Category Archives: Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

Adult survivors of child abuse can still be affected by their abuse as children. In this category I will be talking about adult survivors and myself, as I am also a survivor of child abuse and I personally have gone through many of the effects of child abuse from sleep disturbance to trust issues.

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Goal: Stop Being So Damn Hard on Myself

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As I started my healing process last year I made a promise to myself that I would stop being so hard on myself about every little thing I could possibly be hard of myself for. I came to realize that I was treating myself much like the people in my life who were abusive. I did not let myself rest very often or let myself have is that I wanted. I second-guessed myself at every turn and I minimized my own feelings and abilities for the comfort of others. I had a broken record of complete and utter bullshit filing cabinet in my mind as to why I wasn’t able to do things or do anything right. I would literally mentally beat myself up if that I did not meet my own unrealistic expectations that eerily matched the unrealistic expectations of abusive people that have been in my past. The words in my head were not mine. It was the echoes of the things said in the past still haunting me. Insults and untruths which I am still working on processing and accepting them for what they are.

I have gone through most of the bullshit and even proven some things wrong with concrete evidence akin to “Oh yeah? Watch this, Motherfucker.” What seems to be left now are remnants. The things that I have to be hard on myself now are nothing now that my brain is really and truly started to make some shit up. For example I was being hard on myself about not updating my clip store or my video diaries on a daily basis and nobody really gives a fuck about that. The world is not going to end if I don’t update something on a daily basis.

When I really thought about this I had to laugh. Is this really all that’s left that I can badger myself about? Is this it? Is this all you’ve got? YES! I feel elated that I have hit this point where I can laugh at what a hard ass I am when it comes to myself instead of feeling blah and continue to beat myself up. Laughter is a game changer. Immediately, it changes my focus. Laughter is cathartic like crying the more fun and less puffy face.

I filmed a video diary somewhere along the way in January that talks about this very thing. I laugh in the video about how hard I am on myself and that I don’t really have anything to be hard on myself for anymore. And this is true! The feeling of elation is now turning into acceptance and into a soft smile for myself out of love. Yep, that is me. I’m doing OK.

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Still Angry – RANT

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I’ve been reading “The Courage to Heal” that I arrived in the mail the other day. It’s really helping me to understand the stages of healing and then everything that I’m feeling is okay. I’ve been grieving and angry…mostly angry. I don’t think the words grieving and angry really cover the mountain and feelings that come with this. It really doesn’t feel okay. Feels awful. It hurts so much.

It is very difficult for me to feel angry and to be in touch with my anger. For many years. I was told I had no reason or right to be angry and eventually after being told over and over again that I had no reason to be angry, starts to just compound upon itself on the inside. This is very unhealthy to go through life for years and not be allowed to really express anger. I even had my ex-husband tell me that he thought I was punishing him, even though all my anger comes from one place and that is the deep pain that I feel every day. It’s just one more way that they can blame me, and it’s just one more thing that seems to haunt me.

I don’t like to feel anger. I don’t what to be mean to people. I don’t want to hurt anybody. When I get into this stage of healing I don’t know what to do. This is usually when men will tell me that anger is not attractive, and that it’s not okay, calm down, its not happening now, what is wrong with you, just don’t think about it, do things to distract yourself, take this pill, drink this wine…

Is this part of PTSD? Will my feelings go from being very angry to this strange feeling of acceptance of not being able to get out of that mindset that I been in for so many years. This mindset tells me that I should feel bad for feeling angry for the things that happened to me. What makes me the most angry is that the people who told me that it’s not okay to be angry, are the ones that hurt me.

Seems as a female, I never allowed to be angry anything for any time anything to matter how unjust or unfair it is. Your just supposed to take it because that’s the way life is. While I’m calling bullshit. If it was supposed to be this way it would feel this way.

It makes me angry that I still hear their voices in my head. Makes me angry that I tell myself the things that they told me in it makes me feel horrible and sad in that sadness that turns to anger.

I’m angry that they weren’t punished for what they did. I do not think that living with what they did no matter how hurtful that could be is good enough of a punishment for what they did to me.

The acts themselves really did hurt and they did mangle my mind but what made it worse was all the mind games that followed to try to blame me and hold me responsible for actions that were not in my control. That fucking hurts.

I’m angry because I’m second-guessing myself but even as I write this because I am more of a conversational writer and and not a great one either. I’m not even the best voice to talk to people about these things because how could anyone understand me when I don’t understand myself.

I think that’s where I need to start and I need to keep forgiving myself, that I need to keep saying to myself positive things and reassurances over and over again until the voices stopped telling me otherwise.

I need to stop being mad at myself to treat myself with some compassion. I had compassion for them. I made excuses for them. I lied for them. I hurt myself. I suffered for them. I hated myself for them so that they could feel better about themselves when they were truly the one who were not worth anyone’s time, especially mine.

No, I want to ask why. Now I’m trying to interrogate myself ask those why? Why did you do this, why did you do that, why did you allow this. Why did you let this happen
None of that really matters, because that way questioning is hurtful and the reason that it’s hurtful is because why is “explain yourself” like an interrogation.

The same bullshit why questions that they used always ask me when I was expressing the fact that I wouldn’t pay what they did. It’s enough to make anyone crazy. It’s enough to make me feel crazy and exhausted and prickly.

My anger scares the hell out of me. When I’m angry I think very dark thoughts. And I think about doing very dark things. My brain starts to plot and plan, and in its own little engineering way, try to figure out solutions to the common problem of how to get away with some type of vengeance. That’s not who I really am though. Its a manifestation of shit I’m not dealing with or accepting of myself. Its a distraction, something to stay busy.

The reason I know that I’m not that kind of person, even though I have little violet fantasies about revenge is that I had the chance. Someone who raped me was lying in front of me tied up. I had every opportunity in the world to hurt this person or kill them. And in that moment that I realized I had power over them, and the opportunity to do things to them that they had done to me. I stopped. It’s like all of a sudden I lost complete interest. Somehow, in their mind, They had justified what they done to me, but I could not justify to myself to do those things to another human being, or any living thing for that matter. That’s who I am. I can be given power over someone else. And instead of wanting to hurt them or damage them, something else happens. I see that vulnerability and I RESPECT and honor it. And all I want to do in the world is for that person to have a good experience under me. I am not a murderer. I am not a rapist. I know how to love and I have compassion for others, even if they may not deserve it.
Weak people tear others down , and put them down in order to feel better about their own pathetic lives. To one up another for what? Wow, good job, you’re the special fucking snowflake now. Do you feel better? What a fucking waste of energy and time.
Part of me hates people part of me loves people. No, I think I actually hate people. I just have a respect for consent, and for life. Does that make me better than the people who hurt me? Fucking ‘a right it does, Fuck them! They are the weak ones for strong people do not hurt children and vulnerable people. Strong people lift people up, support them, and help us all to be better versions of ourselves and WANT to be better than were were yesterday through their inspiration. That is strength. THAT is power.

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Big Decision

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I’ve decided to downsize and move to a smaller place. Part of me feels like it may be holding me back to have all this extra space and stuff and possibilities of things that I no longer really want in my life. This place reminds me a bad times in my life. I don’t think there is any amount of work I could do on this place and not feel slightly disgusted with it. The positive thing about moving from this place is that it is a life-changing opportunity. It really scares the crap out of me to make this big change, but I think it’s can be for the better. I can look forward to a quieter place to work, less to clean, less upkeep, and no triggers from the new space. The new place will be in a new part of town , so there will be even less reminders. I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can go while living in the space that I was abused in. Right now, every room has some sort of memory that hits me as soon as I walk in. When I’m away from the house I noticed that I am happier and my mood is lighter. When I’m home, I tend to want to curl up in a little ball or my demeanor changes more like cranky and angry sort of tone. I don’t want to live my life like that anymore and I don’t feel like I’m running away from this place. It’s just time to move on and get on with my life and live for myself.

Here are the pros about moving to smaller space and downsizing because I’m terrified and I need reassurance that this is the right choice:

closer to family/my support system
more money to expand current business ventures
lower monthly bills
24-7 gym and pool access without having to drive
less clutter
more natural light and windows to look out of
no more sticker plants in my feet or the dog feet
no more triggers when I walk into a certain room
much quieter neighborhood so I can concentrate on work or enjoy a quiet evening
Move forward with the next stage of my healing in my life
Able to donate more and contribute to someone in need through downsizing
The new place is more private
No more home repairs or upkeep
Don’t mention that it’s quieter?

Here are the Cons of moving and downsizing, these are the things that are stressing me:

I will have to deal with a lot of people in order to downsize
I have pride issues with having a smaller, cheaper space
I will be giving up spaces that I would use for work and art projects
I would be giving up having my own space for possible shoots
If I do want to shoot with other people I will need to rent a space
Packing, moving, and deciding what to keep is frustrating

Now that I’m looking at the list of Pros versus the list of Cons, the cons seem a bit silly to me. They’re all centered around self-doubt and shitty feelings that would only be temporary with the gain far outweighing the losses. I look to what’s really inside me and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I can tell that the Cons list is just me trying to hang on to an old life that I don’t want anymore. Change is scary, but it is necessary to move forward in order to heal myself and feel better. All of these temporary inconveniences scary moments are just shit I will have to deal with to move and downsize are nothing compared to continuing to live in a place that is holding me back. It’s too comfortable and too easy to stay here and live in my old patterns and remember the abuse that occurred here. I have been reading about breaking out of comfort zones and that’s what I’ve been doing my entire life. I’m really good under pressure and I know deep down I will be thankful for this decision down the road.

So this stage of my healing and journey through life begins…

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Comforting and Horrifying – Free Writing

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This is free-writing or that’s what I’m calling it and the English majors can piss off. This is a spill of my thoughts onto the page. I’m not interested in correcting it, its raw and my words, my truth. I don’t know why I still feel defensive about what I am doing but I do. Before anyone can bitch and moan and criticize me, I’m already explaining. I expect it. I’m used to it. I’m used to being told to shut up and that my pain is not “Appropriate” and no one cares. Here goes everything…

I am not alone. I am not alone in feeling this type of mental pain and anguish. I find the thought both comforting and horrifying at the same time. I wish I was the only one now as that would ease some of the pain of the world but that’s not possible. I am not alone in being raped as a child. I am not alone in once being a wife that her husband thought he could just do whatever with because he was entitled. I recommend NOT trying to find others online that have been through these things. Many are gone in an attempt to end their pain. Does it end it? No one really knows.

The decision to stay here and not kill myself is yet another selfless act of protecting those I love and care about from from that kind of pain. I’m preventing myself from hurting them. I gave a lot of thought to how I would do it and realized that if I completed the planning and carried out my death, I would damage the people that I cared about the most and more than myself. I came to realize that they would blame themselves and they do not deserve one once of the pain of self blame.

Others have used this love to hurt me and sometimes to hurt them. Not allowing certain acts and standing up for myself, threatening to tell, got my family hurt. This manipulative grooming and cruelty was never my fault yet I was told many times by the men who raped me. I hear echoes of this in our culture and its painful but do I speak out or try to ignore it? Ignoring it does not work. Once its in the engine it becomes part of the mechanism itself. It seeps into everything and destroys happiness until someone somewhere tells us that we don’t have to suffer. Its not our fault, they believe us, and that we can heal.

I don’t know if I can heal. I want to believe I can. I thought healing and getting past things was and end to thinking about it, remembering it, or being triggered. That’s not what healing is according to experts and other survivors. When I learned that healing is really just being able to deal with the memories when they come up and they are part of my life forever, I felt devastation. Devastation was followed by half-ass acceptance followed by denial and around this circle I went, mourning yet another lie of rape culture…that you can get over it and its gone.

I think about that stupid lie I was told and I realize more now about feelings and memories combined with my own life experience that my use of denial actually may have kept me more sane than I can imagine. Why did these people just expect me to be fine after this? Why is this an expectation of fall apart or be just fine and dandy, nothing is wrong, FUCK, sometimes I hate that I bought into the lies but what else did I really have to compare it too? I’m still working on forgiving myself and being nice to myself. I constantly have to forgive myself, my child self, my adolescent self, my adult self as a young woman. I have to forgive my older self now for quirky things that annoy me about myself. Yes, I get annoyed with myself and my sometimes neurotic feelings but then again, those are not my words either. Given the events of my life, how would someone be. What would they think.

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When I Wasn’t Silent Anymore…What Happened?

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So what happens when you aren’t silent anymore? What happens when you tell people you were abused as a child and raped as a young adult? I can’t tell you how your experience will be. For me, it was so scary but I felt like that’s really the only option I had left besides suicide. Keeping what had happened to me a secret was killing me. I was thinking of ways that I would kill myself. I was done. I didn’t want to hurt anymore. As self reliant and stubborn about it as I am I was lying to myself that I could heal this pain on my own. I’ve known from a very young age that people can’t be trusted. I didn’t trust people with my truth. My fears were that they would twist every word I said like others in my life had or somehow use it against me. The reality is that speaking out just made it so no one could use it against me ever again. I was public about it, no more hiding or making up excuses to cover for my depression, anxiety, PTSD. Here is how I saw others react to breaking my silence about being sexually abused as a child and raped by my ex husband.

1. Most People Were Kind

This was the biggest shocker I had while I was tearfully and fearfully spilling my guts on camera about past sexual abuse and how it was effecting me in my adult life now, years later. There was about a 2 week period of time before the roving trolls came around to point fingers and try to poke me. The outpouring of love and support left me speechless. I worked hard to voice my appreciation and not just sit there dumbfounded by feeling of love from caring people. I cried a lot of happy tears and cried a lot of tears reading what others shared with me about their own experiences.

2. Some Blamed Me

There were the typical “you asked for it” for which my response is “3 year olds and sleeping people ask to be raped?” Since the people who raped me also blamed me for what happened (which is typical of abusive people) and used very similar wording to basically treat me horribly. They were also way more upset that I had a wishlist then the fact that I was raped. I really can’t say that I was surprised by these people. It makes me wonder how many of those people that reacted by victim blaming respected boundaries. I don’t know those people and don’t want to know them. I blocked them and left a statement saying I wasn’t going to argue with them. Little rounds of trolls still come wandering by my blog, websites, or YouTube channel and try to poke at me to see if I’ll bite. I don’t. I block and move on. Life is too fucking short to listen to bullshit anymore. I don’t need to defend myself. I didn’t do anything wrong.

3. Some Were Inspired

This is the most positive things that has come out of breaking my silence. Other people have felt hope and encouragement from things that I have shared. They talked about mental illness and depression, anxiety, and other mental health topics that they hadn’t talked about before. When I spoke my truth and talked about what was going on with me, others realized that they did not have to carry their burden alone either.

Negatives:

People are jerks. We already knew this though because that’s the main reason that many survivors don’t ask for help or talk about their abuse at all. Typical bullshit grasping for anything in a desperate attempt to silence/blame the survivor(EPIC TROLL FAIL,HA!).

Positives:

I don’t feel like so much of an outsider now. I feel more determined to treat myself better. I have learned to not interact(as much) with negative people or trolls, just block and move on. I don’t shut up. I have more confidence to stand up for myself personally. I always stood up for myself on a professional level but now I feel like I can carry that through to my personal life. I take breaks from social media when I need too. I am on my own side now. I wasn’t for years but I am now. I’m healing. 🙂

I’ve worked very hard to amplify the positive people in my life. I write down what they say that really helped me to smile that day and hang it on my inspiration wall. This wall has printouts, post-its, cards, letter, ect from people who reached out to me and took the time to tell me that I matter and that they care. I look to this wall when I need a pick me up and when I don’t just because its just a great example of human kindness. I need a reminder that those people exist. Everyone really was helpful even though I couldn’t bring myself to accept the help they offered. Knowing that they were there made a huge difference.

So, that’s pretty much what has happened from me talking about the effects of childhood sexual abuse and partner rape has had on my life. I can’t say that if you tell someone or the world about sexual abuse you have suffered that the response will be the same but know that there are kind people in the world. There will be jerks no matter what you are doing, how you are doing, when you are doing, there always someone there to make the poo face and point out any perceived flaw. I tell myself remember those people are mostly projecting their own crap onto me. that’s really their own issues, and some people like to bitch and whine no matter what is happening(block them with the quickness, the sooner the better). It is my life and I decide how to live it, not them.

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The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis

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My copy of “The Courage to Heal” came in the mail today. My journey to find peace and to heal from the horrors of my childhood sexual abuse is still ongoing. I’m hoping to use this book and its guidance to further myself in the process of feeling better. There are tools I don’t have yet to deal with what I’ve been through.

I had a glimpse of what it would be like to be OK about a week ago. There was a span of time when there were no nightmares, no flashbacks, and when a painful memory came up, I was dealing with it without breaking down or hiding from everyone. I felt strong and happy. I was laughing, dancing around my house, and sleeping great. I don’t know why but it was like someone flipped a switch and I was teased with 2 weeks of peace and joy. Now I’m not having such an easy time and its painful. I yearn for that peace again. Honestly, I’m pissed that I’m having a few down days again. I’m pissed at who hurt me and I’m pissed at myself.

Instead of beating myself up and mourning what seems to be a loss of peace, I’m going to take it as a sign that I need to work on myself some more. There’s always more work to be done but I am so tired. This is when my brain tries to disassociate, get cynical, and basically be an asshole to myself. Its hard not to when I’m so frustrated with it all. Depression keeps trying to weasel its way back and despite my best efforts, it still wins some days. The hardest part is being nice to myself and having patience.

That seems to be what many people don’t understand about survivors. We are SOOOOO hard on ourselves. There is a troll that lives in many of us that barks about fear and doubt. We have less patience for ourselves then society has for us and let me tell you, THAT is one of the saddest parts of this whole thing. As much as I try and am patient with others, I’m not very patient or nice to myself when I start to feel sad again because I don’t want to feel it again. I don’t want to hurt more. Of course, this doesn’t help anything and is very counterproductive. As much as I tell myself these things, old habits are hard to break.

So, from the reviews I’ve read about this book, many survivors really benefited from reading it and doing the exercises. Many of the comments about it mentioned that some survivors felt like the book was written especially for them. I hope I find help within its pages. I’ll write more about this book after I have gone through some of the chapters and exercises. I’ll share some of what I’ve written in the exercises. Wish me luck!

 

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Overcoming Sexual Abuse

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Overcoming sexual abuse and the effects of childhood sexual abuse is not a destination but something I do daily. There are still a lot of issues I deal with but everyday I choose to live with this pain. I choose to be here on Earth another day, to stay. Some days are rough, the dark thoughts creep in, and I don’t know why I’ve stuck around this long. Having goals has greatly helped me in sticking around. I’m still very angry about what happened to me and to others so my goal right now is to outlive the people that have hurt me in my life. I’m looking forward to reading that they are dead. This is how I have to deal with some darker thoughts. I have to convert that energy into a positive goal that can steel myself in the determination to live better. I must treat myself well and care for my physical and mental well being in order to reach this goal.

Every day sometimes a couple times a day I mentally commit to not letting anyone,including me, stop me from reaching and exceeding my goals. This is tied in heavily with self worth and self esteem. Logically, I know I’m a capable human being able to achieve pretty much anything I have set my mind to do. This doesn’t mean that I ignore the thoughts, push them aside, or not deal with them. I use them. I’ve created projects for this year that will help me to release these darker feelings. They will also increase my self esteem because the projects are all things I’m good at or I can be good at them with practice. I just have to let myself reach more of my potential. I have to overcome these left over shitty feeling about myself due to thing that have happened in my past. It wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t continue to pay for them but I do.I had to come to terms with the fact that “it” never really goes away, its something I must learn to live with

This past week or week and a half really, I started to sleep better. All of the sudden it was like a light switch was flipped and I was out of my slump. I had a blissful 10 days of feeling great, energized, no insomnia, no nightmares. I was happy, dancing around the house, going to the gym, and I was getting a ton of work done. Last night was my first dream in awhile about my ex. It wasn’t a scary dream or a a revisiting of the rape but it was of manipulation and pain.The  It hurts even now as I type this…and that pisses me the fuck off. It was a great time until that dream. I hate how he can still ruin my day…but its not ruined! Because I say its not!

Since I know dreaming about him makes for a cranky day I just have to really be there for myself. I’ll workout, eat healthy foods. Try to eat on a schedule so I don’t forget. Days like this my hunger gets turned off. Today, I have to pay more attention to what my body and my mind needs to not dwell and get sucked down the vortex of feelings. I don’t need to push the feelings away, try to ignore them, or disassociate. I need to let the feelings wash over me and if I need to cry, laugh, dance, or tear something up, I do it. I’m going to write, throw clay at the wall, and listen to pissy alternative teen angst songs of my youth.

I’m going to remember that I am a such a strong person for having not checked out. I’m going to remember that I’m not alone but its ok to want to be alone. Its ok to plot the deaths of those that hurt me to release it in creativity and disperse the pain, if only for moments at a time. How I deal and find a way to go on is ok. This too, will help me to overcome sexual abuse because I will not be sweeping anything under the rug. This is how I will process the feelings.

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Conversations with the Sun

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I remember talking to the sun as a child. Every morning I was thankful for it coming up again. During some of the abuse I would dissociate and talk to it or I would talk to it afterwards. I would have pretend conversations with it. I would ask that it would just stay bright and there would be no night. At night is when the bad things would happen. When the sun came up in the morning I knew it was safe to sleep again. I would beg for it to rise again and make the world safe for me. I don’t remember being afraid of the dark, just afraid of night time and of going to bed.

During this time when I was about 5 years old a movie came out that had a huge impact on me and I found comfort in the fantasy world that was the movie: Legend. There was a song that resonated with me so much and I cry when I listen to it now. Everyday the sun would give me hope. “Loved by the Sun” by Tangerine Dream and those lyrics in the chorus, loved by the sun, reminds me of when I would go outside and the sun rays would touch my face as if to comfort me. I was too afraid to tell anyone and get comfort from another human being so the sun was my friend. When the sun was around, no one hurt me.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I know there are many ways that I coped but this particular memory brings me so much joy and hope. I’m remembering things again that are not horrible but hopeful instead. I imagine hugging my child-self and telling her how proud I am. For years I have been so mean to myself and talked to myself like the people that abused me. Remembering my strong child-self is so heartwarming.

I was never angry with the sun for leaving for the night. I missed the sun like a friend and unconditionally love it. I remember in a pretend conversation I asked why it couldn’t just stay with me. It said it needed to rest so it could come back to protect me the next day. I accepted that in my child’s mind that didn’t know the sun doesn’t actually sleep, talk, rest, or that the earth was revolving, giving us the night. The reasoning of an abused child can be wondrous, beautiful, and sad all at the same time. I feel sad but thankful at the same time that I was able to cope in that way.

I remember finding out at school that the sun doesn’t sleep and that it always shines. That also gave me a comfort that is hard to explain. The sun was everything. Without it, everything would die. Without the sun, I felt I would die until it rose again to brighten the darkness and protect me again. I felt loved by the sun. I’m finding this once lost memory of how I was able to get through those times to be such a source of strength and an example of resilience. I’m listening to the song on repeat and letting myself exist in that memory, crying happily and smiling at my child self,dancing with our arms up, being loved by the sun as it touches our face.

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Living in The Present Moment

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I recently read a book called “How To Live in the Present Moment” by Matt Morris with Kindle Unlimited that really helped me. It gave me some pointers on living in the present moment and for me that is not always an easy task. One of my symptoms of PTSD is that I have flashbacks to past events and there were some helpful tips to bring myself more to the present. Its kind of like ground yourself. I remind myself to feel the earth beneath your feet, think about where I am now, and get myself back into NOW because NOW is awesome. It really helped to curb the feelings of fear that come along with my flashbacks or at least take the edge off so I can process them in a healthier way.

Why is NOW so awesome? Because now I am not being abused. I still live with the repercussions of those life events of my childhood and 1st marriage but I’m handling things better than I ever have. In making progress with healing and loving myself again I’ve gotten closer to my true self. I’ve been second guessing myself and trusting myself more. I haven’t been asking permission or felt as lost. This is also due to lots of therapy in the past few months that have really helped me to find peace. And there is a lot more dorky dancing around the house as I go about my day.

This book has also helped in being more patient with myself. It seems the author has written this book in the spirit of compassion and I’m thankful for that. I have a habit of being REALLY hard on myself about everything and it helped to put things more in perspective. I don’t need to be perfect to be happy with myself anymore. Not only is it not possible to hold myself to those high expectations but its a bit silly. I will also never be that great in the court of public opinion and that makes me happy now. The last thing I want to to be “perfect” or “accepted” in the court of public opinion, no fun in that! HAHA! Trying to please others is a trap. Besides, if I actually give any time to seeing whose those people are like spouting out criticisms, I’d see that they don’t really have their shit together either behind the facade. Do I take the time to do so? No, I have better things to do that are much more fun…like dancing in my office chair to one of my favorite Pandora channels and writing.

Life is random and beautiful and chaotic. There are dark times, time of love/light, and everything in between. I’m learning to go with it and make the best of myself instead of dwelling on things I really have no control over. I realize that I don’t want that kind of control anyway. Its not my problem. I like me and that’s all that really matters today. Today is a great day as is every day that I continue to care about myself. It can be difficult as an abuse survivor to feel good about myself but I do. Typing that out or writing that still brings tears to my eyes because its a truth I wouldn’t believe before.

Reading books like these along with therapy helps to reinforce to myself that being gentle with myself holds more peace of mind and results than being a hard-ass with unrealistic expectations.  The more I get to know myself the more I like myself.  Its helping me to reprogram my inner self talk with MY words instead of things my abusers had told me. I learned through therapy that the things they said to put me down were likely projections of what they actually think of themselves. That’s not really what I think of myself or how I describe myself anymore. I’m also thankful to not have those negative people in my life anymore. I deserve better and I’m not going to settle for less. I’m not afraid of losing people in my life like I used to. Sometimes people come in and out of my life and that’s ok. I don’t always feel the same as others to me but that doesn’t mean I owe them something for having feelings for me or showing me kindness. Kindness doesn’t keep a tally sheet and I don’t either. I don’t have to do things that make me uncomfortable to keep people in my life. I will be myself and if they expect more, want more, or want me to change, they can exit stage left.

Being myself means caring for myself and family, lifting others up when I can, being creative, silly, trusting myself, stop thinking in a binary way, and doings things that bring me joy and can get me out of my comfort zone to learn and grow into a better person than I am right now. I’m passionate about everything I just listed. It really means a lot to me and really, it always has in one way or another even in the darkest of times. I was still in there, deep in the recesses of my mind, waiting, lying dormant, and now I feel more free.

I’m going to be reading more of these books about less stress, mindfulness, and living in the present moment. I’ll share what was helpful and I’ll list the links to get them yourself if you are interested in reading them, too. I already have my eye on the next book to read which is “Mindfulness: Mindfullness for Beginners” by Yesenia Chavan

Here are links to the books mentioned above:

 


Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse My Story Stop Child Abuse Videos

I am NOT Ashamed

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Shame seems to be one of the most effective tools that abusers and society have to make survivors of abuse feel horrible about themselves and keep them suffering in silence. I buck against this way of thinking because it directly contradicts my truth. I know what is true in my heart about myself. I have clear examples in my memory that proves to myself that I am not a bad person and I have no reason to think otherwise no matter how many people want to point fingers or criticize. Their comments and attempts to shame me talks of a deeper truth about them. The silence they seem to want only furthers the agenda of the abusers.

Many survivors are shamed into silence. I was shamed into silence for a long time. I thought I was protecting my family at first, then others from me. That’s right from ME, as if I was going to negatively affect them with my painful experience or scare them away. I’ve learned that what someone does with information about me is not my responsibility and not in my control. I didn’t want to be seen as broken or that there was something wrong with me and the truth is that there really isn’t anything wrong with me. I’m healing from abuse. There is nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to feel shame for something that someone else did to me. I didn’t choose to be abused and I choose to no longer be ashamed of it. I am not ashamed.

So who should we shame? No one. No one should be shamed but instead we should support them to heal. People who are abusive often have been abused or experienced a trauma in their life. They are already ashamed of themselves whether they show you that side of themselves or not. The anger in me does want to shame the abusers, string them up by their toenails and a myriad of other punishments! My heart tells me that this is not the way. Abuse does not stop abuse, it only continues to spread it. Ok, them now what? We acknowledge what has happened and we move to heal those contributing factors that may lead to abuse in both the survivor and the abuser. Offer love, empathy, and the support we ourselves would like to have when in pain.