Well, this introduction thing is hard isn't it? I'm Faerie Evenstar, and I live pretty much right in the middle of England. I'm 23 and recently got married to the man of my dreams and my knight in shining armor. I'm studying a degree in psychology with the Open University (home learning) after being inspired by my own psychologist and hope that maybe one day when I'm better I can help others with problems like I have had. I've now been signed off work for 4 years... I've never worked as I just left art college due to being to ill with depression and I'm still pulling myself back up again... I haven't been officially diagnosed with PTSD but after having seen a psychiatrist last Friday and hearing the word 'trauma' mentioned repeatedly with reference to my condition and my dealyed reaction being 'not unusal' I think it was implied... I will be going back in the next few weeks and they will hopefully give me a better diagnosis but it all makes sense to me... (Advanced warning, I type "..." a lot. I know it's bad punctuation but I do it when I'm typing rambling brain-thoughts, so sorry!) My symptoms are depression (which I've suffered from as long as I can remember, even before the trauma but it's got worse...), panic attacks, high stress, sleep problems (I have to say I sleep too much which seems to be uncommon for PTSD but I also have trouble getting to sleep in the first place sometimes even when I'm very tired), flashbacks, social anxiety, some memory loss around the events and I've now stopped going out of the house unless it's totally neccasary... Well the story then? It's kind of long and convoluted in a way... the main trauma was rape by a 'friend' nearly 3 years ago now, (I can't believe how hard it is to type that sentence even now) but I've also had a history with various stresses involving childhood bullies and a severely ill brother who's illness has stained my entire family for years, and still does now. As I said the main problem stems from the rape... I met this guy on a train to London, he was in the same carriage as me but we didn't talk, but then he was at the same club as me and it seemed such a coincidence that we got chatting and he seemed lovely. He is a Christian Missionary, and I have always been an atheist, but I found him interesting and thought that any reservations I had about him or odd 'gut feelings' were just me being critical of his religion so I forced myself to ignore it and give the guy a chance... When we both got back from London to our home-towns, we met up with each other a few times and became good friends, and he introduced me to Christianity and took me to church and various worship events with him (I have since gone back to atheism quite happily as I did feel brainwashed by him, and the second I lost contact with him, I lost faith too... please forgive me if I don't seem understanding of Christians on here, I try not to let the one guy marr my view but it's hard!). Then the abuse started. I did quite fancy him I'll admit, but things happened that I didn't consent to. I won't go into gory details... I can't for the most part as I find it very hard to remember... but it happened several times and although I knew what was happening I hadn't really acknowledged it for what it was... one time he even abused me in a religious place... a lodge where they train up missionaries to go into the field... he even felt me up when there were people in the room there and they couldn't see what he was doing. Even though I'm an atheist now that seems even more sick than doing it in private... Well, after all that it just came out one day in a session with my psychologist at the time, who I'd been seeing since before I'd even met him, about my depression. I just mentioned something about what had happened as if it was nothing and she pointed out that I had just said I'd been raped and it suddenly hit me like a big brick to the face. I was numb for a bit then I was determined to make things right. I reported him to the police. Sadly as I didn't realise until after the event had passed, all physical evidence was lost so I could not prosecute him... I'm told that I have still made a difference by reporting him as if he's reported by anyone else it will automatically go to trial but it still doesn't seem enough and I hate myself for not being able to bring him to justice to stop anyone else suffering like I have. After all that I just lost it and had a breakdown. I avoided being hospitilsed by some small miracle. They thought I was too young and if I was taken in it could 'ruin future job prospects' by putting it on my records. I'm not sure if that was a wise decision but I am here to tell the tale despite many attempts to kill myself. I reverted to a child for a little bit (apparently my brain thought it was safe there but I just felt very confused) , my weight dropped incredibly, and I had some weird episodes where I couldn't move or talk, I just sobbed, and I was so frustrated as I wanted to talk but the words wouldn't come... This was about 2 years ago and as I was starting to recover after the breakdown I got together with my now-husband and he has helped me immensely in terms of recovery. Over the last 2 years I have felt I was getting back to normal, but recently everything has been creeping back again and my anxiety has got out of control, and my sleep patterns are insane. Some days I can barely get to sleep even with medication, and others I cannot stay awake no matter how hard I try. This, I am told, is a delayed reaction to the trauma of nearly 3 years ago... My psychiatrist told me that some people cope by locking away the traumatic event and it does work for some people, but it isn't working for me so he said we're going to have to fix it. I'm not sure what he's got planned yet, and as I said I don't have a PTSD diagnosis as such but I hope it works because since probing into the past a few days ago I am feeling worse than I have done in a long time an I'm worried I'm slipping down that slope to a breakdown again and that scares me a lot. I just feel this is so awful... I only got married at the end of September and my husband makes so happy, so why am I crumbling now? Ths should still be my honeymoon period! I think I've waffled an awful lot there, but yes... that's me. Hi.