Hello, everyone :smile: I am so glad to see there is an actual forum that exists that relates to PTSD, because the mere thought of actually speaking to someone in person (I've done this, quite uncomfortable) makes me highly uncomfortable. I apologize in advance if my post is difficult to follow, as I have extreme difficulty getting/staying asleep at night, especially during the past 2 years. My name is Kelly, and I was sexually abused by my 3 (now former) stepbrothers periodically from the ages of 9-16. My family sided with the perpetrators, and I either was to shoulder all of the blame, or "part" of the blame. The only way my stepbrothers were ever confronted was a question asked simply "did you do it?" and of course, their answer was always "no" and it was left at that. During school, I dressed in a long "London Fog" winter coat, and avoided other children at all costs to the point where my mother made me join either band or chorus to force me to socialize (the best decision she ever made. Never again have I been able to bring myself to participate in any long term social gatherings of any kind). Outside of school, I lived in my bedroom complete with bells and necklaces around my doorknob, 'booby traps', if you will, leading to my bed, nightlight and a fan (I still cannot sleep without the fan, if I can sleep at night at all) because without it, I could clearly hear someone lurking outside of my bedroom window during the wee hours of the morning-Although, when I woke my mother up, she would assure me no one was there and sent me back to bed. A couple of years after my mother finally split up with my stepfather, she decided to tell me why. Not long after I was kicked out of the house, my stepfather drilled a hole from my former bedroom closet thru to the bathroom so he could videotape my sister using the shower via the reflection in the large bathroom mirror. She also informed me that another hole had been found between the bedroom and bathroom downstairs at my stepfather's mountain cabin that pointed to the toilet. Finally she believed me about the noises in the middle of the night outside of my bedroom window, because, as it turned out, my stepfather had also been lurking about the house masturbating to the sight of my sister sleeping. Out of fear of retribution, she had destroyed the tape of my sister showering in the presence of my stepfather, and he had quickly spackled the hole in my former bedroom closet. At that point, she left. No charges were ever filed, because at that time, charges had to be made by the victim, and I had already been threatened that I'd never see my mother or sister again so of course, I never consented to any charges. During my pregnancy with my eldest son, I briefly participated in group sessions entitled "Daughters and Sons, United". That didn't last long when I realized I was the only one who had family turn against them and, that mine were the only perpetrators that remained free. During my pregnancy with my youngest daughter in 1999 to February of 2000 when I gave birth, I began noticing severe, strange emotional problems within myself. I immediately went to the Mental Health facility to seek help. After telling about my experiences, I was told then that I have "severe PTSD" and she began to set me up with a Psychiatrist for medications. At that point, I chickened out and never truly sought help like that again for fear of what else they might come up with. In 2001, I had my first full fledged I-don't-know-what. But I could not help but constantly checking the locks on the doors and windows, checking on the kids, and not being able to get to sleep unless someone was already awake. Even then, I couldn't stay asleep. At one point, I swore I saw someone in my backyard bend over to pick up something and when I bolted to the door to see, no one was there. I don't know what happened in one year, but it seemed I had lost my ever-loving mind. The intensity eventually subsided quite a bit for a long while, only to come back and nail me again and again until 2004. The episode (I guess that's what to call it) in 2004 hit me like a ton of bricks and lasted the longest of all, and it has never gone fully away even to this day. I find myself endlessly checking locks, windows (if even one of the blinds gets out of place, I cannot help but completely close it. It feels like someone's looking at me through it) fighting for a halfway decent sleep schedule, horrible dreams (often gory), horrible thoughts that come out of nowhere, God forbid my kids get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom... They have to announce it to me so I don't scare them by my fright. But worst of all... It seems like my heart has grown completely cold much of the time. I don't feel a thing, even things that I should have some feeling for. I have no real life friends, and the few I had, I never felt the urge to keep in touch even if they live close by. I'm afraid to leave the house, even to just drop the kids off at school. I never go anywhere completely alone. However, amidst all the daily (and nightly) turmoil, I am a firm believer in counting my blessings and living life to its fullest even though I honestly feel incapacitated. I live by laughter and by conjuring as much happiness as I possibly can. I do my best to try to remain fully objective and by always thinking things through. It's a tough life, and I look forward to talking with others who share many of the same difficulties I face day to day.