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datagirl
So I started my course last night.I must admit that I went in there really intimidated.I really didn't want to small talk with anyone.I wasn't quite sure if the course would help me at all (not as an incest survivor anyway).
The speaker taught us how to meditate away stress and spoke about how the course had changed his life.
I was bored to be honest.I still didn't know how the course could help me.I felt like the most damaged one there and just a complete misfit.I felt like I was in the wrong course.At one point we had to get in to groups and tell the therapist what we hoped to get out of the course.How could I say that the main reason for my inate unhappiness and low self esteme it because of what went on in our family. How do I say that I don't want to carry this anymore.To a group of strangers...........
People in my group were saying things like 'to be centred,to be calmer,more in control of their lives'
I just don't want to drink and have flashbacks and not want to self harm anymore (or think about it).
I don't give a fuck about being 'centred'!!!So in the middle of all this I burst into tears and left to cry in the bathroom.I couldn't hold back.So after that I spoke to the therapist/leaders in private and told them that I didn't think this was for me.I'm disapointed because my therapist who I have been seeing about the abuse recomended it to me.I thought she knew me better.Maybe I was wrong.Now I just feel like a freak with a dirty secret that keeps me locked away.
notwearingwords
thanks maddy and deschatsrouge, I've thought about telling them, but I can't handle the questions I know will come. And I'm not just keeping his identity a secret, but also years worth of abuse that my family has no clue about. I'm not keeping it a secret to protect him, I'm doing it to protect myself from the weight of more than I can handle. I never told as a child because I was ashamed and never wanted my parents to be hurt. I knew they'd blame themselves. It all started when my mom's mother was dying. My mom went to New York for the week, the only time she left us for any length of time, because my uncle had moved in and could babysit while my dad was at work. It started right away. I don't always remember every single night or every single thing, but it all resurfaces periodically. Ironically, I've blocked out the year after it stopped. I wish I could forget the stuff that happened first.
I went through stages, I think anyone who had been abused over any length of time does in a way. First, I struggled, fought. Then I went numb, thought of something else. Eventually I started getting creative, trying hard to make him happy, make it good, get it over with faster. This is why I can't tell my parents. That last bit, the complete submission, my own participation is what still kills me. I kept it a secret to protect them. He never said he'd hurt them or kill them or anything. He hurt me, of course, but after a while, I was waiting for him, I became complicit. I went to the ends of the earth to please him, and this is why I hate myself so much, even now.Telling now would mean I suffered so much, did so much, gave up my entire self for nothing. If not for them, it was for nothing. Sure I was scared, but in the end, I ended it. I told him I was going to tell and that he better leave immediately and never come back or I would tell the world. He was probably sick of me, I had just started getting my period, I had boobs. Too much like a woman for him. That's probably why he left. I don't fool myself, but a part of me still feels like an idiot for doing such unspeakable things for him when I could have threatened him back and ended it at any time but I didn't. That was all it took, for me to say I'd tell and it stopped. At the time, it had been half my life, 6 long years, which was almost as far back as I could remember, and I had the power to stop it all along. It's like searching the house half blind for your glasses not knowing they're on top of your head, only much worse, of course.
Besides, my parents are already such a mess, they couldn't handle it. My mom has been suicidal my whole life and my dad isn't far behind. They are both already so depressed, they hate each other. Not because of this, they have had separate rooms my entire life and communicate via notes scrawled on envelopes on the kitchen counter for weeks on end. They've been this way forever, but it's worse now that we're all grown enough to see through the facade - they don't bother pretending anymore. My mom became disabled a few years ago and she never really worked. My dad owns his own business and it's falling apart because his best friend/unwritten partner left to start his own place without any notice. I've been taking care of them and my brother and sister for years, most of my life. I'm not sure they'd know how to take care of me and I'm not one to jump without a net. My parents are losing their house, so they can't help me financially. MyLove is a social worker, she's 8 years older than I am and she has a great job. I hate having to depend on her, but we're getting by so far.

datagirl, sometimes the first meeting for things like that can be awkward. It may not have been the best place for you, but don't get discouraged about your therapist. There is no way to predict what people will say in group settings like this, and most people kind of bullshit the first couple of sessions anyway. Other people with demons in their pasts might feel just as uncomfortable and put up a big fake front in front of so many strangers. It took me months to talk about ANY of my issues with my therapist, which was one on one and I am still afraid of group therapy. I think its a great idea in theory, and that's why I love this space, because it feels safer somehow. I don't know if they have online group sessions with therapists or anything, like in a secured chat room or something, but I think they should, because I would pay for something like that. An online forum feels so much safer, you can cry, you can read, you can think and feel without feeling like the world is staring at you and thinking about what you say. I envy those who do well in groups, I wish I could. Maybe you could give it another chance, but with a course more specific to what you need to get out of it. I was in a group for rape victims, where I felt pretty uncomfortable because most of the women there had been attacked by strangers or some distant acquaintance or even a date, but none of them had had it happen more than once. Sometimes when I shared things with the group, the women felt like I was making their pain seem less than mine, which of course wasn't my intention, because I know its a horrible thing to endure even if it is once, but it's hard to share with such a huge difference in backgrounds. I had an easier time in an incest group, because the other women's experiences lined up better with my own, but group therapy just isn't for me. I don't know much about what this course is that you tried, but my point is not to give up, you'll find what you need if you look for it. You are not a freak, and the secret may be dirty, but that's not your fault and you don't need or deserve to be locked away.
datagirl
Notwearingwords the way your mother reacted is so similar to how my mother reacted when I told her about my brother molesting me. A year later I had to do it all over again when I told my mother that my sister had molestered my brother. I felt that I was conforting HER.Then I felt bad for telling her,like now she had to carry it.I was also petrified that she wouldn't believe me and reject me.Nothing like that happened and I no longer carry the secret on my own in my family.
It sounds like your parents are really concerned about you (as they should be).My father would never even acknowledge that sexual assault or abuse even exists.He's the sort of person that would never see an elephant shitting in a room......He'd just rather ignore everything even if it fucks up his own children.


I'm mourning the past though especially after looking through the photos and going to the course last night.I didn't realise how close to the surface the pain and sadness actually is.

The director of the course rang me this afternoon and said that I was welcome to come back but I don't want to go back.I'm afraid that I'll be a mess again and ruin everyone elses experience.I was going to conquer all of my other phobias there too.It just seems that I'm standing still at the moment when I should be leaping and bounding ahead but I'm not.
deschatsrouge
I know what it's like to be afraid of your attacker coming back. I still get paranoid when I pick up the phone and there is no one on the other end. I felt hunted, like he took part of me and he was coming back for the rest. I contemplated getting caller ID for a while. The worst part was when he would call collect. I would hear him say his name and I would freeze up, It was so terrifying. I still look over my shoulder occasionally to so if he's there. I finally convinced myself he was dead just so I could get stuff done. I still worry he'll come back and finish what he started.
deschatsrouge
I realized that I'm a little jealous of every one here. I wish I could spill my guts like you guys do. It seems like a healthier way to deal with things. I just can't bring myself to talk about it really openly. Like I'm afraid if I talk about it it'll make what I feel worse. even though my therapist said I don't have to talk about it to heal, I just want to break the stigma of it. I'm contemplating getting a shirt mad that says "Ask me about what it's like to be raped."

What I really want is to sit in a church basement with you guys and cry.

I really need a catharsis.
deschatsrouge
I just went to the advocacy center and bawled my eyes out, I feel a little better. I think I'm gonna bawl some more at Mrs. Rouge and hopefully feel a lot better after that. Then off to Belly Dance I go.
datagirl
((((deschatsrouge))))

I wish we could all support each other in real life as well.This thread has helped me in so many ways.It may even have saved my sanity.I probably wouldn't have told anyone if it weren't for the other survivors here.
This thread is probably the strongest on Bust.It's definately my most important.

Please take care of yourself deschatsrouge.And please keep posting if you need to.I definately do.....
notwearingwords
deschatsrouge, please talk as much and only as much as you would like to here, I am still a mess, but it feels good knowing that I'm not alone and that other people can relate and understand without regarding me with pity.
Sometimes it helps to have a good cry. I actually miss that, believe it or not, I never really cry anymore, and when I do, it's such a release, like something has been lifted for a little while anyway.
At least you can't be sad while belly dancing, just like its impossible to skip without smiling. get your sexy on!
datagirl, I agree that this is one of the strongest threads on here. I've only been here, what? a week? and I wouldn't miss a day. I always put off dealing with this stuff, but something about this feels good. Thanks to all of you.
ananke
The more I read the more I want to send all of you copies of this book. Because it isn't just what happened, it isn't just rape, it's the death, the remaking of self that is the biggest thing to deal with. Who you are dies. It's sad, and shit and makes me furious.

notwearingwords: I do something similar to the conversion disorder on occasion. Brison talks about it in the book as well. I think it's like we find our best thing, our treasured possession (intellect) doesn't make a damn difference. It still happened, society still is sick, all of that. It just becomes too much. Some days I cannot speak. I just can't make words make sense in my head.
deschatsrouge
Thanks Datagirl, Notwearingwords

I just had a hard realization, it's going to take me the rest of my life for my soul to heal from rape. I have to heal a pinch at a time. I had this whole text book thing in my head, "well it's been five years so I should be all better now". I'm so pissed off that it can't be that way, I work hard every day to not let the rape get to me. I hold down a job, I go to school full time, I never let myself get pulled under by it, I never allow my self to have a break down. I always stay functional, but that doesn't do a damn bit of good, it doens't make me heal any faster. I'm angry to think that my soul may not ever heal fully, like I'll still be broken when I die.

You know what pisses me off the most is people who tell me if I don't forgive him, I'll go to hell. FUCK, if any one is going to hell it's him! I don't have to forgive him if i don't want to, if Goddess really loves me, she won't make me. I hate the whole dogma and stigma of it. I don't have to forgive him if I don't want to. He made the choice to rape me, I get to choose to forgive him.

I lived three years in denial. It took me three fucking years to lable what I had been through as rape. That's three fucking years of my life I spent not healing. Three wasted years.

Now I'm just sitting here, waiting to let go.

Time to go home and bawl some more.
datagirl
deschatsrouge,
Some days for me are definately worse than others.I can be walking or driving in my car and just suddently remember something additional that my brother did to me.Then the cycle of pain,disgust and hatred reverberates through me again.So I have to go through the thoughts and tear myself up and promise myself to write that goddamn letter to him.....Like I have to make the effort???WTF?
The course I attempted to do just helped me realise that I'm not healed.Forgiveness doesn't even appear on my radar.I can't imagine forgiving him.I hate him.
I hate the fact that he made me think that it was something we did 'together'.Like it was both our idea.
He was about 15 or 16 when he molestered me.I was about 9 or 10.He would get his friend involved too from time to time.Always when my parents were at work.He'd watch hardcore porn,and have magazines.He molestered my best friend as well.She's moved to another state.I worry about her mental health.I feel responsible.Like I should have KNOWN that what he did to me and her was wrong and that it would grossly fuck us up.It's alot to carry and therapy can only help me part of the way.I just have to talk about it and keep posting and try not to go crazy.
ananke
I don't think we die broken though. I don't think The Beloved would let that happen. I've also started (trying) thinking of myself as new, and a little wobbly, rather than broken.

Apparently their is a Jewish thing where if you survive a life-threatening thing you rename yourself. I survived something that changed my being. I am new. I am remaking myself.

Forgiveness is a hard thing. It's not some fluffy bullshit that makes you better. I hate seeing it portrayed like that, like somehow we get the burden of rape and forgiveness too. It's a crock. Getting to that point would be great, but I'm not there. I might not ever be there. The Beloved doesn't make a big deal out of that.
notwearingwords
i envy you all your ability to believe in a deity of any kind, god, goddess, beloved or whatever. I just can't bring myself to have faith in anything like that, I can't remember the last time I had blind faith in anything.

datagirl, you can't blame yourself for anything your brother and his friend did to anyone, whether it be you, your friend, or any other person. I've been doing that a long time. My abuser had a baby this summer. it's a boy, which I know he isn't into, but it still makes me sick that I let him get away with it, I let him start a family, and I never reported him, so I'm sure he molested and raped other little girls, after he finally left me. But I have to acknowledge that there is something wrong with HIM, not me, and that I did everything I had to and everything I could just to survive him, I couldn't have done anything more or less and made it through, so there is no point in blaming myself, even though I feel incredibly guilty. I know what you mean about hating their implication that you were a willing participant. The act of participation and cooperation does not imply consent, it conveys terror.
I don't forgive him, but I don't hate him. I know a lot of people that hate him for me and would gladly kill him if I asked them to, but I can't find it in myself to hate anyone at all. I wish I could, because I think it might be easier to be that angry than it is to be this hurt. I guess I'm too liberal for my own good - I don't believe in the death penalty under any circumstance, because I feel like it reduces us to blood lust and lets a hardness into our hearts that is both unhealthy and counter-productive. And as much as I think he is beyond the possibility of forgiveness, I don't think the value and worth of any person's life should be hinged or dependent on the worst deed they ever did, their worst moments. I guess because I've done regrettable things that hurt people as a result of the pain he inflicted on me, and I wouldn't want to be judged solely on those things. Granted, I never hurt anyone the way he hurt me, I would never, but I caused emotional pain to those I have had relationships with because I couldn't handle what happened to me and took it out on the world. I have a hard time trusting people and letting them into my heart, because someone I trusted and loved ruined my life. Its been more than 15 years since the first time it happened and almost 10 years since the last, but I am still broken, and even though I hope ananke is right, I really think I'll die in pieces; pieces of me have already died.
ananke
One of the quotes I like best, which also is from a survivor is "there is more suface to a shattered object than to a whole one". Djuna Barnes went through some heavy duty shit and I like to thhink of myself as shattered but having more of me now. I spent so very very long thinking I was less, thinking I'd lost bits that the idea that I may lose something, but the shape of what was lost is still there and still a part of me.

Faith is difficult, in general. Particularly when it is presented as easy and nice and safe. It isn't, which is why I think a lot of survivors have so much trouble with it. I know I struggle with that a lot. I like things to be just so, just this exact way. Faith screws all of that up sometimes.

I don't know what's been going on with me lately. I've been feeling very anti-sexual this week. My best friend moved three states away and I'm trying to convince myself I haven't lost a support person, he's just further away. True to form though, at the leaving party he said something about me and his partner talking about being early developers. I said I don't much discuss it because it enrages me, and he didn't seem to understand just how screwed up I am from that. It's so easy to blame the rape, rather than the culture it came from. Rather than discussing the damage porn does to little girls because then they'd have to admit that not all porn is consensual, and presentation is important. Just because it's fantasy doesn't mean we don't take lessons from it. So since then i've been feeling like I need a forcefield to push everyone away. Which is sucking because Nova is being attentive and physically affectionate while I'm freaking out. I wish I didn't have to say "I'm not feeling like doing this" I wish he'd just know so I didn't have to even think about it.
maddy29
QUOTE
It's so easy to blame the rape, rather than the culture it came from.


wow. word ananke. good stuff. i think about this a lot.

i feel like i have so many things to say here, mostly just that i'm so glad you are all here.

notwearingwords- your post about the reasons why you don't tell your parents hit me really hard. i totally get where you are coming from. but do you see what a HUGE burden you've taken on yourself? your parents were supposed to protect YOU, not the other way around. i get it though, cause when i told-it was bad, for years. my dad didn't handle it, he ended up doign all this insane stuff with money and hiding it from my mom, it wa sa really bad number of years. but the only alternative was for me to continue to keep his secret. which was killing me.

QUOTE
Telling now would mean I suffered so much, did so much, gave up my entire self for nothing. If not for them, it was for nothing.


the thing is, it wasn't for nothing. it was for your very survival. yes, you "ended" it. but he started it, and you were a little 6 y.o. kid who probably trusted him. i wonder if telling would mean you would have to admit just how totally vulnerable you were. it's easy to look back now and say "oh, i could've done this or that to stop it." but at the time, you were a scared kid. you did the best you could do, to protect yourself and to survive. if that meant pleasing him, then so be it. i get the guilt, i really do, i have similar issues about being complicit...i wonder why i didn't tell my parents, or my sister, or someone! but he really scared me, and i believed his threats.

the truth is, you didn't have the power to stop it. otherwise, you would have. if we taught little kids to fight back, that it's ok to disagree with an adult, and tons of other skills, than yeah, maybe you would have had some power and ability at 6 years old to be able to say no, and run away and tell your parents. but at the time, that wasnt' even an option, right? i know it wasn't for me. i can blame myself all i want, but the truth is-there was nothing i could do. nothing. and that's almost worst than blaming ourselves, really accepting how powerless we were in that situation, and just how BAD our abuser is/was. it feels better to somehow think that we were in control. but we weren't.



deschatrouge- i hope that you can use this thread to start spilling out bits and pieces of things as they come up. i think i'ts important to get it out. even if it's just words that don't make sense. just put something down on paper. get it out of your head. and seriously, people who tell you to forgive make me INSANE!!!! gah!!!!! fuck forgiveness, no way. and last time i checked, my abuser never asked for forgiveness, or apologized. i just HATE how much that whole "forgive" thing is pushed at us, just cause other people can't deal with our rage, etc.

i know what you mean about feeling pieces of you have just died. i'm just not the same, and i never will be. and i mourn that sometimes.

i really like that quote ananke-about surface area-i do think that my family is soooo much healthier now, and real, and honest and genuine. even though it was so awful to go through all of this, it's created more substance to my family-we can talk about more big stuff, real stuff, and we aren't afraid to talk about the really hard stuff.

i'm in a weird space, i don't think i can describe it yet though. i feel like i made this deal with myself, when i realized that i wasn't ever going to kill myself, so i'd better try to find a way to make life livable. i quit my hellish social work job, decided to be a lot more selfish, and made some other decisions or promises that i can't even remember now. but it had to do with making life easy for me-not having to take care of other people, giving myself lots of "outs"-calling in sick to work, not having to take as much responsibility for my life/choices, and so on. and now i'm in this different place, where i recognize that i have to make a new deal with myself, about life. but i'm afraid to even open up to that, to the possibility that there could be more to life than how i've been living....i don't want to get my hopes up that i can change more.... hmm, i dunno. i guess i have some writing to do at home....
deschatsrouge
The whole telling thing is tricky. I wrestled with it for years. I didn't want to see the ones I loved hurting. It was hard for me to let them be secondary survivors. I was lucky, my parents saw what a hard decision it was and thanked me for telling them and trusting them with such a deep dark secret.

It sucks that some peole are not so lucky. I really wish I could be there for you all because the important people don't believe you. that's why I come here, that's why I tell you guys, I don't have to face disbelief or stigma here. Every one here believes me, every one here understands pain, every one here gets it. If I tell you guys I don't have to see the emotional backlash of what I said. I don't have to comfort any one when it's me that really needs the comfort.

Mrs. Rouge is so sensitive about talking about my rape that she will cry if I bring it up. I don't want to deal with that so I come here to unload. I don't like that she gets sad, it makes me feel like I can't talk about it with her, so I don't. It's the one part of my relationship I wish I could change. It makes me feel like I have to hide that part of my life and my psyche from her.

Blah.
datagirl
Being a survivor to me is like having a throbbing pain somewhere.I can go for days without it affecting me then BAM!! It hurts like nothing else again.Everything that I do today will be shot because of how I'm feeling.It's the cause of my depression and the very strong pull towards cutting.My mother (who is 67 this year) has been diagnosed with arthritis.We were in the pool swimming the other day when she told me.Then she added that it was probably due to all the stuff I told her about my brother and sister.Thanks Mum for making me feel like shit for telling you.
maddy29
oh my god datagirl-i can't believe your mom said that! geeez! maybe if SHE and your dad had taken your sister more seriously way back when she told them about the abuse, you all wouldnl't be in this situation! way to blame YOU for all this, nice.....

it is stinky, cause the one who tells is the one who gets blamed, instead of the one who abused....i really felt that i ripped my family apart and it took years to heal that. i'm glad i did it, but at the time, for years, it was just pretty awful. my mom was all worried about protecting my dad, which is understandable but HE is not the victim.....gah. ya just never know how people will react.

deschatrouge, that's too bad that your partner cries-have you asked her how she feels about it? i mean, it's ok if she is crying as long as it doesn't turn into you supporting her...does she say she doesn't want you to talk about it? or is it more that you do'nt want to "burden" her with your intense feelings?
Polymorphism
I can relate to that more than I'd like to admit...

I'm not quite sure why the abused are the ones that get blamed. I found that I had to make my own healing. I generally couldn't talk about it with family and friends because they wouldn't understand or they would tell me that I got myself into it or whatever. Eventually I came to the conclusion that I could choose to dwell in it or I could forgive my abusers and put it in the past and move foreward.

The thought made me angry and liberated me at the same time. I was angry because I did not have the justice that I so desperately wanted (even an apology would have been fine). I felt worthless, like no one cared, and like maybe somehow it was all my fault. Why can I not even have a simple apology?

At the same time, I realized that if I forgave the person and moved on with my life, I could be much happier and healthier. I learned that I could come to terms with what happened. I learned that the world is just, despite the appearances. That person will face justice at some point and it is not up to me to make sure that my abuser gets it. If I forgive the person and move on with my life, I will be free from my prison. Wasting more time hurting is giving too much to my abuser and I decided to refuse to give my abuser one more second of my life.

For me, my Christian faith played a role here. It may be different for others here, but that's how it was for me. I think I'll always share an unspoken bond between myself and other survivors because of what I've been through. I don't think I'll ever forget. The pain has subsided though and I have found it in my heart to forgive my abuser, which has made my life a whole lot happier and richer.

I just thought I'd share. Hopefully, I'm not intruding and I apologize if I am. Remember one thing: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jan 29 2007, 02:52 PM) *

deschatrouge, that's too bad that your partner cries-have you asked her how she feels about it? i mean, it's ok if she is crying as long as it doesn't turn into you supporting her...does she say she doesn't want you to talk about it? or is it more that you don't want to "burden" her with your intense feelings?


It's like she doesn't want to talk about it, but if she says that she feels nonsupporting. I sense that the rape turned me in to damaged goods. She asked me once if I was with her because I had to be, because I never wanted to have sex with men. Basically, was I with her because the rape made me gay. (the answer is no, I just happened to mate with a female, I never had a gender preference. For Pete sakes I dated a transexual).

It's more than that too, I don't like talking about it because I'm veeeeeery uncomfortable when she cries. I go nuts when accidentally I do something to hurt her feelings. I will do anything to "make it better". I admit, although I don't have to walk on eggshells around her, I do make sure I never make her cry. This includes not talking about any aspect of being raped, the event, how I feel about it, ect. I feel like if I make her cry it's my responsibility to make it better, whether I hurt her feelings, or talk about mine. I feel guilty for making her cry, even though I'm meeting my needs.

This is heavy stuff.
maddy29
it IS heavy stuff, it's true. i used to have a lot of trouble with that whole "caretaker" thing myself- it was much easier for me to comfort/support others than to let them do the same. and truthfully, a lot of this stuff IS hard for our loved ones to hear, which i think is why therapy or a group is vital for survivors. but, we do need to learn how to get support from our loved ones, and learn how to accept it.

you said "it's like she doesn't want to talk about it." but is that true? or is that what you think she thinks? I mean, she can cry if she wants to, as long as she's listening to you and there for you, and not expecting you to comfort her. her crying is just showing you how much she loves you, and how angry she is that someone hurt you so much.

i know you know all of this smile.gif and i get how hard it is.

deschatsrouge
It made me realize that I need to talk to her about it. It's true that my perceptions may be just that and I need to fully grasp her emotional reaction to the rape. I think having a frank and *hopefully* non emotional discussion about our perceptions of one another would be cathartic.

I know I have trouble letting the secondary survivors in my life have their feelings. I have a really strong desire to shield them and to not bring it up because I know it's hard for them. I also realize I have absolutely no idea how they really feel or think. My ignorance leads to my fear of their emotions.

Mrs. Rouge and I will be having a weighty discussion later tonight.
maddy29
yeah, it's easy to assume other people can't handle it, or whatever. a lot of times that is true, other times it's that WE can't handle talking about it. although, i had this roommate, i was trying to tell her a teensy thing about the ritual abuse memories i was having. i was so scared to tell her, but knew i needed to tell someone. after i told her, she literally walked out of the room, into the kitchen. she didn't come back. i went to the kitchen and she was there stirring her food, that she was cooking. i was like um, ok? she said "oh i just needed to stir!!" i realized that she just couldn't handle it, couldn't hear it. but it sucked for me, i felt soooo alone then.

good luck with your talk, i hope it goes well. i think it's a talk worth having. let us know how it goes.
ananke
Nova tells jokes, or does something humourous to take the weight of the discussion away. It pisses me off because it's like what I'm saying isn't serious enough. Or bad enough. I understand some of it (he has an overactive imagination and can all too easily make the discussion too real in his head) but at the same time I feel like I'm baring my soul, trying so hard not to be as emotionally distant as before, and I get jokes?
maddy29
oh, the jokes-gah!!!! i mean, when i look back, it's kinda funny to see how people reacted to things, the way they would try to defend themselves from having to feel bad. but at the time it just feels awful! it's like they are saying you can't be upset, or you can be upset for X amount of time, then we need to be happy again! grrr.

my boyfriend does the joke thing soemtimes-and he'll be like oh i'm just trying to cheer you up-i'm like i don't want or need you to cheer me up, i just need you to listen, show you get it, maybe hug me, or whatever......and then maybe after i get it all out, we can joke around a bit to get me out of that dark place.
Polymorphism
I got that a lot when I needed to talk about what happened to me. I thought about it and came up with the following: When you tell someone what happened, you are asking them to see the horror and pain that you went through. Most are not capable of that and hence we survivors are in a lonely boat. How do you get a loved one to be a good listener? My fiancee did her best. However, in order to heal from what happened and move on, I had to seek professional help. It took over a year of hard work in 1-on-1 therapy before the nightmares, flashbacks, and anxiety from what happened subsided.

I've never found anyone that would just listen and be there for you, except other survivors. I think the worst part of it (besides the actual abuse) was that none of my close friends or family were capable of listening. That was really tough...

People just don't want to be mentally brought down by negative things. I can't say that I blame them, but I also wished they would understand what I needed.

Perhaps the solution is to take things in steps so that we don't make it a complete downer for the other person? Make some comments about it throughout the day maybe. After that, maybe have a short conversation about it? That way, they don't get completely down and out from listening and can have time to adjust to what you're saying.

Anyway, for what it's worth, those are my thoughts.
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jan 29 2007, 09:51 PM) *

yeah, it's easy to assume other people can't handle it, or whatever. a lot of times that is true, other times it's that WE can't handle talking about it. although, i had this roommate, i was trying to tell her a teensy thing about the ritual abuse memories i was having. i was so scared to tell her, but knew i needed to tell someone. after i told her, she literally walked out of the room, into the kitchen. she didn't come back. i went to the kitchen and she was there stirring her food, that she was cooking. i was like um, ok? she said "oh i just needed to stir!!" i realized that she just couldn't handle it, couldn't hear it. but it sucked for me, i felt soooo alone then.

good luck with your talk, i hope it goes well. i think it's a talk worth having. let us know how it goes.


I made the talk with Mrs. rouge and it made me realize that By not letting her have her feelings I was being manipulative. I was manipulating her feelings. I told her this and apologized. I have decided to talk about it when the right time comes and if we both end up crying I'm not going to feel guilty about making her cry. I'm going to let it happen. I can't tell you guys how uncomfortable this whole thing made me feel.

QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jan 30 2007, 03:04 PM) *

oh, the jokes-gah!!!! i mean, when i look back, it's kinda funny to see how people reacted to things, the way they would try to defend themselves from having to feel bad. but at the time it just feels awful! it's like they are saying you can't be upset, or you can be upset for X amount of time, then we need to be happy again! grrr.

my boyfriend does the joke thing soemtimes-and he'll be like oh i'm just trying to cheer you up-i'm like i don't want or need you to cheer me up, i just need you to listen, show you get it, maybe hug me, or whatever......and then maybe after i get it all out, we can joke around a bit to get me out of that dark place.


joking sucks. You know what else sucks is when they try to relate with something not nearly as bad. It feels like they are diminishing the value of the experience. I get soooooo angry when people do that to me. I come right out and tell them they are not helping, I also give them the option of never having to talk about it with me again. If they can't handle it, I'm not going to make them.
maddy29
deschat-that's so great you talked with the mrs!!! i'm glad it went so well. isn't it so weird to realize that we can't actually read people's minds? you are so right-if you both end up weeping, so be it. that can actually be amazingly healing-to have someone just hold you and cry with you and just be there throughout, not trying to change the way you feel, just being there with you in the depths of despair.

did mrs. deschat feel bad that you've been holding back? or what was her response to you worrying about her crying?

datagirl
Alot of crap happened yesterday,mainly in my head.It all started with the new girl.She's 17 and a neice of the owner at work.I just started to believe that she was there to take my job.I thought that my job was such a no brainer (which is isn't) and that a 17 year old could do it.So the thoughts got louder and bigger until I just had to ask my boss.It was unfounded,my boss reasured me and told me all my really good points and generally put my mind at ease.This sort of insecurity brought on the thoughts about my siblings abusing me (again).So by lunch time I was pretty depressed.I went to a new cafe and they got my order wrong ect ect and by that time my lunch break was up.When I got back to work I just wanted to ball my eyes out.
The scary thing is,is that I never know when I'm going to freak out and I think that this is a result of the mental and sexual abuse I experienced as a child.I actually hear the their voices in my head telling me how ugly,fat and stupid I am.I feel so damaged,like really damaged sometimes.Like I have this huge secret that separates me from everyone 'normal'.
I told all this to my ex (we're still really good friends) and he said that he has NEVER thought me damaged at all.I really loved it when he said that and he really know me.......
deschatsrouge
((((Datagirl)))) How often do you allow yourself to say I'm sick, I need to go home from work? I think folks should allow themselves to do that every once in a while. I had a shitty day like that the week after last so I canceled all my tutoring appointments and went to a crisis counselor and bawled. It felt really good.

QUOTE(maddy29 @ Jan 31 2007, 06:38 PM) *

deschat-that's so great you talked with the mrs!!! i'm glad it went so well. isn't it so weird to realize that we can't actually read people's minds? you are so right-if you both end up weeping, so be it. that can actually be amazingly healing-to have someone just hold you and cry with you and just be there throughout, not trying to change the way you feel, just being there with you in the depths of despair.

did mrs. deschat feel bad that you've been holding back? or what was her response to you worrying about her crying?


Mrs. Rouge told me that I didn't have to make her feel better. It doesn't change how uncomfortable I am about it. I have decided that I need to work on getting over that by crying with her occasionally. I have to establish boundaries with her and her feelings. I need to learn that it's ok to let her cry and have her feelings, and when it's appropriate for me to comfort her and when it's appropriate for me to let her be. I need to do this by communicating with her and letting her tell me what her needs are.
raincitygirl
Hello all,
This is the first time I've posted here please bear with me. My 2 older half sisters were both raped by their biological father (our mother's first husband)when they were children. The effect on both of them has been, to say the least, long lasting. A couple of weeks ago my oldest sister visited with a healer (a man) who told her that the sexual abuse she suffered as an 8 year old (!) was just "inappropriate" behaviour. WTF! I wanted to hunt the man down and choke him. My sister was immobilized as a result and barely ventured out of the house. I know about PTSD and secondary wounding. Does anyone here have some words of comfor I could offer my sister, other than "I'm going to can that !@#$er for what he said to you"?

Thanks for your help,
RCG
maddy29
wow, that is just so awful. it's amazing to me how many people just want to deny, minimize, or excuse. even people who are supposed to be helpers! or healers.

i'm feeling really angry because a few years ago i participated in a research study and i've read one of the "results" papers and it concluded that "sexual abuse itself is not traumatic, however remembering it years later is what is traumatic." i'm soooo angry!!! and i see these papers being referenced all the time. i need to write to the authors and meet with them and stuff, but i'm just so frustrated and scared and part of my just doesn't believe myself still, etc. but i mean, these are harvard researchers who get a lot of press and stuff.....so disgusting.....

deschat-you are doing some really hard, amazing healing work. i think that it'll mean you get a lot more support.

datagirl-i so agree with deschat-can you take a day off when you need to? or an afternoon? i know it's hard to do, but we have to make time for ourselves to heal, to rest, etc. i'm glad you talked to your boss and got a reality check, otherwise you might still be convinced she's going to steal your job! that must have been really hard to do...
datagirl
Thanks Maddy and deschatsrouge.
It can just be so hard sometimes to keep sane.
Today I am crazy tired and that just brings on thr depression....So I'm not doing anything today.Just posting and trying to stay calm.
deschatsrouge
(((Datagirl))) I sometimes let myself go insane. May I suggest going to the goodwill buying some ugly used plates and smashing them while screaming.

QUOTE(raincitygirl @ Feb 2 2007, 06:39 AM) *

Hello all,
This is the first time I've posted here please bear with me. My 2 older half sisters were both raped by their biological father (our mother's first husband)when they were children. The effect on both of them has been, to say the least, long lasting. A couple of weeks ago my oldest sister visited with a healer (a man) who told her that the sexual abuse she suffered as an 8 year old (!) was just "inappropriate" behaviour. WTF! I wanted to hunt the man down and choke him. My sister was immobilized as a result and barely ventured out of the house. I know about PTSD and secondary wounding. Does anyone here have some words of comfor I could offer my sister, other than "I'm going to can that !@#$er for what he said to you"?

Thanks for your help,
RCG


This "healer" is obviously minimizing what your sisters went through. I advise at the very least that they never see him again. This kind of minimizing enables abusers. By not stepping up to the plate and taking a stand against sexual violence this "healer" is allowing the cycle of sexual violence to continue. Tell your sisters thank you for trusting you and that you believe that what they are saying is true. Tell them you are there to listen to them whenever they need to talk and if they need anything day or night, you will be there for them.

May I ask from what tradition this healer comes from? If this healer is a pagan shaman then you should let others in the community know about his practices so they will not be damaged by him. If this healer is Native American, the Tribal Elders should be notified to discontinue the destructive practices. If he is a priest or clergyman his Bishop should be notified so he can be reprimanded and reeducated. Basically, make him accountable for what he is saying and doing and let him know it's wrong. Find a way to get your sisters out to avoid further damage. Most importantly, get him reeducated so no other members of the community are affected by this "healer". I suggest contacting the local rape crisis center, they usually have education programs for crisis situation providers. This same crisis center can also direct you to a real healer, that will actually help by providing counseling and a listening ear or other modes of healing for your sisters.

raincitygirl it sounds like your sisters are relying on you heavily. It sounds like you are in a tough position to provide a lot of support for them. You can be an advocate for them, but be an advocate for yourself, let yourself have feelings, give yourself permission to grieve, and take a break from all the nastiness once in a while. Most of all help your sisters be advocates for themselves. (If they are old enough.) Help them help themselves, because you have a life too.
tankgirl
when i was 14 i was raped by a friend. the next day the kid teased my boyfriend at the time in a crouded lunchroom saying "hes just mad i f*cked his girlfriend" i broke out in tears and went to the school councelor and told her the story. she told my parents and we went to the police. you know what they said when i made the report? "boys will be boys" and that it was my fault for going to his house. (keep in mind this was in nh) so he was never prosicuted/punished nothing. all i can do about it is hope that he gets reported to the police enough times for them to do something about it. its been over 10 years and i still cant believe they reacted that way. ive gotten through my pain, but i dont think i can ever get over how the authorities reacted to it.
raincitygirl
Thank you Maddy and Deschatsrouge.

I spoke with my sister on the weekend and she said she's "over it" about the healer but that she has come to the conclusion that she has to get out of the "victim mode" and stop turning to other people to heal her. For my sister this means not seeking therapeutic counselling. She stopped seeing a counsellor a few years ago. When I suggested she might want to try it again, if she found the right person she said no. Firmly.

The healer she saw is First Nations but is leaving the country. Couldn't get his "healing" business going in Canada. Wonder why, eh?

And thanks for suggesting I take care of myself, Deschatsrouge. I found myself crying the last time I talked to her. She's very depressed and I think I take on her stuff and internalize it. I don't mean to but that's what happens. Then I hang up the phone and feel like crap for a couple of days.

Tankgirl all I can say is I'm sorry. I'm glad that you got through your pain in spite of the horrid treatment you received from the people who were there to "serve and protect" you.

Thanks again,
RCG
deschatsrouge
I'm sorry to hear your sister doesn't want to go to counseling, and since she has told you in no uncertain terms, I guess you have to accept that. It sucks because you want to see her get better but she has a right to make that decision. I guess all you can really do is to support her no matter what choices she makes.

(((tankgirl))) That is so awful. Were your parents and your school counselor supportive?

maddy29
hey tankgirl-your story reminds me of something that happened to a girl in my high school. she was raped by three boys-classmates. BUT, since she was drinking (gasp!) and was over at one of the boys houses by choice (gasp!) they wouldn't prosecute. They said it was he said she said. She was raped by THREE boys! so insane. IT was crazy because I went to school with all of them, and never knew who the boys were. Just disgusting to me that they wouldn't even press charges-not even bring a case up-just let it go.

the girl went on to become a lawyer and do a lot of work with survivors, etc. but her friends basically ditched her, she had to leave school, etc. bad stuff.
deschatsrouge
I hope this thread doesn't die.
maddy29
hey deschat-how are you? have you been able to let your partner in at all? share some stuff with her?

i'm doing ok with survivor stuff right now. i think i'm out of the depression i was in for the last two months...i'm feeling better.
treehugger
((((maddy)))) glad you are feeling better.

I don't want the thread to die either! I feel like a Bad. Survivor. because I don't post very much...but I lurk a LOT and this thread helps me.

How's everybody doing?
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Feb 21 2007, 08:07 PM) *

hey deschat-how are you? have you been able to let your partner in at all? share some stuff with her?

I'm doing ok in that department. I haven't had occasion to have any sort of a deep convo with her.

I lost my math tutor job yesterday, it was a job I really loved. They fired me because they thought my tough love was a little too tough. funny because none of my students ever complained, in fact mostly of them told me they needed it, I was always careful to never get frustrated with them. They can sense that negative energy. If you go in with "you can do it" vibes students have more patience with themselves. Oh well, I just need to find another work study job on campus, they are a dime a dozen here anyway. I'm thinking about working in the museum as an assistant.

What's everyone else up to? School, work?
datagirl
Hi Everyone!!!!
I've been posting in the crush thread alot.This guy that I'm sort of seeing has taken my mind away from
my siblings for a while.
But I did find the most excellent woman doctor recently!!! I hadn't had a pap smear in like four years and I had also found a small lump in my breast.So I went to finally put my mind at rest.I just felt so
comfortable around her and although the pap is always a horrible experience it wasn't as bad as I last remember.I then spoke to her about my alcohol problem and my anxiety.Here in Australia there has been a
new mental health program put in place where by you pay $140 per session or whatever and get about $120 back from
the government (medicare).I said that the anxiety could have been brought on my my childhood issues.She then asked me what kind? I said incest straight out.She then asked if it was by my father and I said no it was sibling and so I told her the whole story.No guilt,no shame.
So I'm going back to fill out all the forms for the physchologist that I'm going to see and to get the results of my pap and the ultrasound for my breast.She said that the lump felt
more like a cyst than anything serious but she refered me for an ultrsound anyway.
My mother also phoned offering to help out financially with the therapy.I just felt so great that she
would offer.That just confirms in my mind that she acknowledges that what went on happened and she
wants to help me heal.I'm very lucky. I'm so glad she knows.I'm so glad I told her.She had a right to know.
erinjane
I haven't posted much lately cause I feel like the survivor stuff is on a shelf right now that I don't want to distrub (metaphorically of course), but I had this great lecture by a professor I love today. It was a guest lecture that had to do with sexual assault and the legal system, and towards the end she got really worked up and was talking about how women are always silenced and then she said she wouldn't be silent and went, "there, i'm a rape victim, here's what we look like!" and i wanted to jump up and say me too. (but i didn't).

It left me smiling and really proud and happy. I'm going to e-mail her to tell her.
maddy29
good stuff survivors! it's always nice to come to this thread and see positive stuff.

datagirl that's awesome about your mom-sometimes it just takes awhile for people to deal and to figure out how to be supportive. and cool about the dr.!

erinjane that's so excellent about your class-and it's true, we are so silenced and invisible.

deschat-that is poopy about your job. they sound stupid to have fired you. that is just dumb, geez, you don't always have to coddle kids...

((treehugger))
maddy29
love how i'm like "i'm fine!" and then i start having random flashes of my stupid grandfather. sex has been totally repulsing me this week- i told my boyfriend so he'd know it wasn't personal, it's fine, he never pressures me or anything. but i just don't know why this keeps coming back-grrr!!! just trying to relax and not get too worried about it.

sometimes it's hard for me to tell when my body/mind is telling me something, like there is work to be done here. OR, when it's just old crap that i need to just say no to, or whatever.

maddy29
ok, i don't know if these are connected-but saturday i started feeling really like, oh i just overexaggerated a lot of the abuse. then later, i start having those flashes. do you think that when i disbelieve myself it actually causes shit to come up?

i'm skipping work today sad.gif so bad. every weekend i'm like ok, monday i'm going to try harder and stuff and not be such a lazy ass pothead and then here i am at home again. bleh.

tankgirl
erinjane...

im glad to hear everytime anyone stands up against being silenced, i really wish i could, but it makes me feel a lot better when i know others are. i read a newspaper article the other day about a woman standing up against her attacker, whom she couldnt identify, but shes a reported and she did a HUGE article about it in a major newspaper, i wrote down her email, and im planning on writing to her. people like that inspire me, because i feel so stuck that my attakcer was let off without any record, with me having no justice.

and yes, i saw a counselor and my parents were suportive of me, i was lucky. although i did have a best friend who was also raped by the same kid who wouldnt make a police report and back me up on my story which made us resent each other for a while.
deschatsrouge
(((Tank Girl)))
(((Maddy)))
(((Datagirl)))
(((Erinjane)))

Well, Mrs. Rouge told me last night it was time to go back to the shrink (I have issues related to being over competitive and being a bad loser). I have an intake tomorrow morning. I'm hoping I can squeeze in some rape issues as well. But I'm mainly going to get some emotional support while I get my whole PCOS/misbehaving uterus/general health hell issues worked on. I was feeling REALLY depressed about, so much so that I bawled for an hour to the crisis counselor over it. I did let down my guard to Mrs. Rouge and cry in front of her, which was a huge step in the right direction for me. Hopefully next I can open up about the whole rape issue in front of her.

Wish me luck.
maddy29
Great job opening up deschatrouge smile.gif It's hard, and scary, and so painful. But it is so great that you did it, and trusted that she could handle it, and that you could handle it.

I think it's a great idea to get some outside support-I'm all for therapy, even if it's just you sitting there crying and rambling and someone nice listening and nodding....You just gotta get some of that emotion out of you.

How did your intake go? Are you going to a psychiatrist for meds or for listening? Just cause psychiatrists tend to not be good at the actual listening/therapy part......

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