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Archive for May 7th, 2010

Fleeing the State

This is just a reminder that I am fleeing the state today. My momster is coming to a nearby city to visit with her sister and niece, and she has been using different tactics to try to force me to see her. My son and are catching a plane to another state this afternoon. I am not doing very well but am taking lots of Xanax to get through the day. (I will feel much better once I get past security at the airport.)

I have been working diligently on my story, and I have already written through May 21. I suspect my story will take me through the end of May. I am not joking — it is such a long and involved story, and if I am going to tell it, then I am going to tell it all. My story is triggering, so be careful reading it. I am not trying to be graphic, but I also want to be specific enough that my story is told (not just a bunch of “s/he did something to me” stories).

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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*******trigger warning – mother/daughter sexual abuse*******

My mother sexually abused my sister and me on a regular basis from toddlerhood until I was around six years old. It was mostly oral sex with me being forced both to give and receive it. She was a stay-at-home mom, so she had access to my sister and me 24/7 until I started school.

I was plagued with a recurring nightmare of disembodied hands like “Thing” on “The Addams Family.” I would be running down the hallways of our house, and hands would reach out to grab me from the floor, walls, and ceiling. I have come to realize that this was about my mother, whose hands both reached out to nurture me (feed me, bathe me, etc.) and to harm me. I never knew which version I was going to get, so her hands terrorized me.

School is what saved me and gave me the hope of a better life. Up until I started school, my life experience was an absentee dad (he was a workaholic who wasn’t around much and irritable when he was) and a sexually abusive mom. It would not have occurred to me to tell anyone about what was going on because I did not know any differently. My therapist says that my mother must have communicated a threat to remain silent in some fashion because it is not developmentally appropriate for a young child to keep a secret. I have no memory of her threatening me, but most of what I remember about the abuse came in flashbacks.

Before experiencing flashbacks, I had very few memories of either parent. I cannot recall my mother’s face from childhood other than through flashback. I remember many things “about” her, such as being angry with her for saying no to something that I wanted to do. However, I cannot recall one non-flashback memory of either parent’s face (other than what I have seen in photographs) until I was a teenager.

School was my saving grace. My pre-K teacher took me under her wing and was so kind to me. I credit my teachers for saving my life because they were the ones who gave me the hope of there being kindness and safe love in the world.

My mother stopped sexually abusing me when I was around six years old because my father walked in on her doing it one time. My memory is from the vantage point of the ceiling. My father walked in on us in my bedroom. He yelled, “What the hell?” Then, he sternly told me to go back to bed. The sexual abuse ended that abruptly.

My mother clearly has a mental illness, so I never know for sure what is true or what is not. However, she has told me multiple times that my father starting pushing her to do a three-way around this time, and she considered it. (I believe she more than considered it, which I will get into later.) I suspect that my father saw her sexual abuse as an interest in bisexuality.

I credit my father for stopping the sexual abuse. I hold him accountable for doing nothing to heal it. I received no therapy. We had no talks about what had happened. My father was an up-and-coming professional whose career would have been ruined by being married to a pedophile, so he sacrificed my sister and me to keep his reputation (and his wife’s) intact. He also continued to leave us in her care while he was working 60 hours a week. I have had to do a lot of healing work because my father was both my “savior” and my betrayer.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

I was plagued with a recurring nightmare of disembodied hands like “Thing” on “The Addams Family.” I would be running down the hallways of our house, and hands would reach out to grab me from the floor, walls, and ceiling. I have come to realize that this was about my mother, whose hands both reached out to nurture me (feed me, bathe me, etc.) and to harm me. I never knew which version I was going to get, so her hands terrorized me.

Read Full Post »