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Long Term Affects of Abuse
Personal Writing by S. Hein


I was just wondering.. why me? Why did Professor Garnier pick me?

It seems wrong to call him Maurice. Calling him Maurice seems to imply that we were friends. Actually, at one point I would have believed we were friends. I wonder if I would have thought he cared about me. When I was 18 I didn't speak in terms of "I feel cared about."

By the way, just 5 minutes ago, I didn’t plan to write something about Maurice. Now I feel okay calling him that. After all, we did become fairly “intimate.” We will always have some kind of a connection. I am sure he didn’t think of that when he did what he did to me.

Not sure which direction to go with my writing now. Is it journal writing or is it an article for my site? It is both, let’s say. I feel sure that somehow this will help someone somewhere. In any case, it will help me.


I started thinking about Maurice when I was reflecting on something that just happened. To summarize it, I felt unimportant, unvalued. This hurt me, more deeply than one would think was "rational" without knowing my history.

To give some recent background, a few days ago I went through two really traumatic nights. One night was mostly because of the weather. My partner and I had been camping during a storm and I came dangerously close to hypothermia. We saw a video about it the next day at the National Park center. It showed how the combination of wind and rain strips you quickly of your body heat. And it talked about how most fabric loses its insulation value when it is wet. I was soaked.

I was in my shorts so my legs were exposed to the wind. I kept going outside in the wind and rain to try to secure the plastic sheets which we had over the tent. That tent was never intended to be used in a heavy rain. So we thought putting plastic tarps over it would work. But the wind changed directions, and it was much stronger than expected. So it just blew the tarps right off the tent with a frightening sound as it whipped them around over our heads. We got almost no sleep that night.

The night before it was because my partner was thinking about leaving me. I am terrified of abandonment. Someone I was traveling with once pointed that out to me and I agree. I have been abandoned too many times. It is traumatic for me now.

I have been traumatized in both large and small ways. I am sitting on a low lying branch of a tree now, with my feet propped up on another branch from another tree. I am completely hidden. Like so many times, I feel safer surrounded by trees. Much safer than around people.

No one in the world knows where I am. If I had a sudden heart attack, it would probably take days to find me. I am not far from the cabins and where I left my partner, but no one knows that.

These past few days have weakened me. Which returns me to the topic of Maurice. Professor Garnier. He had a certain power over me since I was his student. You can read all about it on the link below if you care to. It is embarrassing, yet it happened and it is part of me now, for better or worse. It probably is for worse since I feel my eyes start to water. Only ever so slightly though. I don’t make a big deal out of the fact that I was sexually abused. Maybe I “should” talk about it more here. Or somewhere. Maybe it would be healthy for me to talk to people here in New Zealand about it. Maybe it would help them and me.

But I really am curious... why me? Why did Garnier pick me? Notice I now have switched to calling him by his last name. It is colder. I feel colder now, a little resentful. I wonder, was it the way I looked? Was he attracted to me because of my physical looks? Do I look feminine or something? Or did I look so to him?

Was it because I laughed at his jokes and this led him to believe I would be or was attracted to him? I resent that he never asked how I felt. I tried so hard to tell him anyhow though, in the only ways I knew of at the time.

No one ever prepared me to a) talk about my true feelings or b) more specifically, talk to someone who wanted to have sex with me when I was not the least bit interested.

I hope that someone who is thinking of sexually abusing someone else will read this. And they will stop to think. Think of how disgusting they might actually be to the person who can’t say no.

I am not talking about the kind of forced rape in which someone physically ties someone else down, or beats them. Not like the poor woman whose picture I saw yesterday, whose face was beaten and swollen. It hurts and angers me to think of it now...

No, I am talking about emotional violation which precedes the sexual act.

I feel determined now. Determined to finish this article and post it. I want people to read it. I feel unsatisfied with it, at least at this point, like my partner who is always unsatisfied with her paintings, but I will not throw it out. Yesterday she told me she sometimes get so frustrated with her own paintings she tears them up or puts a big red X through them. I felt sad to hear that. I feel sad to think of it now.

She is so talented. Yet she values herself and her talent at about zero or 1 on a scale of zero to ten.

She is painting the person I called “Brooke” on my site. Brooke came to visit us last year. My partner took a picture of her so she could use it to draw or paint from later. It is a nice feeling to know she is painting Brooke. And has been for several days now. Let’s see. We got a call from Cheryl on Saturday. She said we could have the studio for a few weeks. The woman who was using it to paint from was nice enough to clean all her things out for us and loan it to us. So we went in on Saturday and started painting then. No, she actually started a couple of days before that. She painted from the campground picnic table the first and second day I think. Then Saturday was the third day she was painting but we were able to move into her studio room. Today is Tuesday so that makes it five days until now. Each day she paints from one to 3 or 4 hours.

It is nice to see her motivated. It is one of the first times in her life she has ever painted just because she wanted to, with no pressure from any one externally like in her school art classes saying the painting was due on a certain day.

She has been pressured and controlled externally all her life. And it nearly killed her.

Any psychologist will tell you that some people are more intrinsically motivated, and my partner is one. But all her life she has been motivated by fear from the outside. Fear of disapproval, punishment, rejection, failure, not making it to the university etc. She had a much harder childhood and adolescence than I did. I wasn’t depressed or suicidal as a teen. Only around the age of 18, coincidently? The same year that I was sexually abused, I did think of killing myself when I felt rejected by a girl. I am really not sure which happened first. So I can’t blame my suicidal feelings on what Maurice did. In fact, I think I felt suicidal before he did what he did.

I see that I have started eating two apples at the same time! ha ha. Yes, it is true. I have been putting one, or actually two it seems, back into a bag on the ground. Now I see that I actually reached in and started over with a new one at one point before finishing the first one! I guess I was a little distracted.

I feel better now. I was actually laughing. But I want to return to what is serious. And, btw, thank you for reading. Your comments will be appreciated. Interestingly, when I started this website I was afraid I would get a lot of hate mail. But that has never happened. I might get one or two hurtful emails per year and those are easy enough to erase. So I can relatively say that your comments are welcome. They help me in fact. They let me know you are reading and that what I write is touching someone out there.

I am motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic things I suppose. My partner is more motivated by the intrinsics than I am. Word tells me that “intrinsics” is not a real word. Oh well.

My battery has 85% remaining. I am happy about that.

So back to what is serious. I started to write with this thought in mind, or these thoughts....

How much you are valued in a community. Who will miss you. Who wants you to stay.

Also, your own perceptions of things. And interpretations. When you have been abused, you take things more personally. Or perhaps when you have been emotionally abused.

I just had a thought... I have been wondering what to do with some of my writing that I don’t want to put on the main pages. It is too controversial. Or so I fear. So I will put the link in here. I’d rather you not click on it now so you can keep reading this, but if you are interested in more of my writing, then you can come back to it. I only want to show it to people who have gotten deeper into my writing than just the average user who spends, according to my user statistics, 68 seconds on my site. Doesn’t sound like much does it? It hurts a little to know that people only spend an average of 68 seconds on the site. I suppose a lot of people will be surprised to read that. I have often gotten emails that say “I have just spent hours on your site..” etc, but there are over 500 people who come to the site every day so...

Ok so here is that link I was talking about. I think I will just put the url in and explain how to use it, rather than making it a link.. or maybe I will put it at the bottom of the page. No, I will do it now.. the page is society.htm. I guess I will just trust that you can figure out how to access it. Basically you just put it after eqi.org in the URL line, taking out whatever else was there after the eqi.org/ and replacing it with society.htm

I checked yesterday or the day before and saw that it wasn’t linked in to the site anywhere. I took it out when I moved to Montenegro because I wanted to start kind of a clean slate, then I just never got around to cleaning up the things I wanted to before I put it back on. So maybe I will work on it more today....

Anyhow, - but first something funny – I just looked around a little more and saw that someone had set up a nice place for sleeping. There is a sleeping bag, pillow, plastic, etc. I had been thinking it would be a nice place to sleep and someone else had the same idea. I also thought the trees are so thick here you wouldn’t know if someone were sleeping just two trees down from you! Someone could have been there the whole time in fact!

So back to my original thoughts... I guess I can’t really say “when you have been abused...” because I am talking about me. So I will say what it is like for me.... This reminds me of when I saw a counselor a few times at the University of South Florida. I have forgotten his name now.. but I would like to know it again and write to him. He helped me. I was so externally motivated, so approval seeking. He helped me see that. I remember once I told him that I had cleaned the bathtub and thought “the bathtub appreciates me cleaning it.” He said “you are still thinking of external things,” which is of course true.

In reading this book about the lawyer turned monk, I will put the link at the bottom... he talks about the importance of your mission and your talent. I am really not sure what my talent is. I think I am pretty good at a few things, like questioning things, but it is more obvious with my partner. She is obviously talented at painting and drawing. I think she is also naturally talented at feeling, and thinking about feelings.

I just felt physically tired... almost rolled over to rest. But I want to finish this and post it...

So I will try to wrap up, and thank you again for your patience....

For me, I am so afraid of other people’s rejection, disapproval. I feel so undervalued. I am not normal. I am a non-conformist. Supposedly I scored the highest on non-conformity of anyone who had ever taken someone’s little test in Dallas once. I kept that for a long time but it is lost now...

Anyhow, for me as an abused, non-conformist I am always afraid of doing the “wrong” thing, of being disapproved of or punished or rejected or unwelcome.

The specific thing that happened to remind me of my feelings of low value was that I walked past some people, so close that they definitely saw me. But they looked away and didn't acknowledge me. They didn't take note of the fact I had my backpack on or ask me if I were leaving town. So I wondered how much I mattered to them - how important I was. I would have felt more valued, important, etc. if they would have stopped and said with surprise and concern, “Are you leaving?”

It would have helped fill some of my unmet emotional needs (link below) if someone had shown me that they cared whether I was coming back again or not. It hurts now that no one did. It hurts more than any one in that group would understand. No one there had been my lover, or even what I would call a close friend, so I would guess that unless you are highly sensitive, and you have been abused, you won’t understand how it could hurt so much.

I would really like it in fact, if someone, even one person, (other than my partner-who always understands) would tell me that they do understand. But more than just say “I understand,” write a bit more and explain why they understand.

This reminds me of the idea that it is not enough just to say “I understand” – in fact, one person said he hates that. (link below)

Feeling unvalued and unimportant reminded me of a small community I lived in once. I had to pay a monthly fee to live there. With time it seemed my only value to the people who managed the place was the money I paid each month. And even that didn't seem to be very appreciated. I honestly don’t think anyone cared very much whether I stayed or left. If I had killed myself, I am pretty sure no one who had met me would have cried. I used to wonder what they would say.

This reminds me so much of a family. And how a suicidal teenager feels when they feel confused, unvalued, uncared about, afraid.

I just want to add that I am thinking of someone who lives in Tasmania now. I want her to know I haven’t forgotten her even though I haven’t had time to write or chat. I want to tell her more about this place so she can learn about her own situation. I hope she is still alive. I feel guilty that I haven’t written more and gone online when she was on so we could chat.

When I was living there I remember how much I wanted to be valued for the things that are most important to me. I wanted to teach people to start to talk about how they feel using the 0-10 scale and about how to be more emotionally honest and emotionally literate.

When I lived there I never wanted to walk past the manager's office when I was depressed or thinking about something intensely because I was afraid I would see someone and I feel obligated to smile and say “Good morning” when it was not a good morning for me.

So my point is that being abused leaves you feeling empty and worthless, possibly for your whole life. Then what seems to be a small thing re-opens the wound and the pain quickly reaches an intensity only someone else who has been deeply emotionally damaged can possibly understand.

Ok thank you again for reading.



Maurice Garnier

unmet emotional needs

Emotional Literacy

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