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Surreal - coming to terms with the past

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've spent the last few weeks as a guest on the site reading peoples posts and wondering wether or not I should join , and if I was to join what did I hope to achieve by doing so.

It all seems surreal that here I am trying to work through some tough decisions online , for me this is a whole new experience and something that's come as a shock , it's made me realise that I'm not alone in doing so.

I've had a very fortunate upbringing with two loving parents that have been my biggest supporters from day one, they have supported me through all my education even if l kept changing my mind half way through !
And for all of that I'm so grateful .

It's not until now that I find myself alone in my decisions, I don't want to be judged so feel talking face to face with a friend or loved one isn't the right choice for me , so here l am sitting with my iPad talking to a screen !

I hope this makes sense !!!
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey buddy and welcome to TheSite - cool to see you posting :)

    This makes plenty of sense - sometimes reaching out face to face can be daunting as you're not only thinking about what it is you want to say but you also have to think about how the person you're telling may react and then how you'll manage that if it's not the reaction you hope for. It can be pretty complicated.

    Talking to other people who've been in similar situations somewhere here like TheSite can be a good stepping stone so feel free to use this space however you feel works for you. Testing the water with strangers online can sometimes be a lot easier for some reason! ;) It can also help to realise you're not alone and give you a bit of space to get your thoughts straight so that you can feel really prepared for any conversation you do choose to have in person down the line.

    The community here is friendly and will help in anyway they can, we can also just listen and provide support if you need to vent so take your time and see how you go.

    It sounds like that feeling of being judged is something that's worrying you, do you want to tell us more about what's going on for you at the moment?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ive had a morning spent on Dolphin watch without very much success , apart from realising that my dog suffers from sea sickness , and I've a burnt nose and now look more like Rudolph !!!
    So now I'm sat at the harbour with a very large drink ( Dutch courage!) and think it's time to just say whats on my mind in the hope that I've not judged this website wrongly !!

    This is very difficult for me an hope that I will not be judged here !
    I'm just looking for people's thoughts incase I've missed something has l so don't want to mess up !

    With my job l do an awful lot of traveling which is something that I've loved , l couldn't imagine doing a nine to five job behind a desk all day .
    Being away so much is difficult when trying to build relationships , so i decided that being single was the best option and not complicated as long distance relationships would be.
    And I've been very happy.

    I travelled just over a 18 months ago to India , l was working on a documentary about local fishermen , it was there that my life changed .
    I was attacked and raped by two men whilst working .
    I never told anyone and just went back to the hotel room and cleaned myself up and composed myself , I was along way from home with no surport so just had to deal with it the best l could , l managed to finish my assignment for work and then left the country . It wasn't until l was safely on the plane to l began to realise the enormity of what had happened , but wanted to keep it to myself so went home like it had never happened.
    Trying to keep my secret was difficult but l didn't want my parents telling me maybe l should change careers and do something nearer home, so l kept it from them and kept myself busy ,giving myself very little time to think .

    I managed for a few months but knew in the back of my mind that my periods had stopped but didn't want to face the possibility that l was pregnant , so just kept on keeping busy .
    I was scared to face the truth. And that was that l was pregnant .
    It got to the stage were l could hide it no more so decided to speak to my mum , who was shocked and upset to realise what I'd been through and more upset that I felt that l couldn't tell her .
    We spoke about my options and what l was going to do, my family are they catholic so abortion wasn't an option in there eyes .
    So after long talks l decided that I'd keep the baby and mum and dad surrported me with my decision .
    I have since had a healthy baby boy who l named josh , but the realisation of having him as been so difficult for me and I didnt cope to well , and again mum and dad were great and took him in until I found my feet again , but l decided the best thing would be for me to put josh up for adoption as I felt no love just a constant reminder.
    Mum an dad begged me to reconsider as they felt they could offer josh a loving home in the hope that ld change my mind.
    So josh is at my parents house and l decided I needed to take myself away from the whole situation and so am living in a differnt country as l can't face the situation .

    Please don't judge me .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mum sends me constant emails with pictures of josh and constantly talks of his development with me , which I find difficult.
    I seem to be living my life at the moment through guilt , I'm guilty of my secret, I'm guilty of having Josh , I'm guilty of not coping , and I'm more guilty of not loving , and I'm guilty of running away.

    I know that l need to make a decision for the sake of josh.
    How do l find that love? How do l look at him an not see the images of the two men?
    How do l give him that loving home that he so deserves?

    I can't find the answers to theses questions.

    I will understand if people hate me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, First things first, well done for posting, I can tell that took a lot of strength and courage to post so well done.

    I'm rather unsure what to say, but I just wanna say that people on TheSite will never judge you for what you've been through, this is a safe space.

    With your mother, could you try talking to her again and tell her how it's making you feel? I know it's hard, even if you can't talk to her how about writing it down in a letter and giving it to her? These are only suggestions I'm sure other people have better idea's.

    Do keep posting :)

    Suzy
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Suzy for the reply.

    I'm going to the uk on Thursday until the 7th July , I'm photographing a wedding at the weekend and then heading over to see my family .
    This is something that I'm dreading , as my mum thinks my heart will melt as soon as l see Josh again and I'm going to disappoint her all over again.

    You all may think I'm heartless and you may well be right!

    Having Josh should have been my biggest accomplishment ever and l know this , and in my head l keep telling myself that none of this was ever he's fault that he's just a loving little boy , but my heart won't allow me to think like this .

    If l did go back and try an blank everything out and concentrate all my efforts on being a mother to Josh , and l failed again then what would that be saying to him?

    I'd like Josh to be a happy child , and one day he's going to ask about his father .
    What am l to say when that day arrives?

    My parents look at things very differently and for them it's much easier , as Josh is apart of me , a Daughter that they have loved and cherished .
    They don't see what l see .

    They don't live with the guilt , they don't have that constant reminder that they are failures .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I probably shouldn't be writing this here.

    you are all probably hating me for doing what I've done.
    But No one can hate me more than l hate myself right now

    I have nothing else at the moment , I'm just desperately trying to find the answers to making this work some how.

    So I'm really really sorry
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Nobody here will hate you at all or judge you.

    I don't have any advice but I wanted to drop in and offer hugs. You had a very tough decision to make and if getting away from Josh was the best thing for you (which it sounds like it was) then there's nothing wrong with it. It must be really tough. I'm so sorry to hear about what happened *hug* *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Buddy,

    As others have said, well done for opening up to us here. It can't have been easy and I can hear that you were really worried about doing so. Part of that worry in sharing is often around the fear of what will come back from the other person, how will they react and can I handle it if it's negative? I would imagine plenty of people here can relate to that, especially when you're sharing things that are really personal and private to you and your experiences.

    You sound like a strong person that has had to make some incredibly heart-wrenching decisions and I get the impression that you're now in a place where you're searching for answers, for the next step, is that right? Your parents have been hugely supportive yet you also feel a pressure from them to start to get more involved in josh's life.

    We all have our own unique experience of the world and no one can imagine exactly what this whole ordeal has been like for you. Everyone copes differently and from what you've told us, you want the best for josh but you're looking for some guidance on what that might look like for you and your family.

    It also sounds like you've needed space to process everything that's happened as well as what you might want for the future. You mention that you have a visit planned in the next few weeks so that's throwing up more questions for you.

    Can I ask if you have ever received any professional support around what you went through? Is it something you would consider?

    I know that you mentioned not feeling ready for a face to face conversation but online counselling could be an option for example and there are also organisations that provide helplines for women that have been through sexual abuse. Talking things through with somebody trained in this area could be something to consider as well as talking to other women who have been through similar experiences. Let us know if you'd like some more links.

    The Survivors Trust can help you find local services if and when you feel that might be an option for you.

    Do keep posting *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Jo for your reply.

    I have taken my self away from the situation , as l did try to care for Josh as I felt it was the right thing to do but l failed.
    I never hurt Josh in any way and I did everything l should have done as a mum like feed an change his nappy and play and talk to him but l couldn't love him , l'd put Josh down for his nap and couldn't wait to leave the room , ld dread him waking up and it all starting again.

    I knew this wasn't healthy for either of us, but it wasn't through lack of trying l promise.

    I went and spoke to my parents and was honest about my feelings , l could see the disgust on my mums face but l couldn't help that.
    It was agreed that my mum would move in with me and try and help me gain that maternal instinct that I so desperately wanted to find.

    Mum questioned if l had postnatal depression , but l knew I was sad but l was sad about the situation and nothing more.

    I spent weeks trying to work with mum to enjoy Josh more, but my feelings didn't budge.

    I got to the stage were I decided enough was enough and for both our sakes Josh would be better off being adopted into a loving home with two loving parents that treasured him the way that he should be.

    My parents disagreed and felt it would be my biggest regret and decided the best thing would be for them to take Josh in , l agreed to this as taking there Grandchild away would have destroyed them.

    They are fantastic with Josh , l still pay for all his needs and they offer him the love that l fail to do.

    It was hard walking away , not because l was leaving Josh but because l realised it was the first time my parents hated there daughter.

    I've never had any help with this apart from my parents .

    I'm a very proud person and feel like this was my doing .
    I've never looked at this as sexual abuse as this incident was a one off , l put myself into a situation that maybe l should have looked at more logically in the first place, it probably wasn't a safe place to be alone and I should have evaluated that more carefully before l set about my work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm dreading my visit home as if I'm honest l feel angry, I'm angry at myself for the whole situation .
    But I'm so dam angry at my parents , I'm angry that for once they can't take off the rose tinted glasses and see this for what it is .

    I've always wanted to make my parents proud and I have done everything to make that happen all my life, I've been a good daughter that's never brought any trouble to there door , l was a good student l studied well and gained my qualifications with honours . I've worked my way up the ladder in my field of work to were I feel like I've accomplished something to make them proud.

    I've been an only child so never wanted for anything , my parents dotted on me .
    And l know that I've had a privileged upbringing and I'm so very grateful for all of this.

    Your probably will hate me for this next statement but I feel l need to be totally honest.

    I'm Angry at my parents as I feel they have pushed me into this situation, they don't fully listen to what l want but what they think is best.
    This life came into this world because of the fear of rejection from my parents if I opted to have an abortion, so having Josh was my only choice.
    Then l say aloud that l can't cope and adoption would be the best answer and again they don't listen.
    They pushed me into keeping Josh , why? Yes because they fear my regret but isn't that mine to deal with?
    They say I'd be taking there grandchild away, a child that came into this world not through love .
    Why the hell don't they see this?

    I'm no longer priority in there world , Josh as taken that place .
    And no I'm not fighting for attention , l realise that this is hard for them to .

    But what about me?..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've just read that back and it makes me look so selfish , this is crazy!

    Am l wrong to feel like this?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It don't make you sound selfish at all, it's just how your feeling :)

    Have you had a chance yo have a look at the links that Jo showed you? if not don't make a worry of it :)

    With your parents, it could be possible that they just want what's best for you and Josh, I know it may not seam like that at the moment, but it could be possible that with your parents looking after Josh they could have hoped that you would come around, if you get what I mean, if not feel free to ingoure what I'm saying :)

    This is going to be a very silly question, but have you ever sat your parents down and just told them how your feeling? And how all of this is affecting you? I know how hard it is to just tell them, but from what I've seen your a really strong person.

    Another possibility would be going to see your GP as they may have further support services that could be available to you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Suzy for the reply

    I've always been totally honest with my parents about how l feel, the problem is we just don't agree.
    I chat to them everyday and Skype with them most evenings .

    I don't see my situation as ever being sexual abuse, it was a one off and something that I feel l caused
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Even if you don't see it as sexual abuse, you would still be allowed support :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't feel like l deserve help as the situation would never have happened if it hadn't have been for my stupidity, I put myself into a situation that maybe l should have looked at more logically in the first place, it probably wasn't a safe place to be alone and I should have evaluated that and come up with a safer place to do my Work.

    The helplines are for people who have done nothing wrong.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I can't change how your feeling, but just know that there is people there if you need/want them :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Suzy
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Buddy wrote: »
    I was attacked and raped by two men whilst working .
    Buddy wrote: »
    I don't feel like l deserve help as the situation would never have happened if it hadn't have been for my stupidity, I put myself into a situation that maybe l should have looked at more logically in the first place, it probably wasn't a safe place to be alone and I should have evaluated that and come up with a safer place to do my Work.

    It's natural to analyse something after it's happened and go over and over the 'what ifs' and even end up blaming yourself.

    Whatever situation you were in the fact remains that those men still chose to do what they did to you and what they did was wrong. This was their fault and not yours.

    You were on your own in a foreign country and that can be a vulnerable position to be in at times, unfortunately there are some people out there that will take advantage of that.

    It sounds like you have a lot of pent up anger towards your parents and that you don't feel you had a true say in some of the decisions that were made. Allowing yourself to feel heard by someone and understood can be really liberating and hopefully it's helping you being able to vent here *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm scared to admit that maybe it wasn't my fault.

    If l do l have no control, at the moment I'm in charge of my emotions admitting that l was hurt would mean l had no control.

    Does that make sense?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It does, that seams like a normal feeling, so don't worry to much, I know that sounds hard, but you've managed to open up to use and I'm proud of you for doing that :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ive just got off the computer from my skype chat with the family.
    Its so difficult to see my mum excited for my visit, how the hell am l going to let her down again?
    I hate this situation and feel l cant say what l want.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well their May be a GOD after all (or an air traffic strike!!)

    So maybe my flight will be cancelled tomorrow as my local airport is affected !
    So that's good news for me , if it's cancelled then that's out of my hands and I won't be the one disappointing anyone!!!

    Only bad thing about it is ringing my client this morning and explaining the situation and helping her with a back up plan incase l can't photograph her wedding on Saturday !

    So l guess l just sit tight and wait and see ( with a smile on my face in the hope it's cancelled) for my own selfish reasons !
  • JamesJames Posts: 1,706 Extreme Poster
    Buddy wrote: »
    I'm scared to admit that maybe it wasn't my fault.
    If l do l have no control, at the moment I'm in charge of my emotions admitting that l was hurt would mean l had no control.
    Does that make sense?

    Hey Buddy,

    First of all, as everyone else has said, well done on posting. It can't have been easy to open up so honestly and talk us through everything that's happened and what you're going through now. Do you feel it's helped getting it out?

    You seem to be pretty reluctant to face your parents again and from everything you've said, it sounds like there are a lot of difficult emotions there. It's understandable to feel angry with them for making you keep Josh. From the sound of it, having control over your own life is something you value pretty highly, so having that taken away must be really hard.

    I can see why you say that admitting you were hurt would mean you had no control. Feeling hurt is tough to manage and admitting it is a scary step to take. But I do agree with Jo:
    Jo7 wrote: »
    Whatever situation you were in the fact remains that those men still chose to do what they did to you and what they did was wrong. This was their fault and not yours.

    We can't always prevent being hurt, but as Jo mentioned, sometimes talking through these kinds of feelings to someone can really help us understand, own and take charge of them. Maybe it would be worth trying?

    Keep us posted on the flight situation :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the reply James.

    When l joined the site and decided to start getting things out l didn't fully realise the effect that it would have on me.

    Spending the last 18 months holding everything together as been very difficult .
    I'm used to being in total control of my life and my emotions.

    Usually when l decide to do something l put every effort into succeeding l don't stop until I've accomplished my goal.
    But in this incident I'm having real issues.

    I'm fully aware that at the end of the day Josh is my responsibility , l gave birth to him and l decided upon that ,it was my decision wether I felt it to be right or not it was my choice.

    Josh should be my everything , I should be proud to have such an amazing little boy in my life.
    I can't begin to tell you how much ld like to be able to feel this way , but something stops me.

    If I'm totally honest l know Jo is right , l know that's the issue, l know it because when l look at Josh l don't look at a beautiful little boy ,all l see in his eyes are the two men .

    When l was pregnant I made a decision , l decided that I couldn't dwell on what had happened I felt it was a waste of my emotions and time.

    I blocked it out my mind by keeping busy, I put all my effort into my work and did long hours so that when l was home I just slept and worked!

    When l was 8 months pregnant l decided to make Josh his nursery , l spent days deciding on the colour scheme and shopping for furniture .

    It was then that it began to hit me , doing all this alone was not something ld ever imagined doing , from being a child ld dreamt of my prefect wedding and how many children ld have and it wasn't like this.

    All through my birthing plan l decided I didn't want anyone with me , I didn't feel like it was a place l wanted my mum to be .

    I went through a tough labour alone , l didn't want all the love and affection and all the oh it will be ok !

    Josh came into the world and it was just him and me and the midwife , when they place Josh on me l didn't look at him through gooie eyes , l didn't instantly fall in love with him , in fact it was difficult to look at him at all.

    I had to work through so many emotions in them first few minutes , l had to tell my heart that this baby was here and l had to get on with it.

    So again I used the same principles l use in my work , and put my heart into doing everything for Josh , I was great at the bathing the feeding the reading to him the playing with him , l just couldn't do the loving .

    I hate myself for not loving him , my upbringing was filled with nothing but love and l soooo want Josh to feel that as it's so important .

    Josh being at my parents is working with regards to his development , he's great he's hitting all his goals at the right time the books say he should be .
    And he doesn't want for anything , l make sure all his needs financially are met, that's something l can do! And my parents offer the love.

    It's getting to the stage were I either walk back into his life fully or l walk away fully , walking away fully would mean walking away from all my family .
    As seeing him is so painful , not just for me but for my parents too as they have so many expectations of me melting and falling in love , and every time this fails to happen there disappoint is plain to see.
    And that's not healthy for anyone of us.

    That's the stage I'm up too , do l want that to happen NO

    So l guess that's why l came here to see if there was another way forward , and you have shown me that yes maybe there is .
    And it's probably been something I've already known but am to dam scared to do something about !

    So l guess the question needs to be is my fear more important than Josh , and the answer is NO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I didn't expect that emotion when l read that back :0(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Buddy wrote: »

    When l was 8 months pregnant l decided to make Josh his nursery , l spent days deciding on the colour scheme and shopping for furniture .

    It was then that it began to hit me , doing all this alone was not something ld ever imagined doing , from being a child ld dreamt of my prefect wedding and how many children ld have and it wasn't like this.

    I wonder if starting to accept this wasn't your fault also involves starting to accept and really let yourself grieve for what you have lost? Loss is hard and it often involves things like denial and anger and despair and you can feel all of those things at different times.

    You've lost the chance to have those things that you always thought you would have. That can't be easy to come to terms with.
    Buddy wrote: »
    So l guess that's why l came here to see if there was another way forward , and you have shown me that yes maybe there is .
    And it's probably been something I've already known but am to dam scared to do something about !

    What's important is to give yourself time to work out what that way forward looks like for you. I'd say it's probably very natural to feel afraid and full of emotion at this point so do try and be kind to yourself and take things at your own pace. *hug*
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Buddy. Others have already said everything I was going to so I won't go in to anything in detail, but serious kudos for opening up here and getting a few things out. You're clearly a strong person. Look after yourself. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm really struggling tonight, I've got so much emotion going on.

    I've just spoken to mum and Josh , trying to hold it all together whilst I was on the phone was a nightmare :0(

    I feel like I'm falling apart here , I never normally need company but right now I just wish l had a friend here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tonight I've done a lot of thinking and I've let my defences down a little ( with the help of a few large JD and cokes!)

    I picked the phone up and spoke to a friend, she was and l guess still is my best friend from my uni days , I've spent the last 18 months pushing her away.

    And tonight I finally explained a little of how I felt to her, her reaction wasn't one of shock but of complete support .

    She's was around when l was pregnant and asked many times about who the father was, a question that I never answered .
    But tonight l have and for the first time it feels ok .

    She told me she knew something was very wrong and tried to help me at the time but l decided to push everyone away.
    she was right as l didn't want my secret to get out.

    I know this is only one person and l know that she truly cares for me, but I'm beginning to feel like it's only a big secret to me if I'm going off her reaction, she was calm and listened and told me something that I'd never really thought about before.

    She told me that the situation should make Josh even more special
    That l should want to bring Josh up to never be like his father, and she as a point it's not anything really to do with Josh he was a victim in this just as much as l was, I've never looked at it in this way before.

    I'm going to meet her next week whilst I'm home .

    I'm sorry if this doesn't make much sense as I've had a lot to drink tonight !!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OMG my head this morning , not a great day for an hangover !!

    It's 10.15 am here and I'm still in my bed , l should be up getting organised as I've not packed a thing !

    I'm here thinking about my revolution from last night , and if it was truly the best thing for me to have done.
    Would l have done it had l not been drunk? And I think the answer would have to be NO

    I'm hoping that my friend really is ok about this situation , she as been a great friend to me in the past.
    Our uni days we're great we supported each other and got up to loads of mischief !
    So l guess I should stop questioning this.


    Looking at the Ryanair website this morning it looks like the French air strike was called off at midnight, so it looks like my flight will be ok !
    So now all l have to do is master getting my dog in her create !!
    oh and pack , and clean the villa .
    Why the hell did JD and coke taste so good last night !!!
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