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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / 'What If ...' Questions

Topic: 'What If ...' Questions

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. mmMekitty
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    1675 posts
    12 October 2021

    Yesterday evening, I saw on the news. about how in some states in US?A are repealing laws, & making abortion illegal again, with no provision for women raped or (they said incest), but for me, that means rape, too.
    All the ‘what if...’ scenarios swirl, & I am tossed about like Dorothy in the tornado.
    If my brother had been younger, & if it had been mutual, maybe then...but it was rape. He could have impregnated me, & I might have had a baby when I was13yrs old. Abortion was illegal then, in Qld.
    Decades later, I went to those rallies, chanting “free abortion on demand”, years before my own history had begun to re-emerge & solidify in my head. Later still, I faced what might have been if I had become pregnant & that is so bleeping scary.
    From some communications with my father, I know my father thought I had been a willing participant. He did not understand. He put it down to youthful experimenting & discovery.
    Would he have been able to have accepted a child?
    Would I have been able to accept & love my, & his, child?
    My (ex-stepmother) would have been mortified. I doubt there could be anything more shameful to her, no blacker mark against her reputation.
    I would have had to go.
    At the least, I would have been gagged, maybe hidden away when I got big?

    & that's just about him...

    I know, ‘what if...’ questions, like these, when I am imagining the worst scenarios is not helpful. This just drags me down.
    I don’t know how to play ‘What If ...’ in an uplifting way.
    I would like to hear from anyone with some ideas.


  2. HappyHelper88
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    156 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty

    Hello mmMekitty Thanks for sharing,

    That is upsetting to hear about the laws being repealed
    I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to you I hope you are doing okay
    Have you spoken to someone about this? they can help you find your peace with the past

    Your a survivor

    The past can be very painful if left unresolved that's why the what if game can be positive but also very negative and dangerous to think what if?

    i hope that you find the forums to be a safe and supportive space to talk through your thoughts and feelings. Our community is here for you.

    If you want to talk this through with a Beyond Blue counsellor, we’re on 1300 22 4636 or you can reach us on webchat here.

  3. mmMekitty
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    12 October 2021 in reply to HappyHelper88

    Thank you, HappyHelper88,

    I've seen you around, but I don't think I've posted in response to you before.

    Although I have been actively dealing with my many memories since 1993, here is still a lot of work to do. Not just on how I respond whenever any of the memories resurfaces, but on how my experiencs have efected me & how I relate to the world. I am currently seeing a Psychiatrist, (PDr for short), for several years. I expect I will be talking with him about this business of 'What If ...' going around again.

    Off to one side, as a supplement to my therapy with him, I want to talk here, on BB, & open myself to the responses from other people. In my day-to-day life, I have not spoken to anyone very much. Times I have tried have been very difficult & either I was not heard, not taken seriously, dismissed, rejected, or in one instance, someone actually wanted to top my story & later, denied that I had said anything at all.

    Last night, I thought, I would very much like to not go down the negative roads my mind tends to do when I start thinking 'What If ...' It gets really tedious & upsetting. I don't even ask these useless questions without becoming emotional. I can't treat it as an intellectual exercise, though it would be preferable if I could.


  4. tranzcrybe
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    13 October 2021 in reply to mmMekitty
    Your experience sounds debilitating - the breach of trust, the confusion, and the guilt from the ramifications further down the track; I'm not surprised it becomes too overwhelming. A survivor you may well be, but fundamentally you are a victim.
    Parents often become conflicted themselves trying to juxtapose the severity against their own shame and where things go - having their own 'what if' moments, but also needing to protect family (along the lines of ex stepmother) from further harm after the fact - still unfair, still wrong.
    How can any of this be uplifting?
    Anti abortionists would consider the child an individual more than a reincarnation of the abuser, but any unwanted pregnancy is fraught with other risks (neglect, abuse, etc) - all above my pay grade, I'm afraid, as there are many facets to consider.
    But I can add that we are the product of our experiences where even the worst can give us strength knowing we endured and have learned to cope even at our lowest ebb. Carrying a heavy load shall only give me stronger legs (despite the accompanying pain everywhere else!) and for that I can feel pleased with myself if not for the chores I must undertake.
    The funny thing about 'what ifs' is that we don't usually consider how we adapt so readily to imposed situations - we only see it from our current perspective. What if I never had children? What if did? In either case, my answer would be contingent on the lived experience and would thus be polar opposites.
    You have a multilayered thread here but I hope there is something of interest in my observations.
  5. mmMekitty
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    13 October 2021 in reply to tranzcrybe

    Thank you, Tranzcribe.

    I will need to think over what you have said.

    The specific 'what if ...'s I was playing the other night were certainly not uplifting.

    I think the only possible good I gained from playing 'what if ...' about the possibilities of the past was to bring me closer to feeling a more profound empathy for the women, who find they are pregnant with the child of a person who sexually assaulted them. & having to have the child ...

    Ideally, women might be helped to accept these children, I'm not sure how, either before or after they are born, but there are many who cannot do that.

    On the other hand, I wonder if I might have been an aborted child, simply because of the likelihood of disabilities because of my mother having Rubella during her pregnancy with me. & that is another debate, whether to have a child who is expected to have significant disabilities. Define: significant. Define: disability/ Who decides how to define the words and what is recommended to the would---be parents?

    I'm tired now. but, I will be thinking... probably for a long time.

    I think the 'what if ...'s might be able to bring about some more discussion at least, and help to clarify some questions? Maybe?


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