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Advice:
how to make the memory go away?
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I was pretty badly abused throughout my chiildhood by my father and brother. It was sexual and it was violent. It happneded every day from my earliest memory at 5 years old till when I ran away at 17. It was life as i knew it, and it sucked.

I've done pretty good and not thinking about it very often, but now with children of my own it's hard not to compare their wonderful lives to the one i had at their age.

There is one incident in particular that keeps coming back, i can't shake the images, i can't get rid of the feelings that go with it.

*****************************************************************************

it happened when i was 9... i angered my father cause i wasn't raking the leaves fast enough. He pulled me into the house and beat me with the rake till the wood handle broke. He then threw me to the floor, tore my pants and underpants off, and forced the rake handle up into me. He then duct taped the rest of the broken handle to the inside of my leg, told me to get dressed again. I had to spend the rest of the day with the rake handle up in my body with the remainder of it duct taped to my leg... it hurt to walk, it hurt to stand... it was impossible to sit. He cut the tape after dinner, took out the rake and told me to go shower. While in the shower he joined me and told me how dirty i was and that the only way to redeem myself was to make him "the happiest man on earth"... so i did...
Posted on 02/25/11, 04:07 pm
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Advice:
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Reply #1 - 02/25/11  4:36pm
" OMG, how horrible! I cannot imagine. And here I am having a hard time with the fact that I have surpressed memories of my brother forcing me to have sex at age 4 or 5.. I keep trying to tell myself it was just a dream, because my mind has managed to make the memories almost dream like. I feel for you and the horrible things you had to go thru! NO ONE should ever have to go through something that horrific, especially from someone that should protect you! I am here for you if you need a friend to talk to, or just need to get things off your chest. This is my first day here, and I hope I can get the strength I need here to move forward, and stop letting my past control me and my happiness. I don't want to be angry anymore and I hope finally telling my secrets will help me heal! Many hugs to you! "
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Reply #2 - 02/26/11  6:59pm
" Hi apracot,

The only way I know of to make a memory go away is to work through it, and that usually requires therapy. I don't know if you're currently seeing anyone, but if not, you may want to consider finding yourself a good counselor that you can work with who knows something about incest and/or sexual trauma. If cost is a factor for you, or if your medical insurance policy doesn't cover counseling, there are other options available that will be either free, or that will work on a sliding scale fee basis based on your income and ability to pay. If you'd like information on any of these options (and there are plenty of them out there), let me know. I'll be happy to provide you with a list of referrals.

In the meantime, until you can get yourself into therapy, there are several things which might prove helpful. The first would be a book, and companion workbook that were specifically designed for incest survivors. The book is titled, "Courage To Heal", by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis. And the companion workbook is titled simply, "The Courage to Heal Workbook", by Laura Davis. Both the book and the workbook may be ordered directly from: www.amazon.com.

The other resources are Twelve Step groups for incest survivors:

Survivors of Incest Anonymous (S.I.A.)
www.siawso.org/

Incest Survivors Anonymous (I.S.A.)
www.lafn.org/medical/isa/home.html

Despite the similar names, these are two total separate and autonomous organizations which have no connections to one another

You can learn about the groups on their websites, but to see if there are groups which meet in your area, you'll probably need to call them or E-mail them. If you E-mail them, please give them your name (first name only will do), where you live and any large cities you are close to, and your sex. The sex is important since some of their groups are for men only while others are for women only, and you don't want to be referred to the wrong group. These groups handle things this way for security reasons. They don't want to have a perpetrator wandering into one of the meetings, and they've found that these folks won't usually go to all the trouble of calling or writing to learn about group meetings.

So there you have a few ideas which may help. I hope something here works for you.

************************************************************************

And to 1seekingpeace,

Sometimes, the only way to deal with all of the anger you're feeling is to somehow externalize it, and there are several ways to do that. You can get some paper and colored markers, colored pencils, or crayons and draw a picture of what you're feeling. Not the drawing type of person? How about getting some modeling clay or Play-Doh and sculpting something that represents what you are feeling?

Taking a walk with a friend and talking about what's going on can sometimes help you blow off steam. Or, you can scream into your pillow or in your car when you're alone and on the Interstate or somewhere else where no one will hear you.

Writing angry letters, straight from the gut so to speak, is always a good outlet. But make sure you DON'T mail your letter. If you do, you may be sorry you did so later.

Physical exercise, in most forms, is a great anger release. Also effective can be deep breathing. Stop what you're doing and take ten long, slow, deep breaths. This will help balance your emotions and center you in the here and now.

You can also try exploring your other feelings. Anger is usually generated or supported by other emotions such as hurt, rejection, fear, or vulnerability.

You can have a "letting go" ritual. There are at least two (2) ways of doing this. With the first way, you would clear a small area outside somewhere. You would then write out all of your concerns and/or feelings on a piece of paper. Place the paper in the area you've cleared, and then set the paper on fire. As the smoke from the burning paper rises into the sky, see your concerns and hurts rising with the smoke to God, who will take care of everything for you. An alternative way of doing this would be to tie the paper you wrote your list on to a string that is attached to a helium filled balloon. As you let go of the balloon and see it rising into the sky, see all of your cares and concerns going up into the sky with it to God.

Another option would be to be assertive. Being straight and honest with your feelings for another person is one of the best outlets for anger and other strong feelings/emotions. You can use surrogates for those you are angry with, but you need to be careful to stay away from blame and arguing.

Crying can also be a great release.

And finally, we come to the physical release. With this technique, you take a Wiffle Ball Bat and use it to beat on the mattress of your bed, seeing the mattress as the person you are angry with. You can buy a Wiffle Ball Bat and Ball at any toy store for a couple of dollars. Or, you can take a large bath towel, roll it up lengthwise, and then tape it shut, and use that for your bat.

So there you have some ideas for dealing with your anger. Of course, the best way to deal with feelings such as these would be therapy, but the techniques I've listed here will work just as well and are a whole lot quicker and cheaper. I hope something here is of some help to you. "
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Reply #3 - 02/26/11  7:55pm
" Thanks for the advice/suggestions Charlie! Now, I have some ideas of things I can try.. I appreciate your support! "
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Reply #4 - 02/26/11  11:05pm
" You're very welcome, 1seekingpeace. I hope something I suggested works for you. Best of luck. "
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Reply #5 - 02/27/11  3:46am
" apracot:

We cannot make memories go away. But we can defuse them. What I mean by that is the memory may come up but it no longer impacts us. It's like looking at a faded picture that no longer brings up the horror of the experience.

I believe that memories are stored in our body as trapped energy. That energy must be released and processed. Processing a memory usually involves talking about it and expressing the feelings felt at the time.

However, using Peter Levine's therapeutic technique called Somatic Experiencing, I found, once my therapist taught me how to use the technique, that my body experienced over 33 energetic releases outside of therapy. I journaled the releases though I did not always have the memory to go with them.

EMD-R also brought some relief, as did doing different types of body work. (Focusing, Reiki, Hypnosis).

Probably the most powerful release for me, however, was a week-long workshop with 21 women survivors. When it was my time to go the center of the circle I was told to breathe into my head and from that point on my body took over.

I don't really know what happened except what I was told afterward. Eight women held my head, arms, and legs so I wouldn't hurt myself as I kicked, screamed, and clawed in response to some pre-verbal memory. My body was in a rage and expressing it for the first time in 43 years.

And afterward, apracot, I experienced being in that same body for the first time in my life. Before that I had lived in my head--the only safe place I knew.

I could not have done any of this work if I had not trusted the leader. She was a person experienced in survivor work.

So, I would urge you to find a therapist you feel safe with to work through the memories and feelings attached to them. They can become empty memories.

xx
SuzA "
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Reply #6 - 02/27/11  6:07am
" I agree with Suz, your body is a wonderful intuitive machine. Feelings and emotions that aren't expressed at the moment they are felt are stored in your body and can cause real physical problems for you. I'm reminded of the lady who was always "pissed off" about something and experienced kidney and bladder problems. Or the man who was always angry about something and experienced neck problems because he always viewed everyone and everything as "a pain in the neck".

The are a couple of books that deal with somatic reactions to suppressed feelings and emotions. One is titled, "You Can Heal Your Life", by Louise Hay. This book can be ordered from Hay House (www.hayhouse.com/). And the other book is titled, "Awakening Intuition"", by Mona Lisa Schultz, M.D., Ph.D. This book can be ordered from: www.amazon.com.

Both books talk a bit about how to release these old, pent up feelings and emotions in ways similar to what Suz talked about. Maybe one or the other of these books will prove helpful to you. I hope this the case. "

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