Category Archives: Effects of Child Abuse

The effects of child abuse start as soon as the abuse does and can last a lifetime. Some of the effects are depression, poor self worth, sleep disturbances, PTSD, and many more effect.

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Behind the Smiling Mask

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For years my brain locked away years of memories of abuse and rape. At 10 some of these memories came back to me. Luckily, my brain waited until I was older to tell me the rest of the story. I have suffered ever since. Nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, fear, pain, living with a broken heart of a child. Reality crashed down upon me the thousand bricks and now I crawl out from underneath each brick each day.

The greatest mystery of life is who we truly are. Now as I can remember the repeated rapes I also remember the resilient little girl behind the smiling mask. I was a chameleon who knew the world would not understand my pain. The burden of child abuse and survival is not something that anyone should suffer alone. I kept their secrets and did what was expected of me to survive the world that treats survivors as perpetrators. I was a chameleon to survive and to live again. I hid my PTSD, the abuse I suffered from countless people and from the world  behind my smile. I smiled to say that I’m okay, that I’m one of you, but I’m not. I no longer hope for acceptance nor do I want to be accepted by people who would minimize or excuse rape and abuse. I do not want to be counted among those who are ignorant or ignore it.

My mind is slowly revealing to me who I truly am. I am a survivor of child sexual abuse and partner rape. I will no longer remain silent or hide behind the mask of a smile for anyone’s comfort. I am a survivor and I was a resilient child that grew up to still love deeply and be kind. They could not take that from me and they cannot have it now. Each memory is like suffering all over again my body is racked with pain but I still live.

I no longer hide, I no longer wish to be accepted or to act accordingly. I no longer care to fit in. I know the world is cruel and I will live anyway. Now I take off the mask and reveal my true self, not just a survivor but a warrior, still alive, scars and all. My story does not end here but my true life and purpose begins here.

 

See my PTSD Video Diaries: https://www.youtube.com/user/sarahblakeinc

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Why am I still here? For this? UGH!

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I have these thoughts sometimes when things get rough: “Why am I sticking around just to suffer more…” NOT GOOD! This is not a fucking test. This is my alert that depression is cropping up again. That way of thinking serves nothing and no one. It is a servant of the abyss and well, that motherfucker is not the boss of me any longer.

Do you remember that little part I was telling you about that is healed? The part that doesn’t think everything sucks? Yeah, that part is rejecting the previous statement in a pretty defiant display that has me laughing to myself. I am very visual and the healed part just bare-assed mooned the abyss!

Feels kinda like that show Supernatural when Dean insults death and everyone’s, “OH SHIT, NOW WTF?” I half expect the abyss to rise up some big hand made of black water to drag me back but nothing happens. It’s like someone stopped the record with a screech. The silence was creepy like impending doom but that doom never showed up.

—-deleted paragraph that was me just being too hard on myself because fuck that shit. Nice try though!—-

Back to what I was saying. Despite what dumb fucks say in every message system I have, I do have a lot to live for. The main reason I haven’t taken some way out to end all the pain is my family. It would hurt them and I can’t abide that even if that means I will suffer more. It’s worth it to me. I also just adopted a new family member. Her name is Lilly and she is a 5 lb, 3 year old smooth coat chihuahua(pics of her coming soon!).

Another reason to stick around: Become the crazy old dog lady! See steps below!

How to become a crazy old dog Lady in 7 steps!(I’m on step 2)

  1. Adopt a dog
  2. Adopt another dog
  3. Bake dog treats
  4. Get a house coat
  5. Flip off the neighbors
  6. Adopt another dog
  7. Live a long happy life

 

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Unlocking Memories of Trauma- PTSD

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Along with that beautiful memory I wrote about before that was much like warm honey I also unlocked another horrific memory yesterday that was the polar opposite. In the past this type of memory would have put me on my ass for a few weeks or even months. I call these new memories because I’m experiencing the memory for the 1st time but I’m remembering something that actually happened. Sounds fucked, I know, and it is. Again, my mind saved my life by locking this away until I was strong enough to deal with it. I don’t usually feel strong enough to handle them when they happen but I always manage to get through it.

What I remembered was worse than before. I thought I knew what happened but still, there is more I didn’t know. I have to get through these memories but really, I don’t want to know any more. More terror, more pain…and this time I…I can’t talk about it yet. I feel like I need to keep the details to myself. It is difficult to express in words an event that happened before you has a grasp on language. Have you ever learned something or see/watch/witness/read something and you were hurting from it afterward even though it didn’t happen to you? I feel like this would do that to people. I’m still trying to protect others. I guess it doesn’t help that my 1st therapist basically ran from me when I started to tell her what I was remembering. I was 10 then. I haven’t had much luck with therapists since. It seems that they don’t want to listen after a few months and push alternative therapies besides talk. I want to talk, I need to talk, to get this out.

This is the burden I carry knowing I need to talk to someone but they bail on me so I have been relying on myself, talking to my family for support without any details. I’ve come far. What I know, what I experienced, hurts other people when they learn it. It hurts so much. The choice is pretty clear. Process or die so I will process this too. I’m going to find a way to deal with this with art and dance and writing. I can’t share this memory yet. I need to dissect this and mourn for myself. It really is awful to not remember and it is really awful to remember what happened.

The picture is becoming more clear now and it is flaying me emotionally. I’m going to be ok. This is actually progress even though it hurts just as much as the 1st time I remembered that I was raped. I’m an adult now and I have experience with remembering trauma. So much pain, so much sadness, so much! Why am I not dead yet? Because I chose to live in spite of this suffering every fucking day. I will not give up.

I’m resistant and pissy about it but maybe it is about time for some more therapy and guidance. I might try some online therapy options I saw. I do not want to slip back into getting super depressed and this is one of those memories where I’m not sure if I’m more healed and being a badass or it hasn’t fully sunk in. I’m definitely disassociating more often and my anxiety is more frequent since the new memory. I’m waiting to fall apart again or the other shoe to drop. I’m pretty raw right now. My head hurts and I’m going to bed to relax with some music my facebook and twitter friends suggested.

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Pre-Trauma Me-Fight PTSD with LOVE?

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Due to PTSD I have memory issues. My mind protected me by locking away memories so that child me could survive. I’m processing a little at a time as new memories of more trauma come through. The bad thing is that there are some days when I can’t remember much of anything about my childhood, good, bad, or otherwise. The whole damn things gets locked up and inaccessible. I can remember different things on different days. It is very frustrating and it could be part of my dissociation making me feel so disconnected to myself. Anxiety does not help this at all. Some days I just have to let myself fall apart over and over again and then pick up the pieces. It’s exhausting!

A couple days ago I was loopy(ok, I’m still loopy) from my PTSD meds combined with Dayquil and I drifted into this lovely warm memory and it was really weird. It was definitely a memory but it was BEFORE the sexual abuse. It was be before I was hurt. It was PRE-Trauma me. I have had no recollection of pre-trauma me until that memory. I checked my journals. I used to feel really sad about my 1st memory being of pain and terror. I accepted it, did the work, and then this memory hits me like a giant fluffy comforter that is fresh out of the dryer! I sat in the comfort of this warm memory coming into focus.

My new 1st Memory

I am very young(maybe 2) and I’m at my grandmother’s house. She is smiling as she is looking down at me. I can’t really make out what she is saying but the tone is pure love. It has a sweetness that makes me feel all warm and I grin more as she continues to speak. I can’t understand her because I don’t speak English yet. I’m still a baby. I’m loved and safe and….

I’m crying now as I write this. The massive feeling of love and being grateful just hit me again. My grandmother passed away about 6 years ago so I am sad but I am so grateful because what a gift to be loved like that! This brought back a tumble of other wonderful memories of my family. I sat with the good memories for the 1st time in a very long time.

I just wanted to share that because it really felt like a big breakthrough for me. I also have to scoff a little of the irony that I had to fully accept not remembering for the memory to come through. Also, go DayQuil or the fever or whatever. I’m grateful. I think it is because I’m talking about it all again and without hesitation or shame, too. Hack my brain with love and sass? Seems to be my answer so far.

Here’s some silly! I think I need to end with some silly on my posts because I cover some heavy stuff and laughter is good for us!

 

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Low Stress Lifestyle 2016? Healing Out Loud

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The idea of trying to have a low stress lifestyle in 2016 seems a bit silly now with everything that has happened. I’d name them all but I’d rather not think about all that right now. It might send me back into that silence again. I made myself a promise the other day and I’m keeping it. The promise was to stop being silent. My silence was an attempt at more peace. The result was even more hate mail and bullshit than before. The death threats from idiot men deciding I owed them my time started back up. So out of the healing cocoon I come but instead of being healed I’m on fire! You can see some of what I’m talking about on facebook but twitter is where I really let it all hangout…for about 4 days.

My Promise:

I won’t be silent anymore. Silence is death. Silence enables abusers and continues the cycle. It protects the abusive ones(FUCK THAT SHIT)! This doesn’t mean I have to respond either but I don’t need to hold back or internalize it. Gotta just blow up when I need too. Express my pain, frustration, sadness, and joy. I’m not interested in protecting others from my pain anymore. Here it is. I know it hurts. This is me HEALING OUT LOUD. I won’t let anyone or anything(EVEN ME) silence me ever again.

Now is the time to boldly exist. Stop trying to blend in and not be noticed. If they come for you, so be it. Make it a good death! It is ok to fall apart and reform again. Do it a million times. I’m going to be loud for me. I’m going to be loud for everyone that is still silent. I speak only for me but let my loud mouth encourage others to find their strength and their voice. Be loud about love, hate, and everything in between.

 

Also in 2017:

-Take no shit

-Say no

-Be silly

-Keep healing

-Create

-Be weirder

-Be grateful

-Offer compassion

-Be a handful

-Live

 

I’m sorry that I was so quiet. I apologize to myself and to you out there that follow along if you were worried. I promise not to do that again. It really didn’t serve anyone. I feel like it was a mistake but one I learned from. I forgive myself and move forward from here, continuing to heal. I’m not able to be very consistent but I’m trying hard to get there. I hope you will come along with me on my healing journey. It will be easier if I don’t go it alone and I could really use your help. Thank you for reading and being here for me. Many things have saved my life continually and your support is definitely one of them.

If you are receiving death threats online know that it is illegal. You can contact your local authorities as well as the FBI. Federal crime (18 U.S. Code § 2261A – Stalking) (fbi.gov/contact-us). Document everything!

 

 

 

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New Hope in Healing from Child Abuse

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I have made a lot of progress with my healing and I feel myself continuing to heal. No matter the stresses in life, I’m learning to cope in healthier ways. I feel a new hope as I put myself out there more instead of being a hermit and just keeping to myself. I’m not able to go and do ALL THE THINGS I want to. Sometimes, I feel I’m missing out on adventures and experiences but taking care of me means knowing my limits. With increased stress, even good stress, my symptoms of PTSD flare up.

My last flare up was so scary I didn’t even know what to do. I was around all these beautiful strong women. I was so excited to get back out into the world and be apart of things again! Unfortunately, that’s when one of the scariest things in my life happened. I started to hallucinate. Out of the right side of my vision, I kept seeing someone. A flicker, a sense there was a person. It is not a real person that is physically there. I saw someone looking in the window as I was sitting at the table with my friends. I felt like I was losing it. It continued into the next day. I was caring for my Mom because she was sick with a stomach bug and my brain didn’t let up. It wasn’t that someone was there, it was the feeling that that someone was coming to get me, hurt me. Talk about fucking paranoia!

Every few minutes I felt compelled to look to the right. I sat by her bedside and watched TV with her all the while feeling like someone was there when no one was. No one was going to come around the corner from the bathroom. I knew I couldn’t go back to spend time with my friends like that. I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself. I realized then I was pretty ashamed of this new development. I texted my friend the next day telling her that I was having a hard time and apologized for not being up to going out. I braced for her to be angry but she wasn’t at all. She sent me LOVE, not apathy for my situation like many have in my past. I’ll always remember that.

What I didn’t realize at the time was this started not long after moving into my new place. I couldn’t reflect when I was being startled so much with the perceived threat in my peripheral vision. I often don’t want to get others involved in my pain. It started with the bedroom door. I kept feeling like someone was there. I kept looking at it, open or closed, I kept checking. No one is there but the fear is real, the terror was all but unbearable. It was physically painful but not as much as the mental anguish. I even started looking into a PTSD facility that maybe I could go stay in for some help.

On Sunday I watch ones of my favorite shows and it was the episode where we all learn why Hodar says Hodar instead of talking. He was really saying HOLD THE DOOR. I watched it and was finally able to cry. He held that fucking door. That night I tried to sleep in my bed but I just couldn’t. I joked to myself that I needed a Hodar. Someone to hold the door for me to keep me safe or just sit in front of it so the door couldn’t be moved. I wished my room had no doors or windows, no way to get to me. I’m thankful for this wonderful scene in the show. I had a breakthrough. I also slept on the couch for a few nights before I was able to sleep in my bedroom again.

The door in my bedroom as a child was also in the same orientation as it is now. The door was on the right. I would stare at the door for hours in terror, listening to every little noise, watching for the shadows to move under the door to let me know if it was going to happen again. A huge amount of time in my life at that time has been devoted to paying extreme close attention to every little detail to let me know if I was safe or not. I barely slept. It is exhausting.

How sad is it that a bedroom itself is scary? The place you are supposed to feel safe, in your own home, in your own bed. Not for me. This is what they mean when they say normal everyday things can be a trigger. I had no sense of safety. I almost re-arranged my bedroom but decided against it. I decided that I wasn’t going to change anything and that instead of fearing the door I would tell the door that I was an adult now and nothing that could be behind it would be as scary as ME.

When I started therapy and decided I wasn’t going to take my own life, I dragged a foam mattress into the living room. I slept there for a year until I moved into an apartment. When I moved into my current home, I bought a beautiful new bedroom outfit as a reward to myself. I made the bedroom my sacred space for rest. I try my best to adhere to a strict routine. For the past 2 weeks when the alarm at 8pm goes off, I take sleeping pills. So far, this is working great and I’m sleeping better than I have in my whole life. I still look at the door but it is not as scary now. I feel hope now that I will continue to get better.

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Healing from PTSD

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I am currently healing from PTSD and I am in year 2 of dedicated healing. Below are the topics I will be discussing in the video:

Insomnia
Nightmares
Night Terrors
Flash Backs
Intrusive Thoughts
Sadness/Hopelessness/Otherness
Anxiety
Self Hatred
Anger/Hostility
Hypervigilance
Suicidal Thoughts
Disassociation

 

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Living and Coping with PTSD

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I just finished reading this book about PTSD called, “What’s Your Superpower?: Living and Coping with PTSD” by Bob Wagner. Usually I fly through a book, devouring all its bits much like I eat french fries but this was more like a fine steak dinner that you savor each part.  I had a lot of emotional reactions and cried a lot while reading.  I was triggered a couple times but I really loved how the author did not mince his words and got right down to the heart of what it is like to live with PTSD on a daily basis. He describes it perfectly and in a way I just want to shout it to the rooftops that is you have PTSD this book is VERY validating and if you love someone with PTSD, it is a book for you too. I’ll be directing people to this book a lot like I do the other resources that have helped me in my ongoing journey.

It really helps me to read books by people with the PTSD themselves instead of some educated person’s theory on it. Its comforting and heartbreaking that I am not alone in what I go through every day. I’m very thankful that he was able to open up like he did. I also learned that 28 people that have been diagnosed with PTSD commit suicide EVERY DAY! That’s a horribly large number and to think that is just the ones with a diagnosis and just the ones that are classified a suicide. I understand why though. PTSD tried to kill me and continues to through its bitch-ass hat in the ring every few months.

This book also helped me to see the behavior caused by PTSD and what is actually part of my personality. There are assignments in the book for PTSD sufferers and I enjoyed them although some are still in progress in my mind as well as my journals. I had already started working further defining my symptoms vs what is just me and my dorky weirdoness. Reading Bob Wagner’s book further helped to bring that home that my identity is not my disease and visa versa.

If you can not tell, I highly recommend this book and it is worth owning digitally to refer back to again and again. It is a story of strength and understanding. The author still struggles with PTSD and overcomes it every day to live his life. This book made me realize that I do the same and inspired me to keep going. My disease has been trying to kill me again as I go into this new phase of healing. It is lying to me and taking things from me like sleep and time. It makes me feel crazy but what is really happening is that I’m fighting.

This book also addresses the stigma that comes along with mental illness as well as the many stupid things that people say to you if you do happen to have a mental illness. Reading this I began to realize what a fucking underdog that I really am: sex worker, female, abuse survivor, mentally ill. This doesn’t make me feel bad anymore though. I don’t hold near the amount of shame that I used to about anything I listed above.  I hope to one day write a book from my perspective as well. There are some big plans that I decided not to wait to do when I feel better. Here’s the thing: I might not feel better, my disease might kill me, I might get hit by a bus tomorrow. I have started to progress toward my dreams if only one small step per day. This book is one more tool in my arsenal against PTSD and living my life. As it says in the book though: Living another day is one for the win column.

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Anger: Venting- Healing From Child Abuse

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I’m angry and I’m allowing it to happen. I’m allowing myself to feel it fully now and it scares me. It can scares others since I’m female…society says I’m not allowed to be angry, my abusers said I wasn’t allowed to be angry either so I know its fucked to believe anger is an emotion that I’m not supposed to have. Tough titty, here it is! How inconvenient for others and I don’t give any fucks about it. Actually, I’m really pissed about being mentally abused for having a natural reaction to abuse. Anger is normal, anger is ok, its ok to be angry. I have every right to be angry. Now what do I do with this?!? I’ve been really sad and cycling through a lot emotions in the past year and once again the wheel of emotions has stopped at anger.

Its different this time. This is old anger that doesn’t have words. Its anger from my childhood. It was formed when I didn’t know the English language very well yet. I was too young to form the thoughts an older child would.

What I will do:
I’m going to learn everything I can about anger, its driving force, the source(pain,FUCK!) let it happen, and deal with it the healthiest ways I can. I will scream and shout, punch pillows, break items that are designated for that purpose. I will write like mad and work on projects with my new found passionate energy that hopefully I can use from this immense ball of feelings. I’m going to breath and love myself through it like I have other parts of my healing process. I will show up and do my best. I will have compassion for myself as a human that has been through some awful shit.

What I will not do
I will not hurt myself or others(I will try but someone is bound to get their feelings hurt). I won’t destroy anything that isn’t designated for that purpose. I will not direct the anger at myself but at who is really to blame. I will not be shamed into silence by apologists, trolls,ect. I will not suppress it. I will attempt to not stop myself from feeling as much as possible. I catch myself now. I will not make unrealistic expectations of myself that I learned from narcissistic assholes and our asshole society.

VENT/RANT
I will not suffer ignorant fools that choose to not educate themselves or be compassionate with survivors. I am cold and have no compassionate for those who do not have compassion for others. I’m not only done with them, I’m ready to shun them and treat them like they treated me. Of course, they can’t take a dose of what they dish out and some don’t even realize they are re-traumatizing people with their lack of empathy. Also, fuck sympathy. I’m stronger than a lot of people. Many people that have been through 1/10th of what I have are gone, dead, and I am STILL HERE. I will learn to love myself despite everything I’ve been told to the contrary.

Part of me remains here for spite, to one day read about the death of my abusers, to out-live them. Letting them live their miserable lives instead of killing them is a much better plan than any vengeance I could plan to visit upon them. I planned a lot, too. This also keeps me out of prison. It is ok to write it all out and release it. It is when serious plans get made and the fantasy starts to actually take over large amounts of time that I know I need to back off. Besides, I had the chance to kill or remove the genitals of one of my abusers and I didn’t. To me, that means I’m stronger than that. I’m stronger than the abuse that has infected my mind. There is something in me that’s better, stronger, and kinder than that. Kindness and not hurting others no matter how much pain I am in the my true strength. Love is stronger and that is VERY real. I just have to allow it. That I can see someone as another human trusting me and not take advantage even though I can see the direct path to doing so. I see the path to taking care of that person too and choose that(and by other people I mean myself too!). Its not black or white but I am going to strive to turn this force that is anger into something good for my life.

I feel better since I wrote this all down but I’m still pissed. I am going to speak out more about child abuse and share helpful information. Maybe one day I’ll have enough to really help someone and be there for them the way I’m learning to be there for myself. I have another driving force inside me that is not anger but this drive to share what I have learned about healing so others can heal too. I want to show others that it is possible to heal and feel better. It is still difficult and there are bad days but IT DOES GET BETTER. It was heal or death for me. I chose to heal. My anger will manifest to an intense passion to bring awareness and compassion to myself and others.

Thank you for reading.