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nobody understands
January 20, 2000
4:22 pm
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mnms
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All I want is to be understood.
I want people to know that, even though I was a victim, I am no longer a victim.
That even though I have been broken, I am not crippled. That I have fallen, but that I have gotten back up. It is true that sexual abuse can scar you for life. It can make you immobile and ugly and sick inside. But it doesn't have to. In my case, I won't let it.
I want people to know that I am trying my best to go on with my life, that my past is exactly that - the past. I want people to give me a chance to prove myself. To prove my strength, my courage, my love for life.
Just because I was abused doesn't mean I am doomed.
Yes, I struggle.
Yes, I cry.
Yes, I make mistakes.
But I am as capable as anyone else to live.
In fact, I am almost more capable... because I know what it is like to fail to live, to want to die.
I want people to understand.
I am not a victim. I am a survivor.
I want people to understand.

January 20, 2000
4:31 pm
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conflict
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Sounds like you have incredible strength and perserverence. I think people who get to know you will definitely understand.

January 20, 2000
4:57 pm
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mnms,

Feedback from this side: you've sounded immensely strong, bold, and courageous since your very first post here. While written words don't reflect true to life, this is what I have perceived.

I perceive the support you are given, as people trying to convey that "it's okay to ask for help, it's okay to feel and express pain/anger"...almost like they get a vibe that you may have trouble asking for help, and feel compelled to prove your strength.

If I'm off base, let me know.

I believe all 'victims' are truly fine/okay, however, there's such a feeling of injustice that can blow a hole right through any amount of 'okayness' we experience. And this is the expected feeling which comes from anyone who has been sexually abused.

- SC

January 20, 2000
10:48 pm
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KTHOMAS
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I have to agree with you SC. I was abused sexually as a child too. And I am always hearing myself say...I am stronger for it...that I am okay and that all things work together for the good. I then have a set back in life and BANG...I am back in my victim mode and asking why me. This is a constant battle for me. Perhaps because I was never counceled for it or because that is just the fall out from it...I don't know. It is in the past and I would perfer to let sleeping dogs lie...yet it is always surfacing here and there, catching me off guard. I have come a long way and I have accomplished much in my life...I have much to be proud of...and yet...the pain is always there. It is a part of me.

Thank you for making me feel somewhat normal for feeling as I do.

Karin

January 21, 2000
10:47 am
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mnms
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UPDATE:
SC, you are kinda right. I do get support and I do find it hard to reveal my true feelings and ask for help. I get a lot of mixed support, though. My friends who support me will want me to express my feelings sometimes, but I am judged too often when I do. For instance, when I express anger I am sometimes told "Now you know you aren't supposed to be bitter... you haven't forgiven him yet, have you..." ect ect.
On the other hand- A lot of the mixed messages come from my perceptions, and I think they someone means something entirely different from what they do.

It is hard for me to admit that what has happened to me really does affect me because I have been taught so well that I am not supposed to dwell on the past. I want to PROVE to everyone, and to myself as well, that the past DOESN'T matter anymore... that I have overcome it completely.
But that is not the case, so when I suddenly tumble and fall, it is hard to admit that's what I have done; and it's even harder to ask for help. Another reason for that is one of my coping skills that I learned was not showing my feelings.
I am much better at this now than I used to be and I think that's why I am stronger now than I used to be.
I'm sure with time I will be able to conquer this...

God bless,
mnms

January 21, 2000
1:16 pm
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eve
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mnms,
for me, it seems to be one of the most difficult things with other people, that I sometimes react very strongly when I get the feeling that somebody is trying to tell me what I should feel.
I guess that comes when I'm not too certain of what I feel, myself (is it "right", is it "wrong"). Therefor I can't have it when somebody ventures an opinion without being asked for one.
And I think you are right: often the other person doesn't suggest how I should feel, it's me who reads this into what they say. Phew, complicated. But: it is worth to resarch these reactions. I've come quite a way with mine, still have some way to go.

And: when you say "all I want is to be understood": to understand (or to try to understand) is something that is much, much harder for most people than a lot of other things (giving time, effort, money, advice...)
Keep trying, eve

January 21, 2000
10:37 pm
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KTHOMAS
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You know what i find is that because of everything that happened to me as a child, preteen, and older...I always needed to understand the why it happened. And I would reason it all out and have answers that helped me deal with the abuse. I never knew that I was masking the pain that the little girl was never allowed to feel. I only wanted to be loved and to make my father proud of me growing up...something that I thought I could never attain...

I can only let a little of "me" out to friends because they do not understand where I have been and they don't "understand". Sometimes I don't understand myself...I do not dwell in the past...I do not blame anymore...I can not change my past...and I can not predect the future...so I must just look at today. And if I stumble I will get up...brush myself off and keep moving on...just as I have all my life...

I am a worthwhile being...created by God...and I pray and ask that I see myself through his eyes...for then I shall see myself as he sees me. Beautiful. I pray that for you mnms and eve...

Karin

January 27, 2000
11:22 pm
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Good words everyone,

Yes, probably in the top 10 of frustrating things in life, is people telling us how we 'should' feel, or telling us how we 'shouldn't' feel.

You have the right to feel anything you want... But does it help? That's the question. Sometimes the anger and pain don't help, they only cause to distance ourselves from others, and strangely, from ourselves.

President Clinton, odd that this comes from him, I heard him say something along these lines: that he's always humbled after acting out in anger.

I thought about that, and found it to be about 100% true. Each time we 'lose control/act out in anger', doesn't that humble us? That we are like leaves in the wind...it's okay, but even better to be aware of how fleeting feelings can get the better of all of us. It's a human trait for sure.

Anger is a powerful feeling because it is a result of compounded feelings such as betrayal, abandonment, physical pain, confusion, being mis-understood, and many others.

I don't know that this post is all on track with this discussion, but it came to mind.

- SC

January 28, 2000
8:20 am
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KTHOMAS
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SC,

I think it is right on track. While I was in counseling (the short three months I was able to go), my counslor showed me how being abused and not getting the attention from my parents to stop it as a child...made me very angry. Anger is a part of me that never goes away. She is a part of me that lies in wait...and yes when she is let loose...it is a very humbling and empty feeling.

January 28, 2000
2:43 pm
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mnms
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Anger has a totally different affect on me. I rarely get angry. My counselor is always asking me if I am angry about what was done to me as a child, or if I am angry about other things. If I do have that anger--which I am sure that I do, deep down inside--I have yet to learn to identify it. Anger for me comes in deep sadness and pain. Rarely does it actually come in the form of anger. So when I actually do act out in an angry way, it is not somthing that humbles me. It is something that reminds me that I am growing and that I actually care about myself and what happens and has happened to me.
You see... I WANT to be angry!!!

January 28, 2000
9:59 pm
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KTHOMAS
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I wish mine would go away.

January 29, 2000
12:28 am
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gst
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Hi mnms,

I wonder about your lack of anger. Does it come from a product of your self esteem or is it something you have put in place of your self esteem.

I thimk for myself anger is a several part symptom. Some of it good. Some of it not. I think when anger becomes rage, I think it is unhealthy. So the question I have is what do you do when it's unhealthy?

January 29, 2000
12:39 am
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mnms
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As I was trying to fall asleep tonight I kept thinking about the reason why I started this thread in the first place. See--I have been in the application/hiring process for a position as a counselor at a summer camp for a month. This was something I desperately wanted to do. I went through two hard interviews after the initial application process. I wrote the thread after the second interview, in which I was grilled about how my past experiences of abuse might affect my dealing with children who had also been abused. During the interview, I was appalled at the interviewer's attitude. He didn't say so, but implied that as a recent survivor of abuse, I would not be capable of handling kids in situations like I had been in. This tremendously hurt; later, I discovered to no surprise that I had not been chosen for the job. I believe this was one of the reasons.

Does this seem fair? I seem to be taking it very personally. As an abuse survivor, I think of myself as stronger because of the experience. I do not think of myself as incapable. This is not to say that I am perfect, nor that I have not struggled with my past. But incapable?

I can't sleep!

It hurts me that someone looks down on me because of something that was not my fault. And also that someone does not understand how far I have come in overcoming this barrier in my life.

I also question if that interviewer was right. Maybe I am not ready to handle kids in my previous situation. Maybe too many memories will be revived. Maybe...

But yet I still believe deep down that I am ready. Besides, God is strong in my weaknesses.

It hurts, ya know? I'm having trouble moving past this. All my childhood I just wanted to be normal. Now... it doesn't even seem to matter that I am.

mnms

January 29, 2000
4:21 am
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gst
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hello mnms,
I feel so bad for you. I hate hurt in life. It's not good. It's not right.

Perhaps your eperience makes you now better in life. I hope so. Push forward. It's worth it. Hang on. It will even be more worth it.
Bye.

January 29, 2000
4:27 am
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toch
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yes, a razor I think. mmmmm That would be best. Fuck it all. Who gives a dammn. Who gives a shit.

January 29, 2000
10:37 am
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mnms,

Just because this one place felt that way...does not mean other places feel the same way about hiring abuse survivors. I know of a place locally that encourages it. Don't give up on your desire to help those that have been hurt the same way you have been. Perhaps by taking some classes or workshops in this area will put you in contact with others that would appreciate the value you would bring.

You sound like such a sweet soul and yes...God is your strength. Trust him...he knows where you are to go...and maybe this camp really wasn't what he thought was the best for you...he knows the desires of your heart.

Let it go...and move on. Remember there are no "Plan B's" with God. Only a different "Plan A".

🙂 Love, Karin

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