“Eventually I began a road to continued and sustained recovery that I know today.”
The following story was written by a member of our growing support community. I am so happy that he shared not only his traumatic experience, but some of his journey to recovery. We all have stories and they are worth telling and sharing. If you want to share your story, please do so. I have a form where you can submit your story and choose to remain anonymous. The point of this section of the site is to show you that you are not alone, that healing is possible and that we can understand, relate and we care. –Jess
I cannot connect faces with many places that I remember before the age of seven. The only two occasions that I can remember someone’s face prior to that age only came to me within the last ten years. I can now distinctly remember two occasions when my birth father had his hands wrapped around my mothers throat.
So there was certainly domestic violence in the home. About three weeks before he died, he raped me in the basement of our home when I was seven. After the assault, I was able to somehow escape and ran out an old basement entrance into the backyard and kept jumping over and over an open sewage ditch until I slipped and fell it. He then picked me up by one arm and began to beat me. My mother must have seen that part at least because she came out with a baseball bat and threatened to kill him if he didn’t release me. He did, but then grabbed the bat away from her and chased her back into the home.
Inside, in our living room, was one of the two times I remember him choking my mother. An older cousin, by about six years was there and yelled she was going to get the police. My father threatened to kill her if she did. She didn’t.
I don’t remember much else from that day other than my mother giving me a bath to clean the scum off me after falling into the ditch.
I tried to tell my mother what happened in the basement just before the chase, and she screamed “no, no, your father couldn’t have done that.” Although I later realized that it wasn’t so much that she thought I was making it up, that is was more like it was just too horrible for to accept at the time.
I never talked about it with anyone again for many many years.
My father committed suicide in that very basement about three weeks later.
From what I understand when they called our family doctor and told him there was a death at the family home, he had said that his first thought was that my father had killed my mother, my older sister, and me.
I am convinced I had post-traumatic stress disorder from that day forward until I eventually processed the residual feelings associated with that and other emotional traumas I have experienced in life and made my peace with the past.
There were other parts to my story, much of which stemmed from that one specific traumatic experience on that day, but eventually I began a road to continued and sustained recovery that I know today. I can talk about it, remember the details of it only because I have worked through it. The process started in earnest, and with great support in 1978, and continues to this day. In the mid 1990’s I visited the home where we lived, where the event happened, and where he died. It was only one of the many steps I took towards healing.
Today, I am convinced that I no longer have PTSD, and have been enjoy life in a way that I would not have thought was ever possible decades ago.
In conclusion, I would say to each and every one of you who share similar stories is to have hope, keep searching for those you will instinctively know that understand you in a way, that perhaps only few of us can and do your grief and trauma work towards peace.
My heart and thoughts are with each of you today, tomorrow, and always.
– Reader Submission