Throughout my 43 years, I have never had anyone in my life, care enough to want to know about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.
I’ve used the term paedophile, and people just assume what happened. But, no-one has ever asked me if I need to share the details. My mother didn’t care. She was too busy blaming me for the paedophile abusing my sister. I have nightmares still about seeing him abusing her.
Since childhood, no-one has ever wanted to know if I need to share these details.
So, they remained a dirty, vile, shameful secret inside me.
Secrets my inner child still feels, still has deep fear about.
Secrets my inner child still feels deep shame, blame and guilt about.
Even in counselling, it’s been made clear that exposure therapy, is not appropriate, and I’ve always agreed with that. Until now. Yes, exposure therapy can be re-traumatising. But, keeping ‘secrets’ can be damaging. I think I only went along with not wanting to go down the track of exposure therapy, because it served my unhealthy need for avoidance and kept that shame within me, of not ‘telling’. it kept that shame within me, still going.
I know this is partly about my unmet childhood needs. I needed a mother I could tell. And I didn’t have that. Instead I was severely abused further, with being blamed for my sister being abused. Every child needs someone they can tell. Someone safe. Someone they can trust. I didn’t have that. I’ve never had anyone I can trust, for my inner child to tell the dirty secrets to.
I understand exposure therapy, is hard on the counsellors. And I understand they need to protect their own selves, from having all this vile abuse explained in detail. But, who is my inner child supposed to tell? If she always has no-one, she will always feel unsafe, and like no-one can be trusted, know no-one cares enough. And I am starting to see, no-one ever will and I will have to be there for my inner child, myself. Somehow.
Having flashbacks last night, was so vile, I can’t even explain fully. They are as though I am there, I can smell, feel, sense, see everything. As if my life has re-wound to the age of 9, and I am that child again.
I’m aware this is part of my healing. To divulge details. To have the strength to do that. To help my inner child know, it is okay to tell. It is okay to say “all this happened to me and I don’t have to keep your dirty little secret anymore”.
I need all this abuse, to start to become the abusers shame, blame and guilt…..and not mine.
I know intellectually none of this is my blame, shame or guilt, but intellectual understanding alone, does not change the emotional and psychological core wounds.
Part of my healing, will be about my inner child healing. And that is only going to happen, if her needs are met.
And that starts with not keeping the dirty secrets anymore. And feeling safe enough to tell.
August 26, 2014 at 12:38 am
People do care. I care. I am sorry you were hurt that way. I know you were not asking people directly why don’t they want to hear the details… Being an empath like you, I wish I was strong enough to help you in that way but I am not. This is a type of abuse that gets me angry and makes my heart hurt for you and others that have suffered such evil. This type of abuse is hard for me to wrap my head around because I know that those monsters exist and I cannot comprehend why or how people could even think to harm a child. Sorry. I wish for you and your inner child to find healing and comfort in each other. ❤
August 26, 2014 at 8:39 am
That is so kind of you to wish you could help me ❤ Please know I totally understand, this is not something anyone outside of what should be my 'circle of trust' can help me with. But I've never had anyone, not family, not friends, not partners, or my counsellors, have asked me if I want to share the details, to help me deal with it.
I understand people don't want to know, and I don't blame them. Who would want to know the gory details. So, I'm not angry at them. But, I know my inner child needs, are still there.
Yes, it is so hard to understand how these people can so willingly and knowing cause such harm to children. They have very severe mental health issues and a willingness to disregard human suffering, that is beyond my comprehension.
Thank you so much for your very caring message, you are very kind ❤ ❤
August 26, 2014 at 8:04 am
You deserve to heal and if that means letting out those secrets then you deserve that. I am in counselling and I tell my T all the vile details. The things that were done, the things that were said, the way I reacted, physically and emotionally. I tell him it all. It is hard and at first I was so worried about him, firstly that he may leave me and secondly that it was too much to hear. Yet he has stayed with me and listened to every thing I have manged to tell him so far. I refuse to leave therapy until every single secret is out in the open and my T agrees.
I hope you can find someone you can trust, those people are out there. Love and light to you.
August 26, 2014 at 8:43 am
Thank you for your message and I am so thankful you have someone you can trust, who is willing to listen and hear all you need to share. It sounds as though your T really knows how much the ‘secrets’ need to come out and is supporting you in that.
I think it can be very necessary and needed to get it all out. With someone safe enough to tell. It meets those previously unmet core needs of ‘safety’ and ‘trusting someone’ and I can see this is part of healing.
August 26, 2014 at 8:39 am
Thanks for sharing. I’m happy to hear all of it. I know this story too. I’ve been diagnosed with complex PTSD too. A drunk man raped me when I was 6 years old. I went into total unintegrated shock, freezing blackout my psyche split and I didn’t tell anyone. I was then abused again throughout my life because I lived in a dissociated hyper vigilant rageful shame which was like soul murder especially when my family completed ignored all my trauma signs and raised me like I was a bad apple. First step is acknowledgment. That came for me through a Facebook post that sat at the top of probably about 5000 peoples feed for a few days! I encouraged other people to stop fueling the violence through silence around sexual abuse. Then grieving an ocean of indescribable pain and suffering of 30 years and how the trajectory of my life was completely altered. I’m still in the process of processing and healing. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of hours and dollars on the personal development road.
There’s a gift to my traumas. I have depth, insight, sensitivity and empathy far beyond the norm. I have high social and emotional intelligence. I would NEVER allow this to happen to my daughter (the buck stops with me).
You aren’t alone. People want to hear your story as we have the same story. Thank you for having the courage and self trust to speak the truth and share to help others.
August 27, 2014 at 5:54 am
I am so so sorry that happened to you at 6 years old. It makes my heart break for you.
And all that followed. It seems so cruel that we are hurt so young, and then suffer more abuse after that and treated like ‘the problem’.
Your healing journey, is very inspiring and gives hope, so I am very thankful to you for sharing, as it does help others. It helps me. Sometimes, I do feel like there is no hope of me healing, but then I hear journey’s like yours and it does give me hope.
It does take a lot of healing, as you have explained, but it is so worth it.
Thank you. I deeply appreciate your message ❤ ❤
August 26, 2014 at 6:50 pm
I just had a thought. Maybe you could turn on a tape recorder and just start talking? You would never have to listen to the tape and you could decide for yourself how much to say and when.
For me, I get kinda panicky when I have to talk about specifics of the abuses I suffered, but it helps me more than it hurts me. That’s just me. Hugs to you, Lilly Hope.
August 27, 2014 at 5:56 am
Thank you, I really appreciate it when people offer idea and share their thoughts. It is so caring and kind of you.
Yes, that is something to think about. I get panicky when talking about abusers and the abuse too. Thank you for letting me know, it helps you, more than hurts you.
August 30, 2014 at 9:32 pm
I had a therapist who told me I could heal with never going into detail about what happened to me. I went that route and I thought that I was healed. Turned out, I really wasn’t healed. I’ve been speaking the unspeakable with my present therapist. I think it is necessary. I am learning that all of the gross and disgusting things that happened to me were really not about me. To watch therapist’s face not change to disgust with me while I tell the stories has helped immensely decrease my shame. Please look for somebody that you can share the details with. I think it’s important to do so when it becomes important to you.
August 31, 2014 at 10:31 am
I came across your incredible blog through betternotbroken blog. You are so brave for looking into yourself deeply and wanting to heal, even if it has to be by yourself. I am 65 years old and was horribly abused sexually as a child, as did all my siblings. For 12 long years, from age 6 until I left home at age 18. I, too, could not get anyone to listen to me, not then, and not now. I tried counseling over the years, but in my case, they seemed more screwed up than me. So, at age 60 I started reading and reading and reading, and now, 5 years later, I feel somewhat better about what happened to me and my siblings, but it will never ever go away. I have had to disengage myself from just about every family member in my life because of their refusal to let me be honest and truthful about what happened to us.
So, I think I know exactly how you feel, and the quest you are on. Your postings are wonderful, and it’s so good to hear another woman speak her truth, and stand up for it in spite of the constant crap people seem to delight in throwing our way when we do. Please, never ever let another silence you, ever.
You are at the same age I was when I started my quest, but it wasn’t until 15 years later that I could start to make sense of any of it. Remembering is crucial, even if extremely painful. It was hard telling some people, and I even got pushed out of an incest survivor group because of my honesty and truthtelling! Figure that one out. I have always been alone, and even though I have a supportive husband, I still feel all that I felt for years and years, and have to isolate myself from others.
I don’t know if you have looked into being a Highly Sensitive Person and introversion, but if you have not, it’s so enlightening to read about this too. It might help.
Good luck on your journey in getting healthy. It’s possible, and I continue to move forward, and it’s so very helpful and healthy for me to read blogs like yours.
June 30, 2015 at 12:53 pm
Just started reading about HSP thank you
June 30, 2015 at 10:49 am
Something happened to me today, for the first time. A customer came into my business w/ her 9 yr old daughter. I looked at this sweet innocent child and saw myself. I thought”How could any person in their right mind violate such an innocent person”? An emotional flashback, I guess. Guess it is part of the journey.
June 30, 2015 at 11:11 am
I have those moments of realisation of how terrible it is that anyone would abuse/violate a child.
I think it is deeper realisations, grieving and emotional flashbacks.
They happen to me often and it’s like it hits me hard, right in my soul.
It’s painful, I know.
June 30, 2015 at 12:31 pm
Yes, but the strange thing is..I have seen hundreds of children prior to today.! This Sadness came over me as I was talking to her today. Grief.