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Messages - songbirdrosa

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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.

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...

Successes, Progress? / Re: I made a huge step forward
« on: April 03, 2018, 01:12:09 PM »
Well done on maintaining yourself, Dee  :)

Thank you both for your input :). I'll have a look at that book, it seems like it could really help.

I'm fortunate I guess in that the laws around CSA have changed a lot in my country in the last few years, mostly because of a big investigation into abuse in institutions like schools and churches. My situation is obviously rather different, but it has still made things easier for me to go through the process.

One of the major issues I know I'll have to confront is finally telling my mother, and I think I'll have to do that before I officially file charges. I think she'd likely respond better if I tell her in person and she has time to process, rather than getting a phone call from him in a jail cell. I don't know if I should tell him I'm going to do it, or just go ahead. I don't know how likely he'd be to try to get away if he knew it was coming. I think that's one thing I'll have to run past my therapists.

My plan right now is to wait until after my other brother's wedding, then take a trusted friend with me when I make the report. I know I'll crumble if I do it alone, and I may even ask him if I can stay over at his place the night after since that's the most likely time I'll do something to myself. I'd like to do it during my uni holidays so I'm not too preoccupied with other things as well.

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.

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:

Update on this situation!

I had my assessment today, and the lady who saw me was really nice and very helpful. I've been given a six month medical exemption from all mandated activities, so I have some time to focus on improving and getting stable enough to slowly re-enter work. When that's up, they're also going to send me to a specialist support network to make sure I'm coping with everything alright.

First, are you being fair and positive or are you letting your inner critic take over?

This really got me thinking, Dee. I had another look over it and realised that there were parts where I had indeed let the critic speak for me, and thankfully I was able to edit my responses. Thank you for bringing that up  :)

Does the Uni know about your condition? Then  they just canít say oh we thought it was made up. They need to look at how they can support you through this phase. Thatís their duty.

Yeah, they do know. I'm on a disability support plan, but sometimes I think that some of my teachers haven't been paying attention to it. I guess I just have to keep reminding them that I need a different approach with certain issues.

Employment / Re: effect of abuse on my ability to work
« on: March 14, 2018, 04:41:53 AM »
Same here. Most things I've tried to do I had to quit from because of depressive episodes and panic attacks. I too don't know how to relate in a normal environment and have trouble keeping appointments and responsibilities. I hope with time and patience we can all learn our ways to cope with it

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.

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.

Family of Origin (FOO) / Re: Infantilising?
« on: March 06, 2018, 04:10:09 AM »
Thanks Dee, that's definitely helped clarify the situation for me. I don't really mind her doing it, to me it's just a nickname. I guess my aunt just thinks a bit differently.

Sleep Issues / Re: Sleep as a topic
« on: March 06, 2018, 12:22:24 AM »
I agree, I think a sleep topic would be really useful. Given that it seems to be such a common problem.

My personal experience is that I can't sleep unless I have a reasonably heavy blanket covering my feet, shoulders, and ears. It's extremely rare that I'll be able to under any other circumstances. And lately I've become functionally nocturnal, staying awake until the sun comes up and then sleeping until mid-afternoon.

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?

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!

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