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.

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.

I wanted to write and rant but it’s sooo loud, loud, loud! Therapy left me more frustrated than ever. We talked about a million things and I cannot focus or finish a sentence or thought.

It’s hard to stop and prioritize. And I’m so tired. So much needs to be done.

I know what mom did. I see the look on her face and I hear what she said. That vindictive fucking bitch. And it’s playing over and over and over in my head.

Inside there is an alter who seems ageless and another one that feels older than me and is very nurturing and loving. I’m trying to give everything over to them so I can breathe. It’s just starting to feel a little better. It needs to feel better because I have:

* another surgery soon

* my daughter’s birthday

* my son’s preparing for college

* and basic running around for food, appointments, sports, concerts, life in general shit

Over the past week I have run out of two stores in a panic, I’m hiding in closets and behind doors in my house like I did as a kid, and continue to search for noises that turn out to be more hallucinations. I forgot my birthday (I don’t celebrate it, though), anniversary, and nearly forgot my kid’s birthday (she reminded me in time). Things are moving too fast inside and out. I cope during panic attacks, walk around the house after I wake up from increased nightmares, and load up on drugs to sleep. I look like I’ve been hit by a baseball bat and makeup doesn’t really smooth it out. On the plus side I’ve lost a dress size and bra size, but there’s more gray in my hair.

That’s my fucking rant I suppose. I’ll call the stupid psychiatrist about my stupid hallucinations and my stupid nightmares even though it’s stupid. Nyah.

DID is a busy disorder. So much to do, so little time. I feel like I am the leader of a small country with my citizens constantly clamoring to be heard.

I wanted to write about the last couple of weeks, but a few little girls need to express how they experienced mother-daughter sexual abuse.  **trigger** It goes something like this:

WHY? WHY?
I DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!
STOP IT!
OKAY! OKAY!

Only she never got to say that out loud. Mom hurt her, belittled her, and made her believe what was happening was her fault. Mom stripped her essence and beat into her that she was an unworthy whore. She watched and she laughed and she did nothing. She still watches and she still laughs and she still belittles.

She hurt me and she let me be hurt. She put me in serious situations that no child should ever be in. She told me to shut up and stop faking when I said I hurt.

I have always remembered the way she treated (treats) me. I have always had little glimpses and funny feelings about other things she did to me. Now a few little girls are helping me understand what did happen and why I had those funny feelings. I’m trying very hard to accept and respect their experiences. These girls hurt so bad. I’m beginning to feel their rage, humiliation, and disgust and I keep pushing it down so I can get through the day.

Tomorrow is therapy and I hope I can bring these girls to the forefront and learn to work through these feelings safely.

I didn’t mean to trigger anyone.

Today in therapy I named names and began to graphically described what happened. I have been waiting all day for paranoia to set in, but it’s calm inside. Part of me wants to write my therapist a letter asking her to not accept large amounts of cash for giving me up to those people (in case they find out somehow). Sometimes I believe the office is bugged, but I don’t care right now.

I want to see my grandchildren someday so I hope I don’t get killed for telling her. It took me over one year to really trust her and I don’t want her to turn out to be a spy for those people. When I got home I closed all the curtains and stayed away from the doors.

Maybe these fears will go away someday.

Ahem. The Committee of the System would like to express their heartfelt appreciation for your existence (that being anyone who stops by to read this crap). Your words, your experiences, and your support help us move through life.

Sometimes I imagine that those who are further along the healing path have access to great wisdom and insight. And when you step away from the computer flowers sprout from beneath your feet and faeries toss rose petals on your path. Don’t tell me this doesn’t really happen, or my illusions will be shattered forever.

I know that when I get up from the computer I’ll drag my ass to the kitchen and get to work, but the sky won’t open up and a rainbow won’t light my path (I KNOW that’s how it happens with some of you).

My life is boring. The only excitement comes from battling and bargaining with my inner demons and demonettes, working through new memories, and figuring out which sounds are real and which are hallucinations.

I think my life would make a great movie…….. There’s drama, tragedy, sudden plot twists, action, adventure, travel, life-altering moments…….

So I remembered some scary, filthy stuff, but the little girls who experienced it didn’t think it was scary or filthy. It just was. That is simply what happened. They were so relieved to share what they went through, and I need to feel relieved also.

I’m also hearing things several times a day and it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s a real sound and what’s not. My therapist wants me to call the psychiatrist but I’m afraid to. One sound in particular confounds me. It’s a record player and the needle is all the way at the end of the record, making that sound over and over. The strange thing about it is that I can actually walk around the sound. It’s as though the record player is right in front of me, invisible, and I can move around it. It makes me feel crazy. Maybe it’s a ghost. I’ve asked inside if anyone can help me learn where this record player is from but I have no answer yet. I did tell my therapist about it, though.

Many of the sounds are triggering and I won’t write about them here. I would rather have the “usual” flashbacks. My husband said it must be similar to what some Vietnam soldiers experienced and people thought they were crazy. I’d like to know what they are from so I can help and work through it.

One thing that does help is playing non-English radio stations loudly on the Sirius/XM radio. That and trying to crochet and watch a subtitled movie at the same time.

Everyone is gone now and I’ve rambled on enough. Time to make it less quiet here.

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.

 

Febuary 9th Was a Long Day

February 10, 2011

Step 1. Ask therapist to PROMISE not to get mad at you before you even sit on the floor.

Step 2. Hand her suicide kit containing 40-50 narcotic pain killers, X-Acto knife, and alcohol pads along with note for her that reads “I’m really, really, really sorry”, etc., and expresses urge to self-harm while she watches.

Step 3. Let it all fall out. Don’t think about anything. Just let it fall, fall, fall, fall out.

Step 4. Buy a Caramel Mocha at McDonald’s, after she feels you can drive, with the window down, so that freezing cold keeps you aware all the way home.

Step 5. Don’t stop at the grocery store. That is a bad idea.

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.

Bloggy info update

January 27, 2011

I’ve added a new blog to the blogroll:

Butterfly Closures – The primary focus of her blog is mother-daughter sexual abuse, which is very important to me, and her resources are definitely worth checking out and reading. It is a subject I’m not prepared to write about but one which I struggle with.

In other Blogginess…

meredith and her Yoga for a Year entries are insightful and inspiring and help me to both reach inside and look beyond what happened.

Kate1975 has added links and pages and resources and I can spend all day going through the terrific information she has gathered. Here is a specific mother-daughter sexual abuse resource page:

http://kate1975.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/mother-daughter-sexual-abuse-links/

Mark does not blog about abuse or mental illness, but his photography and interpretations of the wonder and beauty of nature always give me pause.

It can be so lonely and painful here, in my body. Visiting and reading these blogs, the other terrific blogs on my blogroll, and checking out the Internet resources I have listed really does help. I feel it is important to acknowledge that pain and loneliness, work with my therapist, write, draw, talk inside and out, and read reliable books and blogs and resources to learn, empathize, offer and accept support, and know, really know that I’m not alone. I may be lonely and miserable but I am not alone. I can gain strength, hope, and compassion from the ether of the Internet. And on the better of days I can offer that as well.

That’s all.