Category Archives: My Story

My story is getting a category instead of just a page. I’m not ok with sharing everything yet. Sometimes I don’t remember certain things. trauma is funny that way and messes with your memory. I was also 1st abused at 3 years old so I don’t always remember with words. This category is for the pieces that I am comfortable to tell.

Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse in Marriage Uncategorized

Had to Take a Break

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I had to take a break from this blog for a little while. I needed time to not share. I wasn’t expecting such an outpouring of love and respect after I shared how I was struggling with PTSD, depression, and insomnia and had been for a long time due to being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and partner rape. I was completely overwhelmed. After being silent for so long and trying for so many years to hide what was going on in my brain…EVERYONE KNEW. I had tried to sych myself up for that realization for about a month before I ever released anything. Nothing prepared me for how terrifying it was. Thinking about it now has me tightening up muscles as I type this. It was scary because my 3 year old child self that vehemently loved her family held secrets to protect that family. The connection in my brain was to tell was death. It is unreasonable now as an adult but it was programmed into me at such a young age and reinforced with violence. I know some people may think it sounds silly but it felt like that jump off a very tall cliff without knowing what was at the bottom. Would I land safely into water or would I break into pieces after hitting the hard ground? Then I realized that I was also on the ground but maybe in not so many pieces. I came out of the seemingly death-defying event in my life more whole then before I shared my truth.

People started to write blog posts about me, fans came out in droves to send me virtual hugs, there were videos made, and I was just completely overwhelmed, honored…and sometimes suspicious. Yes, I know, people show me kindness and love and I look at them with a side eye. You see, I’ve known that people can be evil and manipulative for a long time and generally the sharks come out when they smell any perceived weakness. It wasn’t like that though. I only had to block a few people. Mostly, people were just kind to me. I felt stronger as I shared more and I began to feel like less of a burden. I felt loved and that I was ok. I mean really OK now. I was safe now. This realization that I an safe now has been pretty shocking. So shocking in fact that I really had to just sit in that feeling and quietly enjoy it.

I decided I needed to continue to work on my relationship with myself. When you go through an abusive time in you life especially if its more than once there can be some really wicked negative thoughts about self worth going on. It can be almost if that abusive person is still there, talking to you, telling you awful things. Like some dame annoying little mini troll bastard just hanging out in one’s mind, just a bitching. So, I’ve been working on that and through treating myself better I’m feeling better. I’m learning to accept myself better and just go with some of the effects of child abuse in my adult life…like sleep. Whoa, that is fucked, let me tell you. I have never been a day person. I was up at night as a baby and have never taken naps unless I’m sick. I’m still not napping but get this, I’m waking up at like 5-6am. I’m up for the day sometimes before the sun and not pissed(seriously). I get to see the sunrise a couple days a week. I’m just feeling BETTER.

I am so grateful to each and every person that send me a message, an email, a tweet, a fave, like, RT, and every other way that they reached out and put a supportive hand on my shoulder. They literally helped to lift me up out of a really dark place. If you are one of those people, then thank you. You are an amazing human being. It does matter that you care, are supportive, and wish people well. It matters that you share that. It mattered so much to me and still does. Thank you!

 

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Stories My Story Videos

Conversations with the Sun

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I remember talking to the sun as a child. Every morning I was thankful for it coming up again. During some of the abuse I would dissociate and talk to it or I would talk to it afterwards. I would have pretend conversations with it. I would ask that it would just stay bright and there would be no night. At night is when the bad things would happen. When the sun came up in the morning I knew it was safe to sleep again. I would beg for it to rise again and make the world safe for me. I don’t remember being afraid of the dark, just afraid of night time and of going to bed.

During this time when I was about 5 years old a movie came out that had a huge impact on me and I found comfort in the fantasy world that was the movie: Legend. There was a song that resonated with me so much and I cry when I listen to it now. Everyday the sun would give me hope. “Loved by the Sun” by Tangerine Dream and those lyrics in the chorus, loved by the sun, reminds me of when I would go outside and the sun rays would touch my face as if to comfort me. I was too afraid to tell anyone and get comfort from another human being so the sun was my friend. When the sun was around, no one hurt me.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I know there are many ways that I coped but this particular memory brings me so much joy and hope. I’m remembering things again that are not horrible but hopeful instead. I imagine hugging my child-self and telling her how proud I am. For years I have been so mean to myself and talked to myself like the people that abused me. Remembering my strong child-self is so heartwarming.

I was never angry with the sun for leaving for the night. I missed the sun like a friend and unconditionally love it. I remember in a pretend conversation I asked why it couldn’t just stay with me. It said it needed to rest so it could come back to protect me the next day. I accepted that in my child’s mind that didn’t know the sun doesn’t actually sleep, talk, rest, or that the earth was revolving, giving us the night. The reasoning of an abused child can be wondrous, beautiful, and sad all at the same time. I feel sad but thankful at the same time that I was able to cope in that way.

I remember finding out at school that the sun doesn’t sleep and that it always shines. That also gave me a comfort that is hard to explain. The sun was everything. Without it, everything would die. Without the sun, I felt I would die until it rose again to brighten the darkness and protect me again. I felt loved by the sun. I’m finding this once lost memory of how I was able to get through those times to be such a source of strength and an example of resilience. I’m listening to the song on repeat and letting myself exist in that memory, crying happily and smiling at my child self,dancing with our arms up, being loved by the sun as it touches our face.

Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Books My Story Uncategorized

Living in The Present Moment

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I recently read a book called “How To Live in the Present Moment” by Matt Morris with Kindle Unlimited that really helped me. It gave me some pointers on living in the present moment and for me that is not always an easy task. One of my symptoms of PTSD is that I have flashbacks to past events and there were some helpful tips to bring myself more to the present. Its kind of like ground yourself. I remind myself to feel the earth beneath your feet, think about where I am now, and get myself back into NOW because NOW is awesome. It really helped to curb the feelings of fear that come along with my flashbacks or at least take the edge off so I can process them in a healthier way.

Why is NOW so awesome? Because now I am not being abused. I still live with the repercussions of those life events of my childhood and 1st marriage but I’m handling things better than I ever have. In making progress with healing and loving myself again I’ve gotten closer to my true self. I’ve been second guessing myself and trusting myself more. I haven’t been asking permission or felt as lost. This is also due to lots of therapy in the past few months that have really helped me to find peace. And there is a lot more dorky dancing around the house as I go about my day.

This book has also helped in being more patient with myself. It seems the author has written this book in the spirit of compassion and I’m thankful for that. I have a habit of being REALLY hard on myself about everything and it helped to put things more in perspective. I don’t need to be perfect to be happy with myself anymore. Not only is it not possible to hold myself to those high expectations but its a bit silly. I will also never be that great in the court of public opinion and that makes me happy now. The last thing I want to to be “perfect” or “accepted” in the court of public opinion, no fun in that! HAHA! Trying to please others is a trap. Besides, if I actually give any time to seeing whose those people are like spouting out criticisms, I’d see that they don’t really have their shit together either behind the facade. Do I take the time to do so? No, I have better things to do that are much more fun…like dancing in my office chair to one of my favorite Pandora channels and writing.

Life is random and beautiful and chaotic. There are dark times, time of love/light, and everything in between. I’m learning to go with it and make the best of myself instead of dwelling on things I really have no control over. I realize that I don’t want that kind of control anyway. Its not my problem. I like me and that’s all that really matters today. Today is a great day as is every day that I continue to care about myself. It can be difficult as an abuse survivor to feel good about myself but I do. Typing that out or writing that still brings tears to my eyes because its a truth I wouldn’t believe before.

Reading books like these along with therapy helps to reinforce to myself that being gentle with myself holds more peace of mind and results than being a hard-ass with unrealistic expectations.  The more I get to know myself the more I like myself.  Its helping me to reprogram my inner self talk with MY words instead of things my abusers had told me. I learned through therapy that the things they said to put me down were likely projections of what they actually think of themselves. That’s not really what I think of myself or how I describe myself anymore. I’m also thankful to not have those negative people in my life anymore. I deserve better and I’m not going to settle for less. I’m not afraid of losing people in my life like I used to. Sometimes people come in and out of my life and that’s ok. I don’t always feel the same as others to me but that doesn’t mean I owe them something for having feelings for me or showing me kindness. Kindness doesn’t keep a tally sheet and I don’t either. I don’t have to do things that make me uncomfortable to keep people in my life. I will be myself and if they expect more, want more, or want me to change, they can exit stage left.

Being myself means caring for myself and family, lifting others up when I can, being creative, silly, trusting myself, stop thinking in a binary way, and doings things that bring me joy and can get me out of my comfort zone to learn and grow into a better person than I am right now. I’m passionate about everything I just listed. It really means a lot to me and really, it always has in one way or another even in the darkest of times. I was still in there, deep in the recesses of my mind, waiting, lying dormant, and now I feel more free.

I’m going to be reading more of these books about less stress, mindfulness, and living in the present moment. I’ll share what was helpful and I’ll list the links to get them yourself if you are interested in reading them, too. I already have my eye on the next book to read which is “Mindfulness: Mindfullness for Beginners” by Yesenia Chavan

Here are links to the books mentioned above:

 


Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse My Story Stop Child Abuse Videos

I am NOT Ashamed

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Shame seems to be one of the most effective tools that abusers and society have to make survivors of abuse feel horrible about themselves and keep them suffering in silence. I buck against this way of thinking because it directly contradicts my truth. I know what is true in my heart about myself. I have clear examples in my memory that proves to myself that I am not a bad person and I have no reason to think otherwise no matter how many people want to point fingers or criticize. Their comments and attempts to shame me talks of a deeper truth about them. The silence they seem to want only furthers the agenda of the abusers.

Many survivors are shamed into silence. I was shamed into silence for a long time. I thought I was protecting my family at first, then others from me. That’s right from ME, as if I was going to negatively affect them with my painful experience or scare them away. I’ve learned that what someone does with information about me is not my responsibility and not in my control. I didn’t want to be seen as broken or that there was something wrong with me and the truth is that there really isn’t anything wrong with me. I’m healing from abuse. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to feel shame for something that someone else did to me. I didn’t choose to be abused and I choose to no longer be ashamed of it. I am not ashamed.

So who should we shame? No one. No one should be shamed but instead we should support them to heal. People who are abusive often have been abused or experienced a trauma in their life. They are already ashamed of themselves whether they show you that side of themselves or not. The anger in me does want to shame the abusers, string them up by their toenails and a myriad of other punishments! My heart tells me that this is not the way. Abuse does not stop abuse, it only continues to spread it. Ok, them now what? We acknowledge what has happened and we move to heal those contributing factors that may lead to abuse in both the survivor and the abuser. Offer love, empathy, and the support we ourselves would like to have when in pain.

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse My Story Uncategorized

Feelings of Hopelessness

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One of the most difficult feeling for me to have are feelings of hopelessness. I really dislike feeling this way and have found its definitely something I give myself a hard time about when I’m feeling it. This compounds the problem and then I feel even more hopelessness, BLARGH! So one of the big things I have been making a conscious effort to change to to be more accepting of myself. I’ve talked about this before and I really wish the changes could be overnight but they aren’t. It takes a lot of work for me to treat myself well.

Luckily, feeling hopelessness is not perpetual and it does pass. I have to stop interrogating myself with “WHY?” and start being kind to myself like I am someone else. How would I treat someone who was having these feelings? If one of my family members or a friend said they felt this way would I ask them 20 questions and beat them down? NO. I don’t need to do this to myself then. This reaction of self-hate is obviously a learned reaction and a repeat of how I was treated in my past when I wasn’t happy.I don’t always realize that I’m being so hard on myself until I start to feel even worse, and sometimes I catch it right away.

After that feeling lifted I can really see a difference. It surprised me when I was putting the footage together for the video diary the other day. I can only describe this feeling lifting as similar to when a headache lets up and you aren’t in pain. It is exhausting in the same way for me too. Coping with feeling hopelessness is more like a battle. One thing that has helped me is to just be kind to myself during that time period. I read, sculpt, write in my journal. I tell myself positive things, like a real inventory of that things that I am proud of, the positive people in my life. I call a friend or family member and the support can be just what I needed. What helps seems to change just as the emotions do which is frustrating. Nothing linear, point a to point b. The control freak in me likes to stomp its feet about this as with most emotional things I have to accept that I can not change them but only change how I react to them. I am trying to live more in the moment and enjoy my surroundings and the environment that I can control, right now.

The feeling of hopelessness is common in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I mentioned earlier that I am trying to live more in the moment. There are tons of articles, and blog posts about this but I recently started reading a book that has some great straight talk about living in the present moment and I found it to be comforting. Its called: How To Live In The Present Moment, written by Matt Morris.