Childhood Beginning to learn that my assault at 10 was only a small part of my Trauma

David1959

Confident
I have spoken here before about how other than my abuse by a family friend that my childhood was pretty normal................turns out not and I suspect I always knew it but disassociated. In sessions with my new T this is becoming more and more apparent. Let me say first, I deeply loved both my parents and they loved me but unfortunately life experiences made for a tough childhood (sort of just realizing). At the time it felt normal but seems far from it and if my children had grown up the way I did I would have been horrified.

I grew up in basically a middle class family but probably much less stable then I thought. My T said she will have me start working on a timeline soon which in itself will be difficult because it will paint a picture that will be much worse than I remember when I think about it. Below are some highlights;
  • Birth to 10, pretty stable grew up in NYC lived in the same house all pretty normal
  • 10-12 - I was sexually assaulted repeatedly a professional pedophile (never told another soul until I was 55)
  • About 12 - My mother tried to commit suicide
  • 13 - Parents got divorced
  • 13 - I started using drugs
  • 13 - Moved to TX with my Dad the summer before starting HS
  • 15 - moved back to NY with my Dad and went to 10th & 11th grade in NY
  • 15-17 - Very heavily into drugs with basically no oversight
  • We lived with my Aunt in NY
  • 17 - Moved to Puerto Rico with my Dad went to 12th grade there
  • 17-19 lived in Puerto Rico for 2 years and lived in 8 different apartments
  • 18 - My Dad moved back to NY for work 6 months before I ended HS and I lived with my Brother in PR for another year
  • Never went to college and realized that no one in my family ever said why aren't you applying to college
* Wow even when I read this back to myself it seems surreal and I am realizing that the little boy in my head feels abandoned and discarded

There is so much more and the issue I am having now is that I blame myself for all of it, I could expand all the items above into a book. Bad choices on my part and lacking the intestinal fortitude to make the right decisions in spit of circumstances. I read stories all the time about people who's life was so much more horrifying but they somehow make the right choices? With all that happened I remained very close my parents. I lived with my Dad in my early 20's for years until I got married and we were very close. I helped support him, bought him a new car and loved living with him.

My Dad passed 35 years ago. My Mom who passed about 15 years ago lived with my 2nd wife and I for the last 8 years she was alive and it was wonderful. Our kids grew very close to her and that was wonderful. We took my mother and the kids on a two week trip to London and Paris the year before she passed from cancer but the memories for the kids are lifelong and wonderful

I tried to give my kids the best upbringing possible and as many opportunities to achieve as possible. Probably the one thing in my life that I am proud of is that my kids have grown up normally and fulfilled their promise with one an economist with a masters and the other a PHD. Both went to college and graduated without a penny of debt as I was able to pay all their costs and give them a chance at life.
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
Reading your post (and I just replied another one of yours), I could not help bu recall this quote from NYT:
"Probably the most fundamental insight is that even a good childhood is difficult: You’re powerless; the furniture is not made to your size." by Mo Willems of NewYorkTimes feature article.
Even though this writer is being flippant and humor about it...I think if you objectively look any childhood, just like our adulthood (and we have way more options and resources than a toddler), just learning and dealing all the emotions and real relationships will be hard enough. So the fact you are open to explore and see the totality of your life is a good start. IMHO, all this shows truly is you have that much resilience to come this far and still risk to go back metaphorically speaking and take the journey again with your eyes open.

just adding the link in case the quote alone is not allowed.
 
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Mee

MyPTSD Pro
Have you heard of ACE scoring? Adverse Childhood Experiences- ACEs - are something everyone experiences. A critical thing is thought to be how many we experience and also the background in which we experience them . A child with a good support network - say a loving and close extended family, might cope with some trauma better than others, feeling safe and nurtured. This example is not meant to imply single parent families or nuclear parents cannot be as good. It was just an example.
 
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