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Massive issues with guilt after trauma ***TRIGGER WARNING-Discusses suicide and emotional abuse***

lucynah

lucynah

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Mar 22, 2021
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Hi all.

My trauma occurred about six years ago now when I was 14. My best friend told me she had attempted suicide. I wanted to help her but I also began feeling very angry at her for doing this, so I found an online website with a part marked off as 'support for friends & family' and vented about how I felt. The website was run by and populated by adults.

For the rest of the week they told me things like I wasn't helping my friend, 'the only reason I had any sense and compassion' was that I hadn't told my friend how I felt, I couldn't be angry at her because it 'didn't work like that', I'm dangerous to mentally ill people so I should stay away from them, I was hurting others by sharing my feelings, I forgot to add a trigger warning so I 'obviously didn't care who I hurt', etc etc etc. I was crying myself to sleep every night wanting it to all stop. It's difficult for me typing this because it brings that hopeless crying feeling back. I begged them to take my post down so it could all stop. I apologized multiple times. They locked my post so I couldn't do anything anymore, and then kept it up for 2 and a half years to 'show the world how to fight the stigma of suicide and depression'. Basically publicly letting everyone see that my emotions and reactions were wrong and bad. They only removed my post after 2 and a half years when my counsellor got onto them about it.

I had what I know now is a trauma bond. I wanted to please the adults on this website and show them I was a good person, so I would collect helpful mental health resources for them. I thought if I made them happy maybe everything would be fixed. Unfortunately although I have not been diagnosed officially yet, I am quite certain I have PTSD.

For years I was overwhelmed with guilt and self-hatred. I thought I was the worst person in the world. This is really difficult to write. I felt like I would hurt everyone who came into contact with me unless I kept my emotions in check, so I ran myself ragged trying to help everybody who needed it. I absorbed mental health information like a sponge to prove that I was a good and helpful person, and ended up seeing and learning information that was not appropriate for a 14/15 year old.

Subconsciously I felt like it was my job to keep my friend alive. I would check in on her all the time, I would let things slide with her even when she hurt my feelings, I would obsessively refresh her social media pages to check if she was still alive. I remember being on holiday with no wi-fi access and growing so increasingly paranoid because I couldn't access the Internet to check on her. I hid everything that had happened on the website from her for fear she would hate me if she found out. I would wake up every morning convinced she had found out what had happened and now no longer wanted to be friends with me. I was convinced that even if my family found out what had happened, they would detest me. These...memories are quite overwhelming actually.

I was convinced everyone I loved would die from suicide. I decided not to get married or have children in case my spouse/children killed themselves. I would worry about my friends killing themselves out of the blue. I would watch groups of tiny school children and wonder which ones would grow up to kill themselves.

I was also still angry. Any mention of suicide or mental health, whether it be in conversation school films TV books news etc, would bring all the memories and emotions back. Sometimes I was so angry I would literally start shaking and seeing red. I was so angry I couldn't get to sleep and would toss and turn all night. I would spend school lessons writing down how angry I felt. I was snappy and grumpy and cried a lot. There's more but it's getting hard to write about now and I don't want to relive it. I almost took my own life multiple times.

I felt like that every day for about four years. After about two years I finally told my friend (and my mum) what had happened. My friend understood better than I ever could have expected of her. She was shocked and immediately went to look at the website for herself. To make me feel better she made fun of the website's design with me saying how ugly it was. We are still best friends even now, and to this day she refers to the people on the website as 'those fucks'.

After about four years I finally convinced myself what happened was not my fault. It wasn't my fault and what's more, I had been the victim of emotional abuse every day for the 2 and a half years they kept my post up as a form of public shaming. Every day for 2 and a half years the woman who runs that website abused me. I began understanding that I did nothing wrong and that my feelings aren't bad.

Last year I confronted the website (I had actually tried before but they ignored me :rolleyes: So I made a public post where they couldn't ignore it) and told them that what they had done to me was child abuse and how much it had affected me. My post was immediately deleted and the woman, the main instigator of my abuse, completely denied anything had ever happened. I explained it to her multiple times. She told me, point blank, she would never have done something like that. That that wasn't the kind of person she was. I told her she was gaslighting me, and at that point she got defensive and then went back to completely ignoring me. Any public comment I tried to make was deleted within seconds, and within a day, a new rule was added to the website that stated any public criticism of the moderators or owners would be deleted.

I got over it because I'm better than them.

The other week I saw a young woman being the target of many hateful and critical messages from things she's done over the past couple of years. She has certainly messed up in the past and has hurt people, but people were parading her wrongdoings all over social media and demanding that they would never forget about it-even the things she had apologized for.

I was triggered for the first time in a year. Massively, massively triggered. I saw the same thing that happened to me going all over again. I told people, I understand this woman has done wrong things but this is not the way to handle it and you need to put an end to all of this hate and stop spreading nasty messages about her. Everyone said this was just the consequences of her actions and she wasn't a victim. I lost my temper (and my triggers) and said that this was now a suicide risk, what you say on the Internet isn't a game, there is no way this hasn't affected her mental health, there was absolutely no need for all of this to get so far, and if she kills herself, it's on them. They accused me of bullying them and then suicide-baiting them.

This has really relapsed my PTSD. The guilt's coming back. I fucking hate being in a relapse. People tell me I didn't do anything wrong but I can't believe them. I feel so guilty. And so scared that these people will come after me.
 
Desire less

Desire less

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I don't know what you said, but im pretty sure it wasn't your intention to hurt anyone's feelings.
If we all knew in advance what was or is best... life would be easy.
Everyone makes mistakes and says stupid things...we can only hope we do better in the future and learn from our past and not judge others or ourself too much.
 
S

SunnyDaze

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I'm really sorry you went through that @lucynah . it sounds very upsetting.

That being said, while it felt traumatic for you it's not something that would warrant a PTSD diagnosis. Also not quite trauma bonding either. But it does sound like something to seek professional help with.

I hope you can find a way to move past this.

Hugs
 
J

JeanPierre

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Social media sounds absolutely horrid with horrible people. They are online bullies.
I know you did nothing wrong.
I'm so angry for you. Stay here with us.
 
lucynah

lucynah

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I'm really sorry you went through that @lucynah . it sounds very upsetting.

That being said, while it felt traumatic for you it's not something that would warrant a PTSD diagnosis. Also not quite trauma bonding either. But it does sound like something to seek professional help with.

I hope you can find a way to move past this.

Hugs
I respectfully disagree...the criteria for PTSD states you can develop it via learning of death or threatened death to someone you are very close to. Thank you for your support and good thoughts regardless.
 
lucynah

lucynah

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Also want to point out @SunnyDaze I wrote that reply very quickly as I had to go out so had to be quite to the point, I hope it didn't come across as harsh. I completely understand where you are coming from and I also (even when I wasn't traumatized) find it frustrating when people cry PTSD over events that don't match the criteria. I've looked up the criteria very closely and believe I fall into the category of indirect exposure via learning of a close friend experiencing trauma.

However you brought up a good point and I will say instead that I believe I have PTSD from now on. Im going to seek professional help once i have the money to hopefully clear up exactly what is wrong with me. I also get what you said about it being the incorrect description of trauma bonding, you're probably right there, and I'm sorry if I caused offence by using the incorrect term.
 
S

SunnyDaze

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. My best friend told me she had attempted suicide.
That's what I based my reply on. I'm not saying it wasn't traumatizing for you because clearly it was. And it sounds like you definitely could use some type of professional help with it.

But not all trauma equals PTSD. There's pretty specific criteria to get the diagnosis. And honestly someone telling you they had attempted suicide wouldn't meet that criteria. If it did every member here would have PTSD from all the suicide threats and attempts we read about. Or even in real life,a major portion of the planet would have it if that was the case.

I'm not trying to discount or invalidate your experience,your feelings or your struggles at all. I'm just saying it wouldn't fit the diagnosis. That does not mean what you experienced wasn't traumatic,as I have already said.

Self diagnosis is never really a good idea because of the high probability of us getting it wrong. That's why seeking out professional help is important. I read in another thread that you have OCD,that might be contributing to you having such a hard time with this.

Regardless of what it is I hope you can get the help you need and find a way past it.

Hugs
 
Beta012

Beta012

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That sounds so horrible to have to have gone through it terrifies me, I send virtual hugs.
There are always other people out there who will support you is what I have found. I have thought that I was the worst person in the world before too along with having guilt myself most of the time due to various things and I know it's always difficult to go through.
There are websites on the internet one should avoid posting things on and I am glad you have gotten past that website and that you're still friends with your friend because they seem really nice.
My best friend online has immense depression even worse than I do and I've saved her from suicide multiple times so I know exactly what it's like to want to make sure someone is ok.
However, you are a very good person, and no one should tell you otherwise. I hope things get better for you sometime.
 
lucynah

lucynah

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Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
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Location
Earth
That's what I based my reply on. I'm not saying it wasn't traumatizing for you because clearly it was. And it sounds like you definitely could use some type of professional help with it.

But not all trauma equals PTSD. There's pretty specific criteria to get the diagnosis. And honestly someone telling you they had attempted suicide wouldn't meet that criteria. If it did every member here would have PTSD from all the suicide threats and attempts we read about. Or even in real life,a major portion of the planet would have it if that was the case.

I'm not trying to discount or invalidate your experience,your feelings or your struggles at all. I'm just saying it wouldn't fit the diagnosis. That does not mean what you experienced wasn't traumatic,as I have already said.

Self diagnosis is never really a good idea because of the high probability of us getting it wrong. That's why seeking out professional help is important. I read in another thread that you have OCD,that might be contributing to you having such a hard time with this.

Regardless of what it is I hope you can get the help you need and find a way past it.

Hugs

I do see what you are saying and yes you are right that self diagnosis isn't a good idea. As soon as COVID is over and I have the money I'll talk to a professional about what exactly could be wrong with me.
 
lucynah

lucynah

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Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
47
Location
Earth
That sounds so horrible to have to have gone through it terrifies me, I send virtual hugs.
There are always other people out there who will support you is what I have found. I have thought that I was the worst person in the world before too along with having guilt myself most of the time due to various things and I know it's always difficult to go through.
There are websites on the internet one should avoid posting things on and I am glad you have gotten past that website and that you're still friends with your friend because they seem really nice.
My best friend online has immense depression even worse than I do and I've saved her from suicide multiple times so I know exactly what it's like to want to make sure someone is ok.
However, you are a very good person, and no one should tell you otherwise. I hope things get better for you sometime.
My friend is very nice. Thank you :)
 
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