Category Archives: Free Writing

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Emotional Child Abuse Free Writing Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

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

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Art Therapy Child Abuse Survivors Free Writing Overcoming Sexual Abuse ptsd

My PTSD is Trying to Kill Me Again

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“I will take your sleep which in turn robs you of your patience, your energy, and your ability to heal your physical body.

I will take your peace of mind and replace it with daily terror and fear. I will fuck with your memory, some days you will be not be able to put 2 sentences together, or remember to take care of yourself. You will question everyone around you and wonder if you can trust them but I won’t stop there. I will slowly grind away at your ability to trust yourself.

I will erode away at your self-confidence that you could be out in the world and survive. I will make you question your ability to survive by wrecking you with panic attacks, emotional flashbacks, and linking things in your normal life to your past so that it’s always right there in your face.

I will steal your peace away with flashbacks, hallucinations, and intrusive thoughts. I will make you feel crazy. I will pull you into a pit of despair as you struggle to smile and climb out.

Finally, I will steal your will to live. As you struggle to take it one day to time, hour to hour, and minute to minute, I will steal days, months, and years from you as you wait it out, wait to feel better, and wait for me to stop but I won’t. You will watch your life go by and everyone around you while you are at the state of paralyzing anxiety and stuck with me. My claws dig deep into your physiological flesh. I try to rip it.

I am such a mind fuck that I will not kill you myself but I will convince you to do it yourself or to be destructive enough in your urges that someone else might. I will convince you that it’s your only option and the only path to peace.

Death is the only peace-“

I SAY-FUCK THAT!

**This is the part where the superhero me, “self-care and love”  me comes in and kicks PTSD’s ass!

She ties up PTSD, and throws the fucker in the trunk.

“Enjoy the ride, ASSBUTT, you don’t need to be the front seat anymore!”

Superhero gets into the passenger seat and smiles at the driver which is me. In the backseat are my other selves the 3 year old child me, the twenty-something me, the teenager me, the villain me, the big angry guerrilla me, and all the others that occupy space in my mind that are all parts of me.

We listen to some music on the radio that we all like we jam out as we drive down the road to a happier life with PTSD securely in the trunk.

That’s how I see it in my head anyway. 28 people diagnosed with PTSD take their life every day. That is more than 1 per hour. Today, I am not one of them. This illness is trying to kill me and I will not let it. Not only with I live through this, just surviving, I will thrive and to my best to help lift other people up that are also suffering.

I’d really like to create videos of these scenarios as art therapy.  Hopefully, I can some day. I’m working on getting some special effects skills under my belt.

Abuse Survivors Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing

You Are a Bad Person- The Burden of Survivors

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“You are a bad person.” “What’s wrong with you?” “Its your fault.” “You brought this on yourself.”

This was the general theme that seems to surround victims of sexual abuse. Society blames them, abusers blame them, and they tend to also blame themselves. Abuse is not the fault of the victim but we seem to coddle the abusers and look to the abused for their flaws, their issues, their defect that caused this problem they are unfortunately having to know about. How inconvenient our pain is to the world. Someone did unwanted sexual things and to blame them is to distract from who is actually at fault, the abuser themselves, and no one else.

No one wants to believe that people treat each other horribly. No one wants to believe in the Jekyll and Hyde personalities. My ex was/is very loved by his family and friends. What a facade he would put on and then when we were home he would also show that happy, nice person every once in awhile, giving me a glimpse of why I stuck around, trying to make things work. I thought I signed up for that “kind person” I thought he was. Everyone told me I was lucky and he was such a nice guy, ect, ect, bullshit, bullshit. The person I know as my ex husband is not the person that others saw. I didn’t want to believe it either but the truth is that the person I fell in love with doesn’t exist. It was his mask.

Forget talking about the pain that was caused or talking out problems. Bringing anything up like a healthy adult was out of the question. My pain of being raped was something I wasn’t allowed to bring up. You would think this would be a big red flag but at the time, I was just in more pain…and silent. He was aware of it and bringing it up was punishment in his eyes and would always result in verbal abuse towards me… sometimes to the point of my laying on the floor crying with him standing over me until I couldn’t take it anymore. A retaliation for even daring to talk about my own feelings. In that relationship, I didn’t have rights to my feelings. Being upset, angry, sad, depressed, hurt…not allowed without further consequences. Either verbal abuse and blaming me or long periods of time days up to a week of not even knowing where he was. No phone call, just gone for a few days. I had nothing but dealing with my pain and confusion on my own while he left to go do whatever. It was one of the most painful times in my life.

I loved him wanted and wanted to believe him…that he would never do it again, that I could trust him. I fought with myself constantly and little by little I started to become myself again. I had committed myself to this relationship, this marriage and that meant so much to me. In doing so I had not respected my own boundaries and thinking back, I really just wanted to be loved and cared for. My love, openness, and honesty was used against me.

He constantly asked me what was wrong with me, why I couldn’t just get over it, and so many interrogative questions that demanded answers until I blew my stack. I didn’t do anything wrong. He did. He hurt me. I tried to love someone who hurt me, knew it hurt, didn’t care that it hurt me, knew I didn’t want it, and took advantage of me like a coward. Once I started to blow up and speak the truth over his lies I came to realize how scared he was. He asked if I was punishing him and a spark of myself came back. The part that was so hurt that he was accusing me of being a bully after me telling him that I was still in a lot of mental pain over him hurting me like he did. I decided in that moment to unleash what it would be like if I did bully him. I warned him before I began. My upper lip curled in disgust as I rained down belittling insults that cut him to the core because I knew him front to back and inside out. Looking back, I was just telling the truth in a nasty tone with a few curse words thrown in. He curled up into a little ball and cried. That’s what it would be like if I was punishing him, if I didn’t hold back my anger, if I acted like him. It felt like shit too, like an nasty sticky greasy type of feeling. I didn’t like bullying him but part of me enjoyed giving him some of his own bullshit and to see him scared instead of me.

In that moment, he was so vulnerable and in pain himself. I stopped. I had no interest in pursuing this onslaught of verbal thrashing, I didn’t like how it felt. There seems to be moments in my life or have a chance to get vengeance or revenge on certain people who have hurt me. I have that moment and it’s right there in front of me. That’s when I stop. Its enough. Its enough to know I could have really hurt them back. Something tells me that this is just going to make things worse and not better. Being someone who knowingly hurts someone else without their consent is not who I am. It’s times like this that I look back on as proof that I am not a bad person despite when any rapist or rape apologists will say.

I think that being blamed for what happened to you is one of the most confusing and painful things about the whole experience. I was already hurt by someone who was supposed to take care of me, supposed to love me, supposed to care about my well-being. That is confusing enough and then on top of that is supposed to be my fault? This rings of bullshit more than anything that I can imagine. Another shitty thing is that you usually know the person that hurt you and sometimes you love them. I loved him, even though the part that I loved isn’t real. Real love doesn’t hurt you, blame you, expect you to not respect your own limits for their pleasure and satisfaction. Real love doesn’t want to cause you damage. He didn’t love me.

That is the stigma of the survivor of sexual abuse. System seems to be set up by rapist and abusers to cover their own asses by blaming the very people that they hurt. Society jumps on the bandwagon and makes things ultimately more difficult for survivors. Fuck society and fuck the opinions of cowards that don’t want to deal with the fact that this did happen and it does hurt. It’s okay no matter what feelings I’m having about it and it doesn’t make me a bad person because I’m not smiling 24 seven. It’s okay to be a human being with emotions, in fact, many emotions throughout the day. I don’t want to give up all my emotions. I now allow myself to feel and express whatever emotional things that I’m going through. Despite societies push to become an automated smile robot that consumes everything, I’m walking away. I’m not confused anymore.Society doesn’t scare me anymore wither.

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Effects of Child Abuse Effects of Emotional Abuse Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse

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…

Abuse Survivors Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Child Abuse Survivors Free Writing My Story Overcoming Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse Sexual Abuse in Marriage Sexual Child Abuse

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.