Hello. I’m ok. Things are still bad though. I took a break from volunteering and from the site on Angela’s advice. She says that it seems to keep this up front and center. The thing is, it is up front and center. Not coming here has not made it any better. In fact, I think I just have less outlets for what I am going through. You guys have been great all through Karen and then the transition to Angela. But I am glad I took a break from being a volunteer. With the depression, I can’t necessarily give people responses without spilling my darkness in there.
Beside this site, there is Facebook, and that isn’t really a good venue to talk about stuff like this. Sometimes I do though, and then I am always worried that I said too much, and to strangers, strangers who may or may not be survivors, and may or may not be safe people to talk to. If I do say a tiny something, the relief of saying that much:
Like the seventies weren’t the best time for me. My brother got in a fight at school and they broke his femur, so he was in traction for a month, then home in a body cast for a month, and then back in the hospital for physical therapy. Then while still on crutches, he collapsed on the bus home from school with a burst appendix and almost died. And my mom had her purse stolen and they ran up bills on her cc’s. And she was attacked downtown cleaning off her car on her way home from work, she fought him off, but still. And then we moved out here half ours stuff before my little sister was born and half after, but in between, kids broke into the new house and started a fire and the cops caught them before we even knew about it. That was all in ’79. In ’72 my uncle was murdered. The seventies was not a good time.
— There is nothing there that I shouldn’t have said, but it worried me for days. And I am sharing stuff because I feel the loss of what I was finding here. I need to talk about therapy, and about what happened, and about what I am thinking about and what I am feeling about it. I can’t talk to my family. I just can’t. It is too painful for everyone. And my friends, I have some that are good friends but this stuff can become overwhelming quickly. And they will try to hang in there, some better than others, but it just doesn’t feel fair to them, and I know at some point I have to let my inner circle know how I am doing, but it’s terrifying to do.
Another Facebook site, is this guy/family who lost his farm/home/animals in a hurricane, and now he has rebuilt it as a hobby farm/animal sanctuary. The guy is sharing some of what he has gone through over this, he was a teacher, and now he is driving a school bus — his choice, and I can relate to that because I was an electrical (RF) engineer, and now I am working as a technician. (mostly my choice). Well, someone sent him a post/e-mail that said something about having PTSD and he kind of went off saying that we should stop saying that, and leave PTSD for the folks in ERs who see death constantly, and soldiers and police officers. He later retracted that in another video apologizing, and I wrote a post thanking him for retracting it, and went on to say that I have PTSD, and you hear plenty of folks that have it for the reason I have, but my sister, and I went on about my sister having that baby so early and being encouraged to abort and sign DNRs on her, and finding her not breathing with her O2 level dangerously low, and having to get her going again, and having them nearly give her 10 times the dose of a medicine and my sister would not have known enough to question that if she wasn’t constantly checking, researching everything. Knowing that if the baby goes back in the hospital in the first two years, she probably wouldn’t make it. And all the therapies. My sister started having nightmares about losing the baby and she has PTSD. The baby is 10 years now, but her brain is now trying to manage what she went through.
I don’t know. I feel like I walk through life with sexually abused colored lenses over my eyes and a great filter in my brain that processes everything from that viewpoint. Maybe this is progress and further along than I was, but it feels pretty crappy. I want justice. Yes, I want my brothers to, on their own, come to me and apologize. And wanting that has kept me stuck in a victim-roll. I can tell myself that it will never happen, but it doesn’t stop the wanting. And there is another justice I want. A justice for victims everywhere. I want people to stop silencing us, silencing the topic. It may not be for children, but adults can’t or won’t take it either. I don’t mean listening to people’s individual stories, but even talking generically about what happens in families. For instance, why does David and Goliath make the lectionary. Why does David and Bathsheba make the lectionary. Why does David and Absolom make the lectionary. But the story of David’s daughter Tamar and what happens with Amnen her half brother, and how Absolom her full brother ended up murdering Amnen because of what he did to Tamar, why does that not make the lectionary? So in three years of going to church every Sunday, they’re never going to consider preaching on David’s relationship with his daughter and her brothers. It’s such great stuff. It could help people. It helped me to maybe understand my parents better. But you have to go out of your way to find that story. It’s like the church doesn’t know what to do with it, so they just leave it out.
Which brings me to how sexual abuse affects me spiritually. It affected me physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, sexually, and spiritually. And we have to heal the whole me. Not just the emotional me, or the physical me, or the social me. One of the books I read said you have to deal with what happened, what you did to compensate or survive what happened, and what did not happen, because while we were supposed to be developing mentally and emotionally and socially, we were busy surviving and some of that stuff got dumped. For instance, to survive an impossible reality, I escaped into fantasy, day dreams, but I also focused heavily on education. I escaped into math and grades and classes. Which was good, but I totally ignored or shut off emotions and all social relationships, and a lot of other stuff. Time has brought me along somewhat. But I am also not there yet.
Well the spiritual stuff is really bad because I struggle with forgiveness, with losing my brother or brothers before I forgive. That wasn’t an issue for some reason with my grandmother’s husband. He’s probably dead now, I don’t know and I don’t really care. If down the line I feel compelled to forgive him, I don’t see an issue with his being dead. But my brothers is another matter totally. Forgiving someone who acknowledges the wrong doing is doable. Maybe. It may be difficult. But forgiving someone who doesn’t acknowledge any foul at all, that feels really impossible. And I know that forgiveness benefits the forgiver as much if not more than the forgiven. The forgiver need only forgive, they do not need to let the other know that they forgave them. I am have the worst stuck crap time getting from here to there.
I think everyone is a spiritual creature on some level. We may have different belief systems, but there is a part of us that mixes culture and tradition and belief and ritual and maybe a bunch of other stuff that makes up a soul. There is a higher being in my belief system I think most have some higher being or higher beings in theirs. And for me Joy comes from a relationship between God and my soul. I think we can do things to mar our souls ability to experience God, to experience Joy, happiness, fulfillment, contentedness, stillness. Sin is a big one. When we are ashamed of ourselves before God, we try to hide and that keeps us from experiencing the gifts of the spirit. When we feel repulsive, an unhealthy self-awareness we can separate ourselves from our souls and from God. And when we hold anger, guilt, when we cannot forgive, I think we place a huge impediment on our soul. We can do meditation, we can do good for others, we can access our souls in simple ways. But when we are stuck, we may need spiritual guidance, we may need the rituals of prayer and counting our blessings, being grateful, being grounded in faith.
Which brings me to my Open and Affirming, liberal, Mask Mandating church. Sigh. I don’t do masks. At best, I wear a face shield to doctor/therapist appointments, and to work, if I am walking around at my work station off it comes. I do this because I must. I would not be seen by my doctor or therapist, or I would not get a pay check. But the church is a whole other ball of wax. They started having services and I came when I did not need a mask. But now they are demanding we come with a mask, and I just won’t. The masks, in my opinion, create a lot more fear about this than is necessary. It impedes our ability to connect with folks, increases isolation and depression, and I am not playing this game anymore. I voted for the Open and Affirming bit. My feeling is that if people want to come to our church, wherever they are in their walk, than we should be open to them and affirm their desire to worship God. When we have some guy in drag giving the message, no, that is worshiping gayness, not God. My little brother is gay, and I have had over 25 years to come to a working acceptance of this. I don’t know if he was born that way, or if his environment influenced it and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need to know that. That God requires us to love our brother, (yeah, this is a problem with the inability to forgive thing), God does not require us to determine the purity of his soul. That is God’s job, not mine. I really don’t know. I have a hard time believing in a loving God that would create people a way for which He condemns them. But I have this miniscule human brain, that doesn’t hold a candle to God, so I can’t understand God’s thinking/actions on this, and I had better not try or judge them. I think I need to change churches. Everyone says so. I just don’t know that I will do any better in another church.
Ok, so that is where I am at. I hope everyone of you is doing ok and going forward, not stuck. Thanks for reading.
I know that what happened to me was pretty catastrophic. I survived yes, and it was so very long ago, I knew that when I came here. But I wasn’t convinced that it was that out of the ordinary, or really all that bad. I think I am convinced now, and