You can spend a lifetime trying to forget a few minutes of your childhood.
Guess not many people is well qualified like me to write this post.
Don’t care about Physical Appearance
I was there. I gave up my appearance by dressing so sloppy, wore big baggy clothes all time. It’s one the defense mechanism we, especially for sexually abused survivors from early age.
We were so scare to be noticed or center of attention. We lost control of our body, abusers stare at our body sexually without our permission, or touched / kissed us while we felt extremely uncomfortable.
I piled up all the shame, guilt and self-blame inside. The most safety thing I can do / control / protect myself was wearing large-size clothes, messy appearance. In such, we avoid evil attention. This works! Sadly, at the same time I self-sabotage myself. Not only make abuser lost interest on us but also all other people at our environments.
Surround with people who treat us wrong
Adults who grew up from dysfunctional family never learn how to treat others or to be treated in the right and proper way. There were no models to be followed. We thought this is how the world is running and how parents suppose to treat their kids or what kids are supposed to do : OBEY!
Then when we are adult, we have hard time to establish / maintain healthy relationship with others. Deep down our self-esteem / self-belief / self-confidence is so low so we unconsciously believe that we are “damage” products and not deserved to be loved / treated nicely and respectfully.
Because we look into ourselves in this way, this is also how we project to the world. Eventually, we attract same level of people or others, e.g. narcissists / controllers / abusers who spot our weakness. This become a downward spiral : the more we surround ourselves with wrong people, the worst we make life decisions.
My life was kind of foggy until I started to meet nice fellows. Doesn’t mean I’m be friends with them (still scare of too close) but I started to observe people I admire : how they think and handle emotions and struggles, etc. Started to realize if I want myself to have a smilar life, or become this person – I should learn from what they are doing RIGHT.
Eat. Eat and Eat.
Of course it’s not the 100% formula. But since I was there so totally understand how abused survivors / anyone going through emotional turmoils tend to stuff ourselves with food, lots of foods. We treat food not nurturing but a method to ease our emotions. Many psychologists mentioned since we feel lives are out of control, this is the only thing we can control : i.e. EAT.
I was 100+ overweight years ago. Until I told myself enough was enough, if I don’t care or love myself, how can I expect others will? So I changed. Now every time when I saw someone who’s extremely overweight – not in a healthy way, I feel sad because I kind of feeling this person may experience something in his / her life. Trust me, I know how it feels when you are stuck in life and there seems no hope. Food is the easy way to escape from reality.
It’s extremely difficult for people who never gone through similar trauma to understand the truth behind fully. That’s why it’s so difficult for abuse survivors to heal because along the journey we don’t have enough support or sometimes were misjudged / misunderstood.
Do you feel the same way? or you spot someone you know have similar symptoms? This may be the signal they cry for help from within.
You may ask / judge why he /she behave this and that? Answer is they have no choice because they never learn the right way to make the right decision, or handle chaos.
Some people are lucky enough to learn in a fast path, probably they meet a mentor or experience some life changing moments, but many are learn from a hard and long path.
Photo credit : Unsplash – Leonardo Wong