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This post has some strong references to ED behaviors. Please don't read ahead if you are not in the mind to do to. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. I stared at this blank page for HOURS last night trying to decide how to start this blog and honestly debating on if I even wanted to post it. Time was fleeting, and I was struggling. It seemed as though all of my efforts to try to collect my thoughts were in vain because simply put – this is hard to write about. I tried to find another topic to write about today – I really did. But there was nothing going on that was worthy and being written down and this has been pressing on the forefront of my mind the past several days. I guess that’s my mind’s way of saying it’s time to deal with this and get it out in the open. It’s a funny little thing called emotional abuse. I know I spoke about emotional abuse in my last blog, but I didn’t really delve into everything that goes on in my household that constitutes as emotional abuse. I talked about how I have dealt with emotional abuse from my mother, but not so much what came from my father. My mother had more of an emotional neglect sort of abuse. My father… well, I’ll tell you about his. I’d like to say I’m very resilient and that words don’t affect me, but I’d be lying. Words hurt me more than physical abuse ever has. It has taken me a very long time to call this emotional abuse. My T has tried to explain emotional abuse to me several times, but I always deny that that is, indeed, what this is. I guess part of me bringing this up this week is because I’m finally admitting to myself what this is. I’ve always had a fear of talking about this – especially here. It’s hard to look at my situation and believe it has the same damaging effects as some of the trauma that people here have gone through. I was told growing up that I wasn’t allowed to be sad or upset because my biological parents are married. Because for some reason, that meant my life was perfect. So how could I possibly call this abuse when my life was so perfect all the time??? I developed an eating disorder when I was 15 years old. I was formally diagnosed with bulimia when I was 19. Part of me wants to blame this on my father, but part of me knows that he may not be the sole cause for my eating disorder. I know that I have other issues that factor into this, but I can’t help but think he planted a seed somewhere along the way. My mother and father both exercise regularly and eat healthy. I don’t. Not as consistently as they do. So, for that, there’s always a bit of shame around me for being heavier than them and for eating more fast food than they do. And any time I eat out, I get an ear full about it. About how I need to stop doing it because I’m wasting money mostly, but there’s also the underlying reason of ‘because you’re fat’. My dad wasn’t always the fit man he is now though. My dad was a lot heavier at one point in his life. One day he buckled down to lose weight, and he did. And ever since then, it’s been a lecture to me about being fit. But not only does he “encourage” (I use that term loosely) me to live a healthier lifestyle, he also makes unnecessary comments that drive me to a state of starvation and purging. One of my favorites is when I’ve not eaten all day and it’s 4 o’clock on the afternoon. I wander into the kitchen looking for some sort of sack or meal and I get welcomed with a, “Hey, little piggy. Coming to belly up to the trough?” To which I respond with a polite ‘no,’ and walk away hungry. He uses that one a lot. There was a time not too long ago that I had dropped a lot of weight. It was the smallest I had been in YEARS. But I was hardly eating. I was on an exercise program, but I was never hungry and furthermore, I wanted to be small. It was easier to not eat. So I would come in from a workout and grab something small so my parents would see me eating. But then it became, “Are you just eating that now so you can go eat in your closet later?” followed by an eruption of laughter from both him, and my mother. That comment lead into several jokes about eating in secret and purging. They thought it was hilarious. They had no idea that I was already hardly ever keeping any food down. There are more, but I’m sure you get the idea. Anything about food results in me being called fat in some way, shape, or form, or it leads to a string of jokes about bulimia. I can’t eat a proper meal without being judged. But my father gets mad if I talk about being nervous to eat in front of people. How does he not know that HE instilled this fear in me? The other half of his “jokes” aren’t any better. They’re more about how I also wasn’t the smart kid. His favorite line used to be “you’re a fat, stupid, loser,” but he hasn’t said that one in a while. Sometimes he just calls me ‘stupid.’ There was one day I was laying in bed, had just woken up but had my bedroom door open. He walked into my bedroom called me a ‘piece of garbage’ and walked away. All I did was exist. I hadn’t even gotten out of bed yet. While I realize these are all minor instances, when it goes on for years, it’s hard to “brush it off” and move on. To know that my dad feels so ashamed of me for being overweight and to know he thinks so little of my self-worth that he could actually tell me I would never amount to anything, hurts. I was never physically abused by my father. He’s never laid a hand on me. But his words have hurt me. So, in closing, I guess I should say that I don’t forgive him. Not yet. I’m still trying to fix the pieces of what HE messed up. The parts of me that he shattered with his words and his shame. I am trying to learn that I’m still valuable in some way or that I have some worth and hopefully one of these days, I will see that. Until then, I’m going to eat my pizza, and I’m not sharing. Hope you’re all doing well and thank you for taking the time to read. Hopefully next week I’ll have something a bit more exciting to write about! Sending happy thoughts, Poppy
About a year and a half ago there was an event in my life that re-triggered those old suicidal feelings for me. I found a good therapist in my area to re-explore this old crap. Hehehe! We got a lot of excellent work done which lead me to a point where I wanted to arrange to see my perpetrator (dad) again. I had cut off communication with him twenty years ago and the freedom from ever seeing him again was heavenly. I had heard through my dysfunctional family "grapevine" that dad had been having mini strokes. I knew that if I were to finally have closure on my issues that I needed to see him before he dies. I also wanted to do everything in my power to protect all children from falling into his csa trap. To spare you the long winded version; the trip went well. I am back in communication with him and his current wife. As long as someone in my family does not sabotage my efforts. Dad has lost much mental capacity due to the strokes. I went there prepared to have a little review session with him regarding his sins against me and the rest of the family. I have 7 years hospital experience as an ER tech, and ICU Monitor tech. I am therefore able to assess dad's mental status. I found him to be dramatically altered mentally, and somewhat physically, to the approximate reasoning level of an 8-10 year old boy. There was no point in kicking this poor old dog. It would be like beating a puppy with a stick and I don't do that kind of stuff. At this point I am focused on getting to know him in his current state but, more importantly getting to know his current wife. They were only newlyweds when I cut off communication with them. I live two states away from the rest of my family. (This is no accident.) Historically on an average I see family members every few years or so. Therefore, it is going to take time before I will be in a position to remind her how dangerous my dad can be if left alone with her grandchildren or any other children. He is of course even more dangerous now that his reasoning ability is compromised. One of the unfortunate side effects of him getting away with his crimes, is that I never pursued it legally so, he did no prison time. This makes it so much easier for the family denial to captain the ship of dysfunction. If he were a registered sex criminal like he should be, then it would be real for everyone involved and, the problem would resolve itself. In the meantime my mother is very angered by the fact that I am on good terms with him and his wife. As you can imagine seeing dad again has opened up old junk for me, and I kinda need my mommy right now. Hehe! Well, she has forbidden me to call her and is unwilling to respond to any of my emails or texts for days on end. In other words she is making all of this about her again. The first time she was informed about the csa was when I was 24 years old and pregnant with my only child 32 years ago. I confronted Dad in a therapeutic environment to establish boundaries to protect my unborn child from his csa. Mom and Dad divorced over the whole thing and she went into a serious depression that lasted for many years. The family blames me of course for all of this. Anyway, she got a pass from me back then because, even I kinda thought the whole divorce was my fault. I know better now, but the family still subconsciously mentally tortures me over the aftermath I have suffered. They don't know that they are doing it, but they still are "gaslighting" and using me as a "scapegoat" for their dysfunctional behaviors. Mom has no valid excuse for pushing me away now. She should be there for me but, you know how that goes sometimes. The link below takes you to an excellent article on how insidious gaslighting is in our society. Us survivors have been the unfortunate recipients of this sophisticated type of manipulation, particularly from our own families but, from society as well. So, I am currently dealing with the mommy issues that are inconspicuously tied into the chain of abuse. I hope that people find this blog ironically amusing, interesting and encouraging. After all isn't this journey, something like a "dramedy", filled with twisted and somewhat dark humor? Laughter is great medicine! -Dasi http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html
This Christmas 2015, with a beautiful full moon and quiet consuming victory, will be burned into my memory for eternity. My healing goals include fulfilling my family karma and ending the inherent chain of abuse. To successfully achieve this goal I must slay multiple demons that thrive upon sucking my soul into their fiery bellies only to regurgitate sabotage and betrayal. This week alone I have slayed multitudes of the blood thirsty beasts crouched in venomous fury awaiting my next breath and calculated action. The demons I speak of dwell in the hearts of my poor family. Their device is to keep the family confused and acting upon ill thoughts of denial and infatuation with magnificent lies they hold in reverence. It has been nearly 45 years since my father raped me as an eleven year old child yet the damage done is ageless. My unconditional love for my family has only allowed them to manipulate a play designed to destroy my spirit and rob me of my life. Today, I have triumphed as a survivor with a cause and will not be silenced by their ignorant whining and protests. In this lonely much misunderstood journey, I have walked alone. The depth of my pain goes to the core and cannot be consoled by common healing avenues. My role is that of the warrior and I will rest only when all children are protected from abuse. When I was young, I tried to bury these ugly memories and behave with sweet complacency. My hope was that I was demented and the abuse did not really happen. I told myself that I was subhuman and was supposed to die in early childhood. I would cry for hours on end and quietly cut myself in places that no one else would see. I believed that I was living on borrowed time. I was sure that my parents secretly wished that they had aborted me so that none of this would come to light. When I was 15 my friend K. W. and I took a joy- ride in the Suburban. When dad caught me he beat me up while screaming how much I was like him and he was going to beat it out of me. I ran away for the night; I don't remember where I went. Mom knew that there was "something wrong with me" and attempted to understand the problem. She sent me to a child psychologist . Back in the 1970's receiving psychological help was stigmatized as a placebo for crazy weak people. I shut down in the therapist's office as soon as I saw the doll house and toys on the floor. I felt disrespected as a young adult and punished as if I were a child by the experience. My problems were much more grown- up than mom could ever imagine. The truth resurfaced when I was 16. Dad approached me in the kitchen as I was readying myself for my waitress shift at the pancake house. He said; "Dasi, I am sorry that I molested you that day in the orchard.". My face must have turned red from terror and fury at the realization that this ugly image and memory that I had tried so hard to forget really happened. I kind of feel sorry for him trying to make- up but, there is a long list of reasons why that is an unreasonable response on my part. One reason is that he actually legally raped me! He always tried to minimize the event and downright denied the multiple other accounts of fondling and abuse. I found myself caught in an endless cycle of self- loathing and self destructive behaviors for which I had no support system to aid in coping. I have confronted my father, my perpetrator twice in my life with unsatisfactory results each time. The first time was in a therapist's office with my first husband there to accompany me. I was pregnant with my one and only child and was ready to end the silence to assure the safety of my unborn baby. My father confessed only to the one count of csa but, not the multiple other counts of abuse. He did however go home afterward to use this information as a weapon to inflict punishment upon my mother. He told mom that he committed csa against me but, minimized it with, "She wanted it!". He then left mom and filed for divorce. Mom was devastated and suffered from severe depression for about 5 years after. Both dad and I knew that she could not handle knowing the truth. This is the very reason I stayed silent long past the statute of limitations. Meanwhile, I made my escape from this unsavory scene by fleeing 2 states away to California with my new family. I continued to attempt to have a "normal" relationship with both my parents and brother with annual visits up north. In the second confrontation I was in my late 30's. We were considering a visit up north. I would normally get suicidal before these trips. This time my suicidal thoughts were just too overwhelming for me to cope with the trip. I called dad crying and told him how truly self destructive it was for me to come visit him. I told him about all my sufferings and that he really actually owed me big time. He responded as predicted. He claimed that he had already paid enough with his own personal suffering over the ordeal. Funny- he never even did prison time like he should have nor had his life destroyed in any visible form. The only way that he could possibly back up such an outrageous claim would be if he had to suffer the ridicule of being a registered sex criminal. I knew that there was nothing that I could do legally at that point. In fact he was enjoying the benefits of the height of his career and certainly had no intention of sharing anything with the daughter he had wronged so deeply. The daughter that had obediently protected him, his career, and the family from the legal punishment and public humiliation which he so richly deserved. It was very difficult but, I realized that for my own survival, I must cut off all communication with my father. His mother and his third wife tried everything in their power to guilt me back into seeing him. They said that he was suffering terribly and that I was being cruel to abandon him this way. (They had no concern for the deep damage that his abuse had done to me!). We went up north the following year to visit mom and my brother's family. My brother and his wife told me how it was killing dad that I had cut him off from my life. We ended up getting into an argument about it and my brother finally called me a liar. He did not believe that dad raped me and ordered me out of his house. He told me to never return and so I did not for nearly 10 years. Since that day dad confessed to my brother as well, but always adds, "She wanted it!". Thereby brainwashing, manipulating, and minimizing the crime to all the people that he has "confessed" to. He never took responsibility for his criminal behaviors. It has been 20 years since I had last seen my father. My paternal grandmother died long ago. Cutting out my father meant that I sadly had to cut off grandma too. My brother and I have since attempted to have a reasonable friendly relationship. It has been awkward and quite uncomfortable at times. My father and brother have also had a very strained relationship in that 20 years and rarely ever saw each other. I had heard through the grapevine that dad has suffered several mini strokes over the past few years. I was informed that he had undergone a major personality shift and would really like to see me again. I have done much healing work on myself and was ready to have some closure with dad. I also want to protect any young people from being sexually assaulted by him. I came prepared for the worst and had done a lot of work- up with my therapist for this visit of redemption. I knew that this could be the final battle with uncertain results or maybe a new beginning with possibly much deserved retribution due to me. I was able to arrange a visit with dad and his current wife last weekend. He has had some mini strokes and has become as gentle as a kitten as a result. This only makes him even more dangerous to any children that he may be around. His mental illness has certainly not gone away as evidenced by the fact that he was checking out my breasts last Saturday. He obviously has never had self control and is only worse than ever now. It was nice to be able to have some quality time with him at his best. It is unfortunate that it required such a dramatic drop in his mental status to be able to have a pleasant time with him. He was normally always mentally abusive and toyingly mean. Now he cannot hold a train of thought long enough to be mentally tormenting anymore. He would attempt to tell me stories about people that I knew from our past but then quickly forget what he was talking about. We went out on the river and he complained of the cold. The man I used to know would never show such weakness even if his toes froze off from frost bite. He can still drive but got us all lost twice on the back roads. Again, he is an accomplished outdoors-man and never got lost on back roads before. All together we had a pleasant visit aside from me having a couple of short PTSD episodes from the experience. I have to be able to talk to his current wife about protecting her grandchildren from this man. She and I are only now getting to know each other. They were only newlyweds when I broke things off with him 20 years ago. She and I had met only once or twice back then. Now that communication lines are open again I intend to call once a week or so until she and I have a good rapport. When I feel that the time is right I will attempt to remind her that it is not safe for her grand kids to be left alone with him. Now that I am strong enough, I will do everything in my power to protect any and all children from him. His csa is no secret among my closer relatives but now I understand that there must be other survivors out there, somewhere. I have not found the other survivors to date. However, from here on I can protect all children from falling prey to him until he dies. It is so sad how the laws protect perpetrators but not survivors or future victims. On Christmas day I reported to mom how my visit with dad went. She is not happy that I have reopened communications with him and his wife. I pointed out to her how the chain of abuse works. I elaborated upon the people that I suspect contributed to the inherited problem and behaviors in my brother and his son that are red flags as well. There is a story about my paternal grandmother giving birth to stillborn twins. My father is the eldest living sibling and I believe that the twins came sometime after him. Anyway, apparently her father made her throw the twins down the outhouse. Talk about dysfunction, huh?! Naturally this was horribly traumatic to my grandmother to be forced into such an act. Well, this makes me think. Were the twins really stillborn and who was the real father anyway? Certainly no part of that story was "normal". I also suspect my paternal grandmother of csa, as does my mother. There was another story about my second eldest uncle. He was out hunting with a friend and supposedly they were crossing a barbed wire fence when the rifle fell down accidentally shooting his friend to death. This brother also was notorious for acting out with his violent temper. He is also suspected of spousal abuse. I am quite familiar with this temper for both me and my brother have inherited a milder version of this problem. All these siblings were raised in the country hunting and fishing daily nearly from birth. They all knew about basic gun safety while hunting. (Side note; one of the favorite games that the boys played was to throw knives "at" each other to see how close they could get to each other.) Granted things were different in eastern Washington back in the 1940s- 1950s but, this goes to family history of dysfunction and abuse. I cited other examples of dad's neglect and abuse toward my brother and me, not to mention our pets. He would take us out fishing in cold weather and make us sit on the bottom of the freezing cold and wet aluminum canoe. I remember begging to go back to the shore and I would be shivering with purple fingers and toes. My teeth would be chattering so hard that I could barely talk. Dad would tell me to shut up and sit my butt back down on the freezing bottom of the canoe. If anything, telling him that I was cold would make him keep us out there longer not shorter. I reminded mom about the stories above related to the high statistics of csa in minors by age 18, the chain of abuse and people in our family that fit the profile, and perpetrators mostly being repeat offenders. I told her that she needs to look at things for herself and not just take people's word for things especially when its all so fishy. She broke down and told me that she could not take anymore! She said that I should just focus on healing myself and leave the rest of the family out of it! She is protecting the males in the family and refusing to see that since they have sided with dad, a known perpetrator, on several occasions that it leaves them open to suspicion as well. I told her that perpetrators will cover for each other. I have been told to shut up by all the males in my family at this point. Of course, I won't shut up until every last child is protected and safe from abuse. The only exception here is my son, who bless his heart, has grown into a mature and respectful adult. He is well liked and has many friends throughout the southern California area. He honors women and is a kind,loving, and devoted partner. He is in a long term relationship with a beautiful woman who mirrors the same respect and kindness as well. Their relationship is an inspiration to me and I hold as a model for what a functional relationship actually looks like. I harbored and protected him away from all the family dysfunction for all of his childhood. It looks like that decision payed off. What I learned from these events is that neither complacent niceness, deep depression spiked with PTSD, nor suicidal thoughts eased by self mutilation, or even outright anger and confrontation could possibly cool my internal volcano. The school system failed me, social services failed me, the legal system had failed me, and most importantly my family had failed me. I had protected them all those years and they have reaped many benefits while I got the shaft. My family always put the whole thing back on me as being "my problem" and therefore skirted their part in perpetuating the chain of abuse. They have not shown an adequate attempt to educate themselves on the subject yet. I have advised them to join aftersilence.org so as to become a functional supportive network and allies in prevention. I eagerly await that day! They prefer to make unreasonable proclamations based on naive concepts and obsolete stigmas. Furthermore, the more I give statistics, quote professional statements, and report personal experiences and observations, the more they continue to betray me on a larger and larger scale. The whole family is now on this journey with me I am no longer alone. The big question is; are they strong enough to survive the truth the way that I was forced to for all these years?
So its been 16 months since i was last attacked. And honestly i cant get use to being safe. It scares me so much to be this way. Im so use to living every day wondering "will this be the day my mother kills me" or " will my uncle finally finish me off so i cant tell again". See my entire life has been one bad thing or another. My earliest memory is of my father sodomizing me. Then i have a mother who is not mentally stable and that's when shes sober. Which most of the time she was sober but she would have a week or two where she was a constant drunk. Being drunk and bipolar is not a good combination. Then my fathers youngest brother r***d me from the time i was 7 till just 16 months ago, (I'm 20 now). And no matter who i told no one ever cared or helped me. I was made to look like a liar and unstable. I do openly admit (though i don't always come out and say it) that i do suffer from Complex PTSD. but that doesn't make me unstable. I don't know how to live "safe" and its becoming apparent that my body is always going to be in that " danger around every corner" mode. As for the last few weeks I'm unable to sleep due to horrendous nightmares that refuse to let up and I'm getting to a point that i desperately want to be normally. But i seriously am starting to doubt that i can ever be that. I feel like damaged materials that can never be repaired....