Surrounding Myself with Hope and Love
My story isn't near as complete or dramatic as many others you will read. I have only remembered bits and pieces as I have grown older. My therapist reminds me that many block traumatic events in their life. It is more about sensations, smells, sounds that make me feel like that abandoned, sacrificed child.
I was sexually abused by my older brother from the age of about 6 - 12 years old. My father was very much about appearances in society, and I bought into that mentality. I took on my role as the sacrificial lamb of the family, to keep peace and tranquility for others. There were plenty of signs though -- going from a normal-weight toddler to an obese 8 year old (by 12 I was topping the scales at 250 pounds), going through puberty at age 8. Still, my parents ignored the signs. I have very few memories of those years. In addition, my sister stole from me and tormented me emotionally. I eventually told my parents about this only to get the response "deal with it, she steals from us too." I kept that role of quiet, sacrifice to family sanity.
I went off to college and married a man who seemed safe. Unfortunately, I felt so safe that I finally shared my story with him, 10 years into the marriage at 35. He wasn't able to deal with this and the marriage ended in divorce -- turns out I married my father in many ways. Counseling made it apparent that anyone involved in my life had to be involved in my recovery. Dealing with the trauma of my childhood impacted my relationships in current day.
I’ve had some serious ups and downs since my divorce. Finally telling my parents about the abuse went the way I thought it would -- first denial on their part, then acceptance but what could they do, back to denial and demonizing my brother. Actually, the acceptance of the reaction on my part allowed me to clear the toxic from my system. I cut ties with my biological family but opened myself to those around me willing to "adopt" me. I am almost 40 years old but I have come to realize that surrounding myself with positive, supportive people is what matters. It is a progression, but it’s one filled with hope and love. I choose to be a survivor and not allow myself to be abused any longer. I am not alone and I do not have to be silent. I wish all of you progress and hope in your journeys.