Friday, July 25, 2008

Fear Of Being Alone - Rape Trauma Syndrome

Everyday it seems like I know what I want to write about and then I am overwhelmed by some emotion.... currently it is fear.


I have been staying with a friend since the incident and they are gone tonight. I have an unexplainable dread. I don't know if it is because I think someone will come and hurt me. I have evaluated this fear in my mind for a couple hours now and I feel safe where I am at ( I am not in the city the incident took place). I am just terrified, horrified, want to cry and curl up. The fear is like no fear I have felt before.

I of course searched for why I would feel such impending doom in a place where I feel safe. When searching for fear and rape, I did not find to much that was helpful. I did find other peoples feelings on forums, but I want more. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!

I did find information about Rape Trauma Syndrome at Medicine Australia. After reading it I am sure I will refer to it often. I found what it said about fear here:

Immediate effects - first weeks

Emotional reactions that may be present:shock, numbness, embarrassment, guilt, powerlessness, loss of trust, fear, anxiety, anger, disbelief, shame, depression, denial, retriggering, disorientation

Short-term effects - up to 3-4 months

generalised anxiety & fear.
disturbance - of eating, sleeping, thoughts, relationship.
disruption - to create safety eg change of phone number.
impaired social functioning
difficulty in maintaining/ establishing relationships.
guilt for not preventing assault (often).
sudden, unpredictable changes of residences and disappearances.
negative impact of legal processes.

Intermediate effects - up to 1 year

disruption and change in lifestyle - eg move house, change job.
increased dependence - eg on family.
sleep disturbance, often nightmares.
fear and phobias eg going out or being alone, cleanliness,
sexuality - eg body image, flashbacks, loss of enjoyment
past rape/incest - brings up past abuse.
"damaged" goods - eg thinks others can tell.

It does help to see there is a reason and I am not the only one that is broken or feels broken. But I'll be damned if I am going to be in this much fear and dread for a year. My coping skills thus far have been alright, but apparently I need a little more. I will inform you when I better me.


Victoria Placeo

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