I was stupid.
I wasn’t enough.
I didn’t want to be pretty.
I didn’t want to be a girl (or a woman).
I wasn’t wanted.
But those thoughts are not true for me any more.
I mislabeled the shame I felt for the sexual abuse as feeling stupid. I couldn’t stop him, so I must be stupid. He told me I had to do it . That I liked it. I didn’t know how to make him stop. He told me he would hurt my mom, or get my younger siblings instead, sometimes he said that he couldn’t stop himself, he was feeling uncontrollable feelings. I thought if I had been smarter, I could have stopped him.
I didn’t understand what it meant “to be enough”. I couldn’t make people do what I wanted. Even though they could make me do what they wanted. But as a child, I couldn’t get people to feed me, take care of me, stop hurting me and protect me or teach me what I needed to make a good life for myself. I didn’t want to have sex with my stepfather. I didn’t like it when my Mom smacked my mouth or told me to be quiet. I did know I didn’t like it, but I didn’t like eating certain foods, or having to look out for my little brother and I did those things anyway because an adult told me to.
He told me I was pretty and that was why he couldn’t stop himself, even now I struggle with that one. That since my biological father didn’t want me, my abuser was the only one who would take me. Or want me.
Even though the things that were said to me during my childhood were things I believed. Things changed for me when I told. Not just anybody, but a responsible adult who helped me leave and move to a safe place. Leaving home was a great relief. Being with others who weren’t intent on hurting me or taking advantage helped me tremendously. Later, getting into therapy helped me see I didn’t have to do, think or act like my biological family.
None of that came easy. Now I’m 63 and it’s been a long road. My success may not show on the outside but on the inside, I’m happier than I ever thought possible. Because I was intent on not letting my parents take away my life. I wanted healing, even if I didn’t know what it would be like. It had to be better than all the pain I was in. So
That all those things he said were just things he said so he could do what he wanted. But all those lies were buried in my subconscious. I have dealt with them over time as I felt safer. Some not until much later.
I’m enjoying being a woman, I loved being able to produce a life and nourish that life. After I had a hysterectomy, I really loved being a pain free woman.
Being able to write a journal and have my say about what happened. With no one to discount my experiences has helped me so much. I have been able to sort out what happened and what I thought about it and have been able to sort out my life because of it.. I learned I wasn’t depressed, I was frozen. Emotionally, I had to stop feeling to survive. But I had to change all that.
At first I started out with Morning Pages, from Julia Cameron book The Artist Way. I wrote what I wanted , sorted out how I felt and danced around the truth of what was on my mind for years. It took so much time for me to learn the self honesty it would take me to be able to heal on a deep enough level to get relief. Journaling started out as keeping a list of the days tasks and events, to being able to write about my feelings.