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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Struggling with triggers during Victoria’s lockdown.. *trigger warning, childhood sexual abuse*

Topic: Struggling with triggers during Victoria’s lockdown.. *trigger warning, childhood sexual abuse*

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    214 posts
    27 August 2020
    Hi all, I’m new here and anxious to write this post but I had a medical scare in April and ended up in icu and then transferred from my country town to a hospital in Melbourne 2 hours away from home to have a procedure done on my heart. I wasn’t allowed to see my two young kids and their dad was only allowed to visit me twice once I got to Melbourne, thankfully it ended up being a straight forward procedure and my condition was fixed but when I got home I was a mess and had severe health anxiety for a couple of months, quit smoking, drinking and coffee and started a new medication for my anxiety and depression. I had terrible side effects coming onto it and have had to change the dose a couple of times the latest being last week, so I know I’ve been through a lot and have reasons for my anxiety (I’ve been having weekly phone apts with a psychologist since May) but last week something unexpectedly triggered me about years of sexual abuse I went through as a child, I’ve always known it affected me but just left it at that, after going to court etc at 12 years old I did the opposite to what I should have! I shut everyone out, started drinking a lot at about 14 and started smoking cigarettes and going to parties or anywhere I could drink and smoke as I wasn’t allowed to at home anyways that was my way of dealing with it and I thought that was it, it was gone but since this trigger I cannot get the thoughts of trying to overcome it out of my head and I keep telling myself I can’t get past it unless I address it and work through my trauma but right now I am not in the mental state to address that on top of everything else covid has hit my mental health hard and I am struggling with the isolation. The kids dad works away a lot and is away at the moment and we’re in the middle of moving house, I’m working 4short days a week and doing remote learning for my eldest so I am keeping myself busy but as soon as I have a moment to think all I can think about is the trauma I’ve experienced and that I’m never going to get over it so then my anxiety kicks into overdrive and it’s a vicious circle. Sorry this is such a long post I wasn’t expecting it to be haha and I don’t know why I’m posting it here I just think I need to get it off my chest and deep down I think I’m hoping someone will be able to relate and I’ll realise I’m not alonein these feelings. Thanks for reading if you actually managed to get through the whole thing haha.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6622 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Anzee

    Welcome to the forums, Anzee

    We're so grateful that you have reached out to our community tonight, we know that it is not an easy thing to do and you have shown a lot of strength in sharing your story. We're really sorry to hear of the difficult journey you've been on, and understand that these resurfacing feelings must be especially tough to cope with during this pandemic. Please know that you've come to a safe, non-judgemental space to talk about your thoughts and feelings, and our wonderful community is here to provide you with as much support, advice and conversation as you need.

    If you feel that it may be helpful, we'd also recommend reaching out to 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. You can also call our dedicated support line, staffed by mental health professionals, which is available 24/7 on 1800 512 348.

    It's really great to hear that you are currently receiving support from your psychologist, but we hope that you also feel welcome to reach out for some extra support in between appointments if these feelings become overwhelming or too much to cope with. The friendly counsellors at the Beyond Blue Support Service (1300 22 4636), and our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) are there for you 24/7 during your most difficult moments to help support you through this.

    We hope that you keep checking in to let us know how you're going, whenever you feel up to it.

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    214 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thank you so much, hearing that I can still reach out for help between my sessions is exactly what I needed to hear (without realising it) I’m just really struggling to get the thoughts out of my head once I let them in. I really appreciate your reply.
    2 people found this helpful
  4. Soberlicious96
    Champion Alumni
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    Soberlicious96 avatar
    519 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee,

    Welcome to this safe space, where help and support are here for you.

    I can SO identify with what you say about being unable to get the thoughts out of your head. I too have recently been triggered and have been thinking constantly over the last few days about my own childhood trauma.The thing about triggers is that we never really know when they are going to happen ..... life doesn't come with the scary warning music, like it does in the movies.

    I find it helpful to ground myself; to bring me back to HERE and NOW. To take notice of what I can see, hear, feel, taste and touch. For example, as I write this, I can SEE the Football on the television, I can HEAR the football on the television, I can FEEL the pillow that sits at my back on my couch, I can TASTE .... that my teeth need a clean! And I can TOUCH the sofa that I am sitting on, and the towel that is covering my slightly cold knees.

    But also, there is more help too. There's an organisation called CAV - Centre Against Violence - in North East Victoria - who provide support and other services for those who are survivors of sexual assault. The website is: https://centreagainstviolence.org.au/ and could be worth your while to check it out? I know that personally, if it weren't for organizations like that one, I reckon I would not be here today. They were truly wonderful and so supportive.

    There's another organisation called 'The Blue Knot Foundation' and they too help survivors of sexual assault. The website for The Blue Knot is: https://www.blueknot.org.au/

    Anyway, I do hope that helps a little.

    I myself have an awesome support network, and am currently using every bit of it. Why? Because I deserve to be well, and not taunted by my past. And I firmly believe that this current re-activation of my PTSD and nightmares will be short lived. So long as I just keep up with the support, and keep bringing my mind back into the 'now'.

    I know that sometimes it can feel like it's never gonna end. And maybe to some degree it doesn't? But what can and DOES happen (at least for me it has anyway) is that, with help, it gradually loses its power to overwhelm you.

    Anyway, that's all I got for now.

    Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

     

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    214 posts
    27 August 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96

    Thank you heaps for your reply and your experience, I have been doing meditation every morning for about 2 months and it definitely helped in the beginning once I was able to focus enough to relax but I’m back to feeling like I can’t concentrate enough to feel the effects, I still do it every morning but it’s not as successful as it was. I also do breathing techniques when i can feel a panic attack coming on which does help and sometimes I avoid an attack altogether which is so good but I just can’t get myself grounded or relaxed af the moment. I’m very sensitive to drugs and medication so I also know it may take another week or two for this dose change to settle in my system and I am already feeling calmer than I was last week, it’s just these new thoughts and the focus on my trauma that I can’t seem to put out of my mind and if just replays over and over, luckily I barely remember any of the actual abuse itself but I know there’s a good chance those memories will come back with the healing and that’s why I’m not ready to face them yet I am shit scared of dealing with the emotions that come with those memories and at the moment I think I don’t ever want to remember or deal with that part of my life and I know I don’t have to but my dad died died not long before I told my mum about the abuse and because my mind blocked everything out (about 6 years) I have very little memory of my dad and my time with him which hurts a lot because he was an absolutely amazing person and I hate that I can’t remember that for myself but my siblings can 😢

    when I told my psychologist on Wednesday about the abuse she said she would refer me to Casa (centre against sexual assault) but again I just don’t think I want to or am ready right now.

    i am also so lucky I have an amazing family and friends but there’s not much anyone can do to support me right now with the restrictions and lockdown and I think that has a lot to do with why I’m struggling so much too, the isolation for me is so hard because I’ve always been a very outgoing and social person, I do suffer from social anxiety but my close friends know about it and I was fine around them 😊 although the longer we’re in this lockdown the more I feel scared of socialising and being out in public again 😩 glad you have support around you to get you through these times, we definitely deserve to use them when we need to ❤️

  6. Soberlicious96
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    519 posts
    28 August 2020 in reply to Anzee

    Dear Anzee,

    Just remember that you can come back here to this thread as much as you like.

    I think recovery - if we can call it that - from abuse, is a bit like learning to swim in rough seas. It's always going to ebb and flow, and the tides will come in and out in a rush, and not only do you (I) need to learn how to swim, but also how to 'read' the tides. High tide is the one that brings all the debris and the rough waves with it, and low tide is the one that retreats and laps gently and soothingly at your feet.High tide is when we need all the equipment (support) in order to ride the waves and low tide is when we can relax that little bit and do the maintenance on the equipment (support network) and make sure that it's all still up to date and usable.

    I don't know if that analogy helps or not? Hope it does.

    Anyway, take care. Still thinking of you. xo

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    214 posts
    28 August 2020 in reply to Soberlicious96
    Thank you 😊 my partner got home tonight and I had a big cry and talk to him about it all and my overwhelming feelings and I’m feeling a lot better for it now 😊
    1 person found this helpful
  8. Anzee
    Anzee  avatar
    214 posts
    28 August 2020
    I barely slept last night and I have to go to work feeling very tired and very anxious. I can’t stop thinking about and trying to remember details. I told my sister yesterday that it had come to mind again and that I had talked to my psychologist about it and when I told her I didn’t remember much at all she said she remembered an incident and she said she didn’t realise there was more than one and she said I pushed him off before anything too serious and she said we both ran away screaming and the only incident I actually have memory of, I pushed him away before things got very far also but I really thought I remembered when I went to court having over 10 charges against him because I thought he said he’d plead guilty to half if I dropped the rest so now I’m so confused and questioning if anything else did happen?! I’m so confused and kind of wish I could remember Clear details of what actually Happened so I can stop obsessing over it all or just put it out of my mind again for now and move on 😭
  9. Soberlicious96
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Soberlicious96 avatar
    519 posts
    30 August 2020 in reply to Anzee

    Hi Anzee,

    That's great that you were able to talk to your partner about things. Better out than in, as they say. Talking is good. Especially with someone you can trust, and who has got your back. My partner is good like that too. He gives the best hugs whenever I need them!

    There's an article that I found interesting, which may help a little, if you want to check it out?

    https://healinghonestly.com/memory/what-its-remember-what-you-cant-remember

    It's about trauma and memory and how it affects the brain. I found it really good to read because I could identify with it so much. Maybe it will help a little? Might make you feel a little comforted, knowing that you are not alone in struggling to remember all the details? I've never remembered all the details of my own abuse. I know that, with my Uncle, it went on for about 4 years, but I only remember probably about 3 or 4 incidents in 'detail'. Other than that, it's the feelings that the writer describes in the article that resonate so strongly with me.

    I hope it helps a little. You don't have to check the article out if you don't want to. It's just a suggestion. I just know that it really resonated with me, and helps a little.

    Anyway, I'm off to bed now. Sweet dreams. Talk next time. xo

    1 person found this helpful

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