Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I own my own guilt

One of the things that I have always wondered is how have I been able to heal from this and other have struggled more. At first I have thought it was because my abuse was not so bad. But over the last few weeks I have read so many different blogs and have seen people who have endure less or more than me and they are all effected in the same way. I think when a child is shown any form of bad treatment they all have the same level of hurt. I have also seen so many people at different stages of healing and even read blogs that have documented some of those changes for these people and there good days and bad.

But one of the things that I have seen so many times is the guilt that each of them feel for what has happened. Some of this is due to the way the abuser has made them feel by making them think they could have avoided it. I think that is the part that most of these survivor's find the hardest to deal with is how to feel like you could have said no but didn't. The most important thing to remember you were at an age that you were always told what to do by a parent and you were told not to say no to your elders as its disrespectful. This can leave a feeling of having been disrespectful.

The strange thing that I had with my nan was when she was sober she was a beautiful lady so at least I had the knowledge that it was the alcohol that made her angry. But one of the things with our relationship was that she was very open about her life. She was also up front about subjects like sex and I was never made to feel like it was a taboo subject. I think the only problem with her was she hated men and there desires. Which is still sometimes a little voice in my head that says all men want is sex. But when I was sexually assaulted the reason I never spoke out was that at the age of 7 I had no idea what to say had happened. I had no words for it. So for fear of saying the wrong thing I stayed quite. It was years later that I finally realised what the words were and that I was right that it was wrong. But instead of forgetting it or burying it and not thinking about it. I chose to tell people. So from then on I would talk to just about anyone about it because I felt no shame. I was not brought up to have shame to talk about sex. I also had wondered if my nan had always made me aware of the subject of rape and assault when going through my teens as when she was a child she had been raped by her cousin when on a weekend visit with her family. She being brought up in an orphanage due to her mum dying young and her father was not able to look after her. So she would stay there and when ever he could he take her for weekends to spend with the family until he died himself. So when she had been raped she had the shame of returning to the orphanage and this was in a time that the nun's were able to get away with being cruel to children and they told her it was her fault it happened and that she must have done something to encourage it.

So I think my nan had always been able to make sure that I would never feel uncomfortable to talk about anything pertaining to sex. So I have always had the same understanding to anything in my life that these are part of who I am and not necessary my fault. I am a person that has nothing in my life that I would hide from anyone. I am such an open book even about mistakes I have made and choices I have made because I own my guilt not the other way. I have always had a saying that never judge anyone for things they have done as they are sure to judge themselves enough.

Plus who is to say that because a person has done one something before that it is who they are now. I think a lot of the people who had turned to drugs and crime when they were dealing with what had happened should never be judged as they had no idea how to heal. The most amazing people I have ever meet have beaten the odds and broken free of these habits and lifestyles to be able to deal. I do admit that I find it hard to be around people who are still living those lifestyles and are what I still victims. I find there weakness to hard to be around. I have always wondered if this is due to fear of me showing mine or fear of it rubbing off. I do know in my personal life I have surrounded my self in survivor's as this gives me so much strength. I feel the power of there strength and thrive on it. I also love being around people that are developing and growing as they can still remind me that we were once weak but we have survived.

Anyway I have kind of gone off on a tangent. The point I was getting to is don't let guilt for what happened to you be your abuser now. You have the power to know and believe that what happened to you was not your fault no matter how much they groom you. That is their game, that is their sick way of justifying themselves. Talk to people about what happened even if you have to do it through blogs and other ways. Its ok to not be ready to talk to loved ones as they will be the hardest ones. Because what they think will matter but if they understand and love you enough they will be as saddened by your experiences as you. For many also it may give your loved ones a complete understanding of who you are and why you are the way you are. Because we think we can hide it but it will never go away it will always be under the surface. We will always remember. There will always be triggers. The only thing that hopefully change is our perception of how we feel about it. Own your guilt don't let it own you.

Plus I wanted to take this opportunity to say I am sorry. I had been made aware that just because I am such an open book that it does not mean that everyone else is. I had hurt someone I love by talking about something that they had rather told people or had a choice to tell people. I had not done it with malice. I had also been sure that I had only told someone that I knew would understand as they had been through something similar. I would never have told if I knew that person would do anything harmful with it. But I took away the victims right and control. I had the stupid assumption that everyone is an open book like me. But in effect I was opening some wounds that were not fully healed yet. That was the physical people in my life. Also for anyone that I comment to on their blogs if I say something that is hurtful to hear, then please let me know as sometimes I have to be reminded that they are not as open and ready talk about certain things. I do try to make an effort if I know that my comments would be to raw and hurtful as I would hate for anything I say upset anyone. There have been enough people in your lives to do that. I am giving you the right to at least be able to stand up to me and say no more.

Healing and feeling loved

Today so many of the blogs I have been drawn to read have all a subject that is reflecting something that is happening in my life at the moment. Having this information has helped me see what I needed to know to get through this time.

I as you have read so far was subjected to a childhood of verbal abuse and had found ways to be able to function and live a happier life. But the problems that the abuse had always been under the surface.

I am now dating a man that has a beautiful heart and has put more effort into this relationship than any other I have ever had. But there is one problem. He was also from an abusive childhood and his consisted of verbal and sexual abuse. For him he learnt to turn his emotions into anger. He never looked at the positive and always used anger to show any emotion. Then over the years he attracted so much negativity to him in experiences and relationships. His last relationship was an extremely negative relationship. His girlfriend was so angry at him and would belittle him and make him feel even worse about himself than he already did. Even to the point that he started to believe that he deserved it. So one of the first things is I asked him did his ex have any friends. She did, so to me not knowing her I made some guesses about why she was so angry at him. She before him had been married and 6 weeks after the wedding she discovered he was gay. Now she has a great friendship with her ex and his partner. So I asked my boyfriend did it occur to him that she might have been angry at her ex for hurting her but she could not hate him. So she effectively hated her boyfriend. He began talking of times that when the ex was there she would not touch him and she kept her wedding photos all around the house and still had a wedding photo of them in her draw next to the bed 4 years later. I got him to perhaps look at it all from another angle and perhaps understand why she was angry for no apparent reason. I wanted him to see that it was not his fault that he did not deserve this.

This had all come about because when my boyfriend was getting insecure or down on himself he was getting angry at me. It often would be such a small issue but blown out to be so major so I knew it could not have been the real issue. I had learnt to see that in most people (not all but most) that they often hurt people to feel better about themselves. Most people do not understand that is what they are doing. I know now with the abuse I received was my nans way of dealing with what she had experienced growing up. I also excepted that I had what some would call forgiveness about it. I was reading a Lady's blog yesterday about forgiveness and I will link it on this blog because she bring up such an interesting point about forgiveness and what it means. She was saying is forgiveness the right thing to give a child abuser or a murderer or pedophile. If we give them forgiveness are we giving them a sign to say that what they did was OK. So I suggested would a better thing to say is I give understand to why it happened and now have strength to no longer allow you to do it any longer and I will never believe what you did was OK. As thats how I healed.

So when my boyfriend was getting angry at me I had discovered that it was a trigger of my former abuse. I have been able to live a normal and happy and successful life. But I have blocked all negativity out of my life. If something bad would happen I would focus on the good from it and throw away the bad. It had worked for me so far. So when he started to get angry at me I at first would argue back and then over the weeks I noticed a change in how I reacted till this week I withdrew. I became that child from years ago that had been abused. I then had to make a decision about what to do. The way I felt was that I could walk away now as I had to save myself. But when I started to read the blog about forgiveness I started to see what my boyfriends problem was. He had not believed he was worth loving and had believed that all the bad treatment he had received was because he deserved it. So when I told him where my head and heart stood he asked me what he needed to do to fix it. So I explained what he was doing to me. He was horrified that he was hurting me so much and he started to look at why he was doing it. So I explained he was doing to me what his ex did to him and that was punish the other person because of how bad he felt about himself. He asked what to do I said you need help but not for me but for you. I left it up to him. This was a test to see if he really wanted help because if he was not ready he would have not tried. First thing this morning he went and knocked on doors and found a councillor. So now we are both getting help him to learn how to let go of the anger and be strong and understand all that has happened and me to learn how to deal with my trigger.

So after all this had happened I read this ladies blog again and her new entry was about a stranger showing her love and compassion for her pain and suffering. Even though her own husband could not. So i commented that she got sent that strength when she needed it most. Then I went to the next blog and found another lady talking about her hunger for acceptance for when she had been going through her pain and she had found her strength at her lowest from god. That for her was what she needed to feel love and accepted and was able to use her teachings to heal.

So what I am trying to say is that at this time in my life I have been given my guidance by survivors and I would like to thank you all so much. Also would like to thank the angels that helped me find this information because the reason I started looking had nothing to do with what I found. They put me on this path even before I knew I needed it.

These are the links for the blogs I found inspiring.

Warning the lady who blogs these is very open and raw and some may take offense to her words so please read with caution as she has an amazing and insightful person and is worth listening to.

The first blog I would like you to read

Then this one

Then this is also an amazing lady even though I don't have the same spiritual belief as her I can still understand where she gets her strength from.

So thank to you amazing and wonderful people for being there for giving me answers I did not know I needed at first.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Child abuse continues

I am writing this post to let any of my followers and visitor know I also have another web site that I write content for about child abuse. I will be looking for people who would be interested in posting about there experiences with abuse whether it was as a victim and healing, family member of a victim, an abuser etc. This web site is more about child abuse in general and less about my abuse. I would love anyone to take a look it is a site in progress but I would love feed back on ideas for it also. Check out the section that is about the web site and see if I have missed any ideas. The site is called the link is also on the right hand side under recommended reading.

Thanks all for reading and have a great day.

Ignoring abuse who protects the child

Before I was even aware that what I was experiencing was wrong other people had started to notice. I had sibling from my mothers first marriage that I kept in contact with. When I was ten they came to visit me and spent about 1 week there. For one of my sisters and my brother this was the last time I have sen them. My other sister would still come to visit. One day I asked why the others would not come to visit. She told me it was because they did not like how I was being treated. After their visit from me they had tried begging there dad to see if he could help me. But unfortunately there was nothing that he legally could do as he was only related to me through my brothers and sisters sharing the same mum as me. So he had no legal say in my welfare or upbringing. So due to there frustration in not being able to help they stayed away. As a child that had very little in the way of support it broke my heart. They had the option that I did not have they were able to ignore the abuse.

I also had my father who would drive past our street everyday to and from work but still never stopped in or my aunt that would never phone after 4pm because they all knew that she would be drinking. So if they did not want to deal with her drunk and it was not good enough for them why was it OK for an innocent child to have to deal with. It was sad because the ones that wanted to help couldn't and the ones that could didn't

In the last years of living the hell of abuse I started thinking well find if no one wants to help I sure as hell was going to let everyone know what hell I was going through. I would start screaming when I cried and I would run into the garage when she was chasing me as I knew that was the one room that you could hear everything from. We lived in a housing complex were around my nans house there were no less than 5 houses within 10 feet. So how does a person sleep at night hearing the heart breaking crying of a child that everyone has walked away from.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Words Dont Hurt

While I was studying to be a nurse we had a class of very different types of people. We all used to love getting into debates about what we all thought. One day the subject came up about the abuse that a nurse has to receive. We were taking about how to deal with it and what is acceptable and what is not. We started talking about physical abuse vs emotional abuse. When a gentleman in the class stated words don't hurt. At this point it got quite heated. His theory was that they are only words and do not leave a mark. I then got up in front of the whole class and looked him in the eye. I said to him that as a child I was told on a daily basis that I was dumb and stupid and that I would turn out just like my mum (who in my family was not highly thought of) and many many more things. Then I explained to him that to look at me now you would not believe that for a long time that I believed these things. I also have days now that I believe everything I was ever told. Most of the time though logically I know that I am none of the things I was told. But on a day that especially as a mum for even a student and a couple of things go wrong then you start to hear that voice again. I also explained to him that logic and understanding will never come into play on a bad day. I also told him that so many days I had begged that my nan would hit me instead as at least the bruises would have faded. I asked him to think about how damaging the words would have to be to rather receive a beating.

I was so proud of myself the day I did that as firstly it was the day I started talking about what I had gone through. Secondly I had for so long been so painfully shy that through all my schooling nobody really knew me as I tried to be invisible. I did not believe I was worth being friends with or that I had anything to offer anyone. But that day I stood up and in a firm voice talked about what happened to me and people listened (though by the end of it I was almost crying but not from being embarrassed but from the memories), no one laughed or told me I was stupid or wrong. Then lastly it had a great effect to the class and also shut up the man who had made the statement in the first place. So the question was emotional abuse vs physical abuse? I say neither.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why does rejection hurt so much?

One of the hardest thing I had to do was to avoid the nasty things my nan would say to me. But after a while you can only take so much. I know my breaking point was when I was 15. Though all the years of the abuse, I had always had the thought that at any point that I could not take it any more I would be able to go live with my dad. For along time that was the one thing that was like the light shining out of the dark. One of the memories I had were of when I was with my dad and his wife and step sister at a home show when I was about 7. There was a beautiful house on display and my dad and his wife entered the competition to win it. While my dads wife was filling out the paper she said to me that if they won this beautiful three bedroom house then I could go live with them. I was so excited at knowing that there was that possibility.

I would picture that when there were nights that nan was in a bad mood. It for a long time was my escape. So after a couple of ears my dad moved to a house that my grandfather left him. This home had three bedroom. So I always had the knowledge that I could go there as there would have been room. Plus I had been told I was wanted there. So one night when I was 15 I got into trouble over something that I had done wrong. This night nan was extremely violent. I had a friend staying over. This friend of mine was someone who had grown up with me since I was 5 and was also going through something similar in her own house. This night I had reached my limit of how much more abuse I could take. So when my nan was in bed I explained to my friend that I was going to go next door and ring my dad to come get me as I could not cope any more.

So my dad came to get me. Of course my nan was outraged. This was the first time I had ever defied her to her knowledge. So the next couple of days at my dads I explained to him and his wife what I was going thorough. I also told them I was going to counselling at school to cope and that I did not think I could cope with it any more. So I then ask the golden question to my dad CAN I COME LIVE WITH YOU. These were the words I had not asked for so long because I was scared and I never wanted to have my nan think I was not grateful for all that she had done for me. Especially as she reminded me so often that I was not wanted. But I knew different I always had the thought in my head that my dad wants me. And this being the reason I stayed for 13 years of abuse. So my dad says give me time to think about it and I will get back to you.

The next day he comes to me and says "I have thought about it and you cant live here as we have only knocked out the wall to third bedroom and its not fair for your stepsister to have to share" He also said that I could not try to live there as an excuse for avoiding being punished for what I did wrong. I begged and pleaded and said that I would take any punishment from them that they had to offer but please don't send me back. But no matter how much I begged I was sent back. And gee did I get punished for having tried to escape. But none of that compared to the heart break of having the one person who I thought was my hero, turn his back on me. So my question is why does rejection hurt so much? I can only believe because when it comes from a parent these are the people that were meant to protect you not reject you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is this the truth or just the alcohol talking

Many a night the constant thing that my nan would tell me was that I was stupid and that I was never wanted and that nobody loved me. For a long time I would believe these things. And even now though I have done a great amount of healing I do still have a bad day perhaps once a year when I do truly believe all that I was told. One of the hardest things to have to deal with when my nan was drinking was when she would talk about my mum. Because I had no memory of my mum I had no idea if what she would tell me was true or not. Even at a young age my nan told me that my mum had cheated on my dad and that she has also worked in a massage parlour. When every time I had asked my dad why they had separated he would say he could not remember. One thing I have learnt now is even if that had been the case there was no need for me to know those things that she had told me. To this day I will never know what benefit my nan made from sharing these things with me but I can only assume it was so that I would not ever feel like I could have been better off with my mum or even any where else. But the sad thing was that the alcohol had altered her perception of if this was something I needed to know or not.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Being to scared to say anything

Most night I had to try and avoid my nan from getting angry. This sometime was an extremely difficult thing to do because even a simple this as answering a question could have caused a flare up. I can recall one of the worst thing I could do was correct her. One night we had just finished dinner and she asked me to put the margarine in the bin. Now knowing that it was almost full I asked her if she meant the fridge. That was the worst thing I could have done as it then enraged her and for the next following hours I was told I was stupid and that no-one ever loved me. Also for the rest of the night no matter what I did it was not right. So slowly over the years I learnt to watch everything i said to avoid making her angry. Some days it worked others she would start on the smallest thing. For allot of my adolescence I was a very quite child and even out side of the home I kept to myself allot as I was so scared that everyone thought I was stupid when I opened my mouth.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Smashing Dishes

One of my memories was of a night where I was doing the dishes. This night in question she had been especially nasty with what she was saying. So at some point I had started to cry. This then enraged her even more and she began threatening me. One of the most seemingly ridiculous comments where if you don't shut up now I will smash this plate over your head. Now this comment did the complete opposite of shutting me up it then made the crying harder. That night was a night I went to my brownies club meeting. So after I had finished the dishes my friends mum picked me up. Then while everyone was laughing and having I fun I was deep in thought. I was thinking for the first time that perhaps the way I was growing up was not normal. I was about 11 years old at this point.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The introduction of the speed hump

When I was about 6 years old the arrangement of going to be with my dad on weekends was to be short lived. This was due to my new stepmom. My family did not much like this new introduction into my fathers life. So within two years of her being in our lives my nan stopped me from going there on the weekends. So this now meant that 7 days a week i was with my nan. For a few years this was the only life i knew. I slowly became more and more distant from my father. I would only see him on major holidays and birthdays. This left me with no escape from the following years of hell as i became more and more aware of my nan's drinking problem.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The start of my life

My name is Maria and i am a survivor of child abuse. The first three years of my life were what would have been seen as a normal childhood. But just after my third birthday my parents separated.  My dad was the one to take me with him. He tried to look after me but as a single father who was working he found it to hard to look after a little girl so he enlisted some help from his mother. So this was the start of an arrangement where during the weekdays i would be with my nan and on weekends I would be with my dad. This worked well for them both. I can remember going to my dad on weekends and being taken to parties where i would often fall asleep on the lounge with people partying around me. But slowly things were going to change with the convenience of this arrangement.