TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Sexual Abuse Surviors....... Please read this thread with me
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sexual Abuse Surviors....... Please read this thread with me

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I often see posts by many women on here that I want to reach out and help, some I do reach out and some don't take my help. So I'm creating a thread for everyone to read and hopefully find something that helps them personally.

*1 in 3 women have been sexually abused*

*The abuser is almost always someone the survior knows very well*


I was sexually abuse from the age of 5-13 by my father. My parents were divorced and I saw my father every other weekend and a few weeks in the summer and winter. He was a very scary man and "telling" wasn't an option (he threatended me with a gun). By the time I was almost 14 I got the courage to say something about the abuse going on. I didn't say much, but just enough that one of my teachers called my father and ask him some questions. He went crazy and a month later he killed himself for many reasons, but I'm sure sexually abusing his daughter was one of the reasons.

I went through several years of therapy when I was young, but never accepted that I was sexually abused or even remembered it. I refused to remember any of it and when I was 18 it finally got the best of me. I made terrible decisions and did many things I regret (with men). I battled depression like crazy for the next year and then I met my SO. It got worse and I ended up in therapy again and taking depression medication. I was afraid somehow that Blake would sexually assualt me.

The one thing that really helped me was this book by Sue Blume:

I, like many people, don't want to admit I have a problem and would rather figure out how to solve that problem myself. This book helped me put everything together and figure out what happened to me and why I do the things I do. It's a great book that has so much information. I've read through it several times and have it all marked up, and tons of writing in the margins.

You don't have to tell your story, just please find some help if you haven't found peace. You have to be able to say "I was sexually abused, no if ands or buts, that's what happened." This books talks about impowering yourself and not letting your abuse be minimized.

"You are a survivor, not a victim."




Here is a poem out of the book that I read again and again.

Hail!! Hail!!

I have already proven to the world that I possess many qualities,
tested as a child like many adults will never be.

HONOR-When my breasts were ravaged I went futher and held my heart,
piece by piece I work to put it back together.
Kindness to myself was learned.

Praise-When I close my eyes I can see what others can't;
smiles in the sun.
Insight was learned.

Respect-When hands slid through my legs I became stiff.
Would I be able to walk away when he was done?
Strength was learned

Glory-When my ears were filled with sounds of moans,
I listened for birds to sing of future times.
Patience was learned.

Salute-When all this happened I protected myself without a formal "how-to" class.
I used my own mind and body and survived.
Confidence was learned.

Tribute-I will not hang my head, for shame does not do me.
Well I will hold it high and let them see how a spirit was not broken.

Robin R. Vernava


post #2 of 23
This is a great thread you have started.

I was never sexually or physically abused. As a child my mother had a way of pulling hair, digging nails into my skin, smacking me with a shoe..I kid her now that if she were raising me today, she would be in jail. But, I dont look at how she raised me as being physically abused.

Having said that, I can only imagine what you have both gone through and it is heartwarming to see that you have both learned to make yourselves stronger because of it.

I used to see stories on the news about children who were abducted or who were sexually abused and never gave it a second thought. Until I had my first child, Rachel. There was a news story when she was just a baby about a small girl being abused and it totally sickened me to think someone could do these things with a small child.

I commend you both for telling your stories and I encourage others to use this as a place to vent. I believe venting is a great pain reliever.
post #3 of 23
Been there, don't want to talk about it.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you can or have found peace. If you feel like picking up that book it is a great investment! You can buy it online, Amazon has used ones for just a few dollars! Feel free to PM me if you want! The book also explains how you can almost erase things from your mind and not remember them until you are ready. I have at least one more memory that keeps popping up but I don't want to remember yet. I remember pieces, but I don't want to know the details, not yet....
post #5 of 23
Sexual and physical abuse are a horrible thing. I think any type of abuse can mess people up. I was never abused by my father but I had to live with him coming home drunk and screaming at my mom all the time. I've seen him punch holes in the wall and slap my mom around. The worst was one New Years eve when he pushed my mom of the front porch and she fell on the ground. I called the police and they came and arrested him. To this day I feel bad for getting my dad arrested but shortly after that he went into rehab and he's been a recovering alcoholic for almost ten years. I know having to live with all that is the root of all my anxiety issues and what not. I'm so sorry for all of you that had to go through worse than me.
post #6 of 23
A lot of people are in very different places with these sorts of things. Me, I'm getting steadily better and nearly all the PTSD symptoms I had for years are gone, to the point I'm not sure I could say I have it anymore.

Some people don't want to talk about it yet, some people really need to, and some people feel that they've talked about it, thought about it, and worked through it to the point that there isn't much else left.

You can't change the past, but you don't have to let it change you.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmycat1 View Post
Sexual and physical abuse are a horrible thing. I think any type of abuse can mess people up. I was never abused by my father but I had to live with him coming home drunk and screaming at my mom all the time. I've seen him punch holes in the wall and slap my mom around. The worst was one New Years eve when he pushed my mom of the front porch and she fell on the ground. I called the police and they came and arrested him. To this day I feel bad for getting my dad arrested but shortly after that he went into rehab and he's been a recovering alcoholic for almost ten years. I know having to live with all that is the root of all my anxiety issues and what not. I'm so sorry for all of you that had to go through worse than me.
I do agree that any type of abuse had a huge impact on the person who was involved or surrounded by it. Anyone who was abused/saw abuse in any way should not minimize what happened. It was horrible and hopefully it can be an experience you can learn and grow from. Post Tramatic Syndrom is a very hard thing to deal with.

My counselor told me that when I have flash backs or feel uncomfortable I need to remind myself that "this is now, that was then". I still use that often! It helps me a lot to remind myself that I'm not being abused anymore and I'm safe now.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
A lot of people are in very different places with these sorts of things. Me, I'm getting steadily better and nearly all the PTSD symptoms I had for years are gone, to the point I'm not sure I could say I have it anymore.

Some people don't want to talk about it yet, some people really need to, and some people feel that they've talked about it, thought about it, and worked through it to the point that there isn't much else left.

You can't change the past, but you don't have to let it change you.
I'm so happy for you! You should be proud of all the courage and strength you have! I probably couldn't quite say I'm past the PTSD yet, but I can say it's controlable.

I am in no way saying that I have completely over come this ordeal and know everything, I'm simply wanting to get the message out and help someone in any way. I'm going to school to become a counselor because I found it hard to find a counselor who would take a client who needed help with sexual abuse. I don't want to exculsively work with survivors, but I want to be someone who accepts survivors.
post #9 of 23
I don't want to be a spoilsport, and really feel that this is an important topic, but I do have a request: As TCS is a "famiy-friendly site", please don't be too graphic when posting in this thread. It's now in IMO, where posts are restricted to members who are of age and have a certain number of posts under their belts, but anybody, including children, can access and read the forum threads. Thank you!
post #10 of 23
Getting over any kind of abuse is never easy: sometimes the scars last forever...

My dad was an abusive person: mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was sexually abused by an ex-boyfriend's brother, when I was 15. Several years ago, I suffered through a mentally & emotionally abusive relationship from an ex-b/f. I'm still trying to heal from that relationship - although I doubt that those scars will ever heal completely. I'm still suffering from PTSD & anxietly attacks due to that relationship.

My heart goes out to anyone who has had to suffer in any abusive way. No one should have to be subjected to it.

~KK~
post #11 of 23
The wounds healed long ago and even the scars are fading away.
post #12 of 23
I love Secret Survivors. When I first read the "incest survivors check list" at the beginning of the book I threw up. I couldn't believe that so much of what I felt and experienced could be directly related to my abuse. I could check off almost everything, including a fear of water in my face- I would literally scream and freak out if I got water in my face when I was growing up. I thought I was just weird!

Another amazing book is called "Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal". For those of us with PTSD, it's a wonderful resource. It has some amazing visualization and relaxation techniques. It is a book for anyone who has experienced trauma, whether they be a war vet, a police officer, a mugging victim, or a victim of abuse.

here is the checklist, (which is legal to reprint here)

Fear of being alone in the dark, of sleeping alone, nightmares, night terrors (especially of pursuit, threat, entrapment)
*

Swallowing and gagging sensitivity; repugnance to water on one's face when bathing or swimming (suffocation feelings)
*

Alienation from the body-not at home in own body; failure to heed body signals or take care of one's body; poor body image; manipulating body size to avoid sexual attention
*

Gastrointestinal problems; gynecological disorders (including spontaneous vaginal infections); headaches; arthritis or joint pain.
*

Wearing a lot of clothing, even in summer; baggy clothes; failure to remove clothing even when appropriate to do so (while swimming, bathing, sleeping); extreme requirement for privacy when using bathroom.
*

Eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse (or total abstinence); other addictions; compulsive behaviors.
*

Self-destructiveness; skin carving, self-abuse
*

Phobias
*

Need to be invisible, perfect, or perfectly bad.
*

Suicidal thoughts, attempts, obsession (including passive suicide)
*

Depression (sometimes paralyzing); seemingly baseless crying
*

Anger issues; inability to recognize, own, or express anger; fear of actual or imagined rage; constant anger; intense hostility toward entire gender or ethnic group of the perpetrator.
*

Splitting (Depersonalization); going into shock, shutdown, in crisis; a stressful situation always is a crisis; psychic numbing; physical pain or numbness associated with a particular memory, emotion (eg:anger), or situation (eg:sex).
*

Rigid control of one's though process; humorlessness or extremes solemnity.
*

Childhood hiding, hanging on , cowering in corners (security-seeking behaviors); adult nervousness over being watched or surprised; feeling watched; startle response.
*

Trust issues; inability to trust (trust is not safe); total trust; trusting indiscriminately
*

High risk taking (daring the fates); inability to take risks
*

Boundary issues; control, power, territoriality issues; fear of losing control; obsessive/compulsive behaviors (attempts to control things that don't matter, just to control something).
*

Guilt, shame; low self-esteem; feeling worthless; high appreciation of small favors by others.
*

Pattern of being a victim (victimizing oneself after being victimized by others); especially sexually; no sense of own power or right to set limits or say no; pattern of relationships with much older persons (onset in adolescence).
*

Feeling demand to "produce and be loved"; instinctively knowing and doing what the other person needs or wants; relationships mean big tradeoffs (love was taken, not given)
*

Abandonment issues
*

Blocking gout some period of early years (especially 1-12), or a specific person or place
*

Feeling of carrying an awful secret; urge to tell, fear of its being revealed; certainty that no one will listen; being generally secretive; feeling "marked" (scarlet letter)
*

Feeling crazy; feeling different; feelings oneself to be unreal and everyone else to be real; or vice versa; creating fantasy worlds, relationships, or identities (especially for women: imagining or wishing self to be male, i.e. not a victim).
*

Denial: no awareness at all; repression of memories; pretending; minimizing (it wasn't that bad); having dreams or memories ("maybe it's my imagination"); strong, deep, "inappropriate" negative reactions to a person, place or even; "sensory flashes" (light, a place, a physical feeling) without a sense of their meaning; remembering the surroundings but not the event.
*

Sexual issues; sex feels dirty; aversion to being touched, especially in a gyn.exam; strong aversion to or attraction to particular sex acts; feeling betrayed by one's body; trouble integrating sexuality and emotionally; confusion or overlapping of affection, sex, dominance, aggression, and violence; having to pursue power in sexual arena which is actually sexual acting out (self abuse and manipulation, especially among women; abuse of others; especially among men); compulsively "seductive" or compulsively "asexual"; must be sexual aggressor or can't be; impersonal, promiscuous sex with strangers concurrent with inability to have sex in intimate relationship (conflict between sex and caring); prostitute, stripper, sex symbol, porn actress,; sexual acting out to meet anger or revenge needs; sexaholism; avoidance; shutdown; crying after orgasm; all pursuit feels like violation; sexualizing of meaningful relationships; erotic response to abuse or anger, sexual fantasies of dominance or rape
*

Pattern of ambivalent or intensely conflictive relationships (intimacy is a problem; also focus shifted from incest issues)
*

Avoidance of mirrors (connected with invisibility, shame/self esteem issues, distrust of perceived body image)
*

Desire to change one's name (to disassociate from the perpetrator or to take control through self labeling)
*

Limited tolerance for happiness; active withdrawal from happiness, reluctance to trust happiness (ice=thin)
*

Aversion to making noise (including during sex, crying, laughing or other body functions); verbal hyper vigilance (careful monitoring of one's words); quiet voiced, especially when needing to be heard.
*

Stealing (adults); stealing and starting fires (children)
*

Multiple personality
post #13 of 23
I find those checklists to be kind of dangerous. Some people (and I've seen this happen more than once) feel like they need to experience more of what's on the list, and develop new phobias/quirks/symptoms/disorders. Some people mistakenly attribute all their problems to their trauma when they actually have an underlying medical issue and fail to seek treatment for it.

Self-help books can't gauge if you're ready for something, if you're telling the truth, or really, do anything but be words on a page. I know they help some people, but I've seen them do far more harm than good in this regard.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl View Post
I love Secret Survivors. When I first read the "incest survivors check list" at the beginning of the book I threw up. I couldn't believe that so much of what I felt and experienced could be directly related to my abuse. I could check off almost everything, including a fear of water in my face- I would literally scream and freak out if I got water in my face when I was growing up. I thought I was just weird!
I'm so glad there is someone else to back up my opinion of the book! Was that book not amazing?! It taught me so many things about myself! I too thought I was just crazy!
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I find those checklists to be kind of dangerous. Some people (and I've seen this happen more than once) feel like they need to experience more of what's on the list, and develop new phobias/quirks/symptoms/disorders. Some people mistakenly attribute all their problems to their trauma when they actually have an underlying medical issue and fail to seek treatment for it.

Self-help books can't gauge if you're ready for something, if you're telling the truth, or really, do anything but be words on a page. I know they help some people, but I've seen them do far more harm than good in this regard.

I see where you are coming from. But...this book isn't so much a self help book as it is a book that sheds light on the effects of abuse and why you do things. There are all sorts of examples and stories to relate to and understand. In no way does the author say, you will have this symptom or that, or you will be this way or that.

I can see how someone could "abuse" the information given though.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
I find those checklists to be kind of dangerous. Some people (and I've seen this happen more than once) feel like they need to experience more of what's on the list, and develop new phobias/quirks/symptoms/disorders. Some people mistakenly attribute all their problems to their trauma when they actually have an underlying medical issue and fail to seek treatment for it.

Self-help books can't gauge if you're ready for something, if you're telling the truth, or really, do anything but be words on a page. I know they help some people, but I've seen them do far more harm than good in this regard.
You're right, they can do more harm than good, but they can also do an amazing amount of good for many people. I think the key is getting support- and even outside support can do more harm that good. I had an individual counseling experience that was horrible, and a terrible group counseling experience, but I've also had wonderful experiences with both. There is no magic bullet, but for me using books like Secret Survivors, The Courage to Heal, A Survivors Guide to Sex, and Invisible Heroes has been incredibly helpful. I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with PTSD and have had years of group and individual therapy- each of these things has impacted my healing in amazing ways, as has calling the Rainn hotline. I don't believe in throwing the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to healing. Each person has to go through this experience to figure what hurts and what helps, for some that list has been way more helpful than harmful.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl View Post
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with PTSD
As was I, and it was one of the worst things ever. Somehow the label was devastating, don't know why. Felt like I was being smushed into some box I didn't feel like I belonged in.

Anyway, I'm glad they've helped you, I didn't say they shouldn't have. It just seemed there was a lot of extolling these books going on, and I wanted to share my experiences with them (especially A Courage To Heal, that thing was damaging for me).

Kind of like first-year med-school syndrome-- if someone has a heads-up going in, these effects are less likely.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for getting involved with this thread! It's always nice to know other people have been through the same thing.
post #19 of 23
Thank you for posting! I am currently in the stage of disbelief. It was only in the past two years that I learned that my "suspicions" of abuse (I was under the age of 5) were confirmed. I'd rather not go into detail, as I'm still dealing with the fact that I can't remember most of it (thank goodness) but I do have some memories.
post #20 of 23
It is tough figuring out what hurts more than helps. I remember organizing a take back the night march several years ago and several people wanted to have a speak out (at least one of the girls was a survivor), but we just couldn't do it. My counselor stated that having a speak out could end up putting someone over the edge, who hadn't thought about the effect speaking in public could have. Not too long ago, in an educational program I was in, the facilitator strongly encouraged me and another person to talk about our abusive pasts. The situation got pretty ugly (but was later resolved). I didn't realize how strongly it impacted me- hearing my co-participant be badgered into talking, until later that night. I had to go briefly back into counseling (and it had been two years of relative happiness!) I was shocked with how much it impacted me. I hadn't had a real flashback in a long time, but whamo- all of a sudden it was rushing back. Learning out to advocate for yourself and learning what heals and what hurts is a difficult process with many roadblocks, but it's worth it.
post #21 of 23
I also have PTSD, I have anxiety attacks, and severe depression, Im also labled a "cutter". I dont have the guts to talk about things where everyone can see it so BRAVO for those who could... Im glad its getting easier day by day for some. I still see a phyciatrist every two weeks, am on medicine, and the normal stuff. My kids brighten my day always though!

I hope anyone who is going through this problem had the courage to get help, even if you dont have the guts to tell others exactly what happened, sometimes a counsler or phyciatrist can be very helpful.

~Amber~
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
Thank you for posting! I am currently in the stage of disbelief. It was only in the past two years that I learned that my "suspicions" of abuse (I was under the age of 5) were confirmed. I'd rather not go into detail, as I'm still dealing with the fact that I can't remember most of it (thank goodness) but I do have some memories.
Thanks for the courage to share!!!! My only advice is, don't remember it until you are entirely sure you want to!!! It's not healthy for you, or a therapist, to force you to remember something you aren't ready for.
post #23 of 23
Yeah, I have PTSD too. It's fading, though; for the most part, all that's left now is nightmares, and I've learned to deal with those and go back to sleep. I had a couple of stepdads who thought "kid" meant "punching bag"... needless to say I wasn't very happy with their parenting style. Nevertheless, the abuse is part of my past and therefore part of who I am. I wouldn't be who I am today without it. The trick, I think, is simply to incorporate what happened into your memories, your past, your self-image; to accept it as a simple fact rather than letting it hang over you. Lots of kids went through what I did, and if they all went nuts and spent their lives in rubber rooms, we'd have more mental hospitals than apartment buildings!--I certainly wasn't the only one.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: IMO: In My Opinion
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › IMO: In My Opinion › Sexual Abuse Surviors....... Please read this thread with me