The first step in recovery…

I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I was abused as a child.

It is a strange thing to come to terms with. It has always been part of me, and yet, it is something that I have kept so secret and so private that admitting it has been a huge deal.

I also have realized that I feel angry and betrayed that I was made to carry this burden? What kind of parent foists it on a child? And what about those who saw what was going on and told me that because I was strong I should endure?

I mean, seriously, I was a kid. It is not for me to be the strong one, the adult in the room! I was the child.

Perhaps the biggest and most insidious weapon that was used against me was the no-one will believe you card.

The next biggest weapon was that something must be wrong with you, that’s why you are a loner. I have subsequently realized that a great deal of being a loner was engineered (I hope, unconsciously) by my protectors. Ja, right!

I feel that I am starting to get angry with this situation. I think that anger is an appropriate reaction to child abuse.

The physical abuse and the murder attempts, ironically enough, I can come to terms with…but the continued emotional abuse? I don’t know if I can ever forgive that, and I don’t know if I can just let it go.

I know the argument is that forgiveness is something that you give yourself, but at the same time, everyone who knew about the abuse tells me I should just forgive my mother for doing it to me. And that I have no right not to welcome her into my life with open arms.

When every time I have done that, she has abused me again. Repeated the behaviors, re-perpetrated the sins of the past.

The frustrating thing about my past is that because it is complicated I can’t simply label her a narcissistic mother and move forward from there, my mother’s psychosis was more complex than that…and I don’t know if I could cut off ties from my father…and since he remains married to my mother the option of cutting ties comes with many complications…but it might be an option that I have to consider.

I have no idea where to begin classifying the abuse that I endured and joining a support group for survivors. In the most bizarre twist of irony,  the person who I know survived similar experiences is one that I am least likely to turn to – my mother.

****

I am going away for the weekend tomorrow and so I may only post again on Tuesday.

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4 thoughts on “The first step in recovery…

  1. Hi, Trisha! Your post resonates a lot with me, but there is one thing which I really want to write to you about.

    You DON’T HAVE TO forgive.

    And it’s not only my point of view. Various people talked about this in various sources.

    The myth is that unless you forgive you won’t be able to find peace. But the myth was constructed by those who abused us. It’s made to serve them, so we can “forgive” and come back for another portion of abuse.

    There real forgiveness ( the bible version, I guess, that’s where it all started from) is that you can forgive people ONLY if they repent, if they acknowledge what they did and are really sorry about it. Otherwise, if you just give them your forgiveness without letting them do their soul work , without letting them go all the way in realizing what actually they did, you kind of make it worse for them, not better. Because a soul of the abuser is supposed to do some WORK about what she did and only then come to ask for forgiveness and only then you can think if to give it or not.

    And it’s a real fairy-tale that an N can ask for forgiveness, I mean the real apologies, not the N-way.

    There are a lot of either sick or just happy people in life. The first ones are creators of the abuse and are interested in us letting it all go, the second ones are just so lucky that they simply don’t know what we are talking about when we try to explain what happened.

    I’d say stop listening to them. The second ones have the chances to understand you at some point, the first ones don’t. But whether you get accepted with your ideas about your parents or not your choice about how to feel about them is only yours.

    I like it that you are angry at them, I support you in this. Anger was something like the strongest sin in my family ( gosh, I hate calling them that, because they are not that anymore, is there another option?) Thus I tried not to be angry so hard that anger sometimes simply torn its way out of me. It could jump out of me, uncontrolled, unexplained, with huge chunks of aggressive energy.

    So now I know, that it’s good and necessary to be angry in life, even when for some outsiders it would look unjustified. Anger is a part of our emotional body. You don’t really cut a limb off just because somebody would think it doesn’t look esthetic, do you?

    I don’t know, if you need this info or not, but I decided not to forgive my N-parents. They appeared after a month of mutual ignore with nasty and manipulative messages and I just fought them back. Seriously, I basically sent them to hell. It felt good and right ,and now I know I would not forgive them even if by any magic trick they would change to angels. They ruined too much, I don’t want to repair it for them. Recently I learned a fantastic thing- you don’t have to do things if you don’t want to. THAT is the main rule and not all those “but she is your mother and bla-bla-bla”. The most important principle in life is to care about yourself(not about your mother, lol). It’s natural, because that’s what nature planned for you. So if not wanting to communicate with or to forgive any people is the part of your process of caring about yourself then it should be a priority.

    What I am with my N-parents now I don’t call no contact. But I am definitely not in contact and I won’t be back until I’m ready and the most important until I WANT TO. If this never happens, then I will never contact them.

    So you don’t really have to make any dramatical and painful decisions in your life if you are not ready to, but you can always claim your time-out to do your healing.

    And time-out is one good thing! Trust me 🙂 I’m just loving it.

    • Hi,

      Thanks for the comment and the insight.

      The thing that I am struggling with is I don’t quite know where I stand with forgiveness in this situation…I don’t know if I would regret not making an effort to reconcile if my mother were to die suddenly tomorrow.

      Because any reconciliation would not be unconditional…and that is where my mother would not get it…and any conversations about it would be taken back to some poisonous people in her life that I am not sure I am willing to make the effort to fight.

      I am uncertain and confused about what I want to do…so I am keeping my distance and trying to figure it out.

      So I guess I am taking your advice and claiming time out.

      • Trisha, hi!
        I don’t know the whole story so maybe I’m wrong, it’s just I got the feeling from your answer that you think that reconciling with your mother is your responsibility only.

        I mean especially here: “I would regret not making an effort to reconcile”

        I don’t know if your mother is making any effort at all, but as you know of course, in theory she should. If it’s just you agonizing about what to do with your mother and how to forgive her, while she’s sitting in one place and just waiting for you to act – that’s not fair. If she is not sitting in one place but is running around and making things even more difficult for you, it’s again not fair.

        If that is not fair you don’t have to push yourself to work on it, unless you want to and you are strong enough to do this.

  2. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the comment…it’s insightful as always.

    My mother isn’t really making that much of an effort to reconcile. In her mind I think the fact that she has asked my forgiveness for “all that she has done and all that she has failed to do” is enough…but her behavior hasn’t changed.

    I don’t know how much of the behavior is conscious and how much of it is her unconsciously re-enacting her own childhood.

    I am choosing to believe that she is not deliberately making things more difficult. I don’t think she realises what she is doing.

    My philosophy here is the only person who I have any real control over and influence over is me…I just don’t know what I want to do.

    More of the story is in today’s post. To be honest though I am not sure that I have the whole story so much of it has been kept secret and buried.

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