The rollercoaster continues. My emotions are up and down. I went to see a Dr yesterday, and he was saying how, many people that suffered from mental health, had some kind of trauma behind them. I still hate hearing myself referred to as having mental health. He said I had been brave in reporting. Do I feel brave? No. I feel relieved in a way that people are listening, that people are believing. You see, for many years. I grew up thinking no one would ever believe me. That I would be the one in trouble. But it doesn’t make me feel brave.
So it’s been 6 months now, since I opened the lid on the box. So much, has happened yet so little. The first person I had confided in after 25yrs was the therapist on the phone. I still to this day, cannot remember, how we ended up talking about it. All I can remember is the tears that followed, and this incredible person on the other end, listening, advising, not judging. That night I had a conversation with my husband, I tried to explain how i had been feeling. It was tough, as I didn’t want it to sound, like I was making excuses for my breakdown. At the time, I really felt that our relationship was over, that the love was gone. I could not remember the last time we had been close. Even talking to him was like sitting talking to my best friend, not the best friend that I had fallen in love with many years ago. I still loved him but it was now different. (Anyway going off track a little). So I explained the conversation I had with the therapist on the phone. He listened, then I could see the shock on his face, the tears in his eyes when he said. You were raped? He knew my past, he knew about my childhood growing up, he knew that I had issues around sex due to the sexual abuse. But he never knew, how far those issues went. He held my hands, not knowing what to say. I just said it was ok, and told him my plan to see a specialist therapist. I told him that I finally felt for the first time in my life, I was ready, I was ready to talk. I’m glad we had that conversation, I hoped that it may help him understand, how I was feeling. But the truth is, I don’t think he could really. As yes, now he thought that the issues were just past related. It took away any blame that there were still problems within our marriage. So where were we? Were we better off? No! The difference is that now our problems, had a different focus. I’m not going to lie, this is probably as much my doing as his. I replace one problem with a new one, instead of trying to deal with the whole picture.
So what’s changed in 6 months? In my opinion, not a lot. I spoke to the police, I gave my interview. He has been questioned and denied it. I have broke down, really broke down. I have tried to run away, I have cut myself, (once). I have been to the Drs and sobbed so much that even the doctor, shed a tear. You see they do have a heart too. My doctors are fantastic to be fair. I moved out from home, and I moved back again. I have walked into work to quit, and cried in my bosses office. (Thankfully, she just listened advised, and ignored my resignation). My emotions have been so up and down, that most people can’t keep up. But I know now that I truly have a huge support network around me. The hardest thing for me to accept, is that it is so difficult to get the specialist therapy, that I need. The police are doing what they can, but they said from day one it was going to take time. Patience has never been my strong point. I have victim support who I can contact occasionally, but talking on the phone, is just not that easy. I can do it, once I start, but I need to vent, I need to talk face to face. I need to deal with it. I don’t want it to go back to the back of mind again, where the lid is closed and I can not talk about it. One lady from safelink said to me, this isn’t your secret to keep anymore, you need to talk about it. Tell others, don’t be ashamed. You have done nothing wrong.
I do talk about my past more now, it’s not so much a secret as it was. I have confided in my work family, the ones that I trust dearly. I have told relatives, that I never thought I would ever tell. I made myself believe that the day it came out, I would no longer, have any relationship with any of my family. I was wrong, as the ones that I have told, they believed me. But what does that say? He was there nephew too, how can they believe what I am saying. But I am glad and relieved they do.
Having to deal with this, not just the sexual abuse but everything that happened as a child, has been one of the hardest things I have done. My head is in a constant spin, thinking about things that happened, things that are not happening. No wonder why, I feel like I am on an emotional rollercoaster. Did my parents know? Did my other relations know? Who knew and did nothing? How did all that happen in a small cul de sac, and no one knew what was going on?
The hardest thing, I have dealt with, is the constant battle, I have with myself. The self blame, not for what they all did. But could I have stopped it? Did I try hard enough? Was it wrong, that I never said no? How can he be punished for what he did when I let him do it. I unknowingly gave him my consent. One question the police asked me in the interview. Was. Do you think, you liked the attention you were getting? I hated that question, but I hated it because, I had asked myself that same question. Why did I not stop it. Could I have stopped it? I hated the things he did, and I mean I really really hated it, oral sex was the absolute worst. The taste, the smell. I honestly thought, that would be, with me forever. The police asked me at the interview what did I want to achieve from reporting, I honestly didn’t know. Did I want him to suffer, did I want to punish the whole family for it all? I just wanted it out of my head, I wanted to stop living in this world where I had demons inside that occasionally came out and haunted me. I had moved on in my life, I had fought the battles and I had won. I had shown to them all that no matter how I was dragged up I was not one of them. I may have been a single parent at 17, I would raise my children the best I could. I would do my best by them. And I would show them that you can achieve anything if you really want it. So why do I still find it all so hard. Why do I have such low self esteem. Why do I think that everyone has a right to hurt me. Why do I struggle to trust people, even those that I have known for years. Why did I feel the need to leave my husband and my babies, why did I feel so lost and alone that I had to run away. Why do I always try to hurt myself. Whether physically or mentally? Because that is what I did, when I left my family. It wasn’t just them that i hurt, it was me. I was punishing myself. My husband had begged me to stay, but I couldn’t. My older children could not understand my reasonings. I just knew that this is what I needed to do. Was I right? Was I wrong? Did this make me a bad parent? Have I now let my kids down? How can I fix it?
Not one day went by that I wouldn’t visit the children, I love them with every part of my being. I was never going to give up on them, I just needed space away from my marriage. I needed space to face the past. Grieve for the loss of my grandmother. I know this sounds selfish, but I just needed to be me on my own! Truth is though, being on your own, is not the answer either though. I would sit and cry into a bottle of vodka of an evening, I was seriously losing control, I was now punishing myself for everything, the abuse, the way my parents treated me, the ex boyfriends that thought it was ok to treat me the way they did. For falling out of love with my husband and for leaving my kids, who had I become? Who was this person? Who had I now become? Being alone with your thoughts, was not the answer. My daughter had noticed I was drinking more than normal, I didn’t agree. I only drank on the nights, I knew I had nothing to do the next day. It’s not like I was drinking all the time, but truth is when I did drink on those nights, i really drank, binge drinking the doctor calls it. After those words from my daughter, I gave up the alcohol for a while. She also said some stuff about me moving back home. It was like she was trying to shake me back into reality. For a young adult, she really talked sense. I raised this gorgeous mature girl, that although can annoy the hell out of me sometimes. She has a very sensible grown up head on her shoulders, and she didn’t want to see her mother destroy herself. I had to shake myself out of this self pity. I had to seriously think about what it was I wanted. Was I going to really let my past ruin my future?
So after 6 months of living alone, I moved home, back to my husband and my children. To start with it felt right, it was good to be back. I was starting to deal with everything now, I had opened up to relatives. My husband was supportive. The police were apparently working behind the scenes. I was now 3rd on the list for specialist therapy. Maybe now, I could get back to the woman I had fought to be. Could I save my marriage? I had to try!