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Annie, thank you for your thoughtful, articulate reply. Our situations sound so similar! If anyone can understand the HORROR of what you and your sister endured, I can.
In my case, I was the family scapegoat so my siblings learned real fast that they could get off the hook with my mother by telling her lies about me that she so badly wanted to hear and use as ammunition to verbally and physically abuse me more. (I hope that you and your sister were always able to bond together against such madness.) Needless to say, I've been in "no contact" with my greedy siblings since my mother's death and I woke up about the pure evil of it all.
In regard to your paragraph about what you and your sister have experienced -- amnesia, inability to feel emotions, and problems with memory recall -- I totally understand, as I have experienced similar reactions! I developed a sort of amnesia about the worst of the toddler and early-years abuse, essentially BURYING those memories when I was 12 after I confronted my mother about this early abuse - only to be told that I was a manipulative little liar. Plus I felt empty for decades, only to realize now that I was just plain numb on "auto-pilot" and could not feel emotions properly.
Since my mother's death, the emotions have erupted like a volcano, just constantly flowing. I thought I was going mad, but what saved me was reading everything I could about child abuse and how the effects can really hit adult survivors later in life if they had never fully confronted the pain before. The memories now are still overwhelming, along with the emotions, but I am slowly getting better at "regulating" them. What also has helped was to pour out my memories and feelings to an amazing therapist last year. He totally believed me and stressed to me that all my reactions were typical of an adult survivor of child abuse who is finally confronting the truth about the past.
It really helps immensely to hear from other sensitive, perceptive adults like you who have gone through the same HELL. I seem to take one step forward and two steps backwards as I process all this dysfunctional garbage, but the good news is that the steps or strides forward are getting larger and the steps backwards are getting smaller - if that makes any sense!
Thank you so much again for sharing your story. Blessings to both you and your sister.
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