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Rape and Abuse If you or someone you know is being abused in any way and you need support or advice, don't hesitate to reach out to us here.

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violence against women - October 11th 2016, 01:31 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

[I really didn't know where to post this, and since it partly involves abuse, I thought it'd be appropriate to post it here, but feel free to move this elsewhere.]

On November 25, I have to perform at a show which was set up to collect money to support charities that help women that are/have been in abusive relationships, and in general to raise awareness. I'm in a group of girls and we're going to dance in this show, so last friday we started preparing our piece. I'm really happy to join in and help the cause, because this topic is really close to my heart. Maybe even a little bit too close. That's the problem.
I haven't really been in a relationship that can be considered as abusive. However, living with my family isn't really a walk in the park. I'm not going to get into details - in december last year, my sister got hospitalised for around three weeks. During those three weeks, I was alone at home with my father most of the time, and he has repeatedly shouted at me, taken all of his stress out on me, and just generally treated me like crap. I did some research and it turned out that some of the things he's said were 'emotionally abusive'. Although nothing like that has happened again since my sister was finally out of the hospital, it impacted me a lot and I'm still quite afraid it'll happen again. I basically never feel calm if I know he's near me (which could actually just mean that we're both in the same building), because I'm scared of being yelled at.
Last friday, when we started preparing our piece, I felt very uneasy and emotional while dancing because I keep thinking of my father shouting at me. I'm afraid I'll feel like that again this week and every week until the official performance. I'm scared that one day I'll just be feeling worse than usual (because of anxiety and depression) and burst out crying. I don't want to be asked questions, I don't want them to know why I care so much about this cause - and it's not that I don't trust them, it's just that I'm scared that they won't understand and tell me that I'm exaggerating or something like that.
You know, if I manage to keep it together and maybe look a bit distressed or distant, I can just say that I'm tired (our lessons are in the evening, it's plausible), but what do I do if I can't keep it together?
   
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Re: violence against women - October 12th 2016, 11:42 PM

Try not to feel like you have to keep it together. If you're upset, crying or doing something to express your sadness and anxiety can help a lot (and may prevent you from feeling as badly during future practices). If you're practicing and feel like you're getting upset, could you excuse yourself to the bathroom or to get a drink of water? You can splash water on your face or focus on deep breathing. You could consider going outside for a little bit of fresh air, too. If it's cooling down where you are, cold air could help you feel a little better.

Something else you can try is thinking about what your dad has done during your down time, maybe when you have time alone and have time to let yourself cry. Maybe think about what he did and how it has impacted you so you can release those feelings in your own time.

If someone asks you a question remember that you aren't obligated to respond at all if you don't want to. You could respond and say you can relate to the cause and it is hard for you without actually going in depth about what you've been through as well. That way you're opening up in a way that makes you feel most comfortable.

The cause you're dancing for is awesome and I hope you are able to find healthy ways to cope with how you're feeling.


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Re: violence against women - October 15th 2016, 02:18 PM

Is there anyone on your dance group you feel comfortable talking to? If you aren't prepared to tell everyone what's up, then don't, you could just say "oh, don't worry about it" or whatever, your under no obligation to tell people about experiences you've had with abuse before you're ready to. But if there is one person you can talk to, it might be really good to talk to them so that you have someone who understands and can support you during the practices and performances. If you're not comfortable enough with any of them that's totally ok I just thought I'd suggest it.

Have you also considered talking to a therapist? It can really help to process trauma.




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Re: violence against women - October 15th 2016, 08:51 PM

I think it might help a bit to try not to worry so much about holding it together. It seems like extra pressure, to not only perform, but to try not to let it affect you emotionally. I agree with what's already been said...if you do get upset, you don't have to tell your dance group exactly what's bothering you. You can just say that you don't want to talk about it, and if possible, you can ask to have some time to yourself to calm down.

If you do decide to tell someone, either now or in the future, it's good to make sure you feel comfortable telling them and that you trust them. This way, they should listen to you and take you seriously- they won't say you're exaggerating.

Hope the dance goes well!


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