Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

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SilverSpin
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Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

Post by SilverSpin »

Hi everybody, first off, I wasn't sure if this was the best board to post on so do feel free to move it if there's somewhere more appropriate. I joined up quite a while ago, very new to all of this and have been working on a lot of past trauma as well as current stresses. I still feel like I'm finding my rhythm and figuring out what works for me and what doesn't seem to. I do find it difficult sometimes as my son has disabilities and requires a lot of care, so making time for myself (or just getting peace and quiet) isn't always easy.

Anyway, to come to the point - I was sexually abused for many years by my step-father and have often felt that is at the root of my troubles in adult life. My family took his side when I spoke out about it and I have to say I think that might have hurt me even more than what he did. I have had a lot of addictive behaviours over the years and have often lived a chaotic sort of lifestyle, which I think has often been a way of avoiding dealing with what he did to me.

I've been having counselling for the last few months and feel safe enough with the counsellor now to start talking about what he did. However, I know from past experience that the feelings of terror that start to come up trigger my addictive/avoidance habits again and I can't usually get past that to actually unpack it and deal with it once and for all.

I really want to deal with it this time. I don't want this huge shadow in my life any more, but I get scared that if I let it out of the box, it will consume me. It's difficult for me to deal with any kind of disruption in my life because of needing to take care of my son, but equally I know I can't keep this locked up inside forever. I feel like it eats away at me; I don't trust anyone, I'm scared to take risks (I don't mean really dangerous situations, I mean just simple things like being honest with people or going on a date). I feel like I live my life in the shadow of what he did and I really want him to become a small part of my life that I can pack away quietly and not be affected by every day.

What I would really appreciate any advice on is, if you feel there are any particular practices or rituals that I can use as a framework while I work through this with the therapist? Things that make you feel safer, that keep you in your own body (I disassociate when things get bad and lose days at a time sometimes), things that would help me stick to healthier habits rather than using unhealthy ones to cope, and things that offer protection? I have a real fear of opening up something 'dark' and other 'dark' things getting in and that makes me feel anxious about trying to do the work. I want to get the work done, but I'm worried about things getting worse for a while and feel a bit like a lamb to the slaughter.

I did find another thread relating to healing from rape and rituals involving thread cutting and Artemis were mentioned, along with some crystals (amber, fire agate and black tourmaline) so I will start looking at that. I wondered if there's anything else you might suggest that would help with healing and protection?

Sorry it's so long and I'm really sorry if it's upsetting for anyone else to read; I know this happens to a lot of people and I'm sorry if reading about it has opened up a wound for anyone else.

Many thanks in advance xx
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Firebird
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Re: Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

Post by Firebird »

You are incredibly brave to face this, and its true we must face our pain in order to be healed, and just a wee caveat... it will be hard especially in the beginning. I would also suggest a group setting with others who have had similar traumas, the healing seems expedited when you hear from others. There will be tears, and really tired days after these sessions but stick to it, because the only thing that sucks worse than the trauma itself is having it control your life.
There are some good meditations on you tube, learning to relax the mind is important lest we stay in hyper-vigilance. I like to light a candle and check in with my body ...feet on the floor, pat calves and thighs feel your butt in the chair, is the cushion comfy or not, then your back, feel the strength holding your torso up, push your shoulders back, feel your arms, wiggle your fingers, turn your hear left then right a few times. A stretch after is good.
One thing that most others won't notice you are doing when you are feeling uncomfortable, is to spin a ring upon your finger, just round and round. It should help some.
Best wishes on your healing journey,
Firebird
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.”
― Jim Morrison
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
― RWEmerson
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SilverSpin
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:42 am
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Re: Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

Post by SilverSpin »

Thank you so much, Firebird, that's really helpful, particularly re checking in with your body - that's something I find really difficult as I do go out of my own body when I get stressed or frightened and that's a really good practice to do a few times a day just to keep noticing things. I'm trying to get into good routines during the day when things are okay so that the more difficult times are more manageable. I do have the habit of not making the effort when I feel okay (I'll do it later, which quickly becomes 'I haven't done it for a fortnight') so I think if I can get into a good daily routine that just becomes very normal hopefully it will be easier to stick with it over time. I love the ring idea; I'll have a look round for something nice. Thank you so much for your help and understanding xx
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Firebird
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Re: Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

Post by Firebird »

LoL, I'm very familiar with the "do it later" scenario, it's very hard to break free of. Take it in small bites, force yourself through some of it but reserve the right to say, I just can't do that now. And above all cut yourself some slack, we can't do it all and that's ok.
There was one visual a group leader shared with us once to illustrate what the road to healing looks like. I, like many, learn best with visuals. This made it clear that it will not just be zip to the top in a strait line but rather a meandering path with many triumphs and many tribulations, nonetheless progress is being made, it gave me hope that if I stuck to it I things will get better.
I made a little drawing to put into perspective "the visual"
The winding road accends
The winding road accends
I'll check back soon and see if I can add more ritualistic healing processes. Maybe others have what worked to keep the self in ones body. Which brings to mind, all grounding techniques. (which there are many, try the search bar and see what comes up)
Bb,
Firebird
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.”
― Jim Morrison
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
― RWEmerson
:mrgreen:
SilverSpin
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:42 am
Gender: Female

Re: Grounding and Protective Practices When Healing/Dealing with Rape and Sexual Assualt

Post by SilverSpin »

Hi everyone,

It's been a very long time since I logged in, and I just wanted to fill in a bit on what happened. It's been a truly terrible time and I hadn't realised the significance of the timing until I logged in yesterday and saw the date of this thread.

Basically within a matter of days of deciding I was going to really work at this unprocessed, unpleasant stuff, we were offered a new home. I took that as a very good thing; our home at the time was very small and cramped, with very noisy neighbours. The place we were offered was bigger, in a nicer area and, on meeting the neighbours they seemed very nice and friendly so everything looked good.

Unfortunately this turned out not to be the case and within a matter of weeks of moving in it became apparent that our immediate (male) neighbour was essentially a combination of every abusive man and woman I've been unfortunate enough to encounter in my life. He was violent, abusive, a very heavy user of drink and drugs, he had convictions for violence against children, he mistreated his partner, children and dog and he had an army of abusive men around him who joined in with the taunting and noise harassment that we were subjected to for months after I asked him to turn his music down. The police and housing association were unable to help us in any meaningful way and we basically just shut ourselves in for months, only going out when he wasn't there as our only access in and out of the property was past his front door. It took us eight months to find somewhere else to live and we ended up having to move over 400 miles as it was the only place we could find where my son's disablities could be supported and that we could afford.

We've been in our new place now for about five months and so far, it's all going very well. We're still reeling from everything that happened but we've been able to live here without incident so we haven't had any new unpleasant stuff to deal with, which is a blessing.

What I realised when I read this thread again yesterday is that every time in my life I have attempted to deal with my past stuff, some big event has happened in my real life that has taken my attention away from healing myself, and more often than not, has created more wounds and more problems. I did still manage to work through some of my issues as his behaviour triggered a lot in me but it has all left me feeling exhausted and very worn out. I'm hoping to spend the winter hunkering down and working on getting strong again and getting back to being me.

Anyway, that was just to update and not leave the thread hanging. Glad that life is calmer and a bit clearer now :)
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