Archive for sexual abuse
“Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”. Alice Miller ~ Banished Knowledge ~ facing childhood injuries
Lately 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 so dysfunctional in my own family. The dysfunctional mother daughter relationship I had with my abusive mother was only one part of it. I had an emotionally unavailable father as well. There was sexual abuse and physical abuse. I was not heard or even seen as a child ~ as though I was not really a person yet. And that “non person” fact seems to be at the root of everything; the discounted voice and disregarded feelings of the child. We live in a whole world of adults who have not been valued as children but who are Read More→
When the Lies Die by Azelinn
For many years, I didn’t even know that I sought “permission.” It was a normal way of life for me growing up to need permission for everything. I am not talking about permission to sleep over at my friends, or permission to go to the corner store. It is healthy for children to need to seek permission for those things. That is about safety. I am talking about needing and seeking permission to think, permission to be who I really am, permission to make a decision on my own and in reality, seeking permission to live.
Seeking permission started because a big part of my survival system was about doing what was expected of me and being what and who the adults and my dysfunctional paretents wanted me to be. And I was so afraid to be wrong. It was dangerous to decide anything on my own without approval. That was just the way I grew up. I didn’t know that I COULD think for myself. I had never been allowed to OR encouraged to so I had never learned how. And this is largely because of the consequences of saying or doing something wrong when I was a kid.
Eventually, I felt like I needed permission to breathe.
As I got older I had this constant feeling of not being able to breathe.
I wondered “how I should feel” instead of having feelings. It was like I had to have the “right” to have my own feelings. I was not given permission to feel. “I am scared”, was met with “don’t be silly, there is nothing to be scared of.” “That hurts” was met with “no it doesn’t”and when I think about it today, how did someone else KNOW if something Read More→
“When a child has been in a dysfunctional family system, that child grows up with some dysfunctional thinking. It can’t be helped. The dysfunctional ways of thinking in my family system got passed on to me. Dysfunction and mistreatment, psychological abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse all contributed to the survival methods that I had to adopt in order to stay alive”. ~Darlene Ouimet
I have this “to do” list. I tell myself that I am going to get “this much done” each day. I have it all mapped out. But I don’t stick to the plan. I get distracted, I want to chat on the phone, I want to read a book, I want to spend more time on facebook talking to all my peeps and updating the Emerging from Broken facebook page. I want to catch up on Twitter. I tell myself that all these activities are part of the greater goals that I have to spread this message. But the truth is that I am not Read More→
I saw a little saying on Twitter the other day that read ~ “God likes you. A lot. Deal with it” It was a twitter account that was promoting the book, “The Shack” and although I loved the book, the saying itself really bugged me. And not because I am not a fan of God; I am. But it was the “Deal with it” part that bugged me. I felt like saying “NO” I don’t have to “deal with it”. I felt “told” and I felt as though I had “no choice”. Even though this is meant to be a positive statement, that God likes me a lot, I found it to be irritating.
I have the same aversion to being told things like “get over it” I find instructions and directives like that demeaning, as though these people are inferring that I am incompetent, and that I have made the wrong choice where my own feelings are concerned. Those statements often come in larger sentences such as “Oh for goodness sake, get over it already” and there is always an impatient voice infliction attached to them. Tone of voice is used to “remind me” that I must be too stupid to understand “HOW to deal with it” thereby putting the focus back on me, reminding me that I am Read More→
there is peace when the fog lifts
Every day I realize more and more that if the world is going to change at all, it is going to change through the emotional healing of the victims. I think that victims of emotional abuse and all the other forms of abuse that stem from emotional and psychological abuse including sexual abuse, domestic violence and spiritual abuse, make up the majority of the people in the world. We have a voice; it is time to take our voices back, to heal and to take our lives back. Abusers can only be truly stopped when victims heal. When the people that they have hurt, realize the truth and realize that we can overcome the pain, oppression and rejection we have lived with and finally take a stand against it in our own lives. When victims emotionally heal, we are strong enough to stand up to the abuse and we are no longer fooled by subtle manipulation. There will be a ripple effect and we will raise our own children differently then we ourselves were raised, and the abusers will lose some of their power because the psychological abuse, lies and manipulation highlighted in the points below, won’t work the same anymore. Read More→
- in the mind of a child
I remember when I was talking about my first memory of being sexually abused. As I was speaking out loud about the details, being prompted for other tiny details and trying to remember even the thoughts I had about the trauma, I suddenly realized that I thought I could have stopped it. That ONE single belief caused a whole spiral of other problems for me and developed a very strong set of lies in my belief system. Because I thought I could have stopped the sexual abuse from happening, I also took responsibility for it happening. That led me to believe that I was a bad person. None of these thoughts were conscious. They happened as a result of that first subconscious belief that I could have stopped an adult from sexually assaulting me. Because I thought I could have stopped it, but I didn’t stop it, I was filled with guilt and shame. Guilt and shame that wasn’t mine, but guilt and shame that I thought was mine.
Here is the breakdown: Read More→
Are you aware my of my e-book “Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing”? If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you and you would like to find out “HOW” I broke out of the oppression I lived in, this 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to busting out of the fog and to healing. I’ve received hundreds of thank you notes from people that have bought my book. Get yours here for 9.97 through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing
- Success is a series of small accomplishments
I wanted to know HOW I would recover from emotional abuse; how do I do it? What do I do?
As though knowing HOW would make it possible.
I wanted to know HOW the healing would take place, as though knowing how would make it real or as though knowing how would enable me to make the decision on whether or not I was willing to go through with it.
But the truth is that I didn’t ever get to know how. I didn’t ever get prior knowledge as to where the journey would take me.
I was held back on some aspects because I thought the pain would kill me, but the pain of recovery was never as bad as the pain of living broken. Unfortunately, we don’t know that for sure until we are on the other side of broken.
I thought that if I ventured forward but didn’t succeed, that the pain of another failure would kill me; so I hesitated about moving forward.
I hear this question all the time; “But how does it work? How will I do it?”
I didn’t know, I never knew, and looking back I don’t see how I could have even been told. Because it is different for everyone. Because it is a step by step process that takes time. Because on breakthrough builds on another.
What I remember is that I believed it was possible. That belief came because my therapist told me that there were others that had overcome and recovered from chronic depressions and dissociative behavior. I had not actually met anyone that had overcome, but when I started to trust him, I started to believe him and after I began to believe him and when I had my first little breakthrough, then I believed that I could do recover too. I finally had hope. I finally believed that if someone else could overcome ~ if someone else had recovered from dissociative identity disorder, sexual abuse, and a lifetime of psychological abuse, then maybe I could recover too.
I finally believed that I was worth taking the chance on. I was worth the effort. And I also realized that the reason that I had not considered that I was worth it prior to this was because from a very young age I had been treated as though I was not worth it. As a child I had no choice but to believe that lie.
I dug my heals in and went for it. I just put one foot in front of the other and took my time looking at the reasons that I had been in this state of difficulty and struggle with my mental health for so long. All I had was hope and it turned out that was all I needed. Each little success, each little breakthrough no matter how tiny was what kept me going forward after that. My breakthroughs became my motivation and hope was my foundation.
Blind faith I guess you could say.
I realize today that success is not the end result but rather a collection of accomplishments.
I took someone else’s word for it; that recovery was possible and it ended up being the truth. This is my biggest inspiration for writing this blog. I want to inspire hope as it was inspired in me.
I made the decision to face the pain. I made the decision to go forward but I didn’t know the answer to the HOW question. And in the end, it didn’t matter.
What are your thoughts on the “HOW” question? Please share them with us in the comments.
Exposing Truth ~ One Snapshot at a Time
- freedom is on the other side
I had this idea, well a belief actually, that my parents didn’t actually know that they were doing anything wrong with the way that they emotionally abused me. My father was extremely neglectful. He wasn’t interested in me or in my life. My mother constantly criticized me and humiliated me and stated in so many ways that I or my thoughts were not valid. I made excuses for them as a way to cope with it. Emotional and psychological abuse is a tough thing to set straight in the belief system because for one thing, it isn’t legally liable, but I had to put the blame for emotional abuse where it belonged, the same as I did for physical and sexual abuse which WAS legally liable. All abuse has its origin in psychological abuse first.
At the very base of the lie, is the lie that abusers don’t really know what they are doing. In order to survive, we create this “lie” to comfort ourselves; assuring ourselves that our abusers don’t realize that they are doing damage. (like they don’t know any better) We can convince ourselves as adults that our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and close family friends, (or ANYONE for that matter) don’t remember what they did. (as though they were in some trance while they were doing it) We question our memories. We doubt ourselves. We doubt that what we remember happened at all or that at least it didn’t happen the WAY we remember. But where do those doubts come from in the first place? Do they come from the fact that we were invalidated before we had those doubts? Even if we were invalidated about something other than the abuse itself? I think so)
So here is what I was thinking; If they didn’t know that they were doing something wrong, then why OR how do we get so good at not telling? Why did I have this “feeling” which was really knowledge, that it would be disloyal and even dangerous to tell?
If serial killers didn’t know what they were doing, if they were really “out of their minds” and didn’t really know right from wrong the way that I was sure my abusers were, then why did they go to such great lengths to cover up the crime? Why wear gloves? Why dispose of the body and the weapon? If they don’t know right from wrong, then there would be no secrecy.
And why teach children to keep the secret? Why blame the children? Why do abusers go to such lengths to brainwash children into believing that without them they will die? Why convince the child that there is nothing wrong with what is going on? That it is for their own good, or that it is deserved punishment, also for their own betterment. Why convince children that they are to blame, and then tell them ~ convince them (in so many ways, not always with words) not to tell?
Have you seen an adult beat a kid black, blue and bloody in public? Not often I bet. Do adults molest or rape children right out in public, at the shopping mall for instance? If they don’t know it is wrong, then why don’t they do it in public? Why the big cover up?
I was in my forties when I told my mother that she could no longer “remind me” that it was my fault that her boyfriend came into my room when I was barely 14 years old. If my mother didn’t know it was wrong to accuse me of deliberately attracting him into my bedroom, then why didn’t she accuse me of that publically?
And why didn’t I tell her a long time ago to stop throwing that LIE in my face? ( answer: because of the power she had over me and because I believed that if she rejected me I would die)
One lie is built on a second lie and the layers go on and on ~ they become thick; the truth becomes cloudy, murky, masked ~ harder and harder to find, harder to remember, harder to acknowledge. It was vital for me to start looking at the lies, and realize~ acknowledge TO MYSELF~ that they were LIES.
Please share your thoughts, feelings, and your truth.
Busting through the fog, one layer at a time;
P.S. Note: If your family decides to believe you (about abuse) then they have to make some choices. They have to make some new decisions and even take some action. If they don’t want to make those choices, then the choice they make is NOT to believe you. That is about them, not about you. Being believed does not change anything about the truth of what happened. Never forget that.
When people didn’t believe me, I doubted myself even more. Sticking to my guns and standing firm on my boundary is the only way that I can prove that I BELIEVE ME. ~ Darlene Ouimet
Related posts ~ Unfriending my Abuser by Patty Hite
There are little messages that we get when we live in an abusive or dysfunctional environment, or even if our home environment is not abusive, but we are being devalued or mistreated in any way somewhere outside of that environment. Remember that all abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and spiritual abuse is all equally destructive to self esteem and self worth.
Our self esteem suffers so much when we are being abused or mistreated and it is extremely confusing to a child. Other messages factor in to complete and to complicate the picture. So a lesser message piggy backs on an already seriously damaging message and confirms the suspicion I already have; I just wasn’t worthy.
My parents divorced when I was 13. My mother constantly said she didn’t have enough money to live on. I don’t know if that is true, I didn’t have access to the books, but as a child we can only base our judgements on what we see and what we hear. We base our conclusions on what we believe to be the proof.
My mother said that she didn’t have enough money to raise us kids and that our father didn’t give her enough child support. She constantly complained about the power bill; we were not allowed to have heat in our bedrooms and she complained about groceries. To this day her voice rings in my head “I never wanted to be a single mother” This was a statement that she made as an excuse for everything. As a child the message that I heard is that she didn’t want me and that her love for me was conditional and the condition was that unless she had someone to help her raise children, she didn’t want children. By the time I was 15 years old, when she said that she never wanted to be a single mother, my mind replied “ oh ..so that is why you are not a mother at all”
My father acted like he paid child support so that was all he had to do. I remember when I got my first period, I was 13 and I had to go to my father’s for the weekend after school. I needed money for sanitary napkins. When I asked him for some money, he would NOT give it to me unless I told him why I wanted it. What a nightmare that was. As an adult I told myself that it was his right to know why I wanted a couple of dollars. But the problem was the belief that developed when I was just a young teenager who didn’t want to tell her father that she needed pads, complicated by the fact that I believed he didn’t trust me with two freaking dollars to go to the drug store. And so the conclusion that I drew was that he didn’t have to, or want to give me anything extra then what he paid my mother for child support, that I wasn’t worthy OR trustworthy.
I stole my clothes when I was in grades 7, 8 and 9; not because I was a bad kid but because my mother didn’t buy them for me. I didn’t steal tons, just what I needed.
Remember I am talking about my belief system and how it formed. So here was the conflict. My mother had an amazing wardrobe both for work and for social. She has several full length evening gowns and shoes which she wore every weekend to attend the singles dances she liked to go to. She had money for her, but not for me. My mother had a diamond dinner ring made for herself from the diamonds out of the wedding set my father bought her. I knew that it cost her about 750.00 to get that ring made. Jeans were $20.00. How come she didn’t have enough money for me, but she had enough for her?
I learned my “worth” by the messages that I received. I was not as important as her dresses, her diamonds, her boyfriends, her girlfriends. I was in her way and I cost money, precious money that could have been put to better use and spent on herself.
And my father washed his hands of me the day that he left.
Those are the messages that I got, right or wrong and when I write about this stuff, it isn’t for the purpose of exposing my mother and father, but exposing MY belief system. (I don’t have any resentment anymore.) Those were the conclusions that I drew from the decisions that they made, from the things that they did and said. And from those messages, I drew the conclusions that I did about myself, my value, my worth and lack of it.
What are the conclusions that you drew about your worth or lack of it? Can you link it to a message you got that caused you to draw that conclusion?
Exposing Truth ~ One snapshot at a time.
There are many posts on this blog related to the belief system development, self esteem and self worth. Please use the Category buttons to access other posts for further snapshots.