I recently had one of the worst flashbacks to my abuse that I’ve had in a while. In fact, it’s still bothering me today. It’s lingering. It got me thinking about the things that abuse, rape, etc can cause. So many of us who go through these types of horrors end up with a ton of extras in our lives that we surely could live without.
Yeah, we get depressed but some of us already have that going on chemically in our brains and the abuse just brings it out more. Strong, bigger, worse. For me, I’m bi polar but mildly. Like I’m mostly depressed but when I do have mania, it’s relatively mild, not dangerous or out of control. I’m sure my stepfather didn’t give me that, but he sure as hell hasn’t helped it any. As if being bi polar isn’t hard enough, on top of it you get the reminders of certain events or sometimes thoughts just show up in your brain and you’re depressed. Another thing these perpetrator do give us is PTSD. That really helps my bi polar too (not). Flashbacks, smells, sounds, music, things that remind me of that time all cause me to almost curl up into myself and then I can’t get it out of my head, sometimes for days.
My rape and torture caused a lot of fucked up shit in my head that to this day I struggle to get rid of. It has added to my bi polar and the PTSD has made it all worse. Another lovely gift I got from my abuse is addiction. How do I make the bad thoughts, reminders and images go away from my mind? I tried weed but weed makes me sick and it didn’t really do anything to push out all the bad. When I discovered opioids it was like finding heaven. So they became my favourite thing….for a long time. And for a while I was a pretty good functioning addict. Then it kind of fell apart when I got depressed one day and tried to step in front of a bus. Ended up in a hospital and they realized “Hey, she has a pill problem.” Apparently you shouldn’t ask for oxys when you’re in the hospital. Who knew?! On opioids I had no thoughts, no cares, no anything. No flashbacks, no depression, no anything.
Not everyone who has been abused or raped, etc becomes an addict, it’s just another one of those ways some of us end up coping. This can be an addiction to anything…food, sex, porn, not just drugs.
So I went through, not a real program because I couldn’t afford that, but with my therapist and psychiatrist I managed to kick them myself. Being an addict never goes away, I’ll always be one and in fact pills cross my mind a lot if I am stressed out. There is no shame in being an addict. I am who I am. Anyone who is afraid of my past or the issues I have dealt with is unnecessary in my life.
Now the only pills I’m on are my psych meds which are worth being on and not addictive…at least not in the sense that you get high off of them. If it wasn’t for my psych meds I’d be dead, I am sure of it. And I appreciate that I can have a psychiatrist to help me regulate them and a therapist to help me work through the PTSD. Again, no shame in getting help, no shame in taking meds for my depression. I get told by some people…”You shouldn’t take these meds, they are too dangerous.” No, you do you, I do me. I’d be more dangerous to myself without these meds. Don’t shame the person who is getting help because you have chosen an alternative route. We are not all the same.
Honestly our perpetrators give us a lot more than the abuse. These guys (and women) fuck us up. For life. Yeah we can have functional, normal lives and decent relationships but we always have those moments that we have to learn to cope with. We can appear to be doing alright but we know things others don’t, we feel things other don’t and we’re smarter than the monsters.