This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  freedomtochoose 4 months, 2 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #69421

    My earliest memory of being abused by my now deceased older brother would have been (detail removed by Moderator). He was (detail removed by Moderator) years older than me. It was a ‘game’, I was very small. (detail removed by Moderator). It was dark and not nice. The next memory is of me barely reaching over the bathroom sink possibly being sick. I also remember being in the dark hallway, crying, unable to reach the doorknob myself.

    Another memory of a brother (detail removed by Moderator) years older than me, I don’t remember the details but he got his f******n trapped in the zip of his trousers and I had to alert our parents saying that he was shouting from the bathroom.

    I have no recollection of any consequences of either situation, in fact both incidents were ‘buried’ in my mind for many, many years and re-surfaced independently at different stressful times of my adult life, living with a very controlling husband to whom I bore four beautiful children.

    These two incidents lay the foundations of the path that led me to where I am today, still suffering from the catastrophic tsunami that followed me leaving my abusive first husband nearly (detail removed by Moderator) years ago.

    The stormy waters from that, caught me off guard again recently and I’m still trying to settle again.

    I have had countless sessions of ‘counselling’ over the years but have NEVER, confided in anyone about my earliest memories of being abused. Can I squash them again, will they ever go away, can I put them away safely in a box, for good.

    Can anyone give me some words of encouragement or guidance please.

  • #69425

    Hi RoseRed,

    Welcome to the forum and I’m really sorry to hear of the abuses you have suffered by various people over your life. It is always really difficult to talk about what has happened particularly from childhood so recognise your bravery in facing these traumatic and painful issues.

    I know you said you would like to squash those memories and put them in a box. I understand you wanting to do that because it is traumatic to have to think about them. However from my own journey working out why I ended up with an abuser, I learnt that understanding our childhood is often the key to understanding why we ended up with abusers in adulthood. It is not the case for everyone, but for some of us we ended up with abusers because we experienced some sort of abuse in childhood. This then sets up a cycle where a) abuse seems normal to us, b) we have weak or no boundaries (due to them being violated by an abuser) and c) we are more susceptible to the ‘love bombing’ of future abusers because we have a lack vibration from childhood due to the trauma (and possibly lack of affection from parents). There are other reasons too but these are the main one I can think of at the moment.

    My own situation is similar to this, in that I was bullied a lot by boys as a child especially by my older brother, whose approval, love and validation I always craved. This lead me to end up in relationships with men who are just like him and the other bullies – n**********c, vain, low empathy, arrogant, abusive. I think I subconsciously thought if I could get one of them to love and accept me, it would finally mean they all loved and accepted me, if that makes sense. Of course the opposite happened and I ended up with a string of abusive men with the last one being the most dangerous, and I can no longer bear to be around my brother who is cold, disapproving, unpredictable and always seems so angry and scornful beneath the surface.

    I only figured it out last year and it has been extremely painful. But like you, burying it all in a box is actually the opposite of what we should do, because understanding and healing it is the key to us being able to break the cycle of ending up with abusers.

    Hopefully this makes sense. Keep reading other posts and sharing. I’m not sure what type of counselling you had but it may help to consider abuse and trauma specialist counselling, and EMDR to go to the root (the childhood abuse) which I think will be where major healing will happen for you.

  • #69450

    Hi RoseRed I agree with everything SunshineRainflower said entirely.

    I have experienced childhood trauma myself (sexual abuse) which I buried deep inside for years .Then when I was in my very abusive second marriage it triggered memories buried deep down in my childhood and it all came to the surface . I did not deal with it at that time .It wasnt until my last abusive relationship that I attended The Freedom programme at my local women’s centre and had counselling there also where I disclosed my abuse in childhood to her for the first time that it all made sense . I asked her why I had nt disclosed my abuse with a professional until now and she said that I was not ready . So what I am saying to you is this is your journey and you will do this when you are ready.
    For myself I have found counselling life changing but it is a long road ahead . I am still awaiting more counselling and traumatic events in my life have triggered me to go back to my trauma in childhood .
    I could not understand before I had counselling why I kept going into abusive relationships one after the other . For me it was because of the trauma that I lacked confidence, self worth and thought that was all I deserved.
    I was brought up in a dysfunctional household and had very weak of any boundaries at all . I have mirrored the abusive relationship that I had seen between my mum and dad at that time thinking that was the norm . I went from one abusive relationship to the next looking for love and security that I had not experienced, only to be met with abusive controlling , sociopathic , p**********c men who have a hidden agenda and will pray on empathetic people like myself.

    I have always played the part of the rescuer in a relationship and had dysfunctional codependent relationships which are so unhealthy .
    I have so much more to say but have to go to work now so will speak later .

    It is a long journey but you ve got this xx

  • #69477

    Thank you for your replies, they are helpful.
    There was another incident that surfaced years after the event. I had got off the school bus at an earlier one to my normal stop, I think to visit the girl who’s house was near this particular bus stop. While waiting there alone after the visit, still in my school uniform, I would have been 11 or 12, two men probably in their 20’s or 30’s walked past me, one of them groped my groin area as he casually walked past; he/they never stopped, just did it as he/they walked past. I was in a state of disbelief, unable to comprehend that had just happened to me. I never shouted out, I never moved, just stood there glued to the ground watching them casually walking away. Further up the road, the one who did it turned around to look back at me, then carried on walking. Luckily he didn’t come back. I just got on the next bus that arrived and never disclosed the event to anyone, this is the first time I have opened up about it but I do wonder if, what had taken place years before (and I do not know if there are any more memories yet to surface) had somehow ‘desensitised’ me to this inappropriate sexual contact. Again, I must have buried the memory only for it to surface years later. Sitting here now typing this, I wonder if there are more memories to come back and that makes me anxious to some degree.

  • #69484
    Main Moderator

    Hi RoseRed,

    Welcome to the Forum and thank you for sharing with us. It must have taken a lot of courage to reach out for the first time about the abuse you experienced as a child. I hope you find it helpful sharing here with others who understand.

    Please do keep posting when you feel able to.

    Best wishes,

    Forum Moderator

  • #69517

    Hi again RoseRed,
    I found that counselling for me was the best thing I could have done . It equipped me with tools of self care to cope when I feel that I am spiralling into anxiety and depression .This including grounding techniques, mindfulness , EFT to name a few . Be kind to yourself you have been though so much .

    I promote lots of positive self praise for yourself you ve got this .

    I attend a support group for woman who have suffered domestic abuse (detail removed by moderator) in my local area , Womans aid,etc there is help out there to aid your recovery.

    It’s time to discover yourself, who you are and what you want .
    I don’t know what stage of your journey you are on but for myself I went to college and (detail removed by moderator) this is fine my ow. Personal development .

    I also want to be a role model for my children to show them what a healthy relationship looks like , the freedom programme helped with this .

    I could not push down my memories of childhood abuse and found counselling was life changing and disclosing my abuse was the best thing I ever did . It was so distructive to carry around the guilt blame and shame from this that I did .

    Please remember that we are not responsible for the heinous actions of others .

    Hope this helps
    Take care xx

  • #69658

    Thank you for taking the time to respond – I have decided to enrol on the Freedom Programme online, just signed up to it in fact, so I will be starting off 2019 on a positive footing. I know I have some way to go and it might be a little bit more painful before it gets better but I have made a start.
    Kind regards, and a happy new year, RoseRed.

  • #69663

    This is such a good idea RoseRed. I am wondering whether to purchase and do the online Freedom programme too. It sounds like a really good way to start the new year. What confuses me is that I am also bullied/emotionally abused by my mother, as well as my father and brother, and used to be abused by my ex before I left him. I think it would still help. Thanks for reminding me about it.

  • #69665

    I’ve just gone ahead and bought it, thank you for giving me the idea and Happy New Year.

    • #69797

      Happy New Year to you too SunshineRainflower x

  • #71949

    It’s normal for this sort of things to be repressed. The brain shuts it out in order to protect you from all the pain. It happened to me. My mother sexually abused me when I was a small child. I was luckily believed by therapists and my ex believed me too. Even though I don’t have any hard evidence, I do have a lot of psychological effects. I have flashbacks and body memories and anxiety and an eating disorder and problems having relationships, lots of things. I had a fear of sex and rape even before I ever had my first boyfriend.

    I’m sorry you went through abuse too, I hope you have some really good support around you, it can take along long time to heal from this

  • #71955

    Hello Rosered,
    Just wanted to offer a few words of support.
    I am sorry you experienced this, and feel you have been very brave to post here. Well done for doing so.

    I too had past childhood trauma of a different kind. What I would say is to take it slowly.
    Yes, not a good idea to ‘bury’ it all – however – I believe that the self-healing process goes
    in stages, so if there is one thing I would say to you is – take it slowly.

    You may really find that you deal with things bit by bit. And then alternate with other activities.
    No-one can grieve these things 24/7 so don’t be surprised if you sometimes feel you would like to
    do life-affirming things. Sounds obvious but with PTSD etc (and I have lived experience as many others do)

    if it kind of individual yes, but also striking a balance between dealing with the past when it comes up, but also crafting a future. Hoping that helps a bit. Really difficult for someone to understand who has not experienced it, I feel.

    all best

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account