, sad, angry? Everything had somehow blended together and it wasn’t that I was running from how I felt. I had no clue how I felt. None. I ran her question through my head many times after that, for myself, and found it disturbing that I still didn’t feel in way. There was no separation of feelings within me anymore. I was an emotional time-bomb waiting to explode.

2. Fragments and concentration

Now, that is the other thing about my first year that I’d like to share. Mostly because while going through it I constantly wondered if I’m going crazy or have somehow broken my brain beyond repair. Only now, getting out of it, I can see how it was, and that it wasn’t forever. I wish I’d known that what I was going through was perfectly fine considering. Continue reading

On SUICIDE thoughts: DOs and DONTs about talking to people having such

So I’m a little bit upset at people in general right now, or may be at the people from my country. I was reading the forum of one women’s magazine of my country(I was looking for one article, and found some topic in the forum), and there was a topic about a girl that wanted to kill herself. She consequently tried, but thankfully nothing happened. There were 12 pages of comments. I’m still on page 2, and already wondering, if I was at the place of that woman(girl? not sure how old she was) whether those comments wouldn’t push me further into it.

Few months back, in a blog I was reading in my native language, a girl admitted to having been raped. In one of the comments someone told her she probably didn’t fight hard enough if it happened anyway, that she probably opened her legs and waited for the guy to finish.

Really, people, think before you say something.

Trauma, depression, cutting or desire for suicide are not a joking matter. Continue reading

Money Matters

For a long time this past year, I’ve worked on myself.

More particularly, I’ve worked on overcoming my issue with rape. The summer when it happens, my whole universe snaps out of it’s axis, and the world changes for me. I know somewhere deep in me, life as I know it is over.

Now, it all sounds almost bearable. For more than half year, I have given everything I had to make it bearable, at first so deep in depression that it was hard to make myself get out of bed, let alone do anything else.
Finally, I am able to work nicely, to get up in the morning without feeling like I’ll break to pieces if I go outside, and to see my friends, without constantly having the feeling I’m living 2 lives at the same time.

When I first begin recovery, I’m touchy on everything around the issue. Pronouncing the word rape for a first time after the fact happens only after I have cried in a bathroom for 5 hours. And somehow, now that I’ve almost resolved that, I discover I’m almost as touchy on the subject of money. Continue reading

2. Starting recovery


Sometimes, you start the right thing for the wrong reason or for no reason at all. Sometimes in the midst of a nightmare, you find something to hold on to. In retrospect, the reason doesn’t matter. The reason has no meaning when that one thing is the one thing that keeps you holding onto life.

Until things get better. Or if they do.

         It’s the past August and I have just realized, my life is falling apart. I have just graduated, I have an internship at a great place, and I’ve just recently fallen in love with the perfect person for me(we are still together and crazy for each other)- so you can see how that would come as a surprise. But when you realize that you’ve stopped caring enough to brush your teeth or hair, food has become a chore, and you cry all the time…that has to give you heads up.

I’m breaking down. You’re too weak to deny it anymore. Continue reading

Day 10: Change. Tiles. Changing Tiles.

I was showering today, when my eye was caught by one of the tiles on the floor, which was now, for some reason, broken. I caught myself looking at it for a while like hypnotized, not being able to see anything else from the floor but that broken tile.

Than it occurred to me that lately that is how I have been looking at my life. I picked apart every piece around what happened that summer, to understand, to remember, and eventually- to heal myself.

Only just like with my floor, I lost sight of why I was looking there, and started staring. Just because one tile is broken, doesn’t mean the floor is ruined. Just because something very traumatic happened to you, doesn’t mean you get to feel broken forever.

One day this week I was seeing one of my best friends, and one of the small number of people who knew about what happened to me.

“Do you think I’m different than before? You know, before that?” yeah, we both know what I mean- my recent admission of being raped 2 years ago.

“You are, ” she said “I’m just not sure exactly how.”

I started to wonder. Was it that I was different, in obvious way, was it that I was sure she saw change in me, or was it me feeling that change? I had been actively trying to recover for weeks, and while there was obvious change for better, sometimes I still felt like my life was marked by something too big to heal from.

Healing, of course, is much different than changing a tile. It’s a lot harder and requires a lot more knowledge, effort and courage. But there’s something else though. Just like changing a tile, it’s possible. Is it hard? Of course it is.

But if you take your time and do it right, soon the only one who will know there was a changed tile will be you. Sometimes you can proudly point to that tile, happy you have fixed it alone, or look at it thinking that it’s obvious this part of the floor is different.

But for the most part, after a while even you won’t notice it, and will go on with your life like you usually do. Healing is possible. You have to try to look harder on all the other pretty tiles around, not only the one that is broken. It still needs to be fixed…but never forget you have a whole floor, not just one tile. Never forget that life is much more than one traumatic incident.

taken from: here