Saturday, February 17, 2018

About the Author

I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, counselor, nor do I hold any degree from a university in the subjects on this website.  My knowledge began with personal experience as child, unfortunately assigned by the angels at birth, to grow up with an incestuous brother. The raw experience of survival compensates for the lack of higher education. 

Childhood violence stopped suddenly when I was 14 years old when I fought back with a mighty roar. When it began, I have no conscious memory.  The second grade is the last clear feeling of normalcy.  Memories of this period of my life come in bits and pieces, best described as looking though water, rippled, and distorted.  Even today that block of time remains blurred, foggy.

I have learned that even though the physical and sexual torment stopped, the mental dysfunction remained.  Children who experience trauma, but who must “keep the secret” for whatever reason, never go through the healing process.  The result is posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD, which is a response to internal rage and anger boiling inside.

I began to act out, ran away from home many, many times.  I never wanted to hurt my mother but I was in such an agitated state, confused.  Raised to believe we were all God's little children, that nothing could harm us, I suffered quietly with conflicted truth.

Back in the olden days, the '50's, polite society did not talk about sexual matters and certainly not incest.  I acted out as a teen and became very self destructive as an adult.  For over three decades my intake of alcohol increased until the party girl was no longer fun. Alcoholism becomes a loveless lover, chasing away family and friends.

Not until I sobered up in 1991, (an amazing gift of Love) that I began to unravel the complex circumstances that led me down such a black road of self-destruction.

Because I was sober, there was nothing to block the truth. One weekend, about 6 months into sobriety, out of nowhere old memories popped into my consciousness. They slammed me hard and cruel.  The very thing I drank to suppress, keep secret so I did not have to face the truth, no longer was numbed by booze. 

In order for an addict to maintain sobriety, which leads to healing, the secret experiences must be relived, the anger and raged allowed out and the pain given a voice.  The whole world does not need to know but the person who is keeping the secret must allow for truth.

The pain was so intense I could barely breathe.  My first response was to head for the liquor store.  I might buy two half gallons of vodka to block the memory.

I had prayed hard for sobriety every day for months, even as I passed out every night.   When granted sobriety, and I was free from the immediate and intense craving, I felt so blessed.   It was a miracle.

I can only describe my cling to sobriety as my angels in overtime.  They were with me for the long haul and the challenges that I would face for the rest of my life. They were there to hang on to tight, no prevent relapse. 

The truth came screaming out of my memory just as my vocal screams began in the bottom of my feet and shot pain through my body like a lightning bolt.  I

My tears flowed in rivers.  I ranted and raved, shouted and doubled over in pain. 

And my crushed heart asked, "why", "why", "why" as if there was an explanation for this level of betrayal.

"You were supposed to love me and protect me."

"You were family."

“You were my brother.”

"You betrayed me."

"How could you do this to me?"  Raw hate boiled out of my soul.  I was in shock, in a blinding rage. 

Throughout the weekend, I was alone.  It was the perfect time to let this pain go.  My guardian angels must have cradled my heart next to theirs.  As I relived the memories, expressed my feelings in a storm of pure hate and white rage, I worked through the process I should have been allowed to do, more than 35 years earlier.

Once the secret has a name, it no longer has any power over you.  I was not “molested” it was attempted rape!  All the other sexual tricks he pulled probably would have been molestation but under the description of child sexual assault today, he would be in jail. 

I was exhausted but free.  The process took the entire weekend but set me on a new path.  It took a few more years but Private Family Matter flowered. 

Private Family Matter is a voice for those who cannot speak, especially those who currently survive in violent and/or sexually abusive, torturous homes and the addicts who still suffer.

It is also for those who died keeping the secret.  They speak to me now offering their thoughts and feelings when I have no personal experience with a particular subject.

Guardian angels are with me but they do not protect humans from all strife.    When I drift away, confident on my own, they throw an obstacle to pull me back.  They remind me of who truly cares. We all need reminding every now and then to keep the faith, to be aware of and rely on, the presence of the Spirit.  I know that my addiction is only one drink away so I keep vigilant.  It helps to reread these pages to see how far I have come. 

Sue Christensen 

Nome, Alaska 2003
Revised 8/2008
Revised 7/2009 Oregon
Revised 10/2010 Oregon

The healing process works in stages.  Points of view change as people age.  What was important as a teen seems silly as a great grandmother.  As I review these pages, I relive the experience but it carries no pain for me now.  I have healed.

I just celebrated 19 years of sobriety.  Bless my guardian angels and the AA group in Banks, Oregon who helped me so long ago.



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