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keeping secrets
May 26, 2009
12:05 am
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confusedat38
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I am 38 years old and in theraphy for the 3rd time. Really dealing with the raw truth. One of the things lately that has come up is even thou I have told. It is still a secret. everyone (family) acts like it never happened. My counselor things I need to share more with my friends. So they can understand me. But really how do you bring up in conversation. Oh by the way the way you just said that made me thing of my brother who molested me for 7 years.

I am torn. I do feel that things are to secretive. But I just worrie and don't know how to deal with this. Currently only two of my close friends know and my husband. My son does not know. He is 12.

May 26, 2009
12:13 am
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fantas
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How comfortable do you feel sharing everything here? Looks like you are gaining courage little by little. Perhaps you can talk to people in support groups first and over time, you will feel comfortable to share with those in the most inner circle, and even you family. It's a journey. I remember one poster, decided to write her whole story at once and it was very healing for her. Me on the other hand, I do things bits at a time. Keep posting.

May 26, 2009
12:16 am
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confusedat38
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I feel comfortable here. My therapsit suggested looking online and seeing what other survivors have said and done. Others stories. I feel like I am so different. And he does not think so. I feel crazy and screwed up. I just one someday to live a normal life, without so much mental pain, and so many flashbacks. It really sucks. I have a hard time getting angry.

I have tried groups before, but this time it is individual therapy. Once a week or every other at times. for about 9 months at this time.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

May 26, 2009
7:38 am
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It No Longer Matters
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Confused, there are more of us than you think.

Bitsy

May 26, 2009
7:40 am
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Confused, I copied and pasted this from the thread about needing a letter of encouragement from an abuse survivor. Remember you survived, you didn't curl up in a ball and die.
Bitsy
16-May-09

Dear Sexual Abuse Survivor,
I read your plea and did not have it in me to answer. It may be the same for someone else here. No matter how long ago IT happened it is still there.

I am different. I confronted my abuser when I was 18. I told him I knew he did it and he knew he did it and I wanted to know why. He did admit the abuse. Told me why it happened and apologized.

In the 1950's my mother dated at man who went into the military to serve in the Korean War. My mother found out that she was pregnant and unmarried. She gave birth to a son in a Catholic Hospital in 1954. The Nuns had found a family to adopt him and my mother could have returned to a somewhat normal life, even though she was a tainted woman. The day my mother was being released from the hospital my grandmother marched in and DEMANDED her grandchild. She and my grandfather raised him and from that day until the day my grandmother died she held the child over my mother's head and used him against her.

In 1960 my mother married a man who by all accounts was a decent human being. He had a genetic disease and wanted to adopt my mothers son. My grandmother would not allow it. My mothers first husband died and she met and married my father who also wanted to adopt the child. Again, my grandmother would not allow it.

Eventually I was born and I had the mother and father and he was jealous. He molested me to get even and hurt my mother.

I survived and so can you. Yes. The fact that I was sexually molested causes me problems to this day. There are men I am extremely uncomfortable around. I have never really dated and do not know how to date. But I am here and I survived.

Love,

Bitsy

Bitsy

May 26, 2009
8:17 am
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confusedat38
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Do your friends know? I know I survived. and some days it incubeses my life more than other. My sex life is not very frequent. I am learning to enjoy it. My husband loves me we have been together 18 years and married 16.

I confronted my abuser when I was 12. But not tell my parents until I was much older 20. My brother admitts what happened but says it was 50/50. My parents side with him. It was not 50/50. It was abuse. It was Incest. But my family does not see that. I live 400 miles away from all family. But do have contact with them. Just living my life without others knowing and letting my parents away with as long as we gett along everything is ok. Is that healthy. Will I ever grow to a point where I function without fear. My husband has never abused me in anyway. He knows most of the story and tries really hard to support me. But sometime I do not know what to tell him to help.

I do now that there is still a secret. What burden is that holding on me and when you let go, how. Who do you tell and how do you tell them. When is your child old enough to tell.

Why does my parent expect me to have contact with my brother who has never received help. Who was also abused himself by a cousin.

We also lived in a very alchoholic family.

Not sure why this is all so hard. I have lived and survived with this for so long, that feeling just seems wrong.

May 26, 2009
9:45 am
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atalose
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confusedat38,

I am so sorry you are going through this, like Bitsy said you are not alone there are many on this site who have had the unfortunate experience of incest, abuse, alcoholism while growing up.

Have you explored with your therapist how holding on to the pain and experience may have a lot to do with your family NOT validating your feelings and thoughts about what your brother did?

I think emotionally detaching from them is a great way to continue to survive. Having them live so far away and limit contact is healthy for you.

Many of us grew up with dysfunction families, we learned un-healthy ways to cope and live life. I believe it was Bitsy who said on another thread that…………………..

Recovery is being asked to give up all we know for something we yet don’t understand.

Living healthy, making healthy choices for us and moving forward all seem to be obstacles. It’s like having to learn a whole new language, one phrase at a time.

As for telling your friends I think that has to be on your own comfort level in your own time. Nothing says we need to divulge every aspect of ourselves with friends. Time has a funny way of changing life and relationships. My friendships have changed over the years; people get busy with themselves and their own families. I know for me that at the time my life was in chaos causing my emotions to rule my world the friends I had back then are no longer a part of my life today as they were back then. I have also learned friends much like family can bring disappointment as well.

Do things on your own comfort level at your own pace……….

((confusedat38))

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

May 26, 2009
10:33 am
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I don't see the point in burdening your son with this at his age. I don't tell my daughter everything. When it comes up and I can use my story to help I do. I dont' just say Oh by the way I was molested as a child. If there is a conversation going on and I think it will be helpful then I do. I have been with other mothers who are discussing things like this and I will say something along the lines of Oh well, you know it happened to me. I can't really remember how old I was but I have always told Cat that anything her bathing suit covers is private. No one can touch her with out her permission, etc

Bitsy

May 26, 2009
2:40 pm
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sunshine88
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(((Bitsy&confusedat38)))

May 26, 2009
6:03 pm
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fantas
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Here is my yard stick for telling: I have to feel ready, I have to feel safe, I have to know that the person I'm telling is mature enough to see it for what it is and not look at me as a victim or some sort of hero, I need to feel that telling is beneficial to me (first) and to the other person, It needs to feel like the natural thing to do, not some chore I might do.

I have so far told a handful of people, and one of them just can't get over it and always reminds me, how much he can't get over it. First he asked an idiotic question after I told him. I have to say that something in me warned me about telling him even if he insisted on being there for me. That was when I was having flashbacks. The second one, is just so awed at the burdens I have had to bear and she brings it up every moment she can. This one surprised me. I couldn't have anticipated her reaction. So just because they are your friends doesn't mean they are mature enough to hear it. Having told them may proof more burdensome for you in the future, like with these two friends of mine.

From my perspective, I do not think you are carrying a secret because you have told several people, including confronting the perpetrator, regardless of the outcome. Your husband is very supportive and I think those who know are good enough until you reach a point where you feel the need to share. I think journaling this process for yourself maybe more helpful than publicizing your hurts to everyone. You could also attend support groups for adult survivors of sexual abuse, or offer to give talks about it in schools. All these in my opinion may be more beneficial to you and the listeners.

Is it possible that on some level, you might have convinced yourself of being less than because of your abuse, and want to test this out with your friends, with the hope that they wont abandon you? I think in the end, you will have to make peace with all your experiences so that you wont feel the need to keep a secret of tell it. Takes some work but it is possible to get there. Leaving the burden with the abuser other than carrying it. Part of that process may/not involve WANTING to tell people about your hurt. There is no right way to doing this.

To tell you the truth, I do not think your therapist is correct in asking that you attempt to tell your friends, especially, since you are obviously not ready.

Keep posting here. Share what you want to and try to be okay with that.

May 26, 2009
7:54 pm
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confusedat38
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Wow. Not sure where to start, but I appreciate all your comments and personal insites. I am glad I found this spot or thread. What ever you call it.

atalose and Bitsy

Recovery is being asked to give up all we know for something we yet don’t understand.

Wow what a powerful, and true statement. I try so hard to control and to understand everything that at times it is just plain exosting.

I have lived in my new home for 7 years almost 8. Whe have been in two houses in this town. First rented and know own. I am at the same job I started with. Some of the people have moved and changed, but most of the friends I talk about thinking to tell, are friends I have known for some time. The maturity issue I think is a great point. I do feel the need or itch to tell one or two of them. Really never have. My one friend that knows back home, knows becuase she was there. She has been a friend since kindergarten. She has seen me throu thick and thin.

I think in my own time I will. I think it will strength some of the relationships. A better understanding of me, is what I am hoping for.

I also agree that my son is too young. We have hinted and made some comments.

I am dealing with several things at this immediate moment. My goal is for the summer to not be as stressful as last year. I slept through most of the summer last year. Don't want to do that again.

I have shared the swimsuit story with my son also. He knows that I am sensitive to the issue.

Well I have little eyes approaching so I will go for now.

May 27, 2009
2:17 am
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truthBtold
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confusedat38,

Oh my, what you are describing is one of the ultimate last taboos in this society, IMO.

Shattering the 'family' secrets.

See, I don't think that society in general makes it any easier by BRANDING into our heads....."THOU MUST HONOR THY MOTHER & FATHER" bullshit!!!!!

Loyalty and secrecy and crap all mixed up into some kind of enmeshment ball in which you, as a victim are just pretty much....grasping at air - you know?

Confusion. Oh my. What a crock!

Screw that. Fuck that! Go against the grain in the sense that you just speak and trust your body and mind.

Afterall, what is the WORST that can happen? Your family disowns you for being so 'dis-loyal?"

So what? So big, fricking, hairy deal!!!!!!

Truth be told....it was THEM who shattered this loyalty bond by abusing you in the first place!

THAT'S THE TRUTH!!!!!

Like ladeska has said...and is so true.....THEY try to make YOU wear who THEY ARE.....you know?

But you don't have to buy it.

Not at all. Not even one little ioda.

Nope. Not anymore. Like many of us, you probably 'bought it' and 'owned it' yourself because, well basically, what other choices/options were there for you?

Yet, perhaps you are here and now ready to say that you just ain't gonna buy it anymore.

No. Not no more.

Just not your burden to carry anymore.....you know?

Along with all of this comes a death. A slow and quiet and profound death. Like an appendage of sorts that slowly turns black and to which we have to cut off for our own good.....you know?

An umbilical cord in reverse, if you will.

I think and feel that it is kinda like that.

But along with experiencing profound death and loss and disappointment comes a renewed spirit as a result.....setting you free.

Setting you free to become the person that you always knew you could be - deep down in your heart of hearts....if only you just give yourself a chance.

But you have to do that yourself. Give yourself a chance. Because, believe you me - ain;t nobody in this world gonna give it to ya - so you have to claim it yourself...own it.

It's worth it. It is worth delving deep, DEEP into in order to come up lighter. Lighter and freeer. By lighter and free-er, I mean...shedding the skin of and from others that really now, had no place to weigh you down to begin with.....you know?

Just go on and shed that coat/baggage/skin already - for it was never yours to own to begin with....you catch my drift?

Right?

(You know I'm right....)

You really need NOT be so confused at 38..........afterall.

(((hugs)))

tBt

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