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Random Writings of the Author

  The Reasons to Live

You know what? Life sucks sometimes. Sometimes I look at my life and can't see anything but the negative. But there IS more. I've had a lot of smiles, a lot of laughs, and a lot of fun. It could ALWAYS be worse. I'm reminded of that often... all i have to do is turn on the news. or read the paper. or walk into a homeless shelter. or hospital.
Look how far I have come... you know... honestly. there is always a "worse". i could have become pregnant with my father's child. he could have beat me as well as raped me. i could have gotten an STI. or... when i got on that bus to live with a complete stranger at 17, i could have been raped, killed, or sold into prostitution. i could have become homeless. i could have lost my chance to finish high school or go to college. i could have failed out of college.

There are so many IFs, COULD HAVEs, MIGHT HAVE BEENs.

But I made it. That has to count for something.

And I have to hope... that one day, I am going to be well enough to help other people. People like myself. Is that possible? I hope so...

I'm amazed at myself for writing all this. *Pause* Because it's not like I'm writing with a smile on my face, in the midst of happiness and joy. No, I AM in pain. I'm sad, I'm lonely, I'm confused. But I have to keep going, and these are all the reasons why. Even when it isn't easy, I have to keep going. Because otherwise... all my suffering so far... has been useless.

When the flood was over, God placed a rainbow in the sky as a promise. God promised me that He is with me, and that there really is hope. I believe that. With all my heart, I believe that.

  The child inside Speaks

I want you to go away because you make me confused. Is this ok? Is what you do ok? Nobody else does it but i know i'm different. You said i was special. Will i always be special? Sometimes you get mad at me when i get confused and scared and then i am not special. For a little while. So i try to make it up to you and it works because then you are nice to me again. Only i wish you wouldn't be THAT nice. You taught me about bad ghosts and demons and how sometimes it was them who were in my room at night. And you said when you hear them don't look, just pray to God and he will protect you. But God didn't always protect me because the demons came after me... and so did you.
Mom said i didn't like to be touched, ever. So i never really got used to it. But i thought i was the one who was wrong. I am so confused. Aren't daddy's supposed to touch their kids? I want to be alone now but i am afraid to be alone. Froggie will take care of me tonight. I will be ok. I love my daddy, i do. I have to be a good girl now... maybe if i hide deep enough under the covers you wont find me tonight. But then i might be lonely. I'm so confused. I'm going to close my eyes now.


  Recap of my college Junior Year                        4/25/02

FINALLY, it's over. I made it through my 16th year of school. Unbelievable. I can't help feeling like I've accomplished something great. I mean... I really struggled to complete this year, with all the emotional problems I've been going through. So much has happened.

In the fall of 2001...
The beginning: I was so psyched about coming back to school and starting new things. I had dreams of starting a small group bible study and joining a great church where I could really feel like part of a community. Becky and I were closer than ever before. And I wanted to find a Christian counselor... one whom I could really go through the process of healing with.

Finding a great church was a continuous search. Finding a great counselor was also a challenge. I tried hard, but weeks went by... then months... in the meantime, I became more depressed. The small group bible study fell through the cracks, and so did my friendship with Becky. The one good thing that happened was getting a job at the daycare, but even that had it's negatives. It was incredibly stressful on me. Before long, I was so depressed I was suicidal. I had pushed all my friends away, isolated myself in my own world, and turned away from God and to anything else I could find - alcohol, computer games, hate. Moving in with Jessica in the middle of the semester was helpful only because I was able to talk to her a little, but soon she was depressed as I was and we were both losing our fights to happiness...

Then, I spent my Christmas vacation with my parents. One month. The first few weeks were okay, because we traveled to visit relatives in Missouri. The weeks afterwards, however, were another story. I shut myself down and reached the bottom of my rope. Then, one day, I decided to end it all. January 3, 2002 ... the suicide attempt. I could have died. To this day, thinking about that gives me the chills. I could have died.

The repercussions of my suicide attempt meant that my second semester of my junior year was to be concentrated on getting better. I started seeing a Christian counselor who specializes in sexual abuse twice a week. Then, in February, I began going to an incest survivor support group. Slowly things began to look up. Also in February, I started going to church again. On February 17, God convicted me and I asked Him to save me from my sins. In the past I had believed I was a Christian, but I had never completely trusted in God for my salvation. Now, my salvation is secure.

The school year ends on an interesting note. The person I was at the beginning of the year is not the person I am today. Although I still have (many) struggles, I have made strides in my healing journey. Hopefully, a year from now, I will be able to say that I have grown even more.
What a year... what a year... what a year.

  Sometimes I Doubt... And this is why

Sometimes, especially when I am down on myself, I begin to doubt that I was ever sexually abused by my father.  This may seem confusing to people who have never been abused.  Why, if you remember being abused, would you think you weren't?  Good question.  Unfortunately, a lot of survivors struggle with doubt and denial.  I think it is as much of a coping skill as anything else, but here's my own explanation.

First of all, I pretty much grew up denying that there was anything wrong in my family.  I mean, when you grow up with something... it becomes a part of you.  It becomes normal to you, even if it is crazy to everyone else.  Everyone around me denied there was anything wrong.  Not my parents, not my brother, not my friends, not my boyfriends... nobody ever told me that what my dad was doing was wrong.  In addition, nobody even acknowledged that he was doing it!  Imagine that.  

Here's an example... Imagine that every Tuesday for the past five months, some strange man with a package has come to you (wherever you were), said "Hello", and walked away.  You have no idea who the man is, but you are sure of what you have seen.  The problem is, whenever you tell people about the man, no one believes you because no one else has seen him.  He has always come when you were alone, and he has left no proof that he has been there.  Your friends laugh when you talk about him.  To them, he is imaginary.  So you start to think that maybe your friends are right.  Maybe the man is just part of your imagination and you are going crazy.  After all, what are the odds?  You start to doubt yourself.  No one else has acknowledged the man's visit, and so you struggle with acknowledging it yourself.

Maybe that's a bad example, but that's kinda how it is when you grow up being sexually abused.  It's this big secret.... this big thing no one ever acknowledges.  It doesn't matter what you go through... when everyone and everything around you contradicts what happens, you start to question what is real and what is imaginary.  It's no wonder some of us go off the deep end...

On top of all the secrecy, there is the disassociation and blocked memories.  The human brain (and heart) can only handle so much at one time.  Some of us have developed coping mechanisms that have helped us survive being abused.  One of my coping skills was to disassociate.  I'm not sure what the technical definition for that is, but I basically call it spacing out.  It's like my body is in the room, but my spirit has gone far, far away.  My counselor also calls it "numbing".  I block out all emotions and all that is going on around me.  For example, I can be looking you straight in the eye and not hear a word you are saying.  That's what I did sometimes when I was being abused.  I went into a world of my own, where I did not have to feel pain and handle what was really going on.  As I understand it, that made me block out the abuse and "forget" it.  Some people think that the brain only lets us remember some events when we are capable of dealing with them.  I don't know about that.  All I know is that this is the first year I have ever remembered many incidents of the abuse.

I guess that is what is so confusing to me.  For years and years, I was sure that the abuse had only gone so far.  I had sworn up and down that my father had never raped me.  On the other hand, I had always questioned it.  I had bits of memory that I could not put together... bits that did not make sense and made me wonder what really happened.  When the memories came flooding back this year, and the pieces started to fit together... all of a sudden the most important belief I had held onto was torn away.  I had always wanted to believe that my father had never raped me... that he had never gone that far... so it hadn't been that bad.  So believing that it happened... emotionally, it was difficult.  Just as if believing that someone you love very much has passed away, it takes denial... grief... acceptance...

The fact is... all I have to rely on is my memory.  I have no one else to say that my father ever even acted promiscuous towards me.  Friends of my family love my father to death; they say he would never hurt anyone.  There is no physical evidence, either.  If I was abused during my entire childhood, how could no one ever find out?  Least of all my mother or brother?  It's not hard to question myself.  It's not hard to believe my mother when she says that my emotions cloud my memories.  Of course, I would never make up anything so horrible on purpose.  And why would I remember such details?  And why would I be feeling so intense?  I really don't have an answer.  This is why I am so torn.  On one hand, I don't want to believe that I was raped by my own father... on the other hand, I don't want to believe that I am crazy.

If I even knew the truth, could I handle it?

  Sunday, August 11, 2002

Why am I going on this journey? What is my ultimate goal?

Above all else, I want to heal. But what does that mean to me? How will I know when I have healed? This is how I picture myself as a completely healed being. I am aware that this is only the ideal, and that the journey takes a lifetime. I believe that full healing will not happen till I reach the throne of Christ in heaven.

1. I will have a sense of inner joy. I will be satisfied with myself as a person and with my life. I will enjoy living and experience happiness.

2. I will have inner peace. I will no longer be afraid of my father or anyone else who has hurt me. I will be able to respect myself for standing up for what is right. I will not let fear or worry tear me down and govern my actions.

3. I will trust myself and others. My relationships will be healthy. I will be able to enjoy the company of males and allow others to get to know me. I will be more confident and decisive. I will try, even with the possibility of failure. If I fall, I will be able to pick myself up and try again. I will also be able to ask for help and accept the help that is offered to me.

4. I will love myself enough to treat my body and mind with respect. When I am tired, I will rest. When I need nutrition, I will eat healthy foods and keep that food in my body. I will no longer cut or hurt my body on purpose. Instead, I will nurture my mind and body

5.) I will use healthy coping skills when needed. For example, I will be able to turn bad thoughts into good thoughts quickly.

6.) I will sleep well without using sleep aids. I will not be triggered as often, and will be able to calm myself quickly.

7.) I will express and feel safe enough to feel emotion. I will be able to cry. I will be able to feel anger. I will not spend so much time dissociating.

8.) At times I will forget that I was even ever sexually abused, because I will be enjoying my life and fulfilling my dreams.

  Thursday, August 14, 2002

What I can do on my Journey to keep myself safe
   Hold Eeyore
   Listen to my Winnie the Pooh CD
   Call a friend
   Go for a walk
   Color a picture
   Read positive statements
   Do mirror work
   Write in my journal
   Write positives for the negatives I am thinking
   Paint my toenails
   Do some Yoga and breathing exercises
   Cross stitch
   Play with play-do
   Talk to Jitter
   Light candles
   Read a Psalm

Why am I coming forward with the truth?
   To break the silence and release myself from the secrets
   To help my family realize how serious the truth is to me
   It may bring my father one step closer to confession
   It may help my mother and brother believe me
   To take a stand for myself and become empowered
   To make a statement that what happened was wrong and that no one should get away with it

  Unconditional Love                                 8/19/2002

The topic of the day is love. Do I love myself? Do I love others? Do I feel loved? Am I loved? Mary pointed out a very good point today. I feel guilty for telling my mom about the abuse because she reacted in such a harmful way. I need to forgive myself for that... because no matter what I would have told my mom, it was her choice to react the way she did. I seem to have forgotten that my mom has always been depressed. Any bad news could have sent her off the deep end. It didn't matter if I told her that I was gay (I'm not), that someone had died, or that my brother was involved in an extramarital affair (he's not). She would have still been upset and in denial and in the blaming mode. It wasn't my fault that she feels this way. More than anything... more than anything at all, what I need most from my mother is her support. I need her love. Telling my mom about the abuse was, in a way, one more way to get her to love me. Unconsciously I must have thought: Yes, if I tell her about this, then maybe she will finallly love me. She will feel sorry for me or realize that she hasn't been there for me, and everything will change. But that didn't happen, because my mom isn't capable of loving me like I want her to love her. All my life, I have wanted her unconditional love. I have done everything to try and get it. I was well-behaved, I was a perfect student, I was religious, I was generous, I was involved in the community, I was editor of the school newspaper... yada yada yada. NOTHING WORKED. I thought there was something wrong with me. I thought that's why she didn't love me. I thought I had to change something about myself, that if maybe I was this way or that way then finally, she would love me. But no matter what I did, I never gained her love. I always felt that way... as long as I can remember. It was just like how my relationship with my dad was, too. All I wanted was love. I thought if I was good then he wouldn't abuse me. Or maybe if I was quiet. Or maybe if I pretended I was asleep, or if I locked my door, or if I was really nice. I always thought that I had control, but I didn't. I didn't have control. My dad would have abused me no matter what I did or said or where I was. My mom wouldn't have loved me unconditionally no matter what I did or didn't do or how hard I worked. Why? Because she had her own issues. She was so depressed that she couldn't even love herself. How could she love anyone else? I have to forgive myself for her lack of love. Because it isn't my fault that she doesn't love me. I've got to accept that. I've got to forgive myself that there is nothing about me that keeps her from loving me. And when I accept that... and when I forgive myself... then I can start to love myself. And when I start to love myself, I can start to take care of myself.

My mom loves me the best she can right now. And maybe, one day, she will be healed and be less depressed and will then love me unconditionally. But she's not there yet. So in the meantime, I have to remember that other people do love me unconditionally (Mary, Brenda, Brandy, Becky...). And I've got to love myself.

And why do I want to love myself? Why do I want to even bother trying to heal? Because I'm 21, and I don't want to be like my mom and feel this way when I am 50. If I ever have kids, I want my kids to be loved unconditionally. I don't want this cycle to go through one more generation. I want it to stop here. With me.