April 2014

Is It Your Life Or Theirs?

LifeA question you may have asked yourself many times over. Do you take control of your own life or blame others for how you live and behave? Do you walk the road of blame for the way you have turned out? Should you shout on high say with Au-gusto that you were abused so you abuse? Transfer your guilt if or even when it arises for the actions you have taken – It’s easy right? Quite simply you just pass it back through the years, believing vehemently that the pain you are inflicting is neither by choice nor of your making. Do you convince yourself of that? Live your life with no compassion after all none was ever shown to you. There’s that bubble you climb inside where you feel that all is justified, a safe haven, one in which you feel that you will not be condemned. What could you do about it anyway; the apple never falls very far from the tree does it? That one I can vouch for because it was burned so deeply within me by my abuser since childhood. Just like my father before me I walk the road of the fallen. You’ve been conditioned that way how do you fight genetic inheritance? Told from such an early age it’s OK that no one needs know. It was just their way of showing you that they loved you. It was a secret – a bond that only you and your abuser shared. It was special others would not understand the love you both shared, Jealousy would spoil everything – so what’s the harm? You are only trying to repeat that bond a generation further.

OK: let’s rewind – can we even take any of the above justifications seriously? But the above scenarios are being put out there so often by those that abuse. Let’s be quite clear here there is nor could there be any justification for abuse whatsoever. When it comes to people making excuses for their abusive actions there are none. The words above quite frankly, even now, whilst typing, I can still conjure up a ball of fire ready to explode within me – so deep at times that it still reminds me of the rage I felt whilst trying to understand my own abuser. At that time there were days when the rage I felt was likened to a nuclear explosion. The impact of sexual abuse varies from child to child for many the damage is enormous, with the impact still being felt into adulthood affecting all aspects of their life. But this does not give anyone an open door to walk through to serve their own abusive damage. In a nut shell to all those abusers out there – being abused does not give you any god-given right to abuse. You may be wondering why I made that statement during this piece, so I’ll share with you. Those that are or have been abused are not the only ones that come here to read. I often hear the words of an abuser. I live daily with the hope that, for them just being here, it signals their first step toward change.

Working through the memories of childhood abuse is painstaking work, it will never happen overnight. But if we are ever going to be tested in our lives then this is one of the biggest tests of all. We find a way of working through, which in no shape or form puts others on that road to hell. It takes strength to cast aside the legacy we feel we were left with after abuse. No doubt this is the harder road to walk. But this is your life isn’t it? You alone make the decisions that determine your future. We can’t live in the past but equally we can’t bury it either; it has to be faced.

Some would say that we have even lost our souls during those turbulent years; loss is not a word that comes to my mouth easily. To my mind it was never lost: it was stolen; recovering that part of you is paramount. Once we lose our soul we also lose our identity; we have just become just another static within the realms of abuse. We feel that we are no more than a faceless number; in truth we don’t even want to remember who we are. Along with this, we find ourselves with selective memories. We continue pouring on an avalanche of rock to hold down the part of us we just can’t face. We feel dead within still breathing whilst hopelessly hoping there is no tomorrow. But tomorrow will arrive and face it we must.

Within you is the strength you need to do so it’s just waiting there to be tapped into. Once you take that leap of faith you will find that deep down inside there is small flame still burning; we just need to move the rock.

The above excuses at the start of this piece are spoken so often by those that abuse, that I’m guessing they seem to alleviate their consciences. Clearly the blame rests elsewhere. But for everyone that chooses that easy road of denial there are two more that choose to take that hard road. They make the choice to be different ever ready to stand tall and alone if needed. They are the ones that I try to reach out to within my every waking hour.

There is a way through abuse to recovery that does not involve taking others on that downward-spiralling staircase of abuse. For each of us its different there is no yard stick to measure our progress. We learn to process the memoires that we remember as and when we can, because those traumatizing memories are not always remembered all at once on a conscious level. In truth it’s your mind that is protecting you from confronting all those painful memories all at once. You will remember more when you are ready and able. With remembrance and time you find that you are working towards and able to see that positive outcome that can be yours. This is the right way – the one where you say to all that you alone stopped abuse in its tracks.