Oct
25

“YOU’RE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE” by Fi Macleod

By

I am pleased and excited today to welcome my friend Fi Macleod. Fi is a fellow blogger and an amazing survivor of horrific abuse. Fi has a passion for writing and the subject of spiritual abuse is close to her heart. Please help me welcome Fi and her with her second guest post on Emerging from Broken! As always, please we invite you to post your comments and participate in the discussion. ~ Darlene Ouimet ~ founder of Emerging from Broken

child sexual abuse in families“YOU’RE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE! YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING YOU GET” by Fi Macleod

This statement was used many times during my childhood. As a result I developed deep self-blame. I bore responsibility for things which were actually nothing to do with me. The self-blame is combined with deep shame and guilt. The self-blame came through a combination of verbal and non-verbal messages from my abusers and messages from the abuse itself.

 “You’re nothing but trouble, you deserve everything that happens”

“You deserve it because you’re a girl, we didn’t want a girl”

“You deserve it because you’re evil”

“You deserve it because the bible tells us you deserve it”

“You deserve it because….”

 “You deserve it just because we say you deserve it

I never knew when they’d decide I “deserved” a beating, or I “deserved” to be thrown across the room or I “deserved” to be starved or I “deserved” locked in my room or I “deserved” whatever they chose. It was very oppressive. I asked myself many times “what it is about me that is so horrible, that makes me so bad that it doesn’t matter what I do or say, it’s always bad and deserves punishment?” The abuse was “all about me” because my abusers made it all about me. I was taught grown-ups were always right. There was no-one to tell me otherwise. I had no way of knowing anything else.

As a result, the word “deserve” is a loaded word for me. I’m in a place now where there are people in my life supporting and working with me on my healing journey. I hear from them “you deserve to heal”, “you deserve good things”, “you deserve to be happy”, and many other positive “you deserve…” statements.

But whenever I hear the words “you deserve” I hear them through a negative filter. I hear the words “you deserve” spoken severely and feel really bad. I start getting ready to flinch. I have to take a very deep breath, deliberately stop and examine what actually happened. I’ve been able start to do that only very recently. Each time it happens I stop and examine what the person actually said, and more importantly, how they said it. I then filter their statement through a more positive filter of “hang on, wait a minute, I’m not sure but I think they may have meant that positively, they weren’t sounding mean or nasty, so I guess they were actually saying I deserve positive things in my life”. I may not actually believe I deserve positive stuff in my life but a seed was sown.

It helped me immensely to begin to take things apart and look at what actually happened in my childhood. In so doing I am on a journey back to my childhood, back to me as a child, back to what I felt and thought. I’m beginning to look at it from an adult’s perspective and to see things from a different angle. I’m able to start to see events differently and come to different conclusions. As I do that I’m informing the child me of what I’m seeing and learning and helping her realise it wasn’t all about her, there was other stuff going on and there are other ways of seeing and understanding what went on.

It was a HUGE step for me when I began to realise the abuse was not really about me but about my abusers and the abuse says more about my abusers than it does about me. That was a massive shift in my thinking and began to turn the self-blame around.

It’s was hard to look deeper than the bigger picture, partly because the big picture was so horrible and painful. There was a part of me which didn’t want to zoom in to look at the detail. But it helped me a lot to begin to look at specific incidents I remember which helped cement my deep self-blame. From very early childhood from birth I was abused in every way by my grandparents, their paedophile friends and other relatives including my parents and brother. There was no respite from the abuse, it was everywhere in my childhood. My life was full of abuse, confusion and mixed messages.

Here are a few incidents I recall which helped to develop self-blame in my child’s mind.

–          I remember being called in from the garden because “grandpa wanted to play with me”. “Play” was a pseudonym for sexual abuse. I didn’t want to “play”. I wanted to stay in the garden chasing butterflies and hunting for ladybirds. I was 3 the first time I remember this. I was called into the house by my mother. My mother set me up to be abused so it couldn’t have been wrong then? I went into the room where my grandparents and mother were. There were two paedophile friends in the room with them. There were 5 grownups in that room – my grandparents, mother and two paedophile friends of the family. None of those 5 grownups saw anything being wrong. Instead the impression was what was happening was ‘normal’, nothing was wrong, except for me, everything about me was “wrong” or so I was told often enough. So if I was surrounded by grownups who all thought nothing was wrong then I must be wrong to think it’s wrong. I knew it was wrong in my gut. It felt all wrong and I didn’t like it at all. I seemed to be the only person to think and feel that so I must be wrong. But I knew I was right and it all felt wrong, very wrong! I messed about on my grandfather’s knee, making it obvious I didn’t want to be there and didn’t want to play grandpa’s “games”. Eventually my grandmother said very severely, “stop this nonsense, be a good little girl and do what grandpa wants”. Woah, did she just say that? I’d had it drummed into me that the abuse happened because I was bad and deserved it all. I was being told to be a good little girl and comply but if I did bad, painful, horrible things would happen. So if I was bad the abuse happened, if I was good the abuse happened. That was so confusing.

–           

–          My godfather dropped dead from a heart attack when I was 10. After that it was forbidden to mention his name and there was no contact with my godmother or her 3 children. I was never told what happened to any of them. I was not even told he was dead. They just disappeared, vanished out of the life of my family. I thought it was my fault because I got on really well with two of my godparents’ children. My godfather sexually abused me and his daughter, together with my father. I wondered if someone other than my father and godfather found out and I was being punished. It was my fault my godfather abused me because he said, “he really liked me and found me attractive and I was good at it”.            

–          A few months later my grandfather had his first heart attack. We had to visit him in hospital as a family. I didn’t want to go and communicated that every way I could. I didn’t care he was in hospital and maybe dying. My grandfather had done terrible things to me and I hated him but we had to go see him. Right up to going in that hospital room I made it clear I didn’t want to go. I don’t know what happened at the hospital or if anyone witnessed my reluctance to be there and my parents’ response to that but after leaving I was told by my mother “never ever speak outside the family of what goes on in the family.” I’m not aware of having spoken to anyone, I was scared silent, but her words sowed a seed of doubt in me. I don’t know what happened in that hospital, maybe people saw stuff and realised what was happening? I really don’t know. After that I never saw my grandparents again. I never saw or heard from any relatives again. I don’t know why that split in the family happened but felt it was “my fault”. I must have said something to someone and was being punished.

Believing all the things that happened in my childhood were my fault coupled with the belief that no-one would believe me kept me silent for many years. Only through finally breaking the silence did something wonderful happen. I was believed which was powerful! I began to realise how much my belief that I wouldn’t be believed was built on my abusers lies. I then began to think “well, if they were wrong about that, then what else were they wrong about?”

That was the beginning of me starting to look at the beliefs about me and my life and realising it is possible to begin to believe other things.

In so doing, without realising it, I began to validate myself, my memories and my feelings, and my gut intuition. I began to stop feeling bad about the way I am, think, feel, or react.

That I guess is the start of the end of self-blame.

Fi MacLeod

Another Post by Fi MacLeod ~ Spiritual Abuse ~ The confusion of False Teaching

Fi’s blog ~ You can fly with Broken Wings

BIO:- Fi Macleod is 45. She lives alone in a seaside town in Devon, in the South West of England. Fi is a survivor of severe ritual abuse and incest by all family members during the first 20 years of her life. She was also abused as part of a paedophile ring run in her grandparents’ house from birth to age 8. It took 25 years for Fi to break silence and report her abusers. There was a police investigation in 2010 which ended with all charges being dropped against her abusers. Fi blogs about aspects of the abuse she endured and her healing journey. Fi has been building trust with a support worker in her local Community Mental Health Team since October 2010 and is just beginning to talk about the sexual abuse within that therapeutic relationship. She is also being supported by a mental health recovery worker and a counsellor. Fi is on a waiting list for specialist group therapy .

Categories : Family

73 Comments

1

Fi,
You are amazing, and thank you for writing such a clear retelling of your history, the confusion, the way out of the confusion, etc. “the abuse is about the abusers, not about you.” when I realized that about my ex-husband (even though I was an adult and not a child at that time) I left the relationship and have not returned or ever looked back with regret, only regret for what it put my children through.

2

What a horrible abusive evil people your family was. I am so sorry they made you go through this Fi 🙁

3

Hi Kate

Thank you, yes, it was a huge turning point for me when I realised that the abuse was about my abusers and that it says far more about them than it does about the person being abused. It was a HUGE “light bulb” moment which enabled me to begin to look at my childhood and the abuse from a different perspective. I only regret it took me so many years to realise that and come out of the crippling prison I’d been living in mentally and emotionally all those years.

4

Hi Fi,

What you have gone through leaves me speechless – I have had to just sit here in shock that any child anywhere has had to endure such horrors. I am so sorry that you or any child, ever, has had to be torn away from chasing butterflies and instead forced to “play” in such horrible ways with such horrible people. How awful that they have so corrupted what should be an innocent, happy word – play. How awful that you were subjected to all this abuse by the very people who are supposed to protect you from danger. I don’t understand what drives people to collude like that, as a group, to deliberately cause such awful harm to a sweet little baby/toddler/girl. It appalls me to the depths of my soul and I truly hope that there is a special hell for your grandfather and anyone else like him. And your own mother – I just don’t understand how any mother could willingly hand over her child to the people who obviously were her abusers as well – where was her revulsion, where was her courage to say NO MORE and stop the cycle of abuse and do her job of PROTECTING YOU? I hope you can appreciate the level of courage you have displayed throughout your entire life – because even the act of continuing to listen to your own inner knowing that said THIS IS WRONG, I DON’T LIKE THIS took tremendous courage. They tried to beat, threaten and abuse it your courage away, but you never gave up and gave in and became like them, you have stayed true to your inner strength and inherent goodness, and continued to listen to that part of you who KNEW that something was terribly wrong in your family. And you must have had a hell of a fight to stop the abuse from happening to you, to get away from your family, and you continue to fight hard to recover and heal from it all, and in that process you also have the strength and love to reach out to others who are also suffering and in recovery. And I hope you realize that the only thing “wrong” with you (in the eyes of your abusers) were the very things that was always “right” about you – your great strength (which would have threatened them because of course all they wanted to do was break and control you), your inherent knowing that what was happening was wrong (by holding on to that light in yourself, their own darkness would have been reflected back to them which I’m sure they didn’t want to see), your refusal to just comply and become one of them – they were trying to destroy all the good in you and crush your resilient spirit through all they said and did so they could make you one of them. I’m guessing your Mom must have been a “good girl” since she went along with it all – so in your family it’s clear that being a “good girl” means being as bad as the rest of them. I’m so sorry you were raised in a family that called good evil and evil good, and that you grew up confused and full of self-loathing and self-blame. I’m sure you have realized by now that they were dead wrong about you and that all the qualities they tried to destroy in you were the very qualities that have kept you alive, kept you sane, brought you to safety from them, helped you find your voice, helped you seek out healing and fight back against abuse and stand up for others who are abused. They never were able to destroy your inner knowing, your great courage, and your strong desire to not only survive but thrive and I hope you know that your example of strength is very inspiring.

5

Fi,

thanks so much for sharing. So much respect for somehow making it through!!

The part that really spoke to me:

“That was the beginning of me starting to look at the beliefs about me and my life and realising it is possible to begin to believe other things.”

“In so doing, without realising it, I began to validate myself, my memories and my feelings, and my gut intuition. I began to stop feeling bad about the way I am, think, feel, or react.”

“That I guess is the start of the end of self-blame.”

I had emotional abuse to deal with, and I’ve only recently started to connect the dots and lay blame where it belongs instead of on myself. Not easy by any means – even writing this now, my head starts up with the usual array of self-blaming stuff.

I really hope you can find good support because I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to start talking about your childhood. I feel so vulnerable when I talk to a professional (especially for the first time); and usually feel extremely drained afterwards (even with people I feel I can trust, and even when the session feels positive).

Wishing you (and everyone here) love and light!

6

Hi Karen B

Many thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging comment.

My entire family was incestuous – paternal grandparents as well as my godfather, parents and brother. My grandparents ran a paedophile ring at their house so I was abused in that way by many males and females. In addition my mother was a very domineering narcissistic woman who repeated every detail of the abuse she experienced in her abuse of me. She both headed up abuse and colluded. I survived many attempts on my life over the years.

Being a “good girl” meant saying nothing about what was happening, it meant complying without question, it meant being all ‘they’ had me to be, it meant calling black white and white black. My godmother said my mother hated my intellect, my curious questioning character and sought to squash it down. But somehow they didn’t manage to destroy my core.

I did not leave my family. I was beaten up and left for dead after a huge fight when I revealed I’d found somewhere else to live when I was 19. They were determined to not let me go as best they could. But I survived and have kept on doggedly surviving ever since.

I kept silent about my childhood until early in 2010. It’s only been during the past year that I’ve started to get proper support and been able to begin to talk about the abuse and begin to heal. I have amazing inbuilt strength and resilience which refuses to give up.

7

Hi J

I do have support, which was good, but I am in the process of two of my workers begin changed just when I’ve really developed deep trust with them and I’d really begun to feel safe with them. So that’s really hard. I’m hoping their replacements are just as good, just as gentle with me and just as supportive and understanding. Talking about the abuse is very vulnerable and I find it hard to trust and let anyone in. I still have a lot of the self-blame chatter in my head but at least now I have stuff to counter that self-blame with. For me, it’s a slow process of replacing those old tapes with new ones. And that takes time! Meeting with my support workers and talking about the abuse and how it affects me is very draining, it takes a lot out of me. But I have hope of healing now. I’ve come a long way already probably because I am so determined! Thanks for your comment. I wish you well on your journey!! I think laying the blame where it truly belongs is a HUGE key to healing!

8

Fi, I’m so glad you survived. Thank you for sharing your story. I wish,though, that you had a different story to tell. My heart aches for that three year old little girl.

Pam

9

Hi Pam

Thank you!! My heart aches for her too! She didn’t have a chance in the circumstances she was born into!

Although I knew nothing but abuse and dysfunction and grew up blaming myself for everything that was happening because my abusers blamed me I knew deep inside that, even if something was wrong with me, something was also very wrong in my family. And I think it was that inner knowledge which has helped me survive.

10

Fi, thank you for sharing your story here. I can only imagine the abuse that you experienced. You are an inspiration to me. Each time that one of us shares their story, it gives courage to others to share. That is how the healing starts for each of us and how it gets passed on to others. When others see us beginning to heal, they know that they too can heal. With awareness comes comes the chance to change and to heal. With your words, you are giving that awareness to others. Thank you.

11

Hi Patricia

Thank you. I think also by sharing we give each other permission to face the truth too. I know how terrifying it felt when I first starting sharing my story. I remember how terrified I was that I wouldn’t be believed, how terrified I was of someone saying “it can’t have been ‘that’ bad!” When I realised only good stuff was happening from my sharing it gave me permission to share more and more.

12

“even IF there WAS something wrong with me, there was something VERY WRONG with them!” LOVE this!!! And therein lies your strength, and our strength, and my strength, in that right and wrong are identified, they exist, and I know them.

13

Hi Kate

Absolutely!! And we get to define right and wrong not them. We are free to identify it, recognise it and value it!!

14

Hi Marc

Thanks for your comment, I so appreciated it. You don’t know how much it helps me to have someone outside of the situation acknowledge how truly horrible and abusive the family really was and how wrong it was that I endured all I did at their hands. I’ve often said “I miss having parents, I miss having a brother, I miss having family, but I don’t miss my parents or my brother or my family.” It hurts but I’m better off without having such evil abusive people in my life!

15

So sorry for being late…Even trying to write a response triggers me immensely. .. especially since the church sanctioned, put its imprimatur on what I deserved.. Its a very very heavy weight in my heart when I think of how much ” I deserved” .that “I should consider myself blessed to have lived in such a toxic family” after all I wasn’t suppose to be born. I wasn’t suppose to be at all.

Every thing I got was given with a nice does of “you get what you deserve” you should be grateful.

When I was thrown into the bath with boiling water, I deserved that . yes . because I came out into this world. I wasn’t suppose to . .didn’t I know any better.. SHame on me.

When mom smothered me with the pillow :I “Deserved it” I was suppose to go back to where I was never suppose to leave from. . WHy didn’t I do poor disappoinment for my mom I was.

But I am not going to accept that I deserved all that any more . I dont believe I was so bad ..that any adult had a right to violate me . abuse me ..attempt to snuff on my little life.

Tears roll down my cheeks knowing that the church I put my heart and soul in tought me that all my hurts and sorrows were what God wanted.. What a mean God they created for me and I grew up believing in.

I am so glad I don’t have to believe in that kind of God any more. mine is so much nicer and kinder and loving.

I am so sorry Fi what you knew and felt and wept. I feel it with you and understand it all .. You didn’t deserve it and neither did I .

Sending love:

Joy

16
Patricia Jankowski
October 25th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Fi,

When my mother was pregnant with me, her doctor prescribed “diet pills” because she was tired. I was born addicted to amphetamines. As a result, I was premature, had severe nightmares and anxiety attacks all throughout my childhood, and have had problems with it all my life.

That was only the beginning. I was never told any of this until I became an adult, and when I could not tolerate the local Catholic school, I was held back at home and told by my mother, “If I were as stupid as you are, I would at least not let anyone else know it. Other kids can go to school and learn nice little things. Why can’t you?”

Father was also severely bipolar and I sometimes witnessed incidents at home such as the time when he ripped the telephone out of the wall and threw it across the room. Later, when my mother attempted suicide, he tried to sell the house while she was in the hospital without her consent, and give my younger brother and I away to an orphanage.

There is much, much more than I care to type here.

To say the least, my life has been difficult. I have struggled both with emotional turmoil and physical illness, much of which has been physically painful. I have never been able to keep a satisfying romantic relationship of any kind, and at 58, I have stopped dating altogether and do not expect I will ever try it again in this lifetime.

In my work environment as a hospital nurse, there is also much dysfunction. But I have reduced my hours to part-time over the years and try to be there as seldom as I can and still be able to put food on the table.

Fi, you are an inspiration to me and I salute the remarkable courage that you show. No one will ever understand it but God. It is only between you, and God. And He sees it all…every moment, every day, every step, every breath.

I have had many a night when I prayed I could just go to sleep and not wake up again. But then, I try to remember the words of a man I deeply admire, contemporary philosopher, Eckhart Tolle. He said, “There is only ONE purpose to life, and that is to awaken.”

And so, let me awaken.

And let me heal.

Love and prayers to both you and I, my friend.

Patricia

17

Hi Fi,
I was just reading a few comments, and I had that same reaction to the one from Marc. It was when someone finally said to me “Oh my gosh!, that was horrible that happened to you ” that I started to realize that it WAS horrible. when they told me “that was wrong” I started to realize that it WAS wrong.
I am just running out the door here, but had to post a quick reply!
Thank you so much for guest posting on EFB again!
Hugs,
Darlene (from very hot Mexico!)

18

Fi,
I am so proud of you and the way you have been able to share what happened to you with the world. I have watched you grow in your spirit and in your healing and all I have ever hoped for is that your life will be full of joy and experiences of love and caring. You are such a wonderful person and the world can finally celebrate you!!

19

Fi, I am shocked beyond belief at how these people treated you. I’m so glad you are learning to heal. I am having a really hard time, folks. Lately I’d been making such progress and feeling so much better. But the last two days I’ve had a return of obsessive horribly self-critical thoughts and dreams that have me shaking with anxiety when I waken. I don’t know what’s going on, but all of a sudden I feel like the biggest failure, the most useless and foolish person. I think I know this isn’t really true, but every mean, critical voice from my past seems to be ganging up on me. I couldn’t even bear to leave the house today. Is this some kind of subconscious reaction to having made some real progress? Has anyone else coped with this kind of thing?

20

This is the one place in my life right now where I feel I can say what’s really going on with me and be understood! All of you and your radical honesty are such blessings.

21

Hi Joy

How horrible those things they said and did. Yes, you didn’t deserve it, none of us deserved it. Thanks for commenting and sharing!

22

Hi Patricia

Many thanks for your comment and encouraging words. I like the quote you used at the end from Eckhart Tolle.

I realise I am awakening, awakening out of the deep paralyzed sleep those terrors forced me into for so many years.

At first it was very scary to start to wake up and face up to what happened. Now it’s more liberating than scary. It’s not an easy thing to do, in fact it’s very hard and draining. But nowhere near as hard and draining as it was keeping quiet!

I’ve never had any kind of close relationship, I struggle to cope with friends and at the best of times keep friends at a safe distance. It’s a very lonely life and sometimes I feel immense anger about this affect of the abuse on me and my life.

Life has been very hard indeed and it’s only the strength and resilience that seems inbuilt in me that help me keep going and sometimes that’s not enough. I’m learning to draw strength from others around me who are supporting and encouraging me.

23

Hi Darlene

Thanks for your comment from a very hot Mexico to a very wet UK. Great to hear from you!!

Yes I guess I’ve lived with these secrets for so long. They were just things that happened, that were part of a childhood that was full of horrible things and terrible dysfunction. I became desensitized to it all just to survive. I remember when “K” said to me in a session a couple of months back “this is deeply shocking.” I remember feeling heard and understood. I also remember thinking “that is a huge understatement” without feeling any emotion, but more it was a intellectual response rather than a feeling response. And then I read Marc’s comment above and something inside me churned and I thought “yes it was horrible, abusive and totally evil.” I guess it’s good to be starting to emotionally connect to what happened but it’s a strange feeling too!!

24

HI Linda

Thanks for your comment and for your encouraging supportive words which I appreciate and value very highly and which I’m also able to read AND to receive AND not immediately negate, which is progress!!

25

Hi Sophia

Thanks for commenting and encouraging me. I recognise what you are talking about. I seem to make progress then for no reason at all I seem to have a reaction to that progress and go back into my shell for a while till I gather the strength to try again only to have the cycle repeat. I don’t know what the dynamics are that are actually happening only that it happens. I can only live my life one way and that is with total honesty and transparency. I think it has to do with all the lies that my childhood was built on.

26

Sophia, Yes, I have those doubtful days too. I still have times when I think there must be something wrong with me if my family can let me go so easily. I still at times feel that I must invite bad treatment and it makes me feel very unsafe. Other times, I feel like I just can’t cope with how evil people can be and I just want to stay home and hide. I’ve also changed a lot on the inside and have lost relationships because I no longer conform myself to fit others and many of my friendships depended upon that. There is a definate downside to all of it but these days are becoming fewer and further apart as I gain strength in my new understanding of me and the people in my life.

Pam

27

Yes, there is indeed a price to be paid for healing, but even in the relatively short time I’ve been healing I can see it being worth it!

28

Fi,Yes,it is worth the price.:0)

Pam

29

Thanks. Yesterday I had to go out and function, even though my guts were churning with anxiety. Amazingly, the entire day I kept encountering great kindness from people, even total strangers. Fi, I am so disturbed to hear that all charges were dropped against your abusers. I would have found that particularly difficult to endure.

30

Whow, my heart goes out to Fi and others who are being abused or have been. It gives me strength and courage to see that it is possible to speak up about ones’ abusers. I am sorry that the abuse charges were dropped against her abusers, though. Fi must have some awesome counselors and support systems to be able to survive all of what has happened to her. I can hardly imagine the horrors she has been through, let alone fathom how she survived it all.

I’ve had my own abuses throughout my lifetime; but nothing as horrific as what she has seen and been through. Her story gives me some hope that maybe one day someone will believe in my story and help me.

My problems didn’t really bad until I became an older woman and now I appear vunerable so the professionals I talk to are not as helpful to me as I need them to be. They use the psychological tactics that it has been my own choices that have caused me to be abused; but I never asked to be abused. I never asked to be raped, set-up to be raped or to be mistreated by the Veterans Administration while housed in their Domicilary. I’ve heard of some patients being raped in hospitals; but I was just awaiting housing. The Social Workers have been mean to me even though I have never abused drugs, alcohol and do not have any police records. I’m still feeling lonely, fearful and lost because of what some of the therapists, Social Workers, doctors have put me through. I know, it is hard to believe a patient when they “claim” they are being mistreated; but I have been receiving mental/emotional abuse by some of the professionals I have had to deal with.

I hope the FI and others like her are able to receive the help they so deserve.

31

Hi Fi,

(I just looked at what I typed, and now I have to restrain myself from trying to make a bad pun about stereos) 🙂

It’s very late, but I haven’t been on here for a few days (it feels like a lot longer for some reason) and wanted to write something quickly.

That’s so hard with workers changing; I really hope you catch a break with your new ones! I’ve had several changes in the various therapists I’ve been trying recently. It can leave you feeling pretty dazed and confused, I find.

My big news is I’m starting the process of trying to find a place to live! Gonna have to be SUPER gentle on myself through it (having believed since I was a kid that I’d never be able to support myself or move out of home alone, I’m scared s**tless even thinking about it) but at least I’m trying something. Felt so stuck & stagnant lately.

Hope everyone is doing well! (Have to leave the other new comments for another time to read I think)

PS – Fi I wish you (and all of us here!) all the strength and support you need to work through all the darkness to find peace.

32

Hi Sophia

How fantastic that you encountered such amazing people when you had to go out yesterday!

Yes, when the charges were dropped it ripped my life apart and I haven’t recovered or gotten over it. It was deeply shocking and traumatising. I’ve not really been able to live with that decision and have been making a pain of myself with the police during the last year. The good news is the police are currently reviewing my case. Whether that’s going to lead to anything or not is another question. I can’t even hope for justice now, not after what happened last year, I was so hurt! But it would be so good if they could find a way to make charges stick this time around. Every time a child abuse case going through the courts hits the press I am reminded and I find that virtually impossible to deal with. It hurts beyond anything I have words for.

33

Hi J

You wouldn’t be the first to make a pun about stereos lol but actually, just for the record my name is pronounced “Fee” rather than the 2nd part of hi-fi!

It’s very hard having my workers changed, it’s taken me a year to really trust and feel safe with my CPN and comfortable enough with her to start talking about the abuse. And then to have her changed so suddenly at just that point is really hard. And to have her changed just for the sake of change, for the sake of the system makes it worse. This is the 2nd time in 4 months that decisions about my care have been taken which have negatively affected me and my healing progress without consulting me and without taking into account what I need and what is best for me. It’s annoying to put it mildly. I kind of feel lost in the mental health system.

My other worker is my mental health recovery worker who has had to stop work because of illness. I’ve only been working with her since June, our relationship was still rather superficial and I was still in the process of building trust and rapport with her. And now I have to start that process all over again with someone new.

It’s so draining, it takes so long to build trust and takes so much out of me to do so. What’s been particularly hard is to have both happen at exactly the same time. That’s been virtually too much to bear.

I’m still in the process of change and I doubt if things are really going to start to settle for me until into next year.

It has left me feeling dazed, bewildered, betrayed, let down and fearful. But I keep telling myself I’ve been through worse and gotten through but I could do without all the tough changes! Thanks for raising the issue!

34

Fi, I was also wondering how the court decision to drop charges had affected you – I’m so sorry that after what must have been an excruciating process of bringing these charges forward and to trial that you didn’t get a more just outcome. It is appalling that there is often nowhere for abused children to turn when the courts and judicial systems and police and social services continually fail them. Hopefully we can all do whatever we can do to make a difference, wherever we are. Many prayers that your continuing efforts with the police will not be in vain.

Sophia,
I can relate to what you describe, of going along doing pretty good and then being taken down with an intense return of negative feelings and thoughts that seems to come out of nowhere. I’m not exactly sure why that happens, but I have a few ideas and am trying to figure it out, because I believe it’s a stage or a step in our healing process that is important. I suspect that as we do therapy and life coaching and whatever else we do to deal with our pasts and seek healing, as we get stronger, we gain the strength to cope with even harder stuff that we couldn’t handle facing before, so as we reach a new level of strength and perspective, our consciousness lets us become aware of more stuff – perhaps older, deeper, or more intense feeling of our past pain/issues – so that we can process and heal it with our new skills, or seek out new help and ideas if necessary.

It has helped me to see these painful moments of what feels like regression into stuff I thought I had dealt with or handled as just another stage in the healing process. I have learned, slowly, to try not to panic that I’m feeling this stuff again (after going through a year of frequent panic attacks…I had to learn this!)and to instead take a step back from the feelings and ask myself, “Why am I feeling all this again?” and try to work with it rather than let myself get caught up in the negative feelings and messages that are churning around inside me. I try to just be with the feelings and learn what I can about why I think/feel this way and try to create some new tapes of how I want to think about myself, rather than give these old messages any more strength by listening to them or getting emotionally caught up in their hatefullness, if that makes any sense.

This garbage surfaces and re-surfaces so we can throw it away, which we do as long as we can resist the old tendency to believe the lies and re-ingest the toxicity, if that makes any sense. I have found help in Buddhism, meditation, a modality called Body Talk, in Eckhart Tolle’s writing, and many other sources over the years. I don’t know if it’s acceptable to share the things we’ve tried and found success with here, but if I can recommend any “alternative” healing modality as really effective for helping heal PTSD and emotional trauma, it’s been Body Talk for me. If anyone wants any more information let me know.

Anyway, my point is that I have experienced what you describe, and hope that you will see this as evidence of healing rather than as some kind of failure/regression on your part. And I understand how awful it feels!!! Even when I try to stay calm and not go under the wave of intense feelings and talk myself through it etc. etc., it still feels VERY awful and it’s hard not to get taken down by these feelings. So hang in there.

35

Hi Karen B

It didn’t even get to trial. The police arrested them and wanted to charge them but they lied and denied everything and played games with the police. So the police had to consult the CPS. Lawyers from the CPS decided there was insufficient evidence to charge them with anything and they were freed from bail. They were protected by the system and not exposed. It remains on their record that serious allegations were made against them and if new evidence comes to light the case can be re-opened. New evidence is coming to light now and I do not believe the police have a leg to stand on if they refuse to re-open the investigation. The original decision was mind boggling in the extreme and there is no defense for such an appalling decision. What was the worst thing about it was the message it sent to my abusers that they were right when they told me when I was a child that if I ever said anything no-one would believe me and no-one would do anything about them. And that proved to be the case. The police believed me and there were witnesses too but an over paid smart arsed lawyer believed their lies and actually said there was “no evidence” of child sexual abuse or child cruelty. Unbelievable given the evidence available!! The whole thing stank!!

36

Fi, It makes me sick that you didn’t get justice. It is another reminder to me that we don’t have a justice system, we have a legal system. Often, it seems like it is the smart crooks who are part of the system alligned with the dumb crooks against innocent, good people. Sorry, that was just a small rant…

Pam

37

Hi Pam

Thanks, I really appreciated you saying that. It makes me sick too! I would add that we have a legal system which has become too weighted in the favour of criminals while victims of crime get lost in the process and have no say and no right of appeal. My thoughts about a certain over-paid smart arsed lawyer are not printable!!

38

Hi J

I meant to wish you well in your search for somewhere independent to live. It is a HUGE step to take. And yes you’re gonna need to be MEGA gentle on yourself. I hope and pray it works out for you and is the new start that you need to move on and feel less stuck and stagnated!!

39

Fi,

I can fully relate to feeling lost in the mental health system. (Actually, pretty much abandoned by it is probably more accurate). I’ve had the unfortunate knack of finding (sometimes I think “attracting”) supposed professionals who f**k with me and make me feel even worse quite a few times over the journey so far, and always have huge amounts of doubt/guilt even when the workers/other people that I trust are telling me that what they do is wrong (just can’t seem to find the confidence to trust my own feelings).

I used the word “attracting” before because I sometimes wonder if being raised to blame myself for both my own and other’s faults/problems has led me to believe that blaming myself is normal, so I therefore either don’t see the warning signs from dodgy professionals, or actually subconsciously seek out such people because that’s what I’m used to.

Not sure if I’m expressing myself very clearly. My sleep pattern’s so messed up lately, and I usually find even when I do get sleep, I wake up feeling just as lethargic (sometimes worse) which is soooooooo damn frustrating. Been trying to catch up on sleep today but can’t. Blaaahh. >:( (grumpy face)

I just found out yesterday that my psych can’t see me any more this year becuase the governemnt just changed the funding in some way so I’m out of appointments. My GP’s on leave for a month, the counsellor I had trusted and been seeing weekly I had to stop (she turned out to be harming rather than helping). So annoying; just feels like every damn support I had is disappearing one by one.

Feeling very pessimistic today but I can have hope for you (and everyone else) — it’s always so much easier for me to feel positive for others than myself! So I really hope you can find good, professional (in action rather than title), and helpful people who will treat you better than you deserve through this process and really get whatever help you need to find as much peace and happiness as you possibly can.

And thank you very much for your comment about moving out. I can tell that you understand, and that means a lot to me.

Hope everyone is doing well!

40

I’ve been thinking about working toward an MA in Counselling and seeking work as an advocate for abuse victims – kids and adults, but it is really discouraging just how broken the mental health and legal systems are. In a newspaper article I read recently, in response to a case in the courts right now in Alberta where a foster parent (a 26 year old untreated abuse survivor who was given custody of her drug-addicted brother’s 6 young children but not given any follow up support by any child services agency despite her repeated requests for help…) who lost in one night and beat her 4 year old neice who died from her injuries, a government official was saying basically that the decision to put these kids into “kin care” was because “even a family situation that’s not ideal is better than losing the kids into the foster system.” (I am paraphrasing) So, the government knows that the foster system sucks and is perhaps even less safe for at-risk kids than their own abusive homes? I am just left shaking my head. And when I hear how many of you have been treated by police and the mental health system, it’s just so disheartening. We tell kids to tell a trusted adult if they are being hurt etc., but what happens if they do? Does the trusted adult believe them? Do they help them find prompt help and support? Do they pass the buck and say, “I’m sorry, that’s not my juristiction…” Unfortunately I don’t think our governments and policing systems etc. have the supports truly in place to immediately protect and provide healing support to kids in trouble, or to adults who are recovering themselves from their lifetimes of abuse. And when you hear the ridiculously light sentences offenders get for abusing and even killing children – it’s such Bull S&*T! Sorry to rant about this, it just pains me so much to read what Fi (and others) have endured as kids, then when you try to get help you get the run-around because of a flawed legal system and mental health budget cuts or funding changes or you get therapists who do more harm than good. It shouldn’t be this way. Children should matter more to our society, including adults whose childhoods were stolen by abuse. Hugs to all of you, you inspire me to overcome my own challenges and try to get in a position where I can (hopefully) help abuse survivors someday.

41

Hi Faith

Thanks for your lovely comment. I just have incredible inbuilt strength, resilience and determination to survive and make it through. Probably because I’ve simply had to. I’ve had to survive my entire life alone. No-one was there for me as a kid and as an adult I’ve been very isolated. It’s only during the last year or so that I’ve begun to get support after 25 years of banging my head on solid walls trying to get help. I’ve been fortunate that I have been fully believed by those supporting me. That makes such a difference. Even with the support I have, it has it’s own problems which makes things very hard. And it’s down to me to do the work and do what’s needed for me to move forward and heal. I’m very good at surviving, no matter what, that’s what I do well.

I’m sorry you haven’t been believed and have been abused further. I hope that you do eventually come across a professional who does believe you and support you. I think part of the problem is that people, even the professionals, do not want to believe that abuse happens in the system, so it’s easier to blame the victim rather than believe them and face the truth and change the system.

My experience of the mental health system is it’s very hard to get help and even when you do get help you have to accept what’s offered, regardless of whether it’s what you really need, because otherwise you get removed from the system. Yes, I think it is possible to get help. But whether it’s the help we need or deserve? Well, I’m not that sure of that!!

But I do you do get help, and support and most of all, are believed, so that you can start to heal.

42

Hi J

Yes, I was feeling exactly that just a couple of weeks ago – that every source of support I had was disappearing one by one. It’s been very hard to deal with and I’m finding the changes very hard to accept. It’s very trying and frustrating and has put my healing on hold. I seem to be the only person who’s committed to my healing. But I’m very glad for the counsellor I’m seeing privately through a local charity so it doesn’t cost me a fortune. She’s very good, very understanding and compassionate. Without her support all this would have been so much harder!! My sleep pattern is totally messed up too. When I do sleep I have very vivid graphic dreams. I am totally exhausted and drained.

I think the abuse does condition us to blame ourselves for everything regardless of whether we are really to blame or not. That’s just all part of the conditioning. And it’s very hard to break that. I have very strong gut intuition so I do notice and pick up on warning signs. But I can understand that being dulled. It’s easy to ignore but I’ve found that my intuition is ALWAYS right when I listen to it and take notice.

I hope you do manage to get better support from good solid compassionate professionals. I know my CPN is as frustrated by the funding and other changes as I am. She does not want to stop working with me but has no choice. Knowing that has made it a little easier for me.

43

Hi Karen B

I couldn’t agree with you more. It is appalling how little support and understanding there is out there of the reality of the effects of abuse upon children and adults who experienced it in childhood. And it is appalling and disgusting how impotent the police, courts and judicial system are!! It is total bull, absolutely! I wish you well with your MA and hope you are eventually able to be in a place where you are able to make the difference you want to be able to make.

44

Fi, I hope you reach healing.

45

Hi MZC

Thank you for your comment. I am healing with each day that goes by. I’m healing every time I speak and write of what happened to me. I think I’ll be dealing with this to one extent or another for the rest of my life. But I think it’s possible to get to a point where I can begin to live not just merely exist and survive for the sake of surviving. I’ve got a long way to go but I’ve also come a very long way during the past year. I don’t see healing as a destination but rather a continuum of getting more and more healed till I’m able to function better and better and be negatively affected by it all less and less.

46

Judge Huff said I’m “nothing but trouble.” He even called me incorrigible, unable to ever change from what I am, and I was only 15.
I don’t know what else to say, but at least I was brief.

47

Hi Vicki

What an awful way to speak to you. I can only imagine how that has felt to you. But he was wrong and extremely abusive to speak to you in that way. I hope you’re able to get the help you need to get past those words! It makes me so angry!

48

I agree, Fi; Its very difficult when you feel no one is supportive and committed to your healing but you. I have often thought my issues made others uncomfortable, and so they distanced themselves. At least it seemed so to me.

I have had this problem for several years- trying to find the support I needed in situations; and all along the was was advised to ‘get lots of support!’ What did they think I was doing? lol. I can’t tell you the number of people- counsellors as well as lay people, who said tat to me. I WAS trying to get help and support.

I can count on one hand the number of people who actually DID hear me, support me, and validate me: actually about 2 people- and they were charging money to see me. Both quit their practice along the way.:)I do have a couple people now-I can count on to be honest and supportive, but I don’t want to overwhelm or bug them. I do appreciate them enormously though.

Bottom line is, I don’t expect much anymore from others.

I’m either going to make it, or I’m not- I don’t have the time, OR the inclination to beg people to be supportive. I have learned I have to do this basically on my own.

49

Hi Everyone!
I am back from Vacation ~ thank you again Fi, for guest posting while I was away.
I had a great time and I have published a new blog post about how I vowed to never be like my mother.

Everyone can read the post here: I vowed I would NEVER be like my Selfish, Unloving Mother
and how this vow backfired on me a little bit. This post takes a look at how because of my belief system about what was wrong with the way my mom treated me, I would never be like her, and since she was selfish etc… I would NEVER put myself first. I look forward to the discussion there!

Hugs, Darlene

50

Hi Darlene

you were missed .. I have been half in and out.. as I am trying to fight my first bug for the year.. I even went to bed early last night which is not normal for me. So so glad you’re back but your guest posters were super.. have a nice day.

JOy

51

Hi Evie

Yes it is really hard. I’ve lived my entire life in isolation until the last 18 months or so. I’ve done life alone until I got to the point where I needed external input and support. It was a massive turning point for me to actually discover that I was able to let anyone close enough to me to know the truth about my life and how the abuse has affected me. I’ve discovered so much about trust through this process.

The main thing I’ve learned is that the bottom line of healing is that the only person who can do the work is ME alone – you alone – but it makes such a difference to have others supporting and inputting to that process, or at least it has for me.

I realise no-one else will ever be as committed to my healing as I am because it is my healing journey. But it doesn’t help when people you thought were committed, especially professionals, turn out to be not so committed as they made out to be.

52

Hi Darlene

It’s great to have you back and to hear what a fab time you had in Mexico! It was a pleasure to guest post while you were away, thanks for asking me!

53

Fi –
What I keep coming back to in all this is how INSTITUTIONALIZED these abuse cases seem to be! You not only had the team effort to force you into this as a child, but you had the team effort to keep your case from being tried with any justice in the court system. It’s almost like you were part of a factory of child abuse! It is exactly what my late husband experienced in his satanic family.

I had an interesting conversation with a caseworker where I live, and I was trying to explain as a victim how eerie it is that the Catholic Church, once you strip away its ornate trappings, is one of the most effective factories for the manufacture of pedophiles and their victims of any organization on the planet. How handy to have the pro-life stance of the mostly male Catholic Church, and how oddly convenient that thousands of unwanted children will be born into desperate circumstances every day, and will inevitably be vulnerable to and end up unable to defend themselves against a predator in clergy robes.

One of the things I realized about my father, abused by priests as a child and then a child abuser himself, was that his sickness had a cut-off date – there was a certain age at which myself and his other child victims were just too old to be sexually attractive. He always needed fresher, younger prey. How handy for him that the Catholic Church with their pro-life policies kept pedophiles like him in fresh stock of new prey.

I have no polite or diplomatic way of talking about this – it feels like the reason the child abuse issue seems to be epidemic is because we have powerful, institutionalized organizations that are perfectly designed to create and sustain the ideal environment for abusive predator/prey relations well into the foreseeable future. Witness the institutionalized failure of Penn State to effectively defend those poor young boys, sports being another powerful institution that seems perfectly designed to keep powerful pedophiles very happy.

I wish you had more closure with this Fi, but most of us will never see justice with our abuser in our lifetimes. What we will see is more and more public outrage (the Penn State scandal) that tilts the scales of justice in our favor in the courts, and in the court of public opinion. Also, speaking from personal experience, the times I have lost what I thought were great therapists, I have been blessed with even better replacements than I even imagined were possible, so I ask you to be open to the possibility that a more benevolent path is opening to you that you wouldn’t have been able to discover on your own.

When you take your healing into your own hands as you so valiantly have, miracles really do happen!

Blessings on your amazing journey – Laramar

54

Laramar
This is a powerful way to talk about this subject; like a factory of child abuse. YES that is exactly what how it is.
loved your comments!
Hugs, Darlene

55

Hi Laramar

Thanks for your comment. “A factory of child abuse” is a really good way to describe it all.

I’m currently going through major changes to 2 of my support workers, starting with new ones, plus an extra very specialised worker coming into my support network too. It’s a very painful and difficult time although I can also see positives coming out of this too.

It took me a while to reply to your comment because I was trying to take a day off from thinking about the abuse, but I guess it never really goes away and I thought it better to reply before I head to bed.

There were many aspects of my abuse that were deliberately planned out to the tiniest detail and I find that very hard.

I think it’s a major miracle that I’ve not been instutionalised by the effects of the abuse upon me.

56

I always have to revert to a perhaps naive idea that there is a greater hand behind things, and that some of us come here with a much more intense journey of awakening to our power than others. You were not institutionalized because, despite all the pressure and brainwashing to the contrary, you are in fact a very powerful human being, or you would not have survived to tell us so cogently of the abuses you suffered.

The biggest lie molesters perpetuate is that we, their victims, are powerless. To me, one of the more intense wow moments was understanding how strong I must have been, even as a very young child, to have gotten through any of this, much less all of it. I feel that your greatest journey now is not just acknowledging and processing the degree of horrific abuse you suffered, but also learning to accept that you are a very extraordinary survivor, who not only made it through, but have not harmed anyone else, and are helping us to heal by telling your story so articulately.

Please allow yourself, and that poor abused inner little girl, the dignity of eventually accepting the heroism inherent in your soul. It is an amazing thing for us to read of, but it would be even more amazing to know that you gave yourself that honoring.

Blessings – Laramar

57

And thank you Darlene as ever for your kind, caring, nurturing of this sacred space to testify.

58

Hi Laramar

Thanks very much for your comment, you make good points.

For now I cringe every time someone says “you’re so strong” “you’re so brave” “you’re so courageous” “you’re such a hero” “you’re so amazing” and similar things. I have a lot of baggage around that stuff and a lot to work through until I can stop cringing and celebrate it. For now I’m aware of the issue and thanks for picking up on it. I am sure that as I heal and progress I will eventually accept my strength, courage etc.

59

I was just re-reading the comments here, and your comment Fi (#45) really stood out to me. Particularly the parts about “living, rather than just existing” and healing as a continuum of “getting more and more healed, functioning better, and being negatively affected less and less”.

Also noticed our earlier discussion of supports being whittled away. I hope things have picked up for you on that front. For myself, it got me thinking about my supports and what they do for me / what I would like done for me in a perfect world etc.

My GP has been incredibly generous with his time and not charging for long appointments etc for many years now. But sometimes I wonder if I’m “trapping” myself in a way by continuing to see him when I seem to be getting worse, not better. (My recent clarity regarding my abusive upbringing is progress from blindness, but in terms of “right now”, it’s only made things much worse).

I can be quite a hypochondriac at times (spelling?!?). Didn’t really realize this until fairly recently. Growing up I was variously convinced I was going to die of a heart attack (used to get what I thought were chest pains. Not really sure what it was, but I’m still here, so obviously wasn’t a heart attack brewing like I thouoght). Thought I had testicular cancer for years (but was too afraid/ashamed to have it checked out for years. Turned out to be nothing). Probably other things I’ve forgotten as well.

Lately, I often find symptom lists of mental disorders online, and have had a fair few where I feel like almost all apply to me. But then I forget which ones I’ve asked my GP about and which ones I haven’t etc. (Things like borderline personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, mild obsessive compulsive disorder etc etc etc).

I usually convince myself (or at least, beat myself up mentally) for being a worrier etc. But sometimes I think it’s not that at all, and that I really need someone to help me figure out what actually applies to me and what doesn’t, and what that means in terms of treatment etc.

I think the main reason for this is that several of the disorders I’ve got symptoms for are listed as often being mis-diagnosed as depression, and from memory many of the treatments are listed as being counter-productive for depression (and vice versa). And because I’ve been on anti-depressants (quite a few different types, as well) for the last 6 years but haven’t really had any signifcant or lasting improvement, it seems quite possible that something like that might be going on here. It’s all very confusing.

And then I think of the headaches I’ve been getting lately that feel like a crushing pressure against my skull. I asked my GP if they’re different to “normal” headaches (as in, they feel different to me — I think of them as coming from having too many thoughts in my head). He said he thought they might be anxiety related. I sometimes suspect I haven’t really made enough of a fuss about all the symptoms I get becuase I’m so used to them (or perhaps because I think I deserve them all).

And I guess when I say “fuss”, I really just mean that I want to know what’s going on, and why, and what can be done about it. But when the doctors don’t even know, I guess there’s not much you can really do, except just keep on getting through, and hoping for small improvements over time.

Sorry if that sounds depressing. It actually feels kind of inspiring, or maybe even positive to me at the second.

Hope everybody’s doing well!

60

Hi J

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate you checking out how things are working out for me.

For many years I thought the only option I had was to live with the dysfunction, trauma and damage in my life. I didn’t think there was anything me or anyone else could do about it and I didn’t think I’d be believed anyway. I was diagnosed with depression over 25 years ago by a Dr and have been on various anti-depressants over the years with mixed results. It was only when I got to a point in myself where I realised I couldn’t continue as I was and something had to change that I discovered something could be done about it. I’ve come along way during the past year although I know I have a very long way to go yet. The difference speaking out and getting good support has made to me.

Things are beginning to settle now and I’m beginning to feel more positive about all the changes to my support workers.

I’ve gotten used to losing my original mental health recovery worker and I’m slowly beginning to like the replacement worker and to feel I will be able to work with her. My CPN and I are working towards ending and starting with a new worker but without a named replacement we are indefinitely meeting while being aware it will end but with no definite timetable, which is helping me get used to the idea but is hard too. I know it will hurt when it happens and am not looking forward to it actually happening. Because there is no guarantee that K’s replacement will be able to do sexual abuse work I’ve been given a highly experienced sexual abuse psychologist. I had my first session with her next week which went well. So I have got an extra worker out of this change which is a positive thing.

It is the first time in my life that I have gone through major change and been able to see it as positive rather than just negative which is something.

The last few weeks have taken a lot out of me and it’s been really hard but I’ve realised a lot about how far I’ve come as a result of it all.

I have an appointment with 2 psychiatrists on Tuesday, one a consultant and one a registrar to discuss my mental health, care plan and medication. After a quarter of a century of believing living with depression was my lot in life I am finally going to have a proper conversation about my mental health, I never ever thought that could ever happen for me.

I understand completely what you say about just getting through hoping for small improvements over time. For so many years life was like that for me. I didn’t even dare to hope for small improvements, I was just getting through. But it is possible for things to be different given the right people, and it is hard when those involved in your care don’t get it or really know what’s wrong or what to do about it.

I hope that you have some people come into your life who do know and can help and make a difference for you and with you.

61

That sounds like some really positive stuff Fi – esp. getting the experienced sexual abuse psych! Really hope that she can help make a huge positive influence with you! Thanks so much for sharing your news!

And may I say, seeing major change as positive for the first time in your life is not just “something” in my view — that’s HUGE!!! 🙂

Thanks so much also for your kindness & encouragement! There’s a part of me that can see the positive side of basically all my professional supports disappearing / seeming negative at the same time (GP was just on holidays at least and is back now, and psych is only temporarily unavailable due to government funding changes) cause at least I know I can get through that happening. (Losing my supports was something I worried about quite a lot).

I’ve actually decided to go the other way re meds — I’m currently cutting back on them very gradually (with dr’s knowledge, I should add). About the worst I ever remember feeling was coming off one anti-depressant (to try going on a different one) couple of years back — I just felt like the walking dead coming off them. Scared the s**t out of me, quite frankly, so I’m being taking it VERY slowly this time (very scared of that happening again).

Basically I decided to try coming off anti-depressants altogether just to see what happens. (That sounds pretty stupid when I say it like that). To elaborate, GP says there’s a fair chance stopping the meds will help with my sweating (which is just totally out of control in the last… ?? year or 2 I think??) which is a big problem for me (I try to always wear black so it doesn’t show up so much, but still often feel very self-conscious when I’m plastered with sweat…. especially when it’s not even hot & I haven’t been doing anything remotely physical). Also (and probably the main reason), they don’t seem to be doing anything…. or at least, they’re not preventing me getting worse.

So we’ll see what happens. So much huge change going on in my life at the moment. Arguably, it’s not very sensible to try stopping meds altogether given this fact, but what the hell. I can always go back on them if it seems like I get worse from stopping them. And maybe it will help. I think I also want to find out if other symptoms (like lack of energy, mental haze, memory problems etc) are connected to, or caused by, the meds.

All the best for your continued progress as well Fi! Thanks again so much for sharing 🙂

62

Emerging from Broken has been having technical difficulties this past 18 hours and no comments have been allowed through. This problem has been resolved now; please try to post comments again. (I got notices about the posts people were trying to comment on)
Darlene

63

Hi J

Yes, it is HUGE, really HUGE for me! Thanks for making that point. I’m very good at understating things!!

I hope that your experiment with reducing/coming off your meds works out for you. All the best!

64

Just wanted to say hello Fi & hope you’re doing well! How did your appointments go? (if you’re happy to share of course).

Not sure how my experiment is going. Had an absolute shocker last night; but it’s so hard to tell if it’s due to reduced meds, birthday blues, extra stress of trying to get welfare/housing etc — or something else entirely.

Take care!

65

Hi J

Great to hear from you.

I’ve had 2 appointments with my sexual abuse therapist now. She’s good, really good and I feel I will be able to grow a working relationship with her.

The meeting with the psychiatrists left me feeling very depressed. I learned nothing I didn’t know already and they told me it will get worse before it gets better, which wasn’t constructive at all and I didn’t need to hear that. They had nothing constructive or helpful to say during the meeting. I await their letter which may or may not tell me anything new.

Still no named replacement for my CPN so still with her for now, I see her on Friday.

I’m developing a good rapport with my new mental health recovery worker and she was very angry about what happened during the meeting with the psychiatrists.

I’m having to take life very gently with all the changes and also all the anniversaries I have to navigate this time of year.

Hope things settle down for you!!

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Fi,

That’s really fantastic news about your sexual abuse therapist! So glad to hear it! I imagine that this area would be such a vulnerable & sensitive topic to discuss, so I’m really glad that it’s turning out well for you so far.

Sorry to hear about your experience with the psychiatrists. Unfortunately I relate all too well to it. I can’t remember a positive experience with psychiatrists in my life (admittedly, there haven’t been that many, but it’s a pretty dismal strike rate)

I like your recovery worker already!! 🙂 (for her getting angry about the psych’s)

“Gently” sounds like a very good way to be! I often get frustrated at myself for needing to (or just push myself anyway). I hope being gentle is working for you! I can also relate to this time of year being difficult. Wishing you all the best for your navigating!!

Thanks for your wishes. In writing that last paragraph, I became aware that I’m pushing myself pretty relentlessly at the moment (in terms of stressing myself out with lots of appointments, phone calls etc in relation to welfare & housing — as well as just the pretty intense fears related to both of these issues).

But for an extremely welcome spot of good news, I just found out today I’ve been backpaid for several months of welfare, so my bank account has gone from basically empty, to having three “zero’s” at the end of it! (Still in shock, to be honest….)

Very late….. brain’s slowing down fast.

Once again, so glad to hear there’s some positives happening for you! Thanks for the reply! 🙂

(Got a hint of tears in my eyes again. Not even sure why really. I think there’s at least a degree of happiness in them though. Maybe it’s just the feeling of connection.)

Take care Fi!

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Hi Fi,
This is the first time I’ve read your post. How horrific to hear about the extent of your abuse & incest from your own family. My heart goes out to you & what you’ve survived. I can relate to the incest part, since my grandfather was a incestuous pedofile, molester & abuser!…He had sex with his daughters & sons. It breaks my heart, how anyone can be so evil…My grandfather could be very charming to other people outside the family. So, he was capable of turning his behavior on & off.

Luckily, for me he lived in another state. My mom moved away at 18 to get out of the house. I believe she saw my dad as her knight in shining armor, although he was damaged also,from family abuse & addiction. I did know my grandfather from visiting him as a child. I don’t understand why my mom would even want to see him ever again. I believe she was brainwashed by him, on so many levels. I just remember feeling very anxious being in my grandfather’s house and I don’t remember anything harmful happening to me, but I’ve been emotionally abused & neglected, by my parents.

I’m now suspecting, my sister was sexually abused…this creates such anxiety in me. My dad would close her door and yell in her face, when she was a teenager. He called her a whore & made comments about her body in front of me & my brother. I’m forty three and remembering these specific incidents. Anyway, my stomach hurts and i’m getting a headache thinking about this. I’m glad that you were able to heal your pain. Your have inner strength and fortitude!….Take care, SMD

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Hi SMD

Many thanks for your comment. I’m still only at the beginning of my healing journey, I have a tremendous way to go and am a very long way off from being healing.

Yes it is that very “inner strength and fortitude” which keeps me going along with inbuilt resilience and determination.

What was seen negatively by my abusers when I was a child and called “being bloody minded” or “stubborn” are those very things which have meant I survived and keep on surviving and have now begun my healing journey!

I’ve not healed my pain, nowhere near it, but I’m accepting it and understanding it now, which is a HUGE step forward.

All the best to you!

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Hi Fi,

Thanks for commenting back. Perhaps, I did use the wrong word “healed”. I agree, it’s a journey to get there. I so admire how far you have come! You are a survivor with your innate inner strength to rise above, those evil family members, and continue pressing forward with your life!
Best Wishes to you too!
SMD

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Fi…I cant say that I understand what you suffered…but I feel like telling you that I am so very sorry! I think you have been extremely brave to share! I grew up in a “family” where my dad remarried a woman who had two other sisters …all of them abused by their father who was a dirty old man. He used to tell filthy jokes and noone stopped him either. That family kept its secrets…and the biggest one being that he was very abusive in that way to the youngest daughter from birth to 18 yrs. She is one of the sweetest people you would ever meet and so it makes me angry when I hear of your story because I know you too are probably one of the sweetest! The secrets in a “family” unit like yours are disgusting and lies and I feel very proud of you for telling! For getting away…and for being so brave that you would even seek treatment and write about it to share. My “mom” ended up being the one to break the silence…which everyone denied everything because they were still under that terror reign of their father and mother, but they did end up moving out of state to get away from the things they refused to admit and face up to and be accountable for. “Mom” was very abusive to me while I grew up , only not in THAT way. I learned that in order to keep the secret the adults will emotionally, physically, mentally torment and abuse..and even neglect and torture to keep the child from talking…whatever it takes so they can remain perverted and get away with it. They KNOW it is wrong so they controlled “mom”s family of kids forever until the days that they both died. Hang in there and I truly admire your courage! peace and hugs to you!

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Thanks Diane, I so appreciate your comment. Yes, the secrets in families like these are totally disgusting and are complete lies. It’s very hard to break free from the lies and the brain-washing. Although I broke silence they still deny anything never happened and that nothing is or ever was wrong in the family. If anything or anyone is wrong then it is me – of course! It’s very tough, very tough indeed!!! But bravo to everyone who breaks silence and breaks free!!!

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Fi…..I totally get the whole denial thing…I got to witness that up close and see how crazy it all got to be! I do believe that you must be extraordinarily intelligent for you to have reached the point in your life to realize that you are NOT the crazy one…that they are! I hope I don’t sound like I am a know-it-all here, but I truly admire you for all the work you are doing to work through the lies of brainwashing. That is exactly what it was! My heart goes out to you and I don’t know if you have discovered real joy for yourself in things you like to do or watch or places you like to go….things that YOU love, but i wish them for you very soon all along this new journey you are taking! More hugs and comfort to you!

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thx for sharing

heard too that we deserved it as we ruined the life of the mother by being born so we had to pay back – and it seemed neverending –

as long as we believed we could stop the abuse by paying back nothing changed however

the end of selfblame is still hard

reading this does help

in the end I think nothing I could ve done would have made a difference.

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