Almost a year ago I wrote a post about my battle with depression and post traumatic stress due to my history of child abuse. I was overwhelmed with the response the post got and I received both wonderfully supportive and terribly sad messages from fellow survivors. As we are now almost a year into my recovery process I thought I would share with you how life has been over the pass 12 months. Please feel free to skip this post if it’s a subject that makes you feel uncomfortable or is too traumatic for you to read.
I shold pre-empt this post by saying I couldn’t have got through this past 12 months without the support of my family. I know your meant to say the support of friends but in truth this is a very difficult thing for friends to understand and come to terms with. I would be lying if I said each and everyone of the friends I have told have been supportive. In fact it would be fair to say I have lost a few friends, I assume because this isn’t something your taught about in that guidebook of friendship and life! I know I wouldn’t have had a clue on what to say to someone in my situation so I understand why some people have distanced themselves. It does hurt though as this is such a raw thing for me that it feels like I have been rejected by the people I thought loved be unconditionally. Anyway I digress.
The past year has been an eye opener for me, lets start with the basics. After informing my parents of my child abuse they were understandably heartbroken, confused and devastated I think it probably affected my Dad the most but both of them struggle with a guilt of sorts that they didn’t notice anything at the time. The truth is paedophiles are sneaky ones, they prey on the vulnerable and have a sort of sixth sense when it comes to a troubled child. I believe this to be true but obviously it’s just my experience I am drawing from.
I have been taking two different anti depressants over the past year, one is to help me sleep and one is to help me get through each day. How dramatic does that sound?! Seriously I don’t sit around crying every day asking ‘why me!?’, but truthfully some days that does happen. You see it’s such a weird thing to explain to someone, but the nearest feeling I can relate it to is grief. I feel like I am going through stages of grief and if you have been through that you know how utterly exhausting that is both emotionally and physically.
I have had to grieve for the little girl that I was, the adult I will never be and the future I feel has been taken from me. You see I can’t imagine meeting someone and starting a family, my independence has been quashed completely (I can’t believe I have lived in other countries on my own, back packed through Greece and gone off to Uni!)and I have been wholly reliant on my poor parents whilst struggling to cope with an endless supply of daemons and emotions. Safe to say shit got real in this house!
I did start seeing a therapist but I knew straight away it wasn’t going to work for me and when the questions got a bit to intense I started having panic attacks and nightmares more frequently. The best thing for me was the medication, I am not a fan of taking pills at all but these anti-depressants have saved my life. I was able to get a bit of emotional distance and some much needed sleep which has made my whole situation look distinctly more positive!
I am currently able to work part time for my Dad, this has been a godsend as I haven’t had to go into a work place- I actually had to leave my last job because I was having panic attacks and was just overwhelmed with the volume of people I was seeing everyday. It also means I can devote more time to my blog. As totally cheesy as it sounds, this blog has been my saviour. I have always loved makeup, fashion and pretty much anything a bit sparkly so when I found out about blogging I realised I wasn’t alone! Being able to chat to other beauty girls and boys and just feel part of a community has helped me so much.
What’s next for me?
I would like to do a few small courses with the aim of one day becoming a full time blogger/writer. I guess I have realised I enjoy working alone, dipping in and out of meeting new people at events and such like but not feeling the pressure of big groups of people all the time. I have also relished being able to write again, and I truly think it’s something I was born to do (cringy stuff I know!)
Is totally unknown, which is massive for me. I am girl who likes a plan. That plan is usually written down with objectives. Those objectives are usually made into lists. I am re-adjusting to this new pace and it’s being a learning curve all right! I have also learnt about myself, I was such an angry person and now I have realised my actual personality is pretty mellow, I don’t sweat the small stuff and it takes a lot to annoy me. Before I would flip over ANYthing, I still see my Mum flinch when she knocks something of mine over- waiting for me to scream- and it makes me feel so ashamed of myself. If I lived forever I wouldn’t be able to show my parents how thankful I am for them and how sorry I am for my past behaviour.
What I have learnt
I now know I have a future. There was a dark time when I thought this was it, I would never ever get past this anger and depression and that it would totally define me. I am by no means moving on but I am moving forward, there is a little light at the end of the tunnel and I am starting to smile again. That’s enough for now.
If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare then PLEASE call the NSPCC hotline. The number is:
0808 800 5000