childhood sexual abuse

Is it me, or them?

So, about the not trusting what I believe. I’ve just posted about how I think my partner is great… but do I?! When it comes to emotions and what I think I find trusting my own opinion so incredibly difficult. As a person I constantly to and fro, working out what I think (or not as is often the case).

Why? why do I to and fro for hours and sometimes days trying to work things out? Well, lets look back in time. My abuser was my grandfather. I toiled every visit about whether the abuse would happen again. I went back and forth in my head, was he really doing something to me? My abuse was (as far as I remember, but I don’t remember much of my childhood) was mainly molesting, mostly over the clothes but I do remember at least one incident of under the clothes. There must have been many more. The abuse went on for years, and from the few memories I have it happened whenever the chance arose. If in a room with other people it might be a squeeze of the bum in an inappropriate way, or a hug where the arms fondled my yet to be developed breasts. There were also many times when we were alone. Being shunted upstairs to go on my uncles computer that he used to have in his room, being joined in there by my grandad with the rest of the family downstairs.

I constantly questioned myself, was he doing something wrong? This person was painted as a saint in the family. A community pilar, a hero for taking on a 3 child family when my biological grandfather died and left my grandma alone with three kids. A submissive man, bossed around by my grandmother. Someone everyone felt sorry for, yet respected for his constant giving to others…… This man that everyone loves, doing something to me….. no really, surely not. Also I was confused as I don’t remember rape. He was just touching me, so that’s not that bad is it? I still in some ways struggle with this. It is wrong, but how I know is that I picture someone else in the same position, an older person using a child for their own gratification is wrong. I don’t feel that for myself. I know that because I can look at it as an outsider. I can’t connect that wrongdoing for me. I can’t fully grieve for my lost childhood where I carried the burden of abuse, and where I lost my trust in everyone around me.

I was never sure I was being abused, I was never sure about my own opinion as how could someone so good as a person be doing something bad? how could someone that loves me and offers me love in none abusive ways be abusing me? Here comes the complication with loving relationships for me. This has had exponential growth, due to my parents having high conditions of worth on me. I was only “good” if I behaved in certain ways and did certain things. I have a narcisistic mother, and a father that tailors to her needs. I don’t feature in terms of emotional needs. Again, they tell me they love me. I know they do. But, they are also unwilling to recognise my emotional needs – which has resulted in me having no relationship with them now. I tried to say how I feel about certain things, how we can’t have a relationship if my mum continues to be drunk and abusive towards me, how she can’t try it on with my partners, how I’m open to change so long as I can have my feelings respected. I put this on  the table, and I’ve had no response and have heard nothing for 3 months now. Leaving me to question myself again. Are my emotional needs OK, do I deserve to be heard, have feelings, have them respected?

Yet also this raises other questions. Am I just wrong. In the case of my parents and grandfather they tell me they love me and show it in certain ways. Maybe I’m just unreasonable or unrealistic at wanting to be heard. Having my emotional needs recognised. I know this isn’t true, but on a deeper level I think I still question that.

So back to my partner. I’m finding it hard to believe myself about who he is? I have this picture in my head of him as loving and supportive, but a deeper worry that he isn’t. In the case of my abuser and parents, and last partner I sacrificed myself and my emotional needs for their love. I created a lie for each of them which mean’t that they could still the people I needed them to be. A grandfather, parents, a partner. So now, am I doing the same again? Am I missing signals that he will be abusive, is he not meeting key emotional needs but I can’t see it because I’m used to being in cycles of abuse. I don’t think so but the barrier is hard to take down. It’s hard to believe my own opinions (because yes I have lied to myself in the past to make it bearable that the person who “loves” me is treating me with anything but love. It’s hard to believe that he is what he presents (the loving grandfather/pedophile, the loving parents/emotionally abusive, the loving partner/emotional abuser).

Hopefully this to-ing and fro-ing improves. I know I do deserve to be heard, can I believe that this partner deserves to be trusted? The wounds of the past have certainly not healed on this account.

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