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12/08/2010 10:58 AM

New to this group

KimRW
 
Posts: 99
Member

Hi... I've been a member on MDJunction for a little while, and just found my way to this group.

I was raised by an emotionally abusive mother and an emotionally absent father, and was babysat by my father's mother, who was also abusive. During my childhood, I was molested on four occasions, and I was raped as a teenager. I was also bullied.

I grew up to marry an emotionally abusive man. A lot of emotional and verbal abuse. When I was pregnant with my older daughter (who's 15 now), I was diagnosed with PTSD. I wasn't able to find treatment, though, because my then-husband said if I was getting mental health services that meant I was crazy and he would take my daughter away from me. When our daughter was two months old, my then-husband raped me. I left him, he got help, we got joint counseling, and I returned.

I stayed with him for eleven more years and we had another daughter. I left him in December 2006.

Because we have children together, I can't get away from him. We're in the middle of a custody battle now, and I'm petrified.

I'm remarried now; I met my current husband in 2008, and we married in April of this year. He's the complete opposite of my ex-husband. Very calm, loving, supportive.

But I keep having flashbacks and nightmares. I have anxiety and panic attacks. Lots of irrational fears, which I recognize as irrational but can't seem to shake.

Sometimes as I transition from sleeping (I sleep well, except when I have nightmares; sleep is sometimes my only escape), I start having flashbacks and can't get out of them. I call those my "waking nightmares", and there have been a few days lately where they stayed with me all day.

I was in counseling with a counselor who told me, "Stop letting your ex-husband victimize you." As if it were that easy...

Yesterday I called a psychiatric crisis unit in my city, and they sent a worker out. I have an appointment tomorrow to hopefully be put on a medication that will work (I've tried a couple but had serious adverse reactions). I got set up today with a counselor who's experienced at dealing with abuse survivors and who knows cognitive behavioral therapy, which I've been told might be a good solution for me.

I feel like my entire life has been abuse... I'm raising two daughters and want them to have a better life, and I try to be the best mother I can be. I want to have a happy marriage to my new husband, and a lot of the time we are happy, but the shadows from my past hang over the marriage and sometimes I wonder why my husband puts up with me. He just keeps telling me he loves me and will support me no matter what, and that he'll always be around.

I think the court thing with my ex has dredged up a lot from the past, and I'm hoping it will be resolved soon and I can move on...

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12/08/2010 11:14 AM
HiddenButterfly
HiddenButterfly  
Posts: 4911
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

Kim, welcome to the group. I completely understand where you are coming from. I still wonder how and why my hubby puts up with all I have put him through. The nightmares can be gorid You have to consistantly remind yourself that you are in a different time amd place now. That you are safe. Try using your wedding ring to refocus you. Anything that you can use that you have now that you did not have then will help. I also like to use cented oils. They help to calm and to remind me of today and not then. Many hugs. Hopee your days get better. If you ever need to talk, feel free to pm me.

Brenda


12/08/2010 11:39 AM
Gaila
 
Posts: 306
Member

HI KIm, Welcome to the group of the most caring people whom I just know for a very short peroid of time myself. I agree with Brenda and with some her suggestions because I really do believe that they will work for you. Take care.

Gaila


12/08/2010 01:17 PM
Midget53
 
Posts: 749
Member
I'm an Advocate

Kim: Although I can't relate to the emotional and physical abuse as a child I do relate to the emotional and physical abuse in my 1st and 2nd husbands. I was physically and mentally abused by my first husband who raped me less than 12 hrs after physically abusing me, and then when divorce him over it less than 2 mo. later he tries to kill me which leaves me with arthritis in my neck with 3-4 discs damaged, and 2 nerves that originate in my brainstem and travel around to the sides of the head and face. For me, I would rather have the physical problems to deal with now than being abused and raped. My 2nd husband was only emotionally abusive and the abuse was not at home only; it was even in public. I had PTSD from that which has slowed down over the years, but then I lost my mother to leukemia in 05/05 and came home from work in 10/05 to find my 3rd husband dead of a heart attack. Our relationship started by fate 1 night. He didn't go out a lot and I didn't either. I had already met his son and a friend of mine 1 night told him that they were going to have to find me a man because I was on the prowl. He suggested his father and about 3 wks later we met. His son convinced him to go out that night and a friend of my invited me to go out too. I was introduced to him by a friend and when I walked up to his son to tell him that I had just met his father and he seemed to be a nice guy, about that time his father walked up and asked me to sit down and have a drink with him. From then on our relationshp was the best I could have had. He treated me like a queen and was a very caring person. He retired from his job and took his 401K and pension. With that, he bought the house I now live in that I was renting at that time and sold his house to move in here with me. Although we were together only 3-4 yrs, we lived, laughed and loved as much as some people do in 20 years. Welcome to the group and feel free to send me a personal message anytime you would like. We're all here trying to help each other deal with their problems. Join in the fun with us. Midget53

12/08/2010 01:48 PM
KimRW
 
Posts: 99
Member

Thank you, Brenda. I do have some calming techniques that I try to use, but I also have a very vivid imagination (I'm a writer) and I'm strongly visual, so when the flashbacks and memories hit it's like I'm right back in them. Even when I remind myself that I'm safe now, sometimes it's difficult to get out of the emotions and fear that those memories raise. And sometimes there's no trigger for them, they just show up.

Thanks, Gaila.

Midget, my condolences about your third husband. Sounds like he was a wonderful man. I'm sorry you've been through so much.


12/08/2010 02:40 PM
HiddenButterfly
HiddenButterfly  
Posts: 4911
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

I too am very visual amnd get vivid flashbacks. That is wwhy I like the esential oils and certian perfumes. You can wear them, or dab them on your clothing and then there is the smell that can help to remiond you that it is only a memory. Tell yourself that too. It is only a memory and has only the power I allow it to have over me. It is hard to get that thought through, but if you can, then you can control it much better. Sometimes I will allow myself to continue with the flashback, but change things around so that I am the one in control and they cannot hurt me in any way.

Brenda


12/08/2010 03:01 PM
Midget53
 
Posts: 749
Member
I'm an Advocate

KimRW: I too have a tendency to be very visual when the flashbacks start. I was taught in therapy to figure out a way that I felt like I was getting rid of the flashback and winning the struggle with it. I finally came up with the technique that when the flashbacks start, I jerk my head to either the lt or rt side and stomp my feet as if I am stomping them into the ground. Right now it's only 1 foot because of a broken ankle that required 5 screws and a plate that still hasn't completely healed. That was the only way that I could come up to stomp the flashbacks and my watching a movie of finding my husband dead on our living room couch. I don't have the flashbacks near as often now but in the first couple of yrs, they almost drove me crazy. This is the only technique that I have found that works for me. Midget53

12/08/2010 03:49 PM
KimRW
 
Posts: 99
Member

Brenda, I'm allergic to most perfumes, but essential oils might help. Finding something visual to distract me might work too.

Midget, that sounds like a good technique.

I have my first appointment with my new therapist on Monday, so hopefully she'll have some ideas as well.


12/10/2010 05:35 AM
Midget53
 
Posts: 749
Member
I'm an Advocate

KimRW: When I found out that the PTSD was a permanent thing in my life, I got really mad and decided to fight the demon, slay the dragon, etc. so that it would not completely take over my life. In counseling, I was taught the value of journaling to work things out and to get things out of my head and onto paper. If you would like, I could recommend a couple of books, I have found on the internet about journaling. You might want to ask your therapist if they thing journaling would be good for you. There is a lot of information on the Internet about PTSD and in books and believe me I have researched PTSD up 1 side and down the other. I found out that PTSD was not accepted as a mental health disorder until 1980 although it had been around since the early 1800,s but doctors couldn't figure out what it was and how to treat it. They started noticing that when war veterans came home they would respond to different noises for instance a car backfiring as they would have in war. The Vietnam veterans were the only veterans who ever got treatment because they thought only war veterans could have it and called it shell shock. Then they figured out that people who had been traumatized and had not been in war could have it, so they started calling it a nervous breakdown, then psychotic disorder, then finally PTSD. That is when the PTSD was entered into the DSM-IV, which is a code book and description of health disorders uses by psychiatrists and psychologist for billing purposes, diagnosis, etc. So if you want to find any information on PTSD just go surf the net. Midget53

12/10/2010 10:26 AM
KimRW
 
Posts: 99
Member

Thanks for the suggestions, Midget. I do journal sometimes, but I have to be careful about it because sometimes it triggers me instead of helping, depending on what I'm writing about and my state of mind when I start.

I haven't met with my therapist yet, because I'm starting with a new one on Tuesday (it was supposed to be Monday, but she called today to change it because the intake worker accidentally double-booked her). I'm hopeful that she'll give me some techniques to help. I was started on Wellbutrin yesterday, and I'm hoping that will help as well.

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