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Abuse and PTSD

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CW: Child abuse, violence, ptsd, some queerphobia.

I spent years in therapy. Years. I had a good and loving psychologist who helped me in ways I cannot describe. I am a better person because of her help. I was a wreck after I left home as a child. I was disowned for being queer. I was disowned for not being in the ‘right’ career. I was disowned for not accepting my abuse. I went through twenty years of what I can only generously call torture and watching the torture of my mother and my grandmother. For years after that I was incapable of thinking of anything other than the horror. I would literally hear his voice calling me at night when I was alone at home. I would literally see him standing over me with his fist. I employed meditation (among other things) with guidance of my psychologist to help me cleanse my brain of him. I called it my white room. Can I make my brain like a white room? Just a still quiet place where nobody is. Without his voice. Without his fist. Without him.

I improved so much. I got better. I go whole days now without thinking about him, sometimes a week. I make decisions about what I want to do with myself in small ways without considering what he’d say. I freed myself of him.

But on occasion, like today, I just get flooded with memories. I hear him screaming. And it’s stupid because today was him screaming at someone else. And it was vivid like he was sitting next to me as I was driving. I’m not sure what triggered it.

A few years ago (I think this was nearly a decade ago) when we were still in contact his mother died and we were headed to the funeral. His whole life he was a womaniser and an abusive one. For some reason as we were headed down the street from his house, the husband of the woman he’d been seeing raced up to us and nearly crashed into us and it resulted in a screaming match between the two men. I remember how afraid I was. My face hit the window as the car turned and it knocked a tooth loose, a tooth that I would eventually have removed later. But I just sat there. I didn’t say anything. The problem with violence with him was that it was fluid and random and could spill over at anybody in any direction. I lived in that constant culture of violence my whole life and now looking back it’s so alien to me, but today...

...I was driving today and I had to stop, it hit me like a brick wall. I stopped next to the road. My face burned as if it had been slapped. I could hear his voice and smell his stinking cologne as if he was right next to me. I hate this so much. I hate that I remember him so vividly. And the more I thought about it I could hear the things he’d call me and the things he’d say to me. I remember him beating me and calling me, “f****t” and “piece of s***”.

My psychologist says it does go away with many people, but rarely (as seems my case), it can have after effects that last years. Apparently it’s normal for ptsd sufferers. Today started off so good. There was no reason this should have happened. I’m annoyed that this still keeps happening. I’m a grown adult and then suddenly I’m a little child again. I don’t know. I’m just going to sleep now.


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Charl,

I'm sorry and shocked to read this. I really wish you the best in overcoming your years of brutal abuse. I mean that.

Emma

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