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How do you recover from child abuse?

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Old 26th June 2006, 10:07 PM   #376
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Your fiancee has two problems. The first is her father's physical abuse when she was a child. The second (and the one which most preoccupies you) is her abnormal attachment to her mother. The degree to which that is consequence rather than subsequence is problematic, but peripheral at present. Whatever father's pathology toward your fiancee might have been, thirty years ago, the main problem now is her unresolved dependancy on her mother.

When I see this kind of wisdom, it makes me believe there is hope. This is some very valuable common sense. But you must take a spoon full of "objective" to make it work. Look at it for a moment as if it were someone elses problem. Then make decisions. You'll be amazed at how much better your mind works when you get rid of the emotional "charge".

Thanks enki!!!
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Old 27th June 2006, 11:50 AM   #377
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Yes, enki is fabulous. I miss her. Where'd she go?

I'm sorry, SamJam, about the broken wrist incident. My heart ached as I read your story.

Our posts about dreams prompted yesterday's therapy session where I relived an important episode in my life that has been blocking me. Thank you.

When I was 4-5, my mother used to lock me in my room for naptime every afternoon for 3-4 hours. If I tried to come out or cried too much, I was beaten. I never slept, was lonely, confused (why?), and if I said anything it was pointless, so I learned to entertain myself by acting out stories and songs. I learned to read at that time and loved books. I could be somewhere else then.

No wonder drama and English were my college majors. I was bred to perform. And I know what you mean about the entertainer being somebody else. But ask me to be myself? Still working on that!

It's as though I'm still locked in that room, though. I've internalized the mother telling me I should just keep quiet and sleep while inside the Little one is raging and imaginatively trying to live as best she can within the confines of her room. I haven't even considered the possibility that the door is now open and I can leave that room because I'm scared of what will happen if I do.

But just as at the end of the play No Exit, the door IS open. No one is going to come in to comfort or rescue me. But I can go out now.
We must become the change we wish to see.--Ghandi
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Old 27th June 2006, 4:32 PM   #378
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Thank you for inviting me to view this thread, Becoming. I've read all 26 pages of it, and I've been in tears throughout most of it - because I can relate to every emotion, every feeling of being frightened... angry.... feeling trapped. I've felt this way for most of my life.

I'm about a month into my therapy now, and unfortunately, the revelations have just begun. My situation is mostly abuse of the neglectful persuasion, although some physical abuse was also present, at the hands of a girlfriend of my brother's (she moved in with us when I was 9 years old - abuse lasted from 9 to approximately 13 or so).

I just ended up editing out most of my post, as it's a launch into my particulars and what caused me to feel like a ****-up for most of my life - but I don't wish to hijack the thread. I'll just make a quick mention of my thoughts, here:

Neglect (whether physical or emotional) isn't as spoken of or as widely acknowledged, I've noticed. And a lot of people that I know don't hold "neglect" in the same category as, say, physical or emotional abuse. But believe me when I tell you that it hurts just as much. I wasn't ever called names (emotional abuse) or physically hurt (except for my brother's girlfriend - none of my actual family ever hurt me) - but to be ignored and treated as if I didn't even exist.... that's just as bad. Sometimes I wonder if people actually do see me at all. I feel... invisible a lot of the time.

Thanks for pointing me this way, Becoming. I've learned so much from just this thread by itself, and while I'm sitting here crying... I also feel like I'm not so alone anymore.

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Old 27th June 2006, 5:07 PM   #379
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I think neglect is a form of abuse. They take kids away from their parents for that.

It's been quite amazing to me to see how we all relate to the world in similar ways. I've walked around perpetually wondering, What's wrong with me?

And the answer is nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nothing other than what's wrong with all human pups--we're limited, finite creatures who're just as wonderful and screwed up as the next person outside the Mother Teresas and Hannibal Lechters at the far ends of the spectrum.

But isolated in our households, trapped there as children with no way out, we didn't know that it wasn't us. I've carried that isolation and the shame of that embodied lie with me all my life, and I am sick of it.

Know what you're talking about with the invisibility. I always said I could just as easily have been a coffee table they had to bother to move around.

Welcome to the party. I don't want it to be a pity party, but maybe we have to just sit on our dung and ash heap like Job for awhile until we're done mourning it all and can move on. Ain't pretty, and it sure smells bad, so we can't live there forever.

This thread can kick up all kinds of *****. Watch out. Or maybe I should just say watch and pray.
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Old 13th July 2006, 1:11 PM   #380
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Just an update

I'm getting stronger and happier. Partly due to the fact that I'm more accepting of where I am and who I am. I am where I am because I didn't bring that abused little girl along with me and deal with her needs. Instead, I walked away from her and just kept going thinking that was all in the past, etc.

I am more accepting of the fact that there is a part of me that's damaged that won't ever completely heal. I think I felt bad because of that and even disliked myself for this, continuing the wounding. This, I think, is the worst part about abuse--the Stockholm syndrome.

My H and I are working through our issues so that we are mostly happy. We know what each of us does that sabotages the marriage and causes hopelessness and now that we're on to it, we have some control over it, and that feels good.

But mostly, DRUGS are what have helped. The physical component of depression is so serious that medication is necessary in order to do the work of therapy. I cannot stress this enough, but persevering through the medical system can take months or years. I've now tried Cymbalta and it was a bust. I took myself off it because NO orgasm no matter what was tried. That alone is enough to make a person depressed, so who needs that?

A good pyschiatrist is helpful. A clueless internist who doesn't understand post traumatic stress is a serious waste of time. I'm in search of someone who gets it. I've wasted way too much time in my life with incompetence, and I'm not going to tolerate it anymore.

I've just ordered I Can't Get Over It and look forward to working through it. I'm actually thinking of writing my own book now that will use what I've learned about trauma so that I can turn what's happened to me in my life to good. Life may have given us ****, dear friends, but we are master composters.

Compost on!
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Old 13th July 2006, 10:19 PM   #381
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Originally Posted by Becoming View Post

Anyone else out there know what I mean? Do you ever recover from child abuse? And if so how? And if not, what helps you cope?
Hi Becoming, I too have suffered with emotional, sexual, verbal and physical abuse at the hand of my Mother.

I am only just realising it now. I am 31. I know this is going to be hard.
Denial has been my only coping device until now.
"Are you lying to me just to save our Marriage?" To which he gives a big laugh and proceeds to write it in his quote book.
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Old 13th July 2006, 11:45 PM   #382
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Welcome to the club, FB. I'm sorry you have to be in it. But you know, the folks who've signed in here are all fabulous.

I started actually dealing with some of my issues at 30/31 when I had my first child. My first go at therapy was just identifying feelings. I hadn't had anyone name any feelings for me at all. You can only do so much at once, then more stuff comes up later to deal with. Recovery seems to come in stages.

Best wishes. Main thing: you're not crazy. You did the best you could in a crazy situation. Now you can choose sanity, but it's hard to break old patterns of relating to the world based on the deep-seated beliefs we have.
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Old 19th August 2006, 4:00 PM   #383
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It's time to wrap this up for me.

All of you who've contributed have been fabulous and helped me more than you can ever know. You have been angels, messengers from God, encouraging me during dark days. A simple thank you seems too little, but it's all I have. So. . . thank you.

I continue to make progress by accepting that part of me that I wanted to hide in the basement or attic like some poor mentally ill relative in the 19th century. I'm off drugs; it seems they work for awhile and then don't. But I continue to see a psychiatrist in the hopes of finding something that will help me sleep so I can stay on top of all the negative messages that are a part of the subtext of my life, subliminal messages I could never really "hear." But once I started hearing them, I realized why I am so tired; I'm still beating myself up with negative thinking, and then beating myself up because I got so beat up I couldn't move!

I'm learning how to relax, balance my time and energy, and let go of hypervigilance and the need to control in order to quell my anxiety.

I have learned to voice my feelings and wants and needs to others without abject fear of rejection--which you have all helped with tremendously.

I've learned this is just me and that that's ok. It seems so simple, yet so difficult for those of us who were told nothing we ever did mattered.

I've learned that those who want to castigate us as whiny victims have no idea what it's really like to be captive to evil's nuances that entrap some at such an early age that they can't even see that the door to the cage they're in is open when it does finally open, and that we have the power to fly away and can even though we're so afraid that when we do, someone will hurt us for it. They can't anymore, unless we choose to stay captive. While this seems so obvious to most people, it doesn't to us. And a part of us knows why others can't understand and are glad they can't. But we still wish you'd try.

Take heart, hope, believe, keep walking toward the light, fight the darkness with the ruthless gaze of honesty, repentance, and forgiveness when the time is right. Accept that what was, is not what has to be. Change is possible, but it begins with us choosing not to act out of fear but out of trust that the power of Love at work in the universe in many fragmentary ways is enough to overcome the evil--if we let it. Let it be. And a new day dawns that is not determined by yesterday.

It all boils down to such simple platitudes that are easy for most, but not for us. We struggle in ways most simply cannot understand, and we can't explain because it's often inappropriate to give details, and most folks can't handle hearing what we've been through even if we wanted to tell them. And most of the time, we don't. Few folks want to know that human beings have such a capacity for evil that they can harm their own innocent child.

I have learned above all that there is compassion in the world--through you, brothers and sisters. That God is not just a wish-fullfillment projection of my active imagination, but real Compassion that lives in people who do help and not hurt. And that Compassion saves. For me that Compassion comes in the form of Christ, the liberator, who stepped in to take sin's abuse on my behalf when there was no one else who could or would. This is a living Power, the Advocate who is with us in ways no one on earth can be, helping us endure and redeeming what's broken. And that ideally, the church consists of those who embody these actions for others. Anything less is bogus and unnecessary and perhaps hurtful.

I am also learning to live with ambiguity and simply take responsibility for my choices here on out.

So I choose life, not virtual reality. As wonderful as you all are and as real as you are, I need to live in flesh and blood realities in all the real world now. I appreciate the practice we've afforded one another here so that we're able to move more smoothly into the "real" world.

The door to a whole new life is open before me, and I choose to fly.

Blessings of shalom to all with profound gratitude for your grace!!!
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