My Truth

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I’m very passionate about mental health and abuse awareness, mainly due to my own expieriances. I am very open about my past, which I know is something that many do not like, but I do not see why I should stay silent – afterall that’s what the abusers told me to do and I can’t let them win can I?

I don’t want nor do I expect pity or sympathy. I do not deserve it, and I do not want it, what happened happened and I am only who I am today because of it. I do not want hugs and people saying they are sorry, what I want, what I fight for every day, is for OTHERS to feel safe that they will not be judged. What I want is to make it so that those who currently suffer in silence scared of what may happen if they open up know that they are not alone, and maybe make it so that they no longer have to fear judgement and blame.

I know that my work and my speaking out will not end abuse, discrimination and suffering, but if I can just let people know that they are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence and maybe if I can make a few people stop and think then I am happy with that. I cannot stop abuse, I cannot change the world, but maybe I can help to plant the seeds of change, plant that idea in to the minds of others, and then they can help that idea to grow until one day change can and does occur. Maybe one day the things which I fight will no longer exist, but I doubt that I will see that day. I can do so little, but it’s the best I can do, I just have to hope that human nature is not as bad as I fear and that these seeds if change and the glimmer of hope will take root.

I tell my story, my truth, not for pity, but for the hope that I can help to ignite change in this world. I know most will not believe this, but I know my truth and I hope that a few of you know this truth too. This is why I spend so long creating websites, writting letters, speaking in schools, raising money and trying to spread awareness. It’s an inconvenient truth I know, but it’s a truth that needs to be known, I cannot just sweep it under the carpet when I know that it could help others. So I fight and strive with the hope of helping, of making the suffering of others that little bit better that bit more bearable.  I wish that this truth was not there, that it did not need to be spread, but it is and it does. And for this I am sorry

This is my truth

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Rape is funny…

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The sad thing is, sexual aggression in men is normalised and even praised in our society, to the detriment of all genders. Rape is not a joke. Rape is, in every case, a violation of law, international and domestic. It is not acceptable to have sex with a woman without her consent. It is not acceptable to joke about it or create the appearance that rape is funny, amusing, or acceptable. Making light of this horrific crime is a slap in the face to survivors of rape and women everywhere.

80 percent of all rapes are never reported to the police. Males report rape at even lower rates than females. The incontrovertible fact is that victims already feel hesitant to come forward, to speak, to tell their story, without feeling as if the world considers it a joke.

For those of you who wonder why rape victims get all super sensitive about rape jokes, well, this is why. Before you’re raped, rape jokes might be uncomfortable, or they might be funny, or they might be any given thing. But after you’re raped, they are a trigger. They make you remember what was done to you. And if the joke was about something that wasn’t done to you, not in quite that way, you can really easily imagine how it would feel, because you know how something exactly like that felt. Rape jokes stop being about a thing that happens out there, somewhere, to people who don’t really exist, and if they do they probably deserved it, and they start being about you. Rape jokes are about you. Jokes about women liking it or deserving it are about how much you liked it and deserved it. And they are also jokes about how, in all likelihood, it’s going to happen to you again.

Apart from that joking about things reinforces misconceptions and beliefs, people start to actually think that rape victims deserved it… NO ONE DESERVES TO BE RAPED!!! They start to believe that rape isn’t real, that people enjoy it but feel ashamed of the action the next day and so “cry rape”… and so slowly we develop a culture where rape becomes almost normal, and even acceptable… but rape is a crime, it’s not a joke, not a punch-line, not normal and DEFANTLY not acceptable. It also acts to belittle the experiance, making those who have been through rape feel that maybe it wasn’t a big deal, maybe they are overreacting, being pathetic…

The crux of the argument is this: rape jokes are triggering to rape survivors and reinforce rape myths, and seeing as so many women have survived rape, it might be considerate not to be joking about rape when you have no idea if someone listening has been affected by it

Syptoms of PTSD

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Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be terrifying. They may disrupt your life and make it hard to continue with your daily activities. It may be hard just to get through the day.

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not happen until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you probably have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms: reliving the event, avoidance, numbing, and feeling keyed up.

Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms):

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. You may have nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event. Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped

Avoiding situations that remind you of the event:

You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.

  • A person who was in an earthquake may avoid watching television shows or movies in which there are earthquakes
  • A person who was robbed at gunpoint while ordering at a hamburger drive-in may avoid fast-food restaurants
  • Some people may keep very busy or avoid seeking help. This keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.

Feeling numb:

You may find it hard to express your feelings. This is another way to avoid memories.

  • You may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships
  • You may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy
  • You may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.

Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal):

You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal. It can cause you to:

  • Suddenly become angry or irritable
  • Have a hard time sleeping
  • Have trouble concentrating
  • Fear for your safety and always feel on guard
  • Be very startled when someone surprises you

What are other common problems?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Employment problems
  • Relationships problems including divorce and violence
  • Physical symptoms

Slip-ups are part of ED recovery

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Hi, I’m Rachel (hense the green lol – we all colour coded ourselves here


Anyway, I wanted to take part, to help. We have been thinking a lot on eating disorders recsntly, in part as Sarah is struggling with ED thoughts at the moment which is effecting all of us in a negative light what it comes to food.


We had a slight ED slip-up last week, but these ARE part of recovery, and I wish to explain why this is and how it’s all a case of  HOW you think or percieve it.


Instead of thinking about it as, “There goes all my hard work, screw it then, might as well eat and purge forever now!” think about it as what it was – A bump on the road to recovery.I mean noone said that the path to recovery was easy nor smooth

The all-or-nothing thinking of eating disorders can sabotage us in recovery, because it tells us that one slip-up immediately means we have failed. In reality, recovery is a process – a marathon and not a sprint.


So, you ate well for a week? So… 7 days, 3 meals a day. That means that you had 21 opportunities to fail, right? 21 chances to eat, then puke. …But you? You succeeded 20 of those times. 20 outta 21 ain’t bad.

In fact: *does math on calculator*… You’ve scored 95.3% on recovery!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That is nowhere near bad, nowhere near failing, nowhere near ground zero. Just get up where you fell down. No need to backtrack.

Rachel

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR is an information processing therapy and uses an eight phase approach to address the experiential contributors of a wide range of pathologies. It attends to the past experiences that have set the groundwork for pathology, the current situations that trigger dysfunctional emotions, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future adaptive behaviors and mental health.

Basically, EMDR is a therapeutic technique in which the patient moves his or her eyes back and forth while concentrating on a problem or a traumatic memory. The therapist waves a stick or light in front of the patient and the patient is supposed to follow the moving stick or light with his or her eyes. The therapy was discovered by therapist Dr. Francine Shapiro while on a walk in the park.

Noone is really 100% sure of how EMDR actually works. A commonly proposed hypothesis is that dual attention stimulation elicits an orienting response. The orienting response is a natural response of interest and attention that is elicited when attention is drawn to a new stimulus.
Another theory is that humans naturally process memories and new informaion during REM sleep, but with traumatic memories this processing does not fully occur, leaving the memories unstored and still strongly connected to emotions and physical sensations. The idea here is that the eye movment in EMDR simulate REM sleep allowing the memory which is beng focused on to process.

However, there is a lot of empirical evidence for the effectiveness of EMDR, esspecially in the treatment of PTSD.

Grounding and Triggers

Being triggered, refers to being transported mentally or emotionally back in time to when the abuse was occurring. Perhaps something that someone said reminded a part of you about that time, maybe even on an entirely subconscious level. It may be as severe as a flashback or “abreaction”, or it could result in a generalized sense of anxiety and terror. In order to help you “ground”, or get back into the present day there are a variety f things you can do – this is generally called grounding
One of the fastest ways to ground, or bring yourself back from the past mentally is to shock your body of sorts. Many people recommended ice or ice water for this. Holding an ice cube is the simplest way. Filling a bowl, or even the sink with ice cubes and then covering the ice with water will allow you to put your hand or arm in the cold water. You can even splash the water on your face.
In general strong sensory input of any kind will help. Smells can help. Spray some of your favourite perfume. Peel an orange or a lemon. Vanilla is also a strong aroma. Basically anything with a strong smell can help.
Sometimes when we get very scared, we try to become invisible by doing things like closing our eyes, or holding our breath. Being conscious of these things, focusing on breathing slowly and deeply as opposed to shallowly and rapidly can help us get our bearings and calm down. Opening our eyes and noticing the things around us can help us reorient to the here and now.
Get involved with your body. Take your shoes off and rub your feet flat on the ground. Remarkably, doing this can be really “grounding”. Move your body. Again, this reverses the “get invisible” reaction. Get up and move around if you can. Wave your arms. Jump up and down. Pay attention to how your body feels in a physical sense.
Keep telling yourself “That was then, this is now”. Say it out loud. Notice things that reinforce that knowledge. Get in touch with where you are. Chances are you are having a hard time remembering that the memory, whatever it is, is not happening now. Look around you. See where you are. Be aware of what is different in this place than what was in that place. Get up and touch objects. Feel their reality. Make it a point to “See 5 things. Name 5 things. Touch 5 things.” Sometimes remembering it that way can get through the haze of memories. Have a calendar nearby that has the year prominently displayed.
Sometimes having an item that you know you couldn’t possibly have had back then helps remind you that it’s now, and couldn’t possibly be happening. Notice this object and pay attention to it when you are in a more settled state. Reinforce that this is an item that will help you ground should any of you get triggered.
If there is another person in the house, talk to them. Ask for a reality check. Call a friend, if no one is home. Even just hearing a human voice can help, so i you cannot get in touch with anyone turn on the radio or TV
Once you get somewhat more settled, do something that normally calms you down anyway. Take a warm bubble bath. Play your favorite computer game. Watch a fun movie. Go for a walk. Have one of your favorite comfort foods. Read a good book.
  • Get ice or ice water
  • Breathe – slow and deep, like blowing up a balloon.
  • Take your shoes off and rub your feet on the ground.
  • Open your eyes and look around. See you are in a different place than then.
  • Move around. Feel your body. Stretch out your arms, hands, fingers.
  • Peel an orange or a lemon. Notice the smell. Take a bite. Focus on the taste.
  • Pet your cat, dog or rabbit.
  • Spray yourself with favorite perfume.
  • Eat ice cream! Or any favorite food. Pay attention to the taste.
  • Hold a stuffie. Pay attention to the feel of it.
  • Repeat “this is now, not then”
  • Call a friend, or your T.
  • Take a shower.
  • Take a bath.
  • Go for a walk. Feel the sunshine (or rain, or snow!)
  • Count nice things.
  • Dig in the dirt in your garden.
  • Turn lights on.
  • Play your favorite music.
  • Hug a tree!
  • Touch things around you.

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