Psychology # 39 : Regression

 

 

After Abuse, victims may chose to lock themselves up, stay isolated from the crowd / society or engage in destructive behaviors.

 

That’s why the abuse is not only affect the moment of abuse, but most damaging is years after abused incident.

 

People simply underestimate the duration of healing journey.

 

Do you agree?

Quote 46 : No Excuse for Abuse

 

 

Society / public make excuses for abusers, such as : Oh he’s just stress out, Oh, he / she didn’t had a good childhood thus they are now abuse another generation.

 

Stop it! Shut Up! We all human have the power to make choice : to abuse or not to abuse.

 

All these crapping excuses are not helping but sugar coating the abuse.  Or protecting abusers to escape from their behaviors.

 

What do you think?

Quote of the day # 36 : Right Direction

Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life, tip toe if you must but take the step.

 

Take small step every day, as long as you are moving forward, you will reach destination eventually. Bless you for your healing!

 

 

Photo credit : Pixabay

Psychology # 10 – Child Sexual Abuse

 

 

This is an extremely huge / hidden taboos in society.  Seems many people understand what is it about…..but rarely feel uncomfortable to address, admit its existence.

 

I feel frustrated / annoyed and angry every time when I read news / stories about child sexual abuse cases.

 

Children are so naive and pure when they came to the world, unfortunately they met evils so their lives changed completely.  It’s a tragedy!

 

How do you think about this topic?  Please comment and share this post so we join hands to break the taboo, the more people educated in public and feel comfortable to address it, the more support and awareness we gain to protect next generation.

 

 

 

 

How to put a proper name tag on Abused Survivor?

Wise men do not wear name tags.  

The more people talk about their own skills, the more desperate they are.  

– NisiOisiN

Whenever I read books / articles written by abused survivors, those uniqueness always confused me to think about my own situation.  Well, how can I label myself? Or is it only my problems? How about other abused survivors?

Many writers are so specific about their personal experience / trauma, no offence but we can put a name tag for each individual easily, e.g. sexual / physical abused, domestic violence, child / emotional abused survivors etc.

But according to my complicated background, I always have difficulties to put a proper name-tag about my abuse / story. Seems like I’m stuck in the crossroads – somehow associated with different category.  This make me struggle from time to time during healing because I’m not dealing with one trauma, and don’t know how to relate with other survivors more appropriately.  How should I introduce myself to others?

Complication of dysfunctional family system

Guess it’s commonly happened in dysfunctional families, there must have toxic / abusive parents who ruin and harass healthy / functional system at first place.

Once the system is distorted, these toxic parents can do whatever they want according to their own desires / selfish purposes. Thus it always make situation more complicated / worse since many other abuse behaviors will be carried out in such toxic environment.   This makes abused survivors growing up in dysfunctional family have more challenges / emotional baggage to move on.

You may need a whole life to heal one trauma, but now you’ve got 2, 3, or even 5….it’s hard to image how long it’ll take to reach the final destination.  It’s like a magician / crown who throwing different balls in two hands at the same time.

More name-tags of self-destructive behaviors

Not only name-tags that originated from initial abuses, but now abused survivors feel extremely shame, guilty, betrayed and hurt.  Very often, abused victims will establish many self-destructive behaviors as coping mechanism.

There’s no doubt these self-harm attitudes are bad to soul, spirits or emotions, but since they don’t have role models to guide them how to deal with problems properly, this will become the only tactic they can lean on, e.g. smoking, alcohol, drugs, addiction, eating disorder etc. These are the only gateway we can numb ourselves, detach from drama or distress at any particular time.

I knew how it felt as I used to binge eating whenever emotions felt overwhelmed. I ate all my emotions down to throat. Eventually, like other survivors, I owned more name-tags, e.g. “Fatty”, “Glutton”; or “Cold” because of my trust issue.  Many other abused survivors who are suffering from PTSD / depression after abuse may be labelled as “Lazy”, “Slothful”.

Imagine abused survivors may need to bring a bag carrying all the name-tags in case someone asking about “who are you?”.

Shall I introduce myself as a emotional abused survivor? but what about those bad consequences / effects after years of verbally abused and childhood neglected?  Which label is more appropriate for me to address myself, so outsiders will understand me more?

Closing thoughts

I assume nobody want to be labelled or stereotyped.  But this is the Must-Have life-long challenge for many abused survivors, wearing different hats and change according to different situation.

Outsiders may think ….well… as long as they manage to heal their trauma after narcissistic abuse, (for example), they will be fine and live a happy life thereafter.  But the truth is many abused survivors may need to tackle other emotional / physical / psychological trauma simultaneously that come with other abuses they were experienced during a period of abused years.

They may also have difficulties to have mutual healthy relationships with others, since it’s extremely difficult to address themselves properly.  When we don’t know how to position ourselves, we’ll have problems to be truly authentic or even aware our wishes / expectations.

I still believe there’s hope for healing, but just need more time, patience, strength and support.

Do you have similar difficulties as like as me?

5 stages of grief every survivor go through

Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but to start over.

Probably many people heard of “5 stages of grief” after the loss of loved-ones or divorce etc.  According to my personal experience, abused survivors also going through similar healing / grieving process.     It’s not necessary have specific order or time limit for each stage as it depends on individuals’ perception / experiences : some may stuck at certain stage much longer than other stages; jump around or wandering back and forth.

Denial

Human born to have coping mechanism to protect ourselves and eliminate pains / hurts while handling disasters/trauma.   But this habit may sometimes obstruct our objective thinking.   For example, when we are confronted by difficult situation we tend to deny the facts.

It’s common to find wives who deny all evidences indicated from their husband’s affairs, they reject to accept the truth that the so-called good marriage actually ended long time ago; someone who has anger issues reject to see the deep-rooted childhood abused issues.

It’s so scary to admit and dealing with truths so people usually chose to ignore problems.  During this stage, victims feel numb, confused and avoid any hints / signals that obviously seen.  Wives who were betrayed make excuses to rationalize their husbands’ disloyal attitudes in smoothing overwhelming emotions.

Survivors who was abused in childhood may may block out conversations whenever people bring up childhood topics.  I knew it because I was one of them, even until today I still not 100% comfortable to share my childhood stories.  I have chatted with several abused survivors who were raised by toxic / abusive parents, but explained their situations in a oddly calm tone, acted like there’s nothing bad happened to them, or tried very hard to glorify the whole experience.

Victims may isolated, withdraw from friends and society in avoiding reality.  Unfortunately, the more we deny, the longer we delay the healing process.

It took me years to overcome my fears, shame and finally willing to open my heart and eyes to explore more about my situation.  I used to act like a ostrich, who bury my head to the sand.

Anger

When victims were confronted to face the facts, usually not only ignore and deny, but also the most common initial emotion that emerged is anger.

I used to misunderstood this emotion but now realize “anger” is just a mask of many hidden emotions, e.g. fear, shame, frustration, anxiety, worry, etc.   Very often, when people were embarrassed, their uncontrollable anger will be burst out irrationally.  Obviously, it’s much easy to put the blame to others than unmasking / dealing the truth.

People can feel angry and throw temper to their friends, loved-ones, outsiders : common TV episodes showed family members yell, scream to doctors / nurses who were failed to heal their significant others / loved ones; when a friend point out how abusive their partner are, or disclose their partners’ cheating behaviors, etc.  wives / husbands will get angry towards these supporting friends for judging their personal lives.

In some other cases, victims can get angry on their own selves for making stupid mistakes and decisions, e.g picked the wrong person to marry.  I experienced an extreme angry phrase years ago, though I seldom project my anger to others but tend to bury all these frustration inward.  There’s no suitable words can be used to describe my feelings, it’s just like a huge fire burning inside and there’s nothing I can do to calm it down.  I was so furious for myself for being naive, listen to abuser’s comments and orders; angry at myself for not able to be brave, speak out and stand up for myself.

Bargaining

At this stage, victims try to resolve and control the situation, which is clarified as the weakest stage by many professionals. It’s because people who reach this status are willing to do everything in order to postpone, amend any mistakes that made, or change the situation.

For example, many people may spend huge amount of money on different alternative treatments after they were diagnosed from serious illness.   A wife who is suffering from domestic violence / narcissistic abused may seek out spiritual healers, have new superstitious belief about their past-lives, current relationships etc.

Victims will try to make a deal or promise, do anything to take away those pains and problems.  They are hungry for information, jump around asking for helps / advice from their friends / family, e.g. buy expensive clothes / cosmetics in order to attract their men back.  “Please tell me what to do and I will do anything” is a sign for people at this stage, they willing to compromise and make any changes to make things happen.

When I look back to my life, there’s time I was SO hungry for any information / knowledge I can be found.  Now I understand I was in panic mode, trying my every effort to dig out the ultimate solution which can lift me up to the ground from the bottom. I was crazy and spent hours and hours to join numerous courses, books and seminars.   I’m still eager to learn all healing techniques but now is more reasonable and time manageable.  Absorb information more wisely.

Depression

Victims at this stage feeling hopeless, helplessness, vulnerable, unmotivated and there seem nothing can be done to fix the problems.  This is the time people give up, depressed or easily indulged in destructive behaviors / habits, e.g. substance abuse, eating disorder or gambling, etc.

Some may upset for wasting such a lot of time on a wrong person; depressed for wasting so much money buying luxury things for their loved-one, shamed for not speaking up about their sexual abused stories by relatives / family members.

I picked up binge-eating to smooth my emotions / anger and frustration.  I thought I never have depression but now with a more clear mentality, noticed that I was actually suffered from PTSD and depression for years, though symptoms were not severe because I mainly eat for my emotions.  This is definitely not a good coping mechanism but at least it distract me from touching another destructive behavior.   When things go right, I was doing OK, but when flashbacks and emotions dived in, my daily life can be collapsed completely for days, weeks or even months.

Acceptance

After going through all denial, mourning moments, survivors will reach the stage accept facts.  They started to face the situation bravely and listen to others’ comments / suggestions.

A female / male who was finally accepted they were actually betrayed by partners will start to search for professional help, e.g. marriage counselling, or accept the reality of such relationship already ended so they move on.  An abused survivor start to accept what actually happened in the past and will strive to heal from abusive experience, e.g. start to eat healthy, exercise or get rid of destructive behaviors.  They explore new plans and options to start a new chapter of life.

Closing thoughts

According to my own experience, anyone who go through any kinds of traumatic events should cut themselves some slacks.   Healing and coping loss is a very unique / personal experience. Outsiders can never fully understand what you been through and doubt about your emotions reactions to certain things.

Please allow yourself to grieve naturally according to your own tempo.  Cry, yell and depressed when you need, but just make sure you get back to the horse with more strength and wisdom.

Photo credit : Pixabay – techzia

Kipnapping Memoir – Decade of Darkness

When we are no longer able to change a situation,

we are challenged to change ourselves.

– Viktor E. Frankl

One of the categories I love to read is memoir / biography, which enables me to learn from others’ wisdom, insights and strength gained from their life journeys.  Some of the stories can be tough to digest or imagine how a human can strive through those struggles / trauma.

Just finished “Finding me- a decade of darkness, a life reclaimed”, by Michelle Knight.  I needed to take deep breaths from time to time while reading, it’s unbelievable to read a true life tragedy but still stay strong to live a new chapter of life now.  What an amazing woman with enormous amount of courage, power and spirits within.

Background

Finding me, Michelle Knight

In 2002, Michelle Knight was kidnapped by a school bus driver and her decade of terror was started. Then in 2003 and 2004, two more other girls (aged 14 and 16) joined the abduction. They were chained, raped, starved and experienced other unspeakable tortures daily.

“The day I disappeared I was twenty-one, a young mom who stopped at a store one afternoon to ask for directions.  For the next 11 years I was locked away in hell” – Michelle Knight.

Abused become abuser?

I don’t want to believe an old saying “one who was abused will eventually become a abuser to others”.   Unfortunately, this story supports the cycle once again.  Psycho in this crime was abused when young, obviously he didn’t get any proper counselling but turn around to hurt others.

Why victims are not healed? Is it indicated that sexual / physical abuse etc are still taboos in society, especially when it happened to male? When people afraid to share their experiences, how can we expect the public acknowledge its importance so raise up awareness, campaigns or public education?  What if we stop blaming the victims but allow them to to talk, share / discuss openly without any judgments?

Remember once I visited India, a guy told me how annoyed he felt about tourists always love to visit slumps / charities, instead of visiting other beautiful places.  He want foreigners feel proud of his country by covering all the darkness.  I believe “not seeing” not equals to “not existing”.  Hiding problems is merely intensify the issue.

I supported Michelle’s sharing “many people were abused, but it doesn’t mean all need to kidnap 3 women and torture them to ease the anger / frustration”.  I still believe public awareness and breaking taboos are essentials, but at the same time, abusers do have their own responsibilities to make any choice.  There’s no excuse.

Myth of fairy-tale family

Recalled when I watched her news from TV years ago, what caught my attention was how she responded to media that rejected to re-unit with her biological parents.

Though I didn’t know much about about dysfunctional family at that time, but at least I can fully understand how it feel and why any person make such so-called “unfaithful” decision.  It’s actually a trauma for any individuals.  Who will give up their own family?  Stay no contact or entangled from parents? So disloyal and should be criticized by outsiders.

Hold this judgment until you read her childhood stories, the reasons were there.  How on earth can parents do this to an innocent child? Michelle was not suddenly learned being tough with courage to deal with abuses during her 11 hell years, but In fact, she geared up these skills since young.

Sadly, society still support the ideas of no-wrong families.  If there’s something happened on child, it must be the child’s problem.  People chose not to believe parents or family members do hurt their sons/daughters, either physically or emotionally.   We don’t talk and discuss, all secrets hide behind family doors.  What if we being brave to challenge what we listen and see, accepting that there truly have problems in certain area so victims get supports?

Over-exposure

Disclaimer : I never doubt any abused survivor sharing their stories in promoting public awareness.  I applaud people have guts to do so because it can inspire others to live / change their own healing journey.  I asked myself what if this situation happen to me? I don’t think I can survive, or have doubts to see anyone who go through this trauma without shattered their soul into pieces at very early beginning.

However…media, news, books, movie and numerous famous TV shows….I doubted it.  What worrying much is when I saw how she enjoyed the attention, care and love from strangers at street / store / events.  As an abused survivor, I can understand how different when you get used to be humiliated / abused / ignored, but now suddenly you draw all attention from the world.

Hope this is not the sign of she can’t live without those attention.  It happened to many survivors as it’s so tempting to be the center of the attention.  Once people get tired of our stories, there’s a potential that we need to do MORE, to disclose MORE in order to keep the attention at it’s original level.

Closing thoughts

No matter what, this is not an easy book to read, I was in tears from time to time.  This hell story bring up lots of thoughts on “humanity”, “abuse”, “dysfunctional family” taboos.

We should be more alerted for surroundings.  If you are teachers/coaches, see if there’s any child react strangely, too quiet or overacted? This usually a red flag showing a child bury lots of anger / frustration inside, which they are too young to understand and manage by themselves.

Any hints of domestic violence, child abuse?  Whenever you spot something fishy, please don’t be hesitate being more suspicious/nosy – asking more and offer help if necessary.

You never know that 1 minute you waste while walking by a crime, may save a person’s life.

How do you feel about this crime? Do you think you can handle this and survive?

Photo credit : Pixabay – Public Domain Pictures