More threads by Cat Dancer

I'm not sure if I actually have PTSD, but the two year anniversary of something very hard is coming up and I just don't know how to face it. It's about a month away and I feel extremely panicky and weak and afraid. Is this normal and how long does PTSD last?

And will the medication (Lexapro) I'm taking eventually help this?

Daniel E.
Yes, SSRIs like Lexapro can help PTSD symptoms. Of course, PTSD is a form of anxiety, so any treatment that helps one's anxiety would be helpful, especially therapy or self-help that helps one fully address and desensitize recurring memories. PTSD symptoms can be acute or chronic.
Well, tomorrow is THE day and I feel kind of nervous about it. I've been doing a lot of thinking about why what happened did happen. I just want to see things more clearly, but sometimes I wonder if thinking about it and trying to figure it out is really helpful? I trusted someone who lied to me, who hurt me and I'm trying to understand how I can prevent things like this from happening to me again.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I'm not sure that thinking about it is necessarily going to make it worse but realistically my guess is that you are going to be thinking about it whether you want to or not.

It's a complex issue in some ways: You were betrayed by someone who took your trust and exploited it (and this isn't the first time this has happened to you). Under such circumstances, I think it is natural to become a bit more cautious and distrustful as a way of protecting yourself in the future, and that's certainly not a bad thing, as long as it doesn't become a barrier to trusting anyone at all. It's also important to remember that this is not a "flaw" in you -- it's a flaw in the person who betrayed you.


Maybe you could plan something for yourself to do for the day, Janet. Maybe a craft, or a game, or something fun. Just something to keep your mind occupied with other than ruminating over a past hurt. That's not to say that thoughts of this incident won't surface, but if you're busy they're less likely to be able to take over your mind and bring you down. :eek:)


Hard Event

Hi Janet!

Me again, I hope am not bugging you too much.

I have just finished reading your posts in the Family Abuse section.

How tragic that your husband is such a loser. I sure hope to hear that one day soon you will leave in and he will become your Loser Ex Husband.

I can not believe that anybody could treat such an intellegent, kind, caring, creative, helpful individual like you in such a controlling, abusive manner.

My grandmother also was very emotionally, mentally, physically abusive to me as well. She had the ultimate power of control over me and even though she has been dead 9 years, she still has control over me and the way I perceive myself.

I was told that I would never amount to anything if I didn't . . ., I was a slut because I liked boys when I was 14, I was stupid, etc., etc., etc.

I forget how old I was when I realized she did not have eyes in the back of her head. When I was being naughty (almost all of the time) I would be given the strap (a knife sharpening leather strop) and would have to sit on a chair in the kitchen. She would be at the kitchen counter doing something kitcheny, but would still be able to see me making faces behind her back, or fidgeting or something. I finally figured out that what she would be doing was watching my reflection on a mirror that was placed in a convenient location. She of course controlled this situation by telling me she had eyes in the back of her head and she could see everything.

Of course I thought all of this type of abuse was normal and everybody got strapped until they were bruised, and believed everything she said to me.

Please, please, please make the right desicion to ditch that loser so you can get on having a happy life for yourself - you more than deserve it.


Oops! Sorry Janet, I forgot to tell you I'll be thinking of you tomorrow. Maybe you could go out and shoot some more of your beautiful photos!
I am going to try to stay busy. I'm going to make a list of a bunch of stuff I need to do. I thought about just getting something alcoholic and drinking away the day, but I don't drink so I'm not sure what that would do to me.

I don't know why I always seem to trust the wrong people. There are people who could tell me just anything and I would believe them.

Cherry, you are not bugging me at all! I am so sorry your grandmother was so cruel. That is so bizarre about the mirror. How mean of her to do that. A grandmother should just love you and treat you with love.

I had a grandmother who was similar in that she thought I was going to always be bad. I always wondered if she was abused as a child and she just wanted to protect me. She told my mom not to even let us wear shorts and jewelry and makeup. And if you ate certain foods you were bad. And I still struggle with this stuff. It's sad how these things affect us even after the people are gone.

And the thing about my husband is that he is SO nice to me sometimes. I'm always trying to figure out what I did to make him angry or trying to guess ahead what I might do. I want to figure it out so that he'll be nice to me ALL the time or most of the time. Sometimes I wish he would leave and then I'm sure I would go running after him like a little puppy dog 'cause maybe he is the only one who could ever love me. I think this MIGHT not be true but I can't be sure. If that makes any sense.

I hope I can deal with these things in time and figure things out. I just don't understand him at all.

The weird thing about what happened two years ago is that I can't remember what happened before or after, but the THING itself is burned into my brain. I can't forget it, or gloss it over or make sense of it and it affected me physically for several days. I don't remember how I got through it last year. Right now I feel really disconnected from it. I know I'll get through tomorrow. I'll think about it and it will be hard, but I'll get through it somehow. I will not hurt myself, that I vow.

Cherry, I hope there will be a pretty sunset. That would help. Maybe I can take a picture of the lacy trees against the sky or something. Or my dog if she'll be still. Or maybe I'll set a timer and take pictures of myself to prove to me that I survived. Maybe my cats won't give me the evil eye long enough for me to take pictures of them. Maybe I'll cry? I don't know. Maybe I'll get the good china out and eat off of it by myself. Maybe I could wear something pretty. I'm hoping I'll have a key to one of the cars after my husband leaves out of town for work so maybe I could go out or something. Or maybe that would be too scary. I could bake some cookies. That would be fun.

I just hope I can stop thinking about what I could have/should have done. I can't change it no matter what.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
I will ask you this, Janet: Find something beautiful or wonderful tomorrow and take a picture of it. Make the day be beautiful. Make something in the day be beautiful. If you can do that, you will have beaten him. You will have beaten the person who did this to you. And you will have proved that he cannot take away the beauty from your life and that no one else can take that away either.
I will do that. I already took some pictures and I'm going to take some more. I am still here in the world and I am ok. I'm really fighting those "how did I get myself into this mess" thoughts, but sometimes there just aren't any answers I guess.

And I'm organizing my cds which are in a horrendous mess. Ugh. How did I let that happen? That will take all day.



Hi Janet!

I'm glad to see you are having a good day today. I'd love to see your new photos!

I will look in my gardening books today for plants & floweres that attract butterflies. I will not be able to get names for you until later this evening, as I am at work right now, and have basketball practice today after school.
I wish I could figure out how to separate myself from this THING that happened. It's like somehow it is eating away my insides and it has changed who I could ever be. I can't explain it. It's somehow become ME. I am this THING. It is me.


Hi janetr,
I think this would be an issue to go and talk to a professional about, if you can. It looks like you've acknowledged an issue and are beginning to explore it now. I thinks that's a courageous step and an inspiration to others.
So I was out in the "real world" today and I saw this car, blazer actually, that was the same type of car associated with the person who hurt me. I just burst into tears and started shaking. I feel like I'm just losing it sometimes. I know I need help, but there must be some way to deal with this stuff in the meantime.



Hi Janet!

I don't know what or who it was that hurt you so badly, but I can ony use my overactive imagination.

The thing is, that you did not deserve at all whatever it was that happened. I know this from reading your posts and corresponding with you in private messages. I would suspect that it has something to do with being a woman and being used in an unbecoming way.

Again I urge you to seek counselling services of some kind. Is there not a crisis intervention number that you could call? I know it is difficult regarding transportation.

You are such a delightful person to talk to. You are very creative and artistic. You have such a wonderful insight of other people, yet can't seem to see these intrisic values in yourself. Janet, you are a very caring and nurturing person.

To my way of thinking (which may not be right, but it is my way of thinking) you need to evaluate certain injustices in your in you life. Write down a list. Put away the list for a while.

Concentrate on the things that you find positive about yourself, ie, "big one" Mentor on this site, great photographer, creative, artistic, etc. etc.

You really need to become more independent from your husband, and this can become real by your taking again "baby steps" towards that goal. Take one tiny step at a time.

This can involve something as simple as making a new friend, looking for work, reading a book regarding something that you yourself enjoys, or joining a club that supports something that you are interested in.

Anyways bye for now Janet - you know I think you can do it!


Hi Janet, I'm very new here so I know very little of what's going on.

I made a post in the quote section and one of the quotes was "Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go."

I realize that even though your desire might be to not hold onto this particular person/hurt, you do. You can simply let go. (I know it's easy for me to say, but you can). If you focus on just letting go, you might be able to do it.

Have you mourned the loss of the relationship or person or the feelings that you have? Have you sat down and really let yourself feel the feelings? It could be cleansing, and could provide a closure of sorts.

I once heard something about writing down whatever happened in as great of detail as you can, sitting with it, feeling it, and then get a fireproof container and burn the paper. I actually have never tried it myself but maybe it might be worth considering, it might help.
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