Saturday, September 8, 2012

Are The Effects Of Incest A Life Sentence For A Survivor?

Sharing some more of my Tweets on Twitter from several weeks ago. Tell me what you think.

The sad fact of my life is that at age 60, my abusers are all dead but the effects of incest live on in me.

I have done many years of healing work and am in a good to great spot most of the time with my incest issues behind me.

Even with healing, sometimes an issue will pop up and catch me by surprise and I find more grieving to do.

More grieving, more healing, more anger and fear to feel and then let go of because of the incest in my childhood.

A Survivor's work is never done, at least in my experience. Joy and peace do exist and I enjoy them when they are here.

And I still have those moments of fear come up when something triggers a memory or a feeling from my inner child.

I live with hope and laughter in my life and I still am a work in progress.

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday. He died January 6, 2000. Because of the length of time that he sexually abused me, I count him as my main abuser and most of the issues that I have worked on came from the abuse done by him.

My dad was born in 1931 as the 3rd oldest of what would become a family with 12 kids. He quit school in 5th grade when he went to work in the fields with his dad to help feed their family. I don't know if he had been a good student or not. When I was older, I realized that he could barely read or write. He could write his name. As for his intelligence, I don't think he was very smart. He came from a family with alcoholism and codependency in it just as I did. My grandfather when I was older would start drinking on Friday evening as fast as he could cash his pay check and get to the store to buy beer. When I was growing up, we spent lots of weekends at their house. I was always afraid of my grandfather because he was loud, a big man and a mean drunk. He would drink all weekend. On Sundays, he would drive back to town to buy more beer even though it was against the law back then to sell alcohol on Sundays. You did not want to ride with my grandfather when he was drinking. I rode with him one time with my siblings.  I cannot understand how he was never in an accident or stopped by a policeman for drunk driving. He was all over the road. Whatever direction he looked, the car went. That was before you had seat beats in cars. He never drove over 40 miles per hour. Neither did my dad. This was also before you had interstate highways.

None of this is told to you as an excuse for my dad's behavior but to give you a little bit of background to his life and mine. I can feel sad for the child that he was and I can see where some of his patterns of behavior came from. I can see why he grew up into a frightened man who felt that he had to control everyone around him to feel safe. I did the same thing until I realized that control didn't make me safe or make me happy. For awhile, I copied what I saw as a child. You have to have awareness of behaviors before you can change them. My dad never saw that he needed to change anything. I have learned that control hides fear - lots of fear.

When you face your fear, you can give up the need to control. Letting go of fear makes room for you to start to heal.


Colleen said...

Thanks for sharing this.
Yes, for me, incest has given me a life sentence. Issues come up and surprise me, too. I'm dealing with a few right now. Seems like they come out of nowhere sometimes!

Zephyrr Sky said...

Patricia, my heart hurts for the little girl raised by these drunks. A child cannot feel safe anywhere when home is unsafe.
To answer your question, I think it's always with us. I believe that only the Lord can take it all away. My question is, how do I completely surrender myself to Jesus Christ when I really don't trust anyone completely. That is what I am trying to work on every day.
I look back through my 46 years and I see how these things were always with me. Through my growing years, hiding in my bedroom trying to be safe, to my wedding day, the births of all my children, my 5 grandchildren and still now. I do refuse to give up though.
God bless you!

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, thank you. It amazes me when I am not sure about a post and then a comment like yours comes along and says it is beautiful. Thank you. I will keep writing and yes we do need to address our fears on a global level.

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, You are very welcome. I have had a few issues myself over the past few months seem to come out of nowhere.

Patricia Singleton said...

Zephyrr Sky, thank you. Good for you. Don't ever give up. God has been important in helping me to heal. We can do it. Trust is such a big issue for so many survivors. It is the hardest one to master in my opinion. You have to start with trusting yourself.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene Gone Bad, I have to apologize to you. Somehow I got 2 copies of your comment. When I deleted the second one, the first was also deleted. I am going to copy your comment here:

"Beautiful post, Patricia. So much of what you wrote about fear and control is what we see in our world today. Makes me think about things on a global scale, in particular, now in this country. We need to address those fears...keep writing!"

Again, Alene, thank you for your words.

Tracie Nall said...

"I realized that control didn't make me safe or make me happy"

YES. That is something I'm still working on fully internalizing in my own life.

Patricia Singleton said...

Tracie, letting go of controlling behavior wasn't something that I was able to learn overnight. It took a few years even after I had the awareness that controlling wasn't good for me.

Vigabo said...

Oh Patricia!

This post of yours touched a raw nerve somewhere deep inside me. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just got up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe not. Since I started my COMING OUT FROM UNDER blog and my OUT FROM UNDER page at Facebook, I've been on a bit of a high. It felt so good to be talking openly about my life now. And like you, I felt I had come to grips with it all a long time ago and had a pretty good handle on everything. I'm generally pretty upbeat and get on with my life, which right now is as good as it gets. But then your post: it rattled me for some reason I have to explore. It's the bit about control. I long ago realized that was what was behind my dad's actions. But what I hadn't really faced is how much my own life has been about exactly the same thing: control...or my lack of it. I will explore this in my own next blog post. Thanks for making me think about it. As much as it's disturbed me, it's told me more about myself than I wanted to know or like.

Vigabo said...

Me again Patricia. My latest blog post is a response to yours. You can read it at Vigaland: Coming Out from Under

Thank you for inspiring it.

Patricia Singleton said...

Cruiseroo, I do understand where you are and what you are feeling. Control was one of my toughest issues to heal. Today I recognize that when I am trying to control something or somebody, I have some things to look at in myself - mainly where is the fear coming from. I know that you can do this work. I have faith in you.

Patricia Singleton said...

Cruiseroo, you are very welcome. I look forward to reading it. I invite my readers here to follow me and be sure to leave comments too.

aspiritofhealingsings said...

Strange how survivors life's are quite often interconnected :-) I just had myself gotten back into trouble at work due to self-destructive behaviours as well as broken dreams due to trusting the wrong people. Depression is back and its just hard. thanks for your post :-)

Patricia Singleton said...

aspiritofhealingsings, You are very welcome. I hope that things get better for you soon. I think it helps to have someone who is also a survivor to share our struggles with.