November 06, 2006


The End of Denial & Minimization

So this is it. Here, I will attempt to make coherent sense out of the big realization I had while down in Dallas in the trauma program. The beginning shouldn't trigger. I'll put up a warning when I start to head in that direction. This is going to be a very long post, too. Sorry. If I don't just get it all out at once, I may never do it.

You see, the overwhelm really started to mount when I heard that my sister had retrieved repressed memories of additional perps, outside the "family." At first, I couldn't wrap my brain around the idea. Then, it sent me into a spiral.

This is one of the three things that I listed on my post, "More Trauma Processing--Yippeeee!" as not being adequately "processed" yet. Actually, I decided to drop it all together. I decided I had enough traumatic memories on my plate, thank you very much.

They were very supportive of this decision down at the Colin A. Ross Trauma Institute. In fact, their creed is something like: "It doesn't matter what happened to you, it's how you feel about it." So, I decided instead to focus on the feelings that I hadn't dealt with on the other two processing biggies I had identified: my mother's participation in my rape and my father's sadistic torture and mind control tactics.

When I first went down to Dallas, I wasn't focused on these goals at all. I just felt overwhelmed and I couldn't take it any more. Help!

When I first met with my temporary therapist--the kind and qualified woman I would be meeting with during my stay in Dallas--I went over a recent nightmare with her. Luckily, dream interpretation is one of her specialties. I won't go into the gory details of the horrific nightmare now--I had thought it dealt with torture. My therapist thought the message in the dream was how excruciating it was to be in my skin; how uncomfortable it was to be me.

Hhmmm...maybe there was something to this. Maybe it was a good idea to steer away from gory details about torture, additional perps, etc, etc...the actual acts of abuse. Had I really dealt with any of the feelings I had in reaction to the abuse? That would be a solid NO!

So, one of the first therapy homework assignments this Dallas therapist gave me was writing letters to my parents. I have done these never-to-be-mailed therapy letters before. In Dallas, however, we patients received detailed prompt sheets for our letters. I had never seen this detail before. These prompts were sentence starters and left no feeling unexplored. I started with a letter to my father. The exercise got me in touch with feelings like nothing ever has before.

The first feeling I got in touch with was extreme anger, no rage! I was intensely agitated the next day. I couldn't keep still; I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin...or rip somebody's face off. Yikes!

This got some fear going again. I am still at the point where I deal with a lot of fear over anger, even (and maybe most especially) my own.

I talked to one of the group therapists/facilitators about it. She said I was dealing with something called "flooding." See, the goal is to get in touch with feelings, but not be flooded with and incapacitated by them. She explained how I could use some techniques I already have for grounding to pace myself and go in and out of the feelings in a manageable way.

This was really handy for me and my therapy, for the next letter I decided to write was even more difficult. Guess who it was written to? You got it: My mother. (And I do, indeed, use that term loosely.)

The letter to my mother would take quite a while to complete. It continues to amaze me just how much fear is still there when it comes to this evil woman who gave birth to me.

As I was taking my time and taking baby steps with "the mother letter," I had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Dr. Ross himself. I was one of the few in our outpatient group who volunteered to have a session with him. He is very intimidating, but I thought, what the heck. I might as well get my money's worth while I'm down here, right?

This would probably be a good place to bail out if you're worried about triggers. I'll bracket the triggering material with red borders. You can safely jump back in down below the ending red asterisks. So, be careful with the information that follows. It contains highly triggering and sometimes graphic material. I'm sorry for the necessity of this. However, I can't explain clearly what the huge revelation for my recovery was unless I explain some abuse details--it just wouldn't make sense otherwise. There is also a lot of swearing--sorry.


I already wrote a post about my impressions of Dr. Ross and my meeting with him. What I didn't mention there is the fact that this man kept using the word, "seductress" during our session. We were talking about the fact that I still haven't fully forgiven myself for what was done to me as a child. When he first chose the word, "seductress," I thought the guy was nuts. I was under the age of eight when the bulk of my child abuse occurred. How could I have possibly been any kind of seductress?

I dismissed what Dr. Ross was, apparently, trying to get at. What I thought I was dealing with was the guilt and lack of forgiveness for myself when it came to the times that I felt I hadn't tried to protect my twin sister. We shared a tiny bedroom with two twin beds crammed in there. Many times, I wished and prayed that my father would pass by my bed and go to my sister instead. Many times he did. I have a lot of guilt about this and that's what I thought the lack of forgiveness for myself was about.

So, at first, I just dismissed this "crazy man's" use of the term "seductress." I don't think I did much homework the night following the Dr. Ross session. I was pretty shagged out after dealing with him.

The next morning, however, during process group, another patient used that term again: "seductress." What the hell were these Texans talking about? I had never heard that term in reference to me in all the years I've been in therapy. What the hell was going on? I blew it off and had a pretty average day, as far as outpatient trauma programs go. But then--DUN-DUN-DUN--I went back to my hotel and continued "the mother letter."

Holy shit! Did I get in touch with my feelings! Actually I got a "two-fer" deal because I got in touch with emotional feelings AND the feelings in my body. Good Lord! I was literally writhing in pain on my hotel bed. And I could feel the grief, like a weight on my chest. My whole body ached, especially my arms, neck, ribs and back. I was feeling it alright, and it felt like shit!

I just couldn't believe the hurt I felt. Most of the hurt felt like it was coming from my mother, more than my father. The feelings finally came when I decided to take what Dr. Ross had said more seriously. He had said two very important things: He had referred to me as a "seductress." He also said that, as a child, I was in an impossible bind.

Be careful. Major triggers ahead! This will be more triggering than what I've said so far. And there's lots of swearing, sorry. I've got to stay in my anger here or I won't be able to do this. Use extreme caution!

When I allowed myself to truly look at the truth buried in these two statements, and get in touch with how I felt about it, I realized so many things I have been dealing with for my entire life. The first--and biggest thing--I had to admit was the truth of the rapes. I have only retrieved and begun to process one complete memory of my father raping me. I denied this fact for years. It was hard enough to remember the numerous acts of oral abuse. Rape just wasn't something I could wrap my brain around or face and feel.

After I couldn't deny it anymore, I minimized it. I convinced myself that maybe, somehow, it was a mistake. And then, I told myself, it probably only happened once.

You see, the memory I've retrieved is mostly an auditory and body memory. I can feel my mother holding my arms down. I can hear her saying some bullshit about how, if I didn't stop squirming, I could get hurt. I can feel my father rubbing himself between my legs. Then, what I can remember hearing is, "You idiot! She's bleeding!" I have some theories, but I don't know what happened next. I think what happened next may be related to the fact that my childhood pediatrician's office claims my medical records went "missing."

So, I had the memory of my mother holding my arms down while my father raped me, but I had minimized that as possibly being a "mistake" (he was "only" rubbing himself between my legs at first, after all) and then I started bleeding and, of course, it must have only happened the one time, right?

But, see there's been this partial memory hanging for a long time: I wake up to the sounds of my sister begging and sobbing. I look over to see her tied up with the bed sheet. I can see the tiny pink flowers of her sheet. That's what I focused on. I couldn't remember the rest.

My sister ended up being the one who first retrieved the rest. She was being routinely sodomized by our father. It was very painful for her. One night--this night--she can't take the pain any longer. She begins to sob into her pillow. She can't remain quiet. Our father hears her and becomes annoyed, then enraged. She's such a pain in the ass with her sniveling and now he can't finish. He ties her up. He hog-ties her with her own top sheet off her bed. He tells her that if she moves--the way he has the sheet tied around her neck--she will strangle herself and it will be her own damn fault. He tells her she must watch what is going to happen next or he will kill her.

What happens next is that he goes over to my bed. He rolls me over ever so gently. I guess, up until this time, I'm pretending to still be asleep. I'm now on my back and I glance over to see my sister tied up. My father is talking very soothing, quiet and sweetly to me. He says I'm a good girl and I love my Daddy, don't I? I nod my head and smile weakly. He rapes me vaginally. (I am never sodomized and my sister is never raped. He has specialties for us both and he doesn't mix them.) While he's raping me, he keeps looking over at my hog-tied sister. He keeps saying sweet things to me and making sure my sister gets the message. "This is how you love your Daddy," says the monster psycho creep. "I love her. She's a good girl."

Holy crap! I didn't remember that bastard ever telling me he loved me. He never told me I was a good girl or did anything right! This is the only time he tells me--while he's raping me???!!!!!

Shit! This is it! This is the mystery solved! I was the one. I was the one who was the goober reject twin. I was convinced my sister was the preferred twin. I was the extra copy who could so easily be thrown away. I had to be careful the monster didn't kill me. He would become so enraged if he found me hiding. He'd pull me out from under my bed by my ankles. He'd yank me out of the closet by my hair. He would yell, "You're going to learn to take your turn! You're going to learn to like it!" It would be so easy for him to throw me--the pain in the ass and "piece of shit" trash--away on the garbage heap because I was just a throw-away extra copy. Even if he killed me and threw me away he'd still have my sister. He'd still have his beloved, preferred twin anyway.

Then, recently, my sister told me she thought I was the preferred twin!! What???!!! What the hell was she talking about???!! What is this crazy bullshit??!! Was she just parroting back what I had said? How could this possibly be? This is crazy! This doesn't make any sense!

I was the ugly, goober twin, after all. I was the reject, the social zero that nobody liked. I was the one who got to be mortified at school hearing things like, "Don't tell Marj where we're going. We don't want her to come with." My sister never went through that. That was me. They wanted to be friends with her. My sister always had lots of friends. She always had lots of boyfriends, too. I was the one who sat home while she went to the prom. It certainly wasn't the other way around. What the hell could she possibly be talking about?!

Oh, Jesus! This is it! She thought I was preferred because he raped me?! How twisted! Little did she know, that, even though he said those sweet things to me while he raped me, I was still convinced that I was the bad one. Why? How did this happen? How did I come to this conclusion?

It's my mother. My shaming, evil mother is the missing piece. I didn't get it. I didn't piece it together until Dr. Ross used that word. That word, "seductress." At first, I just dismissed it. What the hell did he know? What was he talking about, anyway? I was a tiny girl under the age of eight!!! I couldn't seduce anybody. WTF??!!

But that's how it went down, isn't it? Shit! This is excruciating! I can't believe I didn't piece this together before! Yes! This makes total sense now. If my sister was going to be sodomized and she couldn't handle it, then he'd come over to my bed anyway. So he can get his damn rocks off and finish!

After my sister had written this account in her book, I asked her, "Did it look like I was in a lot of pain?" I asked her, "Did he finish? Was he satisfied?" No, it didn't look like--at that time anyway--I was in a lot of pain. Aaahhh! It happened more than once! It was routine, at least for a while! Apparently, I got used to it, eventually at least. And yes, after all the time he spent hurting my sister, he finally was satisfied with me. He finished. Things calmed down. Nobody ended up being killed. He finishes with me, then goes over to my sister and unties her. We are both allowed to go back to sleep. How do two little girls ever sleep after that???!!!! But, that's the crap we had to endure to ever be left alone and get any sleep and try to live our lives.

Shit! It just hurts too bad! Those poor tortured little girls! No wonder I forgot it all. It just hurts too bad! And I haven't even got to the part (the beloved feelings) about the shameful, evil, twisted part my mother played in this--in me being the "seductress."

Breathe. I've got to keep breathing. I keep taking breaks to calm and comfort myself. But, this is so hard. I just want to quit this bullshit and binge on chocolate and go back to bed.

So, okay. Even though satisfying my father would set me up for the double bind of feeling guilty being the "seductress," and my sister would come to be jealous of me and hate me for being the "preferred" twin who didn't have to endure as much physical pain, we are allowed to "get it over with" and get some sleep.

But, then there's the next missing piece: my mother. Okay, first of all I have to tell you that my mother is the type of "good Christian" woman who believes the only type of sex that is okay is between a married man and woman who are trying to have children. And it must be done in the "missionary position," of course. I know with utmost certainty that my mother never had anal or oral sex with my father. Ever. Period. So, I can ascertain that when my father was doing those types of nasty things to his daughters, she was okay with it. It got her off the hook, right?

I'm not just guessing at these things, I have "sex talks" with my mother to back up my theory. And I'm not talking about getting motherly advice here. My mother sought advice from me! Pretty twisted, but true. You see, when I was in college, my mother remarried. She was horrified to find out that, after the nuptials, this man wanted to have sex with her. She was appalled. She said she didn't want to touch "it." She said she was appalled that he wanted her to put her mouth on it! Ah! A fate worse than death! Needless to say, their marriage did not last long.

So anyway, I think my mother "sacrificed" her daughters to do the dirty deeds she didn't want to have to do with her sick, twisted husband. But, then a snag occurred. My father decided he wanted to have real husband-wife-type sex with me, his daughter. I think this is where my mother really started to unravel. Up until the point that my father started actually raping me, she saw no threat. But, intercourse--the type of sex that was allowed--the type of sex they had had together as husband and wife?! This was a different story.

I have had another vague memory for a long time. The visual details are sketchy at best. I am lying on the little bath rug on the bathroom floor. My mother is doing something to me "down there." I have remembered the excruciating details of the auditory part of this memory for a long time. My mother is telling me that I am a bad, dirty, evil girl and I need to be cleansed. Then she goes on to give me her version of what I'll have to do in order to gain God's forgiveness and not burn in hell forever.

After I finally put this together that, eventually, my father is raping me on a regular basis, I put this memory detail into the whole, huge, horrid puzzle as well. I don't know why I never wondered before. My sister and I have always remembered the routine. Before bed, we would "assume the position." We would jump up on our twin beds with our legs in the air. My mother would smear Vaseline on us. We've both asked her about this as adults and got lies. We were not being diapered. We were no longer in our cribs. We were girls, not babies.

This was hard enough to deal with. The bathroom incident is even harder. Why were we in there alone? Why did she say those things to me? What was she doing to me? (I don't want to remember. I'm not gonna go there.)

The point is that, after the rapes, my mother saw me differently. I am absolutely sure that I, indeed, became the "seductress" in her mind. I became the competition.

This, also, is not something I'm grasping at out of the blue. My mother has known about my father molesting girls at his high school pretty much forever. She was always open about this. She always referred to those "incidents" as "affairs." She called them "affairs!" She referred to it as my father's "philandering." Those were minors! They were being molested! I didn't think much of it when my parents first got divorced and my mother raged about this. To me--only eight or nine years old--those girls were like adults. I didn't think anything about my mother's choice of words. But it's obvious to me now: My mother blamed those girls. She saw them as seducing sluts having affairs with her husband!

And, guess what? She saw me the same way! That's why I was the bad, dirty, evil girl who had to be cleansed. I had seduced her husband! I had taken her husband away from her! No wonder she hated me so much!

******************************Trigger Warning End**********************************

So, I was convinced I was bad...and my own mother confirmed it.

This also explains why my sister and I have such differing memories and feelings about becoming Christians. My sister remembers it as a warm, wonderful time of her life. I could never figure out why this wasn't the case for me. In my case, I saw becoming a Christian and getting the baptismal dunk as frightening (I was nearly drown in the bathtub many times), but a necessary step to take. I had to be cleansed. This was my only hope for salvation.

This explains everything. God, what a bind I was in! After I had this realization--this final piecing together of all the parts of the twisted puzzle--I kept finding myself saying out loud: Oh! That's why! No wonder! That's why I did this and that's why I did that. No wonder I felt like this. No wonder I always thought that.

And I perpetuated my own bind. I've always been afraid of being thin and beautiful. I thought it was because I didn't want the extra attention from men. I've always thought this was the threat and the danger. Maybe it was part of it. What I really think I couldn't handle was having more women hating me, like my mother. I never wanted to be a threat to any woman, like my mother saw me. Another "aha!" and "Oh that's why" moment.

And then, the feelings came. Huge waves of feelings, that had been stuck and denied for decades, came crashing down on me. By the next morning, I was trying to get ready to go into the outpatient trauma facility and I was in pain. I was hurting so bad, in physical pain.

I decided it would be helpful for my healing to be assertive and ask for what I needed there in Dallas. I decided to go into the program early that day. I caught the facilitator as she entered the building. I told her I was hurting so bad and needed to ask the group for support. I decided that this could be powerful for me. The group was 99.9% women. I could come right out and ask--did these women see me as a threat? Could I ask them for what I needed to hear? I wanted to ask them to tell me that it wasn't my fault. I didn't deserve it. I'm not a bad person.

I started to form my request. I started to reveal my huge realization and how it lead to all these never-felt-before feelings. I had to choose my words carefully. They have a strict rule there about not going into any graphic abuse details. I was going to say simply, "My father only did certain 'things' to me and other certain 'things' to my sister." But, I guess this wasn't good enough. The facilitator stopped me. She completely shut me down. I guess she didn't trust that I was going to stay vague.

I got very upset. I felt very invalidated and shut down. I expressed my feelings and how hard it was for me. I told them my request and how much it meant to me to hear the words I needed to hear. I at least got that part out. The rest of the group got angry. They said they wanted to hear what I had to share. They suggested the facilitator leave the room (this couldn't happen, of course, and I understood that).

Guess what ended up happening? In the meantime, another woman in the group started to sob. She could relate to how I felt and it was upsetting for her, too. She had been through some similar CSA to mine.

Do you know--can you even guess--what happened next? The facilitator left me hanging like a bloody slab of meat. She totally switched over to the other woman who was sobbing. She left me high and dry and...gave the other woman exactly what I had asked for!! She pulled her chair in real close. She got a very compassionate look on her face and gave the other woman lots of eye contact. Then she said--almost word for word--what I had asked for that I needed: It wasn't your fault. You didn't deserve it. You're not a bad person! The other woman got what I had asked for and never received!

I was crushed! But, I pulled myself together and managed to have a pretty positive experience down there, overall. Now, I've lost my therapist here. I have nobody else to talk to about this but you guys. If you've stayed with it this far, my thanks are endless to you. You have no idea how much it means to me. Because, after what happened down there and after losing my therapist, I don't know what else to do. I've been stuck with this my whole life. I just can't be stuck with it anymore. It will kill me.

Dear marj,

I can only imagine what it took you to write this post.
I just read it, well i took a few minutes to stop shaking, but I am still... anyway I know I have to reply to you now, even if my reply is not all I want it to be, but I am afraid I won´t be able to get back to it later.

I am sorry the facilitator behave like she did. As a wild guess I would asy maybe she felt that the other woman was triggered because she hadn´t done her job properly, because the situation got out of her hands, and maybe that is why she turned to her.
It is not right, she is supposed to be a professional and she should have attended you.

My experiences haven´t been as terrible as your by far, but I can so relate to what I think is the main feeling you are comunicating.
You had been made to feel it was your fault, that you provoke it, that you deserved it.
It was not marj. It wasn´t uor fault at all, you didn´t deserve any of that.
I have known of other people like your mother. I can´t understand what goes on in their minds any more that I can understand a perpretator.
I can only imagine that they have built all this in their minds to justify themselves, their fears, and their behaviours.

I know that feeling that every woman sees you as a competitor.
I have that fear too. Even more when a part of me used to need to attract some attention. That was all I was even for me. But then the other part needed to bond with those poeple who would see me as a competitor.
But your is just... I can´t find words appropiate to describe my feelings. Sorry i am a bit overwhelmed. It is just so twisted of her. But what can you expect from someone who allows for her children to endure what you and your sister did.

I remember I read in a book about incest survivors some interestign statistics. It said that in the cases when the victims had support from friends or family they reported being fine as adults. The scenario was very different for the ones that didn´t.

I know from my own experience that the part weights more on me, the one feeling that holds me down more, is that feelign that I deserve it, and that I haven´t have the support of freinds and family because i do not deserve it.

So, what I am trying to say, sorry this s being a bit messy, maybe you should not publish it. What I am trying to say, is that you didn´t deserve it, you didn´t provoke it, you didn´t seduce him.
You are not a bad person, you never were.

I understand now how bad is this time to have that problem with your therapist. But as I said before, you might be better off without him. Bad therapy not only doesn´t help it can harm.
Like what the facilitator did... that could be so bad for you. I can´t belive she didn´t know better. By giving someone else what you needed and expressed you needed, and not giving it to you, she could be reinforcing your feeling of not deserving.
I hope at least the rest of the group listened and was respectful towards your feelings.

You have a lot of courage writing this post.

I hope I have made some sense. I wish you could see in my mind and my heart how I know and feel about this wrong that has been done to you, by your father and your mother.

(((((Marj)))))Oh brother, the hits just keep on coming, I wish there was something I could do to take it all away..I know I can not, I just wish I could, so instead I will tell you that I am here for you in anyway that you need...I read your entire post, yes I tested myself and my triggers, everthing is ok..what I felt was rage, sorrow and A DEEP NEED TO PROTECT YOU..TELL YOU IT ISN'T YOU, IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT..NOT EVER, NOT ONE TIME..Marj, I meant what I said, if you ever just need to speak to a friend, hear a voice talking back to you, just listening and or making comment, whatever it is I hope you know you can call me..I will always be there for you my friend..hang in there, you have done some very very difficult processing, I know it is exhausting and in that state it is easy to second guess yourself...don't . there is no need for that..just keep focusing on moving forward..take care Marj and know we are all here for you..m
Hi - thanks so much for sharing your reality, esp. with the trigger warnings so i could safely choose for myself. I am so sad that you did not get all of what you needed at the treatment center - and that your previous therapist has treated you so callously. You do not deserve to be treated with anything other than love and kindness always.
However, we do not always get what we want, or need, or deserve......and as another survivor of sexual abuse by dad with mom's approval and participation (tho not as extensive as what you and your sister experienced), I know how much this all hurts. Please just breathe, keep asking for what you need, be gentle with yourself, know that this is part of the healing path.
I read this somewhere, and try to keep it in my mind when I am working on stuff - if you are going through Hell, KEEP GOING!
I will keep you in my thoughts.
Wow I am amazed at what you delved into why you were in dallas, it takes so much courage to face that and then to ask for support. I am so so sorry that you didn't get the support you needed from that group, even worse that you now need to find a new therapist. I hope you can find one quickly who will give you the kind of support and guidance you need and deserve.

If I could reach and comfort you I would. It was not your fault, no one deserves to be abused. Your parents were/are evil and did you wrong. They did you wrong Marj.

You survived, you grew up, and you are working so hard to overcome your abuse.
But Marj, You are NOT your abuse. You are NOT a bad person.
You are NOT at fault.

Marj, your feelings and emotions that are pouring out now are real, but they do not control you. You have started the healing process and the people you depended on to help have abandoned you.

Which leaves us, your friends, your fellow survivors, the people who love you as your support net. Use us, talk to us Marj. I know this post had triggers,but that doesn't matter, I will go through any trigger to offer you help. We all understand and know the truth.

The truth is Marj, that you were a little girl who was used by her parents for sexual pleasure. They were monsters. You Marj are NOT a monster. You are a wonderful, giving, compassionate, loving woman who wants to heal. Yes you can heal. Listen to yourself, believe in yourself. You can heal, you will heal.

Marj, it was NOT your fault. You did nothing wrong. You a good, no you are a great person and I am deeply moved by your courage.
I'm so sorry you are having such a hard tme with it all right now. I read all of your post, thank you for being so brave and sharing such difficult memories ~ please don't apologise for posting potentially triggering material, this is your healing space. I know primarily you aim this blog at helping others but please remember you are worthy of help too, you deserve to be allowed to heal too. Marj you are a beautiful amazing wonderful person and I can wholeheartedly tell you that you did not in any way deserve what your parents did to you. You are not bad, not dirty, not evil, none of the things your mother said or that you feel. I see you as an amazing woman full of strength courage and kindness and I dearly wish you could see yourself as I see you. I wish I could go and rescue those little girls and show them the love and kindness they so deserved and needed.
Sending you much love and many healing vibes.

I have a lot that I want to say, but limited time to say it.

So, for right now, I will just say that I read it ...and I am praying for you.

I love ya girl.


You are so brave. This is too close to home so I could not finish it. It's so hard when your mom is involved. I know. I am so proud of you. I wish I was brave enough to look at my feeling, but I haven't been able to do this yet. Thank you again for your honest post.
tried to read it but couldnt dont know what else to say,too close to home to pain to too many things, thanks for your bravery taking my teddy to bed and hoping tonight leaves no nightmares for us.
I couldn't comment yesterday because our DSL was out. We had two different guys over here for a total of about four hours...and I think we finally got it fixed.

Reading the comments, I wept with gratitude. I feel like I'm really clinging to you guys right now. I know that's not supposed to be good for a relationship...but I'm just being honest. I am so grateful to have all of you and your loving support. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

Cling away Marj, cling away. We are your friends, your clinging right now is good.
Marj..just checking in to see how you are doing..and give you some (((marj))
reach out if you need to..luv ya..take care..m
I really appreciate you guys checking back to check in on me. Yesterday was a tough day because it was my 45th birthday. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? God, I sure hope so. This old dog wants to finally learn how to heal and live.

Happy birthday. You are surviving. You've survived 45 years despite such cruelness and don't forget that. Your time as a survivor must outweighs the time you were at their mercy.

You mother, as you said, gave birth to you. She was no mother. Parents protect their children. Your mother is the one who needs intense therapy. Your father, well, it is hard to understand how someone can abuse two children like that and infront of each other.

You were unfortunately born to them. But misery isn't your destiny. You bring hope to other people. That is your destiny.

I am glad you and your sister are talking as openly as you can while you retrive. That way you will remain close and supportive, rather than letting what you thought about each other's experiences, as you saw them as children, rip you relationship apart.

Children grow into adults. Part of this growth is sexual awareness. It is normal for children to explore their bodies. Children can be very seducing. They have charm and innocence that we lose as we turn into adults.

That is what you and your sister had. You both had sexual innocence and your parents ripped it from you. You were not to blame for being you and your sister wasn't to blame for being her. You were children and the experiences you went through were beyond your coping strategies on a personal level, let alone saving the other person.

Wanting the pain and hurt to go away from youself and onto your sister does not make you a bad person. It makes you human. You both didn't ask for it to happen and you were helpless, innocent children. Never blame yourself for their atrocities.

You've got your own family. You are repeating the cycle. You are a winner and a brilliant survior. The fact you can write about it shows strength and a massive FUCK YOU to your parents.

It may feel like you are sinking but with every post and every memory you retrive you are winning. Just believe in yourself. Trust your sister and rely on those who love you.

As for therapists, they help. But they are human and, sadly, some are crap. It is a shame you had two experiences that weren't great and I understand why they feel like rejections. But you are not waiting to be invited to a prom anymore. You are Marj. You need to recognise that the therapists failed because of their own reasons and not because they were dealing with Marj.

You need to find a new therapist you can trust and soon. And then I think you really will be on the home run as you are connecting the memories, the feelings and how it impacts on you now all together.

I'll be here reading and supporting as best I can.

Lots of love

PS the first time I read an abuse blog was yours many months ago. I cried for hours after reading your website story. It did trigger all my personal stuff. But I am so glad it did. I've remembered my own stuff and applied it to all my present insecurities and got stronger. Mentally I am in such a stronger place and that was down to this small little space in the virtual world that you created. I would NEVER have written my blog without that prompt and never sent the link to all my friends and family and asked them to read it. So I thank you. Deeply.
Emily: Wow! I had no idea. Thank you for sharing that with me.

Hey, All: Although this last post was a "whopper," I am actually pulling myself up out of the mire. I'm busy this weekend with a kid's day off of school, sleep-overs, etc. But, Monday I plan to do a couple more exercises I learned about down in Dallas. All the people down there may not have been great, but I learned some great therapy stuff. I, indeed, am going on. And I'm looking at several new therapists. I've been cross-referencing them on some website databases. I'm really going to interview them carefully and be VERY choosey! I deservethe best, damn it! ;)
I just found your site a couple of days ago. Wow, you did an awesome job posting...and your inner realizations kinda helped me put a finger on some things that have been bothering me lately.

I too have done inner child work many, many years ago...and thought it was a done deal.

As I look in the mirror at the weight I've packed on my body, I realize this is a little bigger than just liking to eat.

Thanks for sharing. I wish I had words of wisdom...however, I've found for me...that just sharing is what empowers me. It sheds the crap...and frees me for the cleanse!
(((Marj)))..HAPPY BIRTHDAY..this is just a stop by to say I run around the blogosphere..and yes damn it you do deserve the best..your good friend Emily said so many great things to remember and think it and continue on your path with a finish that only you will've already done so much of the hardest stuff..I know you can do the rest, cause you are such a strong and good person..take care sweetie..I'll drop by soon..luv ya ..m

I truly believe that the worst of all of this are the messages we believe about ourselves and the world and people around us as a result of abuse. Healing is rewriting those messages. And those messages matter more than the precise details of what happened. Sounds like that's what you were starting to do and I wish I could hug you and assure you that you weren't bad and it wasn't your fault. Becasue you weren't and it wasn't. There are two wonderful books that I found really helpful. One is called Secret Survivor by E.Sue Blume and teh other is Heartwounds by Tian Dayton. When we rewrite those messages, we are able to free ourselves from the lies and there is incredible power in doing so.
Marj...I couldn't read it all, but I read most and I think you did a great job getting that all out. YOU DID NOT DESERVE THAT!! ((((marj)))

I'm running out of descriptive words for you amazing cyber angels. YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY ROCK!

Yep, one of those exercises I'm gonna do on Monday is about how we make assumptions about the world, etc. It's very interesting and helpful and I'll probably put up a post about it. I'll check out those books, too. Thanks, April

And thanks for visiting, km!
Hi marj,

Thanks for stopping by my blog.
Yes, your post was difficult to read, which gives me an idea of how difficult it must have been for you to write it.
I hope you are holding there.
I will always try and read your posts, and comment. however hard it is.
You are being very brave and strong, and that gives me hope and strength even in the mist of aching for you, and myself , and all the other that carry this kind of trauma.

I am cutting and pasting the following comment myself for privacy purposes, because it contained an e-mail address:

Cassandra said:

Happy Belated Birthday Marj!


It must have taken so much to write this post. I admire your courage in doing that. Im sorry for all you have been through. you are amazingly strong. please keep your head up and if you need anything Im here.
I skipped the part that was possibly triggering, thanks for the warning. Something that helps me with grounding myself is called a Stresseraser; it is a biofeedback machine that is small that I can carry around with me. check it out if I haven't mentioned it to you before:
Take good care.
b: I so appreciate you reading and commenting and lending me your kind support...even on the really tough posts.

Cassandra: Thanks for the birthday wishes and for being there for me.

Karma: money is a little tight right now after spending all that cash on the trauma program. But, I looked at the website and all the testimonials--looks like a good healing helper!

brewerburns: I always appreciate your visits...and hugs! Thanks! :)
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