PERSONALITY

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Cory’s photos…

I can change many things, one thing I cannot change is being me. I grew up terrorized. My personality formed believing I was bad, dirty and unfit to live. I felt ashamed to be in public with the very same brothers who attacked me sexually fearing they would not want to be seen with a fat sister. The fatness came at age 8 after the first attack eating to appease my mother’s guilt and my terror.

I do not feel dirty anymore. I feel whole with access to my interior which runs deep, wise and compassionate. But the feeling part of me, the personality that formed holds a belief I cannot change; I am not worthy of love nor is anyone trustworthy enough to receive mine. I can change many things but I cannot change this. Maybe I have chipped away it more than I realize as I work on it daily, but the basis of my personality was formed believing it so it will continue to challenge me and need work. The more I work on it the less starved I feel. 

I’ve found moments of breaking through the worn cloth of my formed personality to feel a glow, the warmth of human love, necessities for all of us…but the moments are fleeting and the castle’s draw bridge snaps shut fast not daring exposure as too much betrayal will surely bring annihilation. How much can one risk?

I did not receive protection or touch that holds the purity of a brother’s love. That belief was founded, but unfortunately blocked out such sweetness from any further relationships. Guards permanently stand erect, the moat full, drawbridge locked, and the castle rock solid. Any touch frightens me at the same time I crave touch.

Good thing for cats. I have had cats and kittens throughout childhood and adulthood along with dogs, gerbils, white mice, rabbits, chickens, goats and horses. There are safe ways to fill a need if one is persistent in her efforts.

But I cannot change being me. I cannot go back and be someone else, a little girl loved and protected by her brothers. Things done irrevocably changed me and took much. Sex never became safe or satisfying. Trust, no. But I can trust my cat. That doesn’t mean she won’t take a swipe at me, but that I trust we can still be OK. And that give and take has been risked with human relationships too which also have their ups and downs. I am leaning into taking risks again. My time will come…

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and my own photo of the little model…

c

 

 

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15 thoughts on “PERSONALITY

  1. I am so glad you wrote this particular sentence, ” I grew up terrorized. My personality formed believing I was bad, dirty and unfit to live. I felt ashamed to be in public with the very same brothers who attacked me sexually” because, to me, there is such a difference between those of us who had the experiences of violation that happened while we were developing as a person, versus those who had a a person already developed (say at age 15). The poison became a part of us, instead of being thrown on us.. Its underestimated the amount of damage done because of the timing..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The line that kimmysurviving mentioned, stood out to me as well. I have had a recent conversation about how abuse changes the future for children. It shapes and changes who they will become, and what lenses they will view the world from.
    Your cat is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I had a hard time answering. I totally agree but also did not want to diminish the pain, trauma and horror of being sexually attacked at any age.
      I follow blogs I can relate to and those are by women who have also survived childhood sexual abuse..There are specific challenges and effects that are so deep. You describe it better than I do and so does Kimmy.
      Unprocessed trauma tends to become permanent, at least for me, along with many other aspects.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Hello brave friend. I love these photos. Thank you for sharing them. I’ve been wresting with this part of myself for a while lately — the part of me that is scared to feel good. I would have moments of feeling good about myself and then I’d spiral into shame, self-hate or just feeling bad. Do you know what I mean? I’m at a place now where I can let the good feelings in for longer periods and I can usually catch myself if I’m close to spiraling into old patterns. When I was a kid I couldn’t feel good — it was too confusing because in a way I think it negated the abuse — why would I be smiling and happy in the world if I was being tormented at home? Also feeling good was risky because I was there to protect my mother and make her feel like she was a good mother — when she wasn’t. There was only room for one of us to feel good. I was not that person. I was bad and to be blamed for all of the abuse because if I wasn’t here there wouldn’t be abuse.

    But I think it’s time to let this go. These patterns of thought that no longer serve us. You get to feel good, Patricia. I do too. You’re worthy of love and care and self-compassion. I think we can witness the bubbling of shame/bad feelings disgust — whatever words resonate here for you — rising and then not be consumed by them. I think we can say, “Oy. Yup. I know those shit ass feelings. Fuck them. They don’t own me. I do!” And then, in a way we are not giving any more power to the past but we are claiming our future. We can do this. I know we can. Hold your sweet cat close to your heart and then let all that love you feel for it wash right into you. This is what came to me when I read this. Thanks for writing. You always inspire me to work harder and dig deeper. Sending love your way.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Interesting what you say as it’s just what I said to myself while walking in the rain. As a flake or two fell, head down lost in thought, I realized just that— when these feelings arise let them and say, “Oh that.”

      But on days like today I do feel that way. I allow myself the freedom to feel what I feel.

      As much as I wish I could ‘let it go’ it will continue to be a daily challenge in some form and on some level.

      Thank you Jessica.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I’m with you and I get it. 100%! It’s a life journey for certain. And some days, weeks … months, years! will be harder than others. But I’m trying to change my mindset so that I feel empowered by choice and not beholden by past abuse. I’m the boss. I call he shots. I’m pissed and sad that this happened to me but I cannot give it anymore strength over my relationship with myself. Reading your process and your hard work empowers me to stay at it. Thank you! ❤️️

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am fighting off a cold and the days are dull without sun… just minor things in addition to the lower level of light this time of year which affects me quite a lot…but your kind words lifted me. I went about Saturday chores feeling lighter as if a friend held out her hand to help me up. You did… : )

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this and all your posts. I can’t say that I understand your experience or why it happened. It does make me very angry that such things happen.

    I had 2 very dear friends in primary school who seem to have experienced the same thing. One is now deceased (at a young age) and the other is lost in abusive relationships and drug addiction. I don’t know what it’s like, but I’ve seen the results of what such experiences can do.

    It makes me very angry.

    I love the pictures of your cat. It’s strange how they seem to know just what we need and will sit beside us in silent support. We have 4 cats here and the odd thing is that when I’m feeling really bad and despondent, all 4 of them will seem to come down from wherever they are in the house and just sit next to me. They don’t “meow” or nudge me for “pets,” they just quietly stroll in and sit all around me. Why this happens or how they seem to know? I don’t have a clue. But I get how unconditionally loving our pets can be.

    I’m profoundly sorry for you experiences and the unfair consequences of it all. You shouldn’t have to be burdened with that.

    I love what Jessica said and I offer it to you as well:

    “You’re worthy of love and care and self-compassion”!!!!

    Yes! Yes! Yes! You are.

    Be well. Be at peace.
    Theseus

    Liked by 2 people

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