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Past trauma impacting on relationships

Hi there evereyone,


I'm new here and just wanted some other peoples perspective on what is going on with me, and if anyone can relate ect. Any input will be greatly appreciated. I'll try and keep it as condensed as possible... 


I have struggled with my mental health since I was 12 years old (I am now 27). In my teens I went through some very diffucult times. I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression, and went through a self harm phase and 'weird' thing with food. In this time I really did not have a solid support network around me, and I felt abondonded by those who loved me and who I loved. My mental health has fluctuated since then but have manged to have my life pretty together.


Last year however I went through a really hard time after a sexual assult and other significant life stressors all hapening at once. During this time I started seeing a psychologist as I was suicidal and making really poor life decisons. In this time I disclosed to her that I had been raped 8 years prior to this incident and I think the fact that I had never spoken about it to anyone, or admitted to myself that it was rape, kind of caught up with me and sent me spiralling. I stopped seeing my therapist maybe 12 months ago because I started feeling a bit better (not imminently suicidal). I thought that bringing these things out into the open would help 'fix me' in a sense, but ever since going to see my therapist I cannot get other memories out of my head that I thought I had burried.


I've never spoken about them to anyone, and it's a very complex situation, but it involved myself when I was 12-13 years old and an older trusted family member. I still struggle to understand/ process what exactly happened, however I know for a fact that the relationship was inappropriate, it's just that I cannot remember/ do not want to remember to what extent. I have snipets of memory, or have recognised familiar sexual touches that take me back to that time. If that makes sense? I feel so ashamed for wondering if these things are true, or 'accusing' him of this because I loved and cared for this person dearly, and he also had significant mental health issues, that ended in him commiting suicide a few years later. My immedite family or I barely had contact with him after I was 13 as my I guess my parents sensed something was very off. I cannot help but feel partially responsible for his death, and the horrible feelings he would have felt leading up to his death, as I feel like he was ostracised from some family members due to what was going on... I didn't expect to actually go in to that much detail, but anyway. 


I have had two men in the last year highlight that I sabotage relationships, or have said that I am incapable of wanting/ being in a normal relationship. The more I think about it the more I start to agree with what they are saying. I am now understanding that I push people away, and that I subconciously hurt them when they get too close, especially if I like them as a person. I even notice that I do it when making new friends or when getting to know new work collegues ect. I am also so aware now of a wall that I have had up between me and my family since I was a teenager. 


Sorry for the long ramble, but I guess what I'm trying to ask is is anyone else going through/ been through this. Is this behaviour  product of me being hurt by people I have trusted before (including feeling abandoned)? Is there hope that I can make a loving and solid connection with someone without sabotaging it? And how can I get to that stage? I'm aware that talking to a psychologist is inherently important, but what else is there that I can do to connect normally? I guess I have never really cared about my health or my future, and have behaved a bit reckless. But I can honestly now say that I want to be well and be kind to myself and those around me. I want to be able to love and feel loved. 


Re: Past trauma impacting on relationships


I have struggled with many similar things that you mention, including weird food stuff.  Great way to describe it... and not realising I had been silent about and suffered early sex abuse despite being reasonably well educated.  I am a lot older and really respect your honesty in sharing and the way you shared especially your last sentence.


It will take time, but I do think there is HOPE especially as you have found therapy relatively early on.  DOnt give up, be kind to you and others. Its a great way to live.

Smiley Happy



Re: Past trauma impacting on relationships

Thank you so much for your response Appleblossom.

It's comforting to know there are others out there who have gone through similar experiences, as cliched as that sounds. I think because I've never spoken or opened up to anyone about these things, I've therefore been fumbling along with only my own thoughts and adivce for a while. I think being about to, in a way, reach out on this type of platform is the first step to being able to open up properly with a therapist.

Thanks again, your response really means a lot Smiley Happy 

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