It has affected me.
The symptoms are not something I notice on a daily basis. I’m quite sure there are more that I don’t even recognize. Before entering this online sisterhood and learning more about what this life does to us, I really had no idea what I was experiencing was a direct result from continual verbal, physical and psychological abuse. I just thought it was from years of pent up hate and hostility, and the enormous restraint in holding back from pushing him into oncoming traffic.
For the most past, I am aware that I have some symptoms due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would’ve never have related PTSD to abuse. To me that is reserved for soldiers who have been in battle. Who have had to murder to protect their county and who have witnessed their friends be murdered right beside them. I can’t imagine what they must go through when at war but I never thought it could be comparable to what I was going through in my own home. It still doesn’t correlate all the time. However, I’ve come to understand that I am fighting in my own war.
FACT: Depression and anxiety can make it very difficult to go out and socialize with friends or maintain a job, worsening the situation and perpetuating the domestic violence cycle. Often a victim will find it very difficult to talk about what he or she has suffered, and as a result becomes alienated from friends and family. If they have suffered from severe, long-term abuse they are also more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
This means they will suffer from constant, chronic anxiety, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, flashbacks, unwanted memories and an exaggerated startle response.
The effects are truly endless. This is why it is important that victims of domestic abuse find a supportive network of other victims to engage with. Feeling that you are not alone can make a huge difference to your self-esteem and your ability to cope with what you have gone through. It’s also important that victims find a good counselor or therapist with whom to work through their problems.
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Well, I was actually only going to mention the one symptom of PTSD that is a huge problem for me. Exaggerated Startle Response. Basically, it’s when you normally jump when someone pops up and tries to scare you. Except for me, it is a bazillion times intensified and it happens even when I know the person is in the same room with me or even next to me. I may see them move from the corner of my eye and I’ll jump. Or if someone is on my left and all of a sudden they’re on my right I will scream and/or jump. There is usually profanity involved – but I’m pretty sure that’s a personality trait. My kids think it’s hilarious and make fun of me about how I’m scared of my own shadow. They don’t realize what it stems from and that’s fine by me.
With posting tonight’s fact, I am now realizing that I may have some depression and/or anxiety going on as well. I think I have most, if not all, of the symptoms listed in that paragraph. It’s so strange to me because I really feel like I am on top of it all. In no way do I feel disabled from my situation but it’s becoming clear that I may not have everything under control. Most everyone I’ve come in contact with since blogging has said they’ve gone to or are in therapy and it’s been helpful, etc. I think it is awesome that so many people recognize they needed the help and have gotten it. To be honest, every time someone said I would need to get help once I got out, I politely agreed but really thought to myself…nah, I’m good. Not that I have anything against therapy. Some of my best friends are – – Psychologists. Really. Well, okay…just one. I do admit when I’m wrong [rarely] and I’m getting closer to agreeing that yes, I think some form of therapy is definitely in my future.
This is something I came across over the summer and even though I do feel strong and capable most days, these feelings are always just under the surface.
Fact Source: Domestic Violence UK
Fact Source: Joyful Heart Foundation
To read from the beginning… #MyStory starts here.