My name is Melissa, I am a 27year old female, non smoker, non drinker, non recreational drug user.
I am in the middle of a messy divorce. During my married life I was Tortured, sexually abused and raped on more occasions than I can count.
4 weeks ago today I was attacked and raped by my ex partner infront of my children.
I have been employed as a Rehabilitation Coordinator for some time however I have been unemployed since my marriage fell apart. With my work, I have done Psychological Injury flags training and i am well and truely aware that I am suffering from a mild state of depression, However i have done my best to deal with this by means of councilling however I have developed symptoms in the last 4 weeks that i find quite disturbing. Under normal circumstances I would have went to my GP but he has had the last 3 and a half weeks off.
My symptoms include
Not sleeping well. I get on average 1 hour per night. I get power naps on the couch occasionally.
Anxiety, jumpiness, Hypervidulence- I walk arond at night with a base ball bat when I hear the faintest of unexplainable noises or the dog barks. I am constantly looking over my shoulder in case someone is following me.
I have avoidance of every day items that were used in the tortures. I have problems with shampoo bottles, vegetables, tins of fly spray, lemon juice. etc. Particularly those items but there is others. like duct tape and kitchen utencils.
This makes life particularly difficult for me when it comes to shopping. I have done my best to address these issues in councilling and I have set myself goals when it comes to shopping. Like buying shampoo bottles for the contant not the shape. this took me six months to achieve. and then the rape happened and and this leads to my first and major symptom that leads me to write to you today.
In the last 4 weeks I have lost moments of my day and they are increasing in length and severity. What i mean by this is i can be driving along and I will come to it on the other side of town and for the life of me I can't remember how I got there. i have pulled over and i have tried to remember the journey or things that I may have passed but I just can't recall anything. I had my best friend in the car with me and I came to it with her screaming because I had driven through a red light. I can't remember picking her up from work and driving towards the shopping centre but I can remember the phone call when we arranged that i pick her up from work. today I did the grocery shopping. Well I can't remember it so i can't actually say that i did it. I asume that I did it. I got home and come to it in the kitchen with bags full of groceries. I don't remember going to the shops, I don't remember shopping, I don't remember the journey home. But I had the usual things that I get. I had a shampoo bottle that was chosen for the shape again and i have been making a concious effort to get the stuff I need for my hair not making the purchase for th shape. But It happens at home too. I can be gardening and I won't remember it. Watching tv and hours will pass and i don't remember it. I don't even remember the show. I can check on the tv guide and see what the episode was about but I can't remember it.. I find this particularly disturbing. I am not in control in these episodes and i don't like it.
The second symptom and I have experienced this since last year but yet again it is increasing in severity.
I can't think. I can read, I can read it 20 times but if you asked me to sumerise things, I couldn't. It is like i can't absorb the information. In the last few weeks I havn't been able to even read a simple legal document and understand it. I used to have moments before the rape where I could function normally and read and understand things and fill out paper work, but i just can't do it now. it is like I justshut down. Go blank. Nobody home. This is really concerning for me. i have a messy court battle in the next few months and If I am put on the stand and i am cross examined or I am even put on the spot, I just shut down. I can hear them but it just doesn't register. If they say do you understand I heard them but I didn't absorb it.
The police want me to follow through with the rape charge but when asked to recall the incident, I can't, I gave them a statement on the night. But i can't now. I am so worried about this it is really on my mind. How can I persue with the rape charge when I can't remember it.
In the last 5 days, I was told that i need to sell the house that I am living in. Yet again more stress.
I have regular chest pain. I do have a heart condition. I have bradychardia. I don't think that this is linked. I think it is all stress related. I have bad intergestion, bloating, constant loose stools, a nervous twitch in my leg. I have a strong dependance on my friends. I don't like being left alone. i suffer from thrush constantly. I get bad headaches all the time and migraines atlest weekly. Appaently I can be moody. i have never had a problem with moods but I have a problem now. It isn't all the time, It us usually when I have a headache or i am feeling unwell that this happens. I have finished bleeding after the attacks in the last 6 weeks. I bled constantly for over 12 months because of the attacks. I now have no sign of of a period and to be honest with you I don't know how I would handle it either. It would be another reminder and that is the last thing that I want. Ther was no bleeding after the rape.
I feel like I am balancing on the edge and if the wind blows I will fall off. I am trying to hold it together. I have always been the strong one. The person that could take everything in her stride but I feel like my foundations are compromised. I have an unsertin future. I am not suicidal but I can't see past the **** that i am in at the moment. I know that what I am going through will define who I am in the future. I just have this overwhelming sence that I am just along for the ride and i am no longer in control.
I did go to a GP today. He gave me some sleeping tablets. He told me that this is not a cure and I am aware of that. He said however that this is a matter for my GP and my psychologist and I don't see my psychologist until thursday next week and my doctor is still very ill and they are unsure if he will be well enough to be at work next week.
So yet again I feel that i am not in control.
I need help
Are you working with anyone from a rape and abuse crisis center? I do not know what kind of help in available in Australia. I would say at the least, you would have PTSD. It is a wonder that you are sane at all. Allow yourself time to heal, you have been through hell on earth. When you go through a tramatic event such as rape and can't remember it, it is because sometimes we have to disassociate to make it through an event. Please make sure you have the right supports in place to be able to testify in your defense. I hope you are receiving therapy with a female. It will probaly take awhile before you will feel safe with a male. You have done a great job explaining the issues that you are experiencing. I am so sorry that you went through all of this.
I am working with 2 councillors numerous times a week. One for the big picture and one for the most recent rape. I can talk about it if i an cool calm and in a relatively stress free state. I can't remember the ordeal that well now. When I go into it I just go blank. Lights are on and nobody is home.
I have the real problem of not being able to remember day to day activitys such as the shopping. It is a painful experience for me purchasing the items that were used but they are every day items that i can't live without. I have been working on working throught the fear but since the attack, I cant even remember going to the shops at all. Not even the journey. But I am going and that is what worries me. I am in another world and i am not in control.
I need to post first thing in the mornings when i wake up. I am clear headded then. After a long day I tend to zone out more oftern. I have just finished a meditation session and i am able to focus at the moment. but for how long is the question. How long will it be before my brain switches over to the other world that i can't remember. I will keep you all posted on my journey.
Thankyou for your support
I am sorry you have to deal with all this. You are definetly dealing with PTSD. I was sexually abused several times when I was twelve/thirteen and I blocked out a lot of this, so I understand what your going through, it's slowly coming out all these years later in therapy. Best thing you can do is continue the counciling and talk with people you feel safe with. Take baby steps though, It's not easy but remember your a good person and this is not your fault, your a victim not the perpertraiter.
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