Wk 3: Stage 1, Step 2, Activity 1 "Date you acknowledged the abuse to yourself"

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C.

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1.   Write down the date that you first acknowledged the abuse to yourself.  This date will signify the beginning of your recovery.  Remember it well, as you will want to honor this date in subsequent years when you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.

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Kizzie

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Part of me always knew I had been abused, but another part really struggled with fully believing and accepting it because my FOO was emotionally abusive and covertly so. 

I finally got it at Out of the Fog a couple of years ago, but it wasn't an epiphany as such, it was more of a slow, gradual awakening and this despite the fact I was  diagnosed with CPTSD around that time.  There was some discussion about CPTSD at OOTF, but not nearly enough for the abuse to sink home entirely, at least not at first.  I could not wrap my head around it.

Looking back, another part of not being able to fully accept that I was abused, is that to do so I had to let go of the faint hope that one day I might get what I need(ed) from my FOO.  I had to openly look at the fact that they would not change, that I had always been alone and would always be int terms of having a functioning, loving, caring FOO. Very, very hard but nowadays, I don't have any doubt about being abused and I don't waste energy pining for what I now know is a fantasy.

I think I will choose the date I joined OOTF as the start of my recovery and I will celebrate that every year from now on. 

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C.

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I am going to think about this one to pick a date.  Like others it's been an evolution of sorts.  I think I realized that my father was inappropriate when I was in my early teens, my mother has been more recent.  I fully realized that my parents couldn't and wouldn't ever help me emotionally in 2001, but I didn't look at my childhood yet.  The significant years were probably 1976, 2001 and then summer of 2014 when I came across Pete Walker's book.  I think this summer is when it all came together and I could sincerely "feel" that I am a survivor of childhood abuse, and from both parents.  I'll look at when his book arrived from Amazon and likely pick that date.  Honestly, it still feels a little weird to say out loud, like clothes that look and fit right but somehow feel a little strange...

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marycontrary

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Like Kizzie, mine was over time, and gradual. It started about 3 years ago.

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Annegirl

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I started telling people on here about how i was treated and reading about abuse for about a year. To hear other people's opinions. Now abut 3 days ago I finally saw it and accepted and stopped telling myself everyone goes through what I went through and accepted that I was physically and emotionally abused all my life by my mother.
I also realized when I started finding out online why I fought pain in harmful ways and saw that 8% of Australians do it.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 04:20:22 AM by Annegirl »

Not sure if there even is a date I can pick. It happened so gradually. And if I'm honest, this whole thing is still so painful, I'm not sure yet if I'd want to celebrate its anniversary. I mean, the idea makes great sense. And maybe I'll get there.

The thing is, being emotionally abused is a bit like having your whole life dipped in poison. It's rarely this one isolated incident you can point your finger to and say 'that was traumatic'. Instead, it's in everything. Everywhere. It's your whole life. Even the good moments where you seem to get along look suspicious, in hindsight. (Was your abuser merely "rewarding" you because you happened to fit their thoughts of what you should be? Was it at all real? And what about the fact that it never, ever lasted?) Maybe that's why recovery is gradual, too. More and more things come to light. There's no one definite date.

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C.

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December 15, 2014

Like others, it's been a gradual unfolding of the truth.  I had an intellectual "understanding" that I'd been emotionally abused, but I didn't feel it until recently.  Perhaps true knowledge, acknowledgement, happens through spiritual, intellectual and emotional understanding.  An intersect of feeling in my head, chest and tummy. 

I am choosing an experience that best describes that truth for me.  The date above isn't exact, but it represents the experience. 

I was driving home on a country road, thinking about a family story about me.  When I was a one-year old I would "tantrum" because I didn't get my way so my mother would put me alone in my crib, in another room.  My tears were somehow seen as a "manipulation" to get my way.  So I would cry it out alone until I learned that tears would not get my needs met and I gave up.  The family story is told like it's so great that I learned not to cry and manipulate...

So now I re-framed the story, I imagined the helpless, one-year old me, upset and crying, left alone in her crib when she just needed a hug and reassurance.  And I finally "felt" the weight of my childhood experience. I cried for that child.  That infant really, not even yet verbal.  The pain.  The sadness. 

That drive and cry is a grounding, fixed experience for me to remember the reality and acknowledge the beginning of my recovery.

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bee

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Always knew mother was off. I started really questioning stuff in 2000, when I started T.
Kizzie put it well.
Looking back, another part of not being able to fully accept that I was abused, is that to do so I had to let go of the faint hope that one day I might get what I need(ed) from my FOO.  I had to openly look at the fact that they would not change, that I had always been alone and would always be int terms of having a functioning, loving, caring FOO. Very, very hard but nowadays, I don't have any doubt about being abused and I don't waste energy pining for what I now know is a fantasy.
I officially gave up my hope when I went NC. I think that was 2007. Sometimes I think, 'Really, that long ago?', other times, 'Oh, I thought it's been longer.' Time is weird for me.

Honoring this date seems weird. It's like honoring the death of a loved one. Honor the death of my hope? I get that it is also the beginning of protecting myself, but the cost was so high, it's hard to see it as a positive.

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anosognosia

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For me it was when I came home after learning about child abuse in my professional training and realizing my childhood met all the criteria.