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Topics - songbirdrosa

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1
Successes, Progress? / The step I never thought I'd take
« on: July 05, 2018, 07:56:43 PM »
First off, hi again everyone! It's been a while since I was on and so much has happened. But the thing I wanted to talk about is the latest development.

I finally took the first step in reporting my brother for his abuse of me. It was an anonymous online report. I filled out a form detailing what happened and when, I had two counsellors with me to help me through it and it took nearly an hour but I did it. I said what I needed to say, wrote the words myself, and submitted the report myself. No one did it for me. I took back some of the power that was stolen from me so long ago. My therapist told me it was a huge thing and that today I took a stand for my inner child.

What happens next is that will be passed on to the police, and the service will follow up with a call tomorrow. I can file official charges later if I choose to.

It's less than 24 hours removed since I did it, and it's still sinking in. I did it. For me. For the little girl I was. For the young woman I am now. No more fear.

2
Art / Revelatory drawing
« on: April 20, 2018, 01:41:14 PM »
It's been a while since I was on, but this was something I felt like I needed to share. My psychologist asked me to do a drawing of "what's holding you back from being where you want to be." I started to sketch what felt right, and got this far when I had to stop and really look at it. I realised that this is me! How I truly see myself. And it shocked me to the point where I nearly cried. I've never seen it this way before...

3
I felt like this is a big enough update to warrant letting you guys know about, and I also would like some perspective from people who really get it.

Lately, one of my therapists has been asking me about anonymously reporting my eldest brother for his abuse of me. At first I balked at the idea, but as I've had time to think it over I've realised that for me, an anonymous report wouldn't go far enough. I have a very developed sense of justice, and I'm beginning to realise that I'd need more to be truly satisfied within myself. Not so much to get revenge, but to know that I had done everything within my power to ensure that he never had the opportunity to do it again. That him "getting away with it" so to speak, wasn't just due to my silence. One thing in particular that has spurred me on to this conclusion is that I've been made aware that he's seeking to become a child care worker, and that he has regular access to his friend's young daughter.

For the last twenty years, I've been protecting him. Keeping his secret, putting myself in uncomfortable situations, and trying to ignore his suggestive comments. All to maintain a "normal" family relationship. But I can see now that all that's achieved is to hurt me even more. He doesn't deserve it, and so far hasn't given me any reason to believe that he'll do anything positive if given a second chance. Though to be frank, it'd be more like a fiftieth chance at this point.

I've done some research into what I would have to do to lay charges, and the procedure once I do that. Considering how long ago it was and the fact that there's no real evidence left, it seems the simplest path I can hope for is that he plead guilty right from the start. Even if that does happen, I'm under no illusions that this will be anything other than difficult, and I'm going to need a lot of inner strength and a fabulous support network in place before I can even think of moving forward down this road. But it's becoming clearer that it's the road I need to take.

4
Checking Out / Focusing on real life
« on: March 20, 2018, 10:17:36 AM »
Following a few discussions with both my trauma therapist and weekly counsellor, I've realised that I need to start living more in my present and stop avoiding interactions in my day to day life. So I've decided that I'm going to be spending less time online and more time in building my social circles with those around me. I also feel that in my current headspace, I'm not in a position to be contributing as much as I would like to. I'll probably still come on from time to time, but for now I believe that I need to concentrate my efforts where my treatment is taking me.

Thanks everyone for your kind support so far  :grouphug:

5
One thing I have to do for my study is complete a "transferrable skills assessment", which basically means that I have to evaluate myself based on a number of criteria that are supposed to be applicable to all types of work, not just my industry specifically. The problem is that the vast majority of these criteria (positivity, good communication, motivation, self-confidence, etc.) are things I struggle immensely with because of my CPTSD, and even more so recently since I had the breakdown in January.

I've been saying in the comments of each section that I'm having trouble with it now but am trying to improve, but I feel like it's going to wear thin and they'll get tired of me repeating it over and over. Or worse still, that they'll think I'm just using it as excuse for my drop in performance this year. It's making me feel pretty horrid about myself and the whole situation, and I've had to stop filling out the form for now because I felt like I was about to start crying.

6
Having an Exceptionally Difficult Day / I had a panic attack in public
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:16:15 AM »
I was out today to sort out some things with my disability payments (have to have a biannual assessment done) and the lady I was talking to seemed to be rather new and wasn't quite sure what was happening. She insisted that I needed to fill out a form to prove I've been looking for work with ten job applications by tomorrow. Naturally, this was a big shock as that's not meant to be part of my payment criteria. So I got really freaked out and had a full-blown panic attack right in the middle of the office. It took the manager intervening and explaining to her what my requirements are before I started to calm down. And now I just feel dreadfully guilty for creating such a scene. Hoping to meet up with a friend later to fight the inclination to hide under my blankets forever.

7
Family of Origin (FOO) / Infantilising?
« on: March 04, 2018, 03:18:55 PM »
For as long as I can remember, my mother has called me things like "girlie" and "child" as a nickname. Not to be deliberately malicious or derogatory as far as I can tell, because it's not something she does to only me. She calls my brothers "boyo" as well as "child" too. For clarification, I'm 27 and my brothers are 34 and 31 respectively.

I didn't used to think anything of it, until she said it in front of my aunt one day and my aunt got rather offended on my behalf. She thought it was rather disrespectful to say it to a grown adult. Now I'm not really sure what to think about it all.

Any thoughts?

8
Ideas/Tools for Recovery / A different approach to writing it all out
« on: February 27, 2018, 03:39:00 PM »
I mentioned a little while ago that the T I was seeing at the time wanted me to write about everything that had happened to me in excruciating detail, which I was uncomfortable doing. Well, my new T had an alternative solution to this dilemma. To copy and paste the story I'd already written on here (which is in the general sub-forum on Childhood Causes if anyone is curious), but instead of going into any further depth on it, she asked me to write a timeline of when it all happened.

I've just finished it, and at two and a half pages it's a lot more than even I thought. Seeing it on the screen, all that stuff reduced down to simple dates and a line or two of stating the occurrence has made me see all the patterns. During my adult life, periods where I had a few incidents happen are accompanied by clusters of other events like having to move or quitting my job or study. The immediate affect these things were having on my psyche and what it made me do (like neglect my rent or convince myself that I'd never finish my degree) are as plain as day. Hospitalised? A month later I moved and quit my job. Broken ankle? After six weeks, goodbye mathematics degree.

It's a revelation!

9
I truly do mean that title, this is the very first time I'm mentioning to anybody. I haven't told a doctor yet, nor a therapist, not my friends or anyone in my family. And if I'm being honest, it's because I don't really want to. I'm scared that they'll try to make me change the behaviour and I can't bear the thought.

Since I was around 10 or so, I've always been overweight. Sometimes quite obese even. And I don't think it'd hurt to mention that my mother constantly reminds me of that fact. All throughout my adolescence and even to this day she  picks at me about how much I weigh, to the point of just outright insulting and belittling me. So, of course, now it's the thing I hate the most about myself. And I really hate it. I get so disgusted when I see myself in a mirror that I don't even have any full-length mirrors at home. I can't stand my body and I feel nothing but shame and contempt.

It goes around in cycles. For a little while, I'll eat my feelings away. Stuffing my face with empty calories and spending all my spare money on junk food. Then I feel so guilty for doing that, I'll go through a period where I deliberately starve myself, which I'm in right now. I'll avoid food at all costs, eating only when it becomes physically painful to continue fasting. And even then it's not much. In the past 24 hours for example, all I've had is a teaspoon of peanut butter, one small tub of yoghurt, and a few drops of soy sauce. I'll find any way around eating I possibly can, like drinking vast amounts of water, or having a cup of low fat milk instead of a meal.

Why don't I want to stop, even though logically I know it's very unhealthy? Because I want to be, as my mother would put it, "thin and beautiful". I know there are better ways to go about that, but I just can't seem to get into good habits.

Thanks for listening, this turned out rather longer than I was intending.

10
Yesterday I slid into a pretty bad depressive episode and I can't really figure out why. I hoped that it'd pass enough for me to see my counsellor and go to class today, but it didn't. And I feel horrible for it because I had to skip a rather important group meeting for an assignment. I also really needed that session with my counsellor, but it's been so bad that I haven't even left my room as of writing this (it's currently 4 in the afternoon for reference).

I'm supposed to go to group therapy and class again tomorrow but I'm beginning to doubt I'll be able to do that either.
 :'(

11
Birthday / Birthday this week, first one alone
« on: February 12, 2018, 03:45:46 PM »
So it's my birthday this next Sunday, and it looks like I'll be spending it by myself for the first time in my life. I'm going to try to reach out to a few people I've gotten to know since I moved,  but I'm not holding out much hope that they'll be available. To be honest, I'm a little bit worried because I'm quite unstable right now and if my Christmas and New Year are anything to go by, I really shouldn't be spending significant days by myself.

12
Suicide Ideation/Self Harm / Increasingly violent SI/SH thoughts *TW*
« on: February 11, 2018, 07:20:47 AM »
Preface - I am going to bring this up with both my psychologist and counsellor, so I will have professional help. In the meantime though, I feel like it could help to have a little support from people who understand and aren't going to tell me off for having these thoughts like a lot of my friends and family do.

I mentioned in my last post on this board that I've been struggling a lot with self harm lately, and unfortunately those thoughts are still plaguing me. But on top of that, the images that come with the thoughts have been getting worse. Today, for example, I felt the urge to go to a place in my city that's notorious as a suicide spot and I pictured myself climbing over the fence to stand on the edge. I didn't go in the end, though I came very close to and went so far as to plan public transport options for how to get there. This ramping up of those thoughts is really disturbing me, because I've never had such drastic urges before. I've always done things that I could maybe come back from. This is something else.

My thoughts of self harm are becoming more violent too. I won't detail them here because it would likely be too much, but it's bad enough that it's starting to scare me. Well, part of me. It seems the other part just doesn't believe I can get better.

I don't think I'm going to do anything right now. But the pessimistic side is saying that my time is running out if I don't see improvements within the year.

13
Letters of Recovery / Letter to my friend
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:10:16 AM »
A friend who I'm trying to go NC with contacted me again yesterday, and I wrote this in response. I may yet send it, but with amendments.

***

I felt that I couldn't say everything I need to in a text, so I'm writing an email instead. I need to make myself absolutely clear and don't want anything to get lost in the abridgement texts require.

You've been a good friend for the most part, but your behaviour recently has caused an increasing number of issues. I can't be what you seemingly demand, and my exhortations of that fact have continually fallen on deaf ears. Sure, you'll apologise and let up for a while, but it doesn't take long before you go back to exactly the way it was. I honestly can't trust that you're not going to do that again. This ceaseless back and forth is exhausting and I'd be lying if I said that you leaning on me so heavily hadn't contributed to my breakdown a few weeks ago.

I can't stress enough that I'm still broken. Not just from the past few years, but from my entire life. I need every little piece of strength I have just to make it through an ordinary day sometimes. In other words, I can't give it to you. I can't walk you through this baby step by baby step. I can't keep trying to explain everything in minute detail. I can't withstand the emotional rollercoaster. And I've told you all of this before.

In light of this, and on the advice of every professional I've spoken to about it, I feel that I have no other option but to again ask you to leave me alone. I'm very grateful for what you've done for me in the last few years, but this has been a step too far. I'm not in a place where I can safely support someone else, and I don't think you are either. You need to get better. And so do I. But I feel that can't happen if this continues the way it is.

I don't want you to apologise again, or to make a bunch of excuses. If you can't think of anything to say, then don't say anything. All I ask is that you respect my needs. I wish you the very best with your walk going ahead.

14
Sexual Abuse / Wondering if I should disclose what happened *triggers*
« on: February 06, 2018, 10:13:49 AM »
Lately I've been increasingly thinking about telling certain people about the sexual abuse I endured as a child at the hands of my eldest brother (T). Mainly my mother, but part of me is also dwelling on if I should report him to the police.

A lot of this has been brought to the surface by the fact that my other brother (J) is getting married at the end of April, and once again the rest of the family has to organise T's transport and accommodation because he won't do it himself. Since I live in a major city that's about halfway between where they live and where J lives, my mother is saying that T can catch a train to my place, then travel with me the following day so we can all go together. She's also considering booking him a room in the same hotel as me, and having everyone converge there to get ready.

Now for very obvious reasons, I'm not comfortable with any of this. I don't want him staying in my space, I don't want to have to travel with him, and I especially don't want to have him lingering nearby on a weekend where I'll also have to be dealing with my psychopathic father. In fact, I specifically booked a more expensive hotel on my own in the hope that nobody else would go there and I'd have some distance from them all! I'm really uncomfortable with how this is all turning out. But of course I can't say anything because Mum doesn't know what he did to me. All of my objections so far have been met with a hand wave and 'oh it'll be fine'.

She has outright stated on numerous occasions that he had it the worst. That he's the most damaged, he was the most abused, he's the most screwed up by the mess that was our family. Clearly this isn't true, since suffering isn't a competition and people react differently to stress and abuse. But no, because he's the one who's been sitting around moping all his life, that must mean that his pain is so much harder than everyone else. And because I've made attempts to actually do something (though most of those attempts have failed), then I'm just fine. To me, it feels like the only way to make her stop saying all this *^*^* is to tell her exactly how he broke me. Shatter all her illusions that he's just a poor sad boy.

As to the question of reporting him to the police, he's been making steps to become a child care worker, and knowing what I do about what he's capable of... I feel like it's my responsibility to make sure he never has an opportunity to ever do that again.

Sorry for the long rant, I guess this has been building up for a while  :fallingbricks:

15
Suicide Ideation/Self Harm / I did it again...
« on: February 04, 2018, 04:04:41 PM »
*Details kept as vague as possible, but triggers are implicit*


I used to self harm quite a lot, but after my first stint with a trauma therapist I managed to overcome it. Or so I thought.

In the last month and a half or so, I've been in a downward spiral. And a few weeks ago I self harmed again for the first time in over six months. I went to hospital to make sure I was safe and get a new care plan in place, it seemed to help for a while. But I think that one incident has reopened the flood gates. For the last few days, the urge to hurt myself has been overwhelming and tonight it all spilled over. It wasn't much. Just enough to (I hope) settle the thoughts for now. But I feel so ashamed at myself. Like all the efforts I took to try to stop it just weren't enough. I feel like I can't say anything to my friends or family because they'll freak out or tell me off for doing it.

I think I'll talk to my counsellor about some new strategies to deal with it, because it's clear now I need something more.

I guess I just wanted someone to know  :'(

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