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How did you finally accept your abuse happened AND who did it to you?

Quassus

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As memories are surfacing, I'm struggling to accept them. But more so, I'm struggling to accept who it was that did these things. I have unclear pictures and different situations. But, things slowly seem to be coming forward and its scary. My flashbacks have my father in them.EMDR is taking me back and i have to process like its him because thats what is there . Though I don't know to what extent. I still talk to my father occasionally and see him several times a year. I always felt uncomfortable alone with him as a teen and adult. Didn't know why. But overall, I lived with this man for years after these memories of abuse, and it never came up. We lived side by side, although our relationship was definitely awkward. We have talked on the phone several times over the past year. Our relationship is distant but he acts like he cares. He lives in conspiracy theories and depression now and that's all he talks about. When I started therapy and had these memories I cut contact because I need space.

Idk. It's so confusing and I know we don't have to actually know to heal. But I want to know how others came to realize it was true and how you were able to accept it internally.
 
In my case, it’s complicated. I was starting high school with a computer science profile. I wanted to learn programming. There was a colleague of my friend who was already into computers and was kind of a guru to me. As I was learning by myself, I was asking him more and more questions he couldn’t answer. One time he told me, “I know a guy who owns a software company. I was proxying some questions from you and he was impressed and said he could tutor you”.

“Don’t be afraid, he’s not a pedophile or something…” - he said. Yeah… about that.

It started normally, then it stopped being normal and turned into 4 years of abuse & torment… and the worst part was he made me believe it was me who wanted it.

Then I went to university and ended our “relationship”. Of course, after a short time, the fallout of all of this hit me like a train.

One day I was looking very bad and my friend talked me into opening up. I did. He listened. Then he told me I had been abused all that time. I cried. But I was kind of relieved. It wasn’t my fault.

Now that my brain has buried all the emotions related to these events, I totally ignore the guy. I can pass him on the street, not feeling anything, and he just doesn’t recognize me. I’ve heard he served some time in a psych ward, was divorced by his wife, and lives alone. He looks like a husk of a man.

It’s now that I slowly start to develop grief for my lost teenage years, and all that time until now dealing with the fallout of his sexual abuse.
 
I lived with my dad too. I didn’t understand what was happening in my flashbacks. I was a detective trying to understand them for 20 years. All that time except for about five years I lived with him. Before I got married and after I got married. It’s like I needed to study him. Eventually the flashbacks got clearer and clearer. My life became more and more unsettled. Finally one day I realized clearly what had actually happened. I said it out loud to my T. I had confirmation from outsiders that his actions were criminal. I told my mom. She asked him if it was true. He said yes. She told him to leave and never come back. I haven’t spoken to him for seven years now. It took me five years to recover myself to a place of stability. I am still working shit out but from a place of strength mostly.
 
I lived with my dad too. I didn’t understand what was happening in my flashbacks. I was a detective trying to understand them for 20 years. All that time except for about five years I lived with him. Before I got married and after I got married. It’s like I needed to study him. Eventually the flashbacks got clearer and clearer. My life became more and more unsettled. Finally one day I realized clearly what had actually happened. I said it out loud to my T. I had confirmation from outsiders that his actions were criminal. I told my mom. She asked him if it was true. He said yes. She told him to leave and never come back. I haven’t spoken to him for seven years now. It took me five years to recover myself to a place of stability. I am still working shit out but from a place of strength mostly.
Thank you for sharing this. Can I ask..did you have a decent relationship with him up until when the flashbacks started? Did it seem impossible to you that the man you knew was capable of that?
 
did you have a decent relationship with him up until when the flashbacks started? Did it seem impossible to you that the man you knew was capable of that?
If right and left were yes and no then the answer to your question is like a river splitting and braiding over itself.

The simplest answer is yes I had a decent relationship with him. I had “healed and forgiven him” for all the beatings. I didn’t understand that he was emotionally damaging me and I was having flashbacks of the csa but I didn’t understand them, often they were just physical sensations rather than images. The one with images—I didn’t understand what was happening so I didn’t narrate it correctly to myself or to T’s.

In terms of the improbability that he was capable of it, that was a huuuge part of my recovery, reckoning with that. It was so layered and woven with my own identity. From a certain perspective I did understand it but the perspective of my small parts I did not understand it. And I still deal with flutterings of that. I have accepted what the right answer is and what answer is best for my mental health, but a part of me still has a fantasy and I accept that the fantasy is probably connected to the age of that part—she can’t really be present in reality, but that’s what MY role is, as the big protector, to keep reminding and realigning and comforting her as needed. I think a lot of us survivors resent having to care for our small parts—because we *shouldn’t* have to. But if we want to cope and live our lives without symptoms anchoring us to our beds then we generally have to.
 
As memories are surfacing, I'm struggling to accept them. But more so, I'm struggling to accept who it was that did these things. I have unclear pictures and different situations. But, things slowly seem to be coming forward and its scary. My flashbacks have my father in them.EMDR is taking me back and i have to process like its him because thats what is there . Though I don't know to what extent. I still talk to my father occasionally and see him several times a year. I always felt uncomfortable alone with him as a teen and adult. Didn't know why. But overall, I lived with this man for years after these memories of abuse, and it never came up. We lived side by side, although our relationship was definitely awkward. We have talked on the phone several times over the past year. Our relationship is distant but he acts like he cares. He lives in conspiracy theories and depression now and that's all he talks about. When I started therapy and had these memories I cut contact because I need space.

Idk. It's so confusing and I know we don't have to actually know to heal. But I want to know how others came to realize it was true and how you were able to accept it internally.
I haven't really. I very much relate to alot you say here and can't offer too many words of wisdom I'm sorry.

I had a bad relationship in my teens with him. I was very scared of going to stay with him (parents were divorced) but I thought my feelings were wrong because I was 'mistaken', 'making things up 'disgusting'....I had memories from being much much younger but only fragments and many felt so unreal... Alot of stuff which happened in my teens was very covert, including being treated as a sexual rival by his partner. But I struggle with acceptance about other things and I have a very very strong system in place which keeps me from digging / going too far into considering it all (i have a which part starts attackng me and can make me very mentally unwell through threats and shaming me). Since I've been doing therapy I haven't spoken with my dad. And he's angry about it. He hasn't shown concern for me. Just annoyance I havent contacted him. I'm even more scared to contact him but feel guilt that I'm withholding it. We had a period - a long one - where it felt like our relationship was repairing itself. Manfully because I had a partner who was helping us to do this (without knowing the full back ground). I thoughti could just forget all the early life stuff and pretend and for a few years it felt doable. But it's never been so doable and now I'm back in that place alone with it. Some parts knowing somethings. Some parts knowing others. And I'm not sure who to believe. What to go by. Or how to handle it. So I'm stuck.

I'm sorry you're going through this and that I can't offer you advice. But you're not alone.
 
I haven't really. I very much relate to alot you say here and can't offer too many words of wisdom I'm sorry.

I had a bad relationship in my teens with him. I was very scared of going to stay with him (parents were divorced) but I thought my feelings were wrong because I was 'mistaken', 'making things up 'disgusting'....I had memories from being much much younger but only fragments and many felt so unreal... Alot of stuff which happened in my teens was very covert, including being treated as a sexual rival by his partner. But I struggle with acceptance about other things and I have a very very strong system in place which keeps me from digging / going too far into considering it all (i have a which part starts attackng me and can make me very mentally unwell through threats and shaming me). Since I've been doing therapy I haven't spoken with my dad. And he's angry about it. He hasn't shown concern for me. Just annoyance I havent contacted him. I'm even more scared to contact him but feel guilt that I'm withholding it. We had a period - a long one - where it felt like our relationship was repairing itself. Manfully because I had a partner who was helping us to do this (without knowing the full back ground). I thoughti could just forget all the early life stuff and pretend and for a few years it felt doable. But it's never been so doable and now I'm back in that place alone with it. Some parts knowing somethings. Some parts knowing others. And I'm not sure who to believe. What to go by. Or how to handle it. So I'm stuck.

I'm sorry you're going through this and that I can't offer you advice. But you're not alone.
Thank you for sharing this. I definitely feel disgusting sometimes that I could possibly imagine these things. I'm still working on being able to not think about it. My T says to stop myself if I realize I'm trying to purposely compute things because it can actually make the healing process worse. So sometimes it's hard to distinguish. And knowing if I should just try harder to turn it off between sessions, but not being able to because everytime I close my eyes or there is a pause in life..there it is. It's exhausting to try and constantly distract myself from thinking. Its like child part goes between shutting down and throwing a fit demand attention. And I keep seeing more and feeling more but worry it's not true and it's me thinking to much even when I don't want too 😆. Haha I wish I had a sense of humor!

Anyway, thank you so much. I appreciate you taking time to answer 😌.
 
I've kind of gone the opposite way. I've never had a good relationship with my dad, but it was at its worst as a teenager. I was raped by an 18 year old when I was 14/15 and it brought up memories of early SA.
I couldn't recall enough but thought it must have been my dad but then I went into denial over and SA. After SA and rape as an adult, the CSA came flooding back again. I have more memories now and believe it was a friend of my dad's.
But I've also reached a stage in life where I don't want to explore it much and I've come to accept that I don't know for definite who. I think that acceptance feels more peaceful for me than when I had all the who thoughts running round my head. My dad is an old man now and his friend is dead.
 
Thank you for sharing this. I definitely feel disgusting sometimes that I could possibly imagine these things.
yes I know this well. It's a never ending loop. It won't ever get you anywhere. It's very destructive...
I'm still working on being able to not think about it.
I think this is crucial... it has been for me... when I've been at my worst, this thought pattern has been at the centre of everything... it is really worth while jumping out of it and being able to do that voluntarily...I know how hard that is
My T says to stop myself if I realize I'm trying to purposely compute things because it can actually make the healing process worse.
Omg I really relate to this... 100% ... I also have come to the same conclusion... sometimes the computing and not putting together which does the must damage
So sometimes it's hard to distinguish. And knowing if I should just try harder to turn it off between sessions, but not being able to because everytime I close my eyes or there is a pause in life..there it is.
yep i hear you
It's exhausting to try and constantly distract myself from thinking. Its like child part goes between shutting down and throwing a fit demand attention. And I keep seeing more and feeling more but worry it's not true and it's me thinking to much even when I don't want too 😆. Haha I wish I had a sense of humor!
I think you do but it's kind of hard with this material 😔
Anyway, thank you so much. I appreciate you taking time to answer 😌.
You're welcome
 
for me, this is a fairly long process that's still going on. i am SO MUCH closer to accepting it happened much more of the time now than this time a year ago. but i still question myself regularly, a part of me doesn't believe myself still but that part is shrinking rapidly over the last year. my dad has been present in flashbacks since i first started having them (pictures of him 4 years ago, the sense of him about 10 years).

i've always felt traumatized by him, but there have been times (early 20s before he phyiscally attacked me) when i thought it was insane discipline and that i was genuinely not so affected by it and could forgive him. once he attacked me again, i just felt traumatized by that event so much that i couldn't bear to think of anything that had happened before.

but we never had a good relationship, even when we lived together. i hated being alone with him, would avoid him whenever possible. as a child i hated to sit in his lap and i never wanted to hug or kiss him. i dreaded weekends when he would be home from work, even after the sexual abuse stopped and i forgot it, when it would be just physical violence.
 
for me, this is a fairly long process that's still going on. i am SO MUCH closer to accepting it happened much more of the time now than this time a year ago. but i still question myself still part of me doesn't believe myself still but that part is shrinking rapidly over the last year. my dad has been present in flashbacks since i first started having them (pictures of him 4 years ago, the sense of him about 10 years).

i've always felt traumatized by him, but there have been times (early 20s before he phyiscally attacked me) when i thought it was insane discipline and that i was genuinely not so affected by it and could forgive him. once he attacked me again, i just felt traumatized by that event so much that i couldn't bear to think of anything that had happened before.

but we never had a good relationship, even when we lived together. i hated being alone with him, would avoid him whenever possible. as a child i hated to sit in his lap and i never wanted to hug or kiss him. i dreaded weekends when he would be home from work, even after the sexual abuse stopped and i forgot it, when it would be just physical violence.
I can identify with being uncomfortable around my dad..it's funny because I also recognize the part of me wanting his approval and attention. But then, if he does or says something to give it...I feel ick. Like recently he complicated my haircut...and my skin just crawled. Which obviously doesn't make sense at all unless there was something deeper going on. This was before the flashbacks started. I guess I've always suspected deep down something was off. Why else would I have always felt uncomfortable and like I needed to hide my body around him.

I think my mom was so hard to deal with , it was easy to make dad out to be better then he was...I had a ton of easily indetifiabe resentment towards my mom. My dad was pretty hands off most of my life working a lot and he seemed more interested in a relationship with my older sister and younger brother then me. When I lived at home I was trying to navigate the insanity of my controlling narc mom. Dad was nice to me I guess..but there was a disconnect. And my focus was all on my relationship with my mom. I always gave him a pass. Now I'm starting to see things so differently.
 
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