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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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lost94 posted 3/24/2016 21:21 PM

It's been awhile since I've posted or even been on SI. Life has been quite the roller coaster the last couple months. My EMDR sessions have been "good" ... I say it like that because while things are getting better nothing sucks more than having to feel crap that has been stored away for 30+ years.

Who knew there could be so many layers to comb through and process. I had a session today and was taken back realizing once again, perhaps deeper than before, just how messed up I really am. The past 4 weeks we have been focused on the abuse from my stepfather and the neglect and abandonment from my mom. I have come to realize that while the abuse from my stepfather hurts, it almost pales in comparison to the pain I have in regards to my mom. I have begun questioning everything about my past. What's real, what lies have been told, was I really loved. I had a memory pop up today of an accident that I was in at a very young age. Long story short, I fell out of a moving vehicle that my mom was driving and was almost run over. I have always struggled with how it happened and today just came to the realization that the story I have been told it just another lie. That realization started the chain of events in understanding just how deep the lies and manipulation were from my mom.

What kind of mom minimizes every possible thing that could be wrong with their child, blames their child for everything that goes wrong and yet be selfish enough to want everyone's attention to feel sorry for her??

I have heard people say how they hear all these voices in their head and never really truly understood until recently. One of my negative beliefs that we are working on is I'm Defective. I have been struggling to shut that voice up lately when something goes wrong. I've been trying very hard to be more aware of what I am feeling and questioning myself when I am anything other than ok or happy. It's been about 10 solid days of intense anger and hatred for my mom. The healthy side of my brain says it ok to feel that way and the unhealthy side says you can't think that way, that is highly disrespectful.

On a good note, DF68 has mentioned several times that he is seeing good changes and is proud of the work I have done. My parents have also noticed something different. My dad questioned some of the sayings I have been liking on FB, hoping I'm ok. I am not as afraid of what people think anymore. I told my dad that I was in therapy and that maybe someday I could share with him but right now isn't the time. My mom has questioned why I have become distant and with her I can't, at this time anyway, be openly honest with her. The wounds are still deep and fresh. Maybe someday and maybe not. Quite frankly it's none of her business. A part of me would like to scream at the top of my lungs to my parents, step parents and brother that they played a large part in me needing therapy, that they did this to me, but the fear of the backlash is still very strong. I'm getting better, this therapy while being hard as hell has been the best thing that happened to me. Now, if only I could go back 20 years and do therapy then and maybe I wouldn't have been an idiot and cheated on DF68. But, we all know that can't happen. So time to move forward and upward to bigger and better things.

Like always, I apologize for the long post and rambling and I thank each of you for listening.

silverhopes posted 3/26/2016 11:22 AM

Hi DM! Thank you for your thoughtful response. It's good to know that you can relate on some of these struggles. How long did it take you to learn healthy boundaries and real self-worth? Were there any external factors that made it harder? What internal ones made it hard? Were there other things you had to address before you could fix boundaries?

They think that their desires are more valuable than your desires.

Thank you for this!!! This spoke to me. This is EXACTLY what they think and how they treat me, and it's a reality I have accepted for too long. Each time I assert myself, and someone else has a reaction to tear me down or make me feel guilty for what I need or would like, I remind myself that they can push my buttons because they likely installed them (learned that here from another poster). So for all this time, they've created this reality, and I've been complicit in accepting it, because standing up for myself was and still is met with more disrespect.

I've been not completely connected to reality lately. Maybe dissociation? I've been having to leave. It's overwhelming to have boundaries violated so constantly (going through it right now, as I type). I try to disappear when this happens - maybe I can't handle the assault.

I want to respond more to what you wrote, but I'm not doing well at this exact moment. Thank you so much for writing to me, and it really helped to read what you said. I will reread it many times until it all sinks in.

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

silverhopes posted 3/27/2016 19:59 PM

Back to respond more.

I agree that it is a fine line - we're not responsible for the abuse. We are responsible for enforcing consequences - or not. That is our action.

DM, who I am also proud to call my friend, you make sense. I get the distinction you're talking about. We're responsible for our reactions. We cannot control what others do, only ourselves. So I cannot control what the abusers in my life do, when they decide to violate my boundaries. What I CAN control is, choosing to lock my door, choosing to maybe not be home for a while, choosing not to lose my temper and say ugly things, choosing to tell them over and over again, "This is my boundary, and you are crossing it, and it's not OK, so STOP." I can choose to try my best not to let them make me a lesser version of myself. I am struggling mightily with my mental illnesses and am not as strong as I was before. So I might not be at full health right now. But I am responsible for trying my very best to pursue good health, even if I don't reach it. I still HAVE TO keep trying to get there. That part I'm responsible for.

Hoping to keep reading and learning about boundaries and hopefully will pick up more healthy coping mechanisms. I've forgotten how to use many of them, so here's to trying to relearn them and keep safe!

Oh! Music. Music is a wonderful way of putting up boundaries in between the world and your mind. Emotional boundaries to protect from people who try to cross them.

Everyone here: what songs help you? Do you have a power song, some songs that's meaningful to you? I'd love to hear your stories, if you'd want to share.

Solidarity and strength!

onlytime posted 4/11/2016 08:12 AM

I just thought I would pop back onto this thread with a little update.

I am still seeing my IC. We have not touched on the sexual abuse at all yet. Her main concern when I started was doing a danger assessment and safety plan with regard to my xH. The past few sessions have been spent on getting me to recognize my own worth and building my strength back. At times it has been frustrating not dealing with it yet, but I completely understand the rationale behind the approach she is taking.

I am learning that healing from all the abuses of the past is a lot like healing from infidelity - it is a marathon, not a sprint.I am working hard to be patient with the process, which is a new thing for me.

The meds I have been taking for the BPD have helped to level off the drastic shifts in mood. I have been working in my DBT skills workbook and am learning how to self-soothe. I have also been doing some grounding exercises, which has been helpful in keeping me in the present.

So that's where I am at right now.

devotedman posted 4/18/2016 18:19 PM

silverhopes, I'm sorry that it took me so long to reply to this. I noticed it, it slipped my mind, and then I've been thinking about it for the last couple of weeks... This set of questions was really hard for me to answer. A little triggery, a little touching on areas of unsure thought, and some introspection.

How long did it take you to learn healthy boundaries and real self-worth?

I'm going to be totally open and honest here. _I_ think that my level of self-worth is healthy and has been since oh, age 30-ish? I knew that there were problems there, I thought that I had worked on it, I _had_ worked on it, but I didn't realize that it wasn't complete work since I had no guides in it.

I used to be really, really hard on myself. Now I'm a lot easier on myself, IMHO. My friends, co-workers, people close to me tell me that I am much too hard on myself even now. What I do now is give myself a real hard push of "Well, you messed that up like a newbie!" and then figure out how to avoid the situation again and then let up on myself with a "that's what any human might do, you're no worse than anyone else and kudos for figuring out how to fix it or who to ask how to fix it."

That's me. It works for me. Honestly, most of the time I feel pretty good about my level of accomplishment.

Were there any external factors that made it harder?

Internalized external messages from Mom, mainly. Took me a long time to get over those. Getting over it started with realizing that a child abuser's opinion of a child/person is really worth very little as an opinion. Next was wondering what went on in her life that made her such an abusive person. Next was feeling a bit sorry for her that she never got over it.

And with understanding and compassion came forgiveness. Don't misunderstand, had she had to pay for her crimes I'd have understood. And perhaps in a way she did. She died of cancer at 41. I was 20 at the time.

What internal ones made it hard?

The messages that I'd internalized, as above. The fact that sex-play is, at some animal level, enjoyable and that I went through a good half of puberty being sexually abused. Frankly, at times I enjoyed the stimulation and at other times I didn't. That was confusing to a young teen / preteen as well. The fact that sex play was the only time that she was consistently nice to me. The fact that she was so mercurial. The same action would produce wildly varying reactions from her, so I never knew what to expect. I walked on eggshells. In fear.

Like a lot of CSA folks, I was an angry, violently-disposed child. I never picked on someone smaller than me, though I was hell on bullies. That anger was hard to let go of. It protected me, or so I thought.

I had then, though much worse, and still today have some trouble with authority figures.

Were there other things you had to address before you could fix boundaries?

Yes. The biggest was accepting that I was worthy of having boundaries.

More later, I'm getting a real-life phone call.

devotedman posted 4/18/2016 18:32 PM

That was a short call.

As for songs, almost anything by, in no particular order: REM, Fine Young Cannibals, ELO, Heart, REO Speedwagon, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Jim Stafford, John Denver, classical stuff, The Trans Siberian Orchestra, David Bowie, Harry Belafonte, Steppenwolf, and Spandau Ballet. Especially: The Who and ELO.

Favorites: MTA by The Kingston Trio (a fun romp! Listen on youtube), Whiter Shade of Pale by Procul Harum, Guitar and Pen by The Who, The Diary of Horace Wimp by ELO, For Veronica's Sake by Alice Cooper.

Then there's Jefferson Airplane, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Tyler, Joan Jett, Pete Townsend (Rough Boys)

And... not so oddly, Lola and Take a Walk on the Wild Side, both songs about Candy Darling. I think that the not fitting in aspect of those is what resonated with me.

I almost hesitate to mention it, but Queen is great and their hit Fat Bottomed Girls is pretty much my early years.

Love that song.

Janie's Got a Gun hits just a bit -too- close to home.

[This message edited by devotedman at 6:28 AM, April 19th, 2016 (Tuesday)]

Athena1979 posted 4/24/2016 18:27 PM

I need help understanding this. Please help with advice. I have not been sexually molested and I don't understand this concept. here's my story from the mother of the abused:

on November 6, 2015, my 9 year old came to me, out of the blue and begged me not to let her be alone with her father. I asked why. she said he was mean. I said, well, you have to follow the rules- that doesn't mean he's mean. my daughter began shaking her head and said, no, you don't understand. he's different when you're not here.

when I first came to S.I., I had found multiple prostitutes that my husband had been purchasing, about 3-4 a week since before we were married, at least, 2009. I asked my STBX if he would ever harm our daughters. he said absolutely not and the only reason for the prsotitutes was because I had made him sad and lonely all these years... (S.I. helped me shift through that b.s.) he swore he would never do it again...blah, blah, blah and he moved back in September of 2013.

a couple weeks after my daughter said these things to me, November 18, 2015, I thought, ya know, I haven't check the STBX phone recently. so I did and more prostitutes, one the day after my grandpa died and 3 more the weekend prior to my daughter begging me not to be alone with him.

I called the state patrol and talked to a Sargent. I just decided to report the prostitutes, I had addresses, amounts, what they were going to do and some what they did do. as I was talking to the Sargent , my daughter walked in and asked the Sargent to hold on a minute because my daughter was coming down the hall and wanted to shut the door. the Sargent stopped and said, "wait a minute, you have kids with this guy?!" he started drilling me on who wanted to have kids more, me or him, if I knew how old the prostitues were, human trafficking, etc. he asked me if I was aware my STBX was a sex offender. I said I did. he asked me what I knew. I told him that STBX said he was at a bar and these girls walked in and it turned out the girls were underage...the Sargent stopped me and started saying... "no, no, no, that is a lie, that is alive." then he said, "you need to get your girls away from the man as soon as you possibly can."

I immediately packed my things and the girls things and we drove 3 hours to my moms house and I left a note demanding my STBX to leave my house.

last month, my daughter disclosed to her therapist (got her from child advocacy center as soon as we came back home) what my dirtbag, sob , bastard, pervert, STBX did to my daughter. which is also, not everything. she said that there is more but is still uncomfortable talking about it.

suddenly, it was a massive collection of dhhs calls, cps, cac, law enforcement interviewing of both my 9 year old and my 3 year old. my daughter said that the dirtbag would come into the bedroom while she watched tv and I was making supper and he would ....never mind..I can't even speak it.

law enforcement did their investigation, but because there was not physical evidence, it was a he said, she said and has closed the case. the county attorney said that either I was lying or that my daughter was lying. this came from my daughter saying that I had caught him doing things to my daughter and I said I did not. I later realized the only time I ever confronted my husband in the bedroom was when I caught him smoking in the bathroom, cigarette butts floating I. the toilet, ashes on the sink, but before he would always deny that he was smoking in the bathroom. in a non smoking house, it's easy to smell the difference. but when there was physical evidence of the smoking, I went into the bedroom, the dirtbag and my daughter were in bed under the blankets. I vaguely said, "I know what you're doing. you're going to stop or you can find a new place to live."

I have revulsion thinking that my daughter was thinking I was talking about what dirtbag was doing to my daughter and not throwing him out in that moment and also that I had unknowingly walked in on something terrible happening.

after the dirtbag was interviewed by the deputy (we were trying to keep things hushed, until the deputy interviewed him, hoping to get him to contradict himself and not allow him to fabricate a lie), I immediately went to the courthouse and filed a restraining order, to which he never appealed.

my daughters therapist wants her to write a letter about what dirtbag did to her. the therapist gets angry at me for not insisting on the letter as it is to help in the treatment. every time I try, she has a behavioral outburst, which i don't blame her. I don't even want to know what all happened.

I'm thinking, she's only 9, why should she be forced to talk about these perversions. does this really help someone who has been sexually abused?

his family is is super hyped up Christian family. my STBX is currently a newly found Christian who says he prays for my soul every night and day and that I will release the false anger in my heart. his family despises me and think that I have brainwashed my children into saying these things about their dear sweet brother.

I'm thinking, I don't care about what you guys think. this man is a sicko, and HE WILL NEVER EVER TOUCH MY GIRLS EVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN! I don't care if he is able to manage supervised visitation somehow, until the restraining order expires, I will have my 9 year old in self defense, woman empowering, kick boxing classes so that she can kick his ass, run out of the house and call 911 if he ever tries anything with her again.

I can not understand how mothers can know and allow such behaviors to continue to their children. I am going through my own amount of guilt, that I found this man who I thought was charming, funny, great guy and turned out to be this monster that I can so easily divorce, but children can not. guilt, that I was there while it happened. trauma by having to have my daughter go through her own trauma treatment.

I really get angry at his family, I say I don't care what they think, but more that they won't make me change my course of action. I do care that they are supporting him in the wrong way by believing his innocence. something seriously messed up happened to him along time ago that caused him to be that way and they all need to stop pointing their finger at me and start determining how to help their brother get better, mentally.

this terrible , evil bastard hurt my sweet little bouncy blonde curled girl with all of innocence and kindness to others. he put this bump, pothole, in her road to her future.

I have an amazing attorney who, once the molestation, she came out with both guns blazing, not literally.

oh and did I mention...he moved into the house next door to us. I own my home, he's renting.

devotedman posted 4/24/2016 23:22 PM

This is hard to hear and hard to reply to, so I'm going to probably answer one one question at a time one post at a time.

my daughters therapist wants her to write a letter about what dirtbag did to her. the therapist gets angry at me for not insisting on the letter as it is to help in the treatment. every time I try, she has a behavioral outburst, which i don't blame her. I don't even want to know what all happened.

Do two things now. Take your daughter in your arms, if she'll let you. Touch might be hurtful to her for some time to come. Look her in the eye and tell her the smoking story. Explain that since she was going through it right then that that was what she was thinking about. Explain that your H is sick in ways that few people are and that you thought nothing of him being under the blanket. As an abuse victim and a parent and almost step-parent (xWGF) who had a lot of interaction with step daughters I was never, ever doing anything questionable, even remotely so. The blanket incident, to me, should never have happened. I'm the odd one here, the one who has to analyze every social interaction for the correct response from me.

Second, for the love of God and all that is Holy, have her write the letter. Sit with her while she writes it or not, her choice. She _has_ to get this out or suffer from the rug sweeping for the rest of her life until she does get it out. Yes, behavioral outbursts are common. Starting on page 14 of the Part II of this thread I tell my story. A few pages later I list most of the maladaptive behaviors that I experienced and acted out. The list is long.

She's acting out not because she wants to but because she cannot process what happened to her. She's nine for God's sake, what possible context does she have? _YOU_ must help in this. Yes, I know it is unpleasant, unthinkable, and you probably want to puke. Fine, puke in private but help that child and the child's therapist process this for her.

Hiding this is the absolute worst thing that you can do. For me, hiding it for years really did quite a number on me. I was promiscuous, I learned that lying to get what one wants was just what everyone did. I learned to hate and to fight and to not give one flying fuck what happened to me in the fight. I took on the bigger kids and won. I was filled with so much anger and resentment and the words "I love you" were anathema, hated, and were filled with such hurt and betrayal. I almost -almost-, just this close >< pulled the trigger, literally, at age 15.

Lots of us don't survive the abuse. Some hide and never open up to anyone, fear everyone, and recreate the abuse in puberty, pre-puberty, and adulthood by choosing bad mates. Some will have sex with anything that moves. An awful lot of us, the ones that survive anyway, come out very caring and tender and giving but inside that awful knot of "what was wrong with ME" is still there, eating at happiness and driving us into despair. Literally.

The second message in this thread I posted a lot of links to resources. Buy them. Read them. You cannot, must not, be afraid and try to hide this and "protect your child". She's reliving this every single day. Every. Single. Day.

And some of it she can't talk about yet. Very understandable. She needs to get this out and really, truly understand, internalize, that this was NOT HER FAULT. She needs to more than hear that, more than parrot it back to make you happy, she needs to internalize it.

It might take years for her to heal correctly. Rushing it will just cause _your_ _daughter_, the apple of your eye, more pain and anguish in the long run.

The reason that some of us sleep around is that we're trying to take control of the abuse and then change the outcome. It doesn't work, but we keep trying until we heal.

You can do this. And, I'm truly sorry to say, you _must_ do this for her.

She's acting out from pain and confusion and hurt. She's acting out because she is suffering self-loathing. She's acting out because she doesn't understand and thinks that somehow, she doesn't know now, that this is her fault.

She still needs loving correction. She also needs understanding. Talk with her counselor about the behavioral problems and how to handle them.

Athena1979, I am so, so sorry that your daughter is going through this. Now get the books, read, and really discuss with the counselor.

She _can_ be all right, your daughter.

More in a bit. Have a fistbump, they're a safe way to touch, safer than hugs, for many of us.

}{

devotedman posted 4/24/2016 23:28 PM

my STBX is currently a newly found Christian who says he prays for my soul every night and day and that I will release the false anger in my heart

He's lying and manipulating and taking control of the outcome. He's making you look bad and him the saint.

He's a lying sack of shit. Do not ever forget this. A lying sack of shit. His family are horrified and fooling themselves that he's okay because the alternative is unthinkable to them.

Think about it, his siblings are _horrified_ that their brother is like this. They cannot wrap their heads around it and so are denying, and denying hard, so that they can keep their pretty world view intact. People do this. People deny so hard to be able to believe what they want to believe. Studies show that irrefutable evidence presented to someone convinced of a falsehood reinforces, yes, reinforces, that belief.

Yes, it seems crazy, but that is what people do.

[This message edited by devotedman at 11:38 PM, April 24th, 2016 (Sunday)]

devotedman posted 4/24/2016 23:37 PM

I will have my 9 year old in self defense, woman empowering, kick boxing classes so that she can kick his ass, run out of the house and call 911 if he ever tries anything with her again.

Gently said, Athena1979, she may do exactly that. And she may not. The fight or flight reaction is really threefold, fight, flight, or quiet. Some people just hunker down and draw up into themselves when bad things happen.

That _can_ be changed, sometimes. Even with centuries of experience training people and months and years of training, still guys in the Army sometimes freeze up on the battlefield. They just can't really process what is going on, panic, and shut down.

Absolutely do that training. Give her the confidence and will to cause the outcome to be different. Have her run at the first sign of him using a sugary, treacly, lying voice enticing her to go do something that she enjoys, like look at ducks or pet puppies.

Read up on grooming behaviors sexual predators use. They insinuate themselves and cause the victim to doubt themselves. Sometimes they threaten that the other parent will be so ashamed of the victim that the other parent won't love them any more. Or similar lying bullshit. I'm sorry, Athena1979, but you need to learn this to help your daughter.

Again, talk with the counselor about the best way to keep this from happening again. Make sure the counselor has training in CSA (Childhood Sexual Abuse) treatment and recovery.

Then come here and talk about what the counselor says and get the feedback of multiple people about that course of action.

hopefulkate posted 4/25/2016 08:14 AM

Oh Athena, my heart breaks for you and your daughter! You have my thoughts and prayers as you go through this. DevotedMan's advice is, as usual, spot on. She NEEDS to get this out. She needs to not rugsweep or repress what happened. She needs to understand, it is not her fault, she did not deserve this, and that she is loved and has value - especially by you. You are her key here.

From one mother to another, that can feel like incredible pressure, but I also feel, in my gut, that from the way you wrote, that this will also come naturally. So breathe. One day at a time, for a long while. Suffer her outbursts and respond with nurture. And the guilt? Seek counseling for yourself too. You need to learn this is not your fault either -but guilt is a mother's gift and curse, isn't it? This is not your fault. And you will help her through this and to the other side.

If my husband had had someone like you when this happened to him, he would be a different man today. Talk about it, take away the shame and take it out of the shadows. You can do it! And so can she!!!

hopefulkate posted 4/25/2016 08:25 AM

I want to respond to everyone, but am running low on time this morning. Sounds like some good progress here, and I think of you all often.

I am now due any day now with little Katelet! :)

But my hormones have definitely shifted. My H is also getting nervous about the baby and is having a hard time with being disconnected from his family. Not that he wants them in his life, it's the people pleasing piece where he feels bad they are sad he left...I HATE them. (Which explains why my dreams are of me yelling at them, and not baby dreams!)

I am starting to see him as one person, the man I love and the one that hurt me...which is surprisingly hard too. But again, hormones are flying! So, healing continues, but it is hard at times.

Running out of time...doing well overall, just the balance of my healing, helping to support him through his and all that I put on my plate (I prefer to stay busy and distracted...aka...add unnecessary stress ) it's been...interesting.

Thinking of you all and hope to post again soon. But it may be a while. Keep going everyone-life is beautiful! Nature helps with this :)

hopefulkate posted 5/4/2016 10:51 AM

Baby Katelet has arrived!!! Thank you all for being there for me this past year plus. So much has happened, so much has changed - 98% for the better. And when I look at this little one, the baby I wanted but my husband was too afraid to have (though I didn't know then why), I can say readily that the pain I went through, and still do to a much lesser extent, is a fair trade off for this little one. I understand it all now. And through truth, openness, newly discovered religion, and continued efforts to change and heal has brought us to this new place in life, and a fuller family. Today I am thankful. Not for the "how" we got here, but that we got here. It was no small task.

Thinking of everyone.

devotedman posted 5/5/2016 11:06 AM

Yay for the katelet! Congrats to you both. As an aside, I always thought that the two of you could make it once you settled down just a bit. After that it depended on him. To me, after those early days, he was the big unknown.

I'm very happy for the both of you. Thanks for the update.

onlytime posted 5/5/2016 13:05 PM

Congrats to you both on the birth of baby Katelet!

Today I am thankful. Not for the "how" we got here, but that we got here.

I really like this ^^^.

2frayedsouls posted 5/6/2016 18:01 PM

Congratulations Kate! Welcome to the world little Katelet! So thankful for a healthy delivery, and for where you are as a family.

blakesteele posted 7/3/2016 07:12 AM

Athena1979....so sorry to read that. Being a betrayed spouse is really tough and I simply can't imagine the additional strain you are under. I don't believe in luck or karma....you checking his phone, caling that Sargent, daughter walking in---that all occurred and led to a life changing rescue. You have just changed your daughters life for the positive.....and ties into my response to lost94.

lost94.....I too went 30 f'ing years of not knowing I was abused by both parents, then Dad had an affair, mom divorced him, Dad disappeared from our lives and mom withdrew into hers....."it's like Mom had an attitude of 'well, I tried the Mom/wife thing and it didn't work out'--is how my younger brother describes it.

So I get that I blocked this for 30 years....mostly grasp that it was too painful for a boy to process (thank God for you and your actions Athena1979....how I wished someone loved me enough to rescue me as an 11 year old boy).. I also know that abandonment and rejection you speak of.

"Well...that's how relationships go. They end". That was my Moms first sentence to me after I told her about my wife's affair and the pain I felt. NOT "I'm so sorry" NOT "I'll make you some cookies"......

I see NOW why I expected so little from my wife. I see know why my pattern of busyness and CoD choices were attractive to my wife. They allowed her to embrace her CounterD choices.....further embracing HER lies that she doesn't need anyone, cause I was doing most of the relational work.

Nah....my choices were as unhealthy as hers....I'm no better for my choices in my pre-A M than she is. Just seeing how I was going to hand down my patterns to my girls.

HERES WHY I STOPPED BY THIS THREAD TODAY:

Mom referred me to a movie she thought I'd like.....a movie about the Catholic Church and the sex abuse scandal. She hates the Catholic Church, blames her failed M on it, and was full of disdain and judgement about what happened and what they covered up. To be sure, it's horrible.

But it was soooo painful to hear her talk about it in ways that show me she is blind to what happened that summer before the D. Ugh.

I did NOTHIING.

I didn't confront her....o didn't share my pain.

Why? Fear.

This sucked. I don't know how Mom would have handled....but my fear would be she would deny then minimize what happened.

F-me if that's not, in many ways, hiw my wife initially handled my first couple of DD's.

It just sucked. So oblivious to the very real choices of her life to the point she freely and with much enthusiasm condemned others for the very things she did.

I guess denial and compartmentalization works for both the abused and the abuser.

Athena.....you fight for that girl. This is your battle and you are up for it. No coincidences. You just changed your family tree for the better.

lost94....you and I and all others facing and processing trauma in our lives are doing the same.

Lord help me.....lord help us all.

I hadn

blakesteele posted 7/21/2016 16:39 PM

Been a few weeks....therapist is unavailable. Any thoughts on my above post regarding my experience with my Mom?

hopefulkate posted 7/23/2016 21:34 PM

Hi Blake, nice to see your name again. I don't come here that often anymore, it tends to send me down a rabbit hole more often than not, but I am post partum and rabbit holing anyway...

This thread seems to have taken a long break. That's too bad. I'm sure a lot of people could use more help in this particular thread.

In response to your question as to what to do with your mom, I can only give you my experience with my husband's family (who denied anything) and my family, who initially denied anything happened to my mom, and myself standing up for myself to the family bully...

In regards to my husband. He tried to talk to his parents about what happened when he was a kid. His mom, who was drunk most of her life, did actually say I don't remember but i'm sorry if i did anything...crumbs, but something. His dad FLAT OUT DENIED that anything bad happened in his childhood. It took my husband weeks and weeks to recover, and he didn't even talk about all of the abuse, just a simple thing that anyone could have had when they were kids. It was a test. And the denial shook him and like others, made him feel like he was denying his existence. Depression and thoughts of, not suicide, but not living, returned. It was dark.

He has since chosen to cut all contact to his family for now. He is not strong enough to hear them deny what happened. He may never be. But for now, this is the healthiest way to be. He is validated about his past through his counselor, through the research I do, and the fact that I have known him since we were 18. I've seen enough and heard enough, and now researched enough to say....holy shit how did you not kill anyone? But he is strong. Like you.

My mother took a different approach. She told the WORLD. And when her brother denied it, she was hurt deeply, but kept fighting and insisting it was true. Finally her mom had to tell someone that it was indeed true- not that she apologized to my mom or told her sons...but it was confirmed. My mom is a different breed. She is a fighter and a victim, just depends on the day of the week it seems.

So now me. I have my own set of FOO issues, and with this past year have had enough and have cut a great deal of people from my life. It is too short to be surrounded by people who make you feel badly about yourself in any way. This is how I lost a good number of extended family. I (gasp) set up boundaries. I insisted certain topics would no longer be tolerated, and that my business was my own. That's it. That's all I said. And my controlling crazy aunt, and her submissive husband cut me out of their lives...later to tell my mom we parted amicably. Uh...sure...

Anyway...my husband and I can breathe better without these people in our lives. For us, this was the right decision. And without those added stressors, we are healthier for the kids.

Now, for the professionals suggestions...
it's up to you. What is it in your life that you can handle, and what do you want from the people in your life; and most importantly, can they give you that?

So, if you can handle some denial from your mother - and believe you can "fight" for your story and keep the relationship, then go for it. If you don't think you can handle denial (and it's totally ok. very few can. I can't and that didn't happen to me. It's my story, so don't tell me my story didn't happen. 'Cuz it did.) but still want your mom in your life, then letting it go is the answer.

If its too painful to have her in your life with moments like that, then it's ok to cut her out. Yes, it's ok to not let your parent(s) in your life when it is not the best thing for you.

The hard part? The decision is up to you.
I'm exhausted and emotional, so i hope the above was comprehensible...or better yet helpful!

devotedman posted 7/23/2016 23:43 PM

Hello, blakesteele. I hope that you're doing well.

I've been struggling with whether or not I can give you any insight at all. I haven't much experience confronting, seeing as how my mother died when I was 20, and I hadn't gotten around to doing it yet.

I think that hopefulkate (helpfulkate? ) has really shared some helpful experiences.

My personal, somewhat unfounded, opinion is that they're likely to gaslight, blameshift, rewrite history, and all of that. An affair evokes those responses and CSA is view far worse than an affair.

I do wish you, and all of us, the very best that can happen to us.

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