I joined another message board specifically for sexual abuse and the abuse to me pales on comparison to the horrors that are out there.
Much like infidelity, the violation is the damage. The rest is replacement value - which is individual. To use a bad analogy, the burglary is the violation. Whether all the furniture got stolen or just your child's artwork or nothing was missing except you knew the burglar walked around your house uninvited, the break-in is the violation.
On that other board, they would be the last to minimize your abuse. Don't minimize it yourself, okay?
I went to a church counselor last week. I told her about the A! The divorce, and him forcing me. She concentrated on the cheating and basically told me the same things I have heard over and over again regarding the cheating. Nothing was talked about the rape.
It's very courageous to do what you are doing. Good for you to go and talk. Please don't let the subject drop. Next time you go, bring it up again.
I guess I really do have to talk to someone at the domestic abuse shelter. I got so far as to look up the number but I couldn't bring myself to call.
Wishing you more courage to call. Please call them, or call a local rape crisis center.
I joined another message board specifically for sexual abuse and the abuse to me pales on comparison to the horrors that are out there. It just breaks my heart.
It's very heartbreaking, but every instance of sexual abuse is traumatic, just as every instance of infidelity is. Doesn't matter if your infidelity was physical or emotional or virtual, etc. Doesn't matter if your sexual abuse was marital rape, stranger rape, date rape, incest, etc.
It's ALL bad...
Keep talking. Your counselor, your co-workers, your SO, a rape crisis center or domestic violence hotline. And here, too.
Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.
In regards to Ambien, you do realize that it has hypnotic effects that can block the memories of activities engaged in while under the influence.
I did know this because I had to be careful not to have my phone too close to the bed... Apparently I had some interesting phone calls I never remembered.
I really want to think that he didn't use my taking ambien for an advantage and that he didn't do things to me that I don't remember but I know that is most likely a pipe dream.
I'm trying not to but I keep going back and forth. I seem to be going thru a similar reaction as I did about the infidelity... Trouble sleeping, denial, shock, and I just feel off.
Wishing you more courage to call. Please call them, or call a local rape crisis center.
I can't bring myself to make the call so my BF made the call for me to get the info I need. The more I think about it the more I think the church counselors are not equipped to handle my issues. They are not certified or really trained. They are just lay people who want to help others.
[This message edited by courageous at 9:44 PM, May 28th (Tuesday)]
My ipad does a lot of crazy typos.
The more I think about it the more I think e church counselors are not equipped to handle my issues. They are not certified or really trained. They are just lay people who want to help others.
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in." -Cohen
I'm really scared to call. Someone suggested going to rainn.org and talking to someone on their anonymous online hotline. I have the website open but I can't bring myself to hit enter.
I wonder if subconsciously I knew the people in authoritative capacities I told wouldn't make a big deal of it... maybe I said it too casually. After all if no one says its wrong I'm okay. If I call or go to a domestic violence center I am NOT okay.
There is so much going on with me. I can't tell my parents/ family because I can't hold things together any more and hear how they can't go thru another divorce because it was too hard for them. I can't devastate them. I can't tell my friends. I know they would be very accepting but I would lose my strong facade. If I lose that then everything will come tumbling down.
I tell SO things but that's hard for him to hear. He has been so strong for me but he can't change the past or take the hurt/ wrong away.
Around the time I was molested in middle school I started cutting. For those who have never cut, it was very comforting to watch myself bleed because it was the only way I could feel anything, like emotions... it made things okay again for a while. Unlike most cutters I didn't continue increasing the amounts of cuts. I just did more and more destructive things. I had choked myself with cords, starved myself, touched HCL acid, and then I moved on to letting men treat me badly. I would gravitate towards them because it's what I felt I deserved and it was normal to me.
The reason I bring all of this up is because I have been tempted to cut again, specially when I get angry because it leads to frustration and self destructiveness. I know a small factor is that SO is very familiar with cutting also. It's kind of like two recovering alcoholics in a relationship with each other. He has been "sober" for a while now. The other part of the temptations is that if I cut it will hurt him. The destructive side of me that wants to ruin everything wants to push him away. Yet I really don't want him to leave me... I want him to rescue me.
Hon, the truth will set you free. One reason you feel such conflict is because you're not being authentic and you know it. You are hiding behind a false front. For a long time that false front was necessary. It protected you. It helped you survive. It's been your protector. It's what you know.
However, you're growing now. You're like a seed that's sprouting. It's time for you to emerge from the darkness & see what you blossom into. The way I know it's time is because you are so unhappy with how things are now. You're trying desperately to keep things the way they were, even though you acknowledge that things need to change.
Honey, I went through a very similar conflict. I did not want to tell anyone about my abusive marriage. If I did that then it would mean admitting I was a victim. Admitting that things were really horrible. Admitting that I'd been weak enough to tolerate it & permit it. I didn't want to go there. But I had to. I could not continue along as things had been. I had to grow. I had to evolve.
You, too, need to grow & evolve. Telling the truth of your life will help you do that. The truth will set you free.
I know it's terrifying not knowing in advance how people will react. I'll be honest with you, some people were less than supportive. But the overwhelming majority were amazingly sympathetic, kind and helped me. I continue to be shocked at the people who confide in me their own past which contains sexual predation, abuse, molestation, rape, and the list goes on.
I've learned who I can talk to and who needs to just not hear what I have to say. I've learned to let go trying to control the outcome. I've learned that the truth has set me free. Not only have I finally blossomed, now I'm learning to fly.
You can, too!
I am broken and in my brokenness I feel safe... For now. I can't live like this forever but I can't take that first step just yet. I know what he did was wrong but denial is my safety. It is the security blanket I wrap around myself keeping the boogeyman away.
I can't lose control..it's scary.
You're not losing control. I know how hard this is, but think of it this way - you are taking back control. Right now, your ex still has control over you. You are away from him, yet he is overshadowing how much of your life? Your relationship, your friendships, your job, everything. Take back your power! Deal with this thing head on.
You are a strong, remarkable woman. You have survived everything he put you through, and you will continue to thrive. Talking to someone, facing these demons head on, it won't break you. You'll break them. If you weren't strong enough to break them, you never would have gotten out.
Deep breath. You can do this. Make the call. I know you have the strength.
You are dealing with some very difficult stuff. Ama is so right in her assessment. You will not get past this until you deal with it. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and strong. When you deal with this demon you will feel better. Fear of the unknown is a difficult thing, and you must be scared out of your mind right now. It's how you have been your whole adult life. I get that. But it's time for you to get the help that will allow you to heal.
Others that don't comment, or even really ackowledge what you say about being raped/mistreated, do so becuase it so out of their wheelhouse of comfort they don't know what to say or how to offer to help you. I rarely have to deal with sexual abuse in my job, but because I do have to on rare occasions I had to go through extensive training on how to deal with it. I still don't feel secure in doing much other than being able to allow the person to share their experience, and to let them know it is not their fault and give them referrals to the people that can help them.
Pick up the phone, call make the appointment. You know it's not like they are going to see you in the next 15 minutes. You will have some time to accept that you are doing something about it.
You can do this, and deserve happiness and serenity.
I'm trying, I really am. I have written the DV abuse hotline number down and I have it by my phone at work all the time. I think I have looked at it so many times last week. I have really struggled with calling. I hate being a burden and putting someone out.
My bf came into town this weekend. We watched poltergeist I and decided to watched the second one since I have never seen them before.
In the second one there is a scene where the husband is possessed and starts trying to force himself on his wife and she is resisting him. Since then, that scene has played over and over in my head. It took me back to a place I never wanted to go back to.
It triggered me so bad that I'm going to try and make myself call that hotline this week.
Above all, be the heroine, not the victim. - Nora Ephron
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling
Our minds can only deal with so much at a time. You don't HAVE to remember everything all at once. When new memories come in, give yourself time to digest and process them.
I agree you need a certified counselor that is trained in dealing with CSA. Not all counselors are the same, and some, while trying to be helpful, can actually be damaging.
I also was afraid to call the domestic abuse hotline, because dammit...I am NOT a victim. I have always seen myself as fairly strong and independent. Admitting that I allowed a man to abuse me changed my view (temporarily) of who I was. BUT....with the help of a counselor, when I looked at the reasons why the abuse occurred, I realized that I really AM that strong and independent and courageous woman....the reasons I put up with things were valid.
We do the best we can with the information we have at the time. When we get new information, then we can adjust our behavior.
You put up with the abuse for a while because it was what you knew, what you had learned, and how you felt about yourself after being abused as a child. Things that happen to us as children are very deeply imprinted on us. It can take a lot of education and hard work to rewire our brains.
I can't even tell you how many times I wished XH would just hit me or cheat on me. I always thought that those were the two concrete reasons for divorce.
Now that I have some education about the issue, I understand abuse can be sexual, emotional, psychological, or physical. But growing up, I thought the only valid reasons to seek a divorce were if he hit me or cheated on me. And I mean actually hit/punch. My psychoX actually knocked me into a wall, drove like a maniac putting my life on the line (as well as my children), and verbally threatened me, and somehow I didn't see that as abuse. I just thought he had a bad temper.
Kids don't know they are being sexually abused. They know something isn't quite right, but because of our biology, especially with young boys, sometimes the abuse feels good physically (and sometimes mentally as we get attention that we have severely been needing). So it complicates the issue in our mind. However, a 6 year old or a 12 year old mind is not mature enough to understand what is really going on.
And when we are young, whatever happens to us, we generally think it is happening to everyone else, all over the world, that it is not wrong, unusual, and we feel it is normal. And we do "normalize" things until we mature, learn, and realize that hey, maybe this doesn't happen in every household (or actually, in the case of CSA, it DOES happen in many, many households but that doesn't mean it is right or normal.)
You are doing wonderfully (even though it may not seem so) with educating yourself, looking for information, and trying to work thru this. Be easy on yourself. Don't expect miracles or an "instant" cure. Nurture yourself right now. You are wounded and need to heal. We know to take extra good care of ourselves when we are physically ill and need to heal. Same thing for the emotional wounds. ((((hugs))))
E.T.A. Hey, we all get wounds from time to time. And...you are ALLOWED a bit of a break-down from time to time. You don't always have to hold everything together. When you are in a safe place (whether that is with a counselor you trust, your SO, or you have a day alone), allow yourself some time to have a bit of a meltdown...they are actually healing. There is a lot of emotion and feelings in there that are going to need to come out at some point.
[This message edited by NaiveAgain at 7:56 AM, June 11th (Tuesday)]