Sexual Assault 4 years and still struggling

W

wedonotyield

I was raped by a colleague 4 years ago. I reported it to the police but never pressed charges as he quit his job and I didn’t have to see him again after that. I really struggled for a long time after with night terrors, not sleeping or eating properly and pulling away from everyone. It took a really long time for me to start getting better and to move on. I finished uni, got a masters degree, my own house and a good job but recently, i’ve been thinking about it a lot. I haven’t seen him in years so I don’t know why it’s suddenly coming back to me now but I’m starting to really struggle with it again like it just happened yesterday. Is this normal? I know there’s no “normal” when it comes to this but it’s really bothering me that there’s no reason it’s coming up again now. Any advice or similar reactions would be greatly appreciated.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you experienced this!

I haven’t seen him in years so I don’t know why it’s suddenly coming back to me now but I’m starting to really struggle with it again like it just happened yesterday. Is this normal?
Oh, yeah. Not at all unusual.

Are you seeing a therapist? In my own experience, being separated by distance and time helps momentarily, but the feelings often come back full force--even years later--and the only way to get rid of them is to work through them with someone.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
It doesn’t make it feel better necessarily - but yes, as the others said - this is normal.

You’ve gone through four years of pressure and changes and entered a more stable period of life now- maybe your brain just has more ‘space’ to mull on it now in a way it could not before and so real processing is starting to happen.

Also - although this is also difficult; be kind to yourself - it’s coming up as your mind’s way to try and keep you safe . Sure, it’s not helpful, but you are trying to protect yourself .

If you have access to a therapist you might be able to work out why now.

I’m sorry you had this experience in the past and are dealing with it still and impressed that you attained some impressive goals between then and now .
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
very very common. My mind is a very busy place and I bet yours is too. When things slow down and the night shift starts up, I get the time to solve those problems that I didn't have time for before, whether I want to or not. I sure as hell don't want to, but like I said, my mind is a busy place and there is work to be done, dammit,
 
W

wedonotyield

thankyou for all your messages. I never had therapy after as I’ve never been one for talking about my issues. that year was tough for me as I also had an abortion and lost both my grandparents so it felt like too much to unpack and I suppose I just tried to get on with it. has anyone else felt this way about therapy? maybe your tried it and felt like it helped?
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Having a great counselor saved me. I've had some bad ones but I'm on my 70th session today. You sound like a high functioning person. It's great at the time because initially you can keep moving forward but the trauma comes back and bites you in the ass. I would say that because you were raped and had an abortion and lost your grandparents then that was an awful lot to deal with emotionally. I would recommend getting a therapist to help you.
 

StillPen

MyPTSD Pro
I echo all the posts so far and suggest that you open your mind to the possibility of having a therapist help you through this. I'm not a doctor, but this sounds like PTSD to me, which can be brought on by so many things. A therapist can help you identify those things (triggers) and help you learn coping skills so when you are triggered, you can help reduce and hopefully in time, eliminate the symptoms (heal). I, too, have sysmptoms that cause me to feel like 'it just happened yesterday'. It is pure hell. There is no reason to suffer in that way if you can find a therapist you can trust to help you process a very, very difficult time in your life. Keep posting here, too. It will help. My heart is with you.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
has anyone else felt this way about therapy? maybe your tried it and felt like it helped?
My trauma happened in childhood and adolescence. I tried therapy in my 20's. Wasn't ready. Tried it again in my 40's, and now is the right time for me. It has really helped and I have been able to unpack a lot. I feel like a different person is emerging from within and I kind of like this person. So therapy is helping immensely.

Sounds like so many things happened to you in a short time period. Sometimes we just need to get through. Unpacking might destabilise us so we have to be in a place where that is manageable.

Do you want to do therapy?
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
thankyou for all your messages. I never had therapy after as I’ve never been one for talking about my issues. that year was tough for me as I also had an abortion and lost both my grandparents so it felt like too much to unpack and I suppose I just tried to get on with it. has anyone else felt this way about therapy? maybe your tried it and felt like it helped?
I saw a psychologist in my youth and I was not in a safe situation to be open with them. It in fact made the situation I was in worse even while I was guarded.

I handled all that ‘childhood stuff’ and my previous adult trauma by getting on with things .

After the trauma that precipitated a breakdown I sought therapy ( I actually wanted to put my self somewhere as an inpatient but my husband and a few close friends felt it unwise. I was actually seeing a therapist for my health issues as a dr requirement who I felt was not very in tune with me and who knew about some terrible things that were happening in my life and I think back and think how my current therapist would have handled it and ….I’m glad after crisis I changed.

I wish I’d had a therapist like the one I see now when I was a kid. Someone who could intuit that something was wrong and possibly unsafe .

I wish , failing that, I’d had access to it before a mental health crisis. That could have prevented behavioural traits and characteristics becoming so maladaptive that I ended up in such a precarious and fragile state.

A good therapist is used to having lots to unpack . For me the key thing was finding someone who I ‘gelled’ with . Someone who understood’people like me And didn’t have an axe to grind.
 
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