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This group is for women who are trying to regain their self-image after abuse

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Why do we feel we have to protect what has happened to us in the past?

By mytantus March 10, 2011 - 9:46pm

I know it's not my fault of what happened in the past. I have a fear that it will happen again, even though it's highly unlikely. Yet, when fear hits, I feel like I back myself into a corner and think this isn't happening. I'm struggeling with the fact that I feel that I have to protect the information, like it's a huge secret. I made a promise to myself that I would go back to counseling and instead of talking about family problems, to face the real problem. I know what happened in the past, shouldn't of happened. I need the strength to face what happened to move on with my life. But, yet only a few people know what happened and I still feel that at all costs I have to protect this secret that I was sexually abused.
Eventually, I will move on. This so called secret won't always have control over most of the decisions I make. I can't keep protecting this if I want to deal with what happened.

By ThroughTheLookingGlass April 16, 2011 - 11:45am

finding god is great if you can have faith. good luck!

April 16, 2011 - 11:45am
By mytantus April 15, 2011 - 10:50pm

that helps alot to read what u said. its very true. I just started counseling and baby steps is key right now. Also trying to gain the courage to go back to church.

April 15, 2011 - 10:50pm
By ThroughTheLookingGlass April 8, 2011 - 11:01am

if you still havent been talking to a therapist, i really recommend it. a professional will be able to give you advice for when your mind is running away from you. ive been told that meditation can help you focus your thoughts when you have a flashback or trigger, so thats what im trying to practice now. my therapist also told me that instead of fighting with my negative thoughts, i should practice simply acknowledging that i am having an upsetting thought and just notice it passing rather than immediately trying to get it out of my head and/or dwelling on it.
if your anxiety is really getting in the way of living your life, you might want to consider taking medication. many ppl with ptsd or anxiety need medication for a period of time for them to be able to live their lives normally. i was on medication several years ago, and it definitely kept me from dwelling on my past, however the way they affected me during the time i took them seemed to keep me from addressing issues i need to, which is why im without medication for the time being.
the other part is keeping your fear of it happening again at bay. if you are careful and always stay with a few people you trust, you can be social and still feel safe. you dont have to be around anyone you dont feel comfortable with. make friends that understand your fears and are willing to stay in a group with you and not drink too much at parties so youre never by yourself in social situations. if you are always around people you trust, there is little risk that anything will happen. i guarantee you'll find women at your new school who want to protect themselves as well.
if you still feel unsafe, maybe you should refrain from going to parties with boys you don't trust. going to smaller, more low-key parties where you know most of the people there may help you feel safe.
when/where do you feel least safe? when/where do you feel most safe? if you bring aspects of the situations where you feel safe to those where you feel less safe, you can make uncomfortable situations easier and feel more secure.

April 8, 2011 - 11:01am
By mytantus April 3, 2011 - 2:04pm

Yes, we are here. I feel as if I'm reading a book that I have already read but this time there is a few changes. Like the people I'm telling now aren't the same ones I told when it first happened. Some things are the same. Well we have good days and bad days and lately theres no inbetween. One min. I don't know what's going on and overwhleming and the next everything is smooth. Then, all of a sudden things happen so fast that I again don't know what's going on.
Last week parts of the days I don't remember they just have past. Other things that are happening remind me of what happened in the past. I'm trying to work on controling my thoughts. I'm also trying to deal with what happened, I'm not dening it anymore.
I like the comparing to cancer cuz they both are physically and mentally challenging.
Anxiety is high at the moment and stress.
Also there's always that chance it will happen again. And that's my main fear it has been since it happened but i was pushing it off to the side. But once August comes im going to be surrounded by men in there 20s in a new college where who knows when one of them wont have there self control. One that doesnt care about learning. One that goes to parties, drinking, does drugs, and is strong.
Maybe this summer I will look into taking a self defense class.

April 3, 2011 - 2:04pm
By ThroughTheLookingGlass March 23, 2011 - 6:38pm

sorry this is so late, i lost my internet connection for a while but its all fixed now.
it's great that you know that what happened to you isn't your fault, and it's totally natural to fear that it will happen again. once you have experienced something horrible, its normal to worry that it will happen during times you feel unsafe or helpless. reminding yourself that logically, the chances of something happening again are extremely slim may help short term, but in the long run i think it may be important to learn how to defend yourself. buying mace or taking self-defense classes may give you the security you need and make you feel more in control.
almost all victims feel like their abuse is this big dark secret that they should be ashamed of. this is partly due to how our society views sexual abuse, and partly due to how violated we feel when someone has hurt us that way. instead of facing what happened to me, i spent almost three years pretending i was fine and allowing myself to be used. if i had been brave enough to accept and acknowledge it earlier, i may have avoided some of the psychological damage the experience and the following years bestowed on me. if you're having trouble telling a counselor, it might help to practice saying it at home in front of a mirror, as silly as that sounds, sometimes hearing the words can give you courage. another option is to write everything you want to say but cant in a letter, and give it to your counselor when you feel you're ready. it will always be a secret. the only alternative is for it to be public, which nobody wants. what you need to accept is that we all have secrets. some are so dark they threaten to engulf you, but you cant let them have that control. think of it this way: a woman goes to the doctor and finds out she has breast cancer. she is going to lose her hair, her body, her family will feel worn from coping with her illness. she will suffer from depression, shame, and loneliness. but if she can overcome all of this, if she can survive and learn to live again once the cancer is out of her body, she will no longer be ashamed. she will be a fighter, she will be a survivor, and she will win.
you and i are not all that different from that woman. we have suffered, we have felt like our lives were over, we have been lost.
but we lived. we are here now, working on our issues as best we can day by day, and we are survivors. and that is a badge of honor that i will wear proudly. we are here. and we will not let evil men take that away from us.

March 23, 2011 - 6:38pm