Sunday, April 11, 2010

A New Chapter In Incest Recovery

I have done no healing work on being molested by my uncle when I was 11 years old.  This happened a few short weeks before the incest was initiated by my dad.  I thought, I guess I hoped, that working on my issues with my dad and mom would take care of it since they seemed more important.

Maybe it is now time to look at my incest issues with my uncle since I had a dream about it in the early morning hours of Easter Sunday.  I didn't remember the dream when I first woke up that morning so some of the memory of the dream was lost.  I wrote the dream down later in the afternoon when I did remember having it.  Here is what I wrote down that afternoon:

I was in a house with my uncle and a woman, maybe my grandmother.  I am not clear about who the woman was.  I forgot parts of the dream in the waking time that I used to get ready to take my mother-in-law to church this morning.

In the dream, I had a conversation with my uncle, but I don't remember most of it.  I do remember there was a sexual element to the dream and I remember that I was angry.  I was an adult in the dream.  My uncle was making demands and I refused to give in to his demands.  I said some words to the effect that I would tell someone if he didn't leave me alone.  I know he then got angry.  I wasn't afraid of him like I was as a child.

Next he was gone from the dream.  There was a knock on the front door.  I opened the door into a hallway like I was in an apartment building instead of in a house.  A man with a gun in his hand was there to kill me because I was going to talk about the incest and my uncle.  I remember waking up when the man put the gun to my head.

I woke myself up from the dream frightened and confused.  After a short while I went back to sleep and had another dream that I don't remember at all.

I know that this dream came about because I have been reading Dan L. Hays' book Freedom's Just Another Word.  [ ]  [ ].  I also know the dream came about because obviously it is time for me to work on recovery from the incest experiences with my uncle.

One thing that I have learned from reading Dan's book is that we sometimes have to revisit different time periods and the different people who have affected our lives rather than just dumping all of the issues into one big pile. 

I have hesitated to post about my uncle because he still has sons and daughters living.  I won't use his name for that reason to protect the privacy of his children.  I don't know if he abused any of them or not.  I don't know how they feel about him either. 

He died back in the 1980's or 1990's.  I don't know the exact year so I am not in fear of him hiring someone to kill me like he did in my dream.  The killer represents that part of me that is still very afraid of talking about this topic and this man.  The threat of shooting me tells me how very deep this fear is.   As a child, I thought my uncle was capable of killing me or hiring someone to do it.  When he was raping me I didn't know whether he would kill me or not afterwards.  I was afraid of him for reasons that I won't share here. 

I don't know where this part of my journey is going to take me but I am willing to go along to the end.


Colleen said...

I am sorry. There always seems to be another chapter. Perhaps this has happened so you can have more healing. It seems this kind of thing happens to me just when I am ready to deal with it. Hugs.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thank you. I am not sorry that it is happening. Apparently the time to deal with it is now or I wouldn't have had this dream. Just not sure exactly what moving forward on this one entails. God is guiding me where I need to go.

Dan L Hays said...

Wow, Patricia! It sounds like this dream is certainly revealing an issue to be worked on - because it's time for it! Amazing courage to share it, and to now be willing to go where it leads you!

I'm humbled that my book broke this loose for you! I can certainly see how, since I had a similar dream that foretold a memory I recovered not long after!

Amazing bravery!

Patricia Singleton said...

Dan, thank you. Your book also brought back some memories for me of my mother's death just before Thanksgiving 1998.

In reading about your first Thanksgiving after your dad's death of a few days before, I thought a lot about my mom's death. We usually have my husband's family come to our house for Thanksgiving and I can't remember if they came that year or not. We had just moved into our current home on Halloween night of that year.

My mom visited once to see the house just before she got pneumonia and went into the hospital. She was scheduled to go home when she had her fatal heart attack. I probably don't remember a lot of that time period right after her death. Reading your book brought that time period back to mind.

Scott Bishop said...

Hi Patricia,

It takes a lot of courage to disclose such a horrific incident from your past to the world. I was also a victim of sexual abuse and kept it buried until I was nearly 40 years old. It was my finally confronting these horrid childhood events that launched me into becoming a lightworker and healer.
Thanks so much for sharing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Scott, thank you for your comment. I was 38 years old when I got into several 12-Step programs and started talking about my incest issues and my Adult Child of an Alcoholic issues.

Dan L Hays said...

Patricia - Thanksgiving as another common point in our stories! That is pretty astounding! Yes, we had family gather at Thanksgiving, but after my Dad's death, we stopped for several years, and it was subdued after that when we did gather!

I'm sure reading my book would have brought all of that to mind! Thanks for telling me that!

Just Be Real/God Whispers In The Wind said...

Wow, Pat a powerful insight into your dream. Thank you for your continued support and for speaking the truth! Blessings to you!

Patricia Singleton said...

Dan, it is really amazing the things that the two of us seem to have in common.

Patricia Singleton said...

JBR, you are an easy person to support. The truth shall set us free. You do bless my life by being a friend. Thank you.

Shen said...

Like you, my father was not the only perpetrator of child abuse, in my past. Sometimes it's hard for me to draw the line - exactly when did it stop being child abuse and just become my own stupidity? I can reconcile that I was a child at two and four and even twelve... but the things that happened when I was fourteen and fifteen I have a harder time with. When I look at my children, I know that fifteen is still a child, but when its about me, its a whole different thing.

I guess that's why I have put off dealing with some of the events from my past - or why I have a hard time letting go of the shame from those later times.

Like you, it was dreams that spawned my final decision to delve into the stuff with my father, at ages two through four, and the issue with someone I still can't identify when I was four (which I wrote about in my blog post titled "Sunflower Dreams".)

Since I remembered all of this, between June 2008 and january 2009, the dreams have stopped. These were terrifying, recurring dreams I had all my life, but I haven't had either one (the one of the monster in the room or the sunflower dream) in over a year.

Its hard work... but I don't have to tell you its worth it.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shen, thank you and yes, it is worth the effort of doing this work. Thanks for sharing about your dreams. I will go and read your Sunflower Dreams post. Thanks for letting me know about it.

One of the biggest benefits of writing about my experiences on my blog is the online friendships that I have made. It is so important to me knowing that I am not alone in this journey. In the beginning, I didn't feel that way. I felt totally alone.

katie said...

oh my gosh, patricia, how terrifying. you are very brave to face these feelings. i know i felt like because i'd done one chunk of work on my family issues, that i was hoping the rest of it would be resolved too. but i've found that each element of trauma has it's own power, and so needs to be dealt with on it's own as well, when the time feels right.

i would imagine that if your experience with your uncle was the first time you were sexually abused, there might be a unique level of terror there for your inner child. because it was the first violation she experienced.

i'm so sorry that happened to you. it sounds so awful. i'm glad he's gone now and that you're in a place in your life where you feel ready to work on this healing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, thank you. This is the earliest memory of incest that I have. I was 11 years old.

I have clues that the incest started as young as 3 years old but I don't have memories to back it up. For years I thought that the memories with my uncle were the first time. Now I am not so sure. When my mind can deal with what the 3-year-old could not, I may get those memories back or I may not. It could have been my dad, or my uncle, or someone else entirely. That I don't know.

Right now, I will continue to deal with what I have memories of. Thanks for your support, Katie.

Bukan Sekedar Blogger Bertuah-TUKIRAN said...

nice topic...good informations...thank for your share

Patricia Singleton said...

Bukan, thank you.

From Tracie said...

"we sometimes have to revisit different time periods and the different people who have affected our lives rather than just dumping all of the issues into one big pile."<---- That simple point is so revolutionary to me. I have often dumped the abuse from my uncle in the pile with the abuse from my dad and the cover-up from my grandmother and the weight of that pile is overwhelming!

I wish peace for you as you work through this new path of healing.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, I hear you. I had hoped that working on the most important abuses first would take care of all of the others but my dream lets me know that isn't so, at least in my case. Thank you for taking the time to leave visit and leave a comment.

Marj aka Thriver said...

I like what you said about not dumping all the issues into one big pile. I found this to be true as well. It's hard work. Good for you for being willing to put the work in. I know it can be terrifying, even when so many other issues have been processed. Best wishes with this part of your healing journey. Thanks so much for contributing this to the blog carnival.

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, thank you. I was hoping not to have to work on each issue separately but it isn't working out that way. I am waiting until after my radio interview tomorrow morning to delve into the rest of that issue or at least the next step.