Our partner

Can't make peace with it

Open Discussions About Rape Trauma Syndrome.

Can't make peace with it

Postby witchessabbath » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:52 am

Background for those who don't know me from the BPD forum: I'm a 26 year old guy, and about 5 years ago I was assaulted by a group of men who I thought were my friends. As a result of the incident, I have a number of very bad scars on my body. Clothes conceal them except on my arm. I had one on my face which has mostly faded - that in and of itself was traumatizing, people asking about it, acting horrified or like they were pitying me. Ugh. It's gone (well, you know, faded and hidden under my beard) but in my mind it is still there. The only person who knows about the incident is my current girlfriend, it's not something I like to talk about but it's coming to my awareness that this trauma has really impacted me.

Thing is, I have no idea how to get over what happened. I don't feel comfortable with my therapist and I don't think I could really trust any therapist. Not with this. Help me with the BPD but not this. I'm sure they'd be non-judgmental and try to help but it's just too hard.

I already had BPD, so some problems with anger, a history of self harm, abandonment issues, identity issues etc. But this event has compounded those issues quite seriously. Since the incident, I started binge eating (never had a problem with food before that). I have a lot of anxiety - when people look at me, I become defensive, ready to attack and defend myself against any kind of attack. Physical, verbal, otherwise. I feel sometimes like I am almost always on edge, I wonder if I'll just drop dead from feeling that way all the time. This sounds dramatic, but quite often I feel like I am never safe. I don't feel safe, even in my own home, I am always prepared as if someone is going to attack me.

Furthermore, I'll stop at nothing to hide my scars, I refuse to take off my shirt, even at the doctor - which impacts my recreation and makes me upset because I am reminded of why I hide it to begin with. I don't know how I could ever be intimate with a woman, unless I kept a shirt and pants or underwear on. Sometimes I feel like if I didn't have the scars I'd be OK, but the fact is, they are there and people, if they see them are going to ask about them.

I just feel like I will never be OK in my own skin. I hate almost everything about my appearance and my body now. I hate the scars most of all, I feel like they mark what happened to me. I hate knowing they draw attention. I hate that I'm short, I hate that I've got a young face, I hate the sound of my voice, anything that I perceive to be "weak." Sometimes I just want to rip out my voicebox or rip off my face. So ungrateful because I have a healthy body other than some troublemaking kidneys.

Also sometimes I feel like people can "tell" it happened to me, as weird as that sounds. So when people talk about the topic, even if they vaguely reference it, reference things they could never actually know unless I told them - I get defensive and scared, as if they read my mind. Just the topic freaks me out and I get a bit edgy with people.

I'm tired of hating my body. I'm tired of feeling constantly on guard. I heard somewhere that making peace with the past doesn't mean it's OK, just means that you accept it had to be that way. But I don't know if I can live with it. I don't know how to make room for these demons, how to accept what actually happened, and that it has left marks on my body that won't ever fully fade.

Sorry I know this is disjointed, it's hard to talk about but I just don't know what to do. I feel like I'll always carry this burden with me.
witchessabbath
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1632
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:54 am
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:38 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Can't make peace with it

Postby Seangel » Thu Jan 28, 2016 3:56 pm

Hi Witches,

I read you some days ago, but really don't know what "the" solution is. However, wanted still to write something.

witchessabbath wrote:I just feel like I will never be OK in my own skin. I hate almost everything about my appearance and my body now. I hate the scars most of all, I feel like they mark what happened to me. I hate knowing they draw attention. I hate that I'm short, I hate that I've got a young face, I hate the sound of my voice, anything that I perceive to be "weak." Sometimes I just want to rip out my voicebox or rip off my face. So ungrateful because I have a healthy body other than some troublemaking kidneys.


You have many reasons to feel all this. And they are all very valid, very true. Hatred is a feeling mask, that is covering something else. Maybe fear, maybe sadness. Of course you hate anything perceived weak because possibly you think that that was the reason why those guys assaulted you.

It's really hard to see that the fault is not on the assaulted person, but on the assaulting one. It's like blaming a woman when is raped because of their beauty.

Maybe... let yourself be angry, and hateful. Experience it (safely). And even express it. Punching? Breaking something safely? Training martial arts? Through some chaotic art?

Try not to judge yourself from feeling it. You have every reason to feel this way.

On a seminar I assisted, I learnt that trauma is when the person is unable to see any tool to work what they experienced and are unable to go back to a non-stressed state. The more the stress the more the person fails to see tools. In this seminar, what the speaker did was mainly ask people to remember a situation they had had trouble with. And to stay with their feeling, to not escape their body and their sensation.

It's a long process. And people tend to escape it. Because the feelings are overwhelming. So "not feeling them" seems as if we didn't have them. So he made us look at our bodies and expressed and looked how the feeling was changing. Maybe it felt like a pain in the stomach first, maybe it evolved to a burning sensation in the shoulder, maybe then it felt like an oppression on the chest. The thing was to keep "feeling" the feeling, and trust the body to process it.

The body itself finds tools during the observation and experience of the "memory" and finds tools about how to solve the traumatic memory. I thought this was a quite interesting approach. I've done it, and it's not easy. It's painful, and staying with the feelings is overwhelming.

This is called Somatic Memory.

If you want to attempt to try it, do it in a place you know you are safe. Do it knowing that someone you trust is around and that you can reach out if you need to. Have a blanket to, and a pillow to feel comfortable.

I'm really sorry this happened. And I'm sorry that people ask about things we wish they didn't. Gosh, it seems like human nature. And while you cannot change them, you can change how you feel about them. Maybe they are horrofied because it was a vil, cruel act. Maybe they are empathizing with you.

Your body was not weak, it was actually very strong because it survived. It healed. And the scars, are the memories of the healing process that occurred. They are the reminders that even though others attacked it, it didn't give in, it recovered, and is back again standing and giving you its best, and the possibility to connect to everything around.

I hope you find a way through this. I trust you will.

Sea
Taking myself some time away from PF. Sea (Dec, 2016)
Seangel
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1889
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 6:56 pm
Local time: Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:38 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Can't make peace with it

Postby Lusid » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:04 pm

witchessabbath wrote:I'm tired of hating my body. I'm tired of feeling constantly on guard. I heard somewhere that making peace with the past doesn't mean it's OK, just means that you accept it had to be that way. But I don't know if I can live with it. I don't know how to make room for these demons, how to accept what actually happened, and that it has left marks on my body that won't ever fully fade.


I've been through a somewhat similar situation, but I probably handle things somewhat differently than most people so I don't know if this'll be any help. But here's a list of stuff I did to stabilise:

- The thing that helped me the most was accepting that something like this changes you. It has to, and you have to let it. You'll never be the same person again, and you probably don't know who you'll turn out to be after this. But change takes time, I didn't start noticing the fundamental ways in which my experiences has changed me until a year later. Accept who you've changed in to. It was necessary. And it could also give you an opportunity to change yourself for the better.

- Existentialism is your friend. Everything is and everything isn't. How your attackers felt about you and what caused them to attack you has nothing to do with who you are, and it has nothing to do with the inherit (or non-inherit depending on how you want to see things) value of you or your body.

- Some people find comfort in accepting that they were victims, that the things done to them were unfair. I don't really understand morality so I don't understand victimisation that well either. Thinking of myself as a victim caused serious cognitive dissonance and made me feel weak. Accepting that my attackers did what they thought was right, in their own moral judgement, helped me to see them as my equals rather than superiors.

- Paranoia is awful, but I've managed to improve it using logic. Essentially I've made myself as difficult as possible to hurt, so in pure statistical terms I should reasonably be more safe than I used to be. It's logical, and so it's comforting. And there's lots of ways to make yourself difficult to kill, doesn't have to have anything to do with physical strength. But I think it's important that you feel safe because you ARE safer. My psych told me to just try and feel safer, without changing anything. That's just stupid. If you're not actually safer in practical terms, it's naive and dangerous to think you are.

- I had to accept that if someone really, really wanted to get to me, they would. Anyone, anywhere, can come up to me with a gun and kill me. It's just the way things are and I had to accept that I'll never be able to be 100% safe. Accepting this helped the paranoia a lot.

(sorry if this sounds kinda harsh, I'm genuinely trying to be helpful but I'm probably not that good at it)
Strong ASPD traits with NPD/BPD undertones. Sadist, addict, diagnosed PTSD.
Lusid
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 1326
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2016 2:35 pm
Local time: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:38 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Rape Trauma




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests