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#322649 - 02/19/10 08:55 PM living at the scene?
seanm Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Florida
About a year ago, I moved into my dad's house with my family. He built his 'retirement' home, and we traded up to a really nice, well kept home with a big yard, pool, etc, etc. It is now my family's home, where I live with my wife, two kids and mother-in-law.

The big problem is that it is also where I was assaulted(by a stranger) 16 years ago. It happened in what used to be my brother's bedroom, what is now my son's room. The place has changed so much, but since I've started this process of recovery, I'm having a hard time wondering if this is a good environment for me.

When the idea of taking this house when my dad moved out first came up, my wife and I wrestled with the notion of taking a 'handout.' Now I wonder if subconsciously I wasn't scared to be living back where this all took place.

So--does anyone have the type of situation where they can't get away from the location of an attack? Any advice on quelling some of the day to day negative memories that can creep back in? Or do I need to just sell the place, disrupt my whole family, and move?

#322652 - 02/19/10 09:24 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: seanm]
ComicBookGuy Offline

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
I went back to where my CSA happened and you can still see that part of the building from the street. Looking at it from the outside it was just a place and had no power, but that's a different ballgame from being in there 24/7.

Selling the house would be the "limb amputation" solution and in time, maybe what you need to do. In this economy it might not even be worth losing that money just yet, unless you know you could get its full worth. Never going into your son's room isn't practical either so I can see how it's difficult.

Maybe all you can do is gratuitously redecorate again and have that involve ripping up the carpet, strip out the carpet underlay and put laminate floors down (if still in fashion), change the bed and curtains, physically go in there with a blowtorch yourself and strip the paper from the walls for as long as you can mentally handle the job, take it back to a shell, and then redecorate again. That's all I can think of besides moving, maybe Ken Singer or other mod/admin can think of some suggestions.

Oh and welcome btw.

Edited by ComicBookGuy (02/19/10 09:25 PM)

#322653 - 02/19/10 09:50 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: ComicBookGuy]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Right now is not a good time to sell, that is for sure. But if the house is in a desirable neighborhood in a place where home prices haven't fallen too far, this is also a great time to buy a house. Many new home builders are just giving houses away, often loaded-up with free options, or there are plenty of houses on the market at a depressed price that you could look at too. Since you said "gift" it sounds like you are not paying a mortgage, so that is something to consider too. Depends on the age of your dad's former house too, there might be maintenance issues coming-up that could be expensive, whereas a new or newer house would not have as many maintenance issues right away.

There are a lot of what ifs in the economy these days, and if you are not paying a mortgage on your dad's old house, I would recommend not taking on much additional debt at this time. Say that you could get $200K for your house, and then buy another place for a similar price, maybe a little more, that would offer better schools and/or better amenities, maybe a subdivision pool rather than a private pool with the ongoing maintenance costs, you could create a better opportunity for your family, one that would also deal with your issue with your dad's house permanently. If you are thinking about such a change, you will need to accentuate the positive benefit for your family as the reason for the change.

If you were to become an everyday member of our group, it might take a year or two, but you will be in a much better place than you are now, and by then your dad's old house won't bother you as much as it does now either. Or maybe like CBG says, get a major redo done, then you won't even recognize the place. If your kids are happy with their new school friends, I might choose the redo option myself. If they long for their old friends, I might start looking for a way to give them what they want.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

#322660 - 02/19/10 10:39 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: Trucker51]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
I burn sage etc as a ritual to purify places that haunt me that are still in the family-but something cannot be purified - I can however and being intentional with blessing of myslf and family is key

We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

�It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#322664 - 02/19/10 10:58 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 732
Loc: United States

The real issue here is how you feel and how being in this place affects you. This sounds like a great subject for some in depth discussion with your therapist.

I think the advice about "renovating" the space in some way might be worth exploring. This might involve a ritual that's meaningful to you, a coat of paint (or more), or just making new memories that can displace the old ones.

Some years ago I visited the place where much of the grooming phase of my CSA occurred looking to exorcise it in some way. The institution is now a part of a University campus and hardly resembles the place I recall. I found that the problem was less in the place, and more in how I felt *about* the place and *in* the place. Understanding how you feel and why is the right starting point before you, in consultation with your therapist, decide what to do.

BTW, my SO and I have done several back to the studs remodels so I can attest to how therapeutic and transformational they can be. I'm pretty good at drywall for an amateur so if you go that path I can point you to the places with the best mudding tips.



Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

#322743 - 02/20/10 05:03 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: seanm]
kidneythis Offline

Registered: 11/09/09
Posts: 1558
One of the main handicaps to my recovery is getting people in NJ to help me by phone in OR. I have been asked many times to come back there as I could do some searches on my own to find information.
Even the ellusive "file" made by a woman who rescued me which records all the medical treatments and the injuries and abuses she was able to document that I endured as well as documents the fact that I was kept in that "temporary" shelter for several years.

Anyway my point is that going back to NJ to live and crawl through those labyrinthine bureaucratic mazes with some of the same abusers still working there is like asking with absolutely no exaggeration, a holocaust victim to return to Auschwitz or Burhcenau to live so that he can prove the Holocaust happened.

I don't know how you live there but, I'd certainly agree with speeking to your therapist about it. Does your wife know? Could you rent the place out and move?

As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

#322762 - 02/20/10 08:44 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: kidneythis]
seanm Offline

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 17
Loc: Florida
Thanks everybody for the feedback and thoughts. My wife is aware of all this. We actually knew each other when the attack happened, but only in the past month have I really been able to be up front about just how much really happened.

I will definitely talk to my T about it. In the meantime, the house and room have already undergone lots of changes/renovation since I lived here in high school. Most days, it really does seem like a different place. I just get a little freaked out about those moments of recognition/memory that sometimes creep up out of nowhere.

The funny part is I really should focus on the good. It's ridiculous how many great things have gone on here--we were married out in the backyard, our daughter was born right here in the master bathtub, I put my son to sleep--peacefully and safely--every night in HIS room. The more I'm thinking about, the more it might help me to reclaim ownership of this physical AND mental space. Thanks again for a lot of good advice and thoughts.

#322770 - 02/20/10 10:09 PM Re: living at the scene? [Re: seanm]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
It sounds like you are taking ownership of your home rather than letting it control you. The good things about one's childhood home shouldn't be forgotten, unless there weren't any in the first place. In my case I recently visited the places where I grew up for the first time in years. There were good and bad memories, but the fact that they came back was most important to me.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And well change the world.

#322782 - 02/21/10 01:27 AM Re: living at the scene? [Re: jls]
Jaifian Offline

Registered: 05/26/09
Posts: 220
Loc: washington state, USA
Man, that's a tough one. I have a hard time just living in the same town. I guess you probly just have to see how it goes. Maybe it could even get you through your healing faster by forcing you to deal with it,.. but then that's only if it doesn't drive you nuts first.

#438528 - 06/18/13 06:51 AM Re: living at the scene? [Re: seanm]
tony.p Offline

Registered: 06/15/13
Posts: 1
me and my wife recently moved into the house where my father abused me when i was a child if you have any advice it would greatly appreciated. it is very hard for me to have my son in this house.

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