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why so I still feel pain from being molested when i was 5
November 8, 2006
1:49 pm
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D27
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I hate to talk about what happened to me when I younger. I hate hearing about what other people have went through. can anybody give me the answer to why I hurt so much 22 years later?

November 8, 2006
2:02 pm
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cammyjo
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Hi D27

Sorry to hear you had such an awful experience that it is still with you. My first thought as you asked that question was, Why not?
Of course you are going to have pain, as I understand, it can be quite a process working through it and letting it go. I'm here, and will listen. Big hug to you.. CJ

November 8, 2006
2:08 pm
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D27
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I feel too old for this. Ive talked about it. It just doesnt make any sense to me to still feel so much pain from yesterday. And how does one let something like this go? If I could I would. I dont want to feel like this anymore. How do I release this?

November 8, 2006
2:08 pm
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ggfred4
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D27, I want the answer you are searching for and I am 50 years old...I only started dealing with this stuff, even not even remembering it all, during the last 3-4 years...I want to heal...I don't want to live this way the rest of my life...

You are not alone in this pain...I have just started dealing with it and it is extremely painful and many times, I want to run back inside myself a hide from this pain...but, can't heal that way...

So don't hate talking about it, at least not on this site, it means you are trying to heal yourself and that is a good thing...There are lots of people here ready to advise or simply hold your hand..Take care...

November 8, 2006
2:13 pm
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lolli
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D27,

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I am a survivor too. All I can say is that the pain does gradually fade. The most important thing is that you let yourself feel it and grieve and be angry over it. As painful as they are, you have to get those feelings out before you can be free of them.

Most of us survivors spend many, many years trying to "stuff" and/or avoid our feelings about what happened, and that just prolongs our suffering. It's unfair. We shouldn't have to feel those feelings. We didn't have any choice in the matter. And we can be angry about that and stomp our feet (believe me, I have many times!) but the only way out is to feel the feelings and go through it.

You are doing the right thing by reaching out to people. We are here for you to listen and to support you.

A really great book I've read is called, "The Courage to Heal." It might help you too. You have already shown tremendous courage by surviving what happened to you... and by being willing to talk about it on this site.

It does get better. I promise.

safe hugs ((((D27))))

November 8, 2006
2:22 pm
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cammyjo
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D27

Well, I'm no doctor, and I certainly don't have all the answers. I can share with you.

Today I am calling my Mom, I have been avoiding her because I owe her a large sum of money, I have been treating her like another bill collector, has avoiding her released me of my pain NO, it has only seemed to increase it. Monday was her birthday, I could not call her, my phone was suspended for non payment, now I am feeling REALLY BAD. Will avoiding calling her make me feel any better, NO. If I had really really wanted to get brave and call her Monday, could I have found a way? YES. But I chose my excuse, and took the back door. I am now going to go call my Mom, face my fear and guilt, get over it and let it go. We will both benefit from it.

Now, not to compare situations by any means, it is the process of seeing it, feeling it, going thru it.

If your situation would even allow you to confront the person that hurt you, would it help to confront them?
Would if help to use a professional to act as a "model" of that person for you to talk to, yell at or whatever to let them know what they did was not right? Maybe. Somehow, to get through the pain and get to the relief on the other side, we have to figure out a way to go through it, and keep from avoiding what is really bothering us. Taken to account that you are doing things to yourself to hurt yourself, I would really say stick close to the professionals.

CJ

November 8, 2006
3:20 pm
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lolli
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D27,

Just adding something here after reading CJ's post.

I said it is important to feel the feelings and go through them. BUT...
If you have been feeling them but directing lots of that anger, guilt, and shame back at yourself... then the first step of business (before you go any deeper into all those feelings) is to find a way to REDIRECT the blame and responsibility to the people who deserve it.

YOU DO NOT DESERVE IT. Read that and reread that a billion times until at least a part of yourself starts to believe it. NO CHILD EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DESERVES TO BE ABUSED. Under any circumstances EVER. I hope you can start to realize that... my heart hurts for you and any survivor who is still harboring self blame because I have been there and I know how awful, awful that feels.

In a way, continuing to hold on to that self blame is a way of re-abusing ourselves in order to protect our abusers and/or other people in our family who may have allowed it to happen.

It is extremely painful to shatter the myth (we had to believe as children in order to survive) that the adults around weren't always there to protect us, and that some of them were deliberately profiting from our pain. It is difficult to even understand how this exists in the world. But acknowledging that we were really powerless then and that we were innocent is really a big step towards putting the responsibility where it belongs.

and of course... intellectualizing all this (as i am obviously doing here) is SO much easier than internalizing it and believing it (which I'm still working on)... but at least intellectualizing it gives us a roadmap of where to go from here...

D27, you will get through this. you've already survived the worst, and now you are not alone. we are all here for you.

November 8, 2006
3:49 pm
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D27
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Thanks everyone for the support but someone answer me this. Why cant i talk about this without feeling this overwhelming sense of hurt. Why does it bother me to hear others stories, and see their pain even as adults. Why do I feel bothered that they cant seem to get passed it.

November 8, 2006
4:08 pm
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lolli
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it seems like you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to "get past it," maybe you are projecting that onto others too.

it is possible that you are echoing someone else's expectations that you just "get over it" and deal?

it is actually a very "normal" and healthy response that you would feel overwhelmingly hurt talking and thinking about abuse of yourself and others... even years later. it is an overwhelmingly painful subject. for you to feel that is actually healthy.

maybe i can explain in another way... anger, sadness, etc are not BAD by themselves. it is not bad to have those feelings. it is only in how we REACT to those feelings that can be good/helpful/healing or bad/hurtful/abusing to ourselves and others.

the feelings are just signals that there is something we need to do to take care of and nurture or protect ourselves.

so maybe the real question is... what are these feelings telling you to do? how can you respond to those feelings in a way that is healthy and nurturing or protective for you?

oh... one more thought. maybe this will help... the feelings we have about the abuse are the feelings we had as kids. as adults we may see them as "overreacting," but we have to understand/remember how overwhelming the experience was for us at the time. kids are not adults. they DEPEND on adults for their survival. so any betrayal by an adult contains the very real threat of DEATH to any child. that is why the feelings are so strong. as a child, you probably didn't know what was happening or why, but it may have felt like your life was at stake. and it has been said that memories are not subject to the constraints of time. so in essence, your feelings are THE SAME that they were then. just as intense. because they don't change over time. they don't "realize" time has passed and you are an adult and safe now.

as hard as it is, you just have to acknowledge it and let yourself feel it... without judgement. the fact that you are aware of the pain and feeling it is a sign that you are healing.

hope this helps. sorry to be so wordy!

November 8, 2006
4:12 pm
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Randomwomen2
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Sweetheart it takes a lot of time to deal with this. I am also a survivor and it could be that hearing other peoples storys just bring up to many painful memories. I am reading a book called "The Wounded Heart" It is my second time reading it and it has been a God send. It is a christian based book and it is wonderful. It is the only book that I have read that has helped me. There is also a work book that goes with it. I have to admit that it is really difficult to do but it is so worth it. Many many hugs comming your way hunny ((((D27)))) YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS

November 8, 2006
5:46 pm
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turnabout
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D27, what do you think is wrong about still feeling hurt over the abuse? What should you (and others) feel instead, do you think?

No one wants to feel hurt, of course, but I get the impression that you think there is something wrong with it? What's wrong with it for you? I'm curious...

November 8, 2006
6:19 pm
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D27
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to answer your question turnabout, I just never wanted to blame any problems I had on something I have done in the past. For example the thought that perhaps I was so sexually active at a young age was because of this or the fact that I became a stripper. It makes me angry to even think that a lot of stuff that I have done in my life may have blossomed from me being molested. My whole entire family lives in another state and Im out here by myself. Is there something wrong with that? Everytime I think of going back I get a bad feeling as though Im being trapped. I know that nothing I do is normal.

November 8, 2006
6:25 pm
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D27
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lolli
your words help. I can remember my mom telling me when everyone found out not to "tell anybody else". Maybe in some way, I have held on to those words obedience all this time. Everytime I try to talk to her we argue. She has said she doesnt remember( I know that's not true)and she has said to get over it. We are at a good place right now, I cant bring this up again to her.

November 8, 2006
8:24 pm
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lolli
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oh D, I'm so sorry you are going through all this. it is so tough.

"I just never wanted to blame any problems I had on something I have done in the past"

please, please, please know that the molestation wasn't "something you did" in the past. it was something that was done TO you. something you had NO control over whatsoever.

as adult survivors (and even as children) we like(d) to think that we had some "control" over what happened to us. as children, we had to believe we had some control, because if we admitted the reality of the situation to ourselves (that we were utterly powerless) it would have hurt us worse.

so instead we had to believe that if only we had been better in some way it wouldn't have happened. this belief got us through childhood. it helped us survive.

but it was a false belief. and now it hurts us. and it protects the abuser. the truth is, there is nothing we could have done to stop it. i had a really hard time (and still am) accepting this because most of the time i just participated in the abuse without question. if my abuser asked me to do something, i just did it as if he was asking me to do something benign like folding my socks. i didn't even question it at the time. sometimes i even apologized to him that my "performance" wasn't better. and so it was hard for me to believe that it wasn't at least partly my fault. i thought, if only i'd tried to say no or tried to fight it- at least i could be proud that i tried to stop it. but the TRUTH is, he was MUCH bigger than me and he was going to do what he wanted whether i complied or not. and if i didn't comply, he might have hurt me worse.

my complying (and the denial it required) is what helped me to survive both physically and emotionally. so, in a way, there was a part of me that was really smart to figure out this was what i needed to do to survive. and sometimes my "body" responded to what he did. but this doesn't make me responsible either. because i've learned that bodies are designed to respond to touch. i NEVER wanted him to touch me in that way, i just wanted attention (the healthy kind dads are supposed to give). but he wouldn't give me any healthy attention, he deprived me so that i would seek attention from him the only way i could get it - by complying with the sexual abuse. lots of times abusers "train" their victims so that they don't even put up a struggle.

there is a part of you, too, that did what it had to do to help you survive. one day, you will realize that it is an amazing thing that that little girl in you figured out a way to survive. and she was very, very brave.

and it is true that many survivors do get sexually active at a young age, and lots of strippers do so as a consequence of being abused. i know it is so painful to look at our lives now and see how some of our actions are really "reactions" to the abuse. that is so hard because (at least in my case) it feels like the abuser still has some power over me. but part of taking that power away from the abuser, part of reclaiming that power is about taking a tally of what is ours and what is really theirs (that we have been carrying) and then deciding what we want to keep and what we will no longer tolerate in our lives.

anyway, i'm sorry to be so wordy... like i said i really empathize with you because i've been dealing with these exact same issues in my life too. but it helps to talk about it and realize that i'm (and you're) not alone.

oh yeah... and my mom is in denial about it too. i could write an entire novel on how devastating that's been...

but i'll stop before everyone reading this falls asleep... lol

November 8, 2006
9:43 pm
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lovetocrochet
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D27,

I am sorry for your experiences. I assume that it was someone you knew and trusted who did this to you? That in itself is going to add to the pain, because you were betrayed in the worst possible way if that is the case.

I definitely know what this is like. I was molested by my brother, my father was covertly incestuous and my mother knew about it all but just looked the other way, later told me it was normal, then refused to talk about it anymore, basically implying it was my problem. The fact is it was her problem too - not only was she my mother and it was her job to do whatever it took to protect me from further abuse, but she was also a psych nurse and a counselor. She had ethical obligations to practice what she preached.

I have since confronted my bio-family and I have not spoken to them in nearly five years. I have disclosed the abuse to extended family to warn them to protect their young ones. I have reported my mother to the state board of nursing. Unfortunately NOBODY has taken me seriously and in fact some have even told my bio-family to sue me. For telling the truth!! Lovely bunch of people...

Taking action like this has helped me some. But I STILL have the pain. I was still betrayed and wounded by people who were supposed to *protect* me.

I used to feel like you did... I used to think I should have "gotten over it" by now. That I was too old to still have these wounds sting, and throb, and cause me agony.

But I have since learned that is not true. There will always be a scar, it may fade over time, but it is a slow process.

Something I like to share is what my husband keeps telling me. Grieving and healing from an abusive past is like peeling away the layers of an onion. You can't rip them off all at once, you have to let them gradually wilt off and then peel them away delicately. As you may imagine that is a process in which you MUST be patient with yourself, and not keep beating yourself up.

You could also compare it to being like a rose. You can't force a rose to bloom and open its petals any faster than nature will allow... in the same way, we cannot bloom to our full potential, our healing, reclaiming and recovering our lives from abuse, cannot unfurl and blossom any faster, than our souls can permit at any given time.

I hope you can see from what I've offered that what you are going through is NOT a failure on your part. It's actually a success and a miracle, because you're willing to face it. You're here, asking questions, seeking something better. You're willing to face the truth and you don't want to settle for less for yourself anymore. Many people would rather bury or numb themselves than do what you're doing.

So perhaps instead of beating yourself up, you should cheer yourself on.

November 8, 2006
10:58 pm
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lolli
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very nicely put, LTC. i like that you call it a miracle. that's what it is, but i never thought about it that way before.... thanks for that!~

November 9, 2006
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D27
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So if I cant confront the man who did this to me(my moms husband and they are no longer together)and I cant get anything from my mom but an "I dont remember and get over it". How do I find peace. I have within the last two days accepted that I was molested- what I have been ashamed to be apart of for the last 20 or so years(and something cringes inside when I even type the words so maybe I havent fully accepted it). That I am among a group of people that have been molested and neglected.I fit a stereo type of molested child that grew up to be a teenage drop-out teen parent and stripper. And where is the peace in any of this?

November 9, 2006
6:18 am
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revelation
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D27 you asked:

Thanks everyone for the support but someone answer me this. Why cant i talk about this without feeling this overwhelming sense of hurt. Why does it bother me to hear others stories, and see their pain even as adults. Why do I feel bothered that they cant seem to get passed it.

Nobody can answer that question except you...to try to answer would be a waste of time all people can do is give their stories and tell you how they got through it or how they are getting through it...but nobody here can give you answers all we can do is tell you how to find them.

Quite obviously you haven't healed from this...nobody can do that healing for you...I know that what happened to you was so unfair and unjust besides being cruel, but unfortunately the reality is that only you can heal yourself...we can't do it for you and the other reality is...yes, its not easy! But the reward at the end will be happiness and contentment...but this takes time. You have taken a first very big step by coming here, big pat on the back for that!

Ask yourself those questions, and maybe write about how you feel when you ask yourself those questions

Say "Why cant i talk about this without feeling this overwhelming sense of hurt?" how do you feel when you ask this question? What goes through your head? Write it down and see what comes up for you...if nothing comes up then you are not really asking yourself.

November 9, 2006
1:35 pm
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D27
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revelation
A few months ago I went through this. I went over the events in my head, discovered new things and even talked to a few of my family memebers. I got nothing but tears so I stopped digging and thinking and questioning because it didnt seem like I was making progress, it seemed as though I was making myself crazy. And now I can barely get the words out of my mouth without breaking into tears. I just cant keep crying, I dont want to. I ask these questions because I dont know the answers to them. I can continue to dig into my past but it just seems harder and harder to deal with. I just get tears thats all Im getting.

November 9, 2006
1:41 pm
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lolli
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D27,

many of the books i've read on the subject say that writing a letter to the abuser (and not sending it) and/or doing a confrontational "reenactment" with a therapist or trusted friend is as therapeutic as having an actual confrontation.

my therapist gave me this letter-writing exercise that is supposed to act as a confrontation (but it is just something you do for yourself without involving your abuser). if you (or anyone else here) is interested... let me know and i'll post it.

your actions might fit a "stereotype," but really they are just symptomatic reactions to the grave injustice that was inflicted upon you. they are more evidence of how much this has hurt you. you do not have to be ashamed about them any more than a person with cancer should be ashamed by her symptoms.

you don't deserve what happened to you. you were trying to process it mentally in a way that allowed you to keep your sanity. and that has shaped some of your actions. you did what you had to do.

but you are stronger now. that is why you have started dealing with it. our bodies and subconscious minds are incredibly smart in this way. they only let us see/feel what we are capable of handling.

it is okay to be angry about what happened and how it has shaped your life thus far. go right ahead. you deserve to be angry! after you work through the anger (i'm told), then you can start to take control of your life and you will no longer be acting in "reaction" to the abuse. you'll be acting for yourself doing the things that as a whole and unique person, you were always meant to do (before you were hurt by the abuse).

i'm angry too! i'm angry that i feel like i've "lost" 30 years of my life because i lost the years when i was abused and then i lost the years when i was so busy being in denial. and now i'm "losing" time to therapy! you better believe i'm angry!

but i see people in my group and in my books and online who are further along in their healing than me. they give me hope. and occassionally i'll have a "glimpse of healing." that's like where for short periods i'll start to see and feel what it's like to have recovered from this. and those keep me going.

if you stick with this healing long enough, you'll start to have those glimpses too. i hope you have one really soon:)

sending you healing thoughts (((D)))

November 9, 2006
1:54 pm
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D27
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(((lolli)))
Thank u so much. I'll try the letter. And please post yours. Is there any reason why I feel the most angry at my mom? I found out a few months ago that she knew about it or at least had some sort of knowledge of the situation. Why would I feel more anger toward her than to the man who did it?

November 9, 2006
2:11 pm
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turnabout
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D27, a lot of abuse victims end up suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and from the accounts you've given about your current emotions and your former behaviors (like promiscuity and such), it sounds like you are a candidate for it. Have you done any research on it? If you see yourself in the description of its symptoms, this is something you'll need to address in recovering from the abuse. I just suggest you check it out. I once Googled "abuse post traumatic stress" to find some information on it.

In regards to anger with your mother, I would think it's due to the fact you trusted her so much. You had more trust invested and more reason to trust her than your abuser, so in that sense there's a bigger betrayal there.

November 9, 2006
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lolli
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i don't know exactly, but i've been going through that too.

for me, i think it's because when i was being abused, i always intuitively knew there was something a little bit messed up about my abuser (for example, at age 8 i tried to teach him how to read because of positive reading propaganda, i thought that if only i taught him how to read he would be a "better" person). obviously, i didn't quite know what was wrong with him, but something didn't quite seem right (even though i didn't know what sexual abuse was or even that it was wrong... i just knew he made me feel uncomfortable at times).

but with my mom, she was always the non-abuser... the "good" one. when i finally remembered the abuse, i was hurt and angry at my abuser for a while, but i had already in a way "written him off" as a hopeless case at some point when i was a kid. so there was less to lose in realizing he was an a*hole.

but i have had a lot of loss to accept surrounding my mom... because my expectations of her have always been higher.

i talked to someone from my support group recently who said they feel the same way about their mom too. i think its a pretty common and natural feeling under the circumstances.

plus, its just a fact of society (unfortunately) that we still see mothers as the parents with "more" responsibility than fathers. society has higher expectations of them.

so it is a WAY bigger let down when mothers disappoint us. THEY were the ones who were SUPPOSED to protect us. and they didn't. they ignored our suffering. other than the actual abuse, i can't think of a greater crime.

plus in your case and in my case, our moms denied the abuse when we tried to tell... which just hurts us worse and delays our healing. it makes us question ourselves and (in my case) go into denial for many, many more years.

that's my attempt at an answer... but there could be other reasons too.

when you say you feel "trapped" going back to visit her.... i feel that way around my mom too. i have come to learn that my mom and i had an enmeshed relationship. it was devastating to learn that, but awareness was the first step. i'm gradually coming to accept that she messed up big time too. I NEVER ever in my life EVER wanted to admit that so i've lived most of my life thinking she was such a wonderful and protective and "model" mother. and believe me, she is/was always so quick to remind me and everyone else what a protective and righteously opinionated mom she is. so i always just believed her words without question (because it was too painful to question them- i didn't even consider for a millisecond questioning them).

now i know that she was really just a kid (who had been abused herself) and she was incapable of protecting me. what's more, i ended up having to be the emotional stronghold in my family because she was too "fragile" to deal when i told her i was being abused. so i kept the secret in order to PROTECT her. it is a devastating responsibility for a child to have to "take care" of a parent.
maybe something like this happened to you too that is fueling your anger?

i'll try to find that writing exercise and post it in a sec...

one more thing... you say that your mom says she can't remember. makes me wonder if possibly she really does have a blocked memory due to denial/dissociation.

this ability is passed down you know (i don't know if it is genetic or a learned ability)... and because i dissociated i know the chances are good that my mom did (combined with other evidence) and that she was most likely sexually abused too.

so i'm thinking about your situation in reverse... if it's possible that she did dissociate, then is it possible that some more things happened to you that you have blocked out?

of course, you know her and i don't. it could very well be as you say that she is merely saying she doesn't remember as a way to evade the subject.

either scenario is lousy, i know. but i dunno... i just brought it up cause it might spark something for you that makes sense and helps you along the way...

ok. i'm gonna go look for that writing exercise now...

November 9, 2006
2:59 pm
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lolli
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wow... i think it took me a whole paragraph to say what turnabout said in 1 sentence. i MUST learn the art of brevity and clarity...

anyway... crap. i can't find the paper. i think i left it at my group meeting. i will post as soon as i find it (which could be a few days from now). in the meantime, here's a website that contains kind of a variation of the letter:
http://wuzzle.org/cave/ar_healab.html

and this might be helpful too. you can post an anonymous letter to your abuser online:
http://www.red-letters.com/

finally... this is such a good site. i find this woman to be so inspiring. here is her letter to her abuser. it helped me get in touch with some of my own anger towards my abuser.
http://www.sadlynormal.org/letter.htm

November 9, 2006
4:26 pm
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D27
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September 29, 2010
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yes lolli u do say a lot. but i need those words so big hug and thanks to you:) In my head for the longest I thought that my mom didnt want me to say anything because she was embarrassed but I dont think that was the case. When the same man tried to molest my cousin and my cousin told my aunt. It was a big fight at my house because I remember peeking out of the room to see what was going on. My older cousins and my aunt were trying to beat up this man. So I called my cousin to ask her exactly what she told her mom and she said these words "I told her that he was trying to touch on US". That word "us" let me know that my mom knew something, but didnt do anything and when I told a counselor at school, when I got home she asked why I didnt tell her, I told her I didnt know, and she said not to tell anybody else. My mom was always in abusive relationships. The man who molested me beat her often and shot her once. Even after he shot her, she knew he molested me, she still let him come back. She had another other boyfriend who tried to have sex with me but I ran and locked myself in the room and when I told my mother about it she told me to hang around my brothers. One last incident- when I told my aunt about the man I just mentioned (the one where I locked myself in a room) she thought I was talking about another man my mother began dating after him and she told my mom. My mom burst into the room called me a bitch and grabbed me by my shirt and said that I was a liar and I knew that that man had never done such a thing. I told her that he wasnt the man that I was talking about but the fact that she was so quick to attack me and not him hurt me. I guess I have plenty of reason to be angry with her now that I think about it. Before she got shot I hid the gun(he had two). When she asked me not to say anything about being molested I didnt-for her. When one of her other boyfriends was beating her up I burst into their room and stood there and refused to leave until he stopped and he did. All that I did for her, and I couldnt get anything in return, hell I dont know who was the sickest the man who molested me or the woman who just didnt give a damn. I can be angry with her all I please, but something in me is scared to death to talk to her about her part in all of this. I just dont think Ill get an Im sorry. I think that the conversation will end very bad.

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