RoseOfSharon

(RoseOf) Sharon's Story

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Today seems a good day to begin sharing my story here. It is 51 years today since I came into this world, in a northen town famed for its black pudding. 

Sharon - not my name now - was the name given me by my birth mother. My first trama after birth was my separation from her, from a warm, loving cuddly person. I have never held it against her that she placed me for adoption. She was a young mother at a time when single mums did not keep their babies. She also believed that she was doing the best for me, giving me the chance of a better life. 

I was with her in hospital for ten days before going to a foster home for 10 weeks prior to being adopted. Adoption can work, I believe. However I have no doubts that if my parents had been screened by todays criteria mother's mental health issues would have been picked up on, and they would not have been allowed to adopt.

I was born to a woman capable of love, of fun, of intimacy - and with an inquisitiveness that led to my conception down in the Welsh valleys. I have always favourably contrasted this with the manipulative, abusive iceberg 'mother' that I was placed with.

To know that I had a life before the iceberg is something I hold on to strongly right now.

 

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Dear @RoseOfSharon

i will be with you as you tell your story. How beautiful that you have chosen the name your birth mother gave you here. 

I too was conceived in the Welsh valleys and I chose the name Eirlys to use here after my grandmother. 

I understand very well the trauma involved in early separations through my work with adopted children. I am sorry that your adoptive mother could not give you what you needed to repair that early trauma and continued to add to the damage.

for what it's worth I'm here with you, listening, hearing, noticing and valuing what you have to say

sending a safe warm hug if ok :hug:

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I'm here for you dear @RoseOfSharon and listening.

Sitting with you and sending support.

Lou x

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Dear @RoseOfSharon

I am so glad you are here and starting your story. As Eirlys mentioned, I think it is so very special that you are using the name here that your birth Mother gave you. I have kept my children's birth names, and feel this is such a special link they have to their birth moms. 

Are birthdays happy for you? If they are then I am wishing you a very, very happy birthday today... If they can be triggering and hard, then just know that I am sitting with you and that you are in my thoughts. 

I'm glad that you can hold onto the truth that you had a life before the iceberg... That this is something you can hold onto strongly. 

Sending you gentle hugs if ok :hug:

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Dear Sharon,

It is so brave of you to start telling your story here. I am really sorry that your adoptive mother let you down in such an awful way. 

My abusers told me I was adopted (illegally) too, but I am not sure if that was the truth or yet another lie. They told me my birth mother had called me Juditha, so I can relate to using such a special name here. I am glad that your knowledge of your birth mother is something that gives you strength. 

As PSMN said, if birthdays are ok for you, I wish you a happy birthday. If not, I'll just sit with you quietly if that's ok with you.

Gentle care and safe :hug: if ok,

Juditha

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Here for you as you tell your story. I'm so sorry that your adoptive mother was someone who should never been trusted with the care of a child. Do you still see your birth mother? 

I think early disruptions to attachment like this can stay with us. When I born, I was with my mum for 10 days before she was sectioned, then with a foster mum for 3 months...but with my dad and grandma taking care of me periodically at weekends. Then I was handed back to my mum...despite her having outright rejected me when in hospital and not wanting to see me.

Thinking of you on your birthday. 

Take gentle care as you post here

Anath

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Dear RoseOfSharon,

I'm glad you had such a warm birth mother. I hope this birthday had some nice moments for you.

I'm sorry your adoptive mother was so icy. You deserve to be comforted, loved and cherished :holdhands:

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I hope you have had a lovely day.  I hope that you will enjoy a long relationship with your birth mother.

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Thank you, @Eirlys @Lou21 @PSMN @Juditha @Anath @AnneK @Raingirl for your replies, and your birthday wishes.

Yesterday was very busy, but I was glad to think of you here.

I traced my birth mother 21 years ago, and my birth father shortly afterwards. My birth mother, S, has become a good friend over the years. She is sad indeed that the adoption was not one she had hoped for, but glad to have me in her life now. She was also adopted. 

My birth father died a couple of years ago, but I keep in touch with his mother, still alive at 95. I call her my Welsh nan.

 

Birthdays are, basically, ok for me. It would have been a lovely day (albeit busy with work yesterday) if I hadn't had mother's present and letter...I did not get much sleep last night because of nightmares relating to her.

 

Thank you again.

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I went to my parents at around 10 weeks, to a flat in an old Victorian converted house. We had a shared garden with the other 5 flats. I used to believe that my early childhood was happy, despite some clear memories to the contrary. When I was in therapy for around 9 months at 21 I asked my counsellor then whether, if I remembered my early years as happy, they were. He said 'yes'. Had he been astute enough to identify a traumatised young woman, perhaps I would not have had to wait another 30 years to get where I am today.

I begun EMDR back at the end of August - a good friend recognised that I had clearly experienced trauma, having witnessed it in her husband (who had gone for EMDR, very successfully). One of the earliest sessions took me back to that flat, and I realised that I could remember every room in the flat apart from the bathroom (separate from the toilet).

We moved from there when I was 6, but I could describe every room in a basic way apart from that one. My t said that it is common to have no clear recollection of a room in which abuse has taken place.

I have little memories of life until about 10-ish, other than remembering meeting my old friend N.  We were both 2 when his family moved into the next door flat, where they lived for a couple of years. He is still a dear friend today.

One memory I have always had is of being taken to the local A&E for stitches in my nose, aged around 3. According to my parents, I cut it on a vase in my bedroom.  I remember that vase, very smooth, not one I would have cut my nose on. Mother was in the bathroom next door, and father was in my bedroom with me, very angry (a rare memory).

In EMDR I went back to that incident. I had fled my mother, and was terrified of father. 

 

Possible :trigger:

 

 

Another conscious memory I have always had is of being around 6-ish.  Parents were entertaining (unusually for them) and I had been put in their bedroom, at the far end of the corridor from my room, and the far end from the bathroom. I had a potty/chamber pot if I needed to go.

In EMDR I revisited that, and remembered being distraught at having to use the pot if necessary. Why could I not have just walked down the corridor to the toilet? Then a strong image came up, as to why I was distraught: a previous time: a sense of mother behind me, pushing me face down into the pot, full of urine. Like the old ways of house training a dog...

Another session took me into the bathroom, aged about 2 or even less. Little One is naked. Crying. Shivering, she is so cold.  I ask Little One what has happened. She cannot tell me in words, but points first to her genital area, then the bath. I have an image of having just been in the bath, nearly drowned, mother's distorted, terrifying face looming over me. Had I wet myself, and been plunged into a cold bath? Had I been 'playing' with myself, and told off? What had she been doing to me?

Until today I have chosen think of these as images from my subconscious. Now I think - were these in fact flashbacks in therapy? Which means they really did happen...

 

One final one for now (and always remembered somewhere in my mind).  Aged 3-4, sitting crying in the hall, staring up at the door handle, working out how I could escape and get next door to N and his parents for safety.

My early childhood was not happy...

 

Committing here makes it all that much more real...it is scary...  Now to break for more work. Perhaps that is enough for one day. 

 

 

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I am sorry for all the memories/flashes. You deserved to be protected and loved, I am sorry you weren't. :metoyou: 

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I'm sorry you are having to deal with so much and I'm sorry your younger years were not safe and happy as they should have been. 

I'm glad your birth mother is a friend to you now.

Take gentle care after sharing, we are here with you sending care and support.

:hug:Lou x

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@RoseOfSharon I'm so sorry. Short on words but reading, witnessing, sitting with you. Take gentle care. :metoyou:

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I'm so sorry your counsellor all those years ago was so invalidating and didn't recognise that you were a survivor. Unfortunately, I think this may be particularly prone to happening when we've had a female abuser. I have had various T's over the years, and only my current one has really recognised and validated my mum's SA and other abuse for what it was. I'm really glad that your current T is so much more understanding and is helping you to process all of this. 

I'm so sorry too for all the cruelty and terror you experienced as a child at the hands of your mother. That she would adopt you and then betray you so utterly.. I'm just so, so sorry that the life your birth mother wanted for you, and that you so deserved, was never what you got. 

Safe :hug: if ok

Take gentle care

Anath

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Those memories are heartbreaking @RoseOfSharon 

Im so sorry that you were hurt. I know that often after sharing there are complex feelings that can surface. Sitting with you and sending safe hugs if ok :hug:

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Anath, I think you have a point about MDSA not being picked up on by therapists. My t now says most of her clients at the moment have experienced that. She is just waiting for some more concrete memories to really process with me...

I have so little to go on, yet which also makes sense.

:trigger:

My only real memory of feeling uncomfortable with her touch is one I have never really forgotten, just pushed to one side. 

Given the house we were in then, I have to have been at least 13. I guess I must have had sore skin between my buttocks. She was putting cream on me there, me lying on my front. I would not have needed help with that at 13+.  I think my lower half was naked, but not top. I remember feeling aroused. When I revisited that in EMDR, I saw myself at a distance, as though I was looking down on myself from the ceiling.  My t said that when it is recalled like that in therapy it is probably because I did dissociate at the time (which also begs the question as to what exactly she did do other than just apply cream).  

In my mid-20s, when questioning myself as to whether I had ever been sa, a flash of insight came to me:  if anyone had sa me, it was mother. I opted to think no more about it then.

My first girlfriend, in my late 20s, was then in therapy for csa (her father).  I remember her flashbacks. Holding her when she wanted it, respecting her need for space at other times. I also remember borrowing her copy of The Courage to Heal, and so much rang true for me - yet, again, dismissed because no 'real' memories. Nor had I been abused by a man...so in my head how could I have been sa....

6 months ago I crash-landed into a murky, fathomless pit... My wife was one of the primary triggers.  Suddenly I did not want her anywhere near me, nor could I bear the thought of her seeing me undressed (never had any problem until then, though the relationship is long since sex-less - her choice). I rush to get changed in the evening as quickly as possible in case she comes in (we have always had separate bedrooms, again her choice).

I realised that I was transferring mother onto her.

When we were still sexually active, once or twice I had flashbacks (as I now recognise them) of mother on top of me, naked.  The only way I could get round that was to fantasise about being with a man (at least I have that safe option...and I am bisexual).

As for getting changed quickly, I have a hazy memory of mother coming into my bedroom when I was in my teens while I was undressing, and not allowing me to put my night-clothes on. I remember clearly scuttling to the bathroom at night in case she saw me in my nightie.

Memories of locking the bathroom door as quietly as I could, because I had been told not to lock it (again, in my teens).

I think I am still struggling to really admit what I know deep down, that I was sa by my mother (grandmother can wait for another day..).  Writing it here makes it more real. I know exactly what my t thinks. She is just waiting for me to catch up. Perhaps I am waiting for more validation that my thoughts and experiences do all add up.

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Just wanted to let you know that I also have trouble acknowledging that some of what was done to me actually happened..... Your not alone Sharon.:metoyou:

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Hi RoseOfSharon, I'm so sorry for what you have remembered and acknowledged, I can hear how painful this is for you.

I also understand the struggle with an ongoing suspicion of CSA, symptoms and a few murky memories but nothing that feels concrete or real( what you have revealed sounds very concrete and real to me), my T has said the realness comes in layers which I'm starting to understand.

Well done for being brave enough to share, I very much believe and respect you.

Take care.

Lou xx:bouquet:

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Thank you, @socially_awkward

Thank you @Lou21 The realness coming in layers makes a lot of sense, and I should listen to what I post on other people's threads, that we remember as we are ready... Part of that readiness I am sure comes from having people who support us, and who believe us. People both on here and in real life (though this feels very real here, perhaps more so than outside of Pandys).

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Yes I find it very easy to believe and trust others stories but it's much harder with myself! The self doubt and confusion is huge.

I agree, the support of my T and a few close friends is helping me trust myself a little more.

Sitting with while you work through this web of fear and confusion, I know what a challenge it is, it's life changing stuff. You are not alone.:cuppa:

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Dear RoseOfSharon,

I'm sorry that your thoughts and experiences add up to this, that your mother did this to you.

You are so brave, facing more and more of it, and spelling it out here. I believe you :(

I find realness so frightening and painful but I know that the only way out is through.

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:hug: This is hard, processing is hard, take your time, you can do this

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20 hours ago, RoseOfSharon said:

I think I am still struggling to really admit what I know deep down, that I was sa by my mother (grandmother can wait for another day..).  Writing it here makes it more real. I know exactly what my t thinks. She is just waiting for me to catch up. Perhaps I am waiting for more validation that my thoughts and experiences do all add up.

It's a hard thing to integrate. It makes sense that your T is allowing this to come up in its own time. I also get that writing it here makes it more real but I find a few days later it's like I've flipped a switch and I'm back into worse denying than before. 

Sitting with you and sending a safe hug if okay :hug:

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Thank you, @Juditha and @Eirlys. Hugs are always welcome. 

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