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December Hell Month for me


I can't believe it is happening again. I was assaulted by a cop Dec 16, 2008. I am getting along pretty good. I do have issues. I haven't cried in all these years. Also, I have a great deal of empathy for others, but dont express it as I use too. Its like things dont effect me because I am numb. I am numb in general. No matter how bad something is, I have a flat affect pretty much.

Back to my post. I cant believe this is still haunting me. It doesn't in my consciousness. I feel fine. The problem is, I cant sleep. I cant sleep til daylight or long after. Proble is, I went years of not being able to sleep during the dark. I would fall asleep in the morning and sleep all day. Once I crash about 10 am, I sleep until about 2 pm. I am making myself get up, thinking I will sleep better the next night, but I dont. Thats only 4 hours and I require 10-12 normally. I didnt sleep last night so I thought tonight I would really crash, but it going on 6am and I have not slept.

I am having more pain also, pain that is related to the injuries I incurred during assault. I thought the past couple years have been better, so I dont know why its hitting me this year as though it is fresh. Its also not just the inability to sleep. I feel manic at times. Im moving furniture and cleaning out and purging, which is actually good but I just feel like its all related. I have been having dreams about giving everything away. I do have bags with 9 pr of shoes and boots that Im taking to my friends daughter....maybe that's why, IDK. I just feel really lost and confused right now. I just want to sleep and I cant. I have tried everything I can think of over the past few nights. Without sleep, I am a bit crazy.

I dont know if anyone else has had it this way so many years later and after the anniversary of some trauma. I would like to hear from anyone, but especially those that have a similar experience. I am lost and desperate.
I am sorry that this is happening to you. It's very common for people with PTSD to have trouble around the anniversary of trauma, no matter how long ago it happened. Our brain hasn't processed what happened and, on some level, believes that the trauma just happened, or that it is happening to us right now. I also have problems with December because I was raped one December nine years ago. Summer is hard for me too, and that trauma happened in 2010. During these seasons, I have to remember that things may be especially difficult for me and I need to be more gentle with myself. It helps me to remember that time never stops passing, so the anniversary will end eventually.
I would like to hear from anyone, but especially those that have a similar experience.

Yes. I was raped by a cop as a child in a hotel room. He didn't bother to take off his uniform, pointed his gun in between my eyes and told me that no one would believe a juvenile delinquent like me and he would arrange to have me murdered in prison (which is where I would go, since I was the problem in this circumstance) if I told anyone. I was also posturally asphyxiated by a cop who put pressure on my neck and sat on my stomach as a teenager.

I have almost no emotions about it at all, but I do not have a positive opinion of the police in any way. We also have plenty of police corruption in my city & police take bribes and steal evidence all the time. They conducted illegal searches of my family's apartment many times. I was raised to despise them and view them as the enemy, and my experiences being abused by cops did not challenge these views at all.

As a grown adult I have become somewhat aware that there is nuance to all situations and that not every single human law enforcement official on Earth is a child-raping slave-owning organized criminal but as people here like to say "well, you'd still call 911." Nah. Actually, I wouldn't. Ever. Not ever. I have dealt with every issue I've ever had with any person or circumstance entirely on my own. I would never, and have never, ever, relied on a cop to assist me.

Last year someone finally told me that due to the police's involvement on a systemic level in my formative environment (including one instance of being interrogated for over 2 hours in my home the one time my mother called them to report an assault I had endured at 16, them finding video evidence of this assault & then literally doing absolutely nothing about it, presumably because of their involvement in my life prior) that it technically qualifies under the legal definition of torture.

Not that that really means a whole lot on a website where so many of us have been tortured in non-state atmospheres and experienced extremes of human existence, but for some reason it shuffled something in me that made me realize how significant it was that it was police officers and not civilians who were perpetrating these actions. It does something to your world-view and makes it impossible to trust in the systems that are supposed to be in place to help us at the municipal and Federal levels, because we know that we cannot rely on them when we are really in trouble.
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Weemie I am so sorry for what you have been thru, and it absolutely does change your world view when it is someone such as law enforcement.

Seems like I have had years when Dec. wasn't so triggering. This one is not starting out well. For years after the incident, I didnt sleep at night and slept all day. I think it was because the assault happened in the wee hours. I finally got regulated and now sleep at night. Was doing pretty good until recently.

Yes there is a lot of trauma on this site, but dont discount your own, you have certainly been thru a lot.
Here I am again. Cannot sleep....til I do....then cant wake. Unfortunately using alcohol to sleep but it keeps me awake-I know better.
Stopped at bar tonight and was talking to social worker (Im a retired counselor). He asked me about all my traumas? Why,? hell if I know. dont know if talking about them made it worse, or if its because its in the back of my mind anyway. Its with me all the time these days.

Anyway, sure cant sleep. Im so wound up....dont think it was that....think it's just where I am in life today. Kept asking me who my supports were? HUH, saying my husband must be. Well he is not but I dont tell me that, I say he is, because I know some are looking for weak link. I suppose I have deep rooted trust issues-nothing new to me. I really dont know how I am going to cope thru the rest of the month. I am feeling very weak.

Plus I only see all the things I have done wrong. And thats a lot. I guess it was to survive. IDK Maybe it saved me because there have been times, many times I felt suicidal. But here I am. I didnt do it. Im grateful for so many things. Yet the flip side of me says life will never get better. I guess I am somewhat of a conundrum. I wish things were more black and white, but I feel opposite feelings at the same time. Feel like a babbling idiot
Trauma anniversaries suck. I knew when it was before I knew about my trauma. "seems worst at spring equinox" was the thing.

So now:
- Plan for it. It will happen.
- Don't plan other things around that time. Remove all the stress and stressful activities I can.
- Know its going on and I will miss sleep, be less functional etc.
- Know stuff will be a little crazy AND know worrying, ruminating, bad dreams will happen - and the more you worry the worse it is.

- Change your expectations. Know life will be upside down for a bit. Celebrate that you slept instead of worrying about how little you slept....

So in short if it doesn't go away (47 years now?) - learn to live with it. Plan and prepare around it. Plan on how you will manage it. Most of all - plan how to distract yourself - books, movies, things that help break the rumination cycle when it starts.
Freddyt- yes, expecting and planning helps so much.

One of the issues that I have is that I get kind of depressed and sometimes irritable. My husband doesn't understand this much. I sometimes want to isolate, and am more sensitive to things. In the meantime, Im just riding out this wave.
Freddyt- yes, expecting and planning helps so much.

One of the issues that I have is that I get kind of depressed and sometimes irritable. My husband doesn't understand this much. I sometimes want to isolate, and am more sensitive to things. In the meantime, Im just riding out this wave.
I have the same. Finally told my wife wshe doesn't need to understand - it just is. All she needs to do is make sure I eat, drink and take care of myself.
I'm sorry you are struggling. December is my most triggering time so I can relate. It's especially hard, I think, because December is hyped up with holiday stuff in the western world so it's like this constant reminder of when it is. It's been much longer between my traumas and this December than you. It's not than unusual, unfortunately, to be struggling many years after. That's why it's "post" trauma. It stays with you. For me, I know this December is extra bad because there's a lot of extra stress in my life. All sorts of things can make one anniversary particularly hard. Hang in there.
Hi @brat I hope this makes sense, only have a few minutes.

Absolutely it can hit (me) like a ton of bricks out of nowehere, did after years really. I think reminders or triggers play a large part.

But I was also thinking, December is steeped in tradition and certainly one is inudated with much stuff around Christmas and family. Yet, Christmas ideally to me is the desire (started by thoughts, or heart) to bring joy to others, share, bring happiness, lighten one another's burdens, be at peace, forgive, have hope. (Like during WWII when Germany and the Allies literally stopped to play soccer together). So I'm thinking not so much in forgetting as re-focusing on something else. Just as I was thinking, when suicidal people often think, "If only I wouldn't wake up/ unconsciousness". But I thought of having a good dream- not stellar, just pleasant: there is a medium between bl-and-white, suffering and reliving and remembering (like a nightmare or FB) and not being conscious. There is something else- much else that if we can turn our focus towards is much more pleasant to live. Also, far as Christmas goes, even the stuff, food included, really when you get down to it matters less than the opportunity to have hands (or paws) to hold, or peacefulness to soak in. Even autonomy is something easy to forget we have when we have it, including the ability to remain uninvolved if we need to.

You are right, you've done nothing wrong, you've experienced the wrong of others. So you have to be gentle with yourself. I can't remember if it was the poet Rumi or Hafiz (I think it was Hafiz) who said something like, ~ Fear is the cheapest room in the house to live in; I would like to see you in better accommodations. I think the same goes for blame, shame and despair and hopelessness.

I know it's terribly hard, beyond words sometimes even. Gentle hugs and love to you and an easing of your pain.

(PS, disregard if not helpful of course, xox.)
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@Freddyt-you are so right. Nobody has to understand, it just is. I am glad that you have accepted this and I am going to work on it too. It just is!

@Muttly, thank you for your words of wisdom. Im sorry it still haunts you as well. The body really does remember too.
The 16th was the date, just yesterday. The night before I had panic attack and kind of meltdown. I woke up feeling like a mack truck hit me. My arms hurt, my lower back in pain, and even my face. I laid around most of the day. I live with pain all the time, but actually felt injured. It was evening before I realized that is the exact pain I had after the assault, which required rotator cuff surgery. All the NSAIDS were not helping. Back then, even the opiates didnt help. Anyway, still awake and still in pain, but hoping I am on the other side of this now, and on toward a new year.

@Tinyflame-thank you for sharing your thoughts. As you said, triggers and reminders play a large part in being hit by a ton of bricks. Needless to say, all the Christmas decor is a reminder for me, at least, so I have thought. I did not and am not putting up a tree and decorating this year, not because of triggers, but because of construction that got delayed.

I sure do agree with your ideals of Christmas. Giving, helping, lending a hand, even kind words and listening and hearing others. Having empathy, being at peace and forgiveness are all ideals at Christmas and everyday. Your words reminded me of something very valuable. I DO have some of that and most of the time, so I have done a good bit of healing. I dont think of what happened everyday. After the assault, in was on my mind everyday for years at some point or another, and it prevented me from seeing any real good in the world, and it really is there. Thank you for bringing me back to reality.

Hugs to you too, and you are more helpful than you know
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