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I do try to nurture myself.  I have my hobbies that I am starting to get back into.  I exercise and try to eat healthy.  I try to do things for myself.  Always looking for ways to better myself, which I feel is a form of nurture - to nurture those things that make me, me.  

Reaching out for support would be a NO.  I attend SIA - 12 step meeting for Survivors of Incest.  I get to hear other survivors struggles and hope and I get to share...when I can bring myself to.  And I go to premarital counseling with my fiancée.  But I do not have friends  or a sponsor/fellow traveler that I reach out to for support.  I usually hold it in till it just spills over and I share with my spouse or my adult daughter.  I could say that I go to her for support.  

Am I in touch with my feelings now?  Definitely not.  This is one of the biggest issues with my abuse.  As I've mentioned, I don't struggle with flashbacks, etc.  My struggle is my disassociation with myself and those closest with me. Which is because I am not in touch with my feelings.  I feel like I go through life emotionally flatlining.  I'm not in touch with my anger, which I feel is a good thing, but I am also not in touch with my happiness.  I have so much in my life to be excited about, to appreciate, to look forward to.  But because I am so detached, I just go through the motions in life and don't get to experience the joys.  

I've watched all three of my children turn 18, graduate High School, one go off to the Army and get married, return home from the Army, and countless other 'life's high's' and through it all, I was numb.  I got engaged 6 month's ago, moved in with him, changed jobs for less stress, planning a honeymoon in Hawaii.  There is nothing in my life at this moment that I can complain about, but do I walk around, happy, experiencing this precious moment??  No, I'm flatlined.  I would feel the same inside if all things were struggling.  I want to enjoy life.  I want to feel happiness.  I want to feel the love that is surrounding me.  

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Trigger Warning

Thank goodness it doesn't affect me the way it use to!!!

There use to be a lot of shame around sex/masturbation.  A lot of the sex I had was for the other person, not for myself.  Even if I wanted to be sexual as well, once we started, it was as if I removed myself from it and just went through the motions of whatever the other person wanted to do.  And even though I've had many giving partners who were looking to take care of me, not just themselves, and I wanted it/them too, once, we were in the act, I would regress.  When I was younger, I had a lot of sexual triggers.  Waking up to someone touching me sexually was a big one for a long time.  My partners learned that one real quick.  Giving oral was definitely a trigger.  Receiving oral would cause me to regress.  And again, even though, I enjoyed it, there was always this underlined checkout/regression/timid side of me that would come out.  

For many years, I felt as if I were numb, sexually.  My sexual body parts did not feel the sensations like it does today.  I was unable to orgasm — I think when you train your body to not respond for so many years, it takes a lot of recovery to get it back.

The sexual abuse caused me to be promiscuous for many years of my life.  Having sex with someone I just met or didn't even like was not unusual for me.  If someone was persistent enough, I'd go along with it. 

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Step I/Question VII:  How has the abuse affected how you feel about your body?

For one, the abuse made me HATE MY BODY.  I will write on this after.

For two, the abuse made me HATE ME.  I hated myself so much.  I hated everything about me.  On top of all the sexual abuse, my mom was an alcoholic/drug addict who would beat and abandon my brother and I, until my dad got custody of us when I was 6.  My dad was an alcoholic/drug addict who was physically, mentally and emotionally abusive/was neglectful.  He had a live in girlfriend who was a hard core alcoholic/coke head who was very abusive — including physical abuse.  There was constant random abuse.  And on top of ALL this, there was the sexual abuse.  For those new to my writings, 3 incestual relations for 10 years, 1 incestual relation short term, 2 guys/1 night of sexual abuse age between 8-12, and one 3 month long relation with an adult male at age 14. 

(TW)  

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Step I/Question VI:  Do you isolate yourself? If yes, how?

I don't normally look at it as 'I isolate myself'.  I just happen to spend a lot of time alone/with very limited people.  

The only people in my circle are my three children and my fiance.  I don't talk to my family and since ending unhealthy relationships with past friends and my children's family, I haven't made any new friendships.  Now that I am engaged, I do have new people in my life, his adult children, his friends and his family.  But I don't really talk to any of them outside of when we are all hanging out.  All that to say, outside my adult children and fiance, I don't have friends/family.  So this makes it easier to spend a lot of time alone.  

I started a new job 2 months ago, I am the ONLY person in the office.  I have Vice President's who are my 'boss' and come into the office maybe once a week for a meeting or to sign checks.  So now I am alone all day/all week at work — I'm starting to feel like this may not be a good thing.

Sometimes I accept invitations to attend something, and then when the day/time comes, I either end up being super late, or cancel all together.  It can even be something that sounded good and I was looking forward to, but when the time came, I'd just rather be home  or not be there— especially if I will have the house to myself :) 

I do select isolation when in a group setting.  I will find a tucked away spot to be and not have to interact.  If I can't get away physically, then I will disengage from the conversation. Letting everyone else talk.  If necessary, I will throw in an occasional uh huh or that sounds interesting.  But I do not engage in the conversation, even when it is something that I can relate to or have input on.  I always feel like I'm doing this by choice, but when the time comes when I really should be participating in the conversation (still getting to know my fiancé's adult children and trying to interact is painful) I can't find a way to engage/participate.  And it is an awful feeling.

glad I found you

Hello. I have been in Overeaters Anonymous for over 30 years and I am grateful for the priceless and plentiful recovery there. It was there in my first 4th/5th step that I first shared my story of incest. It was the first time I told anyone, the first time I said it out loud.  I knew I had been molested by my grandfather at age 12 or 13 but I didn't want to be someone who had been molested so I never spoke of it even to myself.  I began to understand at a fairly surface level the safety of the extra weight and the lack of clarity and boundaries in dealing with boys and then men. I saw for the first time my disconnect with my body and why going to doctors and dentists was particularly frightening. I went to two 12 step survivor meetings about 20 years ago. I got the book that was recommended. I read the first 30 pages at most and experienced many feelings when I did. Most seemed to be arousal which I felt odd and possibly shame about and it is here today that I can share that and pretty much feel like it would be understood.Time passed and I noticed that I had never returned to the book or the meetings.  Interestingly, I would share with friends that my house was so organized my shelves and cupboards in such a pleasing order except for my office closet. My office closet was lined with shelves on both sides and by now a huge stack of all kinds of things filled the center of the closet almost to the ceiling. It always baffled me that I would keep this closet in such disarray. 

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Step I/Question V: Do you act out your pain by self-injury, overeating, drugs, etc?

My family smoked pot, so I was smoking by 7th grade.  At 15 my cousin gave me my first line of speed, which ended with me in rehab by age 20.  I haven't done speed since, but I have on and off turned to weed to escape life.  

My drug addition was short but did a lot of damage.  Over the course of it, I lost 3 apartments, 3 cars, been homeless, had 3 children by age 21, had two of them taken for 6 months, and lost out on years of working towards an education or bettering my life.  

In and out of my addiction, I participated in a lot of other self harming behaviors due to my sexual abuse. I slept with many people I wouldn't have slept with (wrote on this is a previous post).  I stayed in relationships I should have, some physically abuse, some emotionally abusive.  I allowed abuse people to be part of my life, till I was healthy  enough to cut them out.  

My self hate and unworthiness has kept me from living the life that I deserve to live and to enjoy it.

At times, I participate in risky behavior.  Whatever that may be at the moment - from smoking to affairs, to acting out sexually with my partner or by myself.  

hi everyone

hi I'm new here don't know if i'm doing this right but it said if you are new here introduce yourself so hello i'm dory i found this through the thought of sharing my stories and life experiences and trying to get through everything so far i love this page everyone is very positive and helpful. 

Q III. Do you blame the assaults on yourself? On your body?

Tricky question...nothing jumps out at me as definitive.  I know when it started, I was too young to have been responsible for it.  But there are times when I have felt that when I was older, maybe things would have been different and not carried out for so many years, had I reacted differently to my abuse/abusers.  I was so submissive and groomed, that it made it easy for perpetrators.  

There were times my body betrayed me and responded to the abuse....wth...what do you do with that??

I don't remember ever being told that I was having these things done to me because I was a good girl, or a bad girl, or a dirty girl. or because they loved me...I just remember feeling shame on a molecule level.  I felt dirty, I felt like everyone knew-just by looking at me.  I felt like 'the abuse' was what they saw when they looked at me — and this gave others permission to abuse me the way they did. 

When I became a teenager, my dad started using his sexual abuse as a means of me getting things I asked for/needed.  I had to let him touch me and do what he asks, for him to do something. I knew the abuse would happen one way or another, so most of the time I went along with what he said.  In an attempt to control the abuse, I started to use this manipulation on the other people who abused me.  At this point, the abuse, control, manipulation, survival was 'me'.    

This was pretty much answered in my response to Question I:  Have you kept your sexual abuse a secret?.  I protected all my perpetrators.  My dad, my brother, my uncle, my cousin, my dad's girlfriend's two brothers and the adult/child relationship I had.

I didn't tell anyone of the abuse while it was happening.  And as I previously journaled, I even kept the secret from the perpetrators themselves.  By pretending to be asleep and therefore, 'not knowing of the abuse'.  If I acknowledged the abuse, then I would have been the 'bad' person.  

Who and how can you tell when there is no one to tell?  I couldn't tell my dad, who was sexually  abusing me, or my brother, who was sexually abusing me.  I couldn't tell my mom, who abandoned me to my pedophile father. My dad made sure that I knew my mom didn't want me and that if he didn't 'chose' to be a single father, I'd be in foster care.  When sexual abuse runs in the family, there is no one to tell. 

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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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