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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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silverhopes posted 5/21/2017 04:19 AM

Hi onlytime and Skan. I have tried mindfulness and self-soothing with the five senses. Those are some great DBT skills. Sometimes it can help when it's a general feeling of anxiety, or general depression.

I'm afraid of being abused again. In addition to all that's happened, my husband had a bad health event that started in June and continued until January (and it's still being treated). During that time he saw me as his enemy and he said and did a number of upsetting things. Some of what he did felt either like a form of emotional-sexual assault in itself, or else triggered very bad memories. He called me a bitch and a c*** fairly regularly. One time he lit his lighter close to a certain part of my body and burned the hair there slightly. There were other things he did, and I know it was his illness talking, which is why I don't hold it against him. My problem is, I might know that he didn't mean the words, but the words affect me anyway, because they go with the abuse I've suffered from before. They reinforce it, I guess. Any time I think about the remote thought of enjoying anything sexual ever again, I feel like my abusers invade me. I've begun putting matches out on myself. I want to feel so repulsive that the abusers will leave me alone. Any time I feel good, they find me and hurt me. I don't know how to silence them.

I like the ideas of being in mindfulness and reconnecting with the present, but it feels like they're always waiting for me. So how do I keep them out of my head? Any mental exercises that help anyone with that?

sami1234 posted 5/21/2017 08:27 AM

Question to anyone. I am a victim of sexual abuse in my teens. Very manipulative controlling teacher slowly began to abuse me, very methodically. It went on for three years and I could not get away, but it was not physically forceful, but was extremely mentally coercive. At any rate, I am now in MC with my WH who went from porn to strip clubs to doing strippers and I suspect has tendencies of SA. Issue at hand is that I have revealed that sex does not make me feel close to him, I think of sex as an enjoyable activity, more of a party and something I am not able to participate in when I am under stress. This hurts his feelings and was part of the problem that (although he never brought it up) we were not having sex often enough for him, making him feel that I didn't care about him. He finds it hard to believe that sex doesn't do that for me, that I can absolutely love him without sex. So I wonder if I have taken that piece of it out because of my past abuse. Has anyone else done that? I absolutely can have sex with people I do not love, and I absolutely can love someone and not have sex with them, it would not affect my feelings for them. Sex is not closely related with feelings of closeness and bonding for me and now I think that's not normal.

derealizingMe posted 5/22/2017 18:46 PM

Hey everyone, it's me again. Looking for some damage control, if possible. Had my first "get down and dirty" EMDR session last Wed. Triggered really bad. Wasn't prepared for the triggers for the next 2 days following. The previous Sunday I found naked pics of me on my husbands computer that I did not know he had...when he goes on business trips we would use Skype and yes, I gave in to him wanting me to show myself. However, he knew how nervous it made me and he had promised no recordings or pics or anything when I told him I wouldn't so it otherwise. It broke my heart, and I stewed on it til Wed when he made advances and asked me what my problem was when I pulled away. So I told him.

The next day, I was at work and sent him a message to remove any of those pics from his computer and phone and he flipped on me.

SD graduated Thurs night, her mom's side of the family is a trigger for me as they are bullies and tried to rug sweep SD's abuse by a relative. SD crosses the stage and someone does the "hey sexy" whistle and it triggers me. I post a generic on FB of how it sexualizes people and dehumanizes them. One of the ex inlaws aunts that I was friends with commented that she catcalls her kids all the time, and her daughter commented how much she enjoys it. I lost it and made a reference to what her own father said to her (we were going through custody battle and aunt was there to give us character witness and after court was dismissed -she didn't testify that day -her dad called her and left a message on her machine that if she stepped foot in the courtroom again he would grab her by her taco hairs and pull her out.

Yes, I was wrong to post on FB. Anyways, SD refuses to talk to me now that she has returned from that side of the family and is staying with hubby's niece across the road. I asked her to send SD home so we could talk (about what happened) and she laid in on me. You see, that family already thinks that SD made up her situation and didn't give her much support at all. Hubby is on business trip and he wont send her home to Skype with him so we can all talk about what happened. I told him that he is letting his niece meddle where she doesn't need to and he needed to tell her to hold her tongue because I was his wife. He didn't say anything, not even to the other relative that called me a c***.

I've decided to leave. I've dealt with this kind of family dynamic for most of my life - yes, my fault for choosing to fall back into it when I married. I'm working on myself, but have such a long ways to go and I ended up doing more damage.
I just cant do this any longer. I'm heart broken, especially since tomorrow is our anniversary.
I just don't know if I can continue pretending that everything is ok.

PS I normally just play games on FB and post positive memes. I wasn't adulting very well, needless to say.

hopefulkate posted 5/23/2017 12:00 PM

Silverhopes: I am triggering a bit lately. I take a moment to feel the fear and sadness of what was and why I feel afraid with my eyes closed and in a protected position - for me it is curled up on the floor. Then after allowing those feelings for a few minutes, and telling myself it is ok and normal to feel
Them, I say that they ar not going to help me today. I open my eyes and look around to remind myself of my present. I take inventory. For me, nature helps a lot! If I can't be outside, I have a room I decorated with nature pieces and have fish, this helps me a great deal. If I am tired or hungry this is much harder too. So do take care of all of you, I hope this helps!

Sami: you're reaction to what happened to you is perfectly normal. Normal is not an equal thing. Many people with your history view sex this way. Unfortunately, the other side of withdrawing is that it feels like rejection and partners then feel their needs unmet and can cheat - obviously not all, but a support for survivors forum I am on, there is always talk of either cheating or wanting to cheat - from both sides. It is just unmet needs and poor coping skills that get us all to that point of course, but very much part of our human nature. (Not to cheat, the want to end pain somehow.)

Are you both in IC too? Perhaps you can rewire your brain. DevotedMan has a great saying or reference for this, but basically it's like you start all over. Hold hands when you feel something, or when you think you should feel something. Then maybe a hug, on time a peck on the cheek. You know? I think of this as regrouping up. That first hand hold as a kid with a boy was so sweaty! ....it feels a little weird, but redefining touch by practice and thought can help!

Of course you WH needs to address his SA needs as well!

DerealizingMe: don't be too hard on yourself-we all fall down sometimes, even with the best of intentions. Just try to do better today, that's all we can do.

I'm glad to see you recognize the toxicity of this family dynamic and are choosing to separate yourself!! Wohoo!!!

Not to say change isn't scary, but it can be liberating in ways I can't even begin to describe!

As for the pictures, can you delete them? From all sources? Or have a trusted techie friend help? That's a dick move by your H, btw, old me wants you to get even, old me is battling hard today against new me who takes the high ground....

(Some days I like old me better! )

As for SD, she will have to make her own path. Hopefully she has heard you, and perhaps feels pressured not to acknowledge that? But if anyone had said something like that to me (meaning you standing up for her body) when I was that age, regardless of whether i would acknowledge it, I sure would have heard it and let it play in my head.

I wonder if I am similar to most girls?

How are you today? Plans for he next steps? Something nice just for you today?

How is everyone today?

hopefulkate posted 5/23/2017 12:03 PM

I often type from my phone and can't see the whole post, so typos and rambling sentences are a norm. No time to edit- one year olds are active!

derealizingMe posted 5/27/2017 18:00 PM

SD has not heard me because even though she came home for a brief few minutes to talk with her dad, I was told I could not speak with her about the matter until after her therapy appt. I feel indescribably awful that I made things bad for her.

H's niece got an earful from SD's mom and grandma and the niece texted some things that I am having conflicting thoughts/emotions about. She told me that "you did a fine job discrediting everything SD has been through with her brother now that you made it seem as though (another relative) was being sexually inappropriate, they can all dismiss the accusations against (brother) as just over hyped.... stop passing unfounded, misguided, ridiculously insane judgement.... peace must be attempted for those kids.."

To clarify, I originally posted that a catcall/whistle was not appropriate at a public and highly celebrated event. I did make the mistake and asked how others felt. That is when SD's aunt and cousin on her mom's side commented about it being ok and liking it. Instead of removing their posts, I let the hurt child inside of me respond and take over, arguing about how dehumanizing it is and disrespectful, asking her if it made it ok if it was from a relative and reminded her of her dad's threat from the courthouse. I DID NOT name names and DID NOT give the title of the relative. That was their perception and granted, I took the bait and engaged. It didn't help that H's niece is the one who had once verbalized that she believed that SD's mom and her mom's dad had a weird and possible inappropriate relationship based on things she had witnessed with them.

I triggered because I didn't protect her, even though I had those instincts and even told the kids' therapist #1 about what I had witnessed. I was told I was being hyper vigilant and I made myself believe that. H agreed on the counseling, though, figuring it wouldn't hurt to learn how to blend in together and get along. I am angry because none of H's family would tell him what they would witness or hear about what the kids were doing when they fought - they would tell ME and make excuses for him. They would tell me how horrible the stepkids mom was, and most of that side of the family in general, but told me I was out of line to try to help them. I am mad because I wasn't allowed to stand up for myself, I had to learn to deal with it and be patient. I am mad because H wouldn't stand up and let them know their behavior was unacceptable. I hate the fact that SD told ME about the abuse, knowing that her Mom and her family blames me for everything wrong that happens. Why didn't she tell her mom? grandma? H's niece???? Why? probably because her own Mom doubted her and she knew that would happen. I understand why she didn't tell H - but anyone else, why not them???

I was holding out for the youngest to graduate and go off on her own or to college. I'm pretty sure that part of the triggering trigger to more triggers was that she said she wasn't ready to be a grown up and wanted to kick back for a year.... at home. Which meant one more year of dealing with THEM.

I used to not be toxic. I became a sponge to this atmosphere and became what I dreaded the most. I've been in fight or flight mode all my life and eventually got stuck in fight mode. And I'm fighting for someone else as well that I never should have been fighting for according to every one else.

So yeah, beating myself up for this one.

PS Also mad for allowing myself to enter into this toxic environment and believing I had to try to "save" the kids because no one else would.

** H said he removed the pics when I had inquired. I really do think he felt bad.

I did forget to mention that I did something for myself: I got a second part time job to keep me busy and to be able to pay off some bills and hopeful save some $. I was hired right away, so that made me feel good. I haven't moved out yet, I still need to find the courage to ask H if he thinks a separation would be beneficial until I can get a handle on my triggers and advance in my therapy sessions. Right now, I don't think I can handle another EMDR in this environment. Isnt it awful of me to see my SD as a trigger?

[This message edited by derealizingMe at 6:06 PM, May 27th (Saturday)]

hopefulkate posted 5/29/2017 14:17 PM

Not awful at all. Sounds normal and understandable.

My in laws made me become toxic too - I tried to help, had the best of intentions, with only half truths and years of manipulations i only figured out after dday and saw them for what they really are.

I think you are strong and amazing. Getting this job - congrats by the way! And getting your ducks in a row is a great step. And distancing from toxic folks is always a good thing! Even if they are "family".

Take care and one day at a time! Breaking free is far from easy.

YouMeI posted 5/29/2017 21:58 PM

There are times where I want to cut off my body parts that make me a girl, so my abusers won't be able to affect me anymore

I don't do that. But I do have bad dreams and thoughts bout getting abused. And I often think the abuser is doing it so they feel powerful. So then in my dream or whatever I pretend to like the abuse because my hope is they will stop if they aren't getting off on that power trip. It never works and then I feel dirty and weak for giving in and not fighting back.

YouMeI posted 5/29/2017 22:00 PM

one of the things that I use, when I'm spiraling, is bringing myself to the present by using tactile sensations. I'll hold, touch, or stoke something around me. Plants are great,

Great advice. When I go on walks to clear my mind I always touch the leaves on on trees that overhang the side walks.

YouMeI posted 6/5/2017 11:41 AM

So I would say I have minimum 4 "personalities" all different versions of me.

7-13 year old me

13-15 year old me

15-20 year old me


All have varying degrees in Trauma which are indicated by the start stop dates of my age.

Interestingly enough at 20 it wasn't trauma that started my new chapter is was meeting Kate. She was the exact opposite of trauma with the same results. Sadly a couple years after meeting her and marrying I went on bed rest for 3 years. Creating massive trauma in me as well as her. But that is a story for another time.

This past week I lost someone who as a kid [13-15] I was very close to. He was the only person to this day that I traveled outside of the country with [sorry kate we will get there!] He introduced me to movies,music, and a culture none of my other friends could. He was there at a critical time in my life and at an age in all of our lives that help define the kind of person we are today.

I always viewed my 13-15 year old self as ALWAYS being scared. To some extent I was. To some extent we all are trauma or not. But in his passing and having to deal with that sadness of a friend dying at the young age of 41, do you know what else happened? I found happiness. I got flooded with memories of parties, and my first ever slow dance. Of playing street football. Of eating frozen charelston chews at my baseball games.

I was told in therapy that it is important for those with DID that they develop memory banks for different personalities. Our memory banks are full of fear and anger but if you could take a minute and try to place a happy memory in any one of the "yous" you have.

We have certainly spent SO MUCH time letting the seeds of our anger grow. Lets together try and grow some seeds of happy.

Skan posted 6/8/2017 20:08 PM

Have some seeds from me!

YouMeI posted 6/21/2017 06:23 AM

So I don't know where this will take me but I think the "integration" process has begun. I think, but who knows.

I always wondered if integration meant all my "others" would just disappear or they would just sort of co-exist together.

I still don't have an answer to that.

3 or so weeks ago on the way home from a therapy session my youngest teen lashed out and yelled at my oldest teen. That was the first time I had heard from my youngest teen in a LONG time.

Then 2 weeks ago my child spoke for 25 minutes in a session. Which had been the first time in a long time. I thought the conversation had gone on for a couple minutes so I was shocked when my therapist said it was 25.

This process has been extremely exhausting. My wife and I have 3 kids and now the 3 "kids" in my head are all present so now when I leave the house its like I a watching 6 kids instead of 3.

I call them glitches [when I can feel DID coming on or someone else wanting to be "in body]. But I have been having them more and more.

I feel like my brain is like that little 4g signal on your phone. It is just constantly searching for a signal. To just be one person.

None of this is bad. Being tired is ok.

When my youngest talked to my therapist it was amazing. I don't really remember what was said but after I was extremely loose. I normally have clenched fists etc. I could tell there was a healthy bond there and he thinks my therapist is very nice and not scary.

What was amazing about it is that I as the adult don't have control over who my youngest gets to talk to. His protectors [the teens] do.

My teen [so I am told by my therapist] grilled the therapist to see what she would say to him to make sure she was safe. Then he said "if I bring him here you can't fuck it up".

What a cool kid huh? Looking out for him like that.

Writing is hard as every word/sentence I type another part of me has a different perspective so staying focused isn't easy.

Last thing I will say is something that has helped me get through some moments. Hopeful got me a fit bit so I could track my steps and all that fun stuff. But on the fit bit there is a nice feature called "relax". Relax is a 2 minute breathing exercise. You just hit the relax button and it guides you through a little breathing pattern. Something I would have thought 3 years ago was ridiculous.

All pain/trauma will start to overwhelm us at some point so it is nice to have something handy that can reset us and remind us that that trauma isn't happening right now.

devotedman posted 6/21/2017 06:35 AM

First, YouMeI, you are doing great at addressing really hard stuff. Some run, some bury, some ignore and try to muddle through. Addressing this for you and your family is to be applauded.

Next, a question - I know that hopefulkate was wanting writings from you. Have you told her how it is to write, difficult with all of the alters wanting a turn at bat? And, another question - have you tried writing to her and just letting whichever alter wants a turn, giving that alter a turn? If you are still having conflict with the writing that would at least be all that you are capable of right now and, I suspect, appreciated for that.

I can't imagine (accurately, anyway) what being DID is like. Fist bump of respect }{

YouMeI posted 6/21/2017 07:12 AM

Next, a question - I know that hopefulkate was wanting writings from you. Have you told her how it is to write, difficult with all of the alters wanting a turn at bat? And, another question - have you tried writing to her and just letting whichever alter wants a turn, giving that alter a turn? If you are still having conflict with the writing that would at least be all that you are capable of right now and, I suspect, appreciated for that.

We have talked about it for sure.

When I start to write especially emotional things it gets really LOUD in my head.

Imagine 2 kids who want to play the same video game but there is only one controller. They are pulling and tugging on each other and now nobody is really getting to play the game.

That is what it is like in my head.

My therapist has suggested I not write my story at the moment. She said that she doesn't want me "reprocessing" while I am in this integration phase.

And Hopeful is on board with that.

Right now with all of Me's on board we are working on building a memory bank with each Me's to try and make my life seem more linear then choppy.

I have increased therapy from 1 a week to 2. Because there is so much on my plate and I really need to be the best version of dad and husband as I can be, and IMO it is going really well.

devotedman posted 6/21/2017 07:20 AM

Congratulations! Seems like a very positive compromise for the moment, and being "for the moment" is also a good thing since it lets hopefulkate know that that moment will end.

Frankly, I should have intuited that you two had come to some sort of understanding over the matter since you two are so very on-board with each other. But - and that is one of those buts that lets the next part of the sentence be okay - I'm not psychic and I _do_ make mistakes!

Good job, man. }{

Skan posted 6/28/2017 22:28 PM

Yeah, really nice compromise. Being linear, or attempting to, can be exhausting enough without trying to put something else on top that you know causes scattering.

I always wondered if integration meant all my "others" would just disappear or they would just sort of co-exist together.

I can tell you that we mostly co-exist. I may lose track of someone for a while if they feel pretty stable, usually my little girl, but no one here seems to be at all interested in disappearing completely. And I hear you about the squabbling. When the shit hits the fan and multiple people want face time, I quite often just lock up mute and unable to move. My eyes and lids shake but that's about it movement wise until someone can bring order and emerge. Interestingly enough it's usually my brick wall, because it can do all of the auto pilot stuff to get from point a to b, without much emotion or energy expenditure.

And I digress. I'm glad to hear that your therapy is going well! That's really good news!

hopefulkate posted 6/30/2017 07:24 AM


YouMeI is doing a great job!!! As expected, all alters are front and center, because this is where he is in healing. And it's scary, and things get loaded inside, but he rallies and does his best to be there for everyone still.

Currently friends from our past are visiting - they know the AP and name drop a lot - and they know!!! - so it's been quite interesting over here.

Upside, we are handling it better each time we see them. Downside, it still is hard to see them and hear her name.

Evil side: things don't sound amazing for her.

Remember that post one day when I said, "I forgive all! Rainbows and unicorns for everyone!" Yeah, no.

Maybe one day though.

How is everyone????

devotedman posted 6/30/2017 07:55 AM

I kind of keep quiet about YouMeI's amazing integration journey because I know absolutely nothing about that and am not in the least afraid to admit it. So I keep quiet because I am not qualified to comment. Healing does come from/after turmoil, though, so I can rationally see that at times the "alters" get all rowdy and rambunctious just before reintegrating or quieting down or whatever...

Currently friends from our past are visiting - they know the AP and name drop a lot - and they know!!! - so it's been quite interesting over here.

FFS, hopefulkate, I don't think that I'd be keeping those particular friends. Maybe I'm still just too damned touchy.

Upside, we are handling it better each time we see them. Downside, it still is hard to see them and hear her name.

Yeah, I can totally understand how hard it would be. Hell, for me xWGF's name is command and still a trigger and I just cringe when I meet women with her name. :v( Not fair to the women, of course, but... life isn't fair.

Evil side: things don't sound amazing for her.

Well, given how broken she is inside, things generally _couldn't_ go well for her, could they? Even if she were rich and wanting for nothing she'd still be all wanting and hollow inside.

Remember that post one day when I said, "I forgive all! Rainbows and unicorns for everyone!" Yeah, no.

"I forgive everyone! Painless deaths for the deserving!"

Maybe one day though.

That particular day is not on my itinerary any time soon, either.

How is everyone????

Keeping on keeping on, here. I'm quite good at [insert profession here] and the company that I've worked at for 30 some years has a new-ish VP who firmly believes that all of the [insert profession here] should be contracted out.

Sigh, rejection sucks.

On the Adult Results From CSA front, I've gotten over the idea that sex so casual that you don't even know your partner's name is okay. I've also gotten over the idea that sex with more than one knowing FWB is okay. I understand that that sort of lifestyle does not contribute to intimacy.

So... I'm really contemplating the life of a confirmed celibate. I do understand fully that that could be motivated by a fear of becoming truly intimate again and getting hurt as a result.

The other side of that coin is that sex addicts avoid intimacy as well. gah! Isn't life supposed to get easier as you reach retirement age?

Skan posted 6/30/2017 17:32 PM

"I forgive everyone! Painless deaths for the deserving!"

The undeserving, however, well, let's just say that my mental image of fishes swimming over their faces as I hold them underwater and smile, is one of my happy places. Luckily that bloodthirsty being doesn't come out to play often.

Keeping on keeping on, here. I''m quite good at [insert profession here] and the company that I''ve worked at for 30 some years has a new-ish VP who firmly believes that all of the [insert profession here] should be contracted out.

Geeze, Devotedman, do you and Mr. Skan work for the same maroon? His maroon doesn't want things contracted out, though. He just refuses to learn that programming cannot be done just because you want it to be true! Comes from having a guy who made a fortune in sales, decide overnight that he can be a computer systems expert and ignore the expertise that he has hired, so he can NOT make money with a sure money maker!

Isn''t life supposed to get easier as you reach retirement age?

From your lips to (insert deity of choice here) ears! I'm ready!

On my homefront, things are very, very good. We are in our retirement home and now only have to unpack our rented storage unit, winnow through, and empty it to be completely IN in. Artwork is strewn all over the place, leaning up on many walls. Not enough room for it, but because that's because we have huge picture windows on three sides of the living/dining room, I'll take it. The view is incredible and I feel like I live in an Eagles Eyre. Especially when the birds go hurtling by. We just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, had a vow renewal on our new anniversary date, and I finally have a real wedding ring. We're in a position now, that for my upcoming birthday, I will get what I really want. Mr. Skan has a drop dead date for quitting the job that is sucking his soul out and is actively looking for a new job. If that new job doesn't occur by Labor Day, he is history at the Soul-Suckers, and we will just live on my salary for a few months. And my honey-do list grows longer and longer, she said with an Evile Chuckle! My committee is, mostly, being harmonious. We're working out some behavioral issues, but with the stress of renovating, moving, etc, I'm hopeful that this is going to be a productive time.

I'm going to enjoy the upswing while I can!

Adlham posted 6/30/2017 20:49 PM

Sorry, but I just cannot get on board with painless deaths. Agonizingly slow is much more up my alley!

Struggling, still. Of course, I'm finally off routine use of pain meds so I'm having this huge emotional overload because there was the added benefit of dulling my emotions as well as my physical pain. Surgery has done a huge number of my PTSD. Isn't that a nice added bonus?

I just want to scream and cry and stamp my feet because I'm so tired of being damaged. My inner child really needs an adult to hug her and tell her it's going to be ok. Unfortunately, the adults that I would really like to get that from are unavailable. My mom because of her own FOO shit (not to mention, she never believed me and/or chose to ignore) and my dad because he passed away. I miss him so much right now.

I know I've just hit a bump in the road and this too shall pass. I'm just really fucking tired of having to wait for shit to pass.

And in case y'all didn't know, surgery can be a major trigger for PTSD because your lizard brain can't differentiate between the fact that you willingly and knowingly chose this terrible invasion of your body and past trauma of CSA.

Is there anything that this shit won't taint? I should be celebrating a successful surgery and being able to walk again but instead I'm drowning.

I am so blessed and grateful to have a safe place to vent.

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