Category Archives: Sexual Child Abuse

Sexual child abuse is any sexual contact with a child.

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Completely Healed Complex PTSD?

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healing from complex ptsd

I used to think being healed from complex PTSD and child sexual abuse meant that I didn’t have any lasting effects and my symptoms would be completely gone. I was told by many uneducated people to just get over it, move on, let it go, ect. Here’s the thing though: I’m not choosing to hang onto anything. Complex PTSD is not a choice. I can choose to recover but healing from trauma is a long messy process. If I could just choose to be healed, I SO WOULD! You have no idea how much I want it to be as simple as choosing wellness but the reality is that takes more time than anyone has the patience for. Relearning how to human and to learn(possible for the 1st time) healthy coping techniques takes time.

When would I consider myself healed? I wouldn’t. I know that may sound harsh but stay with me. If I could acknowledge the trigger or memory without it ruining my day or take longer than a few minutes to get back to life before the trigger. To be able to set it down as soon as it jumps on my back with love for myself and not the seemingly automatic reaction of anxiety, fear, and negative self speak. I don’t think that healing means that I forget. It will always be there. Being healed is handling the triggers and feelings in a way that is not detrimental to myself is the goal. Healing from child sexual abuse along with the other traumas that make up my complex PTSD is a lifelong process. It’s a journey and not a destination.

My focus now is to be compassionate with myself through all of this. It’s what I have denied myself thinking if I wasn’t hard on myself, I wouldn’t do it. I had and still have a whole myriad of untrue reasoning about myself that I’m working on. Basing goal posts according to someone else’s standards or their timeline is counterproductive. They aren’t me so they don’t get to judge or dictate what healing looks like for me. I get to do that. I have to do the work, ME, not them. It’s so easy to sit and judge someone’s behavior or doing the recovery work rather than fixing your own crap, right? Other people can be supportive and compassionate or shove off. There is no need for tough love, criticism of how I live, recover, suffer, live, or achieve my goals.

I am happy to report that I have been doing a LOT better when it comes to putting myself 1st and sleep. According to my tracker technology, I have been getting an average of 9 hours a night for over a month now. I still wake up a lot but the amount and quality has increased. My life and mental well being have greatly improved. In fact, according to my tracker technology I am averaging 9 hours a night. This is a huge change from the rest of my life. I’ve had chronic insomnia for decades. This is proof to me that things can get better. It just takes work and dedication. I can do that. I’m doing it! More sleep has reduced a lot of my complex PTSD symptoms including anxiety and anxiety attacks. I have a self care sleep routine that is working.

There are a ton of other things I do which I mentions in another blog talking about my Complex PTSD toolbox pt1 and  Complex PTSD toolbox pt2. Check those out for more info. All the things at once are overwhelming for sure but focusing on thing at a time works for me. I focus on 1 thing and then build on that. I know I’m going to have up and down times now but I have a plan and several plans depending on what is going on.

Knowing what is happening so I can help myself has been life changing. Before I practiced mindfulness and check-ins with myself I was living in a reactionary state that was extremely difficult. I really didn’t know what was happening or what to do. I would just suffer and wait for it to pass. Taking action to help myself through whatever symptoms arise has lessened the amount of time it takes to be functioning again. There are still times when it seems like nothing helps but in those times I can practice compassion with myself.

Thank you for reading. If you would like to share or comment, please do so below. I’d like to say I am going to be more consistent with my posting but that ship has sailed several times. I’ll be posting more when I can. Putting it all out there is still difficult.



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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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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!