Newbie... could be trigger...

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Newbie... could be trigger...
8
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 5:35pm
New here. Thought I'd say hello and let you guys know a little about me. I am a survivor of incest.... you know that is just not the way I wanna start this. There are so many more interesting things that tell ya who the heck I am. *sigh*

I am 32 years old and single. I've never been married. DOn't think I ever will. Have had offers and just can't seem to wanna be tied down. I'm a pisces with a rising virgo. I have a beautiful daughter who is 3.5 years old. She's a handful and I spend a lot of time with her so I sometimes feel a little starved for adult conversation. Still I wouldn't trade anything for her. She is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Now on with the nitty gritty... I am a survivor of incest, physical abuse, emotional abuse... pretty much every kind I can think of. I've survived a date rape, a gang rape (strangers) and a drugging rape (strangers). I concieved and gave birth to my daughter due to one of the rapes. I've never seen justice for any of these and don't expect things to suddenly change now. I am real good at not making police reports. I am real good at cleaning up and going on. I am real good at not feeling a damn thing when it comes to being raped. I don't even dissociate or forget it anymore. It's like I don't care anymore about it. I told my Therapist that by now getting raped for me is not any worse than going to the bathroom in a really really nasty roadside port-o-potty. there is nothing you can do about it so you get thru with it as quickly and efficiently as possible and you get the hell away and you don't look back and you don't think about it except maybe to clean off the scum later man because it's over when it is over and it's not the end of the world. It's just a bad experience that you don't want to repeat if you can avoid it.

My therapist (yup been in therapy for the better part of 15 years now) says THIS IS NOT GOOD. I agree. I've also gotten good at avoiding situation where I might have human contact that could lead to getting raped. That means most everything. Don't get me wrong I shop. I travel. I get around. However, I don't party. I don't go anywhere at night alone. (and I live alone except for 3 yo so that means no where at night) I rarely ever date. Of course, I rarely ever did anyway. I even got fixed because if I cannot predict much less control my own reproduction with the usual means of birth control then by god I was gonna control it by a more permenant measure. Like eliminating it completely from the possibilities.

Now I must make it clear that I had ever opportunity to not have my daughter if that had been my choice. I believe that everyone has a right to an abortion so my belief systems didn't throw up any barriers to my choices at all. And I still wanted to have her. I love her more than life and I have no issues with that choice. I had wanted a baby for years and had decided I might never have one because as much as all my attempts to avoid being raped again greatly reduced human interaction in my life... it never reduced my opportunities to get sex. And still I hadn't gotten pregnant so I thought maybe I couldn't... I can't take conventional BC like the pill... anywat a woman pretty much can have sex anytime she wants to and I am good at snapping my fingers and getting what I want in that department. It has always been easy for me to tell the difference between sex and love because I don't think I ever saw love until I looked in my baby girl's eyes and I knew I hadn't.

Contrary to what many people think... people who love you don't hurt you. And everybody who knew me hurt me... so I preferred plain ole anon sex. If they didn't know me, how could they hurt me? Took a while before I got a stranger rape... so this was the foundation of my belief system. Once that happened... I had no way of knowing anymore if I was gonna get hurt or not. I still don't. And I've built up all this self esteem and dignity and self respect and total honesty with myself and I've analyzed and hypothesized and changed and changed and changed and until I would greatly prefer that I didn't get raped now. Only there is no way of knowing how to keep it from happening again. I can stay away from dysfunctional relationships, but I will never be able to predict who might chance to drug me or who might decide to gang up on me because they had a bad day and they wanna kick the dog but they don't have a dog and I just happen to be available for a good dog kicking.

Ok, I gotta get dinner ready and I cannot possibly communicate it all to anyone in one letter... so maybe I will post more and maybe this is damn well enough info anyway... maybe too much.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 1:01am
Welcome to the board, Windgoddess. Your post was just fine; this is a safe place to share what happened to you and your thoughts and feelings, so don't second-guess yourself as to what you said or how much.

You have certainly been through a lot and I can feel the strength you have inside. That strength is what allowed you to have your daughter and make decisions to control as much of your life as possible. I can feel the love you have for your daughter, and although the circumstances of her conception were awful, I'm glad that you have her and that she is such a blessing in your life.

Folks have been talking the past week or so about feeling numb, not knowing how they feel, not feeling anything, etc. so I think that what you are experiencing in that department is typical. You got hurt so many times that you HAD to bury your feelings as a way to stop hurting. It is possible to work through that, and it is a process. What does your therapist suggest along these lines?

I can tell you that participating on this board has aided greatly in my healing. It's so nice to have a place to think out loud and express difficult feelings associated with this and to have people understand what you're talking about. I hope that you'll continue to post here so we can get to know you better.

Would you feel comfortable sharing more about yourself? What your job is, etc? Have you been going to the same therapist all this time?

Nice to meet you! Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 1:55pm
<<<<<<<<<<<

Folks have been talking the past week or so about feeling numb, not knowing how they feel, not feeling anything, etc. so I think that what you are experiencing in that department is typical. You got hurt so many times that you HAD to bury your feelings as a way to stop hurting. It is possible to work through that, and it is a process. What does your therapist suggest along these lines?

I can tell you that participating on this board has aided greatly in my healing. It's so nice to have a place to think out loud and express difficult feelings associated with this and to have people understand what you're talking about. I hope that you'll continue to post here so we can get to know you better.

Would you feel comfortable sharing more about yourself? What your job is, etc? Have you been going to the same therapist all this time?

Nice to meet you! Hugs, Heidi>>>>

Yeah, I love my little monkey butt... wish I could show you guys a photo of her she is just gorgeous. If I could chose to go back to that night knowing now what I know, I would go back, close my eyes and wait for it to happen because she was worth all of it a million times.

Saw my therapist today and she was very concerned because I slipped up and started cutting again. I haven't since Christmas Eve 1996. Something is going on with me but I connot explain it. She is sure that cutting is not a way to feel and I know she is right intelectually, but my soul doesn't. I think it wants to cry and has no other way than the drops of blood.

More about me: I am disabled right now. I have bipolar disorder along with my own traumas. Come from a long line of dysfunctional mentally ill folks. So I am not working in a conventional sense. When I do... I make handcrafted Jewelry. Hoping to get my inventory up on Ebay one day since I don't feel good at the flea markets anymore. I am working on a trilogy of children's books about these three cats that I once had. I also have a book of poetry that I wrote called Secrets about my sexual abuse and therapy. Back then I could not talk because of the pain and I couldn't write because of m parents so I began writing poetry so they couldn't understand it. Eventually, it became about the abuse once I vented enough about my mental illness to feel some better and was able to move out on my own. Seems like a lifetime ago that things were that bad. It's been since 1995. I wish I knew why things are regressing again. I thought I'd worked thru everything. But I think some of it is that my daughter is having a hard time. She seems to be suffering from early onset bipolar disorder and I feel I am to blame for that. Poor kid has a crazy for a mom and a rapist for a father. I can't talk about that anymore.... next thing...

I've had several therapists. In fact the one I have now is going to leave to have her baby so I have to start a new one next week. Not good. I hate the beginning process. It's like a blender for your soul... chops you up. Some of them are good others aren't... I won't stay with one who isn't or one who doesn't get the SI. If they cannot get that they cannot get me. Even when i don't cut I won't take one who doesn't understand it.

I have been trying to get a relationship for a change. In fact, I am supposed to have a blind date tonight. Please send your kind thoughts my way. We are meeting at the mall and I hate malls, but I wanted to be with a crowd since it will be an evening date. At least I have a security gard at my apt. But I need to have personal relationships and I don't need to be alone much of the time because being alone leads to cutting and being with someone helps to keep me from doing it. (but don't tell anyone... I cut again about an hour ago. I don't think I'm going to be able to stop like I did last time... it's been so long I don't even remember exactly how I managed to stop)

-G

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 2:25pm
Hi, first welcome. I wasn't sure about replying (truly my goal was to lurk today) but there's a few parrallels that can't i really deny. My thoughts on the cutting, now i don't personally selfinjure, but i've talked and known quite a few who have. Some agree with me that in some ways it seems to be a way to purge feelings and emotion. Now i know what my therepist would ask if i did this and i know what she asks when i say i can't feel anything (sound familiar?) ; "have you tried journalling?"

I've always been pretty dismissive about it but i'm starting to realize that it's most likey because it REALLY would be a way to get some of this out. I balk at it left right and center. When she asked me yesterday to journal how i feel after things with george happen (my other half-posts bout him r around) and i realized, UH UH! That's like too much. There's no way i can even commit those thoughts to paper.

Anyways, all this is a round about way to try and explain how much we really do hold EVERYthing inside, whether we mean to or not. And one way or another our minds find ways to deal and excorsise this stuff again whether we know it, mean it or not. So i hope some of this makes sense and more so i hope it helps. You have my positive thoughts and prayers sent your way regarding everything. Good Luck & Safe Days,

Danielle.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 10:49pm
It's nice to hear more from you!

A thought on the SI: my husband has been through some episodes where he had impulses to self-injure but didn't act on it; in talking to the therapist she said that when people hurt themselves it is in an effort to smother the pain they are feeling inside. If you can feel physical pain from your body hurting then you feel that pain and don't feel the emotional pain inside as much.

Does your therapist have a recommendation for someone you can see while she's gone? Finding a new one would not be fun! Maybe if she can suggest one you'll have better chance of finding a good fit early on. You're very wise to be determined to have one who understands SI.

Thought I'd mention that there is also an SI board here on ivillage health. Click on ivillage health's message boards up where it say "you are here" on your screen and that will take you to the ivillage health menu, where you can find the board. Keep coming here, definitely, but maybe that would be a good board for you, also!

Thanks for sharing more about yourself. Do you receive disability payments to help with finances? Just making sure you're okay. :o)

Hugs, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 12:11am
<<<<

Thanks for sharing more about yourself. Do you receive disability payments to help with finances? Just making sure you're okay. :o)

Hugs, Heidi >>>>

Thanks... I'm in touch with the SI board. Joined them the same day I joined this one. Very helpful but maybe too much info since I have discovered a few tricks from them.

New therapist was recommended by my old one I start with her next week.

YW about sharing. Feel a little raw from it but necessary. HELL NO on the SSDI. That is one thing that threw me this week. Got denied AGAIN. It was the first thing to make me want to cut. They bumped me off disability nearly two years ago. I hit a review after I just moved and had no doc and no meds. BOOM! I was off. Never do that... it is a bad idea and I have paid and paid and paid and paid and paid for it. Just keep on paying too. DOn't understand... my doctor says I cannot work or go to school or anything and that I cannot permanently. Of course that is what they said 10 years ago too and nothing changed but they still cut me off and now they act like I was never disabled at all. What? They sent me money every month for 8 years for nothing? I don't understand. So I am trying to live on welfare. It's not enough and because of some screw up that my pdoc office did losing my chart for 2 months... now Welfare is sanctioning me and going to possibly take away my welfare too. I can't help that they lost my chart? How can I control the doctors office? I cannot control any of this but I still have to pay and pay and pay... sorry had to go off again... see I told you I am dealing with a lot of stuff...

My daughter got dx and medicated today... that is good tho because pretending nothing was wrong wasn't helping one bit... maybe now she will get more than 4 hours of sleep a night because I haven't had a good nights sleep since she was .... I don't even remember!

SO ten million things are going on... one thing with Viv that is very triggering for me is her symptoms include hypersexual repetitive behaviors. (meaning she masturbates sometimes for 6-8 hours a day and sometimes will try to push it on me.) YES. Had her checked out besides rarely ever being out of my sight... she was also checked out for sexual abuse and no evidence was found. But this raises all kinds of questions in my head. When he said I was seducing him at the age of 3... was I showing this same symptom? Now even if I was that doesn't change any of his responsibility. He was an adult. And I was a child. And maybe even a sick one like my own angel. They could have taken me in to a doctor like I did her. Who am I kidding...? I threw up daily for years and they never thought to take me to a doctor. Never even mentioned it to my regular pediatrician. After 4 years of that... they started making me eat the damn puke if I threw up. Not the kind of people who would ever consider taking me to a shrink. Actually, mom finally did when I was 17. She decided she wanted to divorce dad and molestation was a good reason so she took me to a shrink and got him to say that she had to leave. Then she left and ditched me with my brother to raise. ok now I'm just ranting...

Back to my daughter. her issues are giving me issues. And I already have lots of issues of my own. They said it is OCD that makes her do this that it is not sexual to her that kids do masturbate even in the womb but this is different because she cannot control it. She might as well be banging her head on a wall or slapping her knee. It's just a repetitive behavior. But it's not just that to me or to any of the people who see her do this inappropriately. I've tried and tried to help her be appropriate, but she cannot help herself. It's shocking. And it's considered a big red flag for detecting sexual abuse if it was just over active masturbation, but it's not... it's so frequent that we know now that it's OCD. For weeks I've been journalling the hours and hours of time she sopends doing it and that is also not very easy on me because of the connotations it has with my own sexual abuse. but that is my job. I'm her mother and I'm the only one who can report what she does at home so I am supposed to write it all down and not interfer with it. Just observe like I'm in some anthopology observation of a tribal culture. But it's not something that I can be truly objective about. I am too emotionally attached to the subject and the subject matter. She's my baby. And I know I did not do this as a child. Thanks to my abuse I was terrified of my private parts. I Day dreamed I could remeove them so I couldn't get hurt because of them anymore. Which makes me wonder if this didn't come from the other side of the family tree. The one that obviously is genetically predisposed to not be opposed to sexual crimes.

-G

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 12:23am
<<<>>>

Canceled date because he insisted I come to a house he was housesitting in another city nearby. Was NOT going to do that. Stupid remarks about being unable to leave the dog to meet me out in public. I told him I had a deaf dog once that I could leave in the yard with the gate closed and it was fine and that we'd have to have a rain check if he couldn't leave his dog or figure out a place it was ok to bring the dog. This is FL... beach everywhere... he could have come up with something and I do not think it is wise to meet someone you don't know at someone else's house in a town you don't know who admits they have a big mean dog on the premises.

-G

Avatar for opal45
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 9:57pm
I hope you don't mind me jumping in here but I thought I noticed something that might explain your cutting urges. BTW, welcome to the board. This month marks my fourth year here. Man, how time flies when you're having fun, lol.

As you described your very unfortunate issues with welfare, SSDI and your daughter's OCD (they must suck!), I imagined it might feel very much like being gang raped in a way--relentless, terrifying, enraging, lonely, powerless, etc. These emotions could be getting triggered but your protective (a.k.a. unfeeling layer) won't allow them to surface so you cut instead. This is just what occurred to me and I don't know if it fits.

The thing is I feel so much anger and rage in your posts. And you have every right. What you endured was simply horrid! But also in your posts I feel a desire to hold it all together for your survival and maybe for your daughter as well. I gently encourage you to surrender to these feelings you're holding within. I held them in for so long that my children never truly felt my deepest love for them. Oh, sure I could say I love them til I was blue in the face yet they never intimately knew it b/c it was shut down with all the other emotions I'd shut down. You see, we can't selectively shut down our feelings. Bad feelings, shut down, good feelings, let go. It just doesn't work like that even if we think we can.

Your daughter doesn't just deserve a mother who survived, doesn't your daughter deserve a mother who thrives? Thriving IS possible, this much I know to be true. But it's messy and sloppy....and emotional...and vulnerable. It's a place none of us wants to go. Yet there is so much healing available to you should you choose to surrender. As much as you may not want to believe this, expressing your feelings openly in therapy is NOT a weakness. I know, that's a tough hurdle to get over, isn't it? But as you do it you'll see the real strength you have.

You are a wonderful, loving mother, I can hear that. But I'm a survivor of abuse, too, so I know how to listen. Unfortunately, our children don't have the same radar. I hope you can find a way to tap those buried feelings and release them. This is a healing that you and your daughter will treasure for the rest of your lives. It might help to think about it this way, you would never want your daughter to withhold her feelings, would you? Well, these lessons come from modeling. As I said, our children may not have the radar to read our feelings the way other survivors do but they sure can read us when we're holding back. This is the lesson we pass down unless it's modeled another way.

Oh, and one more thing, you and your daughter are gorgeous! I saw your yahoo site. You really are blessed and strong.

It's good to have your beautiful spirit with us on the board.

**gentle hugs**

Gail


Edited 8/29/2003 5:45:31 AM ET by opal45

**gentle hugs**

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 11:45am
Thanks Gail. I know you are right about what you said. I think the tigger (using this word now cause the real word ~tiggers~ me, and this one implies Bouncy Flouncy fun fun fun fun fun... ~rolling eyes~ Laugh if you must because I sure the hell am!) often has to do with feeling powerless and I know that all this stuff that has been happening just reinforces my obvious inability to control the world around me. Now that in itself is rediculous because no one can control the world around them... all I can control is me and my reactions, but knowing and doing and FEELING are far apart.

Thanks for your support and advice in this regard. And for your compliments! Made my little heart swell. ~beaming~

-G