Kate (www.kate1975.wordpress.com) wrote a post about child sexual abuse as an adult. This weekend it will be 16 years since my father last sexually abused me.

*Sexual Trigger*

The first weekend in July in 1994 I was 28 years old and my parents drove to my home, unexpectedly, with a rented truck and my aunt and uncle and emptied out my home and said I had to move in with them. I don’t know exactly why or at least I don’t remember. That night in the Holiday Inn motel my 2 year-old son was sleeping next to me when I felt something on my leg. It was 2:45am and my father was in my bed, had pulled back the covers and pulled up my nightshirt. He was molesting me and I think would have done worse if I hadn’t woken up. I said “No more.”, pulled down my night shirt, and put the covers back on me.

I didn’t say “No more” like an empowered you-can’t-do-that-to-me-anymore woman. I said it, and meant it, as a very tired, betrayed, fed up, hopeless, single mother, depressed, just-leave-me-alone woman.

I feel embarrassed that it happened and that I didn’t have enough self confidence to protect the toddler next to me, much less myself. I realize I was still, or had reverted back to, a sexually abused child frame of mind.

My son doesn’t know that his grandfather did that to me while he was lying next to me. Someday I would like to tell him, though.

It took me several months and three therapists and a psychiatrist to finally find someone who could help me. As Kate wrote, it’s difficult to find information or insight for people who are sexually abused well into adulthood. However I did, but it still took 14 years to really get on the right track therapeutically.

So, Kate got me thinking, and I feel it’s an important issue to think about, and I’m very glad she brought it up.

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Last night I had a very graphic dream about something my mother did which was sexually abusive and as a child never understood.Then this morning I received the following email from my her:

“Dear Lisa,

I want to start by saying that I know that you are angry at us for something we have done and I want to say that what ever it was , we are sorry and we really do love you very much and pray that some day you will forgive us.

I want you to know that your dad is ill and in the hospital. I just got home from the emergency room and he is being admitted. He is diagnosed with pancreatitis and they are doing an MRI tomorrow and calling in the GI doctors and pancreatic surgeon to evaluate the MRI tomorrow. At this time we do not know what it is, but with his history of cancer we are concerned. I will let you know what is going on.

Love Mom”

After hubby and I read it two things occurred to us:

1. She wants me to confront her so she can try and be penitent so I will forgive them, and

2. She realizes that my dad may not be around for much longer and she will be alone and it’s starting to scare her, so she needs to try and connect with me (and maybe my drug-addict sister) to take care of her.

I just wanted to note that she did not give the name of a hospital, a phone number or anything. That’s what she does, though. She leaves out pertinent information to make you go to her and then makes you do things for her while she soaks up the drama.

Several years ago hubby and I knew what we would say when she comes asking for help – “We’re sure you’ll find a nice retirement home.”. It’s not our problem, it’s not our responsibility.

Thinking about my dad dying didn’t make me angry or depressed. Rather, I felt relief, hope and freedom. It just washed over and inside me. He hasn’t tried to contact me in months which is nice. If he is dying and wishes to see me I won’t go. I expect there may be phone calls from relatives, but it’s none of their business and I’m happy to tell them so.

I feel hopeful after reading other blogs and how they reacted to their father’s deaths. We’ll be okay and we’ll feel safer and that’s always a good thing.

The abusers stopped by on Sunday. Mom is playing a “Let’s pretend we’re a great, big, healthy, happy family” game, but not my dad, and that won’t last long anyhow, and my kids didn’t fall for it. They are fading away and are miserable, disgusting, ugly creatures. I’m glad for that.

No triggers, no nightmares, nothing. We are in total control with them. When we motioned for them to leave they did. No kind words and hardly a goodbye. It was nice.

We have a plan in place should they want to stop by again.

It’s good to feel above and beyond them right now.

The week before my mom sent me a box in the mail. There was no note, just a photo album. The pictures were ones she had told us were missing nearly fifteen years ago. I didn’t look at all of the pictures, but the few I did see were of me naked (as a toddler) or in sexy poses. I remember  that some of those pictures had been in a certain album which had disappeared, but I have no memory of the pictures being taken. She wrote something either on the photos or ripped off pieces of paper, wrote on them, and put them with the pictures. It’s just crazy. I did ask my therapist to look at them last week and she suggested a couple of things: Place them carefully in a box and save them for much later to look at (right again, Meredith!), or take one picture at a time and journal about how I feel when I look at them.

I didn’t acknowledge that I received the photos and mom didn’t ask about them when she was here.

It feels good to get bored with their desperate tactics to try and regain some control over me.

It’s a relief that I don’t need to pop Xanax at the mention of them.

I still wish they would explode or fall into a whirling vortex of Chaos (hmmm….like “Event Horizon” maybe?), but I and my family can deal with their shit and they can’t hurt us.

It has been difficult finding my voice, but it was behind the couch the whole time. (c’mon…laugh…it was cute…)

Hubby and I made a decision last year about how to end contact with my parents. We chose to do it step-by-step and thus far it is working. We also knew that my parents would work very hard to regain some control over me and that it would be difficult to ride through in the short term. I told him that they would, at least through their words, play a pseudo-legal game as a threat, even if they just hint at it. And so they have already. It’s just their game, and it is only words from desperate people, and we’re handling it okay. They like to threaten (even if it’s a subtle threat) and manipulate. They’re special that way.

A few therapy sessions ago my therapist said that we could consider legal avenues if we feel it necessary and I would have her support.

So anyway…I know many people don’t agree with the way we are handling this, but we feel it is the best way at this time. We know how my parents think and so far have been ahead of their games, remained safe and in control, and have support. Those issues alone are so very important. Had we suddenly ended contact it would have created far more complicated problems. Situations are different and this is working best for our situation.

This is the email we received last weekend:

> To: “Lisa”
> Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2011 1:17:32 PM
> Subject: VISITATION RIGHTS
>
>
> As grandparents, we hereby insist that you pick a day, Saturday or Sunday, between now and March 31st, to allow us to visit with your family.  If you’re lucky, we may bring a ‘token’ for you, as a recognition of your birth.
>
> Please consider, and reply at your earliest.
>
> Dad

My response:

> April 3rd or April 10th is best for us. No need to bring a ‘token’ for anything, we’re fine.

And then:

>Hi honey,

>We will see you on April 3rd, what time is good for you? We will not bring any ‘token’, we are just bringing the birthday presents we got you, so if you do not get a card on your birthday, please do not think we forgot. We would not forget your birthday Let us know a good time.>Love you, Mom

I don’t acknowledge my parent’s birthdays and my mom recently had one. That’s what her condescending little jab is about. The subject “VISITATION RIGHTS” is a pseudo-legal threat from them. Writing the words out is supposed to slip into my subconscious and bend me to their will. I’m serious. That’s how they think. As if they’re spies or something.

My therapist agrees with our approach and the way I am keeping boundaries and control.

An important realization over the past week is the fact that my parents gaslighted me. By constantly telling me, as well as family and friends, I am a liar and a faker and threatening me besides made it impossible to accept the belief in my own existence. If what I went through happened, and yet I’m being barraged with “You’re always making things up.”, “You never tell the truth.”, “No one can ever trust what you say.”, “Stop faking it. You’re not really hurt.”, it’s no surprise I can’t tell what is real. One incident in particular stands out. My parents took the day off work to meet with my 2nd grade teacher and tell her how I constantly lie, so anything I may have told her is unbelieveable. I don’t remember what I told my teacher, just the meeting. Accepting this truth also brought with it sensations of being choked and dry heaves. No anxiety though, and only a single thought of self-harming.

No one else in my life has not believed me or told me to shut up and stop lying. No one else has questioned what I believed happened in any circumstance. My parents constantly played these head games to the point where I question my own exsitence.

It is such a relief to understand this. I feel like “Yay! I’m not totally nuts, just broken!”. Broken I think I can work with. Being insane means “Why bother?” to me.

For the most part, life sucks, but it’s workable. I’m not in my happy space yet and these understandings and other crap are extremely tiring. I don’t know if this is a good post, but I am curious if anyone else went through something similar with their parents. I am also very nervous about what the next phase of healing will be like. Today I feel like I took a big step forward and banished some of my negative ways of thinking. Ways of thinking that were not even mine to begin with.

 

My brain separates mom’s abuse from dad’s. Dad’s abuse has few problems being remembered. Mom’s is under different layers, or at least filed in a different way. The first layer is her basic disdain that I was born a girl instead of a boy that would carry on the family name. Another is about having red hair and her disdain (jealousy? Hard to tell the difference. I’m not good with emotions). Another is about having long hair as a child because dad liked it, so she had it cut into a page boy haircut when I was nine. Another is about neglect – physical and emotional. Another is the conflict between “good” mom and “mean” mom, which is further divided into physical, emotional, and sexual abuses.

The parts that were created to protect me from dad have a much smoother time revealing themselves and accepting that it’s safe now, it can never happen again, etc., and it’s easier to figure out what they need to create a space inside for them.

The parts created to deal with and/or protect me from mom feel more complicated. Memories of her abuse are more linear, so I can think back and know what happened, but I always wonder why, what did I do wrong, why does she do that to me, why does she say that, why does she like so-and-so more than she likes me, why doesn’t she love me, what can I do to get her love………

I was going over a list about the effects and/or signs of incest a while back and I was saying to myself, “Oh yeah. Dad did that. And that. And that. Oh, that was Mom definitely…”, but I ignored what mom had done and only focused on the father-daughter incest.

I know my mother is a wrong creature, but I also divided up what she did into a few categories: she was jealous that dad had sex with me (without stopping it or getting help), she was an RN so she needed to try the new medications to make sure they worked (She said I was her guinea pig.), and if she couldn’t stop dad from doing what he did she could watch and laugh (which is what she did, and still does, when I’m hurt, in pain, having a bad day, out of a job, spill something on me, fall down, etc.). For whatever reason this made some sort of sick sense to me and I never thought of it as sexual abuse. I thought she was simply a souless, empty, pathetic, fucking bitch from Hell. Another question that plagued me was why am I the one being put through all of this. She spoiled my sister rotten and I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong besides not being born a boy (something she recently reminded me of again).

So the more I learned about myself, how my System functions, the difference between right and wrong behaviors, healthy versus unhealthy, the more I saw that besides the emotional and physical abuses I suffered at her hands the more many of them fell into sexual abuse as well. They usually overlap each other, which makes it more confusing. Many things she did were only sexual, and often that felt like some revenge or payback I don’t understand.

The threats and consequences about telling anyone what she was doing are also there, just like dad’s. Recently I’ve met two alters who were created to kill if I told. The one created by my father’s threats is called M, and his job was to make sure I commit suicide before telling anyone the horrible things dad did, especially the things that have surfaced over the last 15 months. The alter created by my mother’s threats is called Andy, and his job is to kill me, like a hitman. I thought that was an interesting difference. M makes sure I commit suicide, while Andy actually kills me. I’m not exactly sure what that means or if it is common to mother-daughter sexual abuse (MDSA) survivors.

Writing this out is conflicting for me. I feel an inner sigh of relief, ashamed, and scared. I still don’t know where to go with this subject and I hope I at least shed some light and understanding on what happened and what is happening at this point. Please don’t be afraid to ask anything. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

I needed to write this out. It’s not so important that it be read, and it went in a different direction than I originally intended. I think I needed to see this in print, out there, somewhere, and not just in my head.

Abusers were here this morning to exchange christmas gifts. We made excuses about why we wouldn’t be able to go to their house, and they agreed to come here without argument. All correspondence was through email, as has been done since last May.

They will not eat any food I make (“Oh we just ate”, “You always make spicy food and we’ll be up all night”, etc.), so I bought some breakfast food and made coffee. They walked in with Dunkin’ Donuts and the Box of Joe (for 4 people???), and refused to drink the coffee I made, or the food I bought.

Three of my gifts from them still had “To Karen” (my mother’s name) written on them, with my name written over it. One present was covered with dust and yellowed tape. Two still had the clearance prices on them, and my father picked out the clothes. He still likes to remind me how he always picks out the prettiest clothes for me. Fucking creep.

I threw out everything they gave me right after they left. Hubby threw his stuff out, too.

The two older kids don’t care for these people, but the youngest is still just happy to get more presents.

Hubby and I had our safety/boundary plan, we released our dogs on  them (always fun), and if the conversation lagged we could look at our youngest and point to any object and say something like “Tell us about such-and-such!”, and she would talk and talk about it because now that she’s nine she knows everything. We don’t use our daughter in any mean or vindictive way. She simply knows exactly how the world works (or should be working) and is very confident when telling everyone her opinions and observations. It’s really impressive and she loves an audience.

I never asked them any questions. They didn’t ask me anything this time, either.

*****abuse and sexual abuse trigger*****

One of the few things I remember as a kid is my mother choking me until I couldn’t breathe and I never knew why. I still don’t. Today she choked me with her arm and elbow as she was leaving and I had to push her away. I wouldn’t give her a hug and she came over and choked me. I firmly believe she has tried to kill me four times that I know of – smothering me with a pillow, chicken salad made with raw chicken (I was hospitalized for three days), turkey that was raw inside (it didn’t smell right and I had to shove her aside to find out the piece she cut for me was raw), and a new appliance that had the cord intentionally cut and rubbed off so the wires were exposed (ended up at the doctor’s after I was shocked badly). Maybe I’m wrong, though. It could be that she’s just fucking stupid. Maybe she was mad that Dad was fucking me and not her, who knows?

Oh, this is not going in the direction I wanted, but it’s going and that’s what I need. It’s going, going, and I want it gone. They are gone. I am safe. No more ever, ever, ever. I’m really done. Die, die, die you fucking bastards.

The new Thanksgiving plan (for anyone who reads my blog) was terrific, and everyone is invited here for next year. Bring your own sleeping bags, though. 😉

The past week or so has been an exercise in coping. Most of it was in preparation for my abusers visit to my home yesterday. It was their standard visit – some Sunday, from 1-3pm. It has been five months since I have spoken to them, and nine months (I think) since they visited my home, although occasionally emails were exchanged. I expected this visit to be a major triggering event, so we established boundaries, physical and what-not. Over the weekend my husband and I composed an email that would end all verbal and physical contact with them, but still allow some contact with the kids (they have no contact with them anyway) because we knew that my parents would invoke their Grandparents Rights just to be assholes.

I emailed Tai and asked her to read over the email because she had recently ended contact with her mother and I really needed some input (She was awesome, as usual.). It should be easy to do this, but it’s not, and I want to be careful and cover all my bases. Here is the draft of the email I wrote. I haven’t sent it yet:

*After many months of personal deliberation and years of therapy I have decided that in order to heal myself and make the best out of my life I am ending all verbal and physical contact with the two of you, as well as the rest of my family. The damage you have done to body and psyche has made it extremely difficult to simply find my way through life, much less succeed the way I wish to. Ending any and all relationships with you will help me move through my troubled self and regain what is left. I no longer need you in my life, and I no longer want you in my life in any capacity.

I know this decision will not come as a complete surprise to the two of you, so don’t pretend it does. I have wasted enough of my life simply patching up what the two of you have done, and I must move on. I feel no responsibility towards you or any family member, and I have no regrets making this decision. It is the best, most positive decision I can ever make. This is my personal decision that I have reached alone for my own health and well-being.

I don’t care if or how you choose to explain my decision to anyone. I don’t care how you feel about my decision. I don’t care about you, and I am choosing you out of my life.

I invite you to maintain contact with my children but I fully expect you to respect and abide by my decisions.

In good conscience I am returning the Christmas gifts you gave me so there are no false pretenses.

You may write to my email address, but do not expect any immediate response.

Most Sincerely,

Lisa*

This email wasn’t sent because the creatures that came to my home yesterday were old, bitter, feeble, sick, powerless, ugly, beaten, and no threat. I maintained my boundaries, did not offer them food or drink, did not allow them to go anywhere else but my kitchen, did not laugh or respond to anything they said, maintained eye contact, did not start any conversation at all, offered no information about myself, hubby, or the kids, etc.. Towards the end my father offered me an envelope of cash and I told him that I didn’t want his money, and that really embarrassed him (I haven’t accepted any money from them in years. I even mail it back to them if they try to put it in a card.). I wouldn’t touch them when they left and I held the door and ushered them out. At no time did they ask why I haven’t called, or when I would stop down to their house (I haven’t been there in over a year.). Even on their way out the door there was no, “Be sure to call me!”, or, “I’ll talk to you soon!”.

I was so busy doing those things that my husband said they looked very nervous and scared. He told me, “You were completely in charge and they knew it and it scared the shit out of them! That was great!”. So, now I’m wondering if sending that email is necessary at this point. It felt so good to do what I did and not be triggered, not feel guilty, and not feel like I had to justify anything. The idea of watching them wither away mired in their own shit, knowing I’m safe and in control and have the support of my husband is enough for now I think. I’m saving that email, though, until I really need it.

I would appreciate any thoughts about how I handled this. I honestly don’t feel like I chickened out. Rather, it was empowering to be in control and not be triggered, or spend the rest of the afternoon hiding under the covers. I feel good. I feel stronger. I hope this lasts for a few days, but I know I could crumble if there is an internal backlash. Ending all contact was so important a couple of days ago, but it doesn’t feel as important now. Has anyone had a similar experience? Should I have ended all contact anyway?

love & disappointments

November 17, 2010

Parents can be such an amazing disappointment sometimes. Most people are capable of being vile, careless, baseless creatures. It’s there, somewhere in our genetic makeup. I always figured that the biological urge to reproduce accompanied the urge to nurture and protect. It doesn’t work that way so naturally sometimes, and (many moons ago) I also used to be quite optimistic in general. To make the choice to warp and twist a life is inconceivable to me. How strong must a person’s will be to overcome the natural urge to comfort and nurture their child and instead disregard or experiment with it. Choose to bring them into the world and then choose to exploit and abuse them. I think it takes a mighty strong will.

My father is a vile creature. From what I have heard he has been vile most of his life. My mother was already screwed up by the time they met and I think it was easy to manipulate her, but she also had choices.

I know my parents do not love me. I know I was not wanted. If I were to “love” as they taught me growing up then I would most likely be in jail for abusing my own children, or dead.

When I look at my own children I know I love them but I often hold back on feeling that love. Seeing them interact with me, their father, each other, pets, or even stuffed animals demonstrates to me that they really do understand love. I don’t recall making a choice to love them, but at some point there must have been a spark in me and I passed it on to them. I don’t think I love appropriately sometimes, though. I still wade through the waters, trying to find the right current.

I believe that love is inexplicable and difficult, if not impossible, to define. I know it can be found and shared. It can be held and released, but it’s form eludes me. I know I can see love, feel it, hear it or touch it, but I can’t describe it. I’m pretty sure I’ve found it, but I don’t know exactly what to do with it.

If love is everywhere and accessible what is the point of trying to twist it and use it as a weapon, as punishment, or a sick kind of reward? I’m no longer sure what I’m even writing about. The closer I get to my hate and anger, the louder a small voice inside cries, “I love mommy and daddy!”, and the greater the urge is to stop everything.

 

Since at least April I have trying to organize my System by building a safe space internally. There would be a safe space for younger parts to play, eat, watch movies, etc., a conservatory of sorts, arboretum, kitchen, and central meeting area. At first it was working well, but only for a few weeks, so I tried different types of places. I visualized a house with different levels, a home built into the earth, and so on, but it always ended up falling apart and everyone scattered about. Recently I tried again and I felt a seething, disgusting pit, way in the back and nearly in the dark. When I tried to see and feel it there were muck-covered young girls trying to crawl out, but they were stuck. It was horrifying. They were just screaming and crying and I didn’t know what to do, so I tried very hard to send safe, loving feelings their way. I also lost my appetite for the rest of the day.

If a younger one comes through with a memory, or feeling there are always  a couple of older ones who quickly surround them with safety and love. They do that even when I’m not completely aware of what is happening, or before I can consciously realize what they are holding. I asked the older ones to help with such younger girls and they take this responsibility very seriously.

Time has been passing quite oddly this summer. My husband has been asking me to “Please pick a personality and stick with it.” (I think he’s accepted the DID diagnosis). Often I wake up and shortly after the day is over. I guess that may mean I’m dissociating a lot, or switching?

One of my books, The Dissociative Identity Disorder Soucebook, mentions that some Systems are very fluid. Last week I asked my therapist if perhaps my System was fluid, and that is why I am having trouble attempting any sort of organization. She agreed that it may very well be.

**Trigger** Over the past week I have learned two important things about my past. First, I remembered the first time my father had actual intercourse with me and it felt like the pain, anguish, and confusion of that flashback would shatter me. Second, the recurring dream of a particular street (my previous post) is an actual street. Two days after I learned that the street was real I felt and saw the young girls way back there stuck in the disgusting muck.

I believe that over the next several days or weeks I need to soothe those memories and those little girls and try to remain focused and aware. I’m not sure how to accomplish that if I’m losing all of this time, however. In other news, my husband is having minor surgery next week and the kids start school soon. I see my psychiatrist tomorrow, but he primarily deals with my medications. I feel I should tell him at least some of this, though.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough. I need to start my day and try to remain aware and calm. I’m going to keep my goals simple for a bit.

Hello. Most days I am up rather early, but today I slept in for four extra hours. I’m trying not to feel like I’ve wasted the day. This is why I think I slept in:

1) I’ve been having the same dream for several years, maybe once or twice a month. It’s on a street with two railroad-like tracks at the top. It’s a residential street with Mom-and-Pop stores among the houses. I’m a little girl, holding my father’s hand, and we always go to the same place. We enter a small business, he talks low to a couple of other men, and he leads me to the back of the building. The dream always stops there.

Two nights ago I had the dream again and I saw the street sign. I looked it up on a street map, found it, but there were no train tracks there. Hubby suggested trying to find where the trolley used to run. I went online, found a map of the old trolley tracks, and there they were at the top of the street I had found. They are just paved over now.

I really want to go and walk around that street, but hubby doesn’t think I should go alone. He’s probably right, damn him. It could very well be that absolutely nothing bad happened there, but my gut says otherwise. My father liked to take me places and sexually abuse me and I wonder if that was one of them.

So, the younger parts were very stirred up about that, and then this much smaller development:

2) A nurse called and scheduled my surgery yesterday. It’s going to be a two-fer (as long as he’s in there fixing one thing, might as well fix the other) deal. I hate going under anesthesia because of that loss of control feeling as you slip into unconsciousness, I’m afraid I won’t wake up, and  during my first major surgery they started cutting before I fell asleep. Granted, it was an emergency (they lost mine and my daughter’s heartbeat), but scary nonetheless. The surgeon who is doing next month’s operation assured me over and over last year (he operated on me last year, too) that what happened during that first c-section only happens during emergency c-sections and heart attacks. I believe him but I’m terrified anyway. Now I’ll probably start some stupid countdown. I asked my therapist to help me prepare mentally for surgery.

Well, anyway, I think that’s why I slept for 4 extra hours this morning. And look at me! Sitting at the computer when things need to get done……..

What do you think about the dream? Should I go to that street and walk around alone, or take what’s-his-face with me?

Have you ever had surgery while aware of your DID? Any suggestions?