I agree with the recent posters--Sweet N Sour, Brokenhearted in particular--that in a very strange way this horrible circumstance now provides us with extraordinary opportunity for growth. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, no matter what. Still, the courage and spirit that folks here demonstrate are simply awesome. Thank you all for giving me such hope and support.
I've been here long enough now to see that there is an up-and-down sort of process that most people tend to go through. The down spots are terrible, aren't they? And it's hard for me to remember that they won't last forever. But they don't. Unfortunately, neither do the up ones! But still we move forward....
I have a piece of good news to share--though it is all mixed up with bad news too--and since I've had such discouraging reports to share, I thought it would be good to tell of progress.
Last week, I heard from a young man of my acquaintance that he had been sexually assaulted. A bright, capable, smart young man, trying his best to get on in the world, and now this.... It seems that he has been reaching out for and getting support, but it is still enormously difficult. (I will recommend this site when I get a chance.) Anyway, as shocked as I was about it, I told my bf the sad news, without thinking carefully about the possible consequences. (Not a good idea in retrospect, to be sure.)
My bf has had plenty to deal with of late, but all in all he has been much more stable, consistent and resilient even in the face of many challenges and setbacks. I am so proud of him! And even when he wound up being triggered by this news, several days after he had first heard it, he has been able to respond to it constructively. He worked through it in therapy; he talked with his AA sponsor at length; he told me it was troubling him. Last night, he had quite a rebound after therapy and couldn't face coming home. But instead of taking off and not letting me know (because we had dinner plans) he did check in to tell me what was up. It was much easier for me to go about my business peacefully, knowing at least about the change in plans.
This is huge progress, as I am sure you will appreciate. It IS possible to figure out more positive ways of coping with the aftermath, even many years after the fact, with many years of self-sabotaging behavior.
Now, maybe another time he won't be quite as resourceful. Progress isn't always uninterrupted. But this was a good time, and it is easier to continue on an upward spiral once you've got it started (just as it is easier to continue on the downward one....) Momentum is powerful, in the psychological dimension too.
Wishing everyone increased positive momentum,
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.