INSIDE THE ADULT MIND OF AN ABUSED CHILD: lessons in hope and change that can be learned

Posted: October 30, 2006 in All, Blogroll, child abuse, children, Family, Life

 

I am writing this in hopes of people understanding the everlasting trauma involved with abuse, and how much effort and work is involved in overcoming.

 

I can’t speak for all survivors of abuse, because there are different levels of abuse and different reactions to that abuse. For that reason, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about specific types of abuse, but spend more time talking about the healing from abuse. I think all victims of abuse can appreciate the chaos of the process.

When you are abused, it can alter the sense of who you are. If you’re told day after day that you will amount to nothing, you are worth nothing, and you should have never been born, you begin to try and make yourself invisible. You hide within yourself, you might even put on weight to assure that no one takes a second look. A problem with some of the kids though, is that if they notice someone is weird, quiet and has low self esteem, they put a big ol’ target on you. Without giving it a second of thought, they can reinforce that mentality, making the child feel even worse. A lot of times, the abusers don’t pay much attention to what their child is doing, or what their child gets involved in. The child can get themselves involved in situations that get them into even more trouble. They can end up raped, tortured, drugged, even murdered. And of course, sometimes the parents are the ones who involve the child in some of those dangerous situations. Ok, so now there is this child who has been abused in ways that is unimaginable. This child grows up, is on their own and no longer a victim. What next?OOOh, What next? There are as many options as there are people. But what the options the person chooses can and will make a difference between life and death. (I don’t mean that, just in the physical sense. There can be life and death of the soul, the spirit, the mind and the body) But the process of over coming is long and everlasting, and the decisions you make will alter who you are for the rest of your life. How I have worked on my unspeakable past was, I started over. I found new “adopted” parents who re-taught me how to love. This took many, many, many years to learn. It took many years to believe that I was worth loving. Years of self inflicted abuse, years of self destructive behavior, years of believing I could be worth anything. But, luckily I found people who didn’t give up, and continued to keep loving and teaching until I got it. And it’s amazing, because I know I wasn’t easy to love. So, the first step, is find a few amazing people who will love and support you, no matter what. The next thing I did, was I found a passion. Something that makes me feel good about who I am. You don’t have to be good at it, but it absolutely has to make you feel good about yourself. I have done anti-bullying classes in the local public schools. In the beginning, it was a very cathartic venture. It felt so good to teach those kids, to love those kids, and help them with their own self esteem. I also started writing. This is something I know I suck at, but it makes me feel good, so I continue. You also have to repeat to yourself, every single day, “I am a good person, I am worth loving, and deserve to be happy”. At first you won’t believe it. Once you start believing it, there will be days when you think to yourself, that that statement is a load of shit. But continue everyday, no matter what. And, there may come a day when you just can’t get yourself to believe. You feel isolated, you want to continue to feel isolated. You just want people to leave you the hell alone. That’s when it may be time to get some professional help. Especially if you have any desire to harm yourself or someone else. It is ok to reach out for help, you do deserve it. Once you begin to feel some self esteem and begin to see some light at the end of the rainbow, it’s time to start making a life plan. This can mean different things to different people, and take different amounts of time to get here. For me, I’m in this stage. I am 36 years old, and I’ve finally made it here. But, since one of my self destructive behaviors was to drop out of college, here I am. A single mom, with a full time job. When is there time to get back and get my degree? But even though I haven’t figured out this step yet, I finally realize that I am ok, I deserve to be loved and I deserve to be happy. And I will be happy, no matter where my life path leads me.

 (I have kept my descriptions short, because I don’t know how interested people are in this subject. If you’re interested in more discussion on types of abuse, the effects of, and how to over come, post some comments…the abuse I experienced was extreme, but I’m open to any type of discussions)

for part 2, click here

 

<a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/child+abuse” rel=”tag”>child abuse</a>

 

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Comments
  1. noraine says:

    I think all kids should have a far chance in life no matter what. there mom and dads should not hit or hurt there kids if they did not want a kid the should of not had any kids don’t know what they did when there little they may think that they are bad for everything they do so they may go throw life thinking that they are not good enough for life or for there mom and dads. All kids should be told that they are loved every day no matter what they did wrong. so tell you’r kids that yo ulove them be for the leave home

  2. Manymeez says:

    yes, I agree 100%! If we make a decision to become parents, then we need to not abuse. Are You a kid? You sound kinda young. You can contact me at coffeegrounds_usa@yahoo.com if you wanna talk. Just remember, I’m not a professional, so I can’t help too much. Take Care!
    peace!

  3. ihopp says:

    I too was a victim of abuse…not physical, although I was hit with the belt when bad, but almost exclusively mental. I really don’t understand why people go on to abuse. I didn’t as I never wanted anyone to feel as badly as I did. I’ve over compensated by being too nice, too generous, and having my boundries steped on all the time. I do believe in discipline for kids, even if it means a spanking. Too many kids needed to be spanked and weren’t and now we have a society of people who think what they choose to do is right. I am a successful professional, have a marriage that has lasted 30 years, three children who love me and can depend on me when times are hard, and plenty of financial holdings. I have lots of friends…maybe not the most healthy of behaviors, but I try to help when I can. I do not have chaos in my life….no drama here. I’m glad my abusers are dead or about to be. I know they will be punished even though what they did, they thought was for my good. They are religious hypocrites…so many in the world. Abused children can make other choices and can embarrass the abusers with confronting them in a very cool manner to say that you know what they did to you.

  4. Manymeez says:

    Very well spoken, and great for you that you have stepped out of the victim to survivor mode. Not everyone makes it there. But where there’s a will there’s a way, so I’ve been told. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Great post. Yes, the choices we make are so very important. It’s not easy to overcome the effects of abuse. It’s all those lies we internalized and never think to question that do the most damage. But with luck, if we find people who believe in us and if we ask others how they see us and listen, we can begin to rewrite all the lies. That’s true even when the abuse was extreme–as it was in my case. I wish you the best of luck–you are a true survivor and learning to thrive and that’s the best result of all. Absolutely you deserve to be happy and you deserve love.

  6. Manymeez says:

    Deserve? hmm…anyway, thanks for the comment, and I wish nothing but the best for you as well.

  7. J-Bird says:

    Well Said ! I am the significant other to a very curageous 38 year old woman. I just want to say that what you said about “adopting” new family is on the mark but wanted to mention that part of doing that involves some knowledge of your own tendancies in regard to forming new relationships. Better said, maybe the knowledge survivors/victoms need is how they avoid relationships. Lucky for me I am a stubborn SOB and resisted the numerous attempts to be pushed away and have had the privilage to love, care for and live with this person and experience the reciprocation of what I give. There are times when it is draining because the “abuse” issue effects so many if not all other life issues it seems like the only issue. I persist because the reward of watching an adult woman experience or feel something, that most people would have as a child, and to see how that experience or feeling helps her in the very least not doubt herself.
    So all in all iI guess I just wanted to say thanks for putting out some truth.

  8. oscareni says:

    Its important to talk not only about the woman that have been abuse, but the man also, and Im a man victim of sexual abuse when Im 8 years, now i have 33 years and i have my life completely destroy with many adictions and with nothing of self – esteem.

    Now i dont know what to do, i will go on therapy now, but if someone could help me with information or advice or anything please send me an e-mail. edonino@gmail.com.

    Thanks.

  9. Manymeez says:

    Thanks J-Bird! I admire your persistence. I’m sure your loved one benefits from your s.o.b.ness more than you’ll ever know. If only there were more people like you in the world.

    To Oscareni, sorry you’re having such a hard time. I wish I had some more words of wisdom for you. I understand that it’s hard, and never ending. All we can do, is be proactive in our own healing. I’ve learned that though others can help, ultimately, it’s up to us to figure out our own healing. I wish you well on your journey to wholeness.

  10. A Happy Visitor. says:

    I wanted to take a moment to thank the author for sharing her story. I think you may underestimate your gift for prose. As a person with similar background, I found nothing but truth in your words. You write from the heart and that level of honesty and passion make your work enjoyable (and insightful) to read. I hope you continue to keep it up! As for your remark about college. It is never too late. I am a mid 30s guy that will be going back to school for a masters. Granted the concept of being a late 30’s intern (again) is daunting. I know the rewards will be worth the effort. One thing that has helped me is to plan out my education in such a way that I don’t need to drop everything to do it. If it takes me 3 years to get a two year degree – so be it. Break your classes up into something managable. Also look into online classes, they offer a lot of flexibility for parents. Oh BTW. I have heard rumor of some schools offering “Life Credit” the assumption being that as an adult you probably have learned a lot of basics and don’t need to take things like “economics 101.” …Best of luck to you!

  11. Manymeez says:

    Thank you happy visitor for your kind and generous comments. Good luck to you on going back to college. I know it will feel wonderful when you have finished. I hope someday I can say the same.

  12. A Happy Visitor. says:

    Community college is my friend! Then on to a university. A step at a time is all we can do. But even being at the bottom of a stair case is more comforting to me than wandering around without a clue. Which I have done much of! Ha Ha
    I did have a question. In your travels in personal and professional life have you noticed a tendency to gravitate towards people with similar backgrounds? This was an interesting personal insight I had over the last few years. On a instinctual level I am drawn to people with similar backgrounds, while for the most part don’t feel at ease around the more normal folks with a regular upbringing. I have been pondering whether this was a strange personality quirk, or a common trait shared by survivors. That we feel uncomfortable in normal social settings and tend to gravitate toward our own kind. What do you think?

  13. Manymeez says:

    I’ve thought about your question, it’s very interesting. After thinking about it, I think I probably avoid all people fairly equally. I have way too many trust issues, and just don’t allow people any closer than arms length. At least not until they have “passed” several test. (which most people don’t) If I find I can trust them as much as I can trust, if they later fail one of the test, I start all over again. That’s probably why I don’t have many friends. It’s just so hard to trust.

    Thanks for the question…I took it to bed with me to really give it some thought.

  14. A Happy Visitor says:

    Hmm. Well I think we at least all share similar trust issues. Interesting how we all carry these well into our adult lives. On the plus side, at least we can take pride in being more unique and complex than most. I hope you have a great holiday. Look forward to chatting more later!

  15. Annaleigh says:

    Thank you for this! I definitely thought it was a good post.

    Annaleigh
    http://www.aswaterspassingby.org/blessedfearscapes/

  16. I am 15 and my mom abused me until I was 11. She has a mental illness and she is an addict, but she abused us more when she was not on drugs. People have a hard time understanding that.

    I am going to have a healthy family when I grow up with no violence and no craziness. That is why I am still in therapy now, and so is my brother.

  17. Manymeez says:

    thanks for sharing frecklecassie! I’m glad that you were able to get out of the abusive situation, and that you’re now safe. Therapy, with the right therapist is very helpful in the healing process…it sounds like you’re on the right path to healing.

  18. me says:

    i was abused as a little girl for a few years sexual and physical i am now as an adult trying to figure out how to deal with it some days are good and others are not little things make me cry. what you wrote hit me. thank you. couselors dont work. things are hard when you keep it a secret for so many years and dont tell anyone because you are afraid and dont know as a child what the outcome will be.

  19. Manymeez says:

    I understand me, as a child it’s quite hard to tell. If you make it to adulthood, then it’s equally important to tell. If counseling is not working for you, maybe you haven’t found the right therapist. maybe you should consider finding another? Therapy can be very beneficial if you find the right fit. I hear crying is good for the soul. I, personally find it tiring, and rarely do it. But I have other outlets that probably are more tiring than crying.

    I hope that you find your own path that works for you. I know that there is hope, and you can be and deserve to be happy and loved!

    Thanks for sharing me!

  20. Dear “me”

    Please find a different counselor or maybe a group. I know it helps to get better when I know I am not the only one. It is OK to cry but it is also good to learn to laugh and smile and not look to see if it makes someone mad when we smile. I am not afraid, most of the time. Late at night I am afraid sometimes but mostly I am just OK.

    If you want you can write to me at freckles AT youthinkleft DOT com

    Cassie

  21. [...] mind of an abused child, part 2 Jump to Comments It’s been almost 2 years since I wrote part 1 I never realized how many of us there are until I wrote that post. I have received so many [...]

  22. I am in my early twenties and I just now read this post. I was abused by my real father for years…it started when I was five. …….umm nevermind.. I can’t do this. thank you for your effort anyways
    cassie

  23. anna adam says:

    as an abused child its good to know its not just me. my dad was abusive fisicly and verbly from birth till i was around 13 now older he isnt alowed to see me but i fine myself douting that i deserve love and so i ran away from my one true love cuz i didnt believe that someone could love me…. i have resently taken the perfeshonal help and she is helping me alot with every thing but im glade that im not the only one who has this probly

  24. Gia says:

    If anyone is still following this post or this comment….. check in and let me know how you’re doing….

  25. asme says:

    for gods sake change your article font. very hard to read

  26. raywaton says:

    Survival xx

  27. […] Manymeez presents INSIDE THE ADULT MIND OF AN ABUSED CHILD: lessons in hope and change that can be learned […]

  28. I think the admin of this site is actually working hard in support of his site,
    as here every material is quality based information.

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