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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Hormones and PTSD

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Hormone fluctuations can wreak havoc on someone who has PTSD. PMS plus PTSD is a combination of acronyms that are sure to make life miserable. In fact the last two weeks I have been having a really difficult time in dealing with life in general has the symptoms of my PTSD get amplified as well as my moodiness. I am kind of moody anyway I that I am one of those sassy kind of gals but this was not how I wanted to spend the two first two weeks of February. From now on I’m in a be a better person to myself from now on I’m but I do better and make sure that I put this on my calendar so I have so little bit of advance notice before all that shit goes down again as I am still in the blasted breeding age.

Ever since I got back from visiting my brother in New York I have not been feeling so great. The trip was wonderful and I really enjoyed visiting with my older brother. I wasn’t able to bring my medication with me because I’m not allowed to transport over state lines. So for five days I was unmedicated and just had to deal with everything PTSD does to me without my medication. Luckily this was made a lot easier because I feel very safe with my older brother and I didn’t have a lot of things triggering me that week. I had a few hyper mornings where I talked his head off but then I was able to calm myself down through breathing techniques and distraction.

After I got home I just seem to be in a funk that I cannot really pull myself out of more than about half a day. This went on for the last two weeks thinking that something must’ve triggered me. Something did, I just wasn’t paying attention. It was PMS. The hormone fluctuations triggered depression, anxiety, paranoia, nightmares, flashbacks, negative thoughts and all kinds of things that I thought I’d put away for a while. This really freaked me out because I thought I was getting depressed again but instead of being suicidal this time I was kind homicidal in my more darker thoughts. I made sure to write it down for future use in me weird expressive project.

So, it turns out that I’m not crazy after all, I’m just a hormonal wreck right now. The relief of knowing just the hormone fluctuation has given me a different perspective on what is going on with me. I was so scared that I was going downhill again, that I might not be okay again. I pretty much fought it with everything I had all the self-love techniques that I could muster but the shenanigans that hormones bring came to life in the past two weeks really pissed me the fuck off. I was so frustrated thinking that I was sick again. Now that I have a plan and know what is going on, it is a great opportunity to treat myself with lots of self-care and power through for just a few more days until you get the hormones straightened out again.

One thing I found it did help me was to learn this new graphics software that I downloaded. I’m usually not very good with graphics but for some reason this seems to go a little better. I created lots of cover photos for products and projects that I plan to flesh out in the future. A lot of people been asking me to write some kind of memoir and I thought hey why not go ahead and start sharing some of that stuff. The graphic on this blog post is one of the cover photos that I created. I told you I was a very good graphics and this is would help. Lol

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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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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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Art Therapy

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I saw this photo on Tumblr the other day and I had to save it. It spoke to me. I loved it. I am a little bit of a art horror(but horrible with names) fan but that’s not what stopped me in my tracks when I saw this piece. It made me feel and cry and it inspires me to create artistic expressions of my pain. Words really don’t do any justice to feelings I had before there were words to articulate them. I need to make this more of a priority in my life. It would be good for me and something just for me so obviously I’m resistant.

It reminds me of a lot of things all at once and its not a bad thing but a rush that takes my breath away. I see different things in my minds and feel different things each time I see it. I don’t know who the artist is but I wish I knew. Maybe I could get a print.

When I first saw it I empathized with the creature. I saw myself, how I feel on the inside some days. Broken and hurting and yearning for some beauty in my life that’s out of reach. I saw feelings of powerlessness and of deep sorrow. Then it reminded me that most people will see the butterfly but not the scars that we suffer on the inside. Our culture says to only share the butterfly or something is wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with any of us for feeling something other than being happy. If you could see my scars, I might look somewhat like this figure.

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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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Had to Take a Break

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I had to take a break from this blog for a little while. I needed time to not share. I wasn’t expecting such an outpouring of love and respect after I shared how I was struggling with PTSD, depression, and insomnia and had been for a long time due to being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and partner rape. I was completely overwhelmed. After being silent for so long and trying for so many years to hide what was going on in my brain…EVERYONE KNEW. I had tried to sych myself up for that realization for about a month before I ever released anything. Nothing prepared me for how terrifying it was. Thinking about it now has me tightening up muscles as I type this. It was scary because my 3 year old child self that vehemently loved her family held secrets to protect that family. The connection in my brain was to tell was death. It is unreasonable now as an adult but it was programmed into me at such a young age and reinforced with violence. I know some people may think it sounds silly but it felt like that jump off a very tall cliff without knowing what was at the bottom. Would I land safely into water or would I break into pieces after hitting the hard ground? Then I realized that I was also on the ground but maybe in not so many pieces. I came out of the seemingly death-defying event in my life more whole then before I shared my truth.

People started to write blog posts about me, fans came out in droves to send me virtual hugs, there were videos made, and I was just completely overwhelmed, honored…and sometimes suspicious. Yes, I know, people show me kindness and love and I look at them with a side eye. You see, I’ve known that people can be evil and manipulative for a long time and generally the sharks come out when they smell any perceived weakness. It wasn’t like that though. I only had to block a few people. Mostly, people were just kind to me. I felt stronger as I shared more and I began to feel like less of a burden. I felt loved and that I was ok. I mean really OK now. I was safe now. This realization that I an safe now has been pretty shocking. So shocking in fact that I really had to just sit in that feeling and quietly enjoy it.

I decided I needed to continue to work on my relationship with myself. When you go through an abusive time in you life especially if its more than once there can be some really wicked negative thoughts about self worth going on. It can be almost if that abusive person is still there, talking to you, telling you awful things. Like some dame annoying little mini troll bastard just hanging out in one’s mind, just a bitching. So, I’ve been working on that and through treating myself better I’m feeling better. I’m learning to accept myself better and just go with some of the effects of child abuse in my adult life…like sleep. Whoa, that is fucked, let me tell you. I have never been a day person. I was up at night as a baby and have never taken naps unless I’m sick. I’m still not napping but get this, I’m waking up at like 5-6am. I’m up for the day sometimes before the sun and not pissed(seriously). I get to see the sunrise a couple days a week. I’m just feeling BETTER.

I am so grateful to each and every person that send me a message, an email, a tweet, a fave, like, RT, and every other way that they reached out and put a supportive hand on my shoulder. They literally helped to lift me up out of a really dark place. If you are one of those people, then thank you. You are an amazing human being. It does matter that you care, are supportive, and wish people well. It matters that you share that. It mattered so much to me and still does. Thank you!