For the Love of Me.

WARNING!  This post is not for the feint of heart. It is disturbing and unpleasant.

As I mentioned early on when I first started posting, there were some things I would eventually include in my posts that were cathartic for me but that I hope might help others as well.  This is one of them.


I have heard from the proverbial “they” that you must first love yourself before you can love others. I have also heard that those who stay in an abusive environment are ones in search of love. They equate abuse with love.  I disagree and perhaps agree a little with that.  In fact, there are countless reasons that come into play. More than you realize. (See footnotes)

My parents were both abusive.

My mother who was later diagnosed schizophrenic was more verbal than physical, although she wasn’t above taking a wooden coat-hanger to us, yanking us by the hair in the middle of the night because we left a spoon in the sink. It didn’t matter who did it, we all got it. It was worse, when she and dad got divorced and she remarried and took on her second husbands children. Those poor babes were taken out of foster homes where they’d been molested to a home where they would get beaten, and they were there because they’d been abandoned as children while my step-father was serving his country. Hard to imagine that kind of stuff exists, but it does.

Oh, did I have my hands full!  My sisters and brothers (now six girls and three boys), made a grand total of nine, with me being the oldest. They tell me they pretty much regard me as the momma they look up to. Hard to imagine. I was 16.

Daddy was both physically and sexually abusive. The sexual he reserved for me. It had never occurred to me at the time to ask or wonder why the other girls were never touched. Later, as an adult, I was to learn his why. It was simple really. He told me he really never thought I was his daughter. Apparently early on in their marriage, when mother had escaped from him after one of his beatings she had returned to Mexico. He thought perhaps she’d reunited with an old boyfriend because when she returned, she was pregnant. She was aghast at the idea and told me, yes she left but had gone to her mothers and upon learning she was pregnant,  returned to her husband as so it was expected in those days.


But, the question remained. Was he punishing her through me?  I don’t know.

Once I became an adult, he no longer believed that. In part because after I moved to the small town he’d grown up in, he had taken me to a store to meet a cousin. Later, a woman walks in and says you must be a —–, giving our family name.  She hadn’t seen my dad standing nearby but the family resemblance was apparently unmistakable. He laughed proudly.

The sad thing about abuse is, there is often times no rhyme or reason for it.  Abuse is not punishment.  It wasn’t always discipline for misbehaving.  If mother had crossed him, he’d had a bad day at work or was just in a foul mood, he’d take it out on us. His physical abuse against me and my siblings I remember, that against my mother, I don’t, whereas my siblings do. If it wasn’t an outright beating, then he’d hit us on the back of the head with one of his famous backhanded slaps.  (I wince every time Gibbs does that to his people on NCIS even though I’ve noticed he does it less now, so someone may have complained) The sexual part was in a cloud-like dream. I couldn’t remember anything beyond a certain point. In some cases I thought the perpetrator had been someone else.  Over the years I’ve seen several (three) therapists and through them, learned a lot about myself and my ability to cope. I call it “shelving” the ugly. The therapist said that it is how I survived and remained sane.

I came face to face with “ugly” several years ago when my daughter encouraged me to see her therapist and thought maybe it would help me as well. I was in one state and she in another, “out west”. She was having some things she wanted to work through and some of it was in relation to her feelings for me. Being the eldest, she always felt responsible for me emotionally and didn’t understand why.  I too, am the eldest and it was my job to protect my siblings, which I often did, stepping in or deflecting blows, so I understood.

My little sister and I were caring for my father at the time which by comparison was relatively easy to that of caring for mother. I was having a hard time though. I’d been doing it since 2005.  She joined me in 2008. I was already drained from the energy it took to care for mother who had Alzheimer’s and who had recently died. (I had all the paperwork  to do which was daunting since I had a battle with VA constantly and then shared the physical care with my sister.)

Earlier on, there had been an incident with Dad when I found out he was friends with an old neighbor of ours. I had always believed that this neighbor had been part of a group of boys who had molested me. I told him I remembered the blood on my panties and my little friend running for help and his mom coming. I remembered her cradling me in her arms and I presume taking me home. I remember my little sister coming home from the hospital soon after. I remember little else. I was five. My dad blew me off!

He never once said, “poor baby”. “It’s not true.” Nothing. No comment and that seemed odd. He also continued to be friends with this guy, he just talked less of him. I thought, why no paternal indignation or anger?

So when my daughter, who is not generally the most tactful person on the earth made her request gently, I accepted her offer to come out and give it a try. I had questions. Besides, I thought a vacation sure would be nice. Hah!

My daughter had already learned about a phenomenon called “transference”, where the roles are flipped.  It made perfect sense to me. As a child I had been abused in every sense imaginable. I craved love. I was needy. When I was pregnant with her out of wedlock, I recall with definite clarity thinking and saying, “Now I will have someone to love and who’ll love me back and never leave me”.  Oh my! It is a known fact that children in the womb absorb so much more information than before realized and here I am loading her up with this stuff. I was so relying on this child to take the place of all the love I’d ever wanted and never got. So, yes, I wanted to be there for her to work this crap out. I didn’t do this to her knowingly, but I still did it.

I gave permission for her to be present. It was there we learned the extent of the damage. I was functioning as an adult and I was a good parent, but certain triggers would cause me to respond as a child. Trauma, it turns out can prevent you from moving beyond a certain point. (* A form of child PTSD.)  The therapist we saw, tapped into my inner self and found the details of the rest.  So much ugly!

It did turn out there were five teens (as I had remembered) that had raped me, but the man dad was friends with was not one of them. But there was more. Dad was also a perpetrator. Not with the boys, but later.  All I knew was by age 6 it had started. The man I was always trying to please was hurting me in ways I didn’t understand and I had blocked it out! The therapist asked me if I wanted the details. I said, “No way! I can’t go there.”

Oh, I didn’t disbelieve the doctor, because the cloudy dream like memories I had lived with were now coming back to life. Memories of Daddy coming to me in the night, lowering my panties, staring at me and stroking me. I remember him coming  to their friends house where I was staying in LA. They had been in entrusted with taking me to auditions and make Hollywood connections for me to get in show biz, because I could sing and dance “a little”.  I would hear him tell them he’d beaten mom to a pulp because of another man she’d fallen in love with, and how later that night, he came to me and held me in his arms and tells me how he wishes I was mother and then kisses me passionately. I recall wiping away the nasty kiss and not falling asleep, afraid he might do more.  A more I thought I was unfamiliar with. While at the same time he was telling me my Hollywood dream was over, I had to go back home and protect my siblings from my mom?

No, I didn’t want to know details.  I already had more than my fill of memories that suddenly took on a life of their own. What I had begun to think were the musings of an over active imagination were solidified.

A flashback of me confronting him as an adult and him not denying it but making the excuse that he’d grown up with all boys and never had a little sister so was only “fascinated and marveling” at my changing body. (My earliest memory of him was when I was 10 years old so it made sense) He apologized and cried and said he never meant to hurt or confuse me. I forgave him then. Was that all bullshit, or was he just relieved that that was all I remembered? Now the therapist is telling me there was way more than that? My mind was in a whirl. It was too much and I knew I could never handle more. As it was, I was gasping for air and my daughter for one last time, took her mommy role and held me in her arms as if I were her child.

For hours I sobbed uncontrollably. I would see her little girl sitting on the couch, confused and probably wondering why her grandma couldn’t stop crying and me thinking I was no bigger than her. Why? How could anyone do that to a child?  Mother and daughter cried together.

Dear God, how was I going to go back home and continue caring for him?

I couldn’t. More than anything I wanted to run far, far away, but I didn’t.  Did it cross my mind to exact vengeance?  You bet. I didn’t know what or how, but I thought it.

Instead, because I am who I am I didn’t.  I talked to my sisters and we agreed on specifics on how to handle his care, especially when he became totally bedridden. Up until then, it was just me and my baby sister.  The other sis had never stepped up to the plate, but now I was forced to engage her help.  She was out of work and her forte’ was senior care-giving. I would not wash or take care of any of that. I hated to do that to her but she said she was fine. To her, he was just another patient and she needed the money. I strictly handled his financial business, his medical and hospital transport and later hospice care. He had made me legal guardian years ago so that’s what I did. I took extra care to never overstep my bounds of guardianship and I refused to physically touch him.

I had accepted the beatings as how things were in those days and that they (my parents) didn’t know any better and had forgiven them both for that. Mom because of her mental incapacity and dad for his upbringing. His dad beat him and his dad beat him and so on, but this?

When I began caring for my parents, my baby sister had moved from Florida to help me care for mother since my caregiver sister would not.  My parents had been especially cruel to my caregiver sister because they thought she was retarded. Daddy and her locked horns regularly and at the time, he was still very coherent and although he fluctuated between giving her the “farm” and nothing, he could still hurt her by his words. And, she came through in the end. So, in comes baby sister.

I had to find a way to protect us all and still do our jobs. Mom had passed away the year before and we would now be alone with him.

My dad was very well liked in our little southern town. He was highly regarded for his intellect. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. If you’ve read my other blogs, you will also know there were many admirable qualities about him as well. He was charming and smart. So, it’s no wonder I was conflicted. There was also this need to hide what had happened. We were related to so many people here, so there was also this sense of embarrassment and shame for the family. My revealing this old stuff or explaining why we would no longer care for him would bring all this out if we just walked out. Maybe we wouldn’t have to explain, but I liked my other family members and being God fearing Christians that they are, I just couldn’t do that to them. They would be so disappointed and maybe even angry. Most of them are elderly.  No,  I couldn’t tell. Walking away would not be that easy.

On his deathbed, I would tell him what had been revealed and why I had distanced myself. I told him too that I forgave him. He had never been a God fearing person but had explored all faiths, but he had accepted Christ and I trusted God would take care of the rest. By then, he had had a stroke and could only listen and not offer up any excuses like he always did before. I went on to thank him, because it was my history with him that made me a stronger person and a better parent. (the girls still tell me I did a good job and we are closer because of it). Early on, I always knew what kind of parent I would be and nurtured my children the best I knew how.  And, I also thanked him for having been able to care for him.

I had to tell him this way, because before his stroke he had inadvertently slipped up and told me about a time he and his pals had violated their little sister, so his excuse about never seeing a little girl’s genitalia was hogwash – he also didn’t see it as violating her. He had said, it was just a child’s natural curiosity.  I get that, but it wasn’t right. What amazed me further is they surprisingly remained fast friends until they died – had she blocked it from her memory as well?

My siblings all say they couldn’t have done it. For either parent.
The younger sister I refer to is the one that was born after the first incident and because of our age difference I never really knew her well. She was also ten when our parents divorced, so our memories are not the same, neither our experiences.

Through it all, I don’t regret it because the bond between my sister and I could never have developed and grown like it did had we not shared those trials the last days of their lives. In so having this experience, I got resolution. The two of us got resolution. We shared our perceptions, our feelings and we are now closer than I can imagine we would have been had we not shared that time together.

We noticed too that my brother who didn’t share this experience with us still has that baggage to unload. I hope he can.

My caregiver sister was my Irish twin and although we wished we could have a relationship with her, it didn’t happen. She escaped back into her own little world again when it was over. Her son would later get arrested for supposedly molesting their sons. I had shared my experience with him and his wife and a year later in the middle of a nasty divorce she accused him. I don’t think he did it. But how does anyone know for sure? The last I heard he was acquitted. Psychiatrists examined the children and there was no evidence to support her claim, but the damage was done.

What’s interesting is, during a bitter period, when a dear friend of mine who also knew dad and liked him, was singing his praise, I retorted “he wasn’t all that he seemed.” Her response was, “we know”.  I didn’t ask what she knew, it didn’t matter.

The family and friends I made during that time are irreplaceable and had it not been my decision to go there and explore my roots and meet family I would never otherwise have met them nor had the experience that was so worthwhile.

And even though they are several time zones away now, I love all my friends there and think of them often.

As painful as it was, it explained a great deal. My daughter now gets to have her mommy back and the “ugly” no longer haunts me. When it comes out it is when I feel it safe to share and perhaps help someone.

I have come to the conclusion that I have great survival instincts. When my first husband threatened to strike me, I stood up like a cobra and got in his face and snarled, “Don’t you dare! Don’t even think about it!”  He stood over 6 feet to my five foot 2″ little self (and I was little then) and he quickly backed off and apologized.  I know I frequently irritated the hell out of him in those days because if he raised his voice or was angry I would duck. I was still young and the wounds fresh back then.

Once when my dad hit his wife while I was visiting, she ran and hid behind me and I immediately got in his face then too and told him, “NEVER, never do that again!  You don’t hit women or kids!” He backed off instantly.  (I had already heard from the neighbors that she would sometimes run to their house to get away.) This woman who didn’t like me for most of the years they were married couldn’t do enough for me from then on out.

Why did these men back down when I stood up to them?

What was different now than from me as a child?  Size?  Not likely. I’m not much bigger now than I was then. Then I remember I did stand up to dad, when I stuck up for my siblings and/or myself and only got more beatings because of it.

The same for my brother. I think he and I got the most beatings. So what was different?   Did it come from the fact that I had nothing to lose or to gain? I don’t know.

No matter.  Tenaciously hold onto life and choose joy and happiness. I do.

The following links shed some light and understanding of the psyche of an abused child and adult.  I hope my blog wasn’t totally depressing.

NOTE: When I added the above picture of me when I was little, I didn’t realize how tying it to this blog would affect me. I suddenly became overwhelmed with the urge to hold that little girl in my arms and comfort her and tell her, “it’ll be all right”.


38 thoughts on “For the Love of Me.

  1. Bravo. Bravo from the title (big smile) to the resiliency that defines you. Bravo for the inspiration that your story will give others and bravo for bringing full circle a story that touched so many lives.

    You ask “Why did these men back down when I stood up to them?” was this rhetorical or would you like a response? Also, I have one other question I will send via email.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It wasn’t rhetorical in regards to my father. As I mention, I did stand up to my father many a time in self defense and in defense of my siblings, but it didn’t make a difference then. Yet, it did later with his wife.
      Thanks for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once a year, The Neighborhood host our Bully presentation. We’ve learned – removing fear, power and control – if the abuser or bully has not established love or respect, what’s left is the person that backed down.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on The Neighborhood and commented:
    Even when we discover our direction, our given path, and dedicate ourselves to achieving set goals – as we reach for the stars – sometimes, we lose focus, causing our minds to jump track and our missions to crash. And the difficulty of recovering that drive, that led us to where we are, may find a void if we do not receive strength and motivation in the words of others.

    For the Love of Erika Parker was not simply a popular read or an intense show, it generated conversation, it brought domestic violence out of the shadows and into The Neighborhood, where it has not appeared in earnest since Heather Workes. It even gave one survivor, the inspiration and determination to tell her story.

    For the Love of Me by Jo Weber

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really brave. Thank you for sharing this with the world. May it help someone in need summon the courage to stand up and say no to further abuse, get out if they can. Perhaps it will help someone on the outside recognize what may be happening with a child or adult victim in need, and help that person reach out and lend a much-needed hand.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dear Jolie,

    It never ceases to appall me when I learn about such abuses in this world. I am glad that you came out of this, a stronger and resilient woman and have had the courage to write this down for the world to see and learn.

    I am surprised that so many wonderful women allow themselves to be abused and it pains me to know that some do not even know that they are being abused.

    I was hesitant to click on the “Like” button, as semantically, it sounded inappropriate. But I did click on it cause I like your courage and I hope you continue to inspire people.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments. I understand about the “like” button. I started this blog to get myself in the habit of writing and the courage to someday tell my story. I didn’t want to just share the gruesomeness of it, but I wanted to share the complexity of emotions that go along with it. I hope I was able to make that clear. It was how could you love someone and hate them too? Little by little I will share some of it’s varying facets. Thanks for the follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I grew up a life very similar life as yours. My mother had mental illness in the form of what we now call bi-polar disorder and probably other things. She had my brother whom I never really knew except that he was mean to me as a child. When she divorced his father she left him with our grandparents to raise so his childhood was fairly normal. Then my mother married our step-dad and had our oldest sister who turned out to be severely mentally retarded partly hereditary on his side and part from birth trauma from being born too fast and by age ten she was institutionalized. My mother told me she didn’t want to have anymore kids by him so she slept with two different guys that were brothers my next sister was fathered by one and me by the other. I think my step-dad knew we weren’t his and so the older we got the worse he treated us I was molested as was his own daughter by him the molesting of his own daughter caused my mother to divorce him and then our mother became even worse she medicated herself from the bottom of a beer bottle. I remember once when I was about 14 her being brought home in the middle of the night by 5 transvestites in full drag, there was another time when I was around 13 where she picked up off the floor by my hair because I didn’t get up fast enough. Those weren’t the worst though she decided to teach me that my boyfriend wasn’t good for me by getting him drunk then sleeping with him and letting me catch them. At that point I hated her, I hated him too but her more because she violated something a mother should never violate I lived in her house, but I refused to talk to her no matter how much she hit me drunk or sober, I ran off so many times and would be gone for days at a time. I was threatened with a girls home and dared the cops to do it. Eventually I forgave her, but I never forgot and never allowed her into my personal life again and at the age of 17 left her home and never returned other than to visit. My step-dad I hated him until years after his death but even him I finally forgave. I was a better parent because of the way I was treated they taught me very well what kind of parent I did not ever want to be.


    1. Oh my darling how you’ve suffered. It breaks my heart that these things happen. You chose the higher road with the goal to be a better parent and I applaud you for that. When I read your story, something in the way you were telling it reminded me of my caregiver sister. It goes to show that we don’t have to let it beat us. With determination (not that we don’t hit bumps in the road), but with determination, we can change the course of our lives. May God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you it means a lot for someone to say that instead of “Oh my God! How could you say that about your parents!” I was a hellcat in my teens I don’t deny that and I didn’t care who I hurt or how, but something happened when I got pregnant at 17 something in me softened and changed. By the time my son was born most of the fire was gone. I still had a temper, but never with my children. I spanked them, but never out of anger I never once spanked my kids when I was angry. I think God was at work in me even then because I never held onto the all that bitterness and anger. My sister became the bitter and angry one which always surprised me because my mother always said I should be more like her, but maybe that was part of it because she became my parent when mother couldn’t and that was often. I never wanted my kids to see the horrors and pain I did as a child and grow up far faster than they should. My son is now almost 36 with a wife and two beautiful daughters. He is a good man, good husband, and wonderful father. My daughter is 33 and has many of the mental problems my mother had. She has two daughters one she adopted out and the other in the custody of her father because my daughter cannot be trusted to take care of herself most of the time. I support her where and when I can.

        You said the way I told you my story reminded you of your caregiver sister is that a good thing or just the manner in which I told you? Yes I wish more people were so determined to break the cycle of abuse as we were and are maybe then there would be less of it in the world.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I realize that sometimes there is a genetic element to contend with, but we need to pray for our children. Out of four children, my oldest boy is the only one who had a temper as a child and it has not controlled his life. Thank God. Now he just get’s in a dither and grouses. LOL He served in the Marines protecting several embassies, including the president, an honor someone with an uncontrollable temper would not have had the privilege to do. My girls and youngest son are all awesome and loving, so I guess we did break the chain. Thank you for your comments. As for sounding like my sister. It was the cadence of your response that reminded me her. We are not terribly close, but she is still loved. I write a little about her in my blog, “Yes, I can!” i think it was around August or so. You may want to check it out. Thanks for the follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes there is and I suffer from anxiety and social anxiety. I pray for my children because only God can help them the way they need to be helped especially my daughter. I am so glad your son learned to harness his temper and be able to have the honorable assignments he has in the Marines. Yes of course we did we learned the hardest way possible how a child should never be treated and we made a vow to never do what was done to us to our children or any child for that matter. You are quite welcome I know how hard it is to find people who really understand what we went through and how it made us who we are today. That makes sense I have been told that the way I relate those things from the past is as if I have detached my emotion from them. That I am stating facts like I would my age, sex, and birth date. I guess it was my way of protecting most of myself and still is. I will definitely look up and read your entry that has your sister in it. It sounds like me and my brother we were never close and still aren’t but he is loved as well. Thank you also for the follow.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think after reading the post you suggest that it might be my emotional detachment from those events that make me sound like your sister. Many years ago I went to a therapist and her line of questioning and digging out all the nasty bits threw me into a long drawn out hell of nightmare after nightmare and I told her I couldn’t do it anymore I felt as though I was going to lose what little sanity I had left. She tried to convince me that eventually that the nightmares would stop and I told her I couldn’t wait for eventually and she wasn’t the one waking up screaming scaring the daylights out of her small children. I never went to another and I detached myself even further from the emotional part of those facts and never looked back unless I ran across someone like you and I can tell you what happened but there is no longer emotion connected to it in the way most people think.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jo, what a remarkable piece of writing. I clicked “like” not because I liked the content (it horrifies me, and scares me for what I may have “shelved”), but because your writing has matured SOOOOO much. I have two questions: 1, why do people have to be so…human sometimes? And 2, does my sister read your blog?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. I so appreciate your praise. (One person called me out for using then instead of than but I fixed it – LOL)
      As for “shelving”, we all do it to greater or lesser degree, it’s how some of us have survived.
      I don’t believe either of the sisters see my blog. They did however tell me about your the step dad. If you’d like, you could send her/them a link unless you want me to? I have not put it on my FB because some of my “old” family and friends would have a difficult time with the subject matter.
      I know that abuse is not exclusive to women. Some of what my brother endured was perhaps not dissimilar to your experiences.
      As for hitting the “like”, that is pretty much how many people felt. I am still in awe of the many emails I’ve received from this blog. It has touched so many people. Glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read it. I sent her a link to my blog.
    It is interesting how differently we react to abuse. (I am going to be harsh here.) You may not realize it but what you didn’t say spoke volumes to me. Your response, though complementary conceals the history you have held onto tightly for too many years. You said you wondered what you may have shelved, but you know what that is and you’ve not taken your experiences off that shelf yet.


  8. Thank you for hitting the publish button. The picture makes us cry. You are breaking cycles that might otherwise continue for, who knows, thousands of years? The human soul is indeed very delicate, especially regarding love and sex: these things mean more than we know. Your comparison to PTSD and arrested development, or stuck/confused at the point of trauma is good psychology. Freud’s on Hysteria essay starts this theory. A psychologist at U of M (I am currently looking for his name and work), back in the late 90’s, was working on a reading that Freud found, but misinterpreted these early traumatic memories. Our age has no way of understanding the soul and love that even comes close to Genesis1:26 and the Biblical unravelling of that, as in the Song and by Jesus. Good work, you and jsneese62 up there! We’ll see yas if we make it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The human soul is delicate but the human spirit powerful. Yes, it is amazing that our development can be halted by trauma. It takes on new meaning when you see some guy or woman acting juvenile and realize they may have a trauma in their past that may have triggered the response.
      I believe what saved us kids was the fact that mom took us to church and even though most of the time we colored or played on the floor, we learned to rely on God. We didn’t fit well in the church, too independent thinking but we knew with God, it didn’t matter. Even as a little girl, when things got tough, I’d run to the Bible, close my eyes, open the book, point a finger to the page, open my eyes and begin reading. It helped me a lot. I was reading everything by age 6 or 7. I would pretend I was Anne Frank, waiting to be rescued.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for your bravery and your story. I am the eldest in my family and I am also a survivor of sexual and physical abuse from way early age. I was 18 months old when my uncle sexually abused me with penetration.(my moms sister is so fearful that I will share the secret with her daughter. I am like thats what keeps us sick when we keep this garbage locked inside. I was molested multiple times from both family and others. But I was also there as protector for my sisters and brothers. Although I was removed from the house 2xs, Once I went to live with my grandparents and then I went to a school for troubled girls. (1 stage above the reform school setting).. I have healed some. I know that God daily heals me from those wounds and I have forgiven them all. I currently live with my mom My mom suffered and still suffers from many mental health issues and I am her caretaker. She I think may have tried but I think when back in the early 60s that was not done..

    The hard part for me is that my sister actually falsely accused me of molesting and locking her 2 children in a shed for days and days and days. My sister and her then 1st husband were and still are very sick and very much liars. I have tried to have a relationship with my sister but.. I can not tolerate the lies or the manipulations that she plays.

    Anyhow, thank you for the courage it took to share this. I will keep you in my prayers as well as your other family members. I pray that more people will have the courage to speak out . For as they say in the recovery rooms ” Our secrets are what keep us sick.

    Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for telling your story. As a former advocate for battered women (and a former abuse victim), you have shed a LOT of insight on why these people (not just women are abused) act how they do. Thank you for helping me see.

    What does not kill us, only makes us stronger. <–I believe this. You are the person you are today because of what you went thru. And you are loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I feel like I’ve just watched a very intense film…my God. I think the greatest part is the fantastic smile on your face in your author photo. The fact that you can smile like that after living through such horrors is a miracle. I also deeply applaud you for having the humility and courage to respond to your daughters reqyest that you seek therapy; as I approach 40 (and early menopause!) my parents and I have entered a new phase on honesty in our relationships and it’s a delicate balance.
    I also applaud your willingness to do memory retrieval (EMDR?) I tried it once and nearly puked. Eons of talk therapy, lots of self help but that’s as much work as I can manage. Bravo you!
    Have you read any Judith Herman? I found her wisdom and validation for father-daughter incest to be especially good. My father did not molest us but he has been forever prone to mysogny and sexual jokes. Ugly.
    3 cheers for releasing the ugly to make room for all of the rest of life and living!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not read Judith Herman. I remember my first therapist saying abuse is abuse, whether verbal or physical. My father and his younger brother were both sexually graphic as well. I did not continue with EMDR because for one, I didn’t live in her town but once what I felt was deep inside was out, I was good. There was that sense of relief that helped considerably. What I found interesting is how I had gotten stuck at age 6, accounting for my conflicted behavior, being the oldest, feeling responsible and protective of the others but at the same time, coping as a child. I only recently started therapy again, not for past issues, but because I’m stuck with my screenwriting. Not finishing projects or rewriting them to accommodate interest expressed in them. I know it stems from the history of abuse and fear of authoritative figures, so I’m trying to just get over that hump. Blogging has been quite beneficial to just keep me writing and has helped a great deal in many ways.
      Thanks for your feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Screenwriting sounds like a wonderful and fun direction to move towards! As an optimist, i believe having such a profound personal history gives you the gift of depth in your creative process. I’m all about silver linings 😉

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  12. That’s some history…I wonder, as a Christian – or simply as a compassionate human being, do you see a purpose in your horrifying childhood? Like *recovering addicts, many survivors of abuse become great advocates of change. You fall into that catagory. Bravo!

    It was daylight when I clicked on the link you kindly sent me. Now it’s dark. I got lost in a maze of interesting research into the impairment of brain function brought on by different kinds of trauma, at various stages of life. Thank you for the informative links you added to the bottom of your post.

    *I see a similarity – perhaps partly due to the fact that survivors of abuse often fall into the mire of addiction.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was never addicted, to anything, but I did self sabotage relationships. I was always “attracted” to guys that treated me like someone to use and toss away. That changed however and it’s funny, but it changed with someone who is more my buddy. Sex, in fact wasn’t that great at first. The first time he didn’t want to have sex, I panicked. I thought I’d done something wrong. Once we settled into the relationship it got awesome, mostly because its never just about him. As for other types of addictions, I’ve never been tempted.
      My feeling is, change is up to us. Once we identify the problem, we can make the change. It’s up to us. I see people all the time that love to wallow in their past. I’ve done that, but since my parents both passed away, the angst went with them, like a weight was lifted. They can now be judged by someone bigger than me in whatever way He see’s fit.
      My sisters, as far as I(they) know were not bothered. I saw a documentary about that once and it seems that the target can sometimes be the child that looks most like the mother, which was me. My parents did not have a blissful relationship, so I was not surprised given the last encounter when he told me, he wished I was my mother. I think that was possibly why I forgave him somewhat, but at the same time gave me the moxey to be better and do better.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s clear that you’re a very strong woman who was determined to escape the mire of abuse, and make your life worthwhile. You make it your duty to help and inspire others who have suffered in similar way to you. I admire your spirit and generosity.
        It’s common for women who’ve been abused to attract, and be attracted by, abusers. Recognising it, and breaking the pattern can be hard. I eventually dealt with it by choosing a lone life of celibacy, and I’m happy this way, but even now, predators are attracted to me. I’ve recently managed to fight off a pesky neighbour who’s inextricably linked to me through family ties. My daughter who is now in drug recovery has had several harmful relationships, and a couple of her men hit on me after she split with them. It’s crazy.
        I didn’t know that the target is sometimes the one who looks most like the mother, and yet It seems so obvious.
        That was me, too. My mother wasn’t keen on sex – probably because my dad was so pushy and unloving. I was lucky he didn’t have the courage to impale me. Instead he made do with copious affairs which he liked to describe to my mum.


      2. Sad. Strength is attitude in a sure sense. You don’t have to be ugly, just stern. Speak in first person. If you believe what you’re saying, they will too. Good luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s ok, I got them off my back quite easily… except the neighbour, owing to the family ties, and his thick skin, but I’ve dealt with that little problem now. It was quite entertaining 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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