Alright, it has been a fucking week, let me tell you. I’m still dealing with the shock from my brother’s declaration that my experiences are/were real and that I’m not crazy. Adding on to that, I’m graduating DBT soon and I’m unsure if I’m going to be able to keep seeing my therapist, Charon. She’s been pretty adamant these last few months that I don’t have PTSD anymore. I’ve blogged about that.
Where I am mentally and emotionally is pretty much square three. It’s not square one because I haven’t cut or otherwise injured myself or acted on suicidal impulses. It’s not square two because I’m using skills and not actively avoiding the issue. It’s square three because square three is where I have the skills and I’m using them, but I’m still getting overwhelmed with emotions. I’m getting overwhelmed with emotions because I’m not fighting them. I’m accepting that I’m having them and trying to figure out how to make them stop or at least become more bearable.
Since my brother pretty much agreed that my da always hated me, it means that my da doesn’t hate me because I’m gay. He just hates me for me. Which makes me feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. I feel like there must be something I did wrong to make him treat me so horribly. At the same time, it’s really contradicting to when he would say stuff like “this is how daddies show their love for their daughters” or “if you really loved me, you would do X” or shit like that. Cliche abuse shit, but I feel like I did something wrong nonetheless.
By confirming my experiences and memories of events, my brother inadvertently caused a few different reactions. For one, it made everything less nebulous and more concrete. Instead of constantly doubting myself, I am now aware that my memories are, in fact, real. There’s no more doubt. Two, while the initial reaction of extreme and volatile emotional response was really overwhelming, I feel a lot less depressed. I’d been depressed because I’ve been having flashbacks and nightmares and shit and no one to really talk to about it because Charon was shutting down any talk about it (and yes, I’m going to talk to her on Monday about her invalidation these last few months) and I’ve been doubting myself and calling myself a liar because everyone was telling me that nothing happened and even if it did, I deserved it. Classic Narcissist Prayer shit. Three, this has caused me to have flashbacks and be painfully aware I did not try as hard as I should have with the rape Exposure Therapy.
To further go into point three, I was out for a walk on Monday and I passed by the place where the rape happened and there was a bunch of people there swimming or fishing or whatever and I had a flashback and small panic attack. Since then, I’m back to random flashes of that and my da and random other things. Mostly my da or the rape. I’ve been using skills to get myself to calm down and now I’ve downloaded a math/logic app onto my phone that I’ve been using to help. It’s actually been really helpful. I’ve also been writing down my thoughts and feelings on this entire shit show.
To expand on point two, I ended up shutting down Thursday after days of heightened emotions and extreme anxiety/panic. I’m still not totally rebooted yet, but once I started getting back online, I stopped being so emotionally volatile and realized I’m not as depressed as I was. I feel vindicated/validated now that I know I’m not imagining shit. I cannot begin to express how that makes me. Now that I know that it’s all true, I feel like I can actually begin to heal and recover from it. I feel more confident and less wishy-washy about whether or not I’m wasting my time and other people’s time because I wasn’t sure if what happened really happened or not. Because it did happen. Whether or not I am able to see Charon or not… is a different scenario. If I am, great. I’d love that since I like her and I won’t have to catch her up to speed on my stuff. If not… That sucks. I like Charon. The feeling I get when I think about not being able to see her anymore feels similar to that feeling I got when my ex and I broke up last year or whenever a good book/tv series is ending. But I survived Charmed ending and I survived Harry Potter ending and I survived the ending of all my previous relationships. I can survive having to switch therapists. It may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not.
And point one pretty much ties everything together. It’s concrete. I feel like I can deal with it now. It’s all good. I can do this.
-The Sarcastic Autist
I hear you. I’m so sorry you’re feeling so off. I am pretty sure that if you’re still having distressing flashbacks, you’re still suffering from PTSD. I think Karen is being invalidating by saying you don’t. I am proud of you for doing the work of DBT (I never finished my course), b ut still, emotions can still be overwhelming and you can still need support. Trauma isn’t no longer affecting you just because you use the skills.
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Charon is doing the best she can, given my verbal communication skills (or lack thereof) suck donkey balls. Thanks for your kind words. Everything is sucking and my past trauma is hitting me harder now and I hate it.
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Hugs. I felt (feel) much the same about obtaining firm evidence my own childhood memories were “real” (known to others) last year. It’s confusing and validating and triggering all at the same time. I kind of ended up having to just shove it back in a box and slowly try to deal this year. Too much other bad stuff was happening last year. But, I absolutely think you still have symptoms of PTSD. That’s the trouble with PTSD. You can be doing well for quite a while, then something like that comes around and knocks you off equilibrium and, boom, you are back into active symptoms. It can seem to go away and still be passively influencing you even when your symptoms are latent, because chronic trauma sucks.
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Gaslighting is real. I hate it. I also hate that there isn’t a magic pill I can take. I would totally do that. I kinda feel like it’s the same with my depression… It gets better for a bit and then it crashes.