A year ago, on 5th February…

I don’t know if you have realised, but I have only realised how my blog was one year old, on 5th February. It all started with my first post, Hello world.
When I first started writing this blog back then, I did not realise how long I would write this for. I did not have any long-term goals for it, other than this blog be therapeutic for me.
I have met some lovely supportive people via WordPress and who are mostly bloggers themselves. You have shown me what a supportive, lovely bunch you can all be, to say you have not met me personally and only know me through my blog. (Although there are friends who read this too and have met me, or know me personally in some way. Some are even from when I wrote my deaf blog.) Although I have said thank you before for following my blog, I thank you again.

I have expressed some triggering contents in my posts. A lot of them was at the beginning of my blog journey and for those who have read this blog from the beginning, will know certain things I had to do, to help me on my healing journey after counselling had finished. I also revealed bullying and the effects. (As if I did not have enough already in my childhood.)

This year, I revealed for the first time publicly, how one time I was raped some years ago. I shared this after #ITSNOTOK campaign. I felt such relief by sharing this, than I personally expected and weight off my shoulders. I suppose because I felt shame underneath, which I know I should not. It goes to show rape can happen anywhere and #ITSNOTOK.

I have learnt from feedback received, that this blog is a positive inspiration for you in lots of ways. I am happy to hear this and while I feel the need to write, I will continue. This blog covers a wide variety of things as I grow. It will still cover depression etc… whether I share my bad days, or news I learn from elsewhere, but also it will still cover my wellbeing at times and learning I do. There is also my garden that has caught interest with some readers last year. I do plan to share further this year, than I have already. So if you want to continue following the garden progress, then do keep reading.

NO, means NO.

(Content warning: rape.)

As I have mentioned in two earlier posts, (that are at the end of this one,) I have said at one time I was raped. It happened once, but once is enough to affect you big time. A few days after it happened, I walked out with just the clothes I was wearing. There was no way I was staying in that kind of relationship.
I was already questioning how he spoke odd occasions to me, whether directly, or indirectly. I realise that some, if not all, were emotional abuse. Some of the emotional abuse did not click with me till after I left.

I collected my belongings later. (Clothes eventually all replaced, as I said in post, ‘To feel clean.’)

Rape happened, in marriage. It started off at first as consensual sex and we had been making love for some time, but I started getting tired and I told him to stop and he didn’t. I told him again to stop, then I said no, no, no, stop I am tired and it hurts.
I could not push him off because I was tired. He stopped sometime after, probably not as long as it felt for me at that time and he lay on his back or side. (I can’t remember which.)
I pulled myself to my left side and moved myself so I was lying near the edge of the bed, because I did not want my back to touch him. I was curled in a ball crying as quiet as I could, but if he was awake, I’m sure he would have felt the bed trembling because of me trying to contain my sobbing.
The next morning he said, “Sorry,” as he tried to put his arms around me. I quickly stepped back and I remember putting my hands up saying, “Don’t touch me! Just don’t touch me.” I remember saying to him, how I told him to stop the night before and how it hurt because he didn’t. There was more said, but that is such a blur now.

I remember that next night, I chose not to sleep with him and I slept on the floor, in the spare room. I can’t remember if it was the following morning I left, or the day after. All hazy now. But I don’t need to remember, because at the end of the day, I left him.

Some time later after getting my things, I remember he wanted to chat and so I met up with him. My mum was not comfortable to the idea, but I reassured her I wasn’t going back and that I was going to be in a public area, so he could not harm me if he tried. I listened partly, the rest I don’t know what he said, as I was miles away.
After he had his say, I looked at my watch and said, “Right, I’m going.” He looked gobsmacked at me and said, “Don’t you want to say anything?” I didn’t and I said to him, “Did you really think there be a chance for us to get back together? cos there’s no chance. Now I am off, going back home, as my mum is expecting me for lunch and if I am not back at time stated, she will be getting rather nervous.”
I walked off and at one point where I was walking, there was no need for him to follow me that far, as it was going out of his way. He challenged me, saying “Am I really going to throw our marriage away just like that?” and I replied that I already did, the day I walked out. I turned my back, but he was still going to continue to follow, that was when I threatened him and said that if he was still following me after I had counted to ten, then I would scream rape. He replied that I wouldn’t dare, which I responded, try me, cos after all, that’s what you did when we were together and that is why I am no longer with you. I continued walking, counting to ten, then I turned around. Thankfully, he wasn’t there following me still and chosen to go back the other way. It was it was the last thing I wanted to do, but where I walking, I may not have seen anyone, leaving me vulnerable spot to be in. I also felt very vulnerable at that point and scared, although there was no way I was going to show that in front of him. I was so glad when I came across someone I knew and I was so glad when I arrived home.

If you are in a relationship where you are receiving verbal or physical abuse, just get out of it. Go somewhere else, where you are safe. Don’t accept their apologies, as it will only happen again. YOU deserve more than that.

I did not report mine because of how messed up I was mentally and I know I could still never report it. But also because it was just me and him and I wondered if there would have been good evidence to have him for that. I have been told it does not matter how many years ago it happened, it is still not too late to report and there are ways to prove. But it’s not for me, so please don’t judge and respect my wishes. This has been a hard post to write than expected.
But if you want to report your attack, then please do and get the right support of family, or friends, the Police, or Rape Crisis.
I know Rape Crisis will support you if you need counselling and if you are ready to report it, they will support you all the way, as they offered this support to me.
Rape Crisis also pointed out to me that it is never too late to report rape, but they also pointed out to me that there is no pressure to do this, until I am ready.

As I write this post, I feel that SAME sickness now, as I did then all those years ago, when it happened. So between me writing this and it going to air, I will be doing my necessary comforts. This will be to feel the softness of my fleecy blanket while draped over my legs and drinking a blackcurrant tea, observing the taste and smell as I drink it.

Related posts:

#ITSNOTOK

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6th to 12th February 2017, is “Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week.” I have spoken recently in a couple of posts about rape. The first post was rather brief in ‘Unseen.’ I then spoke about it a bit more, in my post called, ‘To feel clean.’

Sexual abuse and violence is unacceptable and this type of abuse can happen to anyone, all ages, any gender, ethnicity or cultural background.

Sexual abuse and violence is unacceptable.

Perpetrators need to know that this will NOT be tolerated and more action is being taken.

The awareness week is an opportunity for everyone to participate in a discussion and raise the awareness on this matter.

For events and ways to get involved, visit: http://sexualabuseandsexualviolenceawarenessweek.org 

For help and support:

Women’s Aid Integrated Service 24 hr helpline: 0808 800 0340
Topaz Centre (Males and females): 0845 600 1588
Nottinghamshire Rape Crisis Centre (NRCC) (Men and women) – 0115 9507696
Victim Support – 0808 168 9111
ChildLine – 0800 1111
http://thesurvivorstrust.org/ – 0808 801 0818
http://napac.org.uk/ – 0808 801 0331
http://www.SurvivorsUk.org (Males) – 020 3598 3898

Child abuse, Complex PTSD & managing emotional flashbacks

Courage Coaching

****Please share & re-blog this post to help as many others as possible****

This blog post might be useful to anybody out there who suffers with Complex PTSD, who has suffered from childhood abuse or who has a loved one who suffers with a mental illness. I have created the below charts to assist those of you who might need a clearer map of how complex trauma affects individuals and why they might have moments of overreacting to criticism, an angry tone of voice or a stern look. Emotional flashbacks are explained and a list of coping skills are included, which I have used extensively throughout my own healing over the last 4 years. I find that boxes, colours and diagrams are very useful for me to remember things, especially because my own Complex PTSD affects my memory and cognitive function. Forgive me if there are any errors.

Please note…

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Symptoms of anxiety that you may not know about

Courage Coaching

Anxiety can affect our body in so many ways that sometimes it is very hard to differentiate  between anxiety or something much more serious.Some symptoms are exactly the same as symptoms caused by more serious health problems, so how do we tell the difference? 

It is usually helpful to get check ups with a doctor to rule out anything more serious but most of the time, a doctor can tell you if what you are experiencing is caused by anxiety.

angst-807726_960_720The below symptoms were directly sourced from: www.anxietycentre.comThis website is the most helpful and detailed website out there regarding anxiety, that I have recommended to clients, those suffering from an anxiety disorder & also therapists.

This would be useful, to anybody out there who suffers with Generalised Anxiety, OCD, phobias, panic disorder, PTSD, CPTSD & Social Anxiety.

This website, helped me identify a lot of my own anxiety symptoms…

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To feel clean

(Content warning: rape.)

I first revealed, very briefly in this post, that I had been raped. Even a previous blog I used to write, I never revealed that word. Only a few people knew and only a couple knew the full details. I won’t go into fuller details, in the regards to the rape, than already said in that post and I never will. But what I will reveal is how I had to do certain things to feel clean, after I left that relationship and moved back home.

I felt dirty and my mission was to replace every clothing I had worn while in that relationship, with something new. Washing them wasn’t enough. Every new piece I bought, I would put it separately from my other clothes because I did not want them to  touch. I had contamination in my head. Although not quickly as I would have liked due to low-income and a debt I was left with, by him, I eventually got there and all those old clothes were gone. And I do mean everything was new, right from undies to nightwear and everything in between. It was the only way to feel clean.

Rape affected me big time, but not as much now as it did at the beginning. People have said for me to report it, in the past. But I just can’t. The fear and the sickness was way too intense and if I was to do it now, it would still be the same. I have come hell of a long way, to go back to how I felt then. At the end of the day, I am out of that relationship and all I do is aim to try to keep moving forward, ever since.

Post inspired from Daily Prompt: Clean.

 

Unseen

(Content warning: childhood trauma, bullying, abuse and rape.)

Behind closed doors, it was unseen to the extent what was happening in my childhood. How it all affected me and how it affected my mum.

People knew what my dad was, like they thought. But they did not know exactly what he was like.
Until the last few months recently, while chatting about it with family members, they also did not know what he was fully like as they thought.

“If I’ll have known,” they said.

What would they have done?

At school I am bullied for my hair colour, for being quiet, and for what I wear. I chose a school where uniform was a must, to be like everyone else I thought. Yet, I was still made to feel different.

They bullied me verbally. If I wasn’t getting some line of verbal abuse already at home from dad at times, or witnessing some verbal abuse of some kind.

Those bullies feeling great in what they are doing, knocking down my self-esteem, but because of the unseen.
Hey, I already had no self-esteem!

Years down the line, I get married.
It should have been bliss.
But no, I found I was at hands of verbal abuse again and one time of rape.
The difference with me at that point, I wasn’t going to stay and put up with it. I already gave two chances when it came to respect, but it would start again after two weeks of bliss.
I left after the rape, which was the first and last time that was going to happen to me.
But again, this is the unseen. No one see’s what is going on what should be a happy marriage.
After a few months of chatting living back with my mum, I talked about the full extent of that relationship I was in and I realised that had I stayed in this relationship, it would have been the same as my mum was with dad.

Damage from that relationship affects me today. But not as it did.

Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. If someone experiences this and does not share with you, you will not know the unseen, because you are not there.

This post created after seeing the Daily Prompt: Unseen

My very personal posts of 2016, that started off this blog.

If it wasn’t for offloading and using this blog as part of my therapy to accept what happened to me, then I probably would not have started this blog. Writing this blog has helped me to move forward and some things that were really troubling me, to let go of the guilt that I should not have had to start with.
Most of these following posts all have a trigger warning of some kind, stated at the beginning of the post.

Bullies! Do you think?

Bullies, do you think when you bully a person?
Whether you bully on your own, or in a group?
Do you think you are cool?
Do you feel good at the end of the day?
Can you sleep at night?
Do you think what you got out of it?
What did you get out of it?
Is your life that shit, you want to make someone else’s shit?

Do you think of the negative effect you have given, to that person you bullied?
Did you think how you knocked them down, whether they were already down and hurting before you started?
That person could already be having some sort of shit life, that you don’t see. A shit life at home.
Did you think? Did you?

Do you think how low they could go, like try to hurt or kill themselves?
Did you? How do you feel?
I hope you feel like shit, because people you bully don’t deserve that kind of shit.
It’s on your hands, if you push them that far.

So next time, think, before you act and choose the cooler option of being a friend, rather than a bully.

by Elizabeth Fisher

Copyright© 7th December 2016

Talking therapies

As you know from reading this blog, I have had counselling in the past, the last two sets of sessions being very helpful for me.
This was because after the counsellor who I had for my first of theses two sessions, identifying my childhood past being the cause of how I was now.
Since these sessions have ended, I have been writing this blog as my continuing therapeutic way of dealing with things, as well as other things, like learning something new, remembering to give self-love.

I recommend talking therapy to anyone who is struggling. Talking therapy can work alone, or alongside antidepressants from your doctor, depending on the individual.

I recently learnt that someone closer to me was not doing well as I thought. After this person asked for advice, which I gave, I could see there was a bit more to it then the person was letting on, so I asked further. The person wouldn’t answer this question, as was concerned how I would feel ashamed of them, of their response.
I reassured that person, that I am sure you have done nothing to be ashamed of and that the advice I gave before would not help alone, as I could see whatever this issue was needed to be addressed. This would mean if they felt they could not be open with me, then to speak to a counsellor where you will not need to feel worried about being judged, because they are there to listen.
On answering further questions about what to expect in counselling sessions to reassure this person, because they have never seen a counsellor before, I printed off the necessary information, so they could self-refer. I hope this person does follow it through, because I know this person would benefit from it so much.

If you are feeling the need to talk to someone and have no one, or not confident in speaking to a friend, or family member, then please do speak to a counsellor. They are not there to judge, they are there to help.

I do recommend talking therapy, because you are in a neutral place where you do not need to worry about upsetting, or worrying a friend or relative, so you can unburden yourself. A place where you also won’t feel judged.

For more information on talking therapies, please visit this page at Mental Health Foundation.