Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Inspiration, Denial And Incest

This post is the result of a comment that I received on my last post "What Childhood Incest Taught Me". You will find the words from the comment here in italics when I quote it.

Warning this comment and post may be triggering.

I came through here looking for something inspirational to read and this is what I've found. I am feeling overwhelmingly sad for whoever this is. That life is one noone would choose to bare or even wish on the worst of people.

For inspirational, you picked the wrong post. And for "whoever this is", that is me. These were the lessons that I learned. I know from other comments and friends that these were also lessons that they learned from their own childhoods of abuse.

For anyone who has read my blog for very long, you know that some of my blog posts are inspirational. Some of my blog posts are about the very real facts, feelings, memories and stages of living with and dealing with the effects of incest. There is nothing inspirational about those posts. Yes, I know that some of them are difficult to read. They are also difficult for me to write even though I am in a better place in my life today. Sometimes I still feel the pain, sadness, anger and hurt of that abuse. Those blog posts I write are for other abuse survivors to let them know what my own experiences have been and to let them know that they are not alone. I have been there. I know it for the hell that it can be, especially when you feel so alone and so sad that you wonder if life is even worth living. I have always managed to take the next step. Sometimes it is two steps forward and one step back. That is the road to recovery. There is nothing easy about it.

For your experiences, all of you, I am truly heartbroken.

Thank you for your compassion and empathy. They are appreciated.

But there is something you each must realize. You each have suffered, in your own time, some of you maybe once or twice, others for years. But those times are not here, those years are not these years.

Part of my comment reply to this comment fits here: My question to you is, "Have you experienced any major trauma or abuse in your life?" It doesn't sound like it. If you haven't, you have no idea what it is like or how difficult it is to get over it.

You have to realize that sometimes life hands us so much... and all the while the world is so cruel. We start to feel like that is all that is ever to be dealt us. But it just isn't. You must each move on. I know you may think that this is impossible. But I know that as you read this those encounters are distant, very real, experiences. Key word being distant.

You have probably never had flashbacks or nightmares or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Soldiers aren't the only ones who get PTSD. Survivors of child abuse and survivors of sexual abuse do too. When those symptoms happen, you are not in control of your feelings or actions. You can be thrown back into "those years". Nobody wants that to happen but it does, sometimes on a daily basis. It takes years of therapy to recover from these. "Key word being distant." There is nothing distant about those years when you are in the middle of a flashback or nightmare. You can tell me they aren't real but when you are in the middle of it, they are very real. Have you ever had a flashback? If not, you don't know what you are talking about.

You are each holding so closely to something that with every single thought of it your heart breaks inside. Why are you choosing to hold on?

Why would anyone choose to hold on to the kind of emotional pain that most people can't even imagine, if they had a choice? Just choosing to be happy sounds like a really good reality but it is very often the road to denial. I did that road for a lot of years. That road that says, "I don't feel anything about the incest. I don't hate my abusers. I don't hate myself. I don't feel anything so I can't be affected by the incest. It doesn't affect my life, my decisions, my children, me. Life is fine. Life is great." The road to denial is a road of lies. I was disconnected from my feelings, from myself. I did hate myself. I did hate my abusers. I was so full of rage, sadness and hurt that I couldn't feel anything else. If you deny any feelings, you deny them all. I had a volcano of fire inside of me that caused headaches, stomach aches and other physical symptoms that shows what I was holding in rather than dealing with. I was taught all of this denial as a child. The denial didn't stop until I got sick and realized that denial didn't work. That is the real world of an incest survivor.

Just letting go of all of the pain isn't really an option until you have worked through all of your issues. Then the letting go is possible. Is it an instant possibility, just in the case of a miracle. I do believe in miracles. I also know that denial is alive and well until I choose to let go of it and face the reality of incest.

You have to realize that you are something amazing on the inside. That the real true parts of us are ones that NO ONE can touch but you.

I can agree with the above statement. On the spiritual level, my Higher Self is untouchable by what happens to my body. The truth is that each of us is a Light to the world. Sometimes that Light does get hidden by the struggles of Life. This isn't something that a child who is being abused or an adult who is still suffering from the abuse is even aware of. On a spiritual level, I can even say that "Yes, I chose this lifetime to learn the lessons that incest teaches me. My parents chose to help teach me those lessons." It has taken me years to reach the level of acceptance that this requires. Most abuse survivors aren't there yet. Do I condemn them as stupid or not whole or anything else derogatory because they aren't at this level of understanding yet? No, not at all. There are still some days that I question the validity of those beliefs and they are my own. Do I expect everyone else to accept and live by those "spiritual" beliefs? Again, no, not at all. Is it ok if you disagree with me? Yes, absolutely. Do I want to hear how you disagree with me? Only if it is offered in a respectful manner.

What happened to you, happened to your body. And you each, understandably, allowed it to alter more than just your body. You let your spirits still feel the pain.

I don't know about you but, yes, I live in a physical world which affects my mental and emotional world. I believe that my spiritual world encompasses all of the others and uses those others to teach its lessons. I eventually see the blessings that come from going through the pain but not until I have worked through the pain.

Again you used the word "let" as if the victim of abuse knows that they have choices. Victims don't know that they have choices. Choices didn't exist for me for many, many years because I believed the lies of the abuser who told me he was in control and that I had to do what he told me to do. I had no choices until I got into a recovery program and learned what choices meant. That is when I learned that I was responsible for my own life and my own choices. That is a very big lesson for survivors. Not everyone learns that lesson.

Just imagine yourself as a light inside a dark cave. No matter how dark it is on the outside, no matter how it may storm, it doesn't change that there is light on the inside. You are safe because you are that light.

As an incest survivor, I didn't learn that the world was a safe place. Yes, I have always been aware of that inner Light. That inner Light is probably the only thing that kept me from splitting into different personalities as some childhood abuse survivors do. My Spirit has always been and will always be safe. My physical world has never felt safe.

You are you at the happiest moments in your life, not the you that always returns home to your pain.

You live in a world of duality---Light and Dark, Love and Fear, Good and Evil, Day and Night, Sad and Happy, Calm and Chaos. You can't have one without the other. Without Sad how would you know what Happy is? Without Evil how would you know what Good is? Without Fear how would you know what Safe is or Love is? Hate isn't the opposite of Love, Fear is. Lack of Love equals Fear. You can't know what the "happiest moments in your life" are unless you know what the worst moments of your life are.

Let it go now. Move on. Decide you have this one life, and no matter what the world will ever throw at you will never matter.

I have discovered that those people who tell me to "Let it go now. Move on." are usually one of two types. They either have never experienced what I have and therefore know nothing about the process that it takes to heal. Or, they have their own abuse issues that they want to stay in denial of. If you see me going through my issues and haven't dealt with your own, then my struggle threatens your denial. That is why you tell me to let it go and to move on so that you don't have to become aware of your own unresolved issues.

I feel sad for those who are still in denial of their own issues. I have little sympathy for those who don't know what they are talking about because they have never experienced what I have. If you haven't been there, you have no idea of what it takes to live my life and to struggle to get better. Don't tell me to get over it. If you have been where I am and were able to let go of your issues by healing them, then tell me how you did it. Share your experiences and what worked. Don't share your denial of your issues. I don't need that. I did that, on my own, years ago and I know that denial just helps you continue to live in the pain. Denial heals nothing. When you are in denial, you aren't happy. You aren't free. The only way to freedom is through the pain, not around it.

You are stronger now than anyone will ever know. You can take this world on and actually live free from your past.

Yes, I am stronger than even I knew that I would ever be. I am more courageous than I ever thought I could be. I am more compassionate that I ever thought possible. I am proud to be the woman that I am today. I am the best parent that I know how to be to my inner child.

I don't live completely free from my past. I don't believe that that is totally possible. I don't know that I would want it to be. My past has formed who I am today. Without that past I would not be stronger, more courageous, compassionate, proud of who I am today. Without my past, I would not be aware of the blessings of my life today. Yes, today, I can take on whatever the world throws at me. This is true because of my past.

Some of you maybe have already found a church. But some of you may feel like there are far too many questions. But all I can say can walk make the decision to just say goodbye to all that stuff you can't bring back or change. And never have to think about it again. The person that hurt you had their free will, and they chose to storm boldly away from what was right, and you suffered. That makes it the fault of no one but them, not you and definitely not God. Choose to forget and start living your life in the light. Remember these bodies die, but we will never die. Where are you headed, and lets make it great! "Love your neighbor as yourself" said someone very special. It's great advice. Good Luck.

The comment about finding a church can be a future post all of its own. I "found a church", but many others, not just survivors, choose differently. I am happy with my church. That is my choice.

I don't blame God for what happened to me. I never have. I know that some survivors do. I did turn my back on God for a few years because I thought He did nothing to stop the abuse. A part of me always felt His presence in my life. That presence is what gave me the strength to survive when many others didn't.

I know that some don't believe in a God who could allow such abuses to happen to a child. Others look to God for grace and love. I believe in free will and that you are each responsible for your own actions. I know that some of the abused go on to abuse the next generation. Most of you don't. Many choose to stop the abuse rather than pass it on to future generations.

Some of you choose to share your own experiences, as I do, by blogging about them online. Others choose to write in private journals. Some of you still continue in the silence because you haven't found your voice yet. It is for other incest and childhood abuse survivors that I write of my experiences. Any time that someone survives abuse in any form and can write about that journey, that is inspirational. It isn't light, funny inspiration. It is sad, thoughtful, sometimes tearful. It is always heartfelt. Sometimes it comes from a deep well of hurt. It is always healing to be able to bring these thoughts and feelings to the surface and share them with others. It can be educational to share with others who have never experienced abuse in their own lives. Without awareness, you can stop nothing.

If you come here looking for happy and joyful and light, sometimes you will find it here. Other times you won't. I won't apologize for my words. This is my life. I share it to give strength and hope to other survivors. I also share it to spread awareness of the evil disease of abuse that lives in this world. I look forward to hearing what you think about this post and any other post that you want to comment on. I reserve the right to agree or disagree with your comments.


shhh said...

That comment sounds like it could have been written by my brother, who is deep in his own denial and alcoholism.

If it were possible to leave trauma behind through an act of will, this world would be a different place.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shhh, this wasn't the first time that I have heard it either. I agree with you. The world would be a different place if you could leave the trauma behind so easily.

Alene said...


Yes this post was triggering. It hurt to listen to clear denial ringing through the comments, regardless of whether it is denial of their own experience of abuse, naivete, or insensitivity to the pain of others, intentional or not.

Whatever brought this person to your blog in the first place, and to where they are now, I hope that someday they can work through their own pain.

At this point, this person shows little awareness of how much work it takes to get through the pain to the point where it's possible to courageously, honestly, and gracefully answer a comment like that.

I am grateful for your blog, Patricia. It makes me stronger and gives me hope, and I hope for healing for the person who wrote those comments, because they are inflicting more pain upon themselves when they need to heal.

Thank you again for a genuine, courageous post.

Patricia Singleton said...

Alene, I pray that she was just ignorant and not in denial, for her sake. I thought her comment would make a good teaching tool for her and any others that just don't understand what it is like to be in our shoes.

I was very angry when I first read her comment. I wanted to be respectful so I waited two days before writing this post in answer to her comment. Al-Anon taught me that when I hurt others, I hurt myself too. I don't need any new wounds to heal.

I talked to my husband and a friend about my feelings before I wrote this post so that I wouldn't just blast her out of the water with my anger. Hopefully I was able to get my message across without doing harm to others.

This is a message that others need to hear. Don't try to shut us up just because you don't understand. If you are uncomfortable with the words of a survivor, maybe you need to look to see if you have any wounds yourself that you may be in denial about. Sometimes all that is needed by a survivor is someone to listen.

Corinne Edwards said...

Dear Patricia -

It must have been hurtful to hear those comments.

Your blog is not for those people. They should investigate some woo-woo writings. That's where they will get some affirmation.

I thought it was the bravest post you had ever written.

The women or men who need you will find you.

These commentators just don't get it because they don't understand it.

Forgive and move on doing what you do best. Being your honest self.

Patricia Singleton said...

Corinne, I can always count on your wonderful words of support. By the time that I wrote this post, I had dealt with most of my anger.

What I had forgotten until your words reminded me is that my anger is very often a cover up for my hurt. Years ago these words would have hurt me deeply. Today I can work my way through the feelings much quicker. It truly is a blessing that I can feel all of it today and I can let go of it instead of stuffing it my body.

Marj aka Thriver said...

This is an amazingly well-written article, Patricia. Kudos to you, my friend!

Some people do not have any knowledge or understanding of how trauma (especially early childhood trauma) works. Yet, many people boldly launch into judgmental, opinionated advice giving any way. Others, as you've wisely pointed out, are deep in denial and feel threatened by the truth. I feel you've done a great job of providing some answers and information to either of these types of "get over it" folks.

I find that--in and of itself--quite INSPIRING! What I often find the most inspirational is the story of the pain, trauma, abuse, misfortune (whatever) that a person is facing head on and striving to overcome!

This would be a FANTASTIC post to submit for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. Paul at Mindparts is hosting at the end of the month. Hope you join us!

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, thank you. I will send this post to Paul in the morning.

April_optimist said...

I wanted to stand up and cheer as I read this post! We are all doing the best we can. We are all healing as fast as we can. We all would let go of the pain instantly if we could. It isn't that simple and you told the person so in the most eloquent of words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Patricia Singleton said...

April, thank you very much. The world is full of people who seem to think we can just turn our pain off whenever we want to. It really isn't that simple or most of us would do it. You are welcome. I feel well hugged by your comment.

Debra A. Estep said...


Did you ever flip on the TV and come to a movie that was already in progress.?

The person who you shared the comments from, they came in the middle of your story. :)

Perhaps your counter message to that person might enlightened not only that person but other folks who arrive in the middle here.

I always have admired you for the way you share your authentic self.


Patricia Singleton said...

Deb, thanks for your words of encouragement. It is always good to hear from you.

Most of my posts today are used to encourage other survivors but also to educate people that may know nothing about incest and its side effects. I wanted to get this message across in a straight forward way and still be respectful to the person concerned. She may never come back to read it or she might.

Colleen said...

I felt anger too when I first read through the comments. I think you did a masterful job answering them. The only thing I would add is the part where the commenter wrote that "what happened to you happened to your body." No, it happened to all parts of us - mind, body and spirit. We did not ALLOW it to alter more than our body. We were victims. We had no power. Children have no power.
You wrote beautifully and well and I felt like cheering you on! Blessings and hugs!

Patricia Singleton said...

Colleen, thank you. You are right. The abuse didn't just happen to our body and we were powerless as children.

Marj aka Thriver said...

Thank you so much, Patricia, for letting us use this post (and dialogue) for THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. I want to stand up and cheer, too. HOORAY! ;)

Patricia Singleton said...

Marj, you are very welcome. I am looking forward to reading all of the submissions to the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse when it comes out.

Patricia Singleton said...

The Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse (January 2010) has been posted by Paul on his blog Mind Parts at the following link:

This post is one of the submissions to the January Carnival.

Anonymous said...

This post truly touches my heart.

I blame God for not stopping what happened to me as a child. I was taught that I only need ask for safety... I did ask, it didn't happen.

As for the person you were quoting here - yes, definitely in denial or brainwashed by his or her church to believe that if God is in your life, nothing else matters. If you ever do a post just on "finding a church", let me know!

Patricia Singleton said...

Ivory, thanks for visiting and your comment. Free Will is a concept that helped me release my anger toward God. Free will says that God doesn't step in just because He doesn't like something that you are doing. We each have the free will to do whatever we want to do---good or evil. If God stopped just one of us, then it wouldn't be free will any more. I believe that God sometimes cries when He sees what human do to each other.

These are just my thoughts and understanding on free will. You don't have to agree with me at all. This is what helped me stop blaming God for the bad in the world.

me as i am said...

oh my gosh, patricia! i have so much to say in response, but for your sake, i'll try to keep my comment brief.

first of all, as i read one disturbing part of this person's comment to you after another, i could not believe they went on. and on. and on.

i felt - literally - as though a weight were pressing down on me. what a burden their words seemed to be.

i think it was so great that you responded to their comment like this. that you stood up for yourself and anyone else who has heard these kinds of statements. and those kinds of statements are so upsetting! so potentially invalidating and angering. i don't think it's the place of any person, well intentioned or not, to tell anyone else *what to feel* - and telling someone else they need to *move on* - that is just insensitive and demeaning, in my opinion.

i hope it's ok that i'm saying this. i don't mean to be rude or hurtful to anyone myself.

the worst part is, i think people often do *think* they are being helpful. so they seem blind to the hurt they might be causing with their words. i actually just wrote about all this kind of thing a few posts ago, i wrote about grief and how we all have our process and it isn't for anyone to tell anyone else how to heal. that we each have our own path.

your blog is wonderful, patricia. and i must say that when i read these words of yours:

"some of my blog posts are inspirational. Some of my blog posts are about the very real facts, feelings, memories and stages of living with and dealing with the effects of incest. There is nothing inspirational about those posts."

my immediate response is, holy cow, patricia, there sure is something inspiring about those posts. all your posts are inspiring. especially the ones where you talk about the difficult feelings and memories and aspects of abuse. you are inspiring in your bravery for sharing your thoughts. you give encouragement to others through your insight and your honesty. you share your wisdom with us and the hope for each person to have a future of healing.

thank you for your writing, patricia. you are most certainly an inspiration.

me as i am said...

hi patricia, i want to add that i am also inspired by the comments people have left here for you. they show such kindness and encouragement, both of you and towards the person who wrote you. such wisdom.

i felt angry and defensive and protective and didn't wait to calm down before i wrote my comment a moment ago. i'm sorry. thank you and your fellow commenters for showing me such positive examples of such healing expression of emotions, instead of responding in the moment of being upset.

sometimes it's hard to remember that i am in control of my expression of my feelings, instead i usually feel like i'm holding onto a rodeo bronco and can't wait to say something!

again, i hope i wasn't rude in what i said about the person who wrote you. i think they really just struck a nerve for me.

thank you again for all your sharing and wisdom. you are such an inspiring example of healing :)

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, there is nothing wrong with either of your comments. Feelings are feelings. Another person's response to those feelings is their business. You cannot control how another person feels or how another person reacts to your words. Thank you for sharing those very honest feelings.

My heart swells with feelings of love and appreciation and pride at your words. Thank you for voicing them. The support that has come my way through comments from my readers has been so very important to me in continuing to share my story. Thank you for adding to that with your two comments.

You were not rude. Again, thank you for sharing.

me as i am said...

wow, thank you so much, patricia! :)

i am so glad i visited your blog today and had this experience. a reminder of pains felt before, examples of how to respond healthily, feeling free to express my emotions (though with a chaser of guilt and self-doubt, as is not unusual for me when such issues are brought up), and validation.

thank you for your response and reminding me i'm not responsible for the feelings and reactions of others.

once more you've been an inspiration to someone out there in the world :)

which reminds me, something else i was going to say earlier. you don't have to be :) you don't have to be an inspiration or a source of strength or hope to others. you are, but that is not your obligation in my opinion. you are valuable in and of yourself. not only in so far as the ways you offer healing to others.

i believe that none of us have to be anything but who we are. sometimes i think there is a pressure put on people when they're told to "cheer up" that we need to be happy and positive for the sake of others. but our job as i see it is not to live our lives to make others feel good.

it is just to live and be.

wishing you well this day and always!

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, again, thanks for your comment. I don't do any of my writing out of obligation to others. My writings are first and foremost for myself. This is where I very often get really honest about what I think and, most importantly, what I feel about the different stages of my recovery.

It is a plus that I can help others with their own struggles to heal. I feel great that I can help others with my writing. I actually love the fact that helping others is where I am now in my recovery. I do feel that at some point in my recovery it was my turn to start giving back to others what has been given to me by those in recovery who came before me. I don't see that as an obligation. I see that as a priviledge and an honor to be able to pass the hope of recovery on to others. Thanks for making my day. You inspired me today.

me as i am said...

my last comment, patricia, i promise! :)

i just wanted to say that in your writing, you do not come across as feeling obligated at all. i just felt the need to say that to you in response to you having been told you need to move on and let go and cheer up and be more inspiring, etc.

i think when people tell us that sort of thing, it's often part of that whole system of thinking that teaches us we need to live our lives trying to make others happy.

i'm so glad for you that you have found such healing in your life.

wishing you all the best!

Patricia Singleton said...

Katie, thanks. Your comments are appreciated. Growing up as the oldest daughter in a very dysfunctional family, believe me when I say I do know about obligation and the guilt that can be heaped on when you don't play the family roles that are assigned to you. Have a glorious day. Now, I am going out to dinner with my very sweet husband.

Lara said...

You are so patient Patricia - I would have been so much more strident in my response just because my flashbacks are almost daily right now and I am very sensitized.

The thing that disturbs me about people who want us to let go and let god is that my abuse stemmed from brutal abuse suffered by my father from priests in his childhood, and the level of denial within particularly the Catholic Church about their profound contribution to the vast numbers of sexually abused children in the world is sometimes more than I can handle.

If the church would truly apologize and actually do the important work needed to heal the families torn apart by sex abuse originating with the clergy and then carried on by those victims to their own families and children, ad infinitum, I would not be so angered.
It is very handy for those of zealous faith to say forgive and forget, but all I see it having done is enabled generations of clergy to continue their covertly sanctioned child abuse unimpeded. In some sense the church is like my mother, knowing something is going on but refusing to acknowledge it.

My advice to that misguided blogger is simple - do the work to heal the sickness in your churches and I will continue to do the work I need to do to heal from the damage those church inflicted on me through my father's victimization by them, and subsequent targeting of his misdirected sexuality and rage onto me. Then I will be able to move on, knowing that the churches can no longer wreak such havok on families from without and within.

Patricia Singleton said...

Lara, I am not always patient. I can be very impatient at times. Just ask my husband. I have just had a lot of years of working on being more kind to others and to myself and have learned to not be so rash in my speech. I like to look at all angles of a problem before making a decision about something or before replying back to a commenter. I took 3 days to think about this article before I wrote it.

I have a male friend who was abused by a Catholic priest when he was a little boy. Today that friend is an alcoholic and doesn't want to see the problems that the abuse has caused in his life. I want to help him but can do nothing as long as he doesn't think he has a problem. That is the saddest thing to me.

Jeffery said...

Hi Pat.
Gee. So much of what you said "they said" is exactly what "they" - the shrinks and T's told me. And no - it didn't work (hence the 'resistive to treatment' label and eventual boot.)

And all I can say is "true, true, true'.

But I'd like to add - for the benefit of some of those in healing - these words:
"Why are you choosing to hold on? Why won't you let it go?"

To which I always reply: "I'd love to let it go - but it won't let go of ME!"

"...realize that you are something amazing on the inside..."

I was told how mucked up I was for years. Add to that me telling myself that for years, and my other 'selves' inside me telling me that for years - and me telling THEM that . . . getting the picture yet? No? How about these scars on my arms? You gonna tell me there's something good and 'amazing' about that one? Pole-eeezze!

"let your spirits still feel the pain."

I am MPD/DID. I have many souls inside. Yes, they feel pain - huge pain and sadness sometimes. I get to suffer along with them; and yet I love them more each and every day. They are trapped in time in some ways; only I can help them out. Don't tell me about 'spiritual pain'. I have enough spirits inside to fill a dozen souls.

"imagine yourself as a light inside a dark cave."

Excuse me? Have you ever really and truly been in that thing I'm calling "The Pit of Despair"? There IS no light in there; not the least bit and not one spark. Hanging onto the hope that I might - just MIGHT - have some hope someday - is the only thing that kept me ... alive. (again, scars to prove that thing.) And YES: the world is a dangerous place - how can I "be the light" when I, the 'light' - am intent on snuffing my own self out???

"Good vs. Evil". Years ago we came up with a song, a poem, and a ditty: "When you see the bad man take a fall - just remember: if it weren't for him, there'd be no good at all." Strange minds think alike I'm thinking here, LOL! But so true!

"live free from your past.

okay, without some major and damaging brain surgery, this isn't going to happen. I wouldn't be me without 'my past'. And I am many; we are one: our past is inviolate; we would not give it up for anything. I have souls to protect inside of me, and I'm d**ed sure gonna do my job as top controller here, LOL!

As for a religion; well, I've got my own as you are aware - and surprisingly enough it sounds a lot like yours, independently arrived at. God, I believe, had a plan - and the abuse was in the plan; so was the MPD. (Read this if you want my outtake on this: ). And I'm good with that. Lets just say He's explained things to me. (weird, in old times it was acceptable to 'talk to God'. Now they think you're crazy. Since I am - I figure it doesn't matter anymore, eh? Let 'em come lock me up. I'll just talk to "Him" some more, LOL'ing!)

As for me: having embraced my madness, found God on April Fool's day . . . well, I guess I'm just about 90% there.

Where 'there' is . . . well, come the future then we'll know and see - won't we!

Patricia Singleton said...

Jeffery, you don't sound crazy to me at all. You sound incredibly wise and courageous to have survived all that you have.

Those other selves helped you to survive a painful childhood. Not all of us are as lucky to survive. I know lucky probably isn't the right word but I couldn't think of another way to express the idea.

Those of us who survived, did so for a reason. Sometimes I know my reason for surviving is to make me an advocate for those who either didn't survive or for those who don't have a voice for whatever reason. Sometimes when I am in the middle of the hurting that purpose isn't so clear to me.

Yes, I was in that pit of despair for many years, lost to myself, just trying to get through each day without letting my rage come out and do harm to those that I loved. Some days I was successful and others I wasn't. I didn't know how to feel the rage without hurting myself or someone else. It took me a long 4 years to learn how to feel without being destructive.

Some days I hurt so bad that I numbed out everything. I couldn't talk about the hole that was in my middle (solar plexus area). When I started healing, I painted a picture of the blackness with the red of rage throughout the black and completely surrounding the hole. The hole that I thought was empty was very full of the rage, fear and sadness that I tried not to feel.

I talk to God all the time. Sometimes He/She talks back, mostly though other people and situations. That does not make you or me crazy. I think it makes us saner than a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

Great job, Patricia, of replying to this long & difficult comment. Whoever posted that has some stake in denying our reality as survivors. We know we can't "just let go." We have heartbreakingly difficult work to do, to heal.

Keep up the good work. And would you be interested in reviewing my memoir, The River of Forgetting? It's all about this same journey.

take care

Patricia Singleton said...

Jane, thank you. Your book has been on my wish list of books to buy and read in the future. Just from reading your blog, I know that I will find similiarities between us and our journey as survivors.

Anonymous said...

Trying to comment but having trouble... my comment disappeared. This is @RagMan_RIP. I'll try again...

Patricia Singleton said...

RagMan, please do come back and try again. Sometimes there are problems with comments but thankfully not very often.

Anonymous said...

As I said on Twitter, this post means a lot to me. I have no words for such foolish ignorance as this person spouted at you. Yet I am grateful I didn't encounter it on my own as a whole before I had your responses to each point to refute, assess, or define a better truth. The uninformed comment of this person comprises words that can and do damage many survivors every day. If I had read her words without your rebuttal injected, I would probably have sunk into another bad spiral of suicidal thoughts. "Move on, Let go and let god, forget it it was years ago, it only happened to your body"... Each of these is a knife in my back. Being handed the smug "advice" of "just find a church" makes me sick. One of my abusers, another man my father rented me to by the hour, was a pastor of a respected church. My father raised me to believe he WAS god, and my body, mind, heart, spirit, and soul were the sacrifice to his "glory". Therefore, "find god, he will solve your problems and heal you" makes me sick. Don't get me started on the cruel and disgusting concept of "forgive your abusers" and the even worse tack on of "or god won't forgive you". I can't forget. My body has been disabled by one blind eye, a speech impediment, a Glascow Smile, tremor, ataxic gait, while mind and spirit are beset by PTSD, phobias, flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares; and scars that make strangers cross the street to shield their children, or make cruel people catcall names like "Frankenstein". My soul recoils with conditioned beliefs that I am weak, dirty, broken, stupid, worthless. As for her other words, I am deeply grateful for your explanation of people who are in denial, who sometimes spout this damaging foolishness to preserve their own self-protection denial; that to see others struggles to heal can actually make them feel threatened, and so some of them resort to this passionate idiocy. They need to know such words can harm or even cause a survivor to feel there is no point to the struggle. Words can kill. Thank you, Patricia. Your words have a power to heal. - W.R.R. (@RagMan_RIP or @AsAshesScatter)

Patricia Singleton said...

W.R.R., I am so glad that you came back and left this comment. Your words are important for other survivors to read as well.

I am so sorry that others have used their mean words to hurt you so. Adults, at least, should know better. Compassion seems to be missing from the world.

I am glad that we met online. I am glad that my words can give you some comfort and strength. Thank you for sharing your story so that others may heal.