No More Lies

Apr 5th, 2010 | By | Category: All Posts, Incest


by Bethany

I’m now being forced to look at my childhood for what it was, not the pretty picture I imagined it to be. For years I convinced myself that I had a good childhood, despite all the abuse I endured. Then I remembered that the good times were really just a cover for the abuse. That is, what little good times there were. I painted a picture in my mind of the perfect dad, to replace the one that was not so great. The truth was that Good Dad only existed to convince others that he was innocent.

I wanted so badly to believe that Dad just wanted to spend quality time with my brother and me. So much so that I actually started believing my own lie. The reality was that Dad was there to take advantage of me. That hurts. This man that is supposed to be my role model, protector, provider has used and manipulated me. His addiction was his driving force and the only reason he played nice.

Recognizing the truth is painful. It’s hard looking at your life and realizing that what you believed for so long was all a sham. I wish I had the perfect life that I dreamed up. But I’m in reality now. And though it is tough to face the brokenness of the past it is freeing to embrace a new future void of lies.

Bethany is cofounder of Overcoming Sexual Abuse, an online resource for male and female abuse survivors looking for practical answers and tools for healing. Besides helping abuse survivors see the beauty within themselves, she enhances the beauty of others as a professional make-up artist and has worked in television, film and print.

[read Bethany’s story here]

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  2. I feel you still going through mine even though he’s dead.

  3. Normally, I say it’s good to see the truth. But remember: you can’t let it get to you anymore. That part of your life is over. Move towards the future, and live life. You’ve grown up to be a hero for many people here. That’s all that matters. Be happy for those you already have in your life who wouldn’t think of hurting you.

  4. Uncovering the lies is painful, but freeing at the same time. I remember when I realized how much of my childhood was a sham. It hurt, but it felt so good to breath fresh air. It was like the lies were suffocating and I didn’t even know how much.

    Bethany, I’m so sorry for how much pain you went through. I’m sorry for not recognizing the lies sooner. I’m sorry for not rescuing you from them. But I’m so proud of the woman you’ve become inspite of all that. I’m so grateful for the relationship we have now. I love you so much.

  5. I understand everything you have said.I’m the same way

  6. Being the target for the abuser is to receive his projection. I felt as I was the insane and my common sense told me I had healthy thoughts. I was manipulated by the abuser.Telling some who has not been thorugh it. Have hard to believe your experiences.

  7. Marin… you know I have mad love for you… but on this I’d like you to consider something and not just you but for anyone else who might support survivors but have not been directly violated.

    If you get into a vehicle accident… and you have injuries… some external but they don’t look so bad… and then you have some internal injuries… but… See More you don’t think they are severe or worth having to fuss over because you base them on your external minor scrapes… doing this could kill you the next day or a week later of a blood clot, internal bleeding some other related complication.

    In comparison, we have to use GREAT caution before dismissing the importance of each stage of restoration.

    You wouldn’t want someone to stand on the road side and say something to you like … “whew… thank God you lived through that… but hey… it’s behind you now… you have your whole life ahead of you… you’re a survivor and a living testimony … focus on what you still have… after all… it’s all that matters.” If you listened to that… you might agree and feel glad for a moment and later discover something inside has gone terribly wrong since the accident.

    It’s very important to realize that survivors need the grace necessary to heal and unlike physical healing… most of the work, they must work out, through and beyond… and many times, they must work it with very little support. I want us ALL to be in a place where we can rejoice endlessly… but unfortunately, until we reach restoration and work beyond it for ourselves, ever striving for a healthier state of living… it may simply not be the hour for unrealistic or unsafe perspectives. We can ALWAYS remain hopeful… however… rolling over issues or being encouraged to do so can make struggling survivors feel like someone is walking into a funeral with a party hat on ready to get down to a little “Shout… put your hands up and shout… ehhh ehhhe… ehhh ehhh…ehhh” type thing. Sometimes people rain on parades and other times folk have a parade when it’s raining… either way… we gotta use caution because it might not be the right time to celebrate.

    Over and over again… I find struggling survivors at my door… on my phone… in my chats… in my email… in my mail… in the grocery store… banks…etc., gun hoe about restoration… especially after having come over many hurdles… but rather than celebrating their small victories, they prematurely celebrate their full recovery, not realizing how many hills are yet ahead and just how steep, deep and long they may become as a direct result of not looking enough into the truthes that anchor them… some of which are self destructive. Restoration happens in stages and degrees and the affects of past trauma is going to continue to “get to” survivors until they get to to the issues which affect them. WE are not affecting our issues… our issues are affecting us. When we don’t feel, deal and heal from the issues… the issues will in turn feel and deal with us… as real… and sometimes relentlessly.

    You are so encouraging and motivating to me and so many others… my only request is that you add to your amazing gift to inspire, the element of core understanding
    of why survivors remain sensitive and responsive to past trauma… I’m sure you have done a lot of that already… but more is always better… it will truly add to your pronominal abilities.

    Love and life continue within… ~REM

  8. I’m really sorry about some of the things I said here, REM. I say this to both you, Bethany, and anyone else who might’ve taken it the wrong way. Obviously, yes, after going through a traumatic experience, you need to also look at internal injuries before you can truly move on. I strongly believe that survivors need all the time they need to … See Moreheal and to regain the feeling of trusting others. I’d never say that a survivor should just let it go like it’s nothing. All I meant to say is that to remember who you are at this moment and how much stronger you are after everything you went through.

    Either way, you’re right, though. I need to be more understanding of the core of the survivors, try to see things from their point of view as I offer encouragement and motivation. I’ll try to be careful from now on. Again, I apolagize to everyone.

  9. Marin, your response to Rachel’s is so encourging to me! I agree with Rachel and I can’t tell you how wonderful I think it is that you want to learn to be the best support you can be. I believe you can love someone without understanding them, but I don’t think you can express that love unless you understand them. At least not in a way that they understand. Thank you for pressing in to understand!

  10. No worries love… you are fine… it’s only that in a public forum like this… we can’t gauge the progress or stage of anyone who is reading behind the scense or responding… so it’s better to air on the side of safety because new victims and those who are maybe struggling with triggers and also who may be at the bottom of the next hill don’t … See Morefeel strong at all in spite of being a survivor… sometimes… it’s just not enough to feel like a survivor ya know? I know you would never do anything intentionally… but I’m glad you are willing to consider another approach.

    Love and life continue with you Marin… ~REM

  11. Thanks for all the lessons, ladies. I shall carry this in my survivor supporting days. Peace to all.


  12. I don’t know how people get through life when they are abused like that, by a father of all people. My Dad was an alcoholic and his addiction became more important that his children. The only way I can even try to shine a light for you about getting through your pain is that for me, one day I realized that my father was just a man and that my … See Morestrength and love needed to come from something other than him. I didn’t know how much I was looking to be loved and appreciated by him but, after awhile what mattered was that I loved and appreciated myself. I still stumble some days but there is love in the universe and within us. Let’s just say we’re sorry for our ‘loved ones’ that they never had the courage to live with/for that love.

  13. Sweet Bethany, I feel your pain. I painted the same kind of picture for my dad. There was the good one, the minister in front of the church. There was the bad one, the guy at home who verbally/emotionally/sexually abused me. When he died, I hung on to the good dad till finally…through therapy, I began to see through the chinks in the facade. … See MoreEven though I realized the bad dad was more prevalent than I realized, the repressed memories of the childhood sexual abuse of 18 years, did not come out till about 20 mos ago. Know that someone out here cares and understands. You are getting lots of good thoughts and BIG (yet gentle) hugs.

  14. See MoreHeal See More See More Now….what the heck does all this ‘See More’ stuff mean?

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