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
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