The result of speaking up!

As many of you know, Iast week I made the decision to tell a close family member that my father sexually abused me when I was five years old. I did it via an email.

It was an agonising wait and all kinds of thoughts raced around in my head.

Finally that same evening I received a reply which made me cry uncontrollably.

My brother was so sorry for what had happened. He said that I had nothing to feel ashamed about, that he was so proud to be my sister and that he would stand by me. He said he would most certainly protect my beautiful niece.

I am just relieved that my niece will be carefully watched now. I don’t care if my brother speaks/doesn’t speak to my mother and father about it. I told him that I wasn’t ready to confront either of them and that I just wanted to protect the little angel!

While it has brought relief, a flood of emotions has overtaken me in the past two days. I have tried to keep myself distracted, even had a cigarette ( I gave up smoking) because it’s all been too much for me.

I was so irritable with my son! (feel really bad), there was rage, sadness and then great anguish last night. I have been getting only about two hours of sleep at night and it’s the little things that seem overwhelming to me now. My son has also been behaving badly at school and I received an email about it which I took very personally. I feel like I am failing as a mother because he is so badly behaved sometimes.

Last night I felt a self-destructive anguish deep inside of me. It’s like I wanted to cut myself or pull my hair out from the roots. I have felt this before, it’s a feeling of restlessness; of not wanting to be in my skin. I tried to sit with this feeling in meditation but it was too overwhelming. It did pass eventually!

I felt almost suicidal. What an awful feeling. How awful childhood sexual abuse is!! To make you protect the perpetrator and want to hurt yourself. To need love and support but to isolate yourself and feel disconnected from everyone and everything. I need sleep.

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18 thoughts on “The result of speaking up!

  1. What a courageous thing you did sharing with your brother in a hope to protect your niece. I am so glad you had such a great response from your brother. You are not alone in your family with the information about sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is something that always tears at me. I think it always will but sharing your secret brings you a freedom you deserve. Be kind and gentle with yourself. I know what it is like to want to strike back at yourself. I get caught in it from time to time but I am progressing. That is what I am focusing on. My slow progression to a healthier way of living life.

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    • Thank you for your kind words. I never thought about it like that, but yes I think to some extent it is like ‘striking back’ at myself and punishing myself maybe for using my voice. I would really like to understand the anguish and self-destructiveness more. I will try to be kind and gentle with myself. Sending you warmth on your journey of progression.

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  2. I’m going to start with this: you are okay! Read it again: You Are Okay! I get what you are saying. I get the pain. And here’s what I think. I think that any time we step out of our old patterns and old belief systems we panic, we freak out and we turn all that fear and rage and hate right back onto ourselves. You did a brave thing. You did the right thing. You also got a wonderful response from you brother. (Thank God!) And theres’ some fear with that as well! What are you doing with all of these good things? You’re making yourself feel bad about them in other ways. Feeling good and open in the world is crazy-scary for sexual abuse survivors. We’re more familiar with hating ourselves and staying small and invisible. You made yourself HUGE and VISIBLE so now you are awash with terror. Makes total sense. You are pushing yourself back to the familiar. You don’t have to. And I get the horrible mother thing and how you can spiral into horribleness with your son’s behavior. I get that. I find that setting limits is so hard with our kids because we don’t want to take away their power and their voice. We want them to be able to express themselves and say no — things we couldn’t do as a child. But it’s okay for you to say no to your child and expect good behavior from him. You are his mom. You are a good mom. You love your son and you continually include him in your process of recovery and safety. You are taking care of him. All kids act out. Don’t let his troubles at school further catapult you into despair and feeling horrible. Go ask for help from his teachers. Talk to your therapist. Get him into therapy if it helps. You are okay. Keep moving forward. Don’t get swallowed up in the past. You are doing all of the right things and taking care of yourself –that scares the hell out of survivors. Don’t let it. Stay visible. Stay big! Sending strength your way. You are okay!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you Jessica. I read and re-read your message because it really helped me! You get me! Thank you for getting me and making sense of those conflicting feelings. You articulated many significant things about the survivor mentality. Yes, being visible and sticking my neck out is so unfamiliar and scary to me. So even though it’s a good thing and I got a good response, the pull of the familiar; back to hiding and being voiceless is so powerful. I do indeed want to stay BIG! Your words ‘being swallowed up by the past’ are very cogent!

      Yes, I didn’t realise other survivors felt that too; I find it very hard to discipline my child because that is exactly it, I don’t want to take away his voice as mine was! I have always allowed him expression of his thoughts and feelings.

      I appreciate your support. Please know that you have helped me a lot! Bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for letting me know! I’m really happy I could help. I felt a little vulnerable being so assertive but I just had this wash of emotion when I read your post. I identified in my own way and I figured I’d tell you what I would want and need to hear. You help me too. You’re really sitting with your process and writing about it. I admire that and I gain strength from you as well. Stay big! Stay strong πŸ™‚ Blessings.

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  3. Wow, that took such courage. You are one step closer to healing you and stopping the generational curse. You stood up for yourself and your family. Feel proud my dear, the angels are singing for you today. Have a great day and get some rest. I know that you must feel exhausted after dealing with such a big emotional thing. Your friend Meghan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You shined a light into that darkness. You may have very well spared your niece from enduring the same abuse that you experienced. We may never know “what might have been”, but speaking truth and shining light leads out of the darkness!πŸ’™

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am sad for you that you have to go through so many conflicting, strong emotions. Lack of sleep makes everything so much harder. But you did a great thing, protecting that child. It may not feel like it, as saying such things about parents goes against what we are taught, that we must respect them. It’s very hard to go against society’s norms. And though you weren’t ready, you did so to protect a little girl, you did it for another. Not for you, for her. That is courage. That is integrity. That is strength.
    May you find peace. (and sleep) Always here for you…

    Liked by 2 people

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