May
13

Psychological Abuse and Dysfunctional Parenting

By

 

 

 

psychological abuse, dysfunctional family

emerging alive

I received a comment on the post “More on Mother Daughter Dysfunctional Relationships” from Pam, and it began like this;  ~ “I have lots of bad memories from my childhood but what is worse is what I don’t remember. I can’t remember my mother ever holding me. I have no memory of my mother ever supporting me in anything or encouraging me. I don’t remember my mother ever siding with me against someone who had hurt me. I have never felt that my mom liked me. It seems that my mom was angry with me from the time I was born.”

I can totally relate to that with my own mother.  I felt like I was born to fill something in her and I failed to do it.  And I believed that I was a failure; that I was defective and unlovable.  Realizing that was only a fraction of the process to recovery however. The belief system problem was that I believed those things about myself and they were not true about me.  I can’t stress this part enough ~ I was NOT born to fulfill a need in my mother. I was NOT a failure. I was NOT defective and unlovable.

Today, I use this comment from Pam to explain the progression of emotional and psychological abuse and dysfunctional family upbringing; how those beliefs are born and incorporated and how they become cemented and why they are so hard to realize and then let go of.

~Pam goes on to say that her mother resented her for being born sickly (not the perfect child of her dreams) and then used that as a means to garner sympathy from others for the burden of having a weak child.

Once again, I also believed like Pam, that I WAS a burden to my mother.  I believed that because I could not fulfill her wishes for me fill the longing she had in herself ~ then it was true that I was a burden. I failed and that was the proof that I was useless.  But that is also a lie.

Growing up believing these kinds of things in the first place creates a very fertile ground for other false beliefs to take root and grow. False beliefs flourish when the foundation is primed that way. 

~ Pam was raped at age 14. She had been told that it was impossible for a woman to be raped and once again, having no choice, she believed that too.  She blamed herself, and took on one more lie which added to her already low self esteem and further diminished her self worth.

And as with ALL cases of dysfunctional family teachings, and falseness taught and accepted as truth, one lie rooted in the believe system builds on another;

~ Pam was raped and believed it was her own fault. On top of that she had been taught that if she lost her virginity, she would be “used merchandise” and that she was ruined.  And she believed that too.

Why wouldn’t she believe that? What other frame of reference did she have?

~ So Pam ran away.  And as these things so often go, the focus of her parents was never about why she had run away or what would cause her to run away. The focus was once again on how much she hurt her mother. It was all about her mother.

Keep in mind that the child in the situation accepts everything that the parent says because the brainwashing that the parent’s value is much greater than the child’s value is already cemented in place from such a young age.

~ Her mother never stopped berating her; emotionally abusing her for running away, constantly asking when she was planning to do it again. Remember the original cause was never addressed. This child had to endure the knowledge of her rape with no support, no understanding and she believed it was her own fault.

~ Pam was in so much pain (and understandably so!) that she turned to drugs as a way to cope. As a way to dull or numb the pain. The drugs led to associations with dangerous people. Therefore, this child was raped again. Once again, drawing from her already cemented belief system, she blamed herself.  He offered her a place to live, and since she needed the drugs to dull all the pain, she went to him.  Her parents did not protest; they did not investigate this man’s background, (he was a man, she was a child.) BUT her parents felt sorry for themselves and used this situation as a way to garner support and sympathy! That this ungrateful and out of control daughter had done this to them and is causing THEM so much pain. AND STILL the child herself was never considered. Still the child is at fault; both parents say it and the child herself believes it and is willing to accept that this is something she brought on herself.

And this is how so many of us grew up! One lie, one more false belief piled on top of another, the first one feeding and supporting the birth of the next one.

All the while their daughter is in extreme pain, grief and needs to use alcohol and drugs to cope with it all; to escape the constant pain, believing that the failure is all hers. She has believed it from birth.

~ The man that Pam went to in order to escape the pain of her dysfunctional childhood, the pain of being raped and blamed for it, used her and raped her for six months and then passed her to another man who did the same and even worse.  Her parents did nothing to help her though they knew where she was. They continued to blame her. Furthermore, as is so common in these cases, they held it over her head for her entire life and used the guilt and shame that THEY planted in her in the first place, to manipulate her.

Pam lived with the false truth from this psychological abuse and these lies in her belief system for years, her self esteem was diminished; the value assigned to her by her parents, by the traumas and events and then by her own self, was nothing.

~ At the age of fifty, Pam realize what happened to her was a crime. She went to her parents and confronted them about it. The offered excuses and lies but never acknowledged the truth. In the end, Pam told them that if they wanted a relationship with her that they had to treat her with respect and to acknowledge to her that what happened to her was a crime and take responsibility for their part in it.  She never heard back from them. And that in itself, speaks volumes… about them.

When our belief system still accepts that it is our own fault; that we failed, that we are to blame, returning to that belief is the default method. That is why we don’t stand up to abusers who still abuse us. We are convinced that we have some part in it. That is the same reason why we don’t/can’t stand up to dysfunctional parents or see where they did the damage. We were convinced very young that had we not failed them or disappointed them in the first place, then we would have been loved.

Writing this article was slightly surreal; there were times when I wasn’t sure if I was writing about Pam, or if I was writing about myself.  I had to remind myself to stick to the comments that Pam made, as I was tempted to add information of my own that was not included in her account. This is my story too, only the details are different.

This is the story of millions of children around the world who have not been listened to, have been falsely taught, and who have been discounted. This is psychological abuse.

Please share your feelings and comments.

Exposing Truth, one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

Click to read “more on mother daughter dysfunctional relationships” Pam’s comment is # 84

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing

Categories : Family

127 Comments

1

Darlene,

It was painful for me to post that. I got lost in it and forgot that my purpose in commenting was to show how confused I was about love. I was so emotionally, psycologically abused and neglected that I accepted what those men did to me as love.

This is new to me, writing this stuff out. When I see it all in print it looks like so much. Then I am overwhelmed when I realize that it is probably not possible for me to write down all of the psychological abuse that went on in my home. Abuse was the very atmosphere of my home. A very toxic atmosphere that I am thankful to have escaped.

2

Hi Pam,
Thank you so much for your willingness to allow me to use your comment to illustrate how we begin to accept that the problem must lie with us and how it grows out from there. I know that it was painful to write it in the first place. And yes, we do mistakenly think that what people do to us is love because we have become so accustomed to the false definition of love.

I know that it is overwhelming especially when we first start talking about it. But it gets better, and freedom is on the other side!
Hugs, Darlene

3

I find it sick that the subtle damages of psychological/verbal/emotional abuse can often be disregarded as “bad”. I had never wanted to admit that I was ever abused simply because there wasn’t any sexual or physical element. In fact, till today, I am still tempted to think that I was “making it up”. I guess, it’s a defense mechanism that helped me cope (and is no longer helpful).

In order to recover, I had to acknowledge that what was done (and not done) to me were damaging and abusive. I can never remember when or how it started, but I grew up believing that I have to be responsible for taking care of my own emotions. My mum cleaned, clothed and cooked for me…but I had never remembered her caring for me when I cried. When I got angry, I only got more yelling and spankings. Gradually, I got the message that no one cares about how I feel, and in order to avoid more trouble…I cannot show that I am angry or hurt. What’s more, my sister was allowed to do what I wasn’t allowed to, and Mum took in all her ridiculous tantrums and it was as if she had taken MY “quota” of Mummy’s love.

Till today, i still feel guilty when people appeared to care for me. Especially now that I have made up with Mum, the irony is that I felt even MORE guilty. I felt guilty of taking away part of the love “due” to my sister. I felt guilty “forcing” mum to love me. I know that it’s not true, but that’s ow I felt. Whenever mum tried to show her love, I felt a pang of guilt. I have learned (in therapy) to allow people to love me, but sometimes I still don’t think that I deserved it. It’s SO EASY to push away love and tell myself that it’s because I didn’t deserve it.

And yet, I realized that Mum has made a lot of effort and I am blessed that she is even willing to work on her mistakes and male up for it. I also understand that I have to give her a chance to love me, and it is something that no parent should ever be denied of (if they want it).

4

You were right, Darlene, this post does resonate very deeply with me.

I see something, in your post here, that I never really SAW before. I see that this is a step-by-step process, this thing that happens to us when we are devalued from the cradle on. It’s like the building of a house, starting with the footings, then the foundation, then the framework, then the floors and walls and roof, doors and windows and gutters… step by careful step, the house is finally built to completion, each step following on the previous step, and paving the way for the next step.

Only the house that is being built by a childhood of abuse and neglect is a house of horror….. It is “our normal” because it is all we have ever known, it is the only house we have ever lived in, when we are children. And when we grow up we go out into the world to make our own home somewhere, and what do we so often do? We move into another house of horror, because it feels so familiar, and because it is all that we have been taught to believe we deserve.

The house of horror needs to be torn down, brick by brick, all the way down below the foundation, and only then can a good, strong, lovely, healthy home be built.

I think the way for me to tear it down completely is to go back to the very beginning… the root, the footings, the foundation… and take it from there.

Lynda

5

Lynda,
I am really excited about your feedback on this! That is what I hoped for when I constructed this article. I hoped that others would see the “how” it all happens and how we accept the blame for the whole thing. This is why I struggled with so many depressions etc. It is fine and dandy to have a diagnosis, and even to know what an abusers diagnosis is, but it doesn’t get the healing work done. Knowing the progression of “broken” in my case, got the healing work done. Not just knowing it, but the tearing down of the house, the digging it up and realizing HOW we got those false beliefs in order to change them and embrace the truth ~ that we didn’t deserve that mistreatment and abuse. That we are lovable, that we were BORN wonderful and not lacking in anything. And then as you say ~ with our new belief system, the true truth, build a new life.
Hugs, Darlene

6

Hi Jasmine,
I totally get what you are talking about here. I have to stay aware of certain default modes too and there are some things that I have to do a whole self talk thing, but I think that is all part of the process! We lived with those feelings a long time before we realized that they didn’t serve us anymore.
Thanks for sharing!
hugs, Darlene

7

LOL. No, at none of you. At my parents. And bitterly at my past (while saying, “yeah, it made me stronger. But did it have to hurt so much?” I guess it did. Just my way of looking at things.

Mom always made it clear. We were a burden. Father made it clear at birth according to Mother: he ignored us when we were born, hoping for a girl. So: no hugs and kisses for Mikie, not until he was about 6 months old. Mom has always been clear. She hates anything to do with boys. They are loud and obnoxious and always rambling in something; they are dirty and nasty and bad. All this was always made clear to us from the very beginning. The fact that she always introduced us (myself/ves) as “My damned brat” tells you something. I think in ways she hated loving us. That in her eyes was momma’s job: love the children but she hated them. Always has. Has made that quite clear. also while loving them. But not. See the confusion?

Nothing was ever good enough. We went on to become druggies and drunks. Spent many a good night with a needle in my arm. Did some LSD. You name it, we tried it. Denied Governer’s Arts program for the lack of $350 dollars. Our best art was no good even though we won awards for it. In their eyes it was all just ‘trash’. But we managed to save most of it through the years. That’s a good thing. We have letters going back; things going back. We hoard our past, treasuring our memories, and hating the bad. (sigh) And of course the sex thing; so small. 6 years old, maybe sooner, depending how you count things. We cannot count that high; there were too many times. guilt factor there as well. Nothing like asking for the thing. You know. Especially when you are a boy and they are a man and you know what / how that is done. very painful stuff.
Ah well. Moving on.
sometimes even writing about it does not help. I am glad that we are in a loving family inside. It is a good thing to us. We are trying to help him (my father on the inside). It is a good thing too.

you all take care and he says he loves you; loves all the survivors he can.
until later.
Mikei

8

Hi Jeffery
Thank you for sharing your story here. You have survived a lot! I always cringe a little when I hear “yeah, it made me stronger” as though what happened had a benefit. As though it served a purpose. It should not have happened at all. Who knows what we would have been like if we had not been abused. Sometimes I wonder about that! If I had been loved and treasured… what a different outcome there would have been. I guess that is why I do this work now; I believe that for the world to heal, the victims themselves have to heal.
I really appreciate your sharing ~ i am so sorry that you had such a tough time. You didn’t deserve that.
Hugs, Darlene

9

I’m starting to see this process, you say of how the beliefs form. How even though my memories are so difficult to grasp it’s about the beliefs that came about because of what happened. I get these times when I go back to the belief system and think ‘Well I must be bad – it must be true’ without any real evidence or foundation. It’s so hard to undo that, I don’t know if it’s because my denial has been too strong, of if it’s because I’m unwilling to feel the truths about what I’ve gone through. I am still in that place of ‘forgetting’ from one moment to the next. I just was aware of it today because one minute something uncomfortable happened and I retreated to escape and the next minute I’d gone back having ‘forgotten’ what just made me leave!

10

Lynda –
What an amazing, articulate way to describe how abuse victims live – a House of Horrors, constructed and maintained by the lies and secrets dysfunctional families defend to the death, then lived in by the victims for the rest of their lives until they confront all the hidden darkness. Only everyone has gotten so used to the darkness that shining the light of truth becomes a form of direct assault that the family then rallies to defend themselves against.

How sad that most of us will never live to see or experience our families healed and living in the light! And yet how powerful that we as individuals and in groups like these, are letting go of that need to define family through biology alone, and are seeking and discovering our kinship through respect, honesty and understanding. I am so proud to call all of you part of my new family, and feel very safe and protected by you, as I never did in childhood, and I hope I am a part of that family for others. Great work Lynda!

11

Louise –
Forgetting is the method we have all used to survive, and this is not about hitting ourselves over the head every time we retreat into that coping mechanism, but rather becoming more and more aware of how much we do it, and more and more forgiving of ourselves for whatever it took to survive at all.

I know speaking for myself, the hardest work I had to do was to stop thinking of myself as a loser for not having killed myself and gotten the whole thing over with. I really had a breakthrough when I forgave myself for being a survivor, and stopped thinking of myself as a willing participant for continuing to live.

I truly, unconditionally love and forgive you for fighting to live, and for all you had to do to be here today, opening your heart to us and to your healing. It means everything.

12

Darlene –
Thanks for starting this new thread – it feels good and right.

13

I’m hoping that as I hit 60, some small measure of healing in my life will finally come. So much of Pam’s story rings true in my life — and Darlene, thank you once again (and all of you, really) for your insightful commentary(ies). And Jeffery. . . how I can relate; however, my great sin was not being the first born son. . .

Finding the courage to finally confront my parents about the abuse — to at least finally acknowledge the sexual abuse was real — has brought some small measure of relief. I did learn the abuser had finally gone to prison for his crimes (with another individual in my neighborhood). My father professed to never having an inkling. My mother continued to be in denial.

Some issues will never be resolved. My father has been diagnosed with dementia, and with each day I become a more faint memory. Having him confuse me with my mother has created a whole new world of hurt.

And my mom. It was only as she was in the final stages of dying that she confided to my father the abuse she had suffered as a child. Once again, he never had an inkling. It did provide some explanations for the dynamic in our relationship, and in our family dynamic as a whole (however, I wish we had been able to talk about this while she was alive).

This is not to make an excuse for either dad or mom. It does give me a few more pieces in this puzzle that has been my life. Everyone here has provided such amazing bits of information, showed such insight, revealed such courage — that I’ve found that wee bit of (dare I say it) hope enough to think that maybe, just maybe, Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again. So much so, I’ve got an appointment with a new therapist in a week or two.

The children’s song says, The wise man build his house upon a rock. It’s taken earthquakes, floods of tears, typhoons and tornadoes, monsoons, landslides, fires and freezes to find that bedrock. I’ve spent a couple of weeks recently in agony reflecting on my life — as the house of horror has been torn down.

And now it’s time to build lean and green! You’re all invited to participate in the ba(i)rnraising (kind of a Habitat for Humanity for the soul)! Thank you, thank you all.

14

House of Horrors. I guess that’s why we describe our past (little Mikie’s past) with the blog entitled “Little House of Horrors”. It makes sense. See our duality of words and meanings for that. And the duality of meanings in THAT sentence right there, LOL’ing, thinking of DID. (Jeeezzz. Did we have to be such a complicated being? LOL’ing!)

Yes, Darlene. We see our past as beneficial in some ways. Not all of them. We believe there was a divine purpose; we don’t believe in the ‘devil’ the ways others do. We believe God’s hand came down and ‘did’ these things – using other people’s free choice system, and using them as tools. Thy will be done. Even if it’s painful at times. (Thinking Job.)

Without those lessons we would not be ‘among us’, meaning among other survivors. We would be unable to help someone who had an abusive past. Chances are we would not care any more than any (and most) non-survivors of abuse do. It seems they won’t care – or if caring, are unable to ‘take it’. Even our own wife shys away, and shuns us in this thing. “I don’t want to know anything” were her last words to us on this matter. It hurts to be ‘bad’. Not that we’re bad – she just didn’t understand, and we were bad in pursuing this issue with her once upon a time. And Matthew – he feels rejected. Yeah, he’s struggling with some hate issues with her. But he’s feeling better about us; albeit in fractions of a degree at a time. I don’t know if he’ll ever ‘heal’ – he is probably the most complex of all our beings, unless you count the inside core. (Yeah, we have touched that thing – and it was wonderful. A transcendental experience.)

We spent years upon years – hundreds of thousands, if not millions of words writing and thinking upon this thing: the meaning of our existence, and the reasons for what we had happen to us. Had we not found purpose in it, we would lay here dying instead. Somethings are too hard to bear if you cannot find purpose in them. And you know my mind (albeit just a little? We don’t know.) Alert and agile and wonderful sometimes; that is the benefit we had – and have unto this day – which has enabled us to survive.

Yeah, I guess we suffered terrible things. I’ve had some shrinks describe what we’ve gone through as a nightmare come real; some kinda Twilight Zone that was a Nightmare Zone that was a battle for our lives. And we won in some ways.

What could I have become? It does not matter. We don’t measure success in terms of dollars and cents. We measure it in degrees of happiness, and the happiness we can and might bring in other people’s lives. Nothing else. For nothing else matters. All is transitory in nature, except the human soul. And in us it’s a matter of living souls – all of us inside. We take comfort in the knowledge it won’t be forever – what is a life in terms of eternity? A blink of an eye; maybe even less. Our god has reassured us of this thing.

The road ahead won’t be easy; no easier than the road behind. And we’re okay with that one, too, knowing there is an end – and in that end a new beginning – whether here or elsewhere in the universe. I suppose that’s why we were given the gift of universes in the head. So we can ‘see’ that thing. There’s many reasons for all we are doing, had happen, did and done – and now, over the past few months or so – we’ve seen the ties binding events together – from our abusive past to our plans for the future and beyond. It all fits. Snug as a bug.

And we’re happy with that. Even if we do feel like Job sometimes.

15

Hi Louise,
It takes a lot of time to really come out of that fog. It takes some time to face what happened to us when we were mere children. It takes even more time to realize that much of this stuff happened at the hands of parents and other care givers. It is a lot to face and in my case, I had been avoiding facing that pain almost forever. I just kept going forward in hopes that finally I was on the right track.. and I was. =)
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Laramar,
Great to have you here too! Thank you for all your comments and sharing!
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Ultralite,
I love your comments when you said “You’re all invited to participate in the ba(i)rnraising (kind of a Habitat for Humanity for the soul)!” That is awesome!
Thank you for sharing a snapshot of your life and where you are at too. Every bit helps I think!
Hugs, Darlene

16

Wow. I am so deeply moved by everyone’s comments here, that I am at a loss for words ~ !! There just are no words to adequately express what I’m feeling… but I do want to give each one of you a hug:

((Darlene))

((Pam))

((Jasmine))

((Jeffery))

((Louise))

((Laramar))

((Ultralite))

With Love~

((Lynda))

17

PS~ Jeffery, my best-friend-husband and I often use humor to alleviate the pain. Most days, that tactic works beautifully.

I have a picture of our old Otterhound, Farley, with the grumpiest look you ever saw on a dog’s face. Nobody did grumpy better than our Farles! (He was unhappy with the dry dog food at the time that I took that picture.) So anyway, I made a little poster out of Farley’s grumpy picture on the Printmaster program on my computer, with these words going down the side of the poster, next to his scowling face: “That Which Doesn’t Kill Me Makes Me Stronger (with a line drawn through the word Stronger) GRUMPIER.”

THAT WHICH DOESN’T KILL ME MAKES ME GRUMPIER… especially on a really bad hormone day, LOL!

Lynda

18

Humpty Dumpty. Wrote this awhile back (http://wp.me/p1t0dv-2M)

Humpty Dumpty had a Great Fall . . .
. . . and all the Shrink’s Therapies and All The Shrink’s Mend,
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again.
So Humpty Dumpty did it himself.

LOL. And (((huggers to all you survivors – and our friends :)))

19

PS: Lynda
We use humor all the time, especially when talking to other people about what some would view ‘traumatic’ events (eg. nuclear war training, et all). Humor helps them accept it … though sometimes I can see clouds in their eyes as the truths and realizations sink in … way deep somewhere in their minds.

Our shrink had a terrible problem with this. She called it ‘minimalizing’. Matthew, our teenage friend, was fine with that. He enjoyed a) Defending himself (protecting our others), and b) Making her look little. She was a BAD shrink, BTW, but the best we could afford. (and this was with GREAT insurance; I can only imagine the kind of horror story we’d get with a Medicare based one! Not that there are any left in this area (last I checked – about 7, 8 years ago) who would take me and/or us et all. Being a male survivor really put a crimp in our plans. Appears most of them want females only – and not ones with all our ‘problems’. Of which we’ve got a few (wink wink!) Dang, there go those double meaning things again! LMAO! (oops! fell on the floor. Gonna have to pick it back up and glue it on. Might need it come morning, LOL!)

Until later.
Us and them and all. 😀

20

Jeffery –
I apologize deeply if I missed previous posts for you – but it seems you are speaking of multiple personalities within your one body? Is there a better term for it now?

I became aware of this through an astonishing biography called When Rabbit Howls, about a woman named Truddi Chase, and the breakthroughs she experienced in trying to function as a brutally abused multiple in the everyday world. She actually was one of Oprah’s earliest interviews, and her book is full of triggers, but tremendously enlightening and brave.

If this is indeed your life experience, I feel humbled by how honest, empowered, and balanced you seem to be about it. Thank you for providing us with that perspective, and I too am generally outraged at how little care or attention there is for male victims of severe child abuse. I apologize as a backwards society for that one.

Also there is a great documentary by Kathy Barbini called Boys and Men Healing that might be of great help and comfort to you. It is online, but also worth owning a copy of. I have shown it to friends and companions who are otherwise clueless about the nature and prevalence of child abuse, and they have become much more compassionate and supportive of my journey.

You are truly an inspiration. Blessings

21

I started crying with Darlene’s Mother’s Day post and I am still crying for all of the pain that all of us have gone thru as children. Tomorrow will be a better day but tonight I need to cry.

Being okay with the tears has been a long struggle for me because some of the lies that I grew up with saying that crying was weak. If someone saw you crying, you would just be hurt more by ridicule and name calling. Asking for help was taking a chance that you would be rejected or called weak too. You have to be strong all the time.

I know these are lies and yet I still sometimes hear them in my head. If you show weakness, you get taken advantage of, you get used and thrown away. You get made to feel smaller than you already do. You are even afraid of hugs because hugs mean someone is in your space and might take advantage. Hugs come with a price too.

Yes, psychological abuse hurts more than any other kind of abuse because it goes so deep into your core. Thanks everyone for being here. Thanks Darlene and everyone else for the safe place that this is. I don’t feel this way very often anymore, thank God, but when I do, I know I can come here and talk about it.

22

Hello Laramar
Yes, we are multiples. LOL, we discovered the word “quine” the other day in our head; it explained a lot. See the computer term. No wonder the phrase “lambda lambda lamba” went through our head for such a long time.
We tend to look at ourselves as souls; not a broken being. It’s taken a long time. The easiest way to see it, outside looking in, as some kind of family, with worlds within. There’s even more. Like I tell people: we’ve got universes inside. We switch from “we” to “I”, depending upon who is speaking. Sometimes it the Crowd; often it is others. And yes (smiling) – we KNOW how confusing it can be. (LOL, you think it’s confusing? Try on the INSIDE, LOL! though actually it’s become clearer and clearer as time goes on.)

Technically we’re insane. Here over the past three or four months I think we’ve improved. Not in becoming sane – but by embracing who we are.

Like any family there are going to be problems. Especially when some of the children have been abused inside. This has NOT always been a loving family. We still have troubles (okay, BAD thing to say; he does not LIKE us to say that about him.) – with one. Okay, there you go. Splits in sentences. Read around the parenthesis, and then come back in. If that makes sense. A lot of times we make sense; it’s just the words get a little confusing. Feel free to ask others about us; they can probably tell you more than I can, LOL. Or you can always go look at our blog (2 sections; soon (maybe) to be three)). Oh yeah; the balenced parenthesis. And get this: we suck at math. Really do. And yet were an engineer. they say we have a hi-Q. (LOL< we are just punning.)

So you others go ahead and tell Laramar about me if you wish. I don't care. We're too busy laughing! and loving right within.

(BTW Laramar – you wanna know one of the great things about being DID/MPD?? You never get lonely inside!! LOL'ing on our way out the building, sash-shaying in our own way. someone get the lights, okay? … LOL! (and if you read our blog you know who this is. LOL!)

23

PS Laramar – no need to apologize! never! I mean (and we all know) – how could you possibly KNOW??!! Nor do we insist you call us by any particular name – though if you name one of our names you might get that one and not another (whom you might have intended on questioning/talking to.) But for the moment don’t ask for little Mikie to speak. He’s one of our 4 or 5 children. (LOL, we don’t always know; hard to keep track of them! You know kids.) We don’t do the infantile thing; too dangerous to us. And Matthew will answer your questions, but he tends to be short – and hard. Teens, ya know; plus he’s our Public Defender. (And he’s BIG into double/triple/quadruple meanings, which is funny if you think about it and us being MPD/DID. He’s a perfect fit.)

Until later you guys and guyettes!
From the crowd, meaning all of us (except the sleeping one.) Kids are on the Beach, and I’m not meaning the novel. Until later, kids et all!

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Wow the opening paragraph to this article is so powerful and one I totally relate to. When I first read it and the original comment #84 I froze. It’s taken me a while to unfreeze and be able to comment. It was like I was reading part of my own story. It was like I was really about my own mother. It was like I was reading about my own trauma. But I wasn’t. I could have written those words myself. But they were someone else’s words.

I have so many bad memories of my childhood. I also have many parts of my childhood which I do not and cannot remember. It’s always bugged me that I cannot remember. But I recognise now that those things are blocked out of my memory for very good reasons. What I can remember is totally horrific so I’m not going to fish around and try to remember things which are blocked. I figure they’ll come to my consciousness if and when they’re meant to.

My mother was never ever gentle or loving towards me.

My mother never held me instead she beat me. If I went to her she pushed me aside mockingly.

My mother never sided with me on anything. She always mocked and put down and kept me in my place.

My mother never supported me in anything. She always undermined instead.

My mother never ever encouraged me.

Instead she always mocked and put me down, telling me I was useless and would never be anything and to never think of myself in any other way.

My mother hated me in the womb and despised me from the moment of my birth.

Her main reason being I was a girl.

Oh and I was born a couple of months premature, was tiny, fragile and had breathing problems when first born. I was thus a burden to her in her eyes and she made sure I knew.

I grew up thinking I was this terrible burden who was a total blot on the landscape and the world would have been a much better place had I never been born.

I was wrong and defective right from the very beginning in her eyes.

So I grew up believing being a girl was unacceptable and all the bad spoken and unspoken messages I received about myself.

I grew up feeling like a total complete misfit.

I was told so many times that I deserved everything they did to me that I believed the abuse was fully my fault and I was a terrible person who only deserved bad things to be done to her.

I never believed anything good could happen to me.

When I made it clear at the age of 19 that I was wasn’t going to put up with the abuse any more, then I was beaten up, disowned and left for dead in a heap in the snow. And her final words were the most brutal “from this moment you do not exist”.

So for my entire life I’ve been a solitary figure, alone, just about surviving. I’ve had no life.

I believed that was my lot in life. I believed that I deserved no better, that I didn’t deserve love or any nice thing happening to me.

When she was faced with the legal consequences of her actions last year my mother lied, denied, play acted and made herself out to be a victim and thus got away with it.

Neither of my parents have ever acknowledged anything happened, never mind that the things they did to me were crimes.

I have always been an orphan who never belonged or fitted in or was wanted. That hurt and emptiness never goes away. My heart never stops hurting and aching. My heart has always hurt and ached. There are so many things I never had, many of them the most basic things. I never stop missing those things.

Survival is my default mode. It is what I do, I survive. It was what I know. It is what I’m good at. But now I’m very slowly discovering a new way. I’m slowly seeing the lies for what they are. I’m slowly realising it was my fault, that I’m not a total failure.

I have come a long way. I have a long way to go.

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Oops – I am slowly realising it was NOT my fault

Spot the typo? I didn’t till after I hit submit lol!!

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Fi, I relate SO MUCH to what you said here.

Regarding your comment about repressed trauma memories… when people talk about having repressed memories, I almost envy them their ability to not remember…. Lord knows I have TRIED REALLY HARD to FORGET my trauma, but, I could not forget. I have already shared many of my horrible childhood trauma memories, in the past few months in my comments here on Emerging From Broken.

But there are more truamas that I haven’t yet shared. AND THEN, there are the almost-repressed, almost-memories. Wheras most of my abuse and trauma memories I can’t forget no matter how hard I try… these memories haunt me so often!….. there are some memories, just a few, that I’m not sure of… were they real events, or only dreams? Did these things happen, or did I only imagine them in my mind?

***WARNING ~ TRAUMA TRIGGERS*** (probably most of my long comments should carry such a warning, but this comment has some biggies, so beware).

My dreamlike memories are my earliest memories, for the most part. When I was too young to form lasting, long term memories. I even think that I may have some memory from when I was in the womb… I think that maybe this happened… my mother and father got into a huge argument, screaming and yelling at each other. My mother was big and pregnant with me at the time, but I could hear their violently angry, hate-filled words. Then my mother decided she didn’t want to be pregnant anymore, so she went to the basement stairs, and she made herself fall down the steps, hoping that would make her lose the baby, that baby being me. It seems to me that she tried this, throwing herself down the stairs, at least twice, and then she gave it up, because it was causing her too much pain.

Did this really happen? I was in the womb, not yet born, so I don’t KNOW. Did I dream it? Imagine it? I have no way of knowing. I DO know that when I was around 2, my mother became pregnant again, and when she miscarried that baby, she was joufully ecstatic. I don’t remember that event from the time it happened, but I do remember hearing my mother talk about it over the years, how very cheerful she was when se went to the emergency room because she was hemmoraghing, and with a huge smile on her face she said, “I’m here because I am having a miscarriage!” I was in my teens and again iin my 20s when my mother told that story, about her great joy at miscarrying the baby she was going to have after me. And when she told that story, my mind flashed back to my almost-memory, the idea I had that my mother threw herself down the basement stairs, hoping to get rid of me.

Here is another shadowy, dream-like, almost-memory… I am crying in the crib. Wailing loudly. Hungry? Wet? Cold? All of the above? Needing attention, the way babies do, because we are incapable of taking care of ourselves. I am crying, wailing, and she SPANKS me, hard, on my bare leg. Now my screams are re-doubled, loud, frantic, hysterical. And then a pillow is pushed down over my face and I’m trying to such air into my tiny lungs, and I can’t….

Did that really happen. I honestly do not know.

The memories I have shared here about my mother’s abuse later in my life, I have absolutely no doubt about whatsoever. YES my mother tried to gas us all to death, several times, and could not override the safety shutoff on the furnace. YES my mother was going to drive us all off a cliff and kill us that when, when she gave up on the gas. YES my mother used to grab a long butcher knife out of the kitchen door and hold it poised over her stomach, screaming at me to get my noisy squabbling 4 little pre-school brothers and sisters to settle down and be quiet, or else she was going to stab herself right in front of us. YES, my mother told me several times as I was growing up that she loved me because she HAD to love her own daughter, but she just did not like me, because why? “It’s just YOU, it’s just the way you ARE, it’s the way you THINK.” YES my mother got involved in an emotional affair, and possibly in a sexual affair, with my first husband, when she was 36 and he was 19 and she was agreeing with his “right” to beat me for being an imperfect person, and she was sitting on his lap right in front of me, hugging and telling him how she loved him. YES my mother did all these hateful horrible hurtful things, and a whole lot more, and I remember them ALL, and wish sometiimes that I didn’t have the ability to remember… but I do. These abuses were not dreams, they were in no way imaginary, they were as real as the sun that comes up in the morning.

But these other, shadow memories, from my early early childhood, when I was in the womb, and when I was just a newborn… I remember being so cold, so wet, so hungry, in my crib, left alone, door shut, tv on LOUD to drown out my cries… I THINK I remember, that is. I remember being bathed in the big bathtub, and mother put my face under the water… not LONG, but long enough for me to panic, to swallow a lot of water and breath some watger into my lungs, and I was kicking and struggling and terrified, so terrified, and I hated hated hated my baths, forever after that, especially when the one giving me the bath would lean me back to rinse the shampoo from my hair and I would PANIC, thinking I was gonig to have my face pushed under the water where I couldn’t breath, again…. but again, this is just a shadowy half-memory, I don’t know if it happened, I am not sure if it did or if it was just a dream, I was so little.

I remember my mother sitting on the edge of her bed, with a wide creepy smile on her face, she was wearing a dress, she pulled her dress up and spread her legs wide, she was wearing nothing under the dress, she told me to look at her down there, she told me to touch..

I was so little, a toddler. It’s another memory that I don’t remember for SURE. It is shadowy, foggy. Did it happen? Did I just dream it? WHY would a tiny child dream a thing like that?

Do I even want to know?

But then there are ALL THOSE HORRIFIC MEMORIES that I remember for SURE, with no doubt in my mind whatsoever. The time that a woman killed her 3 month old baby with a double-adult dose of codeine cough syrup… we are at a drive-in type of fast food restaurant, after gong into town for the big monthly grocery shopping day, we are in our station wagon, my parents in the front seat, me, age 8, and my little twin sisters, age 2, and crippled club-footed baby brother, all in the back seat. We are eating hamburgers and drinking cokes, with french fries, our wonderful, once-a-month treat. There is one other car in the drive in at that late hour, another station wagon, with a harried looking woman at the wheel, 3 or 4 toddlers boucning all around, the back part of the station wagon piled high with clothes and things. This woman keeps looking over at us, then she gets out of her car and comes over and taps on my mother’s window and says she needs help, she can’t wake her baby up. Mother rolls her window down just a crack, and the woman gets her baby, and holds her up to the window, to show my mother. The baby is a beautiful little girl. Her eyes are fixed and staring. Her eyes look like broken marbles, somehow. Her skin is waxy pale. She isn’t moving or blinking. “Can you please help me,” the woman asks. “She wouldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t take it, I left my husband in California a few days ago and I’ve just been driving east ever since. I don’t know where I’m going. And now I can’t wait her up, it’s time to feed her.”

What did you do to her, my mother asked. Gave her a double-adult dose of codeine cough syrup, she says…

My parents, my mother, and my minister father, didn’t want to get involved. That was the explanation they gave to me for telling that woman to drive across the street where there was a medical clinic. As soon as the woman went to drive across the street, my mother said to my dad, Lets get out of here, and so he started the car without a word and we took off. As we pulled out of the lot I saw the woman’s station wagon pulling into a clinic that was dark and deserted, closed for the night. MOM, I said, the clinic is closed, we need to tell her how to get to the hospital! It’s too late to save that baby, my mother said, and we don’t want to get involved in that mess. But it’s NOT too late to save the baby, I will pray and ask God to fix the baby! My mother laughed, a short, mirthless laugh, Yes, you go ahead and pray, but it’s too late, that baby is dead. NO SHE ISN’T, if she takes her to the hospital the drs can save her. IT”S TOO LATE TI SAVE THAT BABY, my mother snaps….. and then I say…. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CHILDREN?

My parents didn’t answer that question. They didn’t say another word about it, ever again. But in the days that followed, my 2 year old sisters began to have mysterious overdoses of aspirin and things. Mother said it was an accident. The first twin got sick, but recovered right away. The second twin, when she overdosed a few days later, was in a coma for days. She was deaf when she woke up. Her hearing came back… something like months later.

I always wondered why suddenly after seeing the dead, overdosed baby, I was coming home from school and finding that one of the little ones had overdosed on something at home. Mother always told me and dad that she had “already called the doctor and he said it was too late to do anything, the overdose was already in their system by the time she found them, all she could do was put them in bed and wait and see if they lived or died. And my dad accepted that without a word, there was no taking them to the doctor. There was only me, 8 years old, praying nonstop for hours beside my baby sister’s crib, begging God to fix her.

THESE memories, unlike my very early ones, are clear and real and true and I have no doubt whatsoever that they happened.

I feel very sick now. I apologize if my trauma memories made anyone else feel sick, too.

Lynda

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Hi Lynda

I know that my mother tried to abort me several times whilst in the womb. I don’t know how I know, just that I know. I believe it is possible to form memories in the womb. I’ve always known I was not welcome, I was not wanted.

Also, my mother told me many times that she wished she had succeeded in aborting me, if she’d had her way she would have never have carried me full term.

I too cannot forget. There are aspects to the abuse I’ve always remembered, while other things have come back to me along the years.

Some of my memories are extremely vivid. Others are shadowy, dream like, like you describe. Other things I just know but I don’t know how I know, just that I do.

How we create, store and recall memories is a very complex thing I think!

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Hello Lynda 🙂
Not triggering; not to us, anyway. Okay, maybe? But not in a ‘bad’ way; you know us – hit the dial, tune in/turn on another person and we’re kewl. Just so you know 🙂 After all, we can’t have ourselves triggering when we’re helping another person (or at least trying to. You know our caveat: take what you need and leave the rest; it’s your decision, free will and all that kinds of mess. LOL’ing!)

Sounds like you are still trying to discover your past. Hey, that’s kewl. We’re all into that: we ‘thought’ we were over that when we read your letter; then we realized: “hey, no – there’s inners inside needing to heal; this is part of their past.” And that’s kewl, too.

The thing about ‘digging’ is this – and it refers to Fi McLeod’s posting as well: you gotta be careful about these things. All good (and bad) things in their own time. We did some digging one day – too much – and it hurt us bad.

I don’t know what all I’ve told you about us; sometimes things aren’t ‘clear’ (timeslips, no big deal; but sometimes ‘fuzzy’ memories of “oh, did that one do that? I can’t remember.” You know how it goes sometimes (just assuming, which to us is a VERY bad thing indeed. I suppose you’ve read my blog on that? Weird Training and all?)

One day we went digging in our own particular way, using one of the tools our daddy gave us. Yup, the old ‘self-hypnosis’ kinda thing. Yah; he gave us a lot of training in that, old selfish bastard (trying to hurt us at the same time: he’d hypnotize my brother – then lay matches on his arm to see if he could still ‘feel’ the pain after hypnotic suggestions that brother ‘couldn’t’. Didn’t always work. Sometimes did.) But all that training taught us we could do this thing (while resisting his damn efforts to hypnotize US so he could do the same thing to US – and when we’d resist – or pretend to go along – well, you know my dad (which I know you don’t) – but imagine any abusive parent, especially one into ‘self-control’ – meaning controlling others in his ‘own special way’ (back stabbing son of a bitch) – and what that led to. You know the thing: arm FORCED down on the table; matches anyway. LOL’ing (trying not to cry, hurting, but jeez.) Okay, not crying again. LOL, never did (sometimes think never will) – not for the last 30 F’ing years. Just inside crying, if you know what I mean.

Okay,to the point: We went digging in the woods in our mind. We found a black rock. We were searching for a ‘blank spot’ – midst a memory of mine. Remember (don’t know if you’ve read) “Mikie’s First Time”? Yah, the dog kinda thing. Won’t mention that here for public politeness. And we found this thing: the thing about the dog.

Man. Talk about upsetting us. For 3 days we went on and on – cycling from depression / guilt / horror / anger / disgust with ourselves, the little one – horrid news, you know what I mean?

We weren’t ready for this thing. We FORCED it to come – and it very very very nearly destroyed us. So close in fact we cut 100 times in the first day. The next one we had our wife take the gun away from us. That evening she fed us a meal of sausage dogs. You know what that means (Read the story if you can’t figure that one out. Here’s the link. Be VERY CAREFUL. This thing is triggering as hell. http://wp.me/p1ufr9-2L The fact that it is in our Little Shop of Horrors should tell you something. Mikie’s little past. And a big one at that.)

So we looked down, choked, looked away, pushing away this thing. Never cried. (see that thing about never cried never will. Matthew gets in the way of that thing. Protecting us I suppose. But also preventing us (I reckon) from healing some from it.)) Then the wife choked and started crying as we stood up from our dinner plate and walked away. (Jeez, I feel like a dog. Not in a good way. But that’s okay, too. It’s just that she doesn’t understand, not even to this day.) I think she knew in some dim way that she had fed us the wrong thing; what it represented in our mind (though she could never truly know the truth of the thing. Be careful reading that post, hon! I know WE have to! And if WE have to … (shuddering) – and YOU know OUR past (albeit a tiny part of it) – you should know it’s terrible. O’tay on that? Got it? Want you to be SAFE!)

Yah, we were born dying in a foreign land, German hospital, 15 years after the conclusion of WWII: the German nurses, war, defeat, and bombing fresh in their minds (resentful beings no doubt) – and an Army couple coming in giving birth to their sun; late Autumn which is early winter – dad hating the fact that I wasn’t a girl (refusing to hold us for months at a time) – yeah, our mom saw us as kind of a burden. I wouldn’t be surprised if the German nurses had held the windows open; giving us a breath of fresh air (lung problems; bronchial pneumonia – NOT something you are born with; its GERMS – so exposure HAD to have been an issue there – though my mom hasn’t figured this one out – I don’t think they ever will.)

And yeah; so we were a bit of a burden (As she continues to remind us.) Both us boys (me and my living brother; he is slightly older than I, though our inner one, the little one, Mikie my darling child – see’s him as his “little brother” – because besides and despite the rough start, we rapidly outgrew him in size – and probably mentality as well. That seems truer the older I get; and it seemed true back then. (See that issue: http://wp.me/p1ufr9-I . I knew better than to hide there; he didn’t. But we went along anyway. To protect our older and younger brother at the same time. Even if it meant dying for him. We(me) figured she’d stop killing after she had killed one – and I meant it to be me. Saving him.) (disgusted sigh, shaking my head – not at what we’d done, nor saving him – but her.) We told her about this thing in “Confronting Mother”. (http://wp.me/p1t0dv-eD). That and the Match Game, too (http://wp.me/p1ufr9-p). She doesn’t remember a thing. But WE do. And brother does some. However she blames us in a way. “Two boys,” she says, “You were driving me INSANE!”. No duh. Her only forgiveness? “I couldn’t help myself.” “I was abused in the past, too.” “I know it wasn’t right, but that was then, this is now.” and the final one: “You both turned out all right, didn’t you.” (Last said as a statement, NOT as a question. She’s not asking, and we’re not telling. Not that close to our mother anymore. Whut can I say. Haven’t been that close to her never. Otherwise she’d have found out about the sexual abuse thing when she came in storming asking where we’d learned the word “F__k”. I was busy trying to seduce my friend (and my brother) into this thing. I don’t know who it was that screamed it: “I don’t WANNA F***.) Strange thing: I’d drawn cartoons of it – right there on ‘the floor’ – meaning a piece of paper. I can STILL see those cartoon stick figures (penis sticking out) – RIGHT THERE in my mind. Strange how those kinds of things stick with ya. Odder still is my oddly photographic memory regarding facts and things. Even going back to then – and beyond. But not to the ‘birthing’ thing. Haven’t got that far and don’t know if I want to. Seems kinda weird to me. (uh-oh! Double meanings again! You know what THAT means! Matt is on ‘patrol’! LOL’ing again!)

Yeah, that thing with your mom and the dead (or dying) baby. You still feel guilt over this thing? (we are thinking you do.) Get over it – however it’s done for you. You know you gotta do this thing. Not being cruel, being kind – and kinda cruel doing it. (okay, I’m seeing God’s hand in my life again; making us who we are. Sometimes a ‘cruel’ hand, molding that clay of our mind.) But (((hon))) we mean no cruelty. It’s just something you’re gonna have to deal with. We can’t take you down your own path. That’s something you have to do – and you know that thing. Hard hard as it is (okay, crying for you hon. Inside. Though eyes are kinda watery. That’s about as far as we can go. Better than ‘last’ time: no tears at all. Just Matthew stepping forward and blocking everything. Including our dear friend Mikie.)

Memories. Let them come in their own time. Deal with them when they are there. Then let them go. If they come back (And they often do) – deal with them again.

We found a great analogy for this healing sorta stuff. Feel free to make it your own. If you want to ‘credit’ us for it: we’d be honored. Otherwise it doesn’t matter as long as it’s doing someone some good (note to self: keyboard is squeaking. Must be wearing the keys out some. And damn: this is a fairly recently new notebook kinda thing. Trust Dell to use the cheapest components they can find, LOL! NO big problem; got 100 more (keyboards) down in our lab.)

Here’s the analogy; you kinda wanna spread it around. You know: healing others heals ourselves in some ways kinda thing? It’ll do you good as well and to.

From Brannem’s Blog (http://wp.me/s1p7QX-naked), a Comment we made on something: A guy thing, LOL’ing. You’ll see what I mean. Big boys and their toys kinda thing. (okay, LMAO right now! Not at you but what we mean, LOLLL!)

““….the load becomes smaller…..” And remember: you got a dump truck on your back. Each ‘confession’ is just a spoonful. To empty that truck and get it off your back – it’s gonna take a lot of ‘telling’. Remember that – and while you can – tell as many people as you can (in a supportive environment) – emptying that truck as quickly as you can. Yes it will be hard (ever REALLY empty a dump truck that won’t dump, LOL! Hard and sweaty work!). But there’s a big difference between ‘hard’ and ‘can’t be done.’ Healing is ‘hard’. Changing the past ‘can’t be done’. Changing how you see it CAN be done – and so the healing work begins.”

Nuff said, that’s all, and we’re on our way!
This is Elvis your friend, laughing all the way
gathering my children under my arm, we go and sash-shay
Out the building and out the door
laughing all the way!!! <–(ok, that's Jeffery's doing. Such a poet and … yeah, he knows it. LOLLL'ing!!!!)

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Quick touch up note to the note above (we get sooo distracted sometimes, LOL!!)
Mom HAD to see that ‘note’, that drawing. And she ignored it. It was on the back of a cardboard roof to a building set we had (tiny little bricks, and not legos my friend. German ones.) We had that set for YEARS – she put it UP for us for YEARS – and never a single question. Blind? Or just denying. I’m favoring the former: blind to her own denying of her own self and what she was seeing. Strange, huh? (Later questions came on; another time for another story. Yeah, this one’s ugly, too.)

Just wanted to add that one. For my own benefit as well as others (Mikie is sad and sighing, but nodding in relief. THAT one was bad, too. Good deal. We off. To hug and inner cry and hug and kiss and hold and …. gee, we love our son. Wan’t always that way. See: gee, about a half dozen posts. Some regarding Matthew speaking; the other one on the illustration for the Little Blog of Horrors. Won’t post links here; don’t wanna seem greedy. Darlene deserves her time, too.)

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How did you Fi and you Lynda survive all this??? I can’t imagine someone making it through this alive, and I wish I could grab you as babies in the womb and place you in the bodies of loving mothers and completely erase that there is such hatred and insanity in the world. I think the thing that is hardest on most survivors is the hypocrisy that only men are violent, women are just too kind and sensitive to hurt anyone! You both are heroic in your survival, and I hope you can become heroic in your love and acceptance of yourselves too.

How much damage has been done in the world by women who never wanted to bear children, were forced by religion or society or controlling husbands to have them anyway, and have taken it out on those innocent offspring ever since? Why is being born such a curse?
I know we can’t answer this, just as we can’t answer the question of why there is evil, but I’m so grateful to be involved with a group of people who are at least trying to fix themselves, be happy with themselves, even if they can’t solve the underlying problem of why they were broken in the first place.

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HI Laramar, I’ve often asked myself the same question – how on earth did I survive? I don’t know, except that I did somehow!

Yes the whole issue of women do not abuse – they are caring, gentle, nurturing etc is very hard. It’s very painful for me to deal with the fact that both my mother and grandmother abused me. The female on female abuse does seem to affect me differently to all the abuse I had from all the males in and around my family. I guess it has it’s own set of unique issues.

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Fi & Lynda,

You’re both such amazingly strong and brave women! It does hurt bad to not be wanted even from the womb, and I can’t even imagine how it must have traumatized.

However, another truth is that you also have tremendous resilience to be able to make it this far in life. No matter what your past may be, no matter how much you are still hurting now…the truth is that YOU’VE MADE IT. This shows to me that you’re much stronger than you probably realize 🙂

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Jeffery –
I am trying to read your blogs, but it is very triggering, so be patient with me (I am crying right now, pretty hard)

I’d like to ask you to be patient with your wife too, as I was the wife of a severely abused man also, and there never seemed to be an end to the types of calculated brutality and torture he suffered. Consequently, I was never able to truly be a part of his healing because I couldn’t quite make it into the depths of darkness he’d had to endure without losing my bearings on so-called REALITY, and I felt I needed to stay farther up just to keep us both going.

I still feel guilty about it though – wishing I’d been strong enough to sweep in like the archangel and carry him far far away from those hideous memories. He passed away three years ago and I still get massive memory washes of him screaming in the night about some ritualized sex torture he’d had to endure at age 4 or 5 or 6 or 7. Your stories are eerily similar, and it is kinda frightening how rote these things seem to be. Is it some kinda sick cult? I guess I’ll never know.

I wish he’d been able to blog, but it wasn’t his way, so it is healing for me to live out my understanding through your multiple experiences, so to speak. Thank you all for your full disclosure, and I know I can’t do a damn thing to change the horror show you endured which makes me feel very powerless, but I can (slowly) come to listen and respect and understand how you coped.

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This so much hits home with me. I realize now after almost 50 years on this earth that most of my childhood was a lie. Most of what i was told and believed were all lies. I discovered a couple of years ago that my mother even lied to me about my day of birth. She told me i was born on Mothers day and that i was her special gift from God. I was born Mothers day weekend but on Saturday NOT Sunday. I discoverd this just by accident. I was barely even born on saturday – 3 in the morning. That’s how manipulative and controlling my mother was. everything in our family revolved around trying to please her and meet her needs. I got stuck with trying to do most of it as a young child. That’s after she had repeatedly molested (TRIGGER) me as a baby and young boy. I grew up thinking that i was bad and that i deserved bad things to happen to me. I believed that i was created to suffer and that was my purpose in life.

My mother lied to me about so many things i truly don’t know what things were true and what were lies. I felt so ashamed as a child and learned to hate myself early on. I hated the way i looked and just hated my life and myself. I was abused and bullied throughout school so there was no way for me to escape abuse and torment. I got it at home and got it at schoool on a daily basis. No one ever stepped in and did anything. no one ever was there to help me. My sister started running away from home when i was 7. She is my only sibling. By the time i was 9 or 10 she was completely gone. My father was severely depressed and had PTSD from WW II that was never treated.

My mother was a lunatic. She ranted and raved around the house and lived in the past constantly. She manipulated me into meeting her needs. It was sickening and disgusting now that i look back. I thought it was normal. I had no idea. No one else was there to say ‘this isn’t right’ or ‘this needs to change’. Social Services came to our house a couple of times and so did the police but things only got worse. Its beyond me how anyone can give birth to someone and then abuse, lie, manipulate and hurt that person over and over and over, especially when they tell you that they love you and you are the most important thing in their life. Total B. S. !!!!!

its no wonder i grew up confused and in constant pain. I have taken on a role in life of reaching out to women that are hurting because that’s what i did as a child. I constantly find woman that are hurting to connect with and try and fix them and comfort them. I thought that was my other purpose in life besides suffering. Its certainly a noble cause but when you have done it for 48 years its time to take a break ! I had no male role models at all in my life and have connected with very few men throughout my life. I mostly don’t trust men. My father was very verbally abusive and verbally threatening. I lived in constant fear of both of them. I thought i would be killed any day so i tried to be perfect !

I have finally realized that most of my childhood was built on lies. I have known the truth in my head but not my heart for many years. My heart was shattered as a child and remains completely broken.

So after all the years of trying to take care of my parents and meet their needs, they end up betraying me later in life. My father threatened to kill me and my wife several years ago and my mother ocmpletely turned against me when we were doing everything in our power to try and help get away from my father because she told us she was being physically abused by him (LIE). I could go on and on abut i think i have shared enough for now. Its hard to believe i lived this as i write about it. Its amazing i can even function let alone acutally lead some semblance of a normal life.

thanks darlene for this forum. Its very helpful !

Dave

35

Hello Dave –
Once again I will mention a powerful documentary called BOYS AND MEN HEALING (http://bigvoicepictures.squarespace.com for an excerpt) that is about men breaking their silence and taking their lives back from horrible childhood abuse. I am so glad you are opening up and I think you will find a flood of support from this forum, as we love to share and to provide an unconditional space to let go of pain. Darlene is such a gift, and we all have benefited greatly.

36

Fi,

Isn’t it awful the lies they taught us to believe? Belief is powerful. When we beging to believe the opposite of their lies, we find the truth. It is the truth and our belief in it that sets us free. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. I am believing with you that we can overcome all of those lies and become the people that we were intended to be.

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Hi Dave
Thank you for sharing your life here. Like the original comment from Pam that this post was based on, I can see the same progression in your life too. And it is so encouraging that you can define it yourself. That is how I broke free of my lifetime of struggle ~ was by realizing the truth about my history. Realizing that my definition of love was so wrong and so was the definition of love that I was raised with. This is very hard stuff to face but the end results were so worth it all. We are all amazing people!
I am so glad that you are here,
Hugs, Darlene

Laramar,
Thank you for sharing the link to the boys and men healing documentary.
Hugs, Darlene

38

Hi Pam, yes it is awful the lies they taught us to believe. But isn’t it wonderful when we begin to see the lies for what they were, the beginning of hope and the beginning of healing!!

39

Hi Jasmine, yes, over the last year I’ve begun to realise just how strong I am, and some amazing women of integrity have come alongside me and begun to help me to see and to value that strength.

40

Please please please anyone who is looking for comfort and solace that their journey is far from alone, please check out the links to these two powerful documentary films:
http://bigvoicepictures.squarespace.com/the-healing-years/
http://bigvoicepictures.squarespace.com
for excerpts from THE HEALING YEARS about female sexual abuse and powerful survivors, and BOYS AND MEN HEALING about male victims and their amazing, empowering stories. Just make sure you have lots of tissues nearby – you will cry a lifetimes worth of tears on this one.
Best – Laramar

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Fi!!
YES, you are an inspiration. I love your positive and hopeful attitude. I believe that hope is the most important seed that I had on this journey. I learned that one event was possibly not my fault, as I had always believed it was, and the hope that I got out of just realizing that one thing, kept me going. Each new discovery of a lie I believed spured me on and gave me more hope that I could recover. I could live a real life. I could overcome. And I kept going. That is what we are doing here. We are giving each other hope! We don’t have to do this perfectly, we don’t have to deny that there are dang tough days, but to have that hope that it can get better is HUGE!

Thank you Laramar for sharing those links !

Hugs, Darlene

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I was “born sickly” too. My sister, Ruthann, claims my mom liked it, b/c I was born with my mom’s eye problems. But I don’t remember her as liking me, and I have no idea why my sister would be jealous of such a stupid thing. Did she want to be born legally blind, unable to see different colors, just so our mom would “like” her more. It’s silly IMO, and it isn’t true.
Even if it WERE true, it would be embarrassing to be liked for that reason, but maybe I’m being too picky. I’d just like to be admired for a reason other than that I was born with her eye problems. That reason sounds self-centered.
I was taken out of the home and placed in foster care, then in institutions and orphanages. I don’t understand how everyone else was able to stay with their parents. I was also abused by the foster family but hardly any of it was physical, and they had enough money to give me food. My first family didn’t have enough for food b/c, before 1974, you were allowed to use food stamps to get beer, and he used the entire book for beer.
He’s one of the reasons they stopped letting you buy any alcoholic beverages with food stamps, but he used the Welfare Checks to get beer too, so we’d have to get clothes at the Salvation Army and food wherever we could find it. And he kicked us out of the house several times a week; he did it whenever he was drunk, which amounts to almost constantly. I don’t know where we went before Ruthann moved out of the house. I have a hard time believing he only started kicking us out AFTER she moved out.
I don’t think there was enough alcohol in the WORLD for the likes of him. And I understand what they mean when they say ‘some of us are sicker than others,’ b/c I always have an image of him when they say it. He would have used Monoply money to buy alcohol if someone had let him.
Anyway, I just wonder why I’m in such a minority in terms of being sent to foster care and then an orphanage.

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everyone,

Most of you have suffered much more than I have and I really don’t think any of you should call yourselves ‘insane’. The environment you grew up in was insane. Legally insane means that one has lost the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. That applies to the people who hurt all of us. It doesn’t apply to the people who survived that insanity no matter what coping mechinism we used to survive. It is scary to let go of coping mechanisms because we have faced true evil toe to toe. It is normal for us to want to keep ourselves safe. However, I know that the same courage that enabled us to find a way to survive can enable us to live free. I have great hope for myself and for all of you. You are warriors and if I could, I’d award you all with purple hearts.

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Vicki –
I think the reason you haven’t seen much foster care discussion is not because we are trying to be exclusionary, its just that this forum started under the auspices of Darlene, who had endured abuse from birth parents, and wanted to talk through and guide kindred spirits through this process. Consequently, she drew in lots of women who had been through similar abuse.

We welcome you to tell your story, as foster care horror stories can be as abusive as they come. We want to know what you went through and how you coped, and hopefully someone just like you will start reading your posts and begin to feel as if he or she has a voice and a community to express it in. Please share your world with us, and teach others as Darlene has taught us – how to share and be cared for in safe space. Blessings – Lara

45

Laramar, you asked, “How did you Fi and you Lynda survive all this??? I can’t imagine someone making it through this alive…”

I almost didn’t survive my childhood. I came very very close to not surviving. I was very horrible broken inside by my childhood, and remain broken in some ways, to this day, at the age of 58… although I have come a HUGE way toward being fully healed, due mainly to my unwillingness to GIVE UP!

But… in my case, how did I survive?? I’ve been thinking about your question for the past couple of hours, giving it some serious thought, and I have come up with some answers.

For one thing, I seem to have been born just naturally optimistic, full of curiosity about life, looking for the good in everything and everyone. I was, somehow, naturally a happy child, happy all by myself, with a vivid imagination, I could create castles out of blankets and build houses out of sticks. I LOVED the outdoors, and spent as much time outdoors as I possibly could, from the time I could walk. In the sunshine and fresh air, close to the green grass and the flowers and in climbing the big shady trees, I felt so at peace, and also, so close to God.

I was taught about God when I was 4. Although my super-strict fanatical parents taught me a lot of scary religious things, the big thing that HELPED me, that I got hold of at a very young age, was the idea that God LOVED ME, and that he was always with me, just a prayer away. I carried that sense of an ever-present, loving God with me in my mind and my heart as a small child, and that helped me very much, I believe. (ALthough I eventually became staunchly agnostic for several decades, thanks to a cultic-type religion that I got into as a young adult, having been primed for that by my crazy religious upbringing, even during my years of being an agnostic, I often seemed to FEEL God’s loving presence very strongly! I am now a Believer and a follower of Christ, have been since I turned 50, but I am NOT the closed-minded, fanatical, hell-fire, beat-people-over-the-head-with-a-Bible type, that my parents were.)

Something else that really helped me survive, was being born with a very high iq. I can’t exactly explain why I believe that helped, but I definitely do.

I learned to love to read at an early age, I’m talking by the end of the first grade. I always checked out as many books as the school library allowed a person to check out at one time, and I was reading constantly.

I was very maternal, again, it just seemed to come to me naturally from birth, I loved little kittens, litte puppies, and OH how I LOVED my baby dolls. I whiled away many happy hours playing Mommy to my dearly beloved dolls. Then, when I was almost 7 and my twin sisters were born, and a brother was born less than a year and a half later…. I was in 7th heaven, playing “MOMMY” with Real, Live, Baby Dolls! I truly loved being the Big Sissie, taking care of the little ones, who all looked up to me. They WERE my first children, and I adored them with all my heart.

Finally, I was uncommonly pretty.. “almost” beautiful. Not as a young child, I was rather plain when I was a girl. But when I hit the age of 13, 14, 15, and on up… I began to get a LOT of attention from a LOT of people, because of my looks. I had a Jr. High school teacher, a woman, who stopped me in the hall one day and told me that I was so beautiful, I should be a model.

The physical beauty, though, was a two-edged sword. It gave me a lot of positive attention, true. Plus I like what I saw in the mirror, and that helped my confidence out in the world. BUT.. it also gave me a lot of negative attention, as well. My dad, making no secret of the fact that he was sexually attracted to me, beginning with when I was 12. Other men, coming on to me, wanting Only One Thing… But I was so absolutely STARVED for LOVE…. and I didn’t know the difference between lust and love, no one had taught or warned me about these things. So I was used, then cast aside, and THEN he went and told all his locker room buddies at the high school that I had finally “let him do it,” only he made it out to be so much more than it was, and then.. this was mid-1960s when nice girls in our small mid-western town did not do such things, so my reputation was ruined, I was ruined…. I believed I was ruined, that is.

And then there were the jealous females, my mother being the most jealous of them all. When she married my good decent stepfather when I was 14, she wanted me out of the house immediately, she told me no house was big enough for two women, and she warned me to stay away from my stepdad, who was never anything but a gentleman with me. I was a GIRL, and very shy, and very modest, but I was beautiful, or almost beautiful, I turned heads everywhere I went, even my maternal grandmother got mad one day when I was 14 and she took me somewhere, she was mad at the way all the men’s heads swiveled toward me everywhere we went. So my mother THREW ME AWAY when I was 14, by locking me in the mental institution, when I first began to show some symptoms of having PTSD. I wasn’t ever in any way a danger to myself or to anyone else, but I was dissociating, so my mother locked me up, and now I know tht she did it to get me away from her new husband, so fearful was she that my stepdad would lust for me the way my real father had.

And over the years I have had to contend with jealous women. It is HARD to find good close women friends, when you look so much better than the average woman. Most women’s egos won’t allow them to hang around with someone who looks too beautiful ~ and I blame our sick society for that, for all the emphasis on tv and on billboards and in magazines, on “the look” for “beautiful women.” Also, with so many men out there willing to be unfaithful to their girlfriends or wives… it is disheartening. For years I was convinced that No Man was EVER 100% faithful, because so many married men kept hitting on me, the ones who didn’t, were rare. And, there were many times when a woman and I would start to become friends, go shopping together, get our kids to play together, but then her husband would come home, he would take one look at me and his jaw would drop, I would see his wife see this… and that was the LAST I ever heard from that friend.

It was a two-edged sword. Oddly, my looks really reached their peak when I was in the insane asylum, from age 14 – 16. Nurses, doctors, and other patients were forever exclaiming over how BEAUTIFUL I was. And when my own psychiatrist raped me, and was caught, and fired, and his wife left him, and his life was ruined, and he utlimately committed suicide, or so I was told…. I thought it was my fault, for being so pretty. He initially had tried to molest me when I was only under hypnosis. I pushed his hands off me. So the next time he gave me some pills to “enhance” the hypnosis. But again, when he began to touch me sexually, I pushed his hands away. So then he drugged me unconscious, the next time after that, with the drug called the Truth Serum. I was unable to fight him off, I was unconscious, but a nurse told me afterward that she heard me screaming through his locked office door, tried to get in, but he told her that I was in a critical moment in my hypnotherapy, and to go away. After he was done with me and sent me back to the ward, I collapsed, and the nurses could not find a pulse. I remember floating up above my body, looking down, seeing the nurses working on me. They somehow brought me around, and kept me walking between them for hours I think, until the drug was out of my system. They reported all this to the authorities, and 2 detectives came to the insane asylum, questioned me, looked for evidence in the doctors office, and found that he had a tape recording of his rape of me, in his desk drawer.

And then his good friend and fellow shrink, who temporarily took over the ward until the new doctor who saved my life by getting me released, was hired… this friend of my rapist psychiatrist, called me into his office, and chewed me out for “ruining the life of a wonderful man.”

And I thought it WAS my fault, for being so pretty. I did feel guilty, for being so pretty, that it “drove” my 44 year old psychiatriest to drug and rape me, his 15-year-old mental patient.

SO… that is how I survived, and also how I didn’t survive. And, after I got out of that mental institution, with zero self-confidence, a mass of emotional scars, and with no education… despite my high iq, my formal schooling ended in 9th grade when I was 14 and committed to the state hospital, I was truly a “Girl, Interuppted.” ~ so, how was I to survive, when my mother didn’t want me back home and told me so, flat out, to RUN AWAY? I married somebody. I may have been “NUTS,” but I was almost-beautiful, and there are a lot of abusive men out there who will stand in line to marry an almost-beautiful woman with zero self-esteem. So I always had someone to keep a roof over my head and food on the table.

UNTIL… an even more beautiful, and SANER, woman came along, and then, so-long Lynda.

Anyway, THAT is how I survived. People who went through my kind of childhood, who were not physically attractive, and who did not have a high iq, most probably would not have survived my childhood, in my opinion.

Thanks for your kind and deeply compassionate words, Laramar. I appreciate it so very much.

Lynda

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Fi, and Pam ~ BIG HUGS, with gratitude, for your kind and caring and insightful words.

Vicki ~ I agree completely with what Laramar said, about the likely reason why you haven’t seen much discussion about the experience of growing up in foster care, here. I hope you can bring more of that to this forum, I would like to know more about your experiences with that. I used to feel that I was unfortunate, for NOT having been placed in foster care, but after reading what you said here, I think that probably isn’t true.

Jeffery ~ I appreciate your reply to my post. Thank you for caring enough to take the time to write all of that. The caring means a lot.

I do want to say though, that your suggestion that I might be feeling guilty about the dead baby I saw when I was 8 years old… No, sorry, that feeling doesn’t fit me in any way. I felt deep shock and HORROR, but no guilt, because I had not done anything to harm that poor beautiful baby, and I had no means to help her. My mother told my dad to drive away, and my dad drove away. I was a helpless passenger, an 8 year old child. I begged my parents to go back and direct that woman to the hospital, which was way on the other side of town. When my mother insisted that it was “TOO LATE” to save the dead baby, then I, 8 year old Lynda, asked my parents, LOUDLY, “BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER CHILDREN?” They had the power to do something about those other children; I did not. I do not feel guilty. On the contrary, I feel PROUD of the 8-year-old I was, who dared to SPEAK UP about the HORRIBLE WRONG that my parents’ inaction was perpetuating.

I also feel Shock, and Horror, and RAGE, that my “F-ing parents,” did nothing to help those defenseless children. And then, shortly after all that happened, when I came home from school and found first one, and then the other, of my 2-year-old twin sisters od’d on aspirin… I felt freaking CONFUSED and TERRIFIED. I suspected my mother was doing it to them on purpose, or at least leaving the orange-flavored aspirin in their reach on purpose,,, this was in the days before child-safety caps. I was CONFUSED and TERRIFIED when not even my dad would take my od’d sisters to the doctor. But, I did what I could, I prayed my heart out for their healing, and they both lived, and even the one who was deaf from the oto-toxicity of the aspirin, eventually regained her hearing, and to my 8-year-old mind, MY PRAYERS had saved them. So, GUILTY? No way, Jeffery, sorry.

Maybe you thought of guilt because the men in our society are supposed to “save the day?” I’m just guessing here, I really have no idea. But I do want to say, I am so deeply sorry for the utter HELL of your childhood. I cannot read your horror story, my imagination is too vivid. Sorry.

Lynda

47

Oops… in my comment to Laramar, regarding how I survived my insane childhood… I said that my looks reached their peak when I was 14 – 16, but that is not what I meant… I meant to say that my previously, somewhat plain-jane, little-girl looks, BLOSSOMED when I was 14 – 16 in the mental institution… they didn’t “peak” for a good many years afterward.

Although I thought that my good looks was what led to me being raped, which made my looks, in that case, a liability… my uncommonly good looks, PLUS my very high iq, are, I believe, the two main reasons that I was “noticed,” in that ward crammed full of wall to wall women, by the new psychiatrist who eventually effected my release from that institution. Again, this was in the 1960s, when, as my first doctor told me (not the rapist), 97% of the patients committed to that institution were NEVER PERMANENTLY RELEASED. This horrible fact was born out, when I asked the other patients on my ward how long they had been there, and the shortest answer I got was 8 years!

During my almost-2 years in that insane asylum, I can only recall two other patients being released. But, several of my fellow patients died. So, I expected that I would also die there. My life was over at age 14, I believed. HOWEVER, because of my uncommon good looks, and my very high iq, which was tested while I was there, I was “noticed” by the new psychiatrist, who went to bat for me to be released.

~That’s how I survived, when so many others, didn’t.

And YES, Jeffery, I do battle with Survivor’s Guilt.

Lynda

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PS~ So I just asked myself, WHY do I feel survivor’s guilt about getting set free from the mental insitution, but NOT about the dead baby?

Because I know in my deepest heart that I did everything that my 8-year-old self could possibly do to try to save that poor baby, and the other children.

But I never did one single thing to try to save anyone else from the mental institution. When I was released from that horrible place in December of 1969, at the age of 16, I took my freedom and RAN. I never wanted to try to go back and help anybody, I just wanted to stay as far away from that horrible place as I could get.

A few years ago, when I researched that institution, State Hospital Number 3, in Nevada, Missouri, I was shocked to discover that that HUGE building… the biggest building in the state of Missouri at the time it was built… had been closed in the 1990s, and torn down.

That was when my survivors guilt really kicked in. WHERE did everybody GO? That place was packed wall to wall with patients, the many of whom would not be capable of surviving on their own.

Lynda

49

I was abused worse and more by the birth parents-BOTH of them, contrary to popular belief in my biological family (they think HE’S the only one who did it)-that’s why I was taken out of the house.
David went first. Then Kathy and me, then Paul and Martha.
It was embarrassing when a police officer came out to the house. That’s the feeling I remember most. And they told me I’m not going to talk, so I didn’t. I just stood there feeling embarrassed, but I didn’t say a word.

50

I just remembered something else I’m grateful for; nobody has told me my abuse was less serious on account of leaving the home. People used to tell me that all the time. They’d say I was “better off” for being an orphan.
I never FELT better off. I’m just glad they haven’t said things like that here.

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Vicki –
I’m glad you had that understanding that abuse is not relative – it is severely damaging no matter what the circumstances, and no better or worse when those circumstances change. At least I think that is what you are saying – please don’t let me put words in your mouth.

Abuse is abuse until it stops – plain and simple. And one of the things that keeps me going is hearing all the powerful stories of survivors who decide not to wait for the magic wand or the repentant abuser, and decide to stop it themselves. And one of the biggest ways we seem to end it is by telling our stories without censorship or fear or shame getting in the way, and insisting that our stories have validity outside our sick familial environments.

Damaged childhoods to the contrary, we have all decided to speak our truths and step up to the intense, difficult plate of our healing. I feel like we are all hitting home runs in ways that are difficult to measure, but life-changing none-the-less.

And when people like you Vicki, or you Pam, or you Lynda, or you Fi, or you David, or you Jeffery, or you Jasmine, or you Ultralite, or you Louise, or most especially you Darlene, and you Patricia, have the courage to tell me your stories so openly, I feel as if I am in sacred space and I must be ok because I am worthy of your trust. The whole process is exponentially more beneficial because A) I am not alone, B) I am trusted and therefore more trusting, and C) I learn ways to cope and to measure my recovery against the experiences of true Wounded Warriors. I feel very blessed.

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Lynda –
I feel like you are tapping into an important secondary story I have seen in a great number of abuse survivors – physical attractiveness. Many survivors I have known have been extremely beautiful in their childhoods, and so the guilt was even more powerful because it was something you not only couldn’t really control (ie. external appearance), but it was also confusingly the only way you got an approximation of the kind of healthy love you deserved as a child.

Unfortunately, because it was twisted into a deviant adult sexual fetish, it became this horrible burden where you needed it for attention, but you hated it for the type of attention it attracted. (My good friend Myles finally retreated into severe, life threatening obesity which she has battled ever since, and the pictures of her as a child are almost heartbreakingly beautiful.)

My father used to make me stand up in the living room when his strange, creepy guests came over, and sing “I am a pretty little Dutch Girl” and my mother made sure I was dressed up very doll-like, and it felt like I was being paraded naked on the street at midday. I couldn’t wait to be done, but at the same time, I craved the attention that I as a young child actually deserved.

Ultimately, I was lucky to have some dance teachers who gave me respect for my ability rather than my looks, so I was able to have a refuge of sorts when that creepy male radar singled me out, and that is what gave me a doorway into the notion there was more to the world than creepy predators who were just waiting till my mother looked away. But there is still that very real aspect to the pedophile’s logic (my father, my brother, my neighbor) of “Its her fault – look how pretty she is, how could I resist?”

I’m sorry Lynda that you had to be trapped in your beauty rather than celebrating it, and I honor how much work you have done to repair that damage. People think kids who are good-looking are lucky – but too many times it makes them even more of a target to pedophiles. Jon Benet I strongly and tragically feel was a classic version of that.

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How simply overwhelming these responses have been, Darlene. As Lynda said earlier, I wish I could give all of you a hug. Thank you for sharing. . . my heart aches for all our hurts. . . and I am so grateful for all the sharing. Your strength and courage — and continued resilience moves me deeply.

Dave, you said a lot that rang true in my life. Yet, as I am trying to find the truth in the lies, with my mother’s dying confession of the abuse she suffered as a child . . . the truth in the lies is harder to fathom. Many of her truths were based on her own lies . . . her distancing herself from my dad, my brother and I — her bizarre relationship with my youngest brother — trying to find truth and bedrock upon which to build a new foundation for my life is really hard. A bulldozer? Dynamite? The pick-up-sticks attempts I used for almost 50 years haven’t helped. I’m hoping my new therapist has wrecking balls of steel (titanium? kyptonite?)

And then. . . there is the trust issue there. My life has been built on lies. . . I honestly don’t know who the real person is in here. . .there have been inklings. There have been a couple of times when life seemed to be working. . . And I’m so tired of trying to do it all alone — That may be the biggest lie of all in my life — that if it’s going to be done, and done right — I have to do it myself.

TRIGGER–TRIGGER

Finally, can I share one painful memory with you all? Looking back at pictures (and I got rid of most of those I had from growing up). At about 5, the picture I have is of just a lovely, beautiful little girl — and then the abuse started. I started acting out and performing bizarre rituals. I had such night terrors. Mom started calling me Sarah Bernhardt — She felt I was dramatizing everything. I refused to wear dresses. I was beaten until I complied. I’m overwhelmed at the extremes I went to protect myself (my dad was a cop — he worked all sorts of shifts, and multiple jobs,and was never home; I was at my mom’s mercy; and he wasn’t around to protect me). Long story short, my abuser had a fondness for oral sex. And long about eight years of age, I had finally lost my baby teeth. When my permanent teeth came in, I was a dental disaster. I had just a tremendous overbite (buck teeth, horseface — the kids at school were so cruel). No more cute little 5-year-old. Finally, the folks opted for orthodontia (if they hadn’t, I would have killed myself…I felt so horribly ugly). Back in the 1950s, orthodontia cost a fortune and the hardware was silver. I had oral surgery — I felt violated by the dentists, the x-ray techs — I wore dental appliances for almost 10 years. I remain traumatized by dentists to this day. Never once did anyone ever ask or inquire as to the source of my dental anxiety. I was horrified to cost my parents so much. Even more so, I was so ashamed that people would know the cause of my terrible teeth — that they would guess what I had been doing. Even now, just brushing my teeth can be an ordeal.

Any my mom — she resented every dollar spent (paid at $25 a month until I graduated from high school). I think some of my financial issues arise from my screwed up ideas of money management she endowed me. I am grateful for the final orthodontic result. . . but oral issues continue to confound me 50 years later.

Thank you for allowing me to share. I’m hoping I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew here. . . God bless you all!!! You rock my world!

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Thank you , Laramar, for this:

And when people like you Vicki, or you Pam, or you Lynda, or you Fi, or you David, or you Jeffery, or you Jasmine, or you Ultralite, or you Louise, or most especially you Darlene, and you Patricia, have the courage to tell me your stories so openly, I feel as if I am in sacred space and I must be ok because I am worthy of your trust. The whole process is exponentially more beneficial because A) I am not alone, B) I am trusted and therefore more trusting, and C) I learn ways to cope and to measure my recovery against the experiences of true Wounded Warriors. I feel very blessed.

I am indeed grateful for your company. This does indeed feel like sacred space.

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I wouldn’t say I’m physically attractive in any way shape or form but I have got a very high IQ. I’m very bright and don’t miss anything. Also, inside me a have a child part who is very very good at surviving. She is immensely strong and has never let me down. She is why I am still alive. Sometimes my hold on life is very slender indeed. She is the one who made that decision 25 years to not die in that heap in the snow but to live and she’s carried on decided to live ever since.

Many people have said to me “oh your childhood can’t have been that bad” or “everyone has a mix of good and bad, pull on the good parts of your childhood and try and forget the bad parts”.

The truth is I had no good parts during my childhood. My entire childhood was horrific and filled with abuse from the very beginning. I have no nice memories to pull on. I wish I had but I don’t. I didn’t have a mix of good and bad, I just bad, dark, frightening, horrible, worse, horrific, terrifying, life-threatening, indescribable torture.

But inside I am made of very strong stuff. There are many times I’ve wished I could shut off the survivor in me but other times I’m glad she’s there. Without her I wouldn’t still be here.

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Hi everyone!
Please excuse me from commenting very much on this thread. I am having trouble keeping up with the comments. I have had 250 comments over many blog posts in the last 7 days!
About survival ~ I think we are born with the will to live. I just think that there is something in most people that drives us to keep trying. I think that is why we have all these coping methods, dissociation, depression all of it including the way that our belief system develops full of false beliefs, all in order to survive.

Just a note to Jeffery ~ You wrote ~ “Yeah, that thing with your mom and the dead (or dying) baby. You still feel guilt over this thing? (we are thinking you do.) Get over it – however it’s done for you. You know you gotta do this thing. Not being cruel, being kind – and kinda cruel doing it. (okay, I’m seeing God’s hand in my life again; making us who we are. Sometimes a ‘cruel’ hand, molding that clay of our mind.) But (((hon))) we mean no cruelty. It’s just something you’re gonna have to deal with. We can’t take you down your own path. That’s something you have to do – and you know that thing. Hard hard as it is (okay, crying for you hon.”

I missed it ~ I am sorry for that Lynda. Jeffery ~ I won’t publish comments like that in the future. PLEASE do not offer advice or assessment of each other on this blog. It is very dangerous and not helpful. I have asked you before to stick to YOUR stories. The success of this blog has been due to sharing mostly in the first person. That is what creates the safe feelings that people have here. Suggesting things like “maybe you feel guilty about” type statements and then saying things like “get over it” are distracting, mean and dangerous and really don’t help. If you have a story that YOU feel guilty about, please feel free to share that, but don’t make judgements about others feelings or tell people what to do about it.

Thanks Everyone.. I am going to read the rest of the comments now.
Hugs, Darlene

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Fi –

It is your high IQ that is why you are here. That may seem like a curse, but there was a great passage in the book When Rabbit Howls (Truddi Chase, 99 person multiple), where she tries to come to terms with the idea of killing her abuser for the sake of integrating her many frightened child personalities. An incomprehensibly wiser part of her that she describes as beyond time and space, and Irishman named Ean, persuades her that the battle will always be fought on many fronts and through many methods, and that it is ok to be many personalities, for “what value i’ we all go down with the enemy?”

In other words, your guardian child who is incomprehensibly wiser and more powerful than you think you are, is here to show you that there are strengths and wisdoms that are beyond most people’s realities, but that someone like you will have had to confront and accept and be protected by, and that your ultimate soul is beyond time and space.

You have had the treasure and burden of being able to see that in this lifetime, and not on your deathbed for two seconds before you die. Just because REALITY doesn’t allow for this knowledge doesn’t mean you are somehow lacking, and we on this forum thank you for sharing that guardian child survivor greatness. It is a beautiful and honorable gift to be exposed to.

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Darlene –
I want to apologize if I have been commenting on other posts too much Darlene – I just am so overwhelmed with the strength and courage of others and so wanting to show how much that means to me in my journey. I will be more first person in the future.

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Hi Laramar,

Please don’t ever think that you are commenting “too much” ~ I love the support and caring that is happening in here. A real community is emerging and it is awesome. I just want to caution the advice and assessment stuff because it really muddies the waters so to speak. It weakens the message here too.

I am thrilled with the action and interaction and the healing that is taking place in here! Don’t let my caution comments get in the way of that!
Hugs, Darlene

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Ultralite, thank you. I share my healing experiences today because I have been in that hurting place of feeling all alone and not knowing what direction to go in for help or strength. This is a safe place where we have each found that we can trust ourselves and ours to be able to share our stories. They aren’t just stories of abuse and pain. They are also stories of healing and strength and overcoming.

Laramar, I agree with Darlene that those of us who survive, and not everyone does, have this something, maybe strength or just an unwillingness to let go, that helps us to survive the child abuse. That same something that helps us to survive often sends us looking for some way to heal, to find ways to let go of the pain and lies of our abuse. I believe that we all have it. Some of us just have to look a little deeper to find it.

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Fi, my daughter recently asked me to write down good things that I remember from my childhood that she can share and pass on to her children. She knows about the incest and all of my struggles with healing from incest and being an adult child of an alcoholic. She was one of my first subcribers for my blog. She reads all of what I write there and we sometimes have some private email conversations about it.

I see most of my childhood as bad also. I do have happy memories from time spent with my maternal grandmother from age 2-7. I also have good memories from school. I loved school and got good grades. Most of my teachers liked me. I was even the teacher’s pet a couple of times. I remember wishing that my second grade teacher was my mother. I loved her.

I was blessed with wonderful friends at school too even though I wasn’t allowed to do any after school activities by my dad. The love and approval of my grandmother, my teachers and my friends is what gave me the strength to survive.

Keeping the secret and being afraid that others would find out about the incest also kept me under a tremendous amount of pressure which would present itself as one or two migraines a year starting about the age of 11 which is also when my memories of the incest started.

I do have good childhood memories. The sad thing is that most of them are when I was away from my family.

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Pam – I applaud you for your courage and am praying for you on your healing journey. I’ve not even read the other comments because I had to say this first: when I read your post, Darlene, I wasn’t sure if it was Pam’s story, yours or mine that was being spoken of.

The tapestry that is our healing has so many common threads and yet it is our diversity as healing people that brings those common threads together in such a painfully wrought yet vibrant tapestry. I’m honoured to be one of the threads with you all.

Bright blessings,
Shanyn

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Laramar, it is you that I should have said thank you to above. I misread Ultralite’s comment. I thank all of you for being here and being willing to trust and willing to tell your stories. Even when the circumstances of abuse may be different, the feelings of the survivors are almost always the same. I feel the same hurt, the same pain, the same anger or rage and I cry the same tears just like everyone else here who is still struggling with coming out of the deep hole of sadness that child abuse leaves us in. Having each of you here helps me too. I thank you all.

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Shanyn,

Thank you. I covet prayers. I need all that I can get!:0)

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Hi Patricia, it is good to read of your good childhood memories and I’m pleased you have those. Were you trying to suggest to me that I may have some happy memories tucked away somewhere?

The truth is I don’t.

I’ve searched through my entire childhood because of various things people have suggested that to me, but the more information I found out the blacker things got for me.

The incest went through my entire family. I have no nice grandparent moments to recall because my paternal grandparents were paedophiles who ran a paedophile ring in their house as well as their sexual abuse of me and my brother and their normalising a sexual relationship between me and my brother. There were no maternal grandparents because my mother is totally estranged from her family and there were no relatives on her side of the family. My mother ensured that history repeated itself in fine detail of her abuse of me. She replicated in precise detail her own abuse in her abuse of me, even down to age related abuses.

At school I was not away from abuse either because my mother was a teacher. My mother ensured she taught at the same school I went to until I went to big school at age 11. I tried to stay under the radar at school because everything I did wrong I got punished for 3 times over – once by my teacher, second by my mother when she heard of it, third by my father when he got home from work at night. I was as frightened and alone at school as I was at home. I was a loner throughout school, didn’t have friends and didn’t mix. My main junior school was a joint Catholic and Anglican school run by nuns who hit out at the slightest thing. I saw religion being used a lot as a reason or excuse to verbally abuse and physically beat and lash out.
Once at big school I was kicked out of lessons a lot because I was very disruptive and I bunked off school a lot walking the streets alone. I did very poorly at school because of how chaotic my life was. Teachers responded to my chaos my kicking me out of their classes. I was a misfit at home and at school.

My grandparents sexually abused me from being a tiny baby. My first vivid memory is at 3, I have hazy memories of before then. My grandparents normalised a sexual relationship with my brother from age 4. They used me and my brother as fodder for their paedophile friends.

My mother physically and verbally abused me from birth. My entire childhood was spent being thrown across rooms, being accused all the time, there was no safety for my anywhere.

My father does not figure in my life until age 8, I have few memories of him before then. At 8 he began sexually abusing me. My only memories of him before that time are of my father and my godfather sexually abusing my godfather’s daughter and me together. My godfather sexually abused me while my father sexually abused his daughter.
At the age of 10/11 my godfather dropped dead from a massive heart attack and my grandfather had his 1st heart attack. I don’t know what happened but there was a family split and I was told never to speak outside the family of what went on in the family. Not that I did anyway, their threats already ensured my silence. I was never to see my grandparents alive again nor did I see my godmother over 20 years.

It became just my parents, my brother and me then.

The incest between me and my brother got more and more serious. The abuse from my parents turned into physical and sexual torture, masterminded by my mother with my father and often my brother too carrying out her orders. Torture to the point of they are going to kill me and then stepping back from the edge, taking me to that place over and over but never quite killing me. They kept me alive for their sadistic pleasure and their sadistic pleasure alone.

It was 3 weeks before my 20th birthday that one day I managed to find somewhere else to live and was surreptitiously moving my stuff out. My parents discovered and there was no way that they were going to let me go. That night the beating which occurred was utterly horrific. I really thought someone was going to die that night. I was left for dead in the snow and disowned by them.

There are no redeeming features in my childhood. No understanding switched on teachers, no loving grandparents, aunts or uncles, no girlfriends, no boyfriends, no pets, no family holidays. Even people at church knew I was being hit at home but didn’t realise the true extent of it and did nothing about what they knew. It was a different society back then. There was just me, the loner, surviving scared silent, longing for someone to see past my fixed smile and see the pain in my eyes. There was just abuse piled on top of abuse.

Most people do not believe that possible. Everyone says “oh there must have been something good about your childhood”. No there wasn’t. My entire childhood was about being used and manipulated and controlled to meet the wants and needs of all those around me.

That is the truth about my childhood. The truth of the first 20 years of my life.

I do not know how I survived, I really don’t, I just know that I’m immensely strong, very intelligent, extremely resilient and very determined.

I had no good times as a child. I have no happy or fond memories, just memories filled with loneliness, hurt and terror and living in a hate-filled atmosphere.

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My mother just wasn’t interested. All she wanted from me was that I leave her alone, that I didn’t burden her. She fed me and clothed me, but emotionally she abandoned me completely.

She never encouraged me in a positive way, it was as if she thought i should have been born with a full set of skills and was always bemused or exasperated if I required guidance or comforting.

I was just a nuisance. She never held me or hugged me. That is what has really made me feel as if there was something wrong with me – what she didn’t do.

My story is no where near as bad as some of those written above, (and my heart goes out to Pam and the other brave souls who have shared their stories here) but I can relate to the underlying feeling of being a persona non grata. A nobody who is unwelcome in their own family, but with nowhere else to go. As children we are dependant on the monsters who abuse us and it is a feeling that I still remember: a cold anxiety that made me feel physically ill to my core. Kind of like a trapped animal, but it’s an invisible, psychological trap that somehow made it much more scary.

No child should have to feel like that.

Fi Macleod, your post resonates deeply with me. I feel as though I have been carrying this burden alone and now I have found this community full of wonderful people who, like you point out, could be telling my own story. I find this so immensely comforting. As Ultralite says, this website feels like a sacred space.

I know that we cannot get validation from outside, but reading the stories of people here on this website – their commonality and understanding – it makes me feel as though I finally have permission to validate myself. My feelings are REAL. My problems are REAL. I’m not crazy, I’m just surviving something deeply traumatic.

Thank you.

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Hi Carolyn

I’m so glad something in my post resonated for you, thanks for telling me. It was very hard for me to write that comment.

Yes your feelings are real. Your memories are real. Your problems are real. As I saw posted elsewhere “you’re having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.” I can’t remember who authored that quote but it helps me enormously.

And yes you’re not alone. This is a growing supportive community and I know I find it very comforting, reassuring and helpful that I’m not alone anymore after a life of feeling like a total misfit.

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Fi –
Your story is intense for me personally because my late husband had very similar stories to tell when his flashbacks would surface. He too was very lonely in his life because the incest seemed almost ritualized, and involved grandmother, brother, father, mother, and some of the neighbor kids and families. There was simply no-one to tell as it involved so many people, and they all kept the silence through violence and death threats to keep from being found out. He too was kept from having outside friendships, lest he try to tell anyone.

We worked hard over the years to try to put all his memories in chronological order, and it was very difficult. You must have done immense work to have spelled out your abuse with such courage and clarity – I shudder to think of how hard it must have been to unearth all that, and the time that it took and the hideous flashbacks.

A lot of my husband’s memories seemed to have to do with being drugged or knocked out first, and then waking into some sick, horrible sex/abuse scenario, from as far back as he could remember. And no-one to talk to, because the entire family were the perpetrators and no-one from the outside would have believed the things they were doing, so he knew from a very young age that it would be impossible to tell.

I wasn’t able to ever get to a place of clear understanding of how and why the family had such a generational, almost militarized acceptance and involvement in the abuse – mostly because I was terrified of them and never let him visit or make contact with them again once I understood the extent of their crimes.

The irony was that my sick family, unable to face their own problems, did in fact support us in this, and never let his family call or get through to him in any way whatsoever – which was lucky, because they could have ratted him out at any point, and I can’t bear to think of what those evil souls might have done, knowing where he was and what we knew. Although at one point early on his mother got through and demanded that he come home or his Uncle Happy, the Green Beret, would come out and GET him. My brother got on the phone and said fine, I’ve got guns too, bring it on, and we stopped getting calls to that number.

Like you Fi, my husband survived for no reason he ever understood – no-one stepped in to provide support or guidance, and the only thing that made his life tolerable was music, so he was a very great guitarist and drummer. Maybe that was enough, I don’t know. I do know he never thought he would live past his thirties, and I was at least able to see him almost to 52 before cancer took him away from the nightmare that wouldn’t end that was his life. I miss him terribly, but I also feel that he is finally at peace in a way that was never possible while he was alive, so I draw comfort from that.

As much of a lonesome warrior as my husband was, it seems to me that so are you Fi, and my experience with him has taught me some small amount of understanding of what you must go through daily. I honor your strength, your will to live, and your intelligent and intensely personal journey which I am glad to be able to hear about in this forum. Please continue to feel that it is safe here – we care about you very much. You are no longer alone.

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Fi, no, I would never want to invalidate what you feel or what you remember. I just got into my own memories looking to see if I indeed did have any good memories. My good memories have nothing to do with my parents. My good memories are from time spent away from home with people not in my immediate family. I never felt like I fit in with my family or origin. Everyone always told me I was different and that is how I always felt.

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Fi,I am sorry if I caused you any hurt by seeming to disregard what you said earlier about having no good memories. I believe you when you say you have no good memories. I know from my own family that incest and alcoholism and vilence can be ingrained in a family and passed from generation to generation until someone like you and like me takes a stand and says, “No more. I will not pass this abuse on to the next generations.” Thank you for what you share of your feelings and your memories. What each of us shares here helps others to reach out, to share their own stories and their own healing.

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“She never encouraged me in a positive way, it was as if she thought i should have been born with a full set of skills and was always bemused or exasperated if I required guidance or comforting.”

I’ve been there.

“…the only thing that made his life tolerable was music…”
THANK you for sharing this!!

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My gosh, the pain that is coming out in these shares is both difficult and healing at the same time! Thank you so much everyone for sharing this way!

Hi Carolyn
~ It isn’t that we can’t get validation from outside, it is that unless we validate ourselves we can’t accept validation from outside ourselves. I get validated everyday in this blog, by the comments, compliments and shares. By the understanding and by the similar stories. When I first began my healing it was because someone made me realize the same thing you said; that I wasn’t crazy, my problems were real, not caused by me, it was like walking into sunshine for the first time! It was the validation that I needed to get started! So yes, we can validate each other, and it really makes a difference!
So glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene

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These comments are all so intense and deep and painful and healing and horrifying and validating… I am very deeply, very profoundly, moved. I love you ALL, so much! For 50+ years I thought I was the Only One.

Darlene, thank you for addressing the comment that was directed to me. I am usually very appreciative when others see fit to speak directly to me after I have left a heartfelt comment, I think that respectful, caring, insightful feedback is a big part of what makes this forum so healing… we aren’t just telling our stories into a lonely dark vacumn, we are being HEARD, and responded to, and that is so wonderful! (And of course you can’t keep up and answer ALL of these exponentially-increasing comments, Right Away, and In-Depth… you are only one person! Even Christ had to get away from the pressing, needy throng… and NO I am NOT comparing you to a Messiah, I hope you know what I mean, LOL! But I think it is awesome that you are by no means ALONE here, you are not the only one reaching out and responding to all these posts, there are others sharing that burden, as even I try to do, when I can.)

But I did not feel good about the way Jeffery spoke to me in his assessment, and directed advice based on his (wrong) assessment, of my feelings about the dead baby. In fact, when I read his response to me, it felt invalidating, and it made me feel very uncomfortable. So much so, that when I first read his comment, I decided that this wasn’t a safe place for me after all, and I went and immediately deleted all my subscriptions here to your blog, Darlene!! I had 50 subscriptions to your many great posts, and I deleted them ALL, because of how uncomfortable I felt after reading Jeffery’s words to me!

But then, after a couple of hours of thinking about it, I reminded myself that I AM grown up and I CAN set my own healthy boundaries without having to drop off of here completely… and this blog of yours is mostly so very healthy and healing for me! I reminded myself that I can just not read certain comments if I don’t care for their tone.

That was when I came back and posted my comment about how I survived my childhood, and I also told Jeffery in what I hoped was a respectful way, that his assessment of me was incorrect… although I did add that I appreciated his taking the time to write such a long reply to me, which is also true, even if I didn’t care at all for that one paragraph of his that you pointed out, Darlene!

We need to respect each person’s integrity and boundaries here, while also continuing to reach out and affirm and validate and encourage each other…. sometimes that can be a fine balancing act.

Lynda

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To Fi, and EVERYONE here who has shared so deeply and bravely about the horrible traumas you have endured:

I recently sent a private email to a young woman who had honored me greatly by trusting me with some of the horrific details of her childhood and family of origin. After removing all identifying details, I am re-posting my reply to her here, because I really think it FITS. I call this:

“HAS YOUR LIFE BEEN A 100-CAR-PILEUP?”

After reading your messages… in my heart I am giving you a big loving hug. You have been through SO MUCH. Your horrible sad sick family… it all sounds very like mine, in many ways… it could be a horror-drama series on TV… whew.

Sadness, sickness, violence, abuse, the horrors pile one on top of another. What comes to my mind is that your life, like mine, has been the equivalent of a 100-car-pileup that you hear about in the news sometimes. One happened when I lived in England in 1976, on the M-1 “Dual Carriageway,”, a huge pile-up of vehicles in thick fog, on black ice. How do 50 or 100 vehicles manage to have an accident all at once? It’s too easy, really…. one accident leads to the next accident, which leads to the next and the next, SLAM-SLAM-SLAM, with scarcely time for a breath between. THIS was your family, your childhood, your life, and, it was also my family, my childhood, my life.

I have found that most normal people, from normal families, would never believe our true horror stories. That has been my reality. If I tell too many of my true horror stories, “normal people” may believe me to a point, but then, they get this LOOK, this ATTITUDE, like I have told one horror story too many, and now they have decided that Lynda is a Liar, or else horribly crazy to imagine that I’ve lived through such horrible experiences, because THAT MANY HORRIBLE THINGS CANNOT HAPPEN IN JUST ONE PERSON’S LIFE AND FAMILY.

While it is TRUE that most people do not experience 1/100 the amount of horrors in their lives, as have people with families like ours…. it is also true that most people do not experience 100 terrible automobile accidents in their lifetime, either. But that doesn’t mean it can’t ever happen, to some UNLUCKY FEW. Most people experience just one or two or three automobile accidents in their lives, if that many, and most people experience just one or two or three really traumatic events in their lives, if that many… so, when you start telling these “normal” people from “normal” families about your “100-car-pile-up,” they CANNOT believe you! You are “dramatic,” you are “trying to get attention,” you are “lying,” you are “exaggerating,” you are “delusional,” you are “crazy.”

I have had licensed psychiatrists hear my true life story, and write it all off as fantasy. I have had them also tell me, in so many words, that since *I* was the common denominator in ALL THOSE TRAUMAS, that *I* must have somehow caused the abuse, provoked the abuse, WANTED the abuse. That was SO NOT TRUE…but these highly educated men, and a few women, living their safe and privileged lives, in their safe, sheltered little worlds could not understand the BLISTERING REALITY of my life! And thus, these people I went to looking for HELP from my traumas, only traumatized me MORE!

What these disbelieving people need to think about is: WHAT HAPPENS when you have a very crazy, very abusive, very narcissistic or sociopathic parent? A parent like that, isn’t going to do just ONE or TWO sick crazy abusive traumatic things to you… that person is going to do, and say, MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY crazy abusive traumatic discounting unloving hateful things to you and to your siblings as you are growing up.

FUTHERMORE, a parent that sick, that crazy, that abusive and narcissistic, is not going to be able to attract, and keep, a NORMAL HEALTHY LOVING SPOUSE. So, chances are that if you have a parent who is that terrible… you will have at least TWO parents who are that terrible… plus, because their sick relationship most likely will not last, you will quite often grow up with a series of sick, crazy, abusive partners, boyfriends or girlfriends, or husbands or wives, of your sick crazy abusive parent(s)….

…and from that string of sick crazy abusive people, more and more traumas and abuses will occur. THEN, as your siblings become damaged psychologically and in some cases physically from all the abuse and trauma, they will, in many cases, be perpetuating their own abuse and trauma against you, as will the sick boyfriends or girlfriends, or husbands or wives, that your sick siblings attract into the family… along with all their sick abusive friends… and, on and on it goes!! BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER~

No human child can grow up in this extreme CRAZINESS, without having some of it rub off on you… if you live in a garbage dump, chances are that your own clothes will smell bad, too. So when you leave your crazy abusive unloving family and go out into the world, you are likely to find that the “good” people from the “normal” families are not attracted to you… or, if they are, their parents, fearing the bad influence of the crazy family down the street, refuse to let their “normal and nice” children hang out with you.

What “normal” people from “normal” families and “normal” lives do not, and cannot, fully understand, is that when you are born to a parent, or more likely to a set of parents, who are very badly F’D UP, then your whole life is going to be a series of traumas, with one trauma leading to the next trauma, and so on and on. It is exactly like how a 100 car-pile-up happens, when the conditions are just right for it, in thick fog, on black ice, in heavy traffic moving at high speeds. One crash causes the next crash which causes the next crash, it is a chain-reaction of crashes.

YES, I believe the horror stories here, without a shred of doubt. I believe them, because they sound so much like MY life story, and I understand, from my own, HARD, personal experience, how these things lead one to the other to the other to the other….

Lynda

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I have put off reading this until tonight. It is too painful for me to think about my mother dear. I usually just call her MD. Because I hate to say the words. MD was NEVER, I repeat, NEVER there for me. All my life I could never do anything right. As hard as we tried to please her, nothing we did was ever good enough. She was abusive to my brother and me. He was 12 years older and was abusive to me. She also would tell people until she died, that I was the UGLIEST baby she ever saw. She was twisted. She was probably d.i.d. too. Life was utter chaos. To this day I have an attachment disorder that I am still trying to overcome.
She is dead and I feel nothing. I do not grieve, not for her, not for anyone. I know that must seem cold. But, for me death is what I have wanted for a long time.
I don’t think I can continue to comment. I am sorry if I offended anyone.

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Nico, when we share our own stories, no one should be offended by our truths. What I feel when I read any of these stories is compassion for the person that the story belongs to. If I feel angry or offended, it because of the horrific things that some parents do to their innocent children.

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Patricia, thank you. I do not understand how some parents can treat their children so horribly. When I finally realized what was happening to me was wrong and not normal…it was a shock, to say the least. That was not until I was in high school. All the lies they told me, my whole life was a lie. I had all these false beliefs instilled in me since I was a child. I was afraid to talk. I was always in fear…fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. I blamed myself for everything that happened to me. I thought I had asked for it. They used God against me. They would threaten me. It is still painful when I think about it all. I hope and I ask that one day the pain will go away; the triggers will go away. It seems to be taking too long for me to heal. I know we should not put a time limit on things. But I have been doing this for 22 years and I am truly weary. I am with a new therapist after 20 years. Maybe she can help me find my way back to life.

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Nico –
As someone who has experienced tremendous support and healing from Darlene and Patricia and this forum, I believe you are in the right place at the right time, and we welcome your stories and share your pain. Blessings

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Lynda –

Such a healthy response and realization about how to handle your immediate reaction to Jeffery’s post. You came from such a power place when you made the decision to stay with us and choose as an adult what to read and not to read and how to make your feelings heard. I’m glad you are still here – your posts are so intense and very insightful. Thanks

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Fi –
I hope my last post didn’t chase you away, but in the interests of trying to understand my late husband’s life better – how is it, given your shared histories, and the extent and duration of the abuse, that you didn’t fracture into DID/MPD? Have you ever wondered that?

He was beaten and tortured from a very young age in a way that in my years of research I have only heard about being done by CIA interrogators during the 60’s who were trying to induce MPD for mind control purposes. I’m not saying you were any part of that, but your abuse was so extensive and rote that many people would have fractured at this point, Jeffery being a good example. Yet you seem very whole, as did he – how is that?
(Please answer only if you feel comfortable, I will understand if you don’t)

81

Lynda – ALWAYS LOVE your responses here. So on point!

“since *I* was the common denominator in ALL THOSE TRAUMAS, that *I* must have somehow caused the abuse, provoked the abuse, WANTED the abuse”

I had a few counselors tell me this SAME THING and it made my PTSD worse and my triggered behaviors ‘crazier’ – until my last therapist pointed out to me that CHILDREN OF PERSONALITY DISORDERED PARENTS are magnets for these people because they are like ‘pre-tenderized meat’ to these predators.

Support? My mother SUPPORTING me? Well she did buy me clothes & food and considered THAT support. But I distinctly remember a conversation a few years prior to her death about MY children where she said:

NMOM: “you have to PUSH your children in the direction YOU want them to go.”

MY RESPONSE: “really ma? I see how well that worked out for YOU.”

She raged and I just laughed and left. She also told me:

NMOM: “make sure when they grow up your children know how much THEY OWE YOU.”

MY RESPONSE: “they owe NOTHING. I brought them here and I owe them everything. If I want their love and respect then I have to unconditionally give them mine.”

More raging… you get the picture. That was her great parenting advice for me. Can someone dig up Dr. Spock so I can kick his ***? lol

82

Dear Nico,
My heart goes out to you, I understand your pain. I am glad that you are going to see a new therapist about this and I hope he or she can shed some light on how you can take your life back. I searched for freedom and truth for a very long time too, and when I finally found it I was finally free and alive. Please feel free to share anything here without worry ~ nothing you said was offensive.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Barbara,
It’s true, children of these kinds of dysfunctional homes are like magnets to abusers of any kind. It is so important for us to heal and realize that what happened to us was about how dysfunctional they were, and now today we need to recover and take our lives back!
Hugs, Darlene

83

Barbara –
What a great sense of humor you have! And that comment about “pre-tenderized meat” is exactly what I felt like growing up – like I had been pre-prepared for all the other predators who came along with and after my father.
Great post!

84

The only “survivor’s guilt” I have is related to my former spouse being brutally murdered while I-and 9/10 of the country-watched as it happened. Okay, so I didn’t actually SEE him in flames; but we heard it. He called into his home on the day it happened and, at the end of the conversation, we were cut off after a scream I’ve never heard from anyone I personally know-and never want to hear again, even from someone I don’t.
I’ve never been able to get rid of the recurring nightmare I’ve had since 2002. I don’t feel guilty about it when I’m awake, only when I’m asleep. Which doesn’t make sense, but I’m not even interested in trying to make that seem logical.

85

Vicki
~ I am so sorry that this happened Vicki. That must have been horrific. I don’t know what to say, but want to send you “hugs”.
Darlene

86

Nico,

This is a place to share your stories and feelings about your life. That is not offensive. We only benefit when we share in these ways. We benefit when we truly listen to another, enter into their pain, and offer support that is respectful and building for where a person is positioned.

I know what you mean about counting the years and wondering if the triggers will ever go away. I only seem to be more aware of the triggers now!

What was it like with your first therapist? Were you with this person a long time? 20 years?

87

To Laramar and Darlene…thank you for your support.

88

Hi Patricia, thanks for clarifying that, I didn’t think you were discounting what I was saying, I thought I knew you better than that but I just found it very hard to read your comment, so I had to ask the question to settle my own confusion!

89

Hi Laramar

No your comment about your late husband did not frighten me away. I’ve just had a busy day and been away from my laptop so couldn’t reply. Thank you for your comforting and reassuring words.

In response to the DID/MPD question – I am severely fractured. Some of the fracturing was deliberately done and programmed by my grandparents in their sexual abuse of me and use of me as fodder for their paedophile friends using satanic rituals as a cover for it all. In that kind of abuse there are specific things done to ensure the child splits.

I continued splitting just to cope the horror and reality of the abuse, incest and ritualized torture that took place within the family.

I have over 500 child parts of both genders from tiny babies through to stroppy teenagers. I spend a lot of my life trying to work out who I am, where I am and how old I am.

I have written about the fragmentation a bit on my blog but I don’t talk much about it much because such extreme fragmentation is so complex to understand and complex to express. I sound more whole than I actually am!! Probably due to my intelligence and understanding of what’s going on and how it works.

90

Fi –

So relieved I didn’t alienate you! You truly seem an integrated whole, though I know we all can project whatever we want when we are writing. I am amazed though, truly amazed at your ability to transcend that – I would have had no idea what you were dealing with had you not just courageously shared that.

I’m so glad you have an inherent sense of your intelligence – I think that also helped my late husband. No matter what was going on he knew he was very smart, and that was the anchor point that kept him from believing all the lies they put out to alienate him from outsiders and to make him doubt himself.

I don’t want to make you too self-conscious, but you really are extraordinary in how you have been able to cope with this. I am very humbled by your articulateness and your lack of self-pity. Also your willingness to let us in on what is possibly the most difficult journey there must be in life, which is living and functioning with DID/MPD.
Anything you want to post to help us remain aware and compassionate as to what that is like, please feel empowered to post. It also helps me to come to terms with what my husband must have gone through, and maybe start to fit more of the pieces together of his crazy, impossible life growing up.
Many thanks

91

I have another question. When you say you believed you were a burden to your mother, I was wondering if that came from her telling you in direct words you were, or did she do things to show it? Or was it both?
I’m asking b/c, for me, I believed it not only b/c she acted like it. She came right out and said it, or my Aunt Rosemary (probably named for the book, she’s truly the closest thing to pure evil I’ve ever had the misfortune of knowing) said FOR her. That woman told me I was useless and a burden, in those words, every single solitary time I ever saw her. She made it obvious that she hates me more than everyone else, and I’m not saying that to make it sound like I’m special. One of my co-workers, who was never abused by her family, decided to tell everyone one day that people who are abused speak of it so they “can feel special.”
I honestly have no idea how she made it to Registered Trauma Nurse. She says such stupid things it astounds me-but, unfortunately, fails to stop me from worrying that other people may agree with her. I even wonder myself sometimes, b/c it almost SOUNDS like I’m saying it for that reason. I’m not, but I can almost see how it can sound that way.
I wasn’t the one who was “different.” Another of her favorite words; there’s feeling special, feeling different, feeling like one of a kind. The people who decided they hate me b/c of my eye problem, which caused the constant arguing scenes, at least in term of getting surgery, for my mom and dad-those people are the special, different ones.
A. Rosemary is like that to this day. She never speaks to me unless she absolutely has to and that’s to say one word, then go on her way. She talked my brother out of having me as his emergency contact, so she could be his contact-and then never tell me if he’s okay, but that’s at least half his fault for listening to her.
I’ve just never met a person who has more black hatred seething from every part of her soul than my Aunt Rosemary, and she always blames anyone else around her as the reason she has to be that way.
Beyond that, I can’t say much more. The only time I tried to talk about what she’d done, I was quickly and efficiently told to pray for her “Pray for those who persecute you” and that was the end of the conversation.
To me, Aunt Rosemary is exactly like Osama bin Laden. Her answer to every problem is “Beat the shit out of them or kill them.” I mean that literally. She sounded like a fool when she said it but she said she would “beat the shit out of anyone” who claimed our mom was ever abusive.
I never prayed for her. They might just as well tell me to pray to the devil himself; I’ve noticed that nobody asks you to pray for the devil, but they’ll ask you to pray for Osama bin Laden’s soul and A. Rosemary’s live self, who almost assuredly is going to be next to Satan’s right hand when she gets there. Her and Osama bin Laden, who think the answer to any problem you have is to beat it or kill it.

92

Hi Vicki – I was explicitly told by my mother that I was a burden, that I was not wanted or welcome – as well as being explicitly told that I was told in less obvious but just as real unspoken ways.

I think sometimes the unspoken messages we receive can be more powerful than the spoken ones but also harder to pin down and turn around.

93

When I was 3 years old, I remember thinking that my mom didn’t feel anything. Everyone around us was crying. I think someone had died but I don’t remember who. I can see myself standing and looking up at my mother and deciding that I needed to protect her from her feelings so she couldn’t be hurt. I was 3 years old. What does that say about my family that I took on that responsibility so young? I became the parent to my mother’s wounded child long before I had any idea of what that meant. Even though I healed in many areas of my life, I didn’t let go of that one until about 4 years before my mother died. When I stopped being my mother’s protector, she went to live with my sister and youngest neice.

94

Vicki and Fi
I was not really told directly, (although many of us here were!) but it was more in her actions and her looks. She indicated that I was a burden, that I caused her distress. That it was my fault that I made her freak out and yell and hit us. So the conclusion that it must be me came about that way.

Great point Fi. It can be harder to pin down the unspoken ones, but the spoken ones are harder to argue with, and when we are talking survival we want to deny that a parent would ever feel that way, so I think that BOTH of these types of abuse are very hard to deal with! ALL Abuse is hard to deal with!

Hugs, Darlene

95

My mom literally DIDN’T feel anything. We’d be getting kicked out of the house, and she’d go about putting on our coat and buttoning it, doing all the physical tasks, but never consoling us when we were crying and upset about it. We might as well have been ghosts three planes above my mom’s world for all the emotion she showed. It was almost like-to me anyway-it almost seemed like she wasn’t even a human being. IDK for sure, but I’m POSITIVE she was dwelling in a separate world from us, and it felt literal to me when I was all upset b/c he kicked us out of the house.
The best description for how it was came while I was reading the book ‘Insomnia,’ by Stephen King. He explained that cutting yourself off from everyone around you in such a magnificent way that I found it hard to believe he never felt that feeling before.
My former therapist told me my mom couldn’t help how she reacted, that she (my mom) was being beaten by her husband and had gone beyond being broken by what he was doing to her.
I just don’t CARE about what it was like for her, b/c that’s all anybody ever cares about is her. I don’t see how it’s a 5-yr. old’s fault that she was being beaten, and why should I be the one acting like an adult by not crying or being allowed to be comforted through the situation while she sits there feeling sorry for her SELF and simultaneously disappearing into a fantasy world where she doesn’t see anything that’s happening. And so never has to deal with us.
Am I too unforgiving in the matter? IDK. Maybe I’m being a little selfish to no longer care. But we’re supposed to write what we honestly feel, and I’m willing to do that even at the risk of looking selfish.
I just wish I knew where all this confession and revelation were going to end me up. I hope it lands me in a better place emotionally; that’s the main reason I’m doing it.

96

Vicki,
This is what I am talking about on this blog all the time. The fact that your mother could not help how she was has nothing to do with you. I had to stop looking at “my poor mother” and why she was the way she was and finally look at things through the lens of what happened to ME in order to recovery from what happened to me. It is okay that you don’t care what it was like for her.
After I did my healing process, (which took a few years) I was able to understand that my mother (family and other abusers) were broken too, BUT that is not an excuse for what was passed on to me. As long as I was looking for what was wrong with them, I was not validating my own pain and the way that I was devalued. That was the healing part for me.
Hugs, Darlene

97

Laramar – gotta laugh or I’d never stop crying

Fi, Darlene, et al. – I was told I was a burden… and a freak; no man would want me; sick on purpose; a hateful baby; full of hate; smelled bad all the time; ugly; lived my life ONLY to hurt my NMother.

It was clear to her that THINGS mattered a lot more than me. Always.

I’ll never fully recover and I know that but as my counselor said I will adapt & integrate.

98

Hi Barbara,
I don’t know if you read all the comments on this thread, (I know there are nearly 100 so that would have been a ton of reading) but there has been a conversation about when people say that they will never recover and that it is discouraging to some to hear that. And I never say that and I feel that the reason that I made a full recovery is because I believef that I could. So I was wondering, would you be able to tell me “why” you say that you will never fully recover, just for the sake of clairty?
Thank you (but if you would rather not, please don’t worry about it)
Hugs, Darlene

99

Vicki, I’m sitting here with tears pouring down my cheeks, after reading about your former husband dying in the World Trade Center. The scream at the end of his phone message on that horrible day. I’m so, so, so sad. OH how I HATE the EVIL that can commit such inhuman acts.

((Vicki))

Lynda

100

Hi Darlene,
I wrote my last comment to Vicki, referring to her heartbreaking comment #84, before I read the rest of the comments, including your last one, comment #99, in which you asked Barbara why she says she will never be able to recover.

I hope that Barbara chooses to answer that question. I, for one, will be very interested in reading her response; especially as I have found everything that Barbara has posted here so far, to be very insightful and intelligent.

Darlene, as I’ve shared here before, my best-friend-husband of almost 7 years, has been diagnosed with severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was caused by his two tours of combat in Vietnam, which occurred when he was 19 and 20 years old. My husband is now 62, and for the past few years has been receiving a partial VA disability for his PTSD. He has also been receiving 100% disability from Social Security since 2005, for his PTSD.

I was never in any “real” war… just the combat that went on in my childhood home, and then in my former abusive marriages. (You were so right, Barbara, I was “pre-tenderized” by my abusive childhood, for my subsequent abusive marriages.) In 2003, when I finally found a good therapist, I, too, was diagnosed, by a renowned psychiatrist, with PTSD. A few years ago my new, local psychiatrist, ammended my diagnosis to Complex-PTSD.

My best-friend-husband and I have had several lively, but loving and respectful, debates about whether or not PTSD is “curable.” Stan firmly believes that PTSD can NOT be cured. I firmly believe that ALL forms of “mental illness” are potentially 100% curable….. yet I also believe that many people with mental illnesses will never actually be CURED… not because they CAN’T be, but for a variety of reasons, such as not having GOOD therapuetic help availble to them. Another reason that I believe many people with various mental illness labels won’t ever be cured, is because they have been told that they could not be cured, and they BELIEVE that LIE.

What we BELIEVE about ourselves is Very Powerful ~ Right, Darlene?

A couple of days ago my husband and I were once again discussing this difference of opinion, and I told him that I think it is actually ABUSIVE to be told “you can never be cured.” Being told that you cannot ever be cured, robs you of much-needed HOPE, I said; it makes you want to just give up on doing the work necessary to become healthier and happier and, eventually, WHOLE.

My husband replied: “When you think that you can be cured of something that is incurable, it is like putting a carrot on a stick out in front of you, that you can never reach. It makes you feel frustrated, when you keep trying but never reaching that dang carrot. And then you start wondering “What is Wrong With Me, that I am not becoming CURED?” Then you can begin to beat up on yourself for not being WELL, when you need to relax and accept yourself just the way you are, and give yourself a break. Having PTSD after you’ve been through hell is NORMAL, and not being CURED of it, when people think you “should” be over it by now, is Not Your Fault.”

So then my husband and I agreed to disagree, because our sweet little Cattle Dog was getting upset at the TONE of our discussion!

Lynda

101

Fi,
I am amazed by you. I am deeply touched by you, by your life history, and by the awesome person you are.

I don’t even know what else to say to you, Fi, I am so overwhelmed. There are no words to describe what I’m feeling.

Like Jeffery did, I want to give you a BIG HUG:

((((((((((((( Fi MacLeod ))))))))))))))

102

Lynda, you and your husband both have some very valid points in your conversation. I am the kind of person that tends to take statements like you have this or you have that and it is uncurable with a gain of salt. I do believe that our bodies and minds have the ability to cure themselves. I even believe in miracles.

If someone told me that because I am an incest survivor, I would have to struggle with it the rest of my life, I would listen to what they have to say and ask, “Is that true for me?” Sometimes it feels true but other times when I am laughing and happy, it doesn’t feel so true.

On my Facebook page this morning, a friend asked me if incest survivors feel guilty about feeling happy later in life. I told him that might be true for some survivors. I can’t speak for every survivor but I told him that is not true for me. He asked several other questions too which I took the time to answer. They were valid questions from someone who is not a survivor. Because of his questions, he and I and several others are having an amazing ongoing conversation about the effects of child abuse and how it doesn’t just go away because we want it to. He didn’t ask his questions to be offensive. I believe that he truly wants to understand as much as anyone who isn’t a survivor can understand.

He asked me why I didn’t start a Fan Page like Darlene has on Facebook. I told him I have thought about it. He is the second person to ask me that in the past month. I didn’t figure out why I hesitate to do that until later in his and my discussion. I post what I do on my regular FB page just so that I can have conversations like this one today with people that are not incest survivors so they might gain some understanding about us. I know that several family members do read my FB posts rather than my blog and they are benefitting from it. In personal emails, a few of them have told me so.

I am so glad that I can come here to EFB to share with other survivors who know exactly what I am saying because of similar experiences or feelings that we share but I also want to reach others who are not survivors so I probably won’t change to a Fan Page any time soon. I am so glad that all of you are here and so supportive.

103

Hi Lynda,
Thank you for your feedback. Here is what my “take on it” is. If I didn’t have hope I would not have persisted. My persistence paid off because I am living proof that it is possible, and no one can tell me that it isn’t. Anyone can believe whatever they want, but if you believe it is impossible, then it is. People never believed that one day we would have a telephone, never mind the whole internet. All that started because someone refused to give up.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Patricia,
Thanks for your comments about this subject and your feedback too.
Hugs, Darlene

104

Hi everyone, thanks for your support, encouragement and hugs.

I felt very terrified owning up to the level of DID/MPD that I live with.

Although I knew it was the truth I was waiting for someone to say something along the lines of “you can’t have that many child alters” or “you can’t be that fractured because surely you wouldn’t be able to function as well as you do if you really were” and things like that. I took a huge risk.

There’s something scary about it being ‘out there’ so thanks for your understanding, love and support.

105

Hi Fi,
One day I am going to do a blog or an audio about the fear we have around this~ what you just wrote! I know exactly what you mean, and I felt those same fears! I was afraid to start this blog. The first few months I was sure everyone was going to tell me to “JUST GET OVER IT” and that I was crazy. I even thought people would think my insights were crazy. And look at what happened with this blog! Look at how many people find comfort and understanding here. (the readers only see the comments, there are hundreds of readers daily, that don’t comment)

I was so afraid that “they” were right about me. Everyone who ever said I was crazy, stupid, “a little off” dramatic, and exaggerator and oh so many other things ~ I was afraid that if I took a risk that I might find out they were right. BUT, they weren’t!
Thank you so much for being here!
Love (I know that word scares you, but just this once, I really want to send you love)
Darlene

106

It may FEEL like she can’t be cured, but even people who ARE cured will never tell you they haven’t been changed by an event. Changed in terms of how they view the world.
For example; I could read murder mysteries without thinking about it before what happened on September 11, 2001, happened to my family. Afterwards, I noticed that SOME writers care only about gore value in their murder mysteries and don’t ever mention how the death affects the victim’s family.Suddenly, I was no longer able to read these gore stories for reasons I still don’t understand. But before that happened, I never even thought about it; so I was changed through that experience, and it isn’t going to go away. I can only read murder mysteries that take into account that the victim has a family that will react to it.
Even after I’ve learned to “handle” what’s happened, I don’t believe I’m going to change back. Maybe that’s what she means. I don’t know for sure, that’s just an opinion that came from my own life example.
So you can recover, but certain things will be different for you as opposed to someone it’s never happened to.

107

Yes, we are forever changed by our abuse. There is no going back to childhood innocense before the incest. There is no reclaiming the woman that I would have become if the incest had not happened.

My friend on Facebook asked me if I thought I would be so serious if the incest had not happened. My answer to him was probably not because Saggittarians like me are usually more outgoing even as children. They enjoy change and adventure.

Change, even today, scares me until I can think about what is going on. My initial reaction to change is fear and then anger. Once I take the time to look at what is happening, I can then deal with it without the fear making me want to hide behind my husband like he is a human shield or without the anger making me stomp my foot like a little girl in a tantrum.

Without the incest, I probably would have been taking on the world and wringing out every bit of travel and adventure that I could find. Instead I am cautious and think things through before taking a step forward. I have learned to be confident and outspoken but as a child and as a young adult I was too insecure and frightened to let you know what I thought about much of anything.

Can we get better? Can we heal? Can we have a better life? I believe we can. I know that I do even with the grieving that I have found myself doing recently, I am still in a better place than I have ever been before because of the healing work that I have done on myself.

Why was I willing to struggle and hurt? Because I am worth the effort. We all are. Don’t let anyone tell you than you can’t be cured. Whatever you believe will become so. It may take years. It may take an instant – that hasn’t been my experience – but who am I to deny your your chance to prove me wrong. We are all worthy of being healed. We deserve to have a life of wholeness if that is what we want for ourselves.

108

Fi –

The biggest thing for me is not disbelief, because my late husband had been so brutally abused that I learned that nothing is too aberrant for some abusers – it is a drug to them and they need a stronger and stronger fix, and depending on their background, that fix can be almost unimaginably evil. Whether I can deal with knowing about it or not does not negate your experience of it, and you are so articulate – it is a gift that we all appreciate.

What concerns me most is just saying stupid or inappropriate stuff simply because I still don’t understand or know how to articulate what you have been through. I just hope that you can be patient with those of us who have never dealt personally in ourselves with DID/MPD, and give us guidance for how to learn more when things come up for you regarding something we said or posted. You really are a powerful being, though I don’t know what term is appropriate to you.

109

Dear Fi,
Thank you for being so BRAVE. Thank you for being so REAL.

To my way of thinking, it only makes SENSE, that you are so badly fractured. How could any human being go through the extreme horror and trauma and abuse of your childhood, and NOT be extremely fractured as a result? To my way of thinking, the more severe the abuse, the more severe will be the “brokenness” that results.

It’s like I was trying to explain in another post… if a person is stabbed one time, they are going to bleed. That is a perfectly normal response to being stabbed. If a person is stabbed mulitple times, they are going to be bleeding even more profusely, from multiple wounds… and, their healing will be correspondingly more difficult, because they have so very many wounds that need to heal. It’s just common sense, really, in my personal opinion.

As horrible as my childhood was, Fi, there was still SOME good in it. In truth, there was more than just SOME good, there was actually a lot of good in my childhood… but, the horrors of my childhood very much outweighed the things that were good.

But, Fi, you had NOTHING that was good in your childhood. You have said so, and I believe you. So, I believe that for me to try to say that my pain, my wounds, my trauma, my abuse, and my resulting brokenness, was equivalent to yours, would be a gross injustice to you.

However, your extreme pain, does not lessen, in any way, the severity of my own pain, either… I hope you know what I mean. If a person is stabbed one time, they are going to be HURTING. If a person is stabbed four times, they are going to be HURTING. If a person is stabbed 100 times, they are going to be HURTING. It doesn’t lessen or negate the pain of the person who has “only” been stabbed 4 times, to learn that there is a living person who has been stabbed 100 times. You don’t just say, “Oh, well, my 4 stab wounds feel like nothing, now that I know about someone who has 100 stab wounds!”

Fi, I have been fractured too, very badly. I was diagnosed schizophrenic, when I was 14, because I was dissociating and hearing voices. I have since been told that was a misdiagnosis, and that what I actually had was Complex-PTSD. But I am in agreement with Darlene, I don’t think these “labels” are helpful. I was BROKEN, that’s what I was. I had ZERO self-esteem. I was unloved, and I took it to mean that I was no worth loving. And, I BROKE, as a result.

I felt at the time that I had “spirits” living inside me. In fact, I felt like I had MANY spirits inside me…. hundreds? I don’t know how many, I have no idea, there wre too many to count, it was a crowd, that is all I know.

I was deeply ashamed, Fi, of this. I thought that I was truly “insane.” When my new psychiatrist took over the ward after my rapist psychiatrist was caught and fired for what he had done to me, my young, progressive thinking psychiatrist told me that he was going to get me released from that institution where 97% of the people committed were never permanently released, and he told me he was going to do this, because I was perfectly sane and should never have been put there in the first place.

I thought HE was delusioinal, for thinking that I was SANE! I reminded him that I had all these voices, “spirits,” inside me. He shrugged and said, “Everybody hears voices. And with the kind of family you have… after talking at length with your parents and grandparents, I know what I am talking about… THEY made you sick! Anybody with parents like that, would be sick!”

I then reminded him that I had recently HUNG myself… HELLO!…. THAT’S not “normal!” But he said that in his opinion, it WAS normal, considering that I had just been RAPED by my other psychiatrist, and then locked in solitary confinement for simply CRYING about it.

In time, Fi, my “voices,” or spirits, or multiple personalities, or dissociation, or schizophrenia… whatever it was… faded away. I don’t know how or why, but they did. However, to this very day, some of the voices will, on very rare occasions, briefly come back… this typically happens when someone I love has died, it somehow triggers that whole seance-memory, when my high school friends and I were playing with a oui ja board, trying to contact my grandfather who had recently died, back when I was 14, because he was the only relative who seemed to truly love me for me… and that is when my “voices” started. So when someone I love dies, I typically go through a brief period of time, of thinking that I can hear their voice talking to me. But I try to ignore it, and when that doesn’t work, I ask them to please leave me be, and eventually it all fades away once again. the most recent time that this happened to me, was when a relative died in March of last year.

That’s really hard for me to admit. It’s also hard for me to admit that in February of this year, when I had to have a colonoscopy, just as I was about to be given the anesthesia in my vein by a male anesthesiologist, I began to dissociate. I could feel myself leaving my body and lettng someone else take over, because that is how my psychiatrist raped me when I was 15, he put an anesthetic, ‘truth serum’ drug in my vein.

I am 58, dissociatating over a rape that happened to me 43 years ago. My doctor who was there to do the actual colonoscopy was a woman, so I knew I was safe. After all the healing and therapy I have had over the years, I “shouldn’t” still be dissociating. “My life wasn’t as bad as yours, Fi, so ~ what’s my problem?”

But you know what I’ve figured out? MY LIFE WAS BAD ENOUGH, THAT IT CAUSED MY PARTICULAR DEGREE OF BROKENNESS. Like Darlene says so often, I was NOT BORN BROKEN. I was broken by my abusers. HOW broken I am, and how LONG it takes me to get completely over it, is NOT MY FAULT.

This is what I believe: My life was bad enough that it caused my level of brokenness, and YOUR life was bad enough, that it caused your particular degree of brokenness. There is no SHAME, not for me, nor for you. The SHAME belongs to the evil monsters who abused us and broke us so badly. There is NO SHAME in bleeding when you are stabbed, the SHAME belongs to the evil murdering monster who stabbed you.

Fi, I am telling you this from the bottom of my heart: I do not see one single thing in you that you have reason to be ashamed of… but I do see so much amazing strength and caring and honesty and beauty in you, that you can be PROUD of!! Your abusers caused the brokenness that is in you, and that is to their shame. But YOU, Fi ~ YOU are responsible for the wonderful miraculous caring beauty that is in you, and for this, you have every reason to be PROUD. You amaze me. I look UP to you, Fi!!

Lynda

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Lynda –

Great words from a great person! And congrats on being able to go under without fear of abuse. That must have been a real breakthrough!

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Laramar, thank you so much.

Every one of your comments that I’ve read here on EFB, have struck me as being exceptionally kind, caring, intelligent, and thoughtful. I really appreciate you.

Lynda

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Just happy to be with my Wounded Warrior Tribe, sharing and caring!

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So glad you’re here Laramar and everyone else!!

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New post about family and distructive lables. More about the brainwashing.
Damaging Labels and Dysfunctional family History
http://emergingfrombroken.com/damaging-labels-and-dysfunctional-family-history/

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[…] I have been writing a lot on the subject of dysfunctional family systems. I feel like I am just getting started when it comes to sharing about some of the things that were […]

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[…] for colds and daily “sips” of beer. Once, he gave me a driving lesson when he was drunk. I drove and he laughed while placing his hat over my face. He waited until I nearly went off the road or hit something before removing the hat. I […]

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[…] in my throat. It has been devastating to face this stuff. This is my mother I am talking about. These were my parents. They said they loved me. My mother said she wanted a daughter more than anything. She said all the […]

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[…] high with the new feelings of being heard, being validated and being seen. I did not consider that I was being groomed again. Everyone in my past had wanted something from me. Everyone took advantage of me. With men it […]

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Very sad story and experience by Pam and Darlene. I admire the bravery of people searching for their truth and having courage to speak up. You both matter to the World, whether you got respect from your parents or not. You deserve love from the World and from us. Thanks for speaking up.

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Hi Kim
Yes, each person has equal value and equal rights. That was something that didn’t sink into my brain all that easily due to the brainwashing that I had in there from such an early age. I am passionate about speaking up and empowering others to find their voices too.
Hugs, Darlene

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I just need to know how and when to truncate from my still living relatives…a sister and mother, who blame me for everything and are jealous of everything I have since I have recovered from emotional abuses.

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Hi Julie
Welcome to emerging from broken
The decision is always up to you and only you know when the time is best.
Hugs, Darlene

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Hello! I have been reading some of the letters here, skimming some because of their length. My abuse, and I have just begun to call it abuse, began as a child too. I have blocked out so much and actually don’t remember much of my childhood. As a young child, it wasn’t so bad, but as my sister and I grew older, teens, we both realised that Mom was a control freak. Of course, we grew older with our own opinions, likes, etc.
we found out that if we didn’t agree with her, we were wrong. I was actually discouraged in activities outside the home and some were even sabotaged so that I would fail. When I married, I was accused of abandoning my “family”. Long story short, I am on a third marriage..by far the best and have wanted to distance myself from this (mom and sister) for a long time…truncate it !! My Christian faith tells me to reconcile….but this will not work. My mother is delusional, never wrong, and is know to lie. I would like to get counseling, but am reluctant. Please advise…..

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Julie –

I’ve posted this before but feel it has been helpful enough in other blogs that it may be of benefit to you in this one.

There are always two sides to an abuse story – the active perpetrator and the passive enabler, and as far as I’m concerned both are equally responsible and equally guilty. I’ve undergone all sorts of therapy over the years to deal with my rage at my mother for basically hand feeding me to my sexually abusive father(I know of no kinder way to put it) and my little kid guilt for not loving my parents.

I was a victim of incest and my mother ignored all the signs of my abuse, including an STD at age three that she “cured” at home with herbs! I went through years of all kinds of therapy. I finally got a really great therapist at the Rape Crisis Center who helped me face the guilt I had about not wanting to see my mother anymore, and I will never forget her life changing words:

“Your mother is an adult. Her life is her own, her choices are her own, and you do not need to take care of her or fix her, or do anything. She is a grown woman who is responsible for her own decisions, and she is free to do that however she sees fit, and you are free to protect yourself from her unhealthy influence by severing ties and not feeling guilty.”

It was one of the most liberating, empowering moments I have ever experienced. My life has been saner and better ever since! And I too have a sister who is not only severely enabled in her own dysfunction by said mother, but is also bipolar, and will not speak to me anymore because I suggested she get treatment. So I was able to let go of my need to have closure with her as well.

Make the most of your life with your new husband, and don’t contaminate it with false guilt created by control freaks who don’t ever want you to have your own life outside of their games. If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your mates sake, so he doesn’t have to carry their baggage either.

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Thank you so much for your post. You are the first to give me “permission” to sever ties. I somehow needed someone else besides my dear husband to tell me. No church, Bible study class, etc. has ever helped me in this…not that I have shared much with anyone. I only have read in one book (Boundaries) of a lady who severed ties only after confronting her abusers (her parents, very much like your situation) and getting no results such as a ‘tearful reconcilliation’ . Most stories I read have a happily ever after, ‘group hugs” ending. I know what I must do, but it is so difficult and am 61 years old now somehow expecting them to change and have a relationship. It is eerie that you too have a dysfunctional sister who is enabled by mother! My sister is, unfortunately, a drunk (although she is functional) has meds for anxiety, OCD, and other ailments that I am sure were caused by a life of drug abuse, alcohol, cigarettes, you name it. She has even been named Executor of our mother’s will. Mom is almost 87 and I am sure what she has will go to sister and maybe to my two (yes two) dysfunctional adult children. My oldest one, 41, is a drug addict on the streets awaiting a court date, so I am told. My sister and mother have condemned me for not rescuing her. My younger daughter, 31, is raising her child (by a felon) and her niece now , for her sister. The whole situation is grim, but I must remember, like you said, that they are all adults and were raised in a loving home with all advantages. Again, thank your for giving me your views which in turn gives my strength
and resolve.
God Bless You,
Julie

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Julie –

I’m glad to hear that was as liberating for you as it has been for me!

Truly we all make mistakes, and truly in hindsight we can all do things better, but right now the most important thing I see is getting your own life together as best you know how, and trusting that all these grown people can make their own decisions, and that they are the only ones responsible for the outcome – it’s not your job, and in the case of your mother, it never was.

You don’t owe them anything, nor can you change them. Just live the best life you can and maybe they will benefit by your example. If not, that is not your responsibility. Let go and trust that they are living the life they choose and if they want to change, they have the power as fully grown human beings to do so. If not, that is their responsibility as well.

Blessings and freedom – Laramar

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