The other night when I blogged about preferring to be called a survivor rather than a victim when it comes to being raped. It’s because to me calling me a victim is giving more power to the people that did this to me, but calling me a survivor is giving me the power. I have taken my power back they have no control over me and never will, ever again.
There is however another side I didn’t think about and a dear friend shared with me, not sharing the whole convo but this part slapped me awake –
“I absolutely agree with how you’re thinking around your parents and wanting to protect them. They are also victims in this, after all. He raped their daughter.” I thought oh holy shit they are victims in this and I have been so wrapped up in myself I hadn’t even thought of that. But after thinking and thinking I have decided oh well they could be if they ever found out about it but I am determined that they won’t find out. If they ever found out they would be so very upset, naturally. But I am determined that they will never find out and by doing so I am not giving anymore power to the whole thing.
Sorry only a brief muse tonight as it has been a full on week. Living life freakin sober, raw & real is so fucken awesome.
I have shared on here previously that I was raped by a family member and then in later years multiple times by my now ex-partner I don’t go into it much on here and have manly used this blog as part of my tool kit for sobriety. I really have found enjoyment in the amount of people saying that my writing has helped them in their lives as well. I have decided to write a bit more about the rapes in the hope that it might help other survivors to not feel alone.
I am ready to tell some of my story and a huge part of me is bursting to just let it all out but I won’t. This time around I am only going to focus on the family member event. I am a silent survivor as in I have never told anyone about what happened to me, as in I have never reported it or told a family member. I have told very close friends that it happened but I will never go into full details. I think it is important that people realise that the people that do report rape are only a small percentage of the people that are raped.
The reason that I have never told anyone or reported it was intially because I was already struggling in our family circle to be noticed and hmm I was going to say loved but I don’t think that’s quite right. My mother loves me in her own way but she has not bonded with me anyway that is a whole another topic. So the family member that did this to me was the one that got the focus of my parents. I already knew that I was a disappointment to them and because I was young when this happened I believed that I would disappoint them even further by causing trouble for the family.
Now as an adult there is really no reason why I would tell them as it would not do anything but totally destroy my family. I have no proof of what happened, there was only him and I present and he was so off his face with drugs that I am positive even he has no memory of it happening. There is nothing that can change what happened by telling anyone. If I was to tell my parents it would literally break their hearts and put them in the position of who do you believe. Once again no point. Frankly a part of me would be scared that they would choose him over me in the matter. Can just imagine it now being outcast from the family as the family whack job. I don’t actually think about that side of it a lot because in all honesty I don’t know how it would go down. But I do know that there would be some terribly hurt people and it would be because of me telling about it that they would be hurt. My parents are elderly now and there is no way I want to upset their whole world by trying to clear my head and bringing out into the open what happened. Also the person that did this to me is still in my life and always will be as he is family. Like I said I am sure he does not remember it at all first off because he was such a drugged up mess and secondly because of how he behaves when we are together as a family.
My point of telling this is that there can be many reasons why people don’t report rape or even tell anyone about it. I see the whole #MeToo movement and it makes me cry when I read some of the stories or see any videos of people speaking out about their experiences. I also cry for the survivors like myself that are silent about what happened as I know there will be more of those than there will be ones speaking out. Please don’t ever forget we are survivors!
Thank you for the gift of sobriety which provides me with the clarity to think about things like this. I am hoping that as well as helping myself I will be helping other survivors along with hopefully helping others to understand things like this as well. I am living life sober, raw & real, and it freakin rocks.
Well all I can say is thank goodness Christmas day is over for me and all I can feel is relief that it is done. It was a hard day but I knew in my mind that it was only a few hours and that afterwards I would feel the weight lift from my shoulders. I am now emotionally exhausted and will be hitting bed very shortly. It is hard work hiding your emotions and putting up a happy, smiling face for others so no one knows that inside you are suffering. I am so tired and numb that I can’t even really think or maybe a better word is I can’t express the emotions I went through today.
But what I do have the energy to write about here is the fact I have been around alcohol a LOT over the last couple of weeks and I am so happy to report that I have not touched a drop. I have smelt it and started to reminisce about that initial mouth full and how it used to feel but just as quickly my thought turned to, oh fuck off how about remembering how disappointed you are with yourself every time you drink. How disappointed you are with yourself the next morning. How disappointed you are when you have to start back at day number one again. Going back to the shittest nights sleep, the heartburn, the cloudy mornings…….. yuck, yuck, yuck FUCK NO!!!! Apart from today I have enjoyed this Christmas season being absolutely 100% sober and I have NO regrets nor self hate for it.
I was also thinking today that previously I have not done anything to celebrate the one year sober mark. I know it’s not until the 4th of February and I have a bit of time to go but this time around I want to do something. I’m not sure yet, I have a couple of Soul Sisters that know about and have totally supported my sober journey this time around (they were not part of my journey on previous attempts) and maybe I just ask them if they want to go out for lunch to celebrate or something. I’m not really sure but I know that this time I want to mark it in some way.
Living life sober, raw and real is a gift and I am grabbing it with both hands.
I was thinking in the last couple of days that I really don’t have anything to say on here at the moment. This got me thinking further because I generally always have something even if it’s dumb or a rambling mess. Now I realize that the reason I don’t FEEL like I have anything to say is because internally I am shutting down. Previously I have had alcohol to lean on and numb myself over this period but this time I don’t have that crutch. It was a shitty fucken crutch that came with splinters so I don’t want it back anyway.
Others are getting excited and festive for this time of the year, time with family and friends, celebrating the christian side of it if your a christian, having time off work for those that do etc etc etc. But to me this time of the year is so hard. I really have to shut down all feelings and emotions and then put on the biggest act that would probably win an Academy. Each year my family all get together for Christmas lunch. It probably sounds weird that I say to you all that I love my family but being around them is so hard for me and brings back all sorts of memories and pain. Lets see I sit at the table with the person I wanted to love me unconditionally but could never bond with me and that person would be my Mum. I have to sit at the table with one of my rapists who I used to idolize and had up on a high pedestal before that happened, well in fairness he started a slippery slide off that pedestal when the drugs and booze started taking him over.
My only way of coping at this point is to start shutting back down all emotions and feelings and putting on a big front that I am absolutely fine. I feel absolutely terrible for saying this and do not mean that I want them to die but I seriously didn’t expect my parents to still be alive at their current age. I’m not being rude as my grand parents died at a young age so I sort of thought it would run in the family. I repeat I don’t want them to die but I seriously didn’t think I would still be attending family Christmas dinners. I feel like a total bitch for even having that thought go through my mind but it shows you just how much I wish I didn’t have to attend.
I’m going to try to keep writing on here a bit each night because I find that it helps keep me focused but I sorta feel that I should apologize in advance for what I might produce 🙂 Hmm I’m thinking now, Gilmore Girls & Animal Shelters oh and Friends Far Away Who Are Missed, there you go like a preview I have a some of ideas already.
Living life sober, raw and real, is so very worth it. Thank you for being a part of my journey.
I do a LOT of thinking and one of the things I have been thinking about lately is ME. I would say my posts are all about ME but one thing I am finding with being sober is that I am finally starting to find the real ME. Growing up I was always being and behaving how I thought everyone wanted me to manly in an attempt to have my parents love me. When I left home at 16 I then turned to being and behaving how I thought my partner wanted me to be. Once again I was trying so hard to be everything he wanted in an attempt to have him love me more. Once we broke up I was already drinking like a fish and I was so lost there was no way the real me could even come to the surface. I was struggling to breath and function with work and living that I was simply going through the motions. But this time around sober is different, I am starting to find ME. I’m not the easiest person to love because of my emotional baggage that even I find frustrating but it is all me. I am living life honest with the ones that really do matter to me. When I have insecurities they show and I am hoping that those people love me enough to stick around and help me work through these and reassure me that it’s really okay. I talk to myself a LOT in my head when my inner voice starts screwing with emotions and feelings and very slowly I am making progress.
It’s an exciting, raw and real and often painful at times but oh so, so worth it journey being sober. In order to feel the good I have to also feel the bad, sad and confused. If I turn myself off to those feelings it is impossible to feel love, happy & content. I’m looking forward to getting to know ME even more, the real me, not the wanting to please and desperate for love ME.
If you were given an envelope with the time and date of your death inside, would you open it?
Sort of makes you think about what you are doing NOW because you really don’t know when your time is up although some sadly have a good idea. I’ve shared with you before that my Auntie is dying of bone marrow cancer and she has a rough idea of the time she has left but not an exact time. Funny when I was talking to her the other day I told her I had ate crumpets for the first time in a very long time. Her reply was “oh they are yummy but I don’t have them very often because they are bad for you”. I sat there thinking to myself shit do I say it or not??? In the end I couldn’t help it, “hey Auntie, how come your still worrying about eating healthy why don’t you just eat what you want when you want now? Have crumpets as much as you want, eat ice cream for breakfast, Pavlova for lunch, pies everyday”. She sat there in silence for a little bit and I thought oh shit I’ve done it now, me and my bloody big gob. Then the silence broke and thank fully it was broken with laughter, she has been living her whole life eating healthy and very physically active and it hadn’t even occurred to her that she really has a free pass now to eat what ever the hell she wants. See she knows that her time is coming soon, she was told that she wouldn’t make it to Christmas but I reckon they under estimated her. But she knows that her time is coming and that there is no point worrying about that extra serving of butter on top. She has basically been handed her envelope but they couldn’t pin point the exact date or time just that what she has now is fast acting and will be swift in it’s attack.
Now we don’t know when our time is coming so it’s like hmmm do you eat all those yummy things, use all the “best” things you have been saving for a special day (seriously stop doing that, every day is special) do you work hard and save for your retirement or do you work hard and spend it as you go? Would you tell all your friends & family how much they mean to you? I challenge you to do that one anyway. All of these would be so much easier to answer if you had that envelope. Would you be living your life differently because you know that you only have X amount of time left? Would you spend it with the people you are currently with? Would you be doing things that you know are bad for you and just not give a shit? It raises so many questions.
What it also raises is why don’t we make more of every moment? How often do we hear of some person just dropping dead, not coming home from work following an accident etc? It’s so sad and I think we all need to be treasuring what time we have left, if might be another 50 years it might be tonight who knows but I don’t want to be leaving here thinking I wish I had……….
I can’t remember if I have written on here before advising parents that when you are dealing with an addict or alcoholic member of the family please don’t forget any other siblings. I was one of those siblings with a brother with a drug and alcohol problem and my family was so messed up while dealing and coping with him that they simply didn’t have much time or energy left to worry about me. At the time I thought I was just being the good girl by not saying anything about just how forgotten I felt and doing everything to not be a problem and not cause any further worry to them all. A lot of this I did by learning to just keep everything to myself and dealing with shit myself and shutting down.
To see your parents broken because their idea of the perfect child was shattered and the fact that he spiraled out of control with nothing they could do about it is a terrible thing to witness. To have to watch your strong staunch father break down and cry following picking your brother up from a pool of blood after he got beat up from a drug deal gone wrong is a sight that I will never forget. To watch your mother become a shell of herself and then to lose her son / best friend / soul mate first to drugs and then through the courts is unforgettable. Funny I can’t remember my childhood but I can remember these bits. You would think witnessing this that years later I would have the sense not to end up an alcoholic myself but it just doesn’t work like that.
I am reading a book by Brene Brown called – Rising Strong and I swear someone is messing with me because there are parts which are hitting me right when I need them and parts that I could jump up and scream OMG that is me!!!! This is one that jumped out today when I was reading –
“For Claudia, the fact that her sister’s addiction and depression consume her family means that buried within her heart-break is the loss of her parents – the feeling that her relationship with them is diminished or overshadowed by their preoccupation with her sister. Holidays and family gatherings are good if Amy is doing okay, and they’re undercut by saddness and anger if she’s a no-show or arrives clearly impaired. It’s easy to understand why parents focus on the child who is struggling, especially when the other children seem to be doing well, but over the years I’ve heard many participants in my research talk about the feelings of grief and loss they experience in similar situations.” from – Brene Brown, Rising Strong.
Grief & loss is a really good way to explain it. No one intentionally sets out for it to happen that way but I did, no do, feel robbed of a family life. I have a mother that had bonding issues and to add to this I had the loss of both parents as their world caved in over their son. Things happened and he moved away and the family never heard from him for 2 years. My poor parents didn’t know if he was dead or alive so they just went through those two years living as best they could be obviously full of pain and emotionally shut down.
Please, please anyone out there that is reading this that is going through this like I did I just want to reach through and give you the biggest hug and say “you matter, you fucken matter, I see you, I see your pain and I see your light ❤ you are so important”. To the good parents out there going through this, hey you can have another hug and my message to you is – “Yes this sucks, no it’s not fair, if your a good parent then the chances are it’s not your fault but please, please don’t forget to make time for any other siblings. Please tell them they are loved, that they matter and that you are so proud of them. Depending on their age it’s not wrong to apologize to them that this is happening and that it is not their fault and you are sorry that it is taking a toll on the family. To all of you, I really, really, really wish you luck and hope you all come out the other side.