Posted by: Judy | October 27, 2015

Sharing a link…

Thanks Patricia J. Grace https://patriciajgrace.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/share-a-link/ for sharing this link:

http://jodiannemsmith.com/2015/10/10/how-to-heal-after-childhood-sexual-abuse/

It isn’t a short read, but it offers a variety of healthy ideas on ways to help yourself heal. As I read through the article, I recognized myself without difficulty. As I watch the weight scale creep upward, I must stop lying to myself. I’m still struggling.

Her advice to start with eating healthy, rest, and sleep encouraged me and surprised me. She separated rest and sleep. I’ve never seen anyone separate rest and sleep, except that I do it all the time. I’m often able to rest but not sleep.

What has always been difficult for me is that compared to others it wasn’t that bad. I know others went through much worse than I did. And therein lies the problem:

Being abused is living in hell.

It doesn’t matter how long or how short the time or the severity.

A victim has lived in hell.

Diminishing the experience by saying it wasn’t as bad as what someone else endured does not make the trip to hell any less real or any less devastating. However, by diminishing the pain and destruction created in my life I close my eyes to the mayhem and chaos strewn throughout every aspect of my life.

Saying that what happened to me wasn’t as bad as what happened to my sister (and it truly wasn’t) or someone else doesn’t invalidate what happened to them. However, it does trivialize what happened to me.

I continue to live with the fallout, every single day.

The other day, a program on the brain showed the effects of neglect. The boys they were featuring were actually young men who’d been adopted as boys. They’d made a lot of progress but were unable to live on their own. I saw me. My learning disabilities aren’t as severe as theirs, but I exhibit many of the same disconnects and inability to support myself.

I do myself an injustice by saying I can’t support myself. When I worked for the airlines I paid for everything myself, except my room. I attempted to pay rent but grew tired of my checks not being cashed.

Now, on television, it’s demeaning to watch the portrayal of adult children living at home with their parents. They expect their parents to cook for them, clean for them, essentially take care of them. I’ve never really had that, not even as a child.

NM made meals for the family, but often cooked food I couldn’t eat. My sister and I cleaned the house. In my head, I see my mom cooking and cleaning and doing laundry and complaining about never having any help.

Disconnect.

I also remember my siblings doing dishes. I remember cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, dusting, sweeping. I remember making meals and being criticized for the food I prepared. I remember having to do my own sheets from an early age since like many sexual abuse victims I often wet the bed. NM refused to wash my bedding more than once a week. I remember hanging out laundry, including hanging out diapers. Considering the fact the baby was only four years younger than me that gives you an idea how old I was. I was probably helping my sister, because I seem to remember not being quite tall enough to reach the clothesline.

I’ve purchased my own food and made my own meals for thirty years. NM has invited me to dinner and prepared food I couldn’t eat. I quit accepting her invitations a decade or two ago, unless it’s a family dinner. Even then, I’m careful and pick and choose only a few things.

I do my own dishes and my own laundry.

I confess I’m afraid to clean the house because NM drummed into me that she loves cleaning her house and no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. I grew weary of having everything I did redone to meet her exacting standards.

When they go on vacation, I take care of the house.

I do yard work, trim the blackberry bushes, trees, roses, pull cat claw. I mowed the lawn for a while, but my back trouble makes it difficult now.

And yet, I still see myself as incapable of living alone.

It’s discouraging, frustrating… and it makes me angry.

However, none of those feelings help me.

I can’t change what happened.

I will continue to work, every day, to become healthy.

Thank you to everyone who’s helping me along this journey.

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Responses

  1. Hugs.

    • ((Ruth))

  2. Be kind to yourself today (well, every day 😉 )

    • Thanks for the reminder ((Judith))


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