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No Normal Childhood (Read 4982 times)
ginabella
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No Normal Childhood
Sep 22nd, 2003 at 6:57pm
 
I want to start off by saying how wonderful it feels to finally....truely understand that I'm not alone.

I guess I was 6(I'm 24 now)  when my half-brother (who lived with me) started molesting me.  I knew that there was something terribly wrong with letting myself be touched this way.  But, I did nothing to stop it.  My mom would go out with her singles group and my brother (who is 9 years older than me) would be left in charge of me and my twin brother.  I honestly don't remember how it started but it did.  I totally looked up to my brother and loved his attention so I did as I was told and didn't tell for awhile.  Mostly it was touching and rubbing but I specifically remember one time he forced me to give him a blow job.  I was terrified and scared and only sucseeded in gagging.
Growing up in the 80's, there were alot of commercials and books about "say NO......GO.....and TELL!"  and I guess it finally dawned on me.  I felt incredibly guilty but I told my mom anyway.  After that he stopped and it was just swept under the rug. No therapy or doctors.
I later found out from my brother's ex-wife that my father used to abuse my brother (possibly sexual).

I then spent most of my childhood feeling guilty.  I started masturbating at a very young age and I can still remember my first orgasm.  It felt too familiar. Infact, masturbating, in general, felt familiar.  You can imagine my guilt at loving the feeling yet hating myself for loving it.
When I was 10 my mom remarried and I was gaining 3 more siblings.  My step brother was only 4 years older and, of course, I looked up to him as well.  So, it was no suprise to myself that I found myself getting "talked into" giving him oral sex one night when he came home drunk.  At that time I was 13 and he was 17.  Later I was so disgusted with myself that I let this happen again that I first started my self mutilation.  I found an old pocket knife in a kitchen drawer and started cutting my arms up.  I felt I needed to be punished for my behaivor.  Being a little older, I knew I couldn't tell anyone because of the shame and questions it would bring.  And I didn't want anyone to hate me, even though I may have hated them.

When I was 14 I started dating a 19 year old senior in highschool.  I thought this was so cool..to have an older, more mature boyfriend.  He was funny and we had alot in common.  My first clue that he was "off" was within the first week of us dating he said "I love YOU" than got angry when I didn't say it back.  This relationship lasted for 2 years, in which I had a "victim" role.  I continuously forced me to perform sexual acts with him.  He would get mad if I talked about my past sexual abuse.  He would abuse me verbally, emotionally and sexually.  At this point in my life I was cutting myself every night and anytime anything went wrong.  One day he suffered a stroke from doing some kinda drugs and was shipped to a rehab center (for the stroke, not the drugs). I know it's horrible but I believe this was an act of Karma.  Shortly after he came home, I finally had the guts to break up with him.  I knew he couldn't hurt me anymore since he could barely walk or scream at me.  Unfortunatly, over the next few years he got better enough to call me up at 2 am and yell, asking why I would do such a thing to a helpless person.  I finally got my number changed.

After that, it took years to except any sexual advances from a boyfriend.  I was too racked with guild and fear.  I felt so dirty and used.

When I finally did gain my sexual confidance, I was fine.  For years.  I met a wonderful guy that I live with and am now engaged to.  But within the past several months, I've been really struggling. I'm on several different medications for my depression and I find myself really wanting to cut myself and sometimes giving in to these urges.  My guy is supportive and knows what I've been through but he has a hard time understanding.  Sometimes after sex lately I feel gross. I almost feel like vomiting.  Yet during, I'm fully enjoying it.  Lately I find myself getting chills and feeling completely naked in a room with people or friends, even though I am totally clothed.  I don't understand why these feelings would be happening now when I thought I was healed.

I am a little bothered recently about these images I've been having.  It's me when I'm very little (still in daipers) and my Uncle Tony is changing me upstairs, in a room alone, and he is touching me inappropriatly.  Now, I know these images have always been with me but I  don't know if it's a dream or if it really happened. If it did happen then that accounts for my sexual sensations as a child feeling familiar to me.  My uncle Tony is also responsible for molesting one of my cousins who has turned to homosexuality because of it.

Am I crazy? Will I ever get through these feelings?  Will I ever gain a positive self image and heal my depression?  It seems like my emotions are so out of control.
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tinygirlchild
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #1 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 8:08pm
 
welcome, ginabella!  (beautiful gina!)

first of all, you're not crazy.  many of us have deeply buried memories that don't resurface for many years.  that does not mean it didn't happen (your uncle). 

second, you don't mention that, even tho' you're on meds for depression, whether or not you ever sought therapy for the awful things that were done to you (and yes, they were awful, and wrong, and most definitely NOT your fault!).  if you haven't sought therapy, i believe that it is imperative that you do so to deal with these issues.  even if you have been in therapy before, it sounds like you could use a refresher, as the relationship you're in now could be 'triggering' other stuff, even stuff you think you've already dealt with.

the reason i know this, is that i became a 'newbie' only yesterday, myself, and am very happy and grateful to have found this wonderful, safe, loving site of people with similar histories to share with!  i, too, am in a relationship that seems to be 'triggering' old feelings and reactions in me -- today, i took another giant step in my own healing process.  even tho' i worked thru' a lot of core issues many years ago, it has become very evident to me that i need a dose of refresher therapy and a reality check in functional relationships (we didn't delve deeply into that back then), in order to conduct a healthy, loving, accepting relationship for the first time in my life (i'm 47!) -- so i found what sounds like a really excellent female therapist in my area that specializes in incest/rape issues and relationship therapy (hooray!!), and i have my first appointment with her on thursday -- i'm so excited!  i can hardly wait out the next 2 days!

as an aside, if you've never sought therapy before, i highly recommend that you look for several particulars:
first, your first therapist, at least, should be female, so you feel safe (my 2nd was male, and was instrumental in helping me to feel safe and in control around males).
second, be sure you ask lots of questions about her qualifications for dealing with incest/molestation issues -- she must know how to deal with the very specific issues we all have when we have had this type of history (i went thru' a lot of male therapists, briefly, and a lot of people of both genders not qualified to really help me before finding my first 'real' therapist -- thanks to my sister for steering me in the right direction, finally!)

third, it can be really scary to open up to a stranger you can see face-to-face, not to mention not knowing 'who' is going to come out on the other side (trust me, you will be changed forever!), but it's the most wonderful thing i have ever done for myself and my 3 sons, and i would never have wanted to miss it!

good luck, and feel free to contact me whenever you wish!  Smiley

ticia
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Work like you don't need the money. &&Love like you've never been hurt. &&Dance like nobody's watching. &&Sing like nobody's listening. &&Live like it's Heaven on Earth. &&&&Anonymous&&
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warrior_redbird
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #2 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 9:58pm
 
  hello;
   i want to tell you that I understand what you are going through. I am a " cutter' and i started self-mutilating at a very young age. I was only ten when i started cutting. I continued throughout the years. I have not cut now in a little over six months but I still get those urges from time to time. Especially after a vivid nightmare or after an intense session with my therapist.
I too am on meds for depression and YES, you can regain a positive self image and find healing. Time baby..it takes lots of time. I am almost 43 years old and I've never had an orgasm. I'm sexually dysfunctional and my partner is very loving and patient, and she says someday. sometime it will happen, I just have to wait and relax and begin to trust. But I cannot walk across the room naked or stand in front of her naked. I have to have it dark to be naked and so many other little indosyncrisies. I have been in therapy for two years and it's been slow for me. But I definately agree with tiny girl child. Seek out a therapist ( a woman) and go at it slowly. You will have days when you think you can't handle it and days when you want to quit, but overall it will begin the cycle of healing for you and you need to get that stuff out. It's poison to you to keep your secrets within. I know.
I'm here if you need someone to share with.....
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ginabella
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Trying to love myself!

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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #3 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 12:21pm
 
Roll Eyes
Thank you so much for your reply.  I feel so at home in this little group.  I'm so excited I found this place and I've even told one of my co-workers about this site(she was also molested).  Aside from the meds, I've been in therapy for almost 2 years and have been at a stand still lately.  Instead of talking about my abuse, he seems to think I should be going to college.  Everytime I see him it's the same thing and when I bring up the abuse he doesn't have much to say about it.  My self image is so freakin' low and he says that it will improve if I go to school.  I don't think this is at all true in my case.  I'm calling today to switch therapists.  I want to start seeing a woman, especially someone who WANTS me to share the abuse and understands.  I've attended AL-ANON meetings in the past (at my therapists request).  I never found a sponser and I stopped going because I started working nights.  I really liked the group I went to cuz they were all women and very friendly and helpful.  I know there are other meetings in my area during the day but I just have no motivation to go!!  That is a HUGE part of my problems...my lack of motivation.  Everything I want to do has to be on MY terms so it sometimes makes even getting up in the morning hard.  It seems so hard for me to change anything about myself.
anyway, thanks for the help. I think this little site will help alot with my healing process!
-ginabella
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With the time, comes the answer;&&With the knowledge comes the end.&&With the conclusion comes the sanity;&&Just a little bit too late.
 
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warrior_redbird
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #4 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 5:00pm
 
  i agree that you should have a female therapist. It is lots easier to talk about the issues with her too. I have been in therapy for a little over two years now and I too feel that i am at a stand still, just kind of stagnant. My therapist says she hears lots of women say this at just about this same marker so it must be something that happens commonly with people in therapy.
as for what the other told you about going to school....don't necessarily buy that because i am going to school ( college ) and have bben for over a year now and to tell the truth it hasn't  improved my self image much and has only increased my stress at a time when i really didn't need more stress. I've been getting pretty over-whelmed lately. You definately need a therapist who will listen but also who will understand and also give you some feedback.
I saw you mention a sponsor...are you in recovery? And how long ? I am in recovery.
I'm glad you found us and hope you stay awhile. Grab a cup of coffee...sit back...take a deep breath...because your journey is just beginning and at times it may be a bumpy ride, but I ( WE ) are here for you when the waves hit so reach out and let us love you.....((((HUGS)))) Wink
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tinygirlchild
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #5 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 8:19pm
 
hello again, beautiful gina!

school is a tough decision, and yes, it can cause large amounts of stress (trust me!).  i, however, found it absolutely wonderful, and i took one of the most difficult paths anyone could choose to:  at 36 years of age, a single mom with 3 minor sons, i decided to major in astrophysics (good grief!).  it was tough, it was grueling, but it was the right decision for me!  i still have 24 credit hours to go and am stuck having to deal with the minor aspects of life (such as where will our next meal come from?), so i'm currently working f/t in a completely unrelated industry, and school is on hold.  that's okay.  the 7 years i got in before i hit the wall of american economy taught me that the messages my parents gave me: "you're so stupid, you're no child of mine" and "your dreams are so big, you should be commited" were erased forever. 

school may not be your answer.  that's okay.  what's important is to find something that makes you feel special, unique, and lovable.  something that opens you to find the amazing individual inside of you.

i started very small w/my first therapist.  she told me that i needed to find something to do for myself every day that felt like a warm hug, like i was being enveloped in love -- and i needed to give that to myself since the other significant people in my life were unable to.

my solutions?  at least one cup of hot chocolate a day (stephen's brand mint truffle works for me -- right before sleep, usually, but also anytime i feel a little sad or overwhelmed).  i also found that when i work out i feel 100% better -- i love feeling strong enough to fight off all the bad guys and inner demons!  i also dance -- a lot.  many people find it really weird to see a 47-yr-old at a techno/trance club tearing up the floor, but WOW! what a great stress-reducer!  thanks to a hospital stay several years ago, i also discovered the healing power of certain types of music (enya is my relaxation trigger -- like pavlov's dog), so i even take cd's into work and play them on my computer while i crunch numbers all day -- it really helps!

whatever works for you is what you need right now.  each time i 'love on myself,' i imagine myself going into that dark place inside myself and taking my 'tinygirlchild' by the hand -- i lead her out of the dark, into the light, and envelope her in the most loving hug i can!  we stand there together wrapped in each other's arms until i can't tell where she begins and i end.  what a wonderful feeling!

don't think for a moment that life is perfect and wonderful for me, tho'.  i struggle w/what the doc's call "self-medicating."   i hate that part very much.  i plan to share this w/the therapist i meet tomorrow and, w/her, work out some alternatives that i can fall back on so that i'm not as tempted to numb-out when my feelings crash in on me. 

we all struggle, and will probably continue to for most, if not all, of our lives.  i think the keys are, of course, to take things one day at a time, to find safe people to share with (thanks to you all!), and to love on myself as best i can as often as possible.

hope this helps!

ticia
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Work like you don't need the money. &&Love like you've never been hurt. &&Dance like nobody's watching. &&Sing like nobody's listening. &&Live like it's Heaven on Earth. &&&&Anonymous&&
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ginabella
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #6 - Sep 26th, 2003 at 1:09pm
 
Grin Hey All!!
Thank you, Warrior redbird and tinygirlchild for the support and advice.  I finally did make that call to change to a different therapist and I made a request for a female with specialties in sexual abuse. YEA!! But, they still have to call me back because they are super busy.  I'll give them a few days then call on Monday.
To answer warriorredbird..I guess you could say I'm in recovery.  I have not attended an AL-ANON meeting in a long time because the group I really feel at home with meets on tuesday nights and that's when I work.  I know of other meeting during the day but I'm kinda scared they won't live up to what my old group was.  I know this is kinda silly.  Anyway, my real father was an alcohlic who died of stomach cancer when I was 3.  He lived fast and died young.  I find it amazing that someone I barely knew could affect my life so much! Of course my mom barely talks about him and when she does it's to say bad things.  My fiance is also a recovering alcholic.  When I met him we spent alot of time drinking and clubbing together.  After he dried up it was like we had to get to know eachother all over again!  He has been sober for almost 2 years! (Believe it or not, January 1st is his 2 year anniversary)    He is currently in therapy for the physical abuse and panic disorder he has suffered.  His parents were also alcoholics.  Now he is just starting to admit that he was one, too.  I've suggested AA but he doesn't feel he is ready, which is fine.  He is, however, considering going to an AL-ANON meeting with me (when I finally do go)
I am SO proud of all the healing he has done for himself and I guess that now I'm not so focused on helping him I've had time to look at myself.  I'm sure this is a main reason why I've struggled lately.
So far, the last 2 days have been good with my self-esteem.  I even started exercising!  I'm finally starting to clean out my closet to find my inner child! (what an awesome poem that was!!!!)
Lots of HUGS back to you, my new family!!!      Kiss
-ginabella
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With the time, comes the answer;&&With the knowledge comes the end.&&With the conclusion comes the sanity;&&Just a little bit too late.
 
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lily
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #7 - Oct 4th, 2003 at 9:45pm
 
Ok,  I had to reply to you.  First of all, as you have already been told you are NOT crazy!!!  I simply can't stress that enough.

When I first came to this site I was broken, or a better word is emotionally dead.  I can't honestly tell you what it was that finally gave me that push I needed.  Maybe it's because I'm expecting another baby (this time a girl) in a month.  Maybe I just got so sick of throwing up and litterally burning myself in the shower after having sex with my husband.  What ever it was though, I am finally experiencing true healing. 

I would like to suggest a book to you: "The Wounded Heart" by Dan Allender.  This book has totally changed my life.  I can't recommend it enough.  Also, counseling and a support group that meet regularly will help. 

I felt so alone for so many long years.  I thought I was crazy.  I even believed I was being plagued by demons! 

While having sex with my husband or anyone else before him, I would have images of being with my dad and enjoying it.  I thought I was some kind of weird sicko.  I feared that I might hurt someone out of my own anger and I began running away from home when I was 12. 

I never had all the pieces of the puzzle and I still don't.  Maybe I never will.  I just know that I can heal from it and I don't have to live like this anymore.  There are people in my life who need me and I need to be there for them.

The self mutilation is a form of punishment (at least for me)  I felt I needed to be punished for my sinful thoughts and acts.  I hated myself and felt so disgusted with who I was.  I felt like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde.  I was Sunday school teacher, devoted wife and mom by day, but by night I was this raging freak that craved impure sex like a drug and when I gave in a masturbated, I would endure a night of anger and self mutilation. 

There is hope.  These feelings and thoughts can and will go away.  You have to find the part of you that was lost.   A great way of doing that is writing.  I express my feelings in poetry. 

Like I said I am just beginning to heal, but I am here for you if you need me.  And I am so grateful that you have found this site. 

Your friend,

Lily
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ginabella
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Trying to love myself!

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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #8 - Oct 8th, 2003 at 12:57am
 
Lily,
Thank you for replying.  It's great to know everyone is so supportive.  Just in the 2 weeks I've been on this sight, I have felt myself beginning to heal more than ever.  This has seriously done more for me than the therapy I was in for almost 2 years!  However, I will be seeing a new therapist on thursday. I'm excited and scared all at once. Supposedly, she deals with alot of sexual abuse and incest.  Cross your fingers for me.   I also want to thank you for the book suggestion.  I'm always looking for new self healing reading material.
Again, thank you for caring enough to reply.  It's a beautiful thing when you make friends out of complete strangers online!!!  Grin
I hope you are doing well in your healing.  I'm here for ya as well.
-ginabella
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With the time, comes the answer;&&With the knowledge comes the end.&&With the conclusion comes the sanity;&&Just a little bit too late.
 
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lily
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Re: No Normal Childhood
Reply #9 - Oct 8th, 2003 at 2:11am
 
Ginabella,

One more thing I wish I would have mentioned.  My counselor is also a survivor and that helps tremendously.   She knows where I'm coming from and I'm convinced that is why I am making so much progress this time opposed to all the others.

Keeping you in my prayers,

Lily
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