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Emotional distress. I need help to woman up. Trigger.

(27 Posts)
NellyNouNou Wed 29-Nov-17 19:45:38

I am a crumpled person today. Feel like everything has got on top of me and I'm welling up at random moments. Please help me get a grip.

The issues I'm trying to deal with, but mainly dodge unsuccessfully, are firstly that my separated H is moving away leaving all the childcare to me and I feel angry that he isn't putting DC before himself. But he never has before so why should I expect him to now?

I have fallen out with my relatives over something stupid. I don't think it's my fault but it happened when I stood up for myself instead of always backing down.

The main thing I am in pieces about is that I have a burden that i can't face or let go of relating to a childhood abuse trauma. It is really playing on my mind. And I have unintentionally mentioned something to do with it to my DM and she is now pressuring me to tell her and I'm not ready. And she won't be able to handle it if I do. In a desperate moment last week I left VMs for 2 local counsellors and neither have rung me back. Not sure I'll pluck up the courage again. I know I need to deal with it myself before I can talk to DM if I ever can.

And at work I'm under tremendous pressure and feeling stressed and bullied by an ex member of staff who is causing problems. This is not something that usually gets under my skin too much, but it's affecting me. I think because of the place I am at now with my 'recovery' from my H and the breakup.

There is nobody I can talk to in RL and I feel like an emotional mess. I need to get back in control, get on top of things and stop letting them get to me. I feel I am strong but I can only handle so much stress or upset at a time and I'm full up and spilling over right now.

It has helped just writing this. My apologies for the self indulgence. If anyone can just hand hold or suggest some practical strategies for getting my shit together please do.

It doesn't help that I've just come on my period today either. Extra emotional crazy woman!

Blondebombsite83 Wed 29-Nov-17 21:11:10

You are strong! You are standing up for your children and getting your head straight before involving your DM. Have you tried making a gp appt about counselling? Waiting lists can be long but they will get you seen.
I don't have much to offer but flowers.
Make a list or a written plan of what you need to do to feel in control and take it a day at a time.

user1497997754 Wed 29-Nov-17 21:19:14

Can I ask how old you are pleSe

Ellisandra Wed 29-Nov-17 21:28:19

Can you start my stopping with the apology for self indulgence?

It's not self indulgent to ask for help.
If you can hang on to that, you might find it easier to ring those counsellors again, or others.

Would you consider just thinking - fuck it, do it, going anonymous and posting on here what happened to you? flowers

It is still public though. The Samaritans, Rape Crisis, maybe

All places you could have a first go at getting it all out flowers

Jamontoast123 Wed 29-Nov-17 21:40:08

Hang in there, flowers you are going through so many different emotions right now . Sadly all to do with pain x.
But there can only be one way , and believe it or not YOU are already doing that !
The previous poster has reminded you that you are strong ! So first take a deep breadth and believe that ! You are separated from your husband who was pretty useless by the sounds of it And are able to stand on your own two feet Wonderful !
As far as relatives are concerned .... not sure what you fell out about but if it’s something stupid , then it’s not worth arguing or worrying about . Don’t dwell on it and tackle it one relative at a time later .
Think positive x. Easier said than done but have only positive questions in your head ! Like ....
how ! rather than why ?!
Take a breadth OP’s amazing how changing our thought processes can change the way we feel smile
Choose to be happy is a good start

NellyNouNou Wed 29-Nov-17 22:01:36

I did think about the gp but I know there are long waiting lists and there are people in real mental health crises who need those limited services. I would feel like a fraud because I just need some help and guidance. And you get no choice of person. I think I'd prefer to choose the right person for me and I can pay a reasonable amount for some sessions if I cut back on other stuff.

The thought of opening up to someone both terrifies me and at the same time I feel like it's on the tip of my tongue all the time and I might blurt it out at inappropriate moments. Like Eastenders style "I aint your mother"! And I feel like I have some weird invisible branding on me. As if some strangers know just by looking at me. As if I've got a label on my back that only some people can see. This all sounds very odd when I write it.

Does anyone else look at strangers and wonder what their secrets are? Like, is she suffering from domestic violence, is he into weird sex practices, does that woman have a crush on Keith Chegwin, did that man ever rape anyone? Not saying any of these apply to me. Well not all of them anyway.

I like the idea if making a list of things to help me feel in control. Thanks blonde.

Ellisandra i think I'm on the verge of doing just that. I guess this is my way of dipping my toe because it's all just got on top of me today.

jam thanks for the pep talk. Esp the "choose to be happy.". I do in fact choose that for my life. After a long time of misery. Just getting overwhelmed today by how hard that is sometimes. When everything is conspiring against that happiness. Or holding me back from it.

NellyNouNou Wed 29-Nov-17 22:08:16

Ellis thanks for the Napac link. I'd never thought of looking for something like that. Don't know why. Perhaps I'm worried I will be pressured to "tell the authorities". I don't think I could handle police and trial and all that. I've carried the guilt that someone else might get hurt too for a long time. And I will have allowed that to happen because I have been too weak and scared to prevent it. That is part of my burden. That I haven't spoken up sooner.

Jamontoast123 Wed 29-Nov-17 23:48:05

Nelly one last thing to add before I sleep.......( not that I will be able to as I’ve just got up again as I can’t sleep 😫) .
The best form of revenge , the best way to get back at those who TRY to make your life a misery (and don’t you let them ) IS TO BE HAPPY .
You are a survivor ! So celebrate flowers .
Do talk to your Gp they can at least try and find the right therapist for you who may work privately. Best wishes to you star

OrangeCrush19 Thu 30-Nov-17 00:09:31

Could you try emailing a therapist if phoning is too much? Just say it would be easier to have initial contact over email. I struggle to talk on the phone - that’s how I’ve always got in touch with therapists initially. Good luck flowers

NellyNouNou Thu 30-Nov-17 00:32:58

Thanks jam. You are very kind. Hope you get some sleep.

orange good idea. I only rang because it was spur of the moment and I thought I've just got to bite the bullet and do it. But I too find emails less intimidating. I'll try tomorrow if I get a chance. What professional doesn't return calls from potential new clients though? Bit puzzling.

I'm feeling a bit better this evening. Thanks no doubt to you lovely people. You are my therapy!

Has anyone else felt like they had Pandora's box in their lap and they didn't want to open it for fear of the pain and consequences but at the same time felt compelled to?

I'm not sure what has changed recently because my box has been firmly shut and hidden away for 30 years. Perhaps it's the #metoo campaign and all the brave brave women who have stood up. It's very frightening though.

TammySwansonTwo Thu 30-Nov-17 01:41:58

I think this campaign has brought up a lot of stuff for a lot of people. My DH knew about the abuse I suffered as a child (my father), but I opened up about a rape and several incidents of assault that happened when I was younger. I'd never told anyone. For a few weeks afterwards it consumed me so much I could barely think of anything else but now I feel so much more able to move past it.

You're absolutely doing the right thing to want to talk about and deal with this - reach out to more counsellors or a relevant charity for advice, and hang in there. I promise you the pain you're feeling now will subside.

As for pressure from your mum, I had that too when I was younger and it's difficult but as an adult you can tell her that you will speak to her when you're ready and would appreciate her respecting this.

OnTheRise Thu 30-Nov-17 08:27:15

I don't think I could handle police and trial and all that. I've carried the guilt that someone else might get hurt too for a long time. And I will have allowed that to happen because I have been too weak and scared to prevent it. That is part of my burden. That I haven't spoken up sooner.

Whatever happens in the future, and whatever happened in the past, you are only responsible for your own actions. If someone is hurt or abused by someone else, you are in no way responsible for that. You are not guilty of anything if you choose to keep quiet about things.

However, counselling or therapy might well help you work out your feelings. I found it immensely useful, and am so glad I did it. I did report to the police a few years ago, but was not pressured to do so.

If your mother has been putting pressure on you to tell her anything you're not comfortable talking about right now, you could work out and practise a script to use the next time she starts. Something like, "I don't want to talk about that, so let's change the subject," or, "That's not up for discussion." I have found having the words ready really helps me.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 30-Nov-17 13:13:34

If you have suffered from rape then please speak to Rape Crisis.
Than can help you with specialist counselling.
Historic rape, unless you got help at the time, will fester and bubble under the surface.
Until something triggers it and you end up with PTSD.
You are now realising it's time to face up to things.
So please call on them. They can help you with all of this.

noego Thu 30-Nov-17 14:31:41

Have a chat to Samaritans. Its confidential and you can spill your heart out. They will point you to other organisations for help. Like NAPAC or Rape Crisis or DV helpline.

NellyNouNou Thu 30-Nov-17 23:08:25

Thanks everyone for the help and advice. I think I'm going to contact one of the suggested associations as a first step rather than look for a private counsellor.

OntheRise i am in awe of your bravery in going to the police. If it's not too difficult for you, could you tell me how the process went? I dont know why I'm so scared of it. And how do you go about contacting the right person rather than calling 101 (?) and spilling your guts to a switchboard operator?

One of the issues with my DM is that she is emotionally fragile, prone to melodrama, elderly, amd always manages to make it all about her. The other issue is that I think she knew about it (or has some vague or forgotten knowledge) and blamed me at the time. If she is told about it now then I think she will either deny all knowledge, deny it happened, or feel so guilty that she allowed it/blamed me that it will destroy her.

What I remember about what happened (and I can tell this on an anonymous forum), is that a family member abused me over a period of time when I was aged about 11 or 12. I think they also did the same to my sister. She has never spoken to me about it but she was younger and I hope she doesn't even remember it. After I believe my DM found out, the family member didn't visit though DM maintained contact with them and continued the relationship. I can only assume the person denied or minimised it. My memory is sketchy and I'm not completely sure of the timeline. I think she knew something was happening because she punished me at the time. I grew up thinking it was my fault and I was depraved and disgusting. This is hard to write. I just want to put this crap right back in the box in the cellar under a pile of metaphorical lead and keep it hidden and buried. But it won't stay there in my head.

I haven't seen the person since I was about 16 and they have not kept in contact with most of my family. Though if DM did know what happened then she forgave him. Maybe she really didn't know. I just don't know. The thing is, this issue is so much more about me and my DM and how we move forward. I partly didn't want to involve the authorities (apart from being a wimp) because of what it would do to my DM.

I don't know what to do. I feel it is now the elephant in the room and it's got explosive potential which scares the shit out of me.

OnTheRise Fri 01-Dec-17 08:34:40

You are not depraved or disgusting. You were a child, and that monster abused you, and your mother did nothing to stop it. How your mother could maintain any sort of relationship with them is beyond me. How she could forgive them? I have no idea. She not only let you down, she was party to the abuse for not condemning the abuser. I am so sorry.

I got brilliant counselling and therapy through the NHS. I told my GP, who referred me immediately and has always been completely supportive. She's gone out of her way to be helpful. I only had to wait about a month for the first counselling appointment, and it was helpful from the very first. Difficult at times, but helpful.

You asked how I reported it to the police: I just went to my local police station and asked to speak to someone. The receptionist asked what it was about and I must have hesitated, because they offered me a pen and paper. I wrote down "historic sexual abuse" and she asked me to take a seat; within about ten minutes a police officer in plain clothes came into reception and introduced himself.

We went into a smallish room near the reception and I told him the outline of what had happened. He was extremely sympathetic and supportive, and kept on asking if I was ok, and if I needed a glass of water, and that if it was too hard for me we could take a break. I gave him just the outline of it all then, and he explained what would happen next. A couple of weeks later I went back to give a formal statement: this was videoed, and took about three hours. There were two officers: the one I'd spoken to and another, who was also very kind and sympathetic. They asked lots of difficult questions but it was ok, as they were very careful and respectful.

If it had gone to court that video would have been used as my evidence so I wouldn't have had to go through it all again. Which would have made it much easier.

TammySwansonTwo Fri 01-Dec-17 09:42:34

I was abused by my father at a similar age although I believe it started a fair bit younger - my memories are sketchy too (perfectly normal reaction, by the way - I have giant gaping holes in my memory of my childhood, whole periods of time obliterated). While my mum did believe me when I told her years later, she minimised it a lot and started criticising my inability to get over it, even with counselling. My grandmother, with whom I was incredibly close, stayed in touch with him which hurt a lot but I don't think she really understood what had gone on. Fortunately we had moved to the other side of the country by then, and I haven't seen him for 22 years now (he did phone my mums house once about 15 years ago, when I was there and I answered, but I haven't heard from him since then). I'm now married and have two beautiful children and mainly I don't think about him or it at all, but it has taken me a long time to get to this point.

I understand the guilt, the blame, the confusion about what happened, wanting to make excuses for them and shift the fault to yourself. This is all completely normal and common.

I was never able to go to the police. When my mum found out she called social services and when I turned up to a counselling session I was ambushed and made to talk about it. It was referred to the police but I refused to give a statement (I was only 14 and kept picturing my father being arrested and I couldn't do it). Looking back I wish I had, but at the time I wasn't strong enough. You do what's best for you and your recovery - there's no right or wrong answer here. I would definitely seek specialist help from a charity and take it from there. If you do decide to report it they can support you through this process.

Sending lots of support. I know how much pain you're in and it won't always be like this.

OnTheRise Fri 01-Dec-17 16:40:25

It was referred to the police but I refused to give a statement (I was only 14 and kept picturing my father being arrested and I couldn't do it). Looking back I wish I had, but at the time I wasn't strong enough.

@TammySwansonTwo, you might be able to make that statement now. It could be worth looking into, if you regret not doing anything before.

TammySwansonTwo Fri 01-Dec-17 17:16:37

I've considered it. I don't know if there would be much point to it now. I'm not even sure if he's still alive - if he is he'd be in his 70s. Every now and then I look into what it would involve and then bottle it. Maybe I should.

OnTheRise Fri 01-Dec-17 20:33:42

I thought carefully about whether it was worth reporting my case or not, and I decided I would. I am glad I did even though it turned out the abuser had died a few years before.

The police really supported me and were great, and it vindicated me, I felt. (Because my parents just blamed me, which was not helpful at all.)

NellyNouNou Fri 01-Dec-17 22:29:41

Thank you so much ontherise and tammy for sharing your experiences. I'm so sorry that you have had such awful things happen to you.

You know, I didn't really remember or realise what happened to me until much later in my twenties. I did recall specific things but didn't put 2 and 2 together to think, wow that was sexual abuse. I knew it was wrong at the time (not if he was my boyfriend though we would have been rather too young, but yes as a family member) but it felt like my dirty secret for years. Of what I did (or allowed to happen). I didn't tell him to go away, I didn't tell my DM or anyone at all, I didn't fight him off. I loved and adored him because he was my family. I now know it was his fault. And he must have been fucked up mentally or emotionally disturbed to do it. I still feel a bit sorry for him. I don't think it was calculated but just some weird desperate way of getting affection and human warmth. But it is so fucked up and wrong it can't be, can it. And if he did it to my younger sister too, well that is just plain paedophilia.

Thank you. I feel a lot better from reading your words of support. I do realise now that it wasn't my fault but I spent years feeling dirty and that I was ruined. I think it had a bearing on my subsequent relationship where I lost a lot of self esteem.

As for reporting it, I think I've missed the boat on timing. The right time to do it was when his daughter reached the age at which I was when he abused me. In my mind that seemed the high risk period when I could have protected her. I have no idea if he ever abused her or anyone else. I have not seen him and only had third hand mentions about him from family members who were in touch with him off and on. That is how I know he had a daughter. I rationalized it in my head that he would have a normal relationship with her because she was his daughter whereas i wasn't. It's so fucked up really.

ontherise i think you are truly amazing for just walking into a police station. And it's good to hear your experience was of kindness and care there. The person in my situation has a common name and I have no idea where he lives now so I wonder if they would ever find him. I worried that the police would interview my DM and sister and it would all be out of my control who was involved. Feel like it would blow my family apart.

Thanks too for listening to my mad mental rantings. I don't think my thoughts or feelings are even making any sense right now. Just a jumble of emotions and memories and worries in my head trying to make sense of it all.

TammySwansonTwo Fri 01-Dec-17 22:51:04

You're making perfect sense to me. I relate to a lot of what you're saying. It's an horrific thing for anyone to go through, and there is undoubtedly a layer of complications and confusion when it's a family member. I spent so many years feeling like I must have been mistaken, making excuses, wondering what was wrong with me that my own parent could do something like that. I've let a lot of it go now, and now I have my own children I can no longer excuse his behaviour in any way because I know I would throw myself in front of a bus for my kids, there's no way I could do anything to hurt them - and if I did hurt them unintentionally, it would certainly never ever happen again.

It's a complete headfuck but what you're feeling is completely normal. You hang in there x

OnTheRise Sat 02-Dec-17 07:29:40

ontherise i think you are truly amazing for just walking into a police station. And it's good to hear your experience was of kindness and care there.

I was very anxious about it before I did it, but as soon as I was actually talking to the officer it was easy. They were really supportive and kind, and most definitely on my side.

The person in my situation has a common name and I have no idea where he lives now so I wonder if they would ever find him. I worried that the police would interview my DM and sister and it would all be out of my control who was involved. Feel like it would blow my family apart.

The police would be able to find him if you can give them enough information about him: his relatives, what he does for a living, etc. If you can remember even part of an address that would be good too.

In my case the police asked me before they spoke to anyone, so I didn't have to worry about not being prepared. We decided that it would be a bad idea for them to interview my parents before arresting the abuser as it was likely my mother would phone and warn him they were coming. In the event they discovered when they went to arrest him that he had died very recently. So my parents were never interviewed in relation to the allegations, which I regret: they bloody well should have answered for their role in the abuse. (It was our family GP: when I told my mother what was going on she started sending me in to see him unsupervised; and she had a sexual relationship with him for years, even after I'd disclosed the abuse. Mind boggling.)

I don't think you need to worry about controlling who is involved (but if you want to, that's fine, obviously.) If your mother knew and did nothing she deserves to be interviewed by the police about that. She was culpable. If she might kick off afterwards and have a go at you, the police can warn her not to if you ask them. If they are anything like the police I encountered they will go all out to support you.

NellyNouNou Sat 02-Dec-17 09:57:12

Thanks ontherise. I don't even know what part of the country he lives in, what his job is etc.

What you went through, and your mums part in it sounds horrific. I can't imagine how you dealt with that in your head. With my mum, i don't feel she is to blame. I suspect she knew "something wasn't right" with his actions but I cannot believe she knew exactly what he was doing. She would have asked me (I don't remember her asking me but if she had I would have denied it because I felt guilty I expect). I also believe she is a good person and if she really knew the full extent she would have cut him out of our lives forever. He never stayed again but there were family occasions afterwards. He also moved a long way away with his job. I honestly could not get the police to interview her. It would destroy her already fragile mental health. It would destroy my relationship with her, and if she has no idea what happened so long ago then I just could not do that to her. Maybe I am in denial. I don't believe she would ever do anything to hurt me unless she really couldn't help it. I knew this would be more about me and her than about him. I had promised myself many years ago that I would never tell her, so that I would protect her from the knowledge (if she doesn't know) or at least the full and recent knowledge, and from the fallout.

I hate being in such a position where the rock and the hard place are equally awful and somehow totally necessary.

NellyNouNou Sat 02-Dec-17 09:59:38

ontherise in all my self absorbed ponderings I forgot to ask you, how did you feel when you found out he had died? Had you wanted him to be on public trial or were you somehow relieved?

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