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woking through childhood abuse as an adult.
August 30, 2001
2:39 pm
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RESPE
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Does anyone have any tips/ideas on how to deal with childhood abuse as an adult? I have worked through all of my problems in a year of couseling and now am ready to tackle this last hurdle. Anyone in here in the same boat?

August 30, 2001
2:58 pm
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Ladeska
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What are your questions regarding this? If you don't mind me asking - what was the extent of your abuse? And have you discussed this with your present counselor? They should be able to direct you as well.

August 30, 2001
6:23 pm
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RESPE
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My early childhood is unclear, from 5 years old on I was beaten with a belt on a regular basis for what my dad said was my aparent need for pain. My dad was not a mean man, he just had a bad temper. I remember some specific things from early childhood that make me believe I may have been sexually abused as well. As far as my current counselor, I stopped going to a true counselor shortly after I got out of the hospital for suicide ideation. I met with her for a month and then I moved out of area and had to start over, which I did not do. I did continue with my pastor from church, but finding time to meat with him is not easy. I just need a place to talk and relate to people as a release. I have worked through so much, this should go easily I hope. My father also just recently ( as in the last month )came out of the closet as a homosexual. He has disconnected himself from me completely and he and my mom have been divorced for 2 years.

August 30, 2001
6:38 pm
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Ladeska
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Well, this is certainly a good place to vent, talk to others, so I would encourage you to stay here.

I wince a little bit when you say that you worked through all your problems in a year and that this should go easily as well. Not to say - you can't go fast but - it's usually not the rule of thumb. Abuse is not so quickly or easily worked through.... It's a slow process. And there are reasons for that. We can only handle so much...at one time and need to stop...process....feel...remember...
think..etc.

Sometimes we just want to get something over with so bad and get it all labeled and put into a neat little box so that we are done with it....but the trouble with that is - it's not like washing your car or organizing your sock drawer...this stuff is part of you and will always be a part of you....you need to be in a constant plane of learning and knowing that - you change, things come to mind, you see them - feel them differently and things happen at different stages of your life, too.

What you might work through now as far as your abuse is concerned might be "one" thing worked through - but you may not be ready to work through other things until much later down the road and you need to allow the door open for that...

I'd like to suggest that you get a notebook and label the dividers starting with the 1st year of your life through age 18. And any information you can put down and assign to a certain age - throw it in there, write it, scribble it, whatever...but it will help you make a timeline and help your memory as well.

And btw, your father was most definitely "mean". Beat you because you needed to experience pain?? Sweetheart....I am amazed everytime I hear a statement like this, but not surprised....we so want to love our parents no matter what. Understand. However, black is black here. He was mean and abusive and that's that. They can all be charming and loving at other times. It helps confuse you and gloss over their own guilt.

So, talk away here. Alot of good people check in at this place. They all shoot from the hip, so be prepared for that. But, most of the time - they do it with care and with experience and wisdom.

Glad to have you here.

August 30, 2001
8:25 pm
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Molly
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I actually wonder if we ever work through the issues. I believe the most positive way I have found is acceptance, it is a part of me, and I have learned to like me, and make the negative things that have happened to me, less and less signifigant.

What I mean by that is the indigestion that I have , as a result of my lunch is far more signifigant than the things that happened in my childhood.
It has taken lots of time and effort to come to that conclusion, I do not mean to infer that it happens over night. But what ever has happened to me, has helped to formulate the person that I am today, and aspire to be. I make a choice to look at the positive more than dwell on the past.
It takes practice.

August 30, 2001
8:43 pm
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pg lova
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RESPE,

I want you to know, that it's not your fault, most importantly. Second of all, when problems present themselves in our lives, we seldom are able to deal with them, but rather we learn to accept what has happened. I'm sure it will take a while, but you're on the right track. As a firm believer in God, I don't know your view, but a verse I'd like to leave with you is John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled . . . " and that's what I encourage you to do today. Let not your heart be troubled. Instead, be consoled by the outpouring of love and support you are finding as you get closer step by step to knocking out that hurdle. I know it's not easy, but just go one step at a time, and I guarantee, everything will be all right. If you ever need to talk, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

Take Care of Yourself,
PG Lova

August 30, 2001
9:06 pm
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damaged
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Can you talk about the sexual abuse part and what makes you think this might have happened to you? I also have reason to think I might have been sexualy abused as a three year old.

August 30, 2001
10:21 pm
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katemc
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Yes damaged good question. Some weird things have happened to me a a kid and I am wondering if they are classified as sexual abuse. Can anyone help?

August 31, 2001
11:09 am
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RESPE
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To all of you, WOW!! Thank you so much for the kind words.

Damaged,

I take caution in telling...although identies are not known, ther is still a certain nakedness felt when you share something so intimate as certain abuses.

When I was 3 or 4 years old, my father would ask if I was tired and to take a nap with him, he would grab me and fold me into himself...what I really remember is that I did not want to be there, I was not tired and would try to slip away and he would get mad. I spoke with my girlfriend about it last night who also was abused as a child. There are alot of things that happened to me that I cannot draw conclusion to because I was so young. I have since forgiven my dad. I told him that the past was the past and we can go on know, but he will have nothing to do with me. I am a very strong individual, I have a great insight to my feelings, yet this is difficult to handle.

August 31, 2001
11:29 am
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RESPE
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Molly,

I am not sure I would equate indigestion with my past. In fact, I am quite sure that my past regardless if I am over it or not, dealt with it or not, will always be significant because how I choose to deal with it makes me who I am and that is very significant!!! I do not feel like I am a victim, I feel more like a child who met with missfortune and my father deals with it more harshly than I. My toughest battle is, I want a father and will never have one and it is not my fault. What's more is that I am willing to work through the past with him and he shuts me out. The issue isn't so much the abuse, but why my father who was the abuser would not allow himself to accept my forgiveness and have a relationship with me. That is the real issue, yes the abuse hurts, but being without a father at all...hurts worse!!!

August 31, 2001
1:40 pm
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angelchains
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Respe,

My step-father abused me as a teenager. Even though as an adult I have not sought what you seek from your father, my step-father does keep a distance from me even around my mom. No eye contact, no conversation, etc. I have concluded that now he knows that I have moved on and accepted the past per say, that he is embarassed and actually ashamed at the fact that I am strong enough to "make it." I think subconsiously, maybe even conciously, the abuser seeks out control over the abusee and once that control is taken away they have no way of figuring out why they went that far to gain that sense of control. Shame, disgust and denial; that is what I think my step-dad faces. angel

August 31, 2001
2:33 pm
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confussed
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My Father died when I was almost 4 years old. My Mother raised me and my younger brother alone for the most part.

My mom had live ins (2or3) from that time until I was about 11 years old.
Needless to say these men didn't have any respect for a little girl. I don't know if my mom knew what was happening. I didn't dare say anything, I was told(by the men) I would be in trouble not them, I was the bad one.

Then when I was about 11, my cousin that was at that time 32 years old, Started coming around. I was abused by him until I was 14.

I'm now in my mid-thirties....It wasn't until a few years ago that I stopped feeling like I caused everthing that happened to me.

I carried around alot of guilt for a very long time....

I haven't been to counseling or anything. I'm not sure my husband would understand.

Is there anyone out there that can relate to this?

Thanks.....Confussed

August 31, 2001
6:20 pm
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scherza
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I could fill this board with pages of stories from being locked in an attic for three days, abandonment, rape and molestation, you name it!

I don't think we ever get over it. But! We can use the feelings we have about it to make positive changes in the world we live in. For example, I am a children's rights activist. I speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

My spirituality connects me to the human race through a moon mother goddess. With time and individualizing myself from my childhood family, I can remember everything clearly and not take on the blame...and I can even forgive my perpetrators...most of the time. Forgiving does not mean forgetting...it does mean not needing to even the score with the offender, which frees up my energy for other more productive and satisfying pursuits.

My journey has had me to become bigger than my world...or parish in the rage. I have to understand the whole picture and become proactive based on these values I have developed. Often I am the only one that makes this effort in a conflict.

An example of being bigger: My grandmother died and left a huge fortune in life insurance to me. My father and uncle reappeared from god knows where to fight me for this money. These men are factory workers that fight everyday for their self esteem as they do the same job over and over everyday. I did some investigating about my family history and found out that grandma wasn't very nice to her sons and hated men in general. I also discovered that she was raped at a young age and that her older sister was murdered by her husband...and when she tried to get her sister's baby away from its father, the law and her parents sided against her (in 1924) and she went crazy trying to get that baby back. She lived with a girl friend from 1928 until 1937...when her father forced her to another state and married her off to a man she didn't know. My father and uncle were her boys. She beat them regularly. There were lots of relatives to account for this story. My dad and uncle are now just entering their 60's...and retirement looked bleak for them. I decided to split the inheritance with them three ways if they promise to invest it in some way that promotes their comfort in retirement. They did as I told them to do!!! (I couldn't believe it!)

My uncle moved him and the extended family that lives with him into a big house...and out of their ramshackle trailer. His grandsons have their own bedrooms for the first time in their lives. My father cleared his debts and got a savings account going. My uncle will not speak to me to this day b/c he thinks that I ripped him off of part of "his due." My father and I have since gotten to know each other again. I confronted him about his abuse of me and he asked me to forgive him. My forgiveness of him has transformed us both over time. I had to change lawyers to do this b/c my first lawyer wanted me to tell them to go the hell...and he was technically right...but with the whole picture, I didn't think that this was the right thing to do. This is all a really really sad story for abolutely everyone.

I cannot forget about my terrors, though...no matter how hard I try. I still break out in a sweat when I hear children screaming at a ballgame...or when I just hear a child crying...anywhere. The scars on my body remind me. I cannot take care of children in my hospital setting b/c I cannot bear to hear them cry in any kind of pain. I can deal with brains coming out of a 48 year old who shot himself in the head...but not the screams of the 10 year old sister of a 14 year old girl that flew through a windshield...as I am ordered to withdrawl life support from her.

It ain't all perfect, but it is the best it can be for now....:)

September 1, 2001
6:13 am
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yc
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I was sexually abuse in my teens. At this point of time, I learned that I am a survival and appreciate myself. I am not to be blamed.

September 1, 2001
4:29 pm
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Molly
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RESPE--
Incest is a different situation,with the additional confusion, and pain that you expressed, its all sexual abuse, and each and every person processes at their own pace, and eventually deals with it in their own way. What ever way that is, as long as they eventually feel complete.
Often we have circumstances that do not allow us to complete with the person from whom we need or want closure, and need to discover a different approach.
Role playing, letters written and never sent, acceptance, all steps to acomplish closure. Different steps for different people, but just as scherza suggested, this or a life of rage. When you are ready, it will happen for you.

September 2, 2001
4:45 pm
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malaikau
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What wonderful, inspirational stories of human triumph!!! I am constantly in awe of the survivor skills and strength of the individuals I encounter in this place! It takes such courage to share your personal pain and experiences. I think one of the ways to make a difference and overcome such hardships is to use those experiences to help others feel less alone.

There are so very many of us who experienced abuse as children. There are so many people out there who feel such shame and loneliness it must feel very comforting to come here and find out that there are others who can identify with that kind of pain. I also think the things said here demonstrate a willingness to rise above childhood experiences and make the world a better place for those who follow behind us.

Thank you all so much for taking the chance to post about your lives here. I respect your bravery and openess, and value the lessons I learn from all of you.

Sincerely,

Mal

September 4, 2001
7:24 pm
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pg lova
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RESPE,

REading this I can identify with your pain. I have never told anyone this before, but the reason I am so strong a believer in God,is that I too faced some abuse growing up. The assaults were isolated incidents not by my parents but by other people. I had good parents who never abused me,but I never told them about being assaulted by other people outside of the home(ie. a good friend's older brother). W0hat we as survivors must remember is that it's not our fault. In fact we are stronger for remembering that. Don't feel down about what has happened between you and your father. Just know you've done all you can. Now, you just stand strong, it'll be all right.

Keep pushing on and continuing to be the fighter,

PG Lova

September 4, 2001
10:52 pm
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madlyinluv
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I was also abused as a child, but weirdly enough my mind blocked it out until i was an adult.. I am now 40 and still dealing with the effects that it has had on my life. I have major bouts of depression and still cant remember alot of my child hood.I have lost any relationship with my family because i tried to talk to them about it and they didnt believe me..Its a long hard road but with good counceling and a good support system you can heal one day at a time. I know God has changed me and helped me to be a better person instead of following the same cycle and has helped me change my destructive behavior. I always try to remember that God has a plan for me and even though I feel like dieing, I know that is not his plan and He is there for me..If it werent for my faith, I probably wouldnt be writing here today..Yes my parents disowned me but I have a heavenly Father that took me in and loved me no matter how damaged I felt..God is good and I try to remember that everyday..that is how I get thru being abused and dealing with it as an adult...No it doesnt make it go away, but it does help..God bless

September 6, 2001
12:45 am
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Y C Sheng
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I too had been sexually abused. We cannot change the past but we can deal with the impact. Thank God we are survivors and not victim. At this point of time we can validate ourselves and this is a good choice.

September 6, 2001
8:19 am
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philter
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respe
hi how are you going, though my story is a bit different to yours i will tell you.I AM MARRIED to a very special lady and we have two boys,over the past four years i have come to grow a tremendous amount in my personal development,i had no choice, I AM 40 YEARS OLD in my childhood from the age of 6 to 12 inclusive i was continually sexually abused by a so called friend of the family.I kept this secret to myself up until 4 years ago.I only revealed my secret becaUse i was confronted with the threat of divorce.as my wife found a used syring packet in my car.Busted .As i have come to realise is that after my abuser stopped abusing me,I took up where he left off and continued to abuse myself by using drugs.I used these for all the wrong reasons(not that you should use drugs anyway)i was searching for avenues to ease my pain,the thing is,that deep down the only person that can help you is yourself with the support of those around you.By the way throughout my life i have been continuaaly depressed,but i always knew the reason for my depression.i know that i will never forget what has happened to me in my past it is with me every second of the day.O

September 6, 2001
8:44 am
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philter
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sorry i cut myself off some how.One of the best things that i have done to help me was to go to a group session.at this stage i was virtually picking myself to pieces with a pair of twesers and on the verge of going insane.my doctor gave me some choices either put me into a mental institution,get counseling ,or if i keep going the way iam on the drugs i wont be here much longer anyway.my doctor put me onto a group in sydney since then i havent looked back.What done their was to stand in front of 50 people and tell them my story it took me four days to get the courage to do that,from that experience i found that people from all walks of life do care,with their help i have turned my life around and i know i wont look back what i learnt there was tremendous and my favorite tool that they gave me and that i can use anywhere is MEDITATION (bring your mind home)I can honestly say that the hardest thing that i have ever done is stand infront of100 people and read a letter of forgiveness out aloud to these people the thing is that doing this gave me such a great feeling it virtually gave me ajump start of power and inner strength and now that i am clean(no drugs)i feel and look the best i ever have.in finishing(i could go on and on but no) i wish you all the best in your personal growth.we are special people,we are the survivors,we are the ones that can create change in our life and use our life experience to show others especially children that these experiences dont have to destroy you,but give you the strength to face anything thats thrown at you now andin the future.what a person focuses on is entirely up to them all the best from philter.

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