Friday, 8 February 2013

Poorly Again - PTSD

This post is highly personal, and honest. Please think carefully before reading if you have your own PTSD and pain in your life, and particularly a history of sexual assualt. I won't be offended. 

I'm protecting someone. I don't know why. This person tried to take everything from me, my child, my job, my liberty. It happened a week ago. This person, a childminder in whom I placed my trust, made a serious allegation of child neglect. Child neglect is a crime, punishable with prison time. She said my child is dirty and smelly, that he is fed junk food, and that I dress him inappropriately for cold weather. She's either seriously deluded or.....I dunno, seriously deluded? She reported me to the social services safeguarding team. Fortunately Joseph has been in a placement for nearly 2 years and they totally backed me. I spoke to the social workers involved who immediately saw this allegation for what it was and proceeded no further. I have done so much safeguarding training and work that to be honest, initially I just saw this as another nuisance thing to deal with in my busy life.

But now, it's set in.

I am derailed. I thought I was doing ok. All my life I have protected people who have tried to hurt me. From the man who anally raped me at 5 years old, to the husband who married a virgin then raped her so severely she bled and was bruised. That was me. I never sought help because as a Christian (the type I was back then) had been conditioned that I had no right to say no to sex as a wife. So conditioned I was to hurt I just got on with it.

I just feel so tired. I am so sick of being attacked, of being made to feel inferior and no one can do that without my consent. I am not inferior. But I am broken.

My dear friend Daniel asked me the other day what the difference between a memory and a flashback is. Memories can be unpleasant, this is true, but memories can be, to an extent controlled. Flashbacks are involuntary memories. They are usually sensory too, physical sensations, smells, sounds, tastes, visions all come back in frightening reality. It's like being trapped inside a 3D telly until someone changes the channel.

PTSD can also make you make stupid connections. My beautiful friend Jennie lost her daughter this week. All week I had been feeling like the allegation of child neglect was the worst thing that could happen to a parent, and then I received Jennie's heart destroying news.

An allegation of child neglect is nothing. Nothing.

Nothing compares to finding your child no longer breathing, not rape, not child sexual assault and certainly not some misguided accusation of neglect.

I will get my brain back.


  1. I am so sorry to read this. What a truly vile woman to do that. Is there anyway you can do something so she doesn't get away with it?? I am appalled TBH. Life is very precious, we must live each day as if it is our last and be thankful to whatever we believe in for the small things as well as the big.

    Hugs xx

    1. The matter is in hand is all I can say at the moment, there's another layer to the story as it transpires.

      And yes you are right, we have to live each day to the full.

  2. What an honest and thought provoking post, than you for sharing. I am glad the childminder issue is all in hand, and if there are other issues at play, I suppose at least she made the allegations against you, when you could easily demonstrate how fabricated and precarious they were; perhaps someone else might not have been so lucky (although I expect that was scant comfort to you at the time).
    Even after such upheaval which would have shaken any parent badly, that you are still able to support your friend when she has experienced such a terrible loss is testament to your personal strength and compassion. Thank you for posting.

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  7. Here for you. That is all!

    I think me and you need a weekend away together! x

  8. Gosh now I understand why this week has been so hard for you personally. I think I mentioned on Twitter this week that we think we know someone because we've tweeted with them and maybe shared a cup of tea over a sponsor stand, but really, I had no idea of the trauma you've experienced. I'm so sorry...

  9. Oh Kylie. I don't know what to say. You don't deserve any of this. At all.
    Huge hugs

  10. I don't really know what to say. All I wish is that you'll get better soon. Take good care of yourself!x

  11. What a brave and honest woman you are. I think that speaking your truth goes a long way towards keeping the hurt at bay. You have nothing to be ashamed of and your courage and resilience in sharing this is inspiring. The news about your friend's daughter is beyond tragic. There are no words for that kind of pain. But I will say that you are entitled to your own anguish despite of this. Someone once said to me that denying yourself permission to feel your own pain because someone else has it worse is like saying you can't be happy because other people have it better than you. Yes, the only positive thing to come of a tragedy like that is that it gives some perspective, but don't minimise your own story either. Thank you for being so truthful and I hope that this awful childminder is prosecuted.

  12. Oh Kylie, I was in tears reading this :( You are so so brave, I am here, you know that x

  13. Not much I can say that hasn't be voiced by others. Except to say you are truly one of the most caring and loveliest ladies I've meant in the blog world. Always ready with a virtual shoulder to cry on. So, let me repay that by offering a place to pitch up and rant at whenever you feel the need. Even if its just "hey, can I have a hug please?"

    Much love sweetie x

  14. You are a strong and wonderful woman, Kylie. We are all here for you.

    (Intrigued by the new layer to the story btw!)