Coping with a huge trigger

A little while ago something extremely triggering happened. It wasn’t one of the everyday triggers, the smells and dates and accidental interactions that I am better at managing these days. This was a monster of a trigger. I was helping an older man with something on the canal while I was out walking my dog…

When parents let you down

I haven’t made time for writing recently, and that’s a mistake. Writing helps me order my thoughts and feel less overwhelmed, and connecting with this community gives me a sense of companionship and support. A few weeks ago, I got very withdrawn, and WordPress is one of the things I withdrew from. I was isolating…

Incest and the awful silence

Risking controversy, I’m going to be brutally honest and admit that I often wish I’d been abused by a celebrity. Or a teacher. Or at least a stranger. I’m not belittling anyone else’s experience. Really I’m not. It’s horrific to be sexually abused by anyone. Full stop. It isn’t easier or harder because you do…

Hoping to give up hope

Hopelessness is fearlessness. Because without hope there is nothing to lose, and the struggle eases. The exhaustion of striving abates. In the absence of hope, there’s a freedom, a letting go. Not wanting is desolate and liberating all at once. Wanting and hoping are intrinsically intertwined with defeat. They’re what drives us, yes, but they’re…

Finally, the tiniest bit of justice

I’m guessing a lot of people won’t have heard of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). I certainly hadn’t until a few years ago, when I attempted to prosecute my brother for the abuse he subjected me to as a child. The police were unable to take the case to court, but they urged me…

The double horror of flashbacks

It’s been months since I had a proper flashback. By ‘proper’, I mean full-on, not being able to tell what’s real, immersion in my past trauma. That awful experience of really, fully reliving it. In comparison, I get a lot of body memories and intrusive images. Those feel dreadful, but when they come up I…

My f***ing family

I got back from Germany to the news that my sister in law has breast cancer. That’s the woman who is married to my brother – the man who sexually abused me as a child. I don’t even know what I think or feel about this, other than that it’s a lot of things. I…

I took a big dive

On Tuesday I decided that I was finally going to kill myself. I didn’t think about self-harm, or poisoning myself with an almost-fatal overdose as I have in the past. This time, I was resolved to really go through with it. It’s not like I haven’t made plans for this; suicidal fantasies, schemes and logistics…

Is unconditional love a myth?

It’s amazing how fast I can get used to doing nothing. I thought that not having to work would make time move more slowly this week, but it actually hasn’t been too bad. Perhaps I really did need to take the time off, because I haven’t been bored. Having nothing to do has felt OK….

The truth hit me like a truck

A painful clarity emerged for me recently, and it’s been too hard to write about it. The strange thing is that some part of me has known this truth for a long time, but I’ve been fighting against it. I get so angry about all the denial in my family, but I realise now that…

Please tell me how to get through this

This is a plea for advice. The reasons why are a lot to go into, and I haven’t got the energy for explaining right now. But the short story is I’ve suddenly found myself smack in the middle of intense emotional pain. It feels like huge, heavy, overwhelming grief. It is completely unbearable. I keep…

Another painful birthday

How is it that a date can trigger so much distress? It’s just a day, like any other in the year. But today is a day that brings to mind so many things I would rather forget. I struggle to refer to my brother’s child as my nephew, just as I struggle to refer to…