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I got married in February this year


After experiencing SA in 2012 when I was 24, keeping it to myself and not telling a soul for 4 years, In 2016 I eventually told a couple of people I could trust. There was a pattern during those 4 years of being very unsettled, feeling very lost. PTSD symptoms flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, nightmares etc. Starting university courses and leaving, starting jobs and leaving. Always trying but everything being too much of an effort, feeling like I was sat on a bike going crazy peddling but not moving anywhere, expending so much energy but never feeling like I had anything to show for it. Putting on a brave face everyday was hard and only those close to me knew. Dealing with criticisms from my narcissistic, abusive dad who didn't know what had happened but put so much pressure on me, wondering why I didn't seem able to stick at anything and taking pleasure when I "failed". Even the company I kept was not healthy.

I had a long way to go in terms of relationships and between 2016 and 2020 was in an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship as my sense of self worth was so low I stayed and was miserable. The good thing was during that time I managed to complete a university course, stay in a permanent job for a few years and find some stability. I started therapy again in 2018 and still didn't process the trauma but developed my self esteem.

2020 came and I began to recognise my worth, with the help of therapy, positive people around me and a stable routine. Liberated myself and left that relationship (he was difficult to get away from). Graduated from university (finally) and began the career I had been striving for. A year later dated someone briefly for three months, he was very abusive and physically hit me once but I walked away. I went through a low period - as it seemed to touch on my self worth and left me feeling very low. It was like a purge, it was horrible but something shifted.

In 2022 I started trauma therapy, finally after all those years of avoiding it. Just before starting that, I met my now husband. We dated for a year, got engaged and my therapy alongside navigating what I realised was the first healthy relationship I had ever had - was so significant. It wasn't easy, lots of self doubt and self sabotaging thoughts that I had to battle with. It was like wearing a new pair of shoes that were good for my feet and the best quality shoes I have had (and what I deserve) but wearing them felt weird at first because I'd been wearing crappy shoes for so long.

In February 2023 we got married 😊 I felt a huge sense of peace in my heart. It's amazing to be able to truly be myself and be valued and loved and really feel it. To be loved unconditionally and to be treated with respect. To be able to trust (this is not always easy and is still work in progress but I have trusted him so much already). It felt like putting my foot over the finish line in the sense that I had allowed myself to be happy, taken a leap of faith and actually got it right this time. I'm now 34 years old and we are looking for our first home together and plan to start a family. I still have the occasional setback but I want to tell you all that it is possible to get through this and it takes time but building a strong foundation is possible against the odds and you absolutely will get there in the end. It's about having good people around you, routine and structure, allowing yourself the set backs and being kind to yourself recognising it is part of the process 🙂