Guest Post: Raising Awareness About Abuse @ Anonymous

This is a NSFW article.

Content/Trigger Warning: Extreme sexual abuse. May be incredibly triggering for some readers. Please read with caution.

Hi everyone!

Like I’ve mentioned, this month is dedicated to people who have suffered through abuse of some description. It is open to anyone, of any gender, in any type of relationship.

The person that wrote this article wishes to remain anonymous. Please do not ask any personal questions of this person, and please be sensitive when addressing this topic.

This person is uniquely brave in raising awareness about sexual abuse and child molestation. If anything, I genuinely believe we need to send kudos to this person for being so brilliantly open, despite how painful it must have been for them to write.

It’s Not Your Fault

This account of my childhood started out quite differently and contained some of my experiences of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  I’ve had to remove the physical and emotional aspects because they were too stressful to continue writing about.  This might seem strange, but those parts of my life are harder to deal with and feel far more private.  Trying to write about them was holding me back, I wasn’t getting anywhere with this piece for Carla, so I took them out of the equation.  I find it easier to detach myself from the sexual abuse than the other two.

As a matter of interest, I loathe the words ‘Abuse’ ‘Victim’ ‘Survivor’, they give me a feeling of disdain and contempt for myself but I’ve used them here because their meanings are the most widely used and understood.
O.K., here goes…
The first time I can remember it happening, I was bent over a sack of potatoes that we kept under the stairs, my mum was only a few feet away in the kitchen.  I was lifting out the potatoes and putting them into the washing-up bowl when I felt him press his crotch against my bottom, his hands disappeared under my top and he began to touch me.  I stayed in the same position and for some reason, I said nothing, in fact, I didn’t react at all.   The offences continued but still I didn’t tell anyone.  No one told me to stay quiet, I just did.  I was somewhere between the ages of 9 and 10.
Who is ‘HE’?  He is my mothers’ uncle and my great uncle.  He’d recently moved in with us, along with his 7-year-old daughter, who, it turns out, had been abducted from her mother in American and brought over to the UK to hide.  He hadn’t told my family that he’d abducted his daughter, it was assumed she was with him legally.
I couldn’t tell you how soon after he moved in, that he started sexually abusing me, nor when it stopped, but I do have some vivid memories of what happened, plus memories that are fragmented with large gaps. Maybe there’s nothing more to those gaps, nothing that I needed to lock away in a bid to protect myself, who knows!  I have been offered regression therapy but I’m unsure about it at the moment.  Has anybody reading this post, gone through it?
Ok, back to my account…
Back then, my great uncle seemed wonderful to me, he was attentive, generous and fun.  He’d take me and my friends over to the shop for sweets and ice-cream, he’d take us down to the ‘big park’ that was so much better than the tiny one nearer to home.  I don’t remember being afraid of him, nor disliking him, in fact, I felt the opposite, I thought I was in love with him.
The sexual abuse progressed and I guess you’d say, worsened (I’m talking as an adult looking back, when I say that).  It was penetrative.
He’d occasionally abuse both myself and his daughter together, using his daughters’ body to show me what he meant and encouraging her to reassure me.  He’d then do the same to me.  I remember my body responding to his touches and it being pleasurable.  As I got older, those memories of finding pleasure from my abuse, really messed with my head.  I believed I was the only person in the world that felt that way, of course, I wasn’t.
When it was all happening, I wasn’t viewing him as an abuser,  I was a child getting lots of attention. I believe the technical term for what was happening, is, I was ‘being groomed’.  He’d established an emotional connection with me and what happened as a result of that, seemed exciting and natural at the time.
Using what I remember, there was no horror story of him holding me down, no severe pain, no threats of hurting someone I loved if I told anyone, nothing like that.  It was a process of making me like him, so I’d want to be around him.  He was gaining my trust so he could progress with his deviant agenda.  I didn’t recognise this for what it was, until a few years later.  Still, I didn’t hate him. I felt partly responsible for what had happened because I’d not said no, not told anyone and to make things worse, I’d even encouraged him to do things to me.  As far as I was concerned, I was in love with him.  This ‘love’ lasted for a long time, far beyond knowing what he’d done to me, was wrong.
I’ll give you an example of what I mean when I say I’d encouraged him…
Each night he’d come into our bedroom to kiss us all goodnight, this was the bedroom I shared with his daughter and my older sister.  I remember placing myself on the floor, naked, building a kind of den around myself and waiting for him to get to me. I wanted him to look at me, to touch me.  It made me feel wanted and I knew it would please him.  As I got older, the memories of me encouraging him and enjoying his touches caused constant internal conflict and damaged me.  The guilt, shame, and anger at myself have poisoned my spirit and affected my ability to function normally.
Earlier I mentioned that I was in love with him, I really did think and feel this way.  All my romantic and sexual fantasies were about him, right from the time I was being molested as a child, right up until my 30’s.  In order to climax, I had to think about him, I had to think about him abusing me. Some were actual events that had happened, others were made-up fantasies and those early fantasies have quite possibly blurred and confused the real with the imagined.
I still occasionally fantasise about me being abused when I’m masturbating.  Though now, I’ve removed him from those scenarios and I’m working to stop using abuse scenarios altogether, but it’s difficult, as my sexual abuse is so profoundly entangled in my emotional and sexual psyche that I don’t know if I’ll ever be free of it.
Another cause of my shame was how I interacted with the boys in the neighbourhood around the time of my abuse.  I started encouraging and letting boys look and touch me sexually. This marred my reputation and compounded my self-loathing and feelings of worthlessness.
I started my periods shortly after the abuse began, apparently, it’s common for sexual abuse victims to start their periods’ early.  I only found this out in my last meeting, though it could just have easily been  nature taking its course. These sorts of things, you never get to know.
Most of my life I’ve felt like a perverted whore and a freak. I felt responsible for what happened to me.  This has helped destroyed my self-esteem, my confidence and my peace of mind.  It wasn’t until my first bout of therapy, in my early 30’s, that I found out this freakish notion of loving your abuser and enjoying their touches is often experienced by sex abuse victims.  The feelings of love and adoration towards an abuser is apparently a coping mechanism and quite normal.
A few months ago I decided to go back to therapy.  They’ve been saying I’m probably suffering from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – CPTSD, most people would know it simply as PTSD. This is the cumulative result of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that I experienced.
With regards to the sexual abuse, I’m now trying to forgive myself.  Despite what I might have thought, for many years, it was out of my control. I was a child being manipulated and used by an experienced predator, not some kind, loving uncle that I loved.
The adult ‘me’ knows it doesn’t matter that I loved him, it doesn’t matter that I wanted and encouraged him to touch me, he was the adult and the blame should be firmly placed at his door.  Knowing something, doesn’t necessarily undo the damage it’s created but it does give me the push to attempt to be kinder to myself.
I’m hoping this might bring some understanding of how sexual abuse can occur and how it can affect a child.  If there’s anyone out there reading this that’s gone or still going through it, you’re not alone and what you’re feeling might not be what we stereotypically hear about but it doesn’t make the abuse you’re suffering or suffered, any less damaging than other people’s experiences.
What you’re feeling isn’t your fault, don’t burden yourself with the added guilt that you were somehow complicit in your own abuse, you weren’t, you were a child struggling to make sense of a traumatic event.
Please try to be kind to yourself. x
Written by Anonymous with full permission to publish on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise. 
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Why You Should Have A Good Cry

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Please give a warm welcome to our first Serenity contributor, Brianna, and her post about why crying is healthy! It’s fantastic!

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My name is Brianna, and I am author of www.personallymeblog.com. I come to you today, guest posting on this amazing blog of self-love, awareness, health, and so many other strong, amazing topics.


Everyone cries–whether it is from a rough day, an emotional movie, physical injury, or so many other things. For some, crying can be embarrassing act; however, these facts are things you should not be embarrassed about.

To begin, there are three different type of tears: basal, reflex, and psychic (which are triggered by emotions). All of these tears are contained in salt water. Other substances are prevalent in this salt water.  These other substances include: oils, antibodies, and enzymes.

Emotional tears, out of the other types of tears, are the ones you can benefit the most from. Emotional tears contain, “the protein prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and the endorphin leucine-enkephalin, which reduces pain,” says Medical Daily.

Emotional tears can even help…

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The ‘Bullying’ Issue – The Way I See It

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The word ‘bullying’ is a word that I’ve come to find extremely annoying. I never used to find it bothersome, but lately it seems like everyone is using it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that bullying is an issue, it always has been. However, it seems like it’s become a subject that’s getting much more attention as of late.

I think that the fact that so many people (whether it’s kids or adults) are being teased, made fun of, and treated like crap – is horrible. I think that it is the fault of the bullies that so many people are finding themselves struck down my negative, cruel words. I think that the number one way to stop bullying is for each and every one of us to become kinder individuals and to teach our children to do the same.

First let me say, that I’m not a mother…

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5 Ways Anxiety Is Worse Than You Think

I think, on some level, I have always suffered from minor anxiety. However, as I’ve mentioned before, due to a bout of unfortunate circumstances, I ended up with clinical depression and a severe anxiety disorder.

Anxiety, on any level, is not an easy cross to bear. I’m sure you’ve all experienced it on a minor level: confronting your crush and your heart is on fire, waiting for their response. Preparing for an exam you aren’t sure you can pass. Going for your driver’s license – you know you can drive well, but the moment someone said ‘test’, your palms started sweating.

Anxiety plagues everyone – usually, for most, in fleeting, minor doses.

However, for those like me, anxiety is neither fleeting nor minor.

Here are five ways anxiety is worse than you think.

 

5) Basic Tasks Are Harder to Complete Than You’d Think

For me, sometimes leaving the house is a struggle. For some reason, I’ve come to fear the grocery store. I don’t know why, but I find it hard, if not impossible, to go – instead I have my groceries delivered (yay for the 21st century and first world problems!).

The only connection I can make (in regards to my fear) to grocery shopping is that once an ex-friend verbally attacked me whilst I was shopping. Despite no longer living in the same town, it wasn’t the first time I was attacked whilst out in a public area. Perhaps the grocery store has just become a conditioned response.

Regardless, my point is that seemingly simple, every-day tasks, can be so much harder to perform than you think.

Imagine the most anxiety-ridden moment you’ve ever faced. The clenching in your stomach as you fear the unknown; the increase in your heartrate that makes you feel as though your last breath is being stolen from your body; the overwhelming desire to be sick or to faint (or both).

That’s just the beginning of how it feels to complete some of the most basic every day tasks when you suffer from a severe anxiety disorder.

Imagine feeling like that – and worse – every single day.

 

4) You Want To Be With Friends … At The Same Time You Want To Be Alone

I can’t tell you how many times I simultaneously want to go out with friends … and be left alone.

At the exact same time.

I want my friends to come to my house, because in my mind my house is ‘safe’.

Yet, at the same time, I hate it because I can’t fudge some excuse about wanting to leave early when everything becomes too much.

I get it. It’s confusing.

But imagine how confusing it is for the people that actually feel this way and can’t understand why.

 

3) But What If People Don’t Like Me?

One of the biggest fears that I have is that my anxiety will have a negative impact on my friendships. Like I said in Five Ways Being Chronically Ill Is Worse Than You Think, I’ve already lost people I assumed were good friends. Some of which I loved dearly.

As a result, I’m often scared to speak out. What if I’m judged the way I was before? Will people view me differently? Will they judge me when they discover I struggle to go the store – let alone anything else?

Will I lose even more friends?

I’ve had some amazing people stand by me. Some of the people who abandoned me surprised me just as much as those that stayed.

Regardless, it makes you question everything and everyone.

If you’re the person on the receiving end, try not to take it to heart. It’s the anxiety speaking, not necessarily the person.

 

2) Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are very real, and very serious.

It’s important to remember that panic attacks are different for everyone.

Sometimes I sit and cry and struggle to breathe so much I literally vomit.

Sometimes I stop talking. Literally. I make no sounds, no noises. I go blank. I can barely hear if someone is talking to me. I don’t respond. I go completely numb.

Panic attacks are different for everyone, and can strike at any time, for any reason.

 

  1. People Judge What They Don’t Understand

People will judge you. Even the sincerest and meaningful people will judge you at different times – even if they’re incredibly supportive and try their hardest. It’s a harsh fact but people judge what they don’t understand.

This includes people who have anxiety, or have had anxiety (more the latter than the former).

When people overcome something as serious as an anxiety disorder, they sometimes have a tendency to want to help by telling others how to overcome theirs. Sometimes, during this process, they forget how hard it was themselves, or that everyone is different.

The reason behind a person’s anxiety is different for everyone.

Some people have reasons.

Some people have triggers.

Some people don’t.

It’s important to understand – even when you don’t actually understand – that anxiety and overcoming anxiety isn’t easy. The process is different for everyone.

For some, medication and/or therapy works.

For others, they swear by a change in diet and exercise.

For a few, nothing really seems to work, and they have to take everything day by day.

If you’ve overcome your anxiety disorder, I’m incredibly happy for you. I’m also open to suggestions.

But you also need to be open to the fact that what worked for a few doesn’t mean it works for everyone.

And, more importantly, if you don’t suffer from anxiety, try not to judge what you don’t understand.

Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.

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Reminder: We Accept Guest Posts!

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Hi everyone! We just want to remind you that we at Serenity accept guest posts! Our blog is all about spreading kindness and peace, while raising awareness about important issues. Some of the topics we discuss include: intersectional feminism, mental health, physical health and well-being, friendship, loyalty, and other social justice topics. While these are the main topics that the blog focuses on, you are more than welcome to send us posts about other topics that you may find important. As long as your posts are full of love, kindness, and respect, we will consider publishing them.

If you’re interested in sending us a blog post, or if you have any questions regarding what you can send us, feel free to email us at: serenity.wordpress@gmail.com. For more information about our blog, click here! If you wish, we will keep your blog posts anonymous. We will also post links to…

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Guest Posts for September

Hi everyone!

For the month of September, I’m looking for people who would like to share any guest posts in regards to experiences with cyberbullying.

In regards to these guest posts (these are just some ideas, feel free to write something else), you could discuss:

  • Personal experiences relating to cyberbullying
  • An incident where you knew someone (or knew of someone) who experienced severe cyberbullying
  • Things to help
  • Why you’ve been been cyberbullied
  • Who the most common targets of cyberbullying are

I’m also extending guest posts in regards to abuse. This can be related to any form of abuse, and to anyone who was abused. This is an open topic. 

Please feel free to contact me below if you’re interested in sharing your story:

Originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise.

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September Character Photo Challenge!

Getting Through Anxiety

Hey guys! September is just around the corner and Carla and I have created another photo challenge! I’m super excited for this one. ‘Character’ refers to characters from TV shows or movies (unless otherwise specified). If you have any questions regarding the schedule, don’t hesitate to ask Carla or myself! Everyone is welcome to participate! Feel free to let me know if you as I’d love to see your answers!

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