Split

A discussion area specifically for survivors who suffered physical, emotional, and verbal child abuse. This forum can also be used for Members who suffered sexual abuse at the time of physical, emotional and verbal abuse.

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Castle
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Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:40 pm

Split

Post by Castle » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:56 am

Hi folks,

First of all, my sincere respect and appreciation for all my fellow survivors on this forum. Let us not ever forget how much courage and resilience we must have to undertake this work.

I find myself 'triggered', here in the wee hours following a blissfully uneventful Christmas, free of family and presents and commotion. I was genuinely doing pretty well until I decided to log in. I got myself oriented to the site, poked around in some of the forums, and then I started reading everyone's stories. And then I started to remember. And by remember, I mean emotionally flashback. This isn't the first time I've flashbacked, but it is one of the first few times that I have been aware that I am doing it or what the term even means. So in that sense, hey, progress!

Curiously, I often feel the need to remind myself of the actual events that took place that gave me the trauma in order to connect them with their legacy. On an intellectual level, I am aware of them, and can describe most of the events objectively and consistently to a third party, if necessary. The issue is more that I spent several decades being emotionally disconnected from how these events actually made me feel, which points to something survivors are known to say, e.g., "I never thought of it as abuse."

In my case, as in many cases, my family of origin was complicit in denying the reality or severity of the abuse and in blaming and/or shaming me if my behavior became unmanageable or distasteful. In some cases, I was punished for manifesting signs of abuse = abuse upon abuse. The result seems to be that the abuse and its effects lived in two different realities; a kind of unhealthy split within me. I developed coping mechanisms, which in some ways made me successful. But recently this internal dissonance became an existential threat to me.

Of all the things I struggle with, the thing that is most daunting is learning to trust myself and my perceptions/insights/intuitions about the world. I realize now that this is because my abuser systematically undermined my sense of self. The physical abuse I suffered was negligible compared this.

Bad stuff happened to me when I was a child. It wasn't just my imagination. It's an essential part of who I am, unfortunately. But it's gonna be ok.

--Castle
Last edited by Serenity on Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT as no triggering detail included

coconuts
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Posts: 3343
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Split

Post by coconuts » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:33 pm

I think most will agree regardless of the type of abuse the stuff that messed with our minds has left the worst impact. Physical pain from abuse fades. It's the way they altered and reorganized our minds that gets us. Developing a lack of trust in ourselves. Sucking out hope, or placing the blame back on us. The thing is as children we do tend to take the blame on ourselves. Try to be better so they will like us more or at least hurt us less.

It's important to recognize that old coping mechanisms may not be effective or right any more. Especially if we aren't dealing with abuse any longer. Nor are we children with limited resources. Building new coping skills, and facing the reality of the harm that was done to us and maybe even that we did to ourselves ( by using inappropriate coping skills) is important.

And yeah, bad stuff happened. But it will be okay. You are grown and capable and intelligent and driven to make things better.

coconuts
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Posts: 3343
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:34 am

Re: Split

Post by coconuts » Thu Dec 26, 2019 4:37 pm

Oh yeah, meant to add. Denial.. huge. Lots of families like the denial game. If nothing else it puts the blame back on the victims. My family denies things with such intensity it's obvious it's denial. I still have contact with my foo but there is a strong sense of never bringing up the past. I'm also not sure for me the good it would do to bring it up with them. I kind of feel it would do more harm. So I deal with it on my own with my T.

there
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Posts: 7988
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:41 am

Re: Split

Post by there » Thu Dec 26, 2019 6:07 pm

Castle,
Yup, the family denial of the reality or severity of the abuse, the blaming and shaming you...

Trusting oneself is key to healing, and probably building what might not have been strong inside to begin with due to the systematic destruction of a sense of self.

Like coconuts said, we’re adults and have the resources to build useful coping skills now. I’m continuing to grow into the adult who can treat herself and others pretty well. I’ve had to become the adult I never had to help me develop. That’s me.

Not easy, but we’re worth the effort, and believing, trusting in ourselves.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller

Watercolor
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:46 pm

Re: Split

Post by Watercolor » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:42 pm

I sure hate triggers and emotional flashbacks. Especially the ones that come out of nowhere and sideswipe you. I hope you're feeling some better, now that a few days have passed.

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