Why Was This Happening to Me?

Why Was This Happening to Me?

I was so young when it all happened. When it all started. When I lost my innocence. Before anyone get’s confused, three different men sexually abused me throughout my childhood. The first was all new to me. He was my cousin (we will refer to him as S). He was in his late teens and I was maybe 7 or 8. He told me that he was trying to make me feel good, but it really hurt and I didn’t understand what was happening. Over the course of months, it came to the point where my privates hurt and had tearing. I tried to distance myself as far from him as I could, which worked to prevent any more abuse for a few years. The second abuser was S’s best friend (whom I will call D). I was 11 years old and he was 19. D was very nice at first, seemed very quiet, and spoke softly to me. After receiving my IM address and phone, I asked him to help me download songs into my iPod, he had the chance to get to know me. Over the course of time, he made me believe that I was worthless without him and couldn’t do any better. He was the reason my depression started. D sexually abused me for 2.5 years. He took my first kiss, made me touch his privates, took naked photos of me and threatened to release them in public if I were to ever leave him, pressured me to give him oral sex, threatened to punish me if I didn’t listen, held me down, made me swear that I’d give him my virginity at age 14, and kept tabs on me throughout my day. After any physical abuse occurred, D would take me to see a movie. Maybe he felt like he had to rid himself of the guilt. Those 2.5 years made me feel like I was dying inside. I hoped for my death everyday, often questioning God as to why something like this was happening to me. Before I went onto 8th grade, I finally built the courage to leave D and avoid him entirely. I had tried on several occasions before but he often persuaded me not to. I thought nothing as horrible could happen to me ever again. I was wrong. The third abuser was a distant relative I was staying with during vacation. While I was sleeping on the couch, he slid his hand through my pants and tried to touch me. When I woke up to find his hands touching my privates, I kicked him off of me and he ran out the door. He didn’t return home until he...

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That Priest Was My Uncle

That Priest Was My Uncle

My name is Tami. Please know that this site and Will Lynch can be 100% trusted. I have never told my “full” story to more than five people. I’ve been thinking about it all weekend and have made up my mind to finally tell it, in hopes that it will help others. I have three siblings but I won’t be talking about them, that is their decision to tell or not. Jerold Lindner, the priest in Will’s story, is my step-uncle. In 1975, when I was 7 years old, my mother married Larry, Jerold’s brother. I first met Jerold Lindner that same year on Thanksgiving. He came for dinner. That was also the first time he grabbed my face and stuck his tongue in my mouth. No one had ever done such a thing to me before and it was confusing and scary. The strangest part about it though was that my mom and step-dad were there. I think for that reason I said nothing. After that first encounter I knew something was wrong, but didn’t really know what “it” was. We would see Jerry on holidays and sometimes he would just come to visit. He did “that” every time. We also saw him in Arizona when we went to visit my step-dad’s family. They were a very Catholic family. In their backyard they had a gazebo like structure in an L shape with religious statues and candles inside. I was nine or ten when I found myself trapped inside with Jerry. I went in first to be alone when he came in. He was blocking the door then sat next to me. He looked pissed and I was scared. It was summer time and I had shorts on. He put me on his lap and said, “Be quiet.” His left arm was around my waist, holding me very tightly. I’m starting to freak out writing this, I can’t stop shaking but I’m gonna do it. With his right hand he went inside my shorts and put his fingers inside me. I remember yelling out in pain when he covered my mouth with his left hand. The reason I yelled was because he cut me inside. I’m guessing it was a fingernail. He didn’t stop though and it was very painful. After he let me go he blocked the door again and told me I better be good and not cause any trouble, then he left and I walked out. Everyone was in the house when Jerry walked back in. I went in after a few minutes, planning to tell my mom. I didn’t get the opportunity to tell her because Jerry’s mother grabbed me in the hallway and...

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The “Trust Problem”

The “Trust Problem”

Well, nothing new if I say that one of the aftermaths of child sexual abuse is the constant lack of trust and difficulty to open up to others. It’s a long battle with yourself how to learn to let people close to you, how to be honest and how to share. Yes, you are a grown up, but the abused child still lives inside you. And this child still remembers. The trust issue persists because that child’s been betrayed by those, whom it believed and trusted and they were the ones who hurt that child the most. Abusers are usually people who the children know and trust. Once betrayed this way in an early age, the abused person learns a lesson: “Don’t trust, don’t open up because nothing good comes from it. Protect yourself by not letting others close. ” And this belief stays in the adult’s mind. You may be 30 or 40 years old but deep within you are that child, and you don’t feel that self-worth that others feel. And you don’t feel so confident when you depend on someone, or when you open up to someone. You always have this little voice telling you: “Be careful you might get hurt. ” How can we change that? How can we learn to trust? By trusting. Yes, trusting and letting someone get close to our psyche can bring us disappointment. This happens also to people who have never been abused. And compared to the childhood trauma of betrayal we have once experienced, nothing seems to be so difficult to manage. Weird but what happened to us, as abused kids, can really make us in a way stronger than other people. Some issues and problems that others classify as a big dramas, to us are just much easier to get over with. Because we’ve already been through much more, and more difficult times. And we survived. And we are still here. And we function. So trusting others is not such a great challenge when you think about it. You just have to try. You just have to give it a chance. Meeting another disappointment may be unpleasant, but not risking and staying hidden in your shell won’t bring you happiness either. If you don’t risk, you cannot lose anything, but you cannot win too. And by risking to come out of your shell, you may win a lot. You may find great friends, you may find love, you may find understanding and companionship, unknown to you till this moment. You may find what was missing in your life. A shoulder to lean on, a hand to hold, a smile to brighten your day, eyes to see your future...

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“I am Not What Happened to Me, I am What I Choose to Become”

“I am Not What Happened to Me, I am What I Choose to Become”

“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” – Carl Jung Studying for my upcoming History of Psychology exam I discovered this thought of Carl Jung, the father of Analytical Psychology. Though this quote made me think more about the Humanistic view, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers self-actualization theories, and this is how I apply this view to ”our“ issue –surviving child sexual abuse:   Yes, it happened to me. But does it need to determine my life, myself and my future? Humanistic theory in Psychology says that we all are who and what we choose to become, that we are capable of amazing things once we discover our full potential. This is the iceberg of a person’s life – the so called self-actualization, “the greatest motivating force in personality” like Carl Rogers calls it. Self-actualization is the highest level of psychological health. A psychologically healthy and fully functioning person is the one who is capable to open to all experience, the one who has a tendency to live fully in every moment, the one who has the ability to be guided by his instincts rather than by reason or the opinions of others, the one who has a sense of freedom of thought and action… So let’s face it-we didn’t choose to be abused, we can fight this and we can become who we want to be, we can live a great and exciting life, we can influence others and help them recover too, and all this only if we look deep inside in ourselves and find that motivation To Be! The humanistic view suggests that we are capable of amazing things when we realize our full potential, that we are capable of self-actualization when we choose our paths and face the life challenges trying to make the best of them, and grow from every set back. The self-actualization is the greatest goal of every person and every person builds his own “destiny.” Only then we can become fully-functioning individuals, capable of helping others too, and doing amazing things in our life. Dalai Lama says: “With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world.” Mahatma Gandhi says: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Charles De Gaulle says: “Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so.” William James says: “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” John Thomas Salley says: “Tough times never last but tough...

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Reclaiming My Life – Tara’s Story

Reclaiming My Life – Tara’s Story

Well I’m now 25 years old and last April I started a blog in which I chose to speak out about my abuse. I am a survivor of childhood molestation by my stepfather and my uncle. Before I had spoken out I was silent for over ten years. The reason I didn’t speak out when it first happened was for two reasons. The first is because when I told my mom that my uncle molested me she didn’t want to believe it since it was her brother. It went on for a few weeks. He would touch me in places he should not be touching and then he would kiss my lips. I didn’t know what was going on. I was never taught good touch bad touch. I thought it was ok for an uncle to treat you like that. I’m not sure when this happened but it was around the age of 9 or 10. I say that was the first person who abused me but it was actually the same time my stepfather started molesting me. It started one day when I was sick in bed and I needed some Vicks vapor rub to be rubbed on my chest and back. Since my mom trusted him she allowed him to rub it on me. He started to rub it on my chest and when he did that, he began to rub my nipples. I felt really uncomfortable but again I didn’t know that it was an inappropriate touch. After that I’m not sure what else happened. I only remember a few things that happened. The next abuse I remember was again when I was sick. My mom had gone to Florida to visit my sister. She left my brother and me home since we were in school. I had gotten sick and stayed home from school. I was in my parent’s room which was also the living room at the time. I was on the couch resting and trying to watch the television. He began to kiss me on my neck and then made his way up to my lips. Again I didn’t know how to react to that but my body deceived me at that moment. My body liked that attention even though I felt disgusted and scared. I didn’t know what would happen next. Then he would bribe me with money and sweets since I was still young. Again I’m not sure when it happened but it was around the age of 10 or so maybe younger. Anyway I believe it was that same that this next thing happened. I had gotten up to go to my room and he followed me. The next thing...

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