Why am I so scared to let go?

Over the years, like most people, I have had my moments of sadness when all I can do is cry. Literally balling my eyes out feeling sick kind of cry, you know the type.

I truly believe that crying is a way of releasing negative energy and a step towards letting go of things grinding you down.

So why is it that I find it so difficult to let go and release the pent-up negative energy I feel inside me now?

Last year I opened up to Madeleine Black (author of Unbroken) about being sexually assaulted when I was 8 years old. In August last year I started seeing a Rape Crisis therapist and I continue to do so. Over the seven months more memories of additional sexual assaults by different people have come back. I have walked past and seen people who have carried out these assaults, had nightmares and thought about how I could take my life.

Yet despite all of this and much more I cannot seem to let go and cry. I feel like crying but won’t release it. I know why!

I fear not being able to stop crying and having a break down. So, it is safer to hold it in.

Surely opening up and talking about the incidents, amongst other things, to Rape Crisis is help enough!?! Or do I need to let it all out?

One day I may do that. Right now, however much I feel like crying I don’t feel ready to let go.

Writing this has made me think! I’m not the only person that does this, that I am sure of.

So,

  • Why do so many of us bottle things up and cause ourselves more distress in the long run?
  • Is showing our true feelings that much of a taboo? If so, why?
  • Are we too afraid that people won’t understand?
  • Are we too scared and ashamed to talk about the things getting us down?

What can we do to change this?

I live alone and have plenty of time when I can let go. So, I am the only person stopping myself from doing this.

I believe that once I trust myself and understand that I am actually a strong person I will then allow myself the freedom to let go.

What do you think would help you let go?

Feel free to write your comments below.

Repressed Memories – Freedom

My session with Rape Crisis today was emotional and unburdening.

I woke up feeling good although a little apprehensive about taking a photo album in to my session. This was something my therapist and I had discussed. We both decided that it would be a good idea to help me remember missing memories of my life.

I had a feeling it would be emotional but I wanted to do it because I knew it would help me move forward.

After working at home a little in the morning I went to Rape Crisis. When I arrived as always my therapist asked how I am. For the second week running I said “I am good” then bored her about my weekend away for a few minutes.

We then moved on to the photo album. I have to say I approached it with caution. Almost afraid to open it.

It was easy enough at first. Lots of photos of me and my sister together, the therapist and I trying to guess which one I was. Being an identical twin mum always dressed us in the same clothes. The big giveaway was me being the chunky one.

There were a few photos of me with my dad, always hard to see. I miss him so much!

Then came a photo of me and my sister with our uncle who my sister has recently told me used to touch us inappropriately. She said no more and I can’t remember much yet.

After that there was a photo that I still can’t get out of my head. It was of one of my male cousins with my sister and I in the background. I keep seeing his eyes and the look on his face. I remember that face as it was back then. It was far from easy seeing that photo.

It brought tears to my eyes and my heart sank. Then I realised I was younger than 8 years old when he sexually assaulted me. I didn’t know what to think. Before today I thought the incident with the boys in the tunnel was the first incident. This is all mind blowing.

Despite how I felt when I left there today I actually feel OK now. I feel like my heart has sank but I feel relieved that it is out in the open. I feel like I am taking a step forward without any steps back.

I feel lighter!

I can’t explain how much seeing Rape Crisis is helping me. My heart goes out to all that work and volunteer for them.

I am at a positive part of my journey and I am loving it. I haven’t felt this good in such a long time. Long may it continue.

Take care one and all xx

Sexual Assault & Coercive Control – A Rant!

I’m scared I won’t come out the other side of this distressing place that I am in. I feel like I am running out of energy to fight this. I wish there was a quick fix.

The men and women that do these things to us don’t seem to understand the impact they have on us. They certainly don’t care.

I was sexually assaulted at least seven times, that I remember, throughout my childhood. All by different boys or men in different circumstances. Some were boys I knew through school, some were guys I thought were friends and others were male family members.

I can’t understand why someone would think it is OK to sexually assault anyone. I will never understand it. There is no excuse for it. I don’t care what I was wearing, if you thought I should pay for a lift home in some way or if peer pressure from your friends was too much for you to take.

YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO VIOLATE ME IN ANY WAY. THIS IS MY BODY!

So many people think about men being the abuser when they think of sexual assault or coercive control. As a survivor I know that is not true.

I am a gay woman. In my 30’s I was in a relationship with a woman who controlled me so much that I could not go out to see people without her, I had to do everything for her at home, she would humiliate me in front of friends and family, she pressured me into getting married.

When it came to sex she would go on about it until I would end up giving in just to keep her quiet and to stop her making me feel worse than I did already. In bed she would move her hand on to my thigh, this would make me cringe so I would turn away. She would persist! I didn’t want her to touch me.

The whole relationship I felt like I was pushed into things. Believe me it was not easy to get out of the relationship but I did. The day I left she was self harming in front of me to try and get me to stay. I didn’t! (She was fine)

I had the same problem in my next relationship apart from this time I was in love with the lady and she loved me too. We didn’t marry (thank god). The same thing happened with coercive control and sex. This time financial control as well as emotional and sexual.

When I ended this relationship she would not stop contacting me and even turned up at my front door unexpected. I bought myself a camera doorbell. I have told her that I will contact the Police if she contacts me again.

Sexual abuse and coercive control are not just committed by men. I know!

Whoever abused you and in whatever way remember there are lots of people out there that have been through the same and can help you. Make sure you talk to someone. It is certainly helping me.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of low days but I am determined to beat this and not let what happened to me control my life.

IT IS MY LIFE TO LIVE

Sexual Assault Memories – What triggered mine!

In December 2002 I started work at my Local Authority in the Taxi Licensing Dept. It wasn’t what I set out to do in life but when I found myself out of work I jumped at the chance. I loved the work and enjoyed the challenges of some of the people I was dealing with.

Around 5 years ago that all started to change. There was either an increase in sexual assaults or they were being reported more, I am hoping the latter. The media started to report more and more stars who had taken advantage of their fame or position. Then came the cases against Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) organised criminals.

This is when I became more involved and saw a lot of information that started to trigger my memories of being sexually assaulted at 8 years old.

Part of my job was to assist Police with their investigations any time there was a taxi driver involved. Whilst doing this I was privy to information regarding the offences which enabled me to make decisions to revoke licences. It was a no brainer!

The more I saw this information the harder it became to bury my demons and I knew I had to do something about it. Seeing the information made me so angry and emotional. I didn’t know what to do with myself and I couldn’t concentrate on anything let alone sleep.

I spoke to my manager in October 2017 who supported me as much as she could. I started seeing a counsellor who was very good but not able to help me given the subject. I was still working in Taxi Licensing but by this time had applied for and got a managerial position which would take me away from most of the information I was struggling to hear and see.

Unfortunately, as I was the most experienced person in the team after a restructure, I had to see the information or listen to the cases put together by the team so that I could advise regarding decisions. This wasn’t helping me at all, and I found that I was becoming lower every day.

I started taking antidepressants. My manager approached me one day and said that if I wanted to, I could be seconded to the Systems Support Team for a while until I was ready to go back. So, I moved to Systems Support in May 2018. I am still not ready to go back to Taxi Licensing and I am not sure I ever will be. I do however help them out giving advice if they need it, but they do not give me the gory details.

Where I am now

I am now a permanent member of the Systems Support Team and enjoying the change after being in Taxi Licensing for just over 16 years. The only down side is that I have taken a hefty £400 per month pay cut……. I struggle on but I will settle into it soon.

I am now seeing Rape Crisis and have been since August 2018. The lady I am seeing is brilliant and I know I can talk openly to her without worry. Its going to take some time but I am determined to come out the other side of this.  

I would like my future to be helping others who have struggled with sexual assault. I hope this blog and my Twitter feed are the beginning of better things to come.

Sexual assault survivors empathise so much with each other. We know what it is like to deal with these struggles, the feelings, the memories, the nightmares. We can and we do help each other!

Stay strong and safe

Leave me alone – Keeping an ex away

A year ago I ended a relationship with the woman I thought I would be spending the rest of my life with.

When I first met her she was so lovely and kind. We clicked despite difficult circumstances. We seemed to be on the same wave length and barely had a moment of silence with all of our talking.

I fell in love, head over heels for a woman that would turn out to be very controlling.

After a while I noticed that she started to ask where I was going and who with every time I wasn’t with her. She would question my friendships saying that my friends “had an agenda”.

I couldn’t understand this but had tried so many times to reason with her that I gave up. I found myself seeing my friends and lying to her so that I didn’t have to explain myself.

I was at her beckon call. If she had time spare she would say to meet her. I would leave work early, cancel friends/family and not accept invitations in case she was free.

One day something completely changed and she started to have a go at me for not responding to texts when she knew I was at a friend’s house. She said I expected you home by 9pm (I live alone). So many things were going round in my mind and I realised that I had to finish the relationship.

I loved/love her but I can’t be with her if it means I won’t have a life of my own and will be controlled.

That was a year ago.

Today, after receiving numerous phone calls, messages, emails and unwanted visits to my home over the last year, I sent her an email asking her not to contact me as it is harassment and if she does I will contact the Police.

I have asked her not to contact me before. Let’s hope this time it works.

It has been and is very tough to leave the person you love and then keep them away.

There is help out there. Don’t hide away and put up with it. You are worth more than that.

Rape Crisis – Getting my power back

Wow I have been seeing a therapist at Rape Crisis now for nearly 4 months. I can’t believe it has been so long. Once a week (bar a few) for 4 months!

It has gone so quick but at the moment I feel like I still have a long way to go. I do feel worse but that is in no way a reflection of the therapy. I was told by a number of people that I may get worse before better. I just didn’t think it would happen to me. Guess what, I was wrong.

Feeling worse, having nightmares, memories returning is all part of my healing. I know that but struggle to accept it sometimes. In fact I know a lot of things like…

• None of it was my fault
• I am not weak
• I am not stupid
• I am not a victim, I am a survivor

I know these things because I am not stupid BUT I struggle to accept or feel these things.

From the moment I was first sexually assaulted I lost my power. Actually let me rephrase that, my power was taken away.

I choose to fight to get it back. I WILL get it back. This is my life and I choose to live it the way I want to.

I may have bad days but I will come back fighting. They will not win!

My life is worth more than that.

A journey into the unknown

Well I have had two appointments with Rape Crisis now. The therapist I am seeing is lovely and I feel she is the right person for me to see.

The first appointment

I felt so nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I have had counselling before but in my mind this was going to be so different because it will be focused on the trauma in my past, my difficulty dealing with information seen etc. at work and finally going through my relationships and the hard times I have had.

My therapist asked me a few questions and as I thought, I also needed to complete some paperwork. I then set out my reasons for being there.

  • Sexual assault when I was around 8 years old
  • Sexual assaults between the ages of 14 and 18
  • Work related information regarding CSE, rape and other sex and violent crimes
  • Two controlling relationships which I struggled to get out of

She said that there are a few different areas that we can work with and she feels we will be able to work well together. I felt so drained when I left. As always I felt lightheaded and my legs were like jelly. I have no idea how I ever manage to leave a counsellors place when I end up feeling like that every time.

My second appointment

I have to say I feel a little disappointed in myself. I couldn’t talk about the main issues as I was struggling and feel so scared. I have no idea why but I ended up talking about money most of the time. I even apologised for talking about things that are not part of what they normally deal with. My therapist, bless her, said it really doesn’t matter and that the time is to go through whatever I want to. I think she was trying to say I will talk about the other things in my own time and there is no pressure.

I felt so nervous and scared to say something. What if she doesn’t believe me. What if I am being a drama queen. Talking about things makes it all so real….. but I already know its real. That doesn’t make sense!!!!

Our minds are mysterious things. We talk ourselves into and out of things all of the time, our minds block things out to protect us. I don’t know what I want to believe but I know I wasn’t the only person there when I was around 8 years old. I have a witness, my sister! I only wish I had the guts to ask her what she remembers. Would she tell me even if she does remember? Who knows…..

I can do this and I will do this. I will do it in my own time.

What do you do when you feel like you have had enough!

It’s been a hard slog recently. I have had a lot of good times but I struggle so much when I get home alone. The date approaching fast when I speak to rape crisis. The anticipation is killing me almost literally!!

I know I need to talk to someone and let it all out. I’m not sure what they can do to help me or even if all they do is listen. Who knows!

Knowing I am going to be seeing someone whose intention is to help with rape and sexual assault victims is pretty scary. It means this is all real. Despite feeling ready to talk I don’t know if I am ready to accept it. I don’t want to believe these things happened. I don’t want to remember more of what happened. Especially the bits I have blanked out completely. There must be a reason my mind has chosen to block it out.

I’m not proud of it but I have recently considered taking my own life. I wouldn’t do it but I have thought about it. Even down to how! Hanging myself using the stairway banister.

I wouldn’t do it because it would kill my mum. I can’t do that to her.

So what do you do when you have had enough? I’m struggling to think of the best thing to do. I wish I could just switch off all of the crap and start again. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t opened up to my manager about what I am struggling with. Facing what happened to me is the hardest thing ever.

I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t want all of this to come up again. I am fed up of being fed up and no I can’t just snap out of it. I’m depressed!

How do I get through this? How!?!