Trigger Warning: My Fault

14 Feb

**Content warning for suicide and rape**

On Wednesday night I found myself at a&e after taking an overdose. This has been coming on for weeks now, I’ve felt the build up, tried to ignore it and tried to talk about it but nothing seemed to help, I wanted to die, simple.

I went through the process of having my bloods taken, and essentially in a cubicle ignored in a&e (so sad that it’s how you’re still treated) until they decided to admit me for observation and I was taken on to a medical assessment unit.

In the morning a doctor came to see me and passed me medically fit and said I just had to wait for the psychiatry liaison team to pass me mentally fit before I could go – all standard up until now.

The woman arrived after about 30 mins (which is extremely quick for them) and we found a private room so we could chat. Unfortunately I’ve been through enough of these to know the process and I was ready with the answers before the questions even started. However, this was different, she didn’t stick to the usual format.

She asked me to explain why I was there (which is normal). I told her that I didn’t want to be alive, that the pain was too much for me the day before and I just wanted it to stop. She asked what pain and I told her the pain from the trauma, mentally, that I’m reliving it so many times, how am I supposed to live this way. At this point I assumed she knew what my trauma was, after all she had come from a department with access to my notes.

She kept pressing me, asking what specifically I was struggling with and I said I really didn’t want to talk about it. At which point she started on the, ‘we’ll if you don’t tell anyone how can you be helped’ lecture. I can’t remember how, but I said something about gang rape and she said oh so that’s what happened. Realising she had no clue, I said yes I thought you’d know that much – I was gang raped/raped multiple times over a 2 year period and everyday, in one way or another, I relive that as if it was happening all over again and I’m just tired of it.

And then she asked me a question that floored me, “there must have been some consent?” I asked why she’d say that and she said that I went there at times of my own free will and therefore must have consented. I told her there was never any consent. She asked if I was seeing one of them and I told her yes, kind of and she said well there was some consent then.

I’ve always blamed myself for exactly the reasons she was saying and to hear someone else put it out there hurt so much. Everyone else in my team has always said it’s not my fault and it’s something we need to work on to get me to see it. Now I’m thinking people really think like this woman but just too kind to say it!

She asked when I left hospital what I was going to do, I said sleep as I’d been awake all night and then I couldn’t promise what I’d do then. I’ve now slept, and my urges are just as high as Wednesday night and I’m not sure what to do, maybe try and sleep again and call my cc in the morning.


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  1. Lyttle green

    February 14, 2014 at 3:46 am

    You are not to blame !
    I am so angry at that incompetent idiot. You should never have to hear that crap. If you feel up to it, you would be perfectly within your rights to complain. Please do tell your regular team about this. I’m so sorry you’ve been put through this.i wish I could make you believe you are not at fault. Xx

    • Female PTSD

      February 14, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Thankyou, it just hit a raw nerve as something I believe about the situations I was in 🙁 x

  2. CarrieCatticas

    February 14, 2014 at 4:28 am

    It is NOT your fault.

    I’m so sorry you were treated that way. That woman should *not* be in the job she is speaking to people like that. Rape is rape. I do hope you can complain or at least talk to your team about this. It’s so, so wrong how she talked to you.

    • Female PTSD

      February 14, 2014 at 9:10 am

      Thanks so much – I’m going to call my cc this morning I think x

  3. LittleFeet

    February 14, 2014 at 8:04 am

    What Carrie said. A hundred, a thousand, a million times over. I hope you can find the strength to complain.

    The way the psych liaison woman spoke to you, and the content of her message is outrageous. If she hasn’t already, the woman is at risk of re-traumatising already suffering people.

    If you do choose to make a complaint, give me a shout. I’m happy to proof read emails etc.

    • Female PTSD

      February 14, 2014 at 9:09 am

      Thanks so much. At the moment I’m just trying to get to grips with it all and how it has made me feel x

  4. j

    February 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Nope. It’s not your fault. You don’t have to abducted to be raped. Rape is rape. It’s rape if taken via weapon, threat, coersion, and/or if the action continues when you withdraw consent (if it was ever there). Rape is ugly and NEVER the victim’s fault.

  5. she

    February 14, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    A complaint needs to be lodged to the a&e about this woman, although i know you’re not really up to doing it.

    YOU ARE NOT at fault! In any way! Sometimes I think only other survivors really understand what survivors go through. Even drs and nurses who haven’t experienced it first hand don’t know. And those are the people who are supposed to help us – not make us feel worse. Grr. Safe hugs to you .

  6. Audrey

    February 18, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Wow!!! is all I could say for a little while after reading that.
    Being a survivor is tough enough, we beat ourselves up enough with the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s”, but to have someone who clearly hasen’t even seen your file or had any previous experience with you just come out and hit a raw nerve like that just floors me.

    It’s unfortunate that just anyone can walk into a university, and choose that field, and as long as they do the book work and pass their classes, they get a degree that tells them they are smart enough to “practice” with peoples hearts and minds. I could ramble forever about this one, but I won’t bore you.

    Victims are NEVER responsible for the actions someone else took to hurt them. Never.
    You deserve to heal, and to be happy. Keep breathing hun, Healing does happen.

    Hugs 😉

    • Female PTSD

      February 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thanks so much. Rather than a complaint (which I’m not up to doing), it’s been suggested I write her a letter detailing how much her comments affected me so she might learn and not do it again x

  7. Susan

    April 15, 2014 at 3:08 am

    1) I am very sorry you were feeling so down.

    2) Victims make people uncomfortable. They want to find a way to protect themselves from thinking that such a thing could EVER happen to them or anyone they know.

    That said, there is no excuse for this woman’s lack of sensitivity and it’s hard to believe/understand how she could be a mental health professional – maybe she just sees it as a job that pays the bills?

    Would love to know if you’ve taken any steps against those men – they don’t deserve to be skipping around happily whilst you suffer with your memories.

    Have you seen the movie “The Invisible War”? Watching that film helped a friend of mine who was feeling suicidal after she had been sexually assaulted. She isn’t a member (or former member) of the military, but I think she felt better because she could relate to the womens’ experiences and know that what she was feeling was actually “normal” considering what happened.

    Hope that the new therapy is helping!

  8. Susan

    April 15, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Other ideas:

    Try to put an “Invisible Wall” up around people who you don’t know (or don’t know if you can trust) to avoid being re-traumatized.

    Repeating a mantra: “victims make people uncomfortable” might actually help.

    Of course, I don’t know you, but I suspect you don’t want to see yourself as a victim. But knowing that other people may likely see you this way and might show some defensive (but also dysfunctional and unhelpful) coping strategies (such as blaming the victim), especially if they feel unable to help in any substantively way to get you out of danger/protect you, would probably help you deal until you are around people who you KNOW won’t re-traumatize you.

    My friend also said that self defense classes (with a trusted friend) might help more than art therapy.