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 / Obsessive thoughts about trauma: Over 10 years of severe abuse from a parent

Topic: Obsessive thoughts about trauma: Over 10 years of severe abuse from a parent

21 posts, 0 answered
  1. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    20 June 2020

    Hi all, new here to the forum.

    Over the past couple of months, I've had memories resurfacing about physical, sexual and emotional trauma that I experienced from my father for over 10 years while growing up. He had substance abuse problems and untreated mental illness which influenced the situation, as well.

    Now I'm at a place where I'm basically thinking about the memories all the time. There are so many things that I am feeling and trying to piece together. I am also trying to make sense of why these things happened - what frame of mind he was in and such.

    These obsessive and intrusive memories are basically starting to take over my life, specifically influencing my focus with work and school.

    And it is all very isolating...I don't think anyone in my life would understand what happened or what I am going through now (nor should I expect them to). No one in my family knows what happened. I've told my partner and a couple of friends that I've been through abuse but haven't gone into much detail, basically for fear of overwhelming them. I've talked with a counselor a couple times but didn't find it completely helpful as it focused more about logistics of taking care of myself in general - I normally have a healthy lifestyle so that's not what I'm struggling with, it's the obsessive thoughts. And for reference, I've been on meds for bipolar for a while and have meds to spot treat anxiety, which generally work well. But these symptoms have been worse lately, as the ptsd has been worse.

    Normally I wouldn't feel the need to talk about these things, but lately the trauma has been taking up most of my thoughts and attention. It can be difficult to not feel able to express what I'm really thinking and feeling to the people in my life.

    I have tried to spend time sitting with these thoughts to process and feel. Obviously there is a lot that happened and my mind is trying to make sense of it all. But I can't just sit and think about it all of the time.

    My coping lately has basically just been to distract myself. As soon as I stop focusing on something, then the traumatic memories tend to come back.

    Just looking to see if anyone has similar experiences with obsessive/intrusive Ptsd thoughts. What do you do to handle them? Do you talk about your trauma with the people in your life?

    Thanks very much.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6133 posts
    20 June 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Welcome to the forums, lennon11

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us here. It is very brave of you to do so and we are so sorry to hear about what you have been through. We understand that your last experience with a counsellor may have discouraged you from seeking help, and we are so glad that you had the courage to reach out here. Please know that you are strong and you are valuable. You've come to a safe, non-judgemental space and our community is here to support you through this- you're not alone.

    We can hear that this is a really tough time for you and you're wanting some support to help with these thoughts. We would strongly urge that you contact 1800RESPECT. They offer 24/7 confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice and support to anyone who has been through trauma like this. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or visit
    You are also always welcome to get in touch with our Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or through Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some short-term support but also provide you with advice and referrals for further support in a more ongoing way if that's something you feel might be helpful to you.

    We hope that you can find some comfort in the forums and please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread throughout your journey.  

    2 people found this helpful
  3. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    20 June 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Dear lennon11, welcome to the forums and I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I'm also sorry for how things are going for you now.

    Yes I COMPLETELY understand. If you read Mara56s thread 'Complex PTSD' and my thread 'new person', you'll see we've had similar experiences and now similar reactions. You can also see what support we are getting and how it's going for us.

    I'm so glad you've come to BB. Now you have others to talk to. You can say whatever you need to.

    I urge you to seek a Psychologist and hopefully one that specialises in PTSD. This week I described to my friend that having (untreated) PTSD is like you've been irradiated and then it exponentially increases until you don't know which way is up. It becomes completely unmanageable.

    I know you have competently managed it till now. Mara and I did over decades, still raising our families and working in challenging careers. It just got worse for us. We were not diagnosed for many years.

    There are SO MANY things we've done but my healing has been exponentially enhanced by seeing a Specialist Trauma Psychologist recently (I'm up to my 4th session in 4 weeks). Basically I was treading water and sometimes felt like I was drowning until now....

    The psych will be able to work out whether you have other issues (I have anxiety as well) and what else needs to be done. Sometimes PTSD can manifest as other things, so this may need to be worked out for you.

    Dear lennon, tell anyone you want to but it may be advisable to do this after you begin seeing a MH Professional. They can guide you far better. You will get stronger and stronger but only you can make the decisions on who to tell. This is always YOUR business and therefore yours to tell whom you want to.

    I've told my best friends. I tell everyone here lol. Have a read of our threads and see what you can take away.

    We are always here to talk to.

    Take care

  4. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Thank you for your thoughts and advice :) It Is helpful to know that I'm not alone in this kind of thing.

    Basically now I'm feeling 2 kinds of things:

    1. Obsessive PTSD thoughts. It almost feels like my mind is addicted to thinking about the trauma. It is really hindering all of my productivity. I used to be really productive and efficient with work and everything else, and now it feels like I am just stuck.

    2. Guilt/worry about what the abuser is doing now. I haven't had any real contact with the abuser in years, which is absolutely the best thing for me. And I felt like I had completely moved on with my life. But lately I've been worrying and thinking about them.

    I just feel pretty consumed with PTSD stuff at the moment, like it's taking over. I feel like I need to reach some kind of "closure" and then I will be able to move forward. I'm not sure exactly what that means. Just trying to cope and do the best that I can.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thank you for the suggested links! I appreciate it and will look into getting in touch.
  6. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Dear lennon

    You are definitely not alone. I'll put some options for you at the bottom of this post...

    In response to your points:

    1. Yes this can happen. I would urge you to seek a Mental Health Care Plan from your GP for a Specialist Trauma Psychologist asap. From my own experience and that of many others here and other research I've read online, it will only get worse if you try to cope with this on your own. The Blue Knot Foundation has lots to read there. But you can have a tailored program that will help YOU. I don't believe we can do this on our own.
    Things can just get beyond manageable as our brain's neural pathways are set to "habitual thinking".
    A Psych can help create new pathways and then once practiced our brain "prunes" the old pathways. Alot of work! SO WORTH IT.

    2. Yes this can be part of it too. Your psych will be able to help here too.

    I have a Counsellor and a Specialist Trauma Psych now. I've had my Counsellor for around 4y but my friend noticed me dissociating this year and also has a psych degree and said it was urgent that I got more in depth MH support asap.

    Please phone 1800RESPECT, open 24/7. You can talk to them anonymously but you can also give them your name so they can keep records and know who you are and how to keep any support flowing for you instead of you having to retell your story each time.

    I urge you to call Crimestoppers anonymously OR you can call your local Police Station and ask to speak to the Police Social Worker. THEY HAVE BEEN AMAZING with us. You can still report the abuse. Whether any charges are laid is a completely other thing. Usually Police can refer you to a Sexual Assault Counsellor for free. I couldn't cope with this service - for me it seemed basically all about evidence collecting. Which has to be done for Police to gather enough evidence to charge offenders.

    I needed help to cope.

    When you report the abuse and you have an incident number, you can wait a while and phone Victim's Services in your State (ask the Police Social Worker about all supports available to you). Victim's Services may be able to help pay for your Psych support. Victim's Services also installed CCTV in our home as the offender was terrorising me and my family.

    We're safe now.

    If I don't respond to you here please post on my thread 'new person' and both Mara and I would be able to support you all along the way.

    We've got you. It's ok. The abuse is in the past. Time to begin healing.

    Love EM

  7. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    4430 posts
    25 June 2020

    Hey Lennon11,

    Thank you for sharing. I'm goign through some similar things. I don't really have the answers because I'm still learning myself, but wanted to tell yu that you're not alone.
    I've not contacted the abuser despite sometimes wanting to (dreams of revenge, telling them the truth, standing up for myself etc, making them upset)... But I haven't had any contact and I think that does help recovery. I've also got a lot of help from support lines such as BB and Lifeline and 1800Respect. They are amazing.

    I believe there is light at the end of the tunnel and hope you find healing. Thank you for sharing here I'm definitely interested to hear more about ur journey

    1 person found this helpful
  8. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    4 August 2020

    Hi all,

    I've recently been dealing with many intrusive thoughts - basically obsessing over past abuse/violence/etc. that went on for years. I've also started to have lots of nightmares about the trauma. It is impacting my quality of sleep and I wake up panicked and restless.

    To give more detail, my intrusive thoughts sometimes manifest as what might be dissociation - I am not sure. I basically stare off into space and feel incredibly zoned out. And I think about the details of the trauma over and over again. I don't know if that is an appropriate way to cope, or if I should try to stop thinking about the trauma so much. I just want to feel happy and fully connected to people again.

    It is beginning to impact many parts of my life. I feel like I am dealing with many serious things, and my friends and loved ones (who don't completely know about the abuse) do not understand. I am starting to feel a little bit of resentment against people who complain about their "smaller" problems, when I have been through so much, and have not had anyone who can really understand. I know that everyone's experiences and pain are valid, so it is okay for them to express whatever they are feeling. I have such love for everyone in my life and I am not trying to judge anyone for the way that they interpret their pain or experiences. Honestly, I am just feeling isolated and alone in my trauma.

    I have been experiencing days in a row where I basically think about the trauma non-stop. I feel like I can't really talk about it to anyone in my life because they won't understand. It is also beginning to impact my productivity in school/work. I am generally quite good at being productive, even in the face of stress or trauma. But recently I have started to feel drained and run down with all of this going on.

    I have started seeing a GP, psychiatrist, and general counselor. While this has been helpful, I might still like to receive more support. I might look into seeing a trauma specialist, or something similar.

    Is there anyone who deals with frequent intrusive thoughts about their traumas? Especially when they don't have friends/family members who totally understand. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    4430 posts
    5 August 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Hey Lennon

    you write beautifully and clearly and seem to have a great head on your shoulders

    i want to congratulate you on writing here, and being so open and aware

    this is so important.

    I noticed you are seeing a psychiatrist, just wandering if they are trained in trauma, a lot of them aren't, sadly..

    I suffer nightmares too, and have a few tools I use to calm down - weighted blankets, diffusers with oils, and a little cd player with nostalgic cds, from happier times - these help transport me to safety...

    I hear what you're saying about smaller problems and feeling like people don't get it. You've gone through something which seems isolating, but there are people that understand. Have you read the book The Body Keeps the Score or seen Dr Peter Levine's work on Youtube??

    Have you had any thoughts about the nightmares, how you understand them ? I'm not sure myself exactly why I continue to get nightmraes, but its very painful so i really feel for you... wishing you strength over your journey

    2 people found this helpful
  10. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    5 August 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Welcome back lennon11

    Yes there are psychologists who specialise in trauma.
    I'm seeing one atm.

    You can phone 1800RESPECT and ask them for a name of one in your area. You may be best placed to talk to the Counsellor / Psychologist on this number about the precise abuse you suffered because it's then they'll know and be able to help match you more appropriately to the best MH professional.

    I live in quite a highly populated area with SO MANY psychologists but 1800RESPECT only recommended one for me. Just one! I was gobsmacked.

    I was seeking a "tailored individualised program" from a psychologist who specialised in trauma esp PTSD.

    Turns out she was perfect for my needs. She does CBT and Exposure therapy and is a PTSD researcher. By session 3 most of my nightmares were gone. Only had 2, 2 months ago (during the same week).
    I've had 7 sessions now.
    My aim was to be able to "file" my memories and recall them if I wanted to but without any emotional attachment. She taught me how to do many things to achieve this. I still live in the same home as most of the traumatic events but if I do have an intrusive thought then it passes in a nano second with zero emotions. This is occurring less by the week.
    During the past 3 months I also added my own studies of:
    Sleepy 21s suggestion of watching Kristen Neff's online talks was so helpful.
    I also ploughed through Dr Joe Dispenza's works.
    Used Brene Brown's work also.

    Through a culmination of all this I've managed to rid the ruminating thoughts (or the habit of doing so) - which were part of the C-PTSD. So I haven't had a full thunderous PTSD "episode" for all this time.

    I was dissociating and doubt I do that anymore, the psychs around me have confirmed this.

    If you have perseverance, patience (with yourself esp) & persistence, you can get there.
    The sooner you get specialised help, the better.

    Love EM

  11. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    19 September 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Hi everyone,

    I'm wondering what people's opinions are about talking with their partner (significant other, close friend, etc.) about their

    I am lucky to be in a relationship with someone that I care about very much and we see ourselves sharing our lives together and spending lots of time together in the future. Our relationship has lots of open communication and honesty on a daily basis and that is important to both of us.

    I've recently been recovering traumatic memories that spanned over a 10+ year period. I've told my partner in general that I went through trauma, and there have been instances where I've described specific things that have happened, but I really haven't said very much. When I have talked about the trauma in more detail, sometimes my partner's reaction was positive and sometimes it felt more distant - not because they didn't care of course, but just because they haven't been through something similar and I feel like they don't know what to say.

    So I'm wondering, should I share more about the trauma? Part of me is tempted to talk for hours and hours and just talk about everything that has happened, but I'm not sure if that would really be beneficial for us or how that would affect my partner and our relationship.

    I also worry a lot about how much detail is too much, when talking about the trauma. The things that happened are obviously unpleasant and I'm worried that even if I share what to me are pretty small details, that my partner will find them upsetting or be uncomfortable. I don't want to create any unnecessary conflict or pain.

    Part of me also feels like if I don't talk about it, then I'm keeping a secret. It's true that the trauma shouldn't define who I am, but is was a very big part of my life for a while. Not sharing these details with the person I care about most could be seen as a bad thing, especially when I want us to be close and I want my partner to feel like they can talk with me about anything.

    Does anyone have experience in navigating discussions about past trauma in relationships?

    Thank you in advance.

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10556 posts
    19 September 2020

    Dear Lennon11~

    I read elswhere that not only were your thoughts about your past abuse becoming more frequent but also you felt the need to talk about them a lot. You wondered how other people have handled this with close freinds and family.

    I can't say why they are more frequent at the moment. Maybe your psych can.

    I do know things I've completely forgotten or only been 'clinical' emotionless memories have surfaced many years after the event and caused re-living or preoccupation with that event -highly unpleasant.

    To a person who lives with you and cares about you the change in your behavior will be very noticeably, as will your responses to their inquiries.

    I beleive it is important to remember that a very graphic or realistic detailed account of a traumatic event can cause trauma to the listener or carer leaving them in a state where they may need medical support, or at the very least tell you to stop when you repeat the event.

    As a result I will discuss such matters in detail with my psych and others who are able to deal wiht these matters, but tone things down a lot for my partner, I tend to give a non detailed description of the particular event, eg "I was dreaming about the sheep again" and this will be enough.

    For me it is not necessary for the person to know all that is in my head, just their ability to be constant and provide care and love will help.

    It's difficult for them too, as sometimes my reactions to the same inquiry will be met with anger and resentment, other times with consideration.


    2 people found this helpful
  13. geoff
    Life Member
    • 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
    geoff avatar
    15560 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Hi Lennon, if you don't start to tell your partner and they eventually find out snippets, then they will ask you why they weren't told with the end result being either being let down or breaking the trust between the two of you.

    What are the benefits for you, to stop your intrusive thoughts, unfortunately, these differ from normal thoughts, that come and go, and I can say this because I've also had intrusive thoughts due to OCD.

    When I told my wife about these thoughts, she dismissed them as being silly, just like anyone else who doesn't suffer from them, however, in your situation, trauma from what has actually happened, is different, and if need to tell them then start off slowly and wait for their reaction because this is important for you.

    Please let us know and ask any question you'd like to ask.


    2 people found this helpful
  14. ecomama
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    ecomama avatar
    4567 posts
    20 September 2020 in reply to lennon11

    Dear lennon11

    I've had quite a bit of experience sharing past traumas with those I love(d).

    But no one knows ALL of my traumas, only me. Even my Counsellor of almost 6y doesn't know all of the events.... tbh after 6y she actually gets shocked that there's more.... but her reaction after the initial shock is one of kindness and empathy.

    I've seen her get tears in her eyes at times.

    You'll know when is the right time.

    IMHO you don't have to be in a hurry to share all of this. It can be very overwhelming to others who care deeply about us. But you can if you want to. It's your story and yours to share with whomever has the privilege of hearing.

    They need to earn that privilege by trust and compassion.

    My experience has also included extremely negative consequences of sharing. Some people have used it against me. Thrown it at me within 24 hours at times, blamed for their bad behaviour and I wished I'd never shared. Some have used part of my story (albeit very confused versions lol) against me in Affidavits in Courts, trying to destroy my career and ofcourse me.

    So as Brene Brown teaches, only share your story with those who've earnt it.

    Also sometimes sharing amplifies the grief and trauma, sometimes sharing dissolves it gently into past memories that, over time, have little emotional impact on us in our present life.

    If we have kind hearts our trauma can deepen our empathy for others.

    I was officially diagnosed with C-PTSD and Anxiety earlier this year. From the description of your flashbacks and ruminating thoughts, you show some type of trauma responses.

    I found working with a specialist trauma psychologist for the first 5 sessions using CBT and Exposure Therapy was extremely beneficial to helping dissolve the emotional, reliving of significant traumas. She even taught me how to do exposure therapy on my own, so I can continue to heal myself without her.

    Best wishes

  15. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    12 January 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi all,

    I haven't been very active on this account lately. Just looking to write some things out and if anyone would like to respond that would be nice, too.

    Basically I've been dealing with the struggle between trying to let myself heal/relax and trying to still be productive/responsible.

    To recap a bit, I went through very severe, repeated, trauma throughout a period of almost 2 decades. I developed trauma-related amnesia and didn't remember anything about these events (although I had lots of symptoms like nightmares, phobias, depression/suicidal ideation, migraines, etc...which I now know were trauma-related). Throughout the past year I've been vividly remembering these things and it has been very intense and difficult. I've also started taking legal action, which will hopefully be positive in the end but absolutely comes with its own stresses and challenges.

    I'm in my early 20's and in grad school. Being in this program means a lot to me and I want to keep at it and finish. But I am having major troubles handling school and all of the trauma stuff. My concentration, energy levels and productivity are all taking a hit. I am doing a bit better than I was with that months ago, but those things are still nowhere near where they should be. For that reason I've been considering taking leave, but I don't want to (and it would also mean losing my income which wouldn't be sustainable for too long).

    Also, this school program is the main reason I came to Aus, in addition to having family here. My other family as well as my boyfriend and other friends are all overseas. If I took leave, I would ideally want to go be with them, but because of Covid that doesn't seem practical or even possible. So there's another added layer to complicate the situation.

    Part of me feels like I need to take time to relax and focus on the little things and try to be happy. The other part of me feels like I should push through and try to work even harder. (My ideal situation to make both of those things happen would be to work remotely with my boyfriend overseas, but due to logistical things it would be difficult to realistically make that work).

    Of course healing and returning to "normal" takes time and there isn't one right way to do it. But I'm still having PTSD/depression symptoms and trouble dealing with the trauma. Plus stress from the legal stuff, being away from loved ones and falling behind in school. Just trying to keep at it. Maybe I should be doing something differently?

  16. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10556 posts
    12 January 2021 in reply to lennon11

    Dear Lennon11~

    It is good to hear from you even though it is distress that brings you back.

    Do you mind if I ask you about the legal action you mentioned? You did say

    "I feel like I need to reach some kind of "closure" and then I will be
    able to move forward. I'm not sure exactly what that means."

    And I'm probably reaching too far but are the two connected? If it is some other unconnected matter then I apologize for my assumption. Please bear in mind any legal action is an ongoing stressful event, and if oyu are like me then that ramps up my symptoms, the nightmares, the inability to cope properly, anger and so on.

    If however the two are connected and you are seeking to be believed, to try to make the person pay for the (mental) injury they did you , or to prove you have fight in you then I'd feel uneasy.

    The legal system is not a justice system, and the number of successful prosecutions compared even to the number of reported cases of abuse is depressingly tiny. Placing the facts before a court is not enough -though that is bad enough as it makes you relive the trauma. Being cross-examined and treated in the most callus way is at least as bad.

    Seeing the perpetror walk free is something else.

    These can of course make symptoms much worse. Some people with a lot of support and open and shut cases can go down this path, I personally never would, I'd be too fragile.

    You were talking about what to do, the trivial or work harder. I'd go for the former. Finding things you like and allowing them to take you away from a world full of unpleasantness is a balm. It rewards you , and you end up thinking you are worthy of reward. It helps me.

    I look forward to the end of the day when I read some chapters or watch a movie. Looking forward is good.

    Dealing wiht PTSD and trauma is not something, at leat for me, that vanishes, but over time with treatment becomes less significant, has less power and influence, is more easily handled. Allow one to live a life worth having.


  17. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    29 November 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi all,

    Thank you for your responses and my apologies for the long time I've been away from this forum. I want to make myself more of a regular here, but for now am coming back during a quite difficult period.

    I've been working with police and going through the whole process of giving statements and want to share a bit about that please. The major thing I'm struggling with at the moment is the fact that I may not get the result that I want in this court case...I've been through so much, as we all have, and was thinking that *eventually* I would get some kind of justice and resolution. Nothing is definite one way or the other at this stage, but I'm starting to realise that things may not go as I had hoped. Even so, I need to try.

    It's just a rough day and a rough time. I've been giving statements to police to document the years of abuse. I'm very thankful to be talking with police of course and taking this kind of action. But back when I was "in" this situation (ie, living with my abusive parent, etc.), contacting police seemed like a distant dream due to safety concerns. Now I am finally here and...I still have safety concerns? Of course I'm grateful for all the support and know that these things can take time. But I am feeling quite alone and adrift. Involving the police and going through the legal system should be the "easy part", at least compared to the actual abuse? And of course nothing will ever be as bad as being back there. But it's still not easy.

    I've had an increase in my PTSD symptoms lately - difficulty concentrating, insomnia, being more easily triggered, wanting to reach for different ways to numb myself. I've decreased my work attendance (and salary) to half-time, because my PTSD symptoms have made it difficult for me to concentrate. Even half-time feels like a lot right now, but I'm doing my best to manage. My manager has arranged for me to speak with his wife (who by the sound of it has gone through similar things), which was very kind of him.

    I've now gotten to a place of safety and freedom where I have been able to involve the police, a psychiatrist and a counselor. So on paper things should be going well (or at least be on their way there). But I still feel afraid and nervous of what the future will bring, especially since I'm involved in an active case against my abuser and charges have not yet been filed. I have hope that things will get better but it is a difficult time.

    Any words of advice or support would be appreciated.

  18. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10556 posts
    7 December 2021 in reply to lennon11

    Dear Lennon11~

    I've been thinking about you, your situation and what to say to you.

    When I was invalided out of my occupation due to the PSTD, depression and anxiety my main aim, held on to throughout all my symptoms and difficulties, was to make those responsible pay, they had cynically used me and cast me aside.

    Looking back it was not that bad a thing, anger gives strenght and purpose, allowing me to have a concerted line of action and also do things I'd normally be too retiring to do.

    Never went anywhere of course and I think now that was a good thing too. I sidestepped all the re-traumatizing repetition of past events you are having to go though now.

    Yes, you now have the freedom to go to the police, and that can be a real release in itself, marking a most significant milestone in your life.

    It does come at a cost

    "I've had an increase in my PTSD symptoms lately - difficulty
    concentrating, insomnia, being more easily triggered, wanting to reach
    for different ways to numb myself. I've decreased my work attendance
    (and salary) to half-time, because my PTSD symptoms have made it
    difficult for me to concentrate

    True it has allowed you to find a person of kindness in your manager. Sadly it has also allowed you to find (or at least I hope you have) that the legal system is not a justice system, and the odds of a successful prosecution are very small, not becuse of you, just becuse that is the way the system works.

    If the police are honest they will tell you this.

    So I'm wondering if 'justice' should be your aim. Perhaps your recovery ought to be the first thing, the one with priority, and anything that sets that back needs to be carefully considered to see if it is really necessary.

    To aim for a life with calmness, self-reliance, satisfaction and other things people need is no bad thing. It has worked for me.

    So what do you think? (Feel free to disagree or point out something I've not thought about:)


  19. lennon11
    lennon11 avatar
    8 posts
    15 December 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply.

    I really resonated with what you said about letting my recovery be my first priority, and then justice being second. Because I know what I want (or even need?) to happen from the legal process, but ultimately I don't have control over that. But I can still make an effort to focus on my wellbeing, and to have calmness and happiness in my life, which is such a privilege and a gift. Not something that I ever dreamed was possible for me years ago. Thank you for reminding me of that, and it is calming to think that all I have to "worry" about is my recovery.

    For the most part, I do feel empowered by going to the police. And they have told me that whatever happens, at least I can rest easy knowing that I've gone through the process and have done all that I can. I agree with that.

    But at the same time of course, that can make me feel uneasy. You might relate, as I don't know the details of your situation, but you mentioned wanting "those responsible" for your difficulties to pay. I agree with that sentiment too - surely if people do bad (unspeakable, traumatising, etc.) things, there should be consequences...I think it's natural to want that kind of justice.

    Then it is also fear and anxiety-provoking for me to know that they are out in the world and that justice may not come. And if they're not punished, it makes it feel like my trauma may not actually be over because who knows what may happen in the future, whether that's to me or others.

    But even so, focusing on what we can control feels like a good first step.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I'm looking forward to talking more.

  20. JimmiD
    JimmiD avatar
    29 posts
    29 December 2021 in reply to lennon11

    Hey Lennon. Im new here also. On her for problems of my own aside from Childhood PTSD, depression and anxiety.

    Here is a useful link that will provide info on EMDR

    I had been battling with recurring thoughts, flashes, dreams about my childhood abuse for years. I found a psychologist who practiced EMDR. I was skeptical. But I gave it a try. It worked and I has helped a lot. I still have more to work on and I will definitely be undergoing more EMDR.

    Look into this. If you try it I hope it helps you.

    The psychologist also helped me in recognizing that my 'adult self' was able to save and protect my 'child self' and she assisted me in practicing this. I encourage you to focus on the welfare and wellbeing of the damaged child in you and free yourself from any thoughts of empathy towards the abuser, or guilt about how you may feel towards him.

  21. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    4430 posts
    29 December 2021 in reply to lennon11

    Hi Lennon

    I think it's hard to invest too much in the process of seeking justice after abuse, we get scared we will not get a fair outcome

    That said I think it can at times be valuable

    Hope Ur OK

    How are Ur nightmares?

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