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Housebound. Anyone else?

Thread starter #1
I apologise if this gets long. I was sexually assaulted in 2008, which I buried as I was told I’d cheated on my husband blind drunk, not that it was rape so I buried it and didn’t deal with it. I’ve posted about this before. I kept going and put it out of my mind. Then in 2012 I’d lost my grandmother in the July and in the September my brother chased me in his car and chased me into a police station where I ran for help and he assaulted me. His anger issues have been going on for a year, he attacked my husband the year before and he also was abusing his own partner and children. Because I wouldn’t forgive him for his violent actions for a second time my mother and sisters alienated me from the family but also hurled abuse at me via social media and messages for a good couple of years after. This all led to me suffering from agoraphobia and extreme social anxiety. I had therapy and was doing so well again by 2016.

Then in 2016 I started to suffer from extreme fatigue issues and I was told that it was all in my head and that I had depression by my GP. I didn’t feel depressed in the slightest and my doctor wouldn’t listen to me. Life was good again and I was back out loving my life with my husband and children without extreme anxiety inside me.

My GP became obsessed i could’ve cancer, diabetes, low sodium, low potassium .... and he would not stop repeating the same tests over and over again month after month. In the end he left and a new GP took over my care. She was so sorry for everything that I’d been through with the previous GP. She diagnosed me with PTSD and CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). She is a fantastic doctor and she told me to take some time off from medical tests because I told her that I was feeling quite traumatised by it all and she agreed. She also said she thought I had PTSD from what I’d been through with my family, which my therapist told me years before too. The mental health team where I demanded a referral to by my GP back in 2013 missed PTSD, they just said I had anxiety after what happened with my brother and family. I knew it wasn’t just anxiety.

Then in late 2017 I after a much better year with the CFS and anxiety/PTSD, I started to have panic attacks out of the blue. I was having a few upsetting things happen in my life at the time, a friendship that I valued broke down and I wasn’t sure why. She kept walking in and out of my life and it was hurting me. We were so close. Losing my best friend without any explanation lead to me in 2018 having some kind of breakdown where I lost all faith in the world. I didn’t leave my house and I became very depressed for the first time in my life and had bad panic attacks.

During 2018 my CFS/ME symptoms became severe as a result of the panic attacks every day for months on end. I couldn’t do any chores around the house not even cook for my own children (they were all teenagers). My husband became my carer and he took over my role in the home after a full day at work . I’m crying as I type this. It really was the worst year of my life and I never thought I’d ever come through it. I was having panic attacks that were lasting 12 hours at a time for months on end every single day. Last year was a much better year, I overcame the panic attacks and the depression lifted. I’m so relieved I got over that bad time mentally but I have ever since suffered anxiety higher than in the past and the PTSD this year due to all the stress with Covid l, but at least I’m miles better than that awful year in 2018.

My CFS is now moderate but I still never get out of the house. The last time I went out was last spring when I went to the shops with my husband and another day for a drive in my car. I get into the garden sometimes now. It is all a bad combination of social anxiety, agoraphobia due to the PTSD flaring again and most of all the CFS which has flared due to the stress/anxiety returning during lockdown. I have to pace myself all day and if my symptoms flare like they have recently I have to rest a lot and my husband takes over cooking etc until I’m able to do a bit more. It’s devastating as I was back doing 70% of the household chores again and feeling much better.

I had severe social anxiety straight after the assault but I’d push myself, I do remember shaking talking to people and my heart would race just ordering a drink in a shop. It was hard but now it’s complete avoidance. I bet the postman thinks I’ve croaked it 😂 I won’t even answer the door if he knocks these last 2 years haha.

After what happened in 2012 I did struggle with appointments but I would force myself to go as long as my husband was with me I could get through it. I used to cry during appointments sometimes because I’d be having severe anxiety during the appointment but I still go. I’d go to my smear test and take my husband, I go to blood test and take my husband, dentist etc as long as I had him with me I could do it. But the last two years I haven’t been able to even do things with my husband. I haven’t been to the dentist, opticians, see my GP, or my smear test. My GP obviously is aware of this and she speaks to me on the phone and my husband has been to see her to update on how I am and he does my medication reviews for me with her. She is very supportive and she understands I’ve been through so much and right now I just need time to work on myself after the last 2 years my world toppled down on me. She says I’d stayed strong for the 5 years after the attack, for my children sake‘s but then after another upsetting thing happened a couple of years ago (losing my best friend) she said it was just her final nail in the coffin for me. She said that’s why I started to suffer anxiety much worse than before and the CFS was a result of all that stress.

I’m upset as I type this I didn’t realise how much it was upsetting me. It’s just made me think I’m such a screwup I don’t leave my home and I can’t do appointments. I feel I’ve let my children down, they still do days out etc with their Dad but they last couple of years I can’t do them. I couldn’t keep pushing myself for their sakes, my body just broke. I only have my husband and my children in my life. I don’t have any family other than my Gran and I feel the worst granddaughter in the world because she’s 91 and I haven’t seen her for two years. My hubby and children visit her often. Well before Covid they ddI.

I’m sorry to post again I just didn’t realise how much I had bottled up. I’m just so upset that after the therapy I had that helped me deal with the anxiety that my family caused me in the past and all the trauma of my childhood I’d overcome, I’m struggling now with this. It’s so disheartening the last 2 years (on and off) as I’m probably now dealing with more anxiety, than I ever was. I’m just so angry with myself that I can’t force myself to go out to appointments or have someone to my home to do appointments, but my social anxiety and withdrawal from the world because of how much I was going through with the CFS, I just haven’t been able to push myself. It’s as though I just gave up on trust in the world and rubbish things just kept happening in my life. I just had to take time out if that makes sense.

I apologise this is very long and I’m sure many of you gave up reading it and I don’t blame you. Typing this is really hard because I’m so scared of people judging me and thinking that I’m a weird person or a bad mother and wife. I’m doing my best, but at the times I don’t recognise the person I’ve become because even after what happened to me with my brother/family I still took my kids on holiday, and pushed myself out to do family things for my children’s memories despite my internal struggles. I’d push myself to appointments so I’m here for my children’s sakes. I hate myself that I can no longer do that for my kids and my husband. Having chronic fatigue syndrome really did turn my world upside down just when life was good again after the assault. Then having the health issues and then my best friend cut me off most likely because of my health issues, broke me and the PTSD and anxiety issues hit worse than ever.

I don’t want to go back to therapy, I tried a few times 2 years ago but they didn’t understand my health conditions and kept pushing me to do exposure work and I’ve done therapy on and off all my adult life since I was 19: I’ve done it to death. I’m now on a healing journey myself, gentle journey.

Has anyone else suffered being housebound, social anxiety, CFS/ME? I often wonder if I’m alone with how much the PTSD has caused in my life. I even ag times get very anxious and need time on my own at home, which makes me feel terrible. My kids are 18, 16 and 15 so I’m lucky they’re older and not needing me all the time but I still feel I’m an awful mum. I want to be the mum I was going for a meal with them, a nicd dog walk etc my daughters 15 very son a and when I hear her friend is off to the cinema with her mum or a girly day shopping and they invite my daughter I break down crying when alone. That used to be me. I hate myself for not being that mum I was even if I found it hard at times after the assault, I still did it. My children having a good childhood is all I ever wanted. Now, having CFS there are some weeks my symptoms flare up and I have to rest in my bedroom a lot so they don’t have their mum cooking or cleaning so I feel like I’m not a mum anymore and their dad takes over my roll despite having his own full time job. Last year I was getting my role back, and I was doing amazing again, so close to getting back out but as anyone with CFS will know, stress flares it again and since lockdown, all the worry, stress, 3 teenagers to keep happy it all took it’s toll on me. I’m now working on my energy again and the PTSD and anxiety it’s all flared up again the last few months. It’s so disheartening when for a year I was doing so much better and that bad year in 2018 was long behind me.

Thank you if you got this far. I apologise my ramble is so long.
Luna 💜
 
Thread starter #2
Ps it breaks my heart ive has health issues the last few years. My children having a good childhood is all I ever wanted. We’ve such happy memories looking back ag photos. I just hate now I can’t do girly shopping day as with my daughter or a meal out with my sons. It breaks me when I hear my daughters friend is off our for a girly day with her mum and they invite my daughter along. I hate myself so much. I worry I’ve let them down and I’m missing out on precious time 😢
 
#3
I apologise this is very long and I’m sure many of you gave up reading it and I don’t blame you.
I’m sorry to post again I just didn’t realise how much I had bottled up
I’m upset as I type this I didn’t realise how much it was upsetting me
One of the many reasons I’m still here on this forum is exactly this.

The acts of writing, reading, editing, reading, writing, editing, replying, walking away, thinking, reading, walking away again, replying, writing, reading, editing... are an invaluable form of exposure therapy for me... in addition to all the other benefits (member response, sharing tips/tricks, kicking knowledge, trying new things, trying new perspectives, thrashing things out, the clarity of shared experience, the genius of wildly different experiences casting new light on old problems, et cetera, in a big big way.)

More on that ^^^
Reading Forum Increases Symptoms!
&
https://www.myptsd.com/threads/guidance-for-using-a-trauma-diary-for-exposure-therapy-cbt.398/


Has anyone else suffered being housebound, social anxiety, CFS/ME?
Yes & No. Same end results, some different sources.

I’ll hit this back later... I started writing it out & it’s going to be middling long & Ive got to (got to! got to! ;)) get some sleep this morning... so rather than leaving the entire post in drafts, I figured I’d go ahead and split it in two.
 
Thread starter #4
One of the many reasons I’m still here on this forum is exactly this.

The acts of writing, reading, editing, reading, writing, editing, replying, walking away, thinking, reading, walking away again, replying, writing, reading, editing... are an invaluable form of exposure therapy for me... in addition to all the other benefits (member response, sharing tips/tricks, kicking knowledge, trying new things, trying new perspectives, thrashing things out, the clarity of shared experience, the genius of wildly different experiences casting new light on old problems, et cetera, in a big big way.)

More on that ^^^
Reading Forum Increases Symptoms!
&
https://www.myptsd.com/threads/guidance-for-using-a-trauma-diary-for-exposure-therapy-cbt.398/



Yes & No. Same end results, some different sources.

I’ll hit this back later... I started writing it out & it’s going to be middling long & Ive got to (got to! got to! ;)) get some sleep this morning... so rather than leaving the entire post in drafts, I figured I’d go ahead and split it in two.
Thank you. I should have just popped this in my trauma diary on here.

I went to spell check a few things I missed but I couldn’t change it in time so I apologise for mistakes my phone made.
 
#5
Yeah.

Again, different cause, same end result. Periods where I'd need to sleep 18 hours a day, and the time awake was broken up into shorter periods. That was depression.

Also had periods where I couldn't get out of the house. That was agoraphobia as part of my ptsd/depression symptoms getting out of control. Had to set a goal of making it to the letterbox and back each day to get past that.

Still something I struggle with, some days more than others. I do short bursts of activity now, and it's absolutely essential that I leave the house each day - even if it's just walking 5 minutes then going back home (which equals 10 minutes, and even on bad days I can usually do that 2-3 times).

That's become critical to managing my mental health, but also the physical health symptoms I started to accrue as a result of having such a sedentary lifestyle. It sux, because I used to be fit, active and outgoing. But, it is what it is, and the days I can do more I do, and try and give myself kudos for that.

Sorry you struggle with this. You're not alone though, if that helps at all.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#6
Yes. 🌹
quarantine felt marginally different to me because I spent MORE time with my DH and my therapy went online.

one thing I would say is that I believe there are trauma informed therapists who understand things like fibromyalgia and other chronic illness. Trauma and chronic health problems are often correlated and that doesn’t mean ‘it’s all in our head’ . In fact - I’d even say that understanding that some PTSD patients can have ( related or otherwise) comorbidities that have them feeling or being housebound is requisite to being a trauma informed therapist.
 
#7
my brother chased me in his car and chased me into a police station where I ran for help and he assaulted me. His anger issues have been going on for a year, he attacked my husband the year before and he also was abusing his own partner and children. Because I wouldn’t forgive him for his violent actions for a second time my mother and sisters alienated me from the family but also hurled abuse at me via social media and messages for a good couple of years after.

@Libs40 I'm not exactly homebound though, I still rarely go anywhere other than to buy necessities about every other week. Yet, I can relate to your trauma regarding your brother's violence, as I've experienced being violently and physically attacked by my brother, as well. From about age 4, he was attacking me for no apparent reason. I think the family could only deal with this by letting him have his own way. My mother once told me that she had to keep my brother on a leash as a young child because he would fight her until he'd break free from her arms and run off.

During my 20s, my brother physically attacked me twice when unprovoked. In his early 30s, I saw him once sucker punch our mother as he then shouted, "You gave dad his cancer!" She fell backwards hitting the floor hard. He could have easily killed her. He was then a body builder. And of course she hadn't given dad his cancer -- my brother's faulty reasoning. Both my previous T and I suspect that my brother is seriously mentally ill. I had just never been around him long enough to have noticed it.

After knocking his mother to the floor, he immediately walked out of the house. Months later he reappeared -- no questions asked. Family relations are extremely difficult when we are the victim and expected to forget that these attacks happened. These unmentionably attacks have lefts me feeling completely powerless to better the relationship. I don't even know if my brother remembers these assaults. He never apologized to me. My mother never talked about it. Thankfully she was okay. Once my brother entered his early teens I only rarely saw him, as he was then moved to our grandparent's house. He had to learn to stop attacking girls. This was becoming a serious problem.

My brother isn't one to argue. He just suddenly lashes out with no warning. When he was 19 and once enraged, he threw his fist through a glass window. In my case, twice the police were involved. Family relations become extremely difficult. Trying to address such issues has only turned the family against me. Sure they would very gladly take me back but only on their terms. I have never harmed anyone in any way. Victimizers don't socialize well with their victims. For them a get-together only serves to further belittle the victim while charming the victim with fake love and especially in front of other people.

I use to badly suffer from fibromyalgia and migraines so, I can relate. This is mostly gone now. My last bad migraine occurred 3 years ago …knocking on wood. These are such awful conditions and how can you possibly plan your life around them. Then too, no one can see them. I could push my lawnmower around my yard or wash my car with little problem. Then, once finished, as soon as my body would cool down, an extreme muscle stiffness and pain would set in -- so much so, that I could hardly walk across the room. Then feeling zapped of energy …it's depressing.

As for the pandemic isolation, I miss attending the many summer community events that were canceled. I've been living alone for the last 20 years and so, I've gotten use to being alone. Over the past month, I've had face to face conversations with 4 people, one by phone and a few others via Facebook. Perhaps a total of 3 hours. When it get bad for me, I will admit that I have carried one-sided conversations with my houseplant ...mostly it's rant. And no one wants to hear that anyway. I've been without any pets for over a year now. My pet bird dies last summer.

Yet, I think that a huge part of the pain associated in this ongoing isolation is that, people now have so much time to think and reflect on their lives and also, so much time to worry about the future. As for this mysterious virus, how can we protect ourselves against a threat that we can't even see. Then don't even try to educate yourself because the news media continually contradicts itself.
 
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