Survivors support groups: my concerns.

Those of you who know me know that I am a survivor of long term sexual abuse. But for those that do not, I was abused from childhood until just recently by a good friend of my family. For years I was numb about it all, and not willing to deal with it at all. I finally did get myself together enough to get into counselling not too long ago, and was able to work up the courage to go to the police and report this man.

Now that it is over, and I have been through that, it has not all left my mind like I had hoped it would. Stupidly, I was hoping that I would wake up the next day and feel that huge weight lift off of my heart and no longer have to deal with the images that have been in my mind since the first time he hurt me. I was wrong. In fact, since it all stopped I feel like the images have been much clearer and I have been having flash backs much more frequently. And, to be honest I am just not dealing with that well, particularly not at night time, when I have anxiety attacks and can’t sleep at all because I feel like he is watching me again.

The people I did tell, in my family and group of friends, were not very supportive at all, I lost many friends because of what happened (aside from my friends at scarleteen and here in the AGA who have been lifesavers for me in this time).

It was suggested by a couple of people, one being my counsellor, that I attend a support group with other survivors, as part of my healing, which I know I really do need. I know that these groups would be very supportive of my situation, but I have so many concerns about attending one. First off, I am scared that even if I go and don’t talk, just listening to other people talk about their own experiences will be too much for me and I will freak out there, in front of everyone. I can’t even watch a 3 second clip on TV without becoming an absolute shaking mess, so I don’t think I can actually sit there and listen to their stories and keep myself together.

I don’t know if I ever will be able to talk, for the same reasons. I don’t think I could ever speak the details of what happened out loud, it’s all much to fresh for me. I am not a really shy person at all, but with this, I have kept it a huge secret for so many years that talking to a group of people about it so openly just terrifies me. I don’t know if they will want to ask questions, or if they will think I am just stupid for not telling for such a long time. I guess I am just concerned about the whole experience, I don’t know what to expect and what they expect of me. I am scared that if this does not work, and is as bad as I am feeling it will be, then nothing will ever work.

I know it seems like such a small thing to be concerned about, and I should be happy that it’s all over. It’s just in my mind its not all over yet. I guess they don’t call us survivors for nothing though right.