Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 2012 Blog Links Love

It is time for to share more of the blogs that I have read this month. Let me and them know what you found interesting or educating. Warning: Some of these may be triggers if you are a survivor.

1.  From the blog, Evil Sits at the Dinner Table, the article entitled "Denial, Repression, and Dissociation in Child Sexual Abusers @

2.  A second blog post from the blog, Evil Sits at the Dinner Table, the article is "Suburban Secrets: Affluent, Well-Dressed Fathers Sometimes Rape Their Children" @

3.  This one is an article from The New York Times and is about the Catholic Church and Survivors' Network. The name of the article is "Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims' Group found at the following link @

4. The blog is called The Secret Survivor and the post is listed under Poems as "Incested" and "A Choice". Here is the link @

5.  The blog is called Get the Lid OFF! and the article is "OTB... Cont'd ~ It Wasn't Enough" found at the following link @

6.  With this blog, take you pick of what you want to read. They are all encouraging and uplifting.  pinwheel girls: helping women be true to themselves is one of my favorites to read every week. Here is the link @

7.  Silence Is Not Golden is the next site to visit. You will find the JustJess Blog and other information for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the link @

8.  At the blog healthpsychologyconsultancy blog, you will find the following article: "Counsellor Training: The Importance of Personal Life History" @

9.  School Bullying Council wrote the blog post "Teens join anti-bullying effort" @

10.  The last website is called Who Invented The Internet. The article is "Stop Bullying Now: What should I do if I'm being bullied?" @

Monday, March 26, 2012

Memories Of A 19-year-old Incest Survivor

My dad was too much of a dictator who never wanted his kids to be out from under his influence to voice the words, "Do what I say or get out." His words were, "Do what I say or else." The "or else" was left to the imagination. My biggest fear was that "or else" meant a beating or death. In my family of origin, getting out was not an option that we were offered. My dad would have been happy if none of us ever left home.  I would have left home at 17 when I graduated from high school but my parents wouldn't sign for me to go into the Air Force like I wanted to. I couldn't sign up on my own until I was 21 years old. By then, my life had already taken a different path.

So instead of leaving home and going into the Air Force, at 17, I lived at home and rode back and forth every day with my mother to go to a small junior college for the next two years. My mom would drop me off at 7:30 a.m. on her way to work. After classes ended for the day, a friend would drop me off at the place that my mom worked where I would sit in the car and wait until she got off work.  Near the end of my second year, I applied for student loans at the four year college of my choice and as soon as I received confirmation of the loans, I started making plans to leave home.

I had no place to go but I knew that my mental state was so bad that if I didn't leave soon, I would have had a mental breakdown.  I also knew this was my first and only chance to escape my dad's control. He was not going to willingly release me from his control. I had to take drastic steps and run away, even though I was considered an adult at 18 years old.  I ran away at the age of 19, the day after my last tests at the junior college.

Before moving on, I want to revisit my first dates at 19 while I was still living at home. My first date was with a boy that I met at the junior college. I had known this boy since we first met in the 8th grade but my family moved when I was in the 10th grade to another town. I met this boy again in my freshman year of college. We would sit and talk in the student union during breaks between classes. The second year, he asked me out. He came to my home and met my parents before our date.  He and my dad instantly hated each other. They recognised each other as dictators and controllers.  I was allowed to go on that date where I submitted to being sexually abused that night. I wasn't asked if I wanted to be sexual. I didn't say no. I didn't say anything, just like when I was being sexually abused by my dad. I didn't know that I had the right to say no. It just wasn't a choice that I even considered. I had been groomed well by my dad. Even though this boy hurt me physically, I didn't make a sound of any kind just like I had silently endured the sexual abuse of my dad for 6 years. I thought in order for either of them to love me, I had to give in to their sexual demands whether I wanted to or not.

I think that I went on 3 or 4 more dates with this boy but I never asked my dad for permission after the first time. I knew that he would have said no. I had a girlfriend at college who let me come and stay the night with her after the dates with this boy. I don't think my parents ever knew about the other dates. I never told them.

On my first date, this boyfriend took me to his younger sister's house and asked her to give me some of her clothes to wear because he didn't like the pants suit that I had put together for our date.  I was so proud of that pants suit but he didn't like it. I thought I was "in love" because he talked to me and paid attention to me. I couldn't see that in many ways, he was like my dad, holding in rage and wanting someone weaker that he could hurt and control. He made the statement to me, on that first date, that he should just take me away from my dad. I thought it was an odd statement, but I didn't realize that it wasn't about me.  It was about them, not me.  They both thought that they owned me, as a possession, not as a person.  Both wanted to chain me to them and never let me go. 

Only by the grace of God, did that boyfriend not ask me to marry him.  I would have said yes and become a battered wife. On our dates, he never hit me but he did sexual things that he shouldn't have. I was too afraid to say no. He never once asked me to have sex with him. He just assumed that I would go along with whatever it was that he wanted to do and I did because of the incest.  I didn't know what was normal, especially dating normals.  I had never been allowed to say no so I didn't even think about saying no.

Just before I did leave home at 19, God put a lady in my life who gave me a place to live and helped me get my first job until I went off to my 3rd year of college. That lady saved my life. I will put a link to a post that I wrote back in 2007 about this lady at the end of this article.

I knew that if I didn't take the chance to leave right then that I would never have gotten out from under my dad's control. Walking out that door, knowing that I wasn't going back, was the most frightening, most courageous thing that I have ever done in my life.  My dad never intended for any of his children to get out from under his control.  A year or so later, my sister ran away too. I don't know the story of my brother leaving home.  I will have to ask him the next time that we talk.  My sister wasn't as lucky as I was.  She did fall for another abuser - one that verbally and physically beat her for years before she finally walked out.

I had two other dates before I met my husband.  Both of them, unknown to me at the time, were probably well on their way to becoming alcoholics.  I saw one on Facebook in the past few years and he is divorced and totally alone with no responsibilites of family (his words) now.  I thank God that I didn't get in deeper than a few dates with him. 

Until we learn otherwise, we tend to repeat in our adult relationships what we saw and learned from our parents and our relationships with them. Because of my low self-worth from the incest, I could just as easily have married into an abusive relationship like my sister. Thank God that I didn't.  If not for the lady that God put into my life that took me in for those few months before I went away to a four year college, when I left home, I could have easily fallen prey to some sexual predator or gotten into prostitution to feed and clothe myself when I got desperate enough. Instead my life has taken a much different road to where I am today with a kind, generous, stubborn husband of 39 years. (Can't have you thinking he is perfect, he isn't, but neither am I.)  There are so many possibilities that could have lead a different life than the one that I have today if I had never learned that it is okay to say no and to know that I have value other than as a sex object for some man. I grew to realize that sex does not equal love. I have been truly blessed by the many people who have come into my life since I was that 19-year-old incest survivor. Thank you to all of you.

A Related Article:

The Most Influencial Person---#2---Survival @

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#Ididnotreport Campaign On Twitter

On Twitter for the past week, there has been a campaign by rape and child abuse survivors that use the hashtag #Ididnotreport .  This campaign is to bring more awareness and to give survivors a voice, some for the first time. My tweets are about why I did not report incest to anyone when I was a child and even when I was a young adult.  Many do not understand the tremendous amount of fear that survivors of abuse, and especially rape live with every day. Nothing is simple for a survivor. Here are some of the comments that I have Tweeted using this hashtag:

#Ididnotreport because I was told to respect all adults and to always do what they told me to do. Tell your children that they can say no.

#Ididnotreport because I didn't know that I had the right to say no to my abusers who were all adults.

#Ididnotreport because I was groomed by my abusers to be silent.

#Ididnotreport because I was too ashamed of what happened to me. I believed it was my fault. Not today.

#Ididnotreport when I became an adult because I was still afraid of being blamed for the incest.

#Ididnotreport because I was a child and afraid of losing my family.

#Ididnotreport because I thought I was to blame for the incest. Today I know differently.

#Ididnotreport because nobody ever asked me if something was wrong. If just one person had asked, I would have told.

If you are on Twitter, I hope that you will join me in Tweeting your own statements using the hashtag of #Ididnotreport .

Here is a link to a blogger who first told me about the above campaign through her own blog article:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Don't Be Attached To The Results

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of my Irish friends. My paternal great-grandfather was supposed to be a full-blooded, red-headed, fleckled Irishman. In my genealogy searches, I haven't been able to find out who his parents are so I don't know if that is truth or just family legion like my maternal great-grandmother who was supposed to be full-blooded Cherokee Indian and wasn't. She was half German and part French from her father and mother.

This morning I opened to March 17 St. Patrick's Day in one of my daily meditations books and liked what I read so I wanted to share it with you. The meditation book is Joan Borysenko's called POCKETFUL of MIRACLES, Prayers, Meditations, And Affirmations To Nurture Your Spirit Every Day Of The Year.

"Seed Thought
Anthropologist and writer Angeles Arrien cites four rules for life:

Show up

Pay attention

Tell the truth

Don't be attached to the results

I'm doing pretty well with the first three, but, as Buddha pointed out, the fourth one is the hardest and represents the path beyond suffering.

Prayer and practice
Think of the things that you have planned today.  Thank God for the opportunities for love, growth and service that have been given to you. Pray for the strength and courage to carry out all your affairs with clarity, integrity and committment---and without attachment to the results. Affirm:

I have faith in Your Divine Plan. Whatever the outcome of my efforts may be, I dedicate them to You and for the benefit of all people."

When I remember to give the results to God, I do much better than on those days that I try to control everything rather than facing whatever fear I may be feeling.  How are you doing with detachment?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Trust Is Earned, Not Freely Given

Trust and forgiveness are two of the hardest issues for survivors of childhood abuse whether it is sexual, physical or emotional abuse. I have written a number of articles about forgiveness and probably will write a few more in the future. Trust is what I want to talk about today.

Another blogger got me to thinking about the issue of trust. Darlene Ouimet of the blog Emerging From Broken recently posted an article - Is Trust a Necessary Key to Emotional Healing? I will share the link to this post at the end of my article for those who would like to read it.

Trust is not one of the very first issues that I dealt with in my healing journey.  I didn't even realize that trust was an issue that I needed to work on. At that point in my journey, I just didn't trust much at all. My husband and a few close friends had my trust and that was it.  Many survivors know what I mean when I say that I didn't trust.

Looking back at my childhood, I remember being in the first grade and learning that promises were not to be made because they were going to be broken. I am sure that my parents were the ones to teach me that one. When you live with lies, secrets and broken promises, you don't learn to trust, not even yourself.

Trust has two extremes. Neither one is healthy.
1. You don't trust anyone.
2. You trust everyone until they prove that you shouldn't trust them.

Even if you aren't an abuse survivor, trust needs to be earned rather than freely given. I have been blessed with many close friends over the years that I have made the decision to trust after they proved that they could be trusted. Most have not hurt me. A few have.

Two of those friends that come to mind were also my teachers. I won't share the details of the betrayals here. The important thing is what I learned from those teachers.
1. I learned to value who I am.
2. I learned that sometimes teachers are only with you for a short time.
3. I learned that sometimes we grow and our teachers don't.
4. I learned that sometimes trust of a person doesn't have to be forever.
5. I learned that even if you forgive that person, it doesn't mean that they automatically get your trust back if they come back into your life.
6. Sometimes people come back into your life just so that you can see that whatever business you had with them has been finished.

I learned that I have grown considerably since those teachers were in my life the first time. I don't need their guidance like I once did. I do love them for what they taught me.  I am just not the same person who took them at face value before. I have learned caution when it comes to trusting others. I don't trust as easily the second time and I don't trust completely. I learned my lessons and have moved on. I don't think that either of these teachers see the changes but I do. I am not angry with either of them and I don't feel hurt by their past actions so I guess you could say that I have forgiven them. I just don't need what they have to offer right now. The first time, I walked away in anger and hurt. This time, I walked away with peace and comfort in my own abilities and in making my own decisions. I listen to my inner teacher rather than needing an outer teacher. That was a big lesson for me.

Is Trust a Necessary Key to Emotional Healing? @