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Message started by revenna on Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:09am

Title: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by revenna on Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:09am
Hello, everyone!

I am so tired today (not sleeping much), but I wanted to try to get a few things written down while they are fresh in my mind.

First of all, thanks to Mandi and Sacredheart for their replies to my post yesterday, titled "Obituary".  I appreciated what you had to say.  I'll write more later about that.  I've just been bombarded with new memories and I know if I don't type them up soon, I may lose them again.

I am beginning to understand my childhood in a whole new light and so many things are finally making sense.  As you know, I've been writing about my father's pedophile group from time to time.  I think there's a part of me that has always wondered if this stuff was really true.  I think that's one of the problems with repressed memories.  Even when they return, the memories are sometimes fuzzy.  Anyway, now I know that my father really did belong to a group and I know where most of the activities occurred.

Since reading the obituary last week of one of the group's members, I've been able to piece together more of the story.  When I very young (probably starting at the age of 3 or 4), I was taken north of town to one of those old metal trailers (we called them housetrailers when I was growing up) -- a 1950's model.  It was situated on a small lake.  In the state where I grew up, lakes were a very common thing and it would have been easy for someone to have put a trailer beside the water.  It would have provided a very private setting and no one would have questioned its existence.

I believe that this trailer was where my father's group met most of the time.  I've also uncovered memories of meetings at my grandmother's house.  My grandmother worked during the daytime so her house was empty quite a bit of the time.  Anyway, I believe that the man who died last week was sort of the ringleader for what was going on in my early childhood.  I believe there were a lot of photographs taken at the trailer, and it's possible that this man was the photographer.  It's also possible that the trailer was used as a darkroom since most people did not have Polaroid cameras until later.  (I'll have to look up on the internet and see when the first Polaroid cameras were made available.  My father had one when I was in high school and I know there were some earlier models, but a darkroom may have still been needed when I was very young.)

Like I said yesterday, the man who died last week left the area where I grew up in 1962.  That goes along with my memories.  I've long had the feeling that my father's group disbanded for awhile, then reformed when I was in high school.  That's when my high school band teacher joined the group.  

Thanks for listening!  I just needed to get this written down.  I am so grateful that I am finally remembering these things!  My whole childhood makes so much more sense.  Hopefully, I can get some sleep soon.


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by sacredheart on Feb 14th, 2008 at 9:16am
Dear, Dear Rev~

The repressed memories that you have run deep. But, that is how we are able to survive such unthinkable circumstances. You are so strong. I admire the way that you are going through this process.  ~The group that your dad was in sounds sort of cult-like. It is sickening to think that a group of people could do these things to another person, let alone, a child. You continue to rise above all that was done to you and that is a huge feat. Look at who you have become. That is amazing, to say the least. I have been having memories, too that I didn't understand before. But, by you writing about uncovering repressed memories, it has helped me to deal with what is going on with me. I think to myself, "This is what Rev is going through". Who knew it would take this long for these things to surface?  Who knew that we could bury things so deep? I guess that is why we managed to stay alive. I am so thankful that we can come here and be heard and supported. You can never know how your story touches and helps others......but, it does. Thank you for sharing and being so supportive all at the same time. You matter very much to me.


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by revenna on Feb 14th, 2008 at 1:11pm

Thank you for your wonderful, caring, supportive reply.  I needed that this morning!  I finally managed to get some sleep last night, but my mind is still very fuzzy this morning.  I think it's because I'm still processing all that has happened these last two weeks.  The interesting thing is --- just before this last round of memories came to the surface, there was a day when I was so tired, I could hardly put one foot in front of the other.  I thought I was coming down with some sort of cold or flu because that's how my body usually reacts just before I get sick.  Since no other symptoms ever materialized, I realize now my tiredness had to do with returning memories.  This is the very same thing that happened years ago (in 1996) when my first subconscious memories returned.  

Sacredheart, you're right about these memories running deep.  When I left home at 19, I only had a few conscious memories of sexual abuse -- mainly when my father would talk about sex and want to expose himself to me (as a "way of educating me").  It took another 13 years before the subconscious stuff started to surface, and then it was in the form of PTSD symptoms and rape dreams.  In 1996, I started to finally understand what had happened to me.  The trigger for all this was a phone conversation I had with my dad on his 80th birthday.  He said to me, "All my friends are gone."  Consciously, I knew he was telling me that because of his age, all of his friends had died.  But subconsciously, I connected this piece of information to his pedophile group and must have finally felt free to allow these deeply-buried memories to resurface.  My memories became even stronger when my dad died in 1999.  Now, seeing this obituary of another group member on the internet has unleashed even deeper memories.

I feel like I must be getting close to the end of these memories.  Surely not much more could have happened!  I think your description of this group as cult-like is accurate.  I do know these men had quite a network going, sending messages through post office boxes.  I wonder if other children were brought to the trailer.  I assume that since I was there (and my father allowed other men to molest me), that there must have been other children involved.  I do know the names of each pedophile's children, and that seems odd since we did not grow up in the same communities or go to the same schools.  So I assume I "knew" these kids, too.  I find myself wondering if my dad molested other children.  I assume the answer to that is "yes", too.  

I do hope my story helps others.  Yes, I come here and write these things for my own benefit.  But I hope that in writing about my father's group, it will give others the courage to talk about their own experiences.  I think this type of thing was much more common than people realize.  

Sacredheart, thank you for saying that I matter to you.  What a wonderful thing to say -- and just what I needed right now!  You matter to me, too, and I am so grateful for your support and encouragement.  I wish you well as you continue to process your own past.  


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by Mandi on Feb 15th, 2008 at 9:26am
Hey Revenna!

Sorry this is late!  I have been sick and John has been sick.  AND I have still had to do everything else as a mom and a banker.  So it's just crazy.  Ditto to everything that SacredHeart said.  She has a better way with words than me.  I agree ~ it does sound like a cult/porn ring.  And it's sick of course.  It is weird how it would come up after all these years.  But that is just the way repressed memories work.  You stuff them deep down inside because at the time, you can't deal with that kind of information.  Now that you are able to deal with this stuff, you are remembering.  Certain things trigger certain memories. So you never know when something will make a memory surface.  I know it's a horrible memory to have to re-live in your mind.  But you are strong.  Stronger than you know.  And you do MATTER!!!  Your dad was a sick man who put you around other sick people.  He wasn't what you needed in life ~ ever.  Sometimes people are just put into situations without being able to leave.  Which is sad.  In your family ~ all kinds of turmoil was going on at different times.  And look who made it through all of that. YOU!!  Not everybody can make it safely through it all.  And still be such a wonderful person.  It's just the person you are.  You are a very loving, caring, really special person.  And you are all of that and more ~ despite what he did.  I am happy that you are here.  Your story helps me tremendously.  Especially since we have similar dads in a way.  Thanks for all of your support.  Especially on my last post.  I was just going to erase it, and there was your response.  Thanks so much.  Take care during this rough time.  And know that we are here with you ~ for you.  And you can always email.  

Big safe hugs,
Mandi :)

Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by revenna on Feb 15th, 2008 at 1:04pm
Thanks, Mandi!

I really appreciate your support.  Thanks for reminding me that as difficult as my childhood was, I made it through it!  I'm the only one in my family to survive what happened.  Thanks for all the lovely things you said about me, too.  I needed to hear those things today.  I think it will take awhile for me to accept these new memories.  I believe they are absolutely true.  It just takes a while for my conscious mind to wrap itself around new information.  Thank you for being here for me.

I'm sorry you and John have been sick.  Hope you feel better soon.


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by Mandi on Feb 15th, 2008 at 1:22pm
Hey again ~

I know just how you feel about accepting the new memories.  I feel the same way with my new memories.  It's just shocking that some things actually happened.  And you think to yourself ~ wow ~ that was really horrible.  How could that have happened to me?  WHY?  It's just hard to accept.  Nobody else understands like we do.  I don't know how to comfort those thoughts.  I just understand them.  Hang in there.  Yes they happened.  And they were horrible.  Should NEVER have happened.  BUT ~ here you are.  Strong and beautiful despite that.  So you just keep on breathing and processing!!!

Big hugs,
Mandi :)

Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by revenna on Feb 18th, 2008 at 12:21pm

Thanks for your encouragement.  It IS hard to accept that these things really happened, especially since I blocked so much of it out.  But I know these things are true.  I'm so grateful for all the people here who do understand what I'm writing about.  As you know, I've really struggled with my 3D friends because they don't have the same basis for understanding that you and others do.  I would hate to have these memories returning without the support of other survivors.  Thank you, Mandi, for always being here for me.


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by sacredheart on Feb 18th, 2008 at 2:15pm

Ditto to what Mandi wrote.  
I have had repressed memories surface within the past couple of days. I don't want to remember. I am afraid that allowing new memories to come to light will put me back in a dark place that I feel I am just coming out of. How do you deal with new memories when they arise? I know that you want to know what happened to you and face the truth, but it is so scary for me. Sometimes I think it would be so much easier to sweep it all under the rug and stay in denial. I don't know. We can't help what we remember, but, I don't know what to do with that information when it appears. I feel like I am becoming a pest to my therapist since we talk so often over the phone. I feel like she is sick of me being in this place with my past and that I should be able to move on. I know that it is just me feeling guilty and ashamed...AGAIN. I'm glad that I have this place where there are others who understand and offer support, encouragement and great advice from their personal experiences. My 3D friends can't relate, in fact, they are sometimes very flippant about it. Like it is something they can talk about so freely (in front of or to me)  and undisturbed and even jokingly. It is not funny or light to me. It is sickening. So, I have learned not to share so that I don't add insult to injury. I regret telling the few people who I have told, because it comes up too frequently, as if they are fixated on it. Even my psychiatrist often talks about s/a, knowing that I am a survivor, as if it is something that is part of my character or used to describe me instead of something that happened To me. It freaks me out.
But, we must be strong or we could not have even come this far. I am always fearing that I will slip back into the tunnel that I have worked so hard at getting out of. ~Apparently, I am not as far out as I thought I was! Ugh!!!
Thank you again, ladies, for being there.


Title: Re: Trailers, lakes, pictures
Post by revenna on Feb 18th, 2008 at 3:03pm

I'm sorry you've been having new memories come to the surface, especially since you don't want to remember.  It can be very difficult and scary when these things surface and I don't blame you for feeling the way you do.  I finally figured out that what I fear is the emotion attached to them.  It's not as bad now, but when my memories first appeared, they were accompanied by overwhelming feelings of fear.  I would wake up during the night with terrible physical symptoms that didn't make any sense at all.  I finally realized that if I could just let myself sob for awhile, the physical symptoms would disappear and I could go back to sleep.

You asked me what I do when these new memories appear.  I guess I just try to process as much of the emotion as a I can by crying.  It's as if I'm letting myself feel a little of what I couldn't feel as a child.  I have to keep telling myself while I'm crying that emotions cannot harm me.  It feels like it at the time because the emotions are so intense.  But after I've cried for awhile, I feel soooooooo much better.  It's been worth the effort to let myself cry everything out.  Other than that, I've tried to keep a notebook of returning memories.  It probably sounds strange, but I want a record of what my life was really like.  I grew up blotting all the bad stuff out and actually believed I had a great childhood.  I want to know the truth.  Sometimes I wonder who I am now, with all this new information.  Having these memories has changed me, especially in the way I relate to people.  I don't have as much patience with trivial things or with superficial conversations.  It's as if -- since I've dealt with the worst that can happen to a human being, why waste time talking about inconsequential (at least in my opinion) things.  Maybe this is just a stage I have to go through.

Sacredheart, I can relate to so much of what you wrote concerning the reactions of others.  My 3D friends can't cope with what happened to me and have made it clear they don't want to hear about it.  I even have a friend with a counseling degree who acts like she thinks I should be getting through my repressed memories faster than I am.  (Sigh.......)  I'm glad you come here and share with us.  I don't know what I would have done without this site because my 3D friends did not support me and I didn't want to go back and pay a therapist again (we are too near retirement to be spending money on therapy!).  I think you're right in that survivors can offer a special kind of support not found elsewhere.  Please feel free to write again or e-mail me.  I will answer.

You are in my thoughts.


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