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Last week on my granddaughter's 8 birthday I got a call that I had been waiting for, for weeks from my youngest sister. My "step father", her dad had died. This was a man who had married my mother in the early 60's when my twin sister and I were 6 years young. He had 4 kids and it was like his-hers and theirs after my baby sister came eight years later.. But when they married we were just these little kids. His children were motherless, as their mother had run off with another man. And our dad had been out of the picture for a long while, remarried, new kid and moved on...never to look back, but that is a different story.  

Lets get back to the father of the year; yeah right. My mother was a young mom, 24 when they married now with 6 kids, her twins, 6, his sons, 6, 9, 10 and his only daughter 8. She did not go the funeral yesterday, but the rest of us did. We went not to morn, but to let go and move on and heal, yes heal. To say we danced on his grave would go too far, but we came close to it!  

It is hard to cry for someone who beat you, and molested you from childhood. We had no idea how we would all act when we saw each other. We had all dealt our own way with this thing had hovered over us like a black cloud all of our lives: incest. We could never be friends as adults...how can you be a friend with someone who's father did such horrible things to you...to them. Things that make you believe in real monster. Or be friends with someone whose mother would not protect innocent children?  Yet there we all stood yesterday for the first time together as a family, our children and even our grand children being one big family. His death did what he and my mother ruined in our lives...it pulled us together as the abuse had ripped us apart.

 I write this as for many years I was a researcher in the field of abuse, and have a degree in abnormal psychology. You go into these things sometimes to heal yourself and stop what you can out there. But the fact is this, there are many, many of us in this ugly little sisterhood-botherhood. We never tell anyone, we just suffer though. The stats are one in 6 girls are incest –sex abuse survivors, but I think the number is much higher then that. The police never intervened in what was our, oh so perfect home. It was just swept under a rug...we got older, moved out and for some of us never looked back, cutting all family ties; till now.  

I write to say, it is ok to greave for a childhood that was stolen, killed off. It is ok to tell someone, anyone, no matter how old you are. And if you are a women married to a man that you think is hurting your kids...get the hell out of there. If you don't your kids will hate you as they age. They will hate mother's day and forget your birthday and even forget who you are in time. Leave, report the abuse and love you kids. And never, ever blame them. And never blame yourself if you are the victim.  

That's all I have to say. I am glad that when I was six and tried to kill myself, it failed. I have a great supportive husband, and it has not been easy for him. 3 great kids and grand kids, I love my work and have great friends. But it took a lifetime to like me...just the way I am. And now maybe I will have siblings again...it would be nice to think that we could be a family after all we have gone though and will down the road as we help each other heal.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Terri, your words almost bring me to tears. I have clients whose stories are not so very different from your own. I pray that you, as well as the others, will get the healing they need to live lives of abundance. Thank you for your honest blog.

      Blessings,
      Cindy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie Hempsey wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • What a powerful Blog! I am so sorry you went through all of this. I hope you can finally have a relationship with your siblings. I really do not know what else to say here except you are an exceptional person and am glad you failed your attempt as well when you were six! The world is a better place with you in it!
      Take Care,
      Ree



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Almostfive0 wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • It is amazing how families choose to avoid talking about the secrets of our childhood once we are grown...and most of us do have secrets...some of them remembered and some hidden so deep inside we don’t know if they are real or imagined.
      I guess they are seldom discussed for various reasons, fear being the main one. Fear of reopening wounds. Fear you may be wrong. Fear of the questions you ask yourself...should I still love this person, why was I not protected by those who are supposed to protect? And fear of the answers you will recieve.
      Yet it takes courage and strength to confront these fears. It is the first step toward being able to embracing that little girl who remains inside, still waiting only to be loved and protected.
      Peace



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Terri,

      Thankyou for sharing your heart with us, and being the voice for children all over the world!

      I was a burn victim at the age of five, but I imagine what you had gone through to be MUCH worse than what I had to endure.

      I am so glad you are still on this earth,and that God kept
      you here!

      Hugs,
      Della



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Terriofcarasan wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Thanks all, I am somewhat overwhelmed with your kind responds.
      Della, one of my brothers was also burned as a child by his biological mother when she was in the kitchen cooking and dropped hot grease on his head, he was 4. He still bares the scars and others from his father. So I know how you feel...But I have seen your photos and you are a beautiful women!!!  

      Look, girlfriends, I am fine. I dealt with what I went though a long time ago and use to do TV work on the subject. I was shocked to see so many men and women come up to me and tell me their stories of how not only their father, grandfather, uncle..etc abused them sexually, but the women in their lives...like their mothers. And I have only given you all a small bit of the crap from my childhood. I was abused by more then one family member....but that was long ago and far away..I am ok now!  : )

      And Almostfive0, your words ring too true. All children want to be loved. Small children are in many ways like a small dog. An abusive person will kick the animal, abuse it over and over again, yet that animal still needs that person for food, lodging and yes, even love. Sometimes the animal has enough and retaliates. Sometimes children do too. We just left when we could, but not all do or can!  

      And I don’t want you to cry for me....really. Just open your eyes to the women and children around you. If you see that they need help, give them your hand, a shoulder, a safe place to go and make them...even kicking and screaming get help. And if you are the one who shares my sisterhood, and there are many, many of us out there and you need to talk, we are here for you. We can’t see you, judge you, make you feel bad....someone else has already done that, we are just hear with an open ear to listen..let you vent! And yes let you know that you are not alone.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Almostfive0 wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Thanks for you post Terri...trust when I say I understand...abuse comes in many forms and my many faces and not always easy to understand.
      The sisterhood is a large one.
      Take care.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Terri, I’m so glad to hear that you have healed. My grief is useful in that it motivates me to love others, especially those who have been so robbed of the love they needed growing up. So many of my own clients have been loved poorly. I know that I cannot make up for it, but as you said, to give them a hand, shoulder, and safe place, I can at least help.

      Your strength of spirit will help many wounded women find their healing place.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Terriofcarasan wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • That is the hope...to lift the veil of silents and help other know that it is ok to love themselves and heal.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cheryl Sharpton wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Thank you for sharing your story with us. I believe my sister was abused but she will not discuss it with me.  I don’t know how to help her and we all dance around the issue without actually saying anything.  Everyone is in denial, even me.  I don’t push her and we don’t discuss it.  But hearing you tell your story and reading all of the posts I am saddened that this is happening with such frequency.  It takes courage to be honest about something so painful and I thank everyone for opening up and telling their story.  I will attempt to invite my sis to this blog and see what happens.  I wish I had the courage of the ladies on this blog to discuss this with my sis but I wouldn't know where to begin.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 18, 2008
    • Hi Terri,
      Thank you for writing your story. I often wonder how I will feel when my father dies. I too was a victim of sexual abuse. I too was abused by several people. It started happening when I was so young (and the only daughter) that I don’t remember when it started. I do remember realizing that it was ‘wrong’ when I was about 8. Even when your mom does listen, you can still feel horrible and more like an offender than a victim. I know she didn’t mean to make me feel responsible, but I feel like I caused my parent’s divorce. She left the decision up to me... so even when they try to help you, it can be burdensome. I have forgiven my father, and we have a superficial kind of relationship, but I will never ever trust him again. I know I will sigh a sigh of relief when he dies, even though I can honestly say I love him.(He was not the ogre you described your stepfather to be. Just a sicko who did too many drugs as a post-Viet hippie.)
      He is allowed to see my kids, but I am always on pins and needles. As my girls get older I explain why; until then I keep them right beside me when he visits. That is a conversation you should never have to have. I am also very thankful that we live over a thousand miles away so those visits don’t stress me out often.  

      Sharing Hope,

      Dee Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Amylou85 wrote Oct 19, 2008
    • Wow, what an experience this must have been for you. It would have been so much easier emotionally just to not go and bury “all” those feelings along with your step father. I think this opportunity was a way for you to heal and to deal with the pain you endured. I have found in my life that regardless where you put those emotions, someway, somehow they will come bubbling back up. Some people bury them in alcoholism, drugs and disfunctional relationship. Others, like myself, just keep pushing them further and further down until 40 years later the walls come tumbling down and you break emotionally. I recently had my first and hopefully last “bipolar” episode and during this period I came to terms with all those that I felt had wronged me. Things came out of me that I never knew I felt. It was like the emotional gates came flooded though. It was scarey but made me realize how little I stood up for myself and let put others feelings before myself. In some kind of strange way It was healing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Terriofcarasan wrote Oct 19, 2008
    • This is the reason I did this post, to get us talking. No one likes this subject, no one ever wants to talk about it, but we need to! If we don’t, then it continues..on and on. There are so may women, and yes even men who suffer in silents. They tell no one, it eats them up inside and then they become offenders themselves or they do harm to themselves. There are more victims of abuse out there then anyone wants to even imagine.
      Many of us have daughters, friends....loved ones who we know that something is very wrong with them. Find a way to reach out and help them.  

      Warriorprincess, there are some great books out there on this subject. Get one, read it..and pass it on to your sister. If she is hurting, you all are. You can run from this but you can never really hide. It comes back to bite you just when you think it will not.  

      And Dee Dee,
      You know that you did nothing wrong!
      You did not ask for this, want it or give consent...you are not to blame.
      Your mother sounds a lot like mine. She stayed with him even after it came out....and my step-grandmother said it was my fault...a six year old child!
      So some don’t get it, don’t want to and can’t face the fact that they did nothing to protect those that needed protection.  

      LOVE YOURSELF!!! BE HAPPY...IT OK TO BE HAPPY!  

      Thank all of you for your thoughtful words...
      It shows that no matter what side of the street we live on, no matter what color we are, how much we have or don’t have or who we vote for.... at the end of the day we are all sisters! We need to remember that. We may not agree with everything we each say and do here, but we need to care about each other. For some it may be the only place that they can really be themselves. We can’t run into each other on the street...so we can tell our secret with no one to judge us. And we have to stop being so hard on ourselves!

      Love to you all...
      Terri



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dee Dee Shaw wrote Oct 19, 2008
    • Terri,
      My mom had him committed. He went to a mental facility for 8 weeks and then came back, supposedly ‘reformed‘. He never abused me again, but I would wake up and find him watching me. I’d lock my door and find him peeking under. She did try to do what she thought was best, but I am one who tries to take on everything myself. And she wanted to include me in her decision making I guess. I know now that it was very dysfunctional, but as a kid, you don’t see that. Normal is what you know.... isn’t that sad. And I also know that I am not to blame, but I didn’t then. As I said, I tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have had to learn over and over to just let go and give it to God. He gave me the grace to forgive, and with that forgiveness came the release that allowed healing. That still doesn’t mean I trust him in any way. That was why I said I would feel relief when he dies. I won’t have that weight to carry. I won’t have to worry about my children everytime he is around.
      Thanks for posting, and you are right. It does help to talk about it, even when you are ‘over’ it.  

      Sharing Hope,

      Dee Dee



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Bobbi Bacha wrote Oct 19, 2008
    • Terri, I deal with this so often, in my work.  Im so sorry for what has happened to you and your siblings, and I know that you know and feel your mother is part to blame, and your right but also the times were different and many women would look the other way and were afraid to speak up about the problem or did not know how.  I know that is not an excuse for her not taking action but its just a part of that era.  She may feel pinned up shame, as well.

      I often wonder why we are subjected to lifes horrors such as what happened to you and your siblings, and I wonder often. As a spiritual being, if you were given a chance to come back and live your life again, knowing your emminant  suffering, knowing youd survive to help others and become what you are now, would you take that same life and torture again to do and be who and what you are and to make a difference in others lives ?  

      Its like the movie “Its a wonderful life“.  We never know how our one life, touches so many others.

      I know my own life was very difficult yet I have been able to overcome and help others through what I have myself endured all the suffering, pain, and turmoil, I would not wish on anyone else, but would help to spare them if I can.  

      There is no excuse for evil, or those who act it out on the innocent, yet it exists, and we have to each one of us fight it in different ways on many levels.

       Im sure going to the funeral was good for each one of you to finally see this embodiment of evil gone to never again harm another person.

      The harm he has done will resignate for your lifetime and I am sorry to hear that such a young brave little girl as you were, tried to take her own little life. (tears) Im so Glad you were saved by an unsuccessful attempt.  You were meant to live and you have lived for a purpose, you have brought to life three children that you will never let them know this type of pain, you have protected and your creative and exploring the unknown in your paranormal studies which is fascinating work.  And your sharing with this group and others your pain, your helping and reaching out to so many.  

      I guess what Im saying, is if each one of us as spirits prior to being born, were asked by our creator, knowing what suffering we would endure in human form, and knowing we each have a very important mission to do and lives to help birth and people to help.... would we agree to endure the suffering and come to earth anyway.

      I always wonder about the infants that are born to die a few days later, did they know this was thier purpose did they volunteer for such suffering, and the children suffering from cancer, disease or hunger, the children that have been abused (like you Terri), I wonder if we knew as spirits what our missions were prior to being born, but took the assignment anyway, to fullfill our mission and to learn and help others in life during our short times here on earth.. some of us are here to change the world, and all of us do it in our own “butterfly effect” ways.  

      Would we still be born ?  If we knew ?  For a chance to make a difference for our creator ?  

      I think Terri, your very brave, to be born and live to fight such evil at such an early age.  

      God bless you as you have overcome it.  We all bear our pain and scars, some worse than others but all of us are scared in some way by life. None or few of us are spared.  

      You and your siblings have won... you defeated the evil monster in your life as you did not let it kill you which was its intent. You did not let it destroy you. Yes your terribly scarred and hurt deeply but your here.. your here and the monster is not.  You’ve won.  You’ve won and you didnt have to resort to evil ways to win.  You’ve won through life itself.

      Your a brave warrior.



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