Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Trying to rebuild my identity

Childhood Sexual Abuse by older brother's friend long duration (more than 10 years in childhood)

Childhood physical and emotional abuse by Mother and Older Brothers

Beaten up by brother for mother as a young adult unaware of pregnancy
at the time. I was beaten by my brother while she watched for moving out at 18

Gave birth to my daughter who was less than 1 month old when my Father (who was horribly abused as a child but never hurt us, though he was not around much) died of pancreatic cancer.

Choked by x husband when I told him he was not going to kill us with his drunk driving like he killed his best friend in the Navy, after reckless drunk driving and refusal to let me drive with our baby daughter in the car

Escaped my x husband not allowed to take my child

Child kidnapped to another state before I could save up enough for a lawyer

Head and spinal cord injured by x husband after locating my daughter through begging her father's father to tell me where they were for a year and starting the process of regaining custody on first visitation since kidnapping

Filed and was granted protective order on x husband and regained custody of my daughter

Sought counselling and got counselling for myself and my daughter

Found out my x showered with my daughter while he had her away from me and later in her teen years made sexually inappropriate comments like "If you weren't my daughter I'd tell you, you were sexy" And that she had vague memories of other things that were questionable and possibly inappropriate

Told by my daughter her father never abused her when she was a young child, when she was a teen, and then she never spoke of it again till very recently when she told me she lied about this happening and it is my fault she lied. Though she still acknowledges she remembers being in a very small shower with him and the sexual things he said to her as a teen made her uncomfortable.

Had to intervene in sister's family due to child abuse revealed when my daughter brought her cousin to my home in her teen age years beaten so badly I had to ask who he was. Reported to police and CPS. Got banished from the family

Older brother came to my house 3 years ago, (when I was 40) waited till we were alone and thrashed me around the living room yelling about forgiving abusers as he hurt my wrists then shook me then slammed my back into the door jamb of my living room. Now he denies he did it to me though he has a criminal record for abusing the mother of his child and I still have to look at the door jamb every day. He did this to punish me for reporting the child abuse in my sister's family when my daughter brought her cousin to my home badly beaten.

Witnessed the suicide of a 17 year old girl stayed close friends with this family over the years, the younger brother of the girl who died also killed himself years later. He was my best friend and my daughter has revealed he was also the first boy she ever had a crush on. She and I both had a very hard time with the suicides of both of these young people. She is dealing with it now as an adult and has chosen to marry a man she says not only reminds her of her Dad but also looks so much like the young man who killed himself that she says he is the X that could have been. I am worried about her.

Went to college after X's suicide while my child was in High school and graduated Suma Cum Laude with a degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and a minor in Psychology (wrote about X and learned about suicide all the way through school, studied child development to try to make sure I did things right for my child)I feel like I studied psychology and did so well out of sheer self defense. And I know I grieved all the way through school and am still grieving all the suicides as Y and X were not the only ones. My aunt and uncle on my Dad's side both killed themselves and I have known other people who have done this and there are people in my family who are still actively suicidal and have been in treatment for suicidal ideation.

The victim blaming coming from a number of different directions has me feeling like I don't exist, like I am nothing, like I am no one. I feel like I need to rebuild myself from the foundation up. And I do not know where to begin. But I know all this shame is not mine. I did not do any of this to myself. I never made myself a victim. No one has ever made themselves a victim. No one made choices that led them to become a victim. Perpetrators make the choices that lead to victimization. Yet the victim blaming still hurts all the way down. I am frequently punished by people I love for having no contact boundaries with people who have inflicted injuries on my body. I want to figure out who I am aside from all this shit. My kid is grown and struggling to form her identity. She is far away and with a man who reminds her of her father and has a strong sense of male entitlement. There is absolutely nothing I can do about this but take anything she dishes out and keep the lines of communication open so if it ever goes bad for her she will feel comfortable reaching out to me.

I miss her so much

I am so worried

And I am trying to figure out who I am and what life is all about now. What is the line from that song? "I know it sounds absurd, please tell me who I am."

 

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2 thoughts on “Trying to rebuild my identity

  • Paula says:

    I think you are amazing to have survived so much. You have lived through so much.

  • Liz says:

    I also think you are an amazing person and very strong. Your struggle for your daughter and the fact that you went on to study are both very impressive things. When you wonder who you are please know that there are people who read your story and feel full of admiration. Who you are is a strong survivor and I hope there will be good things in your life in the future – you certainly deserve it.