From the time I was 12-14 my stepfather molested me and when I finally spoke up I was put into a foster home for 3yrs. Since you cannot prove this happened nothing was ever done to him and my mom and 3brothers continued to live happily w/him. They have always said that I lied and it is never brought up. I see them everyday and have learned to forgive him, and my mother for not sticking by me. My problem is that this was 14years ago and not a day goes by that I don't have some kind of thought about what he has done to me. I remember details about everything that happened down to a song they played during one incident (which I will not listen to). Could I be post-traumatic? I don't understand why if I am. I have learned to forgive him, so why can't I stop thinking about the things that he did?
Yes you can be post traumatic. Definately. You may have forgiven him and all but its hard for someone or anyone to understand how someone can do such horrible things (it happend to me too as a child when i was 7) Alot was taken from you and it was a traumatic experience to deal with and to also deal with people who dont believe you. I couldnt have forgiven them, especially your mom who should have stood beside you. I have 4 small kids and after going through it myself, God help anyone who hurts my kids whether there is "proof" or not. I suggest maybe seeing a psychologist or something because this does hinder your everyday life and PTSD is something that needs to be taken care of. I wish you the best my friend for you have lived through hell at a young age and it still seems to be following you. Take care and i give you more credit than me because i can and never will forgive the a@@ who did it to me. I cant understand those type of people and im sorry if i sound cruel. I do wish you the best and hope that you seek the help you need. Dont let this ******* win by having to relive everything over and over. You will never forget but you can heal from it. Please hang in there and go see the doc...they can help. My best wishes and prayers for you.
NO U WILL NEVER BE ABLE GET OVER IT NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS. I KNOW I WAS IN A BAD ACCIDENT 7YRS AGO. ONLY THING THAT HELPS ME IS PROZAC IT IS A PILL. AND I AM DOING MUCH BETTER WITH AS WELL. AND YES U DO HAVE POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER WHICH PTSD. IF U NEED A FRIEND PLEASE CONTACT ME. I WILL BE THERE.
You most definitely could be post traumatic. I was diagnose ptsd and depression stemming from the sexual abuse that happened when I was 4 to 7. Just because you forgave your perp it doesn't mean that you are no longer affected by the damage he has done to you. You will never completely get over this BUT you can learn to live a normal life in spite of it get help stopping nightmares and flashbacks. I would highly recommend that you see a doctor and tell them all about this. I have been in therapy for 5 months now and it has done wonders for me. It has helped with the things and behaviour that I knew was happening but also with the stuff I wasn't even aware I was doing. Therapy would be a really good option for you.
I wish you the best in your battle. I know how tough it is however you will make it through. Look what we have all endured already.
I don't see why a person can't get completely over PTSD? Perhaps I am misunderstanding. I have been diagnosed with complex PTSD due to events during a 12 year period of my life. For 14 years there was not a single day where I didn't have intrusive memories or what happened. At times I felt suicidal. But this past year things have dramatically changed. Now most days I do NOT think about what happened at all and when I do the impact is greatly diminished. I am quite sure that the day will soon be here when I can think about what happened and not have it impact me in a negative way.
I know for some that it is a life-time struggle. But PTSD can go away.
I would have thought that my anger towards the people that caused harm to my life would have been my greatest difficulty. But for me - the biggest difficulty was shame and anger towards myself.
I no longer feel ashamed. I still have some difficulty with being self-critical but that has greatly lessened. I found to my surprise that as I deal with these feelings towards myself, the impact of the memories diminish.
The suicidal feelings I had - had a large component of self-contempt. Of course there was also anger about what happened but the self-contempt was the vital piece I needed to let go of to come to terms with my life.
Holy crow Sniffy,I feel for you.I think that you are very strong for having survived this abuse,betrayal,and gross injustice by the very people you are supposed to trust,your family.Where to start?The abuse that your father inflicted upon you is NOT o.k.,however long ago it happened.And I don't buy it that your mother doesn't believe it happened.She knows,or at least has suspicions.If she claims otherwise ,she's lying to herself and to you.Even so,whether they believe you or not is irrelevent,you know what happened to you!!!I also think that being forced ,essentially,to forgive this heinous act and try to forget about this will prolong your problems.As long as you pretend that everything is o.k. and try to shove down the feelings you have about this, well, it will always be in the forefront,because something this big ,just doesn't disappear until it is dealt with,head on,with support(preferrably).There are body memories to deal with ,self-estem issues,trust issues,god,the list goes on.One of my best friends was molested by her father when she was 7-10,he also thought it was cool to get her stoned and drunk in front of his buddies.Her mom/sister did not believe her either,but thank god the courts did,she put him away for 10 yrs.+ (.I don't know about the court system in the US,but in Canada,we really do not like child abusers,and the courts judgement usually reflects that.)It damaged her relationship with her mom/sister at the time,but her mom/sister realized that she was not lying by the fact that she just wouldn't drop it.This happened when she was 7, now she's 35,and now they are very close.My friend had many issues ,as a result of the abuse, during her life,and a few years ago she deal with her PTSD.It was hard for her but she's gotten over it.Now I don't know what you should do Sniffy.I don't want to be too harsh,but I would not be around the people that were not there for you when you needed them the most,my god you were a defenseless child!!As for the child abusing criminal,that's what he is ,don't fool yourself or make excuses for his behavior,I would most certainly not be anywhere near him,unless you are ready to level with him.It is damaging for you to be around him and pretend everything is hunky dory when it is so NOT.As a previous poster said,start with counselling and go from there.I wish you much luck,and for caring people to enter your life,sniffy.Keep posting.P.S. Be easy with yourself ,you are NOT to blame .This was done to you ,and you are not to blame.
Thank you so much for your kind words and your support. You are right about having contact with my parents. I have cut down the contact with them substantially however I can't cut them off completely because I have 2 brothers and a sister who don't know about the abuse. I don't want to start a big thing and lose the relationship with my siblings. They are all very caring and supportive. They know I have depression and ptsd but they don't know the root of it. There is always the risk they won't believe me so for now I am just keeping quiet about it. I know it isn't the right thing to do but I can't risk losing them. Also I figure the damage is already done...telling them won't change anything or make things better. Maybe one day I will be stronger and be able to confront him.
I am seeing a therapist. I am lucky cuz she is really good and really nice and understanding. I am trying to work through it. I had a bit of a setback a few weeks ago. I was having major flashbacks and felt like I had to get out of the house. The police found me wandering down the middle of a busy road and arrested me and took me to the hospital. I got committed for 72 hours. They changed my meds around a bit and things are slowly improving.
I am Canadian too. I live just north of Toronto.
I am really glad to hear that your friend has beaten her ptsd. She must be very strong and courageous because I know what a hard battle it is. It gives me hope to hear that she has recovered. Thanks for sharing her story. I am sure you helped her get through. You sound like a very caring and supportive friend. She is lucky to have you as a friend.
Hi Sniffy,thanks for taking the time to write back,hang in there.I can't TELL you how many people I personally know that back up my view point on this issue,100 fold.That is a tough situation with your siblings .But, people are very perceptive ,you know?They probably can sense or plainly see that you are clearly not comfortable w/him around you.Either way ,I'm sure they support you,no matter what.I'm glad you are seeing a therapist,that is truly a smart move, investing in yourself and what matters to you.I hope that ,when you look at yourself in a mirror,Sniffy,what you see reflecting back is love.Namaste.
Thanks so much Zebra1. I really appreciate your taking time to write to me and I appreciate your wise advice! One day soon I will be strong enough to speak out. In the meantime it really helps me that there are caring, supportive people like you on these boards.
Be sure to do yourself a big favor and ignore remarks you may read or hear telling you to "get over it" or "deal with it" etc etc.
Some things just don't go away and I think we survivors set ourselves up to feel like failures because we "dwell on our past" or "refuse to let go" or "wallow in self-pity".
What we can hope and try our best to do is to live our lives in spite of the damage caused by traumatic events. This realization came to me a few years ago and it was very liberating. I beat myself up for years because I wasn't "letting it go". jUST try to minimize the flashbacks and, somehow, mercifully, ditch the nightmares and subsequent fear of going to sleep.
Save yourself some time and the possibility of taking more armchair criticism(sp) and make sure your therapist has plenty experience with PTSD.
One comment on the subject of suicide:
If nothing else gives you reason to refrain consider this...There are children in your life who love you, whether your own or someone else's, and they are taking notes. One day they will be faced with their own problems and by then they will have compiled a list of problem-solving choices.
Don't approve suicide as an acceptable option for them.
My story is very similair to yours.....I was molested by my step father from the age 5 to 11 then he comminted suicide.....When i was about seventeen i told a friend and that friend told there mother, well the mother told my mother....My mother disowned me and i was kicked out of the house....She lived in her pretend world....My sisters were also molested but when my mother ask them they said no so that she would not do the same to them....
I really don't think you have forgiven him....Maybe in some way you think you forgive him because you want so badly to be back in the family circle again....I really know how that feels i did whatever my mother wanted just to please her so that she would love me once again....It took me a long time to realize what i was doing to myself but i finally woke up one day......You have to heal yourself before worrying about forgiving or doing for anyone else....I later learn to put my self ahead, to learn that i was important.....I still today don't forgive him even though he is not with us but i'm trying to work on healing myself....
I'm now 27 years old still have flash backs, nightmares and don't want to be touched....I can still remember things that happen like they were yesterday.....Last year i decide i was tired of doing the same old thing so i decided to get help....I now go to a psychotherapist once a month, he really does wonders for me....Didn't think i could talk to a man but he is just amazing....To actually talk to someone and have someone listen, feels good just to get that burden that i have been carrying around with me all these years.....I really couldn't tell you if you will ever get over it but i know from my experience i'm slowly healing from my experience as a child.....
I know where your coming from....
You will get over it, it may take alot of time to do it, but you'll get there. I just came over a major stepping stone about 2 months ago in terms of my PTSD, and I thought i'd never get there, couldn't fathom ever getting rid of my images, triggers, flashbacks, body memories, dreams. But I have, and now I can live with the regret that it happened and am able to move on, I no longer am stuck in the past, living with the shame and the guilt that I thought i'd carry forever. I may always have symptoms of PTSD for the rest of my life, who knows, but I know now that it can't hurt me anymore because I wont let it. 8 years of therapy brought me to this point and I feel so empowered because of it. I still get triggers and body memories, weird 'daydreams' sometimes weird thoughts of the past but they don't stay with me. I can tell them to you know what, and they do.
Takes alot of time and paitents, but you will get there, because I never thought I could and I am, and I know you can too.