Well, haven't posted anything about my recovery process for a while, so I thought I'd say something and hear some thoughts.
My psychologist and my mom put me on a "trial period" of 3 months (started 2 months ago) in which I would call my dad twice a month. Although I feel somewhat resentful towards them both for forcing me to do this even though I'm the one who's been the victim all these years and he hasn't really done a thing to make things better (ie. he still thinks that beating me when I was little would have done me wonders and shows no remorse for all the blackmail and other abuse), I accepted because my mother told me she "can't handle him alone anymore". Even though we left him two years ago, she still needs to talk to him every so often because he needs to give us his (meager) alimony, and of course, it's no pleasure to talk to him. She refuses to resort to him making automatic deposits into our account, something about that he won't accept that and he'd make our lives more miserable than they have been. Yea, him refusing to pay would be a violation of the law, but in Costa Rica, the law works veeeery slowly. So she told me "I can't handle him by myself anymore", and that I'm avoiding the problem by not talking to him. The psychologist also said that I need to start trying to get to a point that he won't cause me so much distress. For example, say I don't talk to him for 20 years, and after those 20 years something happens and I'm forced to talk to him. If I don't find any solution, I'll just crack up all over again, and all the time in between won't have worked for anything. But I still can't stand it. It's disgusting to me to have to talk to him about the weather, and how my school is going, and what has happened in my life lately as if nothing had ever happened. I can't understand how anyone can just move on and talk to their abuser as if they were normal people.
So I said yes to this, even if I'm still unsure whether I believe that I'm really avoiding the problem, and unsure whether this is really going to help me heal. The nightmares have just gotten worse and more frequent, so my psychologist gave me some exercises to help me prevent them. They don't always work, but then again, I'm just starting.
I've also started to get really bad panic attacks.I went to watch Pan's Labyrinth with my boyfriend, my best friend and another friend; definitely not a kids movie. In one part, a woman is captured by the "bad guy", and he ties her to a post and starts unbuttoning his shirt. I couldn't take it, I left the theatre to cry. My boyfriend went out to look for me after I didn't go back for a while, and he told me that she hadn't been raped, but I still freaked out. I got gastritis, and I had trouble talking, and goosebumps and I felt really cold despite it being, apparently, really hot; my blood pressure probably dropped. I hadn't had a chance to tell my best friend about my sexual abuse before, but that was a good opportunity to tell him, so I did. He listened to me and supported me. He also said he always suspected something was wrong, but he couldn't place it. Go figure. I'm a completely obvious incest victim. But it was so relieving to tell him. I tell him everything, and hiding this from him was killing me.
At school, we were watching another movie, and there was a very graphic scene of a woman being raped. This time was worse, because at least in the theatre I was free to leave when I wanted to; in class, with my teacher and classmates next to me, I couldn't just run out. I had to stand it, until the class was over and I could go cry to the bathroom. A friend noticed and asked me what was wrong, so I told her too instead of going to class. Her mother is a social worker who not only works with rape victims, she's a victim herself. So my friend and her mother had suspected that I had been abused since we were around 12.
The next day, we were supposed to finish watching the movie, but I told my Spanish teacher that if there were more scenes like that, I didn't want to watch the movie, and she said she didn't think there were any more. She apparently told another spanish teacher about what happened, and she told me that even though there weren't any more crude scenes, I didn't have to watch it... and she asked me why I reacted the way I did, and I didn't even know where to start. So she asked me if something bad had happened to me, and I nodded, so she let me go. My Spanish teacher told me the next day that we would be having to watch another similar movie later, but she would excuse me, and that I could talk to her after next week's holidays if I wanted to. I figured teachers would notice; as teachers, they took a psychology course in the university. They probably suspected too.
It's kind of bizarre for me to talk to people about this now. In a way, I don't want to talk about it too much, because I don't want my classmates to know and for them to talk about it amongst themselves, even if it's out of concern; and I sure as hell don't want the teachers to call my mother in to tell her what happened. But somehow, it's relieving. I was silenced for so long by my mother, that being able to talk when I want to whomever I find necessary is comforting. It's really nice to be able to talk and for people to tell me I'm not crazy, or a liar, or a drama queen, or that I'm exagerating.
I'm turning 18 in November. After that, I won't have to put up with this if I don't want to. If my mother wants to keep talking to him after that, that'll be her problem, and she won't drag me down with her. I'm preparing myself for the possibility that if I don't talk to him anymore after I turn 18 he'll stop paying for my school (although it's still illegal). I already talked to my tap dancing teacher, the owner of my dance school, if I could work there next year if I needed to and she said yes. But then I thought, what'll happen if I really stop talking to him after next month? He'll just blow up again, and give me and my mother a nervous break down, just like all the other times. Then he'll be calm for a while, and the cycle will sprout up again. I don't know whether that'll be any better than this.
I guess the predominant feeling right now is impotence over my own life.
-------------------- "Love does not make itself in the desire for copulation, but in the desire for shared sleep." - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera Posts: 410 | From: Dallas, TX | Registered: Dec 2005
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Hi Nailo, nice to hear an update, even if it's hard for you. I'm no psyschologist, but it seems unfair/wrong of your mom and psyschologist to pressure you into talking to your father. Really crappy of them, especially when your mother's reason is: "I can't deal with him alone." It may be hard for her, but you're a "kid" and she's the parent-- it's her responsibility, not yours.
Ugh, I know all about such scenes in movies being really disturbing and triggering. I'm glad at least you were able to talk to your boyfriend about it, and that your teachers were understanding-- although it also feel a bit personal to have them talk about it. I'm glad you're able to talk about it with your friend now, too. You're certainly not alone, and it's really important to know that there's support out there.
I'd say to definitely stop talking to him if you can, but I can't really tell you if it'd help or hurt overall. Any way you look at it, it's something you shouldn't have to be doing. I work definitely work towards independence at 18-- great to hear you could work at your dance school, congrats! Is there anyone else you could go live with in Costa Rica or elsewhere? I wish you could get away from this situation. Hopefully talking to more people will help give you more options for the near future.
Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003
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