Can't Stop Remembering

by Lanie
(Florida, USA)

When I was a kid I was sexually abused. I was very small; pre-memory-forming small - at least when it started.

I can't fully remember who did it and maybe I never will... but I remember WHEN... and all too clearly I remember HOW it felt.

The thing is, I remember it all the time. I remember it when I'm driving. At work, when I am stressed, I can feel someone's ghostly hands on me. When I'm about to go to sleep that familiar feeling of panic and helplessness drapes itself over me until it's hard to breathe. Some nights aren't like that, though. Some nights I can fall asleep, and it is wonderful. Though, too often, I wake up screaming or out of breath from a nightmare.

I have developed some coping mechanisms that are destroying my life for when I feel guilt and shame because these feelings are so deeply tied into my core being, since I was a small child. Feeling guilt and shame have become unbearable to me and now I'm only trying to work on being able to survive those feelings.

I need to let it out because it seems no one around me can understand what it's like to go through this. It's exhausting, painful, disappointing. Helpless, enraging, but.. I'm beginning to understand.. it is bearable. Maybe just barely, but I can make it through this. The fact that I'm still here proves that.

I'm not mad at my abuser, for I'm sure their minds were as broken and damaged as mine.
I only find myself getting frustrated with Myself for not being able to accomplish more. To not shake it off... to not get back up and have all the energy and motivation I used to have before these flashbacks started coming back. As usual, the only person I am angry at is myself.
Although I recognize this is misdirected but it's just how I feel for now.

I hope I can make it through this. Sometimes I'm not so sure but most times I believe I can. I believe you can, too. If I can, you can. We will - together :)

I thank God for allowing me to have a new day of life, no matter how depressed I may feel or how happy I am to have actually woken up... I know each day is an extended opportunity from that day as a child that part of me was lost... an opportunity to say "f**k you" to that traumatic event and build myself up to a happy life anyways.


Thank you for listening.

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Comments for Can't Stop Remembering

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Jun 16, 2015
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

Guilt and shame suggests you were the one who did something wrong. You didn't. Not even remotely. Guilt, shame and blame lie solely on the shoulders of your abuser(s). Period. End of story.

I do find it interesting that you have so much compassion for your abuser(s), but none for you yourself. YOU, who were the vulnerable child. YOU, who were powerless. YOU, who were taken advantage of by others who knew what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway. You've now taken on the guilt and shame that doesn't belong to you. You clearly know this on a logical level, but not so much on an emotional level.

I'm not suggesting that you should hate your abuser(s). But when your understanding of those abuser(s) is at the expense of your pain, that's not healthy.

Next time you are around children, pay close attention to just how truly innocent they are. Try to zero in on the behaviour of children who are the same age as you were when you were abused. Would you blame and shame them for being abused? Would you pour on the guilt for the abuse that was inflicted on them? Chances are, the answer is a resounding, "Of course not!" So if that's the case, why ever would you do that to your own child self.

Every time you feel the emotions that are misdirected and you don't correct those misdirected thoughts, you beat down that inner child more and more. The key, Lanie, is to change the thought in the first place. The minute you begin to feel that guilt and shame, tell your Self that you have absolutely nothing to feel guilt or shame for. Tell your Self over and over, as many times as you must, that the guilt and shame are not yours. Tell your Self that you had no power. Tell your Self that your abuser(s) had all the power. Tell your Self that you were vulnerable and innocent. Tell your Self that your abuser(s) took complete advantage of that vulnerability and innocence, and that they in fact looked for it in you. Tell your Self that you have been putting adult values on what you now believe you could have done to stop what happened to you. Adult values that are misplaced. Adult values that fail to take into account that you were a helpless vulnerable innocent child. And KEEP telling your Self that, Lanie. When you change up what you tell you Self, that's when you can break free of the guilt and shame on an emotional level.

You didn't deserve to be abused. And you certainly don't deserve to blame your Self for that abuse.

Lanie, from the depths of my heart I send you love, light and healing energy. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Jun 17, 2015
by: AnonymousT

I think it's very intelligent and emotionally mature of you to be able to see that your abuser obviously had problems they did not cope with if they chose to offend. It's all too true and forgiveness is incredibly freeing.

I imagine (and this is only conjecture) that the abuse may have happened when you were pre-verbal so the words are simply not there to truly articulate what your sub-conscious likely knows.

I encourage you to find a therapist who works with people who were abused, someone who is well known & you feel confident there will be no false memories under their care. Seriously, this is a thing. If they're not a fit, go to someone else. Even if you cannot get to the memory maybe the therapist can help you with coping skills so you can get a break from the thoughts.

THAT being said, sometimes when a memory becomes "all consuming" it's because our subconscious WANTS us to pay write what you see/feel...maybe more will come in time.

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