Hi. I'm very new to this online community. Hello to all of you and thank you for taking the time to read this. I will always be sensitive to you all when posting. Please tell me if you think I need to word things differently so as to not stir up emotions in you or others.
Okay, here goes:
A few weeks ago, I found out that my rapist died (he actually passed away 6yrs ago). At first, I guiltily felt relief...that he can never hurt me or anyone else again. A few days later, I convinced myself that it would be a good idea to go get a copy of his death certificate as concrete proof that this man can never threaten, terrorize, or hurt me again. After all, I couldn't sleep for fear of nightmares and after zero sleep, it seemed like a good idea. Please understand I've lived in fear of him for nearly 20yrs.
So anyways...apparently reliving even going into that same courthouse (yet again, and over the same person) and speaking his name again brought my PTSD back with a vengeance.
So now I sit here, have been for a couple hours and in spite of distractions - in total IRRATIONAL fear of him! Is this normal? I know the flashbacks are, I understand why things I haven't thought about in so long are now fresh in my head - as though I'm currently that scared teenage girl rather than a woman in her 30's.
Sights, smells, sounds, words, thing in general are just amplified in these terrifying moments. I understand what PTSD is and why I have it (went through counseling after it happened...and periodically throughout my life).
But I don't get it: I am sitting here, AFRAID OF HIM!! He died...many yrs ago...he committed suicide. I have the hard evidence (though I don't wish to actually view it again, it's tucked away where I can reach for it to calm myself after a nightmare or something in the future. Or maybe I'll burn it).
Okay I'm rambling... PLEASE...please please help me understand if THIS (irrational fear -as irrational as fear gets) is 'normal' given the circumstances.
Just to throw it out there: that day, when my PTSD was triggered at the Court House, I began counseling with a therapist who deals specifically w/sexual abuse as well as PTSD. I also called my primary doctor to request Wellbutrin as that's an antidepressant that I've been on in the past. I am to begin EMDR therapy soon. So I'm also curious if others who have sexual-trauma-induced PTSD and have tried this therapy found it helpful.
But currently more pressing: the irrational fear. This man is gone forever. So why am I afraid of HIM of all people? I get why old feelings of fear would surface, or memories of fear...but this is current fear. It makes no sense. Logically, of course, I know the nightmare can't repeat itself. But the fear is real.
Advice? Any advice or opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks so much and sorry this is long (call it desperation lol)
The following user gives a hug of support to EmberLeigh: Phoenix (06-30-2012)
I am really sorry to hear what happened to you.. and i am glad that you get the relief now(and i completely understand the guilt part too) but its i think the fear is completely understandable. I walk around the corner when its slightly quiet around and am scared that the person that i am afraid of will grab me in broad daylight.. what i think they will do i have no idea but the fear is very real. Maybe you need time to let it sink in because with his death yes there is relief but there is also other feelings like the quilt and you probable haven't completely understood those feelings yet which is probably stopping you from not being scared of him. I do think that fear should ease but i dont think it will go completely (which i wish wasn't true) ..but because he is the one who did this to you but he is just a figure for the things that he put you through.. and that pain will fear you. Personally i think that the fear of him now was just brought up again and will ease once you come to terms with any regrets or feelings you have about his death.. but i could be way off and apologies if i am..im new!
Last edited by MovingOntoo; 10-28-2012 at 02:45 PM.