MY LIFE STORY: SHORT VERSION OF ABUSES AND DREAMS by Vivian Treadwell
The stories you post on your website remind me all to well of mine and my siblings childhoods, sadly, this has taken a huge toll on our family cohesion, it has taken away who we all could have been, our self esteem (if there ever was any in the first place), our joy; i had to deal with bullies at school and then come home to verbal, emotion, physical, and sexual abuses, i’m not discounting any of my siblings here.
Life has been very difficult for me to face, most of my life i hid myself away from most humans because my mind just couldn’t handle facing the possibility of any more abuse coming my way.
My siblings refuse now to talk much about it even though i tell them it isn’t good for the self to keep it bottled up.
My father was very bad and was a severe alcoholic, my mother grew up abused so that’s all she knew, my grandmother was an abuser as well, an uncle or two, even strangers, omg, the list is almost endless.
I’m now 53 years old, i’m now trying to move on with my life knowing that the flashbacks will always be with me, meditation has helped a lot, so has seeing a therapist.
Just before i went back to adult high school to finish what i couldn’t when i was younger, i had a dream in which i seen my mothers face in a coffin with a bright white light shining on her face, i woke up crying knowing what it meant, within about 4 months maybe less she did die; then about 10 or 11 months after she passed she and my grandmother came into another dream of mine to give me a message, that being “we’re sorry for the things we did to you, and we’re sorry for the things we didn’t do for you, please tell your siblings our message (they didn’t speak to me with their mouths but with their minds); my grandmother had a huge smile on her face and held out her arms for a loving hug”, she was not capable of love while alive, so this tells me that they’ve learned a lot about love since they’ve passed on and i’m happy about that, their visit has given me enough courage to see a therapist and to go back to school, which i graduated in 2009(barely), i have now left my common law husband who has been an alcoholic almost his entire live because it’s just too painful living with him even though he has never ever hit me, i don’t want to be his baby sitter any longer, and now I’m trying to get a student grant to take a course in Office Assistant or something like that.
I still have a lot of trouble with flashbacks, anxiety, and fear, but I’m working on it, i don’t think I’ll ever be what is considered “normal”.
I’m wondering if you have any suggestions as i just can not fully bring myself out of this mental torture, although i have partially done so, i just cannot fully trust myself even though I’ve tried to change.
I’m so sorry you were born into a family where sexual abuse continued from one generation to the next. It’s a common pattern for women who were sexually abused as children to marry a perpetrator (who was probably sexually abused too.) Thus the abuse continues – until someone like you comes along to break the cycle. I have so much respect for your determination to move on with your life. I know this is especially hard when your siblings refuse to validate your struggle.
The fear coursing through your gut is the emotion that goes with childhood trauma. It helps to remember that it is the child’s fear, not the adult’s. There is almost nothing in your present life that would cause that degree of fear. It’s best to be with the fear the way you would be with a frightened child or little animal. Also, watch for and learn about your “triggers,” those stimuli which are benign in your present, adult world, but remind your brain of a past terror and send you into a fear state. We want to do all we can to put the trauma where it belongs – in the past.
The chapter in “Confessions of a Trauma Therapist” called Guidelines For Healing will give you a lot of suggestions. Also, watch my short videos designed to help people recover from child sexual abuse. They’re posted on my website and on U-Tube.
As for being “normal,” we’ll never not have been abused. On the other hand, just the process of working on your healing makes you wise, compassionate and very, very strong. I can tell you’re already strong. After all, look what you survived!
I hope this helps.
Hats off to your bravery,