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TW: sexual assault support?

_AJ__AJ_ Posts: 117 The Mix Convert
Hi
I appreciate this might not be the right place to talk about these things so if not do delete. It’s just worth noting I do have professional support with this and am awaiting specialist counselling (I have other support at the moment) so it’s not just you guys that know! I’m more just looking for some peer support.

TW; sexual assault, family
So I have a history of being sexually abused. I was sexually assaulted by my first (and ex!) girlfriend and then a few months ago by someone in my family, and then on the street and then more recently by the same family member. It’s a lot and I’m really struggling and just looking for anyone who may be happy to talk and share advise/support? It would be really nice to chat with other survivors because I feel very along.

Thanks!
Aj x

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    independent_independent_ Community Champion Posts: 8,678 Legendary Poster
    Hey Aj,

    I’m sorry to hear you went through that. It’s never an easy thing to go through.

    Know that you are absolutely not alone, so many people (of all genders) have been through the same thing so one thing I can assure you is that you are never, ever alone.

    Sending so many hugs and support <3
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
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    lovemimoonlovemimoon Posts: 2,318 Boards Champion
    Hi @_AJ_

    Thank you so much for reaching out to us! <3
    We're here to support you and you're not alone on this! :3

    We're here if you want support! <3
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    _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 117 The Mix Convert
    Hey guys
    Thanks so much, it means a lot. I’m really struggling with a lot of day to day life at the moment. I’m feeling very triggered a lot and dealing with emotional flashbacks (basically where you feel all the feelings of the event, rather than a visual flashback if that makes sense? For me emotional flashbacks can last days rather than hours or minutes).
    My biggest struggle is having a bath or shower because I just can’t handle seeing my body. I had to go for a physical exam at the GP on Monday (after I disclosed the abuse they wanted to check me out) and it was terrifying.
    I feel so angry at the people who have done this too me and I hate feeling angry because I’ve been abused and anger doesn’t sit right with me. But I am angry they hurt me like this. I actually wrote a poem about my anger (when I open up to people it’s usually through poetry so there may be a lot if I try and seek support on this thread )

    i breathe in,
    holding back the anger in my heart,
    and decide that once more
    i can never trust again.
    the people around me,
    transient as shooting stars,
    are slowly disappearing
    until it will only be me in this fight
    against the universe,
    against God and the Devil.
    i am angry
    (God can take it)
    i am angry
    (perhaps the Devil deserves it)
    i am angry
    (who can hear it?)
    i am angry
    (universe hear my cry)
    i am angry
    and any defilement comes from within.

    The last line is important to me. My chaplain once told me that in the bible it says that you cannot be defiled by something outside of you, but only by what’s within you. I do often feel violated and that my body has been taken from me. So. It’s a good reminder.

    I’m just so scared all the time. It’s happened so often I was almost numb to it but the most recent time has really affected me, especially as it was way ‘worse’ than before (not that these things can be qualified). It’s strange tho. I don’t really remember it (I have Dissociative Identity Disorder- DID- so it was one of my alters who holds the memory) but I know of it through diary entries my alter made and it’s truly terrifying. I hate hate hate that this all happened.
    Aj x
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    _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 117 The Mix Convert
    I’m really struggling with flashbacks today and feeling very uncomfortable in my body. I wrote a poem:

    and in that deafening silence,
    i’ve never wished more to be heard,
    wracked with endless demurs of regret and remorse –
    impure, impure, impure.

    Impure. Impure is exactly how I feel. I can barely take a shower or get changed because I can’t see my body because that body was wrecked and it’s not mine anymore. A lot of my alters struggle with the fact they don’t look like the body we live in, but I have always felt like it’s my body. But not any more. Now it feels like I could be watching someone else and this is not my body and I can’t look after it. One of my alters is trying her best to get us to have showers, get dressed and look after us but it’s so hard. I hate this and I hate how this has all made me feel and that makes me want to hate the people that did this but I can’t. I can’t be angry because I’ve seen what anger can do and it scares me. But I don’t know how to feel. I just. Need safety. I need this to stop.
    Aj x
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    KalekaAKalekaA Posts: 34 Boards Initiate
    edited August 2021
    Hi @_AJ_

    You are so strong and brave for reaching out for help, whilst going through such unimaginable hardships. I hope I can offer some solace by saying time will heal all wounds. With appropriate management you will hopefully learn to live with this and move on entirely. Don’t let someone take away your sense of self. You are you and that will never change. You are strong, you are loved and so much more.

    I can’t think of what you have had to go through but I hope you know there are always people to contact to talk about your issues. It’s great that you have been able to find a creative outlet. For me a physical outlet has also been crucial to my stress management. Activities like jogging, weightlifting or basic callisthenics can help to distract you and work on yourself.

    A good form of martial arts like judo, boxing or Brazilian Jiu jitsu may be an avenue to feel more confident in yourself. Being able to protect yourself and those around you is an honour few are able to truly attain. The strength and passion you have might drive you in this direction. If so, it can also help contain any aggression you may be feeling on top of focusing your mind for an hour or two every other day.

    You clearly have a passion and great skill in poetry, so take that as far as you can. Writing is a great way to manage emotions and it also a skill that could help professionally. I hope the flashbacks are better now but regardless, remember you need to stay in control, don’t let negative emotions drag you down. You are strong, please remember that.

    Perhaps you will never move on entirely and often this is the case. What’s important is that you use it to your advantage. The strength you display here, in your words prove you have so much to give to the world and never let that disappear.

    I am not qualified in any way for these matters but I hope you have found something useful in what I have had to say. Please stick to qualified people first, though talking to others is always a good way to cope. If you have questions on anything fitness related or anything else for the matter I am happy to talk. Otherwise, please continue to share your poetry. I would love to see more of your work.
    Post edited by KalekaA on
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    _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 117 The Mix Convert
    Hi @KalekaA
    Thanks for your message, it’s really reassuring :))
    It feels like it’s never going to end. I’ve been abused since I was young, sexually abused for the last year or so. And it’s horrible. It sticks with you and it’s terrifying.
    I don’t really think that physical stuff is quite for me, just because of how my difficulties manifest. It’s a lot more mental. I do have to fidget and move (lots of yoga!) but also have a lot of physical health problems so can’t do much more sadly. I used to dance but I’m too weak now.
    Thanks so much- this was all really reassuring. I’m glad you like my poems- another one below!
    AJ x

    your breath
    unearths crevices in my body
    as you strip me-
    of coverings,
    of dignity,
    of life.
    you pause-
    breathe in
    (breathe out)
    whisper gently in my ear-
    ’you’re mine’.
    fingertips
    dance over my skin
    (the poison seeping in)
    leaving petals of violet
    to cover my shame.
    a glancing gaze,
    (i shrink away)
    you trace my body
    (with glinting eyes)-
    view that which ought remain unseen;
    a view so pure-
    defiled.
    you stole my innocence,
    my grace
    (i hide away)
    i plead you-
    no-
    beg you:
    divert your eyes,
    i wish to be untouchable
    and pure
    (again).
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    KalekaAKalekaA Posts: 34 Boards Initiate
    @_AJ_ I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be more helpful. I know it must have been very traumatic and I apologise if my suggestion appeared to make light of how you feel.

    I love how you are able to express yourself creatively, it’s very inspiring. I just want you to know you are pure and loved. You have done nothing wrong.

    On another note, I love yoga as well! Stretching and flexibility is a core component of Brazilian jiu jitsu but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that lol. As long as you try to build some strength over time you should see improvement.

    I understand it can be difficult to talk about how your pain can manifest and how you feel about it but if you would like to discuss it, I am available to listen if you want to talk about that. If not that’s perfectly ok. I hope the flashbacks are better, but as long as you know how valued, powerful and loved you are I know you will get better.

    And I’m not just saying that as a generic statement. You are valuable and strong for so many reasons. With my limited contact with you, I have found you to be incredibly skilled, literary-wise, reasoned and very rational as you understand how anger will not solve anything and so passionately driven. I don’t know the extent of any physical issues you may have but regardless, you don’t let it drag you down and you find other ways to express yourself and by sharing your poems I’m sure other people who are facing these very issues will also feel relieved and use poetry as an outlet for their emotions.
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