This monster has destroyed my emotion... - Anxiety and Depre...

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This monster has destroyed my emotional well being and so here I am, asking for help.

desiree294 profile image

I was sexually assaulted by a family member this weekend. He tried to rape me. Not only is this bad enough, but it brought back a repressed memory. I never really believed in repressed memories... how could something so significant from my past just be erased and now thrown back into my brain? This exact same man that attacked me on Saturday night also molested me when I was six years old. This is someone I have always loved and trusted.

I have never experienced something like this before so I do not know how to react... There are no guide books on this. It has sent me into a very deep depressive state and my anxiety is the highest I have ever felt. My body hurts, like it is trying to fight itself. I have not been to work all week, my fatigue is at a level 1000 so my one ton pound body just sinks into bed and since I'm unable to fight it I just fall asleep. Sometimes I'm not even to sleep. I want to, but my eyes just stay glued open. Nothing is interesting. Nothing sounds good- TV is uninteresting, food doesn't taste good.

My anxiety has basically taken control over me. I feel scared like I don't trust anyone or anything. My breathing is so heavy I get tunnel vision. My brain feels swollen.

So here I am now, I am researching and reaching out to get help. I am going to be seeing a therapist that specializes in sexual assault, I am allowing my body to grieve in any way it needs to. I guess my nervous system is a bit messed up from being in fight-or-flight. I do have a support system, my boyfriend. He is amazing and understanding and also researching how to help me. I cannot tell anyone else about my assault because it would completely destroy my family.

Has anyone else experienced a traumatic event that has caused a mental breakdown? What is the right way to go about healing? How do I get back to my normal happy self? Is it normal for my body to shut down? Is it okay for my mental health to be depleted?

32 Replies

I'm so very sorry this horrible thing happened to you desiree....I was abused by my uncle and another family member at the age of 4 1/2 and 7...so yes I can understand what your going through only from my own experience, and the reason you repressed your first attack was because your mind had gone into a protection mode...you could not process this...so your brain repressed it....

I know it's not for me to say...and I don't know what your circumstances are...but I'd want to castrate the jerk, and no way would I let him get aways with this....

Thank you, thank you so much for sharing your story. I appreciate it because I don't know other people that have gone through this... I've never heard of or tried to help someone who was sexually abused by a family member. My circumstances are absolutely terrible. That is because (this is very hard to say) but the family member who has done this to me is my older brother. We are only two years apart... he admitted he has been attracted to me all his life. It makes me feel disgusting. I truly cannot wrap my head around this.

This is serious stuff and you need to get professional help with dealing with this. It is him who is disgusting and he needs to get help as well and to understand how completely wrong this is. It needs to come out in the open. Don't carry the shame, as long as you are sure you will be believed, as revealing it and not being believed or them trying to protect him would send your mental health further downhill.

I had a friend who was sexually abused by her sister. She was scared of her all her life and scared that her sister would somehow convince people that she had been a willing participant . It needs dealing with now. At least yourself you need to get sorted and get professional advice over whether to prosecute him etc. as attempted rape is a criminal offence.

Just to answer your questions of course your reactions are normal. You cannot suffer from such a horrific event and not go into meltdown. Glad that your boyfriend is helping you. x

Thank you for your time for reading my post and responding with so much insight. When you say I need to let this be out in the open... that is the hardest part about it. I cannot allow this to be out in the open. Yes, I am protecting him. I love my brother, before this we were best friends and talked every single day. (of course now I have removed all contact) I am not saying he is'n't wrong... it is so so so wrong hence why I am having a breakdown but I don't want this to escalate. I don't want my family to find out and hate him. Heck, even if his friends found out they would probably beat him up.

Thank you for confirming my reaction is normal because like I said, I don't know how people deal with these things.

Hi the last thing you should be thinking of now is your abusive brothers feelings. He gave up the right to his feelings the moment he sexually assaulted and tried to rape you.

You have to think of your own feelings and do whatever will make you feel better and to start healing. For all you know your monster brother has done the same thing to others, and he will definitely do it in the future. He needs to be stopped and to pay for his crime.

I am not saying this will be easy so have a good think about it. If you need someone to speak to there is usually a rape crisis centre you can ring. If not then try the Samaritans. Remember your feelings are the ones that matter. x

I'm really sorry this has happened to you. You are absolutely right your body has gone through a serious trauma and reacting in a way that protects you but keeps protecting you even when you are not immediate danger. I'm sorry to say but I think your brother needs help, it sounds like he might continue to pose a risk and that's not fair to you and your recovery. I'm glad you have support and can talk it through therapy. Take care xx

desiree294 profile image
desiree294 in reply to CazO46

Yes, he absolutely does need help. He does also have depression and anxiety and used to take medications but he stopped. He does have multiple suicide attempts. I honestly feel bad for him but I don't want to. This situation is not about him, it is about me. It is about how I heal, as a victim, and get to a normal functioning life. I just want to be happy again. I was so happy before this. I feel I have lost all control of my life.

CazO46 profile image
CazO46 in reply to desiree294

Being attacked makes you feel very vulnerable. I agree that you have to take care of yourself first and foremost. With time and support I feel sure you will feel back in control and stronger for it. My very best wishes to you X

I am so very sorry. I can’t express it in words. Devastating. It sounds as though you are going about the right steps by going to talk to someone who specializes in sexual assault. It may be helpful to ask her/him if there are any other resources to help you heal. I was raped as a teenager and used to work with sexual assault survivors. It became too much after working there for several years.

Anyway, I am sorry. I read a book called Trauma and Recovery that I found helpful. Please take care of yourself and do whatever it is that you need right now. Remember that you are not alone.

desiree294 profile image
desiree294 in reply to

It feels so nice to hear "please take care of yourself and do whatever it is that you need right now." Because I feel so guilty for letting this consume me. I feel so guilty for missing work. I feel so guilty I cannot function. Like I should be stronger than this.

Since you have experience with working with sexual assault survivors can you please explain to me why I WANT to talk about this traumatic experience? It's almost like I'm obsessed with it. It has consumed my mind. I want to talk about what happened to anyone and everyone. Is that normal? I feel like I should feel opposite and not want to tell anyone, just kind of bury it.

in reply to desiree294

I’m sorry for the late response. It has been my experience that often a victim of sexual assault will try to normalize their trauma. I do agree with Here I Am, in that it sounds like you are still trying to figure it all out. That is an awful lot to process. It is not my place to give any advice. However, I will tell you that your reaction is not unusual. There is no right or wrong reaction to this. Some people actually laugh or shrug it off and try to go about their normal lives. (My reaction after I was raped.) I’ve seen every reaction under the sun... all are “normal”. The important thing is that you take care of yourself. It may be good that you want to talk about it. I mean, it certainly is a huge deal and has turned your world upside down. Recovering a repressed memory, especially one so traumatic, can absolutely tear everything apart all in your world. Everything has changed. Seriously, please don’t feel guilty or question what you could have done differently. Easier said than done. I may have missed this, but when do you see the sexual assault counselor? Please take care. Again, I’m so sorry.

desiree294 profile image
desiree294 in reply to

Please, no need to apologize! The earliest I was able to get an appointment with her is Tuesday. I feel a bit lost until then, I'm looking for guidance to make it through these next few days on my own.

in reply to desiree294

Corny, but one day at a time. You will make it through this. Feel free to message me if you’d like.

It's good and necessary that you want to talk about it. If you wished to hide it I would find that far more worrying.

Okay good! That is a feeling of relief that it is okay to want to talk to people about it. I think that is why I just do not feel comfortable yet going back to "normal life" like getting out of the house and working. I'm a very open person, I hate keeping secrets and I talk a lot- sometimes a bit too much. But I also know this is something very taboo and people may not want to hear it. I also feel like people can tell I have been sexually assaulted just by looking at me... It sounds weird but thats how it feels.

Yes well you know that last part isn't true they won't be able to tell I can assure you.

Thank you for talking with me and being supportive. You are a very kind person for helping a stranger through something so tough.

So so sorry to hear that. I too had a similar experience. You’re not alone and whatever you need to do from day to day to keep yourself going, do it. Worry about you and spend time healing. Time heals all wounds, even if it makes them scars. I wish you well!

Do you mind me asking what you did during your time healing? Like, am I supposed to stay out of work? Am I supposed to push my boundaries and force myself to go to work even though my body says no? Should I give myself time to rest and relax? I don't know how to heal..

If you can afford to yes, don’t worry about work. But at the same time, some times staying in routine and having that normalcy is comforting. I chose to go to work, and was always in touch with my close friends throughout the day. Positive people that genuinely want to help you. I used to plan things on the weekends so I would have something to think about and get excited for. It does get better. But it certainly takes time

Hi I have been through something similar many years ago now. I have never forgotten it and never will.

Just remember it is never your fault. Being depressed and suicidal doesn't equate to men attacking women. There are no excuses for your brothers behaviour - none at all. x

Hi, I'm sorry to hear about that happening to you and what makes me feel so bad for you, is your concerns for your brother, which then makes me angry because you're a really good person to put his concers mixed into what you have to deal with. So basically this terrible thing has happened to you and because you're feeling like you need to protect everyone from being hurt or upset, you're taking your right to protect you, from you. Don't. Do that, I know it's easier said than done but why do you have to carry that cross. You did nothing wrong and from what I gather in these posts, you're seem like a good soul. I hope you get strong and well fast and overcome this. Take care

You nailed it right on the head and said it so beautifully. You're one thousand percent right that I am putting my concerns for my brother before me. I'm trying to protect my family. It's just, I don't want anything else bad to happen. I feel this is all on me now. He did his actions... and now I have to deal with the consequences on my own. I need to be mentally stable again and I am working very hard by reaching out and by some miracle I even made it into work today (poor choice, my body is shutting down- fight-or-flight).

Thank you for seeing the good in me because I feel like a bad person.

Don't feel like a bad person, you're actually 100%, the opposite. Take your time to figure things out and do what is right when the time is right. You're not at fault for anything. I wish you all the best. I wish you all the strength that you need. And I can only imagine how scary and crazy things can get but I can't imagine your family would want you to deal with this alone either.

Thank you for sharing. I'm so incredibly sorry that this has happened to you. It is not your fault, I hope you know this. I'm glad you are going to see a professional as well. I know peer support helps a lot in these situations. From personal experience with trauma, even though I didn't want to do anything or see anyone, being around people and talking with others helps. It can make you feel so incredibly alone when something like this happens so it's important you don't lock yourself away. Try to be outside in nature every day as much as you can. Sun light helped me (if you can get it). Pamper yourself too. Practice yoga. Some areas have yoga classes for survivors of trauma, specifically. Feeling good in your body can be a challenge after something like this happens. You deserve to be well, with help you can be. <3 Hang in there.

desiree294 profile image
desiree294 in reply to Byelka

Thank you for all of your recommendations. The sun actually does make me feel so happy. I finally was able to sit outside yesterday and the rays nearly lit up my insides. As for pampering myself, well, I just don't have that energy yet but I know within time I will. I haven't gotten my nails done in years so I hope to do that soon! I have hope <3

My dear Desiree,

you know it's terrible to be sexually abused when young, and even more so for someone to try and rape you, and what makes it worse is that it is a family member someone who you thought you could trust,

I was sexually abused, physically abused, and emotionally abuse when I was young this went on for 6 years or so, all though it wasn't a family member, what made it worse was that I was in a home run by nuns and priest from the roman catholic church, even though I told people no one ever believed me, in fact it made it worse.

I am now going to give evidence at a enquiry into historical child abuse in care homes in Scotland.

What good it will do I have no idea, ill it help me again I have no idea, will I get some sort of justice I have no idea, in fact are those responsible still alive, I have no idea.

but if it helps stop some other child from going through what I have, I think it will be worth it.

so I think you have to report this just because he is family he shouldn't get away with it, I know it's easy for me to say that but what if he does it to another girl, woman family or otherwise, how would you feel if you reported him and he was jailed, it might save another young girl or woman from a terrible ordeal.

but do what you think is right, whatever you do it won't be easy. good luck and I hope you get over this, but it wont be quick

Hey Desiree sorry that this happened. Take your time processing what has occurred. Allow yourself to take your time to make the right choices for yourself whatever they may be. What happened was wrong but if telling others is not where you're at then that is ok. And remember that you are only responsible for yourself and how you feel. Let others take responsibility for their actions and feelings. You were violated by someone you cared for and trusted and that is hard to comprehend and process. But know that you were and are not at fault. I send you positive vibes and truly hope that you get passed this soon and find peace again.

desiree294 profile image
desiree294 in reply to Paula1982

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and respond! The amount of support I have gotten on here brings me to tears. It's truly all I need to hear. It helps me remain grounded and continue pushing every day to do what is best for me and make positive decisions. At this point in time, I just want to try to get back to a normal routine. I can only eat two bites of a meal, fluids taste gross, and I'm awake all night (until 4am) and sleep all day (until 4pm).

Paula1982 profile image
Paula1982 in reply to desiree294

I hear you. If talking helps you have a great community here. Take all the small steps needed. Self care is best so make sure you're doing plenty of that. I send you positive vibes for the day 😊

Terribly sorry for what you had to go through, make sure they get punished and don't ever do that to someone again..

As for yourself, you need peace and rest first, continue with the treatment as guided by your therapist..You are brave thing dear, a real life superhero!!

Keep fighting, get physically healthy first, take it slowly, get yourself surrounded by nice people or friends you can trust..you'll get through it..though it will leave a mark and make you doubt things, people and relationships but don't let a sick criminal's stupid act dictate and control your life, if you ever need any support we all are here :)

Cheers and god bless

You have done nothing wrong. I agree with alot of the advices given here. Need to get out and see that not everyone is bad. Yes it's not a great world we live in now days but there is good in the world. Buy a camera and take pictures of flowers or animals. Someone mentioned yoga or just simple exercise to release the bad. Make this time be your world. I sincerely hope the best for you in your future world.

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