Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content

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Hope66

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I wasn't quite sure where to put this memory, but I would like to ask if anyone thinks it could be a potentially abusive memory - TW intimate content:

My M used to insist on putting lots of talc in my vaginal area - she always made a big thing of saying that I should ensure I have talc in 'all my nooks and crannies' - and this gives me a horrible image as an adult, as if she's trying to dry out all my fluids and make me dry and unhealthy.  I also think that people who do that are at risk potentially of cancer - because surely it's not healthy to use talc so much.  I don't do it as an adult, but I did used to do it as a child and teenager and probably into my young 20's as well. 

I just wondered what other people think of that.  Do you think it's an abusive thing, or just a weird behaviour?  I know I've never asked her why she did that - but she used to do it to herself as well - and make a big thing of telling me about it.  Strikes me as weird.

For some reason, that memory has been popping up more frequently, so I thought I'd write about it, and see what people think. 

Hope  :)
Hope :-)

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Libby12

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Hi Hope.

I was really interested to read this post.  I have often wondered if a few, odd things my parents did were,  in fact,  abusive.

I think that practices change with time. When I started nursing in the mid-eighties talc was always used.  Within a few years, it was shown, like you say, to be unhealthy.   So I can accept that people could have encouraged things that were OK at the time.

Poss. Trigger Warning.

For me, I think that the unsettling part of these situations is the way that my parents were just so over-involved with my body.  They thought nothing of barging into the bathroom when I was in the bath.  In fact,  they made a big thing about it being their right.  They made lots of intimate and inappropriate comments.  Worse of all, nm insisted on inserting tampons into me, against my will. I did not want to go swimming but she insisted. Once I was married, she started to give me "marital advice",  unasked for, of course,  and I think it had a very negative effect on my marriage.

So, I don't think these are examples of sexual abuse.  I don't think they got a sexual kick from them. Rather,  I think it was another aspect of the emotional abuse.  I was their property so they could do and say as they pleased.  Like you, though,  I found all of these things very unsettling and weird.  It's as if there is something abusive behind their behaviour.

I hope I make some sense here.  I'm still trying to work out these issues for myself,  so I may sound a bit confused.  I would very interested to hear more of your thoughts on these issues.

Thank you so much for listening.

Libby




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Three Roses

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I think talc was recommended by my pediatrician. I agree that how it was applied could really be a boundary violation.
Be willing to be a beginner every single morning. (Eckhart Tolle)

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Hope66

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Hi Libby,
Thank you so much for your reply - and I can relate to many things you've written - in terms of feeing as if your parents were over-involved with your body - I do relate to that - I feel like 'privacy' wasn't respected in my FOO - that the toilet and the bath being in the same room - and for many years I don't remember being able to lock it - and people would just walk in and out - and often-times they were naked - I don't know whether that's a usual thing or not - but I have compared with some people who say they don't remember seeing their parents naked - whereas I definitely did.

Thank you for what you said about the talc - that makes it seem a little less 'abusive' - but I still think it was excessive for my M to 'use it as much as she did'.  It just didn't seem right somehow.

I could imagine her still doing it now - using the talc - I hope not, as I know it's not healthy anymore to do that.

Your reply made perfect sense to me, Libby - thank you so much - I am so sorry that your M used to force you to go swimming when you didn't want to, and the fact she forced tampons into you - that sounds abusive to me.  It doesn't sound right.

TW - **
I remember when I first bled between the legs - it was because I had been playing and had hurt myself - but my M literally 'dragged me' across the ground, and said in a very rough voice "We'll have a look" - and I remember she literally looked to see where I was bleeding, and then decided it wasn't anything - and I can't remember what she did next, but I DO remember feeling upset by how she 'dragged me roughly' - I think to myself, if I'd had a small girl in my care, and wondered if she was menstruating, then I'd have handled that situation very carefully rather than dragging her around and then looking to see if she was bleeding. 
__End of TW**

Whilst I know that my F did get a sexual kick out of some things he did when I was a small child, and teenager and even older, I can't be sure about my M's role in any of it.  That's why I was wondering about the talc - and what that might represent - but I suspect it was possibly just that she thought it was a good idea to use it. 

Thank you Libby, for listening, and replying, and I hope that you're ok - negotiating this stuff isn't easy is it.  I appreciate you talking about it here, and sharing your experiences -  :hug: to you - if that's ok.

My M has always been extremely 'controlling' - excessively so - I relate to having a controlling M - I think mine is Narcissistic and controlling.

Hi Three Roses - thank you for your reply - and I agree with you that how it was applied could be a boundary violation - I don't think my M violated me in that respect, but I suspect that my fear of her, and excessive fawning to please her, would mean I'd do things without question for much of my life really.   It's only now as an adult that I'm beginning to challenge and think about what happened back then, and wonder about different aspects.

Thank you both.

Hope  :)
Hope :-)

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Andyman73

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Hope,

It seems to me to be along the lines of more mild sa actions. If you were old enough to be bothered by it, then it's at least sa via touching you inappropriately. And you do seem to be quite bothered by it. No matter what others say, not here neccessarily, but anywhere, if it bothers you, then it was wrong.

Andy :phoot:
Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Libby12

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So sorry Hope,  if I came across as dismissive of your concern about this issue.  I wasn't very clear in my thoughts as I said, and invalidating either of us certainly wasn't what I wanted to do.

With the talc issue,  I just wanted to say that people did believe it was a good thing a few years ago.   But it would never be a good thing to apply it to anyone,  including a child, against their will. As Andyman said, that is inappropriate touching.  Even as a student nurse, I always asked what a patient wanted and respected their wishes, even if those were different to ward policy.

What I wanted to say was that people can have very fixed, odd beliefs in what is right for them.  That's fine, their choice,  but it is wrong to push these things onto anyone, including their child, against their will. That is abuse. 

Like you, my parents were very 'relaxed' about nudity.   No locks on doors, making a point of coming into the bathroom when I was using it.   I complained and they laughed at me and called me a prude etc.  Said I wasn't normal. By their standards I wasn't.  But they had their views,  and I had to accept them.  That was abusive to me, and I am sure from your various posts that you felt very much like this too.

If it suited them, it had to suit us. No arguments.  I hope that I have been a bit clearer,  and that I didn't invalidate you. I agree wholeheartedly with Andyman.  If it bothers someone,  it is abusive.   

Your description of your nm's behaviour around your possible menstruation sounds awful.   I can relate.  My nm handled everything so badly that it was a real issue for me.

Having had three children,  including one daughter,  I have used my parents as a template for what not to do.  Although my children have their difficulties as everyone does, they are really well adjusted.   With regards to things like nudity,  I follow their lead. I would never appear naked in front off them and when I have helped them bath etc when they are Ill, I maintain their dignity.   I never considered otherwise.

I hope I have made myself a bit clearer.  I do feel a bit clearer myself and wish you all the best in working through all these things.   I think I am still trying to deal with this area of my childhood,  even though I know I am still deeply affected such things now.

All the best,  Hope.

Hugs, from Libby.

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Hope66

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Hi Andy,
Thank you for your reply and what you say makes sense to me.  Very much so.  I appreciate your reply and your comments very much. 

Hi Libby,
Thank you so much for your reply - and it's been so helpful to have posted this query in my original post, because your replies (both of them) have been incredibly validating to me.  It was good to hear that talc was recommended as perfectly ok to use 'back then' - but essentially, it's about the 'way' someone approaches something - and I have been grappling with things that happened in my earlier life, and whether or not they were 'appropriate' or not - and I have to say that I feel 'uncomfortable' about a whole range of stuff that went on.

It's interesting, in that I am clearer about my F's role in stuff - i.e. I think he was definitely crossing the line and I would say he did sexually abuse me - but my thoughts about my M are less 'clear' - in that I have never told her how I feel - about how she or he treated me, and I don't really know if she knew that what she was doing wasn't right. 

Even as I write this, I feel that it must sound quite pathetic, but I think that's my Inner Critic 'having a go at me' more than anything else.

I really appreciated all that you said, Libby, because you have made me feel validated - and that means a lot.  Andy's comments too - very validating.

I am struggling with this stuff - trying to piece together bits and pieces from my somewhat fragmented childhood memories - but certain things return as 'memories' that I want to talk about, and just get another perspective.  It is so helpful to have a place to come and talk about it. 

Thank you for your hugs, they are appreciated, and I hope you will feel ok to have some hugs back  :hug:

I am glad that you are also feeling a bit clearer about things - and that you feel validated also - because your experiences with your parents sound very abusive - i.e. they didn't respect your boundaries, they crossed them, and that wasn't right. 

I think it's really good that you've been able to be an excellent mother to your own 3 children, and that you've respected their boundaries, and treated them with respect and care and been a loving Mum.  It's good to hear they're well adjusted. 

All the best to you too, Libby - and I do look out for your posts and replies, and I read them, as I relate to a lot of what you write.  Thank you for your replies.

Hope  :)

p.s.  It feels hard to write things coherently, so I hope that I've made sense with what I've written, and also that I have validated your experiences too - because that was my intention.   :)
Hope :-)

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Andyman73

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Hope,

I think society is slowing starting to wake up to the idea that sa and harassment is so much broader in size and scope than what was once commonly believed. We survivors of csa/r know how we feel about the seemingly innocuous stuff like the powdering incidents you experienced. We feel violated, feel like our boundaries were not only crossed, but completely ignored. Our trust has been shattered.

 :bighug: :

Andy  :phoot:
Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Kat

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Hey, all!  Hope, the thought I had about your mom is that she seemed to "need" you to be "clean."  I was initially wondering whether your father had sexually abused you.  You mentioned wondering if your mother was doing it to keep you dry, etc.  That could be it or it could be that she was trying to keep you "clean"--knowing on some level that her husband had been "defiling" you.  I'm talking about more symbolic, unconscious actions on your mom's part--she was cleaning away what she couldn't face, possibly?  Please don't take it to mean it excuses her one bit or that it did not have profound effects on you.  It just struck me that the use of talc was meant to keep a girl clean and fresh.  Does any of this make sense?

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Hope66

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Hi Andy,
CSA and harrassment are both featuring more prominently in the media at the moment - and society does seem to be looking at things a bit more - but I think it's been an issue across time - thank you for your kind comments, I really appreciate your support, and I know that you've experienced things yourself, and  :hug: to you.

Hi Kat,
I read your reply last night - and wanted to pop back to reply this morning - because you have definitely said something that resonates with me - I think you could be right about some of the potential 'meaning' behind her wish to ensure that both me and herself have lots of talc applied - so that we could be 'squeaky clean' or something like that - with 'nothing to see here' - keeping us both 'clean and fresh' - I definitely relate to that.

I'm really glad I've started to talk about these memories and aspects that I feel uncertain about - because hearing different perspectives really helps - thank you so much.

Hope  :)
Hope :-)

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Blueberry

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Re: Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 12:34:17 PM »
Hope, I believe you, and if it's bothering you this much then that is in itself a sign that something was wrong. You are not pathetic!  :hug:
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Kat

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Re: Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2017, 01:04:01 PM »
 :grouphug:

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Hope66

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Re: Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2017, 08:16:35 AM »
Hi Blueberry - thank you.  I appreciate so much your validation.  It means a lot.   :hug:

Hi Kat  :hug:

Hope  :)
Hope :-)

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Andyman73

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Re: Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2017, 11:29:43 AM »
Hi Hope,
I been reading a book called "The Trauma Myth" by Dr. Susan Clancy. IT deals with the fact that the general public, society et al, has the misconceived notion that csa/r must be traumatizing when it is happening. And in that, what we see in the media is just that, horrific stories of really scary abuse.  But the truth of the matter is, those kinds of csa/r are very rare, maybe one in a thousand. But that's what sells. See, most of us who've experienced csa/r, at young ages, didn't know or understand that it was something bad.  So even though it may have been uncomfortable, and even painful for some, it wasn't traumatic. So we weren't traumatized by it. However, years later, when we do finally realize what happened to us was in fact quite horrible in itself, we then become traumatized, many years later.

Take me, for example, all my life, I had no idea what I'd been through. Then, this past year, things changed and all these memories started coming back, along with the knowledge of what it really was, that happened to me. Yes, I've lived with PTSD/CPTSD since 1994...but without knowledge or understanding what was causing me to feel that way. I can say quite clearly now, that I have been and am being traumatized by my memories....all of them...in the past 10 months.
IN that same line of thought, this experience from your youth, is really bothering you now. You're learning that at bare minimum, it was CSA...and could possibly be experiencing the trauma of that incident, now.

Safe hugs dearest Hope.  :bighug: :bighug: :bighug:
Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Hope66

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Re: Wondering if this is ?Abusive or just Weird? TW - mentioning sexual content
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2017, 03:19:41 AM »
Hi Andy,
Thank you very much for your reply - and I found what you wrote to be really interesting, and I related to it - so much that I've ordered that book you mentioned - I think it would be good to read it - so thank you.

I wanted to say more, but I have to go out.  But thank you!

Hope  :)

Hope :-)