Stronger in the Broken Places

I have spoken before about how my abuse as a child has caused me to have moments in life that lead to me shutting down. I’m learning that this often happens as a self- defense mechanism.

A survival tool I was never aware I had built into my skill set. A direct response to a threat.

What I neglected to mention and what is equally if not more important, is that each time I resurface from these dark corners of doubt I come back ten times stronger for having been there.

The resilience and the sheer will it takes to face past experiences head on and to continue to claw out of the hurt and keep going holds transforming power. Power that can only be gained from experiencing a specific type of pain.

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Stories: Getting Better Is My Main Focus

First abuse – I was barely 3 years old….a foster home with I don’t even remember how many boys. I was barely 20 and a mom of twins. One child was epileptic and both had learning issues. My family wasn’t as supportive as they could be, and I was pregnant again. Only there’s a slight change this time – I might not be sure of the father, only because I was no longer compliant for sexual exploitation anymore. So he would take the instant gratification and go.

I literally dreamed of her and knew all about her. Even before they could tell what sex! But what if she was his? Would I reject her? Would I love her? What if she’s not his? What if she’s my boyfriends? I picked a family who made all kinds of promises, but they cut me out . She was my boyfriend’s baby but I couldn’t tell everyone. I couldn’t find my voice. I couldn’t fight for myself as usual.

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Sweeping It Under the Rug

For most of my life I have been an open book. I like swapping “war stories” with friends/strangers and hearing other people’s life mistakes and successes, and how they have grown and learned from each experience. I’m proud of where I am and who I have become, so I like telling stories about my past experiences and reflecting on where I have been, where I could have ended up, and how far I have come. I guess it’s not a surprise that I’ve come to share this experience, but it is not something I thought I would ever do. This was one experience in my life that I didn’t know how to talk about. Continue reading “Sweeping It Under the Rug”

Stories: A Buried Memory

I had buried the memory of the incident. It only came rushing back into my mind when someone sent a Facebook suggestion that I be his friend. My immediate visceral response was an unequivocal NO.

I reached out to a trusted friend – someone who I had gone through life coach training with and who I knew it was safe to be vulnerable with. I told her my story of when I was about 7 and said, “He molested me, or, well, he touched me inappropriately.” She kindly and firmly told me, “That is molestation.”

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Stories: Books Were My Escape

Warning: May contain triggers for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

It’s a fog, but I believe it started at 3yrs. I remember 3 distinct occasions where I was raped by the man who my mother had a relationship with. However, I believe that it happened regularly.

I didn’t understand at the time what was going on, but as I grew older I read and I understood what it was. Books were always my escape. At around 8, was when I knew what he was doing to me. I lived in constant fear, of men being alone with them. I was always anticipating the moment. Continue reading “Stories: Books Were My Escape”

Talking it out

I have been to exactly 6 sessions of therapy now. Three with the initial guy and three with the woman who had been pushing the meds.

I try to rationalize not going every time.

I still think most therapists are self absorbed douche-lords (sorry to my friends and family in this profession) and I sometimes can’t help but think I could do a much better job at it which leads to bitter thoughts on profession choice which leads to even more bitter thoughts on how I didn’t really have a choice to choose a profession.

I’m not sure if it is helpful but I did have a sort of mini revelation the other day when meeting with the woman therapist. The man was always talking about himself, but she is a tiny bit more contemplative and encouraging. I’m not the kind to open up easily.

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Trust Issues

Something that is difficult to explain to those who have not lived through violation as a child is the monumental effort it requires to try to trust anyone or anything in life.

I’m fairly certain that I have never experienced a “healthy” relationship.

Ever.

I don’t even know what that means.

I wasn’t given the tools to build trust or to engage in productive connection building outside of the hell I was trying to navigate as a young child. That was my normal. My reality. My “healthy”.

I have often heard other survivors express that they feel as if they have a target on their backs. That predators, sexual or otherwise, can sense us from miles away and are able to find and easily exploit our weakness. Hurt us over and over again.

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Weighing Forgiveness

It seems hard to conceive. Forgiveness? Why should I give him forgiveness? In my case, he’s not around to apologize. He’s not even alive to benefit from it. Why should I bother, when he hurt me without my consent, and left my family alone to pick up the mess?
The concept of forgiveness isn’t new to me. Back in college, during my happiness seminar, we were supposed to work on letters of forgiveness. She told us not to forgive our level ten pain, but instead to choose a five or six. I didn’t have a level five or six pain. I had a level ten. That day in class, I was antsy, my heart raced, as I prepared to sit down and work through things I hadn’t worked through in years. A classmate decided she wanted to work outside, and a bunch of us joined her. We talked about anything other than forgiveness, and fulfilled a different class objective. I dodged my bullet.

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He Was My Older Brother and I Trusted Him

Warning: May contain triggers for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Starting at a very young age , my brother would show me my dad’s adult magazine collection. One story, told by my father, places me around the age of 3 when my brother was caught showing the neighborhood boys that month’s Playboy edition, which he had cleverly hidden in a Boy’s Life magazine. He is 6 years older than me. My brother had found the key to a locked cabinet in my fathers sock drawer and would retrieve it as soon as the coast was clear and my parents weren’t around. This key unlocked a treasure chest of porn magazines and videos. I remember my brother was allowed to start baby sitting me, he showed me the hidden cabinet. I was around 6-7 years old. I remember knowing that we were being sneaky and I couldn’t tell mom and dad, but I don’t think I really know we were doing.

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