My Fathers 1

Being sexually abused by my mother really shattered my ability to trust, but I found that despite that I was able to slowly piece together a system of connectedness that allowed me to find love, acceptance, bonding, and healing elsewhere. I read about the shattering of attachment for mother-daughter sexual abuse survivors each time that I read about the subject of MDSA. I think that it must be very similar for other survivors of child sexual abuse.

I know that I have written here on the blog about my issues with bonding and attachment and especially in the ways that I have tried to find connectedness in my life and in my life and to establish more; to the world, to others, and to symbols that I find a great deal of meaning and healing from.

Some of the symbols that I find a great deal of meaning and healing from are fictional  characters that I feel connected to.

I’ve been working in the last few years to try to identify past connections that bring me meaning and healing and establishing more connections. Some connections just seemed to pass beyond my conscious awareness, even though at one time they had a lot of meaning and brought a lot of connection and healing into my life at some time.

Trying to re-discover those past connections has helped me to see myself as someone who desperately wanted and needed  connection and as someone who was incredibly brave to do so, despite how horrific my childhood existence was and how difficult it was to trust my emotions, especially love, when I was hated, scapegoated, and abused by my family of origin, who I tried to love.

I re-discovered my father Herb Hubbard when I started to re-watch the show The Mothers-in-Law. I loved him when I was a child. Herb was a husband, a father of a college daughter, and a businessman. The thing that I liked the most about him and still do, is his ability to manage his emotions, which neither of my parents did. Since my father was an active alcoholic, there was never a strong man in my life, never a good man in my life, never a calm man in my life, never a loving and good and safe man in my life. But Herb was that man in my life.

Herb was a good role model and human being to me despite the drama going on in the household, with his wife, with his neighbors who lacked boundaries and common respect, and with his college age son who decides to marry the neighbor’s daughter, Herb manages his life and positively impacts his family with love, determination, resilience, and gentleness. I like that last one the best; gentleness.

Here he is, my dad:

Herb Hubbard from the show The Mothers-in-Law

I love my dad.

A Conversation With a Relative

I spoke with one of them today. Seriously I don’t know how you can be so deluded, but he is. When I mentioned our mother, the sex offender, he said he didn’t want to talk about her. And then a few sentences later spoke of her in glowing terms and said what I recall is verbal abuse, even though I have told him it was mother-daughter sexual abuse. I told him, no it was not verbal abuse and you know that. He said that is your opinion. I said no that is a fact, the facts are what they are, he said opinion. I said facts, I know what happened, I know what she did to me.

Then he spoke of my sister in glowing terms. I have told him in the past over and over how she treats them is not how she treats me and I will not be treated like that or go to her home or have anything to do with her and haven’t for over five years.

Here comes the pushing and influencing that my brothers do to try to get me to go to family functions. He said, well you could, if you made amends, I’m sure that you could go to every family meal at her house. I said wait a minute, I am not making amends, I have nothing to make amends to her about. Amends are what you do when you believe that you have injured another person or hurt them through your actions.

I did nothing wrong to her and she blamed me for trying to stand up for myself and called me an abuser to her when I would say what my boundaries are, that is not abuse, that is healthy interpersonal behavior. Well in the heat of the argument, people say things, he said. No dude it was not in the heat of an argument. I never allowed her to scream and yell and swear at me as her and our mother did to each other. Whatever she may be telling you, let me assure you I have nothing to make amends for and have no intention of doing so, ever, or going to see her or associating with her.

Then he said that family members feel as though I have not been thankful or grateful enough or acted like it enough. Like what, he thinks that is going to induce me to associate with them? I haven’t asked one of them for a big favor in over five years. They think I am supposed to grovel and prostate myself for what they did for me more than ten years ago. They were all willing to let me be homeless four years ago and last month. Like the brother who wouldn’t even wave hello to me last month in the grocery store or bother to return my phone call? What is there to be grateful for?

This is something my father used to say about me after he would buy me an ice cream cone on a summer evening and I would not sit back in the back seat and let my brothers hit me or laugh at me or call me names, I was ungrateful, he would scream at me. If I raised my voice, if I stood up for myself, if I yelled at them or asked my parents to make them stop, I was ungrateful. For the little that they all do or have done for me, they sure do want an awful lot of grateful, compliant victimhood coming from me. Not going to happen. They evoke a bone deep weariness and sorrow that I find it hard to shake off. I don’t ask them for help. They don’t offer. I barely see any of them. I am well rid of them.

Holding Dollie

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for May had two posts on the topic of inner child healing work. It’s something that I see the need for and want to do more in my life. I have been thinking that so much of our childhood was stolen from us by those who abused us and used us to do the emotional, intellectual, and sexual roles that were the jobs of adults.

It was hard for me to be a child and to act like a child most of my childhood. I couldn’t be happy or playful or loud without drawing my mother’s attention and abuse (Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse). I couldn’t be a child. I learned to be stone-faced, to act as though I felt nothing and to express nothing, to be quiet, to be alone, in order to be safe from her. I learned to hide.

I learned that my toys and dollies would be used as weapons against me. I learned that love would cost me. I learned that loving something would be noticed by my abuser and used as coercion. I learned that my heart could be broken and I could walk away from the only dollie that I ever loved when the mother abuser held her hostage and debased her. I gave my heart to no other toy until I was older and I felt they were safer, after the mother-daughter sexual abuse had stopped.

As an older child and teenager I had a lot of dollies, a lot of stuffies. I still do. I have them. I love them. I just don’t hold them much. I’m sure that there are many insiders who would like to hold dollie.

I’ve been thinking of a lot lately about the healing work that I need to do for myself and our system. It is very difficult for me to find the time and energy to do so. I love all my inners, but have to admit to being overwhelmed with health and mental health issues much of the time.

However it is essential for healing for me to assist and help others inside in their own needs, hopes, dreams, issues to help us all in healing. It helps in my healing work to post on a topic and then to go back and forth while working on it, getting support and feedback, talking to my best friends on the phone, posting again and again. I need and value the interactions. It helps move me along in my healing and in my healing work.

Child inners were created for good reasons and they need to be allowed to be children. I have a lot of trouble letting them out to be kids. I get self-conscious. I get embarrassed. I get conflicted and humiliated that I don’t manage all this better. To try to be fair to myself, this all is overwhelming and demanding and hard work. I really wish that I did this all better. I will be working on that.

There are lots of things I’d like to do, but where I live right now, without a lot of privacy, I feel the need to put off some things. However some other things I want to start doing now or in the near future.

One thing that I have done in the last few months is to turn over the healing quotes listings to the Littles and the Teens, who alternate every month. They like that a lot. They tend to pick quotes that I wouldn’t pick out and it gives the blog an added flavor. I like it. I do also post some of my own quote choices, here and there. I loved picking out some of the healing quotes on my birthday on the topics of books and reading.

I have dollies and stuffies sitting on my bed near me where I face while sleeping. They tend to fall off the side of the bed. Sometimes I tend to forget to get them out, stuck between the bed and the wall. Yesterday I dragged them out and put them on the bed again. I noticed that it isn’t often that we hold dollies or stuffies. I decided that is not a good thing. Since I have a private bedroom that no one else is allowed into, I have privacy and safety in here. So tonight we were holding dollie. More to come.

Survivor Quotes 53

She took me out of me and then told me that I wasn’t enough. Used, abused, and thrown away.

~ Survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse

The Last Secret: Daughters Sexually Abused by their Mothers by Bobbie Rosencrans.

Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse Resources

Healing from Abuse Resources

Survivor Quotes 52

I never got to be me. Find out who, what, where, when, why I was. She did more than sex.

~ Survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse

The Last Secret: Daughters Sexually Abused by their Mothers by Bobbie Rosencrans.

Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse Resources

Healing from Abuse Resources

Happy Three

A few weeks ago it was my three year anniversary for the blog. I was really too sick to notice that week. I thought about it a few weeks before that, but didn’t write something up and schedule it to post automatically on my anniversary date.

At the moment I thought about it coming up soon, I remember clearly, I was flooded with a lot of happiness and good memories. That is what my blog means to me.

It has been a very happy three.

A Huge Leap in Healing

Sometimes the biggest leaps in healing are so hard to put into words and to describe. It’s because they are so small in comparison to how many words it takes to talk about them, small as an atom and about as powerful. The words just seem to go on and on. I’ve been talking about my most recent leap in healing and I just keep talking about it, saying the same things over and over.

What I know is that the healing work I have been doing in the last few months are why I have had this leap in healing. Working on connectedness, practicing being calm and assertive (advice from The Dog Whisperer on how to approach life, to be a good pack leader, and to be a good dog owner), understanding the impact of self-pity being an inferior message to myself and that sorrow about my life was drowning me in sorrow rather than joy and healing and being willing to abandon those practices in my daily life, imagining myself wearing an invisible magical cape before I go out in public thanks to an idea from my friend Granny at the blog The Village Granny from her blog post The Magic Capes, my connectenedness to other survivors and other survivors blogs and being able to remind myself all the good and loving things that they say to me and about me, writing and posting about a sexually abusive relationship while being an adult on my blog, continuing to take a real hard look at the impact of verbal and emotional abuses and their aftermath in my adult life, and continuing to work on self-care and bliss have all made a huge impression on my life and healing lately.

My really huge leap in healing is that I am finally making a huge dent in my previously unconscious negative beliefs about myself. They aren’t unconscious anymore. Now I recall those who abused me implanting these messages long ago.

I have seen behind the curtain like Dorothy does in the Wizard of Oz and like her I see that once I see the truth I don’t have to believe in the omnipotence of those who would use and abuse me to their own purposes. Even if everyone in the world agreed with them, I don’t have to agree with them.

I was once tiny and vulnerable to them, no more. For behind there are abusers who are telling me to ignore them, that I am truly inferior and unworthy, and I see that they are really talking about themselves and not me. I don’t believe them anymore.

Each day, I am sure, will bring up more messages that I will get the opportunity to refute and to tell myself a new message, one of love, acceptance, wholeness, and healing, ones that I now believe in when I tell myself them. It’s going to be pretty exciting.

Connectedness to My Energy Part 1 of 3

I’ll try to post Part 2 of this topic some time tomorrow.

I have often wondered why others seemed to clue into me as someone they could try to abuse or use. Part of the answer to that is what I would refer to as a person’s energy. Abusers and users read others like a book, their energy, their emotions, looking for victims.

We all read each other. Just some do it better than others and some are aware of it and their responses to the energy of others and some are oblivious, represed, and/or in denial. This means that many survivors of abuse are clueless about their own energy and accurately reading others.

Being abused causes survivors to have damaged energy. Being abused causes you to judge and devalue yourself. We misinterpret things. We misunderstand. We blame ourselves for everything. We are vulnerable and naive and don’t know how to change that. Our emotions and energy become hyper-active and negative.

Slowly, with healing, we start to be more protective of ourselves, establishing boundaries, rules, and limitations in our life and when interacting with others. But even after years of healing it is very hard to heal or change our energy.

For the purposes of this discussion I will share my definition of personal energy. By energy I do not mean the soul. I do not mean the aura. I do not mean the body. I do not mean the mind.

Energy is the sum total of a person encapsulated. Energy is all that has happened to a person, all the good and all the bad, all that you have done and all you have not done, but should have. All the good qualities you have nurtured and developed and all the challenging ones that fester inside you. All the sorrow and all the tears, all the fears and all the pain. All the joys and innocence you have been able to retain. All that you have healed from and all that you haven’t.

A person’s energy is the story of their life and their present. A survivor’s energy is living too much in the past and in the future, and not in the present. It’s about living the aftermath of child sexual abuse. It’s living in the grip of fear and turmoil, hating yourself and having trouble finding the love and care from others that you deserve. A person’s energy is their everything.

Connectedness to Artist

There are two quotes that stick in my mind about this topic.

One is of a teacher who said that when she is teaching art to a classroom full of five year olds and she asks them to raise their hands if they are an artist and all of the five year olds will raise their hands. But in a classroom full of ten years old and she asks the same question to only half of the students raising their hands.

Probably the opposite is true. Probably artistic ability has increased rather than decreased and yet they doubt themselves.

The second is a story from the movie Six Degrees of Separation. The person is telling a story about going to his child’s school and seeing so many beautiful paintings on the walls done by the children. He asked the teacher why they were all so good. She said the genius is not in the work, but in knowing when to stop and that is when I take the painting away and say they are done.

So, like most things, having a someone to take the roles of teacher, mentor, and supporter means so much to believing in yourself and doing. I never had that before; before finding my survivor friends. But more and more I am getting support and that has helped me to be bold and to believe in myself.

I am an artist.

5 Healing Breaths

I have trouble breathing. I know I’ve posted about that in the past. I have trouble breathing. I don’t breathe out all the way and I have trouble breathing deeply. I attribute that to the abuses on me by my biological mother.

I often refer to her as my biological mother. Even though I didn’t have a surrogate type mother or an adoptive mother, I often refer to her as my biological mother, because she was never a mother to me. The truth, no matter how painful, when faced, helps me to heal.

So my biological mother made it hard for me to breathe. When I was little she frequently interfered with my ability to breathe, usually in a rage, usually when I was not compliant to her sexual abuses. For years I didn’t know why I had so many issues. Just focusing on breathing exercises or meditation could bring on a panic attack. I didn’t know why, but I learned soon in the beginning of my healing that I couldn’t do anything breathing without being triggered badly.

When I am upset it is hard to calm myself down, because I can’t use deep breathing. I was told to do that the first time I tried DBT. The only good I got out of that first time was the therapist screamed at me over the phone that I should hold a rock, three weeks after I told her I couldn’t do the deep breathing. I had lots of issues with that therapist, and tried to tolerate her, because I was in the DBT program, but she screamed at me and that is something I will not tolerate from a therapist. I should hold a rock, I find them very comforting, but I usually don’t.

One of the only good things I got out of my second time with DBT (see comments) was that I should practice the skills when I am not upset. I was told that was the way I should have been doing it the first time I took DBT.  

Still, even when not upset, focusing on breathing; making deep breaths and holding my breath in,  can still bring on a panic attack. I discovered recently that when I have a bottle of essential oils open I can breathe deep and hold the breath several times. I tried that a for a few days.

Now I’ve decided to add it as a healing daily skill, something I do when I want to remind myself about doing some healing self-care. Breathing in the smell of the essential oils seems to help me focus on something other than the breathing and holding my breath a few counts feels different than just breathing. This is one method of using essential oils, breathing it in, and I think it is a good beginner skill for me to work on in breathing and thankful that I have found something that doesn’t trigger or panic me.