Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The thoughts in the brain go round and round...

I read a post by Gwendomama the other day that resounded in a spot deep within me. I followed it to Violence unSilenced, a website dedicated to stories submitted by abuse survivors. I'm not just talking about sexual abuse or physical - there's also mental, emotional, and psychological abuse. There are stories from men and women, with all varying degrees of horrifying.

But this post isn't really about the website. It's about me, and what I've realized, and I believe for the first time I'm posting a little bit on this and my thoughts. I am not posting the whole story. Maybe one of you will have some insight for me.

When I was younger I was molested by the old man who lived near us. My mom found out and put a stop to it. There wasn't any talking about it, except a few times she asked me if he had started again. I just don't think she knew what to do with it, or how it would later effect me. Hell, I'm still not sure just what effect it has on me, how much of my issues can be blamed on him or the things that followed.

My first real boyfriend was a controller. Mom knew it, tried to tell me, I wouldn't listen. I thought he was sweet, always wanting to know where I was and if I was home yet - that he missed me and wanted to talk to me. When I went to college, there was another boyfriend - this one was mentally manipulative. Then John, who cheated on me and I still stayed. My ex-husband, who was controlling in every way, shape, and form. My ex-fiance, who was emotionally unavailable and made me feel like I was an emotional wreck.

I exhibit some of the classic victim signs, especially if someone is angry with me. I fall into the "it must be my fault. I didn't do right. If I had handled it better, it would all be ok and they wouldn't be angry." Even when it's not my fault, they're just taking it out on me or being a prick...I still fall into that. I spent my first marriage apologizing A LOT. I noticed last night after a personal confrontation with a guildmate that I thought was a friend that I do this. I never REALLY realized it until then, after reading Maggie's site and seeing the stories of behaviors.

The problem is: What do I do with this? How do I NOT react like that when, as I think back, I've been doing it for over a decade? Maybe longer, but I am not sure of that. I know my parents didn't abuse me in this manner, although my father was also mostly emotionally unavailable (which explains most of the men in my life being that way as well) and my mother had MPD when I was a kid (one of which was a very angry person). So...who knows? I just don't know what to do with this. I haven't yet decided if I want to submit my full story to Maggie or not - the whole thing is "mild" compared to what I've read, and yet they repeatedly say that abuse is abuse is abuse - mild, severe, and in between. I just...don't know.