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Can anyone recommend a book - abuse related

(23 Posts)
PippaFawcett Tue 10-Jan-17 11:12:08

I was sexually abused as a child and it has led to all sorts of issues in adulthood. I was NC with my mother for a long time but we are starting to rebuild a relationship a little.

One of the issues is that I get quite stressed about my home environment, I overreact when the children leave their stuff everywhere and my husband can't put up a picture on a wall without discussing it with me in advance otherwise I get upset. If I am out for the day and I come back, he has to give me a status update on the house so I know what to expect. I know it is all linked to my childhood, my stepfather, the perpetrator of the abuse, would do things like swap our bedrooms around when we were at school etc and I know it makes me feel unsafe to have things go on that I'm not party to.

I want to learn to cope better with change and particularly changes to my environment, can anyone recommend a book for me to start with please? Or does anyone else feel similarly and can talk me through some coping mechanisms?

keepingonrunning Tue 10-Jan-17 11:29:52

I'm sorry for what you went through. You are still clearly very jumpy and on-edge. Search the internet for ways to reduce your cortisol levels (stress hormone). Exercising regularly would be the first thing to do, particularly yoga. Minimise refined sugar intake.
Moving things in your bedroom to unnerve you is gaslighting psychological abuse. The 1940 Gaslighting film which inspired the term is on YouTube.
"Complex PTSD" by Pete Walker and "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk are widely recommended. flowers

PippaFawcett Tue 10-Jan-17 11:53:37

Thank you, keepingonrunning. I will look into the things you mention.

keepingonrunning Tue 10-Jan-17 11:57:30


PippaFawcett Tue 10-Jan-17 21:25:25

Bump for the evening crowd smile

WingsofNylon Thu 12-Jan-17 20:38:40

Breaking Free. There is a book and a workbook. It helped me lots.

springydaffs Fri 13-Jan-17 00:02:08


flowers flowers flowers

PippaFawcett Fri 13-Jan-17 12:05:29

Springy, I will probably have more. But I have had lots in the past, including CBT, and I haven't found it particularly useful. It could be that I need to find a different kind though.

springydaffs Fri 13-Jan-17 17:35:14

Yes, the right kind is life -changing the wrong kind dire. CBT is good baseline skills but won't touch the deep stuff. You need specialised longterm work for that.

Out of interest, was your therapy on the NHS?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 13-Jan-17 17:50:18


I would seriously consider contacting NAPAC if you have not already done so.

springydaffs Fri 13-Jan-17 21:50:31

Thanks for that link Attila.

PippaFawcett Fri 13-Jan-17 22:00:31

Springy, I had CBT on the NHS and I was told they didn't work with abuse issues so we picked something else.

We had 1x Relate counselling (awful), 1x local couples counsellor and I had 1 x local counsellor. I can't say that I found any particularly helpful, if anything talking about issues from week to week exacerbated my feelings.

Attila, I will have a look at the link.

springydaffs Fri 13-Jan-17 22:53:39

That's like going to the pharmacist for cancer. See, the NHS can be pretty crap when it comes to MH. No money for a start.

I've had a pretty rough old life myself and that has necessitated 6 years of therapy (so far - on a break!). You need that with the big stuff.

PippaFawcett Fri 13-Jan-17 23:47:34

True, and the wait for the CBT was about six months too. Six years of therapy is quite a commitment - I find talking about the past so very draining.

TryingToStartOver Sat 14-Jan-17 00:12:03

Have you tried journaling? Just ten minutes in the morning or evening before bed, just writing whatever comes up, not censored or judged, you don't even have to read it back. I find it useful, it often brings up things I didn't realise were worrying me and is also an outlet for other feelings or things I'm not ready to share with others yet.

My counsellor also recommended a couple of books by Peter Levine to help with PTSD, which I haven't got around to reading yet so can't say if they are any good.

keepingonrunning Sat 14-Jan-17 10:49:40

EMDR therapy is showing promising results as an effective treatment for trauma

PsychedelicSheep Sat 14-Jan-17 11:36:42

I second the Breaking Free book and workbook and Pete Walker. CBT can be effective for complex trauma and is in the NICE guidelines but would need to be longer term. Narrative Exposure therapy is likely to be recommended in the next NICE guidelines and EMDR is also in there currently. NHS provision is limited and often insufficient for this type of problem sadly.

WingsofNylon Sat 14-Jan-17 11:42:14

After using the Breaking Free book I was ready to deal with a therapist again (having had some failded tried in the past) I've found someone who does deal with abuse and used EMDR. It has really changed me. I don't say that lightly. I've only had 5 sessions, 4 talking, one emdr, and she expects me to only need one more.

I was surprised because I expected to have to commit ages but she said that if she has a client for more than 6 months she considers it her mistake. I'd really recommend you look into it.

I had pretty much given up hope and assumed that I'd only manage a few more years of life before committing suicide so when I say it changed me I really mean changed.

springydaffs Sat 14-Jan-17 14:40:49

Wow wings.

springydaffs Sat 14-Jan-17 14:47:28

I've done LOTS of other stuff, too. All valuable in their way.

I think the 6 years (all in) of therapy has been valuable for a number of reasons, not least building a safe relationship. Finding out what has happened to me, the themes, have also been valuable and given me some distance. It is extremely hard to talk about the awful stuff. Good therapy will allow it to unfold in its time - talking about it to just tell the story can be retraumatising. All that takes time. As with any relationship it has to develop.

pocketsaviour Sat 14-Jan-17 15:27:58

Wings that's amazing, I'm so glad for you.

Pippa the therapy available on the NHS is limited. Finding a good counsellor takes some trial and error before you find someone with whom you are comfortable. BACP is a good place to start looking and making a shortlist of people who are experienced in working with abuse survivors.

You can email or call people listed there and ask them about their approach, explain the problems that you're having right now i.e. the anxiety over any change in the household, and how you are currently hoping. Ask the therapist how they would approach this issue and whether they would expect you to go into detail about the abuse or whether they would focus on helping you just cope and feel more in control.

You are a worthwhile person who deserves peace and healing flowers

springydaffs Sat 14-Jan-17 23:56:40

Ah great post, pocket.

PippaFawcett Sun 15-Jan-17 11:11:31

Thanks everyone. Bloody abuse, eh? It can pervade every aspect of your life.

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