I have a lot going on

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OneThousandApologies
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Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:18 am

I have a lot going on

Post by OneThousandApologies »

There is so much going through my head I don't know where to start. I might end up down some rabbit holes so bare with me.

First some background information. I have survived 30 years of life. My mom died when I was 4 from an overdose. My dad got us (3 siblings and myself) when I was 5 and moved us to a different state. He was an alcoholic and abusive in every way besides sexual. He beat me daily until I was 11 when he lost custody. He tore down my self esteem (didn't have much to begin with) to where there was nothing left, my confidence, everything until I was just a shell of a kid. All the while my older sister shunned me, bullied me and left me alone to be the subject of dad's wrath. While going through all of that my older brother was sexually abusing me and raping me starting when I was 5 until I was 13 and my babysitters oldest son did the same to me for about a year when I was 9. There's loads more but you get the point.

Over the past few years I've been having intense and vivid flashbacks about all of my abuse. Sometimes I'm reliving it as it first happened but usually it's like watching a movie or a short clip and I see everything happening like it's happening to someone else. I usually don't feel anything when having flashbacks even though I know it happened to me. Lately though I've been actually feeling how I felt when it was happening. I don't know what to make of it. I don't know what's shifted. I've accepted my trauma, well I think I have. I can talk about what trauma I endured. It's facts. It happened. It just clicked for me a few nights ago why I don't have any feelings when talking about my childhood (but I have major issues telling people how it's effected me) or why I'm not in tune with my feelings. I'm called insensitive a lot when I "tell it like it is". I found out that I have dissociated myself and feelings from my trauma and life in general. But these new feelings are throwing me for a loop. I feel helpless, scared and victimized all over again.

I always knew that my babysitters oldest son molested me, I didn't block that out I just avoided anything that reminded me of it. Like that was worse then what my brother did to me somehow. A few months ago I was triggered and had flashbacks of him pinning me down and raping me repeatedly. I went into a full blown anxiety attack. That was the first flashback that had that kind of effect on me. I've never told anyone about what my babysitters son did to me until recently. I got a little bit of justice with my brother but not with this guy. I feel like it's too late. It was so long ago that it's passed the limitations of the law, I didn't speak up about it until recently, so no one knew. I don't think that there's anything I can do now which makes me feel helpless and powerless and have no control. Once again it's a burden that I have to carry since there's nothing I can do. And I think deep down I feel like I might not want to do anything. I still feel ashamed and guilty about it. Which I know I shouldn't but I don't belive it at the same time.

When I was 9 I started dressing like a tomboy so people who didn't know me would think that I was a boy and for my abusers to Lose interest in me. That didn't work. I'm now 30 and still dress like a tomboy. I feel it's too late for me to learn how to dress like a woman or to learn how to put on make up. I was raised by males and my sister didn't want anything to do with me back then. I would love to dress like a woman once in a while, I am one after all, but I feel like a fraud just thinking about it or asking for help to pick something out that's not t-shirt, jeans and farm boots. I've been committed to being a tomboy my whole life, I feel like it's become my only identity and as much as I would like to dress girly occasionally or even regularly, I fell like I would lose my identity. If I lose it then what will I have left kind of thing. I don't know who I am at all but I feel like dressing more like a woman would help me on my quest, and dressing like a tomboy is hindering me and keeping me tied to my trauma. But it's also the only identity I know.

I am always the person people come to when they need to talk or get advice. I guess they think I'm wise beyond my years or something (that's what they say anyway). I give sound advice when I can, I've never been in a relationship because I'm 100% terrified of them but I tend to help others with relationships or just in general. I feel like a fraud. Not with the whole relationship advice, I've seen some healthy and a lot of toxic ones from the outside perspective and take into account what seems to work and what doesn't. But more in the sense of how can I help others when I can't even help myself? How can I love others but not myself? How can I help others see their worth, value and help raise their self esteem when I have none myself? I feel like the biggest fraud out there. Why am I incapable of practicing what I tell others to do?

I watch a ton of crime shows including real crimes. One of my favourites is a show that specializes in sex crimes. I started watching it when it first came out. I dissociated myself from my trauma so much where it didn't effect me. I watched it because it made me feel better to know people got justice for their trauma even if it was on a show. It was my "guilty pleasure" so to speak. I have recently started binging it from the beginning because I have seen most of it out of order. I'm on the 7th season, I've seen most episodes about 5 times each over the years and never been triggered. Until I started watching it from the beginning, and 2 episodes so far has triggered me. These 2 weren't anything I've experienced in my trauma yet they still triggered me and the episodes I should be triggered by, I'm not. But I can't stop watching even knowing I could be triggered. I tell myself that I'm the type of person who starts something I have to finish it, which it definitely true but I think there's an underlying issue now. I think I want to be triggered. I'm a very curious person. I want to know everything about everything. I'm not completely sure but it makes sense, I think I want to be triggered so I can remember the pieces that are missing even if its painful. I feel like I'm broken and missing pieces, well let's be honest, maybe a couple screws too. In some way I feel like if I can recover the pieces from my memory I'll be a whole person not a shell. And to gage in a way how much I've healed. Is that normal or healthy?

I have a lot more in my head but I think this is good for now. I'll leave on a positive note. My whole life I've been told that I'm good with words. Which I believe, it's the only thing that I'm confident in. But my whole life I've employed words to disguise my thoughts to others so they don't see that I'm broken and damaged. But on isurvive I don't have to wear a mask, or several. I can employ my words to express myself, my thoughts, my brokenness and to help me discover who I am. And for that, the support and understanding, I am truly grateful!
Crow
Member
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: I have a lot going on

Post by Crow »

Hi OneThousandApologies,

I will reply quickly whilst I have a little time. (Laying in bed checking new posts... it's 8.15 am here.)

So much of what you have written could have come from me... so much. I relate to a lot here. (I didn't experience SA however.)

What you said about dressing like a woman once in a while... I believe I know what you mean by that, but being a woman is more than what you wear. But I do understand what are saying. (Nothing wrong with jeans, t shirt and farm boots though in my opinion.)
And of course, that is also something else I can't relate to being male! :lol:
OneThousandApologies wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 6:32 am But more in the sense of how can I help others when I can't even help myself? How can I love others but not myself? How can I help others see their worth, value and help raise their self esteem when I have none myself? I feel like the biggest fraud out there. Why am I incapable of practicing what I tell others to do?
I totally get this. I'm always the one to be asked for help and advice, but I too know that saying of being able to love someone and show compassion comes from loving yourself first. But I too say these things you've written... how is it I don't apply the same care and advice to myself? I think it comes from a harsh inner critic. And that is a result of abuse. I'm trying to work on loving myself a bit.

As for triggering yourself watching things... I can't answer that. But this topic may be helpful... viewtopic.php?f=23&t=10831

Take care,

Crow
From pain comes a courage
The strength from injustice

Quote taken from The Rage To Overcome by Machine Head
OneThousandApologies
Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:18 am

Re: I have a lot going on

Post by OneThousandApologies »

Crow,

It's honestly kind of weird knowing there's others out there who can relate, but it's good as well, it's nice to know that I'm not alone anymore!

I know being a woman is more then dressing like one, but I think it could maybe be a start to figuring out how to actually be one, and not hide behind what I'm "comfortable" in. Even if its a false comfort. I feel like I need to change something. And right now I think that's the only thing in my control I can change. I'm at a standstill.
Crow wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 7:32 am how is it I don't apply the same care and advice to myself? I think it comes from a harsh inner critic. And that is a result of abuse.
I think your right. My inner critic is harsh on myself. My sister is harsh towards me but my inner critic makes her seem like the nicest person in the world :lol: my list of "things I need to work on" keeps growing by the day :shock:

And thank you, I'll check out that topic!

Thank you for responding,
OneThousandApologies
Crow
Member
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: I have a lot going on

Post by Crow »

I do understand what you mean regarding clothes. And the fact that it is something in your control is a good thing. Maybe just try some things out. I know that I still dress in the same sort of clothes that I wore as teenager, and I'm late thirties. I know I am a guy and so there's not much choice, and limited looks one can go for. Even changing the colour of a t shirt is weird to me... just stick with black or navy and I'm all good. (Jeans, t shirt and skate shoes, that's me!)
Sorry if I sort of minimised how you feel or what you meant with my reply, it wasn't meant to come across that way if it did.
I do see what you are saying about dressing like a tomboy and the link to your abuse. It was a survival response and a coping strategy to avoid drawing attention to yourself, and so the very fact that you want to explore more girly/womanly clothing is a really positive step I think.
Be gentle with yourself.

Crow
From pain comes a courage
The strength from injustice

Quote taken from The Rage To Overcome by Machine Head
OneThousandApologies
Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:18 am

Re: I have a lot going on

Post by OneThousandApologies »

Crow,
I wear black and navy everything. When I don't do laundry and I'm down to my bright blue shirt it gives me anxiety all day :lol:
You were doing a quick reply. Which means not in depth. I didn't think you were minimizing what I said or felt. How I said it first made me second guess myself so I had to write it out so it made sense to me.
And I don't know how to respond to your last sentence 🤷‍♀️
OneThousandApologies
Crow
Member
Posts: 1365
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:22 pm

Re: I have a lot going on

Post by Crow »

OneThousandApologies wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 9:34 am And I don't know how to respond to your last sentence 🤷‍♀️
I get that.
From pain comes a courage
The strength from injustice

Quote taken from The Rage To Overcome by Machine Head
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