Wednesday’s update.

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Hi and thanks to all who responded to my latest update.  Today’s will be quicker I hope.  

The big take away, was that I have often felt disgusted with myself for not being smart enough to not be abused or to tell someone; for not being strong enough to protect myself and get away; for allowing myself to be manipulated; for being powerless; for being vulnerable; for being little; for not knowing any better.  But merging my anger with the EMDR and the episode I continue to go back to, the anger is currently on those who took advantage of my powerlessness, of my being little, my being not as strong as they, my being trusting enough to be manipulate, my not being smart enough to know how this would play out over the course of a lifetime.  

It is so simple, and yet it hit me like a ton of bricks.  Who’s the bad guy here?  The little kid for being small or being vulnerable?  Or the bigger kid or adult who exploits the vulnerability?  I guess the thing to do is to train myself to recognize when I bash myself, particularly for things I have or had no control over, and turn that around to place the negative feelings onto the scum bags.  There is the problem with recognizing what things I had no control over.  This is where manipulation is so insidious.  Because a guy 5-6 years older knows what buttons to push to get what they want.   And it is, in my brain, better to have had some control over the situation, because no control feels like anything can happen — totally unsafe.  And, I don’t give myself credit for brains because I did not tell or I did not find a way to avoid it or whatever.  But really, I may have told only to be re-abused by a system that wasn’t all that great 40 some years ago.  I mean, it’s not great now, but then, there is really no way to tell, I might have been snagged out of the home only to be put in a juvenile facility (made to think I was the criminal) or put into foster care where so many are re-abused.  So, I survived the best way I could given what I knew at the time, and somehow, I have to embrace that, rather than attacking myself over it.  

I dunno.  It feels like I’ve been here before, or somewhere similar.  Like I am going in huge spirals dipping back into victimhood, and self blame and destructiveness, and then back out toward surviving and self-care and moving through and forward.  I know it isn’t linear, and I probably do have to work through layers of crap.  

Wednesday, we did EMDR on my anger.  I don’t know if it worked or not.  I do feel more angry at my perpetrators and I am not falling into the blaming myself, or when I do, I am turning it back toward them.  Like if I find I am blaming myself for it taking so long, I can turn that back into the lack of support from important people in my life, from when I couldn’t possibly tell anyone way back then, up to the present day, when I continue to try to protect them because they are so unavailable.   Or blaming myself for taking money or whatever to do thing things they wanted, and turning that into fury for someone who would take advantage of a child who has no concept of what anything is worth.  If a man offers a child a tootsie roll for an old silver dollar, there is no question who the asshole is.  

There is still the problem that my brothers were also young and also abused and living in an abusive system.  So there is also the problem that they did not know at the time the lasting damage that they would cause.  They knew it was wrong, and they knew they shouldn’t, but did they, could they have stopped just on that?  Should they be condemned for what started when they were also very young.  That is frustrating.    There seems there is always some way to minimize or make excuses for everyone else.  I probably have to work on that too.  

Sigh.  Doing ok I guess.  Not happy for the fall-feeling in the air.  


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35 comments

  1. alexiswilliams

    Sue,
    Thanks for the update, and please feel no pressure to abbreviate your posts, we are happy to hear from you. I am sorry that you had to endure this trauma, but your strength for sharing is so powerful. I am happy that you are able to employ healthy coping mechanisms, and that you know that you are not at fault. You are strong. You are brave. You are a survivor. I hope to hear from you again soon.

    Best,
    Lex

  2. zelda Volunteer

    Thank you for posting, Sue. I can really relate to your feelings, your thoughts. I used to be super submissive, but now I am boiling over with anger. It takes nothing for me to snap, for me to react in anger and feel white-hot hatred for the people who hurt me. My therapist believes that I have issues with my anger now because I’ve allowed people to abuse me, use me, manipulate me, etc. since I was very young. That theory makes sense to me. Maybe that’s what you’re going through too. If you were anything like me as a kid, years and years of allowing people to do whatever they want to you takes its toll. We’re not responsible for their behavior and actions, but, for me, it taught me that abuse was normal and nothing out of the ordinary. So I kept on taking it as I got much older.

    Feeling anger is a good thing. At least you’re not numbed out or totally shut down; you experience emotions and know how to identify them, which is progress, in my opinion.

  3. Ruby98 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    You have gone through a lot and you should be so proud of yourself with how much progress you have made. It is not easy to change that emotion of feeling guilty but you have managed to reverse that onto your perpetrators and that is very strong of you. You are at no fault for what your brothers went through and have the right and reason to be frustrated. Healing is a process that can be difficult, you don’t deserve to minimize all the great progress you have done. Push forward you got this, your story has shown how resilient you are! Stay safe, stay strong.

  4. Ryan4121 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    It seems like you are making great progress! I’m glad you are blaming yourself less. None of the horribly things that happrened were your fault. You didn’t deserve what your brothers put you though. The pgoress will come in waves, with plenty of setbacks. Just keep trying your best to push forward!

    Ryan

  5. Mary Ella Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    I’m happy for you that you are making progress with self-blame. I know it is very tough, since you feel like you’re switching around with your feelings of anger, but blaming yourself less is a great progress. What you went through wasn’t your fault, and you didn’t deserve any of it. You are such a fighter, and I’m so proud of all the progress you are making! Just keep doing what you’re doing, and continue taking care of yourself. You got this, and please keep updating us on your journey! Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us here.

  6. musicislove

    Hi Sue,

    I’m so happy that you’re working on blaming yourself less and turning around whatever bad thoughts you have toward yourself. That is progress! Whether your brothers were young or not, you still didn’t deserve what they put you through. Like you said, they were old enough to know what happened was wrong and you didn’t deserve to go through anything bad. It’s ok that you keep cycling from victimhood to survivor, it’s really common and happens a lot, just focus on your feelings when you work more on self care and remember those when you’re at your lows. The whole process of healing is frustrating and messy, but you’re doing great. It’s always great to read your updates, thank you for continuing to trust us. We’re always here for you!

    Delaney

  7. KatherineL Volunteer

    Hey Sue,

    I know it’s really hard to reverse those feelings of feeling like it’s your fault or that you didn’t do enough to stop the abuse from happening. None of this is your fault. It’s great to see you’re making progress in combatting those feelings. I think it’s important to demonstrate some self-compassion – focus on what you’re doing well, the progress you’re making, and that you survived, rather than bashing yourself as you’d say. You wouldn’t tell someone that they were abused because they weren’t smart enough, strong enough, or because they were vulnerable and young – so you don’t deserve to tell yourself those things. Hang in there!

    KatherineL

  8. colton95 Volunteer

    Fall is personally my least favorite season as well. Even though your brothers were wrong, what they did was wrong and they either should’ve realized that or someone should have scolded them for their wrongdoings. It won’t be easy going through all your personal baggage, but I assure you that it will be worth it in the long run. Stay strong and safe!

  9. ZJC9753 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,

    I have been reading your updates and I am so happy to see the progress you are making. I think it is fantastic that you are realizing that it wasn’t your fault because absolutely nothing that happened to you was your fault, it was the fault of the ones who harmed you. It is okay to feel angry in response to everything that you have been through, honestly however you are processing and healing is okay. Plus it is so incredibly reflective to try and work on those feelings of anger. I am happy to hear about your process and we are here for you through it. Please come back and send more updates whenever you would like to. I know healing can be such a struggle and full of hard work, you are so strong for working toward healing and doing that work.

  10. MySunshineD Volunteer

    Hello Solongago ~ I have read your messages from the beginning. I would love for you to go back and read your first message thru this one and see how much you have changed. You seem to have more confidence. And you seem to be moving in the right direction where you are not blaming yourself as much as you once did. This is progress. You are human. Which comes with human emotions. You have the right to feel angry and hurt. This is legitimate. Although, I do not love what you have been thru (and I am so sorry that you have) but I do love the fact that you are here trusting in us to tell your story and your feelings. You are also seeking the help from Angela and sticking to your EMDR. Your messages are heard and felt by all of us. You are honest with your feelings, good, bad, or indifferent. You are committed to your therapy even if it makes you feel angry, sad, mad, or afraid. Your addressing it head on. Your not hiding under a rock and I applaud you for this. I am so proud of how far you have come. Do you journal? (Even though this is also a form of journalism) The great thing about keeping a journal is that its raw and your able to go back and see how far you have come. Your success. Thank you for sharing with us. We are here for you, always!

    I have never really liked when the weather turns cold either. But, I now look at the change of seasons as i new start. Like getting rid of some of my summer cloths and pulling out my fall/winter cloths. A new look and a new start. I wish you well. Continue to do “ok” 😉 ~Terri

  11. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    You’re doing incredible! It’s awesome that you’re blaming yourself less. You were just a kid, and you couldn’t have known. This wasn’t your fault. As for making excuses, I think it’s possible to acknowledge their circumstances while also acknowledging that what they did was wrong – these two things can co-exist. In my case, I think of it like this: “Well, certain things could have contributed to his (my assailant’s) mindset at the time, but these things don’t take away from the fact that what he did was wrong, and he hurt me.”
    It’s completely valid to be angry at your perpetrators – what they did hurt you. It’s okay to feel more than one way about something. Sometimes we doubt ourselves and wonder if we’re at fault, but I promise you, you’re not at fault. It may take time to fully believe it, and this process may happen more than once. With that being said, I believe you’ll get there.
    Thank you for updating us. Please keep us updated, and we’re in your corner!

  12. cindy024 Volunteer

    Hi, solongago,
    This takes a lot of courage and bravery to come out and tell us your story. I hear from you. This platform is here to help you. You deserve to be happy!

  13. Breanna Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    I hope you can remind yourself that you were just a kid when those things happen. And hindsight can really be a pain and make you wish you knew better. But you were just a child. How would you know what you know now? Try to be kind to yourself in those moments when you feel that way. You’re not at fault for what happened to you. You did not deserve it, no matter how small or vulnerable. It makes a lot of sense that having no control is anxiety-inducing and feels unsafe. And I agree – you made it through those horrible times the best that you could, and you came out on the other side. Still feeling pain, but no longer in that situation and can be in a place to heal. I’m glad to hear you’re starting to blame yourself less. That is progress and healing. I think those final thoughts are a good thing to discuss with Angela, if you’re comfortable. She can maybe help start to unpack your thoughts and feelings about how complicated that situation is. And maybe that can help as well. I’m sending you all of the positive vibes this week. Stay strong friend and keep your chin up.

    Sending love and support,
    Bre

  14. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear Sue,
    Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. I hope you realize how helpful it is to those who may be feeling similar things or having the same type of thoughts, but don’t have anyone to talk to about it. Feeling stuck in a spiral is never fun and I hope that feeling passes for you soon. From our perspective, it doesn’t look like a looping spiral; it looks like a healing journey that is moving forward. Also, it is okay to feel both anger and sadness/forgiveness towards those who hurt you or didn’t help you. Feelings are never cut and dry, they can be a great big swriling mess of confusion and still be completely valid.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  15. MarciaD Volunteer

    Hi Solongago – I’m glad you checked back in to update us. I’m sure you will reach a point where you are able to deal with the anger. Keep doing the hard work. I’m proud of you for your effort to work through this. Stay strong.

    Much love,

    Marciad

  16. Elvia29 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    I just want to say thank you for coming back to us. You can’t blame yourself for what happened, it wasn’t your fault. I know its hard to believe it but its true. It’s hard to open up to someone its not easy but thank you for opening up to us and telling us about your story. Think positive about yourself don’t bring yourself down. I know you might not see a change in yourself but you are changing, you might not see it but other people do. You are going to get through this, one step at a time. You already took a step by sharing your story with us and working hard in EMDR. We are here for you, stay strong.
    Elvia

  17. yailinrenteria Volunteer

    Hi Solonago,
    Doing just ok is something good. Not every day is going to be great and it is okay to have other emotions other than being happy. What you have been through is a lot and not your fault. You shouldn’t bash yourself for something you had no control over. I am glad you have been taking the initiative to get help by using EMDR. If you feel like EMDR is not enough or not giving you the support you expect there is more help. We have resources for you in the find help tab. There seems to be an ongoing cycle of self victim-blaming and anger. It is ok to feel anger towards the individuals that harmed you, but remember none of this was your fault. Keep updating us we are here to listen.

    Stay Strong,
    Yailin

  18. rachelb098 Volunteer

    Hi Solongago

    Thank you for your update, I’m glad to hear you’re doing okay! It sounds like you’ve been working incredibly hard in EMDR, and your commitment to getting better is something you should be truly proud of. Stay strong, we believe in you and you can do this!

    Wishing you all the best,
    -Rachel

  19. mjy1999 Volunteer

    Thanks for continuing to share your story. It takes a lot of personal work to recognize you were living in an abusive system and coming to terms with it. It also is shown in the story you are starting to blame yourself less which is a huge stepping stone. Even a small step is progress.

  20. jlanderos16 Volunteer

    Hey Solongago,

    Thank you for sharing your story again and updating your feelings! It’s okay to be mad because they took advantage of you and that shouldn’t ever happen to anyone. But at the same time I’m glad you’re blaming yourself less, it shows you’re improving on yourself! But hopefully next time you return back you have another accomplishment and would love to see you do better! You’re a smart and strong human being in the world for sharing with us!

  21. Rustin Day Captain

    Hi Solongago,

    You say that you are minimizing and making excuses for everyone else and that may be true, but I also hear you at the beginning of this update starting to stand up for yourself. To me, that is a huge accomplishment. I know that this is a long process, but I’m proud of you for sticking with the process, not giving up, and making progress! You know the drill, keep us updated as we are always here to listen. 🙂

    -Rustin

  22. dzreid Volunteer

    Hi Solongago,
    As always, I’m glad you return & provide up date! I noticed that recently, you have used Solongago, & not Sue in your last few stories. I think sometimes it’s easier to use another name besides our given names. It’s good to see that you are able to recognize some of these things you are struggling with. To me, that just shows how far you have come. I think the more we work on our issues, the mind goes into overdrive. It is so easy to walk the walk, & talk about what’s happening, but it’s completely different trying to convince out minds to stop. It’s almost like we become blinded to the stop sign in our mind, & loose sight of it. This sign is so powerful, but yet so damaged because our minds have been trained to be in chaos. I think the thoughts you have, are normal. I can see how confusing it could be to sort everything out. You have come so far, don’t allow anything or thought to rob you of the healing & freedom you so deserve! You are worth every minute of this fight!
    Dawn

  23. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi Sue,
    That is such a great breakthrough! It is okay to be mad at the perpetrators because they took advantage of you. Like you said, you were young; a kid. You had no clue what was happening and that made you vulnerable. They knew what they were doing and they knew it was wrong, but they didn’t care. You are allowed to have feeling and be mad at them. Just never be mad or blame yourself for being little and not knowing what was happening because that isn’t your fault. I’m so proud of you for that breakthrough. That is still something I have to force myself to believe sometimes that I wasn’t at fault, so when I hear other people have that breakthrough I get really happy. Thank you for updating us!
    -Alyssa

  24. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    Thank you for coming back to share more with us. I’m glad it sounds like you are starting to blame yourself less, which is a huge accomplishment and takes a lot of work to do (speaking from my own experience as well). Come back and share anytime-we are here for you.

    Erin

  25. aegardiner Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    You have every right to be angry with those who took advantage of you and also manipulated you. It wasn’t that you weren’t smart enough or that you should have told someone sooner, it was that the people who abused you knew what they were doing wasn’t right and that they had some sort of authority over you so that you would comply or go along. But none of that means you did anything wrong. I know you have been frustrated lately and have felt like you’ve been going in circles with how you’ve been feeling. I know you are angry at yourself for rehashing everything in your mind and having to go through therapy for so long, but you should never be frustrated with yourself. You were not responsible for that fact that you had to live through those experiences and you are trying so hard now to be able to make them distant memories so that you can truly enjoy your future life. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just keep working through the EMDR – it sounds like you are getting there with it! And I’m right there with you with being unhappy about the change in seasons – let’s hope we can squeeze out a few more weeks of warm days at least. I hope that you have a great week ahead!

  26. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for coming back with an update for us. It’s hard, but try and remember that it wasn’t your fault that you were abused. It doesn’t mean that you weren’t smart enough. It’s not your fault you weren’t “strong enough”. None of what happened is your fault. Yes, I love that energy. You’re right, it’s the older kid or adult’s fault, and if you can channel that anger towards them that is much healthier. The path to healing isn’t always linear, sometimes you need to go in a bit of a circle to get through the layers. Every step is still progress! Hoping you get some more warm days before Fall settles in.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  27. adrian Volunteer

    Hi, again, Sue! Thank you for your update.

    You are strong and brave for walking through the journey you are walking (running, jumping around, skipping?) right now.

    What a BIG accomplishment of seeking your way out of (I’ll use your word) victimhood. You mentioned that you spiral in and out, but you are observant to know that it isn’t a linear process. What matters is that you keep moving, which you do every week. I’m excited for you to make these revelations, even if they happen more than once for you. Healing can be frustrating, but you are resilient! The more you write out, the more I hope it helps you understand everything that you experienced and are currently working through.

    Here to listen and support, as always. Keep fighting the good fight.

    Take care,
    Adrian

  28. Marissa Day Captain

    Hey Solongago,

    Thanks for the update. I’m responding to your stories back to back because I didn’t realize I missed two posts! This update kind of answers questions that I was left with after the last one. I mentioned trying to stave off the anger at yourself and it sounds like you and Angela are addressing that, which is amazing. You’re making incredible progress and I hope you know that. I can see how you’ve grown and developed since first posting years ago. It’s hard to give yourself credit, but you definitely deserve it. You’re working so hard and I want you to know that we recognize it. You’re doing an awesome job. Don’t sell yourself short!!

    Marissa

  29. lizzi

    Hi Sue,
    You are not at fault for what happened to you. I know you’ve heard that a million times on here, but it’s true. At that point in your life, you didn’t know how to stop them. You had a lot of dysfunction in your life and family, and that’s not your fault. You said it best yourself… you survived the best way you could given what you knew at that time. You deserve to believe that, and to not attack yourself for it. I know that’s a hard switch to do in the brain, but you deserve to be free from that judgment of yourself.

  30. pianogirl44 Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    It’s nice to hear from you again. I’m hoping that therapy gets better for you. You seem very intuitive in terms of your ability to analyze your situation, the system, and the outcomes. You also sound like a very empathetic person who worries deeply for others. I think that you should not be turning the blame on yourself. You should not think of yourself as someone who deserves any type of blame. There’s often this horrible reality for victims wherein the abusers are somehow able to get off with essentially just a slap on the wrist (if that). The system is broken and has been for a long time. You desire to feel protected and you should have been protected. I understand your feelings of frustration and anger. You are totally justified in feeling those emotions. I just hope that talking to us provides you with some sort of comfort, and that we can give you with the support that you should have received from our broken system. I wish you all the best in your journey.

  31. haesol Volunteer

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for the update!
    I see you’re still working with the EMDR, I hope that it’s going better for you.
    I admire how you see things, you’re looking from every perspective and judging from every perspective, that’s not easy to do. However, turning that perspective into putting the blame on yourself isn’t the best. I hope you do know what you went through wasn’t your fault–it wasn’t your fault to be little at the time, wasn’t your fault that they were stronger than you, and sure wasn’t your fault to be vulnerable in that situation. It’s easy to see who is to blame, and that person is not you.
    It’s good that you know that process and healing isn’t linear; there’s bound to be some bumps on the road, but that doesn’t mean that the path doesn’t keep going moving forward.
    You’ve been doing really good, really.
    Looking forward to another update
    Stay safe,
    -sol.

  32. brookeallnutt Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for coming back with another update! Like the others said, you are definitely making great progress, even though it may not feel like it. Breaking out of a certain mindset is hard for anyone, and it’s so admirable that you keep trying, despite the setbacks. I hope things get easier for you, and I look forward to hearing from you again!

  33. rohina_kumar Volunteer

    Hi Sue,

    Thank you for coming back on here with another update! It makes me so happy that you’re still going through with therapy and that you’re making progress in terms of putting the blame off yourself. That being said, it is normal for you to visit that dark place once a while. The journey to healing doesn’t involve a one-size-fits-all approach and it happens slowly but steadily. I hear your frustration at your perpetrators and you are entitled to your feelings. The trauma they’ve given you while they seem to have gone off scot-free must make you angry, and that is okay too. I encourage you to hang in there and keep moving forward with the therapy sessions. The fact that you’ve come this far shows that you are strong, brave and a warrior. We’re here to support you through every step of the way and we’d love to hear an update from you very soon! All the love.

    – Rohina

  34. jcas120 Volunteer

    Hello Solongago,

    It’s great to have you back for another update! I hope you and the dogs are doing well and I hope you are staying safe.

    It sounds like you’re doing a lot of great work in therapy lately. I know how hard it must be especially with EMDR and having to relive so many memories over and over. You really have done some hard work over the past year with your new therapist. This is an accomplishment to celebrate as you continue doing the hard work that is leading to healing. I like the analogy you have of the spiral, therapy really can feel non-linear at times but I’ve always thought that was part of the healing process. But I feel that is like the brains way of making sure every thought was checked.

    I hope you have a great week ahead!

  35. candyappleb Volunteer

    Hi solongago,

    I completely understand the struggle you’re going through right now. It took me almost twelve years to break out of the cycle of self-loathing and excuse making for my abuser. It is a long and arduous journey. I think you’re doing great. Recognizing your behavior pattern is the first step in being able to change it. It takes time! It can become frustrating when we “know” the answers and have difficulty applying the answers. You will get there. You are moving in a forward direction, even when you have setbacks. From an outside perspective I can see how much growth you’ve made over the short time I have been responding to stories. It may not feel like it as you are battling within yourself, but from the outside you ARE moving forward. Keep up the good work!

    All the best,
    Becca