Coming through abuse

I can’t believe that I’ve had to deal with neglect and trauma. I also didn’t know that growing up with no emotional support, not knowing about my disability, not being able to talk about my feelings around a disability I didn’t know I had, and having to pull myself through each day, was being etched into my psyche.

As my emotions continually spiralled out of control, the neglect and trauma manifested itself in anger. It is our families that must understand and want to help. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t be writing and so I reconcile.

But no one just gets over neglect or trauma, it’s something we must continue to work on. Experiences become lessons, but for the healing process to work, we must put physical and emotional distance between us and those who have hurt us.

Recognising neglect or trauma is one step forward towards healing. But having to constantly defend ourselves in those circumstances, or having to be on our guard, means we’re tied to unhealthy patterns, including control and submission and being on the receiving end of that, will continue to stay with us.

To recognise that we’re not to blame is very much a mental-health step forward. To understand that we have the power to change how we think, how we feel, and act is also another step forward on the road to recovery.

It is important we begin to recognise how people’s behaviour manifests, because it is through that recognition that we get to see the bigger picture around what we have to deal with.

It is important to accept what happens, because without it, it will be difficult to move on, but we must also remember that other people’s behaviour, isn’t about us. It’s about other people’s inability to see their own worth and how they feel about themselves. It’s not about us.

On our part it is important we understand how they made us feel and don’t make those feelings personal to us. Lamenting the past and blaming ourselves for not changing other people’s patterns of behaviour is unhelpful and damaging, and reinforces where we are.

If we could change our experiences around those patterns, we wouldn’t be who we are through those experiences.

24 Jul, 2017

4 thoughts on “Coming through abuse

  1. As a child I don’t think I was abused in any form. If anything I was spoiled. As an adult, I did suffer abuse via my first husband. Both physical and verbal (more so). I always tried to fix it and there were promises things would change, which of course would never happen. I finally wised up and left.

    In my career I have known children that have been abused and I’ve seen the consequences of the said abuse. Children don’t understand and think it’s their fault and of course the abuser insinuates that it is their fault.

    Sometimes when they get older they recognize the difference and change the pattern but a lot of times it continues. It is a very sad situation and reality.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I feel for you. You shouldn’t have had to have gone through your experiences and I’m pleased you finally found the courage to leave.

      All forms of Abuse should be stopped. There is no place for any of it, in today’s society. Sadly, it’s all become too common place, including a bad attitude. Sadly, that’s the most common form of abuse.

  2. Yes, the cycle of neglect and abuse in my childhood was pretty obvious to us. I put the neglect first seeing as that was what happened to us most of the time, until we had something my parents wanted and then they noticed that we existed.

    The abuse came when we didn’t give them what they wanted, like enough attention for my mother or our birthday money for my dad. People seem to think that you can just get over it, but the ones who say that are usually people who haven’t been through it.

    My mother pretty much crucified me if I didn’t do her bidding and my dad just let it happen so I was never sure which one of them was worse. I would have much rather been physically abused since those scars heal and the pain goes away but the emotional ones never do.

    1. Sadly, Randy with physical abuse you still have emotional scars, but I understand your analogy. Neither are straightforward. I think both affect us, but differently.

      As you say we don’t just get over, we have to find a way to understand and accept that the abuse happened and then deal with the injustice.

      I understand you and I think you’re probably right; but we can never know for sure. Those who tend to think we can just get over it, perhaps haven’t been through what we’ve been through of if they have, perhaps they had a different way of coming through it.

      Those of us who are more horizontal seem to come through their experiences unscathed, or perhaps that’s a smokescreen and they haven’t.

      When the chips are down and anyone goes through hard times, I do think they are affected by abuse. It escapes no-one.

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Ilana x