3 yearsPosted on 03/02/12, 10:21 am
I also thought that I had moved to a point of acceptance, but as Sunday approaches, I find myself reverting back in anger. All those feelings of betrayal and hatred come rushing back in, along with the feelings of hurt and loneliness of my family turning their backs on us when we needed them most. I try to block it out and not obsess, but it hurts knowing that he is out there living as he pleases, breaking his probation without consequence, while our lives are still upside down. I still hold onto hope that in 2 more months, on his 21st birthday, he screws up so severely that he lands himself in a prison cell where he belongs. I play through "what if's" in my head...will we get more blame if (when) he breaks probation and ends up in prison where he belongs...would my family love us again if he admitted what he did...would I be able to forgive if he apologized or showed ANY sign of remorse...if my grandmother passes, will we be allowed to go to her funeral...since she is leaving her house to my uncle will the perp move in just TWO houses down...
I don't want to go back into that dark place I have worked so hard to climb out of, but it seems to be trying to suck me back in right now. I guess I'm just realizing I have my own triggers, and that isn't something I want to admit. I have to hold it together - I have to be strong - I have to keep going. And all I really want to do (besides hunt the bastard down and torture him until he dies) is lie in bed, cry until I can't cry anymore, scream at the top of my lungs, and have someone hold me and tell ME it is all going to be allright and that we will get through it together.
Reply #1 03/02/12 11:47am
Brokensun: I'm so sorry. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to get past the day of disclosure either. I try to describe my feelings to my friends as if I am on a roller coaster. Some days are better than others. Some days even contain joy. Others, I'm slammed back into that dark place.
I'm not sure how old your daughter is, so I'm not sure if this would be appropriate or not. But, one of the things I couldn't stand after I was assaulted and started talking about it, was the fact that everyone was so frightened around me and didn't know if they should address my "anniversary" or not. Unfortunately, several of my friends have also experienced this cruelty, and several years ago, we started celebrating our survival together annually. Each year we do something different, but it does shift the energy a bit.
When I read your post, it made me think about what I will do with my daughters. And now as I write this, I think I will make every July 12th "The Day of Empowerment"... the day my daughters spoke out. I might discuss that with their therapist. But I wonder if it could be a day our children realize their strength and courage and have those around who love them... and celebrate their strength, rather than focus on the heartbreak of it. I don't know. Just rambling thoughts that you may find completely unuseful.
I know what it is like to have family turn against you. My husband offended. I had both families turn against me. Mine and his. It has left me picking up these shattered pieces by myself and with few close friends (my chosen family.) I don't have any words of encouragement in that area because I found the abandonment by my family just another betrayal in this nightmare. But do know, I know what it is like. And we all will get through this, together.
Reply #2 03/02/12 3:12pm
Brokensun - My thoughts and prayers are with you as you approach this anniversary. We just passed our 3-year a couple of weeks ago, so I can certainly relate.
Truthfully, I don't think that any one of us who have been through the horrific things we've experienced will ever forget the anniversaries. I just feel like the best thing I can do for myself is to briefly and internally acknowledge the day and what it means before doing everything I can to move on.
Focus on the things that you're thankful for would be my advice. Focus on your blessings and the things that have gone well since your original date. Time may never fully heal things for you, but it will keep getting better. Speaking of which, when I'm finding myself in a dark place, I often find myself drawn to an old Todd Rundgren song. I can only imagine his inspiration for writing the song, but I can easily spin the lyrics to my own situation...
Todd Rundgren - "Time Heals"
If you're bleeding,
Then everyone can see you're bleeding
They can call for the doctor,
Who'll provide what the diagnosis says you're needing
Then he'll take away your pain
But if your heart,
Your heart has been broken
And you don't wear it on your sleeve
No one can tell,
Your hell goes unspoken
But there's one thing you must believe
Time heals the wounds no one can see
Time heals the wounds that no one can see
If you're crying
Then everyone can see you crying
And they all sympathize
But it just doesn't matter
Though they may be trying,
They can't feel the hurt inside
You can't go on,
You've gone to the limit
And your life seems to slip away
You're on your own
Alone you must face it
And tomorrow's so far away
You got to hold on baby
Got to give it time to heal
Time heals the wounds that no one can see
You must believe what they say is true
It do's wonders for ya, yeah, yeah
Reply #3 03/02/12 7:56pm
I LOVE Todd!
Reply #4 03/02/12 10:35pm
So sorry broken that you are having a dark time as the anniversary approaches. Be proud of the progress you have made and what an awesome mom you are. I like the idea of viv to make it an empowerment day. I hope you can come up with something to create a new memory. I know you will.
I hate that our perp is just living his life as usual too, and has access to children. I have told the family and cannot do anything about them not believing it and taking their kids over there, and letting the spend the night even....makes me cringe. Sadly one day they will all realize it is true and i am not crazy and my daughter is not a liar.
We are only 1 1/2 years out and we are doing good right now, but it doesn't take much, like a huge trigger, to bring me down for a few days. I have found help by joining a small group at my church and now doing a Beth moore study. She is a survivor and awesome speaker. Some books have helped too....but mostly it's time and purposely acknowledging the positive. I feel that when I am down, he is winning and that is the last thing I want is for him to have more power over me or my daughter.
Hang in there and the day will pass. Good luck on empowerment/survivor day.
Reply #5 03/03/12 7:55am
I am so sorry that there is pain for you. Hey, ever underestimate the value of a good cry or scream session! Remember the line from Finding Nemo? (something like) "just keep swimming". Just try to keep your head above water until the water gets shallow enough. A lot of days, that's all I can do. Hugs to you.
Reply #6 03/03/12 9:55am
I think what makes it so hard with recovery is that you just are so tired living in this secret life. Only my husband and two close friends know what happened to my son. When I would not have found a wonderful councelor and this website , I think I would go nuts. I fell like I have two seperate lives . I hope one day we are able to share with the world openly about US. We have to stay strong for our children and for ourselves. We need to be the voice for prevention and education. I would love to talk to the public about this topic.
How do you address the abuse with your child the years to come? I have not spoken to my son anymore about the abuse , he is 19 now and moving on with his life. But I feel like I'm stucked in the past and in fear. May God bless all of us and keep us strong for our children.
Reply #7 03/07/12 9:26am
Dear Rainbow40...as I've alluded to in other posts, my family is in the same boat as yours. We found out a little over three years ago that the abuse our child went through had occurred 5-8 years prior to that. So at the time we found out, our child was in the middle of high school and the last thing that she wanted was for her story to come out during high school years. As much as we would have loved to shout to the mountain tops about our hatred of the offender and our desires to warn everything that this could happen to them, in deference to our child, we were forced to remain mute. It's not easy!
Though our child has resisted therapy, (and we did force a few sessions early on) we've done therapy ourselves. Therapy helps and I'd recommend it to anyone, but in the end, we're still left with ourselves, particularly during those quiet times when thoughts of what happened creep in. It's really hard though, because I'm the kind of person who benefits from talking things through and when I can't talk, those thoughts just sit there and rattle around in my brain.
As in your case, our circle is small. When everything first broke, we told some immediate family and only a couple very close friends. We told people mostly for two reasons...either they had children of their own and we wanted to make sure that they always remained on alert or they needed to know why we might be tied up and unavailable at times. We confided with all of these people somewhat while our case was active, but after a while you just can't talk to people like this anymore. Why they are certainly concerned about you, they're not therapists and I just don't feel like we can keep bringing the subject up.
Now that we're three years down the path, we're back to that place where we have no one to talk to but ourselves. Since things are slowly getting better, time does seem to heal, maybe our inability to talk about everything isn't quite as bad as it could be. Still, there are times when I feel very isolated. I see people living their lives and I feel like I want to blurt out, "hey, do you realize that I'm hurting??" We're doing our best to come out of our shell, get out in public more and try to regain our lives, but it's hard to shake thoughts of our horrible secret and it does make me feel alone sometimes.
So back to your question about how to address our child in years to come. I wish I had an answer, but I really don't. Our child is now the same age as yours and from all appearances is absolutely flourishing in life. Not a day goes by that I don't feel very thankful and blessed for this. Because she's doing so well though, we don't bring up the subject with her at all, because we don't want to bring her back to a dark place. We've made it clear to her over the past few years that we're there for her and we watch as much as we can for signs that she could be having problems. We don't know what more we can do. To an extent though, while we feel like we have to keep watching her, just doing that keeps us in our own dark place. It's painful and a bit scary. I just hope and pray for all of us that our children are as resilient as we hope they can be.
For now, just do the best you can to get by and don't be afraid to get involved in places like this where you can be free to be yourself somewhat anonymously. My best to you, your husband and your son and my sincere hopes that things always get better for you all.
Reply #8 03/07/12 11:36am
Thank you all for the words of encouragement. It's been difficult, but we made it through the weekend. I'm still not my "normal" self, but I'm not quite as down as I was. USADad...thank you SOOOOOO much for that song. I know I've watched the video on YouTube thousands of times. Music seems to say what my heart can't find the words to speak.
I took my girls out shopping on Sunday. My oldest kept asking what the occasion was. We both knew, but neither of us had the courage to admit it. After we made it home and they went to bed, I had a nice long cry in a hot bath. I really needed it though. I just got an email today with the permission slip for me to sign for her to be a part of Worth the Wait, the sexual health education class at school. I'm nervous that it will bring up emotions she isn't expecting, but I think pulling her out of it will isolate her and put her in another awkward position. So I'm going to talk to her about it tonight. I"m not looking forward to it, but I think at 11 years old, she should be the one to make this decision.
Reply #9 03/07/12 2:09pm
Way to go, you made it through and did something fun with your girls. Another milestone down. You are doing awesome.
Taking a hot bath and having a good cry always helps. i do that sometimes. I feel that my antidepressents keep me from feeling my emotions, which can be good and bad. Sometimes I think i would like to cry but can't. I'm considering it's time to ween off of them.
I remember the sex ed classes and at the time had no idea what my daughter was going through and had gone through with my father in law. I am sure it was uncomfortable for her to hear things that most kids were learning for the first time and she was already very educated, thanks to his sick self. It would probably make her feel isolated to not be there with her peers, so I would definitely do what you are, let her decide. Then if she needs to talk about it after she always has you.
Hugs to you.
This group is for parents whose children have been sexually abused. We welcome both Mothers and Fathers. Here, we can offer support to one another. We can vent, cry and lift each other up. No condemning or criticizing allowed. We are here for support. We LOVE (((HUGS))) !