As sexual abuse survivors are we constantly finding our true self?
Are we constantly Emerging from Broken?
I just reported my father to his church. The fall out of that was horrendous. Ending with my cherished sister (whom I perceived to be my best friend) and other less cherished family members turning on me.
My sisters actually helped defend my father, and built up a case against my statements. Their argument against my statements was that I was so mentally confused that I mixed up dreams and reality, and I could no longer tell the difference between true memories and dreams. Before this back stab they, well two of them, my good friend sister and another sister, she asked me to trust… Before this back stab they pretended to support me…. They asked me to trust them and tell them my story. When I felt afraid to trust them they told me something was wrong with me, that I could not trust people who deserved my trust. And I believed them. I wished I could trust them more.
I told them my story. And they listened with a critical ear, while pretending (not very well) to be understanding. Every time I got a hint their understanding and pretense was not real they told me the issue was my misspreception of reality. So I trusted them. I let them belittle me into trust. I let go of my own perceptions of their actions, and let them belittle my intuition to not trust. And they listened with a critical ear to my stories.
They pretended to be supportive. While they built up a stronger defense for my dad then he could have ever built up on his own. They claimed to not be under his influence. And indeed I do not believe that my old good-friend sister has had any direct communication with him. But still… Even without him there… They critically listened to my story, took it apart, looked for flaws…
When they found an apparent contradiction they did not trust me as a source of truth. They did not ask me to clarify. They did not ask me to explain. Which is what is done when someone trust another. No instead they took their own misunderstand and mis interpretation of my story to be proof that I was mixing up dreams and reality. But the fact remains that they are wrong. I turned in hundreds of pages of statements to the church. I turned in hundreds of pages of journals and statements to the state. Not a single one of those pages included any part of a dream stated as reality. I simply did not do it, ever.
I did have an awful dream. I told it to my sister (who I was asked to trust) as it being a dream. That dream symbolized reality. That dream symbolized truth. I always knew that and viewed the dream as a symbol of truth, though not an actual statement of facts.
Just before this I was asked to write my story out for a book. I was challenged to write my very complicated story into an extremely shortened version. In writing my story I had a specific idea I wanted to portray. I found that every time I told this idea out it took pages and pages to tell with the facts of what happened. I needed a way to represent this pattern in a much shorter space. That is when I turned to the symbols of the dream. I took artistic licence and stated the dream as the shortest concisest way to explain what it felt like for me.
Artistic licence is something survivor writers do night and day, all the time. Artistic licence is what allows us to keep ourselves anonymous. Artistic licence is what allows us to convey our stories without re triggering our selves.
In addition this online story was written during a time when I was processing my relationship with my mother, and specific memories of how she enabled the sexual abuse. Really that short story of my abuse was more about my mothers relationship with me then my fathers abuse.
Time passed, and I forgot the specifics of my online story. And I found I wanted to share more, and trust more my less trustworthy sister. I remembered that the story had allot to do with my mother, and I thought for a short time that this online story would be what I would read to my mother. In that short time I communicated with my less trusted sister that this was my plan. She read that and came away with the belief that my focus was strongly on my mothers enabling… well that was partly true… that was true at the time I wrote that story.
My sister didnot believe my stories of my mothers enabling. She believed I fabricated it all and misunderstood it all. And I am sure she was acting on fear of societies judgment of enablers. Which has been a large point of conflict inside of me often. Wanting to find a way to tell my mother what happened without bringing down the wrath of society on her. Wanting to find a way for her to open up and heal instead of defend against the wrath of society.
But… I had another fatal flaw… My memories were of a very young age, and abuse at a very young age. My memories pointed to the strong likely hood that my sisters were all abused too. But they can not see this or face this. And they felt a strong need to defend against the chance that I would tell anyone they might have been abused.
I had another fatal flaw…. I wanted to tell everyone in our lives. I wanted everyone who ever knew my father to know he was a pedophile so they could defend themselves against him.
But you see… If I did this I would not only expose the pedophile. But I would expose my enabling mother. And I would expose my sisters who are still in denial. This public knowledge of their abuses did not fit well into their careers, life, and social plans.
So it became clear to my sisters. I must be stopped. I must be invalidated. To protect themselves. To protect my mother…. Even if… it meant they became my dads strongest protectors also…
Now I am a lone woman. Without my childhood family. I still cherish and maintain a few wonderful cousin connections. I still have my husband and my kids. I still have my husbands family, though there are some conflicts there I hope we can work out.
But I am free. I am free of a life time of trying to live up to their expectations. I am free of everything I did wondering how they would see it. How they wold judge it. I am free of their pretense. I am free of their feigned care. I am free of their fake love. I am free of their manipulations. I am free from their selfishness. I am free of their accusations. They are not part of my life. And I no longer try to play the impossible game of being good enough for them. Truth is I could never win at that game. And I am so relieved to be done with it.
But this freedom is a sense of vertigo. I am like an astronaut floating out into space with nothing around me. I have nothing to push off of. I am just afloat. I do not know what motivates me. I do not know what I care to do. I do not know what I value. I am just floating. I try sometimes to move in a direction, but then my head just gets full of the bull$#!T lies I was raised in, and I see the lies. Someday I will push off and move in my own direction. Someday I will get my drive back. But now I just float, free of direction, free of drive. It is very strange for me. The one truth that was always true about me is that I ALWAYS got back up and kept fighting, I always got up and tried again. Now I do not know even what to fight for, or what to try for.
Some day I will find my jet pack and go in a direction. Someday I will take this crap and turn it into my life. But today I float.