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Joannag's Story - My Life Of Abuse, Neglect And Punishment

Discussion in 'General' started by anthony, Oct 30, 2006.

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  1. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    The Broken Vase by Joanna G.

    INTRODUCTION So many have asked "Where do your panick attacks, fear and anxiety come from." Family members have asked "Why is she like this" or worse say that I brought it all on myself. This is where I will tell the facts without any bull. For anyone who cares enough to listen. PART ONE ...mother

    Being that there is so much that has happened in my life, most of it either a struggle, or a mish mash of traumatic events, I might as wall start from the beginning. Sounds like a physc evaluation and corny but there really is no other way to explain. If a family member is reading this page you might want to be prepared to wretch. Do not deny it they are all 100% true events who have shaped who I am and which has brought me to the state I am in today.

    I am hoping if I get it out all out, all this tragedy, that finally I can get on with the good things life has to offer. I hoping it will bring courage, conviction, faith, belief, and a love that mends the 100 times glued broken vase I have become. That is not to say that there have been good times in my life that is not what this is about. This is about where my depression,anxiety, panic and post tramatic stress disorder come from,

    Here goes, bear with me some things are hard for me to remember. My earliest memory is of playing in the backyard of my parents small house one block away from the busy main street of the city. It was not a pretty neighbourhood. There were railroad tracks behind our house. I remember it being a clapboard house with old cupboards where I lived with my two sisters and my parents. I was summer and I was only two years old.

    My sisters would sometimes take me to the "candyman" store where we could walk safely. For some reason I had found some money and thought myself big enough to go buy the candy myself. I can't remember where my other family members were. I left the yard and walked to the candyman store by myself. He was closed. I knew of a Beckers Store across the main road where I could go and took it upon myself to get there. When I got to the main city street at the lights the traffic was furious. I took me a long time and a lot of street light changes to get across. I guess everyone thought I was someone elses child and somehow I got in the store and put my money on the counter. I can't remember if I ever got the candy or not. When I left the store the factory was going through a shift change and I was too scared to cross. So I wandered up the main street terrified. My memory goes blank at this point.

    The next thing I remember is sitting on a chair in a huge room, maybe a church. Huge windows and just one wooden chair. Some kindly old woman was offering me milk and cookies and said my mummy would be there to get me soon. I remember her saying your mummies here. She had come in the back of a police car to get me. On the way home we were sitting in the back of the police car and the look on my mothers face was anything but love. It is burned into my memory. She did not hug me, she wasn't extatic to find me. It was a look I can only describe as hatred, hatred for me leaving the house on my own. Hatred for the police being involved and sheer anger and blame towards me. That is the end of my earliest memory.

    PART TWO ...father

    I guess my father was moving up we had relocated to a townhouse complex. Brand new and still under construction when I turned three. ( He was a war vet, served before WW2, WW2, Cdn Militia till Korea, and In Korea. Yes he was a closet Alchoholic 18-24 a night.)

    We knew my dad drank beer when he got home from work. My sisters and I would take turns pouring his beer into his ice glass to see who could pour it with no bubbles. Friends never came home and I was too young to have made any yet. To young to know what an alcoholic was

    Sorry I forgot to mention I was five at this point. My mother was frequently ill, many surguries and a lot of times slept on the couch. I remember waking up to go to the bathroom. Everyone was asleep or so I thought. As I flushed the toilet my dad met me at the door and asked me to come into bed with him. I did not understand why but I did as he asked. It ended up being my first sexual assult. He fingered me and tryed to arouse me. It felt funny like I had to go pee. Three times I asked to go to the bathroom only to find I couldn't pee. Each time he called me back and the last time he flopped his penis and told me it was a sucker. He made me perform head on him. I hated it, it tasted gross and I knew it was wrong. He sent me to bed and told me, of course you can't tell your mother or your sisters. He told me if I told my mother it would kill her. I believed him. She was always sick.

    I never told anyone till I was thirty. So at five I believed I couldn't tell my mother or my father anything bad that happened to me. I cried a lot, so much no one could figure me out.

    PART THREE ...school

    This one is difficult to put in a nutshell. From the very first day kids discovered I was different. Very shy, the local kids noticed how much older my mother was than theirs. At this point she was 47. A very large boned heavy set lady. They teased me and said she looked like my grandma. My older sister told me never to go near her or her friends and that she would beat me up if I did. My second sister and I fought too much to be friends she was only two years older. I learned to hide very quickly.

    Grade two I learned the meaning of theivery, and humiliation. First I had snuck in a copper alarm of my mothers which I had been forbidden to take to school. Of course at recess it disappeared from my desk so I had hell to pay when my mother found out.

    Second I had made a friend in our split grade one grade two class. We had learned to sneek notes and giggle. The teacher for some reason decided to make an example out of me. She was a total bitch from hell. She caught me not paying attention and dragged me out to the hallway where she screamed at the top of her lungs for over half an hour. Being an old school with high ceilings it was heard from one end of the school to the other. She left me sitting in the hallway for the rest of the day. From morning till the end of school I sat their terrified, and humiliated. I learned never to ask a teacher for help again till grade 11. I was a C student.

    Third coming onto winter Grade Three. I had been eating lunch for some time at my friends house. I thought she was the greatest person I had ever met at eight years old. It was a winter day and she had convinced me to skip school and go tobboganing instead of returning from lunch. She told me she did it all the time. She had me convinced we would not get caught. We went tobogganing for the rest of the day. The next day when we returned to school the teacher took us both in the hallway. This teacher was sweet and I loved her. When she asked who's idea it was to leave school to go tobboganing me friend immediately said it was all my idea. I didn't dispute it and took the blame and the punishment in the principles office. I thought I was being a loyal friend. When spring came she made a couple of new friends and I remember going to meet her on the hill. She turned and screamed at me to go away, that she hated me now and I couldn't play with her or any of her friends. Of course I didn't tell anyone. I was alone now. She taught me betrayal and rejection. From that day one I was the school pick on.

    In the same grade I had received an easter umbrella I thought was the most beautiful thing in the world. To go to school and to get home I had to cross a small arched bridge that separated the school playground and the larger city playground meant for older kids. This is where the older bullies hid to ambush the smaller kids. Their were two in particular, Butch Cassidy and Dan Black. They would hide in the trees or under the bridge or in the playground. Of course they ambushed me and totally detroyed my beatufull umbrella. When I told my mom what had happened she told me it was my fault for taking the umbrella to school. Once again no one to help me, protect me and I learned all about bullies. I was dubbed the ghost being a frail fair skined fair haired girl. New kids were told to stay away from me or they would get it too. Till the end of grade eight I hid and had no friends at all, my family never was there to help me.

    PART FOUR ...Sexual abuse

    The reason I included Parts one through three was to show I was taught very clearly from a very young age that my family was never there for me when bad things happened. The teachers although for the main part I was kept from physical harm could never stop the emotional abuse of being bullied, humiliated, and left feeling helpless. My fathers alcoholism turned my mother to religion and she forgot her kids and family for the new system after death. She forced me and my sister to participate three times a week as well as going door to door to teach the truth. My sister and I quit in our early teens. My mother at finding I quit called me a dog gone back to it's vomit. By this time my older sisters were learning to party and hide boyfriends. If I went anywhere near them they would chase me home threatening to beat me up.

    No one I could trust, No one who showed me love except on very rare occasions.

    At seven I was playing under a culvert catching minows and a bunch (not sure how many) of boys found and pushed me into the culvert, they forced me to strip, then stole all my clothes and left me there. It was about two blocks from home and I had to get there naked and alone. I snuck in the back door and kept it secret. Don't tell your mother, It'll kill her.

    Additional---My mother wasn't too bad although she did say horrible things that stick in my mind. At four I was playing with her rings I had found on the kichen sink. From that point on I was a cleptomaniac for years. If she was mad she would tell me she never wanted me and that she begged the doctors for an abortion also that she tried to miscarry me by swinging off doors by a tea towel. Many derogatory comments. She once whiped a butter knife at my head which I barely dodged. She was very stiff, cold, no hugs or kisses, british we would be told to play outside till dark, or shoved into the recroom away from both our parents. She also had severve depression and had tempted suicide three times. Two of those before I was born.

    At nine I had found two girls in our townhouse complex to play with I can't really call them friends. They just had no one else to play with in the complex. We would hang out in the recroom which had a patio door which led to the back yard. There were two sixteen year old boys who got close to us. When we were camping in the backyard tent. They talked each of us to go to their tent. Once inside they managed to separate us and it was the first time we each were raped. It was a pact not to tell as we had a crush on one of the boys. Once we had been raped a few of times we thought ourselves women and didn't fight back any more. Keep in mind we were only nine years old at the time. They raped all three of us girls repeatedly (too many to remember) at different times throughout the summer. It ended when we snuck out at night in our pyjama's to the cute ones house to wake him up. His mother caught us in the backyard and phoned the police. Not one of us girls told what these boys had been doing to us. We were the ones punished for sneeking out. But we never saw either of the boys again. I think we thought it was our fault and found shame and guilt in what we had done. At nine your still too immature to understand. But again excluding the other two girls. No one to turn to, too afraid to tell. Feeling weak, guilty, angry at myself for not telling or protecting my friends, or having family to trust. Our friendship dissolved almost instantly and I learned that staying alone was to be safe. Sometimes my mother would force my sisters to take me out with them, they hated it and hated me for it. They called me all sorts of names and made it very clear to all I was unwelcome.

    The only one I learned to trust was my nefew at ten both of us alone living in different cities would only visit and were allowed to be together holidays and summer vacation. He is eleven months younger than I am. I'm still not sure how it happened but I think he wanted to know about sex. I trusted him being removed from the situation told him I knew all about it and somehow it was like ken and barbie. We chose names not our own and pretended to be grownups and taught each other consentual sex. He found any dirty mags he could and we would play this fantasy life, learning about sex. We did this for about three years. We truly thought sex meant love. Both of us did truly. Once I had my first period at thirteen we immediately quit having sex. We both figured out how wrong it was as we matured into teenagers and knew we had to stop. This is a secret I've never told anyone. We excused it by saying that his parents both of them were only half siblings to me. One was dads from a previous marriage, and One was moms. I know it sounds really weird but you have to remember we were still children. I still feel responsible, very guilty, and ashamed by this. Him and I never speak now and I am very sad to have lost him in my life.

    At fourteen I had entered highschool. I learned about weed, LSD and drinking and had made two new girlfriends and two new boyfriends. There are two instances One guy and girl were sweethearts and school potdealers. The other two were only friends like me. The one girl I was to learn was no friend at all. She talked me into going to a huge house party. We got totally wrecked and I had fought my way upstairs to the bathroom. When I came out some guy I didn't know grabbed me and pulled me into the master bedroom in the house. He threw me very forcefully on the bed and said I am going to **** you. I tried to get away but my voice was frozen and I was too wrecked to think clearly. He pulled me off the bed and violently forced me to another bedroom. He ripped my clothes off and pinned me and as he was raping me just before he could get all the way. The door flew open, the light went on and I guess the owner of the house a much older fella barged in. The rapist idiot grabbed the only blanket in the room to cover himself. Of course I was left fully exposed on the bed, my instant reaction was to cover my lower extremities, too much in shock to realized my breasts were still exposed. We were all in shock which was only broken when the man shook his head strait at me, not at the rapist, turned to walk out saying in a very deep gruff voice get dressed and get out as he closed the door. The guy who was raping me took his clothes to the bathroom and left me. I found my clothes and ran home full tilt. Again the words ringing in my head don't tell your mother it'll kill her.

    The same year this so called girl friend who took me to the party invited me over to her house to meet some friends she had mat at school. When I got there we went downstairs where she said we would smoke a doob. As soon as I hit the bottom of the stairs they shoved me into the laundry room. They pinned me by the neck and screamed over and over they were going to beat the shit out of me, they were going to kick my head in till I died. I was in shock at first. Then I said this a joke right. Then I said nothing. I tried being strong but after an hour of nonstop screaming at me and taking jabs at my arms and kicking my legs I caved and crumbled into tears. At this point she threw me out the back door. Her and her friends laughing hysterically at what they had done. Lastly the same year. I was molested in my sleep at a sleepover at my other real friends house by a guy in his twenties. It was stopped in time buy my friends brother coming down the stairs. This is when I found out that if I'm sexually attacked, that from that fourteen year old rape on and from the girls attack on me, I freeze completely. I mean like a bird in shock. Something in my subconscious kicks in and I am truly defenseless to the attack. I don't know if it's fear, I don't know what it is but I know I am completely and totally vulnerable and defenseless under sexual attack and I have not ever to this day been able to fight back. I am ashamed of it, it makes me feel week and worthless. Again it took me till I was thirty to realize this.

    Part Five...The marriage

    Basically the first three years of our engagement were happy. It all changed when we got married. By the second year of our marriage I found out my husband was manic cycling bipolar. He had three episodes during our marriage the second time he was starting to become violent. The third one he was very violent physically and verbally 34-7 and I left eight and a half months into my third child's pregnancy. First to a womens shelter I relocated to be close to his family not wanting his parents to suffer and still beleiving I couldn't blame him because he was sick, (bipolar) He terrorized me for three months and I fled with my brand new baby and two boys five hours away to a small town to raise the children in.

    For the first year after I left I had to move four times because my ex was stalking me. When he lost his transportation he would call persistantly for the only purpose of screaming at the top of his lungs. He had visitation but only within his parents home. It took him nine years before he came to terms and learned how to control his bipolar disorder. To the point I could trust the boys in his care.

    Part Six...The boyfriend

    Three years after leaving my husband I met my boyfriend. He treated me pretty well but if I wasn't around he would treat my kids like shit. He also refused to leave Toronto and would stroll in for about three weeks and then leave for a few months at a time. He would never call to say he was coming (this drove me nuts) and by the last year we were together I couldn't take it anymore and cheated on him with a friend of his. I knew it was over and he just stopped comming. This is when my first bout with PTSD kicked in with a fury. Full flashbacks, anxiety, sleep deprevation, ect. ect. ect. I went to the hospital for sleeping pills and ended up being shipped to the psyc ward and was so heavily sedated I did not wake up for three days. I still don't know who the doctor was but he double dosed my body on a heavy antidepressants and had me on heavy dose ativans which really screwed me up. By the time my own doctor found out I was eight to ten weeks on the medication (built up of course) she admitted me and she switched me to paxils and ativan. Three weeks in hospital at that time.

    When I got home A neighbour came over to visit (she was a med junkie) and stole three quarters of the ativans which left me wide awake for weeks more. My doctor was furious and doubted the story thinking I had been taking way more than I was supposed to because I would not tell her who took them. She cut me off the ativans so I ended up cutting myself off the paxils. I was 32.

    Part Seven...The fiance

    For a while about a year. I did really good on my own untill I took in a border(single mother) with the kids from hell. I met my fiance seven years ago and basically moved in with him only a week after we met (because of the border). He didn't understand my kids as they were raised by me alone and in town, my oldest has numerous anxiety problems from my ex's abuse. He is a farm boy who never had to deal with kids before, let alone three boys. By this time my oldest son had moved in with his dad who had moved to be closer to them. (He was in run away stage and at the time It was safer he be with his dad at that point) A year after I lived with my fiance' he moved back home but only till he was sixteen and then moved out again (fighting with all of us). He had major anger issues and inherited the dreaded family anxiety. He felt safer living in another city. Short visits made for much nicer times together.

    My fiance never bonded with my children and as a result they all ended up living with their dad four hours away. My fiance also has PTSD only he is in denial about it. When he panicks he turns off the listening, yells rediculous comments and runs. He takes off for days at a time. When he comes back he acts as if nothing happened and refuses to discuss anything rationally. Last year we started building our dreamhome. As his stress increased he insisted on "everything" being his way and doing all the work except the brickword and kitchen cupboards himself. Putting all his stress on me when his friends came around it was like I was invisible. Fighting , threats, and abandoning was happening more and more.

    In the last two and a half years my mother died which started my second PTSD episode only I stayed off meds and was back to work in six weeks. The company was forcing my hubby onto midnights for weeks at a time.

    Last January when we were drywalling he had a really bad bout with asthma and has not come out of it since. He blames it all on me smoking. At the same time they discovered skin cancer on his face. Life for us has been hell since. He constantly panicks over money. I started drinking heavily weekends so I could sleep at night and stayed home hungover a few Mondays. This last summer one of his socalled best friends from childhood tried moving into the farm and freeloading. I felt like I was being driven out of the house, then he started hitting on me behind hubbies back of course and on one ocassion molested me while I was sleeping drunk on the couch (broad daylight with hubby right outside the door. I tried keeping it to myself but everytime I saw his face I would go into instant panick attacks, and heart palpitations. When I finally got the courage to tell my fiance' he did nothing right away and the guy kept coming back. I was locking the doors and making it known he was not welcome. About a week after I had told my hubby I couldn't take anymore and I called my ex to come up to help me kick out this idiot molester.

    He did and my fiance' freaked. . He said things like nobody will come over because of you. Everthing is your fault. It's all because of your drinking (even though he and all his friends drink). It's because I smoke. His "entire" family and all his friends hate me, and so on and so on.

    Then a few weeks ago I had to attend court to support one of my sons. My breaking point and first week on meds. (Another tragedy I will not include here) My ex, my sons fiance, and two of my sons were left three days with nowhere to go. (Jury took three days longer than expected) I told them they could stay here while my hubby was at work. Again my fiance' totally freaked, my ex thought he was coming back to be violent (hubby is not violent) My ex had the police called three time because of the court circumstances. My fiance thinking he wanted to move in to "stay" panicking called a brother who hates me (non-smoker)to try to kick us out. Second call to police, Fiance and brother left.

    Two nights later he showed up and said you can have friends here so can I The doorbell rang and the f***in molester came in and sat on the couch with his new girlfriend. He then said oh so and so is coming to. All people who "hate" me and are loyal to him. I totally freaked and my ex and kids went to the garage. They called the police a third time and I told the police what had been happening. My fiance and his drunken friends left. Again I had been on the paxils 25g and lorazepam only a week at this point. The side effects were to severe to go to work. My fiance abandoned me for days. To top it off I had to try drinking with the pills (sons birthday) alone, confused from side effects of pills plus booze, I slept I thought four hours (memory lapsed and I thought I had only had one beer "it was five") I jumped in the car to drive to town. I gapped out driving (lorazepam) and rearended a truck hard coming to a stopsign. So now I have a DUI and a year with no car no license. I was advised not to leave the house by a legal service. I panicked again after the accident (hubby furious blaming beer) and stayed at my neices three days. I had to come home because I have to return to my job I truly hope I havn't lost my fiance. He has not supported me at all for a long time. I'm ready for a psychiatrist, new friends, renewed family ties and support for once.

    Thanks for listening Joanna G
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  3. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    I have edited this diary to provide the full version of your story as posted elsewhere, as only one trauma diary for the same story needs to be used.

    Joanna, you have suffered an endless amount of pain I believe, and I am so glad you have found your way here to begin some healing in regard to your past. Whilst many of the incidents above are traumatic for you, and still not nice for any person in life, I see the main incidents as only being your rape in regard to giving you the actual PTSD itself, however; with PTSD, all trauma must be healed, regardless off anothers perception, if it is traumatic to the individual, it must be looked at and healed, or else PTSD itself will not be effectively managed, as stigma will continue feeding PTSD itself.

    Joanna, even though your here shareing your story, I must ask, are you ready to really heal? That sounds like a simple question, however there is much more too it than meets the eye as such. Thinking you want to heal trauma, and out right having the shits with your life and the only thing you want to do regardless the pain it induces, is heal trauma, they are two very different beasts as such in regard to effectiveness. Where do you stand on this, more so I know how much you want me to poke you about your trauma itself.

    You have shared your trauma, and that I thank you, because hopefully just that has produced a reaction within you, even though you may see it as painful when writing, it will also provide rewards as you move past that short term pain, ie. it is out, no longer a secret as such. I would love to help you get past the life you despise with PTSD uncontrolled, but I can only guide you if you really fit the later of the above, being you are so beyond living with PTSD itself, you want nothing more in life at this present moment than too heal. I guess really, I can get very direct with you, which will spark so much pain for you, required pain as such, but still very painful to deal with, or I can push buttons much gentler with you, however; the results could take years to reach healing the just the trauma, without getting into the PTSD management side of things.

    I think you are certainly one very brave and determined person though Joanna, to live what you have, endured the suffering, and still be here to talk about it. Please give yourself plenty of credit for just achieving this goal alone, as you honestly deserve it.
  4. JoannaG

    JoannaG Active Member

    Thankyou Bec and Anthony for the help

    Bec Thankyou for placing my story here, there's no way I could of retyped it.

    Anthony yes it is yet another trauma which has triggered this latest bout with PTSD. Actually I feel the meds and support will help me get through it.
    As for actually healing the PTSD this is my third round of relapse. I am so sick of how it has affected the decisions I have made in my life. The mistakes I have made, the way my survival mechanisms have always been altered by the haunted past. I am 40 and I do not want it controlling my life anymore. I will do what it takes to heal. You all have already been tremendous help. Something I have never had before in getting through. I don't want to lose yet another relationship (fiance') because of it.

    You poke around all you want and fire away if need be. I can't get my life back from the past, I know that, but I can move forward and am determined to do so. There are so many memories not listed here and events that keep coming back to haunt me.

    I called my story the broken vase because thats how I feel. Like a vase that keeps getting dropped then glued back together yet you can see all the cracks, the blobs of glue and the rocky shelf upon which it sits. Did write a poem once on it. It's buried in the barn somewhere. It's about time that vase is restored and placed on a sturdy,strong shelf.

    Joannag (Gail)
  5. Boo-Damphir

    Boo-Damphir Active Member

    JoannaG, you have that inner strength called resilience. Don't beat yourself up about repeating past mistakes. Sometimes we have to repeat them in order to fully grasp the life lesson there. I hope you see yourself as the sturdy, strong shelf.
  6. JoannaG

    JoannaG Active Member

    Still have a long slow road ahead to get there Boo
  7. anthony

    anthony Silently Watching Founder

    Ok Joanna, first things first, you need to create a timeline of traumatic events within your life. I say you need to do this, because you know what you perceive as traumatic opposed to what I would so. You said above that there are so many memories and traumatic events not listed here, so they need to come into the timeline. A timeline is a dot point outline, no specific detail just yet, for example:
    • Age 5 - Father sexually assaulted me by fingering me
    • Age 5 - Father made me perform oral sex upon him
    • Age 7 - Boys made me strip and abandoned me naked to get home
    • you get the idea
    You need to create this list, starting at the age then the trauma you endured. Regardless how small, list them all. As more come to you, edit the list and add them in. This is going to shake you even more, but only an introduction to what your going to face. You need to ensure you keep very honest with me all the way through, ensuring you tell me everything that goes on within your life as a result of healing, ups and downs, and don't think anything isn't important enough to mention, because often those pieces are the key to immediate resolution at that moment.
  8. JoannaG

    JoannaG Active Member

    I will work on the timeline. It's going to take a while.
  9. bob

    bob Member

    JoannaG I am moved to tears by your posts, thankyou for sharing that. You have suffered terribly but you have made it this far when other people would have fallen apart, I beleive you are a tremendously strong person. I wish you the best in your journey towards a brighter future.
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