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Recovery snuck up on me.

Thread starter #1
A year and a half ago, I finally found the strength to put an end to a 2-year-long sexually and emotionally abusive relationship. After the initial shock and sorrow of losing the person who had been at the center of my life for so long, I fell into a fragile elation. I felt weightless; I never had to lie or keep his secrets again. I learned to thrive while being alone. This was foreign to me since I spent half of college wrapped around my abuser's finger. The freedom was terrifying but exhilarating.

But then the elation shattered when I confessed the truth of the trauma I'd endured to a couple of friends. For months, it was all I could think about. Every day I was preoccupied with the trauma, especially one sexual assault he committed. I developed a neurological disorder, which a doctor told me was psychosomatic (he didn't mean this to dismiss me- he was incredibly respectful and validating). The disorder took over my life. I had to take incompletes in most of my classes last fall semester because I was too ill to finish them on-time.

I didn't realize until a few days ago that over the last six months, the trauma has slowly become less and less central in my life. I told a new therapist about what happened, and it didn't leave me shaking and crying like it used to. I told her that I'd become detached from it. She told me it might be a defense mechanism, but I truly believe I've come a long way with processing it.

I received another cue that I've separated my identity from the trauma when my former roommate broke up with her controlling boyfriend. While talking to her, I realized that I couldn't fully relate anymore. I no longer carry the post-breakup energy or the spite associated with a recent split with a subpar significant other. I wanted to relate, but I've let go of so many emotions that I'd thought still had reign over me.

I still have PTSD reactions. I have nightmares about it sometimes. I still flinch and experience anxiety when something touches my throat. I can't lay in certain positions. I may never fully "move on" from those, but I have released so much emotional energy.

Recovery snuck up on me.

It too is terrifying but exhilarating.

I just wanted to dump these thoughts somewhere. If you've read any of this, thank you for being the anonymous audience I needed.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#2
It too is terrifying but exhilarating.
I'm really happy for you, @open eyes. You did hard work, and it's paid off.
I still have PTSD reactions. I have nightmares about it sometimes. I still flinch and experience anxiety when something touches my throat. I can't lay in certain positions. I may never fully "move on" from those, but I have released so much emotional energy.
Very well put, and also 100% right. It's reasonable to expect that certain things may never fully go away. But you've been able to work through the real heart of the emotional/psychological anguish. Seriously, nice work!
 
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