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#355025 - 02/27/11 10:46 PM Visiting Haunted Places
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
I have been pondering a vacation this summer if the economy allows. I have a place in mind but would like to spare a few days in July for something else.

I have come to the conclusion that closure comes in pieces and not in one fell swoop. No one decision or revelation will open the door completely or shut one either. Rather there is closure, I think, in steps and decisions made. I look back over the last year or so and see I have made strides in my healing. I know I will live with this the rest of my life but I also feel it can have less control of my life as well.

I have been reading some of the stories of men here confronting their abuser(s) or assailant(s). My assailants were strangers and due to my non cooperation with the authorities they were not caught. They may have not been found anyway even if I had not waited seven months to tell the truth. I have been mulling an idea around in my head since last fall. I have been to the city and state where I was kidnapped and raped several times on business. I remember the first time when I knew I was headed there. I worked my way up to the whole thing of boarding the plane and tried to distract myself on the plane ride. I felt myself stop breathing as I saw the city below and then we began our descent. I honestly thought I would pass out. Getting into the taxi was a battle and I hated the whole ride. I would travel to that city many more times for business and each time became less of a hassle for me.

I have never been back to the area where it all happened to me. But for many months I have been thinking on going there. I would visit the car wash where I was taken. I want to go to the apartment where I lived and was beaten, tortured and raped all night long. I want to go to the place I was dumped out before dawn. I want to walk to the hotel where the police were called. Go to the hospital where I was taken to. Visit the school I was attending and the place where I worked at the time. And the place I worked at afterwards since I never went back to the other job. Maybe drive to the psychiatric hospital in a nearby city. I want to retrace that night step by step. Then some of what happened next. Even maybe the time before that led up to that night.

When I think of doing this I often see that I can do this. There are also times I feel a pressure in my chest and a tingling sensation. I am sure that is just adrenaline running as I play it all out. I am a visual person and I can see these places so clearly in my mind.

I feel this would be a piece in my recovery. If I have the guts to do it. I have backed out twice before. But I have never put so much thought into it as I have now.

Funny how odd it looks to write this out here.


Edited by prisonerID (02/27/11 10:55 PM)
Edit Reason: grammar
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

#355032 - 02/27/11 11:32 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: prisonerID]
mrwhiskers Offline

Registered: 02/22/04
Posts: 193

U will do it when the time is right...

Hugs bro


"Dont be scared... angels r here" Maria Fernanda (Mafer)

#355038 - 02/28/11 01:40 AM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: mrwhiskers]
oriolesguy Offline

Registered: 08/13/08
Posts: 124
Loc: Long Island, NY
Hey D....
I have thought often about the same thing, and I have also discussed it with my therapist. The place (apartment) where I was assaulted is a twenty minute car ride, or maybe a thirty or thirty five minute bike ride. Last summer I tried to pull into the parking lot, and I couldn't do it. In all honesty I had been avoiding that area totally, but I finally got the nerve to at least pass by. I did that more and more frequently.

So now I have a plan. Within a stone's throw from where I was raped there is a really good pizzeria, from what I've been told. And when biking season starts (any day now), I am going to go there, and treat myself to some good pizza. And then I'm going back to face my demons in that parking lot, and maybe in or near the building itself.

I wasn't ready for that before. But I think I'm ready now. One thing we both have to remember is that we're both safe now. Nothing can hurt us anymore. And while it might be somewhat painful to remember it all, it's nothing like the pain of having it happen as it originally did. And if I can get past that milestone, it will be another step - a really big one - toward recovery.

The other thing I thought about is bringing someone with me. My therapist actually volunteered. I've thought about it. It may work for you to bring someone with you - someone who knows you, and knows what all this is about. Knowing myself, I will probably gut it out alone when the time comes. But it's another idea.

I can tell you this, though. If I'm willing to put myself through this, then that pizza better be good. I'll be pissed if it's not.


#355039 - 02/28/11 01:55 AM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: oriolesguy]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
I sure can relate with this thread. 2 nights ago I attended a local festival of short film screenings. One of the short films featured historic Route 66 and the iconic neon signs along its route. It went through Pomona, California, where I was born and lived the first few years of my life. Pomona is where my family lived when my father and his friend raped and tortured my sister and me on Saturdays.

In the short film, I saw the long-gone neon signs of several Pomona markets including the fish market and bread store, 2 of the stores where my mother went each Saturday while she trusted my father to watch my sister and me.

I've had nightmares the past 2 nights about the abuse. Even when I took a nap this afternoon to catch up on lost sleep, I had another bad dream about the abuse.

I am trying my best to replace the thoughts with something more useful, but I am told I've been a bit edgy all day. I've learned it's best to fess up to those closest to me about what's on my mind as long as I don't belabor the point and dwell on it.

The human brain is amazing to me. Traumatic events from so long ago are imprinted with subtexts. If I have the power to recall something said to me at age 3, then I have the will power to out-shout it with healthy new thoughts! I am determined!

#355074 - 02/28/11 08:19 AM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: WriterKeith]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
You sound very brave to me, this is a difficult thing to contemplate, much less do. Being sexually abused is'nt easy for anyone and the experience you had sounds especially difficult.

As something that may help your recovery, when the time is right, I hope you'll be able to make the trip.

If or when it does, please, have a good plan, be safe and have supportive people who are easily accessible.

A few years ago I went back to the town, neighborhood and house where I was repeatedly sexually abused by my cousin. It was scary and anxiety producing, both going into it and being there again. But, it was also a very concrete way to see and really know that my abuse had a real time and place. It was validating, but was mostly just very, very empowering and it freed up parts of me that hadn't been in years. It wasn't a cure all, fix everything experience, I still struggle with CSA issues, but it did help. I can understand why you've considered tackling this.

Whatever you decide, for what it's worth, I wish you the best.


#355085 - 02/28/11 02:43 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: 1.healing]
teebone21 Offline

Registered: 10/31/10
Posts: 187
Loc: Zaandam
bro. what good would it do? i mean how would it help u?
i dont get why ppl would wanna go back.

#355093 - 02/28/11 04:04 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: teebone21]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Although it is helpful for some, it is not recommended for everyone. Every situation is unique. cool

When I was a child I fell into a river and nearly lost my life. I was pulled out unconscious. It was traumatic. The following year my best friend died by drowning. When my father tortured me for fun he would tell me I should have died.

The next summer my father began taking me to a secluded 20' open dam where the only crossing was a 4-inch beam that was suspended about 6' above the raging river. He would cross the dam on the beam and scurry up up the wooded mountainside across the river, leaving me behind to cross the dam without supervision.

As an adult, I wondered if my boyhood fear of water exaggerated the dangerous situation or if I misinterpreted my father's intentions. As a child it looked like he hoped I would fall while trying to cross the beam over the dam. He did this every summer. Sometimes he paused on the mountainside to glance back at whether or not I made it across. Was he trying to teach me to be brave? Or to swim? Or to face my fear of drowning? As an adult, I had to know if I had misinterpreted the situation. I wondered why my father always found it funny that I nearly drowned to death, frequently laughing about it through the years at church potluck dinners and wedding receptions.

I returned to the dam as an adult. My blood ran cold. There is no POSSIBLE way...that a normal adult would allow a child to cross that dam on a 4" beam. I looked up the mountainside to the exact spot where my father would sometimes pause and glance back; it was much too far away to make it back to the river to save me if I had fallen into the river.

My trip back to the places of abuse confirmed that it wasn't ME who was crazy or exaggerating memories. Years later I learned that my father was having an affair with one of his sister-in-laws during this era of my childhood.

Another reason I returned to the places of my abuse was to embed in my mind the fact that these events and my perpetrators are in my past.

#355122 - 02/28/11 09:26 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: teebone21]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio
Originally Posted By: teebone21
bro. what good would it do? i mean how would it help u?
i dont get why ppl would wanna go back.

Hey teebone21,

For me the torture and sexual abuse suffered at the hands of my perp cousin took away a lot of my personal power. Going back was healing for me. It helped me regain some of that lost power and took away a lot of my fear.

I hope this helps answer your question.


#355326 - 03/02/11 03:00 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: 1.healing]
bluejay Offline

Registered: 02/23/11
Posts: 51
I'd like to add my two cents if that's all right.

I frequently visit the place where it happened, however, I have yet to be able to step into that room. I would say that 80% of it took place at my father's home, in our bedroom. I never feel comfortable when I'm there and avoid certain parts of the house.

But I think if I were able to open that door I would realize that it's over, and as Gary said, it would help me to re-gain some lost power. But I'm afraid that if I open that door I'll realize just how bad it was and that it was real. I'm not strong enough to face it.

Daryl, thank you for starting this, it's something I have thought about but never investigated.

#355348 - 03/02/11 06:20 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: bluejay]
1.healing Offline

Registered: 09/10/10
Posts: 261
Loc: NW Ohio

We all do what we're comfortable with to take on, this isn't for everyone and isn't a necessity for healing from trauma. In my situation I didn't do this until I'd been in therapy for my CSA for a long time, I had a decent support system in place and I approached it with a plan and safely.

Also, I never actually went back into that particular house or the rooms where the abuse happened because it wasn't available for me to do so, other people owned the house then. I do think I could have though, but I'm sure it would have been uncomfortable and anxiety producing to be there; my pulse quickens and I feel a bit light headed now thinking about it. I'm OK though and can cope with these feelings today. I'm sort of grateful for the feelings too because they still give witness to the impact of what happened to me.

On strength, I think you have plenty of it and bravery too, like Daryl and the others here. It's no small feat to face what has happened to us and it's important to remember that we do so in stages and not all at once. We cross those bridges as we can and the journey is different for each of us.

I wish you well on yours and am very grateful for your sharing here.


#355553 - 03/04/11 05:26 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: 1.healing]
earlybird Offline

Registered: 02/18/10
Posts: 1007

Thanks for bringing up this topic for I’m sure it is on the minds of many of us who have or have not re-visited the places of our sexual attack (rape) or in many cases child sexual abuse. I can see, even make, an argument for or against going back to the very spot, risking re-traumatization.

For me it became important and extremely healing to go back twenty years later. I was amazed at how small ever thing seemed. I hadn’t realized that in my mind I was tiny and all the buildings and hedges were large when in reality nothing was as grand or powerful as my mind had remembered it to be. Though I was emotionally a wreck at times, in the end, I left that place as it should have been left – just a place. No longer carrying feeling of this place being the “drop dead trap” it was the night I was last there.

So for me – it was the best thing I’d ever done to find a sense of resolve. (Resolve of that issue not all issues arising from the rape – damn it) If I may make one strong suggestion – don’t do it alone! I had my wife and best friend with me and without their support I would have gotten within a few blocks and turned around. Like you and many others I was alone the night of my rape so to be there again alone……. For me, not a good plan. As always Daryl you have my love and support. Earl

Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

#355585 - 03/04/11 10:38 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: earlybird]
men_of_hrts.dbw Offline

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 302
Loc: Orchidland Big Island Hawaii
This inner colflict surfaced into my conscious mind many times during the untreated silent years, any memory or reference of places or situations and even object caused anxieties and avoidance/suppression. Some of the auto-response to memories or triggers were totally unconscious reactions that became normal.
Like the shower, after the abduction a simple shower for me was like 30 seconds, everyone who lived with me knows this. I never associated this to the fact that during the assault I came too in a bathtub and I took numerous showers to get a grip/clean during the night.
I never ate breakfast, couldn't, the man took me to a cafe' before he released me. Plus more, but all the unassociated ingrained behaviors and cognitive changes are baffling.
The truth does not always set you free, this was painful; mentally/emotionally and physically.
For decades my gut and bowel movements have been psychosomatically affected.
Shortly after I started to talk about what happened I felt a strong urge to go to the exact spot where the man approached and deceived me, the cafe' and find the house. Everything that is embedded in my memory of the event.
I couldn't go so I googled the places via satelite maps. I used the feature that put me walking on the street. I was able to look around and even zoom in/out on frames.
I've revisited at times over the past 3 1/2 years and when I sit and see, like the cafe' in real time--I go deep, with the energy and visualize in a eyes open trance remembering all kinds of stuff from my past.
It helped me identify more hidden trauma within and then correct it. The energy was very intense.
Today I can take a nice normal shower and objects, places or situations that triggered me have little or no effect.
Still working on the breakfast deal but now I use the google satelite for visiting world/national landmarks, like a cyber vacation on the ground.
All part of the journey to get rid of something and replace it
Thanks Daryl,

Doug>ASA Survivor (1x)
ECV 6001/MaTuCa Chapter 1849
E Clampus Vitus
"What Say the Brethren"
"Hang the Bastards"

#355783 - 03/07/11 02:09 PM Re: Visiting Haunted Places [Re: men_of_hrts.dbw]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Daryl, it takes a lot of strength and courage to post what you posted and to even consider going back tot he place where you were raped. I think it could be very powerful and emotionally empowering if you go there and it is able to make you feel safe, knowing that you are no longer held captive like you were that night, and to re-experience it on YOUR terms, because it is YOUR choice. I honestly wish I could go through that situation as it relates to my rape but when I had to go back there, it was a situation that was forced upon me, I didn't really want to be there and so I don't know if it was really productive to revisit it because it just made me feel like a victim again. I can say that I agree with Earl... you should take someone with you who can support you. You shouldn't have to retrace those steps alone. We will all be there with you in spirit, and you are incredibly strong for even considering doing this of your own volition.

“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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