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Found 7 results

  1. It is a good day. My husb and I are in town at Walmart shopping. I remember we were in a good mood, flirting with each other. Unsuspecting, we casually walk down the deodorant aisle. Like bees we sample some of the offerings, slightly opening the lids just a crack, enough to smell the contents, sharing the ones we liked, then jamming the sticks back in those springloaded deodorant holder thingys. "Do I want to smell like this?" "How about this one?" "Do you want me to smell like this or this? Which one is better?" "I don't know...which do you like better?" I like his smile. We live in the woods at his parents house about a half an hour from town with my FIL and MIL and his sister (SIL). We've been working hard to put a garden in. Squash and tomatoes are flowering and I'm excited about all the life in the garden. It reminds me of my Gram's garden when I was little. Rows and rows of peas and carrots and mounds of cucumbers. We buzz on to the soap section. The sense of smell and memory is like a time machine. Catches me offguard. Suddenly I'm tumbling backwards, transported back three decades to my Gram's kitchen. I was a tall kid with long muscular legs. When I was three I was often mistaken for a five or six yr old. I must have been quite young here. My Gram is holding me. If I was older I would've been too heavy to carry like this. My face is nuzzled into her neck. This is burned into my brain - the smell of irish spring soap, scope mouthwash, and aquanet hairspray. She is cuddling me, holding me on her hip, swaying gently back and forth while she stirs the contents of a pot on the stove. She is standing at an angle, holding me against her with her right arm, cooking with her left. Her body between me and the boiling pot so I won't be splattered. My arms are around her, clasped together by her neck, hanging on like a little monkey. This is a position I will often mimic later with my own children. "You ok?" he asks. It's my husb. He looks worried, like he's concerned about me. "Yup, I like that one. It smells like my Gram." "You wanna get it?" He gestures towards the cart with the box. "Nah, I don't want to smell like that, I would forget what she smelled like." It wouldn't remind me of her if I used it all the time. "I don't want it to lose it's power." He smiles. "Well, how about this one?" I turn towards him and I'm suddenly sucker-punched out of nowhere. I'm standing in several inches of lukewarm water. I am naked and shivering. My mom is kneeling on a woven rag rug on the linoleum floor of my Gram's bathroom. She's just finished washing Lb and Ls. She carefully wraps Ls in a towel, pats her on the tush and sends her out of the bathroom to go get dressed in jammies. Now is the worst part of bathtime for 5yr old me. I have a knot in my stomach. I hate how rough she is with me. Jerking my head around. Calling my hair a ratsnest. Pouring water over my face. Shampoo water goes in my eyes and it burns. I try to hold my breath but soapwater always goes up my nose. I hate how it feels down there when she scrubs me so hard. I wimper and protest but I don't want to be smacked. I try to just hold still. I don't want to slip. The soap stings like hell, but I also don't want to piss her off more. She hated giving us a bath and uses up all her gentleness and niceness on Lb and Ls. By the time it's my turn she has no patience left. She roughly scrubs my "business" with a bar of safeguard soap wrapped in a washcloth. It's hard and it hurts. I must be dirtier than all the other kids put together. I must be the dirtiest kid ever. She clenches her jaw and scrubs and scrubs. Safeguard soap. It is the smell of his skin at night, me laying next to him. The smell of his tattooed chest. Safeguard soap and old spice aftershave. "You ok, RR?" Someone is talking to me. I look up. I must have dropped to my knees because I'm kneeling now. I see my husb. standing next to me. He looks very worried. I realize my face is wet. I feel my mouth and my cheek with my hand and hold it out to see if I'm bleeding. It is wet with my tears and spit. I feel like I can't breathe. I am gasping for air. "It's ok, alright. It's ok." He crouches down and hugs me and I squirm away from him. He's still holding the box of soap that unlocked this horrible flashback. "No!" I yell louder than I mean to. He sees what I mean and quickly sets the box down on a shelf. He's bewildered, but trying to be supportive. I remember we left the cart there and walked back out to my truck. He asked if I was ok there. He made sure I was safe, and went back inside and went through the checkout. By the time he got back with the cartfull of groceries I was feeling much better. "So, you wanna talk about it?" "Not now, later." "Ok" he squeezed my hand supportively. ********************** My mom's shitshow of a job parenting me was probably the biggest influence on my own parenting style. Like an afterschool special narrator saying "Ok kids, here's what not to do." For one thing, I didn't teach my kids to use cutsie little babynames for their private parts. My son knew what a penis was. My daughter knew what a vagina was. They learned the name when we were going over all the body parts. I named it like any other body part. No special significance, except that your butt and your penis or vagina were collectively known as private parts. Those are parts you keep to yourself. It wasn't until I was maybe ten years old that I realized that "business" was not the name of my private part. This was utterly embarrassing. I was a little bit younger when I learned that "winky" wasn't the name for the boy part. That was a babyname. I was not going to have my kids using cutsie little family nicknames for their bodies. Nope. Also, my kids were fairly young when I taught them to wash themselves. I taught my daughter to wash her vagina with just water. And use a washcloth. And do it herself. I would help if they needed it, but by the time they were 3 they were both getting everything clean but their backs. "Your body is yours. All of it. From your head all the way down to your toes. That means you can take care of it. You are responsible for keeping your whole body clean. Not always clean, but regularly cleaned. That means your armpits, behind your ears, in your belly button, between your toes, that crease where your leg connects to your body, your penis/vagina (depending on which kid) and your butt crack too. Don't forget to rinse all the soap off. You don't want to get a rash. If you need help with your hair I'll help you with that. Dry yourself off good. Don't forget all the creases. You don't want to get a rash." You don't want to get a rash. Not once did my mother ever say those words to me. For fucks sake I was maybe ten when I read in a book about babysitting that you are always supposed to wipe a baby from front to back when changing a diaper! Ten! Ten years old and no one had taught me how to wipe. No one had cared enough to teach me not to use soap down there. No wonder I was always itchy. No wonder my underwear always had whitish discharge built up in it. My mom never made me change my undies regularly either, so often that discharge would be there for a few days until it got all cracked like a dried up mud puddle in the sun. I'd be sitting on the toilet peeling it off of my undies dropping it into the water. This was my normal. When I started working as a direct care assistant with foster care kids, I changed up my "your body is yours" lecture. I dropped the words penis and vagina entirely, swapped out for the generic term "private parts." This was the preferred terminology that their caseworkers used and made it easier to cater the lesson to everybody. I also had to teach some older kids how to bathe themselves. I'd stand, fully clothed (obviously), in the bathroom with a doll and a dry washcloth demonstrating proper technique. I remember one little girl would laugh and laugh when I used the term "all the little nooks and crannies" when referring to folds and belly rolls. I had to explain that body odor was a thing. That you wipe front to back so poop germs don't get in your front private part. That sweat builds up in skin folds. That everybody has to take baths. That no, they were not the "dirty kid." That everyone gets sweaty and stinky but everyone gets to take a bath or shower and feel fresh and new again. That you want to dry yourself thoroughly. That you don't want to get a rash. That toothpaste was like soap for your teeth. That using lotion is one way to take care of your skin after you have a bath. That nobody was allowed to touch them. Nobody but themselves. I told them the things that I needed to hear when I was that age.
  2. Hi there. This is my first post. I found aftersilence after my therapist suggested I find an online community where I can post anonymously and connect with other survivors. I'm currently struggling with Complex PTSD symptoms and awakening to the fact that I was sexually abused by my teacher when I was 12 years old. The abuse happened repeatedly over the period of a full year. I repressed the whole thing for 11 years, and was suddenly hit with a flashback at the age of 23. I've struggled with my mental health since I was 18 and I'm just beginning to understand why. I now understand all of my mental health issues as symptoms of PTSD. I now understand that the reason I began withdrawing from the world at the age of 18 was because I was in a constant state of being triggered. Every where I go, and everything I do seems to end up triggering me somehow. When I'm triggered I dissociate, become numb, my muscles tense, I get a migraine, and I plunge into the depths of toxic shame and suicidal ideation. The simplest emotional connections with other human beings trigger me, and as a result I don't have any friends or any sense of love and belonging. I feel all alone, and I'm scared I'll never be able to form healthy relationships again. This is why I'm here, I hope through this anonymous online forum I can begin to ease my way into some form of human connection and communication that can be healthy and validating for me. I also hope to begin sharing my story, and with the help of the community find some sense of meaning as I work my way through it. At this point I still don't know how the story ends. My memories at this point are hazy, fragmented, and emotionally charged (particularly with shame) and slowly but surely new memories are resurfacing for me day by day. I know I have a long road ahead of me and I worry I don't have the courage to face the pain and make it through this. Thanks for reading my post and having me as a member of this community.
  3. Leia Skywalker

    Progress

    Maybe I really was abused. I was able to talk to one of the specialists on RAINN today. They agreed what I went through is qualified as abuse. Sexual, Physical and Emotional. As I have begun to open up I am beginning to discover all that really occurred in the relationship. Not that it can really be qualified as a relationship. Maybe the relationships I have been in are not right. Maybe it's not normal to be threatened and held too tight if I didn't send the pictures he wanted. I don't know, but a lot is starting to remind me of him, I don't know why now? It's been almost five years since I was first used for his pleasure. All I know for sure is that I am starting to get scared. It's becoming a little more obvious of my past to people close to me, but that was never the case before. I don't want this to define me, but its all people seem to care about. Isn't even possible to move on and forget it? Or will I always be reminded of those years?
  4. I will not go into graphic details of any sort here, but there may be some triggers for SI, suicidal thoughts, and possibly for swearing, because I don't have the energy to censor myself tonight. Sometimes I sleep. Usually people have to encourage, cajole, beg, demand, insist or outright force me to do so, but sometimes I just sleep. Sometimes I can be convinced or can convince myself, for months on end, to sleep every night like a good girl, regardless of the horror I find myself facing, or the bruises and scratches I wake up with at times, or the periodic full days of feeling exactly as I did the days after each of the rapes. Sometimes I can be strong and sleep anyway. Even when I sleep "well" I sleep exceptionally lightly; my therapists have called it hypervigilence and told me is is a typical part of the PTSD. That's very comforting when I wake up 479,358 times in any given night because of frogs farting eight blocks away. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, either on my own or because my friend has woken me. He stays on Skype and listens, sometimes all night long. When he wakes me from a nightmare and talks to me soothingly, I usually feel incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing friend, someone who cares for me enough to make such an astronomical sacrifice to ease a little of my suffering. I can't help feeling guilty, though, because my nightmares have an impact on our friendship, and on him. Just as I imagine it would be for any two people who care for each other a great deal, my suffering is hard for him to witness. Tonight I woke because my friend awakened me. I was apparently having a particularly violent nightmare, reliving past traumas in new ways, my mind ever finding neoteric methods of torment for me, rife with historical inaccuracy. He said he had a hard time waking me; I can tell I must have been very deeply asleep because I have several sore red marks that will probably be bruises in the morning, and also a handful of long scratches. I could not feel the immense gratitude I usually feel, or the relief, or the safety... Tonight I just felt anger and frustration and desolation. Tonight I just wanted to give up. The prospect of facing even one more of these nightmares is so overwhelming, I simply do not want to continue. When I was enduring the abuses and events in my life that led up to this point, I always had this idea that if I could somehow divorce my mind from my body and become this ephemeral, amorphous thing, this purely astral being, I would finally be safe and feel whole. Now that my life is within my control and the abuses have all ended, I find myself looking at my situation in this sick paradoxical state... if I could only divorce my mind from my body and be a purely physical being, without thought or fear or abusive limbs in REM sleep, if, if, if. I start to feel sorry for myself, and I think back over the nightmares I have had at other times. Forget the traumas themselves, and all the work I have put into healing; forget the years I have put between myself and the sick people who did these things. The nightmares are the one thing that never let me forget or really move forward; they are like vice strong cold hands around my wrists and ankles, and the experience is like being raped over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. The two worst kinds of nightmares are the ones where I am reliving almost exactly, but my body responds in an awful way that makes me feel a sick shame and hatred of myself that often leads to doing self injurious things; and the second worst type of nightmare is a sort that blends two separate types of traumas from my life, a break-in and the rapes, into this new kind of terror. I used to think the worst nightmare was the sort where I did not recall what had happened at all, and I woke feeling more run down than if I had not slept at all, and covered in bruises over my thighs and abdomen and arms, but those seem to have fallen away some, and I am remembering most of the nightmares I am having, and... I would trade them in gladly. This sorrow for my inability to sleep, for my inability to be "normal," to have "normal" relationships because I can't even begin to broach the topic of sleeping with someone (among other things), it wears me down. Today I feel incredibly suicidal. I lay in bed for awhile after the nightmare and cried, images in my mind of my own demise sort of superimposed or flip-book inserted with the nightmare images. I wonder frequently if there is any point in continuing. I don't like to think of myself as weak, or as a quitter, but... years of going without sleep, feeling like a freak, waking with injuries, and reliving horror just... eats at the soul. My friend tells me there is this therapy I have never heard of before called EMDR (short for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming), and it is specifically geared toward people with PTSD. I am a bit dubious, but I'm sort of at a point where I will try standing on my head covered in chickens blood while reciting Sutras in reverse if I thought it would just make my head quiet down. So, I had two hours of sleep, and I am probably up for the day, because I can't face my pillows, or my blankets. My puppy cuddles me and licks my thigh because he knows this routine, and when I pick him up and drench his fur with my tears, he'll forgive me, and because of him, maybe we'll make it until tomorrow.
  5. hi everyone. my name is rachel and i am 17 years old, 18 soon cant wait! anyways the reason i joined this page is because i recent started having flash backs and feeling terribly guilty for allowiong my attacker to get away with what he did but the reason i allowed him to was because he was my uncle and i love my granny very much and didnt have the heart to send her son to prison or whatever punishment he would have gotten for sexually abusing me. there are 5 female cousins including myself that are related to this man and it turns out he got to us all and i was the last girl he got to. he is a taxi driver and i see him sometimes with young girls some my age some 11-13 (ages he abused me at) in the back of his taxi cab and i just got scared wondering is he touching them too.. i am just here to talk to people who know how i feel to know that i am not alone and there are some good people out there.
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