Trigger warning…this post discusses what many consider a taboo topic related to sexual abuse. The post is written by alter personalities, uses a journal format, and is shared unedited.
I have a confession.
A secret not yet shared here on the blog.
One that I have accepted, am not ashamed of anymore, yet still have trouble talking and writing about anywhere.
I’m not trying to tease you by drawing this out. I am trying to be careful, considerate, and kind to myself as I write this and share it with you.
Have you ever heard of mother daughter sexual abuse?
So if you want to know learn more, use the “Read More” tag below.
Have you ever heard of mother daughter sexual abuse?
There’s a whole dedicated community with a web site and everything – more circumspect than this one. In fact, I modeled many of my guidelines and commitment to safety/privacy/anonymity after this one.
No, I’m not a member; still not ready to join groups and all that. But I do visit once in a while. And I have their Recommended Resources page bookmarked.
You already know that my mother abused me in many ways. You know she has a mental illness. And you know that she manipulated many events in my life.
What you may not realize…because I am only just starting to remember myself…is that my Dad never purposely abused me. But he was part of the toxic family culture and participated in experiences that can be considered abusive.
However, my mother knew exactly what she was doing from the time I was a baby until I walked away. She used her fingers and hands at first. Then she started using other objects, but never her mouth or teeth. Eventually, she taught me how to pleasure her with my fingers, hands, and mouth. Not face-to-face or kissing, but on other body parts, yes. When the finger rapes didn’t satisfy her, mom started using other objects and did more than rape me.
That is she raped me until she couldn’t physically control me anymore. From that point on, mom sexually abused me with words, looks, and other kinds of physical contact. And yes, words, looks, physical contact, even emotions can cross the line from inappropriate or harassing into abuse. The legal definition only includes penetration, but rape and sexual abuse are so much more than that.
When did I first learn about this? And why not talk about it before now?
I started remembering between 2005 and 2007, around the time I started feeling emotions and had to go into a partial program for a few months. As for not talking about it before now, well it’s not an easy topic to discuss with anyone. And the few people outside of medical/mental health providers I mentioned it to did not react well.
Plus, I needed time to learn more about the terminology, concepts, and coping techniques available in order to focus on survival and not becoming homeless while paying rent (30-40% income), medical bills (40-45% income), and everything else on approximately $30,000-$35,000 a year in one of the most expensive cities to live here in the US – top 5 or 10 last time I checked.
Basic background information to help understand how the coping techniques and strategies could best be used – that was my goal.
Plus, other than the website I shared at the beginning, there is not a lot of information and resources available to the public. Many people (and I am generalizing) don’t believe mother daughter sexual abuse exists. Others don’t want to believe it exists. And how comfortable would you be going to your local book store or library and asking for books about this topic? I got embarrassed a lot. Amazon’s online book store and delivery came to my rescue often. So did finding physical books at the local library.
But I still remember how embarrassed I felt looking for those books at the store. And I remember how angry I felt just thinking about my parents, especially my mother. My rage felt infinite and so destructive. I couldn’t stop myself from lashing out or having uncontrollable over-reactions to everything at this time unless I shut down and isolated myself. Work was a life saver. I had already built some trust with people there and learned by example how to maintain a professional cool with them. Enough to not lose my job.
The pressure of keeping my feelings reigned in, using my coping skills to interact with family, and not being able to defend or express myself when they ganged up on me took a big toll on every part of my life. I started feeling suicidal again. Even planned a simple, yet effective way to commit suicide while I slept. Only my counselor at the time stopped me from going through with it, barely.
We teetered on the knife edge of a cliff for months until I found an entry in one of her reference books about how to separate from toxic families. I brought it up in session, and she agreed to support my decision. Every step of the plan, every detail and potential pit fall was discussed in those hours until it all came together.
Forgivness, Sacredness of Family, Re-Connecting, Closure, Safety
Between then and now, I learned how to cope with that experience and all the others my memory shares with me. This stayed in the background and informed many of my interactions with people, but never bothered me as much as when I first remembered. Forgiveness came because I wanted to let go of the negative feelings inside and move on with life. In order to do that, I had to forgive her, dad, everyone else, and myself. Forgive, not forget or “wipe the slate clean”.
That has been my goal for the past two years. Forgiveness of self and others. Unconditional love and acceptance of who we all are and how we choose to live our lives. Because I do want to move on and take the next steps into thriving and manifesting my dreams – personal and career wise. I want to be able to connect with people, feel comfortable in groups, and attend events some day. Facing m parents brings me one step closer to this.
So, yeah, I talked to my immediate family over Christmas. Spent time face-to-face with my Dad’s side of the family. Emailed and texted with some of my Mom’s side of the family. We exchanged gifts, talked, laughed, and hugged. Mom has a phone number and an email address to use if she wants to contact me.
Since then, we’ve talked via FaceTime a lot. My Dad and I continue to email and text. But the only time I see or interact with Mom is when Dad initiates a FaceTime call. And even then, she doesn’t say much. Our interaction is limited and buffered by Dad. What he doesn’t realize is that Mom is up to some of her old tricks again. She tried pushing my buttons a few times on Christmas day, but one family member or another intervened. On the phone calls and through actions, she’s tried a few more times. Dad doesn’t notice because it’s not obvious and wouldn’t be to anyone who hasn’t been a victim of her abuse.
This past weekend, when I discussed boundaries with my counselor I realized it was time to discuss the mother daughter sexual abuse in the open. The first nightmare came Sunday morning, after I set boundaries about 1x a week FaceTime calls with my parents and bought a new electric kettle instead of waiting for my Mom to buy and send it to me – 4 weeks of being strung along – and startled me awake with auditory hallucinations of death metal music followed by a feeling of being swallowed into a black hole.
At first, I didn’t make the connection. Our building was doing some loud maintenance work in the basement that disrupted many of us all morning. So, I dismissed the nightmare as a typical reaction for talking about boundaries with my parents. But then I did something I haven’t done in years. I told my spiritual mentor about the mother daughter sexual abuse during our conversation as a way to try and help her understand why interacting with my parents was affecting that part of my life too.
You see, shortly after coming back to the west coast, I started to feel like I forgot who I was. Like I was losing myself again by getting wrapped up in the past and letting my parents over-protectiveness and need to know what I was doing all the time interfere with being me. It interfered with my spiritual practice, meditation, coping strategies, and daily routines. But before I explained about my history with mom in detail (too many past posts, so feel free to use the search bar for more info), she didn’t really understand just how scary having mom back in my life really feels.
And this morning, I had another nightmare. One that put me into sleep paralysis and had my jaws moving on their own – uncontrollably clenching and releasing, moving side to side, and chattering – shrouded in complete darkness and a sleep fog. Two hours after the nightmare started, I could move again and was late getting to work. All I could think about was mom sexually abusing me and wondering how I can maintain contact without these reactions taking over my life again.
The first time I saw Mom face-to-face, I saw my mom – the warm, caring woman who loved me as much as she could and was kind to me a handful of times in my life. About 7 FaceTime calls later, more often than not I see the flat, cold-eyed monster looking back at me instead. One who hasn’t called me or texted me on her own, but waits for my Dad to call instead. One who hasn’t met me on the bridge to try and re-build trust.
So for any of you who wonder why I feel ambivalent about connecting with family, and mom in particular, again this is why.
I love my mom unconditionally and accept her as she is. I don’t want her to change or be anyone except herself.
I accept that my mom loves me in her own way and as much as she can given who she is. I accept that my mom doesn’t like me and never will.
I may never trust her again and definitely don’t want her involved in certain parts of my life now.
My mom has never admitted to or acknowledged abusing me in any way. She most definitely will not do that now. But sometimes, when I look her in the eyes and dad’s not looking at either of us, I see the knowledge of our shared past looking back at me.
But she and my dad are still together after all these years. And my Dad wants us to get along. He tries hard to be a buffer and mediate for us. But at some point, I truly hope he realizes that my relationship with Mom is not the same as mine with him or the one where all three of us interact together. His and my relationship is separate and special all on its own. I hope we do some day get to the point where our relationship is as loving and positive as we both want it to be.
As for mom, well, I did my part. The rest is up to her now.
Thanks for reading