My name is Jasmine, and I have survived some stuff that nobody should be forced to survived! I am 28 years old, and nowadays I feel a lot better than I used to do. But it has taken a LONG time to recover! My story is this: I was born in the north of Sweden(northen Europe) in a normal family, with one sister and one brother. My father was a charming, well educated man who took care of us kids a lot. Since my mother was working a lot when I was a little girl, and my father had a more flexible job he was to primary parent for me. He was very warm person, most of the time. But I was very scared of his anger, since he could be very angry sometimes, hitting me or just locking me away. I was soon a very good girl, or at least trying to be. I had little friends, in the small town we lived in. And my father was my source of warmth and security. My mother was not really a "hugable" person.. She has problems with hugging me, though she really loved me in her own way. So my father got to be very, very important to me. I used to sit in his lap all of the time, when we watched televison or so.. I really adored him! And I suppose I was his favourite girl..
My parents was arguing a lot, and after my mother had an affair, my father started to have a lot of affairs. They screamed at each other and I was really scared when they did. At one point my father had more or less a nervous breakdown, somehow. And before I was five years old he flipped out somehow; and raped me for the first time. I have early memories of him touching me in way a dad should not touch a girl, and dropping me flat on the floor, when my mother entered the room. After the first rape, and it really was a rape and it hurt badly for a while after, he was watching and guarding me even more.. He kept me away from mother, and started arguing even more with her, when she was worried something was wrong with me. I split my self up, in two parts, I think after the first rape. Since it was so painful, and I could not live with the truth it just slipped away somehow. I have little memories after the first rape, and everything in my childhood is very blurry. I turned my feelings off, and was somewhat a disturbed kid. I masturbated a lot, and was very clumsy. I had bruises all over, all of the time. And I had a lot of problems with my body. I think my father really tried to stop doing those bad things to me, and my body. I think he got scared after the first time, since I think I was really close to dying afterwards, from the shock of the pain when he forced his way in to me. He is really scared of blood too.. So the second rape was much later, even though he still touched me in the wrong ways and hurt my feelings by making me ashamed of my body and my abnormal interest in sexual things(I found books he had about sex, and he found out that I read them and told everybody around me).
During the time of my parent's divorce the sexual abuses increased, and I have little memories of the actual abuse. But my problems in school got worse, and even though my parents got back together I was a troubled kid. I always felt different than my classmates, and I always felt dirty, ugly and when I started to grew breasts I started to really HATE my body. I used to hurt my self, when nobody saw me. And I started having depressions. I didn't know how to grow up or manage in school. But I started riding horses, and after awhile I LIVED in the stable, since it was so much arguing at home. I could not handle when another person touched my body, but I got get warmth and friendship from the horse I took care of. I was safe close to him..
My father lost his interest in me as a sexual person, when I grew in to a young women. He kept criticizing me, and always told me to wear more makeup and start behave more like a real women. Nothing I did was good enough, and he hated the fact that I spent more time in the stable than in school. We started arguing about a lot of things, and stopped going to school. My problemes increased, and when my best friend; the horse I took care of, was shoot (his legs were not good enough) I got really depressed. I thought they could shoot me as well. I too was not "good enough"... I made some suicide attempts, but I really didn't want to die; I just didn't know how to live.
I started dating guys, but had no self respect. I was raped once, by someone I was in love with, and after drinking too much and going home with him. He had a girlfriend, and was in and out of my life. After being raped by him(I dont think he know he raped me, he was drunk too) I got more obsessed by him, and I was out having sex with a lot of guys. Feeling really depressed, and I wanted to die most of the time. I did one more suicide attempt, and got some help this time. I had therapy, two times a week for three years! And the women helping me was wonderful, and SO GOOD at her job! I had two kids, and after a lot of bad things happened during the delivery, and I had one near-death-experience all of the long gone memories came back!! I almost died remembering all of the shit my father put me through, and I still don't remember ONE WHOLE RAPE or one whole experience. It's just small memories, like pieces of a puzzle. But with the memories and with the body memories I do KNOW what has happened to me. And seeing my father with my kids make it even more obvious!
Now, five years after remembering it all, I have a good life. It's not all ok yet, but I am heading in a good direction. And I am taking care of myself! And I start to love my own body, though it's very difficult with coping with sex and having a normal sexlife with my partner and big love. But I have confidence in my Higher Power, and I know God will help me heal, as he helped me survive my childhood! My kids are wonderful persons, and I don't see my father today. I don't trust him, not to do the same thing over again, to someone else. And my kids didn't like him anyway. He is a old man, who doesn't fool anyone any more, that he is a nice person. He has a lot of problemes, and of course he deny all of the things I tell about his abuse. He say's I am lying. And he tells everyone who asks him that I am sick; he use to tell them I have borderline disorder, if they wonder why I won't see him, or why he can not see his grandchildren.
I am healing my last wounds with the help of ACOA (Adult Children Of Alcoholics, and other dysfunctional families)! There I have found real friends and they somewhat replaced my family; since my family probably never will be a healthy family!
.......THANKS and Love! Jasmine.
Dr Patti responds:
Your story is so compelling and i have to say i am so glad you are here to tell it. It sounds as if you had some close calls with dying over this abuse. Firstly let me say you are such a courageous young woman. Clearly sexual abuse crosses all cultures. I am getting letters from girls from many countries and I am grateful that GirlThrive reached you in Sweden.
So many of your feelings are shared by incest survivors. There are feelings of guilt and shame and just plain self-hate. So often girls would rather self destruct than blame the abuser or rebel and lash out their anger where it belongs: on the abuser, not on themselves. This often comes in the form of hurting oneself through over-eating, drugs, drinking, self-harm through cutting, anorexia. All of these things happen because a girl wants to forget and disappear. Also what you describe as "splitting" yourself up into two parts after the first rape is another survival mechanism. In your case it sounds like you kept going back to your father for love and attention. You now know that was never there for you from this abusive.... what I have to call, monster.
It is no surprise that your mother did not protect you. In my book we devote an entire chapter to the mothers of incest survivors. When ever there is incest, it too is likely that there is a mother who is not really dealing with what is going on. Also what girls always talk about is wanting their mothers love.
You will be interested to know that there is a boarding group home school here in the States where girls who have been abused live on a farm and take care of animals. Your experience with the horses in the stables also saved you.
Your story is inspirational. I am so glad you are in therapy and taking care of yourself. There are some wonderful people out there and when your family is abusive you need to unite with a new family that you create on your own. You have done this. Thank you for your story Jasmine.
.....................xoxo, Dr. Patti.