Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have


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Misery Loves Company

There’s a debate going on where I live regarding politicians salaries and pensions/benefits. The public reaction seems to be largely one of scorn perceiving politicians to be getting too much (money, benefits etc.) for too little ‘blood, sweat, and tears’. None of the outraged people giving their scornful opinions have stopped to examine where their fury comes from. What I have discerned is “Joe Public” is being treated unfairly and wants “Joe Politician” to be treated equally unfairly; instead, why doesn’t the average guy/gal get angry about their own situation and be happy someone else is being treated decently? The only conclusion I can reach is “Joe Public” can’t/won’t change his own unfair situation so looks to tear down the easiest target-a public figure often responsible for policies and laws few people appreciate.

I have noticed when people feel they are in unfair positions they opt to bring others down with them when it’s perceived someone isn’t ‘suffering enough’. This goes for situations outside of politics too. For example, in my family there are people who see me as not pulling my weight because I haven’t got a paid job. Do they stop and wonder why I don’t have a paid job? No. Do they ask me directly about anything? No. Instead, they give me their uninvited opinions and try to shame me into doing what they think is ‘right’ by the standards of mainstream culture they’ve uncritically digested and internalised.

When people have grown up being treated poorly and don’t bother to critique what happened to them they end up rationalising the situation. They find reasons for what occurred to be acceptable in some way; thus anyone else who comes along daring to inquire further into the situation finds themselves the target of an attack. How dare someone actually seek to know why something happened?! How dare anyone question the accepted norm and make another uncomfortable for choosing to stay in the dark?! It sounds ridiculous when you actually say it but some people would prefer staying in the dark because it’s familiar and comfortable in that sense.

If you want to really question anything you need to be prepared for some people taking their misery out on you. If they are suffering and you aren’t yet they think you should then Heaven help you. I have not had an easy life by any means yet family members that don’t even live with me or talk to me more than once or twice a year think I’m spoiled! Why? Because I am unemployed and live with my dad. I don’t live in the lap of luxury or sit around playing video games but they likely think I do because they don’t ask me. They’re more comfortable passing judgement on me than they are trying to see if I have challenges they don’t know of. All they see in their mind is a woman with more education than they have who isn’t employed, thus I must be lazy. Well sh*t that is pretty lousy reasoning or logic if you ask me but none of my family ever does who pass their judgement.

Have you noticed this phenomenon in mainstream Western culture? That is, people who are miserable trying to make others as miserable as they are? I would like to know if anyone has noticed this and do you think it’s normal or not? My opinion is it’s NOT normal or healthy.

©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®

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Denial of Reality

I know I’ve written about this subject to an extent before on my blog but I wanted to expand on it a bit. My whole life I have had an inability to rationalize and normalize abnormal behaviour. It seems the rest of my family is pretty adept at it but I am not. I grew up in an atmosphere of chaos and recognized it instinctually that my family wasn’t normal. Maybe other people have this experience too and just don’t talk about it. But the people in my family seem rather good at ignoring abnormal/unhealthy behaviour writing it off as no big deal essentially. I just don’t understand how they do this. How do you see someone in a state where they are not functioning well yet nobody will admit to it.

My mother had Alzheimer’s disease and died but for many years she functioned poorly yet my family ignored it. They

Healthy brain (bottom) versus brain of a donor...

Healthy brain (bottom) versus brain of a donor with Alzheimer’s disease. Notable is the “shrink” that has occurred in Alzheimer’s disease; the brain was decreased in size. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

only admitted there was a problem after mom was to the point she couldn’t find her way home if she walked further than the end of the street. Only when she had lost significant portions of her grey matter did they accept mom was ill. WTF?! She was ill for a long time before then yet they chose to put their heads in the sand and pretend it wasn’t there.

Okay, you can say it’s normal for people to be in denial about a family member’s illness if they are an enabler or used to it. But I’m talking about family that were not around often and had fresh perspective yet still chose to ignore the obvious. Or was it only obvious to me? It would seem you need to be knocked over the head with a hammer in my family before you admit to problems existing. My sister and I both saw how ill mom was but we didn’t have any power so it was of little consequence our recognizing anything amiss.

Is it just a natural way to cope denying there are problems in your life? Or is this just something dysfunctional families do? My family is most definitely dysfunctional. What is your experience?

©Natalya, 2013.


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Distractions

Today is my grandmother‘s funeral I’m not attending on the grounds that it’s bad for my emotional well being. You see, my grandmother was severely abusive to her children and never saw anything wrong with it. Maybe it was the time my mom and her siblings grew up in but besides the physical abuse there was denial. Mom’s father sexually abused her throughout her childhood and my grandmother never supported my mother when she told what was happening. Instead she forced my mother to leave home whilst remaining with her incestuous pedophile husband and three other kids. The years following my mom’s departure from her childhood home saw no reaching out from my grandmother to my mom to make amends. Nothing. Just denial anything happened and a disgusting lack of ethics in remaining with a man who sexually abused his own kids.

So I stayed home in protest. If anyone (family) does ask I’m going to be honest and tell them exactly why I didn’t attend my grandmother’s funeral. I am sick of denial and phoniness. My aunts will hear the truth if they do phone me to inquire why I didn’t attend. On the other hand, my dad might make up a bogus story to “cover” for me. He will be covering up his own discomfort though because I don’t want him to lie for me.

In an effort to keep my mind off the funeral I cleaned this morning and afternoon. Thankfully there are plenty of things requiring cleaning to distract myself with!

©Natalya, 2013.

 


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Denial and Responsibility

Well, as you can see from my title I have been thinking about denial and what role responsibility and or culpability have to play in it. Some of you may know from reading my posts that my family is quite dysfunctional. Now some will argue that labels aren’t beneficial and there’s too much emphasis on psychologizing certain events. But if trauma and abuse are what happened then who is it benefiting to not label it as such? Am I doing myself any favours when I deny myself validation that certain events took place in my life? Or am I merely making others uncomfortable who don’t wish to take responsibility for things that happened? My counsellor suggests when my family tries to sweep things under the proverbial rug that they are opting out of taking responsibility for their actions (or lack thereof).

Whilst it may seem to some that it’s better to let “sleeping dogs lie”; there are those of us unwilling to live less authentically. Why should I try to convince myself I’m better off not remembering or processing traumas just so others in my family are able to be undisturbed? Perhaps for less traumatic episodes in our lives it makes sense to try to forget or not “dwell” on it but childhood abuse and trauma are not easily forgotten, nor should they be. For when we forget the things that happened to us as children we are more than primed and ready to repeat those things. Alice Miller, the psychoanalyst and author of many psychology books, has referred to this as repetition compulsion. I’m not sure if it is her term but I read it in her books so will attribute it to her for now. Anyhow, my point is when we allow denial to be our coping mechanism for abuses and traumas we suffered as children we’re setting the stage to repeat those abuses on our own children or other vulnerable people. By not facing what happened in the past we are not only unconscious of what happened to us-but we become unaware when we act out the same or similar abuses onto others.

In my last post I mentioned my mother sexually abused me as a child. My mother was also sexually abused as a child but by

English: Conceptual diagram showing relationsh...

English: Conceptual diagram showing relationship between adult sexual interest in children, pedophilia, and child sexual abuse. These distinct concepts overlap, but academics and clinicians consider them separate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

her father. Mom knew she had been abused but developed a heavy wall of dissociation in her conscious awareness to function “normally” day to day. Nobody ever diagnosed my mom as having DID or MPD but it would be more of a shock to me if I were told she *didn’t* have it than did. As a child I recognized when my mother was “someone else”. Sometimes that meant she was unaware of what she was doing and it was useless to try telling her later that she’d done something as she would not remember it. I also developed an ability to dissociate from the things that happened to me and managed to repress the memories for a long time until I felt safe to acknowledge them again. For me, this meant that I was cut off from my sexuality. It was easier to be asexual than put myself through the minefield of sexual/intimate relationships.

I’m 31 now and have never had more than a fairly chaste kiss. In today’s hypersexualized world I am an antiquated dinosaur relic of bygone eras. I could easily join a convent or find myself in a museum as a rare species! Yes, I am poking fun at myself but what I say is not far from the reality. Whilst I’m educated and aware of more than someone would have been in the Victorian era about sex I’m still an oddity in today’s culture. I don’t have religion to explain my oddness either; no, I am not asexual anymore but I’m still abstinate. All this because of my mother sexually abusing me due to her denial of what happened to her through dissociation.

Had my mother’s family not lived so brilliantly in denial my mother might have had a fighting chance at becoming healthy. Instead they shunned her and pretended the problem was her’s alone to deal with. I understand sexual abuse wasn’t dealt with the same way as it is today back in the 1960s but they couldn’t have done worse if they tried! My mother was thrown out into the world an angry,hurt young woman with no support. She managed to find her way as all survivours do but not without mishaps.

Responsibility can be a ‘loaded word’. Some may think we need to accept responsibility for ourselves 100% of the time NO exceptions. Well, I beg to differ. I accept responsibility for myself-yes-no arguments there, BUT we are only responsible for our present feelings/thoughts and actions. Other people’s actions that harmed us in some manner should not be our responsibility. In such cases it would be more appropriate to focus on how we feel in relation to the actions of others and let that be our responsibility. I am responsible for how I act/feel/think at any given moment but not for what others did to me. I can decide to hold onto beliefs and feelings that aren’t serving me in a beneficial manner and that is my responsibility; that is, if I create further suffering for myself by not letting go of feelings/thoughts, etc. that happened in the past due to other people’s actions, then I am responsible. But only for PRESENT conditions. Of course if I behaved badly in the past and caused someone else pain that, too, is my responsibility. What is NOT my responsibility is how other people perceive me. I will never be able to control anyone other than myself. Thus, I can only operate out of the understanding that I create my own suffering based on what I focus on.

The issue of course with responsibility is that other people’s actions do affect us(especially as children) so it is one thing to tell someone to “move on” regarding an event that took place  in your adult years, and quite another to say the same thing concerning childhood traumas. People want to treat situations and people in a uniform manner that isn’t taking into consideration other factors. Other factors such as what age you were when the event took place and who the other(s) involved were in relation to you, among other things. Instead, people just jump for the easiest, quickest route to a solution that minimizes *their* discomfort. Never mind the suffering of the individual who endured the abuse/trauma as a child. This is what my mother’s side of the family did and still does. They minimized my mother’s suffering and I have not even shared my own pain/suffering with them because I can foresee their response already and it isn’t a validating one.

Nobody deserves to be abused especially children. I am sick of attitudes that reinforce shame for the survivours of abuse and praise or valorize the abuser(s). Okay, perhaps praise and valorization are not the common responses but it can feel that way if you’re the survivour. My family talk of my dead mom as some sort of hero that completely ignores any of her shortcomings. Of course we all have shortcomings and there is a tendency in Christian believers to not wish to talk ill of the dead. I understand that but it doesn’t make one feel very good when you have to hear nothing but praise for the person who abused you as a child. It feels downright horrible and makes one (well me anyhow) feel worthless in comparison to the abuser. No, my mother wasn’t abusive 100% of the time but it doesn’t mean I am going to whitewash her in my memory either to suit my family. My family, who incidentally, are filled with uneasy feelings of guilt over not doing what they should have when they had the ability to; such as offer support to my mother and actually believe her when she told them about the abuse she suffered growing up. Instead, they have retreated to their favourite vacation spot Denial. In fact, I’d wager a bet and suggest they vacation in Denial more than they live in Responsibility.

Am I being uncharitable with my family? They are, after all, family. But I never chose them (unless I chose them before I incarnated in my present form). Allegedly, my pedophile maternal grandfather wanted children and my mother also wanted children (badly). Was this because they both knew they wanted control and power over smaller, helpless individuals subject to their whims? I doubt it. That would have meant they held some consciousness over their predilection for wielding sexual power over children. Due to never knowing my maternal grandfather I can’t comment on what was the case for him; but my mother, I believe, had no *conscious* awareness she would end up sexually abusing her children, nor did she even recognize when she was doing it. That is the level of denial she had around sexual abuse. She told me that only men sexually abused children so I am imagining in her mind she wasn’t doing anything wrong. Sexual abuse, to my mother, had a very distinct phenotype and she didn’t resemble it (in her mind). Thus, whatever she did to my sister and I was all Kosher (in her mind). Amazing what we can convince ourselves of when we’re in denial, isn’t it? (that’s a rhetorical question).

We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, right? So being or staying in denial is detrimental to one’s personal growth. Depending on what it is we are in denial about it can have devastating consequences for not just us but possibly countless others. In sexual abuse, in particular, if it is denied then you are almost certainly going to end up either repeating the abuse or becoming shut down sexually. Of course therapy can help remedy these issues but you first need to become conscious enough of the problem to want to work on it.

I don’t expect my family will change anytime soon. As far as I know I am the only one in therapy apart from an aunt whom I don’t have much contact with. Her and my mom had a “falling out” over something decades ago and never managed to resolve it so the only time I met this aunt was at my mom’s funeral. She seems to be more conscious of the abuse that occurred than the others are willing to admit though from what I know of her. I felt like she was the most authentic one out of my mom’s siblings. Aside from her the rest don’t seem likely to change their ways dramatically. In fairness to them they aren’t horrible people just ones refusing to process a very painful past. I can’t blame them for that. They don’t have to take responsibility for acknowledging abuse happened but I also can’t be comfortable around them either; that is until or unless they are willing to concede abuse happened and it was traumatic for those involved (the survivours not the abusers).

My grandmother is now close to death and I suspect it may make for a difficult month for me because my mother also died this month five years ago. I would like to be able to forgive my grandmother like I forgave my mom but that took me years to do. I’m not sure what kind of benefit there would be to forgiving my grandmother anyhow. My only feelings for her are largely ambivalence or indifference; otherwise I don’t really think about her a lot. Perhaps this has to do with never developing an emotional attachment to the grandmother in the first place; thus, there are no actual deep seated feelings awaiting my recognition and healing. What is there to forgive when you have a connection to someone at a primarily intellectual or cognitive level? Sure, I am angry about what she did to my mother but I don’t feel this has impacted me on a regular basis in any sort of negative manner. Or, I could just be in denial.

What’s your take on denial and/or responsibility concerning child abuse or trauma?

©Natalya Lyubov, 2012-2013.


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Turned Down

A short time ago I mentioned I had been considering applying for a caregiver‘s benefit through the government. Well I

Caregiver (film)

Caregiver (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

phoned and made a request but when asked what it is I do I was told I didn’t qualify. Apparently one needs to be doing personal care duties like bathing, toileting and feeding an individual. Since the stuff I do is “hands off” it is not considered caregiving. Thus, I don’t qualify for the benefit. Honestly I felt disappointed. I thought I had a chance at getting the benefit but didn’t realize one must be doing some of the personal stuff too. As I am helping out my dad it would be weird to have to bathe or take him to the toilet! If he gets to that he will have to hire someone! The only things I will do are household tasks. It gets too weird if you have to see your parent naked, especially if they’re your opposite sex parent. I didn’t even like seeing my mom naked when she needed personal care before she died. So I guess I’m back to trying to find meaningful-or tolerable-work that pays because it’s pretty tough not having an income.

Yesterday we got the furniture I think I mentioned in my last post from my grandmother. My grandmother went into a nursing home and had to sell her house so my dad and I got some of her furniture. One of the items was a large buffet hutch. It’s actually really nice. All it needs is a few “buttons” to hold the glass pane in the cabinet door. One side was okay but the other side needed the “buttons” replaced so we’ll visit the hardware store and buy a few. I just finished filling it with my parents good china that I have never seen used in-well ever! LOL It was always kept in storage so they were pretty dusty when I took them out to place in the buffet hutch. The other few things we got were three small tables which I found space for. Yesterday and today was a lot of organizing of the items. Things look pretty good now so I think I am satisfied. It was quite a bit of work though! We have some things to be donated now because we couldn’t keep adding things without taking some items out to compensate.

My counselling session was yesterday too. I was a little unsettled from having the buffet hutch to sort that morning before going to my appointment. The moving guy came that morning and it was not the most relaxing start to one’s day! So when I got there (my counsellor’s) I explained what I had been doing that morning and we spent some of the session talking about my relationship with my grandmother and other family members. We discussed how my family members are willing to sweep things under the carpet so to speak instead of deal with them. Then we focused on how much freedom there is in living your life according to your own values and beliefs versus other people’s. I realized she was right because ever since I quit trying to live my life in accordance with other’s values I have felt a clarity that wasn’t present before. You can’t have a clarity of purpose if you worry about what everyone else thinks of your choices. I’m still working on not minding what others think of me but I am getting a heck of a lot better at not caring quite so much anyway. Near the end of the session I realized I had been feeling frustration dealing with all the sorting of the furniture my grandmother gave us and I’d been trying to ignore it. Why is it you always have these sort of revelations near the end of a session? It didn’t matter though since it wasn’t like I was terribly upset. My counsellor just reminded me to try being mindful instead of ignoring it and distracting myself cleaning! lol

Hmm, I think I need a shower. Not distracting myself but I need one after the organizing I did.

©Natalya, 2013.


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Hot, Humid and Sunny

Well hot and sunny might sound nice but throw in the humidity and you’ll have to scrape me off

A device to measure the relative humidity.

A device to measure the relative humidity. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the floor. I don’t handle humidity well which is unfortunate as we are humid here more often than not. The issue is my sinuses get blocked and I end up feeling like someone sucked the life out of me (when humid too). Not fun. But at least it’s sunny! Always a silver lining 😉

In other news I am applying for a caregiver’s benefit because I do a lot for my dad since he’s become a lot less mobile/functional. It requires that I do 20 hours min. of work a week for my dad but I am having trouble with this number. Some weeks I am certain I do 20 hrs. or more but others I might do half that. It’s hard to know how to time every little thing done throughout the day. If I lived on my own and visited specifically to do the stuff I’m doing now then I could count the hours more easily. When you live with the person things get blurry and less easy to quantify. Add to that a feeling of guilt from trying to get paid for taking care of all the housework when I don’t pay anything to stay here.

There’s a part of me that wants to be so saintly I don’t mind doing everything around the house, including maintenance type jobs and laundry, reminding dad of his appointments and being his personal assistant- but I’m not a saint! Plus I have to keep decluttering all the time ’cause my dad hoards stuff. Not as badly as my mom did but he doesn’t like throwing anything out unless I can convince him to (which isn’t easy).

Then I worry when the worker comes to assess my dad and I for this benefit program that my dad will deny he needs help and I just do the stuff I do because I WANT TO! Are you kidding me? I don’t want to do everything I do but the place would look like a bomb hit it otherwise and dad would forget his appointments or not be able to find out the information he needs as he is not tech savvy in any way. But my dad lives in a constant state of denial about his health and how he’s getting older. He thinks he can still do pretty well everything he could before his hip was in need of replacement. Is this a male thing? You don’t usually find as many women in denial about their poor health or increasing age.

It’s supposed to be hot and humid for the next few days so not sure how much I’ll get done around home. Days like today really make me want to have air conditioning at home! I know there are lots of people with air conditioners but they aren’t terribly popular in my province or much of Canada for that matter. We only have hot temperatures for maybe 3 months of the year, sometimes it’s four but usually more like 2-3 months. Even then we aren’t usually getting hot weather the whole time. Air conditioners drain electricity anyway so I feel good from an environmental standpoint but we have fans on in every room. Not sure how much less electricity we use from having fans instead of A/C.

Hope everyone has a nice Friday and weekend 🙂

©Natalya, 2013.


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Day 27 of 30 Day Challenge

Question: A problem you have or have had in the past?

Well I am late again answering this one because I saw my counsellor yesterday and didn’t have

Counseling Service

Counseling Service (Photo credit: Andreas_MB)

much energy for writing. Guess I’ll talk about the problem I mentioned to my counsellor. Recently I found some photos of my mom from earlier in her life where she looked much healthier than when I knew her. My problem was blaming myself for this turn of health in my mom like I was responsible for her becoming psychologically unwell. In a sense I wanted to take responsibility for her behaviour and what happened so I could have a bit of control. But my counsellor got me to reflect on this reasoning and realize its problems.

I was a child and didn’t have control over my mom. Her health was her responsibility and she frequently neglected looking after herself. So I was able to feel better knowing it was not something I could have done anything about. She wanted to have me and I didn’t cause my twin to die or anything else that happened after my birth. These are all things I knew anyway but the photos triggered uncertainty in me in spite of what I already knew and had made peace with at an earlier time (or thought I’d made peace with!).

It’s a complicated situation and I feel too tired today to elaborate. Ultimately, I have gone back to realizing what I already knew prior to finding those old photos and feel acceptance once again. Triggers can be tricky since you usually don’t see them coming so this has been a good lesson for me. I am not immune to triggers and need to be mindful of what my triggers are so I can try preventing them in the future (or at least mitigating some of their impact on me).

*The picture of the door is more institutional than I was looking for but I figured it would suffice.

©Natalya, 2013.

 


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What is Normal?

Artist: Marie Jameeson

Artist: Marie Jameeson

This past Tuesday I met with my new counsellor for some individual counselling. We discussed (I discussed) a variety of things but one thing I said sticks out in my mind, that is I said I wanted to stop apologizing for who I am all the time. I don’t literally apologize to everyone all the time for who I am but it feels like that’s what I’m doing. It feels like I try to be “normal”, fail and apologize to whomever is asking me why I haven’t done such and such. I hate it. Does anyone else do something like this? Try to fit someone else’s version of normal then end up making excuses for yourself  when you can’t meet their standards?

I’m sick of trying to be someone I’m not. People are going to have to get used to the fact I am NOT going to please them. This happens mainly with my family where a relative asks me why I haven’t done something or other yet and I end up trying to think of a reason that will either get me off the hook or garner sympathy. Both are actions I dislike and don’t want to keep on doing. I shouldn’t have to do these things but no one else in my family acknowledges the gravity of abuse that occurred-both for themselves and in my own case. All of my aunts and uncles and remaining grandmother experienced abuse in some form. But they won’t address it and I feel unable to talk with them about my experience because of their own denial. How can I expect any form of validation from a group of abused people in denial? As far as I know I’m the only person in my family to go to therapy-apart from one aunt I never knew growing up.

From now on I will do my best to resist trying to be someone I’m not for my relatives. If they can’t accept me for who I am I’ll just make sure our communications are minimal and infrequent at most. We already don’t talk very often and a lot of this is to do with the fact there has been some tension since I began behaving more authentically a couple of years ago. Since then the communication has become limited and I can’t say I’m sad about it. Although I do wish my relatives could be more open to greater authenticity in how they live their lives and the way I live mine.

What do you do with dysfunctional family for communication issues? Do you avoid the people or have you learned how to be honest and not be bothered by the tension this often creates with unhealthy people?

©Natalya, 2013.

 


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Female Sexual Perpetrators (MDSA)

Well I talked about this on my other blog and I want to share it here too. For most of my life I remained silent about the sexual abuse I received. It was shameful not knowing the abuse I had suffered had a name and was actually experienced by other daughters as children. What am I talking about you may be wondering, well I was not sexually abused by a man so I mistakenly believed I was never sexually abused. That is until in therapy after describing something my psychologist pointed out it was actually sex abuse! I couldn’t believe it at first. How could my own mother have sexually abused me? But the more I looked honestly at the abuse the more I recognized it for what it was-MDSA (mother daughter sex abuse). This lead me to being able to see myself as the victim and it was therapeutic to a point. But seeing myself go from a bad, shameful child to a victim of MDSA didn’t help me initially.

It’s been two years since I had the therapy session where the truth was exposed and in those two years I didn’t realize it but I’d become a victim. In my mind I’d gone from being a survivour to a victim upon finding out about the MDSA. Thus, these past two years I’ve spent feeling sorry for myself and wanting to hide from the world. The depression I’d been dealing with intensified and my mental health deteriorated. For some reason I couldn’t figure out why this had happened to me. Why had I suffered and never known there was a name for it? Nobody ever mentioned to me before that women-especially mothers, could sexually abuse their children. How could I take in this information and feel healed? Well I couldn’t, to begin with. But two years later I have discovered others who’ve suffered the same kind of abuse from their mothers that I had. Thank goodness for WordPress! Who knows how long I’d have gone feeling like a victim if not for other bloggers brave enough to share their experiences.

I am so grateful other women are talking about this type of abuse. It tends to get treated like it’s minor compared to males who sexually abuse children. But having your mother sexually abuse you is NOT a rose garden in comparison to one’s father doing the abuse. Just because there’s no penis involved doesn’t make it less traumatizing for us who experienced it. We have every right to feel the same disgust those abused by men feel. More importantly though, we have the right to have your equal sympathy you give for survivours of sex abuse from fathers/males. Female perpetrators are just as damaging and hurt their victims/survivours maybe even more than male perpetrators. Feeling like your abuse isn’t abuse because of the perpetrator’s gender is terrible. It makes you(me) feel like ‘nothing much’ happened. That is so invalidating. You can’t know how badly it hurts to be ignored by support groups and self help books because all they talk about is men abusing children. It’s this collective denial of mothers sexually abusing children that made me unaware for most of my life I’d been sexually abused.

So I think it’s time we brought this type of abuse out of the shadows. Pretending it doesn’t exist helps no one, not even the perpetrators because they don’t get treatment. Male sex offenders get treatment because people talk about it but when the abuse is ignored how can it be dealt with? How can female sex offenders be treated if no one acknowledges they are sexual offenders? I fully recognize many women abusers have been abused themselves but so have men sexual abusers in many instances. We don’t let them off the hook, do we?

This is probably a lot to take in if you’re new to this type of abuse. So I have a helpful link here you can visit for more information http://kalimunro.com/wp/articles-info/sexual-emotional-abuse/mother-daughter-sexual-abuse (I found it on another blogger’s page so I’ll include her blog link here http://kate1975.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/mother-daughter-sexual-abuse-links/).Please visit the site and read this article. Do it for the women who’ve experienced MDSA and never knew what to call it. Do it so maybe someone you know can get the help they need if you begin to be aware of this kind of almost unrecognized abuse by our mainstream culture. Or just read it so you can start to feel sympathy for those who’ve had women sexually abuse them. It isn’t just daughters/girls but sons/males too. But I wanted to focus on the daughters because we’re ignored so much by the media and even support workers for sexual abuse. To read about boys sexually abused by women visit the link here http://kalimunro.com/wp/articles-info/sexual-emotional-abuse/male-sexual-abuse-victims-of-female-perpetrators

Thank you.

©Reflectionsonlifethusfar, 2012.


13 Comments

Changes Are Coming…and some venting!

Personal Transformation

Do you ever feel like things are changing, either subtly or not so subtly, including yourself? This is how I feel right now. I’ve been cleaning and clearing out old stuff I don’t need anymore and noticing what I DO need. Purging one’s space can be quite enlightening as you discover things hidden under clutter. It’s sort of a discovery at both the literal and figurative level and it’s not always pleasant. Sometimes the feelings stirred up are not welcome ones yet they are there. I pull back from trying to control life and let it tell me what I need now. Yes, a little weird to some, but I trust my inner voice of wisdom(intuition)to guide me in the right direction. When ignored I tend to make poor decisions so I’m ignoring my rational, logical brain and going with what ‘feels right’. Why must every decision I make be based on logic? or seem well thought out? I have lived much of my life trying to explain every decision made to people as though they deserved an explanation. Now I am listening to what I want for myself and doing my best not to compromise needlessly. Of course I may have to make an undesirable decision if I really have to, barring that though, I am prepared to stand up for who I am unapologetic about it. It feels much better than trying to fit inside someone else’s idea of ‘normal’.

As some of you may know my mother’s 4th anniversary of her death passed on the 23rd. Amazingly my dad didn’t notice! He doesn’t normally pay attention to the calendar dates anyway but it did surprise me he didn’t notice, or at least never mentioned anything. We’ve been continuing to clear out excess items together and invariably my dad will make a comment about ‘what a good mother my mom was’ when seeing something of her’s. It’s something I used to listen to and want to scream over as it was not accurate. My mother was NOT a good mother most of the time. She was a good mother a little of the time but that doesn’t excuse all those times she was not. So when dad says “you had a good mother” I really bite my tongue if he only says it once and doesn’t start extolling all of her virtues only he was able to see. Otherwise, I’m to the point where I am more direct and ask him to change the topic. Luckily my dad hates conflict so usually changes the topic but it’s annoying since he knows my feelings toward her. I may have compassion for my mother and have forgiven her but I haven’t forgotten what sort of treatment I got from her. I can’t listen to someone say what a wonderful mother my mom was when they were not the one living with her. How can people say someone was a good parent if they never watched them or experienced the parenting? It just makes me annoyed. I don’t appreciate people saying good things about somebody simply because they’re uncomfortable saying negative things as the person is dead. Who came up with the rule you can’t talk ill of the dead anyhow? I have no trouble saying my two cents worth about dead people, positive or negative! Alright, sorry for ranting. Sometimes it just irks me and I need to vent!

I’ll try to be more positive in my next post! lol

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