Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Another Year of Progress (2011)

It's about that time of year when one considers all that has happened since the last time it was Christmas.  Because I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Depression, this is a happy time for me, as I can look back at all the things that I have done this year that I would not have been able to do the year before.  Here is my list:

1)      I learned to drive and passed my test first time.
2)      I went, on my own, into two social situations in which I did not know anyone.
a.       The first of these was to a meeting of the Swansea Feminist Network.  I didn’t know anyone who would be there, but it was at a Women’s Centre and therefore not very scary.
b.      The second was to join a sports team.  A full contact sport.  With trainers.  While being scantily clad.  This is a gold star point of progress for me, particularly as I am ENJOYING IT!!
3)      I went with Mark to the wedding of one of his friends, at which I did not know anybody but Mark, who was the best man and therefore not able to ‘take care’ of me.
4)      I started divorce proceedings against my ex-husband and abuser.  As part of this, I described my abuse to a stranger (my solicitor) without crying or being overwhelmed by any other panic responses.
5)      I was able to talk to two friends who had known me when I was with my ex-husband about the abuse without panicking. 
6)      I have been able to write about some aspects of my abuse to people online, who have been able to use my experiences to help them towards training to help other women who are being abused.
7)      I have been able to look at my ex-husband’s website and see pictures of him, and pictures that he took of me when we were together, with only very minor, controllable panic responses.
8)      Any panic attacks that have occurred because I’ve felt threatened by the possible presence of my ex-husband have been controlled on my own, without needing support from family or friends.
9)      I have been able to carry out acts that used to bring about panic attacks without any form of anxiety response.
10)  I have been able to read books and watch scenes in films that have triggered minor flashbacks, and have been able to control my panic/anxiety responses on my own.
I’m really proud of the progress I’ve made this year.  I feel like I’m starting to get to a point where I can turn my experiences into positives, by helping others and sharing.  These are my goals for next year:

1)      Continue with roller derby.  Try and become more confident in the social situations – not leaving as soon as possible at the end, talking to people more, attending social gatherings, etc.  Maybe even make friends!
2)      Carry out a long drive (I am planning to drive to Scotland in March), and feel confident that I can do it and that, even if I get lost, it doesn’t matter because I’m in control.
3)      Start to write more about what happened.  Try to write without needing to pick over why the things happened, but just letting the memories and experiences out and accepting that they took place without needing to know why.
4)      Try to help more people who are at earlier stages in recovering from abuse or coming to terms with PTSD than me.  Maybe look at volunteering for a group that helps victims of domestic or sexual abuse.
5)   I'd like to feel more comfortable talking to my family about what happened, and not feel like I have to do so much to hide it or hide my responses to some of the things that scare me.  I don't know how to achieve this, though, which is why it's last.

Please, feel free to add your own lists.  I’d be really pleased to see a whole page of progress!  Or if anyone feels they can help me with any of my goals, please leave a comment and I’ll contact you  :)  Alternatively, if you feel I could help with anything based on what I've written here, please contact me.


  1. I think this is an excellent list of achievements, especially given the point you started from. I hope you've a nice way to congratulate yourself, even if it's as simple as hot chocolate in front of Great Expectations.

  2. I think you should have yourself checked for compulsive lying. I've known "D" for well over 25 years. You're the only ex of his who isn't still close friends with him. The only one who has made such libelous claims. Yes, dear, libel is international. You made a point of proving to everyone you were physically stronger than "D" numerous times. How exactly is he supposed to have held you down?
    I'd like to think it's just faulty memory on your part, that perhaps you're remembering real abuse from your more distant past, but as someone who has suffered REAL sexual abuse, the mockery you are making of it is appalling. You make me nauseous. Erase this comment if you will, Vicky, but know that "D"s friends will never believe your lies and if you continue to spout them publicly, you may have to face the reprecussions. You've already broken his heart with your infidelity, shattered his self-image with your blatant disregard for your marriage, must you continue to twist the knife with these unproven allegations? I hope he never sees this mockery of a blog. If "D" is too much of a gentleman to sue you, (should he ever be subjected to your slanderous posts), I'm sure Karma will pay out. Good luck!

    1. Hi Janet,

      I'm assuming this is Janet?

      As someone who has also suffered sexual abuse, I'm very sorry that you feel you would know a relationship better than someone who was in that relationship. I'm intrigued, what exactly qualifies you to know more about what happened to me than I do? When exactly did you live in my shoes? When did I even make you a confidante of mine? And how did you know the details of my relationship or marriage when I think I met you four times? Maybe five?

      'Real' sexual abuse? I think you need to read a little more about rape culture. I was under the impression that sexual abuse happens when one person says, "No", and the other doesn't listen. Could you please correct wherever I've gone wrong?

      I'm not deleting this. You're entitled to your opinion, however mis-informed it might be.

      And yes. Karma has paid out. I'm happy now. Can you ask him to sign the divorce, please?

  3. I am a survivor of domestic assault. Can you describe what happened to you during your marriage? I was raped repeatedly, hung over a 15th floor balcony holding "our" 9 month old baby while my 2 year old watched and screamed helplessly behind the closed patio door. I was beaten brutally. He broke into two of my homes. He abducted my children & abused them. ALL of this is noted in criminal records, Family Court and through medical records. What did you do to survive the abuse you were experiencing? Were the police helpful? Did they take reports? I had a very difficult time getting police and court cooperation - both with criminal court and family court. I'd be interested to hear more about your experience with the police because once I moved to a new jurisdiction, the police treated my assaults VERY differently - in a good way and Family Court where I am now FINALLY took me seriously and saved my kids after YEARS of abuse allowed and in my opinion, encouraged by another Family Court judge in a different city.