I am new here and need some help please.

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/20/2005 11:59 AM (GMT -6)   
To give a brief synopsis of me.....I am 48 years old.  I was sexually abused by my bio father and his friends from the age of 3 till I was adopted out at 8.  There were 8 of us in my bio family.  I was an only child in my adopted family.  My life has been pretty much ok since I was adopted.  I had one bio sister whom I kept in contact with through the years. My bio father died in 1980.  My bio mother is still alive.  As far as the abuse goes, I feel that I came  to terms with it years ago.  However, I could be wrong since I stayed in abusive marriage for 25 years before getting out.  I didnt date for 6 years.  I dated a guy for the past year who proved to be another abuser, but I had no problem letting him go once I realized it.
It all changed in June.  My bio sister died after being on a ventilator for 3 months.  I had no knowledge of  her being sick until I got the call she had passed away.  My bio family lives in Tampa, I live in Ga.  My daughter and I made the trip to Tampa for her service.  This meant coming in contact with the whole bio family, including my mother.  I was civil to her but thats all.  After we returned home, one of my bio brothers and one of my bio sisters started calling me often.  It was always to talk about how I needed to forgive my bio mother.  Its not that I cant forgive her.  I just have a lot of anger towards her for all the times I knew she was awared of what my father and his friends were doing to me.  I have actually had more anger towards her than I did for my father.  I realize I was lucky to be adopted and that my mother did me a favor by giving me away.  But in the same turn, she took away my bio family from me. I grew up alone.  And then it was the worst when she didnt call me until after my sister had passed.  She took away my chance to tell my sister that I loved her and to tell her goodbye.
Its all kind of scrambled I know.  But since my sister died, I have changed.  I have a constant sadness that I cant seem to shake.  I always feel that I am on the verge of tears.  I am a Nurse and have a management position.  I have been able to keep it together for work.  But, once I am done with work for the week, I come home, shut the door and I dont venture out until time to go back to work.  So, I spend 3 days a week locked in my apartment.  My children and grandchildren do not even make me happy anymore.  They call or come by, ask me to go out or do something, but I cant seem to do it.  I have absolutely not one friend in the world.  No one to call on when it gets really bad.  And I dont know what to do to shake myself out of this.  I dont want to go on medication because being a nurse has made me very leary of psychotropic meds.  Is there anyone out there who can relate and give me some advice..........

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 11/20/2005 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I can relate. I'm not sure about advise on how to come out of it. I was abused by a cousin. I don't think mom "really" knew until I told her. My story gets really convoluted after that, so I'll skip it, except to say that personal problems, family problems, and menopause hit at the same time my daughter reached the age I'd been abused. It all came back, in spades.

Not bad memories like people might think, but that sadness and tears you spoke about. I was also immobilized and it sounds like you are headed that direction too.

Anger kick started my salvation. I was angry at mom and my husband for lots of things. I became so angry that I refused to let either in my house. I still had to talk to and see both, but the act of not inviting either in set a boundary--something I hadn't done before to them or anyone.

Then came determination. The crap in my past life had taken me out, 3 times. This time I was going to fix it, so it never would again. I went to couseling and alanon (both marginally helped). Then I went to Parents United, a group for people who had been sexually abused or who's children were sexaually abused. It made all the difference.

I'd been in counseling so long before that, they decided to put me directly into a mixed group--perps and victims. I was still angry enough that I repeatly confronted the perps and told them what I thought of their (concepts, ideas, vomit--take your pick). 12 weeks later they put me in with just victims--I'd been too hard on the perps. That was worse for me. The group was all ladies--and across the board they shared some weird traits--like having cluttered bedroom floors or stashes under the bed. I figured that was to stop the perps.

I learned a lot in both Parents United group settings--and I learned to never again be the victim. I see you as being the victim again.

First thing I would do is thank my lucky stars that I got away from the rest of your family of origin (sister excluded). The thing is that abuse runs in family's. It acts like lupus--popping up in different forms, doing different damage. You recognize you married then dated an abusive man--and you got away. Think about how it's popped up in your family of origin. You can bet that more have been abused--whether sexually, physically, or emotionally. At least you kept that away from your children and grandchildren.

Next I would try to find a group like Parents United. What you do and observe there will amaze you--not delight--just amaze you.

And the last thing I would quit taking calls from the brother and sister. You have every right to feel as you do and to act as you choose. They have no right to put your bio-mother's feelings above yours. It negates who you are, all that you went through, and is just another form of abuse.

I wanted nothing to do with my mother the last 15 years of her life, and inspite of calls asking me to go see her (she had alzhiemers), I didn't. I did not shed even one tear when she died and did not go to her funeral either.

When my father died, I went to the memorial. For some reason just before we were to take his ashes to be spread and do whatever they had planned, I asked if they had mixed mom's in with his. They had. I went back to the motel and packed, while they spread mom's and dad's ashes. I showed back up at my sister's house on the way out of town to say good bye, left, and never looked back.

They did. I got a letter from my brother telling me to spend about $10,000 on therapy and maybe I could live happily ever after. My sister refused my phone calls. I didn't even bother calling the rest, because it would probably be the same--and whether or not it is, I couldn't care less.

I made my life safe and happy. I did it. They didn't. I cherish and protect what I have assertively and if need be aggressively. My family made their peace in their ways. I made mine in my way. Wanta guess who loves life? Wanta guess who's vital and strong? Wanta guess who doesn't have a mind tangled with stuffed garbage?

Give yourself time--and get away from the brother and sister. Odds are you only missed more grief in your life. If they don't get it, start asking and pressing them about which of your siblings, neices, and nephews have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused and by whom. They won't want to talk about the reality of what they want to bring you back into. They only want to talk about their idealized, non-realistic images.


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/21/2005 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for your reply.  I can relate to so much of what you said.  You are right in saying that I have to put an end to the negative contact between those two siblings.  The thing is, these are the youngest two of the eight kids.  He was 2 and she was like 8 months old when I was adopted.  They never knew me.  They also never felt the full brunt of the abuse, so they dont know what went on.  It seems the oldest 4 were the ones who suffered the most.  I am sure there was some physical abuse but after my father got my other sister pregnant, he never went into the sexual stuff again with any of them.  I understand that the two of them need some answers.  But I cant give them.  My experience is my experience and theirs is theirs.  My bio mother is 76 and not in good health.  At this point, I will not confront her, or give her children any reason to see her as anyone other than the mother they know and love. 
After I wrote the post yesterday, I felt better.  I was determined not to let this overtake me.  I actually did some cooking, made a pot of homemade chicken soup that was to die for.  I visited my parents (adoptive ones who have truly been my only parents)......and I had my grandchildren over and we decorated for Christmas,  put up the tree and played Christmas music.  I even opened my doors and blinds.
I think at this point its going to be a matter of just forcing myself to live instead of just exist.  I have set some goals for the week and they include getting out .  I cant let myself become immobilized.
The one thing I dont know how to do is make friends.  I dont know where to go or how to go about it.  I have always been a loner.  Any suggestions, other than churches or bars?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16570
   Posted 11/21/2005 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
My hat is off to both of you ladies. I suffer from depression due to a chronic illness. I am on medication, w/o it, no telling what I would have done. It has really helped.

I too have to force myself to get out and not stay in bed or in my pj's all day. Some days I am sucessful, other days I am not.

Hugs to you both. Susie

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 11/21/2005 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
my wife never went out either locked herself behind the front door of our house...she joined a womans sorority which meet once every couple weeks gets her out and she has met a few people thru it ..I am sure if you punch in womens sorority you will find one in your area as the one she belongs to is world wide ..just not sure the name of it

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 11/21/2005 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Ganurse 48, I'm glad you got in gear. Sounds like you shook loose some of your own garbage and that's what it's all about.

I would like to say, "From my experience and what you said, find a gentle way to tell those two everything you know about the past. Odds are they know a lot of it already.", but I can't.

My mother has been dead 5 years and I'm still keeping her secrets. Maybe if I'd told what I know (about something other than the abuse), things might have worked out differently--but I didn't tell--and I still wouldn't tell any of my brothers or sisters, for exactly the reason you said. I have no desire to cause an upheaval in their lives--let them believe as they want--and leave me alone.

Is that the best? I doubt it, but that's been my choice and I can live with the consequenses.

MAKING FRIENDS: The tough part about making friends isn't where you find them. That just seems like the hard part. The question is, which of the people you run across are worth having as friends. I think I told somewhere else on the forum about calling a "mentally healthy" friend, and asking her which local merchants were mentally healthy. I began going to those stores even if things cost a little more, because I wanted to see the difference in them and me.

I learned that if you say something that offends their sensibilities, you can almost see them raising the garlic and cross. They tend to back up and get away quickly. That helped me understand what not to say (like I was abused; I think my husband sabotaged the car; or I ought to have the ****** arrested). The less healthy lean forward and jump into conversation starters like those.

I learned that the mentally healthy do things for and with their family members EASILY. They aren't all worn out from driving the kid to a rodeo, 400 miles away, and they talk about eating in restaurants, not pinching pennies by carrying sandwiches. That is not to say they didn't carry sandwiches--just that they talk about the more positive events.

I learned they are likely to say "oh" a lot. They have more ways of saying "oh" than I ever knew existed. What that means is they are non-threatening in their manner of speech. Where I've continued to just spit out what I think, they are thoughtful about what they say. You'll see many people on this forum who, inspite of multiple problems, are really caring--and unlike me, don't say do this or that--they are actually saying "oh" with words--nice, non-threatening words.

FINDING FRIENDS: Now, where are these people--well at work of course. The ***** is not one of them. The complainer is not one of them. But there are bound to be very decent people. My rule of thumb is that 40% of the people in any group are mentally healthy, so I look for them.

If you do something you love, for me it's collecting fossils, there are others who love it just as much. If you don't have something you love to do--work on that first, even if it's just in the home--the friends will follow. For example, you made great soup, so enter it in a cooking contest. If you garden, enter flowers or vegetable in the county fair. Then look for the 40% and target one of them.

One of the really fun places to make friends is in a little theater group. I never did that, but many of my friends did. C, J, and M liked to be in the plays. K liked making costumes. G did lighting. There are lots of jobs and places to fit in. It's happy and uplifting.

Another place to look is in the social or event section of your newspaper for things that you would like to do. Being an outdoor person, I watch for the groups with guides who go into the mountains to do anything--photograph wild flowers, collect minerals, visit ghost towns. For me it's a way to extend my knowledge of the surrounding area, but I'm always looking for someone in the 40% group.

You can do the same thing by taking community college classes in something you like. It's a darn site smarter if you like to paint to take a class and find others who do, than hang out elsewhere.

LAST THOUGHTS: These are for both, but especially for straydog. Don't try to be a social butterfly if you aren't. I have friends who regularly go to lunch together. You will never see me at a restaurant with them. I'd be like a cat on a hot tin roof, chomping at the bit to get away. Don't try to be an outdoors person, if you aren't. I've taken more than a few of those people home, early at their request, when they couldn't hack it.

Life is about enhancing and enlarging the basic you. Figure out who you are and what you love. All else follows.


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 11/21/2005 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Forgot one thing. If you see the man of your dreams run the other way. He's almost certainly no good.

I was out in the desert once, 60 miles from anywhere, when a plane landed on a dirt road in front of where I was parked. I looked up and saw a man step out of the plane. I only looked for a second and was breathless. I turned back to digging in the dirt and never looked up again. Smart move.

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