Posts Tagged ‘incest’

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Yours, Mine and ????…

January 2, 2011

What am I talking about? Assumptions! Regarding: Experiences! Healing journeys! Therapy! Plus any other number of things that many of us go through.

So many times I see people making assumptions based upon their own experiences. They take what has happened to them and then project it onto others.

For example, I have run into some bad therapists. Based upon that, I could make the assumption that all therapists are bad. However, I know that is not the case because I was blessed to have had some good ones first. But what if the bad ones had been my first ones? I might never have even given a good one a try.

The reverse is also true. Before I ran into a bad therapist myself, I could have made the incorrect assumption that all therapists are good. Thankfully, I  knew better than that for I had heard of bad ones before I ran into any.

Another example of assumptions has to do with what happened with my father. When I was in high school, I kept getting a gut feeling that something had happened between my father and I, but I had no memories at that time of anything specific. My life was a mess, but I refused to allow that to cause me to assume anything specific had happened (as a way of explaining why I was such a mess). I wanted proof.

For several years I battled that feeling and grew weary of it. So, I told the L-rd that, unless He gave me the memories, I was going to shove aside my gut feeling…which I did. I pushed it aside and refused to even consider it. I was actually rather successful at it.

Later, when I was trying to get help, I was confronted with that gut feeling again. So, I prayed for the truth. I wanted to either have the memories of the incidents causing the gut feeling to be revealed or, if there were no underlying incidents causing the gut feeling, to have the gut feeling go away. I refused to make assumptions about my father and I.

As it turns out, the person I went to for help…for prayer help…was a mess himself. However, there were some things in my life that stopped after being prayed for. G-d did use him in His own way to help me. I used to have “visions” of walking into my apartment and seeing my husband and sons slaughtered and blood all over the place. That stopped. I used to “see” myself driving off embankments or being “pushed” down stairs by invisible forces. That stopped.

I also had four memory flashes while working with him.  Two were of molestation. Although I did not really want to believe, I knew they were true. And even though I could not see who it was…I “knew”. In my heart of hearts I knew, but I did not want to deal with it. So, I shoved it aside. I did not want to assume it was my father…not unless I clearly saw his face.

The other two made no sense to me. They were ritual abuse in nature, but at that time I was not familiar with ritual abuse and I had no inkling that I had that background.  He interpreted the flashes as non-memory. He said they were some kind of generational thing passed down from prior generations. That did not sound right to me. So, I just set them aside for the time being. I did not assume they were non-memories. I did not assume they were memories.

Later, it kept bugging me. I suspect it was because odd things were happening between my father and I…as an adult married woman. I just kept feeling like I needed to stop shoving this under the rug. So, I went to a woman who specialized in a prayer ministry. We prayed a lot and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I was able to see more of the memory…enough to see my father’s shirt…and his face.

As it turns out, this woman was abused herself. I think that caused her to push me to confront my father…perhaps before I was ready. It was something I felt I needed to do…even though I was really nervous about it.

When I did confront my father, with my mother by his side, he never denied a thing. He only said that he did not remember doing anything like that. I thought that was an odd response. My mother readily agreed that something had happened to me. She was just wondering “who it could have been”.

I pointed out something my father had been doing in the more recent past that was boundary crossing. It was part of the oddness that had been going on between my father and me and had to do with kissing me on the mouth against my wishes. I had been ducking and making it clear with my body language that I was not comfortable with it.

My father acknowledged that he knew I was uncomfortable with it, but said that body language  was not enough. I had to verbally say it. My mother was furious with him at first, but then got quiet.

My father, when confronted with my memories, assumed that the counselor must have suggested them to me. As she pointed out to him, I had them before I came to her. He then assumed that I must have gained them via hypnosis or psychotropic drugs. I was never hypnotized and had not taken any psychotropic drugs. Then he assumed they were planted there by satan to try and break the family apart. Mind you, my family was never close anyway. The only thing it could break apart were the manipulations going on.

He gave me a whole stack of articles that he “just happened” to find in people’s houses that he was cleaning. He said that G-d had led him to them. They all dealt with the false idea of False Memory Syndrome…something never proven and not in any of the DSM’s.

I don’t think he really believed any of those things caused my memories. However, I did start taking a look at them. Nothing in those articles applied to me. Nothing. Nor I did fit the typical FMS profile of that time. I did not sue my parents. I did not file a police report. I did not go public. I did not act in any kind of vindictive way.  I did not even keep my sons from visiting with my parents. It simply became the subject not talked about…until about four years or so later.

When my youngest was three, my parents started to manipulate their way into living with us. Even my pastor, when he heard about the situation, thought it was very odd. I became very unstable and started to have suicidal ideations. I prayed and fought and it got better…until they actually moved in.

Then it got really bad. With my father up early and my mother up late, I had no time alone other than in my special room. They ended up spending more and more time with my son while I was being driven further into instability…an instability they were actually causing. They created a problem and then were there to “help”. I could take a whole book to share the kinds of manipulations that were going on.

It was not until they had been out of the house about a year that I got a more complete understanding. It was all about them having access to my son. They moved in the month he turned four. They assumed that they could eliminate me…either by suicide, hospitalization or simply my shutting down…and they would have complete access to my son. But G-d had a different plan!

More to come…

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Article on Good Touch/Bad Touch by Sheena

May 12, 2010

Sheena wrote about why women (and girls) often don’t resist, or fight back, or tell when they are molested or raped.  She writes about some of the messages they are taught about how to behave and how those messages contribute to their not telling and not fighting back. We so need to teach our children differently. I hate the thought that we could actually be setting them up to be abused.

Here is her article: The Conflicting Nature of Good Touch/Bad Touch Everyone needs to read this. Everyone needs to think about what she is sharing here.

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The Incest Survivors’ Aftereffects Checklist by E. Sue Blume

November 3, 2009

I just found a post that contained information for incest survivors.  It is called:

The Incest Survivors’ Aftereffects Checklist, by E. Sue Blume.  I read it at The Survivor Manual, which is run by the Angela Shelton Foundation.

I highly recommend checking it out. I know there were things on that list that hit home for me, even though quite a few did not. Some were things that no longer apply. It is nice to know that I have had some healing!

As Blume points out…you have to use information carefully. I know that it can be dangerous to assume abuse due to symptoms. Some symptoms can come from other causes. However, symptoms can be an indicator of something being wrong and help us to become more aware of what the truth might really be. They can cause us to become more vigilant and able to see things that we might have been missing previously.

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Webinars From Survivorship

October 16, 2009

Survivorship recently started having Webinars. Survivorship has many wonderful resources and I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to understand Ritual Abuse (RA) so that they can support a survivor they know and for survivors who need support.

Webinars are a wonderful way to attend a seminar in the safety and comfort of your own home. Many survivors are not yet ready to meet other survivors face to face. This allows them to “get together” without having in person contact. While it tends to be more affordable due to not having travel expenses, you do have to phone in, so long distance charges might be a factor for some.

In a Webinar, you are given a phone number in a registration email, along with a sign in number. When the time comes, you call the number and dial in your sign in number at the prompt. At that point, you are connected. If the presenter has already signed in, you are on the phone with them. If not, you are put on hold with music while you wait.

You are also given a link for the internet so that you can see the slides that the presenter is using. After you are on the phone, you go to the link and login with the number you were given in the registration email. At that point you are allowed to type in the name you wish to use in the seminar. You are not mandated to use your real name. That is a feature that helps many to feel safer and more comfortable.

Another nice thing is that the software also has a chat window. This is great for those who are uncomfortable with speaking out loud or who are still struggling to find their voice. Some presenters are OK with the chat window. Some are not. It depends upon the presenter. Sometimes, the chat window can be distracting.

Although I can type pretty fast, I preferred speaking. It is faster and more convenient for me, especially if I am struggling to find the right words to say. This is one reason that someone listening to the recording might find me fumbling a bit…looking for the words to say what I am trying to say. But saying it, for me, is powerful. I don’t often get a chance to talk about my experiences with others. Hearing my voice speaking things and having others listen and hear…and “get it”. Wow! I cannot really explain how empowering…how validating that is…especially when others are sharing their experiences.

When I read what others have written, even though the sharing may be intimately personal, I still lack the dimension of sight and sound. I cannot see their expression or hear their tone. All I have are written words on a page. Being able to hear someone’s voice is so much more personal…so much more real. So, being heard and hearing others are two things that, for me, are very empowering and validating.

Survivorship has held several Webinars now. I have been privileged to attend two. Their first, and my first, I wrote about here. It was done by Jeannie Riseman on the subject of flashbacks. Jeannie is a retired therapist who works a LOT with  Survivorship. As a member of Survivorship, I have had interactions with Jeannie. I have always been very impressed by her compassion and levelheadedness…unlike some other therapists I have interacted with online.

My second Webinar was on forgiveness. It was led by Bonnie Brazill-Davis of Speak Out Services. In the Webinar she told her story, giving a general overview of her abuse experiences. As she did so, she walked us through the different aha moments that she had that helped her to find the ability to forgive her abusers. I really appreciated being able to hear her voice over the phone as she shared. As I mentioned previously, that was very powerful in itself.

I hope to attend future Webinars and hope that others will, too.

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Yay! Angela Shelton for MacKenzie Phillips!

September 29, 2009

I am so proud of Angela Shelton! She spoke up for MacKenzie Phillips. MacKenzie has been taking a lot of flack for coming out and talking about how her father raped her over a period of years. See: High on Arrival – MacKenzie Phillips

It is tough enough for those who have been raped and abused to speak out. When it is a parent who does it…it is even harder. Harder for the child to accept it themselves and harder to share it. When that parent is high profile…rich and famous…and even beloved…it becomes even harder! The last thing these victims need is to be ridiculed and their integrity questioned.

So…yay, Angela. Thank you for speaking up. Somebody needed to. People need to wake up.

One of the things, too, that MacKenzie is taking flack for is her use of the term “consensual” once she turned 18.  Well…that is not surprising. When a child is raped by their parent…and that is exactly what it is…rape…the child is in a position of subservience to the parent. It is very difficult for a child to believe that a parent is evil or bad. A child takes on the idea that they have to be somehow at fault…that they somehow enticed or wanted it or???

The child is being groomed to be a “mistress” aka “sex slave” to the parent. This does not suddenly shut off at 18. In the mind of the child, it can seem consensual because of the age…but that does not make it so. Once groomed to be a sex slave, it continues until something happens to break the cycle. That something can come from within the child/now adult…or it can come from without. The parent might suddenly stop or someone else might find out and bring it to a halt. Any way you look at it…it is NOT consensual. It is merely the extension of a relationship that was based in rape and NOT consensual.

If a child is part of a ritual abuse family or group, going beyond 18 can be the norm. Or, even if it stops as a teen, it can be resumed later on as an adult. The child is groomed from an incredibly young age…oftentimes starting in infancy. It is not difficult for the parent (or other adult) to trigger the mental conditioning aka programming to get the person back under their control…and yes…even to the point of having sex with them.

I wish people would stop believing that people just cannot do these kinds of things. They can…and they do! It is time to bring this stuff out of the shadows and stop judging those who are brave enough to bring it into the light.

Go, MacKenzie! Go, Angela!

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Feeling Down

May 12, 2009

I find  myself fighting depression more lately. Some of it is due to the shock of our family being uninvited to something based upon something someone else said to this person. There may have been some truth…and even some valid concerns…yet we were never told what was said or given any option to explain or clarify or even to verify. It makes me very sad.

I have also been in some sporadic email communication with my  parents. I just don’t know how to take them. It is always such a mixed bag when it comes to my parents. They are really the only directly related family I have. I never really knew my aunts, uncles and cousins that well because we always lived far away from them. I have met them and visited a few times growing up, but never got close to them. They are like strangers to me. One grandma died before I was born. Another grandfather died when I was in the second (?) grade. I never got to know him because he lived so far away.

My other grandparent I saw one time when my family was moving. We stopped along the way. That is when I met the other aunts, uncles and cousins. I never got close to them much either. I did get a little bit close to my grandmother long distance. But then she had a stroke and could not talk or write. It was very frustrating for both of us and I just let it drop. I probably should not have…but I did. I was just a kid. I don’t think I was even in high school yet when she died.

My grandfather and her divorced. He eventually remarried. I did meet him…and his wife. I don’t really know how I feel about him. My mother considered her to be a homewrecker and never accepted her. I wonder if that is one reason my sister accepted them. She had run away, but apparently she was willing to meet with them where she worked in the mall. At that point she was old enough to make the choice…no longer a minor. Everything runs together in my heart and mind when I thin of my family of origin…FOO as so many dub them.

I was checking out a Survivors of Incest Site…SIA. They actually have online meetings…and telephone meetings. I was actually kind of hoping for a local face to face meeting. I think that going to a meeting that focuses on that might be the next step for me…whether online, by phone or in person. I don’t know. I just know that, as I was looking at the site, my heart was starting to pound. Yeah…tell me there is nothing there. Tell me that nothing happened.

So, I sit here with my thoughts feeling kind of disjointed. It is good to be able to write something out, although I am not sure how much sense it is making. But then, it does not have to make a whole lot of sense. After all, this is my blog. *smile*

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