Feb
20

Defining Sexual Abuse and Devine Sex by Pam Witzemann

By

This week I’m excited to welcome back to Emerging from Broken, guest writer and fellow blogger Pam Witzemann as she defines sexual abuse. Pam shares a highly personal account of how she came to terms with understanding what happened to her and how she recovered from sexual abuse by learning the truth.  As I read through this post I was reminded that sexual abuse is not ‘sex’ and abuse is never related to love. Pam is a regular participant in almost all the discussions here in EFB and has her own blog; “Boomer Back-beat ~ Talking bout our generation”. As always I am looking forward to the conversation~ please contribute your thoughts and insights! ~ Darlene Ouimet

Defining Sexual Abuse and Devine Sex by Pam Witzemann

Love is not Abusive

Pam Witzemann

As a teenager, I wasn’t able to protect myself from sexual abuse because I had no definition of sexual abuse, other than violent force such as rape. I wasn’t able to define my own sexual abuse, until I understood what human sexual relationships were meant to be, what I call sacred or divine sex.

I grew up in the sixties and came of age during the seventies. As a child, I received many conflicting and confusing messages about sex. In those days, most people considered it the female’s duty to enforce sexual morality. I was taught that men really couldn’t control themselves sexually and it was up to me to “say no and mean no”.

I don’t think I ever heard the term “sexual abuse” as a child and even as a teenager I didn’t know there were adults who wanted to have sex with children. I was even taught that it was physically impossible to rape a woman and this was demonstrated to me, by my father, with a moving coke bottle and a broom handle. He was drunk at the time, as my parents always were when giving me my weekly Friday night lecture on sex and on life in general.

I know that alcohol distorted my concepts about sex and sexual relationships, as it distorted my understanding of almost everything. I was taught to believe that even though a woman ‘couldn’t be raped’, if she fought hard enough, women did often accuse men of rape as a cover for giving in to sex. I was taught when that happened and a girl lost her virginity, she no longer had any value to offer men and became “used merchandise”.

When I was fourteen and intimidated into submitting to sex with my girlfriend’s older brother, it never occurred to me that I’d been raped. I’d said “no” but wasn’t able to enforce “no” and in my mind, I was bad, I didn’t fight hard enough and I was “used merchandise”. I no longer had any value. No other future but marriage was ever presented to me, in a serious way, and I believed my life was over. I knew the way my parents taught me about sex felt creepy and I hated those Friday nights at the kitchen table, but I wouldn’t be able to define that experience (and other inappropriate expressions of their own sexuality) as emotional incest, until about one year ago. I blamed myself for the rape that took my virginity, until I was forty-nine years old.

My parents taught me a very distorted version of the repressive, sexual morality that was common, at that time. However, the sexual revolution was taking place, too and it proved to be even more confusing and filled with more mixed messages than what my parents taught me. It seemed that everyone was experimenting with new kinds of sexual relationships and birth control made “free love” possible. It also, made it very easy for adult men to prey on young, teenaged girls. In a way, it was a relief to me, at nearly sixteen, to think that maybe, being used merchandise wasn’t so bad. However, I still felt deep-down that I was bad and the way I was taught about sex and my first experience with it, did nothing to help me construct healthy boundaries around sex.

I didn’t communicate with people very well. I was very shy and in a lot of emotional pain. I was sick a lot as a small child and spent my entire third year of life, sick and in bed because my parents neglected to take me to a doctor soon enough. I wasn’t able to start school until I was seven and I was the size of a small four-year-old. I didn’t fit in with the other children because my life experience was so different from most children. I did have siblings and they were friends. They were out riding horses and playing together, while I was kept inside in bed.

My emotional responses were often, inappropriate because I learned them from drunks. Even now, there is an alone-ness about me that is just a part of who I am. At sixteen, there were many avenues of emotional need for a child predator to use against me, no force was necessary. Making me complicit in the abuse insured my acceptance of it and my silence.

The sexual revolution and the drugs that I’d begun using to numb my emotional pain and temporarily fill the void of alone-ness that never stopped aching, made me even more vulnerable to men who liked to have sex with young, teenaged girls. I was also, so small at sixteen that I looked to be no older than twelve. I was a child predator’s dream girl and at sixteen I became a sex-toy. I was coerced with flattery that made me feel like a woman, a woman with value, but my value was in being a toy. I was plied with a route of escape from my abusive home and was offered food and shelter. I was told that I was loved. I was given all the drugs I wanted and they helped me do those things that I really didn’t want to do. I had no idea that what was happening was sexual abuse because my life experience taught me that abuse was sex. I had nothing different to compare it to.

Soon, I became an avid abuser of myself.

There is one thing I know from being an abused child. It is possible to know in your heart that certain treatment is creepy and vile, even shameful when you can’t understand it with your mind. My life as a sex-toy ended when I was a little over seventeen but I carried those shameful, creepy, vile feelings, as my own, for many decades. There was too much pain there to cope with and there are times that I wonder if I’d really known how little I was loved and de-valued as a child, would I have survived to become an adult? Would I have been able to maintain any level of sanity? Somehow, even with all that was done to me that should have stripped every measure of child-like innocence away from me, I maintained a certain level of innocence and gullibility that served as an inner shield, that kept the real-me from utter destruction.

Still, I was shattered into a million pieces and at seventeen, I really had no idea who I was. Like a broken mirror, I reflected back in shards whatever someone else wanted to see. Now, I’m not sure if anyone had ever really seen ME but only recognized me as an object for their personal gratification. I was broken before I ever became.

I tried to end it all at eighteen but failed. I lived to plunge even deeper into drug abuse and at nineteen, I was homeless, weighed 75 pounds, and was sick with what would be diagnosed twenty years later, as hepatitis c. I drug myself back home, at that point.  When I found faith, I found a reason to live but I buried my past alive, as I struggled to be someone else and build a different life.

I was successful in hiding what I’d been for many years. I did everything I could to disassociate from who I was before and the life I’d lived. My husband is a good man and he loved me, as I was never loved by anyone before. We’re a good team and we built a good life together, but I was haunted by my past, dogged by shame and confused about my past behavior. I never once, thought to blame anyone but myself for anything that had happened.

Even though I learned about sexual abuse, I never applied that knowledge to my own childhood experience. I blamed everything on my parent’s alcohol abuse and my drug abuse. I was blind to the deeper issues that led to the substance abuse and I buried the sexual abuse deep inside and locked it away with a little girl’s understanding. It wasn’t until my children were teenagers and I was faced with issues in my own parenting, that I was able to define my first sexual experiences as abuse. I now realize that the child abuse I suffered was horrific and it is amazing that I lived to tell about it, at all.

I wish I could say that things are better for young women now than they were for me, but I can’t. Society still sends mixed, confusing messages about the boundaries around sexual relationships. Today, anything goes and just as I only understood violent force as rape, people are still blind to what sexual abuse really is. Age of consent is arbitrary and though I want it maintained as a legal protection, sexual abuse is about violating the most sacred, intimate boundaries of another person.

Sexual abuse denies the humanity of the victim. Sexual abuse is using violence, manipulation, intimidation, bribery, authority, or any other method to force another to open themselves, completely to be used by another. Sexual abuse violates the natural intent of sexual relationships, which is the bonding of two people, in mutual love and respect, in an act of love. Sex is meant to be a divine experience.

Sexual abuse steals the completeness of that divine experience from a child, forever. In fact, that ideal of a sexual relationship is all but lost in our culture, today. Our society is sexually insane (by the legal definition of an inability to tell right from wrong) and it is no wonder that children sold for sexual abuse, is the third largest black market in the world. What happened to me was horrific but it is mild compared to what is happening to many children now.

To rebuild my life, I had to carefully, redefine my understanding of what sex is meant to be. That process ended with a mindful definition of sexual abuse that is nothing like the old, repressive, Victorian morality of the past and nothing like the boundary-less sexuality of the present. Sex is to be enjoyed within healthy boundaries that maintain respect for each individual. It should be a divine experience, an expression of love, the kind of love that is necessary for raising and nurturing children.

 Sex should never for one person’s entertainment or sexual gratification. It should never be an expression of power, control, or violent domination. It should never be exploited for money. Sexual abuse laws are important for punishing offenders but laws will never end sexual abuse and abuse is anything that destroys what should be a sacred experience between two people who love and respect each other.

It is the mindful construction of healthy boundaries around sexuality that will make my childhood experience of sex rare and the rare experience of divine sex, more common.

Pam Witzemann                                    

As always we invite you to share your thoughts with us on this difficult subject. Please remember that you are welcome to use any name you wish to use in the comment form and that only the name you use will be seen by others. ~ Darlene

Pam Witzemann was born in Santa Fe, NM and is married, has raised two boys and has two grandsons. Pam and her husband have had their own business for over twenty years. Pam is a painter and a writer and hopes to make these pursuits more than a hobby in her later years. Pam authors the blog Boomer Back-Beat; a place where baby boomers find inspiration in the process of aging.

 Related posts by Pam; “To be objectified is to be dehumanized”

The process of forgiving my childhood abusers (also by Pam)

Categories : Self Esteem

124 Comments

1

Pam
Thank you for guest posting again. Something that really struck me in this post is the part about how your father taught you that ‘rape’ isn’t possible and he demonstrated it by using a coke bottle and broom handle..that is a touch image to shake. But I wonder why he was so motivated to make sure you were taught that lie. It seems so strange to me when parents teach kids this kind of thing, because it is such a part of a typical grooming process that predators use. And it seems that anyone motivated to teach such falseness has some sort of history themselves that they would rather justify then face.

What a horror you went through. I can relate to so much of it too; being groomed to doubt myself at every turn and in every way. Being groomed to believe that I deserved and attracted all kinds of abuse, mistreatment and somehow didn’t deserve protection. What a night mare.

Thanks so much for sharing your story Pam and for your voice here on EFB.
Hugs, Darlene

2

Darlene, Thanks for giving me the opportunity to post here. Writing is a natural way for me to work through my problems and having the opportunity to do so, while also, reaching out to other survivors has changed my life. I easily, talk about so many things that I kept secret for decades and couldn’t even define, so that I could talk about them.

I have suspicions about my dad’s methods of teaching me about sex but I have no concrete memories. When I look back, I see that I was raised to be a slut or a prostitute by the way I was taught to regard myself. The coke-bottle-broom-handle incident was a shock that sent a hopeless message deep into my core, that the only thing valuable about me was my sex and if I lost my virginity, I had no hope and no future. It also, set me up to find my self-esteem in how I was valued, sexually by men. I have no memory of not knowing about sex and having questions about it. It seems that I always knew about it and for some reason, my mother taught me some very confusing lessons very early on. I don’t know if I will ever know the whole truth.

I’ve shared my house-dream with you before and in the most recent one, there is the haunted second floor attached to the house I live in today. I tell my husband we need to check up there because I think there is a lot of furniture stored up there that we can bring down and use. We can’t find the passage-way and I try to find my mother because I know she knows the way. I can’t find her and suddenly, my home opens up into a shopping mall and then into the streets. I tell my husband that it doesn’t matter and we walk out into the opening that now flows from my house. I know it reflects acceptance of things I will probably never be able to know and I think it reflects my readiness to be a part of the world. What I know for sure is the way I was taught about sex was as abusive as the sexual abuse it prepared me for. I was groomed to accept abuse from a predator as love and as normal sex.

Love,
Pam

3

I remember being raped as a child. Fist bymy oldest brother, then the other two and other men that were my “father’s” friends. My father also had his way and it was all to teach me what a “wife” was suppposed to do for her husband and so on.

My mother also participated in some of th eincidents. I am a bad person because t was my fault for not fighting back.

When I first got married, my ex husband also raped me when I was 7 months pregnant and he said I had been asking fr it.

I sometimes relive these things and it still hurts to know what I know but not be able to talk about it to them

Both my prents who did this is dead now and as bad as it sounds, I’m relieved…sorry but I am.

4

Family, What happened to you makes me sad for you and angry at the people who betrayed and dishonored you. I find nothing for you to apologize for in being relieved that people capable of such evil are no longer in the world. I know many people respond by telling victims of sexual abuse that they must forgive their rapist or rapists but forgiveness comes a result of healing and often, the same people who insist we need to forgive also, stand in the way of us finding the healing we need. Our abusers escape prosecution for their crimes through doing all they can to keep us silent and society re-enforces that silence by refusing to hear what we have to say about what happened to us. Someone who rapes a child(and I include teenaged children like I was)is made of the same stuff as serial-killers. Such people when caught, should never again have freedom or see the light of day. I was kept in silence for decades and my family of origin did everything they could to keep me quiet because what happened to me embarrased them. Also, if they kept me thinking it was all my fault, my parents would never have to take responsibility for allowing a child predator to have their daughter and do nothing to stop it, even though they knew where I was and what was happening to me. They didn’t just throw me away, they fed me to the wolves and to this day, deny the truth about what happened to me.

I felt alone for a very long time and I was haunted by the sexual trauma of my past. You aren’t alone, family. I’m so sorry for your loss and I’m also, sorry for what was stolen from you as a child, the same thing that was stolen from me, the right to give myself to the person I loved, when I was emotionally, ready to do so. I have redefined sex from what abuse taught me it was and my husband and I have the boundaries of love and respect that make sex the expression of what it should be, but I will always regret that I didn’t have the choice to give myself only, to him. No one should have to experience rape as their first experience of sex.

Love,
Pam

5

I grew up with frequent visits to my mom’s parents home, where her father would love to talk filthy to me. Of course there were no other adults around while we were “talking” and he was extremely likable…he was kind, and turned everything into a joke, and acted like he adored me. I know now he was a child predator, and for some reason I was able to escape anything worse from him. He raped one of my aunts from the time she was a baby, and molested the others, including mom. I was always allowed to be alone with him! That went on during almost all of my growing up years, so I was mentally knowledgable about sexual things. At home, I was abused and neglected on different levels, and my parents would say inappropriate sexual things around me….around anyone. The last time my father said one of his jokes about some woman he was lusting after…”I would love to go and lick her legs right now!”….I got so disgusted that he stopped from then on, or maybe he didn’t and I learned to tune it out. In my family it was encouraged to look and lust over people, and when I was made fun of for daring to say out loud that I only wanted one guy to love, I never voiced my opinion again. From the time I was 6-8 yrs old, every time I was able to go play outside, two neighborhood boys …one lived next door and the other was his best friend….would corner me and talk such filthy things to me while they passed me back and forth molesting me…and asking me if it felt good. I ended up not wanting to play outside anymore. One of the few times my father noticed something was “wrong” , he asked until I told on the two boys and he became infuriated and told me they would never bother me again and he ran out the front door. They never messed with me again, but my parents never brought it up again either. I had no idea what to think or feel about those years! I was very confused. Because of all the differing types of abuse, I can totally relate to Pam about developing an “alone-ness”. I was either in my room being punished…writing lengthy sentences…or reading so that I could stay away from my parents, or locked out of the house while mom took naps. Etc ….so I can relate with that need and feeling. As I got older, it felt that I was constantly being targeted by old men in their late 40′-60’s. I developed a hyper sensitivity to being watched and I could….still can….feel or sense when a man is sexually perverted. These guys would seek me out, make moves on me, proposition me, and one of my ex boyfriends father actually found my telephone number and would call me and talk filthy to me for a long time until I threatened to tell my parents. My dad kept dirty magazines in the home, and there were more situations that happened along these similar paths, so that I basically look back on those years as having received a steady diet every year of my life of lust….not appropriate and healthy education about sex in a relationship of genuine love and affection. I think this is another huge factor in why I hated my body and developed eating disorders. I became skittish when touched or when I sensed someone had an ulterior motive, and I shut down sexually …never let anyone near me for many years, up until I met my husband who was very different. He was so respectful of me…of my body and feelings in this area …unlike every other guy I had gotten close to. I know that I was prudish because of abuse and it was easy to say it was because of my religious beliefs. I now realize that abuse definitely can occur with words and moves in sexual ways…..I may not have been raped physically, but my childhood innocence was taken from me nonetheless, and I was emotionally and mentally raped over and over again. I wanted to share this because I see this type of sexual abuse as just as damaging to children as physical acts against them. This is a very important subject and Pam wrote about it extremely well!

6

Diane, Being sexualized as a child is like being emotionally, raped. I was about 12 when the coke bottle incident took place and it was a form of emotional rape. He also, made a lot of references to my developing body, or talked about how “photogenic my feet were”. I heard my parents having sex from the time I was very small and part of my sex education included my parents talking about their sexual relationship. The Friday night sessions at the dinner table, while my parents drank, started when I was twelve. It was the peak of my parent’s drinking problem and there were all kinds of fights and crazy dramas too. I have a vivid memory of hiding in my closet while they were fighting. I had a small hack-saw and I was rubbing it on my wrist, thinking of suicide. Just as my primary memory of myself is being in bed in a darkened room, my primary memory of my parents is of them sitting at the dining room table getting drunk. Just as I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know about sex, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know what alcohol tasted like. Having childhood innocence stripped away too soon, is a devestating robbery.

Children today are sexualized every time they turn on the television, go to the grocery store and see magazine covers, or listen to music. Teenage girls on LMN are often, presented as sexually, provocative and I think kids are under all kinds of pressure to become sexually active at a young age. It’s almost like it is abnormal to not have sex as a teenager. Not only, are they pressured to have sex but also, pressured to discover their ‘true’ orientation. It should be no surprise that children are increasingly used as sex-toys, at at much younger ages than I was. No matter what the laws are, when there is this level of social acceptance for sexually abusing kids especially, teenagers, no child is safe.

I also, have memories of sexual harrassment and molestation by boys in Jr. High and High School and it was condoned by teachers, or at the very least, ignored. I also, had a teacher who approached me for sex and made sexualizing comments about me and other girls in class. Some things have gotten better since then but any improvement is wiped out by the lack of there being any over-all accepted morality when it comes to sex. I’m very thankful for birthcontrol but it seems to me, that when we divorced sex from procreation and made it recreation, we lost the idea of our bodies being for honorable purposes. Sex is treated in the same way that our culture treats drugs, a way to disconnect from reality by abusing ourselves. Abusing ourselves sexually, most always includes abusing another. I don’t want to go back to victorian sexual repression but I would like to see the development of healthy boundaries around human sexuality that include reverence for our own bodies and the bodies of others. I think our attitudes toward prostitutes needs to be changed too. I suppose there are a few women who choose it when they are mature enough to make such a choice, but most prostitutes are brought into the life when they are still children. Today, young women are tricked and sometimes, kidnapped and used as sex-slaves. Prostition is the act of one person taking money in exchange for allowing another person to sexually abuse them. Johns are portrayed as victims but prostitues are the ones who are victimized in ways that most people want to ignore. Denial of what the underground sex-trade really is, like all abuse, allows it to thrive.

I think almost everyone has experienced some form of sexual abuse and so many of us were damaged by it, that most people have no idea of what sex is meant to be. I had to understand that before I could ever understand that I’d been sexually abused because I had no ideal to compare it to. I know I’m not alone in that.

Pam

7

Darlene & Everyone, I just noticed an error in this paragraph. I checked my copy of this article and somehoe, ‘the truth is’ was inserted into the paragraph below, when it shouldn’t have been. I don’t know what happened exactly, but I wasn’t saying that women used rape as a cover for giving into sex. I was saying that I was taught that women cried rape when they gave into sex. Sorry, for this typo.

was taught to believe that even though a woman ‘couldn’t be raped’, as long as she fought hard enough, ‘the truth is’ women did often accuse men of rape as a cover for giving in to sex.

Love,
Pam

8

I just had a profound moment tonight and I find this message has come at the right time. I recently quit smoking pot as I have been using it to cope with my emotional pain as I get into the deeper layers of my abuse. I`m in a spiritual mentorship and the message was loud and clear that if I wanted to move forward in my recovery, I need to let go of my addiction to pot. It`s only been 4 days and the memories and the pain came at me so intense I could feel panic setting in. I took some deep breathes and started to talk out loud to the Universe of what I was feeling. I was surprised at the fowl language that came out of my mouth as I expressed my pain and anger towards my abusers. I loved the freedom I felt as it all poured out of me and no one could try to control or judge what I expressed. I used words that were so vile it felt like the devil was living in my body and I finally let it out. When I read these stories I feel pieces of me coming together. I am 48 and I am just starting to learn how to love myself. I learned to treat myself horribly…the way my abusers treated me. I felt exceptionally flawed all my life and would do anything for scraps of love from those that would give it to me. I have an amazing fighting spirit that won t quit on me and for that I am truly grateful. She has been guiding me to the truth for years and I am getting closer to getting more grounded in my own body. I ve been violated on so many levels that my own soul has been trying to leave my body. I now understand and forgive myself for all the choices I have made. I should have been dead years ago with the abuse I endured by others and my own doing but I m still here. I know I have angels watching over me and that is what has been keeping me going. I know deep in my heart I came into this world with a purpose and even though it s not clear yet, the gift is slowly emerging. I am truly blessed to have found all you earth angels who have supported me through this painful process. I look forward to the day when I can pay it forward. I never thought I would ever say I do love life and I look forward to witnessing my own soul spread here beautiful wings and sore as high as she desires. Today my soul came home and I will continue to learn how to love and care for her. Thank you Pam for sharing your courage and hope. I am incredibly proud of you for how far you have come on your journey. Namaste!

9

Lora, Thanks for the encouragement.:0)There is so much in what you wrote that I relate to. I kept my sexual abuse experience locked inside for a very long time and even when I finally, realized that I’d been abuse, I didn’t think I would ever talk openly, about it. Then I went through chemo therapy treatment and I developed a horrible fungal infection. It was like being in a horror movie and is too much to describe here but it caused me to dissociate. I was also, on a lot of high-powered drugs and I guess the dissociation and the meds combined, produced a psychotic break. Whatever the label is for what happened to me, it has proved very useful in my healing. It was like I fell into that secret world of abuse that I kept inside of me. I re-lived my past, in real-time and it made me aware that hell lived inside of me. It was really hard for me to pull myself back up out of that world and it made me realize that I had to talk about what happened to me and release it. So, in a weird kind of way, I’m thankful for that horrible experience because it helped me integrate my childhood into my present. They were seperate for a very long time. It was important for me to embrace the teenaged girl I’d been, with all the horrible things that happened to her, and accept her as an important part of myself. I no longer feel that there are pieces of me left here and there, with some of them totally, forgotten. I’m whole now. I know there are still small fragnments of my life that are missing, I can’t remember them but perhaps, in time I’ll be able to remember and reintegrate them into myself, as well.

I also, relate to using drugs to numb emotional pain. I actually, think that if used wisely, medications that kill pain can help people work through the most painful parts of self-confrontation and the confrontation of an abusive childhood. However, they aren’t a good way to do life and I would never go back to abusing myself with drugs, again. I remember when I’d been clean for a year(I’d been given alcohol so much as a child, that I was drunk many times before I am able to remember so, sobriety was a new experience for me)that it felt so wonderful to be sober. It was the best ‘high’ of my life! It’s good when the past is resolved and we are able to cope with life in healthy ways. I know I was my most destructive abuser. Now, I’m my best care-giver.:0)That in itself is an amazing change! I’m glad you are on that path now too.

Love,
Pam

10

Gosh that is some hard truth. I dont know how I would feel if that happened to me. Its unimaginable and horrible. It always blows my mind how this stuff happens for real. It is no wonder I like to live in a fantasy world. Knowing the reality is so unimaginable. Pardon my dark moood, but down right pointless existence as species.
I was not directly abused sexually, not until my x, which came about from the devaluing and objectification of myself. I used to feel good that I was of some kind of use. Its horrible.
When I was little I have ran from several perverts that wanted to chase me down out on the street. I imagine because I was out running about by myself at night being neglected by parents. I somehow knew to stay away. I am so dam scared of people I stay away from every one. So in a way my giant fear of people induced by my parents helped me to steer clear of crazy situations.
I grew up rather repressed abot the whole sex thing and it was never discussed, nor of course I ever saw any real affection. And me mentioning affection and sex in one sentence clearly indicates to me I still have fused feelings of sex and love. I have a hard time hugging anyone without thinking of sex. Its the only time I get close to people I guess. Also my father used to slap me on my bottom.. eww I am so digusted. Which felt dominant sexual and I hate it. Maya this also fused the two for me as well.
Also in the past I could not meet a man and not get into sexually dominating him. Then I felt better like he likes me because I know he is sexually intrested in me and that makes everything ok for some reason. I havent done that in years thank god.
In general I am so screwed.. and sex is another area I am screwed up with as well.

11

Kathryn, Having confusion over sex is very common. At first, the sexual abuse stripped me of the ability to say ‘no’. Then when I got older, I “flipped the power” as Darlene describes it and I used sex to take advantage of men. I wanted to use and hurt men in the same way that every man in my life had hurt me. I now understand that as a sexual addiction and even though, I remained faithful to my husband from the time I met him, I only, managed to submerge that addiction. On way it was expressed in always having to look good. My house always had to be perfectly clean too because I didn’t want anyone finding my hidden dirt. My husband has always been very respectful of me and for awhile, I thought something was wrong because he didn’t treat me the way other men had treated me,sexually. My fantasies were self-degrading also, and I now understand them as having been as much flash-backs of the abuse as fantasies. In fact, they were more flash-backs of things I can’t remember in my consious mind. What I do know is that there was no part of my inner person that was not warped by being sexually abused and exploited as a child. It has taken my whole life to come back from that experience.
When I began to understand the truth of my past and talk about it, my whole thought processes changed and I don’t have flashbacks in the same way that I did for so long and I don’t understand them as fantasies that I felt so guilty about.

Kathryn, It is possible to heal the damage and we aren’t doomed to suffering eternal abuse within our own thinking. Learning to understand how the abuse did damage me and how it taught me to think of myself and others and then replacing that misinformation with truth has changed my life. I’m not a sex toy and my value isn’t in being a sex toy. I’m a valuble person, worthy of honor and love. There is no love without honor and healing from sexual abuse has been all about reclaiming my dignity and honor. It can be done.

Love,
Pam

12

Hi Pam:
I am sorry you were treated the way you were as a child. Sex was never spoken about in any way or at any time when I was growing up. There wasnt even cuddling or
affection between my parents only
anger, fighting and my father’s verbal abuse.
Then out of the blue when I was 13, my father exposed himself to me and indicated that we were going to have a ( daily) sexual relationship when my mother went to work. Well I was terrified. I told my mother and he never said anything to me again. (thank heavens). I have never told anyone about that til EFB. My family kept secrets but a “normal front” to everyone else. I never
got a mom to daughter talk about sex. I was told nothing and had no
one to ask. So I knew nothing.
Having no self esteem, no boundries, and desperately wanting someone to love me really set me up to be used by men.
My two teenage boyfriends used me when I was drunk. I got
pregnant without knowing I could, or how sex worked, mostly clothed
never seeing a guy naked. I knew
nothing. Going home to live during that time I was a servant and hidden at all times from everyone.
The family pretended nothing was
happening. I could not talk about it,
ask questions, or express any emotions or feelings. I had no idea
what to expect when pregnant or
during labor. In the hospital I was alone. My mother didnt even wish me luck or give me a hug. I wasnt
allowed to see my son and gave him up for adoption. It was never
mentioned again like it didnt happen. I was expected to just carry on . Its such sick, abusive
disregard like I wasn’t a person.
I was so brainwashed to comply and so thoroughly sure i had “proved them right” about my badness by my mistake. It was
truely from ignorance. (my mother
said I was trying to trap my boyfriend)
Even afterward my mother never
talked about birth control or sex to
me. I was still as ignorant as before.
I am so angry that both my parents
treated me as though I was someone of no value. They think
they were so wonderful to take me
back and “support” me in that time.
They only cared about what the
neighbors would think. To have
remained part of that family all these years by choice makes me
feel sick. EFB has allowed me to
understand what happened to me.
Example after example, story after
story is truth. I never understood the why of it. I never saw how much I was shaped by the abuse.
I am very very grateful to all of you
for sharing yourselves in such a
personal way.

13

Karen, It’s too bad that openness hasn’t produced balance in the way people understand sex. I know what you went through was common when we were young. Girls were secreted away and their babies take from them. Afterward, people whispered about them and they were marked forever. I’m so sorry you went through all of that and that you were so ill equipped with the knowledge you needed to handle the experience.

I knew about sex but I was still ill equipped or more like, misequipped to understand and prevent what happened. I’m blessed to not have become pregnant. When I came dragging home at nineteen, my parents made a show of how ‘big’ they were to take me back too. That lasted my whole life and my siblings took part in it too. A couple of years ago, I asked my mom why she did nothing when the “creep” convinced me to go live with him. She replied with, “I didn’t have a driver’s license.” and “We would have always taken you back.” That allowed me to see that she always placed more responsibility on me than she was willing to take for herself. She assumed the role of wounded, long-suffering, mother and played it to the hilt. It was preferable to helping an emotionally damaged daughter heal. It was preferable to taking responsibility for damaging her daughter. I understand societal ignorance but when people choose ignorance to avoid responsibility toward their children, well, I have no words for it but it is highly, destructive. I know my family has labeled me as having caused the breakup of the family but it wasn’t me. My actions were the result of what my parents never took the responsibility to build in the first place. Having a ‘bad girl’ for a daughter gave them good cover for never having to take responsibility.

It’s amazing to me that I can’t talk about the sexual abuse without including how I was treated by my parents. I was also, dumb struck when my family sided with the ‘creeps’ against me. What I know now is that abusers stick together. I finally understand the depths of their evil and no longer need to make an excuse for it. It was a hard place to get to but I’m glad I’m here.

Love,
Pam

14

Hmm..
I had self degrading fantasies. I dont understand why I would want to be a used object or sex toy. I guess I would then feel I could get love. If I let abusers use me then I fill my vital function and my correct place and that is love. If I act just as my father and monther want me then I will be loved, and the meaning act as they want me is to be totally used for whatever.
My last boyfriend was not objectifying like my x husband was. So I am getting better. My boyfriend was still making me not good enough though.
I am not sure how to have dignity and honor. Hmm.. will have to ponder that. I like that though as direction.

What I dont understand is why I keep replaying the father relationship with my guys. I dont understand how u ended up with a guy that loves you after so much abuse, and I keep ending up with abusers. Is there a magic key to end my stuckness? I am sorry to be so direct. I am running out of time to have kids and I cant spend more time with another toxic man. And then I wish I can find a guy good for me, like actually gooooood for me. I dont have to be totally alone dealing with this, although it ok for for now. I just really want to break the matrix of being stuck in the same relationship of my life. Its encouraging for me to hear you found a good relationship despite so much abuse. I wish I knew how.

15

Kathryn, It wasn’t anything I did because I was still very broken when I met my husband. I consider it a miracle. Before him, I always got involved with men who were manipulators and liars like my dad. I always assumed a subservient role. I think the only way to mindfully, change the situation you are in now is to rewire how you think about yourself and others. When you begin to think of yourself differently, people respond to you differently. The honor and dignity I retrieved was basically, in how I view myself. My childhood taught me no self-ownership but now, I very much belong to ME. I decide who gets close and when. I respect the same in others. I was trained to think I couldn’t survive if I didn’t serve others. That set me up to live to please others and that is a miserable way to live. Now I live for God and myself and the people I love are better served out of that. Giving myself to other people left me drained and empty. It’s a change in attitude that allows me to tap into the source of life and it keeps me from being drained by the needs of others. I’m also, not dependent upon them for good feelings about myself.

If you keep reading the things Darlene has written here and participate in the discussions, I think you’ll be surprised how fast your thinking will change. All abuse victims have the truth they need inside of themselves but we have been discounted for so long that we don’t trust ourselves to know what is true. Truth is reinforced here and it is what empowers victims of abuse to no longer live as victims. I’ve learned to view myself as equal in value to all others and that changed everything for me. I had already found some healing on my own but the process was greatly excelerated after I found this website. Don’t give up. Life can get better for you.

Love,
Pam

16

Pam the way you described your mother was just the way my mother
acted and acts towards me to this day. She played it so well that
when my Dad died I really got close and tried to be there for her, not
seeing that she was my worst abuser not my dad. She has done some pretty
bad stuff by choice and blamed it all on whomever was convenient. I
see this now and its explained all the crazy making.
Kathryn
I was impulsive in love. I got close too quick. I saw what I wanted
and with lightning speed got serious. I never really got to know my
boyfriends. As long as I got a quick attention/love fix I thought this is
the one. I now know it takes many months of interactions to
make the judgement on if someone is good for you. I am learning to
go slow now because I have the same issue in making good friends.

17

wow, this topic hit rally close to home, I went thru this and I’m angry that my childhood innocence was snatched from me. uuuggghhhh, anyway it has made me promiscuous n allowing the sexual abuse to continue because I didn’t know how not to let it happen, looking for love thru sex, because I was led to believe and it was impressed upon me that was all I had to offer. I still feel disgusted with myself for “allowing that” (like i had a choice) It was the brother of a family friend, my mother was a single parent and I was her “problem, weight, failure” and it was all my fault but she let him babysit n take me places and informed him not to believe anything that comes out of my mouth because all I did was lie, I was nothing but a liar.The crazy part is I think I allowed it because being over their house was my “get-away” from my mother so I was essentially choosing one evil over another one. and I went thru this over a decade n i stopped being around him when his antics went to far and he penetrated me.

18

Karyn, The rest of the family sees my mother as a victim and she is but she also uses it as a cover. She pretends to be stupid, when she isn’t stupid at all. She has never liked me and she hung a cloud of disapproval over my head that I’ve only, recently been able to dispell. She is the voice of my inner critic and nothing I could ever do had the power to turn that critisism to praise. I told her once that she didn’t like me and I knew that she had never liked me. She responded with, “Well…in a way Pam…you are the sweetest person I know… but… I never could understand you…” It’s all the stuff represented by the…in between her words that caused me to believe that no matter how hard I tried to be good, I was bad and no matter how badly, I needed my mother’s understanding, I was beyond understanding because I was so bad. I learned to think of myself as she thought of me. I learned to assume the responsibility she shunned. My mom never wanted to be a mother or even a grown woman. My mother wants to remain a little girl forever and the absense of a mother in her person, did me the greatest damage of all. In her eyes, I was born with no other purpose but to gratify her needs and in her eyes, I failed that miserably and I was therefore, a miserable excuse for a daughter. I guess that’s how she and my dad were able to make the choice of deciding to feed me to the wolves.

Love,
Pam

19

Pam, thanks for previous responses. I am working on the self respect, honor dignity. First thing that pops ups right away is that I will feel full of myself. Who the hell are you , you pompous bs.. says my voice of doubt called my mom. I notice how some women take the time to really do things for themselves. I finally bought myself a bed yesterday. I dont even have a properly furnished room. I gave all my abuse x furniture away but I havent replaced them. I had a major headache when I finally bought the bed yesterday.Voice in my head says.. why u need that? thats no use, u wasting money, whats wrong with u.

Karen. I too rush into things with men. Maybe my fantasy land takes over to minimize the threat of rejection that is looming with so called love. I have only recently been able to get better friends. It came ot a point where I said I really do not care and I was alone for a while. I am taking it slowly with them. Hmm i think I remeber deciding I will not hang out with people unless I really like them and actually want to do it, or I will stay home. I also did pray for good friends.
I am now single for the first time in my life since 17.. gah. I couldnt live without a toxic leeach on me. I am going to make it alone. I can do it!

I am really appreciating a place I can truly be heard. I often vent in journal but this is so much better and makes me learn 1000 times faster.

20

Hi Ce
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
Yes, that is what happens; we are brainwashed, (led to believe that it is all we have to offer and that it is ‘love’) in the false definition of love and worth. Even using the word “allowed” infers that you had a choice and it is important that you know that you didn’t have that choice. You were not permiscuous either; you were groomed to be what he wanted. We learn to survive and it is so common for a child to trade one evil for another. I am sorry that happened to you. Sounds like there was more than one kind of abuse going on in your childhood.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

21

Kathyrn, All those things came for me when I replaced the lies I’d been taught about myself and others, through abuse, with the truth.

Love,
Pam

22

Ce, I thought a lot of things were my fault, that I’d made poor choices but the truth is that the adults in my life failed to protect me and other adults took advantage of me because of that. A child is never at fault when an adult tricks or forces them to have sex. I’m sorry all of those things happened to you.

Love,
Pam

23

Ce, I keep thinking about what you shared here and I hope sharing this will help you see how innocent of wrong-doing you are. The first child-pradator in my life, educated and trained me to be a prostitute. The predator he passe me to after about six months, pimped me out but I was so gullible, I couldn’t see it for what it was. I never saw any money change hands and in my thinking, having sex with other men was an act of love that I did to please the man who had total control over me. When I broke free of all of that and managed to survive and then meet my husband, I beat myself up for being promisquous. I didn’t understand my behavior and it never occurred to me how manipulated I’d been. The truth is, I’m not a promisquous person. I’ve been faithful to my husband for decades. The problem wasn’t in me. The problem was in my parents and how they educated me about sex and in how they taught me to view myself and how to relate to other people. The truth is, I wasn’t parented so much as I was groomed and I ended up in the hands of those who took that grooming process, many steps further. All the manipulation and deception in my childhood made me blind to who I really am. Facing the truth has cleared the deception and also, ended my being subjected to further manipulation, that kept me blind. Darlene calls it ‘fog busting’ and it is finding the truth and reeducating myself according to that truth that has helped me become more the woman I was inteded to be. I hold you in my heart and hope the same healing for you.:0)

Love,
Pam

24

Thank you for this post. How do you lose the shame? I was abused as a child and still struggle to see myself as anything but worthless, especially when I am triggered. My attacker was a stranger that didn’t have to use force or coercion, because at 5 years old, I trusted him. Now all I am is dirty. I have found Jesus, and know he pursues and loves me, but I don’t know why he doesn’t give up when all I do is struggle.

25

elaine, He doesn’t give up because you are very valuable to Him. What was done to you doesn’t decrease your value. The person who raped you did devalue himself by taking advantage of a little child. The shame doesn’t belong to you. It didn’t belong to me either and I was raped as a teenager. I was tricked and you were tricked. Neither one of us was old enough to be able to make a good decision about who to give ourselves to. People who rape children know that even when other people in society don’t know it.

In a way, my shame was an expression of my pride. I didn’t want to think I was so gullible that I couldn’t protect myself. I don’t know if the shame you have feels that way to you because you were so much younger. By admitting how manipulated and tricked I’d been, and accepting the truth about people who said they loved me, I was able to place the guilt where it belonged, on the adults who tricked me. For a long time I kept trying to find forgiveness for the sins committed against me and could find no peace. I know now, it was because I was tryig to be forgiven for things I hadn’t done and that I wasn’t resonsible for. In no way are you responsible for being raped at five years old. Being sexually abused felt like my abusers lathered me in their own filth and I couldn’t wash it off but when I placed the blame on the right door-steps and left it there, I felt clean and free of that filth, that I couldn’t get rid of for so long. I still struggle sometimes, too. I still get triggered but I don’t run from those triggers anymore. I face into them and analyze why I feel the way I do and when I do, I uncover another lie that I was taught to believe about myself through abuse and I teach myself the truth. Jesus said the truth will make us free and it is the truth that frees victims of sexual abuse from the shame of what was done to us. You don’t have to carry the dirt that belongs to the man who raped you.

Love,
Pam

26

Thank you so much for sharing this guest bloggers story. It is not too often that I think about what has happened in my life re sexual abuse and even in therapy it is so difficult for me to talk about.

Up to about 6 years ago, I had totally blocked out what happened to me as a child from age 9 – 12 years of age and then suddenly I starting having these horrid flashbacks and some even when I am awake. I was sexually abuse during these years by an uncle. This was during a stage in my life when my mother was not well and would have me and my sisters stay with different relatives and I was not so lucky I guess and ended up staying with this one uncle and his wife my aunt (moms sister).

Apparently and sadly, as I have started to remember when nobody was around during these years and taking a nap. My uncle would come into the bedroom and start talking to me and ask me to sit up near him and tell me how I am a favorite niece to him and how what we were talking about was our little secret. (not going to go into detail)Then there was a day that he started doing things that he should not, that left me scarred internally.

After age 12, I became a very troubled youth, both emotionally and mentally disturbed and even strangely enough doctors not being 100% certain what has happened in my life because of my not being able to remember, was institutionalized for over a year. It was around 14 that I got my first menses, the doctor asked me if I had ever been raped when he did my first internal and I said ‘not that I know of’. But life for me then went on… very troubled..

I have been raped a couple of times after this. It has ‘never’ been easy for me relationships. Been sexually assaulted and raped a couple of times seems to have messed up my life permanently ‘sexually’. I still to this very day after being raped a few times, get this odd feeling when being touched sexually. I ask myself over and over, if I will ever get over the feeling of ‘being violated’?

27

Lorraine, I know how painful it is to face the truth but I also, know that is what brings healing. There are things I still can’t remember and I probably don’t remember them because I really don’t want to. In the situation I was in, I had to function sexually or I wouldn’t have had a place to live or food to eat. I was older too but sexual abuse victims usually, have some sexual dysfunction. I couldn’t say no for a period of time and the only way I had to stop advances was to dress like a boy. Even though I functioned physically, I had many dysfunctional views of what sex meant and what it should be. Finding a healthy defition of sex and embracing healthy boundaries, helped me take control of my sexuality and not make it the sum of my person. It’s really important for you to know that it wasn’t your fault. I know your uncle stole something from you that you can’t get beck, the right to choose when your first sexual experiece should happen, but he is the one defiled by his actions, not you. The shame and guilt are his. He taught you things about yourself, through his abuse of you, that aren’t true. Taking the time to identify those lies and then teach myself the truth about ME,made a huge difference for me. Talking about it has also, changed everything. It was important for me to reclaim the little girl who was abused and exploited as part of myself. I dissociated from her for a very long time and I lost a hunk of myself in the process.

This is a good place to be to work through that process. I’m glad you’re here.:0)

Pam

28

Wow Darlene! I’m seriously so grateful that you shared this. I never realized that what I experienced also was sexual abuse until I read this. It just never dawned on me…

Thank you for sharing this. Thank you, thank you…I see that these experiences could be probably directly related to my now intimacy issues.

29

Hi Jami, I’m Pam, a guest poster, and I wrote this. I didn’t realized that I had been sexually abused for decades. I thought it was my fault and I spent a lifetime, confused about my behavior and also, about sexual relationships. Sexual abuse taught me what I thought sex was supposed to be. Learning what sexual relationships should be, and struggles in my own parenting, helped me to see the truth. When I did, it was like the world flipped right-side up and I haven’t been the same since. I hope the same will prove to be as healing for you as it has been for me.

Love,
Pam

30

Thank you for commenting back to me, it is appreciated to share with someone that understands what I went through and still go through. Over the course of my lifetime, I have often felt alone, felt that I am the only person that has this inability to have a sexual relationship with someone I am in a relationship with – without feeling out of my element. Yes, unfortunately it makes this person feel upset with me and that I am blaming him for what has happened to me and this I am not trying to do. I have told him what I have gone through with the abuse from childhood and the rapes.

How does one really get someone they are involved with to understand this broken side of themselves?

31

Thank you Pam for responding to my post. I just sat and wrote out a couple of pages about my experiences growing up. Sexual abuse is all over the place. In my story, there are things that happened where I think I was raped…but I was drunk and drugged and have no memory of it :/

Now that I have written it out in black and white, what do I do with it? How do you heal from it?

Should I share it with my husband? I do have a psychotherapist that I’ve been seeing for 2 years. Should I share it with her? What will that do?

I’m confused.

32

All this time, I thought that when I was 17, since I had accepted those men’s offer to drink and smoke pot, that it was my fault they convinced me to dance and take off my clothes for them….that night, I can’t remember what happened. All I can remember is one of the guys sitting next to the couch I passed out on, convincing me for what seemed like hours for me to do things with him….I don’t know what happened. I blocked it out…I feel like I remember a feeling of some things on my body…but I just don’t know…

I remember waking up the next morning in another room with the door locked. I didn’t have any clothes on. The woman of the house who came home from work….it was her boyfriend who had just gotten out of prison and his buddies I was with….she told me that she locked me in the bedroom because the men wouldn’t leave me alone…

I just grabbed my things, thanked her and went home…. I felt so much shame….so much shame…I remember telling my mom what happened…she claimed she saw the guy walking down the street one day, she jumped on his back and started hitting him…when my step dad pried her off of the guy, the guy said to her, “It’s not my fault your daughter had a little ecstasy in her drink.” That’s where I got the idea that I was drugged. I thought something was seriously wrong because I had only had one wine cooler and sips of another and a little pot which I had smoked before…

My mom had me at the police station…and the officer had me give the guy’s name and tell him what happened. I couldn’t get myself to tell him. I don’t know why but horrible fear came over me and I ran out of there….I think I got scared because since the guy was in prison before, I had no idea if he would do something to me if I told…

33

Things happened to me when I was a kid too….my mom was a meth addict and my step dad was a drunk. I abused substances too but never became addicted…and ended up becoming a stripper at some point and I had no idea why. I thought it was all of my fault.

Thank you Darlene for posting this. I cried when reading it…

34

Lorraine, I feel for you and it is also, frustrating to me with all the openness about sex, that it is so hard to talk to anyone about sexual abuse. Especially, about the mechanics of how sexual abuse damages a person. My husband and I have put a lot of work into our relationship and part of that was defining our personal, sexual relationship. My problem was somewhat, the oposite of yours because my self esteem was built around my sexual performance. My husband isn’t a sexual devient, like the men who taught me what sex was, and when he didn’t want to have sex with me all of the time, I felt rejected. I had to learn to see my husband as being a different person from the kind of people I had experiences with before, with different needs, and totally, different motivations for wanting to be intimate with me. I see that more than ever now that I so fully, understand how abnormal my previous sexual experience was. Sexual abuse isn’t about love, it is all about one human being having power over another and using them for personal gratification, with no regard for the victim. Maybe, if you can talk in such a way that allows each of you equal status in working out how to meet each other’s needs for intimacy,you will find comfort and respect in your relationship. Being initimate is the letting down of all personal boundaries and the only way for it to be healthy and safe, is for the couple to build boundaries of respect around the both of them. It is a highly, personal, process. One of the things that helped my husband and I, is fair fighting. We’ve made a pact that when we disagree, we will make the effort required to hear what the other is trying to say and that both of our needs will be given equal value. We refrain from fighting to win an arguement and turn our conflicts into communication, on a deeper level that we can gain by only, focusing on the things we agree on. It has helped us sexually, and also, in ever other area of our married life. Respect, honor, empathy, and faithfulness are the qualities of a sastisfying and safe, sexual relationship. Feeling safe with my husband was an important part of separating my previous, damaging, sexual relationships from the expression of true love on the part of my husband. He loves me unconditionally, no matter how I ‘perform’. That has made me comfortable enough to put my focus on him and the expressions of love that are important to fill his personal needs. Marriage is about mutual submission and equal value and those are things that have helped my marriage to last. We aren’t perfect and we don’t always meet our goals, but because we love one another and respect one another, we keep on trying. I hope there is something in our experience that helps you and your partner.

Love,
Pam

35

Oh I just realized that you are the author Pam, I’m sorry lol…

36

Jami, I had all those same feelings of shame and fear and the only way I got rid of it was by talking about it. Writing is a good way for me to work through things and believe me, two years ago, I didn’t think I would be writing anything like this and publishing it. The process was slow and I think of it as a ‘coming out’. I don’t think you need to push yourself to do anything but embracing the truth and following it where it took me, has made a huge difference in my life. I can’t say that I don’t still have a few twinges of embarrassment or concern about what people will think of me, but the truth was I was a very gullible, child and I didn’t understand what was happening. I never saw myself as being used as a prostitute. For me, I was trying to please men who said they loved me by performing the acts they taught me and asked me to perform. I survived it by taking on more responsibility than a seventeen year old girl should have to take on and my shame was also, an expression of my pride. It was hard for me to admit how gullible and manipulated I had been. I hear the same happened to you and I hear the same kind of excuses from your rapist and I can imagine them coming from the mouths of my rapist. It was his fault that you had ectasy in your drink. Getting rid of the guilt that belongs to the adults in my life,and those who raped me, by placing it on their doorsteps, and leaving it there, helped me enormously, in accepting the truth about my childhood. It is important to go easy on yourself and don’t push things any further than where you are ready to go. Today, you have embraced a major truth about your life. That’s enough for today. That truth, when it becomes a part of your self, will lead you to the next step. Truth is the cure.

Love,
Pam

37

That’s okay, Jami. I love, Darlene and don’t mind too much, when I’m confused as being her.:0)There are worse things in life!lol!

Love,
Pam

38

Thanks Pam for speaking to me about this. I am finally done with my entire sexual history from being a little girl until before I got married to the greatest husband ever.

I can totally see how all the sexual abuse played out in every single decision I made up until getting married to a great guy. Every single thing….every thing….

Something inside of me tells me that it’s okay to let go of all of that shame in the decisions that I made because it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t who I was….and the way that I am now is who I was supposed to be…I wasn’t bad….or a cheater, or promiscuous or a stripper, or a substance abuser, etc because that’s who I was….that is what I was taught. I took the struggles of the abusers and claimed them as my own….and all of that shame made me act the way that I did….

Does that sound right? Is it okay to stop taking the blame for any of it??

39

Kathryn
I am an extrovert but lately I stay at home alone most of the time. When we retired and moved
away all my so called friends just dropped me. 30 years I lived in the same
place. I dont feel comfortable trying to start new friendships. Although
because of this site I understand so much about myself and my abusive
family and how I put up with so much dysfunctional treatment for years.
Pam my mother never related to or understood me. I dont think
she ever liked me as a child or an adult. I was not what she wanted in
the perfect child so she found a use in me as a servant. The fact that
she pretends in front of others that I am her beloved daughter is
hurtful. Then 5 mins later Im belittled and told how I can serve her.
I appreciate your insight. You express this stuff very clearly.

40

Jami, It is more than okay, it is the right thing to do. That shame doesn’t belong to you and nothing can twist up a heart and mind more, than carrying guilt and shame that isn’t ours to carry. Except maybe, victimizing people and making them feel complicite in the crime committed against them, to avoid guild and shame and insuring silence. When rapists objectify others, they dehmanize themselves and they become monsters of their own creation. They more than deserve guilt and shame and it just might be what saves them.

The sexual abuse affected many of my decisions too, even after I married a great guy. I believed a lot of lies about who I was and my family of origin reinforced those lies so that there part in what happened to me, wouldn’t be exposed. When almost two years ago, I set a boundary for relationship being that they acknowledge I was sexually abused and that my parents were guilty of criminal child neglect when they did nothing to rescue me from a child predator, they chose to end our relationship. This is the second time they threw me away and it will be the last. My value doesn’t come from how I serve or please others and that includes my family of origin. It was hard for me to accept that I hadn’t been loved or valued as I should have been by my parents and I certainly, wasn’t loved by the men who abused me. However, I now give myself all the love, protection, dignity, and honor those adults should have treated me with as a child. I am valuable and worthy of love, I’m not a sex-toy, and being sexually abused as a child, does not diminish my value. It’s good to be free and accept the little girl who was so battered and broken, as an important part of who I am. I’m not ashamed, anymore.:0)

Love,
Pam

41

Karyn, It’s awful to feel like your mother doesn’t like you or that you are so bad that you are beyond understanding. I needed that so badly from my mom but it isn’t in her to give. I don’t know why and after a certain point, it just doesn’t matter why. I don’t want to waste my life and open the family I’ve created up for unnecessary pain by trying to love a mother who can’t love me back and has no interest in trying to heal herself or change. My loving her won’t change her. She has to do that work herself.

I lost a lot of friends too and I understand how hard it is to make new friends. I let go of a lot of relationships with people who also, know my sister because I couldn’t take them asking me about her, when we are estranged. So, I not only lost my family of origin but many friends and aquaintances. I am lonely at times and my health makes it difficult to be involved in social situations but still, it is worth living in truth. I never want to go back to living lies so that people in my family don’t have to feel uncomfortable because of things they did to damage me in the past. I know I’m labeled as breaking up the family but that is a lie too. The family I grew up in was never a functioning family. We were never united, we were always broken and I’m glad to have left that brokenness behind.

Love,
Pam

42

Hi Pam,
Thank you for sharing this! What a heart wrenching experience. I was so sickened by those wildly inappropriate friday night talks you went through. And all of the following abusive encounters–I am glad you made it through, and quite frankly, that you are still alive! Anything could have happened to you, at the mercy of those derelict men. Pedophiles are the most sickening individuals, and I so agree they should be locked up forever. Through you surviving, and now starting to thrive, we can see God had a plan. Indeed!
I have partial memories of two inappropriate experiences as a chid, but cant get any further on them, currently. One of them hit me like a flash, when I was driving home from therapy. But oddly, I never told my therapist about it. It was just so filthy….
We never got ANY sex education in my house. My mother saw her role in that, as to slip into her Irish catholic character, and inform us girls that “I was a virgin when I got married, and I expect the same from you girls!” I did not know what my period was when it came, thought I was dying from cancer! When I saw ads for sanitary pads, in the teen magazines, I thought they were dress shields, to prevent perpiring through your clothing. In the 70’s, you can remember that lots of styles were sleeveless, so i used to puzzle over this.
However. I did have relations with someone before I was married, namely a 25 yr old pilot, who I was with on my 18th birthday, just to see what it was about.(I considered that, being 18, it would no longer be on my mothers head, and only I would have to go to hell for this. Always about her) Looking back, I can see that he groomed me for that situation, took advantage of my distance from my family, even then. From there, I was promiscuous, because it was only through a sexual relationship I could only imagine I was feeling loved. So sad to look back on now! My father did not do his job to make me feel like a young woman deserving of love, care, cherishing. I was only a problem to him, someone in the way of his television. He was very gruff with me!
I identified when you said: “My mom never wanted to be a mother or even a grown woman. My mother wants to remain a little girl forever and the absense of a mother in her person, did me the greatest damage of all. In her eyes, I was born with no other purpose but to gratify her needs and in her eyes, I failed that miserably and I was therefore, a miserable excuse for a daughter.” My mother still behaves as a little girl, childish, jealous, and self centered. And becuase I did not seek relationships with exactly the type of men she had wished for herself (she actually got someone a little different), I was a failure, persona non grata, in her book. I remember her story of how she got my father to propose. They had been dating for a few years,and she was in her young 20’s. Sitting in his car, outside of her house, she mad a speech about resigning herself to the fact she was never going to be married, and she wished my father well, on his way in life, and she cried,and she sobbed, until she finally got the marriage proposal. Even at a young age, i knew my father had been hoodwinked, manipulated by fake tears, as she has tried to do to all of us children. I’m just on to her, which makes her further despise me…………
Thank you For letting me share. I woke up from a nightmare, in which I was at the FOO house, and we were hiding in a closet(!), from some sort of deranged man, yelling, threatening, omonous. This discussion seemed so appropriate! I feel alot calmer now.
Again, so glad you made it through! You have so much to offer this world and others, with your insight. You are deserving of love and contentment!

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Janie, Thank you.:0)Something that isn’t discussed enough is how young college age girls are targeted. These days, traffickers look for girls away from home for the first time. Age isn’t always a good way to determine sexual abuse. Anytime, one person uses another for personal gratification or exploitation without regard for the other person, it’s sexual abuse.

I was very nieve too though, I was prepared for my period but there was so much I didn’t know and I wasn’t prepared to defend myself. Kids seem to know more today, but they are still confused by all the mixed messages and I think many of them feel preasured to have sex before they are emotionally,ready to do so. I hurt for kids these days.

I know God had another plan for me too and though I wish things would have been different, I have a good life now. I found my way out of that mess and built something much, much better. Sometimes, I still get sucked back there in my thinking, but now that I understand it, I don’t stay depressed for months at a time without really understanding why. That is wonderful.:0)

Have sweet dreams, Janie.

Love,
Pam

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Hi, I’m currently having problems and deciding whether to admit myself to hospital or not. AFter being assaulted again recently by a ‘friend’ I had let stay at my flat. I woke up to find him in bed with me groping me. I have since spoken to other friends who say it was my fault for letting him stay and trusting him. Another friend called me a tease. I had made my wishes for nothing more than friendship quite clear. Any opinions would be gratefully recieved at this time. I have suffered abuse at the hands of a variety of different people over teh years and am looking to move out of this and to stop abusing myself with my own thoughts too! Thanks so much for this site!

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Hi Kelly, He definately took advantage of you. I wouldn’t call it your fault. Sometimes, I’ve trusted someone too soon and now, I want people to prove themselves to me. That usually, takes about a year. That doesn’t mean that you are responsible for what this person did. It sounds like the same old, “men can’t control themselves sexually” thing. The people telling you it is your fault are just wrong.

Love,
Pam

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Kelly, Why do you feel you need to go to the hospital? Did he physically harm you?

Pam

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Pam,
Thank you for guest posting once again! I appreciate your insight and your voice here in EFB!
Hugs, Darlene

Everyone ~ I have just published a new post about Passive Abuse and how the message I got from passive abuse was the same as the message I got from more obvious abuse. I use my father as an example. (the only reason I don’t share much about my father is because there isn’t much to share; he didn’t bother himself with me too much; and that is passive abuse) I look forward to the comments on the new post;
Here is the link ~ “Emotionally Unavailable Father; The message of passive abuse”
Hugs, Darlene

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Sexual abuse was part of my childhood too. I guess the first time it occurred, I was just a baby. I have no memories of the event(s). All I know is that when I was in my 40s, I was told by my doctor that I’d been surgically “altered.” He wanted to know why I didn’t tell him. However, I had never been told by my parents about the details of the operation, & had never questioned them (I learned early not to bring up stuff like that unless I wanted them to punish me). So I thought there was nothing really wrong with my body.

Boys & men were always interested in me sexually. I did have more knowledge of the birds & bees than other children my age. I was also molested by a friend of my parents. Looking back on those events, I am sure his wife knew what was going on…she distracted my parents who were disinterested in me anyway. It was the perfect set up. Once he even asked dad for permission to take me off alone, & dad of course gave him his blessing. I was just a few feet away but it might as well have been miles. I felt ugly, dirty, & disgusting. I felt like no one would ever want such a horrible creature, since no one in my world even liked me. My parents kept me because they signed a contract to adopt me that was legal & binding, & so they did the barest minimum to care for me. I have been left wondering why 2 people who could never even like me insisted on keeping me. They both made sure I was aware that they found me to be a burden…forced to deal with a reject they hated. Perhaps they maintained parental status to keep their ugly dirty secrets quiet, & to have a scapegoat for when they felt the need to hurt someone. I am guessing that they did not want to be investigated for abuse.

I kept to myself mostly as I didn’t have siblings & other kids hated me (I was bullied everywhere I went). The only real friends or acceptance I had back then were pets, tv characters, or books. I craved human contact, but was found to be disgusting by parents, other adults, & peers alike. Since my parents weren’t interested in me unless they perceived me as bad & needing punishment, I was left to my own devices. I spent a lot of my time alone…I was practically feral in a lot of ways. My manners were atrocious, I did not know how to behave around others. Mom & dad never bothered to teach me right from wrong…perhaps it was too much work. I understand that parenting is thankless & a lot of trouble…but there are rewards too.

My situation set me up for longing/desiring any kind of attention, even that from an adult man in his 40s or 50s wanting to have a sexual relationship with a 9-12 year old. Once I turned 12 though, I hated the kissing & fondling, & refused his advances. Funny, after that day, they no longer found us to be friend material. Imagine that! So it seems they used my parents to get to me. There’s more to this story but it still makes me very ill to think of the things that happened to me. Mom suspected it, but said some very disturbing things to me to make me deny the abuse. So it was never addressed until years later. When I confronted my parents, I was told it never happened, & that I was a horrible liar for dreaming up such nonsense.

Unfortunately, because I was an only child with parents who were distant, I had no witnesses to back up my stories. It was though those things never happened. I still remember everything…it was though it just happened yesterday, so for them to state it’s just a figment of my own twisted imagination really hurt. obviously, there was stuff going on long before my memories kicked in. Thank God for them because I know the truth. As it’s said, we are as sick as our secrets…my parents were both very ill mentally. I never backed off or recanted my stories, & mom has since passed away. I have gone no contact with dad because I just cannot stand all the painful things he has come to say to me in the past 2 years. Things that no loving human being would say to another, especially a supposedly beloved child.

Thanks Pam! I am so sorry that you also had a terrible childhood full of experiences that you should have never faced. I am thankful to know that I am no longer alone…even though it pains me to know others have had their own lives forever altered by abuse.

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January, It makes me sad to know that you weren’t loved, cherished, and nurtured the way children should be. There is no good excuse for you not to have had the love all children deserve. Your parents surely, didn’t derserve to have a little girl like you. I wish you had better memories but I relate to holding on to those memories that everyone tries to make us believe are lies or that we’re crazy, with big imaginations, or we make too big of a deal about everything. I hate those secrets, where all the dark deeds done by abusers fester. No one should have to carry a secret world like that around inside of them. I know what you mean about it always being a part of the present,it was always right at the front of my mind, where I viewed everything happening in real time through what happened in the past. As an adult, I was always ready to prevent it from happening again, always on guard. I know there is a lot that I also, don’t remember. I don’t want to remember but I also, don’t want to be swallowed by a sudden recollection of something too horrible to think about. Now that I’ve opened up about this, it seems like I’m always waiting for the other shoe to fall in the form of a new memory or revelation. However, it is better since I’ve opened up and started talking about what I do remember than it was when I kept it all secret for decades. I’m glad you were able to open up and share here. I know how hard it is to find someone who wants to hear the kinds of things that happened to us but it’s really important for us to be heard. We are both still valuable women, January. The things that were done to us didn’t dimenish our worth. We have to hang on to that. We weren’t loved and protected in the way we should have been but we can learn to love and honor and protect ourselves. I also, believe that every time we have the courage to speak out in truth, it makes it harder for other children to be abused. Child predators need the cover of darkness, those dark secrets they force their victims to carry, that society often aids in keeping secret, but truth will destroy the destroyers. We aren’t the sum of their evil actions but they are. Thank you for having the courage to share the truth about what happened to you. It’s good for me to know that I’m not alone either.

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
Although I didn’t suffer sexual abuse, I can’t say I understand, my heart weeps for you. Thank you for being so candid in your post and baring your very soul. (I feel like abuse penetrates our souls).

My heart goes out to anyone who has withstood this trauma. I don’t get what it is that keeps people from making a better choice if/when these sick urges surface. I don’t know how people live with themselves, knowing they have this horrible secret…… they tortured a child sexually.

Anyhow, I really just wanted to reach out to you and thank you for sharing this painful part of your history.

Love to you,
Mimi

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Mimi, Thankyou, sweetheart. This was a painful one to write. Sexual abuse is definately, the most destructive abuse I suffered. I wonder if I will ever be able to express all the pain. A lot of it is just beyond words and there are many layers to the damage. Some of the worst damage was in the way my family responded both when it was taking place, then being silenced for decades with guilt being hung over my head through it (to maintain my silence)because they couldn’t confess to their neglegence, and then when I broke the silence and tried to talk about it with them. For my siblings, I think it just boils down to embarrassment and trying to maintain a family image and name. I know this caused deeper damage than the actual, denegrating actions by the men who raped me. It’s amazing how many people still don’t really buy that a teenager can be sexually abused especially, if they are a troubled teen, like I was. What they don’t get is how easy it is to manipulate a hurting, rebellious teenager and make them a part of their own abuse. Everything the world would have judged in me as being why I ‘deserved what I got’ is what was used against me. I still have such a black anger inside of me over this. I keep praying that I’ll find some way to use it to make things better for kids. I think it is the only way I’ll ever be able to resolve it. Thank you for reading this, Mimi and commenting. Most people don’t want to know and that is what makes it easy for men to rape and exploit teenage girls and boys.

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
I’m so sorry for what you went through. It’s so sickening. I can’t imagine the pain and having to carry all that for so many years. You are such a strong woman.

I read this back when it was first published and it brought a lot up for me. Maybe because of the belief system and value stuff. I hope that it’s alright for me to write even though I didn’t experience what you have and don’t carry that pain. I have not experienced sex at all. I am single and have not dated or even kissed anyone. When I was young, though, I shared a bed once with my older brother when we were visiting relatives. He asked if he could touch me, then kiss me, between the legs. I said okay, though I didn’t want him to. He wanted me to do the same to him but I said no—-it was too disgusting to me (I was maybe 6—I have no idea actually, just young enough that genitals were about urinating and that was it). It wasn’t traumatic, just a thing that happened. Except, I lived in a world where I was only loved if I gave people what they wanted. Over time, isolation and deprivation took over my life. My mom was very possessive of me and I could not have my own life. My brother lived his own life, friends, girlfriends, travelling around the world for 10 or so years, and wasn’t interested in me or in being a brother. He only became interested in having a relationship with me 4 years ago when I moved provinces and it suddenly occurred to him that we didn’t have a relationship. What I’ve realized is that somewhere along the line I think I might have put a bunch of meaning into that incident. He was my big brother and all those years I was alone and stuck carrying the weight of all my mom’s emotional needs, being the good daughter, while he was out living his life and all those years after my breakdown when I was an absolute mess and no one in my family changed, I really wanted him to care about me. I wanted his approval, acceptance and love. In some ways it was like he was representative of my peers and if he could let me into his world, approve of me, then I would belong in the world. What I’ve realized is that at some point I came to believe that it was because I said no, that I’ve been carrying around the belief that if I had given him what he wanted, then he would have loved me, etc. Bringing this to the surface, not only do I see the false belief in terms of my value, I see the absolute absurdity of pulling at straws to find a reason, to blame myself when really he just didn’t care and wasn’t thinking about me at all because he was out living his own life and having a relationship with me didn’t matter to him. Who I was and what I wanted and needed as a person (to have my very own life like my brother had) really didn’t matter to any member of my family.

When I had my breakdown, I was falling in love with someone who not long after got back together with an ex-girlfriend, though he still wanted to sleep with me. I would not, though I was extremely naive and extremely needy, obsessive and starving for affection. I also had the belief that maybe he’d loved me if I gave him what he wanted. It was a frightening and emotionally traumatic time in my life all the way around for many reasons. He also had problems—a cocaine addiction and he once told me that he wanted to hurt the people he loved. I got to the point where I wished he’d want to hurt me just so I could know that he loved me (not that that’s love, but I was sick then and so, so desperate). He ended the “friendship” twice and I did, I’m sure, no less than 40 times. It went on for many years. It was as though I believed he could unlock my freedom, my life and give me entrance to the world. I’d come back to him when I’d made some progress, some new discovery in my life, as though I had found a key that I’d give to him to see if it would fit the lock. It never did.

I could relate to your comments about aloneness. I have lived in so much isolation. It was for my protection and even sometimes in my best interest, but I would now like to have more interaction with others (outside of online). I do feel distinctly what you said about kids being sexualized so young, but I feel it from the other side, I guess—the assumptions people make, the pressure that I’m not like what I’m “supposed to be”. Even in casual conversation about dating or relationships, my options are to be false, silent or vulnerable. More often than not, I am false or silent, simply because that’s what the situation calls for, and yet it keeps me locked up and underscores the shame that I wish I didn’t feel.

I do know that I can look at this differently, that I could look into my future and know that when I’m ready, I’ll be moving forward from a place of wholeness and choice, that it won’t be about filling in a void and giving myself away (emotionally—which is what my life and abuse was all about—or physically) just so that someone might love me. And also know that anybody who judges me for whatever reason isn’t worth my time. But the thing is I’m 31 this month, which is young, I know, but I have been alone so long—I’ve never experience anything else—that not only do I have a hard time conceiving of anyone actually choosing me specifically over all the other people around (in a healthy, non-using way…because I can certainly conceive of people wanting to use me…), I don’t even know if I could do a relationship, if I could handle it, or even want it, because I like and need to be alone and have my own space, too… I guess I can’t know unless I try. It’s scary, though, when you’ve been locked up so long, or what feels like so long.

Thanks for reading, Pam. What happened to you is so horrifying. It’s so terrible and sad what goes on in this world. I don’t know how you got through it, but I’m so glad you did. Your spirit is strong…. I feel strangely about posting so much because it’s so far away from the horror of what you and others have gone through but I think I was affected by the value system stuff and especially the aloneness. My eye and forehead have been twitching the whole time I’ve been writing this, something that happens often when I’ve tapped into deep pain, and I know it’s deep pain, but I have the tendency to reprimand myself for “complaining” about loneliness, like it’s my own doing and it’s nothing compared to “real” abuse. Except it wasn’t my own doing—it was a very real component of the role I was put into—and loneliness is a legitimate pain because I, like all human beings, was not born to be isolated and unloved. It’s not right that I have to stay inside that and I don’t want to anymore.

Thank you so much for posting your story. You make a real difference in this world.
xo, A

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Alaina, I was isolated as a child, too and I can understand why it is hard for you to enter into a relationship. We are social animals and what we learn socially, in the first few weeks, months, and years of life, have a huge impact on how we learn to relate. My ‘aloneness’ is different from lonliness, though, I’m often lonely too. Aloneness is what is natural for me and really, I’m very content with my own company. It isn’t that I don’t like people, I do but I am overwhelmed by most of them. It is like I have sensory overload when I have too many people pulling me in all directions with their demands. I think all human relationships are based upon what we need from one another so, in a sense, we all use one another. If it is mutual and within bounds of mutual respect, then both parties needs are served. My problem is in having more energy drawn from me that I receive in return. My healing has caused me to lose a lot of relationships but the ones that I have left, fill my needs as well as my filling the needs of others. This is the guage I intend to use in forming new relationships, that my needs are met and it isn’t just about me meeting the needs of another.

Sex means so many things to human beings and sadly, I don’t think many people have a very healthy view of sexuality. Especially, in modern times, so many seem to regard it is recreation, only. Or that’s the way it is presented and I think that comes directly from the fact that through science, we’ve been able to remove the consequence of unwanted procreation. I know I’m a lot older than you and my sexual experience is very different from yours but I think putting sex back into it’s natural boundaries goes a long way toward developing a more healthy attitude to what sex means. I relate to what you say about a relationship bringing you into the world because as a sexually abused and exploited child, my existence and survival depended upon my sexual performance, in a literal way. My self-esteem formed itself around my sexuality and that is the heart of sexual addiction. After I married, that wasn’t expressed through promisquity but I still had to look a certain way and if I felt that my husband wasn’t pleased with me sexually,it was personally, threatening to me. I think I also, needed sex to feel emotionally connected to another human being because I felt so disconnected from my parents and others, as a child. Connecting with others is something I’ve had to struggle with and really think about, because I didn’t learn it during those first few years of life and what I did learn by observing my mother and father, was terribly unhealthy. I will always wish that I’d been taught to honor my body, not because I needed it to please some man, but because my body belongs to me and I am worth honoring. Dignity is so important and getting back to my point about natural boundaries, I think keeping in mind that sex is about bringing a child into the world,keeps it real. Sex can be fun but the bond between a man and a woman should be about more than recreation or entertainment. It isn’t about conquest, or power, or self-worth or it shouldn’t be. It should be about a man and a woman bonding, in a deep commitment to one another, in mindfulness that this relationship is the foundation for a new family. It should be sacred. I will always wish that I’d had the opportunity to choose that as my first sexual experience. Instead, I had to work it backwards, through all the perversion and twisted concepts that formed my definition of sex. I had a lot of garbage to scrub myself free of before I could experience that kind of bonding with my husband. I am happy that I have managed to do that and I comfort myself in knowing that I never bonded with any of those other men, in that way. They used my body but they never touched the real, inner me. That is something I’ve shared with only, my husband. He was the only one who respected, honored, and truly, loved me enough to allow that special intimacy that goes far beyond anything merely, physical.

You are young and you aren’t too old to be a virgin.Alaina,my hope for you is that when you are healed, you will meet the right man, with the right values, who will love and respect you and when you choose to give yourself to him, that it will be an expression of the kind of bonding that is of mutual gratification and mutual giving. I hope you will be able to enjoy divine sex, sex within sacred bonds that protect the personal dignity of both of you. I know this is possible because if I can survive what I survived and still have found someone to love me that way, it can happen for you too. Sex in and of itself, won’t cure your lonliness but it can be the expression of two people who have found love for one another and are no longer all alone. My husband is the only person who never makes me feel like the room is crowded. He is the only one that I don’t need some time apart from. He gives as much as he takes and I don’t have to be anything but just what I am with him. We truly, have become ‘one’and that is what the relationship between a man and a woman should be. I am very blessed to have that.

Emotional neglect is so hard to get past. It was so hard for me to define in the first place and then what do you say about ‘nothing’? I know there are babies that simply, turn their faces to the wall and die when they don’t receive the attention they need. You and I didn’t die. I’m glad for that and I think we both have a purpose to fill that will make a difference in the world. Even though our parents didn’t value us the way we were meant to be valued, that value wasn’t diminished by their neglect and abuse. Even though I was regarded as a sex toy by men who should have treated me as their little sister, I never was a sex toy and even that kind of treatment of me, didn’t decrease my value as a human being. Even as I struggled to heal, I have contributed to this world and been a force for good. The bad guys don’t win, Alaina. You are fighting to be more than you are right now and that in itself proves how viable, valuable, and loveable you are.

Thank you for commenting and sharing so much with me. I am in this place now, where I feel I have so much to say about this subject but I’m not sure if anyone wants to hear. I am emboldened because of the courage you’ve shown in sharing with me how my story has touched you.Thank you for not showing me a cold shoulder, or looking down on me,or thinking that somehow, I am responsible for what happened to me. You don’t know how much that means to me.

Love,
Pam

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Thank you so much, Pam. Your words brought tears for me. It means a lot that you would give so much care, empathy and respect to my experience. I would never look down on you or think that somehow you were responsible for what happened to you. I have often over the years connected to stories about sexual abuse (and sexual addiction as well, strange as it might seem). It used to scare me because I didn’t know why I connected so much and would sometimes try to fill in the blanks with an overactive imagination, when there really was nothing—the blank of emotional neglect. And then otherwise I felt like I had no “right” to feel a connection to a kind of abuse I never experienced. So it means a lot to me that you would respond with so much to give, and I never would have thought that it would have meant anything to you to embolden you to speak more (if anything, I was worried that it would be insulting to a sexual abuse survivor that I, without the experience, would be personally touched or connected to the feelings you expressed). I suspect what I relate to is the emotional neglect inherent in the abuse, as well as being used to gratify someone’s needs. I wasn’t anybody’s sex toy, but I was definitely my mother’s toy, pet, doll, whatever. I was a possession. I can understand going into a situation wanting love and approval, then ending up a toy and remaining there to be used, defiled, betrayed—I understand that, not on a physical realm but on an emotional realm, very much so.

I am very grateful for your words. They give me hope. I was glad to hear about your relationship with your husband, what you said about how you don’t feel in a crowd with him. That is what I was wondering about with me. For me, as well, though I have a lot of loneliness, there are many times where I love to be alone, too, that solitude is something I crave. I also can get overwhelmed, even when the experience with others is positive and good and even with people who now truly understand me and love me and around whom I feel comfortable. I still need to break away to be on my own. I was like that even as a young child, too, and think some of that was natural—I could be very social, talkative, energetic and active but then I’d need to go off into my own little world, could spend hours on end content to play by myself. I needed that but I needed the balance. Over time, I lost all of the former and the latter, my little world, collapsed on my head… I want to believe that I’ll strike that balance eventually and find someone whose own character complements mine and around whom I can feel as comfortable as you do with your husband.

Anyway, thank you so much again for all your words. They meant/mean a great deal to me. I’m pretty cautious about sharing this stuff because there really isn’t a lot of dignity shown in society in this realm, as you know. I simply want to be able to live a full life—that’s what it’s all about for me and I think for all of us here. It helped a lot to talk about this, so thank you for receiving my words with so much respect and love.

All my best to you,
Alaina

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Pam,
I agree. Most people don’t want to know. It seems to me they don’t want to know about any kind of abuse. That is a sticking point for me. If someone I cared about came to me and said they were abused, I would do what I could to help. As it is, people turn their heads. I don’t understand that. A lack of compassion, a taboo subject that everyone wants to run from. I still feel some shame about talking about it with others. It’s like I feel they won’t believe me, or they will make excuses for my mother. I still have an aching need to be heard. Most people in my life don’t want to hear it, aside from here of course. That makes for a rather isolating existance. I want so much to be the person I was in my 20s. I was outgoing, and had a very active social life. I was in pain then, but, I drank enough to dampen it I guess. I’m so thankful I don’t drink anymore, but, I would give anything to be that social person again. It seems like life has battered me, people have battered me. I have my group of childhood friends that I hold so dear to my heart and I’m eternally thankful that I made those friendships long ago. I no longer have a best friend, however. I miss that. It seems like people I meet in person in today’s world, have hidden agendas. Can’t be trusted, and sometimes even like to pry into my life to use my personal business as their entertainment. That’s saddening, and not very encouraging.

Wow, turned out to be a fairly gloomy post. 🙁

Peace and Love,
Mimi

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Mimi, Don’t worry about the mood of your comment. There is a good deal of sadness in life, it is reality. We live in a world where one living thing must be killed for another to eat and live and human beings have made it to the top of the food chain. Though we don’t like to acknowledge it, we are the most powerful predators on earth and we don’t stop at devouring other species, we devour each other too. In general, human beings are vicious and showing compassion is a sign of weakness to those who are successful within this present hierarchal system, in which we live. Others, side with the powerful out of fear for themselves. Not everyone in powerful positions are evil but most are, to some degree. They have to be to get where they are. It is a hard choice to be a person who pursues truth and works as a force for good in the world. To do so, means to walk through life in the opposite direction of most everyone else and to do so in their midst. That makes for a lot of conflict and you’re right, it is battering. I think that is why so many of us find ourselves withdrawing from the world and really, that’s okay, for a time. It is certainly, okay while we are healing but we do need to get back in there at some point, and continue to work to overcome evil with good.We need to be there for others who are like us. I still believe that good is more powerful than evil but we are living in a time when most people don’t trust in goodness or in doing what is right. In times like these, those who try to do good make themselves prey to those who seek power over others at any cost. People are spiritual and so many have filled that area of their life with science and entertainment,rather than sound, moral spirituality. “Survival of the fittest” doesn’t make for a compassionate society. Most of our entertainment reflects what is most evil in human beings and when I take a serious look at what is offered as entertainment, I shudder because it not only influences people, it is a reflection of who we are as a people. It is no wonder that child abuse is a pandemic problem and it is also, no wonder that people don’t want to talk about it and appear weak. A lot of people abuse and they surely, don’t want to give credance to anything victims have to say, for fear of being caught.

I have a need to be heard too and much of my anger is at a society that makes it possible for children to be trafficked and used as sex toys by powerful, rich people. What happened to me was bad enough but I know it is mild compared to what is happening to kids and young women in the global sex trafficking trade,today. It is a massive problem that includes government agencies that are supposed to protect children from abuse. Children are merchandise (just like my dad taught me I was)to a lot of people these days and no one is less likely to be heard than an unwanted child. Even those who are wanted and are cherished are in danger of being victimized. If people don’t get a handle on their behavior, it will destroy western civilization. Too many children are being sacrificed on the altar of adult gratification and pleasure. A people that treats its children the way children are currently, being treated, is in the process of collapse. It isn’t an easy time to be alive.

I only have two friends that I’m close to and when I look back on my life, I feel very blessed to have them. I used to be very social too(in a nonpersonal way) but all those relationships were mostly, meaningless.That made them less draining because they required no commitment or responsibility. That was appealing to my ‘lone wolf’ type of personality but now, I prefer genuine, committed relationships and those require time and work.I don’t have enough energy left for the old way that I used to socialize. Real friends are few and far between. I’m very thankful for people like you, Darlene, and the other brave commentors here. Even if we don’t see each other in 3D, you are a very important person in my life because you’ve helped me to sort my way through all the garbage I’d been told about myself and find the courage to trust me and depend upon my ability to discern truth and make decisions that are right for myself. I guess, I am one of my best friends now and that is a very valuable asset. I think you are the process of becoming a best friend to yourself too, Mimi.:0)Jesus said that the meek will inherit the earth and I take comfort in that. The viciousness of human power will someday, devour itself and then the humble, seekers of truth will have their appointed season. If I didn’t have my faith, I would go insane because the world we live in now, is insane. If I were truly, to be of it, I would have to be insanely, vicious too. I much prefer sanity to power in this world, even if it leaves me lonely, at times. I think you do too and that is why we are all gathered here and I call that a miracle!:0)Thank you for being part of a miracle in my life!

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
Thank you!! You are very much a part of the miracle in my life as well. I’m amazed at the seemingly constant revelations on this path we (here) have found ourselves on. One year ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d have the strength to go my own way, without my sisters. Although, I think somewhere in the deepest corners of my mind, I knew this could be the turnout. My point is, it’s constantly changing. I have struggled in my faith along the way. I’m not where you are in terms of trusting God. One thing I do have faith in is….. it will all return to me. I believe with more time and prayer, my faith and love for God will grow even deeper than it was before. This is my hope. I’m not there yet, but I do have hope that the injuries of the past 2 years will launch me into a whole new playing field with respect to our Father.

Pam, recently I have been listening to an audiobook called “The Road Less Traveled”, by M. Scott Peck. He also wrote “People of the Lie”. I’ve seen the latter referenced here several times, so I researched it. After reading reviews, I decided to buy the first one, then listen to the People of the Lie. Wow, I’m so happy to have this book in my library. It provides a lot of validation for the road we’re on. It’s helped solidify in my mind that maybe I AM the healthy one. I get that here of course, but, sometimes, I need to be beat over the head with it. 🙂

In the book the author tells a story about a woman who had been battered by life, and over a period of time, she retreated to her own world of solitude, much like I think I am doing. She was completely alone however. No husband or friends, family, etc. The author did point out that her life was lackluster due to these choices she made as a result of the hurt she’d suffered along the way. When I heard that Pam, I thought of you and myself….. retreating into this safe place where being alone is the ultimate answer to avoiding hurt. It saddened me. It also gave me hope. Hearing it discussed in this way made me realize that perhaps I could work on getting back that social expression and contact that I miss. Then, there is this little voice in my head that says, “don’t trust them…. they ALL have their own agendas”. I agree with you in that we live in a fairly vicious world today. I find myself, although with laziness, trying to seek out people in my immediate world who do things like I do. To give as much as I’m willing to give, in all aspects of the word. I wonder if having a giving nature is the result of all we have been through?? I work hard to be honest, trustworthy, and accountable. Not many people do that these days. Please understand, I’m not trying to toot my own horn. 🙂

Perhaps you’ve read this book I’m referring to. If so, disregard my details. If you haven’t, I do recommend it, to anyone really. For me, it’s another source of realism about the path I’m on with regard to how everyone else (in my immediate circle) is responding. If only for a moment, it helped me feel sane.

Love to you,
Mimi

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Mimi, I haven’t read those books but I can agree with the points you expressed. I know I’m blessed to have the family I created and a couple of close friends but I do crave more social contact too. I let a lot of relationships go at a time when I’m getting old (faster than a roller-coaster, as the song goes)and maintaining my health takes a lot of time. Writing takes place in solitude too. So, I think at this point, my social isolation is as much about those things as my nature but I don’t think I will ever be a social butterfly. My husband says that I bring the intensity out in other people and then I’m worn out by it.lol! Maybe, he’s right. I’m rather intense so, it makes sense that others would respond that way toward me. My husband is the opposite. He’s very good at social banter but not very good at expressing deep thought. We’re all different, Mimi. I think finding the niche we are happiest in has to begin with accepting ourselves as we are. I know this is a tough time for you. It was horrible for me when I lost my sister and brother. Some days, it still is but when I walk back over the process that took me to that point, I see there was no other choice for me to make and I think it is probably the same for you. We each chose to embrace truth and it took us to its own conclusion. I think it gets a little bit better every day. I’ll pray for you.:0)

I think suffering creates the copacity for empathy and compassion and they are a gift given to us to fill that void. It keeps us alive and it also, helps us to help others who hurt the same way we’ve been hurt; and that helps solidify the commitments we’ve made in healing. That was really important when I was struggling with substance addictions. I know that was why church helped me in that area when it doesn’t help others. I got involved in helping other people and a lot of the other crap, went over my head. Not that I’ve never been hurt in church, I have and my FOO are very religious and have used it to manipulate me and cover their own evil. I think what helped me not lose my faith was the fact that I didn’t come to faith in a church or as the result of any program. I also, didn’t go to church for ten years after my conversion so, it was always a very personal relationship between me and God, that didn’t depend on anyone else. Church has always been a kind of secondary part of it for me. I’ve been mad at God a few times and so disgusted with how some Christians I knew behaved that I wanted to walk away from my faith but I couldn’t accomplish it. I don’t think I can lose it. It’s a gift and once opened and used, it’s too late to send it back.lol!

One of the things that set me on my journey of self-reckoning was a friend who said, “Pam, I don’t think you are the one who’s mentally ill. I think your family is mentally ill.” That was near the end of my “bipolar’ misdiagnosis and chemical nightmare. It was what prompted me to look closely at what kind of family I had and try to identify their behavior. I found a book on the structure of narcissitic families and it was so right-on that I could only read it in small chuncks. I literally, threw up sometimes because it was so true. My mental illness was definately rooted in that sick family system. I know this is true because I haven’t had a serious depression since unenmeshing myself from it. (other than from my hypothyroid which really is a chemical thing but it didn’t feel the same as my other depressions). I the rest of them would seek their own healing and unenmesh too but I can’t make that happen. I didn’t help them any by remaining part of it and they require I be part of it to be a part of the family. One thing that encourages me the most, is how happy my sons are. The changes in myself have really had a positive influence on them. My youngest went no contact with my family before I did. I couldn’t understand it at the time, but now I can see what both of my children saw so clearly even, when they were only teenagers. I was torn between the two sides for a long time but when I finally, fully became one of the good guys, it made a big difference to my kids. I also, know that just like me, they are happier without the influence of all that sickness hanging in the air. We all have a better image of ourselves. I know when you are ready to form new relationships (I know this will happen because you want them)you will form healthy, lasting ones because you’ll have the right foundation in yourself to support them. We surely, don’t need relationships held together by abuse. In those cases, it is better to be alone. There was a time when I couldn’t even be alone with myself and be abused because I abused myself. It took a long time but I’ve come a really long way and I’ve succeeded in accomplishing the reason for my journey. You’ve accomplished a lot too, Mimi. We both could still be right where our families are. Give yourself a hug and the support of a best friend. You have a lot to celebrate and I do too. Writing this post and some things that were happening in my personal life, took me back to a really dark, lonely place for a few days but at least now, I understand what is happening and I don’t get stuck there for months. The more I talk about being sexually abused, the less I care about what people think. I don’t know if I’ll ever stop wanting to make them hear. I hope not because people need to hear. I fought all of my life to get well. Now, I want to fight for others. I want to fight the abusers in a way that will make the good guys rise up and stop them.

I have a CAT scan so, I’ve got to run. Please excuse any typos. Love you, Mimi. Our lives are getting better.

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
I hope your CAT goes well…. and even more, the results are what you hope for.

I appreciate you sharing your relationship with God. I have refrained from church over the last two years. I want to make sure my relationship is authentic, not based on what others have said, or implied, or “put” on me. Leaders can be misleading. I’m sorry you were hurt by “spiritual” people. That really creates a big question mark in our minds, in my opinion. I do have faith that my relationship will mend. I feel like wading through the mourning has stunted my trust. I’m not happy about that, and I know I’ve disappointed Him. I’ve repented for that many times. I don’t want Him to weep for me. I think you’re right. Once the gift is opened and used, you can’t return it. The connection is still there for sure, but maybe a bit weaker than it used to be. Again, I have faith it will return. Thank you for your prayers. I will include you in mine also.

It’s funny what your friend said. I had a friend back in the beginning of my journey a few years ago tell me, “maybe you’re actually the white sheep”. I’ve never forgotten that. I’m still wrestling with believing it sometimes, but, I have never forgotten those words.

I agree with you in abuse cases, alone is always better. Regarding social interaction, there are so many statistics and much documentation that people are healthier and live longer if they are socially active. UGH!! Sometimes, that feels like treachery to me. I am getting to a place where the treachery is weakening, however. I don’t have a “real” excuse to not be socially active. People ask what I do all day at times when I’m not working. I have no answer, except that I’m rennovating our home. (if people knew the pace, they’d think I was in a coma)

I have a friend who is always having parties at her house. She has jewelry parties, and pampered chef, and 31, etc. I envy that. I wish I could host a party. I’m getting closer to doing so. Most of what prevents me from doing that is fear of judgment. Is my house clean enough, does it smell, is there a spider or a cobweb, is there pet hair, etc, etc, etc. I know this has its roots in my momster. It’s a double edged sword. Not only did she implant the idea that we always had to appear perfect and wealthy and clean, but, perhaps even more damaging, the idea that I could never pull any of that off. She took those little seeds and pounded them into my head with a sledgehammer where they happily took root, and have grown to be quite hardy. 🙂

Regarding my sisters…. I’m actually doing pretty well. You know that sense of empowerment or confidence you feel when you honor your own self, ABOVE someone else? I think I’m feeling that. I felt a bolt of freedom after my last exchange with my middle sister, and it has actually stuck. I don’t know what I would do if she contacted me now. I know that I’ve reached a point where I don’t really want either of them to contact me. I view that as somewhat of a triumph because I can remember times of weeping for hours over one or both of them, and missing them so deeply. Or wishing one of them would reach out to me and offer some love or understanding. It didn’t happen. I’ve accepted it now. My sights are on moving forward, with or without them. I do feel stronger ~ like Darlene has said about her family, what is there to lose, they weren’t there to begin with. Her fear had already come to fruition, so there was no further risk, and nothing left to fear. I love this insight, and I hold onto it. Additionally, I had to really take an honest look at the last several interactions I’d had with this sister. 100% of the time, I was left feeling defeated, in tears, and in a pretty dark place. I’d have to be cuckoo to keep repeating that, AND hoping for something different. Isn’t that what is said to be the true definition of insanity?? Haha! To give myself permission to not endure that again has been gratifying, and empowering. It’s a level of self respect I’ve rarely visited.

Pam, I agree, we both could be stuck where they are. Thank you for bringing that to light. And, you’re right, we do have a lot to celebrate. If I think back to the times I spent days sobbing, literally every day for 2-3 months…. I know it’s progress. I’m not where I want to be yet, I’m so far from where I’ve been. So many people to thank for their genuity and hope and for sharing their deepest pains. You are sooooo one of them, Pam. I always appreciate your writings and heartfelt support. Having these connections has been my lifeline so often in this journey.

Recently I read something somewhere…. can’t remember where of course, that a good tool for getting down to the basics of who we really are inside, (since we get lost in the definitions of others) is to look at what we were like as a young child, and try to embrace and become that again. When this all started, I would have been dumbfounded to try to define or describe my truest self. I’ve pondered that and tried to revisit that time of purity and innocence. Who were we then, in our truest, most authentic form? That’s who we still are today. It’s easier for me to look back at that loving girl and really like her, than it is for me to look at me today with fondness. Integrating the two, and knowing I’m still that girl inside, has helped me to like myself a little more. I visit that time in life quite a bit in an effort to see my truest self. It helps me to turn around all the lies that were heaped on me, about me. All this to say, I hope you take a moment to visit your little girl today. I can almost promise, you will love her!!

Thank you for reaching out Pam. I appreciate you so much!!

Love to you,
Mimi

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Mimi, I benefit as much from talking to you as you do.:0)You’re easy to reach out to. I think you are growing by leaps and bounds and I really relate to not wanting to see your family. I’m that way too because I have changed so much in the last few years. It would be hard to face their expectations again and know they don’t see me as capable of really accomplishing anything and the only purpose they see in me, is filling what they ask of me. It feels too much like going back to square one.

I don’t think we can disapoint God, Mimi. He knows where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. People are disappointed in others but God isn’t a people.:0)I actually, think of the process of my faith as taking me back to my pure, child, self. Jesus said we have to be like children to live in the Kingdom and I believe He’s working in my life to get me back to that condition. Anyway, that’s what I believe.:0) Everyone’s relationship is personal. Like all relationships, it ebbs and flows and takes some commitment and work. I’m much better at loving the little girl in me, now. When I realized the sexual abuse wasn’t all my fault, I accepted her back as part of myself. I spent most of my life dissociated from her. I tried to bury her alive and become another person. I became several different persons over my lifetime and when I took her back to myself, I became more fully, Pam. I am more authentically, ME than I’ve been since before the sexual abuse. It’s funny but my longest lasting friendship, other than my husband, is a girlfriend that I met before that all happened to me. It is the healthiest friendship I’ve ever had and it still is. The relationships since then, have been based on what I could do for that person, how I could please them. That’s how the sexual abuse taught me to relate to people (even more so than my family). My husband is just a miracle.

I enjoy talking to you, Mimi. Oh, my CAT scan is an annual thing. Since I had hep c for so long, I’m prone to developing liver cancer so, I have to be screened every year. I feel good and I’m not expecting anything to be wrong. Thanks for caring though. Have a wonderful weekend. Do something nice for yourself. Something to honor yourself for all the hard work you’ve done and for all you’ve accomplished. You’re worth it! Love you.

Pam

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Pam,
It made me smile to read that you visit your little girl often. I have tried to console my little me, but it felt awkward somehow. After I read the suggestion to seek out what that little person is like, it became easier to do. It has helped me to really look at my little self, and see me for what I am in that pure state. I can turn the lies around, and simultaneously embrace the positive points. It’s a good thing to do. 🙂

Thank you for the your encouraging words regarding disappointing God. It’s something I never want to do. I am climbing out of a deep valley, and I hope you’re right about Him seeing all of this in a big picture, where we’re headed and where we’ve been. I hope He’s empathetic about my anger…. even toward Him at times. I hang my hopes on the idea that He wants our authentic self, not a ritualistic follower of the masses.

I’m happy to hear this was a routine CAT.

I’m going to take your advice and do something this weekend to honor me. Not sure what that will be yet, but, I’ll figure something out. Ideally, it would be baking cookies, but, I have that whole blood sugar thing to consider, ugh!! Don’t cookies sound good Pam?? 🙂

Hope you are inclined to give to yourself as well. You too have worked hard and we are overcomers!!!

Love you too Pam!!
Mimi

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Mimi, Cookies sound great as long as I didn’t try to bake them!lol! Cooking is not one of my talents…I deal with the blood sugar thing too. I love Kashi cookies and they are good for you with very low sugar and no artificial sweetners. Yesterday, I bought some chewy chocolate squares that are like brownies and really yummy with just a little bit of cream or low fat milk. If you are a talented baker, I bet you could figure out how to make a lot of the things that Kashi makes. Health food stores have alternative sweetners that are also, good for you. I know there is one (I wish I could remember what it is called)that is Chinese and made from some kind of Chinese tree. It is identical to sugar and you can bake with it like sugar. I’ve been dealing with the blood sugar thing since I was 25 and I manage to do it with diet and I feel a lot better when I control it with diet instead of medications. Taurine and CoQ10 help a lot with my blood sugar. I think they help my cells absorb insulin better. Anyway, have fun baking some cookies that are good for you!:0)

My grandsons are coming over to spend the night so, I’m going to catch a nap. Have a great weekend, Mimi. Wish you were close. Me and my grandbabies would come over for some cookies! Grammy doesn’t bake but we make crafts, paint, and go on nature walks. I just never could get that creative streak bent toward the kitchen!lol!

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
You made me laugh!! I am a passionate cook and baker. I love both. Unfortunately, I usually love what I’ve made too. I am interested in what you’re thinking of, the chinese sweetener. If you think of it, could you let me know please?? I use stevia sweetener in some things, and I like it fairly well, but, you can’t bake with it, that I’m aware of anyway. I have enjoyed Kashi cookies a couple of times. However, I do believe I’ve been graced with the very best chocolate chip cookie recipe known to mankind. I’m so serious!! I can’t describe the bliss Pam. It scares me. I really love them!! I didn’t make any this weekend though. My blood sugar has been really high lately, so, I skipped it. I had some coQ10 in my cabinet so I took your experience and put it to work. I started taking it, and I will look into taurine. I’ve only really taken cinnamon for my blood sugar, but, I think I’m too far gone for that to really work. Although, I do still take it. It has been so high that I had to start taking glimepiride, (just last week I began). It doesn’t seem to be doing much so far.

I wish you were close too, because I sure would make up some of these fab cookies for you and your grandsons. I hope you had a great weekend together. Sounds so fun!!

Love to you,
Mimi

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When I first read this post about “defining sexual abuse” I didn’t think I would write because I have never allowed myself to view what happened to me as “sexual abuse.” I also have not wanted to bring all the memories to the forefront of my mind because I have spent a life-time pushing them down. I feel a lot of shame, guilt, and remorse about my sexual choices / decisions. I feel embarrassed to admit to others how my FOO is around sexuality. I feel guilty that I have deep seated issues around this because I know other people had sexual trauma that was a million times worse than mine. So I minimize my psychological pain as if I am not entitled to it.

My main source of courage in telling my story in regards to sexual abuse is reading all your honest posts about what happened to you. I have never told anyone this stuff so here goes (it may be long and tedius to read )…

My mother and father divorced when I was 8 y/o and I lived with my mother. She never had any conversations with me about sex, puberty, menstruation, etc. She never took me to buy a bra, underwear, or personal hygiene products. She did buy them for my older golden child sister who is 1 year older than me. When I started to develop I would sneak one of my sisters and put it on and have to take it off and put it back in her drawer when I got home from school before she caught me or she would physically beat me for it.

The first uncomfortable thing happened with one of my uncles (mothers much younger brother). When he was around 19 (me 13) my mom had him drive me and my 2 sisters to his parents home 3 hours north of our house. He made me sit next to him in the front seat (remember when the front seat was made for 3 and the girlfriend could sit in the middle seat next to the boy?) He put his arm around me like I was his girlfriend and started feeling where there would be a bra and asked if I was starting to develop yet and was I wearing a bra? I felt weird and he creeped me out but I didn’t dare tell him that I felt uncomfortable or tell my mom. My mom would of laughed and said something like “oh, you wish he would think you were his girlfriend.” Or, “You wish you needed a bra – you are as flat as a pancake.”

My mother started dating men a couple years after the divorce. When I was a teenager she worked every other weekend and went away the other weekend to spend it with a man she liked. The kids were left home alone. When that relationship didn’t work out she would go on dates with a variety of men that she met. One time she brought a man home after a date and had loud sex on the couch in the tiny townhouse. It woke me up and I had to listen in horror. She moved a man into our townhouse when I was about 17 and my younger sister was 15. He slept in my moms room with her and it was creepy. I hated him being there but I wouldn’t dare stand in the way of my mothers happiness because I was so co-dependent and groomed to be more concerned about her feelings / needs than my own. He chain smoked cigarettes and his teeth were brown and rotten. A woman called our house one day and asked me if he was sleeping with my mother. She said that she was sleeping with him and he told her that he and my mother were just roommates . She wanted to know if he was lying and they were having sex. I never told my mother or her boyfriend about the call because I would have been blamed by both of them for ruining everything He and my mother would have sex during the day in my moms bedroom. I hated them for making us know about it.

My father lived alone and never remarried. Occasionally he would have us sleep over at his house for an “alone” weekend. He had me sleep with him in his double bed (no sexual activity). I didn’t want to because he slept in his underwear and snored and I was a teen-age girl (14). One time I got up in the middle of the night and went in the living room and slept on the couch with no blanket / pillow. When my dad woke up and saw me he yelled at me and said “why didn’t you sleep in the bed with me.” I shrugged my shoulders because I couldn’t tell him I felt uncomfortable sharing a bed with him because he didn’t do anything sexual and he was doing me a favor by giving me a bed and not making me sleep on the floor.

I started working part-time after school / weekends at a fast-food restaurant and concurrently began a daily drug use of smoking pot / drinking to cope with being in the same house as my family and keeping my stress, anxiety, social misfit, emotional abuse, rejection of family at bay. I could’t be accepted into any group in high-school unless they were from severly dysfunctional, broken homes. The kids that drank / drugged gravitated towards each other and many did not complete high-school. When I was 15 I was asked out by an older, popular good looking boy who had a truck and I felt flattered. I had been to a “Keg” party the previous weekend out in a large field where there were older guys & girls drinking & druging. I went with a large group of friends whose older siblings drove us. The boy asked me if I wanted to go to his truck to smoke pot and I said “yes” with no fear whatsoever of any possible consequence. We “made-out” but it went no further. So he called me and asked me out for the following weekend. My older sister found out that he was coming over to pick me up and she was so furious / jealous that while I was in the shower to get ready she poured a bottle of shampoo all over my bed. I was too humilated to have him come to the door of the townhouse so I was going to stand outside in the freezing cold and wait to see him pull into the parking lot. I had never been on an official date before and I don’t know that this was even a date. I never even told my mother where I was going or what I was doing and she wouldn’t of cared if she would of been home. She could of been at work, at her weekend boyfriends, etc. My sister dumped some dog spray on my head and started to hit me so I would cry and not go on the date (the boy was in her grade). He brought me to his older brothers apartment where there were a group of guys playing poker and drinking / smoking. I thought nothing of it. My “date” brought me into one of the apartment bedrooms and we were making out on the bed while laying down. I was a virgin and my only knowledge of intercourse was a book we had read in health in 9th grade. I had been drinking /smoking pot but I was not without faculties. He asked me if I wanted him to get a condom from his truck and I said “yes” but I really didn’t want him to but there was no reason not to. So in front of all the guys he left the back bedroom, came back, put the condom on, and with much force had intercourse with me. It was horrible and painful and embarrassing. I had to get up; get dressed; and come out to the main kitchen area in front of his friends with them all staring at me knowing I had sex. I was so ashamed and I never told anyone. We had no further relations after this because he didn’t want to. I was so traumatized I didn’t have sex again for 4 years. But during the remainder of my high-school time I was exposed to very dark, evil, inappropriate things that I wish could be erased from my mind. Like my frinds who had much older boyfriends who would bring me to drug houses where the men would be watching pornography at the party like it was a football game; older men making comments on my body and how it had developed; older men propositioning me for sex (all the other girls were on birth-control pills and sexually active). Some of the girls had sex with my older brother at some of his parties.

I was so self-conscience about my body and there is no way I would let anyone see me naked and I had to be very drunk in order to have sex. I had been told for so many years from my mom, her sisters & brothers, and my sister / brother about everything wrong with my body, skin, hair, breast shape / size, etc. I couldn’t even look at myself naked because I hated my body and was ashamed of all the perceived imperfections. When I was 19 and at college I met a man at a bar who was 30,alcoholic, divorced with an 8 year old. He pressured me to have sexual relations with him after drinking and I did. I did not enjoy it and felt sick about it but he had a house and money so in a sick way I felt good about the fact that he found me attractive and worth spending time with.

The relationship ended and was followed by at least 10 short and long term relationships that all involved sex. When I would date someone, eventually we would drink and the man would pursue a sexual relationship and I always went along with it (after consuming alcohol). I didn’t know if I would ever be able to have sex if I didn’t numb out with a few drinks first.

Oh, and one final trauma and then I will call it quits. I moved across the country from my FOO when I joined the military for a 3-year commitment. When I completed this I flew home to visit my mother and siblings prior to starting a full-time civilian position. I was staying at my mother’s house (still in the fog about scapegoating, narcisstic mothers, etc.). I was still trying to get love, attention, acceptance, approval from FOO. One of my mom’s younger brothers (no the one mentioned previously) was married with 3 daughters. He called me at my mothers when she was at worked and asked if he could take me to lunch one day. I said, “sure.” So we ordered our sandwiches and he said he was in a 12-step recovery program (AA) and he was doing his step where you make amends to all people you had harmed. He said he wanted to tell me he was sorry for when I was younger and he used to tell me how selfish I was and tease my and mock me in front of the other relatives. I said, “that’s o.k, I don’t even remember it.” Then he proceeded to say, “I’m wondering if the reason you haven’t come home for 3 years to visit is because if I might have sexually abused you when you were little.” (My mom is the oldest of 8 and married young. These younger brothers were still teenagers living at home when my mom had her kids and would leave them with her mother (our grand-mother) when she needed a baby-sitter so I would have to have been extremely young when this happened (i.e. ages 2-4). Right after he said this the waitress comes over all sweet and bubbly and says, “How is your lunch?” Being the ever consummate polite person I said, “great, thank you for asking.” While secretly horrified about my uncle confessing as part of his A.A. 5th step about sexually abusing me. I was taken aback and did not have any vivid memories and told him I don’t remember his doing anything. He proceeded to tell me he was sexually abused by an older teenage boy when he was 15 and this screwed him up sexually which may have unconsciously prompted him to sexually abuse me. I was such a people pleaser all I thought about was trying to make him feel better about his sexual trauma and for him to not feel guilty about what he did because he was a victim. Several years later he randomly called me (still living across the country) and said that one of his adult daughters is now accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was little. He told me that her boyfriend must of put her under the influence of drugs and put the thought in her head. he said he would take a lie-detector test to prove he never did anything. I again was toungue-tied and didn’t say what I really wanted to say. Instead I thought of sparing his feelings and said a lame “I am sorry you are having to go through all this.”

I had no morals / values / or compass for right or wrong growing up. How I managed to get through everything without a pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease is nothing short of a miracle and I thank God for it. There was no such thing discussed as waiting for marriage, being in love, being respected by self & others; honoring our bodies; loving ourselves, etc.

Thank you Darlene for providing this forum for me to share this with and thank you to all of you who read it and believe that I am telling the truth.

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Hi OnMyWay, First of all, I do believe you. Your story, though somewhat, different from mine, is simular in its mixture of too much information too soon, but also, too little information, and no healthy, moral context to filter it through. I’m sorry you weren’t respected and valued the way you should have been as a child and I’m sorry, you weren’t given the tools you needed to be able to navigate the confusing world of dysfunctional, human sexuality. I’m glad you felt comfortable enough to share your story. Being able to break the silence is so, important. If anyone would have told me six years ago, that I’d be writing online about my sexual past, I would have fainted.I have come a long way since then and I believe your sharing your story here will be the beginning of a new way of viewing yourself and your past. I relate to so much of what you shared. I too grew up hearing my parents having sex and the first few times were terrifying. I don’t know when I figured it out but then the fear was replaced with revulsion. Still, I believed that most people must have heard their parents having sex at least, once. I accepted that dysfunction as normal even though, I would die if I thought my children ever heard me and their father. We all have a tendency to downplay our own trauma and defer to those who have suffered worse but the trauma we have to deal with is the trauma we experienced. I regret those decades that I suffered in silence, carrying responsibility for things that I wasn’t responsible for. Your story strikes me in the same way. I’m thankful to God for many things that I was spared, also. I easily, could have been murdered. There are always worse scenarios missed, to be thankful for but what you and I lived through was more than any child should have to live through. Like me, your tale of sexual abuse starts with the way you were raised, (even without the possible rape by your uncle) and builds upon itself, and ends in full blown sexual abuse and emotional damage. Thank you again for sharing.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

Thank you so much for responding to my post and validating my feelings. You sound like a sweet soul and I am grateful to have the support of the people on this site. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

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OnMyWay, Thank you. I write for Darlene now and then but you can always visit me at my website too. I write about child abuse too but from a different perspective. I try to use my voice as a voice for children who are being abused now. It took me so long to understand that I’d been abuse but now, I spot it in so many situations. I used to think that my family was unusual but what I went through is very common and if anything, the problem has mushroomed. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your story. It helps to hear the experiences of others.

Love,
Pam

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My first experience was when I was about five. My parents let my mom’s cousin stay with us. I am asleep on the couch. I woke up with him putting his hands in my underwear. I woke up and my reaction I slapped him across the face. He laughed and left me alone. But that was the first of predators my parents allowed to in our home. As far as I know he molested most of my siblings. Then a cousin and my older brother preyed on me. But not just me it was my older sister too. I tried to tell my Mom, but she denied it. How do you tell your Dad this? How do you explain what is happening when you don’t understand at a young age. I knew it was terribly wrong, but to find the words to describe it was the hardest. I know for me I want to heal and grow and become whole and free. I have been to therapy, but I couldn’t build the trust with that therapist. I learned today that I can find my power and strength and this was taken in my innocence, but not by choice. I want the freedom from guilt and shame and mostly to trust Arlene because I know I am capable of a lot more then I give myself credit. I am learning to love myself each day. I thank God for this website. Things come to me in my time of need and today I needed this.

Love and light.

Arlene

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Hi Arlene, I have a suspicion that I was sexually abused as a pre-pubecent child but I have no concrete memories. I also, don’t remember very much about the actual acts, when I was a teenager. Sometimes, I have flashes but I really just remember the people and the feelings. It’s hard to talk about what I can’t really remember but even if I can’t remember it, the feelings don’t go away. I struggle with thinking that I need to remember but not really wanting to remember. I barely touched on it in therapy and that was still from the perspective that I’d been a promisquous teenager. I spent a lifetime not understanding my behavior back then. I’ve been faithful to my husband for 35 years. I couldn’t understand why I behaved the way I did until, I understood that I wasn’t the responsible party. I was coerced and tricked into having sex with a man who had no regard for me, at all. The things he did to me left me with no personal boundaries and open to attack from others like him. When I understood that, the rest of my life made sense. My behavior made sense to me. I wish I would have understood this much sooner. I would have spent fewer years being disgusted with myself and afraid people would find out about my past. Even now, there are people who look at me sideways and it is clear they hold teenagers responsible, even when they are taken advantage of by adults. It isn’t fair that sexual abuse victims end up carrying the guilt and shame of their rapist. It’s that shame that keeps us from healing and I think it is also, the locked door on the memories I can’t retrieve. I have come a long way though. When I think back on those years, they seem small in comparison to the rest of my life but before I understood, they were huge and the shame made the abuse part of my everyday life. It was the filter I viewed myself and others through. That has changed. The sexual abuse is something that happened to me. It isn’t the sum of my person, as it once was.

Thank you for sharing, Arlene. The more victims despise the shame of sexual abuse and speak out about it, the harder it will be for sick devients to rape and torture children.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Everyone!
It’s been a while since I last commented here. I’m ready to spill about my life in the last month. I found out my husband of 18 yrs has been sexually abuse towards my young dtr. The way I found out was my dtr came to me w/details, that I could not overlook. It alarmed me because my husband was accused of the same thing in his prior marriage. I believed he was falsely accused all these years. I’ve known he is emotionally abusive mostly towards me & I’ve sought support.
Well back to my dtr, as soon as she told me this, I reported it to the authorities, protected myself & my kids (son & dtr) by obtaining a protection order, then went to a hearing to have a one year restraining order granted. Wow! This has been very distressful & liberating at the same time. Now, that we have no contact w/ him, I feel relief like a fog has lifted. I did not realize that holding onto the marriage & making it work sapped so much of my energy & emotions. His abuse was emotional & psychological, which I attributed to a controlling & aggressive man (personality traits). He wore me down with anxiety & depression over the years. I hate him for this! His selfish needs came at my & my kids expense!…So, I’m left holding the bag of emotional damage & financial with my house & two children. Thank God, I had the foresight to transfer half our savings into my checking acct to pay bills, or else I would have nothing!…I don’t have a steady income, since being out of work for 2 years. I realize the impact his abusive behavior had on me. It wore me down from a successful good paying job to a dependent woman. I made my choice to leave the work force due to stress. I blamed everything else: demanding job, stress of caring for two young kids at night, while he worked & my emotional problems. The source was him!! I am filing for divorce this week & want out of this abusive & unhealthy marriage! I feel free to be me!!! My kids are noticeably more relaxed, since he is out of the home. When I feel guilt about not doing this sooner, I realize he had me in a fog believing he was a good provider & father. Abuse is a confusing & insidious process, especially when there is no physical proof/evidence. Unfortunately, there is no proof with my dtr, but I believe her and she is getting support for the emotional trauma. Once I knew better, I did better by stepping up. It has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Yet, I stand by my children. They are the blessings in my marriage!

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Also, I feel strong against abuse, beuse I was affected by it as a child. PTSD developed from the trauma many years later. In the present, I acted on my dtr’s behalf, so that she will not suffer the way I did.

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SMD, I know what you are doing is hard. It’s always hard to do the right thing. I’m glad your daughter is no longer in danger and getting the help she needs. I’ll also, be hoping and praying that you find the kind of job you need, soon. Be good to yourself and stay strong, your children need you. I’m glad all of you are enjoying being free of abuse.

Love,
Pam

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Thank you Pam. I good sharing. The sexual abuse that still happens is saddening. I don’t want to be victim anymore. I just want to live a happy life. I am ready and doing work to get there. Your blog is helping with this. I feel better about myself today because I know I don’t need to feel shame or guilt for someone else’s hurtfulness.

LOVE AND LIGHT

Arlene

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Arlene, Your comment is like manna from Heaven for me.:0)I know talking about it is the key. I really can’t believe I write about what happened to me, under my real name, where people I know can see and that is healing me. The more out in the open I am, the less guilt and shame I feel and that’s as it should be. I hope today is followed by a lifetime of days where you feel no guilt or shame for the crime committed against you. It’s amazing to leave that load on the doorstep of whom it does belong.:0)

Love,
Pam

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Pam,
Thanks for your Support! My Narc Abuser is in the wrong and I’m not responsible for his behavior. Whenever I feel quilt about my situation, I remind myself, that it is not about me. The guilt or shame is not mine to carry. It’s about letting that sink in & accepting that I did better by getting out & letting go! Freedom from abuse. YAY!!!!

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SMD, I woke up thinking about you this morning. Child predators are really good at disguising themselves and manipulating the people around their targeted child. I once saw a man manipulate a whole church into coming to the trial, where he was accused of molesting his grandaughter, and giving him their support. The charges against him were dropped but I found out later that he was guilty. I’m glad you are siding with your daughter.

This is another good reason to talk about sexual abuse. There is a lot that predators don’t want known about themselves and silencing victims helps them keep their methods secret.

Love,
Pam

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Thanks so much for your concern about me & my children. Very Intelligent Narc Abusers can influence others & make the victims look crazy. They are the liars behind a false image. I’m going to continue to speak out to family who confront me or say wrong things to me. Being assertive not crazy 😉

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SMD,
Love to you!!
Mimi

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Hi Pam, yes you are so right. Thank you for the open, without judgment place that allows this to happen. You are right the more open I am about it the less guilt and shame I am feeling. And your last comment impacted me the most. They own what they did, not me. Woo hoo thank you, thank you.

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Hi Pam,

I was also born in the early 60’s. My parents meet at a Christian Collage. I don’t know much about my life before the age of 5 but recently my mom told me that she left my dad when I was 3 because he was a child molester. She went back to her fathers house but was told by him that she belonged with her husband and she must go back. I guess they separated a few times, I never really noticed. I do remember being outside the bedroom while my dad tried to molest my mom’s sister. I also remember getting a funky spanking by him. When I was 6 my dad came to visit us. I didn’t understand that he was visiting. I thought he was home for good. I asked if I could go play the park close to our house. My mom said yes and off I went. When I returned my mom was yelling and screaming at me telling me that if I would have stayed, my dad wouldn’t have left. I thought that I caused him to leave forever. I think I saw my dad once or twice after that and then I never saw him again until I was 16. My guilt was unbearable. I loved my dad so much and I was so sad that I caused him to leave. My mother is very intelligent and very good at blaming me for things. She used to slap me in the face over and over again for what seemed like forever while she yelled and screamed awful things about me. I grew up thinking I was stupid so when I couldn’t remember the things she said when she yelled at me I was very frustrated. I tried and tried to remember. I now realize that I was dissociating. Her rage was so traumatizing that I wet the bed until age 14 and tried to kill myself when I was 9. I had nightmares that I was in danger but could not speak until I was 35. My mother made the perfect victim out of me. I started babysitting at the age of 12. Somewhere around 13 or 14 one of the husbands, (who lived two doors down) insisted on picking me up in his car. We were in his car in their driveway and he had me do oral sex for him. I had no idea what was happening. I was raised that I was not allowed to say no, ever. I did as I was told. Yuck. He did it again sometime later only the next time he told me I was there to babysit him and had me in their bed to perform oral sex for him. The next event in my young life has me identifying greatly with you. There was a married couple with a baby that went to our church. At camp meeting he ask one of my school mates to introduce us. He said he wanted to hire me for a job. I already had 3 jobs, selling Avon, babysitting, and working at Arby’s, so taking a new job was no big deal to me. Unfortunately, he was a bad guy. I was so dumb and clueless. I should have realized that there never really was any real work for me. On my first day, I was in my car and ready to leave when he asked me to open my mouth. I did and then asked him why. He didn’t really say. He kept progressing with me and at every turn I did what he said. He used his wife’s vibrator on me, he sleep with me and kept yelling at me to come. Which I had no idea what he was talking about. He had me meet him at a hotel where he filmed a girl giving me oral sex. Then he tried to get me to meet a man he knew. Fortunately I told him no. He threatened to tell my parents what I’d been doing if I didn’t. I said, “go ahead”. Towards the end of it all he told me how he could manipulate anyone by drugging them and filming them and then treating to tell on them. I’m lucky I got away from him when I did. I spent my whole life thinking that none of my friends would have done what I did. That I really must be bad to have done those things. When I told my ex husband about it, it basically ended our marriage. Well, I’m just now figuring out that it wasn’t my fault. Under the circumstances there really was no choice. I was never allowed to have any boundaries or say no, plus someone liked me and offered me fame and acceptance.

Kathy

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Hi Kathy, I’m sorry you went through all of that. I’m struck with how your abuser described how he made people feel responsible for the crimes he committed against them. That’s what all people who sexually abuse teenagers do. They make the kids they abuse a part of what is happening to them and the shame keeps them quiet. Sadly, most of society sides with the abuser and blame the victims too. It makes it nearly impossible to find healing. Thank you for sharing because the only way people will begin to understand the truth about sexual abuse is for victims to talk about what happened to them. It is what the abusers fear most and the reason why they work so hard to keep us silent.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

Thank you for your response to my post. I’m sorry for what you went through too. I’ve never talked to anyone who went through something similar to what I have before. I really believed that I was a bad person because I did those things. It felt very liberating to write those experiences down. As sad as those experiences are, they still don’t add up to anything compared to the treatment my mother gave to me. Had she given my an ounce of self worth I would have had the tools I needed to be happy in life. I’ve been going to counseling for the last 6 months. Sometimes it makes me feel sick to try and think of myself in a kind and loving way. I work really hard every week, reading, thinking and writing. I’m digging through the layers of shame and really making progress. I have never understood how people can want to live. If I continue working as hard as I am I expect to find out.

Thank you for listening and helping me.

Kathy

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Kathy, I was also, struck by your phrase, “I should have known” but how should you have known if you didn’t know? We were both broken by our upbringing and had no way to know what some others our age, did know and took for granted. I was trained to accept abuse as love and from what you’ve written, I think you were too. I also, needed real love so badly(but didn’t know what it looked like or felt like)and I would do most anything someone told me to do if they said they loved me. Also, the bottom line is teenagers are still children and even though they are becoming sexual beings, they aren’t mature enough to handle sexual relationships. All children deserve to be allowed to remain children until their childhood is over. Any adult who takes advantage of them (there is no one more vulnerable to manipulation than a troubled teen)for sexual gratification is evil and they deserve to have their crimes broadcasted so that the rest of society has no excuse for ignoring and condoning those crimes. Our society is sick when it comes to sex and has been for a long time. I think back on how boys would brag about taking advantage of girls, while the girls cowered in shame. I cowered for a long time and there are still people who wish I would carry that shame until the day I die but now I’m free of the guilt that doesn’t belong to me and there is no going back to that bondage. I think of all the women and children who are bought and sold every day as sex slaves and it sickens me to know that the same sick attitude makes it easy for traffickers and pimps to keep their crimes invisible. What happened to us, Kathy is a silent pandemic, today. I dream of the day when the perpetrators of these crimes will be punished and not the victims.

I’m glad you too are getting the help you need and I’m also, glad that you are finding your way to talking openly, about the crimes committed against you. Thank you for sharing and also, helping me to grow stronger.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

Thank you again for responding to my post. The stages of my healing are unfolding for me like a flower in bloom and you are one of the petals.

When I told my first husband about my childhood sexual abuse, he no longer respected me. I never talked about it again until I was 38. I had just separated from a very abusive boyfriend and I went to counseling for 5 or 6 months. My counselor then told me that I didn’t have to tell anyone about my experiences. I’m not sure why she felt she should say that because I didn’t do that anyway. Thinking back now, that comment was a shaming one. I’ve been married for a second time for 7 years. I had told my husband about my mom being abusive but not about the sexual abuse. I realize now that deep down I must have been afraid that he’d leave me too. My counselor now, helped me realize that my first husband was unable to love and that my husband now was not the same person as my first husband. A couple days ago I told him about the first incident with the babysitter husband. Soon I will share with him about the man from church (James Brinkley if you ever meet someone in their late 60’s by that name). I also need to decide if I will tell him about being raped as well.

My husband is a very compassionate man. He did not reject me at all. He simply said he wished he could have taken me away from my parents before anything bad happened. He said he loves me very much.

I am very codependent so as much as I really want to help other people, I have to wait until I’m a little farther along. At that point I will be so happy to do it. My husband and I have rescued a 14 year old girl from an abusive home. She is now 17 and doing very well. Otherwise I’m not really sure what to do to help but my heart will be completely in it when I know.

There are two things I’d like to share with you if you haven’t already seen them. One is a show from PBS, also available to watch on Netflix, called 1/2 the Sky. It’s about women and girls from 6 different continents. It is a must see for the type of things you are passionate about. The other item is a book I found called Soul Song, Hope and Healing for survivors of sexual abuse by Diann Messer. It was the only book I’ve ever read that I had to dry my eyes after every paragraph in order to keep reading. You can preview it on Amazon.

My husband an I went to counseling today. Her name is Pam too. She was very happy with our progress. Were both trying to cut the strings that have been keeping us as puppets to our controlling families.

I thank you again so much for giving me this outlet, listening, and caring. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Kathy

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Kathy, It’s amazing how some people have ‘respect’ for abusers but not for the children they take advantage of. That in itself, says a lot about a person.

I don’t know if I’m doing a lot to help stop what happened to me from happening to others but I think refusing to live a secret life is an important piece of that. Refusing the shame that child predators and their supporters heap upon survivors will go a long way toward making an invisible crime more visible and something that people can’t ignore. Your couselor was right, you don’t have to tell anyone but survivors also, have the choice to tell because they aren’t the criminals. I’m so happy to not be that woman who lived her life with a criminal past even though, she wasn’t a criminal. It is an empowering choice.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

Perhaps you do more that you realize. What you do here at EFB may have rippling effects that you are unaware of. You have helped me and that in turn will help me influence and nurture the teenager that we have rescued. Our teenager, (Linda), who has strong leadership skills, may grow up to be a politician or a missionary or create change in some other way.

It may seem like a small thing to reply to other people’s posts, but to me it is not. I can feel the difference in my soul from having written my experiences down and received your reply. (I sat on the edge of my couch checking every 5 to 20 min to see if you had replied. Lol)

Being validated and accepted has been unheard of in my life. I am very thankful to you for the time and energy you have invested in replying to me.

Sincerely,
Kathy

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Kathy, That validation has made all the difference in my life too. Mostly, in the way I view myself. My abusers were very successful at shaming me into silence. I was silent until I was fifty years old. That is mind bogeling to me now because my perspective on all of it has changed so much. I owe that to Darlene’s fierce spirit and willingness to give survivors a voice and a place to be heard.:0)

I’m still hurt by the responses of others, sometimes. I still wish none of it had happened to me and that I would have known how to make the kind of choices that would have kept me safe. I’ll always wish there had been an adult who cared about me and had my back but I’m happier now with my past in the open, living a transparent life. Wounds that are kept hidden only fester, they need the light of day to heal. I guess there will always be those who want to hit me where I’m weak and cause the scars to break open and bleed again, there will always be abusers but no matter what, I want to be a force for good in the world. There was a time when I was so broken that the only way I thought I could survive was to be a force for evil but I don’t think anyone will ever be able to put me in that place again. As long as we keep struggling to overcome evil with good, we win.

I’ve enjoyed our conversation, Kathy. I know what it is like to finally, talk to someone who understands.:0)

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

My heart goes out to you and to all of us who lost our childhood. How could they not love and protect the sweet innocent little girl that you were. Like my husband said to me a few days ago, I wish I could take you away from them before anything bad happened to you, love and protect you, and only let them visit you sometimes if they were good to you.

I was 38 when I left a very abusive boyfriend of two years. I was lucky enough to have been in Fla. away from my family, otherwise I would have just moved back in with one of them instead of finding out that I was “abused”. After I left him I went to a shelter for battered women and then back to Indy. I went to counseling and group then. Here is a story that I wrote during that time. I posted it on a website called child abuse effects.com.

Child Abuse Effects.com
Child Abuse Story of Healing and Recovery From Kathy
?(Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)

Journey to Independenceville: ?As I start to leave Codependenceville, on my way to Independenceville, I am stopped by several red lights, a few stop signs and a couple of trains. Although the distance is short, less than a mile if you go the way by the old church, Colleen’s office, and the library, it seems to be taking a long time to get there.??I wanted to take everyone with me, so I loaded everyone into my car. As soon as we started off, one of the tires exploded from all the weight. Everyone got out and left. So I started to change the tire by myself. I was having a lot of trouble; one of the lug nuts was stuck. I sat in the car to cry, when I saw Colleen driving by. She stopped and said, “Use this loosening spray I have, and that lug nut will come right off.” It worked, and I was on my way again.??After waiting a long time for a train to pass, I became tired. I pulled over to rest. A police officer came up to my car and told me I could not rest there. He gave me a ticket and told me to pay it in 10 days or go to jail. I had no money, so I looked around for Job in Codependenceville. There was a sign in the front of a Law Office that said ‘Hiring’, so I went in.??I would not be getting my first check in time to pay the ticket, so I began to cry. When I was tired of crying, I got up and took a walk. As I walked by the old church on the corner, I saw something lying on the ground. It was money. It was more that enough to pay the ticket. I went into the church and thanked my Heavenly Father. Then I went back to the office very happy.??At that time I should have been back on my journey to Independenceville, but The Attorney and her family had been telling me I couldn’t drive. So I didn’t even try to start the car.??After one particularly stressful day of working for The Attorney, I started to have a heart attack. The Attorney was out golfing, so I had to either drive myself to the hospital or die. I got the car keys. I was so scared. I was sure I’d get in a wreck because I believed I couldn’t drive. As I started up the car and took off, I was surprised. I could drive just fine. They were wrong.??I arrived at the hospital and they told me it was just stress, not a heart attack. They gave me a bill for $1,000.00 and a prescription for 10 Xanax. I went back to the office. I was so tired. I lay down to sleep.??I wanted to finish my work at the office and get back on my journey. But there was so much work, I could never see daylight. Also, I was very tired and The Attorney kept telling me I looked funny. So I worked and looked in the mirror most of the time. ?I would make trips to the corner market and buy things I needed. This felt good. On a good day, I would dream of Independenceville. On a bad day, I would wonder if the town was merely a fable.??I had forgotten about the library down the street, the place where I had first gotten directions to Independenceville. I decided to go back to the library and get the directions again. Through all this time, I had been visiting Colleen, and then I met her family. Colleen kept telling me that I did not look funny. Her family didn’t think so either. It was hard to hear because I believed I looked funny. I knew I had to put the mirror down if I was going to be able to see in front of me and start back on my journey.

I prepared myself to tell The Attorney that I must leave Codependenceville. She and her family screamed and said strange things when I told them. I’d lived there so long that I don’t think they believed that I was really going to leave.

I packed the stuff I’d brought into the office from my car, back into the car. Tomorrow I would change the oil, get a spare tire, and fill the tank with gas. I had been trying to spend less money at the market so that I would have money to stay in a hotel on my way to Independenceville. Even though the distance was short, I need to be prepared. It seemed that it might take me a while to get there.

This story contains a great deal of symbolism. When I mention Colleen, I am referring to my counselor, and her family is the violence avoidance group I was in. The Attorney is my sister, and her family is my family.

I wrote this story eight years ago. (12 years ago now) I had just left a shelter for battered women in Florida. I spent the better part of the next year reading books, and going to group and counseling.

Two years ago I married a very kind man that I met at my mom’s church. Funny thing, he was born in Independence, Kansas.

Well done, Kathy!
by: Darlene Barriere – Webmaster

I’m honoured that you chose my site to share your inspiring journey from codependence to independence. Your use of unpretentious symbolism to share this journey with my visitors and me succeeded in turning a very complex emotional state into an uncomplicated chronicle, one that we can all understand; and you did so honestly and without losing the integrity of your challenging…drive.

An ovation for Independence; be it in Kansas, in another state, or deeply within ourselves. And further applause to counsellors, support groups, and shelters that provide a tow, then a jumpstart, then a targeting compass to assist those who have “broken down” find their way again after getting lost. Congratulations, Kathy, on finding your way. You truly are an inspiration!

Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: http://www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

89

Hi Kathy, This is a very creative way to share your story. Thanks for sharing it here. It brought back an experience of mine. When I was little, my dad took me with him to feed cattle in his pickup. The way he fed them was to put the truck in a low gear so that it moved slowly across the pasture and he would stand in the back of the truck spreading feed. I didn’t know any of this. All I knew was that he jumped out of the truck and it was still going! I was too small to see where he went and I was terrified and screaming. I don’t know how long I screamed and cried but it seemed like it was forever. I often relived this trauma in a reoccurring dream. The last time I had this dream, instead of being terrified and helpless, I slid over to the driver’s seat and took control of the vehicle. It was a major milestone for me and I dreamed this at the same time in my life that I began to take responsibility for my own life rather than being out of control and dependent upon a driver who abandoned me. This incident in my childhood is an expression of the heart of my relationship with my parents. So many times in my life when I needed them, they simply abandoned me with no explanation. The story you shared reminded me of how important it was for me to take responsibility and thereby, control of my life and healing journey. Of course, I couldn’t do that as a child and I didn’t get to that point easily but it was the pivotal moment. The more I am able to trust and rely upon myself, the stronger I become.

Love,
Pam

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Hi Pam,

How terrifying that must have been for you. If you were my child, even if you were my dog, I would have checked on you and told you that everything was going to be alright. Maybe even taken you in the the back with me. I’m so sorry that your dad thought it was alright to let a scared child cry and stay scared. I’m sorry you had to grow up alone inside. I’m glad you’re getting stronger. Here’s a poem I wrote about myself when I was 12.

A smiling face once cried to me,
A clown that’s lost in misery,
can laugh until his laugh runs dry,
Alone you still can hear him cry.

I understand fear. I had nightmares, because of the terrorizing my mom did to me, until I was 38. In my nightmare I would be trying to speak but I couldn’t. When I was 35, my mom got cancer. Seeing her mortality changed me because my nightmares turned from not being able to speak into being able to scream. I wonder if our nightmares are symptoms of PSTD.

I am paralyzed by fear. Now I see how fear is taking any chance of living a full life away from me. I’m working very hard to overcome it. I’m so afraid that I won’t be liked or that I’ll do something that will hurt someone else. I am driven to want to please other people at all cost. We have a business and I have only been to work a couple times since Nov. Partly because of this recovery work, but also because I’m not strong enough to manage people and conflicts. I want so much to do something I’m good at in life but fear of rejection or failure just keeps me from getting started.

I’m glad you were able to take responsibility of your life and become the driver of your own car. Maybe that is what I need too. Maybe that is the stage that I’m at, Learning to take responsibly, and control.

I hope you have a wonderful day,

Kathy

91

Kathy, I’m sure that dream was a kind of flashback and also, a way of working through the trauma. Dreams have given me a lot of insight into my healing. What I had to learn how to was take responsibility for my healing and my life and not for the things other people did to me in my childhood. I also, had to rewire my thinking and change the wrong things I understood about myself and others because of the abuse.

Love,
Pam

92

Hello Pam,

I was given the information to this page by a friend. I never realized until a few years ago – after the age of 40, that what I had experienced at age 14 that I referred to as “the first time I had sex” was molestation by a 28 year old man. He knew my age and it didn’t matter. I too thought that it was my fault. If I had just said no, just been stronger, it wouldn’t have happened. He had tried a few weeks before to molest me but got me so drunk at a hotel room that all I could do was cry out and say no because I loved my brother. That was all I could say because I knew if my brother was there, he would have protected me. When he finally got his hands on me, we were in someone’s backyard behind a drive in – this was back in the late 70’s I was too afraid to cry out. He gave me a sexually transmitted disease that I could tell no one about because I was too ashamed and lived with for about 3-4 yrs. The infection, I found out years later, scarred my reproductive organs. I was able to have one child – I call her my miracle child – but no more. My only plan in life was to be a wife and a mother to 3 or 4 kids. Why didn’t I fight, why didn’t I say no? I was afraid. Where were my mom and dad? Why didn’t they know where I was? They had just divorced and were working and too busy with their own lives to worry about the kids. I started drinking a lot – approved by my parents as was smoking pot, and started doing LOTS of drugs. I started failing classes at school, and becoming very angry and rebellious – why didn’t anybody ever ask why? Why didn’t they care? I became very sexually active, but never enjoyed it. Boys and men forced themselves on me because “I would let them”. I was too scared to do anything else. I thought of running away because then I could have a new life. I joined the Army at age 18 and thought my life would change. I met several young men in the army just as willing to prey on me as before – payment for a cab ride because I had no money to pay, forced to stay all night in a mans room because I couldn’t report it – I could have been court marshaled because being in the men’s dorm rooms was against the rules. And several more incidents followed. Married the first man that asked at age 19. So, between 14 and 19, had sexual relations of some kind or another with 20 or more men/boys. Thought my “dream man” was the answer. Surely he must love me and my life would now be prefect. Married the most self-centered, narcissistic, mentally controlling/abusive man I could find, just like dear old dad. Stayed with him 7 yrs. had my daughter and escaped a year after she was born because suicide was becoming an option for me but couldn’t leave my daughter behind. Married my current husband – a childhood friend of my brothers, a few months later and started on the drinking and drugs again. This time, I when I couldn’t live with the drugs and drinking, I not only thought of killing myself but would have to kill my daughter too because again, I couldn’t leave her behind.

I am glad to say at this point, my daughter is grown, my husband and I are no longer doing drugs and I have been in therapy for several years. I have also had inpatient care for suicidal thoughts (really planning) and attempted suicide. My last inpatient care will be exactly 2 years ago on memorial day. I woke up in the hospital and had no idea where I was. I had tried to OD on Ativan. I had no idea it wouldn’t kill me. I just wanted my head to be quiet once and for all. I always try to down play if for my husband and daughter, she was home from college for the summer, but I really didn’t want to wake up again. I have no fear of death – I have almost died twice from ectopic pregnancies – peace and darkness would be a welcome release. I am doing better and most days I fine. Still if the truth be known, I hang on mostly for my family not for me. I still want to know why? I had such a sweet spirit as a child. Why did he have to take that away from me? Why did they try to destroy the light from my spirit? I have so much love and joy to share, why do others not want to share that with me, but to take it away?

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Hi Angela, I’m sorry you had to experience all of that but I know you and I aren’t alone. We need a differnt kind of sexual revolution. One that isn’t about blame and shame and one that isn’t about boundariless sex. We need a sexual revolution of equal value, honor, and dignity. In fact, I think if our culture doesn’t change the way we think about sex, it is going to destroy us. Each decade since the sixties seems to be darker and more perverse. My answer to “Why?” is what I call sexual insanity, in the legal sense of not being able to tell right from wrong. Every one of the men who raped me was sexually insane. They didn’t hold themselves with high regard, dignity, and respect and they certainly didn’t have any regard for me as a child. In the seventies, we grew up on the cusp of societal change and though sexual morality had been busted wide open, most people still blamed the girl for sex outside of marriage and many men used the sexual revolution to coerce young girls into having sex with them. We were blamed and unprotected at the same time. I wish I could say things have gotten better for kids but I can’t. They’ve gotten worse and as a culture, we really need to establish healthy boundaries around sex. I dream of a world in which children are taught to honor their bodies and the bodies of others. I wish every child could have the opportunity to only share their bodies with those few special people who will love and honor them as they should love and honor themselves. I know I often wish I could have had that for myself. I also, wish I’d been protected better at age 14.

At my website, there is an article called profile of a hebephile that I think you might find interesting but I also, would like you to read the conversation. It is great insight into how people think about this subject and how wrong many people are about the affect of sex on children and especially, teenagers. You and I know first hand the damage it causes but many people blind themselves to that reality. That is the real reason “why” we were raped and the reason “why” it continues to happen to kids, today.

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I’m glad you understand what happened to you, now. That was the beginning of freedom for me. I spent too many years confused about my behavior and blaming myself. Ending that was like the end of a prison sentence.

Love,
Pam

94

Hi Everyone,

Isn’t it interesting that there are so many of us in middle age who are “coming out” about the abuses we endured? I was also born in the early 60s. I was a chosen, adopted child to an older couple. Sorry, the following is somewhat long! So hard to have the knowledge that sexual perversion seems to have gained a foothold in the late 50s early 60s & our society seems to have become a filthy cesspool for sexual abuse.

I grew up in a home where physical abuse, psychological abuse, torture, & others cruelties were present. However, until I was molested by a friend of my parents,’ I never knew that the sexual abuse went back to my very first year of life. I knew I’d had surgery to correct a “herniated ovary” as a baby. That much was told to me by my mother. She also told me that I was still intact. That was it…I was not allowed to question my parents or their motives ever. They did a wonderful job keeping me quiet.

Even so, both my parents continually found fault with me. Scrutinized every little thing I did, making me out to be the most useless, inept kid who ever lived. All kids make mistakes, even adults do, it’s how we learn. So why all the blaming, finger pointing? They never came out to say why I was so terrible. All they would say is that I was pretty much a criminal. Imagine that! I was guilty of an unknown, unspecified crime, that I was made aware of at every opportunity but it went still went unnamed. I bought into this line of thinking (brainwashed) as a child & just went along that I was a monster that everyone hated. It was true enough. I didn’t have friends, my parents hated me, their families despised me, & at school & the neighborhoods where we resided it was much the same. I learned to keep to myself…it’s the only time I felt truly safe from harm. No one ever had so much as a single good word to say to me ever. I was doomed to be a criminal for life without possibility of parole. There was no pardon, only harsh judgment every where I went.

Nothing changed over the years. I grew up…somehow surviving all the negativity projected my way. I didn’t have a real reason to live. Begged God to take me out since I was 9, & even the devil since God seemed to reject me. I wasn’t even wanted in heaven or hell for that matter. I was a broken creature. Unwanted & unlovable by all who met me. No one cared, I had no importance or value to anyone. My parents were only interested in me when they needed something. I grew up in a home where my needs mostly went unmet…they weren’t even noticed. If I said anything, I was reminded that I had no say in what I got from them. This went on for years. Mom wanted me out of the house by the time I was 14, which I would have been happy to obliged. What’s the point of living in a hostile environment? I guess I called her bluff, because she never actually kicked me out though she threatened it many times since I became a teenager.

Funny, for all they put me through I never sought actively to leave. No matter how horrible it was, I loved them just like the abused dog who is happy to see its master even when he/she beats on it or kicks it around. I stuck it out because they said I owed them for all the money I cost them over the years. Now I realize that’s toxic! But back then, I believed them hook, line, & sinker. I had no way to know right from wrong…plus I was a criminal. The world didn’t look very favorably on a “bad seed.” Who would take on a “monster” like me?

My mother picked out a suitor for me when I was in my 20s. The next door neighbor’s brother. He was perfect because “he had a good job.” Mom wanted me out of the house. So long story short, I got engaged thinking that I was going to be a part of a real family. I thought they would accept me. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. There was little kindness, & I was judged pretty harshly by all of them too. I tried my best to be a good wife, daughter-in-law, etc, but it never really happened. At first, my husband was ok, but over time, he discovered that he liked seeing me in pain. So he’d do anything he could to physically hurt me. I was raped on many occasions where he would hurt me so bad I couldn’t move. If I got hurt, he would just sit there & watch. Never offered to help me. We had to daughters whom he was uninterested in as well by this time. He’d leave before they would wake up, & not return home until after they were asleep. I discovered after I got up the nerve to leave him that he’d given me an STD. Of course, he denies it. Whatever, I know the truth about him & his weird fetishes. He filed for divorce before I could, & after a long struggle he got sole custody of our 2 girls. I told everyone involved that he didn’t want them, but not a soul would listen to my pleas to help us. They’ve also been sexually abused since he won custody. Not sure if he ever hurt them himself, as my girls claim it was by others. That broke my heart.

I’ve been divorced now for 10 years. Have found a good man. However he doesn’t understand the depth of my pain. Wish I could explain it in ways he could get it. Doesn’t like to hear my stories because they upset him. I’m not sure how to break through this obstacle. In any case, I have had so many years of female problems that I sought out a diagnosis & surgery to fix them. When I woke up from the surgery, my doctor said that we need to talk. He couldn’t do the procedure. Then he asked me why I didn’t tell him that I’d had a partial hysterectomy. That was mind blowing! The only thing I can think of was that when I was a baby instead of repairing the herniated ovary, they removed it along with half the uterus. No wonder my parents never told me. Doing so would have meant questions. Doing so would have meant that the truth could have come out. Now knowing what I know about my dad (evil!) I think he raped me when I was a baby. That would explain all the years of anger projected on to me. It would explain why he & mom considered me to be a criminal without ever telling me about the crime I committed against them. Only now have I been able to piece together all the oddities & clues that existed from my earliest memories forward. It’s taken me 50 long agonizing years to realize why mom & dad were always so angry with me. Mom is dead so there is no hope of an apology from her, & even though dad is still alive (as far as I know), I have quit talking to him. He has grown into an even more vile human being than the one I knew growing up or well into my adult years. It also explains why he never protected me from his “friend” who asked permission to take me off alone when I was just 10 years old. Where I was then molested with dad’s consent. It also explains why my parents had little to do with me as an adult unless they needed something from me, or why they never helped me to get custody of my daughters.

Evil exists unfortunately. Hearing the truth coming out about those 3 young women who were abducted & held against their will for 10 plus years makes me want to share my story as well.

Pam, you’re right. We need to get the word out. We need to expose evil at every opportunity. It needs to be brought out in the open for all to see. I finally see myself as not the perpetrator but the innocent child who had unwittingly been made into the abuser by 2 sick & twisted individuals who wished to keep their dirty little secrets quiet & hidden away from the world. If it’s the last thing I do, I will not go quietly without letting others know. I deserve that much relief from a life of cruelty. I am finally free too!

Hugs to all here!

January

95

January, I’m so happy to hear you declare your freedom from wrongly- placed blame and shame! Yes, we do need to talk about what child abusers do. People need to know what is too easy for them to ignore.

I have questions about things in my early childhood that I’m not likely to ever know the truth about. When I was about five, I had a straddle injury that broke my hymen (something that I’ve recently read is nearly impossible to have happen from a fall)and what I remember is my mother daily, putting me on the bed and pulling the scar tissue back so that my vagina wouldn’t grow shut. Of course, I didn’t understand all of that and all I remember is the pain, confusion, and trauma of it. It was explained to me later and I was told that it was because I fell on a tricycle. I do remember falling and being taken to the doctor but I don’t understand how I got that injury from falling on a tricycle. My siblings and I all have behavoral symptoms that point toward early childhood sexual abuse but I have no concrete memories and they remember little to nothing about their childhood. My parents were very good at wrapping abuse that they could no longer hide the effects of in a narative that exused what happened. They told some things in the form of relating a ‘funny’ event that not only hid their wrong doing but made me feel inferior because what caused me great pain was funny to the rest of the family. I accepted that narative for soooo long but now that I see myself differently, I know many of those naratives are wrong so, I suspect all of them as being for the purpose of covering wrong doing. I don’t know what happened to me or who did what but I don’t think it happened from falling off a tricycle. I’m very happy to be free of all of their naratives and able to accept my life for what it is and live in truth. Because the truth has made me free, I have a desire to set all the captives free.I know those three women represent all young women who are sexually abused and tortured. My story is different from theirs but the result is the same. There are many ways for a predator to imprision their prey and the toughest locks to break are the locks placed in the victim’s mind and heart. Our stories, when we decide to share them (and everyone has the dignity of their choice)are the key to opening those locks.

Love,
Pam

96

Pam, it’s taken me years to figure out the truth. I saw a segment on the news (approx around the time I had this procedure done in the above posting) about a little girl who was put in foster care. The thing about her that stood out to me is that her foster mom said she cried all the time…not a normal cry, but a low guttural cry, almost like a growl. This little girl constantly cried. Her story touched a chord deep inside me. I remember crying like that too, & I remember never feeling comforted. I was just left alone, in pain, crying. I was always looking for someone to love me, but it didn’t happen. There was no protection, just deep, heartfelt aching & pain. I unfortunately do not remember any of the circumstances that made me cry in the same way as this little girl. But in her story, her dad was sexually abusing her since she was a baby. That’s why she was taken away from her FOO, sexual abuse.

Parents can do so many wonderful things for children when they offer up guidance & support. However, for those of us who went through abuse, especially sexual in nature, we were punished for the crimes committed against us. How sad is that? We never asked anyone to hurt us in those ways, & yet, we were the ones who were considered the guilty parties. I will never understand how anyone who is supposed to care for a child could do such terrible things. Children look to parents & other elders to support & care for us, not to put us through hell.

Thanks for the kind words!

January

97

January, The only explanation I can find is that they were also, abused as children and instead of trying to reach for something better, they become abusers in an attempt to end their own abuse or prevent themselves from being abused in the future. It isn’t an excuse but it is a reason.

I feel overwhelmed by the news today. The story about the three women in Ohio and Dr. Goznell in Philadelphia are very triggering and appalling. I also, watched a documentary on human trafficking and slavery that is blood curdeling and bone chilling. It is now the second largest business in the world (the drug trade is the largest) estimated at about 37 billion dollars per year. That not only says something about the evil of the traffickers but also, about the evil in our culture, in general. I live in a small city but we have Mexican Cartell presence here and we are part of the trafficking network and also, a meth hub. Week before last, a little girl watched her dad being shot 15 times in the mall parking lot. He died a short time later. It was related to gangs. Even though this is a rural area, my home town is the 59th most dangerous city in the U.S. There have been whole families kidnapped, taken back to Mexico, and held for ransom. Our police are corrupted and meth labs flourish. My small city has a lot of big city crime. Then when I watch the national and global news, it seems that every evil form of ideology and government is on the rise. If we don’t learn to treat one another better, I fear we will devour one another. Anyway…I’m going to find something more encouraging to think about and do whatever I can to continue to struggle and overcome evil with good. We have to keep reaching for something better for ourselves, the world we live in, and future generations.

Thank you to all the ladies who have commented here and given me support. Every interaction makes me stronger and more sure of myself. Even the negative comments I’ve had on my website serve to make me stronger in the belief that I don’t bear the greater weight of responsibility in what happened to me as a teenager. Being able to refuse the shame that never belonged to me, in the first place, has allowed me to feel more completed as a person than any other experience of my life. With the number of women and children currently being used as sex-slaves, there will be many survivors who will need our strength. Somehow, that makes it easier for me to accept the bad parts of my life and put them to a use that doesn’t nulllify what happened to me but makes it easier to bear. I don’t believe that God ever wants anyone to go through what we’ve been through but I do believe He enables me to turn that evil meant for my destruction into a force for good.

Love,
Pam

98

Hi Pam,
There are so many of us. I too have been watching the news about these poor young women that their live have been stolen from them. We have all been trapped and lied to but I can’t imagine what it will take, if possible, for these women to live any kind of a “normal” life.

I made darn sure that the one thing I did for my daughter was to teach her about sex. Safe sex, talk about how oral sex had become so distorted to her generation. To me, consensual sex of any kind means that you care for the person and it in no way makes you feel bad or degraded. Perhaps I shared more than necessary with my daughter but had to be there for her. I am happy to say, that she waited until she was in her twenties and very sure of what she wanted before she had her sexual encounter with a man.

Of course, as you said, what did we know in the 70’s? When I was in my early 20’s, my mother confided in me that she had been raped by 3 men while out with her friends at a bar when she was still married to my dad. She would have been in her early 40’s at that time. How sad – yet how much did that knowledge make me more aware that there are so many that are abused and are yet so afraid that we have no voice. My mother was a victim too – no wonder she wasn’t able to be there for her daughters.

My greatest accomplishment I perceive in my in my life, is that even though my daughter has many issues about the fathers that were not there for her, I did everything I could to prevent the pattern of abuse from continuing for her.

Thank you all so much for sharing your stories. I know that they are all so painful for us but yet give each other hope. We know that we are not alone. We have so many that have worse stories than our own yet have survived and continue to inspire others to find their own voice. We no longer have to cower in fear of being judged because of what others have taken from/done to us. It is NOT our fault!! We are NOT bad or ugly or unlovable. We ARE survivors!

99

Angela, Those three women are survivors too and very strong. I’m confident they have what they need inside of them to overcome the damage. They won’t be what they would have been if it never happened but I have faith in their ability to find happiness. All survivors have that ability.

We live in a very abusive world and no one gets out of here without experiencing some level of abuse or dishing it out. We are in a constant struggle with the evil that lives in all of us. I know that those who choose to live by that evil are worse off in the long run but boy, do they ever cause a lot of pain. A world of suffering…

Love,
Pam

100

Hi to all mothers,

Happy Mothers Day!

Kathy

101

Thanks Kathy!
I concur: happy mothers day to all~ those who are mothers or/and have had to learn to mother themselves!
hugs, Darlene

102

I’m so happy to have found this site. I’ve forever thought that there was something wrong with me. That I was to blame. I now know that my feelings are valid and not that because I’m defective, weird or different and I should just get over my childhood experiences.

My grandmother is an alcoholic and an abuser. My mother is a victim and an abuser. This totally fucked up life cycle stops now. It’s been going on for generations as far as I can see. There has been no father figure in my family for 4 generations. My mother is so warped by her mother she has no self esteem or self worth. she to this day enables my grandmother to drink and its ok because shes an old woman and she keeps it to her room and does it at night!!!! I’m so angry and resent her for never standing up for me or herself!! Its ok for my mother (well not really its too difficult for her to admit) to stay indenial and save face and to pretend that it didnt happen and every thing is ok because she has learnt to cope with it or that was how her life was so that is ok or right for me.
At 30, I’m standing up and not going to pretend that it didnt happen because i want a real loving family in the future but i need to face the truth as hard as it is so i can start living for real.

My mother left the country to get away from my grandmothers alcoholism. she met my father who was at the time a non practising muslim….as far as I known they split not long after I was born because his strict muslim family found out he was taking drugs and brought him back to their native country to clean him up.
My mother relied on my grandmother as she felt she had no choice with a newborn child on her hands. we moved back to mothers origin country together. I remember that I wasn’t that old before I had to sleep with my grandmother??? Why would my mother put me – a small defenceless little girl – in a bed with her mother that she knew was an alcoholic?? Even worse my grandmother was a secret (yeah right you are you kidding) night drinker. I had to endure years of her abuse when my mother went out she got me drunk!!! I remember being drunk at age 4/5 i even had my own sherry glass!!! she turned into a demon when she was drunk her voice changed she verbally abused me and I feel now her ‘HUGS’ in bed were too close for comfort. I remember being frozen by fear holding my breath in bed and wishing i was dead. As I got older I got my own bed…..I hated going to bed at night I had to hear her talking to herself, pissing in the room into a bowl and all sorts. It was horrific. But I had no choice, this was my family, my home. I must obey the adults do what they want otherwise i was a bold child. I HAD NO CHOICE. i already had a father who rejected me & I thought this was normal!!

I was also sexually abused by a neighbours grandfather whilst i was being minded as my mother and grandmother worked…. lets go water the plants he used to say…..unbelieveable and disgusting he died while i was young too, good riddence. I plucked up the courage & told my mother when I was about 18. I was met with no response, she was too busy watching TV or reading a book. Our relationship wasn’t any good because I lashed out at her all the time, i was such a bold girl mother couldn’t understand why i was so bold…. either could i…. and I was drinking and doing drugs heavily from when I was 14…. I wonder why??

This is just the beginning of my healing journey I’m happy, sad, excited and frightened all at the same time. Ive been carrying around all this guilt, shame, blame and loneliness for all my life and couldn’t understand alot of it and why i couldnt learn to accept that that’s just the way it is because it’s not I NOW HAVE CHOICES. I’m starting to cut through the fog with a sword of truth. There maybe light on the other side. I’m not responsible for the actions and decisions of others. I feel like I’m starting to breath again. The weight is beginning to lift and I’m starting to see all the holes in what I thought was life with love.

thanks for listening x

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Hi Startingfromnow, Where there is substance abuse and children, there is child abuse. They walk hand-in-hand. I’m sorry that you’ve had to live through all of that and I’m happy that you’ve found EFB. Embracing the truth and applying it to one’s life makes all the difference in the world. It really is the difference between only surviving and going on to thrive.

Love,
Pam

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Startingfromnow
May 22nd, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Hi Pam,

Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it. This is so difficult to understand my life and begin to stand up and change my life for the better. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that none of my family of origin truely love me. It scares me to death to have to cut them out of my life because it’s all I’ve ever known but it’s better I love myself than to be controlled and manipulated to serve as an emotional punchbag of worthlessness by my mother and grandmother.

X

105

Hello Pam,

I just want to thank you for sharing your story with us. Obviously, from all of the post, it has saddened and enlightened many of us. Your encouragement and supporting words mean so much.

Yesterday was my birthday. I am 49 years and so happy to be celebrating my life instead of thinking my life wasn’t worth living. I still have my moments not and then but I get past them usually in a few day – not the weeks or months that is us to take me. Thoughts of self harm included.

I know there is no “cure” for us but with help of professionals or spiritual guidence or just having a place to share and know that you are not alone, we can at least learn to live again and find joy in our lives.

Thank you again for sharing, listening and encouraging all of us.

With a greatful heart,

Angela

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Hi Angela,

Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you are celebrating “you” too. You are definitely worth celebrating.

When things are ok, it is hard to imagine how I felt when I was depressed/suicidal. When I’m depressed/suicidal, it’s hard to imagine how I felt when things were ok. After trying to commit suicide 4 years ago, I try to be more aware if I’m am getting into a psychological funk and try to get help before it gets to deep. I feel so much compassion for you, and I would never want you to hurt yourself. Yet, I have difficulty feeling the same compassion for myself.

You are so right about Pam. It is so comforting just knowing that she is here. I’ve had to separate from my family which is very lonely. I am building a new family and you, Pam, my counselor Pam, and my husband are it’s beginnings.

I hope you have a beautiful day,

Kathy

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Angela, Thank you for supporting me. I’m glad you’re making progress in your personal healing. I do think we can be cured and I believe the cure is truth. We can’t change what happened to us but we can change what those events taught us to think about ourselves and others. From your comment, I believe you are well on the road toward curing your depression. One of the lies I was taught was that I could never completely recover from my depression. The truth is that my depression is an expression of being emotionally overwhelmed and when I understood why I would at times become emotionally overwhelmed, it became much easier for me to overcome my overwhelmed state. When something in my present triggered trauma memories from the past, my deep depressions seemed to come from nowhere but when I learned those were feelings from the past that had never been resolved and I defined and resolved them, my depressions became controlable. People with depression aren’t defective. We get stuck in what is a common coping mechanism and it is very possible to get unstuck. I hope your birthday marks a new beginning of a happier life. God bless you.

Love,
Pam

108

Hello Pam,
Thank you for your response. I am happy to say that I too am learning to recognize when I need a break, that life is becoming too overwhelming but sometimes I need to “check in” with someone to stay on track. That is why I always have counseling appointments on the calendar. This weekend, for me, is not just a holiday or a celebration of my birthday, it also marks 2 years since the last time I was in the hospital. I was, so thankfully, in the hospital and not successful in committing sucide. And 4 years from my first hospital stay. I have to wonder what it is about May that is so diffcult for me. No matter, I will consider that more some other time. For now, I will be spending time with family and my friend Kathy this weekend. How wonderful to say that. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking how lucky I am to still be alive.

Kathy,

I totally understand what you mean. I did not want to bring hurt and pain to my family 2 years ago but I was so lost and felt so hopeless. I am so glad you are still here too. Good friends are hard to find and I am so happy to be able to call you my friend!

Loving Life Today,
Angela

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Angela, I also, am very happy that you are alive. It takes a lot of days to put trauma behind us and I know you’ll make it because you are dealing with it and not trying to hide from it. You are very brave.

Love,
Pam

110

It’s about 9 o’clock in the morning and I’ve been playing Candy Crush because it’s easier than thinkng. I have bruises on my arm, a fat lip and a tender ear. My boyfriend and I argued yesterday, about money and it turned ugly (as usual).

I am in an abusive relationship. I have a tendency to discount myself by choosing trifling men. They don’t work or have jobs. They live from pillar to post. They have deep rooted issues just like I do. They are typically controlling and all consuming. They are beautiful to look at. This guy is no different.

I was molested as a child. Not by one person; by many people. Cousins, neighbors, boyfriends… I’ve come .to understand…actually, I don’t don’t understand any of it. I don’t know why God won’t answer my prayers. maybe he has and I just don’t see it.

I miss my family sooooo much. I have a remarkable family. But I am a loner. I isolate. Now at 53, I barely know my nieces and nephews. They are all grown-ups now. I haven’t visited my sisters or brothers for a couple of years. They all just think I’m the family outsider, I guess. Honestly, I don’t know what they all think. They don’t ask questions. They just embrace whoever I am when I let them. I am always welcome. But I rarely allow them that priviledge. And they don’t press the issue.

I am so fickle! I find it so hard to follow through. For example, I want nothing more than to use this website as a healing site. There are other people who post on this site who are just like me. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I can share my ugly secrets. This is my second attempt to join in.

I was molested when I was two. I am the product of a single parent home. My mother is a legend in my hometwon. One can rarely visit a home in my small hometown that she hasn’t touched in some way. I was molested by one of Mom’s boyfriends from back in the day. I wasn’t the only one. My older brother and sister were molested by this man too. I was the one who told Mom though. When I saw her anger as she shook me, I knew that I’d done something very wrong…and enjoyed something very wrong. It’s impacted my life ever since it seems. I devalue myself and have done so for a long, long time. I punish myself on a regular by my life choices. Even when I know better. Isolating myself from my family is an example of this.

People think I am bold and courageous. They think I can weather anything. I am often characterized as a strong woman. People seem to think I’m intelligent too. I speak well, although not persuasively. I carry myself proudly like my mother taught me. I am very attractive. I am creative to a fault and can make do with nothing. So, I’ve fooled a great many people. Because in truth it’s all about survival. I have to eat and pay bills, so I suit up each day in my costume and shackle my ‘little girl’ inside.

I have so much potential. I should be running my own company by now. But I get myself caught up in so much drama! My brother says most of the turning points in my life have been behind a man. And he’s right. I’m passive, submissive and a self-punisher. I’m just perfect for user-abuser.

This current relationship is a prime example. I never chose this man. He was a left over friend of my nephew who came to my rescue one day. My mephew had put out lives on the line over some BS. And Kevin talked the guy’s gun out of his hand. Kevin’s very observant. it didn’t take him long to realize my weaknesses. I played them out with my nephew. Brandon knows how to manipulate his Aunt. He knows he has my heart. And while he was with me he took full advantage. And I let him…until I was fully consumed. Then he went to his father’s house…and I went under.

Kevin watched all of this. And he pursued me relentlessly. He would not go away and I could not make him. I grew to really like Kevin and I let my guard down. He’s funny and smart and a natural protector. He made me laugh and feel safe through a very difficult time. I let him sleep on my couch one night. I was surprised to find him there the next night, and the next night. He never went to his home after that. And he lives with me now.

I pay all the bills and play wife. I’m so ashamed of it too. I’m more a mother than a girlfriend. And he thinks like everyone else…I can do all thngs. So he expects me to do all things. and if I don’t I get a beat down. I got one yesterday. So that’s where i am.

He’s up now. Gotta go.

Fran

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Kevin’s gone to work. So I’m free to write. Wasn’t long ago I felt comfortable journaling with him in my ‘quiet’ space. Not today though. Cause I’m trying to figure out what to do. Kevin is abusive and he’s a bully. I tell him that often. He doesn’t think he is, though. So he discounts my warnings. Well. he is a bully. I have bruises on my arm, a fat lip and a tender ear to prove it. And I’m pretty sure if he knew that I was planning to leave him there’d be repercussions and consequences. It promises to be an ugly break up. I actually fear for my life, sometimes.

Our argument, though dramatic was also funny. Kevin is such a drama queen. Our argument happened as I was taKing him to work. I’m yelling, he’s yelling,spitting in my face, grabbing my arm as I’m driving…all that. I screech to a halt as to not drive into a guard rail. He jumps out the car throwing his water bottle to the ground, bellowing and hopping from one foot to the other. So back in the car he climbs and we’re still yelling at each other. His work is like…right around the corner now and soon we’re in the parking lot still going at it. He gets out of the car and we continue to rant and rave at one another. I’m just wanting to get away from this man, so I pull off. He wouldn’t shut the car door so i just pull of with it open! And it hits him somewhere. I dunno know where. So he lunges at me through the car and bangs his head pretty hard against the car mirror. So now he’s holding his head, hopping around and yelling at me. It’s my fault he was hit by the car. It’s my fault he banged his head on the car mirror. Now he’s calling the police. I just screech off, yelling obscenities as I speed away. It was ridiculous…and dangerous…and telling.

Kevin was abused too. We have both learned to live with our challenges in differnt ways. He came out of his experineces a bully and a fighter, while I came out of mine a loner and a midnight runner. We both act out our rage with much drama. He needs help. We both need help.

I don’t fight. I wish I could. But I can sure pierce a juglar with my words! And I do go or it. Most of these trifling men I’ve been with are weak and needy. They’re users and abusers, but weak minded. They call themselves men, wanna be in control, but can’t even feed themselves without a passive-submissive woman. These guys prey on women like me. I’ve discovered that it’s easy for me to get into their heads. I can break them down, drive them nuts or both. I resent them fooling and subduing me. So, I immasculate men. My brother calls me the black widow. I guess I’m wantng them to leave. It never happens though. They don’t have anywhere to go! So, in the dark of the night, I run away. Just pick up and go. Leave everything. Most times I jump states.

112

Hi Fran,

I’m so sorry that you were not loved, cherished and protected as a child. In my late 30’s before I realized that I kept dating the same guy with a different name. I was 38 before realized that they were all abusive. Your intuitive way of leaving has probably kept you alive. Abusers are more violent when you are pregnant or leaving. I went to counseling when I was 38 and it helped a lot. I was able to break the cycle of abuse. I am now 51 and I have spent the last 10 months in counseling again to try and hash out so much childhood stuff. Finally I am becoming free from stuff I didn’t even realize I needed to be. I don’t wake up in the morning angry and in pain anymore. Somewhere around the 7th month of counseling I suddenly realized that those things were gone. I’ve been where you are and you have all my empathy. It was hard for me to do anything about my situation then because the conflict and abuse zapped all my energy away.

When I was 6, my dad returned home to visit us. I asked my mom if I could go to the park and play. When I returned, she was yelling and screaming at me, “if you wouldn’t have left, he would have stayed”. So I though I caused my dad to leave forever. I never really got to see him again until I was 16. The guilt of that, and all the other guilt my mom dished out, took my joy and happiness away. It has been very hard to learn to love that little girl and the woman I am. I work hard at getting better and I am better. I hope you can get better too. I don’t know you but I love you. I love you because I have been you and we are all sisters in this life. I will pray for your safety.

Love,

Kathy

113

Hi Fran,

I’m worried about you. Do you have a safety plan? Are you OK?

Kathy

114

Hi Fran, Our stories are somewhat different but abuse left both of us stuck in unhealthy ways of relating to other people. It was by facing the truth about why I got involved in the same type of relationships over and over and changing the way that abuse taught me to think about myself and others that helped me change and begin to relate to people in healthier ways. The articles written here helped me a great deal in that process. I firmly believe that we all have the power within us to change our circumstance and our lives.

Love,
Pam

115

Hi Kathy, I too was made to feel like I was responsible for my parent’s bad behavior. I literally carried the weight of the world on my small shoulders and felt responsible for everything that went wrong. Carrying that emotional weight left me hopelessly enmeshed and without the personal boundaries I needed to protect myself. Finding where I end and others begin was the beginning of the individiation process that changed my life.

Love,
Pam

116

This topic and explanation of knowing what is real sex is pretty much describes my life from age 7 – age 26. It wasn’t until I discovered real intimacy, love making and appropriate male affection that I realized all my other sexual experiences were categorized as rape and abuse, which I was used to. Through therapy, soul searching and meeting my soul mate, I now know what real intimacy and true sex is and that it should NEVER EVER make you feel nervous or unsafe. If a man really loves you, he never wants to hurt you or see you hurt. That’s what I take away from this article and my experiences.

117

After reading your comment it brought back memories from my childhood but your comments made it all make sense if there is any sense in people that abuse you. After many years of thinking that sex was dirty and that getting abused was normal..I suddenly woke up and realised how wrong these people had been with there medieval beliefs….after many years of pain. Your story was inspirational.

118

Jackie, Debbie, I guess the one good thing that came out of being sexually abused is that it made me really examine how our culture handles sexuality and how it should be handled. Sex should be divine (I wish I would have caught that typo in the title it drives me crazy)not debasing, degrading, or damaging. It isn’t dirty but abusive human beings have certainly, made it that way. Thank you for your comments.
Pam

119

Recently my younger sister talked and she told me she thinks that we were sexually molested by our cousin. and she told me one day our older(about 4 years older)lured us into a dark spare bedroom by saying he wants to play hide and seek with us. she said she hid in closet and she said he found me. NO one came for her and she left but she later told me that she heard me say NO, STOP and it got quiet which could mean it was more than just molestation but rape. this was so eerie for me. I don’t remember anything but remember the feeling of helplessness and low self worth I felt all my life. I also remember the dark room and not liking to go there though. Every time I think of that room I see it from perspective of me standing outside the door, at the lighted corridor. I cried for a long time.
That explained my Sexual dysfunction and weight problems, I thought like frigidity. Also I didn’t lose my virginity at 22 well, so I thought. Now I don’t know. So does anyone know, Is it possible not to know you were not virgin when you are having sex for the first time?

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A.S. Children under five seldom have a cognitive memory of sexual abuse unless they are rescued from the situation. Children can’t understand what is happening well enough to have the same kind of memory an older child would have but our bodies and hearts remember. I have a similar ‘memory’ that has recently fallen into place for me. I have put enough pieces together to believe I was sexually abused at an early age but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recover who it was who raped me or the other particulars. And yes, I think it is possible to not know you lost your virginity as a young child.
Pam

121

Love your definition of divine sexuality. I agree, that our society in an insane reaction against Victorian morality (and foolish complicit agreement with perverts) has tried to break down social boundaries that govern who we are as people. It makes way for predators to get to children, and it’s just not right.

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Callynt, Thank you.:0) I think my generation’s reaction was against Victorian morality and it was unhealthy but young people today are left in a vacuum of morality. There is no right and wrong and it is even more unhealthy than what was destroyed by my generation. It would be good if some healthy, common sense norms, and moral boundaries could be established. What we have now is rampant sexual abuse.
Pam

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Pam,

Rampant sexual abuse is an apt way of putting it. I don’t know what will turn the tide, but something will have to if humanity is to go on. Maybe I’m short sighted, but I don’t see any other way. I think sites like this will help. As people realize that healing is an option, they will focus more on becoming a whole person as opposed to a sexual object. So glad I found this place and all of you 🙂

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Callant, It’s a good place, a sane place in a world that seems to be more insane each day. I’m glad you’re here.
Pam

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