Category Archives: Overcoming Sexual Abuse

As part of my quest to feel better and find more peace in my life I’m always looking to find paths to help me overcome sexual abuse that I have suffered. Can people really overcome sexual abuse? What does it mean to overcome it? In the category I try ti find the answers and overcome it myself.

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Big Decision

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I’ve decided to downsize and move to a smaller place. Part of me feels like it may be holding me back to have all this extra space and stuff and possibilities of things that I no longer really want in my life. This place reminds me a bad times in my life. I don’t think there is any amount of work I could do on this place and not feel slightly disgusted with it. The positive thing about moving from this place is that it is a life-changing opportunity. It really scares the crap out of me to make this big change, but I think it’s can be for the better. I can look forward to a quieter place to work, less to clean, less upkeep, and no triggers from the new space. The new place will be in a new part of town , so there will be even less reminders. I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can go while living in the space that I was abused in. Right now, every room has some sort of memory that hits me as soon as I walk in. When I’m away from the house I noticed that I am happier and my mood is lighter. When I’m home, I tend to want to curl up in a little ball or my demeanor changes more like cranky and angry sort of tone. I don’t want to live my life like that anymore and I don’t feel like I’m running away from this place. It’s just time to move on and get on with my life and live for myself.

Here are the pros about moving to smaller space and downsizing because I’m terrified and I need reassurance that this is the right choice:

closer to family/my support system
more money to expand current business ventures
lower monthly bills
24-7 gym and pool access without having to drive
less clutter
more natural light and windows to look out of
no more sticker plants in my feet or the dog feet
no more triggers when I walk into a certain room
much quieter neighborhood so I can concentrate on work or enjoy a quiet evening
Move forward with the next stage of my healing in my life
Able to donate more and contribute to someone in need through downsizing
The new place is more private
No more home repairs or upkeep
Don’t mention that it’s quieter?

Here are the Cons of moving and downsizing, these are the things that are stressing me:

I will have to deal with a lot of people in order to downsize
I have pride issues with having a smaller, cheaper space
I will be giving up spaces that I would use for work and art projects
I would be giving up having my own space for possible shoots
If I do want to shoot with other people I will need to rent a space
Packing, moving, and deciding what to keep is frustrating

Now that I’m looking at the list of Pros versus the list of Cons, the cons seem a bit silly to me. They’re all centered around self-doubt and shitty feelings that would only be temporary with the gain far outweighing the losses. I look to what’s really inside me and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can tell that the Cons list is just me trying to hang on to an old life that I don’t want anymore. Change is scary, but it is necessary to move forward in order to heal myself and feel better. All of these temporary inconveniences scary moments are just shit I will have to deal with to move and downsize are nothing compared to continuing to live in a place that is holding me back. It’s too comfortable and too easy to stay here and live in my old patterns and remember the abuse that occurred here. I have been reading about breaking out of comfort zones and that’s what I’ve been doing my entire life. I’m really good under pressure and I know deep down I will be thankful for this decision down the road.

So this stage of my healing and journey through life begins…

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse in Marriage Sexual Child Abuse

Comforting and Horrifying – Free Writing

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This is free-writing or that’s what I’m calling it and the English majors can piss off. This is a spill of my thoughts onto the page. I’m not interested in correcting it, its raw and my words, my truth. I don’t know why I still feel defensive about what I am doing but I do. Before anyone can bitch and moan and criticize me, I’m already explaining. I expect it. I’m used to it. I’m used to being told to shut up and that my pain is not “Appropriate” and no one cares. Here goes everything…

I am not alone. I am not alone in feeling this type of mental pain and anguish. I find the thought both comforting and horrifying at the same time. I wish I was the only one now as that would ease some of the pain of the world but that’s not possible. I am not alone in being raped as a child. I am not alone in once being a wife that her husband thought he could just do whatever with because he was entitled. I recommend NOT trying to find others online that have been through these things. Many are gone in an attempt to end their pain. Does it end it? No one really knows.

The decision to stay here and not kill myself is yet another selfless act of protecting those I love and care about from from that kind of pain. I’m preventing myself from hurting them. I gave a lot of thought to how I would do it and realized that if I completed the planning and carried out my death, I would damage the people that I cared about the most and more than myself. I came to realize that they would blame themselves and they do not deserve one once of the pain of self blame.

Others have used this love to hurt me and sometimes to hurt them. Not allowing certain acts and standing up for myself, threatening to tell, got my family hurt. This manipulative grooming and cruelty was never my fault yet I was told many times by the men who raped me. I hear echoes of this in our culture and its painful but do I speak out or try to ignore it? Ignoring it does not work. Once its in the engine it becomes part of the mechanism itself. It seeps into everything and destroys happiness until someone somewhere tells us that we don’t have to suffer. Its not our fault, they believe us, and that we can heal.

I don’t know if I can heal. I want to believe I can. I thought healing and getting past things was and end to thinking about it, remembering it, or being triggered. That’s not what healing is according to experts and other survivors. When I learned that healing is really just being able to deal with the memories when they come up and they are part of my life forever, I felt devastation. Devastation was followed by half-ass acceptance followed by denial and around this circle I went, mourning yet another lie of rape culture…that you can get over it and its gone.

I think about that stupid lie I was told and I realize more now about feelings and memories combined with my own life experience that my use of denial actually may have kept me more sane than I can imagine. Why did these people just expect me to be fine after this? Why is this an expectation of fall apart or be just fine and dandy, nothing is wrong, FUCK, sometimes I hate that I bought into the lies but what else did I really have to compare it too? I’m still working on forgiving myself and being nice to myself. I constantly have to forgive myself, my child self, my adolescent self, my adult self as a young woman. I have to forgive my older self now for quirky things that annoy me about myself. Yes, I get annoyed with myself and my sometimes neurotic feelings but then again, those are not my words either. Given the events of my life, how would someone be. What would they think.

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse in Marriage

When I Wasn’t Silent Anymore…What Happened?

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So what happens when you aren’t silent anymore? What happens when you tell people you were abused as a child and raped as a young adult? I can’t tell you how your experience will be. For me, it was so scary but I felt like that’s really the only option I had left besides suicide. Keeping what had happened to me a secret was killing me. I was thinking of ways that I would kill myself. I was done. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. As self reliant and stubborn about it as I am I was lying to myself that I could heal this pain on my own. I’ve known from a very young age that people can’t be trusted. I didn’t trust people with my truth. My fears were that they would twist every word I said like others in my life had or somehow use it against me. The reality is that speaking out just made it so no one could use it against me ever again. I was public about it, no more hiding or making up excuses to cover for my depression, anxiety, PTSD. Here is how I saw others react to breaking my silence about being sexually abused as a child and raped by my ex husband.

1. Most People Were Kind

This was the biggest shocker I had while I was tearfully and fearfully spilling my guts on camera about past sexual abuse and how it was effecting me in my adult life now, years later. There was about a 2 week period of time before the roving trolls came around to point fingers and try to poke me. The outpouring of love and support left me speechless. I worked hard to voice my appreciation and not just sit there dumbfounded by feeling of love from caring people. I cried a lot of happy tears and cried a lot of tears reading what others shared with me about their own experiences.

2. Some Blamed Me

There were the typical “you asked for it” for which my response is “3 year olds and sleeping people ask to be raped?” Since the people who raped me also blamed me for what happened (which is typical of abusive people) and used very similar wording to basically treat me horribly. They were also way more upset that I had a wishlist then the fact that I was raped. I really can’t say that I was surprised by these people. It makes me wonder how many of those people that reacted by victim blaming respected boundaries. I don’t know those people and don’t want to know them. I blocked them and left a statement saying I wasn’t going to argue with them. Little rounds of trolls still come wandering by my blog, websites, or YouTube channel and try to poke at me to see if I’ll bite. I don’t. I block and move on. Life is too fucking short to listen to bullshit anymore. I don’t need to defend myself. I didn’t do anything wrong.

3. Some Were Inspired

This is the most positive things that has come out of breaking my silence. Other people have felt hope and encouragement from things that I have shared. They talked about mental illness and depression, anxiety, and other mental health topics that they hadn’t talked about before. When I spoke my truth and talked about what was going on with me, others realized that they did not have to carry their burden alone either.

Negatives:

People are jerks. We already knew this though because that’s the main reason that many survivors don’t ask for help or talk about their abuse at all. Typical bullshit grasping for anything in a desperate attempt to silence/blame the survivor(EPIC TROLL FAIL,HA!).

Positives:

I don’t feel like so much of an outsider now. I feel more determined to treat myself better. I have learned to not interact(as much) with negative people or trolls, just block and move on. I don’t shut up. I have more confidence to stand up for myself personally. I always stood up for myself on a professional level but now I feel like I can carry that through to my personal life. I take breaks from social media when I need too. I am on my own side now. I wasn’t for years but I am now. I’m healing. 🙂

I’ve worked very hard to amplify the positive people in my life. I write down what they say that really helped me to smile that day and hang it on my inspiration wall. This wall has printouts, post-its, cards, letter, ect from people who reached out to me and took the time to tell me that I matter and that they care. I look to this wall when I need a pick me up and when I don’t just because its just a great example of human kindness. I need a reminder that those people exist. Everyone really was helpful even though I couldn’t bring myself to accept the help they offered. Knowing that they were there made a huge difference.

So, that’s pretty much what has happened from me talking about the effects of childhood sexual abuse and partner rape has had on my life. I can’t say that if you tell someone or the world about sexual abuse you have suffered that the response will be the same but know that there are kind people in the world. There will be jerks no matter what you are doing, how you are doing, when you are doing, there always someone there to make the poo face and point out any perceived flaw. I tell myself remember those people are mostly projecting their own crap onto me. that’s really their own issues, and some people like to bitch and whine no matter what is happening(block them with the quickness, the sooner the better). It is my life and I decide how to live it, not them.

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse in Marriage

Overcoming Sexual Abuse

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Overcoming sexual abuse and the effects of childhood sexual abuse is not a destination but something I do daily. There are still a lot of issues I deal with but everyday I choose to live with this pain. I choose to be here on Earth another day, to stay. Some days are rough, the dark thoughts creep in, and I don’t know why I’ve stuck around this long. Having goals has greatly helped me in sticking around. I’m still very angry about what happened to me and to others so my goal right now is to outlive the people that have hurt me in my life. I’m looking forward to reading that they are dead. This is how I have to deal with some darker thoughts. I have to convert that energy into a positive goal that can steel myself in the determination to live better. I must treat myself well and care for my physical and mental well being in order to reach this goal.

Every day sometimes a couple times a day I mentally commit to not letting anyone,including me, stop me from reaching and exceeding my goals. This is tied in heavily with self worth and self esteem. Logically, I know I’m a capable human being able to achieve pretty much anything I have set my mind to do. This doesn’t mean that I ignore the thoughts, push them aside, or not deal with them. I use them. I’ve created projects for this year that will help me to release these darker feelings. They will also increase my self esteem because the projects are all things I’m good at or I can be good at them with practice. I just have to let myself reach more of my potential. I have to overcome these left over shitty feeling about myself due to thing that have happened in my past. It wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t continue to pay for them but I do.I had to come to terms with the fact that “it” never really goes away, its something I must learn to live with

This past week or week and a half really, I started to sleep better. All of the sudden it was like a light switch was flipped and I was out of my slump. I had a blissful 10 days of feeling great, energized, no insomnia, no nightmares. I was happy, dancing around the house, going to the gym, and I was getting a ton of work done. Last night was my first dream in awhile about my ex. It wasn’t a scary dream or a a revisiting of the rape but it was of manipulation and pain.The  It hurts even now as I type this…and that pisses me the fuck off. It was a great time until that dream. I hate how he can still ruin my day…but its not ruined! Because I say its not!

Since I know dreaming about him makes for a cranky day I just have to really be there for myself. I’ll workout, eat healthy foods. Try to eat on a schedule so I don’t forget. Days like this my hunger gets turned off. Today, I have to pay more attention to what my body and my mind needs to not dwell and get sucked down the vortex of feelings. I don’t need to push the feelings away, try to ignore them, or disassociate. I need to let the feelings wash over me and if I need to cry, laugh, dance, or tear something up, I do it. I’m going to write, throw clay at the wall, and listen to pissy alternative teen angst songs of my youth.

I’m going to remember that I am a such a strong person for having not checked out. I’m going to remember that I’m not alone but its ok to want to be alone. Its ok to plot the deaths of those that hurt me to release it in creativity and disperse the pain, if only for moments at a time. How I deal and find a way to go on is ok. This too, will help me to overcome sexual abuse because I will not be sweeping anything under the rug. This is how I will process the feelings.

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 Overcoming Sexual Abuse

A Message to Survivor of Abuse

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I filmed a video a couple weeks ago that I was going to post next week. The more I thought about it, the more I moved it up.  I posted it today because survivors like myself don’t need to hear these words tomorrow or next week. Some of us need these words right now. It is so powerful to hear that someone believes you, believes in you, and that the abuse was not in any way their fault. I was inspired to post the video now instead of later by this video of a beautiful and inspiring acceptance speech by Maria Cahill. I watched her bravery with tears in my eyes as she spoke about needing to hear those words, “I believe you”,  and her resolve to not be silent about what had happened to her.

When I started therapy, I was looking to fix myself. I was looking for all the things that I was doing wrong in order to try to get my life back together after falling into a deep depression with thoughts of suicide.  It turns out that I wasn’t “doing it wrong” and after some time I really started to believe the truth. It wasn’t my fault.  I didn’t need to be so hard one myself because I was not the one at fault, I was just trying to cope and survive.

A big part of the reason that I am still here and I didn’t succumb to my depression and PTSD is that people believed me and believed in me.  The words I say in the video are words that I needed to hear. Hearing the, writing them, and saying them have helped me to heal. I want you to hear them. I want you to know that I believe them and I believe in you. I think society doesn’t want to admit that things have gone so wrong so it looks to lay blame not on the abuser but on the victim. When those of us need support and compassion the most, many are treated with disrespect and scrutinized when it is not the victim that needs examined. Its alarming to me and ridiculous. Victim blaming is a huge part of why people do not come forward or seek help after abuse.

I recently released a few very difficult videos and in true form of our society, I was told that I was asking for it. I was 3. At that age we ask for love, food, water, maybe our favorite toy but not to be hurt. I mean, REALLY? Do they really believe a child is asking to be injured/raped/molested? This makes me very angry. Seeing the horrible comments like this does not make me want to be quiet. It does not have the desired effect of shutting me up(hardly anything does anymore, HA!). It only made me want to talk more, share more, to put more of my truth out there so that others may find the strength that I have and the courage to begin to heal.

I tell ya, it does not feel strong to share those private moments and my past abuse. Its scary. It feels like I might die, that someone will want to silence me but I do it anyway. I was told that if I tell my family would be killed and I would be killed. I do it for myself and I do it for others that are also suffering in silence.

Here is my message to my fellow survivors:

I believe you.  It was not your fault.