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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / new person

Topic: new person

  1. ecomama
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    5 May 2020

    Hi everyone
    not sure what parts to disclose here, feeling very uneasy posting. I feel like a lot of people here, know that I'm socially isolated but feel it's safer this way. I have a lot of mixed feelings due to covid19; feeling freer or even happier that movements were restricted as I have had little choice but to live this way for a long time. Then I realised how odd this reaction is, opposite to what I was hearing at work. Simultaneously I felt huge grief for the world. I'm experiencing compassion fatigue from all of this.

    my life has been wrought with trauma & grief, tremendous violence & loss. I desperately sought help from authorities to stop things over many decades. I have fought so hard through courts etc, I know it has cost me a lot of mental stability a lot of the time. At least my children and I are safe atm. Feeling safe is another thing entirely!

    happiness eludes me. I strive for the happiness of my children. I don't know how to attain personal happiness, so have strived for contentment. I work hard physically but feel far more exhausted by my mind. flashbacks and memories often come back relentlessly in my waking hours and in my dreams. Working hard physically helps me sleep better :-)

    I used to be very sociable, quite athletic and had a large family. The abuse has taken its toll. My relationships were undermined by the abuser, so they are lost. My physical health was severely impacted by the abuse also. I have a counsellor but I was advised by a close friend who is studying psychology to seek a more intensive type of therapy. I have completed countless hours in therapy through books, online and in person over decades. My counsellor is very impressed by my persistence, resilience and recovery but I feel awful most of the time.

    I have no relationships with extended family anymore which is very sad for me. I have basically given up trying since doors are constantly closed on that front.
    Soon I plan to take leave from my work to support my children all struggling in their learning from home programs. I will have to take leave on far less pay, so this presents obvious issues to an already stretched financial situation.

    I know there is no magic cure for all the issues I have at hand but I still have hope that things will improve and that I can feel happy one day. I pray there are answers within this forum for me.

    Thanks for reading.

    10 people found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
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    5 May 2020 in reply to ecomama
    Hi ecomama,

    Welcome to the forums, we're so glad you decided to join our friendly online community. We understand that it can be an uneasy experience posting for the first time and we appreciate the courage you have shown in doing so. We're so sorry to hear that you've had so much to overcome on your journey. You sound like a very resilient and resourceful person.

    It must be really tough with your children struggling in their learning from home programs. If you feel it might be useful, we'd encourage you to visit our Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. The website will be regularly updated with information, advice and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during this time. This service includes counselling support which you might find helpful in overwhelming moments. 

    Hopefully a few of our community members will pop by with some wisdom or kinds words. Thanks for sharing your story, ecomama.
    2 people found this helpful
  3. ecomama
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    6 May 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Thankyou so much for replying to my post Sophie, it means a lot. thankyou also for the link, I have put the 24/7 counselling number in my phone.

    I always feel that with counselling numbers to call that there are other people who might be trying to call and can't get through because I called. I have a lot of anxiety over those thoughts and 99.9% of the time I don't call. I feel like I'm being greedy and should be able to work it out myself.

    I am not suicidal any more and haven't been for a long while now, so I truly believe that by leaving lines open, those people have a chance to get help and be saved.

    I have an impossible time with the concept of feeling worthy. I guess starting a thread somewhere on that might give me other people's insights.

    I would honestly love to feel better, to have peace and appreciate the beauty all around which all seems elusive and has for a long time.

    Thankyou Sophie.

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Croix
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    6 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear Ecomama~

    I loved your supporting post to Adrian, it was refreshing with that chrysalis simile and contained wisdom in not trying to be what you were before. In fact I notice you and FUN!, advice on Family Law proceedings, communication with children and so much more. No I'm not going to list them all becuse that's enough to make a point.

    I think each, if considered or simply flew from your mind to the keys was sensible, appropriate and was helpful.

    It is obvious that your most unhappy relationship, being the subject of abuse and surviving, has given you strengths you probably don't even realise. So many in such a realtionship are trapped, their self is eroded until they have nothing. As it is you are still dealing with the effects of 'isolation tactics' and no doubt many other matters.

    As someone with PTSD (from a different source) I can tell you that feeling safe and secure increases, being bound up in memories and flashbacks become less frequent, less immediate and easier to deal with/recover from.

    I now love unreservedly and am loved. work and gain satisfaction, and hold my symptoms at a manageable level, I do still visit a psychiatrist and take meds -that's life. BUT I can be happy.

    Perhaps your friend is right, a psychiatrist who specializes in abuse, I have something similar and it had made things possible. Worthiness is an example.

    I also find talking to other here about their problems, and offering snippets of mine in understanding, is good for me.

    I think your post on FUN contains part of the remedy, humor saved my life, helps make life well worth living, and gives me treats to look forward to each day.

    I hope to talk with you more

    Croix

    That's probably why you resonate with some you read here and speak.

    You are laboring under one misconception, you are as worthy as anyone to use crisis and councelling lies. Simply becuse htey have connotations of suicide does not man htey ate lmited ot htat. Our 24/7 Help ine ( ) plus chat or email, is one such, so suprisingly enough (and This one Id head for) is the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467) -you can call more than once without repeating yourself -is another.

    Sometimes it simply helps to have a competent caring person to talk with .

    A good half dozen people here will be feeling that about you:)

    3 people found this helpful
  5. ecomama
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    6 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Goodness me Croix what a train load of positive feedback! I humbly Thank YOU.

    I hardly know where to start. Tears welled up in my eyes when you wrote about one unhappy relationship.. is a good place. My most unhappy and potentially the most abusive which may have caused a flow on effect... was with my parents. There was so much abuse and neglect, loss and grief in my childhood that I am only now beginning to remember some of the worst parts (and telling my counsellor about them).

    I realise after reading your response that my mother was attempting to give birth to me at a very young age in a war torn country, alone. I know that she suffered from severe MH issues and was even given shock treatment in her teens and was told never to have children. My parents "faith" made them both quite delusional IMHO. They had me anyway in the worst possible circumstances, during a war in a disease ridden country with zero sanitation.

    Long story short lol... (I am quite an oldie you see) … from there I was forced into marriage at a very young age then left it. It was very abusive. Wash rinse repeat a few times to the worst marriage but I don't dare to scale which was the worst relationship.

    In saying this, I had the most incredible childhood and young adulthood. I had a HUGE family that gathered European style more than weekly. The love and interchanges between us was the most warm and beautiful thing to experience as a child. They taught me SO FREAKING much and I had up to 4 generations around me at any given time. This is my greatest loss.

    Moving on.... I do ponder what to write - still wrangling the anxiety monster - but take a leap anyway. I just SAW Adrian as a beautiful pupa not knowing what was ahead or 'outside'. Squirming in his new circumstances, understandably. Breaking free can be the most exhilarating and scary time but more than worth it.

    Thankyou for re-recommending the helplines. During my worst times the 1800RESPECT number was INCREDIBLE and I cannot hail their precious help enough. The DV line was also A-MAZING, follow up action was immediate and I thank God for all of them. I understand that when we phone for help, we only get as good as the person who answers the call feels. I had the complete opposite response from the suicide helpline, in fact I felt far worse after that call. I hope you don't mind me telling my experience. I Pray that procedures are better now.

    Yours in a world where no one falls through the net.

    3 people found this helpful
  6. Croix
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    7 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear Ecomama~

    I'd expect that was a hard reply to write. and no, I'm sensible enough to know that you get different operators whenever you ring a crisis/help line and some calls simply are not good at all. One of the advantages of the SCBS is that if you do strike a good one you can specify that person again several times (their shifts do govern things a bit)

    Being abused does tend to lead to being abused again, I guess a person is vulnerable to that sort of person, often a dreamboat to start with. Each time the abused feels less worthy. I've no magic answer to that any more than you do, though I suspect if you occupy yourself with something you are good at, gives you the respect of others, and most importantly enjoy it, then maybe with time you will see a different person. That is what has happened to me.

    Anxiety with posting? Everyone with a conscience feels that -"Will I make matters worse?", it's greatest right at the start. The truth is that anything harmful is weeded out before it hits the screen, and giving someone attention and acknowledgment, all by itself does good. There is no need to 'fix' anything, though if you have an experience that relates and fits in snugly and might help, then you give it a try.

    May I risk a joke inspired by your last post? Most people are 'born at a very young age'. I apologize if that is inappropriate, just tell me to be quiet.

    I also wonder why your extended family is a closed book? As for you age, if it was the same war then we are of similar vintage.

    Having an impressed councilor sounds nice, but does it help? It reminds me of a long course of hypnosis/relaxation therapy. The therapist said they had never seen anyone try so hard to relax. Um, not that helpful I'm afraid

    May I ask what is the most important thing you would like?

    Croix (who wishes that world existed and nobody fell thought)

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  7. ecomama
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    7 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Of that's so funny.... yes I happened to be born at a young age too! lolololol.

    I MEANT to say that my mother was a young age when she birthed me. Ooops. I don't think that being young makes you a bad parent.. NO. But she was very young and dealing with a lot then and there.

    Thankyou for that, you made me laugh today, so self - care list CHECKED lololol. I'll get you back, it's coming...

    You know Croix, you hit the nail on the head there with the feedback about my therapist. Thankyou! I was wondering why I felt, IDK, ummm like "is there more?" I want to say that she has been AWESOME in taking me from a shaking mess to steadying me. She has given so much pointed, researched advice for years. But I see my own MH recovery / development as something like a set of steps (with a steep, slippery, oily slide attached at the side). A therapist has "met me" at a certain step and taken me up quite a few steps, even with the slide backs. It takes a very patient therapist to be there at the slide back, catch me, then walk me back up the steps again!

    And then, sadly, we use up all of what the therapist can offer. I know I have challenged her greatly as I seem to do. Maybe her saying 'you're doing really well' (and comparatively I am but...) is a sign that she needs to hand me over to the next one. Even maybe to extend the time between visits (ie phase out slowly) and to attend other courses, with other therapists. I really don't want her to feel rejected lol! Oh dear, that IS something that's holding me back. Bingo.

    I hope she sees it like teachers must do, graduating from that platform of education to the next?

    I am taking quite a lot of leave soon, so I'll meditate upon that and see what's available. I feel ok with what I've learnt and attempt to put into practice (I think) but I need bolstering. I would like to, one day, have that strength come from within myself and not feel like I heavily rely on a therapist.

    I'll have to answer the extended family thing in my next post (oh I can feel my shoulders get shaky thinking about that). I am still very deeply grief stricken over that loss.

    For now, allow me to return same by saying, can you tell me what you meant by 'and nobody fell thought'? lol. When someone picks up a mistake I've made, I now use the excuse "I'm a dottery old woman with dementia creeping in, give me some leeway". So what's your excuse?

    Thankyou for the chuckle at myself :-)

    EM

  8. ecomama
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    7 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    HI Croix

    I will answer, 'what is the most important thing you would like?' question first.

    I would like to feel like I belong.

    I'm certain that losing the extended family I had for several decades at the beginning of my life has impacted my feelings of not fitting in anywhere now.

    Your question is causing me to reflect in a way that I haven't done before. This may answer your next question a little. That huge family was my physical, social, psychological (and at times psycho), loving safety net. I'm sure that's why the neglect and abuse by my primary caregivers was diminished so much. I knew that I was loved very deeply by my extended family. I knew that if they knew what was happening, that they would rush to my side and save me because they did so many times when I was a child. What an incredibly beautiful family to do that for the little me!

    I was shunned by many family members by leaving my husband. Divorce was no no even though many did the same after me.

    Years of extremely bad rumours were spread by people, most especially by those I loved and trusted. I would be in jail for the rest of my life if those rumours were even slightly true, they were so bad. I'm sure those rumours persist now as they have lasted for decades up to even last year. I report them myself now and nip them in the bud. As many authorities as have been involved now know that it is severe abuse to me. The damage to every part of my life is what I am trying to recover from.

    My career has survived and I have never been questioned seriously about those rumours at work. My bosses have laughed and I have worked in my career for many decades. More on that later as more feedback on that has come to light strongly yesterday.

    It has taken years of consistently and persistently being myself that is healing my relationships with my children. Ofcourse I forgive my children for not knowing what to think and believing these horrid people at times. They were very cunning in their approaches and convincing in their stories.

    It seems mental to say this but feedback (yesterday) confirms that these people are jealous and tried to destroy me. How ridiculous and what a waste of their lives. Oh well that's their $#it and not mine. I have shut down all contact and put in protective measures. I am blessed to have a number of friends who have lasted decades also and besides being shocked at the rumours, they haven't believed them for a second.

    EM

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  9. Croix
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    8 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM~

    Can't answer ATM due to NBN (Acronym for No Broadband Now)

    Later

    Croix

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  10. Croix
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    9 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Dear Ecomama~

    To answer your question, I so not need an excuse. I simply say,"I'm just a walrus - so what did you expect?"

    I'm glad you got my point on your therapist, I might be completely wrong, but even if right it may be hard to take the matter further, If you could afford it an initial collaboration might be helpful.

    Feeling you belong is a hard one. I guess the first thing might be - at least for me - is "belong to what" In your case it used to be a family, generations of them, and their presence now a constant reminder of loss.

    I had not thought of the aspects of religion and separation/divorce, it explains a lot. Being forthright has penalties (but of course a small compensation inside) . It's weird your know. I was ejected from my family for the opposite reason, marrying the person I wished -someone they found 'unsuitable', and when I persisted with my plans I ended up formally disinherited.

    Sadly teaches one a lot about love.

    Still sometimes even in a group with rigorous beliefs there can be one or two that have more heart than dogma and social pressure, is there anyone you know of who might care for you and put all else to one side? I had an Aunt who simply loved.

    So we are back to the question of belonging. I realise you have a tangled and most difficult time with family, though my impression is that AC and you in some ways belong, maybe both your children.

    perhaps your role is matriarch to which others belong, or are tied to by your wishing to look after them. That takes strength to be the peak of the pyramid

    One has to remember one is not an inexhaustible well of strenght, I'm glad you are talking with Mary and Jenn, they are sensible and perceptive, as well as your having staunch freinds.

    A career and a flexible boss is a blessing. A career, as I unfortunately had to find out, makes up so much of one's self.

    Croix

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  11. ecomama
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    9 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Thankyou for your thoughtful response Croix.

    I reflected a lot on your therapist comment and I have taken the step to seek a Specialist Trauma Psychologist (STP). I now have names of people to 'interview' and will begin this process. I really thank you for making that comment, that has been made only once by AC before but also recently.

    I work fulltime in a career I have had for over 40 years. I rose to 'high places' in this career, working with Govt Ministers both State and Federal, at a young age. In talking with a psych yesterday, we talked about the 'Wheel of Balance' and have placed my career sector as a 10 meaning it is fulfilling and right for me right now. I took many steps back to the place I am at now. It is more fitting for my life. It allows me to more balanced lol.

    I don't feel confident in starting the journey with a STP. Not at all. I cried this morning for the first time in ages. I am shaking now and have needed to practice grounding a lot for the past few days. I spent hours on the phone with psychologists on helplines yesterday. I'm really struggling.

    I realise I am grieving for a member of my family who is living. I posted about it somewhere but it is HUGELY difficult for me. I need to sort out things for this person and my adult child. Or at least try to help by bringing in external services.

    But I struggle with that atm because my own mental health has deteriorated. I need to keep a check on that.

    I know I am Matriarch, I don't accept that position very well! lol. My grandmother was a brilliant one and I cannot do what she did. But this is the position and I take as much responsibility as I can.

    I have quite a few children. For some I am their only driving instructor, which is a stressful thing. I spend a lot of my time checking in with each of my children at home, their girlfriends too. I know this time is only a blink, so I am trying to be the best parent I can be while they are still here and milling around me which is sweet. I check in with my children out of home too (I'm exhausted realising this lol!). Lordy our calls are cut short a lot of the time with stuff going on here. But I do and they do so we're in a really good place now there. It was wrought with emotional challenges over the abuses. More to come. But I Pray we can travel shoulder to shoulder through life.

    Thanks Croix, you've really made a difference to my life.

    xxxxEM

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  12. Croix
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    10 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM

    I'm glad you did not seek a Specialist Trauma Doctor.

    The idea of interviewing potential therapists sounds rather formal but is basically a good idea -if you get the chance. I've had to go to several sessions before deciding the therapist did not 'click'. Being in charge of your therapy is highly important for many reasons.

    No, I don't suppose you do feel confident, in fact possibly downright afraid as I have been. However you are anticipating, things can often work out, particularly if you have a hand in the steering. Can you be accompanied to your first visit with whomever you decide, just company to and from?

    I've been thinking of CFM, and if I understand things correctly this is an unpleasant and domineering person (have I got that right?) who is basically ruling your life - or at least part of it. It is all very well to say No Contact, however in that I suspect you are still being ruled. It is only when you can meet on your terms and use those boundaries you find building particularly hard to do that you will be able to deal with this person and problems they generate.

    This of course is just my impression, I'm no doctor, and even if by chance correct I'd strongly advise you get professional advice before taking any action, if you are too vulnerable/fragile at the moment it can certainly wait, a goal to aim for perhaps? If you think I'm on the wrong track please say so.

    As for being a Matriarch, did you ever have long frank discussions with your Grandmother about the problems she faced and the loneliness and fears she might have held? Even the most loved and respected of faces can be a mask.

    Croix (who has the feeling you have referred to a more recent war)

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  13. Croix
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    10 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Dear All

    It just occurred to me that others reading the above post might come away with the impression there is somethingthing amiss with Specialist Trauma Doctors. That is most certainly not the case. I must confess I was merely teasing Ecomama about her use of acronyms

    -C

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  14. ecomama
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    10 May 2020 in reply to Croix
    Croix said:

    Dear All

    It just occurred to me that others reading the above post might come away with the impression there is somethingthing amiss with Specialist Trauma Doctors. That is most certainly not the case. I must confess I was merely teasing Ecomama about her use of acronyms

    -C

    You ratbag! Said with the deepest affliction oh I mean affection or is it infection?

    Yes, lucky I wasn't seeing an STD too. Or come to think of it, maybe I have ... lol. You made me laugh Croix. Thankyou.

    I have been No Contact with Close Family Member for over 2 decades. Staunchly so. Police intervened and had a difficult time of it too! I didn't feel so bad after 2 more lots of back up were called in. No wonder I could never handle CFM myself.

    But my Adult Child - AC who has remained in contact is struggling BIG TIME and cannot feel to let go AT ALL being the only family member left in contact. CFMs situation has deteriorated in all ways. AC begged me for help in tears a few days ago. This stressful state I saw AC in really impacted me. Society would see me as having responsibility, certainly my estranged family (who dumped me cold when I called police) have whinged and whined about their issues with CFM. FINALLY they understood how impossible it was but they wanted to pass the buck. I have remained NC. Family hated me for it.

    Moving on... AC needs me to step in. Simultaneously your kind self and psych friend expressed same about my lovely Counsellor and needing more specialised help. So I was bound to seek this anyway. Bad timing with CFM too but what the heck hey? Throw it on the pile!

    In all truth I have been through a tornado of emotions the past few days, since ACs tears, my poor baby. I have felt blitzed off the earth with anxiety and employed everything I could think of to ground myself. I have cried more in the past few days than in past 6 months or even 12!

    I was overwhelmed. I had to find out HOW to sensitively support a nomadic CFM from a distance - yeah right, still working that out. But I have lots of numbers to call about that, so I have begun that road. I also felt forced to accept a C-PTSD official diagnosis. All 5 psychologists I have spoken to have all arrived at the same diagnosis with zero prompting. So! No more living in denial over that.

    I have to begin the journey with a STC for tailored therapy. I WAS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIED. Tbc.. happier now....

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  15. Croix
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    10 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear Ecomama~

    I have read your account in

    C-PTSD diagnosis pending - unsure how I feel about it

    and simply want to say you are exactly the same person to whom I gave compliments for insightful and supportive help to others, and who has a rather nice sense of humor. That label C-PTSD is an incidental. It simply means in practical terms you will have a wider choice of medical support.

    Also as I said, you are in control of your therapy, it goes at your pace, and wends its way though the thorny bushes of remembering with your consent. True it can be painful, but it has been for me too, I learned (with some luck plus cooperation) how to regulate pace and reaction, I'd expect you can too, plus you are brave, it won't defeat you.

    Croix (CX?)

  16. ecomama
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    10 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Yes I'll interview STPs and may do like you. I'll tell them what I want them to do for me a bit, keep my counsellor and space sessions out etc. I feel so much better after AC and psych friend spoke with me today about my huge anxiety over therapy, the diagnosis blah blah blah lol. AC said to liken seeing the STPs as I do my favourite medical professional of 20y, let's call her Tania. So I painted the help from Tania in watercolour blue and ALL the help from STPs in a golden yellow. That was acceptable to psych friend too but dissociation was noted on the call lots of times today with her so mmmmmmm. Go figure.

    I overlooked some of your questions. I had a virtually perfect relationship with the grandmother I speak of. I also had her mother until I was 10. I had another Nan too but my father parentally alienated her from me (he was absent toboot). I fixed that breach at 14yo by travelling to see her by surprise and we were awesome till she passed when I was around 50yo. Yep blessed.

    I was so close to my grandmother I speak of mostly. She was the mother I didn't have and ALWAYS had time for me. She taught me countless skills like mechanics, welding, cooking, sewing, knitting, fishing, crabbing, oyster shucking+. I asked her a billion questions and she cried to me over things. I held something of HER grandmother's once and she cried and told me all about how much she loved that grandmother and still missed her awww. She kept the family history alive for me, I went on to collate our family history back to 1332 JUST for her. Yep 1332. I loved her more than life itself. I would do anything for her and her for me. She was my everything. When my grandfather passed, I moved in with her for fear she would die of a broken heart, she had known him all her life. She LOVED being the matriarch of a huge family and put pressure on me from 18yo to have a child omg, I was such a baby, no way.

    I model my parenting on a mix of her, my other Nan, other lovely mums, dads and research lol!
    I was so abused myself so I started researching anything about children in my teens. Impacts of poverty and all sorts. Also what HELPED children. I've studied such ever since.

    Thankyou for sharing about your family. I have a saying for families that many would be shocked at, wanna hear it? ok, 'families can be just another f word at times' nasty but true! Some of my friends have added stanzas to that and I dare not share those.

    Thankyou for being my online friend.
    xxxxEM

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  17. Croix
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    12 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM~

    I'm afraid I have a confession, that I do not now try to read all your posts elswhere, you are too busy:) This probably means I miss things out that are important, please if so give me a hint here too. I assure you it is not disregard for yourself, simply what I'm able to do.

    As for families, mine did me a big favor (unintentionally of course) in making me stand on my own feet and be responsible for another. As it worked out I did not love faith in love as I had that -maybe for the first time). I'm sad your family left you with such a different legacy and even now are being toxic.

    Trying to look after CFM at a distance, is that just because of AC's distress or a little bit because of you too? As I do not know relationship or the circumstances except police have been involve at one stage I'm not realy able to say much. I could suggest one means of drawing boundaries, and that is simply to have a list of the minimum you think you must accomplish -being realistic in the process.

    E.g.
    Keep someone out of the legal system -probably not
    Let someone know there is often time for redemption (no, not in the religious sense) - perhaps

    If you involve AC in this listing perhaps AC's pleas will be muted, perhaps (yes I now there are 3 perhapses in a row there)

    I've never been a Matriarch but I'd expect a lot of it involves saying no for good reason (to oneself as well as others).

    Also if your Grandmother bared part of herself to you that says a lot about you.Your Grandmother and Nan sound so lovely, a legacy that cannot be beaten.

    No I cannot emulate your friends in adding stanzas about parenthood but will give you a maxim that has always stood me in good stead

    "If in trouble, if in doubt
    run in circles, scream and shout"

    Do you realise how much of your posts are taken up with trying to help or look after others?

    Croix

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  18. ecomama
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    12 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix!

    It's ok, no need to read all my posts. Happy to have your input any time. We can go past perhapses, you can just tell me your reply lol.

    Response & update: I've had a REALLY rough 5 days since ACs talk with me, anxiety thru the roof, multiple calls to helplines, counsellor, called in sick to work etc. Today I know in all certainty that I cannot help CFM until I get things underway with STP & Counsellor combined. I got a MHCP from GP tonight for Specialist Trauma Psych. Pick it up tomorrow after work & kids stuff. Then phone STP some time soon to book in.

    I have to work on myself first. I'll speak with my boss this week & plan my leave - 2 months on half pay to make it stretch, if approved. That will see my kids back to F/T school too. Them being alone all day increases my anxiety but we have CCTV so :-)
    I use visualisation, so I've put all of CFMs stuff in a white fluffy cloud & it's way over there for my 'copable' time. Not now at all.

    Every psych has said NO WAY to me helping CFM, I could tell them more of the story. I see no 'redemption' at all with CFM / myself. Boundaries never work. The violence / control / insanity was beyond anything tons of police could cope with. I need gentleness, not that. But it was primarily the state I saw AC in, that sent all my instincts to protect AC into full throttle. This could be CFMs aim, to get me 'back in'. CFM is not an ex partner but a blood relative. I love CFM but I treasure my life & love my children more. It's a choice & I choose my children.

    I think AC would agree to anything I did at this point because of complete burnout dealing with CFM alone for a long time. I assured AC that I would find out more later & not make any firm decisions without ACs input. AC is SO relieved I'm 'on board'.. eye roll lol.

    Perhaps if CFM was in a nursing home & perhaps with a lot of staff around & I brought bodyguards & wore armour & learned judo lol THEN perhaps I would visit CFM if my safety was assured as much as possible lol ;-) That's a long stretch so I doubt it. We'll see.

    Yes I was very loved as a child, adored even. I know now jealousy was rampant, CFM hated me. I've never understood jealousy, it's a waste of time IMO. Rumours were carried by vindictive family bc of jealousy, quite unbelievable. It just made me sad. I've never hated CFM just struggled to understand. I'll do my best to instate protective measures from a distance for CFMs safety & that's it. My happy ending :-)

    How are you going?

    EM

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  19. Croix
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    12 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM

    A couple of quick things

    First I was not talking of redemption between you and CFM, but CFM coming to accept CMF his or her self. Not you there at all. Only works with some people , true, some are immune. May not be realistic at all, plus depends on hte skill and experience of the medical professional involved and CFM's willingness to start.

    Second The reason I put in that last line is your thought processes appear to be very preoccupied with assisting/caring for others, perhaps a reaction to something from your earlier days, I'm no doctor and would not know, just a thought.

    So I'm glad you have temporarily put CFM in the too hard basket for now. Your welfare is the most important thing ATM. It may take more than the prescribed number of visits. I've had more than I can count.

    Let AC worry about you.

    I notice you said you needed to 'work on yourself', sometimes that means letting others work with/for you, not you alone with the responsibility. I could never improve without competent medical support, simply got worse.

    Bit tired, probably not making much sense

    As for me, I'm coping, ta for asking.

    Croix

  20. ecomama
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    12 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix

    Thankyou. For me - I will begin Trauma therapy with a Specialist Psych (in tandem with my counsellor as a 'trained in the mind friend' if you will) alongside me. I am sensitive to putting too much on the people around me, AC included. AC has so much going on outside of CFM.

    AC is kind of 'handing me over' to a Psych and has gently encouraged me to get specific help for trauma.

    As for CFM, I doubt that any MH help will be accepted at all, as per. Not since CFM was a teen and said person had shock treatment. Since then CFM has only used counsellors cunningly (and with high intelligence and knowledge of the system) to get others in trouble.

    I've no idea what 'supports' might be out there for CFM, sensitively regarding CFMs need for autonomy and independence. That is for a later time for me to find out. It will be a difficult path for me to navigate for CFM. And done remotely AND with no one else finding out lol etc. My own MH / MHIs are compounding the whole situation for me.

    Even mentioning CFMs name is triggering.

    Anyway that's for another time. Not today.

    Today I am going back to work after 5d off.

    Yes, thankyou for pointing out to me that I try to help people a lot. This is good and bad for me lol. I will bring it up in Trauma Counselling. My entire life, even in childhood, it has been this way. My whole career is focussed on helping the most vulnerable in society. I was one of these people once, and still am in many ways. I'm the 'go to' person at work, dealing with the most difficult people, so it's a tough gig lol, but I LOVE the people I support.

    I have been told and read research on the most effective amount of time spent in trauma therapies. Some have to keep moving on to Psych after psych until they find one that 'gels' and their approach is matched etc. On top of this, which can be exhausting enough lol, I understand also that 20-30 sessions and life long support from trauma specialists is what I'm looking at. I think that's correct for me. It has been echoed, unprompted by other psychs for my particular case. I have health cover once MHCP runs out. It's ok. It's a priority.

    Besides the 5 goals I made in the MHCP, integrating myself from dissociation must be a goal. I hope this works.

    I hope you have a good day.

    EM

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  21. Croix
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    13 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM~

    I have probably mentioned this but since you brought it up I found both that I had to have a psychiatrist who I clicked with and remained with. I'm not even sure if the therapy has a particular name, but working though life's episodes and reactions with this person's occasional suggestions and insights has been the key -very long term as has an rather unusual medication (sorry cannot say more). I expect I'll always need something, but that's life and workable.

    For me the aim (better say goal so you understand:) is to live a reasonably hapy and productive life while being propped up by extra but permanent supports.

    Put on people around you, leaning is allowed, even if it does not fit in with current your self-image. I found that out,( also in the process my partner was more than an equal, stronger and more loving.)

    May I ask how disassociation manifests itself in you?

    Croix

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  22. ecomama
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    13 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix

    Thankyou for helping me. Your responses are helping to shine a light on my path. I pretty much know some of the path, whether it all manifests is another thing.

    I don't have anyone to lean on. It's not a choice at all. I wore them out thru my Court cases. It's just the way it is atm. Funny thing though, I asked a colleague how she was today and after she said "ok" I left a pregnant pause and raised my eyebrows.. then she said she's not doing ok at all. I said I'm not lol. So she asked me to go for coffee, which has NOT happened via work for a very long time.

    My 'partner' lives overseas, in a high covid place. It's going to be years before we see each other again. This was a February realisation. His work has put him on the Federal Govt list of the only people that can fly anywhere in his country during this time. He has caught jets alone! He's an engineer & repairs covid19 testing machines (do you believe that... good God). I have cut down communications for my own MH. I feel better for this in some ways but I'm extremely concerned for his health & safety. He's smart & confident. I trust him to make sensible decisions, so I have to let this go. So that support is there but not there also.

    I have to make my own good decisions here.

    I know I'll be referred to a psychiatrist, just feel it in my waters lol. At this point, I just want to make good decisions from minute to minute, hour to hour. Not worry ahead of time.

    Dissociation manifested in the ways I spoke of experiences in the 3rd person... I'm getting upset thinking of this... I spoke of the memories of traumatic events as though they were coming from another place, not from my own memory, I used phrases like "and then the thing came out of nowhere like an arrow into my head".. but it was IN my head all along. Not from another place.

    It was not another person, it was me. My mind can't hold all the traumatic events, so I have dissociated, blocked out a lot (that others remember and have told me the actual events & they were far more brutal). There have been hundreds of events at least. TBH more like thousands. I know I'm "sensitive" but even describing ONE of those events is bad enough to potentially have PTSD. That is feedback from psychs on helplines and my own Counsellor.

    Now a coping mechanism has become a habit, hence the urgency. Thankyou for sharing more of your story. I appreciate it and you.

    EM

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  23. Sleepy21
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    13 May 2020

    Hi Croix and ecomama, just had a read through the thread, really interesting journey to read Ecomama about getting support through truama. I'm at the same stage as you - interviewing therapists, trying to see who can feel right for me.

    You seem to be doing a great job

    I hope you feel you have every right to call any helpliine - it can also be preventative and supportive in decisions about mental health - we need this so we can stay healthy and happy

    I know and fully understand sometimes it can feel like a minor issue and not worth the call - but you never know, the help may end up to be so good and necessary for you - and that's all that matters

    keep well to you all

  24. ecomama
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    13 May 2020 in reply to Sleepy21

    Thankyou for chiming in Sleepy21. I have to leave for work in a minute so ….

    I needed to hear the "ring a helpline"... I did last night and getting on here to find out some 'relaxing' things to hear as I fell asleep was helpful.

    Best wishes on your alternate / similar path. I am already feeling a TAD intimidated by my first choice... the place they counsel from has past bad memories. the receptionists are awful lol... they tried it again yesterday. Instead of being the whole DON'T PUSH ME AROUND.... I just thought "I'm gonna take this gently, she's probably having a bad day …. every freaking day lol". Dear me, I'm shaking now.

    sigghhhh. its ok.

    Thanks
    EM

  25. ecomama
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    13 May 2020

    Hi Croix

    It's not exactly true that it's not my choice I don't have people around me, it kinda is and definitely isn't.

    I have lots of children here. They need me a lot. I don't have expanses of time out of home or in the home (in other people's best hours) to maintain friendships.

    The friends I have are freaking awesome, but they are remote. It can take 3 weeks of telephone tag before we connect. Just the busy-ness of all our lives.

    Covid is just an excuse to me not being able to connect. It helps and doesn't help me face this issue.

    I just want to use a majority of my time for my kids whilst they're home. There are so many. It's a blink and they're gone. I will be able to travel more to see my friends 1-2 and 36 hours away.

    family …. well, there may be hope. Doubt it lol. I've tried for almost 20y and unless I can get there and do something for them, it's pretty much a done deal. Everyone in my family was too used to me being a 'helper only'. They can't reverse their idea of the relationship.

    Thanks for pointing that out to me. Heading to work.

    EM

  26. Croix
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    14 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM~

    The mind burying thngs away is probably a good thing, it has been for me. Then they leak out - or jump out - but for me at least singly, and my psychiatrist says that is becuse I'm now in a position to deal with them.

    I know I'm no doc and saying it's a good thing is probably not acceptable, dunno, it seems to be a reasonable thing for me, even if very slow. I think I've probably got one more to work though, but who knows.

    It's also been a case of distancing myself - "it was" rather than" I did". Eventually it works round to "I".

    Maybe I misunderstand, but you seemed to hint that being referred to a psychiatrist might be an uncomfortable thing. I've found the opposite, with psychologists not giving me what I need -plus as far as I know visiting a psychiatrist is not eligible to for the Mental Health Plan, though I'm unsure wiht the new tele-health arrangements.

    Some people that have been badly hurt in their youth end up helping all to a greater extent than is good for them, both physically and for their self-esteem. Now if you are digging your heels in perhaps your family does not like the servant becoming an equal? Their problem. They should not have allowed servitude in the first place but adopted a role as equals.

    I'm glad you subtle offer of help lead to both of you together, that's good for both of you.

    I use earbuds when negotiating and waiting in hostile territory, the response in my ears is instant and I look forward to it. Helps ride over the less than professional reception. Had that for umpteen years. Did you know at Xmas time one can buy a box of chocolates with one chocolate inside? A handy factoid to store away, works best when others get a more fulsome token of appreciation.

    Croix

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  27. ecomama
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    14 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Thankyou Croix for your thoughtful responses again.

    I'm thankful for my mind doing what it needed to, to cope in most parts, enabling me to work, but I've taken a lot of leave and raised the children etc. It's been "I've got ------- to do for the kids & I've gotta do that next etc".

    You described your memories in the opposite ways that I have, in my humble assessment as, not dissociatively (not a word lol). You said "My mind" and the "leak out or jump out". It seems subtle to me but I am told this is an integrated mind.
    Mine has not been so.

    I await the assessment of 'how much' dissociation I've employed or employ now. I don't know, but for number of 'less trained trained' psychs ie not spent years of study and work with trauma as a focus, even they have noticed my dissociative speech patterns and gently told me once they knew I was seeking further treatment.

    I say things like 'the flashback came out of nowhere' or 'that poor frightened, confused little child' and such when talking about myself. TBH I don't want to try integrating without being in the presence of my psych lol.

    2 nights ago I saw a YouTube clip with Russell Brand interviewing an actor over her treatment with EMDR and it sounded amazing. The results she had that is. I'm going to ask my psych about that. Do you know about this?

    Yeah my family or la familia I call them lol, they're not quite.. Besides the family gatherings that I loved so much, between times, they heavily relied on me to help them out. For the past 2 decades, since calling police on a family member, and I couldn't respond to their calls for help as I had so many of my own children and no support. They just stopped calling. They didn't even bring food in our worst times, as I had done for many family.

    In fact, I think they enjoyed knowing I was going through hard times. Perhaps relished in the fact and were hoping to see me arrive at worse places. Jealous comments got back to me which shocked me. I was at 'worse places' but got myself out. Physically around me and money wise, I am in a far better position. It was the hardest work I've ever done through Courts, fighting for our rights against a monster. But here we are.

    I think my self esteem is pretty ok, surprisingly. It was and wasn't growing up - done a lot of work on that. If I'm criticised now I just let it sit out there and ask my closest friends, and children if appropriate, if they think I am "what was said". Usually not at all. Just an angry person. Flick.

    EM

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  28. Croix
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    15 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Dear EM

    I'm not sure the disassociation is that different, but am no expert and will bow to your superior research :)

    Talking of research if you Google:

    EMDR beyondblue

    You will receive a lot of hits about this therapy and some peoples' experiences

    Beyond Blue also had something to say about its use for PTSD and depression that was encouraging at the time on page 25 of

    hhttps://resources.beyondblue.org.au/prism/file?token=BL/0556

    Croix

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  29. ecomama
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    15 May 2020 in reply to Croix

    Thankyou again Croix.

    It wasn't my research lol, it was feedback from too many psychs to ignore. I seem to love being under the carpet of denial!

    My research seems to indicate an Amnesia type of Dissociative disorder. I will leave it up to the new psych. I have zero memories of some events others saw happen directly to me. I remember the day, some of the things, but not the worst physical abuse to me.

    I will read up on those links you posted, thankyou!

    Today I told a friend psych about me seeking this specialist PTSD psych and she was so happy I'm doing this. We were gobsmacked that the psych I had the strongest impulse to see, works out of the same clinic as my friend psych (I had a list of 8). I can never keep up with where my friends are working, so I had no idea lol.

    I asked my friend if my new psych does EMDR and she said they all do and she think this will be great for me, I should try it.

    I'll see what my new psych says. I am hopeful.

    EM

  30. Mara56
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    15 May 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi Em,

    I've just noticed your posts and just want to say that in reading them, there is so much that is similar to my own experience. It took me years to find a therapist that I felt comfortable with. It then took me even longer to trust him. That said, I am so glad I found him. He has been an enormous support to me. I wished I had done as you did, an interviewed my previous therapists, if I had, I may not have wasted my time and money.

    I noticed you mentioned EMDR in your post. I have complex PTSD from multiple traumas. My therapist decided earlier this year to try EMDR with me. I have to say I highly recommend it. I've had a terrible 18 months due to my PTSD being triggered. But I have noticed bit by bit that things are improving. Just in the past couple of weeks I've had less flashbacks. The big breakthrough for me is that after years of therapy I'm finally connecting to the justifiable rage I have in relation to the trauma which is allowing me to express it. For all of my life, I've have struggled to be able to cry and I've never been able to access anger before. For the first time I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Mind my drama is that I've used up all my Mental Health Plan. I do have private health cover but that will soon run out too. Thankfully my therapist reduced his fee considerably, that said, it's a struggle financially to continue at the moment. I had hoped that with today's announcement re: the increase in funding, that the Govt would increase the number of sessions to 20 but I doesn't appear that that will the case.

    I am glad Croix has been communicating with you, he has been a great source of support to me over the past 4-6 weeks.

    I hope the EMDR works for you. I know that they have had very good results with ex-military personal who have PTSD.

    Wishing you all the best.

    Take care

    Mara

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