For years, I struggled to articulate my emotions and thoughts. I never could communicate the abuse which happened as a teenager. I lost my voice, identity and sense of belonging in the world. Especially during early puberty when the mind and body are developing into a young adult and you start to find yourself. Sadly, the abuse happened between the age of 13 and 14, over a six months period. This deeply effected me. Leaving me unable to trust, love and feel joy. I would fear every passing day because either a memorial date or my monthly cycle. These all triggered my PTSD. I was trapped in an isolating world of trauma where I felt alone and a prisoner in the past.
Some of the anxiety I experienced came from being a teenager but everything else did shape and change my future.
At times when in hospital completely disconnected from the world. As I sat on the white floor with white walls, I questioned life itself and doubted my worth. I lived in an empty room with none of my belongings allowed. Just a pillow and a sheet to rest my head of exploding memories and darkener dreams. I slept on the floor. I felt safer there. The floor was the most grounding, normal, real thing in this abnormal environment. I regressed back to being a thirteen years old girl again, scared of people and fearful for my life.
Some days I question how I survived the abuse and the days that followed. I am still in repair. Honestly, I think it could take many more years to recover but even through theses difficult years and challenging times, I have begun to find my voice.
For years I stayed in silence ashamed of the abuse and fearful of the perpetrators. I just felt lost. I use to think who would want to know an abuse victim, a person with trauma but once I rethought how I saw my self and the false beliefs I thought people would think. I was able to build trust and friendships again.
I shared my story at first with close friends and there words of supported helped me accept myself and they share their stories of similar issues with me. I didn’t feel alone anymore. Something inside me just ‘clicked’ in my mind, I wasn’t scared anymore. This was a very poignant moment.
After years of living in a daily state of fear which gripped my body causing it to have hours of flashbacks or my body would just freeze up unable to talk or move, it was terrifying. One time, I used to think that the perpetrators lived inside my body and blood. Now I know this was just my terrified mind lost in a state of trauma.
Recently, I have started to feel calm in myself without the trauma captivating every thought. The past still causes pain, nightmares and flashbacks but by challenging my demons and starting to shape my future. I am finding my voice after years of silence.
© Rosie Burnham