Recovering from PTSD

Starting today, I’ve created a new category called “Trauma & Recovery.” So much of what I’ve written has been filed under “Romance & Relationships,” as that’s where the trauma occurred, but I’ll be going back and setting some of those posts under the new category as well.

Since I’m really unable to write much about romance and relationships these days, I hope to be writing more regularly about recovery from and understanding abuse, especially the kinds of abuse that aren’t overt, as they can be even more damaging psychologically for that very reason.

Still, my most popular post is “PTSD from Emotional Abuse.” Understandably so. We’re a culture immersed in so many types of abuse, PTSD is truly an epidemic, I’ve learned. Doctors and psychologists are now starting to figure out the connection from childhood abuse to later psychological and behavioral issues. They’re understanding the cumulative effect of prolonged abuse, causing chronic PTSD.

I’m still in recovery from the rapes last year, and I’ve learned how The Rapist’s (aka Austin Poly Rapist, The Auctioneer) calculated manipulation and covert abuses throughout our short-lived relationship acted as a culmination of the two most recent sexual assaults/coercive rapes from 2010 and 2011, by The Writer and The Musician, respectively. Through extensive therapy over the past year, I’ve learned how even those assaults were made possible by earlier trauma that I didn’t even consider abuse. Just like the assaults by those three men, I didn’t call them what they were for a very long time. Too long. “Made possible” because I had been socialized to not see the warning signs, not to see abuse as abuse, but rather a symptom of desire or love, putting me in the same room with a rapist. The fault and responsibility of those actions, however, lie solely with those who chose to rape and/or commit sexual assault. The shame lies with them, as well.

Though my ramblings and blog posts, I’m hoping that my readers will find the words to define their experience so that they can begin healing long before I did. Already, countless readers have contacted me and shared their gratitude for my writing, if for no other reason than because they no longer felt so alone.

You are not alone.

Abuse in our culture is systematically normalized and minimized. The targets of this abuse are silenced and shamed. I’m working to turn that around, to put the shame where it belongs: on the abusers. On the predators. On the rapists. On those that perpetrate sexual, physical, and emotional assaults, especially when calculated and intentional.

Disgusting.

It is so possible to have been abused or even raped and not even know it on a conscious level. Denial is a powerful protector, in a way, but it ultimately creates the conditions to be further traumatized. The cumulative effect of decades of trauma can be quite debilitating, as I’ve discovered. I’ve spoken a bit before on The Betrayal Bond, and I’ll be looking more closely at this phenomenon as well as things like Gaslighting and other forms of covert or normalized abuse.

Throughout the posts over the last year, I’ve often said the phrase “before I realized it was rape,” or something similar. This is very difficult for people to accept if they haven’t experienced it or haven’t accepted their own traumatic event for what it was; however, it’s not only possible, it’s common. Even though I felt violated and betrayed, even though my body and subconscious mind was reacting to the trauma, I said this:

“It couldn’t have been rape because he loved me.”

Now I say this:

“He couldn’t have loved me because he raped me.”

Or maybe, in some circumstances, “He loved me AND he raped me.” Some people are just so damaged themselves, that they don’t know how to show love in another other way than through abuse. Others don’t know how to receive love in any other way than through abuse. This is where self-awareness comes into play. No matter how much you were hurt and what horrible things have been done to you, it is never okay to traumatize another person. It is never an excuse to traumatize another person. Never. Ever. (Hurt, in this context, is an understatement. Demolished. Devastated. Crushed. Ruined. Destroyed. Those are more accurate.)

Denial. Betrayal Bond. Then more denial.

As I move forward in my own recovery, learning to care for myself and my heart above all else, I’m able to write on these topics with less rage, which will likely be more pleasant to read. I’m not apologizing for my rage, as it was well justified and part of the healing process. My anger is still here, protecting me. For now. As a former therapist once told me, “Anger is the beginning of saying, ‘I deserve better.'”

I fucking do deserve better, and so do you.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring symptoms of PTSD, types of trauma, and the brilliant minds who are figuring some of this out. I’ll discuss my recovery journey. Isolation and silence has done wonders for me, and continues to do so. If that’s what you need to heal, don’t listen to anyone tell you that it’s not. You’ll get back into society when and if you’re ready. In the mean time, heal.

I’ll talk more about creating beauty, revealing truth, and protecting oneself in sacred spaces. I look forward to sharing the sacred space I created with all of you.

May you find peace.

~ by omgrey on April 24, 2013.

6 Responses to “Recovering from PTSD”

  1. I wish for you strength & light every day🙂

  2. […] in as many years by a third man, ostracism from my community, a dark decent into complex PTSD, and extensive rape recovery therapy to accept these things. No woman wants to admit to rape, especially by someone she likes or loves […]

  3. […] DISSONANCE The psychological phenomenon of holding two conflicting ideas in one’s mind and trying to make them fit together, like […]

  4. […] and–yes–again, in my early 40s, it all had caught up with me and I experienced severe PTSD […]

  5. I ha

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