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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*The following link is to an HBO documentary about MPD. Some may find it triggering*

This documentary may be familiar to people, but I only found it recently:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/multiple-personalities/

 

I relate very closely with the last woman’s story, including what happens when she switches. My husband and I were even discussing some similar things that have happened with us earlier this week. I liked this documentary and I really liked to see that many of the people credited at the end are people I know through books or through my therapist.

How do you feel about this film?

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.

Keeping up with reading and writing a blog is taking a back seat to mentally and physically preparing myself for surgery in a few weeks. As DID thingies arise it’s been a little easier to handle and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to understand just how well my coping skills are working lately.

As okay as this has been going the past few weeks I have been triggered by my mother’s email-spamming (tons of stupid, usually christian, forwarded crap) and her personal emails to me. Following are her personal emails. I had thought about picking them apart and explaining the lies, stupidity, nonsense, etc., but I feel better simply posting them. It has been one year since I’ve spoken to my parents on the phone. I have never asked about them or any member of my family. I have never written them an email, only responded if necessary. So here goes the personal emails over the past month:

Apr. 18, 2011

Hi Lisa,

Just wanted you to know that we will be out of town today to wed , so if you need us for anything, you can call us on the tracfone.
We sent out the kids Easter baskets sat. Hope all is well with you and hope you two had a wonderful anniversary.

Love, mom and dad
—————————————————————
Apr. 21, 2011

We went to see your dad’s chest surgeon today and he had his CT scan of his chest before the appt and the doctor said that his chest now looks like that of a normal patient. No cancer and whatever it was that he had in the remaining lobes that the pulmonologist checked is no longer there. GOOD NEWS

Love mom and dad
—————————————————————
Apr. 30, 2011

 Good morning Lisa,

Today we are dropping you a line because you do not want us to call, to say we hope that [daughter] has a wonderful birthday and the day itself will be beautiful for her.
We were wondering also, how you made out with the storm, hope there was no damage. I was thinking about that area way in back of house that is like a swamp and if it filled up with water?  Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Love mom and dad

****NB****I have never said that I don’t want them to call****
————————————————————–
May 4, 2011

Hi honey,

Just wanted you to know that this weather craps the bed

Love, mom
—————————————————————–
May 5, 2011

Hi honey,

Dad went to dermatologist yesterday and had 3 biopsy’s of his head, they will let us know how they turn out. This man has had every part of his body biopsied.
How are you doing with your sugar and sleeping? Also your knee’s.
The sun was wonderful today.
[daughter] enjoy her birthday, did she have friends for a sleep over?

Talk to you later,
Love you, mom
————————————————————-
May 9, 2011

Howdy Lisa,

Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day, I got thinking about it and I envisioned [daughter] and [daughter] making your dinner, since you taught them both to cook. Did they? If so , what did they make. Hope it was a day of rest for you, you need it.
Your Dad went to your grandma’s because I was sick. He got her a Jesus coffee cup that says Jesus saves and when you pour coffee in it , his beard comes off his face and it says Jesus shaves. She loved it.
Well , take care and I love you, Mom
————————————————————-
May 12, 2011

Hello my sweets,

Wanted to let you know that dad biopsies , none were cancer.
Also, we will be leaving town tomorrow morning till Sunday. It’s your dad’s once a year golf trip with the boys and so I’m going away with Sue till Sunday. You can always get a hold of me on the track phone if something happens.
This is the kind of weather I like and we have been getting a lot of outdoor work done and gardens are looking good. We really hope you can come down this summer. Have you started your vegetable garden yet?

Love, Mom
—————————————————————-
May 16, 2011

We got back yesterday. It was raining here when we left,raining where we went,raining where your dad went and raining when we came home, it’s unbelievable and it was pouring when we got up today. Unfortunately john and your dad got sick on their dinner Friday night, which curtailed their activity a little bit for rest of weekend. Sue and I had a very good time and everything went well.
Hope all is well with you. How are the girls and [son] doing?
I see your mother-in-law is having surgery, I sent her a note to let me know how she does.
Talk to you soon, Love Mom
—————————————————————

I was trying and working really hard, but these emails brought out two new alters, night terrors, panic attacks, and a sensation of being choked that keeps coming and going. My hallucinations were going away until now and my psychiatrist is scheduling a CT brain scan in July and has tweaked some medications.

I don’t delete these personal emails right away in case they are attempting to come to the house and sometimes it’s difficult to tell by her subject line.

The new alters are quite talkative and sometimes it feels like they are riding on my shoulders wherever I go, but they feel safe and comfortable. That’s what’s important, too. We need to feel safe, comfortable, aware, accepted, loved, respected and validated.

I’m not ranting really. Those little girls wouldn’t have come forward if they didn’t feel it was time, and while my coping techniques are useful for many situations I see now where I need some extra stuff.

Everything just keeps building upon the last step. I want it to reach a landing so I can take a break for a while before continuing on this healing journey.

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.

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 oldest daughter has taken care of a stuffed baby this week for Health class. She had to sew the body, draw a face, choose a name, and carry it with her everywhere. She also sewed a blanket for it, drew on an anime face, and decided her baby is Buddhist, too. She hasn’t taken the entire project seriously, she’s hired her sister as a babysitter several times, and I found out why this morning. She can’t imagine being responsible for such a tiny, fragile person and keep it safe, fed, and happy. At 12 years old she understands that at least she is not ready for such responsibility.  A lot of the kids doing this project thought it would be great to have their own baby for real, and she is telling them “No, it would not be great. It would be a lot of work and I want to be a veterinarian first.”. I know it’s a 12-year old realization, but I’m proud anyway.

That brings me to an obvious point. My parents should have never had children. If I had the choice I would rather not have been born. I’m not happy here and I don’t function well. So many things are a struggle and I can’t seem to get it right. I work, work, work, inside and out and I’ll be dead before I can sort things out. My parents didn’t keep me safe, fed, or happy. I am the bane of their existence, as they have reminded me. They couldn’t look at a little baby in wonder and love, but rather in disgust and anger.

These birth and responsibility thoughts I have aren’t new. I keep coming back around to see them from a different point of view every so often. When I was 14 my parents forced me to have an abortion. I didn’t know I was pregnant and we were just learning about female reproductive stuff in junior high. I found out I was pregnant shortly before I had the abortion after school one afternoon. In the very short amount of time I realized I was pregnant (and subsequently threatened if I told anyone) I knew I loved and could care for that baby and give it a better life than I had. Later, while recovering, I swore that I when I was ready to have a baby I wouldn’t let my parents have anything to do with it – my pregnancy or raising my baby. I know a baby at 14 would have made my life even more difficult, and I had no idea how to care for a baby, but I still loved the baby as intensely as a hormonal pre-teen could.

I’ve been thinking about this over the past two weeks. I was 25 when I felt ready to have a baby, and I did make sure my parents were not involved in any way. Part of it must have been subconscious knowledge because I remember freaking out if my mom or dad tried to be alone with them without knowing exactly why. I brought this up (the abortion) in therapy many months ago, but just started discussing it the past two sessions. It was such a relief to get it out. The body memories that always accompany this are gone and I can look at it from this other point of view and see what a good, healthy mother I am.

Looks like I’m rambling again. I feel okay today and I felt okay yesterday afternoon after therapy. It was a bit depressing talking about the abortion, it was my mom’s birthday (which I don’t acknowledge), so when I got home I went in one of the girls rooms and just cleaned and cleaned (and had a discussion later about how to use the garbage can). Feeling okay is nice. I get work done and cook fantastic meals. I draw pictures on fruit to make people laugh. I vomited up that incident and that part feels clean inside. The rest of the house needs some cleaning, though, so it’s time to wrestle with my vacuum.

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.