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can't handle this.(20 Posts)
A namechanger here
As my user name suggests, I have issues from my past. My childhood to be precise, sexual abuse - and this has a great impact on my life now.
I have two daughters, with quite an age gap inbetween. They both attend a sports club for a particluar activity (being deliberately vague here, so not to out myself), and the youngest is very keen to start an additional activity with the same club. And here is my problem. I know I am being completely unreasonable, but I can't get past it. When my eldest daughter did this new activity a few years back, her coach was male. And every time he touched her, to help her with a move or something, I had a flashback to my childhood. It got so bad that I had to leave the hall, as I felt that if I stayed in the room, I would be condoning him touching her. Even though I 100% knew that there was nothing remotely dodgy, it just felt wrong. I can't explain myself properly, but just to reiterate, the coach wasn't actually doing anything at all to warrant my feelings, I knew it was soley down to my past. After aprox 4 month of trying to deal with this, I encouraged my daughter to quit, as I couldn't cope with it any longer.
So now, my youngest wants to do the same activity, and is actually showing quite a talent for it, and the coaches at her existing activity have all said they are looking forward to working with her. But, having intially been told that the coaches will be female (I managed to find an excuse to ask), I have today been told that one of the male coaches from her existing sport will also be coaching the new one. I know that the old problems are going to resurface, and emotionally, I am in a much worse place that I was then, so I am really scared of how I am going to react. I don't feel able to not let her do the new activity, as she is so looking forward to it, and I would have to explain myself to the club.
So now, I am sitting here, having been in tears for hours, resorted to self harming to try and pull myself together, and am in such a mess.
And I have no idea which section I should have posted this in, so my apologies if it is in the wrong bit.
You've posted in the right section and you are not alone. I've been badly sexually abused too and there are many more on here.
I have a ds and dread having a dd next, I'm extremely protective of daughters of friends so I know where you are coming from.
Self harming is a coping mechanism, nothing more or less. Better if you don't but if you have to you have to. Don't cut too deep and make sure you clean well x
What help have you had in coming to terms with what has happened to you? Can you talk about how you feel with anyone near you?
I have tried both counselling and cbt in the past, but I couldnt handle remembering. I hate the way I feel, and the way it impacts on my daughters lives.
There is no one in real life I could talk to, I can't manage to say the words. I am so low I am quite scaring myself, but cant telephone the crisis team as I am worried they will take my kids.
Sorry you have experienced the same, Madmouse
They have no reason to take your kids and they won't. Don't be scared of that.
I know the hell of talking about it. I know it hurts more than you can ever imagine, but I've done it and in the end it was like lancing a boil, cleaning it out and letting clean scar tissue grow. The abuse is in the past now (still comes up sometimes, but life is good) so it was worth it.
Am so glad your life is good now madmouse
I worry that as I am a lone parent, with very little family support, if I let the crisis team know how much I am struggling, they will wonder how I am managing with my daughters. In reality, the oldest one has took on a lot of the day to day tasks which shouldn't be happening.
Drumlin, not so good still - thank you for asking though. The weekend is getting closer, which is the start of the new activity. I am having so many flashbacks, not only to my childhood, but to my eldest's gymnastic classes where I had very bad panic attacks. It is all such a mess.
Yet, the coach has emailed me this morning to say how much she is looking forward to it, as my daughter is so keen.
Me too so sorry for you and as Madmouse says, there are many people on these threads who have suffered childhood abuse. You say you have tried counselling and CBT before. As you will know CBT only deals with the "here and now" and for more deep seated difficulties you need a competent therapist in whom you can trust, but maybe even this is too difficult. Sadly I think that is the only way though, to take baby steps - if you really can't talk to anyone can you write it down for yourself - a couple of lines a day or something. Can you phone/e mail Samaritans.
You have clearly coped well with your daughters in spite of your difficulties but it sounds as though they are getting older now, and reaching/reached puberty. This is going to be a very bad time for you, as they will have boyfriends etc etc and babies maybe one day. I assume they don't know what is troubling you. Are you a single parent I wonder.
Sorry if this sounds ridiculous - but could you not watch the gym class or would this make things worse.
thank you, it is helping a little talking here.
Drumlin, there is no-one who could come with me, I am quite isolated here.
NanaNina, I think the difficulty I have with delving too deep into my past is that is massively impacts on my already fragile coping mechanisms for living in the present. I know deep down you are right though, and perhaps I am simply delaying the inevitable.
I have somehow managed to bluff my way through my daughters' lives so far, but I feel that they may well be better off without me and living with their father as as you say - the next few years are only going to be harder. I have absolutely no idea on how to manage it, let alone have the strength to actually try.
Am so very embarrassed and sorry for being so negative
HMP one of the things you learn when working through childhood pain is new coping mechanisms. Things I learned was anything from a hot shower is very comforting to me and it is ok to have one just because I need one, to going through lovely texts on my phone that friends have send me so that I don't feel so alone, to hugging a teddy to ground me during flashbacks to simply talking to a friend. It beats eating, self harming, pretending it didn't happen etc.
But how do I am know I am able do cope with working through it madmouse?
Oh love please don't be embarrassed or apologise for being so negative. You should hear the stuff that I come out with when I'm on a negative spiral and I am totally phobic about anyone (other than dp and close women friends) seeing me when I am having a bad time. I too am embarrassed and ashamed of the way I am when the black mist of depression descends, as it does every few weeks.
I agree that you do know that you need to unearth this childhood trauma that is impacting on your present life and your already fragile coping mechanisms. There is no other way - yes it will be painful, very very painful, but you deserve to give yourself the best opportunity of unravelling the past, to make some better sense of the present and the future.
NO you're children wouldn't be better off with their father - how arrogant I am when I know nothing of your situation, but it just sounds like another way of saying "I am no good, the girls deserve better etc etc" and that I am sure is not true. Anyway how would the girls take to being packed off to their father and having to cope with you rejecting them. NO that is not the way.
One thing you are right about though is that you are simply delaying the inevitable. It is clear from what you say "between the lines" the nature of the childhood issues, and you owe it to yourself to bring this into the open, bit by bit, only as much as you can manage. It won't take the past away but it will make it more manageable.
I have a reasonably good idea of the issues that are troubling you and the source of your torment. I would be willing to PM you, and if I am wrong I am more than prepared to accept that. Hope this doesn't sound arrogant or that I am a "know all" - was a social worker for 30 years, now retired. Not that that gives me any right to think I know what is troubling you.
Whatever, keep posting because there is always lots of support here. NNxx
HMP I guess my only answer to that is this:
1) I managed, and I was pretty badly damaged (and so now pretty scarred, mentally)
2) What I say most often to other women in this situation: You are suffering so much right now, you fear that you will find it hard to work through the pain, but in the meantime you're in unbearable pain every day - what have you got to lose. I had nothing left to lose as I was so ill and overwhelmed that it would have killed me.
Nana - feel free to pm, and so sorry you also struggle with depression
Madmouse - are you a counsellor? You sound so knowledgable and, well, together. I think the reason I have always put it off in the past is that I have no idea how I would manage day to day life with my daughters whilst remembering so many awful things. The way I cope at the moment is that if I do have a trigger, I self harm to get rid of it. Not the best I know, but it is the only way I know. If there are constant triggers, I am worried about going overboard with trying to cope.
A counsellor? No - maybe one day, but I'll need to sort my own mess out first. Together, me? Ask the friend who had to deal with me last week being totally convinced that everyone would stop loving me now because I'm struggling with anxiety now that the PTSD is finally behind me (I had a lot of support from friends). I'm on the waiting list for CBT for anxiety.
I'm a lawyer and so words come easily enough to me. I've also vowed that the pain I went through would not be for nothing and that I would support others where and when I could.
So sorry Hatemypast - I have your thread muddled in my head with another one. (put it down to your age) It is quite clear from your posts what is the source of your torment.
Keep posting though and you will I know get lots of support from others who have had similar childhood experiences. I am a firm believer that only those who have suffered a similar thing can really and truly understand. Madmouse is a very wise poster on these threads and also manages to get her point across in a concise way, whereas I tend to ramble.
Please don't delay getting some good therapy - can you afford to pay. You owe it to yourself really and your daughters. I know it's easy for me to say that, when I have never been through such an experience, but I can imagine the pain and flashbacks (PTSD maybe) that must happen. The main thing is that you find someone with whom you feel comfortable, and that she is credible and you feel you can trust with this buried trauma.
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