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Confrontation

My name is Maria, and I am an incest survivor.

Last month I confronted my father about the incest. I had not spoken to him in 15 years. I arranged a private dining room in a restaurant and invited my father by letter.

I had not been sure whether or not I would confront him, until I found out at the end of last year that my father would be going for a longer period of time to my brother and his children, who all live abroad. Suddenly I felt overwhelmed with a necessity to inform my brother, and to protect his children. As I am very careful with sharing my experiences, not only to protect myself, but also the vulnerable relationship I now have with my mother and brother, I felt I had to confront my father first, before informing my brother. I did not want to be accused of demonising my father behind his back.

He showed up. And so, he and I spoke to each other for the first time in fifteen years. I had a voicerecorder in my purse, so I would end up with tangible evidence of our rendez-vous. We talked for two-and-a-half hours. I did not confront him until the very end, because I knew from our history  that my father has a tendency to walk away if the questions become too difficult.

Before he showed up, my father first called to the restaurant, and he tried to persuade me to postpone our meeting until he returned from visiting my brother. I refused. Then he tried to make me come to him. I refused. Then he wanted to know what I wanted to talk about. I told him that he had to show up if he wanted to find out. He reluctantly agreed. When he did show up, I first refused to hug and kiss him. He immediately threatened to leave. And so I did hug and kiss him. This meeting just had to continue. I did it for King and Country, so to speak.

My father was very angry. At first, he kept repeating: "What is wrong with you?". I think that he just could not deal with me standing up to him. But I gave him no easy opportunity to walk out. Even though it was sheer darkness what expressed itself to me. My father told me that his time with me was the only thing during his marriage and his life at that time that made him happy. I asked him whether or not he thought that was going too far. His response was: "Too far? No, totally not! I liked it!" And after a short pause: "And you liked it too!" I was between  five and twelve years old.

My father showed also an incompetence to have adult relationships with mature responsibilities. With contempt he spoke about the times that my mother wanted him to divert his attention from me to his responsibilities as a father. Also, he showed a general contempt for women. He basically confessed, or should I say brag about, that he used women instead of being used by them. Love clearly does not exist in his vocabulary. And also, there was absolutely no love for me during all the time that we spoke.

He told me that he wanted to teach me about the world. I did not tell him that he basically taught me not to trust, not to tell and that love is painful and I am undeserving of positive attention. Instead, I asked him about protection and teaching about healthy boundaries. He had clearly no idea what I was talking about. When I asked him how he felt his lessons turned out, he said he considered me to be a failure. I did not respond. I carefully asked him if he could imagine that I had encountered sexual feelings during my interaction with him when I was a child. He said he could imagine that, but that would have been my fault, because I had no boundaries as a child. "You attached yourself too strong, and you were too clingy as a child", was his response.

I told him then that I wanted to have this confrontation because I wanted to know his level of insight. And clearly, I told him, he has none. And that makes it all the more important for me to inform me brother, as I am worried about his children. "You are sick", he said, "I am worried about you". "You needn't be worried about me", I said , " but I am worried about my niece and nephew". My father continued the conversation to encourage me to look for help. And without responding I thanked him for coming. I felt sick afterwards. There's a part of me that would have wanted to shout, to curse and to have used violence against him. But no matter how difficult it was, I kept my dignity.

I informed my brother through e-mail. He thanked me, and though it came as a big shock to him, he does believe me.

Since this confrontation I feel that I have dealt with an illusion I have cherished for a long time. The illusion that I will get recognition and compensation from my abuser for the wounds that I suffered. It won't happen and that hurts like hell. But it also gives me the much needed space to learn to care for myself. Which I do not know so well how to do. With the help from my Higher Power, from SIA and together with you I can try.

I am grateful for SIA, the fellowship, the literature and my Higher Power, who all helped me to maintain my dignity in the face of this difficult encounter. And I thank you for reading this and I am very thankful for my opportunity to share.

With love,

Maria

The truth

I was an innocent child that has learnt that love hurts. Love is not supposed to hurt; it is loss of love that is supposed to hurt. I have learnt to feel that loss of love is a relief. That is a lie.

I maintain the illusion that I can control giving and receiving love by feelings of guilt, shame, superiority and inferiority. Acceptance of my powerlessness over love feels like I will unavoidably be overwhelmed by a devastating loneliness. That, too, is a lie.

Taking care of myself and to be gentle with myself feels like I am conveying the message that I was not harmed by what was done to me. As if I need recognition from others to feel, see and experience my own wounds. That, too, is a lie.

The truth is I am equal to my fellow human beings, that I can do my best to be of service to them and to trust that love will follow.

I was innocent.

I did not deserve to be abused.

I am equal to my fellow human beings.

I deserve to be loved and my love is worthwhile.

I am capable to take care of myself.

I may be proud of myself.

This will be my affirmation, and I will repeat it until I believe it as strongly as I came to believe the devastating message I took from being abused as a child.

As always, take what you like and leave the rest.

In love,

Maria

My First Post: TRIGGER WARNING

Hi there,

I admitt I am powerless in the face of my problems with incest in my family. I am 39 years old and am an incest survivor. My father has had an unhealthy sexual interest in me since I was a young child. I've grown up with problems of low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression. I've been unemployed for 1.5 years.

My father would take baths and showers with me and my sister when we were little. He was obsessed with family nudity and teaching us all about the birds and the bees. When I was three years old, after one of our baths together, he made us sit on the bathroom floor and watch while he Read more...Collapse ) He compulsively made us watch videos on sexual reproduction, both before and after that incident. We tried to protest but he always got his way. As we grew older, he was obsessed with making sure that we would never lock the bathroom door while taking baths or showers. In addition, when we were on holiday he was constantly on the lookout for nudist beaches and would try to force us to go. I remember one time we went to a clothing optional beach and I couldn't find my bikini bottoms. Read more...Collapse ) I guess I was about 5. I remember feeling so humiliated. When I was 11 and started to not want to be naked in front of him, he would get very upset and guilt me about it. He would write long letters to me about how he wanted us to have an extra special father daughter relationship, not like most father-daughter relationships. He would make me feel responsible and guilty for denying his wishes for the extra close relationship that being naked together would ensure. He also tried to convince me, whenever I confided in him that I felt depressed that if I intervened and helped him sort out his relationship with my mother, then I would start to feel better. He and my mother did not get on well. They were always having screaming arguments. My mother was always in a fury at him for seemingly minor things, like not putting petrol in the car. She also hated and resented me alot for being close to him. She was verbally abusive towards me and threatened violence when we were disobedient. Her whole body would shake with rage when she was angry. She had an overeating disorder, as I have now. My father travelled alot and was away for a month at a time for work. He was very aloof, threatening to withdraw his approval if we didn't do waht he wanted. He never shouted at us, hit us or disciplined us in any traditional way. He was a workaholic. He often had a glass of whiskey late at night but I never saw him drunk. The periodic guilt trips and manipulations continued until I was about 23 and on another family holiday with them. This was after my mother had suffered a stroke. At that time I finally got up the courage to tell him that if he ever asked me again I would report him to the police for sexual harassment. When I was 26, Read more...Collapse )in full view of my then boyfriend. It took me two years to confront him about it. He mixed denial with minimization. Two years ago, on return from a trip to the USA, Read more...Collapse ). I confronted him immediately this time. Again he mixed denial with minimization followed by a huge sulk and victim-blaming episode. At the time I was working for him and ny mother in the family business. Going to work at their house for the following year was absolute hell. Furthermore, my mother supported him and blamed me for what had happened. My sister has no recollection of the early episodes and also supports my father. Each time I thought I could never recover from the hurt it caused me, and each time, with time, I just pretended that it never happened and that it was the last time. I was 26, before I even realised that alot of this behaviour was not normal. Most of the time, I struggle to feel any emotions about these and other events that I know have hurt me. I've struggled to make the connection between my low self-esteem, depression and anxiety with his bahiviour towards me. I've struggled with relationships, either getting involved with abusive men, or just keeping my distance from all relationships and intimacy. I've struggled to keep and maintain friends and jobs as I've struggled to trust anyone fully. Last year I eventually managed to break free and run away to Jamaica, to be closer to my more distant family there. I feel totally alone and cut off and have been unable to function in any job for more than a few months.

Dutch

Hi,

are there some any people from the Netherlands?

Regards,

Zora Ocean

My first post

My name is Maria, and I am new to this forum. I am not new to the concept of the twelve steps, but I only recently went to my first SIA meeting. I feel sad, angry and desperate right now. I follow the suggestion I was given to post on this forum. I want to thank you beforehand for reading this.

I always knew there was something wrong. I just figured there was something wrong with me. I was very young, about ten years old, when the thought first occurred to me that the world must have been a happy place until the day I was born. I have tried the first half of my life to figure out what was wrong with me, and what I needed to do to become worthy of love. But it never seemed to work.

My dad kept me close. I was more of a partner to him than my mother was. My dad discarded my mother, humiliated my brother and worshipped me. But only when I did what he wanted me to do. I can't remember how far this went. I am blank about most of the time we spent together. I think this has kept me from coming to SIA for a long time.

My mother blamed me for her bad marriage. My brother was jealous of me, and has used physical force against me whenever my parents were not around. The only person I felt safe with, was my father. And I had to perform in order to deserve his attention.

My brother used physical force against me on a daily basis. My father did also on occasions, when he was frustrated with me. My mother has severely hit me once, in a public place, when we were on a holiday. I was seven years old, and I was having a bit of a tantrum. My father saw my mother beating me, he turned around to the car and said that he was ashamed of us. He drove away. We had to walk four miles back to the house we stayed in. I felt guilty, and apologised to my mother, saying it was OK and that she didn't hurt me. I made a deep resolution to be more loving from that point on. What really happened was that I felt I had to hide my feeling from everyone, myself included.

I was emotionally crippled to deal with life on a daily basis. In middle school I was severely bullied. I coped with the bullying by means of dissociating myself from the physical and emotional pain and wait for it to pass. I was not able to put up boundaries or to defend myself. The bullying did not pass, it got worse. At a certain point a teacher saw me being beaten up and transfered me to another class. From that point on, it got a bit better. The first time in that class someone asked me my name, I ran away, though. I didn't believe someone could be nice to me. But I did not dare to truly be open about what was happening to me. Hidden from everyone, I cut myself, I binged and I vomited.

I have experienced a lot of psychotherapy. It was the first time I was in a position to feel genuine interest and love for who I am, not who others wanted me to be. It took me a long time to trust. When I first realised that I was free to express myself, I could not stop crying. I clung to my therapist like a baby to a mother. Fortunately, she did not send me away. I consider this to be the first act of love I ever allowed myself to feel.

I have never been intimate with anyone, and I am 42 years old now. There have been a few occasions where a guy I met that same evening asked me to have sex with him, and I did. I performed, because I thought that that was what I had to do. I even told myself that I had an exciting life. But in reality, these men were not interested in me at all. They used me. And I was used to being used. I can't remember having had sex for the first time. I just can't. It feels weird to write this down, and never had the idea to discuss this subject with my therapist.

In my recent years in therapy, my therapist and I invited my mother and my brother. I had broken off all contact with my father about 15 years ago. My mother apologised to me. My brother told me he never really wanted me to be near him growing up. It felt incredibly validating to hear that. Recently, my mother and I decided to revisit the place where she beat me up as a means of closure. And we did. However, it turned out differently for me. Being in that place, I remembered everything. Not only mentally, but also physically. Afterwards, I felt a heavy feeling in my gut. Like I swallowed a huge brick. And the only thought I had, was: 'So it is true after all. This actually transpired'. When I was alone again, I could not stop crying. A lot of feelings started to come back to me. It was overwhelming.

During my life I have intermittently struggled with bulimia, with nightmares and with bedwetting. All those problems have resurfaced. In the last ten years I have effectively used the twelve steps to deal with those. But when I came back from this holiday, they did not seem to work anymore. The only thought I had, was: 'God, where were you when all of this happened?' It feels like there is still a child in me that is finally believed, that is finally allowed to speak her mind. I have always been so rational about this. But there is also an emotional child within me. And I need to build a relationship with her, although I find her difficult to relate to.

And so I found SIA. And I recognise most of the things, if not everything. I am scared of my memories. I am afraid I make up things that did not happen. I fear I exaggerate in order to gain sympathy. I am scared. And that is why I post to this website.

I finished my first step. I need to take the second one now. But I have issues with God. I am angry. Yesterday I walked on the street and I was so angry I felt I could hit something. I know I won't, because I have never been angry in that way. But the anger does prevent me from taking the second step now.

This night I had a nightmare. I dreamed our house was infested with spiders and wasps with the size of small dogs. My mother had my brother in her arms (he was still small) and they ran immediately to the attic. I decided to fight and kill a lot of them. Then I finally reached the attic, and I saw my mother with my brother. I told them I made the house more or less safe, and that I wanted her to hold me. But she didn't look at me or hold me. She completely ignored me. That was when I awoke, sad, angry and desperate.

There is no meeting now, so I follow the suggestion to post to this website. I thank you for reading this. I thank you for being here.

Introduction

Hi everybody,

I have been a victim of ritualized abuse.

Zora Ocean

Step 1: I AM powerless. TRIGGER WARNING

I AM powerless over the abuse, and the effects of the abuse, and my life has become unmanageable due to my constant efforts to hide or control my unhealed wounds.

Hi, please call me Em. I am an incest survivor. 36 years ago my father held me close, pinning me against his chest, reaching over the top of my shoulders to slip his hand down my pants. I struggled to get away. He pinned me closer, whispering in my ear to be nice. Whiskers prickled my neck. Heavy scent of beer choked off my air, and he whispered. Remarking that I had hair growing down there. As he tickled, and tickled, whispering those words. I can make it feel good, he whispered. Be nice.

I was 13. Never been kissed. I didn't know sex or arousal from a hole in the ground. As it was, it took decades for me to understand that arousal was a mechanical process. But my father graced me with my first experience with arousal. And just to be sure it wasn't an accident, that I somehow just misunderstood his intentions, he did the same to me one week later when my mom was out. I don't really remember that one, just that it happened, and that it made me feel even dirtier, even guiltier, even more ashamed than the first time.

I couldn't say no. And telling my mom was--out of the question. She would not believe me. Although, I was just as terrified that she would, and the divorce and drama to follow would be just as devastating as if she accused me of lying. It was a no win situation.

A few years ago, just when everything was going so well in my life, I began to implode. I learned that part of my difficulty in processing and functioning was due to serious stress and being on the autism spectrum. My life began to shut down. The past 6 years I have worked really hard to return my life to balance--letting my marriage go, changing careers, rebuilding social groups, relocating--by learning how to truly care for myself. Things have become light years better, while other things have completely deteriorated.

I live with my father--the same man who abused me--and the power/control issues have escalated. The relationship with my kids has perhaps strained and broken. My finances are beyond hope. Still, it feels like rock bottom happened a few years back. It feels like I've been making progress, only to find that I'm still down in the lower levels of this mine shaft thinking Id been getting closer to the surface.

My dad started really getting out of hand last month. And decided to pick on me a bit (something I generally don't tolerate). He asked point blank why I pushed my mom away, so I confronted him over the abuse--because her inability to provide me with a safe spot as an adolescent made me angry with her--not him! So...I spoke the unspeakable secret. I demanded an apology.

He denied.

What I have come to realize is that all the work I've done so far has not been down to the meat of my issues, that at last I have reached the mother load. From here, recovery begins. At this place of earnest recognition, with autism coping mechanisms firmly in place, with honesty and connection to my emotional self I can finally do the work to heal my true self. Obesity. Debt. Financial chaos. Ruined relationships. Now, I can finally have the tools I need to begin the healing process on these things as well.

I wrote and spoke about this abuse for the first time 7 years ago. First admitted it to my therapist 5 years ago. Began slowly hinting at it to friends over those years. And now have finally begun to confront my family about this--and it is a confrontation for those who do not want it to be true. I stand to lose the rest of my family over this. It is simply beyond my control and up to them how they choose to meet my trauma. My dad has made his approach quite clear.

I forgive them their needs, and will move forward in honesty and without denial. Time to dig deep and heal this root source wound so I can rebuild the rest of my life. The Secret has been far more pervasive and cancerous than I had ever believed.

I have every faith that as a beloved child of the Source of All That IS, that my wounds will be healed. I AM washed clean by embracing and living and speaking truth with every breath. My chains have broken. There is much work to do, but I can do it now, unfettered. I may climb out of this mine shaft alone, but I will climb out--by the Grace of God and the help of my chosen brothers and sisters.

Peace be with you all. Thank you for listening.
I'm Catherine and I am a survivor. It has been a long time since I have posted anything here, but I felt the need to today as I need support. The last 6 months or so I feel like I have been on a roller coaster of anxiety and depression. My parents were not supportive of me when I confronted my abuser brother (in a letter) 2 1/2 years ago. They made me feel terrible and told me my letter was too harsh and made me feel I didn't have the right to stand up for myself. I ended communication with them because I felt I needed to protect myself. I started to feel better about my decision to confront my abuser and feel better about myself without dealing with my parents.

I believe my parents are narcissists and really only care about their own well being and how they look to others. If you have ever watched Mad Men then you know what I am talking about as they are very phony people. I grew up in a household where I was constantly criticized, belittled, and not allowed to show my feelings. Looking back I don't remember any good memories about my family. I was the scapegoat or black sheep where I was looked down on and blamed for everything that was wrong with my family.

My parents entered therapy about a year ago and have wanted to repair our relationship as we still aren't talking. They found a therapist to act as a mediator and I have talked to her about once a month privately. I have not held back on the pain I have endured from the abuse from my brother as well as the emotional and verbal abuse I have endured from my parents. While I am being completely honest, I feel that my parents aren't doing the same. They make themselves out to be caring and loving people who only want the best for me to the therapist. The therapist recently told me "I would hate for something to happen to your parents before you can resolve this." I got really angry because my parents like to use their age as a reason for us to repair the relationship.

I feel so conflicted and waiver between anxiety and depression on a daily basis. My parents haven't ever admitted how awful they treated me as a child or even as an adult. They somehow have manipulated the therapist into thinking they are God-fearing good people. I feel like I am being guilt-tripped into having a relationship with my parents because they are getting old. I want a relationship with my parents but not one where they treat me like garbage. I feel like if I let them back in, it will be more of the same: constant criticism about anything I do and making me feel bad for not talking to them for 2 1/2 years. I feel like I don't have any rights where my family is concerned...I am expected to shut up and take the abuse. One part of me feels I need to distance myself even further from them so I can move forward in my life. The other part feels I am being a bad daughter to end my relationship with them. I feel like whatever I do, there isn't a good choice.

My parents have never been supportive of me and I feel they never will. I want to live a peaceful life with as little drama as possible. If I have a relationship with them, I will probably have to be on meds in order to deal with them. I am so scared I will make the wrong choice. Has anyone ever been in a situation like this? If so, how did you handle it?

Thanks,
Catherine

Newbie Survivor Aged 21

Hello, My Name is ForgiveTheGirl and I'm a survivor of sexual molestation by my mothers boyfriend. I'm new here, but looking for a community to help me through the growing understanding that this man's attention was not love, but abuse. I am in weekly therapy and hoping to use this community as a supplement to that.

It's nice to meet you!
Hola todos Johanna superviviente de incesto. Cada vez es menos el sentimiento de depresión que siento en navidad y año nuevo.
Sin embargo aún siento ira por un tío quien fue mi agresor y también de mis hermanos, mi madre aun habla de el como si el no hubiese abusado sexualmente de nosotros, eso me molesta.
Además venir a casa genera en mi malestar estomacal, ya que mi madre es descuidada y no tiene estándares de aseo, es decir mis padres viven en ambientes poco higiénicos y saludables.
Sin embargo he visto más receptividad de mis padres y en cierta forma son más cariñosos,.
Aun lucho con mi depresión, con mi temor patológico a la intimidad, siento miedo y desconfianza hacia las mujeres , me frustra que no puedo tener una pareja sana y estable.
Me siento asustada pues mi temor a la soledad es enorme.
Tengo 38 años y mi vida se ha atrofiado en todas sus áreas.
Tengo una imagen deformada de mi misma y de mi cuerpo, tengo aun la sensación de ser sucia, de vestir mal y a veces del olor corporal.
Los olores de los órganos sexuales me generan repugnancia y eso también impide tener relaciones íntimas. me pregunto algún día podre ser libre de estos traumas?

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Welcome to the Survivors of Incest Anonymous step study meeting on Livejournal!

SIA uses a very broad definition of incest, and this meeting is open to everyone. Please read our info page to find out how this meeting works.

This is a place where we can share our experience, strength, and hope in recovering from sexual abuse. When sharing, to protect each other's emotional safety, we do not give advice, evaluate what anyone else has said or mention their name in our shares.

We respect our own inside people and our members who are multiple. If someone asks for suggestions in their share, it is okay to respond via the "speak" link under their entry.

If you are a newcomer to the program or to this meeting, please feel free to introduce yourself (but it's not required).

This meeting has a focus on sharing about our experiences with the twelve steps, but it's fine to share anything related to our recovery from abuse.

If you have questions about how the meeting works, please speak with someone privately (look for an email link on the info page) or wait and post them as part of the business meeting.

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