I have known for a while that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). However it has never really been explained to me in helpful detail. So, I am taking matters in to my own hands. I have been in and out of therapy since the day I turned 18. The sexual abuse happen when I was much younger. I don’t remember when it started. I do know that it stopped around Christmas when I was 10. The reason I did not receive the professional help that I so desperately required, was because of religion.
I was raised in a cult like religion called Jehovah Witnesses, perhaps you have heard of them? In an attempt to not bring reproach upon the name of this cult, I mean religion I was told not to talk about it to anyone or my brother would go to jail and there would be a trial and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. That if it went public and the people in the small town I lived in knew, I would be judged. I was told that when I would walk down the street people would call me names and the sort.
I remember that conversation with my mom, if you can call it a conversation? She basically scared me into submission and to keep the abuse and my feelings inside me and not talk about them. It was hard to express myself to anyone from simple things, like can I have a glass of milk to even more important matters. It always seemed to me that what was important to me was never important to my mother or that it just didn’t matter.
I don’t mean to pick or put all the blame on my mother, she did the best she could at the time. My dad, not around much, he preferred to work then be with the family he never wanted. I am trying to work through this anger for my mom, it’s not easy at all. She did do what she thought was right at the time with the information she had.
In terms of family life and how we turned out, we like so many others are MESSED UP!
Let’s start with my oldest sister, 48 years old still lives at home with my mom. My brother, should be in jail for molesting my little sister and me. Married a harpy of a women who just tares him down but he allows it. The sister before me, married at a young age of 19. The engagement lasted longer then the marriage. He was physically and sexually abusive to her, he felt that because she was his wife he could take what he wanted when he wanted. It took her almost 10 years to move on from that experience, she did remarry at the age of 31 to a man that was 11 years younger then her. They have a little girl now. Then me, we will get into me later, but then there’s my baby sister.
I think she is the worse of us all, poor thing. I still to this day struggle with guilt that I didn’t protect her. When she turned 21 she had a psychotic break. She ended up being put into the psych ward at a hospital and then was in and out of half way homes because she kept trying to kill herself. There was an incident once where my mother was driving 55 miles an hour down the road one day taking my sister to one of these homes and she tried to jump out of the car. My mother still doesn’t know how she kept her from jumping while controlling the car.
My sister was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, delusional with multiple personalities. Like I said she suffered so much and it destroyed her and the person she was meant to be. I know my mom did what she thought was best, but her and I were having a conversation one day not long after my father divorced her and how things had turned out. She made the comment that “if I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a thing.” That was the beginning of the end for her and I. I remember losing all respect for her that day. I always had this felling that when I got to a point in my life that I would be alone, without blood family around. And that was the day I started to separate myself from them all. Slowly, but it started. It started out of self-preservation. I was dying, not living, just going through the motion of existing. It came down to a few things, mostly the religion I was born into, and their failure to practice what they preach. They say they are a loving, non-judgmental, everyone is welcome organization, but I’m here to tell you, that’s not the case. They call their religion “The Truth,” more accurately they hide the truth from the world and their members. The reason my parents got divorced is because my little sister told my mom that he had tried to make her perform oral sex on him when she was younger. This came out at the same time as her breakdown. That was it for my mom, I mean things were messed up, well pretty much from the word “I Do,” when it came to those two. So, my mom told him he needed to leave that she had, had enough. Because of her religious beliefs or rather those imposed upon her by this cult she did not have scriptural grounds for divorce. See in this religion the only grounds for divorce and to be free from your marriage in the eyes of God is fornication. I bet your thinking, but wait he molested your sister. Yes, he did, but it was her word against his. Their rule requires two witnesses to the sexual act, if the other person doesn’t admit to the misconduct. BULLSHIT I say, BULLSHIT!
So my father denied that he had abused her and my mom filed for legal separation to protect herself. My father in turn divorced her. He went around telling members of the congregation that, “My wife kicked me out and now we are getting a divorce.” He made people think that she was the one sinning by divorcing him, but that wasn’t the case, but there was no telling people that. My father was really good at manipulating people into believing things the way he wanted them to, lets face it he had 35 years or so of practice. Being a man that abused his wife and children he had to be good at making up stories about the bruises and such. My mom didn’t stand up for herself, she let people believe what they wanted. Somehow and this still boggles my mind, I was the one who seemed to get picked on from a member of the congregation for it. There was this woman who I think had something going on with my father on the side, I have no proof but it just a feeling, she was just so mean to me. It felt like she would go out of her way to make things hard for me. I was still living at home when they split, so it wasn’t that I picked sides in the divorce but I did stand up for my mom the best I could. My father put the woman through hell. So, judgment was passed on me for something I had no control over. So I left. I moved. I tried to move on with my life. It cost me my relationship with my whole family. It really just came down to me or them and I choose me.
It’s been one hell of a journey that I am still traveling, but minute by minute, day by day I’m doing what’s best for me.