Overreacting? - Trauma Anniversary, & 1st Year Abuser Is Out Of Jail. Stress, Fear, What If’s & Paranoia.

As winter nears and December draws closer there is always a sense of dread as the trauma anniversary falls into place for what will now be six years ago. God, it feels like yesterday still, but not the point. This is the first year my abuser will have been out of jail, he got out about five months ago. I’ve had no issues, no contact, nothing! Just alot of stress over nothing. I have no evidence to believe he would try anything but the dread and anxiety is eating away at me. What if he has been keeping quiet so he could act on the anniversary date? What if he has just been slowly gathering up the information? What if he wants to finish what he started?

The winter months are hard anyways, with seasonal affective disorder and the anniversary - I’m scared this extra weight is going to cause another attempt/send off and I’ve been doing decent! I’ve really worked hard to get to this point but I already feel my resolve bending, I’m trying to reassure myself but every positive thought seems so fake and forced.

Am I being overly sensitive to the situation? Just too paranoid?
 
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JGirl

Confident
I can relate to this so much! I have several trauma anniversaries coming up from now until January. I was actually just about to post about the one happening tomorrow. Some years I am a complete mess, some years I don't even notice. It depends what kind of state I'm in leading up. I think what you are experiencing is pretty common. This is a time to be extra kind to yourself and to keep your supports close.

I don't know what to say about your fear about the anniversary date. I don't know this person. I have no Idea what they may be capable of. I think that more people need to trust their instincts. If they think that something is off, then listen and find out why. The thing is, when we have been traumatised by something, our instincts can be all out of wack. It becomes challenging to sift through what is real and what is in exaggerated because of hypervigilance.

Do I think he is waiting for the anniversary date to do something? Probably not. Do I think that you are being overly sensitive? Nope. It is reasonable for you to worry that he could harm you again because has done it before. I went through similar fears myself when my ex got out of jail. My fear was that he would find the kids at school and try to take them. I had no reason to believe that he would even try that, I just worried about it. He has never tired to even contact them without going through me.

I'm not sure if any of this helps. I want you to know that you are not alone. You are experiencing a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. I'm not sure if you are in therapy or not, but if you are, then this is something to bring up at your next session. Perhaps it is a reason to seek someone out if you aren't.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I can understand this.
But I don't think abusers hold it in the same way we do? So whilst the date is something hugely important to you, he may not remember the date at all? Who knows.

Maybe there are ways to help, i.e it's really positive you know this could be a trigger for you and you're working out how to manage.
Grounding techniques.
My T recently suggested I write down some feelings and thoughts and memories that make me feel safe and happy. So I have this little card that I carry around now. It's full of love and happiness. And when I look at it, it helps make me feel safe.

I'm assuming he doesn't know where you are?
And he has made no attempt to contact you.
So there is evidence there to help you believe that you are safe.

I have an anniversary period coming up too. It does suck. I also link the cold dark weather to the event. So that is a real challenge.
But we're not in the past. We survived. The world is as it is now. It's trying to find a way to believe that and find safety in it.
 
I can relate to this so much! I have several trauma anniversaries coming up from now until January. I was actually just about to post about the one happening tomorrow. Some years I am a complete mess, some years I don't even notice. It depends what kind of state I'm in leading up. I think what you are experiencing is pretty common. This is a time to be extra kind to yourself and to keep your supports close.

I don't know what to say about your fear about the anniversary date. I don't know this person. I have no Idea what they may be capable of. I think that more people need to trust their instincts. If they think that something is off, then listen and find out why. The thing is, when we have been traumatised by something, our instincts can be all out of wack. It becomes challenging to sift through what is real and what is in exaggerated because of hypervigilance.

Do I think he is waiting for the anniversary date to do something? Probably not. Do I think that you are being overly sensitive? Nope. It is reasonable for you to worry that he could harm you again because has done it before. I went through similar fears myself when my ex got out of jail. My fear was that he would find the kids at school and try to take them. I had no reason to believe that he would even try that, I just worried about it. He has never tired to even contact them without going through me.

I'm not sure if any of this helps. I want you to know that you are not alone. You are experiencing a normal reaction to abnormal circumstances. I'm not sure if you are in therapy or not, but if you are, then this is something to bring up at your next session. Perhaps it is a reason to seek someone out if you aren't.
Thank you! It is both comforting and saddening to hear others go through the same bought of anxiety over such things. PTSD is cruel in that way, it overstimulates everything to the point where you can’t tell whether or not it is a reasonable threat.

It’s hard not to fall into the cycle of paranoid thoughts, I’m on year six since then and I still feel as if everything happened moments ago. I go to therapy once a week and it does help alot! I’ll definitely bring in this issue next week with being scared.

Things have gotten better as far as handling the emotions- but the emotions themself have stayed the same. It’s disheartening. But this place helps- sometimes just reading- “your not the only one” does alot, so thank you!!

I can understand this.
But I don't think abusers hold it in the same way we do? So whilst the date is something hugely important to you, he may not remember the date at all? Who knows.

Maybe there are ways to help, i.e it's really positive you know this could be a trigger for you and you're working out how to manage.
Grounding techniques.
My T recently suggested I write down some feelings and thoughts and memories that make me feel safe and happy. So I have this little card that I carry around now. It's full of love and happiness. And when I look at it, it helps make me feel safe.

I'm assuming he doesn't know where you are?
And he has made no attempt to contact you.
So there is evidence there to help you believe that you are safe.

I have an anniversary period coming up too. It does suck. I also link the cold dark weather to the event. So that is a real challenge.
But we're not in the past. We survived. The world is as it is now. It's trying to find a way to believe that and find safety in it.
So true, I hadn’t thought about it in that regard, what seems prevalent to me is probably not even a thought to him- that’s how abusers are mostly. That helps in building evidence that he wouldn’t wait for any specific date!

I think I’m going to follow that advice, might get a little sketch done of my two dogs- they bring me a lot of relief and hope. Thank you for sharing that!

Since he is on the sex offender registry for life he is monitored- so he hasn’t made any attempts of contact or anything of the sort.

I’m sorry your anniversaries are also coming up- it really is the most unpleasant thing. Especially when the weather seems to match the sad feelings. My date is the 26th of December so it seems like Christmas is always more of a day of preparation than anything.
 

Sues

MyPTSD Pro
You are not being overly sensitive or paranoid. Trauma anniversaries are real and we can feel them in our bodies even when we don't realize the date is approaching. Mine are in full swing right now and also go through the end of the year. Tomorrow is a big one, the day my son and I escaped. Most would think it would be a good day to celebrate. No. It was terrifying and so many bad things happened.

My abuser continues to stalk me, even 11 years later. You never get used to it, and nothing that you feel or think about it is paranoia. What you are thinking and feeling is normal. I can't really offer advice, but I can say you are not alone in this. Are you seeing a therapist? I've found that therapy has helped so much, and finding a really good trauma therapist, has made a huge difference.
 

Complex1

New Here
As winter nears and December draws closer there is always a sense of dread as the trauma anniversary falls into place for what will now be six years ago. God, it feels like yesterday still, but not the point. This is the first year my abuser will have been out of jail, he got out about five months ago. I’ve had no issues, no contact, nothing! Just alot of stress over nothing. I have no evidence to believe he would try anything but the dread and anxiety is eating away at me. What if he has been keeping quiet so he could act on the anniversary date? What if he has just been slowly gathering up the information? What if he wants to finish what he started?

The winter months are hard anyways, with seasonal affective disorder and the anniversary - I’m scared this extra weight is going to cause another attempt/send off and I’ve been doing decent! I’ve really worked hard to get to this point but I already feel my resolve bending, I’m trying to reassure myself but every positive thought seems so fake and forced.

Am I being overly sensitive to the situation? Just too paranoid?

Overly sensitive? Not at all, not in my opinion.
I hope you get through this.
 
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