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Why is it getting worse

Discussion in 'Sexual Assault' started by Anon1993, May 21, 2017.

  1. Anon1993

    Anon1993 Guest

    I can't seem to make sense of this. I understand the literature, I understand there are a number of stages or number of symptoms associated with PTSD , but I can't understand why my symptoms are getting worse.
    Over the months of Jan-Feb of this year I was in a bad relationship which included emotional abuse and sexual abuse , where in the end I ended up just doing whatever or saying whatever to minimise what he would do to me (something I feel a lot of guilt about). The first month after it happened when I was trying to get of it and it was happening so frequent I was just in a dissociative daze, days blurred together , i felt numb and had a terrible startle response.

    After that things started to become a little more real , Panic attacks started to occur , at the same time I am holding down a semi-stressful job (part of which includes working with kids who are from rough backgrounds ) and I am in my final semester of university and am meant to start post grad in July. The guy I was in a relationship with after we broke up he started to turn up more frequently, the fear of what happened and it getting out has become overwhelming. I have told very few people in attempt to get support however have never mentioned his name nor finer details of the event. He has told some individuals a rumour about me though it is just juvenile act , it is still upsetting.

    In the last two weeks though my symptoms are getting worst , the PTSD symptoms are getting worse , the flashbacks more intense, feeling him more often , it reached its peak this week when my life-group leader (who is one of the few i told about what happened just not who) decided as a group we should discuss the tv show 13 reasons why which centres around sexual assault , at the same time the guy who did this to me is sitting across the room from me, from this point my panic attacks and flashbacks are getting worse. At the same time because he attends the same university I am having to arrange exceptions for my exams as we have a timetable clash and those rumours and what he has told has lead to the friends i have step away from me. This past week it has gotten to the point where flashbacks include me either screaming , curled up in a ball begging for it to stop or throwing up. I don't understand why the stuff in flashbacks that isn't getting worse but my response is getting worse, my startle response is getting worse , the duration is getting worse. My therapist refuses to process the memories with me as she believes i will fall apart , so instead i am just dealing with the flashbacks by myself.
     
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  3. Abigail7

    Abigail7 Guest

    ...because PTSD isn't like many other disorders/diseases where you start getting better right away as soon as the body starts fighting.

    PTSD gets worse for everyone pretty much before it gets better. It's just one of those things that's better to accept as is so you can move forward with focusing on healing instead of trying to wrap your head around all of the little nuances as to why we get worse before we get better.

    But for pretty much everyone, therapy makes things worse at times, so your therapist is spot on when she says she doesn't want to process with you yet. You're not stable enough and don't know enough coping skills.
     
  4. Anon1993

    Anon1993 Guest

    The thing is I have prior to this done 4 years of therapy for an eating disorder and so the therapist for me did 4 years of DBT coping skills, I have coping skills they just dont work for this. New therapist wont teach skills (she actually doesn't say anything the whole session) for this and the other people treating me have said use the skills i had for the eating disorder.

    I'm studying to become a psychologist and none of the journal articles or classes in school when we cover PTSD discuss the part where it gets worse with symptoms but the flashbacks stay the same, no one has mentioned this part. I know with other mental illness like anorexia that it gets a lot worse before it gets better, but thats so different.

    He's everywhere, after i left him he started going to my church , he started going to my life-group , at times he comes to my work (I work in a community service centre so its a public place).

    After my flashback in church yesterday where he sat opposite me at church which meant i was facing him, the church has said its a spiritual door i have opened and it makes me feel even more like its my fault.
     
  5. SherLTR

    SherLTR Guest

    People usually have PTSD after the event is over. Unfortunately for you considering the fact that this person is in your life in so many different areas that your traumatic event has never stopped so you won’t get better as long as you are continually exposed to the abuser.

    Your sense of safety is already threatened by the past experiences so of course the person who caused your trauma being in your life (church school work) my goodness it’s no wonder you can’t get better when you’re constantly being re-traumatized.

    What has happened to you needs to be reported and you need to be able to not have to be in any situations where he is around.

    You cannot expect to heal if your scab is constantly being ripped off and that’s in essence what’s happening and I think you said the flashbacks aren’t getting worse but the physical symptoms are it sounds like your body is trying to say HEY YOUR NOT LISTENING!!! Your brain miss firing (i.e flashbacks/nightmares) isn’t enough so now I’m going to start attacking your physical health to get your attention.

    At some point you may be able to be around this person but that point is going to be after you have healed you can’t keep being in a situation that is re-traumatizing you and expect to get better

    As for the therapist if the therapist you’re using is not working then you need to get a new one

    Unfortunately you may have to change a lot of things in your life what school you’re going to what groups you go to the church you go to but it just boils down to if you can’t make him get out of your life so you can heal then you are going to have to change your life in order to not be around him otherwise you will never get better and unfortunately that’s the way of it..

    The traumas we experience are not our fault, however dealing with them unfortunately is our responsibility and sometimes means we have to do the most changing and that sometimes includes changing where you are. You would not expect a person still living in a war zone to stop experiencing its effects, it wouldn’t be possible for anyone, as long as you’re still in the threatening situation our mind/body will continue to rebel against the threat and healing won’t happen.

    And yes, I am speaking from experience. I get it like only a person w/PTSD can...Hope this helps, good luck and God bless.
     
  6. Suzetig

    Suzetig Still the Staff Kitteh... Moderator Sponsor $100+

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    You’ve answered your own question to be honest.

    You left the relationship but he’s physically everywhere you go, your life group leader was very wrong to raise the subject for discussion in a group you both attend, you’ve got a heavy work load, and a heavy study schedule, the people around you aren’t supportive and you’ve been blamed for what happened.

    With the greatest of respect, where do you have time in all of that to make sense of it? I think your T is right I’m not getting into trauma with you - you’re not safe physically, emotionally or psychologically so digging in to trauma would be irresponsible on her part. The DBT skills you’ve learned are exactly what you should be drawing on and reinforcing - while also getting some distance from the person who abused you, get a restraining order if need be. Until you are safe, you really need to leave the trauma part alone because you’ll just compound the unsafe feeling and possibly tip back into old coping strategies.

    In terms of flashbacks, search for grounding strategies here that can really help. Anything that reminds you of the here and now will be good - also really take care of the basics, eating well, resting, getting fresh air and exercise will all help.

    It’s horrible that you’re there but perfectly reasonable given all you’ve said. I’m not sure where you actually have time to cope with it all so your body and mind are forcing you to pay attention. Listen, slow down a lot and get yourself safe first of all.
     
  7. Stronger

    Stronger Guest

    . In my opinion, you are too fragile to be around your biggest trigger and I would recommend that you leave if he shows up. I spent the first 6 months of my ptsd in a frozen state anytime my trigger person was in the same room as me. I didn’t have the option to completely avoid him, but I did what I could.

    I don’t think that too much will get better until you are able to process your traumas. In order to do that, you need some strong coping strategies for your flash backs and reactions. You could look up eft tapping, square breathing, journaling, mind bridging and grounding, yoga. Magnesium glycinate. Perhaps see a psychiatrist for some options. About the asshole following you around... I get that the church is for broken people, but abusers and predators? Perhaps try to address this with a pastor?
     
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