A feeling I am having

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
A feeling I am having
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 3:08pm
Sometimes I feel like I need to return to the city where most of my abuse occured. I am not sure why I feel this way. I do have family there that I would love to meet but something else draws me there also.

Maybe after being away for so long I need to go back to confront what I ran away from, I am just not sure of the reason. I put it off all too often one of these days I do need to go back to at least the state where the abuse happened because my bio-dad lives there as well as several of his children I have never met. I haven't seen my father in 32 years, and I want to see him before its too late but I know that isn't what is drawing me to go back either. I don't know its just a feeling I am having.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2003
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 9:52pm
Dear Destiny~~~

I did go back. I cannot say that like you I was drawn back by a feeling although in other situations that has happened to me... but rather circumstances drew me back. I cannot tell you what it would have been like to never revisit that place by choice or against my choice, but I can tell you that revisiting is tricky business. There was very literally a "ghost" on every corner for me... corners I didn't even know had significance, and in all honesty, You couldn't PAY me to go back again. I do feel that the circumstances that drew me back were designed by a hand unseen for the specific purpose of helping me to deal with my troubled past... and great things came from that! But it was excruciatingly painful and there were times I thought I was not going to survive the process of revelation and opening wounds that went on in that town.

Let's just say that now if I were in Biloxi (for some unfathomable reason)... I'd drive to Alabama to get to Tennessee before I'd drive thru Jackson, MS again. I have family there. I have grandparents buried very near by. There are good memories there. But I tell you although I feel I had to go thru that virtual test of fire to grow beyond my abuse, I wouldn't tempt fate twice in that fire. *smile* Only you know what you have to do and only you know when the time is right to do it. I think it would have been easier and harder to go into the veiled throng of my ghosts, had I known that is what I was doing. But I would be greatly surprised if anyone who has been the victim of a crime didn't want to see the scene again.

You know I even met someone (I thought by chance and I now know by predestined spiritual interference) who actually LIVED in the house I grew up in and invited me to spend the night for reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with the fact I had ever set foot in that house before. I cannot tell you now much of a impact that night had on my recovery process. Whimsical little insights like how big I am now compared to then... that's where the christmas tree was every year... and not so pleasant things like there's the giant picture window daddy broke when he was mad at me and it is still broken... the teenaged girl who lives in my old bedroom has the same exact type bed that I used to have when I was a little girl-- white with gold accents and a canopy...

Who am I kidding? I'm revisiting now as I write this, but there is a world of difference in doing it long distance and doing it up close. My suggestion is make a quick trip when/if you go and then give yourself time to process everything you saw in solulitude if possible as soon as you can after leaving in your own comfort zone. I stayed for 6 months and it became overwhelming... I was literally haunted when I left just as if I took the ghost with me in some cobwebbed attic in my mind. That is what I would do differently given a second chance at it.

Good luck to you. And may you find what you are looking for. One thing that really helped me since my abuse was denied for so long was the little memories that being there spurred that no one wanted to deny. Like the yellow curtains I could remember in the kitchen and the yellow shower curtain in the bathroom. Even tho those things were not there anymore I remembered them when I was in the space. It helped me to verify with family later that even tho they think I am a total nut job for thinking I was abused... They had to admit my memories were perfect about the curtains. *grin* Made me know I had an accurate memory even if they won't admit it!

I wish you all the best!


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
Sun, 08-31-2003 - 11:42am

I am not sure I totally understand everything you have posted as I am not sure who your abuser was. I can understand some curiosity in going back, looking around and confronting the aspects of your abuse. I suspect that is what is pulling you back. Do you see a therapist? If so, does he/she think this is a good idea? I can understand that you would like to see family, especially those you never met. This could be a good journey or a very difficult one. You should seriously weigh the positive and negative aspects before planning this trip.

I will tell you that I still live in the town where my abuse occured and each time I drive through the area I grew up in, I get nausated and anxious. I have been back in my childhood house (I can not bring myself to call it a home) and it triggered a lot of nightmares and flashbacks. I never want to enter that house again. But this is me, not you.

Good luck in what ever you decide.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2003
Sun, 08-31-2003 - 1:01pm
The city where I grew up in is where all of my abusers lived or live. I was abused by several people over a course of 12 years. I grew up believing this was normal because it happened so much and by so many people. I don't understand my desire to go back but sometimes I feel like I need to.

I haven't started therapy yet I have trust issues with therapist one being they always set me up with women and I don't feel safe with women, and two being I wont be able to afford it until after my job starts and the paychecks start rolling in although I think it sucks major that any of us should have to pay since we didn't do this damage to ourselves(I feel like we are being abused twice sexually in the past and financially now). I do feel the need to also totally find one of my abusers in particular (he abused me the longest) and just rip into him and let him know how he screwed my life up. I visualize him laying on the floor whimpering like a baby. I am so not afraid of him anymore. Plus I know he is married now and I want to confront him in front of his family so he can be totally humiliated like he made me feel when I was going through my pre-teen years. I don't get angry but I want more then anything to get even. Unfortunately I can't put him in jail for his crimes because I didn't repress my memories and they just suddenly came out, and I haven't been back to Kansas since I was 14; 23 years ago. I don't think I am afraid of returning I just put it off because financially I can't afford it but if anything I have family there that I need to see.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2003
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 4:40pm
When I got married we lived out of state for almost six years, and I kept feeling a need to go back to my home town. We came back about 7 years ago and plan on staying. I believe that one of the reasons I felt drawn to return was to be able to figure my family out. My family of origin is very emotionally enmeshed; my mother is the child of an alcoholic and I believe they were a family of codependents. I didn't understand this at the time, just wanted a close emotional relationship with my mom. The first few years were hell, and through this I was able to see that what was going on was HER problem, not mine. I had accepted responsibility for years. From there I've made choices that have allowed me to unhook emotionally. The relationship I wanted from her will most likely never happen, because I am not willing to go through what it takes to have that with her. Even when I thought I had it she still found reasons to be abusive and demeaning.

So I think that for me it was wanting and needing resolution, whether or not I understood that at the time. We are not staying here to be close to my family, but because we really do love the community and it feels like the right place to raise our kids. We see my mom often enough to keep peace, but we don't always accept invitations for get-togethers.

So I was thinking that maybe what you're looking for is a sense of resolution. Maybe your memory needs the validity of saying "There's where this happened," etc. Just make sure that if you do this, you feel ready. There will very likely be triggers and emotions to deal with. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you feel ready, doing that could be very empowering.

My thoughts. Heidi


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