Last year I didn’t write many posts because it was quite a tough year for me. I haven’t felt like writing but now I feel I should because what I write might help or reassure others in some way.
I returned home after a long stint in Asia, to visit family and due to the fact that a family member had been seriously ill. As a result of that illness the family member, who I will refer to as Bob, has developed dementia. Obviously it has affected my entire family in different ways and it has affected me in ways I never expected.
The main problems I have faced are the fact that Bob will mention my abuser in conversation at any given moment. Initially I wasn’t prepared for that and it would trigger me immensely. Bob also seems to have forgotten that I was abused by this other family member, so that is equally upsetting and very difficult for me to deal with.
My health has also suffered and my ongoing stomach problems have intensified due to the stress. I was finally diagnosed with IBS towards the end of last year, which I always knew was a result of my past. I found that my anxiety and stress levels were increasing during meal times, mainly because I would feel on edge and subconsciously waiting for the abuser’s name to be mentioned. I was frequently suffering from stomach upsets as a result of this anxiety. Eventually I had to remove myself from the stressful environment and eat alone in a more comfortable place, as a result, my health improved significantly.
While discussing my health issues with the doctor I broke down and was in tears. Thankfully my doctor referred me for counselling, which I agreed is something I need. I had been doing so well in my life and, unfortunately, this episode has pushed me back. I hope that counselling will allow me to release the pain I feel inside and perhaps find a way forward.
I have received comments before about living in the past and not moving on. However, what some people don’t understand is that in order to get over a bad experience, we must release emotions in a safe way so that we can move on in peace. The situation I have been in has forced me to be pushed back to my past against my will but I will not let it hold me back because I have got through worse times than this before. Once I have released and dealt with my emotions, I know that I will feel free of burden and able to move on with my life again.
I have spoken to some survivors who have been in similar situations to mine and it’s nice to know that some people understand. I appreciate the people I have spoken to who have reassured me that I am not alone. I have also felt reassured that I am doing the right thing by distancing myself from Bob because I have to protect myself. I only hope that this post might also reassure other survivors who are in similar situations.