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TW: Trying To Cope

I was continually sexually assaulted, taking place from the age of 9, till the age of 15 (now). Most of which took place on school grounds, within metres of teaching who could have helped if they just supervised like they are meant to. My school counsellor found out and called the police. The police and FACS came to my school and spoke to me and I agreed . to give a statement and in turn, they agreed to not tell my parents/family. Nothing ended up happening to this boy, they just spoke to him. If they did anything more or took action, they would have to call my parents. I still see him everyday, I have to walk past him at school. I saw a crisis counsellor but they didn't help and ended up calling the police and FACS as something I spoke about concerned her. I terminated seeing them and ended up seeing a psychologist from victim services and they were someone . I finally connected with. I've seen them around 4 times . and was about to start trauma therapy, when they told me they were moving and had to discontinue seeing me. This has made me loose all hope. It took me 4 years to finally find someone I trusted and felt comfortable around and now they are leaving. I was ready to open up and talk about the rape and how much i'm struggling and my unhealthy coping habits. Life is too much for me to handle. I work 2 jobs, go to school along with extra activities, I can't sleep, I have anxiety/panic attacks and flash backs, I have unhealthy coping strategies and don't know what to do. My psychologist said that they will get me a referral to see a new psychologist from victim services but I feel like I wont be able to trust them/open up/like them as much. They also might not be able to see me on school grounds or during school hours which means I would need to tell my parents. But I can't tell them. They wouldn't/don't understand. I tried to tell them I have  anxiety once and they laughed and said it wasn't a real thing and that I could never have that. They were called and told about a mild assault that happened to me and told me I was a slut and it was my fault. I just am struggling so much and can barley make it through the day and I don't know what to do. I just want it to all go back to normal. I feel broken and like I will never get better or be okay again. I just want this all to be over.

Re: Trying To Cope

@ElizaBrookes  Welcome to the forums!

Thank you for sharing your story. I think it was such a courageous thing to do. I think you're also really brave and mature to take charge of your mental health by seeing the counsellors and psychologists. Heart

I really don't know what to say after reading your story. Smiley Sad I think what happened to you is awful. You didn't deserve any of that. I think it's terrible that the psychologist moved after only four sessions and your parents aren't supportive of you, on top of all the other things you've been going through. I also think it's not right that nothing ended up happening to the boy.

Do you think that there is anything that would help?

If you don't want your parents finding out, would it help to talk to a telephone or online counsellor? There are lots of these services for people who have experienced sexual assault here.

Re: Trying To Cope

Thank you, it really means a lot. I'm not really sure if there is anything that can help, thats why i'm trying this to see if there is something. In the past few weeks I have tried kids helpline, NSW rape crisis and 1800respect. I like web chat counselling, as I get anxiety about phone calls and tried it once and hated it. Some of the online counselling was good, but it's really hard to explain it all and type it all out especially with a time limit. Some of it I guess helped in someways, but didn't ever really give proper help, mainly just told me I need to go see a professional or use the phone. But, I feel like I really need face to face contact in order to get better. Especially since online counselling can't give me the trauma therapy that I need. 

Re: Trying To Cope

@ElizaBrookes  I think it's great that you've tried these services, even if they couldn't provide everything that you needed.

Do you have any supportive family or friends who can help you see a psychologist? Is there anyone at school you can talk to? Once, a school psychologist called my parents on my behalf to get them to help me see someone outside of school when they weren't taking me seriously.

Have you tried any self-help resources? For example, there are lots of apps, tools and other resources that can help with trauma. There are a lot of strategies online that provide ways of coping with flashbacks. I could find some of these resources for you if you're interested in trying them.

Re: Trying To Cope

Thank you. My sister is kind of supportive, she's dealt with depression and anxiety and also had my parents tell her its not real. But if she was to take me to the appointment my parents would now. They investigate into everything we do because they don't trust us. So i'm really better off doing it alone. My school counsellor has just changed to a new person in the last few weeks. I don't exactly like the new psychologist, very judgemental or what I say. She won't really help. The old school counsellor comes in every now and then when he does he will pull me out of class and talk to me. I could ask him but I don't even really want him talking to my parents, or anyone in general for that matter. One of my first school counsellors called my parents telling . them i was suicidal and needed to see a specialist asap and they never took me took see anyone. So, i'm hoping that I can find a new psychologist that will come to my school. I have downloaded some apps like headspace and calm, I try to use them, especially because I can't really ever sleep. Iv'e tried looking at different methods for helping flashbacks and so far haven't . found anything useful. If there us any self-help resources that you would recommend, I would love to know. 

Re: Trying To Cope

@ElizaBrookes I'm so sorry - both about everything's that happened and your parent's response to it.

You deserve so, so much better than that.

 

If you're okay with the whole idea of lying to/ hiding stuff from your parents, there might be some ways to get to appointments without them knowing, but it'll take a fair bit of work...

If that's something you want to try, I could help you find a few ways to cover your tracks; but it's completely up to you.

 

This page has some information on your rights at the doctor's, which might be helpful:

https://yla.org.au/nsw/topics/health-love-and-sex/your-rights-at-the-doctor/

 

I'm a bit too tired to find self help resources right now, but that's definitely something I can get back to when I'm more awake.

In the meantime what have you already tried to help with the flashbacks? (just so that I don't repeat stuff that you've already tried)

Re: Trying To Cope

He @ElizaBrookes 

 

Welcome to Reach Out. It was very courageous of you to share your story. I agree with @WheresMySquishy in that it is incredibly brave and mature of you to have reached out to these mental health services on your own, or at least with little help from others, and definitely no help from your parents. It shows me that you are determined to get better, and gives me confidence that things will improve for you Smiley Happy. I'm sorry your parents aren't supportive. What you are feeling is real and definitely deserves attention Heart at least your sister is there for you. 

 

If you don't mind me asking - are your parents generally unsupportive of you, or only when it comes to your mental health? 

 

It sucks that a counselor you finally connect with has to move away but I don't want it to discourage you from seeking help. Just as you found this counselor, you will find another one you feel comfortable with. It may take a few tries, but you'll find the right person soon enough. Heart It is worth the effort! 

 

Also, I edited out a few words from your first post. We try to be really careful about how we talk about traumatic experiences here on the forums, to ensure we don't trigger other users. We have a set of guidelines in place to ensure that this is a safe place for everyone. You are a new user and therefore probably unaware of them, so I have linked them for you here. Have a read when you feel up to it Heart

 

 

 

Re: Trying To Cope

Thank you, it means a lot. I don't really mind about lying/hiding stuff from my parents as i've had to do it so much. I'm just a bit stuck on how to get to appointments without them knowing, like I did it once in the holidays and said I was meeting a friend instead, but I did actually go out with them anyway. My problem is that I work 2 jobs so I am able to pay for myself for everything as my parents don't. So I work in all my free time or have piano and singing lessons so I don't know how I would have time or really be able to keep regular routined appointments, but i'm definitely open to trying. In terms of strategies i've already tried for dealing with flashbacks, i've tried breathing techniques, grounding, make myself aware of my surrounding and know that it's not happening now and its just a memory,  etc. But so far these haven't really helped. My intrusive thoughts just wont stop. It a main reason I can't sleep. I go into a vicious cycle of overthinking, even overthinking myself to anxiety attacks. Anything you would recommend that might help?

Re: Trying To Cope

Thank you. I've honestly been trying so hard but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Thank you for your support.

My parents generally are unsupportive of me in all aspects I guess. Never proud of me, never grateful for the things I do, they don't really appreciate me or the things I do.

I'm really am hoping that I will be able to find a new person that will be able to me. I just am struggling with the anxiety of seeing someone new. It's so stupid, I get anxiety over seeing someone to help with my problems which include anxiety. I guess i'm just sick of seeing new people and not getting better or help, so i'm questioning if theres any point of seeing someone if I don't think i'm fixable or going to get better. 

Sorry, I tried to keep it as censored as possible but wasn't aware of the exact guidelines to follow. 

Re: Trying To Cope

@ElizaBrookes  I'm glad your sister is supportive even though your parents aren't. I think it's amazing that you've already tried a lot of techniques. That shows that you can identify what works for you and what doesn't.

I found these apps that specifically target trauma:
PTSD Coach
PTSD Coach (Australian version)
Virtual Hope Box
They have distraction and relaxation techniques, but you can pick what works for you. There is an article with some other suggestions here.

If you struggle with overthinking, do you think that evaluating your thoughts would help? These three articles can help you change your thinking, which can make people feel better.
These apps and tools were designed with similar principles in mind:
Moodgym
Moodkit
Stop Panic and Anxiety
Mindshift
Happify

What's Up?
Another strategy that I use when I have intrusive thoughts is writing them down and then putting them away for a while so I can concentrate on whatever I am doing, then coming back to them later.

These articles have some suggestions about how to cope with flashbacks. I know that you've already tried some of the techniques and they haven't helped much, but you can try the ones you haven't done yet.
SANE - Coping with Flashbacks
Ideas about coping with flashbacks
Coping with Flashbacks