... does one go about getting diagnosed? I've repeatedly told my story to numerous counselors. I get the same response everytime "Wow, you've been through so much and made it this far, you're obviously strong". Then the PTS subject is dismissed. I've got an alcoholic, viciously mean, compulsive liar, and seriously unbalanced mother, and they seem to just want to talk about that. I've worked on that for so long. I've specifically made appointments for a PTS diagnosis and can't seem to get them to grasp the importance of this. Here's the story... when I was 14 (Im 50 now) I was walking down the street in my small hometown in very northern upstate NY. A car stopped, the man inside said "hey kid, get in, I'll give ya a ride". The sun was in my eyes so I didn't get a good look at him, but he sounded like and I totally thought it was my Uncle Paul. Once I got in the car I knew I'd made a bad mistake. I couldn't get out, he could control the locks from the drivers seat. He kept me for at least 9 hours, drove all over the place, got to the Canadian Border, then didn't cross it, instead taking me onto the, then abandon, Fort Drum property. Details that occured there don't need to be broadcast here. At some point while there, anger overtook the terror. I remember screaming at him that my Dad was a State Trooper (he was when I was an infant), that they were probably already looking for me, and that if he killed me they would never stop hunting him down. At that point I refused to cooperate at all. He angrily started the car, eventually dropping me off back in my hometown at the friends house I was headed to that morning. I told 5 of my closest friends the entire story. Over the years I did a lot of counseling to deal with many issues including this. Fast forward 25 years and this is where the PTS reared it's ugly head. I was tending bar for a living and one night there was a big "breaking news" story that came on the bars' TV. A girl in a nearby city had escaped her captor with a story of being held in an underground bomb shelter type of thing. She had been in there,chained, and repeatedly raped for 3 years. The man was caught right away, from here I'll use his initials and call him JJ. When the police went to this bunker (they estimate it was built in the early 80s) there was evidence of numerous women being held there over many years. The cops had been given reports by, I think 5 women over the years with the same story, but JJ blindfolded them so they couldn't tell the cops where this bunker was. Because these girls were mostly street kids, as I was in the mid 70s, they weren't taken seriously. As I watched the TV I began to shake and get sick to my stomach. Then they showed JJ's face. I started throwing up, fighting not to pass out. I was a mess for a couple of days, refusing to watch the news, trying to convince myself that it wasn't the man who took me, all the while keeping the police phone number that was on the original news story for women to call who had any dealings with this man. A few days after the 1st report I saw the news again. They were panning the camera through JJ's yard and there was the car. That same damn car he drove that day all those years earlier. I got in touch with the 5 friends I told when it happened, asked if they remembered what I had told them, and had them tell me my story, kind of testing my own sanity before I called the police. I did talk at length to a detective who began preparing me to testify if they needed me. By the grace of God he plead guilty to all counts, saving me from facing him in court. At that stage in life, I was in a fairly new relationship with, Thank God, an extremely patient man. Up to the night of seeing JJs face I was totally enjoying this new man in my life, feeling like a giddy teenager, kissing passionately, and fully exploring our new relationship. The day I saw JJs face things went wrong inside me. If I tried to kiss I felt like I was dying, I couldn't breath, my insides shook, and every muscle in my body involuntarily tensed like they never had before. If anyone, male or female, hugs me I tense up bad. I am able to be intimate, but half the time during it I realize I have "turned my brain off". My man knows the whole story, and is still hanging in there, we're on 9 years now. HELP!!! How do I get me back? What is there that any doctor can do that would make these reactions stop? Im so pissed at myself for allowing that piece of garbage to have this control of me!!! Someone out there must have a similar story that's in the healing process. Explain to me how to heal. My mate is naturally a very affectionate, huggy, kissy, kind of guy. I feel that I don't deserve him and that's it's unfair and selfish of me to keep him in a relationship when Im so broken. So, advice, answers, anything???
17 Feb 2012
I read your story with tears streaming down my face. I have not had anything like this happen to me, yet I had a friend that experienced something similar to your terrifying ordeal.
You were one incredibly brave fourteen year old, and deserve to be a happy woman now. Please, find a Psychiatrist that deals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Call every psych doc in your area and ask them if they specialize in PTSD. You have been shuffled around, shoved under the rug, and you need a great doc that can help get these memories or flash backs to go away. It won't be easy, I'm sure, but you are worth the effort it will take to heal.
When you walk into a new doc's office, ask immediately if she/he deals with PTSD, if they give an answer you don't like, turn round and walk out of the office. Keep trying until you find a doc that acknowledges that you ARE suffering from PTSD, and that he/she will help you. Don't give up!!
My thoughts are with you, and come back here if you need support,
17 Feb 2012
I wasn't going to answer this, but most people here know I have lots of problems anyway what's one more. I was abused in the way you are talking about by my own father when I was 5 years old. I hated him then & I still hate him today. Idon't hate anyone except that person. I won't call him a man, because he wasn't one in my opinion. He got custody of us 3 kids, I have two brothers that had no idea apparently that this was happening to me. He had come home sick from work one night & my mother had another man in their bed. So he divorced her immediately. I did not know that until I was older way older.So I was 5 & didn't know why I didn't have a mommy anymore.
Instead of trying to find another wife, maybe his trust was gone, but he had no right to do what he did to me either.(I can't believe I am telling this so I know exactly how you feel) I blocked out of my memory the "things" that happened, & have very little of my childhood to remember,. I do remember he was going to spank me for something I had done with a pice of lathe, & I was so scared I told him if he hit me I would tell everyone what he was doing to me. Well that's when he threatened to kill me if I ever spoke a word of it ,& I got my beating extra hard,& had bruises to prove it.I was taken away from him at age 10 & my eleven year old brother & put into a childrens home. When my older brother got wind of this plan he ran away from home & finally found our Mother in Chicago & lived with her until he could go into the Navy. I believe it was a church minister that did all of this. I think he either had an inkling of what was going on or just that we were pretty wild kids running around all the time without supervision. After 2 years in the childrens home we were going to a summer Bible camp affiliated with the Swedish Covenant Church. in Wisconsin. The main house has burned down & they didn't have a place for us to go that year until the boyscouts offered their camp on the Mississippi River so off we went. The couselors there, well apparently two of them said they fell in love with me. They wanted to adopt us, but our father said no, they can live with you,& her brother too or nothing. So we moved from the childrens home to our new foster parents home. They were the most dynamic people I have ever met. Very Christian & very church goers. Very strict too. My real dad, got visitation rights, & one Thanksgiving he wanted us to come home with him. I did not want to go, & was afraid if I told them why he would kill me. So off we went. I was 11 by then & had started my monthly menstral cycles & was having one at the time. Yes, he did start to try, but when he saw I was menestrating told me in no uncertain terms to let any boy or man touch me there til I was married, & he would still kill me if I ever spoke of him doing anything to me. After one of his visits that only lasted a couple of hours, & I made sure my brother was always there, as we were like twins,on his way home he fell asleep at the wheel doing 80 miles an hour & wrapped the car around a tree. Killed my dog too. I was well on my way to Bible camp that same day & we were in the first service when I was called out, & told that my dad had died in a horribe car accident. I was thinking my adopted dad whom I loved dearly since he had just dropped us off at camp. I was mourning so bad until they showed up & I realized it was my real dad. I was very happy about that.I had horribe nightmares about him coming to kill me even tho I knew he was dead. So bad that apparently my new sister that I shared a room with told Mom about it. She talked to me & I finally told her (in the middle of the night) what had happened to me & I dreamt of him coming back to life & stabbing me to death. A childs mind you see. After finally getting it out & being reassured he couldn't ever come back & hurt me, I just let it go. I mean I let years of my life just go away. Sometimes when these things happen to a child, you will carry it around in you heart for a long time, but I'll bet you feel better already just getting it out. I sure did. I remember the good times at my grandmas house from a wee child. but I learned to block all the rest of it out. I still today can't remember other than the fear I felt. That will never leave me I don't think, but I have never told anyone except 2 friends, & my adopted Mother. I had enough love & confidence in her, that he could never hurt me again, I let it go. This person who hurt you is in prison I hope. If so, just learn to let it go. Now you have spoken about it, let it go. I have even told my older brother about this a few years ago because he adored our father, & I got so sick of hearing about how he tried so hard to take care of us blah, blah, blah. Now almost everytime I talk to him he brings it up. "oh It's not that i'm saying you are lying, but I just find it hard to believe". I politley tell him I don't want to hear about it everytime we call each other. It doesn't bother me anymore at all. I would love to piss on his grave, but we looked, & couldn't find it a few years ago or I would have. I just let it be gone & that is that. If this person can't hurt you again, you have to let it go or it will eat you alive... Just my thoughts...
19 Feb 2012
I'm so sorry that this happened to you. Some of us have a things that have happen in our past. Mine was not great but I had to tell myself it was not my fault. That I could enjoy the people God put in my life that make me happy now. You have control of your life now, take control of it. Don't punish yourself for something you had no control with. Enjoy your mate and have a great life.
19 Feb 2012
Please know you have my deepest respect and support on the journey you have taken and the future help of a specialist in this field.I too suffer from PTSD c and I know how challenging life can be when this is not treated.you hang in there and you will find the rite dr.and I pray at some point you will start to lay some of this burden down.know that we hear you,love,c.
24 Feb 2012
Dear floundering, I believe we are mutual friends so we can privately talk. I have a story also but would feel more comfortable sharing it privately (no offense to anyone). I was diagnosed in my twenties before they realized I also suffered from major depression and possibly bipolar. I spent most of my life trying to drowned the pain with drugs and alcohol. Finally I found a great program that had a huge trauma recovery component to it. I learned a lot of great, practical tools to deal with my symptoms and eventually reconcile with my trauma. I would love to share some of this info with you, just private message me. I am now educated in Addictions Counseling and was doing an internship when my tardive Dyskinesia struck. I have had to take a leave of absence from work but prior to that I had a few clients who had PTSD. What a wonderful experience to be able to teach the tools that I learned and watch these people grow and improve.
I would be honored to do the same for you but of course it will be different (I think better) because I can actually disclose to you that this is something personal to me also. If you agree, just send a private message and we can start a dialogue. I look forward to hearing from you and promise you that there are tools and skills to help you work through this and get your life back! I did it! All my love and support. Lisa Z.
15 Mar 2012
Lisa, I wasn't sure if you got my private question or not. It was basically a check in to see how things were going and to let you know I look forward to hearing from you. I heard this site has been having some problems and one of my comments got deleted last night. so if you can't send private question at least comment on this and let me know how it's going! I have some news to share too. Some good, some bad but nothing too bad. Keep in touch! Lisa Z.
16 Mar 2012
My eyes are filled with tears and my heart is aching for you right now. And myself too. I find it amazing how many memories flashed into my mind while reading you're story that I thought was completely erased from my memory. Because I wanted them to be. I didn't experience the same thing you did, but I was raped and beaten and I know what it does to you. I sit here crying remembering also the physical abuse of my father when I was a small child. He would hit me so hard it would knock me across the room. I would run to my mom crying... 5 yrs old mind you... not understanding. He was a chronic alcoholic and would binge drink and was devastatingly abusive. It was like that for years. You would think after enduring all that pain and most of it being from alcohol, that I would not want anything to do with drinking. Yet I started drinking at 14 yrs old. I think it was to numb myself. To kill my emotions. But it turned into a very bad problem for me. Countless numbers of abusive boyfriends. Oh, I could tell you some horror stories. I have been sober for over 5 years now, but the emotional scars are still there. The pain. The hurt. The guilt. The Why Me. I don't want to hate my father, but he hurt me so bad. Then dealing with the bad feelings towards my mother because she didn't leave him. Why? I spent sooo many years of my life drunk because I didn't want to feel the pain of my past. I wish I wouldn't have done that now. I hope you can find a very special counselour, therapist, ect... who can help you. Or it will continue to eat you up. It will festure it's ugly head until you find it in yourself to say... No More. I'm going to beat this one way or another. Some way Some how. My life is too short to let this eat at me anymore like this. I wish I could give you a hug right now. The courage it took to sit and write to us is amazing. I want you to know we are here for you. And I'm not just bla bla bla saying that. I'm very serious. This is a very very caring group of people who love and care and reach out to one another. I don't know what I would do without them. Please stay with us and let us know how you are doing and everything. Please. And try and stay strong. Don't let you're past rob you of a happy tommorow. Don't let it rain on you're parade. You of all people deserve a little happiness honey. Allow yourself that opportunity. Loves and hugs. Ruth
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