I was sexually abused by my older brother when I was under seven. I have not come to terms with all the details yet but there are two occasions that I have vivid memories of being coerced into being sexual in ways that did not feel like innocent exploration with my brother. The memories I have are filled with fear, terror, shame, physical pleasure, a painful vagina, and many other emotions and feelings.
I was also used by my Dad emotionally as a ‘surrogate wife’, * and my relationship with mum was not a very healthy or loving one.
These relationships and the decisions and actions I have taken since, due to childhood events, have left emotional scars that I have not yet let go of or worked through and are still damaging my life, sexuality, relationship with my partner and relationships in general with both men and women.
I have been very reluctant to speak about being sexually abused and to write about it as I have so wanted to avoid the pain, judgement and associations that I have with it. I just wanted it to not have happened and to all be okay. The thing is it is not all okay.
Another reason I didn’t want to ‘bring it up’ was to do with the fear I had of how my family would react and of losing my family, of the shame’I would bring to them, of me being wrong, over reacting, getting into trouble, making a mountain out of a molehill and it being nothing more than child’s play.
By my family’s reactions and actions towards me since I told them I had been sexually abused, this seems to be how they do feel (above).
I told them about it two years ago and the reactions I got from them at the beginning were heart breaking. What I thought my family was – loving, supportive, caring, kind – is an illusion. How they have behaved has shown me their true feelings and natures.
My brother has no memories of the event and I feel he feels it is my issue and I should ‘get over it’ because it is in the past.
Both mum and dad didn’t want to know about it.
Mum has not spoken to me properly for two years now, and blames me that it is my fault that the relationship is as it is.
Dad also didn’t speak to me for almost two years (with a couple of brief interactions during that time where the sexual abuse was never mentioned). Recently I did tell Dad what had happened and his reactions towards me indicate he feels it is very much my issue only and for me to work out and get on with my life.
My other sisters and brothers have very little contact with me now – I don’t really understand why, but I feel it is due to the unspoken disapproval from mum, dad and stepmother. The family has ‘closed ranks’ and dismissed me.
I found it devastating at first with my family and realised why I had never mentioned it as a child.
To be met with total ostracism and the feeling that I am making it up would have been too much to handle as a kid and I feel that is what I felt from them at the time and so didn’t say anything.
Now I have enmeshed emotions to unravel and release but I don’t need my family. I am learning that biological family isn’t everything.
I have people in my life now who love me for real and for me – warts and all – for what feels like the very first time and I love them in the most real way I ever have.
Surprisingly I also am accepting my family for who they are and where they are at without as much rage and demand upon them. I feel I will get to a point where they are just people with pain and fear and sadness to heal and I won’t have the same emotional attachments to them that I have now. I look forward to that time when I am un-hooked from them for real.
I have really wanted my family to support me through this trauma. What I have realised is that they don’t want to. Also they actually can’t make it better. This does not discount what was done or their part in what was done and acted out. It does not excuse their behaviour or make it okay, acceptable or loving in any way.
Even if they did want to make it better, they couldn’t take the feelings I have out of me now. They cannot feel my feelings for me. I can only do that. I have been afraid to do so and I still have fears but I am seeing more and more that if I want to heal I am going to need to feel every feeling I shut down or that got shut down from my environment when I was a kid, every feeling I learnt to avoid is going to need to come out and during this process I am going to feel afraid again while I release these feelings.
But If I choose to go through this process, I have heard that at the end of it, if I truly engage it with my heart and soul I will naturally reach a place of forgiveness and be free for the first time in my life**.
Sexual abuse affects every part of my life. It affects how I think, how I feel about myself, my self perception, my emotional self (which is still a child), my perception of men, women, sex, relationships, soul mates, intimacy, my vagina, my body in general, penises, my soulmate, my beliefs, experiences and probably heaps more I am not even aware of yet.
I have been heavily influenced by both people in the flesh and in spirit and have been and am still manipulated through my shame and fear of the abuse (and will be until I release some of these emotions.)
I am realising that silence creates prisons. Silence doesn’t protect those that are abused. Silence protects the abusers. It protects the family that doesn’t want to feel, deal or heal the shame and error that attracted and created the event in the first place. Silence and shame keeps the one abused a victim and makes it seem that they are wrong in some way, they are to blame and they have something to hide and be guilty about. Silence perpetuates the cycle of violence and abuse – sexual, physical and emotional.
I feel that I need to be honest and open about what has happened to me. Sexual abuse is something that needs to be spoken about, not hidden and silenced.
How do we protect kids and heal when we have been abused ourselves? I don’t know Gods feelings on this yet, but mine are as follows:
We speak about what has happened, we speak about and know the people who have done it, we support our children in that what was done was wrong. We allow children to feel what they feel when they feel it, without discouragement, judgement or attack. We feel and release our personal feelings including anger and every feeling we have about it in a loving way that does not harm any other living thing. I don’t think it helps to get angry and violent towards the perpetuators (though I have feelings of anger towards them at what has been done to me, that I need to feel and heal, but I don’t feel that ‘taking it out upon them’ is going to help me or them. It will only create more harm and more violence) and that is what I want to stop. We need to stop the cycle of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, stop the cycles of violence. The only way to do it is for each of us to start with ourselves and our unloving behaviours towards ourselves and others. To feel, experience and release my fear, terror, & grief so I can love for real.
We need to believe children when they speak and tell us of these things – being bullied and abused sexually, physically & emotionally. We need to take them seriously and find the causes within ourselves that have created them in the first place – both for the kids being abused and those doing the abusing. We need to stand up in a loving way and be frank and not accept abusive behaviour. Expose it for what it is. We need to ask and answer the hard questions Truthfully. Be humble to the pain – feel it, be humble to God’s Truth and the process God has created for us to feel and heal through**. We need to Love as God Loves. To restrain*** the perpetuators (lovingly) and find out the causes of why they chose to do what they did and heal those causal reasons. We need to remove those who are being abused where we can or at least stand up for them so they know it’s not their fault. We need to let those that have been abused feel the fear, terror, harm and deep grief about the things that were done to them and allow them to heal wholly and fully.
Talking about it as psychologists encourage might be a first step in healing, to face the fear of saying out loud what you have been told to keep quiet, but it doesn’t do the real healing. The real healing comes through the emotional experience and release of all that was felt during the abuse. It comes through allowing emotion to flow through and out of you so that you no longer hold it in your soul, your body, your mind. It comes through asking and receiving God’s Love to change your soul****!
I don’t know yet the Truth of what this real healing is like, but in regards to all that I have heard about it, it feels like the only True healing is going to happen the way Jesus and Mary suggest in their teachings of God’s Truth (see links below). The more I explore this and the more I experiment, the more I suspect my relationship with God is of extreme importance and also that I don’t have to do this totally alone.
God cannot ‘do it for me’ but God is with me and wants to love me though the process. God has always been loving me and it is me that has not accepted God’s love or wanted to love God in return. I have a growing desire to have a personal relationship with God and then…. The possibilities are infinite!
This is where I am at: getting honest about being sexually abused. Exploring and experimenting with a relationship with God. Growing a desire to feel and know the Truth of all that has happened to me and growing a desire to Love God, myself and others as in the way that I have heard God Loves me.
* * * * *
* An awesome book on this subject is called, ” The Emotional Incest Syndrom: What to do when a parent’s Love Rules Your Life’. By Dr Patricia Love click on title to take you to Amazon.com to find out more.
** Jesus and Mary Magdalene have awesome teachings on how to grow a relationship with God which includes becoming an 100% emotional being. There are many teachings and seminars of emotions and releasing childhood trauma and abuse emotions. All of these I have found life changing and highly recommend exploring and experimenting further. Click on the link to explore further: www.divine truth.com, Divine Truth FAQ channel YouTube, Divine Truth Channel Main YouTube
*** By restrain I mean to restrict their will in a way that is appropriate to the unloving behaviour. For example if someone is sexually abusing a child that person may need to be removed from contact with the child and those around them until they find the reason why they desire to harm in the first place and then heal through that. The restraining I feel is important so that they cannot harm others. I would also be important to help the abuser to heal also and not just punish them. Punishing them wouldn’t actually help them in any way. ( I don’t know exactly how to do this yet, but I think it is important to reflect upon because what is happening now doesn’t seem to be working very well. If my child was being abused I would remove the abuser or I would remove myself and the child.)
**** I haven’t experienced this for real for myself yet, I am only regurgitating it. I am exploring God at this time and from what I am reading, seeing, hearing, it is feeling more of a possibility that this is real based on the premiss that God is all Loving, All Powerful, and God is Good and loves me with a never ending, never changing, real, forever, beautiful and certain Love. When I know for real and have experienced it myself I will write more extensively on ‘how to’.
Other Resources on Vaginas, Sex, & Sexual Abuse – click on the links to take you to the resource pages for more information
Divine Truth – website, FAQ’s & Main YouTube Channell – Potentially life changing information presented by Jesus and Mary on God’s Truth, God’s Laws and all sorts or other interesting subjects. Including how to implement these principles and Truths in your every day life. Logical, simple and awesome especially when you choose and desire to experiment and truly put them into practice. The most valuable resource I can recommend for soul growth and true change in your life.
Parenting For a Peaceful World, by Robin Grille – an awesome book on the history of childhood and were parenting beliefs and methods have come from – a historical perspective. Also ideas on how to change the parent/child relationship in a positive way.
Healing Sex: A Mind-Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma. By Staci Haines – excellent for practical and real ways to heal sexual trauma
The Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to do when a parent’s Love Rules Your Life’. By Dr Patricia Love – this book put into words and gave a name to feelings I have had that I have been told didn’t exist
The Imam’s Daughter by Hannah Shah – about traumatic abusive and violent treatment of a child by her father and her journey to discovering self, God and ‘losing’ her family.
Sex and Punishment, Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire, by Eric Berkowitz – history of sexual violence and acceptable and unacceptable sexual practices. In reading it I can see where sexual shame has come from.