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Sexual Abuse Survivors/Spouses - Part 3

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2frayedsouls posted 7/25/2016 07:13 AM

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 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.


I haven't lived thru CSA myself, so I feel a bit unworthy to respond to you, but have had some thoughts that refuse to leave my head since I read your post so I will share them in the hope they are helpful to you.

I am not so sure that it was just fear that stopped you from confronting your mother. After all, you have known her all of your life. I dare say you would have a fair shot of accurately predicting how she might respond. If she chose to respond with lies, minimization or gaslighting, then you open a door to further pain that cannot be shut easily. My husband and I had a somewhat successful confrontation with his abuser. He admitted some, but tried to minimize his actions as "experimenting" rather than admitting he was a predator using a young boy for his gratification. My husband had his say, but was able to shut the door, so to speak, on the conversation because we have no need to see this person ever again. He is not family and lives a few towns over, so running into him is a rare event. In your case, unless you are ready and prepared to "shut the door" on your relationship with your mother, maybe it isn't a conversation you want to start. Also, the triggering event with your mom popped up rather spontaneously. In my opinion (which is only worth 2 cents, mind you), a conversation of such weighty matter needs some forethought. You need time to think about what you want to say, and how you want to say it. Because I know you are a man of faith from your other posts, I would say this is a conversation you want to bathe in prayer.

I get the sense (forgive me if I am wrong) that you are beating yourself up for the lack of confrontation in the moment. That somehow you are sending an "it's okay" message by not speaking up, and that it is bringing up all the ways you wished you responded differently in childhood and after your ddays. Might I suggest that rather than self-critiquing your responses and finding your actions lacking, you are kinder to yourself. None of us on these boards have responded to the trauma of CSA or infidelity in ways that we look back upon and say "I handled that well." Trauma like this is like a riptide that sneaks up, shocks us, stuns us, and pulls us out to the sea of incredulity until we get our bearings. Then we start to swim in the direction we want to go.

In short, be easy on yourself Blakesteele....take stock of how you are feeling, what (if anything) you want to say to your mother going forward, and realize that if her response is just going to cut you deeper, then it is okay to walk away from the knife holder. Do what is right for you, in the time frame that is right for you. She may never be ready to unpack her abuser box.

blakesteele posted 7/25/2016 16:51 PM

Thanks 2frayedsouls....your words resonate with me.

Ugh....the whole "experiment and education" line following abuse......that's how this was presented to me. The fact I didn't experience pain was "proof" what was happening was "natural and healthy".

It does feel like CoD choices right now with regards to my relationship with my Mom. I hate it.

I hate it in my M and face stopped doing it. I've pressed my wife to explain snap chat download and her "I gotta protect myself" pattern of living. I'm not budging....I told her I needed her to bring to me her whys regarding those choices. To my surprise....she has.

I'm in a weird, unknown spot right now. I have faith that's a GOOD thing....cause if it felt normal and comfortable I'd see that as a flag I'm repeating my past.

You are correct, I do have an ongoing convo with God about this.

Still.....it's good to visit with real people who have actually been touched by this. Thanks for your time.

BTW: your mention of how confronting can actually invite more pain into my life is spot on with the coach I'm seeing. The fly in the ointment is I don't feel cutting my Mom out of my life is a realistic option.

blakesteele posted 7/25/2016 17:19 PM

HI hopelesskate and devotedman....I just went back to page 2 and saw your responses.



That whole "deny, minimize, rationalize" bull shit? Yeah...that's a high likelihood. Sick as it is to say I'm grateful my parents D'ed shortly their after...I expect the abuse would have morphed. Regardless, that one summer was enough.

Both parents are full subscribers of "if it feels good, just do it". Both are flat busted and, save for a few surface level friends, are islands to themselves. Oh....they are super friendly, face book posts share the same "peace and harmony" jargon.....but both are withdrawn from real intimacy.

Mom lives across the street in a home we own. We offered that before I discovered CSA. When we invite her over for a meal "what time is the food ready" is her response. She comes over a few minutes early and leaves shortly after dinner is done.

I've asked her to come over earlier and stay later...."you guys are too busy, I'll just give you space" is her answer.

I had a very good man for a Grandpa...he lived next door and we did lots of things together. He died the Fall before the Summer of my abuse.

Still...I desire for my girls to have a good grandparent experience (MIL passed 5 years ago, both Dads are effectively not part of our family)

Hmmmmm. Death of a loved one followed by abuse, followed by withdrawing/abuse by a loved one. Dang if that isn't the pattern that was repeated in my M! Smile

Y'all speak of tiredness.....man do I get that. Severe storm 2 weeks ago had me working a week of 18 hour shifts....and the next week I was supervisor on call and worked every night save one. Emotionally tired as well as spiritually for various reasons too.

Gonna be still for a while.

Thanks for the continued support.

blakesteele posted 7/25/2016 18:09 PM

I've been coached and have seen where God allows (doesn't create but allows) similar pain into your life in order to get you to heal/change/grow. As I wrote the above paragraph I can see how that has worked in my life.

Really don't know what else would have opened my eyes to the truth of my past. I would have remained blind to some very strong motivators underneath my most destructive patterns of living......

Not sure I'm grateful for the experiences but am grateful to finally be able to identify the initial wounding so that healing could start.

devotedman posted 7/25/2016 18:35 PM

blakesteele, go read athena1979's original post on this thread


down to at least and including my first response to her.

I recommend that because it feels to me like you're doing the same thing, basically, sort of bargaining and pain-avoidance.

_You_ had a great grandparent, so I. I get that you want the same for your kids, that would be great. I get that, too.

blakesteele, is your Mom _safe_ around kids? She has proven herself not to be in the past. Has she done the work to be safe around kids? AFAIK, there are no 100% successful programs and in fact a high recidivism rate when dealing with CSA perpetrators.

Are you hoping to avoid having to deal with the CSA consequences to you and your family and your Mom? Are you somehow hoping that Mom is now okay, she just won't do it anymore (how like a WS, that statement), and your kid(s) will be okay with her?

Are you willing to risk it?

I know that you are not afraid to sit down and face these issues. You have faced a lot so far, but don't risk it until you have really asked yourself these questions and taken a hard look at the whole situation.

blakesteele posted 7/26/2016 03:36 AM

Thanks DM....ill check out the link.

My Dad was the motivating force in my CSA.....Mom went along with it and was part of it, wished she had resisted but don't believe she was a predator.

That summer was a start of a dark period in my life.....for all of us. Dad went to the arms of his OW after the D.....that relationship crashed and burned quickly....and for 10 years have no idea what he did as he lived on the east coast and we lived in Missouri. When I flew out to see him after I graduated college his first face to face words to me were "What do you want from me?"

Mom adopted a "well, I tried being a Mom but that didn't really work out so I'll try something else" stance. Disowned my younger brother for his actions (lost his license street racing, dated strippers in high school, disappeared to Arizona for 2 years......I see now why he did what he did. At the time I didn't...just did the best we could) She never dated....."That's how relationships go...they end" was her first response to me when I told her about my wife's A. She almost seemed.....pleased?

Man....I sincerely don't want to allow any of this pain to turn me into one of those people we know....the type that seem to get a sick pleasure out of other people's struggling and failed relationships.

There were, as far as I know, no other sexual a use instances in my life after that summer.

hopefulkate posted 7/30/2016 21:37 PM

This seems like the right place to post, so here goes...

It's a year and a half later, and I am both happy I am still here, and somewhat disappointed in myself for staying over one of my deal breakers (working on this in therapy...blah blah, world is not black and white...blah blah I am broken too... )

Anyway-I am a tad post partum, and was back 'in it' again for a while. Until my beautiful, wonderful cousin and friend gently said, you have PTSD, you know about the brain, you know about this...you're not sad because of right now, you are said because of your brain. I kid you not, this snapped me out of it. (I will post this in general...feel it's a big thing)

Anyway...that helped me and thought I would share. Specifically here where we have so many different demons to fight.

And now the real reason i signed on...my husband had a dream the other night. His younger self and his adult self were sitting in a room. He is both out of body and in body, but doesn't know which one. He knows he is both people, because they can both think the same thoughts, but he doesn't know what the other will say. His kid looks up and says, "I made you do it." Then just looks back down. He then knew that he was the adult and looked down too.

ok, as if that wasn't powerful enough...I then asked if he was mad at that kid, and without hesitation he said, 'no not at all'.

I cried. Instantly. It was as if my soul was rejoicing for the healing of another. As tears freely fell and I laughed because I'm just weird ( ), he just sort of sat with it.

It was powerful, and it was good.

Just wanted to share.

hopefulkate posted 8/30/2016 18:43 PM

Integration Continued...

Fast forward in time and my husband and I are headed to the place the AP first came up with her plan.

Anyway, I am getting more and more sad until finally I say, "OH!!! THIS IS A TRIGGER PLACE!! Duh!!" To which my husband said, "Yeah, figured that out an hour ago...didn't want to say anything."

I'm thinking...you know, I've been *trying* to figure this out....breath, let go..breath

Anyway, that's not the point of the post - more of a - this is marriage anecdote...

As we get to within an hour of our destination, my husband admits that the kid is here. At the same time. He and the child are COEXISTING. The child is asking to turn around. That it's not safe and that he really, really doesn't want to go. The adult and I are working on assuring the child that all is well and she is not there and now that we know, we can protect the child and it will not happen again.
(And I ask the child if I should be driving- to which he said I scared him driving and he has been driving longer than I.....touche). DID is weird and fun...if you are sick like me...

Anyway, that night my husband had a dream and he and the child are not just sitting next to each other. No one speaks this time, but they are there.

This is a HUGE step towards integration for DID.
Next topic: Healing from the abuse

Like many survivors, my husband is afraid to lose the blob. The blob is what he calls his darkness, depression, and all things relating to the abuse and life. He fears that he will not exist without his blob. A fear, that is totally normal and expected per the books, but also one that is not founded in logic. (but what is here??)

So, that is his latest task. To learn how to accept that without his blob, he will still exist. That little by little, that blob will shrink and light will take over. But, he has never felt that. So it is scary. An understatement to say the least.

Add to that another memory surfaced...and the dreams came back. But he was able to get up the next morning, bring me my morning coffee in bed (yes, he is that awesome) and say, well, I'm awake now and it's not real, so lets just start this day.

Not that it is easy, not that he isn't having a hard time, but he is working diligently on reframing. Something I need to practice a little more on my end.

Blah blah, look over there! Not at me!

devotedman posted 8/31/2016 01:02 AM

This is such powerful stuff, hopefulkate. Like, wow. To borrow a vernacular.

Let me ask you now, are you glad that you stayed? Your sig still mentions the bit about giving it a year. Is that year up, yet? (I could go look but I am _that_ lazy at 12:51AM! )

Seriously, where is hopefulkate in terms of where you want your now-modified life to be? Are you happier than before his meltdown? Is he? Considering all of it, are you satisfied being at this point in healing at this point in time? Not forever, but for now?

Is he to the point that healing is not so very painful as once it was for him?

He's reading, I noted from another thread. That's brilliant! And to have you to bounce ideas off of, to really interact with, a safe sounding board and partner. Like, wow, indeed.

And the katelet! Awww, I'm sure that she's adorable.

As Grig would say, "Inter-stellar!"

hopefulkate posted 8/31/2016 12:52 PM

First, thank you for the praise! You have been instrumental in me getting here, and so thank you again!

What great questions you posed, so as an exercise for myself too, I'm going to go through them.

Let me ask you now, are you glad that you stayed? Your sig still mentions the bit about giving it a year. Is that year up, yet?
Yes, it's now been about a year and a half. There are days I am glad I stayed, and there are days I still beat myself up about staying, simply because I still argue in my head about the actions being a deal breaker. But, along with the PTSD we all get from such betrayal, I am still dealing with depression that I have always had, as well as an increase due to the baby and hormone fluctuations. (No murders! )
Overall I am glad I stayed. Our family is stronger than ever. I finally started to work on my stuff, which helped me to finally help my oldest with his. All in all this was a needed punch in the face, but it still hurts if I let myself think about it for too long...which I do because I'm stubborn and a sulker! I did change my sig...good point!

Seriously, where is hopefulkate in terms of where you want your now-modified life to be? Are you happier than before his meltdown? Is he? Considering all of it, are you satisfied being at this point in healing at this point in time? Not forever, but for now?

What a BIG question. Even though I am still in pain, and don't know if I will fully recover to stay, life is 110% better. And that number isn't even possible, that's how much life has improved! I do believe his breakdown was a needed push to get us to fix ourselves, and given all that I have read, we are both doing amazingly well. But I am an avid avoider of emotional pain, so to just "be" with it, for so long, has been hard.

He is amazing. His strength and resolve to heal and help me is incredible. So, for now, yes, I am happy with how far we have come. And perhaps one of the most amazing side effects of all of this, is that with my new knowledge (I lost count how many books I have read), I am able to help a lot of other people. I started to be more open about my struggles (can't talk about the affair or his abuse yet openly, though I look forward to that day), but I do talk about PTSD, the brain, and the stigma of mental health in hopes of just opening up the dialogue. Seems how I can give back is by sharing. And the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive with people reaching out to me to talk and for advice or just a companion to share the pain for a moment. I am thankful for that, and proud(?) that I can at least take something that was so painful it almost made me take my life, and turn it into an experience that can help others. I do hope this continues and we can be a success story and my help can be even more meaningful. But recognizing finally that no matter the outcome, we will be ok, has been liberating, and that message is also one that is hard to give (as you know because I refused to take it at first!) but oh so important in life.

Is he to the point that healing is not so very painful as once it was for him?

Not yet. But it's not as scary, and that's a huge difference. Now that he is integrating more, he is close to being able to just let it all out. He wants his counselor to just ask him for the details, because his people pleasing part will have to do it, and his protector won't stand in the way, and the child will be so happy to let it all out.

To her credit, his therapist is doing an amazing job at getting at all of his alters to get them comfortable with him. They did another coloring exercise and when she brought out crayons that kid came right out to color. He had to draw a dream four times, and each time after cross it all out with a big black marker going left to right and right to left (in order to merge the brain's hemispheres) and delete the bad of the dream. Powerful exercise. He didn't want to do it, but he looks forward to going back to let the rest out.

He is afraid to "shout" from the rooftops what happened to him, because he is afraid that if his brother and sister find out, that it will result in them killing themselves or worse. He is very overprotective of them, even though they are his abusers (all kids at the time)...so, who knows where the story ends, but that is where we are at the moment.

We have intimacy, a fabulous sex life, can date and play, he leaves me notes and makes me feel loved. In return I am still here.
Ok, ok I have to do more than that, but it is harder for me to be all in. Some days I can!! And those days are like the adrenaline rush of courting when we were young. Some days I can't, and so he just holds me if/when I cry.

Not done yet, but both of us are working, and both of us (and the kids) are growing.

And Katelet is the most amazing baby in the world! Very thankful to God for such a blessing. Born with a smile and a laugh...and the boys love her so very much. Much to feel sad about (actually just one month's worth of betrayal, years of depression....) but SO much to be thankful for. I need to do that second part a lot more I think.

And now...how are YOU!?

2frayedsouls posted 9/1/2016 17:44 PM

Wow Kate...really powerful updates. I am so glad to hear that your husband is integrating more and has less fear. That is huge. So amazing to see the changes over time. When I am having hard days I read early posts on the Part 2 thread...really lays bare my changes in thinking "then" vs. "now".

DM told you many moons ago that you were really HopefulKate. I know the journey is arduous, but hope really does ring from your latest posts. So happy for you friend. You and your husband have worked so hard for it.

devotedman posted 9/4/2016 13:07 PM

hopefulkate, I haven't been avoiding replying. Well... maybe a little?

I've been thinking about how to reply and _that's_ what I've been avoiding a bit, and giving time to "feel" if the conclusions seem right, and I don't think that I'm making excuses because that is also something that the empathetic part of me does for others, so... Here we go.

With a bit of kate first, eh?

there are days I still beat myself up about staying, simply because I still argue in my head about the actions being a deal breaker

May I make two suggestions here?

First: It absolutely was a deal breaker. It was and _that_ particular deal is broken. The old hiding, not facing hard shit, not really living authentically, that deal, that deal, _is_ broken. That deal, that tacit agreement to live that way, is broken. You're no longer doing it.

Between first and second - a question for you to consider.

Is your H still the same man? Is he a better man? Is he a worse one?

Second suggestion: Draw a line between the man-that-was and the man-that-is. In your head, which is where your perception of reality resides, draw a line in time. A big wide line that covers finding out about the A and posting here and therapy and the last, oh say, two years. One side of that line is the man-that-was and this side of the line is the man-that-is.

Now think - is the man-that-is and the man-that-will-be worth staying with? We both know that the man-that-was wasn't, or you'd both still be _there_ instead of _here_.

Something to think about.

Ok, now to me.

I've been thinking, thinking a lot. I'll throw out a few observations.

IRL I seem to be a bit shorter with people. I'm not as understanding as I have been before. This has, in the past, indicated internal strife and there just isn't much left over. I'm courteous, I open doors for little old ladies / I help the blind to see (Alice Cooper), I'm jolly, I kid and joke. And - I'm not very good with stupid. I get frustrated more quickly now than at other times in life when I've been happier (the first word, go with it).

IRL I realize that I'm 53 years old and a birthday in less than a month. I realize that I'm likely to be 58 before the excitement of a new relationship shifts into the long-term commitment phase. That just feels _old_ for that sort of activity.

I just feel _done_.

I don't want it to sound like I have no enjoyment in life. I get out, I walk around, talk to people, make comments (appropriate, friendly) to strangers, try to make people's days a bit brighter when I can. I posted in JFO for a while to try to help on the weekends. I talk to a couple of people at work who are having issues.

But then I get paralyzed by the stupidest, smallest things. I have a few bills sitting in the kitchen that I haven't paid yet and I don't really know why. Mowing the yard. Buying a weedeater. Decisions, basically, that I don't _have_ to make right now get put off unnecessarily.

Situational depression, I think.

My thoughts are tending towards the more selfish and isolating right now. I think that I'll just crawl into my hole and pull the hole in after me.

Not very productive, I know. I'm giving these emotions and chance to be heard and felt and acknowledged. I'm trying not to just ignore them and power through and get back on track because that would be a bit of forced healing and that stuff doesn't stick.

Eh, I'm where I didn't want to be at this point in life. I'll deal with it presently.

blakesteele posted 9/6/2016 15:39 PM

Solid. Hopelesskate....that's a solid post.

The joy you feel over another soul healing? Well done!!

Deal breakers? As I heal I find the need for grace and mercy within me. Yeah....I used grace and mercy incorrectly. Did when I minimized my CSA, did upon my DD's. Appears to me that grace and mercy without truth often is not true, healthy grace and mercy....it's just codependency. But truth by itself, with no grace and mercy, is just brutal.

I dig the fact your husband is sharing what he is with you.

I dig the "blob" recognition....and all the "we are all broken but are far more than our brokenness" path y'all have found.

Trials don't define us so much as the reveal who we are.

Thanks for sharing your story....helps others uncover and write theirs.

nekorb posted 9/18/2016 10:24 AM

Hey gang -

I haven't been around here in awhile, but I've had an issue come up, and you guys are the ones that I figure can help me work it through.

In case you aren't familiar with my back story - I have a history of presumed CSA - I say presumed because I don't have an actual memory of it, but I can tell you the who, where, and when of it and have a snapshot of the day in my mind - I was pre-kindergarten. Every therapist I've ever had has asked me if I was abused...I started putting 2+2 together. There was also a terrifying event with a guy in high school who I thought was my friend. Not.

Ok, so here's my issue.

I'm on OLD now, and have found myself nexting guys based on whether or not I think he could overpower me. I have passed on some really good looking guys that could have been potentially good matches just based on their physical appearance of a strong build or height, etc.

My rational mind knows this is fucked up. My CSA mind doesn't know how to reframe this. It's actually making me anxious just thinking about spending time with some of these guys.

Men who are more of a slender build don't trigger this thought process in my mind.

More importantly, I don't want to "settle" for a date because I think he won't be able to assault me, even though he may not be a great fit in other areas.

God. This is so fucked up. I hate the thought of going back to therapy - I love my therapist, I was just hoping I had reached a point of healing where I didn't have to run to her for every damn thing.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice about this?

[This message edited by nekorb at 10:24 AM, September 18th (Sunday)]

devotedman posted 9/18/2016 10:44 AM

One of the things that happens when we get abused as children is that growth, maturity, what have you, for certain areas stops at the age the abuse occurred.

This is why we talk about that child stuck inside. The poor, frightened child who develops defensive and coping mechanisms. Promiscuity, withdrawal, anger, shame, fear, all of those are different and natural reactions. The range of responses is as broad as human ability to respond. Repressed memories, sometimes of an entire childhood, are pretty common.

Nekorb, there's a scared little girl inside negotiating her comfort zones with your adult, dating self.

Go back to the first page of Part 3 (this thread), hit post 2, and use some of those resources. Some of the titles will speak to you a bit more than others. I, personally, have used free resources on the Pandys and RAINN sites. About half-way down is a PDF that I found surprisingly good for a free, gov't publication. Which just goes to show my bias, eh?

I'm also sorry to say that there is no easy fix for all of this. From reading up on EMDR, though, getting rid of some of the emotional responses is surprisingly quick and effective. Like, people here have been reporting some relief (a lot, actually) after one treatment. EMDIR is effective for PTSD so do get your reactions evaluated by your therapist on that basis. While it might not stop the child bargaining it will likely remove the emotional, upsetting component if what I have understood from reading is accurate.

Yeah, I do understand how still having these effects and affects gets tiring. I really do. Fistbump, sister in adversity }{


You might read through some of hopelesskate's posts in the later parts of Part II and Part 3, as well as some other ones that she's posted in other threads on this board. Her H's abuse started later than yours, IIRC, -but- he's had quite the progress.

The reason that logically telling yourself that you'll be okay with these guys doesn't really work is that you're negotiating with a scared little girl who doesn't know logic and who had some pretty horrific experiences. She's just scared, be gentle with her.

Also, therapists trained in CSA and trauma are the ones that you want to look for. Hopefully your current therapist will be a good source of recommendations.

[This message edited by devotedman at 2:12 PM, September 18th, 2016 (Sunday)]

nekorb posted 9/18/2016 16:11 PM

Thanks devotedman. I'll check those out.

Whenever I start to resist something, I know there's work to be done. I hate it.

I keep thinking of this particular recurring thought I had as a child. I don't know if it was a thought or a dream...but it is an overtly sexual, sadistic, torture ridden fucked up thought that I haven't ever shared with anyone, not even my most recent therapist that I love to pieces and who worked with me for 2.5 years after DDay. That thought had to come from somewhere. Kids that age don't just create that shit. But it is so disturbing (to me, anyway), that I don't even want to put it down in print in the anonymity of SI.

Then I wonder if I put it in print and got feedback if it would lose some of its power, but idk. It's just so...fucked up.

I don't like this.

ButterflyGirl posted 9/19/2016 15:08 PM

Ugh, Nekorb. I'm 5'10", and my ex is 5'4" on a good day.

I didn't really put together that I might have subconsiously chose him because he didn't scare me physically.

But I already made the rule for myself that I will only date men taller than me, lol.

Maybe just from reading here, I know that I want someone stable and predictable, especially now that the BHs have shown me that men like this exist..

I was definitely that scared girl, always wanting to pick someone with problems so that my own issues wouldn't seem "as bad."

Even last week I found myself chatting with someone who had a face tattoo, but sounded like a southern gentleman in his posts. Why do I keep thinking that real love is "hidden" in some ugly exterior, and I just have to clean them off to find it?

At least it didn't take long for more red flags to come blaring in with that guy, so at least I'm recognizing them now, which makes me proud of myself. But I do have a pretty paralyzing fear of making all the same mistakes again.

It just seems safer in my hole. But I'm not sure why I'm so hard on myself. I'm allowed to make mistakes in life and learn from them, but sometimes I feel like the CSA forever broke me, and a healthy relationship just isn't in the cards for me.

I feel like the right kind of guys for me probably have been coming along, and it's my subconscious self-esteem that has been pushing them away, telling me I'm not good enough for them, and that they wouldn't like me.

In some aspects, I can see that I'm still that scared little girl, and still have the emotional maturity of her in more ways than I want to admit.

Sorry for the depressing post, just wanted to let you know I'm struggling OLD, too, trying to NOT let my CSA affect me, but it keeps rearing it's ugly head.. One day at a time I guess..

ETA: I didn't share everything from my CSA for a long time either, but letting that shit fester in your brain isn't helping.

I also didn't tell anyone until I was 15, probably when I finally realized what the hell had happened to me.. Don't be ashamed, please. No one is going to think less of you. No one that you should be listening to anyway. Big hugs..

[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 3:19 PM, September 19th (Monday)]

nekorb posted 9/19/2016 23:12 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience ButterflyGirl. I sometimes feel like I should come with a warning label:

Survivor of: CSA, abuse in the church, abusive NPD ex. Engage at your own risk. Triggers unpredictable.

But, I've done a lot of work on all of those things, and I'm not dragging all of the baggage behind me.

I decided I don't need to run to my therapist just yet. I tried to imagine what she would have me do. We've previously agreed that knowing the details of my abuse are not necessary, it's merely acknowledging a source of disordered thinking so that corrections can be made. She would want me to empower myself. I've emailed my local police department to inquire about self defense courses.

I am also very thankful for the BH here on SI that show us, regularly, that there are decent guys out there.

Regarding that disturbing thought - I think I might try putting it to print here in bits, and with a trigger warning so anyone can skip it that wants to. Just to see if it loses its power.


Part 1

My mother, father, and I are in the garden behind my god parents' house. We are bound at the wrists and ankles. Our legs are in positions not actually achievable, with our ankles lying beside our ears to either side of our head.


That's all for today. It's upsetting me. I also made the realization that this particular thought introduces a possible new set of perpetrators - my god parents - one or both. These people are not my known/presumed CSA abusers, but this "snapshot" in my head is so disturbing, I can't believe I never made the connection before. I'm not finding that particular fact disturbing, just informational.

I'm done for tonight. Thanks for reading.

devotedman posted 9/20/2016 00:18 AM

Thank you, nekorb, for sharing. I know how hard that was. I have had a lot of problems talking about my abuse, too. fistbump for courage }{

I have never heard a CSA-trained therapist say something like that. Not saying that yours is wrong, this isn't some sort of one-upmanship, but you know how a BS can't reconcile / forgive what is not admitted? My (later years) CSA therapists made a similar argument.

And, sister in adversity, I do know how hard all of this is. There are so many stories in these threads. So very much unnecessary, evil, pain.

Your reaction is so very typical. Avoid things that remind. Rugsweeping, no? That young girl inside you is so scared and has coping mechanisms of a 5 or 6 year old. Run. Run, crawl under something big, and hide. Make the bad man go away.

As an especial bit of mindfuckery, for most CSA the abused is a known family associate or member, IIRC. So not only are the bad men in our midst, they're in our homes. Sometimes daily.

There is a known thing, I did it, of picking the same sort of partner as a way of "recreating the abuse" (that's the term), hoping to control the abuse or have a different outcome by recreating the same either emotional or physical-ish situation.

This is why a CSA-trained, trauma-trained IC(s) are so important. So much of this *stinking shit* is so counter-intuitive.

There are also so many related behaviors that stem from CSA. Back on page 17 or so of Part II I listed the ones of mine that I finally recognized were related. I also listed a few common ones that I do not have.

Welcome, sorry that you're here.

ButterflyGirl posted 9/20/2016 22:01 PM

That's a scary snapshot to have in your brain nekorb.

I have quite a few of those snapshots in my head, at a lake on the ground, in a house, and of course my own house. It's weird when the picture is not from my point of view, but I'm looking down and seeing myself.

I seriously hate that feeling of being paralyzed or tied up or held down. My nightmares as a kid usually consisted of a black cloud over my bed holding me down and preventing me from moving or breathing.

Sometimes I can't even watch that kind of scenario on TV without triggering. Like when someone is being tortured and can't move..

I also remember questioning myself a lot, not being sure of what really happened, and honestly not wanting to believe it myself. But I had a great therapist who listened to everything I could remember, and she did amazing at just listening and believing me.

Whether the specifics of what happened were real or not, my feelings were real. How it made me feel and makes me feel today is real. My therapist was so great at making me feel validated.

Sometimes I've gotten scared to talk about certain things, in front of certain people, because they knew the abuser I'm talking about and may judge me or think I'm lying.

These are the last people you need to talk to. It sounds like the abuse in your childhood was spread pretty far and wide as far as your circle of people when you were growing up. This is probably something you should first discuss with an outsider, not involved in the situation.

If you're like me, the statute of limitations has run out on legally being able to do anything about the people who hurt you. But mentally, you can face this and overcome it and refuse to let them hurt you emotionally anymore.

Given your snapshot, I think something did happen, and it's not okay. They weren't allowed to scare you or touch you or intimidate you or hurt you. Their secret doesn't have to be safe with you anymore.

You were very brave to share. I hope you can somehow feel strong enough to let this stuff out, and clean it out of its hiding place and file it somewhere else.

More hugs girl. So sorry for what happened to you..

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