Blessing # 1

One morning, while brushing my teeth, I violently gagged. Instinctually I knew something was off about THAT gag. I carried on with my usual routine. I was driving to work, I could barely keep my eyes open. I was so tired that two men in a truck next to me were laughing and motioning “sleepy” to me. I turned the radio up loud and took a big swig of my Red Bull. Lada Gaga’s “You and I” was playing on the radio. Suddenly, I was a hot fucking emotional wreck! I was Kim K crying with sound effects. That song got me so emotional that I became nauseous. All throughout my work day, I was nauseous and emotional.

Pregnancy entered my mind, but quickly left, because I was on birth control.

Later that night, I went to Knotts Scary Farm with some friends. I had a shot of Jägermeister before we left the house. We got there and went straight to the Beer Garden. I drank half of my beer and puked. This entire day was extremely out of character for me. I was known as the Ice Queen and I would only cry like this at funerals….. (and also that time when George died on Grey’s Anatomy.) I had been known to eat some questionable foods without missing a beat. I could handle my liquor and did never got sick…. at least before 11pm. I took a pregnancy test that night with a friend and…..

Boom. Pregnant.

I would take 5 more tests in 12 hours before I accepted my fate of motherhood. I mean the first two had lines, not the words. I NEED ALL THE WORDS. I convinced my self that I did not actually see a second line. I needed my test to TELL me. I needed to read the actual words “PREGNANT”.

Boom. Still Pregnant.

My whole life I said I never wanted to have kids or live past 50. This bun I was now undeniably carrying in my oven meant both of those things now had to change. To provide a visual of the stage I was at in my life, I’m pretty sure the outfit I was wearing is the same one I wore out the night before and I was surely rocking last night’s hangover. I had never even held a baby! How was I going to keep a baby alive? Let alone make him/her into a decent human being?

I was terrified!

My pregnancy was filled with ups and downs. Moments of excitement and amazement that my body could create life. Watching my petite body change to protect this little person and feeling the effects of not giving my body what he/she needed to grow was both scary and empowering. There were moments of fear and pain over the reality that in a few short months I would be responsible for another life. A future. His/Her childhood. They would call me “Mommy.” I would have to co-parent, which was already off to a rocky start. I was controlling and closed off to trust. Both her Dad and I,  were both on the wrong side of prepared to have children.

If I had the choice, at that time, to co-parent or raise this child alone- I would have said alone. I was the only person I trusted. I am so thankful I did not have that choice.

Fast forward a few months, we get the gender reveal. I wanted a boy. It was a boy. It had to be a boy. I absolutely did not want a girl. I was a boy, right? Tech smiles and says,

“Congratulations, its a girl!”

I started to think about this little girl. What would she be like? Would she have a scrappy fighter spirit and be cold like me? or delicate and full of love and empathy? Would she be safe? Would she be shy like me or outgoing like her dad? What would her sense of humor be like? As my belly grew by the day, I started to daydream about life with my little girl. While I am sure most soon-to-be moms daydream about tutus and dance recitals, I mostly daydreamed about how hard her life would be. She would be raised by a mother who was inadequate at showing affection. Her mother was incapable of trust, which surely meant her parents would not be together or have a healthy relationship. Fathers always leave, so she probably wouldn’t have a father in her life at all.

But my biggest fear of having a girl was her to be violated.

Her innocence stolen.

Molested.

Raped.

I thought about this a lot, but spoke about it to no one. I was incapable of manifesting those positive daydreams for that long- the negative mindset and my trauma always controlled my thoughts. Then in May, 6 weeks before her due date, contractions got strong. I texted her Dad, who was visiting Family out of state at the time, that it was happening. His plane would land at 6pm that night- Greeeaaat, he would miss her birth! I went to the hospital and the nurse said I wasn’t ready to be admitted and I would need to go labor at home and come back. Contractions were awful and close together, 6 hours would pass and I would return to the hospital. Finally, this time I was admitted. I asked the nurse for an epidural immediately. Once the epidural was in, labor was a breeze. I ate popsicles, updated my Facebook and relished in all of the visitors. I was at 8cm dilated when her Dad arrived. Soon after, it was time. The nurses wheeled a table into the room. It had the tiniest diaper and hat I had ever seen. It didn’t feel like real life. The doctor came in and asked me if I wanted a 23rd or 24th birthdate for her. I said 23rd, he said “let’s go” and 3 minutes before midnight she arrived. She was perfect. I had never seen a more beautiful little human. I no longer had fear of not giving her the love and affection she would need.

She was the first person I ever felt unconditional love from. The first person who just got me.

I know now, that I always had unconditional love, but I was so traumatized that I couldn’t feel it or reciprocate it at the time.

Taking her home was a complete cluster fuck. I yelled at my mom from the backseat the whole way home for her driving. I yelled at her Dad because her swing wasn’t built. Then, I watched her sleep for most of the night. Worrying about her. Reveling over her. I was so proud to be mothering her. She is exactly what I needed to begin to heal my soul from past pain.

I believe I needed her more than she needed me.

I struggled with wiping and bathing her for the first few weeks of her life. I couldn’t wipe or bathe her private parts without remembering my dad and what he did. I feared I was violating her. I had a fear that I had that horror inside me. Would I hurt her one day like he hurt me? The answer was always

no. never. no fucking chance in hell.

but still… I worried.

It wouldn’t take long before I worried about her dad hurting her. I voiced these concerns to no one, I knew this would cause judgement against me or, worse, her dad. Instead, I watched them closely. The thoughts of him hurting her continued. My negative thoughts were strong arming my intuition into submission. My intuition was telling me she was safe.

I would learn later how important trusting my intuition was.

Overtime, the horrors I worried about stopped and I began to slowly trust myself and her dad. My past would not be repeated on my child. My child would not be abused. My child would have an amazing father in her life. For a fatherless child turned adult, there are few better things in life than watching your child experience what you never could. As she grew, we grew. I was the helicopter parent, with the routines, and was lovingly referred to as “Captain No-Fun” and he was fun Dad, where exploring, risks, messes and rule breaking was a requirement of a joyful childhood. Her Dad and I complimented each other well in parenting- Always in sync on the important stuff and covering for where the other fell short. My daughter and her dad grew close. Their bond was, I thought, unbreakable. He was so proud to be her Daddy and she could not be prouder of him. In each other, they found best friends.

Man, what I would give to get them back into that space now.

Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing dad

Relationships in Adulthood

Relationships in adulthood are awkward. Relationships in adulthood, as a survivor of unresolved childhood sexual abuse, were a shitshow.

The struggle was real.

I had a hard time making and keeping friends. As a teenager and into early adulthood I did a lot of self medicating with drugs and alcohol. The self medicating made things worse. Who would’ve thought, right? The drugs would make me feel out of control- which is my kryptonite. The alcohol would make me angry and depressed. Additionally, since I was still displacing my anger, I would lash out at whoever was unlucky enough to cross my path. The child who was labeled a mean kid was labeled as an angry drunk in adulthood. I can’t count the number of times I would wake up with regret and shame for my outburst the night before. Luckily, I was no stranger to regret and shame, so I tightened my ponytail and carried on with my angry life.

I created a habit of walking away from the most important people in my life. I looked at it as a badge of honor. I didn’t need anyone. I was strong. I didn’t get attached, like weak people do. Inside, I was lonely. I wondered why I couldn’t maintain healthy relationships and why drama seemed to follow me everywhere. I have so much sadness thinking back on all the time I lost on negativity, but I also know I simply didn’t have the tools then to process my trauma.

My first boyfriend was kind of a big deal. I was 15. He was a bad boy with green eyes and the spikiest brown hair. I fell hard and I fell fast. This wasn’t the first boy I kissed or the first boy to like me. This was the first boy who made me feel safe. Safe was everything to me. Looking back on that relationship is so strange. I would’ve told you back then how much we loved each other. What I wouldn’t tell you is how poorly I would treat him, but also how I would anything to keep him. I would do any drug he wanted. I would do anything sexually- regardless of the effect it would have on my well being. Friends? Who needs friends. If he didn’t want them around. Girl, bye. All to keep the feeling of control and safety. When I lost my virginity to him (I’ll spare the awkward first time details) I cried in his arms when I had flashbacks of my dad and confessed to him what had happened to me. He told me it wasn’t my fault, he loved me and he would kill my dad. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel weird. I didn’t feel unlovable. I held on to that relationship with everything I had. I left all self respect at the door because he was my security blanket. When I lost him, I spiraled worse than before. I had zero love or respect for myself. I shut out the world. I would go to work, go home, get blackout drunk, wake up and repeat. For a period, I was a fully functioning alcoholic. Man, I wish I had 34 year old me to help 15 year old me get through the emotional fuckery I had going on- not that I would’ve listened.

Over the years, I dabbled with traditional talk therapy, anti depressants and so on. I never had any kind of “aha moment” or thought it was helping, so I would quit again. I continued to “date” guys. I was desperately searching for someone to fill the void left by my father and the unprocessed trauma. Obviously, no man could meet that expectation.

Then, one day at work. A bearded man came up to me and asked me my name and what I was doing this weekend. I told him my name and said I had no plans. He told me, we should hang out then he just….. left. No number. No e-mail. Just geeked out and left me confused, but interested. That bearded man would later message me on Myspace and we would chat for hours. I would eventually get that boy’s number. Later, he would co-create two of the most perfect little humans with me- My daughter and my son. After that, I finally found what I needed. The best father for my littles, someone who supports me and someone who holds me accountable.

I am a better Mother and human being because of him.

Someone believed me!

Telling my Mother about my abuse was the worst and best thing I ever did. I still carry that lesson with me to this day- as an adult and a parent. I have pride that at five years old, I had the courage to find my voice one more time. I will never forget my Mother making me feel safe when I was so vulnerable.

The ripple effects of the abuse accusation were almost as bad as the abuse itself.

My mother was broken and immediately took me to the doctor to get examined. I heard her tell the Doctor “her father molested her.” I still remember the examination almost 30 years later.

My family- filled with Military men- openly voiced the hatred for my father and his family. They would say what they want to do to that “sick fuck” for “molesting” his daughter. It was “disgusting”.

My father threatened to take me, so my mother had to inform the school. I was with her when she told them I was “molested by her dad”. I remained fearful everyday that he would show up and take me away. I still have memories of sitting at the big tree in the soccer field. Alone. It faced the street, which meant I would see him drive up and have an escape plan. I did that every day.

My father and his family disowned me. I was a liar and created some “sick” lies against my father.

Every time I heard the words they used to describe what he did, I felt more shame. More self loathing. More hatred.

Every. Single. Time.

It felt like my family was saying I was “gross” “sick” and “weird”. I don’t blame my family. How could they know the impact? I certainly couldn’t vocalize the feelings I was having at that age. My entire family was grieving. They were grieving the piece of me that was stolen. My innocence.

At that point I started on an internal battle with myself. I loved my father. I wanted a father. Maybe what he did wasn’t so bad? Maybe, had I not said anything I would still have him. Maybe, if I was stronger. braver. smarter.

This is all my fault.

This battle continued for years. My mom tried to get me into therapy, but I didn’t like it, so she didn’t push it. The hatred continued.

4 years later my mom found a suicide note to my best friend, Jenn. She took me to a Psychologist, where I was immediately put on medication. My next memory was sitting on the floor of the shower rocking back and forth, but feeling no emotion. I remember my mom saying, “I don’t like this.”

As the years went by, each stage in my life was harder than the last.

I was labeled as the mean kid. I was angry. I refused to allow myself to place the anger on the perpetrator (my father) so I deflected my anger on everyone around me. My mom got the worst of it- everything was her fault.

Going through life as a child with no father is hard. For me, wanting the father that sexually abused me was very confusing and made me hate myself and start to make apologies for my father. After all, there was no way he was born this way. He was a victim. I refused to allow myself to believe people like that are just born that way. (I’ll go into more detail on that one in another post)

Going through puberty and developing breasts made me feel a shame and anger that I still can’t articulate. I was disgusted by my body.

Establishing relationships in life were hard. “I’m not a hugger” became my go to. In reality, touching still reminded me of the time I was forced to be touched when I didn’t want to be touched.

Losing my virginity was the hardest. That was when I realized that my perception of intimacy and sex was shaped by what happened. I didn’t understand why, he only touched me. Its not like he raped me. Why do I feel like a victim, being forced, every time I do any sexual act?

In reality, I learned many years later, that your brain has an amazing survival mechanism. Regressed memories would later surface that would turn my life and what I know of my abuse upside down.

My Childhood. My Trauma. Trigger Warning.

From conception, my life was interesting and full of suspense. My Mom was unmarried and 20 years old when she learned that I was in route. My father was unemployed and hated by my Grandparents… and my entire family. My Mom hid her pregnancy for 6 months. A few short months later, in late October, 10lb me was born in Los Angeles, California.

I don’t have many childhood memories. I have a few happy ones, but most are connected to trauma.

Until, I was 5, my mother and father had a toxic relationship. They married. They fought. My father sexually and physically abused my mother. My mother was raped and became pregnant with baby #2. Baby #2 was lost. They finally divorced when I was 5.

At 5, I started visitations with my father and his parents at their home in San Bernardino, California. My Mom would drop me off on Friday and pick me up on Sunday.

Mother’s Day weekend, in 1989, my mom dropped me off for my father’s visitation. This was the weekend, my father would sexual abuse me.

Similar to scenes in a movie, I only remember scenes but with smells, tastes, feelings and sounds.

My Father and his parents were smokers. They smoked heavily. They smoked indoors. My Grandfather spent most of his time alone. Drinking. While my Grandmother would watch television and chain smoke. One of my only memories of my Grandmother was her telling me to be quiet and that she hated me. (I was apparently playing with my doll horse too loudly on the mantle)

I still struggle with negative feelings about myself when I smell cigarette smoke.

Friday night, my dad sat me down on his lap to play Nintendo. I was playing Mario bothers. I was Mario. My dad put his hands down my pants for the first time. He rubbed me until he penetrated me with his fingers. He asked me if I liked it. I said nothing. I still remember the confusion and anxiety of that moment in my life. It doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t feel right. I don’t like it. I want it to stop. If I say stop, will my dad be upset? If I say nothing, will he keep doing it? If I say I like it, will he stop? It felt like it went on forever. Still…

I said nothing.

The next memory I have is bedtime. I remember wearing a two piece flowery pajama set and my Grandmother turning off the light in the teal room I was sleeping in. Within a few minutes I saw the silhouette of my father standing in the door. He laid next to me and rubbed my back. For years, this would be the only memory I had of abuse. The additional memories would come in adulthood once my trauma was reactivated.

The next memory, is in the kitchen. My Grandfather is cutting ham. I am barely tall enough to look over the countertop. I told my Grandpa, that my dad touched me and what he did. He told me, “that is what a dad does when they give their children a bath. Now, get out of the kitchen”

But. My Dad never bathed me. My Grandma always did.

Telling my Grandma proved just as discouraging. She told me I was an “imaginative child”.

My Mom was there to pick me up on Sunday. I still remember questioning whether or not to tell my Mom. Would she believe me? Was I wrong for speaking against my Dad? Is this my fault?

Did I want this? I didn’t say no or tell him to stop.

What would this do to my family? What would he do to me?

Shame.

Isolation.

Anger.

Confusion.

Fear.

Regret.

I told my Mom as soon as we got on the Freeway. It was Mother’s Day.

Finally. Someone believed me.

So. I guess I have a Blog now?

Hey YOU! Thanks for stopping by!

So who am I and why do I feel so self indulgent to create a blog AND think people will actually read said blog? Well, firstly, I am a mother, partner and friend. I have a pretty dark and sarcastic sense of humor and use that to get through the tough stuff. My life has not been without challenges, surprises and blessings. I have the unique and unfortunate position to also hold the titles of survivor of childhood sexual abuse as well as a mother to a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

I navigated through the process of my daughter’s journey blindly. I stumbled the entire way. I had mental and emotional breakdowns, resigned from my dream job and probably provided my friends and family with enough drama to write an HBO mini-series. You see, my daughter’s trauma reactivated my own trauma and I had zero resources for all of the fucked up shit that was being put on my plate. (Yes, I said fucked up shit. Also, yes, there will be all the cuss words in this blog.) Every single aspect of my life was now penetrated and taken control over by this trauma and I felt hopeless.

I want to share my story.

My experiences.

My defeats.

My successes.

My goal with this blog, is simple. Share my story and hopefully help people.

  • If one victim finds the courage to speak up and report their abuse
  • If one victim finds therapy in reading my journey
  • If one victim finds similarities in my story and seeks therapy to finally find the healing they deserve
  • If one Parent or loved one of a victim finds an advocate and support in me, through this blog
  • If one human reads this and finds perspective and forgiveness in that one friend who always acts a fool and they just don’t get it

…. then… #nailedit

I hope you find something out of this blog and hope you become a regular in these parts!

There are worse words than cusswords, there are words that hurt.