Keeping Perspective

Even though I have struggled over the past few weeks, I look back a year and see that I’m so much better.

A day I feared, passed this without me even thinking about it. That day was a I went to the police station to report.

Whatever happens now, I have to keep perspective. Yes it happened, but it was a long time ago. I now am able to accept what happened but I’m not fused by it. I’m now a functional adult (well almost).

To live in the now, has been a real task. There are time I get triggered but they are not as bad as they were.

I’m not fully healed but I’m further along my journey, I’m able to deal with the emotions and memories better.

With only two more therapy sessions left, I feel that I am not the person I was a year ago or even six months ago.

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Moving forward

Over the last few weeks I’ve struggled with my emotions. I know that it’s part of the healing process, but this is the first time I’ve really felt them.

I’m not sure if this is normal but in a way it’s kind of freeing. I’m also realising that some of my behaviour is affected. This kind of bothers me, as I know that others can be affected.

Sometimes, I tend to self sabotage. Which can be a form of self harm, I realise that alcohol is one of my go to things for self medication.

I also need to learn to say no, I realise that I should not have taken the role in my last play. I was so taken with the awesome summer I had. I didn’t see that I was not fully mentally prepared and I began to loose the love for the theatre I have.

So, now I taking a break from the theatre, I’m starting to miss it. I still need to recharge my batteries and enjoy the variety of my life.

What a year.

This time a year I thought I had nothing to live for. But, I filled out one form and spoke to a lovely police person.

It has been an awesome year in many ways, firstly having the strength to continue. To be able to do the right thing, by going to the police. That brought up its own problems but it was worth it. It caused me a lot of anxiety and pain. I had to relive what happened and come to terms with possibility of facing you abuser in court. Also the psychological pain of not knowing what the outcome would be.

I had to take a month of work due to the state my mental health was in. However, it did bring some relief.

I had less worries over Christmas and new year. In February, I moved teams at work, a fresh start. In March, I started therapy. This was weekly and now fortnightly.

The police confirmed that they weren’t able to locate the person who had abused me, time to draw a line under that.

As far as drama is concerned, it’s been a busy year. Doing panto over Christmas, then straight into rehearsals for A Comedy of Errors. I was also doing backstage work on another play. Then came summer almost no stop until this wee (bar week on the cruise).

Even though I still have a lot of work to do, I’m in a better place than I have been in almost thirty three years.

Recovery from abuse

I’m now at a point where, I’m starting to feel that recovery is possible. Having had to face for the first time. Having to feel and understand how much progress I’ve made.

This last week has been very painful, it eight years since I disclosed. In the last eight years, I’d never actually felt the feelings. I would let them overcome me and I would not be able to function.

Yes the last week was tough, on many levels. But I realise that, it’s all part of the journey. I’m not going to say a I’ve been cured, but I can now just observe and acknowledge what happened.

As I heal, I realise that I have good mental health and no longer an illness or a label. I’m now person who loves life and I know that recovery is not only possible but it happens.

Holiday

I’ve just got back from an awesome holiday, I went on a cruise to Norway. I feel that this is a breakthrough, I was able to be Ed. Just me, no preconceptions from others.

It was liberating, as I finally felt “normal”. Not to say I didn’t have my moments, I was nervous before boarding. However I managed to just lay my past down for a few days.

I’ve also had a chance to think about my life, one thing I want to do more than ever now is to help other survivors. I want to be able to tell them that despite what we’ve been through, there is an end to the pain.

So I have a new list of things to achieve.

A reflection on the prodigal son.

Through the last eight years I’ve found, that I’ve revisited this parable. It means so much to me.

I can see myself in each of the characters. Firstly the sone who stayed, for many years I asked the question “why me?” It ate at my very being, I was resentful and feeling abandoned. I felt that I was the only one, I’ve worked hard and found I had nothing to show.

As time has progressed, I identified with the second son, the one who thought the grass was greener. Having faced my lowest times and come through. I still feel at times I’m not worthy. I haven’t been the best brother, son and friend. The support I’ve had has always been the best.

Now I come to the father, this is more difficult, but I’ve had to forgive myself for blaming myself. I have accepted what has happened and yes it has affected me but I have a feeling of belonging.

Memory

So one of the things I’ve been working on, is how to bring my positive memories to the fore. So this evening I’ve made a point of looking at the positive thoughts and memories.

When I started my journey, all I thought was my childhood was ruined. It wasn’t, I have some awesome memories, small little things. Like spending time with my grandparents and family holidays.

One of the strongest positives, happened in my mid 20s. I was involved with The Prince’s Trust. I was fortunate enough to be selected for their volunteers program. Only now do I see how important it was for me.

It’s given me a special outlook on life, spending time with those less well off. Even though I knew then that I had to face this.

So was my childhood ruined, no but it was affected.

The last eight years

The last eight years have been so painful and dark. On many occasions I felt that the only way out was to either runaway from everything or worse end it all. There have been days where I just faked my smile and was crying inside.

During these years, I’ve only really experienced joy on a few occasions, this tested my strength. I thought that this nightmare would never end. All I could see was the negative things and thoughts. There was nothing I could do to lift my emotional state.

After many attempts with short term therapy, four in total. I had my twelve sessions, then discharged. Not once did anyone notice a pattern, this is mainly due to the poor funding for mental health.

In February 2018, I wrote to my MP. She received a letter from the local mental health services, they admitted that my needs were complex and required more detailed intervention. I have been in therapy since March this year, it been hard. There have been days when I have struggled. These were because I didn’t hide from my feelings.

Now, I’ve made so much progress, I’m now having less therapy and learning to accept what happened to me and acknowledge that it’s there but just like an unwanted visitor who pops by to say hello.

Whatever happened to me, I’m more than the sum of these memories.

I’m now moving in the right direction, living life to the fullest.

Emotional days

The last week I’ve been an emotional wreck, finally facing my feelings. I never thought that it would be so painful.

I feel that I’ve never been in a train crash, battered and bruised. Sleep has been at a premium. I know that I’m going to be better for going through this, but it seems like it’s going on forever.

For the first time I’ve not run from my feelings, actually feeling emotions and naming them. The anger and hurt has been at the centre of these issues. The positive thing is I’m able to say yes that happened and it’s in the past.

I’m now starting refocus, on my future, restarted my course and I told my therapist.