I will never go back to being the person I was

It's been two years since something happened that was so devastating the utter SHOCK of what happened is as horrific today as it was two years ago. It has changed me so deeply that I can never go back to being the person I was. I've had PTSD counselling, been praised for being pro-active in joining so many local social groups. I mentor a young person who isn't coping in life and I do a lot of voluntary work. All this keeps me busy and I get some enjoyment out of life. But the tsunami of tears is never far away. I can't talk about what happened anymore. You'd have thought after two years I could manage to do that A BIT. But as soon as I go to talk, my eyes well up, I take a deep deep breath and basically I just cant talk about it. I can't go there.

I often get what I call "plate glass episodes". I'm walking along, enjoying the sunshine, looking forward to whatever I'm going to be doing that day, when suddenly -- WHAM -- a memory comes into my brain and the shock that memory has on me crucifies me. PTSD counselling didn't help one jot. I was grateful for being able to sit with someone trained in the utter devastation trauma can bring and I finished my course in the belief the memory of what happened would "ease up" as time went by. That I had to keep busy, to remember I have a life to live which WOULD get easier but to be patient and not sit and dwell on what might have been. All of this I've faithfully done. But the utter shock of what happened, the way it happened, is as vivid today as it was all that time ago.

I've read that you should forgive people who've hurt you, no matter what they've done, because while you carry around anger and unforgiveness it will continue to eat you up. People say it's like drinking poison yourself and expecting the other person to die. But how the hell can you forgive someone who has totally, utterly ruined your life? So I'm supposed to say: " I can never forget what you did, and although your cruelty towards me continues unrelentlessly I still forgive you for ruining my life".

4 Replies

  • I can relate a lot to what you wrote some days I can enjoy life and go out do things that I am supposed to do, and then just like that...it hits me in my face a flashback an old memory from the trauma.

    And forgive, well I can't do that...how could I, after what they did to ruin my life, two people ruined my life and I can remember that day in detail like it was yesterday even though it was a decade ago.

    And like you wrote you are suppose to forgive the people who did you wrong but I can't.

    But I understand what you go through.

  • I understand too. I forgave the cover up that the person who ruined my life instigated, the lies, and the untruths. I forgave that because I could understand that he had a lot to lose and didn't have a clue what that might have done to me, but i cannot forgive the people who lied for him, or the institution that put me at risk, or the people who exploited my situation for their own ends. I try not to hate them, because that uses too much energy, but it is hard.

    When it comes to treatment the only treatment proven to work for PTSD is EMDR, in England it is the only treatment that NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) approve. Therapy can make you feel less alone, it can teach you to relax in readiness for EMDR but it does not make PTSD better and can make it worse because it can bring it all nearer the surface if handled badly. A good therapist can help you to be calmer, and can help you to be less angry, but if you still have the energy and the resources EMDR, is the only treatment shown to work in clinical studies. For some people it reduces symptoms, for others it can be miraculous, for some they can never get to the point where they are well enough to receive it. Sadly in some health care settings those providing treatments have a vested interest in not recommending a relatively short course of treatment rather than many months or years of expensive and regular sessions that pay their bills. In other systems the health care system only allows a certain number of sessions of treatment which then end regardless of whether a few more sessions would be needed to reach a conclusion, I hope you are in a position and a country where you can find treatment that works for you.

  • Forgive me for being blunt, but telling someone you have to forgive your abusers, Is like telling a person to eat their own vomit. No one has to forgive anybody. If someone hurts you it's instinctive to be angry and even hateful. Telling someone maybe you'll forgive that person some day would be better. WW2 was over 70 years ago. Israel just put a 92 year old man in jail for working at a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. And he was an accountant! Why do detectives solve 100 year old murders? People want justice. Horrible abuse is like someone injecting the poison of their own hate and cruelty into your soul. Remember, people go to jail for hurting others. You have the right to your feelings. Nobody has the right to tell you how you should feel. Because they aren't you and don't live in your mind. I hope this helps.

  • I don't want to live with hatred & anger & bitterness. I don't want to hold onto other peoples poison so that it winds up poisoning me.

    Someone told me forgiveness is not an emotion, it is a choice.

    Forgiveness is not condoning or forgetting.

    Forgiveness is simply being willing to try.

    Saying the words I forgive you even if I can't feel the emotion behind it.

    The emotion will follow at some point in the future.

    Of course it can't be done immediately.

    Of course my anger is justified.

    No one should tell anyone how to feel or that they have to forgive.

    I simply want to be free to create a new life the best I can.

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