Even on vacation I can’t escape the flashbacks

I’ve been doing a pretty good job keeping the struggles of my reality out of my Disney vacation. I’ve managed to keep the real world distant from the (relative) safety and peace of Disney World. It’s something I’ve needed…a few days to just completely detach from my life.

Up until last night, I’d been able to do so pretty successfully. I think I actually lulled myself into a false sense of security that maybe the flashbacks were completely behind me…but of course, that’s not how this works. They don’t just disappear.

But, as they do, this one came at the worst time. I was sexually assaulted back in July, not very long ago. And just like that, when I think I might be…something resembling okay? I’m right back in that moment. I’m right back there and it’s like I’m no longer with my husband, I’m with the person hurting me. The present isn’t happening, the past is replaying.

It sucks. It more than sucks. I hate it. As much as I keep trying to ignore this, pretend it’s “fine”, act like I’m okay….I’m really not.

This honestly has destroyed a pretty big part of me. I guess I can keep pretending all I want that that isn’t the case…but I think as long as I do, I’ll always keep being brought right back to that night.

I will never feel safe in the present if my past continues to haunt me.

Today I will put it behind me and live in the moment, try to feel safe and happy and loved. And tonight…I will let alcohol do it’s job and not allow myself to feel. (Because that always works out so well for me, right?)

4 thoughts on “Even on vacation I can’t escape the flashbacks”

  1. Hi. I am also a survivor of sexual assault. I hope you can be kind to yourself. I know it’s not easy. Therapy and time and a supportive spouse have helped a lot. It took me a long time to find a therapist I felt safe with. I can’t say that the flashbacks or panic attacks or hypervigilance have completely gone away. Things happen and the dreams reappear or I feel the anxiety building. I have found new ways to cope. That’s the biggest difference.
    Writing and exercise and painting and talking with my therapist helps. Therapy can be hard to come by, so there are also the people at RAINN.
    Just know you are not alone. Hugs

    1. Thank you ❤️ luckily I was already established (for years) with a therapist who I do trust a lot, so that’s beneficial I suppose. Though for some reason I’m still finding it extremely difficult to open up about this particular thing.
      Writing has definitely been a good outlet. It does feel incredibly lonely sometimes so thank you for sharing your experience.

      1. I am glad you have someone that you trust who you can talk to. I had a difficult time talking about it for a long time. I think for me it was a combination of shame and fear and a wish that I could just make it go away somehow. I think I had to just be ready. I did find that talking about it somehow made it less frightening, but only when the person I was talking to was nonjudgmental. I know it’s hard. 💜

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