April 21, 2014

A Beyond Survivor's Story: One Woman's Harrowing Journey to Healing - Part 3

This week, Jori Nunes, author of Chocolate Flowers and amazing beyond survivor concludes her story. If you have been touched or inspired by her story, be sure to leave a comment. It takes a lot to share one's story -- so let's give her the props she deserves!


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Time heals. This is something we often hear but even as I feel this to be the truth, at times I slip back to the painful memories and find it difficult to just function. Readers ask me how I could write such things that I wrote in the book and the best answer is that I learned to disassociate most of my childhood away and I allowed myself to go back to the dark place one chapter at a time to tell the story. I could not remember doing this, it was as if the words just typed themselves as I blankly stared at the screen. After several days for recovery (lying in bed unable to function) from each chapter, I would then review what I had written often adding or deleting and thinking, "Oh how did I write that, what are people going to think?" I visited my church often and would go to confession explaining to the priest and wondering if he would approve of such things. He always did. He would ask if it was for the good and if I felt it was something I had to do and my answer was always, "Yes."

I have only seen my birth father a few times during my adult life and each time I freeze up uncomfortable and afraid he will attempt to touch me especially in a sexual way. His comments have always been inappropriate and disrespectful regarding my figure which is why I think I have such a difficult time when men other than my own husband commenting about my looks. There has often been times that I too have made inappropriate comments and later realized how it could have been perceived.

Having mentally ill parents is embarrassing. I have had major anger issues growing up with unexplained mental outbreaks and breakdowns. It’s also confusing explaining something that really has no explanation, why me? Is it hereditary, will I become like them? Am I like them? I pray to God for those answers to be no but I also see the traits of depression that my mother often had as well as the things that I can often say thinking, that’s something my mother would say or do.

My favorite cousin says my father was worse than my mother, I feel a lot more anger towards my mother and feel that I got screwed from having the chance of any sort of normal childhood because she never received treatment. It was lonely growing up without either parent caring enough to talk to me, listen to me or show me any sort of positive attention. I do not feel sorry for myself but can’t explain the hurt I still hold on to, especially when I see such great parents that are so involved in their children's lives, but this has also been my motivation because I can’t change my past but I can be the mother I always wished for to my three wonderful children.

Becoming a mother for the first time at the age of 19, was difficult for me without the experience of being a loved child and without having any support from my family, my boyfriend or his family. I was truly alone. Looking back, I had made so many mistakes and how my children survived and excelled is nothing less than the strong desire of wanting to do right even though some of my ideas were not like the morning breakfast of a chocolate milk and a Flintstone vitamin. I was more like a big sister than a mother and had more fun playing on the playground with my kids than finding work or cleaning my apartment. I grew up with my children, my oldest son helped me to balance my checking account when he was 8 and is now 26 with a master’s degree in accounting. With all the instability I provided for them, they still turned out to get college degrees and are well adjusted. I would like to help young mothers
who are like I was because I understand them. It wasn’t until I married a ‘normal’ gay man with a strong desire to adopt and raise my children that I learned how to actually parent. 

I am now a real estate broker, I own my own business and my own home. I have remarried the right guy and we have a child together. Not dealing with my past issues however, has caught up to me and having my husband read the book has helped him to understand this confusing person he married and never quite felt he could understand. So when people ask how I could write such things, my answer to that is simple, I couldn’t avoid it, it was never my choice. It’s who I am and I can now close the book and move on.



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Jori was born in San Francisco, CA and raised in San Ramon. Her birth father was an alcoholic, pan handler and dumpster diver and mother suffered from dissociative personality disorder and preferred to stay in her bed researching new diseases and diagnosing people with them since she was also a physic. Jori never spoke about the sexual abuse from either parent and had lived her life raising two children then married the love of her life and had another child. Jori tried to begin over and over with both parents but could never change who they were which was difficult and confusing for her.

Jori’s dream is to teach others what she has learned by writing the book, Chocolate Flowers, in hopes that the reader will not want to put it down but will also learn to detect a pedophile or abused child in hopes to help put an end to this silent epidemic and encourage others to talk about their abuse and not hold it in. http://jorinunes.weebly.com/

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