Suspicions Confirmed
August 10, 2006

WARNING:
This entry should not be read by everyone. If you're just surfing the web through BlogMad or you've come here for something funny or short or a nice little diversion, this is not a post you want to read.

This is a post about "childhood trauma" as one hospital calls it. If we're being blunt ... and I am rather blunt in the post itself ... it's about incest and having to deal with its aftereffects as an adult.

You want fun, I got fun stuff below. The rant in "Not News" is funny. "Diversions" has, well, it has great diversions for you.

Click the link if you want to follow through to a very serious post. It's not for everyone.

This post contains blunt language (but not profanity). It's gonna be to the point and no longer dancing around any proverbial bushes. I am, for the moment, through with that.
If you're not in a balanced place mentally, don't read on.

If you have been through childhood trauma, you understand the triggers warning. If not, consider this a hint of what's to come.
triggers include: the word rape, allusion to cult, discussion of self-injury

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

For the first time, I can really say it.

My father raped me.

I've never said that out loud before.

You see, for years, I suspected. First, while I was a teen still living at home, I suspected that he had the capacity for rape. I told myself I was ready for him and that if it ever happened, I would call the police. I would have him taken away. I would rescue the family. There were times when I would sit in my room in the late night hours and will him to "just try and start something" because I was determined that I would finish it. And it would end with him in prison.

When I moved out of the house (and some part of me was stunned that it was so easy to do ... that part of me was positive he would kill me before he'd let me leave), I began getting glimpses. I feared that "things" had happened. I had suspicions, but I didn't really have anything I would call a solid memory. So I distrusted them. I got Courage to Heal. I read large chunks of it. Then tore the book into chunks.

I wasn't ready.

I read books. Obsidian Mirror. Courage to Heal. Courage to Heal Workbook. I read others' stories. When Rabbit Howls. The Broken Child. Sybil. I read the horribly tacky "true crime" books dealing with abuse. I read the FBI "report" on cults.

I watched movies. Boys Don't Cry. The General's Daughter. Anything I thought might possibly trigger something.

I wasn't ready.

I was frustrated. I wanted to remember. I knew there were things locked up somewhere in my brain and I was determined to root them out. I tried writing. I tried counselling. I tried just looking at pictures and concentrating on that time period.

I wasn't ready.

I was really freaking tired of people telling me I'd remember when I was ready. I was tired of being scared of "something" having happened. I was tired of walking and talking like a duck but not *feeling* like I was a duck. I was tired of reacting to my partner's reasonable and loving requests for physical love like I was a five year old. I wasn't five. I was thirty-five and this was getting OLD. I felt like I was working and working and working on this and getting nowhere at all.

My partner begged me to try counselling again, gathered names of some good people and I did go back. To someone who knows what she's doing, this time. I wrote a 10 page list of bad things that had happened to me as a kid that I remembered ... interspersed with things that I was very not sure were real memories. And as I started reading them to the new therapist, she stopped me very quickly and pointed out there was no emotional connection between what I was reading and the events I was describing.

Well, yeah. It happened a long time ago. They're over and done with, why get upset about it now?

I wasn't ready.

I've been talking to this same T. for a bit over two years now, I think. Maybe it's three. "Be patient." "Trust the process." "You'll remember when you're ready." Yeah, I was ready, all right. Ready to scream.

Gradually my affect started to change during sessions. That nice solid outer coating of veneer covered in coats and coats and coats of polyurethane was beginning to crack. I was able to get closer to the emotions than I had gotten in a long long time.

But I still wasn't ready.

During this time, I returned to an old, old coping habit. I cut. I tried several of the strategies that I found and they worked for a short time. But eventually, I backslid. Luckily, a few "cat scratches" are more than enough for me. Still, it was a concern, to say the least.

My partner is about to finish her bachelor's degree and is looking at seminaries for the fall of 2007. We went to visit one in California ... and then one in my old state, Texas. In fact, we stayed in my hometown, and I was happy to get to show off all sorts of places that had been important to me while growing up. We drove by my dad's house a couple of times, and I even paused the rental car long enough to take one fast picture of the house. We visited with my mother, who was for the most part, sane the whole time we were there.

When it came time to board the airplane and head back to my current state, I wanted to just fall apart. I wanted to go home, to see my house, my dogs, my cats, my stuff. But Texas is truly where my heart is.

Something was building.

I don't know what changed during that trip, but something surely did. I was nearly suicidal the week after we returned ... and for no discernable reason. Things got a little better after a trip to my trusty T. Then, they slowly started building again.

Last Friday morning, after my other half left for work and just before my alarm was set to go off, I had a real flashback. I was awake, just laying in bed and waiting for the alarm to go off, too tired to really get up just yet.

I could remember laying in my bed as a youngish teenager. Sound asleep. And having the covers ripped off of me. What happened next was very sudden. Very violent. Very real to me.

My father raped me.

This wasn't some misplaced love. This wasn't a substitution of daughter for wife. This was about his needs, his power, his need for my fear, his sick obsession.

I was horrified. I was terrified. I was sad. I was resigned. I was surprised. All of those feelings from the time of the original event. In the here and now, I was simply numb and shocked. The "proof" I'd wanted all these years ... I'd just gotten my "movie." (Though, really, it wasn't really much like a movie in terms of detail and sequential events.)

I got ready for work, went through my day, almost forgot about it. I don't know what I was doing that triggered me to remember it, but I'm glad I did remember it. I'd hate to have lost that again. The next few days were not particularly good. I emailed my T. and with very little detail and even fewer words, simply told her that I'd had a flashback and that I'd see her at my next appointment in a couple of weeks. No need to schedule an in-between appointment.

Naturally, she called me in anyway. At that point, I had not fully admitted to myself what had just happened. I couldn't say what dad had done. I couldn't talk about it to my partner, I just said that i'd had a flashback.

But I did talk during the therapy session yesterday. For me, I talked a lot. And when I left, I don't think I said it aloud at that time ... but when I got home and was IM-ing with a friend, I wrote those words for the first time:

My father raped me.

I've been oddly numb since then. It's not an unexpected numbness, but it's odd nonetheless. It's like a kid probing at the new shape of their mouth after losing a tooth. It doesn't hurt ... it's just different. And I've been repeating those words to myself all day. Walking down the hallway at work. Walking out the door to go home. Walking through the house.

My father raped me.

And while much of it is still murky and unclear ... I *think* "things" began when I was about four; I *think* there was a ring of "buddies" at one point; I *think* there was something in the woods outside Austin ... while there are many things that are still unclear, I no longer feel completely blocked. There is no "maybe he did, but maybe he just made me feel threatened." Or "maybe he did or maybe I was just imagining things."

I wasn't ready before. I thought I was. But I was scared of what I would discover. What I would feel like if I knew. I was scared of making false accusations. I was scared that I could block something like that so completely out of my mind for any length of time. I was still scared last week. But finally, I was ready. And, for the time being, there is certainty.

My father raped me.

And you know what?

I survived. And ... I survived remembering it again.

Posted by Red Monkey at August 10, 2006 12:57 AM | Struggles | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

 

Omni said:

Ender,

While my heart hurts for the innocent girl who suffered the unthinkable, I'm happy for you that you've taken this huge leap towards recovering your lost memories; I have total faith in your ability to eventually get them all back, and to take whatever action you need to to cope and move forward.

xoxoxo

Omni

August 9, 2006 5:18 PM

 

serenity said:

As I happened on by your place today and experienced the courage it must have taken for you to not only have seen a truth in your life that has caused you so much struggle, conflict, confusion, pain, and frustration, but to have shared it with others, I felt compelled to leave you a comment ... though I'm not sure there are any words to provide to you other than to share with you my deep respect ... and whatever comfort is possible through words during this time of awakening and realization.

Four words that you have managed to write, to speak, to see, to believe, to understand. Four words that have changed your life, but have taken you so long to really trust in their truth. I am so sorry for the injustice, for the violation ..... at the hands of someone you most trusted in your life to keep you safe, to defend you, to love you, to provide for you, to teach you about life, love, relationship ... my heart grieves for all that was denied you so unfairly and with such depth of pain.... it makes me realize how much I took/take for granted having grown up in safety and love...I will be more thankful.

Your survival is an inspiration. YOU are an inspiration. Your continued belief in fairness and justice, and the compassion you show for those who need it most in this world are the testimony of a heart that has refused to allow the seeds of bitterness to take root when you would have had every right to do so. Bless you, ender, for maintaining that beauty that is your heart, your spirit, your essence. You are not only going to survive, you are going to soar.

August 9, 2006 5:23 PM

 

Lucy said:

Oh Ender, my heart just breaks for the little girl who was so brutalized, and for the adult who has to deal with it now. But, I admire your strength in dealing with it, rather than continuing to bury the memories and forget them. You are a very strong woman and your survival is the best "poke in the eye" you can give to those who so brutalized you back then.

XOXOXOX,
Lucy

August 10, 2006 10:46 AM

 

Manic said:

Haven't read your post completely yet, coz I don't have much time, I gotta go to work in a bit. I must say that you're a courages woman. You now are telling the whole world, so this means you are beginning to come to grasps with what has happened and you're on your way to salvation -do I sounds religious right now?- This incident shaped you into you are. You are happy now, you got A -I do believe that's your gf's name- and you are happy together. You are one of the nicest people I have met, not only online -and believe me that's even harder then in the real world, what a bunch of perv are on the internet. I hope you come to grasps with your history. It won't be easy, but you have a lot of people backing you up for the rough times.

August 10, 2006 11:55 AM

 

marie b. said:

This post breaks my heart, for so many reasons, and ripped old wounds open.

You're an amazing woman.

August 10, 2006 6:49 PM

 

blueyes said:

Ender,

I know it took great courage for you to pour your heart out into words here and I commend you. I also commend you for surviving and hope you can come to a resolution of sorts with your past and with you family. Sounds like you have a very special partner for helping you through all of this and getting you into therapy. You take care.

August 10, 2006 7:24 PM

 

Peety said:

Hey sweet Ender,

How are you?

You still want to NUKE CANADA ?

Wishing you a wonderful week-end..

*hugs*

August 11, 2006 12:22 AM

 

Smash said:

Sometimes words are so inadequate. Most of the time actually. So I'll not bother trying to say something swathed in profundity and just say your emy buddy and I love you and you rock. Smashxxx

August 11, 2006 8:27 AM

 

jodi said:

Ender,
Powerful post. It took much strength, to not just say it, but to share.
My heart and thoughts are with you.

August 11, 2006 11:24 AM

 

thordora said:

Everytime I think I'm "over" what happened to me, something brings it back. I know I have memories I've buried, and I just don't want them. I know things happened. I just don't want the details, and the fucker is dead now, and for once, I hope that hell is real.

You'll get through this. **hugs**

August 19, 2006 2:02 PM
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