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_Survivors_
A safe space to share stories and ask questions
Stepping Out 
29th-Mar-2007 03:15 pm
I have been lurking and watching this community for some time now and I think I might finally be ready to post. I haven't done a cut before, so I hope this works...

Hopefully this cut works: anyway,
I don't like to think of myself as ever having been abused. Especially since I think I've turned out alright all-in-all. But, talking to my boyfriend, I've come to realize that maybe I've been through more crap than I know. I don't remember much of my past. I seem to have blocked it all out. At the age of 16 I began having vivid dreams of hands, loneliness, brutal beatings, and other violence. I wrote a paper for my English class and turned it in. Unfortunately, I accidentally left a copy of it on my kitchen table. My father and stepmother found it and read it. They confronted me about it that evening and told me that everything in it was true. The dreams continued, brutal dreams of my best friend's father beating her with the metal end of a belt at the age of 4, dreams of hands in the woods sneaking places where they should not be, dreams of dark and hot rooms where I was uncomfortably sitting, waiting for something or drinking something sweet. This was the beginning of my remembering.
It’s interesting (and somewhat odd in my opinion) to note that I was actually quite obsessed with sex throughout my life. I was addicted to masturbation before ever even knowing what it was. I have always hated myself for my addiction to it, though I’m told “it’s normal for someone who was abused.” But I guess it just makes me feel like maybe I asked for everything I got. Especially what happened next.
I had been obsessed with online chat rooms and mildly disturbing sexual talk. I met a guy online and we had cyber sex, something I had grown very used to. It was ‘safe’. I could turn it off, I could walk away, no one had to touch me. In my mind, it was all I ever needed. I was still a virgin and terrified of anyone touching me. My first relationship at age 16 ended in just a month when I repeatedly stopped my boyfriend from touching my breasts or anything farther than that. The man I met online was older than me and very…I don’t know…domineering. He knew how to get to me and he convinced me to move to phone sex and, eventually, to meet him in person. Before we met, I made him swear that we were just friends and nothing would happen. I was naïve. The moment he pulled up in the empty lot where I (stupidly!!!) met him, I was terrified. He told me to get in his car but I refused. He eventually settled for groping and grabbing me, though I kept pushing him away. If I had been smart (which I’m obviously not)…I would never have met him again. But I did. And that time he slammed me against a tree, pinned me to a fence, forced my mouth to his and my hand below. He touched me as well but by then I was gone. I remember the tree branches lacing above me through the sky. I escaped into those, coming out of it only when pain lacked through my breasts. He seemed to enjoy the abuse. To this day I still believe it was my fault, and no one will ever convince me otherwise. A week later, my stepmom of 15 years walked out on my dad and renounced me as a daughter, saying that my dad had abused her for 15 years (something I do NOT believe). I then left for college…
That same summer, I was diagnosed with DD-NOS (Dissocative Disorder- Not otherwise specified), OCD, PTSD, Major Depression, Severe Anxiety, and Panic Disorder. I held a lot back from my psychiatrist (having just told him about the assault this year). I went to school, dropped a class, and began bouncing relationship to relationship, feeling the need to be in one…to feel safe? I don’t know. I had an emotional breakdown, continually cutting, ODing on Tylenol, and, eventually, drinking myself into unconsciousness. In January I asked to go to the hospital. When I got there, I remember looking around at the walls and the white and thinking “this is it. You’ve hit bottom.” I refused to be admitted. It’s been a struggle ever since and I still mess up sometimes. For instance, I’ve had an eating disorder (Binge Eating mostly) since the age of 6. It fluctuates. I lost 20 lbs in 2 weeks at Thanksgiving. Finally…finally…I’ve met the man of my dreams.
My current boyfriend has been a dream. He’s held me through the nightmares (and yes, they are still vivid and painful), he walked with me back to the spot where I was assaulted and he talked me through the panic attack that ensued. When I did decide to finally have sex, he was very understanding of where I was coming from and was the most patient person in the world. I fully intend to marry him. Finding him and working with him through some of these issues has helped me feel something I have not felt in a long time: safe. I am not completely trusting yet, I don’t know if I ever will be. But, sometimes, if I try really hard…I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get there someday.
Comments 
29th-Mar-2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Every word you write makes complete sense. And like you, I lived by the credo that it wasn't so bad. After all, I had survived and wasn't a drug addict or an alcoholic (like other family members). I had a full time job and went to college, etc.

And yet I was obsessed with the topic. I mean full out obsessed. I read every book I could get my hands on. I wrote paper after paper in high school and college. I've been a writer since I was seven, and my characters always suffered from abuse. When I was 20 or so, a friend called me on it. She asked what had happened to me that I was aware of such horrible things. It was only then that I became aware of how deeply it had affected me.

To this day, I still dissociate whenever things get too rough. Or when I'm bored. Or __________. You know? My childhood and teen years are like a piece of swiss holes.

I took have OCD, PTSD, and depressed, suffer from panic attacks and anxiety issues.

You WILL get there some day and you're taking the first steps by reaching out. You're dealing with these painful issues and you have people (including your boyfriend) who will support you.

Again - like you, I still blame myself.

I'm always around if you need/want to talk. It's not a hlf-hearted comment either. All of us have been lied to and mistreated for so long and we've had to suffer through many broken promises, which is why I don't say things unless I mean them.
30th-Mar-2007 01:43 am (UTC)
You sounds so much like me. I'm also a writer and ALL of my characters are victims of abuse. I have been writing these stories since I was little as well and have hidden them from everyone.
I certainly don't take your comment as half hearted. I thank you for it. I don't feel so alone :)
30th-Mar-2007 03:10 am (UTC)
Your cut worked just fine, thank you, it's appreciated.

It doesn't matter what you did, he is the one who chose to rape you, he is the one responsible. You made it very clear where your boundaries were and he disrespected that and chose to cross them against your will. It is not your fault.

Keep writing. It's good to get this stuff out where you can see it. The writing itself can be theraputic, and actually seeing it, reading it, helps to process it on different levels.

Safe hugs.
30th-Mar-2007 05:09 am (UTC)
Thank you for your response :)
I just want to make sure its clear, i was not raped (thank god) ...i was assaulted. sorry, i have friends who may run across this and i want them to know that i wasn't raped.

<3
30th-Mar-2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
It's okay, it can be really hard to write about this stuff.
30th-Mar-2007 03:16 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry that happened to you - but thank you for sharing your story with us. I know how hard it is to write it out, it took a lot of strength to share that.

It wasn't your fault, though I know why it feels like it was. No matter what mistakes you might have made - it was his choice to do that to you. Our brains tell us it's our fault because if it had been our fault, it means we could always prevent it again in the future and we'd be safe. I lived for decades thinking it was my fault, so I understand, but I want you to know it wasn't your fault that man abused your trust in order to hurt you.

You definitely can get to the light at the end of the tunnel someday. I always kidna joke, "If I can do it, anyone can!" but it's a little true - I made it through, no matter how incredibly hard the journey was, so I know you can do it, too. You're strong enough to reach out for help, to talk about what happened - and that shows just how amazingly strong you are.

If you can reach out to other survivors after what you've been through, you have the strength inside to make it.
30th-Mar-2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
i can semi-relate to the chat room--meeting incident. if you ever want to talk about it with me, you can email me directly edensurvivor@yahoo.com if not, that's completely ok too! just offering support.

you are a strong, brave person. i'm sorry that you went through all of that. safe hugs.
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