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Old 12-19-2006, 11:14 PM   #1
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Question Still under the thumb of the rapes

I'm 34 and currently in therapy. Though the rapes happened 30 years ago, the trauma has finally caught up with me.

In a nutshell: I was raped repeatedly by a group of older boys while being babysat in 1976. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD when I was 20. I was in an abusive relationship in 1995. I began having flashbacks during the year my home was destroyed in a flood after Hurricane Floyd, 1999. I was treated for a precancerous colon polyp in 2002. In 2004, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was fired twice last year for volitile behavior at work and hospitalized in three different psychiatric wards at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006 for suicidal and otherwise dangerous behavior. In one of the facilities, I was sexually molested by another patient. This year, another precancerous colon polyp was found. Many other unpleasant factors have been interspersed throughout my life, especially during the last 10 years.

Every time I reveal an intimate detail in therapy, I feel ashamed, like I've done something bad. I always fear that no one will believe me, so I shy away from addressing the subject. I've reached a standstill in therapy. I can't seem to make myself spit out any more helpful information. Guarding my dignity is my only reasoning on that one. I'm still full of anger. I want to push past this wall because I want to get back to work and resume a relatively normal life.

Have any of you experienced this kind of standstill? If so, what did you do?

Last edited by hergy; 12-19-2006 at 11:15 PM.

 
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Old 12-20-2006, 02:24 AM   #2
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

HI Red,

It looks like you have been to hell and back a few times and are now asking is there hope????

Absolutely!!!!! I have been exactly where you are right now. I was in therapy for yrs, yet never really exposing myself, there is so much shame with what we have gone through. Sometimes we even blame ourselves for what has happened. Victims always feel the need to explain, or make people believe them.I used anger, and humor to hide what I was feeling, or just fluffed it off as who cares. That worked for years, and then it didn't. and I was destroying myself and those around me.

It wasn't until I was 41 that I finally decided to work on me. it took over two yrs in extensive therapy to get to where I am today. I found a terrific therapist( and I believe that is the key) I feel that because we have been injured to the core of our being, we need a therapist that can nurture our souls, and mind. Mine did just that.

I don't know what type of therapist you are seeing, but I would suggest that you see one who has training in PTSD. As I said I think a great therapist is the key to recovery. Getting you PTSD under control is essential, I really think that in order to get healthy, the mind comes first. You have some health issues also(like all of us here) but you can deal with those in a different manner. I have PTSD, Fibromyalgia, kidney failure, emphysema, osteoarthritis, SAD, carpel tunnel in both wrist,bulging disc in my back, bone spurs digging into the nerve causing nerve damage in my leg, and I had cervical cancer in the late 70's. It sucks but I deal with it, but I believe that our emotions effect our health tremendously. Getting you head together would be the first thing on the road to recovery.

There will always be someone here to help out, so come back anytime. Hang in there....Life can be better, and will, you just need a little help.....

Sid

 
Old 12-20-2006, 05:42 AM   #3
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

red five ***** welcome. i will not add to what sid has said since she is very complete, knowledgeable and has a wonderful six sense in understanding all of us. I do agree with having a therapist who specializes in PTSD. it makes all the difference in the world. When i was entering into the time when i had to "come clean" with the abuse i suffered at my first husband's hands i also was very embarrassed to talk about it though i trusted my therapist. the embarrassment came from the degrading that i suffered at his hands. she suggested that i write him a letter and be very specific about everything he had done to me even the most intimate details and then as i was burning it to have a little ritual with myself. so as i was burning the letter i was talking out loud and saying "I am done with you, you are nothing to me anymore, you have lost your power over me, the abuse is forgotten and I WILL go on and heal" this was so very beneficial to me as i did it when i was home alone so there would be no distractions or interuptions. It helped me immensley as I have never even thought about him or his abuse again. I don't know if it will work for everyone but it did me. I also agree with Sid that you have been to hell and back but it sounds like you are making it back. It's a really tough disorder to deal with and all the help you can get makes a difference. also you will find the more you visit here that we all have multiple health issues. sadly but we do. the mind first and everything else will follow. my prayers are being said for you for God to protect you through this journey. come here often there is always one of us to try to help and add what we have to the mix.

Hugs,
ICC

 
Old 12-20-2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Redfive, for all that you have been through I still "saw" a wonderful human being through your writing. You, Sid, and ICC all mentioned the shame that you feel over revealing these issues. To me it sounds like you feel shame for two reasons. 1) that when people treat you so inhumanely that you must be so incredibly worthless, otherwise they would treat you with respect. Some people have zero empathy for others and they only think of their own needs. When you were being mistreated, they were not thinking of your needs at all nor were they thinking of your value. What they did to you had no relationship with your worth as a person. Because they mistreated you does not mean that you are worthless. 2) the other reason that you might feel shame is because you might feel that you should have stopped their mistreatment of you. It is true that when a person finally realizes their power that they can stop people from mistreating them, but you were first mistreated when you were 4 and you did not have ANY power with your babysitters. You then learned that you did not have any power over people mistreating you. You know this until you learn otherwise. You have no reason to feel ashamed about what happened to you. I have suffered from shame about myself also and when I finally accepted that I did not have to hide my shame it was a huge burden that was lifted from me.

I agree with you that you are trying to guard your dignity. I have also experienced the feeling that you get when you feel that you have revealed too much of yourself and you feel all exposed and unprotected. It takes some time to feel safe again and recover from the "exposure". You sound like such a wonderful person. Through your writing it sounds like you are so self-aware. This is a great asset for recovering. I feel totally confident that one day you will recover from all of this.

 
Old 12-20-2006, 05:25 PM   #5
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Thanks so much for your replies, Sid and ICC. Your advice and personal experiences help a great deal. I feel much less alone and a loss less freaky.

Since this is a private matter, I rarely discuss these issues outside the confines of a therapist's office. My therapist is very helpful and suggests that if my mind isn't ready, I shouldn't push myself. You guys are very encouraging. I always try to rush things and am especially impatient with myself. Thanks for making me see it's ok for this to take a while. My heart will stay with you guys in your own struggles. Thanks again!

 
Old 12-20-2006, 05:31 PM   #6
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sannah
the feeling that you get when you feel that you have revealed too much of yourself and you feel all exposed and unprotected. It takes some time to feel safe again and recover from the "exposure".
Wow. I've never really heard that outside my head. That's exactly how it feels when I reveal intimate details, even not-so-intimate details. It definitely helps to know I'm not experiencing an uncommon feeling. Thanks for your caring comments. You've poured out some very warm encouragement.

 
Old 12-21-2006, 02:35 AM   #7
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

red five***** that's a girl. keep coming here. sometimes the anonymity here helps to unleash the demons. my counselor and I talked about shame and embarrassment yesterday. It's the nature of the disorder. I was told at age 5 that i was bad, a liar and just not like the rest of the girls in the family. i carried this into my adult life and have strived to be the "best" . it almost killed me. I have spent my life trying to figure out what i did wrong to have so many people abuse me. what did I do? NOTHING! It took me years to tell anyone about the abuse because i was ashamed. I just knew whoever I told would think "Oh God, somethings wrong with her. People treat her like dirt so I guess i should" hence the beginning at ager 5 of setting myself up for a lifetime of pain. stick around , we are a good group of intelligent, warm hearted people who really care about each other and are there for the other whether we are kicking someone's butt or hugging them.

Hugs to you my friend,
ICC

 
Old 12-21-2006, 02:45 AM   #8
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Hi Red,

ICC is so right, we really do care, and we really do understand the plight of others that have suffered also. There is always someone that can offer advice, or a suggestion to help.

When ICC said that there is always some here to KICK butt, or give a hug..... I think the KICK butt was for me. Watch out, I can kick butt when I think a person needs it, but ONLY to try and make a person see something I think that they are missing, and is essential for their healing. The HUGS come from everyone else....

Please keep coming back, we are a bunch of misfits that really do care. One day soon you will be on the other end of this group. Instead of looking for the help, you will be offering it too. But for now this is YOUR time to heal...


Hugs,

Sid

 
Old 12-21-2006, 05:41 AM   #9
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

ICC, reading your last post here, I saw that little five year old girl. It broke my heart! How could a mother do that to her child! She must have been projecting how she was treated onto you or something. That little girl needs the biggest hug and comforting! Of course for me to get so emotional over this I must be able to relate to that little girl big time! I wasn't abused but boy was I neglected! I never got those hugs or comforting either. I have a lot of Capricorn like you and that earth is very physical and wants contact and hugs. I remember always hugging my neices and nephews when they were small and now my own children and husband. It really helped me recover from my own childhood by giving my own children a good and normal childhood. It's like I could experience it for once but on the other side of it. I am still puzzled on how this works so well to help to fill in the empty spaces.

Redfive, I am so glad that I could say something that you could relate to and that was helpful!

Last edited by Sannah; 12-21-2006 at 05:43 AM.

 
Old 12-21-2006, 06:08 AM   #10
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

sannah for so many years when i could see that little girl in my mind i would push her away. I have resolved the issue in my mind by accepting the fact that my mother was also the youngest and I guess not very important in her family and you're right treated her youngest the same. Though i feel bad for her and know in my heart that after years of talking to her about such things she still never accepted me or saw me for who i was not did she ever care to. someone else was always praised for something nice i did for her. she could never accept the fact that i was a really nice person. never believed it. but when she needed i was the one she demanded from. I thank God for my Dad as he was the loving one so I had him by my side all my life or God knows how much worse off i'd be. I also like you am a hugger. especialy small children. When i talk to my grandchildren i either kneel down or put them next to me but never talk down at them as my mother did to my kids. i hated that. interestingly I am "Mother Earth" and all 3 of my daughters are water signs. I have one of each. cancer, pisces and scorpio and what a wonderful relationship we have always had.

God bless,
ICC

 
Old 12-21-2006, 07:24 AM   #11
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICC
for so many years when i could see that little girl in my mind i would push her away.
ICC, why do you think that you pushed her away?

 
Old 12-21-2006, 07:41 AM   #12
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

sannah--- I have an "extreme" amount of love for small children. Not that most people don't but I have taken kids under my wing most of my life. When I used to see this little 5 year old with such a sad face, knowing she was me I guess i couldn't stand the hurt so i pushed her away for many, many years.In my mind she was a "bad little girl" not worth too much. I am trying recently to be in touch with her and her being a comedian when she was a child my poor husband said that going shopping with me is like watching a comedy. some of the things i come out with to total strangers has everyone laughing . so i am sure I am in touch with her. she does still hurt as I know you know.

Love and Peace,
ICC

 
Old 12-21-2006, 07:48 AM   #13
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ICC
When I used to see this little 5 year old with such a sad face, knowing she was me I guess i couldn't stand the hurt so i pushed her away for many, many years.In my mind she was a "bad little girl" not worth too much.
ICC, I guess you absorbed what your mother always told you about that little girl. You believed that your mother was right and believed it too. Children do that. I used to do child protection and we learned that no matter how abused a child is by her parents she believes whatever they say and blame themselves because these children just cannot not believe their parents or that their parents are wrong or bad. I forgot the rest of the reasoning why these children have to do this. It has something to do with the adult taking care of them or loving them. I cannot believe that I cannot recall this!

 
Old 12-21-2006, 10:15 AM   #14
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

My heart still starts pounds when I approach this subject, so opening a thread is difficult. But you guys are great! And you're right, the anonymity helps a lot.

All of you have been very helpful with your kind, open comments. Reading your experiences makes me feel less alone. And feeling alone with this stuff has always made me feel like a freak.

I love the hugs and I welcome the butt-kicking. Thanks so much for caring.

 
Old 12-21-2006, 12:54 PM   #15
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Re: Still under the thumb of the rapes

oh sannah how right you are. my life would ahv ebeen so much happier and lighter had it not been for my mother instilling the "bad girl" image in me. I don't have it anymore but it's just recently that I have come to terms with it.
what small child doesn't think their mommy's walk on water?

red five----- just keep reading if it's too hard to answer. let us know you're ok and the day will come where the anxiety stops and the flood gates open. we'll be here when it happens.

Love and peace my friends,
ICC

 
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