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*TRIGGERING* My history of childhood sexual abuse...

Discussion in 'Rape and Abuse' started by ZasuArt, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. ZasuArt

    ZasuArt Well-Known Member

    I've worked on issues resulting from my sexual abuse as a child and rape as a young adult for years, and it's still the hardest thing for me to talk about. Last night I went back to "The Courage to Heal" workbook, which I've completed a couple of times in the past. I tend to think that the physical and emotional abuse I suffered as a child did more to shape the f**ked up adult I've become. But I'm acutely aware of the impact this part of my history has on my inability to fully trust my partner, or anyone else for that matter. I've forgiven my abusers, but even if I survive, I don't think I'll ever be able to fully process the sexual abuse. This is the first time I'm telling my story of childhood sexual abuse to anyone other than my therapist and partner (other than a really bad group therapy experience years ago, but that story is for another time). I apologize in advance for the long post, but there is some back-story that I think is important to understand the events themselves.

    When I was 2, my biological mother had her first severe paranoid schizophrenic episode. My dad filed for divorce when she ran to the top of their apartment building with me in her arms and in a standoff with police, threatened to jump and kill us both. My dad divorced her, fought like hell to get custody of me, and won (which was unheard of in the early 70's), but my mother was granted unsupervised visitation on Sundays. Throughout my childhood, I visited my mother in all sorts of institutions, halfway houses, group homes and homeless squatter situations. Between the ages of 5-7, there were several instances of sexual abuse by my biological mother. It was always framed as a very loving thing that mommies do with their children, and for years I thought that this was what all mommies did. And for a child whose mother (and later, whose stepmother) expressed zero motherly nurturing, I had nothing else to compare it to. Around the time my dad remarried, Sunday visitations stopped, as did the sexual abuse. Then, when I was 11 or 12 (the last time I saw her), there was one last episode. At that age, I was old enough to know that something was very wrong, and my shame encouraged me to shove it all down and ignore it for many years. Meanwhile, from the ages of 7-17, I jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire of an extremely physically, mentally and emotionally abusive life with my Dad's new wife (again, a story for another time). In my early 20's, after turning to loads of drugs, many suicide attempts and other risky behaviors (which led to a rape and another very close call) to cope, I finally went into therapy. For a very long time, I hated my mother for what she'd done to me. Because of her schizophrenia, I thought that if she wasn't fully in control of what she did to me (which I now believe was the case), then I must have been in control, which meant that it was my fault (I've always struggled with gray areas). It wasn't until a few years ago that I finally understood and believed that neither one of us had full control (although as an adult, she certainly had more than little me). I've finally forgiven her (and myself), and after many years of no contact (for most of which I had no idea where she even was), I sent her a letter that without going into specifics, told her so. Still, I know that for my own peace of mind, I can't allow her into my life, and I'm OK with that. I also struggled (OK... still struggle) with the fact that my dad allowed these things to happen to me. When the sexual abuse was going on, I have no recollection whatsoever of my mother ever telling me not to tell, or even acting like any of it was a secret. Because of how close my dad and I were before he remarried, and because I remember innocently sharing things with other friends (including my step-sister) when I was little (before I understood it wasn't "normal"), I have a hard time believing that I never said anything about it to him. A few years ago, after re-establishing contact with him, I told him that a family member had sexually abused me, and while he didn't seem surprised, he also didn't ask who the abuser was and insisted that he had no idea. Of course, I've also forgiven him. I think that after fighting for custody of me (which I am very grateful for), he just simply had no fight left for me.

    WHEW! Sorry again to ramble. It's a little scary to share this, but opening up is really helping me get through this latest crisis (knock-wood). So grateful to have a safe place to do this.
  2. Isabel

    Isabel Staff Alumni

    I hope sharing your story here brought you some relief. Thank you for doing so. I think it takes a lot of courage and with so many of us with our own skeletons in the closet, its inspiring when somebody share their story. You seems to have come a long way in your journey to healing. I do wish for you that life will give you a break and bring you better circumstances than those you are in atm. You deserve it.
  3. ZasuArt

    ZasuArt Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much, Isabel, ((hugs))... all the courageous SF members are inspiring me to be brave and honest, and it does help. Hope you have a nice weekend, Sweetie.
  4. sudut

    sudut Well-Known Member

    This is a a very good step towards healing that you took.
  5. ZasuArt

    ZasuArt Well-Known Member

    Whoo boy... when getting ready to log off for the morning, I was suddenly hit with a tsunami of anxiety at sharing my "secret". But as risky as it feels, I think that holding on tightly to my secrets has been like nurturing a malignant tumor; feeding it carcinogens and hiding it from doctors. Maybe finally getting all of this out of my head is a sort of psychic radiation therapy.
  6. Lana

    Lana Well-Known Member

    I don't have many words, but thank you for sharing
  7. jimk

    jimk Staff Alumni

    ((Zasu)) i have tried to read your post here couple of times.. too much and had to run away previously.. well today steeled myself and read the whole thing..

    your life as an infant and through the later years until you got away it was not safe even a little bit for you.. this causes all kinds of feelings and thoughts probably for rest of your life.. therapy and kind help from good people can help some with this but.... it keeps sneaking it's way back in when you least want it to.

    you have to get to a point where you can start feeling safe now.. that was the past and is over adn done now. they are gone adn that was needed and now it is real... a lot of good, caring people in this world and it is not going to happen again. if anyone does try you are goign to put a quick stop to it..

    the story needed telling and you have done this with your therapist, life partner adn now here.. you are learnign how to trust the other person now. this is huge adn good. you have some people in your corner now... when the past comes crashing in and as needed please reach out to those in your support system..

    your glass is now half full.. keep adding good to it adn hopefully some real peace and comfort will come to you sometimes..

    take care sir.. be ok.. i am runnning away from thsi forum for rest of today.. time to hug and kiss johnny on his nose.. he has a lovely nose... Jim
  8. gloomy

    gloomy Account Closed

    I read your story.

    I'm glad that you've found the courage to share, and I hope that sharing helps you to feel better.

    Good luck to you in the future!
  9. That one guy

    That one guy Member

    it takes a brave person to have something like this in there life and not be slowed down by it.
    it takes a much more powerful person to actually share this. :) *hugs*
  10. letty

    letty Banned Member

    Thank you for being brave and sharing. I was abused by my moms boyfriend and my mom, she was there and participated when he would abuse me. I admire your courage, and strength. and the way you are overcoming it.
  11. Neverender

    Neverender Active Member


    You are very brave. I too have suffered when I was only a child. I'm sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing your story. As a fellow victim, seeing your bravery to confide this is an encouragement to me- I've kept my pain inside for many many years. I hope you find peace and resolution.

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