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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » In need of someone to talk to

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Author Topic: In need of someone to talk to
dg944
Neophyte
Member # 109338

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I am a backpacker and I have been travelling for nearly a year now. 4 months ago I was working in a small town where one night I was raped while walking back to my hostel after work. I completely freaked out, panicked because I was thousands of miles from home or anyone I knew well so I booked a flight back to England. However when I got to England I couldnt stand it as I love travelling and I felt as though this guy had ruined my happiness I also told my family and couldnt stand being around them while they were feeling sorry for me, I hated that. So again I booked myself a one way flight to Bangkok, told my family I was over it and left. I have now been in Thailand for 2 months and im not sure if I am really over it but I feel like I should be after 4 months. My mum thinks im running away from everything rather than facing it. I have found myself drinking a lot and being a lot more reckless than usual. The other night a guy tried to come onto me who seemed couldnt take no for an answer and I was firm with him which im proud of but it really freaked me out and that night I had a dream about the place I was raped. I am trying to find someone else who is in a similar situation to me as I cant really get help, my doctor back home wanted me to try counselling but I didnt want to stay in the UK, so I thought I would try these online forums to see if anyone has any suggestions of what I can do to get over this.
Posts: 6 | From: England | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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Hello Dg944 and welcome to Scarleteen,

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this.

We'd be happy to talk with you here. [Smile]

When I think about the process of healing from any sort of trauma, I think of the process as working through it, rather than getting over it. This is a pretty serious thing that happened to you, affecting you in all sorts of ways. time can certainly be a great healer, but not usually all by itself. So, it's not surprising that you're still struggling with this four months later.

I'm glad you've come here to talk, as one of the things that seems to help people the most is being able to talk about their experiences and their feelings, rather than keeping them inside.

Counselling is certainly one way to get the healing process started, but it's not the only way.

There are a few things I can suggest to get you started with this. Do you think it would be helpful for you to talk to other people who have also experienced sexual assault? Do you think reading books or material online about the experience of assault and the healing process afterwards would be helpful to you?

Yay for you for asserting yourself with the guy who was trying to cross your boundaries. Do you feel like it would be helpful to have some formal self-defense or assertiveness training to help you feel more confident and less threatened if you end up in a situation like that again?


I want to emphasize here that there's no one right way to start or go through a healing process after an assault. You weren't wrong to turn down counseling or to leave England as soon as you did. It does sound like you need some more help with this, but, while I don't know you, I don't think it's necessarily true that you're running away from anything. It sounds like travelling is something that brings you a lot of satisfaction, and what better thing to do when one is hurting than to pursue what one finds satisfying?



What do you think?

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Robin

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dg944
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Thank you for your reply I do really think it will be helpful to talk to others who have been through a similar experience, I dont have many people I can really talk to out here.

The last few days have been really tough for some reason I have started having panic attacks when im in a busy place, even if I am standing in my local bar surrounded by my friends I feel really on edge and start shaking and have to leave but I cant explain to them why. I feel fine when I wake up and I work in hospitality so to any one out here I seem like the happiest person in the world but when I leave work all I want to do is go back to my house on my own, curl up in a ball and cry.

I feel like my life is going round in a repetetive cycle where I am sober and try to deal with things then it all gets too much [ edited for reference to illegal actions ] and I even ended up having a one night stand which I dont fully remember but I didnt particularly enjoy it. Most people seem to get put off sex after being raped but I think I am sort of craving to actually have sex that means something to help forget about being raped if that makes any sense. Anyway I then sober up try and sort my head out again, but its like I know in a few days or weeks I am going to be back in that same drunken, high careless stage again so no matter how hard I try to deal with things I feel like I am waiting to fall again.

[ 01-13-2014, 05:14 PM: Message edited by: September ]

Posts: 6 | From: England | Registered: Jan 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Dg944: I had to edit your post for your, and our, protection. But I and some other volunteers have seen the full post and we'll take that into consideration into our reply.

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Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Hi, dg944.

There's a very broad range of responses that people have after an abuse or assault. For sure, some people avoid sex. Some people really don't, though, so you're very much not alone or odd in that.

Per wanting to talk with other people, you have some really good options. You can of course talk here, if you like - a proportion of the Scarleteen community, both staff/volunteers and users, have experienced sexual abuse or assault, so you're among fellow folk here (and yes, I know that tends to feel both comforting and sad). Are you travelling around, or relatively static? If you're static, there are one or two in-person services in Thailand that you could go to, if you want in-person. Right now, I simply know that they exist and not anything about them, but if that's something you'd be interested in, we can see what other folk here know about them.

No matter if you're moving or not, there are some really good internet resources and communities. If you're interested in a community specifically for survivors of sexual abuse or assault, http://www.pandys.org/ is highly recommended.

Panic attacks and that feeling of wanting to curl up in a ball and cry are fairly common in people who've been assaulted, at least before we've processed and healed some from what happened to us. Experiencing an assault is a trauma, and it's very normal to have reactions to trauma at times and in situations that don't quite seem to make obvious sense.

It's clear that you don't feel happy or comfortable with some of the ways you've been trying to manage - or not manage - all of this. You are also very not unique, as someone who was assaulted, in that! Just getting some support and not feeling so alone will likely help. In the meantime, would you like some help with coming up with coping responses that you feel better about and which are safer and healthier for you, both physically and mentally?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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dg944
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Hi thank you for your reply it has really helped, any advice on coping stragegies would be very much appreciated, I am pretty static at the moment managed to get myself a job in a resort here. I feel fine when im at work being busy helps take my mind off of everything.
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Robin Lee
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It sounds like having a structure to your time, and having something to do, has made a difference for you.

Do you feel like you have a handle on safe ways to spend your time when you're not at work that would be helpful to you?

If not, do you have any hobbies you enjoy, or any hobbies or interests you've been thinking of pursuing?

I also wanted to say that if going out to bars and other busy social places with people doesn't feel safe for you right now, both per the anxiety you experience and the possibility of losing control (or feeling like you're losing control), taking those types of social activities off the table for now is always an option. Are there social activities you've done or could do in which you feel safer?

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Robin

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dg944
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Having structure helps its the evenings I am struggling with my house mate is always at work until very late so im always at home on my own and thats when I start thinking about everything.

With regard to going out to bars I am currently working in a bar / restaurant, its a pretty chilled out one compared to most bars in Thailand but I spend all day pretending to be happy and when people talk to me about my travels which happens a lot working in a place full of backpackers as soon as they start asking questions about the place where it happened I find it really tough because I loved it there I had an amazing job, good friends and was really happy and then everything was ruined. Obviously I dont tell people what happened but people always ask the question oh did you feel safe there travelling on your own as a woman and thats where I really struggle and try and change the subject.

I dont really have time for hobbys as my job is quite full on, I work a lot of hours so its difficult to find a hobby. I think the maim thing I want is a way to stop feeling so depressed.

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Sam W
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Hi dg944,

Do you have any activities that you enjoy (reading, knitting, writing, that sort of thing) that you can do on the nights when you are at home and your housemates are gone? Having something like that may help keep your mind occupied, which (it sounds like) helps you feel better. I think taking a look at this article may also be helpful. The advice isn't meant to take the place of counseling, but it can be helpful to use some of the strategies listed when your brain starts going down unpleasant paths:
Self-Care a La Carte

I think changing topic when the triggering subject comes up is a great strategy.

In terms of getting support for feeling depressed, do you have a sense of what kind of mental health resources you have access to?

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dg944
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Hi

I do quite enjoy reading so I could try that, it would probably take my mind off of things. With regards to feeling depressed I have no idea what resources I have access to, I cant really talk to a doctor or anything about these issues as I am so far away from home.

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Sam W
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I think a possible place to start is with some of the resources Redskies mentioned, as they may be able to give you a sense of and connect you with some lines of support. Does that sound like something you'd like to try?
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dg944
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Member # 109338

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At this point I am willing to try anything to stop me from going back into self destruct mode. Also thank you for the article its a real help.
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Redskies
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We're looking into this for you.

Do you feel like reading and possibly posting in a supportive, moderated internet community might be a good option for you, or not? How would you feel about, and how doable is, email, internet chat or telephone support?

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Redskies
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Further to my post above -

The kind of support and help that you're wanting usually comes under the umbrella of Rape Crisis. In Thailand, this organisation http://www.apsw-thailand.org/Eemergency01.html looks promising. The home page http://www.apsw-thailand.org/indexEN.html looks like it has better contact info on it.

[ 01-14-2014, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: Redskies ]

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

Posts: 1786 | From: Europe | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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