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TRIGGERING! I only really came to terms yesterday that my father abused me

Community Member

So I see my psychologist monthly ( do it monthly even if you think it won't help, please go and at least talk to let it all out!).

I was having problems now with my job, not knowing how to go on or what to do with my life...


My parents both passed away from different types of cancer in one year of each other, they didn't make it past 60. As good as parents they were in the past, my father developed alcoholism and my teenager years were bad from both parties.


TRIGGERING so please only read if you can handle it:


My father would come into my room sometimes and be blind drunk, it was never in the sense of really out there sexual, but he would be naked and abuse his strength and wrestle me to the ground, telling me if I was being raped right now, how would I get out?! And if we didn't try to fight we were weak.

At 18 I was a grown woman and he was an old man, and I fought and kicked and punched him while crying. He left, looked at me crying like he was proud/sad at the same time and never did it again.


I told my psychologist and she responded with that this was still sexual abuse. Now, he was only naked this one time but it stuck with me because of it and also all the times he just came into my room to belittle me and say I will never amount to anything.


I felt so confused yesterday when she told me, I still don't see this as sexual abuse but then, my eyes are more open than they used to be...Even today I felt like something different opened up in my personality, I felt somehow stronger and not so fragile in that I would let others try to emotionally blackmail me.


My partner is going through a rough point in his life, but instead of listening like I usually do, I told him to go and talk to a professional then if he is having trouble. He seemed upset....I just feel angry, like, I can't deal with his crap right now...


I still feel very confused at the moment, I know my problems seem like nothing compared to what you are all going through and I must seem pretty insensitive in some way, it's just that this revelation really has shaken me as I still don't want to admit it was abuse, because in some way, it wasn't nice, I don't feel like I want to seem like a victim when this situation isn't as bad as what "real" victims have gone through?

11 Replies 11

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jessksch


What happened to you was profoundly not ok and definitely counts as abuse. You were held against your will and he’s talking to you about rape while naked. I can see where your psychologist is coming from.


After recounting one of two sexual assaults I experienced as an adult to my psychologist I remember saying to her I didn’t think it was major compared to what others have been through. She said there is no comparison. It’s the effect the trauma has on you.


It can be really hard coming to terms with parts of our parents that harmed us. I think it brings up all kinds of confusing and contradictory emotions. I experienced verbal, emotional and physical abuse as a child and yet there were elements of my parents that were good, and their behaviour stemmed from their own trauma. But I’ve still had to process the impacts their behaviour has had on me.


The feeling stronger and less fragile in yourself that you describe sounds like a good sign. It’s often our feeling body we need to work with when we’ve been through something traumatic. I’ve been doing something with my psychologist called somatic experiencing which works through the body and it leads to me feeling stronger in myself afterwards. I was held down against my will in assaults I experienced and I was able to work through what my body needed to do to escape but was unable to because it froze at the time. This released stuff that had been trapped in my body for years.


This may or may not be the right approach for you, but I think it’s definitely worth continuing to process what you’ve been through with your psych through whatever approach does work well for you.


The feelings you mention of not knowing how to go on with your life I think can relate to a kind of freezing that gets trapped in the nervous system. Often once this releases it becomes easier to move forward. I can recommend a book called In An Unspoken Voice by Peter Levine. Early in the book he describes a young woman who was really stuck in her life but had an unprocessed trauma from a medical procedure aged 4. Once this was worked through she began to move forward and thrive.


Take care and feel free to discuss further if it helps.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Jessksch, everbody takes what you have told us in a different way and while some say it's abuse, others may be different, however, to hop on top of you while he was naked is offensive and certainly not acceptable in any regard, and if I was your brother and walked in, I would be horrified and protect you.

Your partner needs to know that he needs to help you and if he can't and having trouble coping, then he needs to talk with someone, because at the moment you have been abused as well as now being rejeced.

I am sorry both your parents have passed away from cancer, as I too have cancer.

You have to look at your problems through your own eyes and not compare them to other people, because there is a huge difference and to everybody their problems are how you feel and that's what is important. 


Life Member.

Community Member

Hey - I hear you. I have also felt the guilt of being unsure if what I experienced means that I am not really a victim. "He did things but he never punched me...and many other statements alike are sometimes statements we make for lots of reasons. It doesn't really change what happened, or what you felt at that moment.

I may be out-of-line here but "victim" is a mis-used word. There are no "real victims". We are people who have had to deal with unfair and wrong things that happened to us that were outside of our control. Things that have left us sad, confused, distressed, fearful... the list goes on.

Take some time for yourself to adjust to this new awareness. If you can, be straight and honest with your partner. Acknowledge he is having a hard time but also make it clear that you are not in a space to be supportive for him as you need to take care of your own emotional wellbeing right now and you need support too. An empty glass can't fill a half full one.

Keep in touch with the people here - I promise you it does really help.

Sending hugs

Hello to everyone and thank you very much for the support!


I think I am upset at the moment because I have a lot of hate for everyone and everything at the moment and trying to find a way to cope healthily with this now has really brought me into a depression...


At the moment I am over 30 and still haven't figured out things yet with my life and it's putting pressure on me as times are getting more expensive and that I find a job that I can work full time with...


Right now it's a miracle I get up at all to care for my pets.


Something my psychologist has asked me to do is some homework is to create a book of memories in two year intervals of happy/sad memories to really disect my lifetime that I can't seem to get out of my depression or get along with others...so I will do that but probably not till my next appointment or I will just lose it now.


I'm trying to stay strong for everyone around me, but it's so damn hard since I have no friends, a sister who lives overseas and is busy with her own life to talk to me, I literally only have my psychologist and forums right now...


So I really appreciate the support here, and really wish I can help everyone but at the moment I have to think about myself in survival mode as my psychologist calls it. Just do anything that I can to get through the days without doing anything drastic.

Dear Jessksch


It seems like you are dealing with a lot at the moment, from the cost of living, working out your work situation and coming to terms with family things from the past. It’s a lot to deal with and it can definitely feel overwhelming.


 I think in time things settle but it’s just really hard when in the midst of all that emotional processing. If it’s any help at all, I’m in my late 40s and still working out my work situation, especially as I was away from work for a while because of care commitments, studying and health issues. I think the important thing is not to put yourself under pressure and recognise you need plenty of rest and self-nurturance right now. I know it can be hard, especially managing financially with living costs.


I would say just approach the book idea when and if you feel ready. I spontaneously did something like that myself a few months ago where I took key family photos that I felt illustrated something about the family dynamics, and wrote them into a kind of descriptive piece I sent to my psychologist. She didn’t ask me to, I just felt compelled to do it to process stuff. But yes it brought stuff up that was emotional, but it did help me make sense of things.


 I think you can gradually reconcile the different aspects of family, and it’s good to remember the good things too. Although my parents created some trauma for me, I got some wonderful things from them too, and I think you really can get to a point where you can hold both together in memory and make peace with it all. It’s kind of an organic process that works itself out as you process over time.


Go gently. I’m glad you have your pets. They are so wonderful, grounding and connecting somehow. Take care xx

Thank you, it means a lot to hear from someone going through the same things at the moment.


I have been sleeping longer days and looking at jobs but nothing is standing out right now, which is upsetting.


Even while looking at groceries I couldn't believe how expensive everything has gotten! And little things like that I see around me is making it hard to hold on.


Not only the stress of dealing things with my family, I just hate dwelling about the past since it's not helping me, but also I'm dwelling the future and present and not seeing any ways to help me through things.


I just want a job that's not stressful to afford a living and it's just not possible for my situation without selling my soul or sacrificing my dignity in some way, and I feel like it's not worth it.


I at least am forcing myself to sit up from bed at the moment, but also not feeling great or have much motivation.

Hi Jess


I’m not sure of your current situation, but if you’re not well (e.g. with depression) but on a Centrelink payment, you may be able to access support through a job agency that supports people with health conditions, disabilities etc. They are more flexible than the regular job agencies and may be able to support you towards work that suits you.


 I understand about the work struggle. I’ve spent many years working hard in low paid jobs. I’m now trying to get back into the workforce but don’t want anything soul destroying either (my soul’s had enough as probably yours has too).


 I think it sometimes requires thinking out of the box. There is the possibility of doing voluntary work in something that really interests you. It might allow you to build skills in something you really like, even if it doesn’t immediately lead to a job, and it can go on your resume. Obviously that doesn’t help with finances in the short term, but it might be something you could do a day a week that may lead you in a direction that suits you.


When living on the smallest amount of money and still in the city, I found a fruit and veg store that sourced produce riper than most other places, selling it for less. Sometimes things like that exist but you just have to find them. The place I went to I would spend under $10 and still walk out with a box full of stuff. I just needed some protein to go with the veg then I had a meal.


In terms of dwelling on the past, present and future, I’m finding that practising letting go rather than struggling to mentally solve things seems to help. It’s often when I let go that answers start coming to me and opportunities become apparent.


You are processing challenging things at the moment too so it’s so important to be kind to yourself. I’ve found a lot of rest is needed when processing stuff. That can be a time to let go and then allow trust to come in that things will be ok. Sometimes things feel overwhelming but when we allow ourselves to rest and break things down into smaller steps it becomes easier. I know that’s easier said than done but I think it’s developing new patterns and practising self-care one step at a time.


 Take care and hope that helps a bit.

Thank you, I am kind of a functioning depressive: I can hold a part-time job and only take a mental health day or two per month ( at least, I find that is already an achievement for someone depressed).

So I have never been on benefits or anything like that and I do have savings. It has never come to the point of us having to watch what we eat or live paycheck to paycheck (I am lucky my partner makes enough money to even support the both of us if I lost my job).

I just HATE being dependant on him for money if it did come to it, I don't want to owe anything because I don't trust people and feel if it ever came to it we didn't want to be together anymore he would hold it against me etc...


I try so hard to look forward in life, but it seems there is always something that is bringing me down.

Rising rental prices, rich getting richer,  difficulty finding jobs, people suffering...

I talk to my psychologist about it and she said I can't solve the world's problems, and, I am not in a position to do so, but it doesn't mean I don't feel the pain or am not affected by everything...


Well, today I treated myself to some take out but sadly that wasn't too great either. Ah well. I'm still going, just not happy about it I guess.


I don't think I can express how much I identify with what you have written. The take-out comment also resonated with me. It sucks when you think that treating yourself will help and then...It just don't taste so good!

I realise you have not been posting for a while (and neither have I) but I am wondering how you are doing now? Absolutely fine if you don't feel like answering. Just thought I would let you know I've been thinking of you. 

All the things that are happening in the world right now are distressing - there isn't any doubt about that, but I wonder if you might be able to take a couple of days away from the news? This is something I have to do for myself every now and again.

I believe that sometimes we have to just focus on those things we can control and that make us feel good. Open a door for someone and see them smile, wave at a neighbor and get a wave in return, help a woman trying to keep her kids in check in a Supermarket by chatting with them. Sometimes the small impact we have can lead to other things. The man you opened a door for might feel in a better mood go home and be nicer to his wife, the neighbor you wave to might not have had any contact with another person for days and finally feel seen, the woman in the Supermarket might have had her stress levels reduced so that she doesn't have to yell at the kids in the car on the way home.

Please take care of yourself and at the risk of sounding cliche, know that this too shall pass. The feelings you are having now will not last. It may take a while but they will dissipate.

Know you have a community here who will listen and care.