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#1 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This may get long and it is entirely personal.  I am dumping my stuff here partially as a way of getting it out of my head for me to look at and partially because I see on here people regularly saying "There is no excuse" or "I can't imagine why people don't just ____".  I'm not trying to attack anyone for feeling that way.  I'm just at a place right now, right this minute where I can, hopefully, explain.  Feel free to stop reading at any point. :)

 

 

So a couple of days ago I got a piece of news that has pretty much destroyed me.  It was a long time in coming though so I shouldn't be surprised.  I'm being all cryptic.  How silly.  So I have the kind of background people write books and mini-series about.  Horrific abuse.  The kind you read a book about and think, "Oh my god, how did you survive?"  Well, at least that is how my therapists always talk to me.  Or anyone trained in working in trauma.  Or anyone with a medical background.  Or really, anyone who hears the full story who has any empathy in them at all.  It was really bad.  Mostly I do ok.  I am basically an optimistic person through my loud and aggressive cynicism. 

 

But when my daughter was in the 18-24 month range I realized that she was approaching the age I was when the sexual abuse started.  I didn't consciously think about this for a long time, I just started getting twitchy.  (It didn't help that I was pregnant and on a hormonal roller coaster anyway.)  I believed that the abuse started that early because I clearly remember offering neighborhood boys blowjobs at 3.  It had to start earlier than that.  So I've been on edge and increasingly brittle since then.  My daughter is 2.75 years old at this point.  Soon she will be the age I was when I deliberately went after sexual contact with other people.  Looking at her, at her perfection and beauty and innocence makes me feel so much horror and shame and disgust because someone looked at me when I was her age and felt I was a good fit for a sexual partner.  Ok, so my dad didn't really think of it like that.  That's a rather kind description of him.  He wasn't that kind.

 

I have been getting more and more panic attacks.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panic_attack)  When I have a panic attack I have the physiological feeling of dying.  At this point I am probably also having PTSD flashbacks as well during them though it is honestly very hard to parse out the difference between them.  Many many many things trigger me.  This is a sad and depressing fact of life for me.  To be fair, I can go years without having them.  Then I hit a bad part in my 'cycle' and they start up again.  My daughter being the age I was when sexual assault started has been a real humdinger.  I have been cycling badly because I don't actually remember that assault. I thought I knew it must have started then just by looking at other evidence.

 

So a couple of days ago my oldest friend in the world came to visit.  She brought her mom over to meet my kids.  Her mother changed my diapers.  My friend and I are 4.5 months apart in age and we were born across the street from one another.  We played daily from as soon as we could handle the separation from our mothers because we traded houses.  I love this woman a lot.  She took care of me and even let me live with her family when my mother and I were living in a car when I was a child.  I owe a lot to this woman.  I don't vilify her.  But when she came over I asked her point blank, "Do you know what was happening to me when I was a little girl Shanna's age?"  She said yes.  She knew because all of the bedroom doors had locks on them--even mine and she asked my mom about it.  My mom said she put the locks on the doors to try to stop my dad from molesting us.  But it didn't seem to be working. 

 

I have always managed to live with my mother's 'part' in my abuse by believing she didn't know.  Believing that she was negligent and stupid was how I coped.  But no.  That's not what happened at all.  She knew.  The fucking neighbors knew.  I was also told that I was NEVER EVER EVER supposed to have visitation with my father unsupervised.  My mother sent me alone to him all my life.  Essentially my mother sent me to him *to be* molested.  She knew.  I know that he blackmailed her into having sex with him for money.  I guess sometimes she didn't want to so she sent me.

 

Mostly I don't ping as 'normal' for most people.  I'm weird.  I'm off.  I'm overly intense.  I am too quick to voice what I'm thinking.  I'm very quick to try to use NVC (non-violent communication, that stuff that someone in another thread called talking like a lunatic) to work out issues large and small.  I tend to think, at this stage of my life, that any secrets at all are bad secrets.  If I'm having even slightly uncomfortable feelings about something I need to talk about it.  I was hospitalized multiple times in my teens for suicide (they had to find me and pump my stomach, these were not 'cries for help'--I barely lived) and in therapy afterwards I figured out that I was drowning under the weight of secrets.  I can't keep secrets any more, not large or small.  So I make people uncomfortable.  Ok.

 

Right now while I am cycling down so hard I'm alternating between cleaning my house compulsively "I don't want people to walk into my house and see mess because then they will know I am a bad person.  I'm already bad enough because I talk about my feelings too much and make people uncomfortable.  Only bad people have dirty houses."  Most of this isn't conscious but when I sit down and try to tease apart the anxiety and compulsion this is what I find.  Then there is the rest of the time when I am dealing with the fact that I feel like I was punched in the stomach by a 300 lb man.  I can barely breathe even when I am not having a panic attack.  I am shaking.  I am not able to multi-task at all right now.  I have a hard enough time concentrating on one thing.  So all of a sudden my house looks like a bomb went off.  Many many many people experience that kind of anxiety/shame about housecleaning and have no experience teasing apart the strands in their brains so they never look at it closely.  They just can't manage to clean.  Mine is a pretty extreme case, but it's different as a matter of degree, not kind.  I feel physical pain right now if I think about more things I am supposed to be doing.

 

I've always been slightly over weight.  Enough that thin people think I'm fat and people in the size acceptance movement kind of snort and say, "If you are fat what does that make me?"  So I'm like a size 16.  Certainly not small, but I don't have trouble in airline seats.  My weight goes up and down.  Mostly this is where I hang out when I am eating well and getting in good exercise (like walking 12+ miles/week or dancing many nights a week).  I'm not built to be thin.  Why am I bringing this up?  When I have anxiety like this my stomach hurts all the time.  Hurts enough to be distracting to me.  So at a time when I can't handle much multi-tasking my stomach is constantly demanding that I pay attention to it.  One of the best things I can do to calm the stomach pain is eat.  I've never been able to understand it.  But this is, for me, what emotional/comfort eating looks like.  I am trying to stop actual pain.  I probably will gain 5-10 lbs, not a lot.  But other people will see my increased eating.  It's kind of hard to not notice.  I go from a fairly normal 'three meals a day with smallish portions' to eating almost non-stop.  All of a sudden people who barely know me have discovered the secret!  They know why I am fat!  I just need to start making better eating choices and exercising more!  And they always come out when I am at a bad place in the cycle and I already am drowning in guilt and shame and self-loathing.  No.  I'm fat because this is how my body wants to be.  I am this heavy if I eat more than 1500 calories a day.  Given how much I move and exercise 1500 calories is a starvation diet.  Even when I lived on that starvation diet (while going to the gym 5 days a week for two hours each time and doing Irish and ballroom and English country dancing--all particularly vigorous dancing styles--4-6 days a week) I was still 'overweight' according to the BMI.  I did that for over a year.  I felt like shit and I looked haggard and sick.  But I can be fat and happy.

 

These things are all so very complicated.  I know that most people just don't have experiences like mine so they can't imagine that all these things are entwined.  I don't think most people have the kind of shame/guilt/self-loathing I experience.  These things make every single level of my life harder than life is for other people.  I am carrying 200 lbs of weight of psychological trauma every single day.  That slows me down.

 

And now I am parenting through this.  It means that my children see panic attacks sometimes.  The fact that my daughter has seen this is the worst part for me.  That makes all the other issues and pain and disgust and self-blame 3,000 times worse.  When I feel them coming and we are at home I can tell my daughter I need time out and I go hide in the office for a few minutes.  I am very very good at crying silently.  But when we are out the pressure is enormous.  I think that being around people we know but who don't know the full extent of my psych history is the absolute worst circumstance.  Out at a store isn't that bad.  If I start freaking out at a store I just walk away from whatever we were there to buy and we go sit in the van until I can be rational.  Often we just go home.  I don't share my mental state with my daughter in any kind of detail.  I tell her, "I'm sorry I'm being impatient today.  I'm thinking about stuff that makes me sad and it's hard to be patient then."  Mostly I'm just lucky that she is a very patient, empathetic, obedient kid.  We just don't have issues 95% of the time.  I don't hit her.  That's absolutely over the line.  I do yell more than I think is optimal but given my background I can tell you that I don't actually yell that much compared to a great many people in the world.  I'm working on it.  There are only so many things I can 'work on' at one time though.

 

I often wonder if someone like me had any right having children.  This is a lot harder for me than for other people and my kids won't have the smoothest road on the planet.  I am constantly checking in with people in my life about my behavior towards my kids.  I have a very wide, extensive friends group.  They all monitor my behavior to ensure I am not being abusive.  It is very important to me and to my entire chosen family that we end the cycle of abuse.  It means that I am really rigid about behavior stuff because if I let my daughter slide and push boundaries we get into dangerous territory for me.  I do a lot of closing my eyes and counting as high as I have to in order to be able to speak calmly.  I can do that at home, alone, under no external pressure.

 

So when you see people having a hard time in public, can we stop with the "Oh my god if someone did that in public how bad is it at home?"  Sometimes things are worse at home.  Sometimes things are so so so so much worse in public.  If we are having a day when we are butting heads at home I can say, "Oh man!  We are having trouble today!  Let's cuddle and watch a movie so we can both get out of these behavior patterns."  I'm very self-aware of my crazy.

 

I don't even know why I am writing this.  I know that there will be a lot of people who read this and think terrible things about me.  It's ok, you're not alone.  There have always and will always be people who think that I should have a lot of the blame for my behavior/things that have happened to me.  There is a very small grain of truth in that.  No matter what, at the end of the day I and I alone are responsible for my behavior with my daughter.  Thus I am in intensive therapy.  There will be times when I do things I'm not proud of.  But I acknowledge them.  I tell my daughter, "Oh man.  I over reacted.  That wasn't about you.  I am really sorry.  I will try harder."  Maybe that won't be enough.  But right this minute I have to believe that if I can go through decades of severe sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and come out of it at all, let alone as a basically functioning usually happy person... my daughter will be fine.  I don't have to be perfect.  We will all be ok.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#2 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 06:10 AM
 
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I do not think terrible things about you and I read the entire thing.  I'm so sorry you have been so hurt in this world by those who should have protected you at all costs.  I wish I had words of wisdom to make it all better.  For now, (((HUGS))) and know that you are in my thoughts.


 

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#3 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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hug.gif  Message boards can really make one more aware of how judgmental people can be.  I like to think most are kinder and less judgmental in person...

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#4 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 06:54 AM
 
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I have no advice and wouldn't presume to offer any but, I do not think terrible things about you at all.  I'm sorry the people who were supposed to protect you put you through hell instead.  That's all on them and everyone who knew and did nothing.  It sounds like you are making herculean efforts to deal with the effect their actions (on non-action) had on your life.

 

I obviously don't know you IRL, but from what you've written here I admire your tenacity and determination. I wish some other people I know, people with perfectly sane, non-abuse filled pasts, were as conscience of their behavior toward their children as you sound.

 

hug2.gif You are in my prayers. I pray you find a place of peace inside so you can have some rest.

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#5 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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I don't think anyone could read this and think anything bad about you. hug.gif Thank you for sharing this. It was inspiring.

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#6 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 07:41 AM
 
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Oh, honey.

 

Here is my opinion: you are a thoughtful, reflective, strong, strong, strong person who is working hard to be a great mother. I think you *are* a great mother, even if you have a messy house and sometimes yell. I have a messy house and sometimes yell, and I don't have the struggle of your history in my life.

 

I am so sorry that you suffered through all of this, and very glad you survived. I think you are an amazing role model for your daughter, and you are such a fabulous success story in that you were hurt and betrayed as a child and you are a loving and protective mother. I mean, talk about stopping the cycle in one generation! You are a loving mother without having had a loving mother to teach you how to do it. I am in awe. happytears.gif

 

You're not perfect, and you're struggling, and that does *not* mean you're a bad mother. You're a good mother.

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#7 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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I refuse to believe there are people who would think badly of you for all you've been through.  I admire how hard your working to be the best mom you can be. hug.gif


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#8 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post

I do not think terrible things about you and I read the entire thing.  I'm so sorry you have been so hurt in this world by those who should have protected you at all costs.  I wish I had words of wisdom to make it all better.  For now, (((HUGS))) and know that you are in my thoughts.


 



What she said. I wish I could come up with something more helpful to say other than I hope that writing out your thoughts helped to relieve you from their burden for even a short while. You are a good mama, please do not doubt that! 

 


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#9 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's worth mentioning that I don't think people judge me badly when they know the whole story.  For the record, I think this is somewhere between .05% of the story and 1.5% of the story.  Almost no one knows the whole story except for me.  How can I even tell all of it?  You almost never know the whole of someones story or the reasons behind what they do.  I think a lot of my point is that you don't know why people are doing what they are doing.  Most all of us deserve a lot more slack than we get.  Because I can absolutely assure you that I am judged harshly all over the place.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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#10 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Oh, honey.

 

Here is my opinion: you are a thoughtful, reflective, strong, strong, strong person who is working hard to be a great mother. I think you *are* a great mother, even if you have a messy house and sometimes yell. I have a messy house and sometimes yell, and I don't have the struggle of your history in my life.

 

I am so sorry that you suffered through all of this, and very glad you survived. I think you are an amazing role model for your daughter, and you are such a fabulous success story in that you were hurt and betrayed as a child and you are a loving and protective mother. I mean, talk about stopping the cycle in one generation! You are a loving mother without having had a loving mother to teach you how to do it. I am in awe. happytears.gif

 

You're not perfect, and you're struggling, and that does *not* mean you're a bad mother. You're a good mother.


I couldn't have said it better. (((HUGS)))
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#11 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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I've seen enough of your descriptions of parenting your kids to know that you SHOULD have kids.
They might not always be the best thing for you, but you are definitely the best thing for them.

 

Has your mother ever had a psychiatric evaluation? Not that mental illness would excuse her it would just help to explain things a bit more.

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#12 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightkindofme View Post


I often wonder if someone like me had any right having children.  This is a lot harder for me than for other people and my kids won't have the smoothest road on the planet.  I am constantly checking in with people in my life about my behavior towards my kids.  I have a very wide, extensive friends group.  They all monitor my behavior to ensure I am not being abusive.  It is very important to me and to my entire chosen family that we end the cycle of abuse.  It means that I am really rigid about behavior stuff because if I let my daughter slide and push boundaries we get into dangerous territory for me.  I do a lot of closing my eyes and counting as high as I have to in order to be able to speak calmly.  I can do that at home, alone, under no external pressure.

 

 

I think it is SO amazing that you are so self aware, and have built in such an excellent safety network for you and your child. You are an amazing example of how the cycle can stop, when usually it just gets perpetuated from generation to generation. Really, you should be so incredibly proud of yourself for the steps you have taken/are taking to ensure your daughter has better than you did. I am in awe.

 

Who cares if your secrets make people uncomfortable? It's the abuse that makes people uncomfortable. If more people were candid about their experiences, maybe there wouldn't be so much shame surrounding this topic. I bet somewhere along the line, someone who actually was abused has heard your story, and I bet it has helped or inspired them in some way, even if they didn't say anything. Maybe they were able to feel less alone for a time.


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#13 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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I could not read without posting.  You have been through more than one person could ever imagine.  Thank you for being brave and honest enough to share even a small bit of it, if that helps you at all.  I am glad you are a mom, because if you weren't, you probably wouldn't be part of such a great community as this place (and I wouldn't get to lurk and read some of your hilarious posts).

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#14 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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I can't read and not post, although I don't have much to say beyond, you sound like an *amazing* mom.

 

And for the record, I sometimes internet-overshare, yell at my kids, let housework slide then compulsively clean while beating myself up about what a crap homemaker I am and, emotional overeating? Oh, yeah. And I don't have horrific abuse behind me. We're none of us perfect parents. (What is that, anyway?? Everyone's idea of perfection is different-- ) We're all going to screw up. And we would do well to remember that when we put our judge-y pants on.

 

Becoming a parent twice-over has been the most humbling experience of my life. I don't presume to judge anymore, because as you so eloquently pointed out in your post we never know the whole story.

 

I wish you much peace and joy.

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#15 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Mama, I think it is absolutely amazing that you are able to wake up in the morning, take care of your daughter and simply get through the day. I am proud of you for being able to do that as well as you are, and will pray that you will be able to fully heal from all of your trauma someday.

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#16 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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hug2.gifYou are doing everything right, mama. While not in the same ballpark, I had some pretty horrid PPD and PTSD this time. And the one thing a therapist said to me that helped me a lot is that by allowing my kids see me having my breakdowns, crying, and not in the 'completely in control happy/neutral' mommy mode gives them the message that it's okay to not be alright. That it's okay to go through those feelings and voice it to people and even get help for it. A huge huge important lesson. Life isn't perfect but knowing that that is okay and there are people to reach out to is a huge gift.

 

 Also, any difficult period of your past will be triggered when you child goes through it. I won't go into why, but the newborn phase, for me, is a huge trigger for reasons I've only recently become aware of.

 

 

As for the point if your post being don't judge...

 

....having kids has definitely caused me to be less judgmental. I don't think it's possible to completely eliminate judgment but it has definitely been tempered. So many factors that could be affecting someone's behavior.

 

Ami

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#17 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 02:04 PM
 
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As someone who also dealt with years of abuse, I certainly do not judge those who struggle in any way.  I especially don't judge those who struggle when it comes to parenting because I know how hard it can be especially when we don't have the right tools and years of pain to sort through and heal.  My mother also knew about the sexual abuse I endured, but she was too far gone mentally and emotionally to do anything about it.  That has been a huge hurdle for me to jump across because, try as I might, I still resent her, I still wish I actually had someone who could protect me.  This stuff is HARD, mama, and I highly doubt I've been through even half of what you've been through...I don't know, maybe I have, but the point is, the fact that we haven't crumbled under the pain of it all, we haven't thrown in the towel and said "what's the use?", that we're still taking care of ourselves as best we can and learning what it means to take care of children, that is a miracle, that is amazing, no matter how many mistakes we make along the way, we haven't given up and we're taking baby steps every day to get better. 

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#18 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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In my experience, bad mothers rarely worry about being good mothers. 

 

I too, parent with a history of abuse, panic attacks, and I am Bipolar.  It is a struggle every day, but I do not believe I am any less of a mother for it.

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#19 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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hug.gif

 

You may not be "perfect" but you are the perfect mother for your children.  Being a parent is so extremely difficult under the best of circumstances, let alone coming from a history of abuse.  You amazing.


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#20 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 05:39 PM
 
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I really connected with what you wrote. Your story, the small bit you shared with us, sounds like my mom. And I don't know all of her story but a small sample would sound like yours. There is more that I know that blows my mind and then all the stuff I don't know that I don't want to know.

Anyway, I am coming from the angle of the daughter and while there was difficulty while growing up, I think my siblings and I turned out ok. So, I guess I just wanted you to to know that. I'm not going to get into everything that happened. I'm not going to say that it didn't affect us all. It did. But your kids are going to be ok.
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#21 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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aaaah mama i hear you on judgement. 

 

you want to know what the sad part is? 

 

i know a little 8 year old boy like you. a little boy i've known since K. do you know what made me cry. his adoptive mom (bio aunt) thanked me for letting my dd play with him. allow him to lead a normal life as much as she can. he has taught my dd a lot of things. she has no idea what his story is. i know maybe 50% - the rest i asked not to be told coz i could not take it. which says a lot for me. 

 

yes he doesnt fit in. for other reasons my dd doesnt fit in either. but they are good friends who play. who go to each others house and spend the day there. he still has a lock and alarm on his door. lots and lots of therapy appts and medicines. 

 

the only reason why i even know so much coz his mom and i connected in K. i was taking care of dying xinlaws and she was taking care of her dying boyfriend. she is still fighting to adopt him and not go back to foster care which the govt wants to do. 

 

nvc has been a life saver for me. i would go as far to say its almost my spiritual path. its taken me 3 years of intensive NVC work to just be with people AND be unbiased. give people slack. i will go as far as to say that my first instinct is to give slack.

 

so while you feel judged please remember there are people like me around - yeah there are some of us - who have worked really hard to not judge anyone. please know we exist. some of us work very hard to get to that stage. most of the time i am there, sometimes of course not. 

 

but everytime you see or feel someone judge you - please remember there is someone NOT doing that. 


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#22 of 35 Old 03-05-2011, 07:26 PM
 
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hug.gif I read the whole thread and I have one thought---You are a very brave woman--to have survived what you have and to have the guts to share it here. I wish you and your family peace. When I see posts like this it makes me appreciate MDC for providing a space where people can just be.

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#23 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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hug.gif hug.gif hug.gif

 

Although to a far lesser degree, I identified with much of what you wrote. I started a thread in Personal Growth a while back titled "When they reach the age you were..." because I was having some of those same moments where I see just how tiny my 6-year-old son is and it's like a ton of bricks hits me when I have the crushing realization that I was that small (and innocent, and blameless) too when it happened. 

 

Anyway, yeah, that aspect, the panic disorder, the overeating, the being a worse parent in public than you are at home, it all sounds very familiar, and I appreciate you sharing it here. hug.gif

 


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#24 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Wow, I could have written so much of your post. I'm so sorry that happened to you, to both of us, to any of us. Be gentle on yourself, God knows you need that mama. hug2.gif


Christ-centered loving wife & mama to 2 miracles! One & one . We live simply and mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015
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#25 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matey View Post

I really connected with what you wrote. Your story, the small bit you shared with us, sounds like my mom. And I don't know all of her story but a small ample would sound like yours. There is more that I know that blows my mind and then all the stuff I don't know that I don't want to know.

Anyway, I am coming from the angle of the daughter and while there was difficulty while growing up, I think my siblings and I turned out ok. So, I guess I just wanted you to to know that. I'm not going to get into everything that happened. I'm not going to say that it didn't affect us all. It did. But your kids are going to be ok.

Matey put this really well. I am the daughter too. I think that the largest gift my mother's experiences gave to me was a huge well of empathy and visceral loathing for injustice. She was so very, very mindful about breaking the cycle of abuse, and she did. As did her siblings, bless all of them.

And on a side note you did not make me uncomfortable at all. I was raised to value that same kind of blunt honesty so my brain-mouth filter is pretty much non-existant. I've always seen it as a strength. I've had to reign myself in so much since I met my husband, because he is easily annoyed by bluntness. So in all honesty (heh) I found you wonderfully refreshing.
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#26 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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Not the OP, but thank you for this (the bolded). We get a lot of flack for our parenting choices (very against how we were both raised) , and I've got to say that breaking the cycle of abuse is the driving force behind probably 99% of the choices my husband and I make regarding parenting our children. I pray every night our children will grow up feeling as you do toward your mom.

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Matey put this really well. I am the daughter too. I think that the largest gift my mother's experiences gave to me was a huge well of empathy and visceral loathing for injustice. She was so very, very mindful about breaking the cycle of abuse, and she did. As did her siblings, bless all of them.

 

 


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#27 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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It's easy to judge others when you haven't been in their shoes or don't know their story. I think a lot of judgments would be let go of if we had to get to know the people we were judging. I have a long list of issues too mostly stemming from abuse during my teen years and have panic attacks. My attacks at the worse phase included seizures and tons of testing to find out what was 'wrong' with me before finally being admitted to a psych hospital for 2 weeks of evaluation and medication. More issues (mostly insecurities and 'irrational' fears) come from the fact that I believe I was sexually abused. I say 'believe' because I have no proof but all the signs point to I was and once I had it questioned during therapy was when all the dots went together so to speak. Luckily for me my panic attacks only occur when my father (the source of all the abuse) is around and that's very rare (only twice since I've had my children). I did have one out of the blue unexplained panic attack in my sleep about 2 weeks ago and I wish I knew why. I had just gotten through the worst of my meds and therapy and attacks when I got pregnant with dd and spent quite a while worried that it would all affect my ability to parent her so I understand that fear. I hope you can find a way to lessen your triggers as that's the only thing that has helped me. The sexual abuse part definitely makes life as a parent hard. I know we all worry about our children but I'm afraid my past makes me overly paranoid at times. I don't allow anyone around my children and even had a panic attack the first time I left dd alone with dh to the point that I had to miss work (where I was suppose to be) and my sister had to try to help me through the panic attack. I thought I'd die. I went ballistic on the hospital and doctors when dd got a yeast infection from the fragrances in pampers at 2 wks old. I didn't know what caused it but I was terrified someone had done something to her in the hospital and was ready to kill. I had an awful drawn out fight with dh years ago and threatened to leave him all because his stepfather changed dd's diaper. I watched her for weeks for signs that anything was 'off' just in case he touched her wrong. Yes I get that crazy. It's a hard road and I struggle with it. Sorry for the spill here but I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone and you are a wonderful mother. I agree with the pp that said bad mothers don't worry about being good mothers. I hope you can get help to make things easier for you as time passes.


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#28 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 08:04 PM
 
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Haven't finished reading all the replies yet, but this. . . . bolding mine. I decided recently to quit being an a&7hole and start assuming that I cannot begin to comprehend why people do xyz. I do not know their story. I know what happened to ME, and I know that has caused me to think and feel and yes, sometimes behave certain ways. I assume that some people have been through hell and some haven't. I'm not here to make judgements on how people are acting because I don't know why they are acting that way.

 

To clarify, I'm not talking here about giving people a pass who do abhorrent things. I'm talking about less than ideal, but in no way illegal or life-damaging, behavior.

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It's worth mentioning that I don't think people judge me badly when they know the whole story.  For the record, I think this is somewhere between .05% of the story and 1.5% of the story.  Almost no one knows the whole story except for me.  How can I even tell all of it?  You almost never know the whole of someones story or the reasons behind what they do.  I think a lot of my point is that you don't know why people are doing what they are doing.  Most all of us deserve a lot more slack than we get.  Because I can absolutely assure you that I am judged harshly all over the place.



 


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#29 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 09:21 PM
 
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Nothing new to add, really, but couldn't read without offering at least a hug hug2.gif for the OP & hugs as well to all the other abuse survivors out there. grouphug.gif

 

I did not have bad thoughts about you after reading it.  You sound like a strong, very aware mother. 

 

I try hard not to judge others, especially mamas in public!  I admit, I do judge sometimes, though - I think we all do, unfortunately.  I will now (after reading this thread) make a conscious effort not to judge others.  So, thank you, OP, for opening my eyes a little more. :)


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#30 of 35 Old 03-06-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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That is so true.  hug.gif
 

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  Sometimes things are worse at home.  Sometimes things are so so so so much worse in public. 
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