Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Anniversary of attack

Topic: Anniversary of attack

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. SuperMeggy
    SuperMeggy avatar
    7 posts
    3 August 2020

    Tomorrow’s the anniversary of when I was raped. I hate using that word. It feels wrong, it doesn’t fit. People say anniversary and your immediate thought is of positive milestones, happy times, love and other good feelings. But the anniversary of when I was raped.. not something I look forward to or count down to or celebrate all over social media about.. I’ve had to put up with this anniversary before, many times but for some reason this year feels especially heavy. I know it’s just a day, just 24 hours, like any other day. But I can’t pinpoint why this one feels immeasurably large. It’s been building and building internally and I’m afraid to feel all I might feel tomorrow.
    I’ve done about 3 years of CBT and I’m in the middle of EMDR about 2 months now. Tomorrow will mark 8 years. An 8 year old child around their 8th year of life can typically develop complex language skills, improved attention span and focus. They start to really understand jokes, puns. Baby teeth will start or have already started to fall out and permanent teeth come in. 8 year olds start to really understand cooperation, compassion and what it means to share. 8 years and the night that changed my life forever still renders me useless. Useless to my contribution in the world. Useless in my fight to maintain personal hygiene. Useless in my ability to attend a normal work day. 8 years & I haven’t moved on. And it’s not for lack of trying. An 8 year old child has come from not being able to hold their head up or open their eyes to all of that above.. and what have I achieved.

    why can’t I move past this, why can’t I feel good, feel okay yet

  2. Aaronsis
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2463 posts
    3 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hello SuperMeggy

    I am so glad that you came to share your pain and your anxious awaiting the day that is tomorrow, when I read your post I thought about two things, the first being that I too was waiting anxiously for the first anniversary of my brother's passing, it was just last week. I had this whole scenario built up in my brain about how painful it was going to be, but as you say, I knew it was just another day, just 24 hours, like any other day. I was ok on the day, it infact went nothing like I was thinking it would, I understand you have had 7 of these in the past, you know in theory you will get through the day, however that does not mean it will not be hard, that it may be a day of tears, that is ok, it was a day that changed you and your life forever. You are allowed to feel the pain of that day.

    The second point I wanted to make was that the event of that day I have no experience in, I can not even to begin to know what you felt and what you went through, however, you do not deserve to be punished for a crime you did not commit. I can see that you have aligned the timeline to that of a life, I am guessing you have done this each year. What a 3 year old has achieved, what a 5 year old has learnt, now this year the milestones of an 8 year old. Can I say to you SuperMeggy that every year you match the anniversary with the timeline of a person you give life to this event, you make this event into essentially a life that is attached to you. You do not deserve to have this extra weight, this extra baggage to drag around with you, the weight of an eight year old on your body or in your mind. I hope that you may consider making peace with this "8 year old child" who represents a painful moment in your life, a horrific moment in your life, BUT DOES NOT define you or the life you deserve.

    With some support and some help you can part ways with this "8 year old" and begin to see how wonderful you really are, that you are not useless and you are able to have a life that you would like. We are here for you, to support you, to listen and to let you know you are not alone and that we care an awful lot. There are some wonderful supports out there and one is Reach Out, I have put the link here for you:

    https://au.reachout.com/articles/sexual-assault-support

    I hope to chat to you some more SuperMeggy.

    Hugs

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6608 posts
    3 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy
    HI SuperMeggy,

    We're so sorry that this happened to you and that it continues to impact your mental wellbeing. Please know  we're so glad to see you back on the forums and hope you once again find the support, advice and conversation that you need to help you through this, especially on such a significant date in your life.

    As you know, this is a safe and non-judgmental place where users give and receive support based on their own experineces of mental health.

    As it's been a while since we last saw you we just wanted to let you and others know we have closed the thread you started last year - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/ptsd-trauma/don't-know-what-else-to-do#qtHz-HHzvGGEbv8AAOnT_A - to ensure all that support, advice and conversation stays in one place for you.

    ​​​​​​​Please reach out here and let us know how you're getting on whenever you feel up to it.



     
    1 person found this helpful
  4. SuperMeggy
    SuperMeggy avatar
    7 posts
    3 August 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah

    thank you for your words. I’m sorry to hear about your brother.

    I only hope tomorrow just comes and goes like any other day. I have been working so hard on being kind to myself and letting myself believe I didn’t deserve it or do anything to bring it on. I’d love nothing more than to let the weight go.. I guess I just beat myself up about not being more “okay” yet. But times a weird concept when it comes to trauma isn’t it. I just can’t help but compare to other people’s journeys of healing, compare myself to societal assumptions and even with a good support network, productive therapy efforts and knowing how far I’ve really come I still struggle to be nice to myself about not being more okay yet. But I don’t even really know what that’s meant to look like.
    Thanks for the link, I’ll look at it now.

  5. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    9823 posts
    3 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hello SuperMeggy..

    I’m deeply sorry about what you went through..

    Everyone is different how they handle the trauma caused to them...There is no time limit on how long it takes for the trauma to take a backseat in our lives...It took me many many years to not let it control my life...I tried hard not to let that person be part of my brain or life..I didn’t want him to win...This year the anniversary came and went...It popped up into my thoughts a few times, when it did I rang my friend and we talked about what we’ve been doing...

    Tomorrow..if you need to please come here and talk..Do you have someone that you can spend the day with?..or maybe something nice that you can do for yourself...Something that will keep your mind busy...

    We are here for you if you need to talk...

    Kind and caring thoughts dear SuperMeggy..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Aaronsis
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2463 posts
    4 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hi SuperMeggy

    Sending you strength today, sending you love, know we are here for you to chat if you need a friend or a purge.

    You are not your pain, you are not what that hideous person made you believe you were, you are a strong woman who is moving through her healing journey and while you may feel like you are not healing "fast enough" or be "better by now" you are healing and there are no rules and no time lines to this.

    We are here for you, today and any other day.

    Strength to you today and I hope in that you can do one small thing for you, to make you smile, you are worth it.

    Hugs

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  7. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    4 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hello SuperMeggy

    So pleased you have returned and a warm welcome back. I am so sorry you endured this dreadful experience. We all have our circumstances that we want to forget, mine was five years ago. Different event but oh so horrible. As the others have said there is no time frame to healing. We get better then seem to slip back for little or no apparent reason. I did that earlier this year. Five years of healing felt like nothing because five minutes of remembering took me right back.

    I did learn one thing about myself. It was that this time I healed faster and the pain was not as intense. Today is your sad day I do sincerely hope it is not as bad as you were thinking. I hope the distance has given you some space to breathe and look at your pain with less emotion or intensity and recover more quickly.

    I have found that when something painful crops up all our carefully learned coping strategies can so easily be forgotten. The answer is to learn them so well they click in automatically. When we suspect something may be going down the wrong road it's good to have your response ready. Fear of remembering can add it's weight to the whole thing. So yes it's hard to manage. But you can do this because you have done it before, several times. It still hard but you will get through it. Hold on to the thought that it will pass, it always does.

    I think all your hard work has given you some clarity about the past. It's part of the healing. You have stopped blaming yourself I gather and that's great. So often the person harmed starts to believe they deserve nothing else or that it was their fault. Never.

    You can stand tall and say you got through another day and will get through all the other days.

    My best wishes for your continued success.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  8. SuperMeggy
    SuperMeggy avatar
    7 posts
    13 August 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    You’ll all be happy to know that the day I dreaded was actually great!! My EMDR Therapist was very pleased.
    The dreaded day rolled around and as the day played out I felt extremely in tune with what I needed. I realised what I needed was to feel in control. So I advised my boss that I was feeling unwell (not a lie, the day brought on many physical symptoms) and I took the afternoon to do what I wanted when and where I wanted. I shopped (responsibly), I went into stores I wanted to go into, I listened to music I wanted to listen to on the drive over, I spent money on things I’ve wanted for a long time but never let myself buy. I ended the day with my amazing housemate/best friend who has been a pillar in my healing journey, on the couch eating Thai food watching one of my favourite movies of all time.
    It was all the recipe for feeling in control, not powerless to my emotions and feelings and psychosomatic pain and ultimately added up to me feeling genuinely happy, peaceful and centred on a day that would usually do the opposite. Could not have imagined I’d feel the way I ended up feeling on that day.

    I know I’ve still got a big journey ahead of me. But it’s wins like that that help me see the light that’s at the end of the tunnel of working hard, doing my therapy, leaning on my support network, pushing through the hard days & nights and coming out on the other side to get to the point where I’m okay with what happened to me that night.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Maccas100
    Maccas100 avatar
    7 posts
    13 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hi SuperMeggy, I am new to this forum and have just seen your posts leading up to what happily turned out to be a 'great' day. I am so pleased for you. Now and forever you will have a different memory in your body of what the anniversary (if you still want to call it that) means. Now you KNOW it can be a great day. Your story reminded me of something I learned a while ago about PTSD - post traumatic stress disorder. I think that is an unfortunate term. Often the symptoms we experience after a trauma are a perfectly normal response to a perfectly abnormal occurrence. I prefer to think about the symptoms as PTSI - post traumatic stress injury. What you experienced was an injury. When we can look at things a little differently, I think we beat ourselves up less about "why aren't I better yet?"

    Having said all of the above, I am so pleased on your behalf that you not only got through the day, but took control of it. Well done you!

    1 person found this helpful
  10. White Rose
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6325 posts
    13 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hello SuperMeggy

    So pleased the day went better than you thought it would. I applaud you for the way you managed the day and treated yourself as a deserving person by going where you wanted, buying what you wanted etc. And most of all for allowing yourself to have these treats without guilt. Well done.

    I believe this will give you hope for the future and all the other days that loom like a dark shadow in your life. Getting up close and personal with the shadows can chase them away before they intimidate you.

    Many, many congratulations.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Aaronsis
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2463 posts
    14 August 2020 in reply to SuperMeggy

    Hi SuperMeggy

    I am so beyond happy to read your note and that they day that you dreaded most turned out nothing like you expected, I think you have learnt a really big thing here...that thinking and overthinking and mentally preparing for something sometimes actually never turns out the way think or expect it will, and all that worry and that pain and anxiety was for nothing.

    However, you are to thank for that as to took actions, actual actions to make your day a wonderful day, you chose you and this is awesome. I can totally see why your EMDR therapist was happy for you and so pleased, he/she can see that you are starting to consider other options and that there is hope and that there are better days. That the hideous event that happened to you is not who you are and does not get to control you or decide your happiness.

    You have taken control and taken your life back and I am so proud of you and so happy for you. Well done.

    I hope we get to chat again some time, I am sure that it will not be the same post that you started off here with, how awesome is that, that your journey to healing is on it's way.

    Here is a beautiful quote:

    "Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed, it means that the damage no longer controls our lives"

    Hugs to you SuperMeggy, I am so happy for you.

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up