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Really struggling to keep going - Messages from the rapist leave me needing reminders it will be okay & get better

arted getting messages on Facebook from the rapist who is currently out of prison. They’re basically angry rants, but they’re also threats. I’ve contacted the police and all of that, and I’m in the process of getting a no contact order, but damn is it difficult to deal with this right now. I was already experiencing passive suicidal ideation, but it’s definitely intensified as a result of the messages and having to deal with the court system and all of that. I’m also having trouble in my marriage with issues involving physical intimacy and emotional connection, which hasn’t helped my ability to cope with these thoughts and feelings. I’m just exhausted and overwhelmed and I don’t have anyone to talk to that I’m not paying to be there for me.

I’m seeing a therapist weekly and talking things through with her helps, but I don’t know what to do with myself the rest of the week. I feel like I’m not functioning anymore. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I’m having trouble leaving my house, and I’m having a lot issues doing the things I need to do for my family. I just feel like I’m kind of a waste of space at this point, like I don’t have value outside of being a wife and stepmother and like I could easily be replaced if something happened to me. I’m constantly on edge and feel like I’m bordering a panic attack 95% of the time.


I know isolation can be a symptom of the trauma. I know that. But god damn is it lonely. I’m at a point where I don’t care about myself, I don’t want fight for myself, and I don’t have anyone that truly cares if I’m okay or not. My partner has his own mental health struggles and because he deals with suicidal thoughts all the time, he’s become desensitized to the idea and he’s not reacting how I need him to right now.


I just need some support. This is going to get better, right? I’m going to get the no contact order, he’s going to leave me alone, the anniversary is going to pass even more than it has (it was the 9th) and the memories will calm down. I won’t be in crisis forever. Please remind me that this will get better. It’s been 14 years and I still feel as broken as the day I laid there waiting to die. How much longer until I want to live again?
 
Hello @tapdancingtunas 👋 and welcome to the site. It does get better! Much better in fact. It takes time and some hard work but it does get better. Despite the fact that your really struggling you wrote a really clear and grounded introduction which indicates that your actually managing pretty well despite your dilemma.

It must be very difficult holding all of this together with a partner that also has mental health issues and children. Getting a police order on this person is a very good move and will cut that out of your life. It must be awful dealing with that abuse. I can relate to alot of the issues you have described. Not eating or sleeping properly, trouble leaving the house etc. Only having people in your life that your paying for or it's their job to see you.

It's tough. What I would recommend right now is to just focus on being kind to yourself, loving yourself. Eat good food treat yourself to nice things and do you have any hobbies? Can you be creative or join groups where you get to meet new people, make new friends and a reason to leave the house? Food for thought...
 
Everything is temporary.

It’s been 14 years and I still feel as broken as the day I laid there waiting to die.
That’s how PTSD works. Events aren’t “saved” as memories, but are kept present, as if they’re happening right now. Overlaid on top of what is actually happening right now (flashbacks), or just behind the screen. No wonder avoidance is a symptom, it’s the next best thing to remembering, instead of reliving!

Upside? Trauma processing can actually move those events into memory, and out of the present.

Everything you’re going through right now? With increased stress (see stress cup), & anniversaries? Is. Completely. Normal.

Strength to you.
 
Have you considered hospital for extra assistance? I'm not sure where you're located, but in my country (US) mental health hospitals are very high security and therefore can feel safe when there are outside threats

I'm sorry you and your partner are struggling right now. It would be more concerning if you weren't, though, I feel
 
I actually used to work at an inpatient facility as a therapist. I don’t really need a lock down facility to feel safe, I think it’s just my PTSD playing tricks on me. I’m going to be panicky anywhere. I’d consider a hospital if I felt like I was an imminent danger to myself, but I’m not there yet. I hope I don’t get there. It would be pretty awkward being admitted to the facility I worked at lol.
 
I've been trying to journal and write down my distorted thought processes so I can see them and challenge them. That's helping me to recognize what is an actual threat vs. perceived, and its helping me get through the waves day-to-day. I finally managed to get a telehealth appointment for medication management tomorrow, so hopefully that will help significantly in a month or so once meds kick in.

I had therapy again today and had a panic attack during the session. Ironically, it was my therapist showing me images of "calming" locations to use as my safety place during EMDR that triggered me. 😅
 
Ironically, it was my therapist showing me images of "calming" locations to use as my safety place
I get this! I remember when my T would say something like “Breathe,” or “Where are your feet” I would freeze and dissociate. It made it worse at first, but she still did it because eventually I was strong enough to stay present.
 
Oh yeah, I hate those kinds of coping skills. They make me feel way worse 😂 Things like counting tiles, though, or different kinds of objects in a room that are blue, for example, work much better to get me calm

Journalling is good. Are there ways you can do that validate the scared side of you, that you can do things about? Like, keeping doors locked, having a friend know about your location using your phone's GPS, having some object on you to help you feel safer (that can't also be used against you), etc?

ETA: I mean in ways that help prevent you from invalidating 100% of your worries or fears
 
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