Every time I feel like quitting, I try to remember why I started this journey; to stop my abuser hurting another child. But sometimes even that doesn’t feel like enough. Right now I feel like every time I take a step forward, I take one back.
The police case is progressing. It is slow progress but still, it is progressing. A step forward.
However because of this my mental health is suffering. My PTSD has flared up. My emotions are all over the place. A step back.
Because my mental health is suffering I have been given more support by organisations; Victim Support, Mental Health Support, Rape and Abuse Support. They are all trying to help me face what happened. A step forward.
However this now means I have to attend appointments every day, so work have reduced my hours so I don’t have to worry about working around the appointments. Now don’t get me wrong, work fully support me and are very understanding, but I feel like a failure, a burden, a problem. Shouldn’t I be strong enough to just cope with everything and work too? A step back.
People tell me that facing the abuse and my emotions that come with it is progress. A step forward.
For a long time I just blocked everything out and pretended it didn’t happen. At least that way I was able to work and lead a relatively “normal” life. Yet now the emotions have made me vulnerable and unable to just block things out. Is that a step back?
People close to me, including my therapist and employers tell me no. They tell me that facing my emotions is brave and a step forward. So why does it feel like I am moving backwards? Why do I feel like I am failing? Am I letting people down?
Blocking out my memories was easy. Blocking out the emotions came naturally. Facing the abuse and reporting him, facing the emotions that come with that is hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I thought reporting him would help me feel better. I was so wrong.
I am a wreck. I am broken. I am vulnerable.
PTSD brings memories I didn’t know existed. Depression brings feelings I have never felt before. Borderline Personality brings emotions so intense that I struggle to make it through. I love one minute and hate the next. I am up and stable one day and down and fragile the next. I let people in, begin to trust, then push them away as I am scared to get hurt again.
I feel a burden, a problem, a bother. I feel like I am failing because I cannot just forget what those men did to me or forget the hurt that my mother and family have caused me. I feel like I am moving backwards. I feel like quitting.
Then someone reminds me; an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backwards. Sometimes we need to take one step back to take one forward.
PTSD brings memories I didn’t know existed. Yet they are memories that I can tell the police. Memories that will help my case. Memories that will help stop him.
Depression brings feeling I have never felt before. Yet these are feelings that my therapist helped me link back to my mothers rejection and lack of protection. Feelings that made me see what my mother and family are really like. Feelings that finally made me step away from their lies and the pain they caused me.
Borderline Personality brings emotions so intense that I struggle to make it through. Yet these emotions helped me get a diagnosis and have helped me to understand my mood changes. I now understand that these emotions stem from my mothers neglect. These emotions are there for a reason and not just because I am a freak like I once thought.
I am finally trying to trust and to let people in. I am trying to let people see the real me. That is something I have never done before. A step forward. Yes, I am still scared and push people away sometimes but I am still a step ahead of where I was.
I am speaking up and telling my story. I am telling what he did to protect others from his abuse. Yes, I may need to do reduced hours while I do this but I am still moving forward. His abuse is no longer a secret I never speak of but is the voice that I raise to try to stop him. A voice to raise awareness.
Unfortunately that means facing the pain and sadness that this has caused me. That is something that I struggle with. I feel the worst I ever have. I am fragile and I am vulnerable. I need a lot of support right now.
But this is just a stumble.
Dealing with the memories of the abuse, with the feelings and emotions, with the rejection and neglect; that was never going to be easy. However it is something that I must do to reach freedom. I have to work through what they did to me to get stronger. It is the only way that I will be free.
I feel like quitting. The emotions and the memories are too much for me to cope with right now. However I cannot let a stumble be the end of my journey. This stumble in the road may be preventing a huge fall. A fall that I was bound to have had I not spoken up, had I not faced this.
My reason for this journey; to stop my abuser from hurting another child.
I will stumble. I may even fall but I have to get back up.
After all, stumbling blocks and stepping-stones are the same thing.
The difference is how you use them!
Thanks for reading.
**Image courtesy of Google Images**