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Thread: Family members are putting pressure on me to move on from being sexually abused

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    For decades, she has repeated her same stories to me like a broken record. What I'm telling you is this: The compassion card runs out. People, family and friends grow tired of hearing the same repeated very sad, tragic stories over and over again ad nauseum. None of us are equipped to help victims. Real therapy comes from professionals such as psychologists.

    I agree with this. Your family wants the best for you.
    What makes you want to rehash the whole story. If someone asks your about your parents, to people who never met your dad and are distant people you graduated with, distant work colleagues, unless you hear dad is on death's door say "mom and dad are well." and leave it at that.

    If other people say "why don't you talk to your dad". "oh, we haven't been in touch" and change the subject.

    You don't have to erase it from your mind, but there is a point that you get to, where you aren't using everyone you meet as your therapist.

  2. #12
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    I can understand your need to let people know. These scum should not get a free pass.

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    I can understand your need to let people know. These scum should not get a free pass.
    I get it -- but it may not help her to rehash the situation over and over. Its one thing to tell a new person"i don't have a relationship with my father due to sexual abuse" if she chooses and move along but to keep telling the story relives it for her. To move forward - notice i didn't say "move on" - she has to get out of that cycle. I was never in that position, thank God, but I had other situations and as soon as you stop telling your trauma over and over again, you say "hey- i can live my life for a day focusing on other things and not mired in it" or "i can live my life for a week..." a month, etc.

  4. #14
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    I get it -- but it may not help her to rehash the situation over and over. Its one thing to tell a new person"i don't have a relationship with my father due to sexual abuse" if she chooses and move along but to keep telling the story relives it for her. To move forward - notice i didn't say "move on" - she has to get out of that cycle. I was never in that position, thank God, but I had other situations and as soon as you stop telling your trauma over and over again, you say "hey- i can live my life for a day focusing on other things and not mired in it" or "i can live my life for a week..." a month, etc.
    I told my story repeatedly for 35 years until proper treatment. Sometimes it takes the proper treatment to stop. Also if we donít speak out it keeps going.

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  6. #15
    Member MrsWise's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    I'm very sorry for your life long pain and painful memories, MrsWise.

    Even though our stories are not exactly the same, there are parallels. My mother was traumatized ever since she was a baby, mentally abused throughout her childhood, neglected, abandoned and her hellacious marriage to my domestically violent, chain smoking, alcoholic late father. She bears heavy burdens and miserable memories continue to haunt her. Her horrific life reads like a Greek tragedy and until her dying day, she is a wounded soul.

    For decades, she has repeated her same stories to me like a broken record. What I'm telling you is this: The compassion card runs out. People, family and friends grow tired of hearing the same repeated very sad, tragic stories over and over again ad nauseum. None of us are equipped to help victims. Real therapy comes from professionals such as psychologists.

    Don't confide your personal abuse to family members. They're sick 'n tired of it and don't know what to do with your information. They want you to put it to rest. They don't want to know gory details of sexual abuse and continually reminded of the identity of the molester. They don't want you to dump on them anymore. Their message is this: "It's your problem, I don't want to hear it anymore, you deal with your own baggage, you sound like a drama queen and let's talk about the weather instead." Even friends become exasperated as well. It's time to keep your mouth shut. Your conversations should be light, polite and superficial because this is what most people want. They want pleasant conversations with you. They don't want to hear any smut. People don't want pit pots because it's unpleasant. They don't want you to air your dirty laundry. This is human nature.

    People the world over are victims of all forms of abuse; not only sexual abuse. There are so many intolerable and unacceptable wrongs in this world. It runs the gamut. There are all sorts of very painful mental torture and physical abuse. People including family can be so cruel. I myself can write a novel regarding very, very bad transgressions thrust upon me for decades.

    There is no such thing as "forgive and forget" within the same quote. Forgive? Yes, it's possible. Forget? Never. To forgive means to move on, not have feelings of ill will, not hold grudges and start anew with your life. Forgive doesn't mean condone nor forget. Forgive means by moving on, you are in control, you are in the driver's seat of relationships and you have every right to enforce healthy boundaries with anyone whom you choose.

    Personally, I've found that bad memories begin to infiltrate my brain whenever I have too much time to dwell on negativity. 'Idle hands are the devil's workshop.' In my experience, whenever I get busy doing anything, I'm extremely distracted and concentrate on what I'm doing. This can be anything such as mundane chores around the house, feeling cathartic when I declutter and organize my house, car and garage, for example. Exercise helps tremendously. Concentrate on sweating instead of allowing bad people to have a grip on your brain. Surround yourself with very moral, upstanding people. Create your own world. This is what I do.

    Whenever I concentrate on other subjects whether it's in the news, my dear friends (BFF in particular), immediate family (husband and sons) and in the past, my dog (who died last year), working out, hobbies and the like, I don't have any brain space for bad memories. During my non-work hours, I love to immerse myself into sewing quilts, making jewelry, scrapbooking, cooking, calligraphy, making greeting cards, knitting, crocheting, painting, embroidery, etc. I'm too busy and preoccupied doing what makes me happy. It's a good trick for the brain. Sure, I'll think of bad memories but those bad memories become an infrequent blur, the busier I am. You ought to try to change your life if you want to be a happy person and have decreased bad memories from now on.

    Church helps if you are faith based and religious. There are support and prayer groups there. Also, whether you're in church or not, help those who are disadvantaged and less fortunate than you are. Then, with all due respect, you won't feel sorry for yourself as much because so many people are worse off than you. They have their very sad stories, too such as homeless problems, unemployment, no food, shelter, broken homes, domestic violence, drug problems, alcoholism, poor health and the list goes on forever. Help them. Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen. Then suddenly your problems pale compare to theirs. Divert your bad memories away from you onto helping others who need you. This can be done with masks, social distancing, sanitizing everything, etc.

    Make changes to your life. This is how you heal.
    Just to make it clear, I don't continually dump my problems on them and keep telling them the same old. It's actually very painful for me to talk about this in depth so i avoid talking about at all cost. what happens is my father naturally comes up in the conversations since these are my relatives and he also has connection with with some of the family back home. I don't go out of my way to mention it. Once it was my uncle who kept pestering why i don't have relationship with him and i had to tell him. Recently it was mom's aunt who brought him in our conversation and she asked me something about him and i said i don't know what he is up to these days. and she pressed and asked why, then i had to tell her why for them to understand or else they would give me some lecture about how he is my father bla bla and it makes me look bad. That's just where the conversation leads and i don't continue bringing it up next time we talk so. it's usually a one time thing where i just explain why he isn't part of my life...that's when they start giving me these unsolicited advice about how to deal with it which i'm not looking for in the first place. I'm just telling then why he isn't part of my life that's all. so it annoys me when someone tells me to move on as if i'm choosing to hold on on this. I don't need to be told that. Do you think having these feelings pleasant ? If i have to ability to turn off my feelings I would have done that long time ago. If people have the ability to turn off their feelings no one would be sad. not many people would commit suicide . Not sure by moving on if they mean i have to be indiiffrent enough to restore a father and daughter relationship ? which is not happening. They can't relate so i don't expect them to understand. I don't expect them to cure my problems. In fact i would rather not go over and over in detail and relive it. Even when i mention it, i'm very brief. it's hard for me to talk about this in detail. I hate going going to therapy and talk about this and relive everything. I would rather just forget that it ever happen not have these thoughts hanging over my mind

  7. #16
    Member MrsWise's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    I told my story repeatedly for 35 years until proper treatment. Sometimes it takes the proper treatment to stop. Also if we donít speak out it keeps going.
    thank you for understanding. Not sure why some people had the impression that I'm using everyone as a therapist. The only people that i told is my very close friends and my family when they asked about him and wonder why we're not in touch. I also want them to know what kind of person he is. even in those cases, I don't go in depth and the details about the abuse. Those are pleasant memories that i would rather not relive

    I also agree with you. I could not talk about this for long time because i felt so ashamed and tried to bury it. Sadly it won't go away by just ignoring it. The fact that i can actually open up and tell my relatives what he did means i'm on the road to healing

  8. #17
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrsWise
    Just to make it clear, I don't continually dump my problems on them and keep telling them the same old. It's actually very painful for me to talk about this in depth so i avoid talking about at all cost. what happens is my father naturally comes up in the conversations since these are my relatives and he also has connection with with some of the family back home. I don't go out of my way to mention it. Once it was my uncle who kept pestering why i don't have relationship with him and i had to tell him. Recently it was mom's aunt who brought him in our conversation and she asked me something about him and i said i don't know what he is up to these days. and she pressed and asked why, then i had to tell her why for them to understand or else they would give me some lecture about how he is my father bla bla and it makes me look bad. That's just where the conversation leads and i don't continue bringing it up next time we talk so. it's usually a one time thing where i just explain why he isn't part of my life...that's when they start giving me these unsolicited advice about how to deal with it which i'm not looking for in the first place. I'm just telling then why he isn't part of my life that's all. so it annoys me when someone tells me to move on as if i'm choosing to hold on on this. I don't need to be told that. Do you think having these feelings pleasant ? If i have to ability to turn off my feelings I would have done that long time ago. If people have the ability to turn off their feelings no one would be sad. not many people would commit suicide . Not sure by moving on if they mean i have to be indiiffrent enough to restore a father and daughter relationship ? which is not happening. They can't relate so i don't expect them to understand. I don't expect them to cure my problems. In fact i would rather not go over and over in detail and relive it. Even when i mention it, i'm very brief. it's hard for me to talk about this in detail. I hate going going to therapy and talk about this and relive everything. I would rather just forget that it ever happen not have these thoughts hanging over my mind
    Thank you, I appreciate your clarification, MrsWise. It gives me a better understanding since you were thorough with your explanation.

    I understand that it's difficult for you to hear your family's unsolicited advice. You did the right thing to explain to them why you don't have a relationship with your father. If I were you, I'd diplomatically tell them basically 'thanks but no thanks' regarding their advice on how you should cope with your past trauma; not those exact words per se. You can say it tactfully so no one is offended. Tell them you've only explained to them what happened long ago because they asked why you are estranged from your father. Tell them that while you appreciate their advice, you're not seeking their advice. I think that's a polite way to let them know that they've heard your reason for your estrangement with your father and that's that. It should end right there. If they're relentless, then change the subject, make your gracious exit, go home or walk away.

    I too have a lot of bad memories of life gone awry. Granted my stories are not the same as yours but millions of people have their bad memories which haunt them daily or frequently. You're not the only one. I'm sorry for your painful memories and suffering.

    Since you refuse to seek professional help from a psychologist or therapist, you'll have to learn how to grow strong and resilient. If you prefer to erase bad memories from your mind, I've found, the only way to do it is with mentally healthy distractions. This way, you won't allow bad memories to have a tight grip on your brain.

    It is possible to turn off feelings from long ago. I've done it. Moving on is healthy. Don't live in the past. Live in the present and do things that bring you joy and happiness. Moving on doesn't mean to reconcile a relationship with your father. Don't misunderstand. Moving on means you don't stew over bitterness and resentment anymore otherwise it consumes you to the point of madness. It's forgiveness. You're not condoning. To forgive means to move on even by yourself; not with anyone else but YOU.

    Don't expect your family or others to always be able to relate to you. Many people can't. Everyone has their own troubles and problems. Life isn't fair.

    If you want to forget, then get busy living your life to the fullest. You will never completely forget. I doubt anyone can forget anything 100%. However, you can forget most of the time if you don't dwell on the past and start living in the present. Preoccupy yourself with joyous activities or concentrate on other endeavors which fulfill you. Then forgetting gets easier and easier.

    I had "forgotten" a lot of bad memories for decades and those bad memories only resurfaced when I had time to think back. This is why healthy distractions refocus your attentions and concentrations onto something else. For me, it's exercise because it clears the cobwebs from the brain. In the past, it was walking with my dog twice a day. Nowadays, I'm very busy with work, hobbies, intellectual pursuits, autobiography books, great classic movies, going on errands with my husband, time with my sons and my BFF. After all that, I'm too exhuasted to have brain space for bad memories. I prefer to nap!

    There are various coping mechanisms that work for forgetting bad memories. Do something about it and you will forget more than remember or recollect.

  9. #18
    Member MrsWise's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    Thank you, I appreciate your clarification, MrsWise. It gives me a better understanding since you were thorough with your explanation.

    I understand that it's difficult for you to hear your family's unsolicited advice. You did the right thing to explain to them why you don't have a relationship with your father. If I were you, I'd diplomatically tell them basically 'thanks but no thanks' regarding their advice on how you should cope with your past trauma; not those exact words per se. You can say it tactfully so no one is offended. Tell them you've only explained to them what happened long ago because they asked why you are estranged from your father. Tell them that while you appreciate their advice, you're not seeking their advice. I think that's a polite way to let them know that they've heard your reason for your estrangement with your father and that's that. It should end right there. If they're relentless, then change the subject, make your gracious exit, go home or walk away.

    I too have a lot of bad memories of life gone awry. Granted my stories are not the same as yours but millions of people have their bad memories which haunt them daily or frequently. You're not the only one. I'm sorry for your painful memories and suffering.

    Since you refuse to seek professional help from a psychologist or therapist, you'll have to learn how to grow strong and resilient. If you prefer to erase bad memories from your mind, I've found, the only way to do it is with mentally healthy distractions. This way, you won't allow bad memories to have a tight grip on your brain.

    It is possible to turn off feelings from long ago. I've done it. Moving on is healthy. Don't live in the past. Live in the present and do things that bring you joy and happiness. Moving on doesn't mean to reconcile a relationship with your father. Don't misunderstand. Moving on means you don't stew over bitterness and resentment anymore otherwise it consumes you to the point of madness. It's forgiveness. You're not condoning. To forgive means to move on even by yourself; not with anyone else but YOU.

    Don't expect your family or others to always be able to relate to you. Many people can't. Everyone has their own troubles and problems. Life isn't fair.

    If you want to forget, then get busy living your life to the fullest. You will never completely forget. I doubt anyone can forget anything 100%. However, you can forget most of the time if you don't dwell on the past and start living in the present. Preoccupy yourself with joyous activities or concentrate on other endeavors which fulfill you. Then forgetting gets easier and easier.

    I had "forgotten" a lot of bad memories for decades and those bad memories only resurfaced when I had time to think back. This is why healthy distractions refocus your attentions and concentrations onto something else. For me, it's exercise because it clears the cobwebs from the brain. In the past, it was walking with my dog twice a day. Nowadays, I'm very busy with work, hobbies, intellectual pursuits, autobiography books, great classic movies, going on errands with my husband, time with my sons and my BFF. After all that, I'm too exhuasted to have brain space for bad memories. I prefer to nap!

    There are various coping mechanisms that work for forgetting bad memories. Do something about it and you will forget more than remember or recollect.
    Who says i refuse to go to therapy? i said I don't like going to therapy and talk about it to relive everything as i find it distresing..It doesn't mean i will not utilize it as it essential. I'm planning to attend EMDR soon as i heard it's a very effective to treat PTSD. And i do all those things above, and it temporarly keep my mind busy but eventually i come home, I encounter events that triggers my flash backs, these are events that reminds me of the traumatic events. This can happen anywhere, in public, watching a movie, reading magazines , reading a book. This is not something you can block or will go away without out any professional help. I tried that for years. Just like what Victoria says, ignoring it and try blocking memories won't make it go away. going to gym, reading a book or whatever is just a temporary distraction not a cure. this is TRauma. PTSD which not just regular bad memories or fight you had with friend or your husband.These are intrusive flashback and uncontrollable memories that come out of no where.. they can be more than unwelcome ó they can be debilitating. I've also had other bad things happen to me that i was able to move past them. They're not the same thing. They intrude on our consciousness when we do not want them to. Yes i know i have to move on eventually and i want to but sadly it's process not a light i can just switch on and off whenever i feel like it..which you can't seem to comprehend because you clearly can't relate

  10. #19
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    I told my story repeatedly for 35 years until proper treatment. Sometimes it takes the proper treatment to stop. Also if we donít speak out it keeps going.
    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    Just remember that PTSD actually damages the brainís ability to work properly. You will get better in your own time not somebody elseís timeline. That is the only way you can work.
    I think it is important to recognize these facts.

    Originally Posted by MrsWise
    And it annoys me when these people keep pointing out something already know but unable to just turn off my feelings. Can anyone relate?
    I can relate, although I was not sexually abused. People say all sorts of stupid things when they are confronted with a stressful situation.

    Your friends and relatives are probably coming from a good place. But they are not professionals and they don't know how to react appropriately for you.

    They are probably saying these things to make you feel better without realizing that it does the opposite.

    It's very difficult for people to deal with trauma, whether it happens to us or to other people.

    When people ask you why you don't speak to your father, maybe it would help you to say something like, "One day, I'd like to tell you. But right now it brings up too much pain for me. I'm working on that. I hope you can understand."

  11. #20
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Just because my problems are not the same as yours, I can relate and my mother sounds exactly like you.

    Ok, then utilize therapy as an essential or whatever you want to do, do it. It's great that EMDR is very effective in treating your PTSD.

    I know it's impossible not to relive your nightmarish memories. My mother awakes with bloodshot eyes from her nightmares. Every phone conversation I have with her every week always reverts to the horrors of her life stemming from ever since she was 3 years old. I have miserable stories about my past which would curl your toes. You can't relate to me either so we'll call it even!

    I'm sorry you cannot erase your horrific memories nor would I expect you to. All I've said is that a lot of people who try their best to heal, have their own successful coping mechanisms. Since it does not work for you, I wish you all the best with however way you carry on and good luck.

    Take good care of yourself, MrsWise.

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