It all feels so real

I never knew I told anyone. My abuse has always been this thing in my head, only I can see it, relive it, know it. I can share it as a story but ultimately it’s only in my head and his, and I came to terms with the fact that he will never admit what he did a long time ago. That Monday I told my therapist I was ready to be done with it all. I had lost hope in ever getting justice. I know I’ll never have closure, that’s not something you ever achieve when someone has abused you. He took away too much, you can move on and grow and become so strong but the door never closes, there’s always going to be something that triggers you, reminds you, pushes you down or keeps you pushing even harder, but it never goes away. Your body was violated, your trust was violated, your mind and body were threatened, your faith in someone who was supposed to love and protect you was torn to shreds, the impact from that will always be there. But there has to be a way to get justice right? To make him face what he did and most importantly MAKE SURE HE NEVER DOES IT TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN. Sorry, not in this system. I have no evidence, no case, nothing. Then Monday night I wrote my blog thinking this will help, at least get it out, I haven’t written in a while and this is what I need to free myself from it all for a while ….then I cried myself to sleep. But Tuesday I got the most shocking news. I’d like to keep some things private here but what I need to share is that I did tell someone (when I was a child) and how finding that out now felt. I hyperventilated to the point of having to breathe into a paper bag, I cried so hard I couldn’t form words or even think, I called my mom, sisiter, boyfriend, therapist, wanted to shout it from the top of the world but also hide from the entire world. It was as much life changing as it was shattering. And then there it was, my story of the abuse in someone else’s words, layed out in perfect detail. Each thing verifying what I knew he did, where I always felt it happened at, the age I always felt I was when he did it. And then some pieces I had forgotten entirely but needed to know, good and bad, for my own benefit. It all feels so real in such a different way now.  See the thing about traumatic amnesia is that a tiny piece of you always feels crazy, ESPECIALLY when you have a member of your family (in my case his wife/my sister) calling you a liar. But seeing my story told by someone else made it all so real, it was like remembering the abuse all over again. It was so relieving yet devastating. Every bit of doubt created by him and my sister was gone. He had done it. Not only had he abused me but he told me not to tell and threatened me that I would get in trouble.  I was right, I had always wanted to be wrong, but I was right. And now I have proof. 

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The Beautiful Mask

The buspar has definitely changed my life. It isn’t an SSRI nor an antidepressant, isn’t a benzo and isn’t habit forming, is prescribed for GAD in the UK and Austailia, and it’s my new best friend. I haven’t had a single attack or had to take a lorazepam since I started taking it 3 times a day. However, I’m worried this medicine is giving me a false sense of accomplishment. I know I’ve come a long way in recovery and I’ve put in the time and hard and very painful work but it’s hard not to be scared that if I stop taking it it’ll all come crashing back. Like it’s this beautiful glorious mask but underneath is just this ugly terrible mess. This mess that has so much entangled in it: the police report, needing to go change my statement, the vivid memories of abuse, the anxiety attacks, the insomnia, my sister never speaking to me about what happened, the fact that I will probably never get any kind of justice, the fact that my mother doesn’t know if she will ever hear from her daughter again, the fact that I may never hear from my nephews again, the darkness triggering terrible panic in me, the cringing fear everytime I hear the name “Mark,” the amount of money I have spent on therapy and doctors and medicines, the thought that my nephew could one day have a daughter whose grandfather would molest her, and so so overwhelmingly much more. 

I still have moments where I go into spins over it all, filled with sadness and anger, but these days there is much more joy and laughter in my life. I never knew a medicine could work like this. You think you take medicine to heal a would or kill an infection, but it’s not until you’re in such mental distress for so long then finally one day you are in your car alone and you sing out loud and laugh hysterically at yourself do you realize medicine can actually change your mind. I hadn’t felt that carelessness and happiness and FEARLESSNESS in years. Sure I’ve laughed and had fun but underneath it was always the abuse and all the mess it has created for way more than two thirds of my life. About a week or two ago Brent and I rode the scooter to breakfast and left our helmets on the scooter while we ate and I didn’t even think about it once. It wasn’t until the next day that I even realized the significance. I would’ve never been the first one to leave my helmet on the scooter even if we were seated right next to it. My anxious mind goes straight to over analyzing everything and seeing someone randomly run by and grab it on top of at least 5 other scenarios. To get straight to the point I was actually engaged in coversation, I was able to enjoy Brent’s company and really be present. I was also able to eat my breakfast without having a stomach in knots full of worry flaring up my IBS. This is literally changing my overall quality of life in more than one aspect. 

The downfall:  

Hello insomnia, nice to meet you. Since I started taking the buspar 3 times a day I have had one night where I had 6 hours of sleep, last night (YAYYY)! Other than that, for over a month now, I have gotten 3, 4, or very rarely 5 hours of sleep each night. Despite this I refuse to stop taking the medicine. I’m also the type of person that refuses to take a pill to combat the side effects of another pill. So for now I have switched my medication times and do as much as I can to help enduce a good night’s sleep (hot baths, diffusing lavender, taking extreme krav maga and kickboxing classes to wear myself out, avoiding naps at all cost) and even if I don’t reach my 7 hour goal soon I am determined to keep trying because the thought of giving up the medication at this point makes me feel like I will have an attack. Hopefully soon I will adjust and gather the courage to take care of the things in my control and try to let go of the things I can’t. 

Memories

I still don’t really get how it all works, I’m sure no one really ever will. It doesn’t make sense, but the way my therapist explains it seems a bit more clear. Apparently your brain isn’t done developing fully until you are 25! How crazy yet somewhat clarifying. When you are abused as a child it’s not like you remember it in some fluid, movie-like video like convenient little clips of memories in films. Some of the things you remember are flashes of things that may make no sense or seem irrelevant then BAM one day it all clicks. That’s how it felt the day I knew he had done it more than once. 

So lately I’ve been extremely anxious about calling the police officer back. I have to explain to him that after time, trying medications, continuous therapy, journaling, reading coping books, forcing myself to think about it, forcing myself to forget about it, crying about it, getting enraged by it, having nightmares, daydreaming of horrible things, I had finally found some clarity and I knew that certain details had gotten mixed up in the process of trying to figure out how old I was and where I was. I now know how old I was, where I was, that it happened more than once, but one thing has and will never change, I’ve always known who it was. I was 10, I was at my sister’s home on Van Drive in Ponchatoula, and I always thought to myself when he was coming in the room “not again, what can I do different this time to get him to stop” so I know he did it more than once or twice. Before, when I made my statement, I was going off of some pretty vague flashes of the abuse and things around me during it and a blurred, thrown together time line I had worked on in a secret detective type manor trying to find details out without letting on why (this was before my family knew what happened). I remember sitting in my mom’s shop going through boxes of my childhood toys and slowly and nonchalantly asking questions about how old I was when this happened or when they lived here and there, trying to be vague because I swore I would never let anyone find out what he did to me. The questions and the time line helped me start to figure out the details around what happened to me, but when I made that statement I wasn’t done. 

As a result I developed anxiety. I’ve spoken about that in previous posts. Because of that I am terrified to do it all over again. When I think of going back my brain splits two ways: the first, I can do this, I’ve been to this station, met this guy, seen the framed John Wayne picture in his office, felt safe because of his report and effort to protect and comfort, you’ve got this; the second, the first thing this guy said to you was, “Why did you wait so long to report this?” He doesn’t understand traumatic amnesia (as I’m sure anyone who hasn’t experienced can’t really understand it) and now if I go back and change my story he’s just going to think I’m lying like my idiot sister. Then I get so unbelievably sad I just toss the thought of it all away. I know it won’t be like that, only a total moron would think I am lying, especially considering my health for the last 18 years. Now I remember more, I have much more clarity around what happened to me. I can allow myself to sit and think about it and allow things to come back to me, good and bad. All of this madness has helped in new memories coming back and even though some of them really suck, I know it is all crucial to my recovery. 

The one other thing I want to talk about in this post is how obvious it should be to my sister and anyone who knew the “relationship” Mark and I had that his behavior is entirely that of a guilty piece of shit. Before I told the truth about him molesting me when I was a child he would call or text me every year for my birthday. I would call him anytime I had any kind of question about my car(s) throughout the years. We would spend holidays with them when my parents were out of town for my dad’s work. I went camping with them all the time as a kid. He drove me to Walmart late at night when I was little, just him and I, to play the games in the front. I stayed with them all the time at every house they lived in together when I was younger. I even remember hanging around the body shop he worked at when I was a kid. We were so “close” right??? Then the past 4 years or so I start avoiding every family event he could be at and then early this year this comes out and he doesn’t even try to contact me. Never once tried to say, “Laura why would you ever think I could have done this.” Never got sad or mad and lashed out. Wasn’t upset for taking my mom away from him who was supposed to be family right? (No instead he threatened her.) Never tried to plead his innocence. Never apologized that this happened to me or denied it being him. No instead he separates my sister from her family by threatening my mom so she can’t even email her, they both immediately block me from every social media possible, and she secretly goes to see a therapist behind his back and starts taking medication (so she gets to be numb and lay next to a child molester every night). Doesn’t seem like innocent behavior to me. Seems like someone, or should I say two, are hiding from the truth. Well how long can you hide? Because I can’t. Everyday something reminds me. When I wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat from nightmares about him. When I can’t turn the lights off to go to sleep because I’m terrified of the dark and him coming in to abuse me. When I can’t be on the interstate at night because I have flashes of sitting next to him driving me somewhere late at night all alone. When I have to take a to go order at work under the name Mark and my skin crawls. When I have to drive past the company he works for every night after work. Why do they get to forget about it but I never will? 

Resources

I had reached a point in my recovery where my resources were no longer enough. I know I am strong, but sometimes you need something stronger. My anxiety had taken over: I was waking up every morning crying, I was horrified of the dark, I couldn’t leave my bed without something triggering an attack, one time it was so bad I started trying to reach out for xanax desperately and thankfully unsuccessfully. See I’ve been down the xanax road, it is bumpy and has huge crevasses you could get stuck in for way too long. Plus in the middle of an attack all that shit is going to do is make you drool then be so insanely depressed the next day and none of that will help when you are having an axiety attack and are actually trying to recover not just numb your emotions temporarily. 

My therapist had suggested I try Prozac within the first of our visits because I was in a very desperate and terribly fragile state I’m sure, but this was something that, for now, I wanted to and felt that I could handle on my own. And for quite some time I really did. I hit so many speed bumps along the way but I kept pushing hard, learning how to stop and fugure out how to treat each thing before the next would pop up, breaking down here and there but nevertheless making it past each of them. Then came anxiety. I learned that anxiety is a tool of recovery, it is best not to fight it. Easier said than done. When you are in it, I mean right in the middle of 3, you literally can’t think of anything but MAKE THIS FEELING GO AWAY so as many tools as you have I feel like once you get there you have to ride it out, or in my case it seems to be more like hysterically crying it out. I started listening to my anxiety, getting a feel for what really stirred her up and at the same time listening to how my body was reacting. After all, anxiety triggers us physiologically just like when our body goes into fight or flight mode and that is all chemical. When I feel an attack coming on my chest will tighten and literally hurt, my breathing gets uncontrollable, tears start pouring, my knees and thighs clench together, I feel terrified and unsettled to the extent it is unexplainable, and usually there is a trigger. At one point all the things I tried that had actually been helping: changing environments, cold water, fresh air, calming essential oils, journaling, reading, tea, my picture of the dogs, my actual dogs, my flat penny from my trip with Brent to San Fran, my actual Brent, NONE of my resources helped anymore.  

Now, if I was going to do this I was going to do it right. I started seeing a Psychiatric Nurse Practioner when I decided to start the Prozac. My therapist recommended me to a great guy named Tim and he precribed me the lowest dosage of Prozac, 10 mg, but we talked and both decided that 5 mg would be most comfortable for me to start with for the first week or two. I was so exhausted the first couple days and by the third realized it was the medication so I spoke to Tim and we both thought it would be best to switch it up and I started taking it at night. Big mistake. The nausea in the mornings was unbearable but I couldn’t tell if that was the worst part or the dizziness. I had zero appetite yet constantly had diarrhea. I spoke to Tim again and it was time to start considering risk versus benefit, but I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. He and my therapist had told me these meds can take 3-4 weeks to really get in your system and start working and the side effects to fade away. But mine weren’t fading, in fact they got worse and so did my anxiety.  The last night I took the Prozac, 3 and a half weeks after starting it, I woke up the next morning so disoriented and dizzy I almost fell into the wall when I stood. The nausea was awful, the anxiety was so horrible, and all of this lasted THE ENTIRE DAY. I was done. I contacted both of my doctors and that was the end of me and Prozac.

I had somehow endured and handled the side effects that were worse than what my IBS puts me through daily. I stuck it out and gave it my all and had come out feeling stronger somehow but I knew I still needed some help. 

For us, not them. 

I have been rather absent from my blogging lately. Shortly before my third to last post I found out that my abuser, along with his wife (who is my sister) and his mother, found out about and read my blog. Since this occurred I feel that I’ve lost sight of why I started my blog. I feel that I have started writing for them and not me. Whether it be on purpose or a subconscious thing it makes you start writing in a different perspective when you know who your audience is specifically. 

I was so disappointed in my second to last post. I feel that in it’s entirety it was written to my sister, and despite that I feel I accomplished nothing. I didn’t help myself or anyone else because I didn’t write for me and I didn’t write to her so I neither got out what I needed nor did I say to her what I needed to say. It blurred the lines so hard and left me feeling so confused, disappointed, and mad. I had written a post feeling all the sadness from her betrayal while thinking she would be reading it after I posted it and it all came out like a letter but she doesn’t deserve that anymore and quite frankly anyone who reads my blog doesn’t deserve that either. I started this blog to write freely, so I could help others who may happen to come across it and feel or have felt what I’m feeling and also to help myself feel strong and free to write how I feel without judgement or attachment and I feel that my last few posts failed me in that goal. 

No matter who reads it I will do my best from now on to write my blog for ME and for YOU, all of you who connect to my story directly, indirectly, or just simply by supporting me with kind words amd messages. People surprise you when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open up and that is more important than you know,  especially when you have lost all faith in people because the people you should’ve been able to have the most faith in used and abused not only that faith but you, your body, and your mind.

 
My next post will be about my experience with Prozac. 

Violated

I’ve never really had my own “general practitioner,” I’ve honestly continued to go to my pediatrician for as long as humanly possible. See, Becky works at the pediatric clinic and because she was always like a second mother to me, I continued to go there. Being so sick for so long with my IBS that place actually became quite familiar to me, and Becky has always been there to comfort me, always rushed to the waiting room when she was informed I had arrived and let me hang in her office with her or she sat with me while I waited to be called back and she always took the time away from work to come in the room with me while the doctor saw me. That’s why anytime anything was wrong I immediately called her. 

Well, a couple months ago I got sick. I think it was strepp, but I’m still not really sure. I was sick for months but too stubborn to see a doctor, mostly because the thought of it reminded me of Becky and that I didn’t have her to turn to. And the reason, well that was the worst, most haunting part of all. So my therapist recommended I see a new doctor, someone to turn to in cases like that. She told me about someone she trusted close to my house, but I never took the step. Finally, to help me take some of the stress off, she made the connection for me. I set up the appointment and was good to go. When I got there everything seemed fine. The girl taking my vitals was training and that translated to a total train wreck, but she was learning so I was patient.  Then the doctor came in. She was a short older-ish woman with slightly greyed short hair who seemed really nice. We had a long chat then she asked me to lay back on the table. She was gentle about my stomach but when she went to listen to my breathing she did something that really shocked me. She reached into my shirt, into my bra, lifted up my breast from underneath to where my nipple was exposed, all to listen to my breathing. At the time I didn’t know what to do or say. I was in a room alone with a professional medical doctor who had been informed that I had been abused, she did everything so quick and casually. But as I walked out that office I felt violated. I was shocked, so much so the first thing I asked Brent when I got in the car was if that sounded normal. Being a male I don’t think he understood the invasiveness of the action. 

Two days later the shock wore off and it set in how horrible what she had done made me feel. Right or wrong normal or not was that absolutely NECESSARY? My mother said no one has ever done that to her. My therapist said she did that to her when she saw her and ahe refers many clients to her and trusts her, but does that make what she did right? I confided in my best friend what had happened and she said she has seen many doctors, male and female, and no one has ever done that to her. 

I am at a loss for words? Has this happened to be again? Has my body been violated and my mind been once again manipulated by the trust I hold in people? I do know one thing, I never want to go back there. 

My heart is broken. 

I had a really hard realization today about my sister. I’m incredibly sad and hurt by her. I’ve been so busy going back and forth between feeling sorry for her for being married to a child molestor and mad at her for standing by the side of the man who molested me, her baby sister, that I haven’t realized how badly it hurts that my own sister thinks I am a liar. Not only does she think I am a liar but she thinks I would make something like this up? And to what means? To ruin her life? Why would I ever want to do that? Why would I ever want to hurt the woman who was like a second mother to me, always defended me and my IBS, was always there for me when I was sick or when mom or Ashley were being mean to me? I still have moments where something happens and the only person I need is Becky. And she’s gone. And not just gone, so gone she didn’t even talk to our mother on Mother’s Day. So gone my mother went to the hospital thinking she was having a heart attack (it was a severe panic attack) because of her anger and sadness of losing her daughter to a child molester and what he has done to our family. 

My anxiety has reached a whole new level and despite my strength and the people around me keeping my head up, my resources are no longer enough. I’m about to start a new journey hoping the medication I am prescribed will come through for me. There are days when I feel as if I just can’t do it, like there isn’t enough in me to face life that day. The only thing I can manage to do is hide inside myself and sleep. Eating is too much, dealing with the pain and struggle of my IBS is too much, going outside is too much, the world is terrifying, the possibility of having an emotional trigger or something trigger my anxiety is literally horrifying to me, it is all too much to bare. Thankfully I have people to pull me out of it and make me face my fears but that doesn’t make it one bit easier or less scary unfortunately. I’ve been fighting taking medicine since this began. My therapist suggested it but I am as stubborn as I am strong (I get both from my mom) and I’ve been determined to do this on my own. Now I know why some people need SSRI’s. My brain knows the reality and can rationalize situations, real or hypothetical, but my body is reacting constantly. I am always in fight or flight mode. Earlier this week the anxiety in my chest was so bad I was in excruciating physical pain. This is why it’s time for help, for stronger resources. 

I have to at least try to email my sister again. I wanted to do it a few weeks ago but it wasn’t for me, it was for Becky. I was upset and mad and in disbelief at how she is behaving especially toward our mother, then I found out he had the audacity to THREATHEN OUR MOTHER WITH A LAWYER? WHAT A COWARD. Our mother who is so desperately trying to make her daughter see the truth, who only cares about what’s best for Becky, is now being threaten by the man who molested me. I could just die. I was so angry but my therapist was right, I don’t need to do anything for Becky, after all she has done NOTHING for me since I spoke the truth. So this email will be for me, because I need my sister to know that she has broken my heart. She told me around Christmas time how important family is and in a weird way that gave me the strength to start the process of telling my family and to believe that even with how awful and life-ruining this all is, she and I would be there for each other. I never thought she would think I was a liar, I never thought she would continue to lay in bed every night next to the person who has ruined so much of me and who I could’ve become. My therapist warned me, a disgusting amount of women react this way, but I never thought my Becky would be one of them.