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#1 of 9 Old 05-31-2011, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Short Backstory: When I was six, my father brought another woman into his marriage with my mother. We became a 'polyamorous' family, and Jenna moved in. She went off her meds when she had a baby and became abusive towards me and Cameron, my brother who is 2 years younger. She had a son from a previous marriage, Brian.

 

We were starved, beaten, threatened and brought down to a level where we thought so little of ourselves that neither of us even SPOKE for a few months, for fear we would get hurt. I swear our toys sat untouched for so long, because we just couldn't play. We were so unhappy. When I was 11, my dad starting raping and molesting me.

 

After almost two years of my dad's abuse, I was put in foster care, and my brother stayed with my bio mom. Mom kicked Jenna out. My youngest brother (Jenna's baby, Brendan) was given to his grandparents. My dad ran. I went home to my mom after 6 months of her fighting tooth and nail to bring me home. Jan 2005 my father 'died' (I am convinced he faked his death....) in a drunk driving accident. His family still thinks I made everything up.

 

Fast forward to today: I have a VERY close relationship with my mom. Cameron, Brendan and I don't even talk that much. And Cameron is graduating on Friday. Brian and I are the closest, ironically. DH, my daughters and I are driving down to Texas to see Cam graduate. Here is the thing though. EVERYONE will be there. My dad's family, Brendan, everyone. Jenna won't, I don't think, but she has been asking me to visit for months. I made the mistake about a year ago to add her on FB in the hope of finding closure.

 

Should I see her? I am honestly terrified of her. DH thinks I may not get closure. He thinks that I would be putting myself in danger, and he has forbidden me to take the girls to see her (as if I would anyway....).  I have no idea if I even want to see her. My mom kicked her out because she didn't believe me.

 

I just want to stop feeling so powerless, kwim? 

 

TIA!


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#2 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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is there something you want to say to her?  if there is something you want to hear, then seeing her is probably not advised.  she will not give you what you want.  what is it about seeing her that you hope could bring closure?

 

if you see her and it's overwhelming, and sends you into a spiral, will you have adequate support, being far from home (and surrounded by people who don't want to face the reality of your abuse)?

 

i think your dh is right that you would are really unlikely to get what you want out of seeing her.  however, if you feel the need to do this for yourself (not for her), of course you should do what you want.

 

do you have a plan for how to cope with seeing your dad's family? 

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#3 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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I think doubledutch has an excellent point!  You need to be brutally honest with yourself about whether you need to get something off your chest or if you're looking for something from her.  (Even if you just want to say something, exam what you need/expect out of her response.)  If you truly want nothing from her, I think it would be safer to go than if you want something from her.  Wanting something from her, even subconciously, gives her power over you. 

 

Although, for full disclosure, I wouldn't go under the circumstances you're describing.  I can not imagine being in the mist of people that did not believe I was molested.  (I was as a child as well.)  That would be a pretty emotionally draining experience for me.  Coupling that with going to meet the woman I would hold responsible for the downward spiral of my entire family?  It would be too much for me. 

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#4 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 10:44 AM
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After years of getting better and better after being raised (largely) by deniers, I advise not to go, and instead check in with a progressive and savvy therapist. Someone who won't spend time getting hung up on the 'poly' angle of the parents dysfunction, but on the abuse itself, which happens in all family structures.

 

Big hugs, best wishes. But I would no way go. I dearly believe in cutting people off when they suck.

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#5 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyEnchanted View Post

Should I see her? I am honestly terrified of her.

 

...

I just want to stop feeling so powerless, kwim? 

 

 


You have all the power in this situation. If you felt STRONG and wanted to see her, then you could. But you can also feel STRONG and say NO. You have every right to say NO. You don't owe her anything.

 

I'm also the survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and closure *for me* has come through counseling, journaling, and yoga. The adults involved haven't done anything to help with closure. They really aren't capable of it because they are all so screwed up.

 

Based on what you've said, I think that you could enjoy your visit more if you focus on connecting with your little brother and the connection that the two of you share, rather than dragging in the woman who was part of making both of your childhoods nightmares.

 

Peace

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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your responses, I truly do appreciate it.

 

I guess I'm not really sure why I want to see her. Because of how I was raised, I feel a strong desire to please people. I just want everyone to be happy - even if I'm not. And she has been asking to see me for ages. I feel like if I say no, I'd be letting her down, which is what used to get me hurt. I think something in my brain just wants to avoid anything that would cause her to become angry with me. I do know that I want an apology - even if it turns out that isn't the closure I am looking for. She has been showing signs of remorse, but she always has been an excellent liar.  

 

My husband will be leaving a few days into the trip to come back home for work, so if/when I see her, it would be just me. I could go home to my mother's and she would be enormously supportive, but she also thinks my desire for closure *from* Jenna is a lost cause. She thinks it may do me more harm than good. 

 

Anyway, I think I will take y'all's advice and just not see her. I will try adding yoga and to my daily routine to see how that helps my anxiety and whatnot. I wish I could find a counselor. I live in a very rural area though... 

 


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#7 of 9 Old 06-01-2011, 10:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyEnchanted View Post


I guess I'm not really sure why I want to see her. Because of how I was raised, I feel a strong desire to please people. I just want everyone to be happy - even if I'm not... 

 


yeah, I used to be so busy trying to make others happy that I couldn't even imagine what would make me happy. It others weren't happy, I felt really freaked out and scared.

 

One day I realized that my abuser could get as angry as he wanted to and that he no longer had any power to hurt me.

 

Have you ever read anything by Louise Hay? She's written a lot about taking control of our lives and out thoughts. I've found her stuff very helpful.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 9 Old 06-02-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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after reading your update, i'm really glad you've decided not to see her.  i don't think you stand to gain anything, and you're probably right that her signs of remorse are deceptive - she's giving out just enough to lure you in, so she can have another chance to abuse you.  it's pretty typical.

 

hug2.gif  take care!

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#9 of 9 Old 06-07-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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I am going through my own struggle right now and a big part of it is me learning to love myself, value myself, identify my feelings, set boudaries with others and be assertive - not a people pleaser.

 

Here is a list of "Basic Human Rights for Self Development" that was introduced to me in an Assertivness class. I hope they bring you courage and clarity to do what you need to do for YOU.

 

  1. I have the right to have these Basic Human Rights and to stand up for them.
  2. I have the right to have my needs and feelings be as important as anyone else's.
  3. I have the right to experience and express my feelings, if I choose to do so, in a respectful way.
  4. I have the right to not be responsible for the feelings of another.
  5. I have the right to express my opinions, if I choose to do so, in a respectful way.
  6. I have the right to set my own priorities.
  7. I have the right to establish independence if I choose to.
  8. I have the right to decide how I spend my time.
  9. I  have the right to choose my own lifestyle so long as I do not violate the rights of others.
  10. I have the right to change my lifestyle, myself, my behaviors, my values, my life situation, and my mind.
  11. I have the right to make honest mistakes and to admit those mistakes without feeling humiliated.
  12. I have the right to self-fulfillment through my own talents and interests.
  13. I have the right to grow as a person and to accept new challenges.
  14. I have the right to choose with whom I spend my time and with whom I share my body.
  15. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect in all my relationships.
  16. I have the right to be listened to respectfully.
  17. I have the right to ask for what I want assertively.
  18. I have the right to say "I don't understand" or "I don't know" without feeling or being humiliated.
  19. I have the right to say "No," and to set limits and boundaries without feeling guilty.
  20. I have the right to set limits on how I will be treated in relationships.
  21. I have the right to expect my boundaries to be respected.
  22. I have the right to walk away from toxic or abusive relationships

 

Love and peace to you,

 

Rhianna

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