Defining Sexual Abuse and Devine Sex by Pam Witzemann

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This week I’m excited to welcome back to Emerging from Broken, guest writer and fellow blogger Pam Witzemann as she defines sexual abuse. Pam shares a highly personal account of how she came to terms with understanding what happened to her and how she recovered from sexual abuse by learning the truth.  As I read through this post I was reminded that sexual abuse is not ‘sex’ and abuse is never related to love. Pam is a regular participant in almost all the discussions here in EFB and has her own blog; “Boomer Back-beat ~ Talking bout our generation”. As always I am looking forward to the conversation~ please contribute your thoughts and insights! ~ Darlene Ouimet

Defining Sexual Abuse and Devine Sex by Pam Witzemann

Love is not Abusive
Pam Witzemann

As a teenager, I wasn’t able to protect myself from sexual abuse because I had no definition of sexual abuse, other than violent force such as rape. I wasn’t able to define my own sexual abuse, until I understood what human sexual relationships were meant to be, what I call sacred or divine sex.

I grew up in the sixties and came of age during the seventies. As a child, I received many conflicting and confusing messages about sex. In those days, most people considered it the female’s duty to enforce sexual morality. I was taught that men really couldn’t control themselves sexually and it was up to me to “say no and mean no”.

I don’t think I ever heard the term “sexual abuse” as a child and even as a teenager I didn’t know there were adults who wanted to have sex with children. I was even taught that it was physically impossible to rape a woman and this was demonstrated to me, by my father, with a moving coke bottle and a broom handle. He was drunk at the time, as my parents always were when giving me my weekly Friday night lecture on sex and on life in general.

I know that alcohol distorted my concepts about sex and sexual relationships, as it distorted my understanding of almost everything. I was taught to believe that even though a woman ‘couldn’t be raped’, if she fought hard enough, women did often accuse men of rape as a cover for giving in to sex. I was taught when that happened and a girl lost her virginity, she no longer had any value to offer men and became “used merchandise”.

When I was fourteen and intimidated into submitting to sex with my girlfriend’s older brother, it never occurred to me that I’d been raped. I’d said “no” but wasn’t able to enforce “no” and in my mind, I was bad, I didn’t fight hard enough and I was “used merchandise”. I no longer had any value. No other future but marriage was ever presented to me, in a serious way, and I believed my life was over. I knew the way my parents taught me about sex felt creepy and I hated those Friday nights at the kitchen table, but I wouldn’t be able to define that experience (and other inappropriate expressions of their own sexuality) as emotional incest, until about one year ago. I blamed myself for the rape that took my virginity, until I was forty-nine years old.

My parents taught me a very distorted version of the repressive, sexual morality that was common, at that time. However, the sexual revolution was taking place, too and it proved to be even more confusing and filled with more mixed messages than what my parents taught me. It seemed that everyone was experimenting with new kinds of sexual relationships and birth control made “free love” possible. It also, made it very easy for adult men to prey on young, teenaged girls. In a way, it was a relief to me, at nearly sixteen, to think that maybe, being used merchandise wasn’t so bad. However, I still felt deep-down that I was bad and the way I was taught about sex and my first experience with it, did nothing to help me construct healthy boundaries around sex.

I didn’t communicate with people very well. I was very shy and in a lot of emotional pain. I was sick a lot as a small child and spent my entire third year of life, sick and in bed because my parents neglected to take me to a doctor soon enough. I wasn’t able to start school until I was seven and I was the size of a small four-year-old. I didn’t fit in with the other children because my life experience was so different from most children. I did have siblings and they were friends. They were out riding horses and playing together, while I was kept inside in bed.

My emotional responses were often, inappropriate because I learned them from drunks. Even now, there is an alone-ness about me that is just a part of who I am. At sixteen, there were many avenues of emotional need for a child predator to use against me, no force was necessary. Making me complicit in the abuse insured my acceptance of it and my silence.

The sexual revolution and the drugs that I’d begun using to numb my emotional pain and temporarily fill the void of alone-ness that never stopped aching, made me even more vulnerable to men who liked to have sex with young, teenaged girls. I was also, so small at sixteen that I looked to be no older than twelve. I was a child predator’s dream girl and at sixteen I became a sex-toy. I was coerced with flattery that made me feel like a woman, a woman with value, but my value was in being a toy. I was plied with a route of escape from my abusive home and was offered food and shelter. I was told that I was loved. I was given all the drugs I wanted and they helped me do those things that I really didn’t want to do. I had no idea that what was happening was sexual abuse because my life experience taught me that abuse was sex. I had nothing different to compare it to.

Soon, I became an avid abuser of myself.

There is one thing I know from being an abused child. It is possible to know in your heart that certain treatment is creepy and vile, even shameful when you can’t understand it with your mind. My life as a sex-toy ended when I was a little over seventeen but I carried those shameful, creepy, vile feelings, as my own, for many decades. There was too much pain there to cope with and there are times that I wonder if I’d really known how little I was loved and de-valued as a child, would I have survived to become an adult? Would I have been able to maintain any level of sanity? Somehow, even with all that was done to me that should have stripped every measure of child-like innocence away from me, I maintained a certain level of innocence and gullibility that served as an inner shield, that kept the real-me from utter destruction.

Still, I was shattered into a million pieces and at seventeen, I really had no idea who I was. Like a broken mirror, I reflected back in shards whatever someone else wanted to see. Now, I’m not sure if anyone had ever really seen ME but only recognized me as an object for their personal gratification. I was broken before I ever became.

I tried to end it all at eighteen but failed. I lived to plunge even deeper into drug abuse and at nineteen, I was homeless, weighed 75 pounds, and was sick with what would be diagnosed twenty years later, as hepatitis c. I drug myself back home, at that point.  When I found faith, I found a reason to live but I buried my past alive, as I struggled to be someone else and build a different life.

I was successful in hiding what I’d been for many years. I did everything I could to disassociate from who I was before and the life I’d lived. My husband is a good man and he loved me, as I was never loved by anyone before. We’re a good team and we built a good life together, but I was haunted by my past, dogged by shame and confused about my past behavior. I never once, thought to blame anyone but myself for anything that had happened.

Even though I learned about sexual abuse, I never applied that knowledge to my own childhood experience. I blamed everything on my parent’s alcohol abuse and my drug abuse. I was blind to the deeper issues that led to the substance abuse and I buried the sexual abuse deep inside and locked it away with a little girl’s understanding. It wasn’t until my children were teenagers and I was faced with issues in my own parenting, that I was able to define my first sexual experiences as abuse. I now realize that the child abuse I suffered was horrific and it is amazing that I lived to tell about it, at all.

I wish I could say that things are better for young women now than they were for me, but I can’t. Society still sends mixed, confusing messages about the boundaries around sexual relationships. Today, anything goes and just as I only understood violent force as rape, people are still blind to what sexual abuse really is. Age of consent is arbitrary and though I want it maintained as a legal protection, sexual abuse is about violating the most sacred, intimate boundaries of another person.

Sexual abuse denies the humanity of the victim. Sexual abuse is using violence, manipulation, intimidation, bribery, authority, or any other method to force another to open themselves, completely to be used by another. Sexual abuse violates the natural intent of sexual relationships, which is the bonding of two people, in mutual love and respect, in an act of love. Sex is meant to be a divine experience.

Sexual abuse steals the completeness of that divine experience from a child, forever. In fact, that ideal of a sexual relationship is all but lost in our culture, today. Our society is sexually insane (by the legal definition of an inability to tell right from wrong) and it is no wonder that children sold for sexual abuse, is the third largest black market in the world. What happened to me was horrific but it is mild compared to what is happening to many children now.

To rebuild my life, I had to carefully, redefine my understanding of what sex is meant to be. That process ended with a mindful definition of sexual abuse that is nothing like the old, repressive, Victorian morality of the past and nothing like the boundary-less sexuality of the present. Sex is to be enjoyed within healthy boundaries that maintain respect for each individual. It should be a divine experience, an expression of love, the kind of love that is necessary for raising and nurturing children.

 Sex should never for one person’s entertainment or sexual gratification. It should never be an expression of power, control, or violent domination. It should never be exploited for money. Sexual abuse laws are important for punishing offenders but laws will never end sexual abuse and abuse is anything that destroys what should be a sacred experience between two people who love and respect each other.

It is the mindful construction of healthy boundaries around sexuality that will make my childhood experience of sex rare and the rare experience of divine sex, more common.

Pam Witzemann                                    

As always we invite you to share your thoughts with us on this difficult subject. Please remember that you are welcome to use any name you wish to use in the comment form and that only the name you use will be seen by others. ~ Darlene

Pam Witzemann was born in Santa Fe, NM and is married, has raised two boys and has two grandsons. Pam and her husband have had their own business for over twenty years. Pam is a painter and a writer and hopes to make these pursuits more than a hobby in her later years. Pam authors the blog Boomer Back-Beat; a place where baby boomers find inspiration in the process of aging.

 Related posts by Pam; “To be objectified is to be dehumanized”

The process of forgiving my childhood abusers (also by Pam)

124 response to "Defining Sexual Abuse and Devine Sex by Pam Witzemann"

  1. By: Pam Posted: 9th July 2014

    Callant, It’s a good place, a sane place in a world that seems to be more insane each day. I’m glad you’re here.
    Pam

  2. By: Callynt Posted: 9th July 2014

    Pam,

    Rampant sexual abuse is an apt way of putting it. I don’t know what will turn the tide, but something will have to if humanity is to go on. Maybe I’m short sighted, but I don’t see any other way. I think sites like this will help. As people realize that healing is an option, they will focus more on becoming a whole person as opposed to a sexual object. So glad I found this place and all of you 🙂

  3. By: Pam Posted: 9th July 2014

    Callynt, Thank you.:0) I think my generation’s reaction was against Victorian morality and it was unhealthy but young people today are left in a vacuum of morality. There is no right and wrong and it is even more unhealthy than what was destroyed by my generation. It would be good if some healthy, common sense norms, and moral boundaries could be established. What we have now is rampant sexual abuse.
    Pam

  4. By: Callynt Posted: 8th July 2014

    Love your definition of divine sexuality. I agree, that our society in an insane reaction against Victorian morality (and foolish complicit agreement with perverts) has tried to break down social boundaries that govern who we are as people. It makes way for predators to get to children, and it’s just not right.

  5. By: Pam Posted: 7th June 2014

    A.S. Children under five seldom have a cognitive memory of sexual abuse unless they are rescued from the situation. Children can’t understand what is happening well enough to have the same kind of memory an older child would have but our bodies and hearts remember. I have a similar ‘memory’ that has recently fallen into place for me. I have put enough pieces together to believe I was sexually abused at an early age but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recover who it was who raped me or the other particulars. And yes, I think it is possible to not know you lost your virginity as a young child.
    Pam

  6. By: A.S Posted: 6th June 2014

    Recently my younger sister talked and she told me she thinks that we were sexually molested by our cousin. and she told me one day our older(about 4 years older)lured us into a dark spare bedroom by saying he wants to play hide and seek with us. she said she hid in closet and she said he found me. NO one came for her and she left but she later told me that she heard me say NO, STOP and it got quiet which could mean it was more than just molestation but rape. this was so eerie for me. I don’t remember anything but remember the feeling of helplessness and low self worth I felt all my life. I also remember the dark room and not liking to go there though. Every time I think of that room I see it from perspective of me standing outside the door, at the lighted corridor. I cried for a long time.
    That explained my Sexual dysfunction and weight problems, I thought like frigidity. Also I didn’t lose my virginity at 22 well, so I thought. Now I don’t know. So does anyone know, Is it possible not to know you were not virgin when you are having sex for the first time?

  7. By: Pam Posted: 3rd June 2014

    Jackie, Debbie, I guess the one good thing that came out of being sexually abused is that it made me really examine how our culture handles sexuality and how it should be handled. Sex should be divine (I wish I would have caught that typo in the title it drives me crazy)not debasing, degrading, or damaging. It isn’t dirty but abusive human beings have certainly, made it that way. Thank you for your comments.
    Pam

  8. By: Debbie Posted: 3rd June 2014

    After reading your comment it brought back memories from my childhood but your comments made it all make sense if there is any sense in people that abuse you. After many years of thinking that sex was dirty and that getting abused was normal..I suddenly woke up and realised how wrong these people had been with there medieval beliefs….after many years of pain. Your story was inspirational.

  9. By: Jackie Posted: 28th February 2014

    This topic and explanation of knowing what is real sex is pretty much describes my life from age 7 – age 26. It wasn’t until I discovered real intimacy, love making and appropriate male affection that I realized all my other sexual experiences were categorized as rape and abuse, which I was used to. Through therapy, soul searching and meeting my soul mate, I now know what real intimacy and true sex is and that it should NEVER EVER make you feel nervous or unsafe. If a man really loves you, he never wants to hurt you or see you hurt. That’s what I take away from this article and my experiences.

  10. By: Pam Posted: 24th September 2013

    Hi Kathy, I too was made to feel like I was responsible for my parent’s bad behavior. I literally carried the weight of the world on my small shoulders and felt responsible for everything that went wrong. Carrying that emotional weight left me hopelessly enmeshed and without the personal boundaries I needed to protect myself. Finding where I end and others begin was the beginning of the individiation process that changed my life.

    Love,
    Pam

  11. By: Pam Posted: 24th September 2013

    Hi Fran, Our stories are somewhat different but abuse left both of us stuck in unhealthy ways of relating to other people. It was by facing the truth about why I got involved in the same type of relationships over and over and changing the way that abuse taught me to think about myself and others that helped me change and begin to relate to people in healthier ways. The articles written here helped me a great deal in that process. I firmly believe that we all have the power within us to change our circumstance and our lives.

    Love,
    Pam

  12. By: Kathy Posted: 23rd September 2013

    Hi Fran,

    I’m worried about you. Do you have a safety plan? Are you OK?

    Kathy

  13. By: Kathy Posted: 22nd September 2013

    Hi Fran,

    I’m so sorry that you were not loved, cherished and protected as a child. In my late 30’s before I realized that I kept dating the same guy with a different name. I was 38 before realized that they were all abusive. Your intuitive way of leaving has probably kept you alive. Abusers are more violent when you are pregnant or leaving. I went to counseling when I was 38 and it helped a lot. I was able to break the cycle of abuse. I am now 51 and I have spent the last 10 months in counseling again to try and hash out so much childhood stuff. Finally I am becoming free from stuff I didn’t even realize I needed to be. I don’t wake up in the morning angry and in pain anymore. Somewhere around the 7th month of counseling I suddenly realized that those things were gone. I’ve been where you are and you have all my empathy. It was hard for me to do anything about my situation then because the conflict and abuse zapped all my energy away.

    When I was 6, my dad returned home to visit us. I asked my mom if I could go to the park and play. When I returned, she was yelling and screaming at me, “if you wouldn’t have left, he would have stayed”. So I though I caused my dad to leave forever. I never really got to see him again until I was 16. The guilt of that, and all the other guilt my mom dished out, took my joy and happiness away. It has been very hard to learn to love that little girl and the woman I am. I work hard at getting better and I am better. I hope you can get better too. I don’t know you but I love you. I love you because I have been you and we are all sisters in this life. I will pray for your safety.

    Love,

    Kathy

  14. By: fran Posted: 21st September 2013

    Kevin’s gone to work. So I’m free to write. Wasn’t long ago I felt comfortable journaling with him in my ‘quiet’ space. Not today though. Cause I’m trying to figure out what to do. Kevin is abusive and he’s a bully. I tell him that often. He doesn’t think he is, though. So he discounts my warnings. Well. he is a bully. I have bruises on my arm, a fat lip and a tender ear to prove it. And I’m pretty sure if he knew that I was planning to leave him there’d be repercussions and consequences. It promises to be an ugly break up. I actually fear for my life, sometimes.

    Our argument, though dramatic was also funny. Kevin is such a drama queen. Our argument happened as I was taKing him to work. I’m yelling, he’s yelling,spitting in my face, grabbing my arm as I’m driving…all that. I screech to a halt as to not drive into a guard rail. He jumps out the car throwing his water bottle to the ground, bellowing and hopping from one foot to the other. So back in the car he climbs and we’re still yelling at each other. His work is like…right around the corner now and soon we’re in the parking lot still going at it. He gets out of the car and we continue to rant and rave at one another. I’m just wanting to get away from this man, so I pull off. He wouldn’t shut the car door so i just pull of with it open! And it hits him somewhere. I dunno know where. So he lunges at me through the car and bangs his head pretty hard against the car mirror. So now he’s holding his head, hopping around and yelling at me. It’s my fault he was hit by the car. It’s my fault he banged his head on the car mirror. Now he’s calling the police. I just screech off, yelling obscenities as I speed away. It was ridiculous…and dangerous…and telling.

    Kevin was abused too. We have both learned to live with our challenges in differnt ways. He came out of his experineces a bully and a fighter, while I came out of mine a loner and a midnight runner. We both act out our rage with much drama. He needs help. We both need help.

    I don’t fight. I wish I could. But I can sure pierce a juglar with my words! And I do go or it. Most of these trifling men I’ve been with are weak and needy. They’re users and abusers, but weak minded. They call themselves men, wanna be in control, but can’t even feed themselves without a passive-submissive woman. These guys prey on women like me. I’ve discovered that it’s easy for me to get into their heads. I can break them down, drive them nuts or both. I resent them fooling and subduing me. So, I immasculate men. My brother calls me the black widow. I guess I’m wantng them to leave. It never happens though. They don’t have anywhere to go! So, in the dark of the night, I run away. Just pick up and go. Leave everything. Most times I jump states.

  15. By: fran Posted: 21st September 2013

    It’s about 9 o’clock in the morning and I’ve been playing Candy Crush because it’s easier than thinkng. I have bruises on my arm, a fat lip and a tender ear. My boyfriend and I argued yesterday, about money and it turned ugly (as usual).

    I am in an abusive relationship. I have a tendency to discount myself by choosing trifling men. They don’t work or have jobs. They live from pillar to post. They have deep rooted issues just like I do. They are typically controlling and all consuming. They are beautiful to look at. This guy is no different.

    I was molested as a child. Not by one person; by many people. Cousins, neighbors, boyfriends… I’ve come .to understand…actually, I don’t don’t understand any of it. I don’t know why God won’t answer my prayers. maybe he has and I just don’t see it.

    I miss my family sooooo much. I have a remarkable family. But I am a loner. I isolate. Now at 53, I barely know my nieces and nephews. They are all grown-ups now. I haven’t visited my sisters or brothers for a couple of years. They all just think I’m the family outsider, I guess. Honestly, I don’t know what they all think. They don’t ask questions. They just embrace whoever I am when I let them. I am always welcome. But I rarely allow them that priviledge. And they don’t press the issue.

    I am so fickle! I find it so hard to follow through. For example, I want nothing more than to use this website as a healing site. There are other people who post on this site who are just like me. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I can share my ugly secrets. This is my second attempt to join in.

    I was molested when I was two. I am the product of a single parent home. My mother is a legend in my hometwon. One can rarely visit a home in my small hometown that she hasn’t touched in some way. I was molested by one of Mom’s boyfriends from back in the day. I wasn’t the only one. My older brother and sister were molested by this man too. I was the one who told Mom though. When I saw her anger as she shook me, I knew that I’d done something very wrong…and enjoyed something very wrong. It’s impacted my life ever since it seems. I devalue myself and have done so for a long, long time. I punish myself on a regular by my life choices. Even when I know better. Isolating myself from my family is an example of this.

    People think I am bold and courageous. They think I can weather anything. I am often characterized as a strong woman. People seem to think I’m intelligent too. I speak well, although not persuasively. I carry myself proudly like my mother taught me. I am very attractive. I am creative to a fault and can make do with nothing. So, I’ve fooled a great many people. Because in truth it’s all about survival. I have to eat and pay bills, so I suit up each day in my costume and shackle my ‘little girl’ inside.

    I have so much potential. I should be running my own company by now. But I get myself caught up in so much drama! My brother says most of the turning points in my life have been behind a man. And he’s right. I’m passive, submissive and a self-punisher. I’m just perfect for user-abuser.

    This current relationship is a prime example. I never chose this man. He was a left over friend of my nephew who came to my rescue one day. My mephew had put out lives on the line over some BS. And Kevin talked the guy’s gun out of his hand. Kevin’s very observant. it didn’t take him long to realize my weaknesses. I played them out with my nephew. Brandon knows how to manipulate his Aunt. He knows he has my heart. And while he was with me he took full advantage. And I let him…until I was fully consumed. Then he went to his father’s house…and I went under.

    Kevin watched all of this. And he pursued me relentlessly. He would not go away and I could not make him. I grew to really like Kevin and I let my guard down. He’s funny and smart and a natural protector. He made me laugh and feel safe through a very difficult time. I let him sleep on my couch one night. I was surprised to find him there the next night, and the next night. He never went to his home after that. And he lives with me now.

    I pay all the bills and play wife. I’m so ashamed of it too. I’m more a mother than a girlfriend. And he thinks like everyone else…I can do all thngs. So he expects me to do all things. and if I don’t I get a beat down. I got one yesterday. So that’s where i am.

    He’s up now. Gotta go.

    Fran

  16. By: Pam Posted: 24th May 2013

    Angela, I also, am very happy that you are alive. It takes a lot of days to put trauma behind us and I know you’ll make it because you are dealing with it and not trying to hide from it. You are very brave.

    Love,
    Pam

  17. By: Angela Posted: 23rd May 2013

    Hello Pam,
    Thank you for your response. I am happy to say that I too am learning to recognize when I need a break, that life is becoming too overwhelming but sometimes I need to “check in” with someone to stay on track. That is why I always have counseling appointments on the calendar. This weekend, for me, is not just a holiday or a celebration of my birthday, it also marks 2 years since the last time I was in the hospital. I was, so thankfully, in the hospital and not successful in committing sucide. And 4 years from my first hospital stay. I have to wonder what it is about May that is so diffcult for me. No matter, I will consider that more some other time. For now, I will be spending time with family and my friend Kathy this weekend. How wonderful to say that. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking how lucky I am to still be alive.

    Kathy,

    I totally understand what you mean. I did not want to bring hurt and pain to my family 2 years ago but I was so lost and felt so hopeless. I am so glad you are still here too. Good friends are hard to find and I am so happy to be able to call you my friend!

    Loving Life Today,
    Angela

  18. By: Pam Posted: 23rd May 2013

    Angela, Thank you for supporting me. I’m glad you’re making progress in your personal healing. I do think we can be cured and I believe the cure is truth. We can’t change what happened to us but we can change what those events taught us to think about ourselves and others. From your comment, I believe you are well on the road toward curing your depression. One of the lies I was taught was that I could never completely recover from my depression. The truth is that my depression is an expression of being emotionally overwhelmed and when I understood why I would at times become emotionally overwhelmed, it became much easier for me to overcome my overwhelmed state. When something in my present triggered trauma memories from the past, my deep depressions seemed to come from nowhere but when I learned those were feelings from the past that had never been resolved and I defined and resolved them, my depressions became controlable. People with depression aren’t defective. We get stuck in what is a common coping mechanism and it is very possible to get unstuck. I hope your birthday marks a new beginning of a happier life. God bless you.

    Love,
    Pam

  19. By: Kathy Posted: 23rd May 2013

    Hi Angela,

    Happy Birthday! I’m so glad you are celebrating “you” too. You are definitely worth celebrating.

    When things are ok, it is hard to imagine how I felt when I was depressed/suicidal. When I’m depressed/suicidal, it’s hard to imagine how I felt when things were ok. After trying to commit suicide 4 years ago, I try to be more aware if I’m am getting into a psychological funk and try to get help before it gets to deep. I feel so much compassion for you, and I would never want you to hurt yourself. Yet, I have difficulty feeling the same compassion for myself.

    You are so right about Pam. It is so comforting just knowing that she is here. I’ve had to separate from my family which is very lonely. I am building a new family and you, Pam, my counselor Pam, and my husband are it’s beginnings.

    I hope you have a beautiful day,

    Kathy

  20. By: Angela Posted: 23rd May 2013

    Hello Pam,

    I just want to thank you for sharing your story with us. Obviously, from all of the post, it has saddened and enlightened many of us. Your encouragement and supporting words mean so much.

    Yesterday was my birthday. I am 49 years and so happy to be celebrating my life instead of thinking my life wasn’t worth living. I still have my moments not and then but I get past them usually in a few day – not the weeks or months that is us to take me. Thoughts of self harm included.

    I know there is no “cure” for us but with help of professionals or spiritual guidence or just having a place to share and know that you are not alone, we can at least learn to live again and find joy in our lives.

    Thank you again for sharing, listening and encouraging all of us.

    With a greatful heart,

    Angela

  21. By: Startingfromnow Posted: 22nd May 2013

    Hi Pam,

    Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it. This is so difficult to understand my life and begin to stand up and change my life for the better. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that none of my family of origin truely love me. It scares me to death to have to cut them out of my life because it’s all I’ve ever known but it’s better I love myself than to be controlled and manipulated to serve as an emotional punchbag of worthlessness by my mother and grandmother.

    X

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