I was a victim too.

Although I wasn't a direct victim of sexual abuse, I'm learning now that being a witness to it may have been a big part of my own lifelong pain. My sisters abuse by my stepfather (who's still my stepfather), began when she was 4 or 5 years old. I was 6-7. But my story of abandonment starts earlier than that.

My biological father was stationed overseas in 1961 while active duty Army. As a photographer dad was assigned to the division commander's (two stars) staff. So when the General snuck back to the base just 3 days into a two week field exercise, dad was able to take advantage of the CO's distaste for sleeping in the mud, and grab a hot shower too. Unable to find his wife and 9 mo. old son, the obvious thing was to check the usual babysitter. When he found me there he also learned that mom had dropped me off so she could make a quick trip to the "store" immediately after he deployed to the field three days prior.

Emergency leave and a flight to the states later, I'm in the unquestionably loving arms of gramma and grampa.

When time came to start school, the decision was made that I'd be reunited with my now divorced mother and my diaper clad sister. Mom remarried and a grade level or so deeper into my education, the previously mentioned abuse started.

Back to dad.

And so it went. I didn't go to one school for two full years until my junior/senior years in high school. I went to five different schools in the 7th grade. I quit making friends and preferred to spend my free time alone. My sister didn't have to move as often because my mother needed her to protect the stability she had found with my step dad. Had she allowed me to stay with them, I became a potential threat to that stability. Fully aware of the molestations her husband was guilty of, my mother allowed my sisters nightmare childhood to rage on. I had to go.

The final blow came when my childhood sweetheart, my one true love, left me for her one true love. I was able to get some closure with that in 2007 after finally mailing the letter that I would have forever regretted not mailing. She called me a few months later.

It was then that I realized I had spent my life living in those memories and waiting for the phone to ring from my past.

I'm about to turn 50. I never married or had kids. I allowed my heart to be crushed, so I ran away from every potential loving relationship that came along after high school. I'm cross addicted, and I'm being treated for depression and hypertension. When a friend pointed It out, I realized that in ten years, I hadn't even moved the furniture around in my living room. I guess I wanted things to be the same for a while. I lost my job in Sept. '08 so now, after 11+ years , I'm about to lose the only stability I've really ever had, my home.

I thought I was done. Suicide started to look like a viable option.

I'm here for help.

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Jun 20, 2010
The Strength to Extend Your Hand
by: Anonymous

I commend you for having the strength to extend your hand for help, your willingness to be so open and honest about your painful past and the effects it has had on your relationships is something I can relate to.

I am struggling with addiction, soul searching for answers as to why I continue with the self-destructive behaviors despite having lost everything important and that I cherish.I realized that I was searching for a way to be numb.

I have dealt with a lot of rejection, emotional abandonment, and emotional and verbal abuse through out my life. I give people too much power, acting out of fear of rejection and/or them withdrawing love.

I was too focused on being loved by someone that I didn't take the time to cultivate a love for MYSELF. I was so afraid and insecure to be honest that I lied over and over again but it's not unreasonable to ask that someone who says they love you to be emotionally supportive,and not justify degrading and humiliating me.

There were times I literally wanted to die, that I felt as if my very soul had shattered from the painful words.... your story has helped to reaffirm that though we may still bear scars from the past and struggle with relationships due to our inability to trust that if we work on loving ourselves and coming to believe we are worthy... there is hope and the willingness to extend your hand and share your story show your strength.

It takes trust and strength of character to be able to open up and even more to admit and reach out for help. I hope you realize the huge step you've taken to begin healing and the compassion you obviously possess by sharing.Your story can help others and shows that you are a person who is willing and able to overcome the pain of your past. By facing it and not living in denial it will lose it's power to control you by being the secret that causes you to either use or become depressed over allowing it to eat away at your self-esteem out of guilt and/or shame.

You should feel a tremendous amount of pride in yourself; change is a struggle and asking for help often are the obstacles that keep people shackled and complacent in miserable lives because they are too proud to admit to needing a loving, nurturing relationship.

Jun 02, 2010
by: Evan

I feel that anything I say hear will only sound simplistic. Cold text makes it difficult for me to convey understanding let alone empathy.

I don't know what you have tried in the past. To me it seems like you have a crying child inside you who needs to be comforted. My guess is that it feels like there isn't enough comfort in the world. In my experience people do find (often after a few years) that the comfort does help - we never get it from those we wanted it from at the time but we can get it from others and give it to ourselves.

This means finding a little thing the child inside us wants and then giving it to them - riding bikes, flying kites, hugs, favourite foods. It is OK to start small. That way we don't frighten ourselves. Then we move on to the next small thing. If it takes a month then in a year we have a dozen things. In a month we can feel different - not great all the time. And knowing that we have made a small difference we can feel that we can do it again.

I hope this helps.

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