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Please can I have some advice?

(61 Posts)
OurLittleSecret Thu 01-Sep-11 21:06:10

I have been trying to pluck up the courage, for some considerable time now, to ask my GP for help re issues dealing with childhood abuse. The GP is very briefly aware of this as I had a wobble in last pg, and has in the past offered her help, though I have always said "i'm fine" (though clearly not).

Monday night , I plucked up the courage with the help of MN to drop a note into surgery asking for help with the matter. I had already not managed to face an appt the week before.

Tues and Weds I had missed calls from GP sec, with one msg left asking me to call back. I have made a few attempts, once it just rang and rang, then she wasnt in, other than this I have generally hung up in the queue - cause I just cant face it.

I dont want to be a PITA - but really am not sure where to go from here? I just cant seem to get the courage to phone sad

2ddornot2dd Thu 01-Sep-11 23:44:30

I don't have an answer, but I want you to know that you need that help, and your child needs you to get that help for you both(all?) of you. You have done it once, and you can do it again.

I didn't want you to go unanswered, maybe someone will be along with more helpful advice soon.

SingleMan25b Fri 02-Sep-11 01:59:22

I was abused as a child and had a problem telling my GP. In fact, the first time I tried I was 26 but I got worried and didn't follow up. The next time was about a year ago - age 44!

In the end, I went to see my GP, got worried whilst waiting and then talked about something completely different and went home.

Then I tried a phone call which took me a couple of weeks to build up to - planning was all important, I had to be on my own, everyone else out of the house, no need to work for the rest of the day!

Eventually, I made the call and after I'd garbled the words out - my GP just said. 'Oh .. you'd be surprised how often someone tells me that'. It was quite an underwhelming experience, quite an anticlimax - and I just kept thinking to myself - why did I build that up so much. It seemed so easy once it had been said. The only sadness is that it took 40 years to tell someone. Please don't make the same mistake as me - go on, phone your GP tomorrow. I wish I'd done it years earlier. The outcome has been good so far.

madmouse Fri 02-Sep-11 07:36:35

My best advice is to be patient with yourself. You've taken a huge step by writing to the GP and now hurdles are thrown in your way by means of messages and difficulty getting hold of people. It's normal to feel like this, even to feel, maybe subconsciously, that these hurdles mean that you shouldn't be talking about this. Your GP has obviously taken your note seriously and is trying to arrange a meeting - so they do want to hear what you have to say and that is encouraging.

For what it's worth I started opening up for the first time to a friend by making comments in facebook (chat) and then quickly going off line. We progressed eventually to talking in real life (we live 20mins together, facebook was safer that's all) and he became a very trusty support.

If you want to talk things over anonymously you can call Safeline Warwick. I had my counselling through them and they are very very clued up and understanding.

You've taken the first step, take the next one in your own time. If that means not arranging this appointment for another 3 months then fine! Your pain, your pace. But it's worth opening up and working it though. My abuse history is now in the past where it belongs.

OurLittleSecret Fri 02-Sep-11 13:06:47

2ddornot2dd Hi thanks for your reply - I know I do need to get this sorted - I get very unhappy/angry/anxious at times. Most of the time I am ok - but never great. I dont want my kids having this hang over them - I want to be a happy confident mum and a great parent.

SingleMan25b thank you for your reply. I have very vaguely briefly told my GP about it as was having a fairish wobble in my last pg. Sinilar situation to yours - in that she said its not uncommon and was very good about it. That is as far as I have ever got though - but she does tend to mention it if/when I see her - so have avoided her since up until now. Its taken me half of my lifetime to get this far - but your words reassure me that I should keep going - I just have a real lack of courage - and i seem to find it very hard deciding that this is no longer a secret.

madmouse Thank you for all that you have said - do you really think that the next step can be in my own time? I dont want them thinking I am a time waster or seeking attention - because in reality the opposite is true. Plus in reality I dont know what I can face as a next step - I find it so damned hard to talk about (well not managed it yet!) - ATM if she said make an appt I would probably say not thanks - which I know is stupid.

To sum it up I know I cant face it but I have to deal with it? Some days are so crappy and some are not.

madmouse Fri 02-Sep-11 13:19:37

The sad thing is that I knew from your name that this was about sexual abuse..

Yes, it is essential that you do things in your own time. When healing from abuse it is essential to have the control that you did not have when it was happening to you. If you want to read more about it try 'The Courage to Heal' - it will show you that everything you feel, all the shame and the fear, are part of the abuse and not your fault/character/whatever. It will also show you that you deserve to feel free. I still read bits in it now when something pops up and I need support.

For what it's worth from when I started talking about the abuse I've always mentioned dribs and drabs, never fluently talked about the whole story, that was just too hard. Not long before I finished with my abuse counsellor I read her my whole story out loud and emailed it to my dh and a friend. It floored me but it was good. However by that time I had been in treatment for quite a while. What I mean to say is don't wait until you feel ready to tell someone your whole history. You won't have to. The details are yours to disclose as and when you are ready. For now it is enough to say 'I've been abused, I need to deal with it, I need help'. Your GP should refer you to a counsellor who can help you further. Assuming that you can build up an appropriate relationship of trust with the counsellor you can then in your own time start to think and talk about this.

You also don't have to go through your GP. I did initially because I was seriously ill with PTSD after my ds's traumatic birth brought the whole thing flying back. My NHS counsellor helped me stabilise, I did all the hard work with the Safeline counsellor who was ace. Safeline (link in my previous post) can if you live outside their catchment area help you find support directly.

Sorry for the essay - feel strongly about these things blush

OurLittleSecret Fri 02-Sep-11 14:59:10

I dont know if its the right way to put it - but I feel I certainly I have nothing to lose speaking to the GP - particularly as in the last pg I was a - well - not sure how to put it but it was clear things were not ok. GP herself also thought my previous assisted (!) labour had not helped the situation- and whilst at the time I could not comment - she was right.

To be honest I really dont know that I am strong enough. Sadly I really dont have the support of DH - and no one else knows about it. I hate the way I feel at times - and really want to stop this.

Actually - of course I feel I have something to lose - otherwise I wouldnt be so afraid - right?

madmouse Fri 02-Sep-11 15:08:32

Of course you are afraid, better the devil you know as they say.

OurLittleSecret Fri 02-Sep-11 22:11:26

Its going to be a long weekend of wishing I had managed it sad and at this rate I may aswell forget it sad

madmouse Fri 02-Sep-11 22:14:49

Hey come on - no reason to be despondent. If you want to you can ring on Monday, and that's only two days away. Compared to the time you've kept your silence that's nothing.

And should you want to try and talk about it - feel free to PM me. I won't be triggered anymore now.

OurLittleSecret Fri 02-Sep-11 22:44:57

Thank you madmouse - I may take you up on your offer at somepoint- insomnia is becoming a regular feature blush

madmouse Fri 02-Sep-11 22:52:17

The offer is there

SingleMan25b Sat 03-Sep-11 12:52:05

* OurLittleSecret * You've already started the process - your GP knows, and you've spoken about it here. It took me an extra two weeks to make my phone call. You will get there.

OurLittleSecret Sat 03-Sep-11 20:34:46

Ok- got home tonight to find a letter with a local postmark- opened it and only got as far as seeing the surgery headed paper- cant even bring myself to read that- feel so sick

madmouse Sat 03-Sep-11 20:48:29

OLS you're not alone - here if you need a hand to hold x

OurLittleSecret Sun 04-Sep-11 09:16:48

Thanks very much for your kindness. But I just cant face all this at the moment - Christening next month and Christmas fast approaching - both family events and I just cant face them. I decided to put my foot down yesterday and do what is better for me in terms of how and where etc - but when I mentioned it to the in-laws they immediately told me how disappointed my family would be and have made me feel really evil. They dont know the problem, I dont want them to know the problem..... but I cant do right by anyone and cant bear being made to feel this guilty.

I just want to say f**k it, f**k em and f**k off really - nothing is ever allowed to be what I am comfortable or happy with sad

Christ I think if I were in their shoes I would be starting to click that there is something behind all this rather than me disappointing people all the time sad

madmouse Sun 04-Sep-11 10:28:52

Is your abuser in your family OLS? sad That is so hard and the one thing that I've been saved of. He may have raped me but he was only a teacher.

OurLittleSecret Sun 04-Sep-11 11:28:42

Yes I'm afraid so sad

God I hate this

madmouse Sun 04-Sep-11 13:06:29

You have every reason to hate it and every right to arrange family events so that you minimise the pain and keep your own kids safe too.

Also want to say even if you start talking about it, it doesn't mean that your family all has to know - that choice is yours too. My dad was pretty much the last to know as I was afraid he would do something stupid or not believe me. In the end he did neither but I had to be strong before telling him and have the support of dh and close friends.

SingleMan25b Mon 05-Sep-11 01:54:10

My abuser was a close family member, and I've chosen not to disclose anything about what happened to my family or my friends. They don't need to know and they don't need to know that I see someone who helps me with my past. However, this might change at some point in future, but it's up to me. I'm in control now, not my abuser or the fear he installed in me. I couldn't have said that a year ago.

I can see your starting to take back control of your situation by making arrangements which are more suitable for you at this time. This is positive - you have nothing to feel guilty or evil about. Positive things are good.

OurLittleSecret Mon 05-Sep-11 19:33:47

madmouse I have to say I do want to keep it quiet - but having kept it quiet for so long I am finding it hard to tell or talk to the people I need to. Still cant read the letter from the surgery - even though I know it wont say anything particularly meaningful. This is just all way too much for me. sad

SingleMan25b do you still have contact with your abuser? Re the christening both families are managing to twist it back to just how I dont want it - I dont feel strong enough to fight it and I dont want to spend the day feeling so revolted and on my guard sad

SingleMan25b Mon 05-Sep-11 20:45:58

OLS I did have - however, he died six weeks ago now. I was sadly named after him (thankfully middle name), and am now in the process of removing this name from all documentation I have. I sense yours is still alive, ..

I'm not sure what to suggest but local support would be best. One of the numbers I was given by my GP was for my local rape crisis centre - it didn't matter to them that it all happened years ago - they understood, they listened and gave me support and advice. If your not happy talking more with your GP, you could maybe give your local crisis centre a call? I mean they wouldn't know you.

madmouse Mon 05-Sep-11 20:49:01

OLS take some pressure of yourself and calm down. Get the Christening out of the way - then start again. You don't need to do this under pressure.

OurLittleSecret Wed 07-Sep-11 19:22:41

Ok - so today I am having a f it, f em and f off day.

Im having a kinda I dont need help- why the hell would I want that? I think its because I have reverted to trying to pretend it never happened so I can get through this christening - but I doubt I will feel like this for long enough to get through.

Also I keep reading about the length of waiting lists and that doesnt help cause it makes me think there is no point by the time I get there.

madmouse Wed 07-Sep-11 20:41:08

It's probably hard to understand, but you're doing fine and the way you are behaving is very normal and nothing to worry about. You are trying to come to terms with the idea of opening up about this.

And you don't really seem to realise that it is ok and in fact very important to do this entirely on your terms. And what if there are a few months wait for counselling? How long have you waited so far? A few months more won't matter.

Plus when I moved from my therapist to my counsellor at Safeline there was no waiting at all!

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