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created: 10/16/18
updated: 08/15/19
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link: http://speechlessnomore.com/speechlessnomore_posts.htm#g-usa-story-081519

name: G

country: USA

type: story

date: 08/15/19

     I am a recovering heroin addict and I am a survivor of neglect, mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. There are times in my childhood that are black and I don’t remember what happened, but what I do remember is bad, so maybe I’m better off not remembering those black areas. My mother had me at 16 and went on to have 6 more children. None of us has the same father. She hooked-up with very abusive men and allowed many people into the home who abused us. My earliest memory is someone’s penis in my face. I don’t know how old I was, but under 2.
     My mother was also a drug addict. My mother traded me to people to pay for her drugs. From the age of 3, when the next sibling was born, it was my job to take care of the baby. I raised all my siblings. We were beat with ping pong paddles, lamp cords, berry briars, brooms, baseball bats, coat hangers, wooden spoons, spatulas, choked until we blacked out, had hands put over our face until we passed out, our heads were dunked in the toilet, the bathtub; we were slapped, punched, hit, heads slammed against the floor or walls, things were thrown at us, and we were made to fight each other for the entertainment of the adults.
     If we listened to my mother we were beat for not listening to our “dad,” and if we listened to our “dad” we were beat for not listening to our mom. We were repeatedly molested, raped and forced to sexually assault each other.
     One time when I was 8, I was dropped off in front of a liquor store in Portland at 2 am. My mother, her husband and my younger siblings drove off and left me there. I wound up being picked up by a pimp (who drugged me and sold me over and over) who kept me for months until the cops found me and my mother told them I had run away from home.
     When we were fed (which wasn’t often) we were told “you’re all a bunch of pigs” (because when we had food in front of us we ate as fast as possible because we knew that the plate could be taken away at any time), or “you’re lucky I feed you,” or “I waste so much of my money feeding you,” and so on. We were told “you’re a piece of shit,” and “you’re never going to be anything,” and “you’re stupid...ugly...you disgust me.... I wish I had an abortion instead of giving birth to you,” and other things of that caliber.
     When we told our mother someone had touched us she said “What did you do to make them think you were available?,” or “You’re a fucking whore,” or “You must have turned them on,” or “Oh, you ate the donuts he gave you? You do it for donuts!” and so on.
     We weren’t allowed to go to school because we were so covered in bruises from the beatings. I couldn’t sit upright because of the pain in my vagina and anus, and we all suffered horrible throat infections (a doctor later told me we probably had a STD). We didn’t have clean clothes, and I never had diapers or formula for whoever was the baby at the time. Sometimes we ate the plaster out of the wall we were so hungry.
     One time, we lived in a one bedroom apartment and the landlord didn’t know there were kids, so we were locked in the bedroom with no way out. I had nightmares every night that the apartment would catch on fire and I would have no way to get the kids out. Living in this apartment meant we had to all be super quiet and not make any noise. It was here where we all learned to take a beating without making a sound; where we learned not to cry or make a noise when someone raped us. We also weren’t allowed to use the bathroom unless one of the adults let us, which sometimes would be days apart. We learned to pee in cups and drink it so we wouldn’t get beaten for not waiting until we were allowed to use the bathroom, and if we didn’t go while allowed access to the bathroom we were beat for that.
     When I was 10, my mother needed someone to stay up with her while she was tweaking, and she began shooting me up with meth. Later in life, when I was on my own, I swore I’d never be like her. I had my kids, and never did I yell or spank or slap them. I loved my kids in a way that I never was. But, I did get into abusive relationships and my kids watched me be abused by men who “loved” me.
     When I was 28, I was thrown from a moving vehicle by a partner and injured my back. I was put on Narcotics and soon they weren’t enough. I became an IV Heroin addict who battled addiction for the next 12 years. I prostituted or sold dope to pay for my habit. I got clean for 4 years and then relapsed, and relapsed, and relapsed over and over, too many times to count! I refused to have anything to do with my mother in 2007. Then on 12/15/14 I got clean for the last time. I have stayed clean for almost 5 years, now. I have also done SO much work on myself!!!
     Part of NA Stepwork is taking a look at all the pain and trauma we have experienced and why we stuff all that down with drugs. I definitely think I wouldn’t have been an addict if:

     1. I hadn’t been raised by one, and...
     2. I hadn’t suffered all those years of abuse.

     I have been in therapy for years, as due to my trauma I have mental illnesses and PTSD. I know that I wasn’t taught how to have boundaries, I wasn’t taught self-respect, I didn’t learn that my body is mine and you can’t touch it unless I say you can, and I didn’t learn how to deal with the ordinary ups and downs of life without being loaded. I still don’t have my mother in my life. I decided she is toxic to my recovery and doesn’t deserve my energy. Everybody kept telling me I needed to forgive my mother-that I couldn’t move on until I forgave her, that holding on to my anger was only hurting me, but it’s not easy to forgive the person who was supposed to keep you safe while getting you ready for the world and they didn’t.
     I did eventually forgive her (only after a lot of healing and self-work), but that doesn’t mean I have to forget what she did or what she allowed others to do while I was a child, and I don’t want her in my life. I learned that God loves me, even though, and God is now what is most important. Yes, being clean makes it difficult to deal with all of my past when it comes to mind, but I know I can do this. Healing is what is on my path now, and working on forgiving all the others who harmed me, when the time is right for me. I will share my story and will do my best to give others voice to tell theirs. It’s time people realize that childhood abuse affects you for a lifetime and it takes a lot of work to overcome it. Thank you for telling your story And providing a place for me to tell mine.

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link: http://speechlessnomore.com/speechlessnomore_posts.htm#robert-usa-comment-101718

name: Robert

country: USA

type: comment

date: 10/18/18

     If the soul is the seed, and the spirit is the tree, then victims of child abuse have had their infant seeds bruised, broken, or even shattered by their early experiences, with all aspects of their lives - personal, social and occupational - being impacted by these traumas. There are no easy answers, quick fixes or magic pills to remedy these situations. In fact, healing is a lifelong, day-by-day process of continually coming to terms with and accepting what has happened, without ever forgetting it. But the starting point to this healing is always the same: tell your story, because it is in the telling that the healing begins.
     One of the hardest things to do in writing our stories is to separate the telling from the blame, because we must always remember that victims have victims. I suffered horribly at the hands of my immediate family members - father, mother and brother - but they, too, were victims of others who were also likely victimized themselves. We are trapped in a decades or, in some cases, centuries old, repetitive cycle of abuse begetting more abuse. That is why the goal of healing is not to blame, but to break this never-ending cycle, so that we do not pass it on to those who look up to us.
     Another obstacle to healing is the deep rooted impact child abuse leaves on our lives. Even the most intrinsic aspects of our being are affected: our values (likes and dislikes), our morals (right and wrong) and ethics (appropriate behavior). Finding our way through the world with so much of our internal guidance systems off kilter can make it especially hard for us to act normal. Though we may look okay on the outside, inside we are continually confronted by the chaotic conflicts which mark our earliest memories. That is why so many of us runaway, turn to hard drugs, or commit suicide.
     Much like African Americans through the 1800's and LGBTQ people through the 1900's, we - the children of child abuse - do not live in a world that is ready to address our issues in an open and honest manner. That is why if we are ever to change the world and, thereby, change ourselves, we must tell our own stories honestly and openly. It is through our writing and others reading that we will finally enter an age of enlightenment, understanding and reform. For now, let us take that first big, bold step forward together by placing pens to papers (or fingers to keyboards), so as to heal ourselves and help those who have yet to heal.

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