Trigger warning sexual assault.
In case you missed the above this could be a trigger for sexual assault survivors.
PTSD four little letters, the meaning most people seem to think it must be combat related.
This is so wrong, I do not understand why they don’t see trauma as a whole, any trauma can cause PTSD.
For me, well I have 2, one more recent & I 20 years ago.
You know that girl you see at parties in your 20’s, she is confident, an extravert, can make anyone smile, she actually cares about people, she makes people feel listened to.
I was that girl, people have always just opened up to me. Always feeling comfortable around me, I never said no, people need to be heard.
On such a night at a party, I was being me, when a ‘friend’ asked if he could talk to me alone. He had a girlfriend, he has often been very open, he had earned my trust.
I am not going to go into details, I don’t really want to or feel it’s necessary. I did say yes, I did go to chat with him. That is the only thing I said yes to, to talk.
He made it very clear he was not a fan of lesbians that night, something I was not aware of.
Yes this was assault & a gay hate crime.
I ran home that night, I only told one person, I felt ashamed, I felt degraded, I felt dirty & I was sure the authorities would just think, oh another hate crime.
The authorities were not great at dealing with gay hate crimes in the 90’s, often they went unreported because of this, & the way women were treated when they did come forward.
I kept it to myself for 7 years until I had a breakdown. There is only so long you can keep it all inside.
I finally told my partner, then my parents. My parents were beside themselves, my dad felt like he should have protected me, my mum was upset she hadn’t pushed me, she knew something was very wrong.
I was no longer the extravert, the confident girl, I was the anxiety ridden one in the corner. Trying to hide from people I didn’t know, & some I did.
It has taken years to get to a stage where I can talk about it, & not break down. Actually be able to move on as much as I can.
Then something will happen, for me a trigger I was not expecting, I thought I was ok, no I was not. It built up, depression kicked in, then bang, every single moment of that night is a movie on repeat in my mind.
Now I start the road back again, I wish it was that easy. This road is so narrow, with cliffs on either side, if you fall, you start all over again.
It’s a steep road, exhausting to climb, it will take every bit of your strength to make it. Not just physically, it’s your mental strength. It will push you off if it can.
So, I am going to get ready, try to pull what strength I have together, find strength in those around me that love me.
Let my girlfriend hold me in her arms & give me some peace. Let me soothe the open wound.
This is my story, my journey. Every person’s story & journey is different.
We all do have one thing in common, we know we are all climbing all the time, we all gather our strength when we can. We all know how it feels to fall, but also how it feels to reach the summit.