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Forums / Long term support over the journey / I spent my whole life pretending that everything is fine when it wasn't (sexual abuse)

Topic: I spent my whole life pretending that everything is fine when it wasn't (sexual abuse)

  1. Ghost 76
    Ghost 76 avatar
    103 posts
    14 December 2017
    I'm new to this. Just needed to talk to someone... anyone... need to know I'm not crazy
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Birdy77
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    14 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost,

    Talk away!

    This is a safe and non judgemental space and you're welcome to talk as much as you like.

    We will listen and support you.

    Good on you for reaching out 🌻 birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Bethie
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    14 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost and welcome

    Nah your not crazy... well at least by my standards your not.

    We share what we've been/going through here and because it's all anonymous it is a safe non judgmental site.

    Please ask anything...its ok. On the other end of the words you type are real people who even if they haven' been through similar experiences all share a common theme we are all doing our best in life just to be us..

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Ghost 76
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    103 posts
    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Thanks Birdy and Bethie.

    I'm having that way too familiar feeling again. Feeling like I'm in the deep dark ocean... slowly, but surely sinking. So hard too keep on kicking. Like I'm moving in slow motion. All my old demons dragging me down to that really dark place. Not sure why I can't just shake them...

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Peppermintbach
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost,

    I would like to visit to say hi to you too if that’s okay.

    Your latest post was very poignant and sad. It sounds like you’re being haunted, so to speak, by your past/old inner demons. I wonder if that’s partly why you chose the username “Ghost 76”... sorry, that’s just an aside and you don’t have to explain to me...

    Anyway, your latest post really moved me. Even though I don’t really know you, I feel as though I can empathise with your pain. I feel your pain runs deep...

    Caring thoughts,

    Pepper

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Bethie
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost

    BY the sound of it alot of small things have pilled up. If you can try writing down without thinking fast what's getting under your skin. I know for me 2 days ago it was I hadn't taped around the ac in my bedroom properly and had a mozzie coming in every night. OH btw the taped was sitting on top of the aircon waiting and took me about 5 seconds.

    I hope this makes a bit of sence. My partner allways tell me I talk people in circles.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. geoff
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76
    hi Ghost, MI will do exactly what you have told us, sorry welcome to the site and thanks for posting your comment.
    It's concerning that you may have trigger points which could be the start of your demons and that's what we have to either teach you or advise you to do to get the help needed to bring you back to being in a comfortable situation.
    It's not pleasant having to live where you are currently situated, so please are you able to tell us a bit more, and don't worry this site is friendly, you won't be criticised, because all of us have been in a similar position that has lasted for over many years. Geoff.
    3 people found this helpful
  8. Birdy77
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hello again Ghost😊

    Lovely to hear back from you, but I'm so sorry you're finding things so hard at the moment. It sounds like you're in a really difficult place 😔.

    You used the metaphor of the ocean, and how hard it feels to keep on kicking. One of the community champions on this forum, Doolhoff suggests that when we feel like this, when we don't feel we have the strength to swim right now, it's ok to just float for a while.

    I know you said you feel like you're sinking, but maybe if you tried revisualisung it as floating it might help a little.

    Bethie has a good idea above (and it made sense Bethie, you didn't talk in a circle😊).

    Ghost, do you have a counsellor or therapist that you have talked to in the past? You said it's a familiar feeling. It might be helpful to set up some talking support such as a psychologist through your GP to help you through this time.

    Reaching out here is a really good first step, to know you're not alone ... maybe reading some other threads may help, everyone here is very compassionate and understanding and we all are working with our own demons and stuggles, so we get it.

    You can use this thread to air more of your feelings if you would like to (no pressure though, only if it helps you). You can write whatever you like, it's a safe place. If you'd like to say more of what you're feeling, we are here to listen and support you.

    You are not alone.

    Very caring thoughts to you Ghost.

    🌻 birdy

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Ghost 76
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    103 posts
    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Thanks Again to all of you.

    I was diagnosed with PSD and major depression a fair while back. Went through a really bad time. I worked through it. I thought it was all done and dusted. I really put my family through hell... I should be on top of this, but I'm not... so stupid!!!! My head is a mess. Went to my GP - he gave me a mild depression medication and a sleeping pill. I'm angry at myself, because I should be on top of this! I thought it was all good! But it's not... it's always there... hiding in the back of my mind... I

  10. Birdy77
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Ghost, you're not stupid, and it's not a case of you 'should' be on top of this. You are being very hard on yourself (and i do understand that very well, as do others here).

    Also, as Geoff mentioned, that is the nature of depression and ptsd, it's not something that can always be done and dusted.

    It's good you've seen your GP. Do you think it might help to organise some talking therapy, to help sort out what's going on in your head?

    I want to say that i hope you can be more gentle with yourself.

    If i or anybody here posted to you that my head was a mess and i should be on top of this and I'm stupid, i think you would be sympathetic and understanding and compassionate ... please give some of that compassion and gentleness to yourself?

    Feel free to write more here if it helps and remember you're not alone in the way that you are feeling.

    Go gently Ghost.

    🌻 birdy

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Frantic1
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    37 posts
    15 December 2017

    Hi Ghost,

    nope definitely not crazy. We are all in this together.

    Frantic1

    3 people found this helpful
  12. Bethie
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    15 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost

    My partner suffers PTSD anxiety and depression from his time in the military.

    Dispite it being over 20 years since what happened it started up again only 6 months ago. He's now on new meds and doing alot better.

    My own PTSD is for me very common in my area as it stems from the 2011 floods in Brisbane. Most of my street has it to some degree which helps. We all support and look after each other when we get flash flooding or heavy rain.

    Please keep posting. Your not alone in any of this😊

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Ghost 76
    Ghost 76 avatar
    103 posts
    16 December 2017

    Thanks Everyone... You're all very kind.

    This is really weird for me sharing these feelings with all of you. I usually put on my "happy" mask and pretend that everything is going well. It's a bit harder at the moment...

    Can I ask you a question? What do you do when it feels like everything is just too much... when you feel like you're on the outside looking in on your family... I know they love me, but I feel that they deserve so much better. Birdy... you said that I should float for a while... I'm not sure how to do that.

    My mind is such a mess. I feel like an animal trapped in a cage. I spoke to a friend yesterday, but I don't know what exactly to tell them. How do i explain my inner demons...

    You are all pretty amazing. Thanks for listening...

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Bethie
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    16 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost

    When I feel like everything gets way to much for me I normally find myself at the local swimming pool dispite having a pool at home. They have different areas. 1 with big old gumtrees and a bushlike feel, another that's Bali style with huts fountains and windchimes and well there' 5 all up from kids areas to family bbq areas.

    Its my down time. I can close my eyes and just drift

    2 people found this helpful
  15. Ghost 76
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    16 December 2017 in reply to Bethie
    Thanks Bethie...
  16. Birdy77
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    16 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hey Ghost,

    When i feel like everything gets too much, i withdraw, but that's not the best thing to do. I try to do healthy things like:

    • Get into a healthy routine
    • Do tai chi, meditation
    • Exercise
    • Practice mindfulness

    But to be honest, usually when things get rough lately i have just brought everything down to the minimum of what needs doing, and no more.

    You asked how to float, rather than sink or keep kicking/swimming. I think it's probably different for everyone, but the way i think about it is:

    • Can you try to relax
    • Can you accept that you're going through a period of angst, and go with that
    • Can you accept that you are flawed and have compassion for yourself
    • Can you give yourself the time and space to try and get through this without beating yourself up endlessly about it
    • Can you gift yourself someone professional to talk to to try to ease this burden

    To me, these are things that will help you to float through, rather than fight through, a rough patch.

    Another member here just yesterday mentioned that depression and anxiety (etc) are so often things that can't be outrun, but more that we have to learn to deal with the ebb and flow of them ... pertinent to what you said about "i should be on top of this". It's not a case of that, you just need to go with it, as it comes and goes i think.

    Sorry, i think this post wont be very helpful, i feel a bit all over the place, but I'm going to send it anyway, i really want you to know you're not alone and let's work through this together, all of us ❤❤❤ sorry for the ramble ...

    🌻 birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Ghost 76
    Ghost 76 avatar
    103 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to Birdy77
    Not a ramble at all. Thank you so much... I really struggle to be positive at this stage... You're so fantastic... I wish I had it so together. Thanks
  18. Mathy
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    344 posts
    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost 76,

    I have come late to your thread. I live with PTSD, Anxiety and Depressions.

    A couple of posts back, you said something like “I thought it was done and dusted, sorted out” (not word for word).

    I really understand your feelings about this, because I thought I was in charge, and recently, I haven’t been sadly disabused of any idea I was in charge of anything - sigh!

    I don’t think I’m talking rubbish when I say that popular media implies that one can be depressed/anxious or whatever, and a few visits to a professional and some medication will have it all fixed.

    I believe this is a fallacy,, not based on reality.

    Birdy77 has some great suggestions for a plan - very worth looking at and choosing WHAT works for you.

    I actually had a conversation tonight with the partner of a friend, who happens to be a very experienced psychologist - his thoughts?

    There’s no one size that fits all. Sadly our system doesn’t allow people to experiment with the many forms of therapy that might help.

    I also had a fascinating conversation with e Yoga teacher, who’s being doing a lot of work with people in the area of bodywork and mindfulness - something that I find interesting.

    Dear Ghost 76, you made a great decision in joining the BB Forums - there’s a wealth of information and support available here. That support can give you new ideas on feeling more positive. I certainly hope that we hear more from you, bestest, cheers M :)

    2 people found this helpful
  19. geoff
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76
    hi Ghost, unfortunately PSD and major depression can never be dusted, once you have had it then it's there forever, however this doesn't mean that somebody can get on with their life and this includes you as well, but we have to learn what our trigger points are that can cause us to once again fall back into this illness.
    Please take a step back for the moment, don't be angry with yourself, because if you are then you are struggling with too much on your plate, try the exercises that have been suggested, or you may find yourself relaxing in other ways, I used to love painting our outside window frames to relax me, or take my mind away from being depressed.
    Remember that you can't all of a sudden be happy, however if people come to visit you, have lunch, a few drinks then you can laugh, but as soon as they go, back you may fall.
    Just try and explain to your friend that you've been going through a patch that has affected me as well as your family, you're not sure how they will react, they may decide to listen and then go away, not to be seen again, but a true friend will stick by you all the way through, in other words they will be there everytime you need them.
    They can talk to your family, suggest to them to seek help as well, which is not what my family did, and I also put them through hell, but now everything is great, just take your time, you can't rush through any depression, it's like being able to walk up steps, you gain 2 steps but then you may fall down 1 step, but that's a lesson that you have learned. Geoff.
    1 person found this helpful
  20. Jasmiin
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    1 posts
    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76
    I'm new to this too. What's wrong? I'm here for you
    2 people found this helpful
  21. Ghost 76
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    103 posts
    17 December 2017

    Music... that's what I do when I'm in my dark place... I listen to music. At work I put my headphones on to shut the world out. At home it's a bit harder... I have to be there for my family. Apparently I'm not wearing my "happy " mask as well as I should be. My kids told my partner that I'm never happy anymore.

    I'm trying hard to be normal. I'm cranky at the best of times and I'm exhausted... so, so exhausted.

    It's so hard to keep on swimming in this dark ocean. It feels like I'm getting pounded by waves and dragged down by my demons. I'll try to float for a while, but I'm so tired...

    I'm sorry for going on and on - chasing my own tail. I know that all of have been here. How are you all going?

  22. Birdy77
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost,

    Please don't apologise, this is your thread for you to vent and go on and on and on as much as you like.

    It sounds like you are very, very tired. A tired mind needs some self-care. You have a lot of responsibility with your family and work and having to put on your happy mask, and this is all exhausting.

    On top of that, you are beating yourself up for feeling like this.

    I would love for you to have some compassion for yourself. If someone you loved very much was going through what you're going through, what would you say to them? Or want for them? Probably you'd be very gentle and want a lot of care and support. How about giving yourself some of the same?

    Put another way ...

    If you had a sprained ankle, you would rest it, you would give it the treatment and gentleness it needed. You might massage some balm into it and then strap it up and give it some support before you had to walk around on it again. How about giving your mind some similar care?

    Joining here, and starting this thread is a fantastic start to giving yourself some of that care Ghost. You can be your absolute self here, no mask required 😊 ...

    Rant, vent, chase your tail, it's all ok.

    We're glad you're here.

    Go gently with yourself 🌻 birdy

  23. White Rose
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Dear Ghost

    Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. As earlier posts have described we a group, a very large group, of people who have various mental illnesses and who get ideas and support from each other.

    My problem is depression, major depression which takes me down in a spiral at short notice. My psychiatrist at the time gave me a series of antidepressants which resulted in horrendous side effects. Now, many years later with a different medical team, I have an AD which helps me and leaves me free to work on my depression.It is a horrible illness and often the worst part is so many people do not understand it, believe it's imaginary, attention seeking, or that we can cure ourselves if we tried. I wish.

    While you are using up your energy to keep the mask in place you are doing yourself a great disservice. If you need a mask you need a doctor. Yes I am pretty blunt but I suspect most people like to understand what is happening to them.

    You said, Like I'm moving in slow motion. All my old demons dragging me down to that really dark place. Not sure why I can't just shake them... This is unfortunately a common problem. Why does it take so long to get well and stay well. That wretched black dog keeps coming back, jumping all over us, running round in circles when out for a walk and twists the lead around our legs. It needs to be taught to walk to heel.

    And it does feel like slow motion. I notice I walk more slowly and carry out my various tasks in slow motion. No one else notices because we are not actually moving as slowly as we think. I believe my brain has slowed down and taking ages to do anything. Again it's a perception of ours and while the brain has slowed down a little it really is not as much as it feels. It's the black dog again.

    How to manage these habits? You need to be aware of yourself as much as possible. Notice when you walk slowly or anything else slowly and consciously make the effort to speed up a little. Practice standing upright without slumping and when seated. These are small actions but have an enormous positive effect on us.Your physical appearance has an effect on your mental health. Walking or any other exercise releases endorphins into your body and makes you feel better. Why are some people exercise addicts? Because of the buzz they get. I am not advocating several hours a day in the gym but a morning walk every day of about 20 minutes is amazing.

    I see I am about to run out of word space. Hope you will reply.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Feeling Lonely
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    115 posts
    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hi Ghost76,

    Thank you for reaching out. I have to say, I can resonate so much with what you have said, about having that internal battle to “be normal” when everything inside feels far from normal, to constantly feel like you are putting on the “happy mask” and pretending that everything is okay.

    I am only new to this forum and new to the world of mental illness as for far too long I would reach for the mask instead of acknowledging and accepting that I want and need to stop the internal battle, to understand why I’m feeling this way (instead of fighting it) and to simply let myself be and to stop thinking I’m a failure because my mental health is suffering.

    Of course (like you) I want to return to my normal, happy self as I feel like I’m destroying relationships being this way. But instead of pretending this time I am actually attempting to work through everything that I am feeling.

    There has already been some wonderful suggestions here (thanks Birdy, they’ve helped me!) For me I have started counselling, I journal, I meditate, I try to exercise daily, practice positive self talk, positive affirmations and gratitude. Every day I have to set myself 3 little goals to achieve for the day (written down) to help me to focus, to give me purpose. It could be as small as getting out of bed, or going for a 30 minute walk, or making myself something healthy for dinner, or reaching out to someone.

    Some days it works and some days it doesn’t... The important thing is to keep trying and not give up on yourself.

    Please be kind with yourself, feeling like this downright sucks! Instead of fighting the negative feelings, simply acknowledge them. “I’m feeling down today and that’s okay.” And try to find the light in each day. You are not alone. The road ahead may be tough, but I believe in you, you can get through this.

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Birdy77
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Feeling Lonely

    Beautifully said Feeling Lonely - such empathy and understanding in your post.

    And so wise: "I'm feeling down today and that's ok".

    xo🌻 birdy

    2 people found this helpful
  26. Ghost 76
    Ghost 76 avatar
    103 posts
    17 December 2017

    Once again I'm gobsmacked by your replies and empathy... Thank you so much.

    You're advice makes sense - I have given some of it to friends struggling in the past... somehow it's just not making sense to me at the moment, if that makes sense...

    It's taking me forever to write this today... I can't get my thoughts out...

    I know how I feel, but I can't say it out loud. I know I'm supposed to be kind to myself, but I can't. I know I should probably tell someone where my mind is at... but I can't.......

    I've shared more here than I probably should... and I'm doing it in secret... can't let anyone know that I'm sinking...

    I'll stop now... had a few beers... don't have a filter when I do that...

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Feeling Lonely
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    115 posts
    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    You can never share too much here, that’s the beauty of it. Vent and get out what you need to, it has to help a little bit to have an outlet and the fact that it’s anonymous makes it even easier to open up.

    I know how I feel, but I can't say it out loud. I know I'm supposed to be kind to myself, but I can't. I know I should probably tell someone where my mind is at... but I can't.......

    Reading this part of your post made me feel sad... instead of saying “I can’t” perhaps try and say “I’m working on it.” :) For me, I struggle with loving myself and said for a long time that I don’t and I can’t... instead I now say that “I’m learning to love myself.” I’m a work in progress. We all are.

    Its okay to not be okay, reaching out here is a step in the right direction. You will be heard, without judgement and accepted for just being you. Do try to be kind to yourself though, negative self talk is damaging. Take care Ghost 76.

    3 people found this helpful
  28. White Rose
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Hello Ghost

    Writing here, whether or not it's in secret from the people you know, is anonymous. We do not know you, we cannot harm you because of that, but most of all we are here to help and support you. We can talk about our own experiences and often these experiences are helpful to others if only to say we know how it feels.

    Fear is a huge impediment to our progress. It is scary to let others know we are not the perfect person, and I don't say that sarcasticly. We have an image of ourselves that is more in hope than reality. This is true of everyone regardless of having a mental illness or not. No one likes to feel needy which is why we hide. Can you share a little more of your feelings?

    If you prefer to only give minimum information to us that's OK. Have you thought of journaling your thoughts? Use a small notebook and record what is happening and how you feel. It is a good mechanism to get your thoughts out into the open without others knowing about them.

    May I ask if you are getting any kind of counselling? I ask because you are having such a hard time talking about yourself I wondered if this was happening. Perhaps you can tell us more about yourself.

    Rosslyn

    3 people found this helpful
  29. Birdy77
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    17 December 2017 in reply to Ghost 76

    Ghost ... it's absolutely fine.

    You haven't shared too much here, and as Feeling Lonely said, you can't share too much here, it's all anonymous and there's no judgement, you're fine.

    Relax. This is your space xo 🌻birdy

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Ghost 76
    Ghost 76 avatar
    103 posts
    18 December 2017

    I'm feeling trapped. Not sure wich way to go....

    I spoke to a friend, but not a therapist. I can't share everything. Somethings I need to keep to myself...

    When I was first diagnosed with PTSD and major depression - I saw professionals - medicated me to a point where I can't remember parts of that time... Really don't want to do that again! I also have huge trust issues... Dealt with some dodgy people in the past...

    I feel like I can't do this anymore.

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