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Messages - Multicolour

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General Discussion / Re: Learning to cope
« on: December 12, 2015, 05:54:16 AM »
Yes I do relate to it- but first I want to say how very sorry I am about how you were abused as a child. You deserved love and support and to be listened to and have your feelings heard and responded to. Not to be physically abused when were are distressed and asked for help, that's just so awful and frightening.

I do relaxation exercises and visualizations. I really should do them more, they improve my quality of life- I'm calmer, less easily triggered, gentler with myself.

One that I do is to go to a beautiful Victorian room and talk to two people I imagine are there- my child self and my future self. My child self appears at all different ages and responds differently at different times but my future self remains the same. She looks like a really kind, powerful leader. I ask the child what she's feeling and my future self supports me and her. I need the future self because sometimes I don't feel like I can cope by myself. My future self is incredibly kind and wise!

Listening to and believing and validating the child self has very immediate, beneficial effects on how I feel about myself, how much I'm triggered, how strong and capable I feel in everyday life.

Which is why I really should do it at least once a week, so thanks for reminding me. Listening to the child self who was abused and telling her she is safe now is so important.

General Discussion / Re: Just wanted to tell you about my dream :)
« on: December 12, 2015, 05:36:26 AM »
That is an amazing dream and it all made perfect sense. Thanks for sharing it.

General Discussion / Re: Excessive anger
« on: December 12, 2015, 05:31:51 AM »
Me too. I am furious. My losses feel unbearable. I feel angry and despairing, and so much grief.

I think that there is both anger and grief and for me. Crying and releasing the grief seems to make the pain and anger lessen a little, but only if I'm with someone- counseller or friend- who can listen and hear why I am crying. Without talking at the same time, the crying can become endless and I feel despairing and hopeless, and that's never healthy or helpful.

It's hard to know what to do with the anger. I want to campaign against abuse but that has it's own drawbacks- it's triggering and bad reactions to speaking out can be very upsetting and frightening.

I have torn up old phonebooks and directories- it helped a bit. You can grab a thick wad of pages and tear it up and keep going until the whole phonebook is in pieces. You could do it with really rubbish paperbacks too :). Other things I've done is make cardboard doll of an abuser and destroy that. If you exercise vigorously that can be a way of venting anger.

Art helps too, drawing myself as an avenging superhero, or making posters that name and shame my abusers (I've never put one up but it can feel good to do it just for myself.)

Nothing can bring back what the abuser stole and on top of that our community has no public recognition for the losses- unlike with a death, or serious disease, abuse trauma produces no public rituals, no fun runs, no way to have pain recognized or be with others. It's incredibly tough.  Remember that you are part of a club of millions who all feel alone and unheard.

If justice was not done in your case, that's another layer of disempowerment that can result in unresolved anger.

I'm so glad you wrote what you did, because I feel like I'm going mad with anger sometimes too. Do any little thing you can to express the anger safely. Things will get better incrementally. You might need to grieve the losses as well.

I have done a therapy exercise where I wrote all my losses down on slips of paper, dug a hole, buried them, put a statue on it (I put a plaster statue of a woman) and did my own funeral service.

The anger might go and come back but you won't drown in it, you're here, doing something of extreme difficulty, you have survived what many people simply can't imagine surviving and you are working to get back what was taken.

I don't think many people other than survivors and trauma counselors can comprehend just how painful and hard it is. You are mighty.

Sexual Abuse / Re: Why can't we talk about rape? (trigger warning)
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:52:39 PM »
Hi Bimsy,

Thanks for your reply- yes I feel angry and lots of shame too.
It's so difficult to try and develop an integrated self when I have to spend so much time pretending to other people that the world is nicer than it is. 'Things We Aren't Allowed To Talk About' has become 'A Person I am Not Allowed To Be: Me.'

That story about your father is very relevant and so awful that you can't talk about the whole story- I imagine it's hard enough to feel like it's OK to talk about the suicide. Which- I'm so sorry by the way, that is just so sad. It's awful to have to 'walk on eggshells' when being able to talk openly about it might relieve some of the confusion and pain people feel around suicide.

Brene Brown says that shame thrives in silence, and that's been my experience my whole life.

I was on the train today and I had this fantasy where I stood up and said: "Just wondering, I was raped as a child and I was wondering how many other people here were too? Because I'm sure I'm not the only one, just statistically you know, but I feel so alone."

There's nothing obviously wrong with doing this- except it could make people feel uncomfortable or trigger a survivor who was having a break from thinking about it. And there's the fear that people might think I'm nuts.

I need an outlet for all this need to speak out. I have wanted to start a trauma sensitive writing group but now I think I want to start a rape action group, to campaign and lobby for better rape laws and services. But then I think- that's going to be really difficult, triggering, take time and energy I don't always have, make me vulnerable and expose me to attack. Lots of reasons not to.

I have to do something though, before I start standing up on trains!

Sexual Abuse / Why can't we talk about rape? (trigger warning)
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:47:15 AM »
I was raped repeatedly as a child and that's why I have trauma symptoms. But it's so difficult to talk about it and it seems like everyone wants to use phrases like sexual abuse instead.

I don't agree with 'CPTSD' either- I don't have a disorder, I experience the predictable and known effects of being raped as a child.
'CPTSD' and 'sexual abuse' are just metaphors to make other people more comfortable.

As a child and I was held down and raped- that's the truth.

The Cafe / Re: What do you love the most in the world :)i
« on: November 09, 2015, 11:30:15 AM »
Boatsetsailrose yes I love to swim in the sea, it makes me feel immortal, like I'm part of the sea like plankton or jellyfish.

And yes, feeling calm with friends- it's hard because it's so hard to trust other people, so to relax even with someone you have every reason to trust is hard. I always feel like anyone could become scary at any moment, but I think over the years and years friends have become less scary. I want to feel safe with other people more than anything.

So wonderful to read the discussion here, thanks EmoVulcan, Woodsgnome, seriousann.

Good news, I have started the application process for a writing course!

Part of my safety checking has been to find out who the main teachers are, call and speak with them. I asked a general-sounding question about how they respond to conflict in class, to sort of sound people out. So far the responses have been good, and the teaching staff's responses have indicated respect for people's right to feel safe and to respect different feelings. There was also an acknowledgement that it happens and that universities can always do better. So it felt like a realistic response, and I am establishing relationships.

That's a start. In class I want to be able to hold onto the truth that other people's actions are theirs and I have absolutely no control over them, it's not my fault, and I didn't cause them. Also that their denial or hate has no relevance to me or my lived experience.

I want to feel solid and valuable and valid and real, no matter what others think. I'm scared but I also know it's completely unfair for me to live in fear. Speaking out about abuse is part of me being real, not hiding what has impacted my life more than anything else is important. It's not my shame. I also think that if I speak out this time and establish my truth, it's harder for the denialists to hurt me, because I've claimed my existence out loud.

What EmoVulcan wrote about our truth being an attack on others reality is so true, but I'm finished with keeping other people's reality stable when mine has so rarely been acknowledged.

Seriousann I think it can only help your clients to know you are a survivor- so long as you are in a place where it won't overwhelm the clients story.

And Woodsgnome thanks for the link, I will check it out. Love to everyone, this has been so helpful.

The Cafe / Re: What do you love the most in the world :)i
« on: November 01, 2015, 01:28:42 PM »
Being in the sea
Art and craft with colours
Going to the movies
Hugging my partner
Hugging my cat
Feeling calm and happy with a friend (I wish this happened more)
Sitting in a forest
Eating fried eggplant

General Discussion / Re: Symbols/Visualizations
« on: November 01, 2015, 01:10:13 PM »
woodsgnome that is lovely. I visualize myself in a beautiful forest with forest smells and light breeze and sunshine- and to be extra safe there's a clear force field around the forest and no-one can get in! I am in nature but I am completely protected :)

Introductory Post / Re: 20 years later the lighthouse shines a light!
« on: November 01, 2015, 01:05:20 PM »
Hi Hopec
Pregnancy and after the first child is born are awful danger times for domestic violence/ domestic terrorism. I experienced a similar escalation of violence at this time. So glad you are safe now. I haven't been writing on this forum very long but I have found it very helpful. Just to keep finding out I am not alone is so reassuring. It's awful and sad that there are so many of but how strong are we!

General Discussion / Re: So What is CPTSD?
« on: November 01, 2015, 12:55:34 PM »
Hi Kizzie,
Thanks so much for that, I relate to it very much and the writer expresses himself beautifully.

Yes the hyper-vigilance is awful. It's my understanding that it's evolutionary- because of the abuse our brains are now trained to believe our habitat is a dangerous jungle- it's our brains just trying to protect us. I still have heaps of terror but I have found that doing regular relaxation exercises has helped me recognize what's happening quicker and I can try and tackle the terror more often these days. Which is very nice:)

Thanks again for the link. Every time someone affirms that my trauma responses are normal and I am okay I feel a little bit more in control and a little less powerless. I feel a little less worthless and a lot more valid. It's so important.

Thanks for telling me about the groups you have been involved in (it's really good to hear), and for validating my feelings about this.
I think it might be good to be involved in a supportive group, but I want to study for a degree and try to have a stronger career. It's being in mainstream study environment that I want and think I do have a right to feel safe in, but it's not always the case.

I love your idea of writing something about shamers and enablers. It's bad enough to be abused, the lack of understanding or empathy from non-survivors causes so much pain and disablement on top of the abuse. I think it disables me as much as the original abuse.

I admire people who are 'out' about being survivors. So far I know of a sportsperson, a counseller, and a talk show host (Oprah!). I wish for a future where we can all talk openly about being survivors and know that we will be understood and respected.

I really like the idea of a group of writers. I'd like to meet face to face though. I have belonged to a few writers groups- I recently left one because of feeling uncomfortable about the topics others were writing about. I love the idea of a safe space writing group. Thanks :)

General Discussion / Re: Creativity...
« on: October 31, 2015, 04:22:00 PM »
That's so great, I think art therapy can really help in ways that talk therapy can't. You take care too.

General Discussion / Re: What makes me, me?
« on: October 31, 2015, 03:58:58 PM »
That you have written here means that you are thinking independently. You might feel dissociated or confused about your identity but you are still you and things will get better. I don't know what else to write as you haven't given much detail. I just want to tell you that CPTSD can cause feelings of unreality. You are real though and you are you.

Your life right now still sounds really tough. I think if you have stuck together that long you must be able to focus on what he can offer you, instead of what he can't, which I think really helps any marriage. Being kind and calm right now is the best thing you can practice. So difficult given the homelessness you two are experiencing: not a situation that's good for unpacking issues.

CPTSD can qualify as a psychiatric disability- I don't know anything about where you live but is it possible to look into any housing programs for those with disability? It's usually a better bet than general public housing or homelessness housing. It seems unfair to me to expect yourselves to be getting along or sorting problems out when you're living in a tent.

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