Day 126 – Six Coins in the Dirt

My very first abuser gave me 6 dimes after traumatically assaulting me. I held them tightly in my hand until I could get alone to hide them. I knelt down behind our house and buried them up under the edge of the house thinking some day I would return to take them back. In 1969, 6 dimes was a lot of money.

For weeks after, I was so scared that someone would find them and immediately know that I had been with an adult man.

I never ever thought he did anything wrong. It was me. I was a bad girl.

Anyway, I forgot about those coins and moved on to my next trauma and abuser.

For the past two years, I’ve been dreaming about finding buried coins. I had no idea why. I thought maybe I was psychic or something.

So over the past couple of months, Mrs. A and I have been discussing abusers, one at a time. She was randomly picking which perpetrator.

When she got to the first one, I did a lot of blocking and zoning out. Trying not to give in to the tears.

And then it came back. Those 6 dimes. That little girl squated down in the dirt, trying to bury 6 coins that she wanted to keep so badly. I saw her face. I saw her sadness. But she was brave and never cried. How did she do that?

Anyway, as I’m trying to process this memory, the flashbacks are relentless. The only thing I can think of is not being on the earth any longer. And then I beat myself up because I feel like I would fail at that also.

Today I am at the beach. Trying to walk it off. Trying to find peace. Trying to get back my 6 dimes.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

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Day 125 – On a Personal Note ~

On a personal note, I’m feeling really heavy today. It really sucks because For the past few weeks, I felt elated, excited, and almost like a new person.  How is this possible?  

Well, a few months ago, I made a new friend.   We were both part of a closed Facebook group and started chatting outside of the group.  We found out that we have many like experiences.  We both experienced similar types of child abuse and struggled with some of the same issues in our adult lives.

RG and I talked many long hours about our hopes, dreams, fears, etc.  Many times we completed each other’s thoughts.  I finally felt as if someone knew what it was like to be me.  Someone knew how relate to my fears and tears.  Someone knew that it was hard to love and be loved.  Someone knew what I meant when I said I was broken.

A few months after talking, we decided that we had to meet.  The only obstacle was that she lives in Lincolnshire, England.  I’m in Florida, USA.  That is over 4,000 miles or 7,000 km.  But on August 24th she arrived here.  And it was as if we had been lifetime friends.

We did the local tourist attractions.  We vegged on the sofa.  We ate at restaurants, shopped at malls, and anything else that best friends do.  For 16 days, I knew what it was like to have a best friend, a sister, and a confidant.  She is so caring and compassionate.  For those days, I could be a carefree teenager.  Laughing, crying, acting stupid, and not having a care in the world.

But the day came when she had to leave.  I have to say that since that day, my mood is very low.  I miss her so much. I miss that brief time of having a side kick. I miss her picking on me. I miss her losing all of her important things. (And she did that more than once). I miss her laughing at my stupid jokes.  I miss us singing Christmas Carols. (Yes, we did that too).

I’m planning a trip to England in April of 2020.  But that is a long time from now.

In the meantime, I had to go back to my everyday life and carrying this healing pain and not knowing where to go or what to do with it.

Today in therapy, I was trying to tell Mrs. A about my current dreams and how I feel about one of my abuser’s wife, who I thought was also a victim of my abuse. In retrospect, she had to know.  She had to be aware of all the things he did that were not normal adult/child relationship actions and events.  I now believe that she sacrificed me to save her own two daughters, who probably would have been his next victims.  I was his 3rd victim that I am aware of.  The family swept the first two under the rug and forgave him, etc.  She knew he was a child molester previously and still allowed me to be alone with him on many, many occasions.  How could she do that and sleep at night?  Why didn’t any of the other family members ever stick up for me?  I think it was so much easier for everyone to have a blind eye than to bring the obvious to light. 

Now, I don’t claim any of them as my family, but I do still long for them. It’s stupid, I know.  I just wanted to be accepted and loved.  I just wanted to have a “normal” family.

Anyway, In the midst of sharing my memories with Mrs. A over the past few months, I’ve lost my desire to blog, speak, write, or be involved in any of the advocacy work that I was doing.  I have sort of just separated myself from all of that. Just trying to make it from one therapy session to the next.  

I’m in such a weird place.  I feel lost.  I feel abandoned.  I feel desperate.  I feel crazy. Most of all, I feel very tired.  The long nights with no sleep take their toll after a while.  

I’m not sure how to refocus.  I’m not sure how to get back my direction and enthusiasm.  Life just seems like a chore today.  

I wish the world was a ride that you get off of when you are tired of riding.  At least sit somewhere and catch your breath until you are ready to ride again.

I so miss the days of being numb.  It was so much easier than this healing journey.  

I miss my friend.  I miss my enthusiasm for speaking out and bringing awareness to this awful thing called child abuse.  

Reliving this abuse is worse than the first time around.  When you are living it, it is all about survival.  I didn’t know that it wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t know that it wasn’t normal.  

But reliving it is unbearable reminder that this is my story.  It did happen to me. And I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to overcome it.

 

Until next time – I am being MJ every day.

Day 124 – What’s in a Name?

Let me start by saying that I’ve been quiet because I have had an eye detachment. After a work day, all I want to do is drive home and close my eyes.

Anyway, last week I was in a session with Mrs. A and discussing one of my abusers. She was telling me that she would like me to leave my adult intellectual self out in the waiting room because my brain complicates my healing. My adult self is constantly telling me not to cry or feel. And inside I’m dying to scream or yell or cry.

As we are discussing, she asks me what my nickname was growing up. Immediately I began to cry. The name really triggered some awful memories and I just couldn’t say it outloud.

There are a few lifetime friends that still call me by that name and I have never told them how much it bothers me. I would never want them to feel bad for saying it.

I never put all this together until now. My little girl was broken down to my name.

I always thought about changing my name completely so that I could totally separate myself from my previous life.

And therein lies the problem. It’s not a separate life. It’s my life. My story. But I spend a lot of time in denial.

I’m suppossed to create a new nickname for my younger self so that I can start being kind to her. But the truth is that no name change can get rid of the flashbacks and nightmares.

I laid awake all night last night because I hate sleeping. I try to avoid the nightmares at all costs. That little girl can’t figure out why she was selected to be the child that doesn’t get protect. How did the abusers know that I was a safe target?

If I change her name will it change those awful feelings? I don’t know. You tell me?

I hate feeling so ambivolent about these ideas for healing.

What’s in a name anyway?

Until next time – I am being MJ every day.

Day 123 – Is it better?

Over the past few nights I have had some weird and scarey dreams.

When I have an unsettling night, it makes me not want to go to bed the following night.

Last night I slept about an hour and a half, fully dressed and with the lights on.

Staying dressed feels safe. And if I have a bad dream, and the light is on, it’s much easier to recognize it as a nightmare and not occuring at that moment.

When I get up to go on with my day, I’m ashamed of myself for behaving like a child. My parents used to get mad at me for wanting a light on during the night. I was always scared of the dark, because many times I would see someone standing beside my bed. Sometimes, I would run into their bedroom begging them to help me and telling them someone was in my room.

Most of the time they either chuckled or said I was being silly. Is this normal for a 13 or 14 year old? As a parent, would you not see a giant red flag?

So many things about my abuse were so obvious. I just don’t understand how no one got it.

So as I’m discussing with Mrs. A my bedtime frustrations, she asked me if I could tell her if anything was better.

I didn’t know what to say. The bad nights seem to screw up any glimpse of good days. Im always exhausted but never happy to go back to bed.

We discussed a few things that have changed and my confusion over both good and bad emotions. Even when I’m happy, I have to think about if it’s appropriate and I tell myself to remember that happiness is temporary.

I hate that I can’t process emotions like a normal person. It really makes me more ashamed of who I am.

So I’ve been thinking about the overall healing process since I left my appointment.

Yes, some things are better. The biggest thing is that I dont think about dying or my purpose every single day. Some days now, I’m just living.

I’m so ready to get beyond the “just living” stage and really start to love my life and who I am.

So, in some ways I’m better but the nightmares and flashbacks are no joke.

Is it better? Yes. Do I want more out of life, Yes yes yes.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

Day 122 – Wake up People

A few days ago, two ladies in my office were having a discussion regarding child abuse. I overheard, as their office is very close to mine.

The one lady is discussing a teen (15) that ran off with a man three times her age. She said, “What teenager is dumb enough to run off with a guy that old?” “She’s just being a bad kid”.

I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to tell her that this girl was not to blame. I wanted to tell her that maybe she wasn’t cared for at home? Maybe she was sexually abused at a younger age? Who knows. The point is that the adult didn’t behave as an adult or obey the law.

Then to make matters worse, they start discussing people who don’t tell until later in life. The comment was made that why would someone try to ruin another person’s life after all those years.

I was just dumbfounded at how uneducated our society is regarding child sexual abuse. And I would say that a good part of it is denial.

But the fact that we still continue to blame the children, just breaks my heart.

Most adults never ever want to share the secrets of their abuse. But like me, their world is not the same as someone who wasn’t abused. We are haunted on a daily bases by the memories. Our brains are not even developed the same. These are proven scientific facts.

Childhood sexual abuse is real. It’s still happening and it’s more prevalent than ever. It’s in every country in the world.

It’s not the child’s fault. It happened because we were not given a choice! It happened because no one protected us! No one wants this to be their story!

That day my insides were screaming, “Wake up people”.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

PS – If you or someone you love has survived child sexual abuse, please check out NAASCA.org for education and help for healing and recovery. There are many many resouces published including phone numbers for additional help.

Let’s all protect the children. And pray for the recovering adults.

Day 121 – No Comment

Last week I was sharing with Mrs. A about a particular guy I dated. She then wanted to talk about other relationships that I had been in.

She already knew I had two failed marriages. Then I told her about three boyfriends I had that weren’t my best decisions.

The whole time, I’m sort of laughing at how stupid I am and I should have known, etc.

As the session is ending, I’m sort of overwhelmed. In her usual therapeutic way she says, “How are you feeling right now?” I responded with the following two sentences – “Like shxx”, “My life has been such an fuxxing disaster”.

Then what she said in response sent me into a tail spin. So what she said is this – absolutely nothing.

I wanted and needed her encouragement and I got nothing. She handed me a paper with a homework assignment and we stood up and walked out.

I hated myself more at that moment than I ever had in my life.

I got in my car and sent Mrs. A an email. What she responded is that since I have never shown anger, she wanted me to sit with it and figure out what to do with it.

It felt as if she had abandoned me at the worst time. There was no pep talk. No advice. Nothing. All I could think was that she was over me and my issues and couldn’t wait for me to leave.

It is so hard to trust myself with her. I spend a good portion of our sessions trying to figure out what she is thinking. When I’m the only one expressing emotions, it’s scarey. And it really makes me feel like a child. Like I’m out of control or behaving badly.

After a few hours, I was able to pull myself together enough to understand where she was coming from. She would never do anything to hurt or harm me. Now I just have to believe it.

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.

Day 120 – Should I?

As I mentioned before, I frequently participate in a internet radio show for adult survivors of child abuse. Last night someone mentioned that she has to comfort that little girl when she is triggered by something or having a memory that is painful.

It really hit home because, I actually get really embarrassed by a trigger or feeling child-like.

I am 54 now and I fight that inner child because I should be behaving like an adult. I shouldn’t have to tell myself that it’s all going to be ok.

When I go to therapy, it almost always feels like my 5 year old walks thru the door. I immediately feel powerless and uneducated.

Mrs. A does everything possible to give me my voice and make me feel powerful. And still, I have times where I can’t speak.

Of course, she tells me to be patient with myself, and that I’m really doing so much better, etc.

I typically leave her office with a dissappoinment in myself for not saying this or that.

Back to the radio show, as the panel is having this discussion about comforting their inner child, I made the comment that I spend a lot of time quieting that little girl and maybe I should be embracing her and maybe thats the part I’m missing in this recovery journey.

The host spoke up and said, “Let’s remove “should” from our healing vocabulary. He says we are where we are in our healing and because something works for one person doesn’t mean we “should” do it also. Or it doesn’t mean that we should be at the same stage in the healing process.

Wow. How many times do I say that I should be in a different place. Instead of working on healing where I’m at, I’m always trying to go to a more advanced place. As if there is such a thing.

So for today, I’m going to be grateful for where I’m at and the progress I’ve made and just try to accept me.

Is it ok to stop saying should I? Just for today?

Until next time – I am being MJ everyday.