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why is this trauma still haunting me?

(9 Posts)
wanttohelpmyself Thu 17-Jul-08 14:06:11

I feel in a mess at the moment over something that happened 11 years ago. Why has it come back to me now? I am having nightmares and flashbacks and whenever I am alone I can't stop crying. When I am with the children I flick my switch and try to be the cheerful and attentive mother.

Its a long story but I was in an abusive and very frightening relationship with a much older man, who was very controlling, devious and sometimes violent. I got out and he stalked me but finally he stopped contacting me and I moved on. Then two years ago the police got hold of me as he was the prime suspect in a murder and I gave them a statement. It has since gone to trial and he was convicted. This was a few months ago now and I was fine. I didn't need to give evidence the police kept me informed and now it should be over and I don't have to worry about him ever finding me. So why have the nightmares just started. I dreamt he found me, raped me and killed the children and my husband. It was so real and now I can't pull myself together. He did terrible things to me but I thought I was OK. I really feel like I am going mad. I am shakey and feel sick.

I suppose a lot of it is guilt as I should never have got involved in the first place so i have only myself to blame for that, but at the time I had very little self esteem and needed to feel loved. He was my first boyfriend and made me feel loved and safe to start with. Am I really so bad for wanting to feel loved? What really makes me feel it was my fault is that my parents knew about him and the trial but have not asked once how it went or what the outcome was. I know they are ashamed of me. My DH also knows about it but is funny about talking about ex partners so he showed very little support too. And now its over he can't see why it should still bother me. He doesn't know how its affecting me now.

Does anyone know how I can help myself to move on. I hate feeling like this and just want to be normal. I feel like this is going to haunt me forever. Thanks for reading.

PS I am popping out but will try to log on again later.

wanttohelpmyself Thu 17-Jul-08 16:29:10

I'm back and feel slightly better. I am sorry for posting as I know its a heavy subject and I just needed to express myself. I'll go now.

rachw1 Thu 17-Jul-08 18:16:53

Poor you I hope someone will be along soon who has some experience and advice to give you, but I can certainly relate to the feeling of the past coming back to haunt you.

It sounds like talking to someone would really help though - especially if you don't have anyone close to you that you can talk your feelings through with. Just having someone who is detached from the situation and you can talk freely with can really help. Your GP might be able to refer you for counselling - you might find that just talking your feelings through will help you process them and move on yourself.

cornsilk Thu 17-Jul-08 18:22:09

That's awful - poor you. I've had dreams about my chn being hurt and it's really upsetting - I'm not surprised your dreams have caused you to become anxious. I also think you should speak to your GP to try to find someone to talk about your feelings to.

allgonebellyup Thu 17-Jul-08 18:24:37

Sounds like you really need to see a counsellor and get all of this off your chest..you are obviously unconsciously scared about this man, but are reluctant/have nobody to talk to about it, so it is all coming out in your dreams instead.

you really need to find a good counselling service, please do.

litterbug Thu 17-Jul-08 18:26:31

I really don't have any advice but wanted to give some (((hugs)))

You sound like you have been through so much

Could you talk to your GP?

pippibluestocking Thu 17-Jul-08 18:43:12

Hi. Work in mental health. Really does sound like you have symptoms of PTSD, which is completely understandable given the experiences you describe. PTSD responds really well to CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) - it can a very difficult process and it requires you to commit to it and do the set homework, but it really is very effective in PTSD. Go and see your GP and see if you can be referred. I am afraid that the NHS waiting list can be very long though (6 months is not unusual) - if you can afford to go private / have private health insurance which would cover it,, then you wouldn't have to wait but whatever you do, make sure the therapist is BACP approved.
Good luck and HTH smile

pippibluestocking Thu 17-Jul-08 18:46:22

Or BABCP (BACP - British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, BABCP - British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies). Both have websites where you can find an approved therapist.

wanttohelpmyself Fri 18-Jul-08 10:33:04

Thank you so much for replying. I think you are all right that I have to do something as this will keep coming back. Its almost as if now i know I am safe and its all over I've let my guard down and all the fear and anxiety and guilt are starting to swamp me. If I don't try to sort it will keep coming back.

Thank you so much for the replies I felt desperate for some advice. It really helps and I will try to see the doctor, if I can find someone to have the kids, I won't be able to talk properly if they are around.

Pippibluestocking - thanks tbh I wondered if it might be PTSD. I know I have buried the fear of when he tried to kill me, and how lucky I was to escape. Knowing he has done that to someone else brings my own fear back and now I keep imagining what she went through too. I wish I had reported him at the time and maybe the other woman would still be alive, but I wasn't strong enough, its such a terrible thought to have, and makes me very aware of my shortcomings as a person. But then if I was a strong self assured person I would not have got into the situation in the first place. He wouldn't have been able to play on my insecurities and reel me in and make me believe he was the one to keep me safe from the world. Sad isnt it?

Sorry I've rambled again. I know I am lucky to be where I am and I have two gorgeous children, if I can shift this life will be so much better smile.

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