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You're the first to know the truth

T

Tiff

I've been to countless therapy sessions... I only ever tell a third of what has happened. I fear that their ears can't handle the truth. I know I can't. I want to get out as much as I possibly can here. Just the things I feel like I can't talk about... I want to heal. I want to share so I don't feel so alone.
We can start from the beginning. They say that trauma can sometimes cause repressed memories. The only memories I carry, are the ones surrounded by trauma.
A mother was a very important part of my childhood. And all of the demons that I carry are tied to her. My mother always portrayed herself as a strong independent woman who did everything for her children. The way she presented herself is how I saw her. I think back to when I was in kindergarten, my mother laid on the porch with me. Her head on my lap. Her crying because of an explosive argument she had with her boyfriend. They were always explosive. She was an instigator. She would push the person until they would abuse her... It almost seemed like a thrill to her. She dabbled in many drugs. She hid it well throughout my childhood. She worked at shady "massage" parlors around Florida. I remember waking up in the middle of the night. Having nightmares about her, waking up screaming "mom" and having panic attacks to the point where I couldn't breathe. The only way to get me to stop was for me to see her. So my mother's boyfriend would drive me to her work in the middle of the night. This was still during my kindergarten age. I remember the big couch in the lounge. The room's dark fluorescent lighting. The beaded doorways. The name of the place was "Angels." Never seemed fitting for what took place in there. The place caught on fire back in 2006.
My mother was in and out of relationships. She managed to have 7 kids with 5 different men. The relationships always ended in a bang. There was a pattern. Everything would be fine in the relationship, until she found someone new. She would start arguments with her current to the point where they became abusive. Eventually you would play the victim and escape their abuse. We were constantly being forced to fit whatever we could in our book bags and jumping into a new guys car while her current was at work.
Then the current would become agitated looking for us. Showing up to our schools, trying to pick us up without consent. They would start trailing our cars to the point where it would put our safety at risk. Do you really blame them though? They just had their child rip from there life unexpectedly. Like I said, it was a pattern. Always the same situation. My mother was the key factor behind it all.
As early as the age of 6, I remember finding Polaroids of my mother and other women naked. Her legs spread and another woman pleasuring her. Not knowing that it was wrong for me to see it. I would play dress up in my mother's closet. Trying on her stilettos, not knowing that was her work shoe. Stumbling across dirty magazines. Finding DVDs. Realizing that I could replace my Finding Nemo DVD with it. My mom's boyfriend at the time had narcolepsy and would sleep endlessly. Snoring so you could hear it across the whole house. I put the porn DVD in and watched it for hours until my mom came home. I turned off the TV. Later on my mom discovered the DVD in the DVD player and I remember her screaming at the boyfriend. I told my mom that I thought it was Nemo. My porn addiction started at the age of 6. I was caught taking off all of my clothes during nap time at school. I would play house with the girls on the playground where we would have pretend sex.
I'm not sure if it was the drugs that they dabbled in together, her poor choice in men, or maybe the fact that I wasn't there biological daughter but they always turned into perverts. Fingering me at the age of 6 in the bath tub. Sitting in my vented closet watching me change at the age of 7.. or making me and my older sister lay shirtless, requesting that we lay on each side of him with on leg up on him, forced to watch porn with him and caress his cock from the age of 9 to 11. I never let him get the best of me. My older sister, who was four years older than me was willingly sleeping with him at the age of 13. Making me play lookout at the front of the house. This is the only person I have ever called dad. He violated my trust. I was never raped by him. Only fondled and violated. My sister confided in me, telling me that she was running away with a boy she had fell in love with. Told me that I would have to sleep with my mother's boyfriend after she's left. After I verbalized that wasn't going to happen, she told me that if I didn't he would come after my little sister. I felt strong enough to fight for myself, but I knew that I couldn't protect my sister too. I told my sister that I was going to run away. And she told my mother's boyfriend. I got locked in my room. Which was the attic at the time.
I yelled to some kids passing my house. And I was able to get them to through me their cell phone. My father has four sons from a previous marriage who are 16 yrs older than me. I found my grandfather's phone number in the phone book, which led me to my father's phone number. I knew my father had struggled with drug addiction and knew he couldn't help me. I called him to ask for my oldest brother's phone number. I called him, I tried to small talk. Not knowing what to say since it has been 7 years since I had actually spoke to him last.
He asked me if everything was okay. I assumed he sent something was wrong. I finally let him know that I was in trouble. He arranged to pick me up. I ran away at the age of 11. My brother took me straight to the police station where we began the process.
I spent the next 4 years fighting this case alone. 11 to 15. When I turned 15, he finally went to jail. I guess when you're a minor and recounting memories, they have to be sure that you're not making things up. I went through years of counseling. Preliminary hearings. And a bunch of other legal stuff. I missed a lot of school. My academics suffered. The abuse continued even when I thought I got away.
My second older brother came in drunk after my oldest brother's wedding. I was 12. He laid in the bed with me for awhile. As I started to fall asleep. His hands wandered to my lower parts. I knew it was wrong. But at that moment, I finally gave into the abuse. My body just gave in and I was done fighting. That night was painful. Blood poured from my vagina. I remember how self conscious I was about my virginity. Can my family tell I'm not a virgin anymore by the way I'm walking? Can they tell by the gap in my legs? I felt different. I felt like it was stamped on my forehead. He came in every night. He lived in the inlaw apartment where the only entrance was through my room. He would pass through and take me with my niece laying on the top bunk. Later, he would start to walk me over to his room and lock us in there. This happened for awhile. He eventually went to jail for stealing scrap metal from his job. He was gone for awhile.
Christmas Eve at the age of 14, my oldest brother laid on the couch with me. I was laying at his feet. I felt his foot burry itself near my crouch. Almost as of he were feeling for warmth. He pulled me closer to him. His hands made their way inside me, once everyone went to sleep, he completely emerged himself in me. It didn't feel like abuse anymore. This was considered the norm now. By this time, I was basically a sex addict. This one lasted years. Every chance he could have me, he would. Car rides, staying home alone, before bed on the way to his room, or having me sleep in the living room with him. He became dependent on me. He also picked up a coke habit. He became extremely abusive. He had complete control of my life. Everyone knew it to. I couldn't express to them the extent of the control. But I'm sure it was assumed. Things got physical and I ran away with a boy to New York. I took back control of my life. I cut them both off for 3 yrs. I now have a healthy relationship. Nonsexual, as if it never happened with both. There's a respect that was built from me putting them in their place. And successfully cutting them off. Did them time spent away help them heal? Am I okay to forgive them? Should I forgive them? They took away what was supposed to be a special moment for me, and turned it into a traumatic experience. My sexuality is tied to trauma. And now everytime someone touched me unexpectedly, my body goes into full panic mode. When I'm trying to be intimate with my current partner, my body only feels pain. Sex is painful. I know it's all in my head but how do I stop it? Do I have to confront the abuse to heal? Why do I feel like those sexual experiences were my fault? Like I made them want me? How do I face this?
 
This is an amazing start to your trauma diary. I'm so sorry you've been keeping most of it inside for so long.

One thing I've learned, though I still struggle with it at times, is that most things are more traumatic to you for having lived through it, than they are to your therapist. Even if you do say something that catches your therapist off guard, they have resources to help deal with it. When I've been most afraid, I tell the therapist the nature of the issue, try to test the water by beginning slowly (for my comfort, mostly), and sometimes beforehand I ask the therapist specifically how they handle upsetting information. Sometimes it can help to write down beforehand what you expect in a therapist, and then talk to the therapist to make sure it's a match.
 
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