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Broken record...

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by I'mStillStanding, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. I'mStillStanding

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    I’ve discussed my past sexual abuse before on here... I’ve actually considered going to other outlets because I hate continuing to sound like a broke record in here... but one option I’ve tried wasn’t a great choice...

    Summary of past: 4 years old husband of a baby sitter molested me one time, 5 years old a teenager from church molested me once and was super aggressive which was horrible, 6 years old a teenager in my family started a “sexual situation“ that lasted for about a year.

    I’ve done tons of therapy and even did EMDR which was hell but helped a lot. The first two times have been worked through, the third is the one giving me an issue at the moment.

    So what’s been bothering me lately... a couple months ago I read an article on distorted memories with CSA. I am confident I’ve not distorted my memories.... EMDR and all. But I get so frustrated at how other people perceive how I feel about this situation. I don’t like to call what happened at 6 abuse or say he molested me. I was there. I remember how I felt about it then... how I felt about him and what we did. After the initial shocks of each new thing that was tried, there wasn’t any kinda strong negative reactions. Even the initial feelings were more like concern about getting in trouble or just confusion rather than negative.

    If I call this abuse, say it was awful or horrible, etc. what does that say about me because of how I felt then? That’s the problem I do think people get... that’s why I need both pictures. The one from now being able to acknowledge it being wrong... but the one from then where I was doing everything I could to find a reason to get into bed with him.

    I’m going back in person to therapy to talk it through out loud... I know my therapist says what others think or feel doesn’t matter but it does... if I was listening to someone say they had sex with a 15 year old at 6 I’d say, oh honey no that was abuse! So I get what everyone else is hearing... I get it... there’s just a disconnect between my brain and heart or something I don’t know!
     
  2. HM03

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    I'm sorry that you had to go through that and the lingering thoughts surrounding it. I wish I had good advice for you or could be of some comfort ( at least this is a thread bump?).

    However, I will say do not worry about being a broken record here. That's one of the main points of EC - to provide an outlet for people, especially when there may not be a lot of other outlet options for the person! What you went through was awful, and the lingering feelings are unpleasant to say the least. Hope somebody else can chime in with something better! :slight_smile:
     
    #2 HM03, Oct 9, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
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  3. QuietPeace

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    Keep talking about it until you have worked it through.

    A teen (or anyone older even) being sexual in ANY way with a 6 year old is RAPE. Even if the 6 year old is confused and seeming to participate willingly. The power differential and the inability of a child to understand what is really going on makes it wrong - full stop. I have not been in your exact situation but in some things that read the same way for me.
     
  4. I'mStillStanding

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    @HM03 thanks... I’m over myself and imagine everyone else is too.. so I kinda lead in with I know we are tired of hearing this *shrug* as kinda an apology I guess.


    Like I said I hear what y’all hear (or read) and I understand fully the thoughts y’all have behind it... if I was talking to anyone else, about their past, I’d agree. But this is me... calling this abuse or rape makes me feel like a piece of shit. Because I liked our time together... I get a kid that age shouldn’t, but for what ever reason I did. I know I didn’t understand what was happening and I was totally confused at first and several times during honestly. The age and lack of understanding takes consent out so I don’t talk about this as a sexual experience, it’s a situation that wasn’t positive. During may not have been traumatizing, but the guilt and shame that kicked in when puberty started was crippling.

    Clearly something that I don’t have a handle on. I thought I did... I have a handle on the memories. They don’t provoke a break down so I know I’ll be able to talk this out. What’s scary to me, is this is exactly the same situation as before. The event itself didn’t seem to be freaking me out, what people would think about me and my role in the activities is. That was literally my biggest fear as kid (age 10) and why I started saying I was straight. That way if anyone found out there was no way it could be my fault. Now, here we go round again, and I’m terrified by others thoughts on this. I’m talking about it... admitting it happened... it shouldn’t have and was bad... even that I was an active participant. And I’m unraveling because people are seeing it and expressing an honest opinion... calling it abuse and even rape... which I then apply to me (not a a victim) as a participant. I can’t separate me out. And I gotta figure out how.

    I’m not sure I’m and making much sense honestly... I’m trying to explain my thoughts best I can.
     
  5. QuietPeace

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    I very much understand. It is very common for us as victims to assume responsibility for what others have done for us. It is part of the whole process of abuse. I know in how I was raised and by my observations of society that victim blaming is very common and we absorb it.
     
  6. I'mStillStanding

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    Well... once I’m therapy my therapist wrote down the things I said about what happened that out any responsibility on me... she then said so if someone came to you and said hey my 15 year old <family member who did it to me> is doing this to me would you say to this kid... and she read all those things to me. I freaked out so bad! I normally keep myself and emotions under control well! But this time I lost my shit! Pissed! I don’t victim blame at all... discussing myself, I would not consider that victim blaming. It’s more acknowledging my actions.... that first time was 1000% on him. I had a nightmare (ironically about the first guy who’d molested) and when I had nightmares I’d be too scared to sleep alone. So I was told to see if I could sleep in his room with him... he said whatever and so I got in bed with him. He took advantage of me being scared and in his room... I remember that night so clearly. When I asked a question about what was happening he lied, then I said that’s not what you said it was it’s you, then he apologized and then when he didn’t stop I said I would tell and he said, “you’re my little buddy, this will help get to sleep with out having nightmares but your mom will be mad so you can’t tell anyone.” And obvi I didn’t. But after that first night... I found reasons to go back into his room. He never asked, he never had to promise we’d play his video games (though we did sometimes), he never really had to do anything. He just kept a flat sheet in his room because his comforter would make me itch... and then nights I came in that was it. He may have started it, but I kept it going...
     
  7. QuietPeace

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    He knew what he was doing was wrong, that is why they tell us to keep it hidden.

    This way of thinking is part of being a victim, it was NOT your fault.
     
  8. I'mStillStanding

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    I agree... I actually worry that what we did may have lead to his drug abuse... that bothers me a lot. I wonder if it never have happened had he not went down that bad bath. Or if we’d had a conversation about maybe he’d be able to over come his demons and get better.
    I def wasn’t old enough to make the choice or understand what we were doing. He should have said no, he shouldn’t have ever started it actually. I also can’t change my response or actions... while I know technically I have no fault in this, I think that’s just a... well technicality. I think my age is giving me a free pass in the situation and it seems like a copout.
     
  9. QuietPeace

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    It is likely (though not certain) that he was sexually abused and that led to him doing it to you and is more likely what led to his drug abuse.

    Concentrate on the underlined part. It is not a technicality it is the reality.

    Calling it a "free pass" is making it out that you "got away with something". Accepting that you were victimized is not a copout.
     
  10. I'mStillStanding

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    I’m not sure... I know there was some issues with his mom and him... at what age and to what extent I have no idea.

    Funny... I didn’t get away with a thing. I’ve tried for 20 years to get away from it and haven’t yet. I guess the kids is still scared of the trouble I’ll get in if the full truth comes out with people I know... But more directly to the point of this line, growing up in the south and the way I did you take responsibility for your actions. It was a very religious and conservative upbringing... While I am super liberal (or the sinner going to hell in my family lol) and don’t believe in the same restricting guidelines many in my family do, I still hold on to this idea of owning my actions good or bad.
     
  11. I'mStillStanding

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    I wanna clarify something (the 20 years comment)... When I was 10 I was terrified people would find out I’d already had sex, it was with a guy, and my <teenage family member>... that I would be sent off to a military school or the kids at my school who were so mean to me already and bullying me calling me every horrible word for gay they knew would kill me the way the people did Matthew Shepard (that’s the year it happened and I watched every news story that came on)... that’s why I had to be straight... it seemed life or death. It’s when I started gaining weight, really struggling with depression and lost control of my anxiety issues. That’s why I say the trauma is more from this than what happened...
     
  12. QuietPeace

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    We have a lot in common. I grew up in the west not the south but I was abused and I was blamed for everything. It all fits the pattern.

    You have to remember though. Just because abusers say you are responsible does not make you responsible. They are all high and mighty talking about taking responsibility while refusing to do so themselves. They are hypocrites.

    I have said it in other places here and I say it IRL. Virtually everything is more complex than people understand or want to admit. The troubles that you (and I and everyone else) have do not come from one case of abuse or one event, all of it contributes.
     
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  13. Chip

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    This might help:

    Children are hard wired for connection. We are the only mammal that is helpless for such a long period after birth. And so, our brains are wired to seek out connection, and to do whatever it takes, at any cost, to maintain connection. Because to lose connection with the adult(s) around us would be to die. You've already described circumstances with your parents where you did not feel completely safe or supported or nurtured, so your very young self learned that you could not ask for your needs or do anything to "rock the boat" or else (in your child's mind) you would be at risk of losing that connection.

    The above scenario is at the root of pretty much all trauma.

    Now... with that in mind, two other pieces: First, when the original abuse happened, a child that truly had a healthy attachment to parents would immediately have told them what was wrong, because it would have felt safe and appropriate to do so. But because of the above, some part of you knew you could not tell. So your brain had to come up with an alternative strategy to allow you to survive.

    The most common one in this circumstance is to rationalize: "Well, in some way, I made it happen"... "Well, I could have refused..." "Actually, It was kind of OK at times..." and many other variations of that. Because to the child's brain, which -- again -- is wired for survival, these rationales allow us to survive. To handle what in reality is a pretty horrifying circumstance and rationalize it.

    That rationale is so strong that it gets imprinted. We convince ourselves that we had control. That we weren't really hurt. That we did consent in some way. That it felt kind of good sometimes. It is those beliefs that allowed us to survive. But to accept the reality... that we weren't in control, that we were raped, that we had absolutely no choice, that we suffered pain and humiliation and violation that no child should have to suffer with... well, I think you can realize that, even as an adult, that would be a pretty horrifying thing to accept. As a child, it would probably be beyond the child's capacity to handle the trauma he was exposed to.

    So now, when you seek treatment, the message is so strongly imprinted that it takes some time to "un-imprint." The unconscious is still afraid to let it come up, because the fear -- which is an irrational fear left over from childhood -- is that you could not handle it. That either the anger or the grief or the pain would be so severe you would crumble. That's what underlies the denial and splitting that happens with most people with sexual or severe physical abuse experiences.

    The good news is, since you are seeking help, and working through it, you will break through the protective layers and be able to let it go once and for all. It is, however, a process that requires patience and trust in the process.
     
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  14. I'mStillStanding

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    I swear I legit just said this last night to someone... that while I maybe spiraling at the moment, I’m continuing therapy and I trust the process and know I’ll get it together! You basically saying the same thing makes me smile. Growing up in church, we were all about confirmation, and this one line is mine. The process will work!

    I don’t ever consider the over all picture. I tend to focus on the one right in front of me and try and fix it. @QuietPeace mentioned it all contributing... but even then I didn’t consider my relationship with my family. I mean I loved family and am thankful for them, but there was some really shitty things that was said and done (sometimes still being done) that affected me emotionally. I gotta start being more conscious of how this plays a role.
    Ok... this makes perfect sense. Because the first guy who molested I went straight and said something. Not out of being freaked out, I didn’t even understand what had happened, but just because I didn’t think anything about telling. The response I was meet with in that situation was horrible so yea I’m sure that played a major role in me wanting to keep this quiet. Like, he prob didn’t even have to say anything to try an convince me at all because it.
    I have asked myself what I did that made any of them think it was ok. While I’m much better at reminding myself (when the thought I must have done something comes up) the first two I didn’t do anything... this one I have trouble with. For the reasons I’ve said. I also get frustrated I didn’t refuse, or at the very least never go back to his room. And I’ve said that I didn’t dislike our times together when they were happening... are these rationalizations? They just seem like honest memories and facts. I often try and make excuses for these feeling, wouldn’t those excuses be the rationalizing?
    I always say consent wasn’t an option because of my age... but if it had happened when I was 13 it would have been horrible with our age gap (he’d been 22) but me being sexual wouldn’t have been that big of a deal. This is my way of saying part of me was giving in to this. That I remember it feeling good... I don’t remember a time it felt scary, horrible, anything like that. Confusing, awkward, weird yes! But nothing stronger than that.
    The first time I actually talked about this in therapy, like honestly... it took me 2.5 hours and I barely said 10 complete sentences. All I could do was cry my eyes out, barely breathe, and kept saying I’m so embarrassed or I’m so ashamed. I crumbled then... and that was admitting to going to his room and not hating what happened... if I ever felt like this was more... that it was abuse or rape... I’m not sure what... how I’d reconcile my feeling from the time with that reality.... that’s the scary part!!!