December 2018

The art of processing

It’s something that we all have to do daily to enable us to settle within that place surrounding our abuse because there’s no avoiding process, a place that we are taken whilst initiating our thought’s looking towards our recovery. The speed or manner in which we do so is so completely varied and it is as individual as we are and it’s to be expected. We will all go through this procedure in a way in which we are able to digest and absorb and in a time frame that suits us, there is no hurrying the wind or pushing the tide it’s what’s right for us and our ability to face that in which we find ourselves faced with. We cannot expect any help to be available within this situation because that’s just not how it works, no one could hope to work with you at the exact speed that suits when it doesn’t suit them and their own speed of travel. In essence, our mental processing is just that it’s ours and unfortunately eventually that’s where the buck stops because it has to.

Let’s concentrate here on two of the different approaches in which we as individual’s deal with our abuse and an analogy thrown in for good measure.

We had to find some sort of placement some type of filing system within, we had to gain some type of control indeed any control and that truly was the one that we had in the bag. We could choose as to when or how we processed our abuse and within a place the power taken from our abuser. At least we were able to make that choice of just how we faced that mental entanglement of acceptance or reached a settlement within, if our abuser ever thought we would follow their direction in that area it would have been farcical and unachievable that they couldn’t take.

But to be honest, why would they even care or think about us long enough to wonder just how we would do so? How would we cope with our memories of our child abuse? They simply weren’t bothered it was never in their agenda and the scars that they left behind within that child were never even recognised.

There are many pits falls in our processing whether we take our time in dealing with our thoughtfully reached decision, or if we arrive there with exhilarated speed and the procedure required quickly completed. Either way, we are not going to find it easy but nothing has ever been easy right? But we are still here. Whether you compare yourself to the tortoise in the vision above or the hare. If our way of dealing with our abuse takes us a long time to complete well then it does, although at times we may feel that we run the risk of overthinking. If we arrive at its end seemingly in a dash for the finish line, do we then question ourselves as to have we really thought things through really dealt with them?

So there we sit corundum in hand looking for our truth and struggling towards pure thought, hoping this little gemstone will provide the answers we seek. Just to clarify corundum is a gemstone that imparts power luck wisdom and peace.

Let’s discuss this a little further using only two examples of how we deal with our abuse and a metaphor thrown in for good measure.

If we were to compare ourselves to the tortoise seen in the image above then our processing and movement is an arduous task, we play things over and over in our mind each time we seem to arrive at a different decision. We just don’t trust our own judgement as we second guess every thought never fully accepting, that the decision we have at last decided upon is the right one. Around and around we go on what seems to be a never ending loop, never really sure trusting or gaining control of our emotions with the need to feel safe paramount just what is our next move? We are just not sure and back we go into the loop it seems to be the only solution things like this can’t be rushed.

The hare is a different matter it’s never been one for sitting still unable to wait for the starting pistol to go off, it wants to run so what’s the hold up? Their thought processing is at least ten steps ahead of the tortoise grasping at each thought easily, whilst continual sieving each one so quickly it’s astounding as it passes through their mind. Each emotion or question dealt with at great speed as they move forwards inviting another, their well oiled system at least from the outside can be a little envied. Just how do they make it seem so easy? How is it possible to move through their emotions so directly and positively, whilst keeping an upright stance and seemly in complete control? How is that even possible?

OK, In truth what we see and what is really happening is only ever known to us and it’s something that we chose at a very early age in order to survive. In essence, one choice could have been to sit within our abuse and deal with it on a conscious level, because somehow we were not able to make that emotional run from our mind. Or did we choose the second not to stay there long enough to allow this deep emotional abuse to take hold, so we learnt how to run from within away from our mind, in essence, we were really not there at all. It sure must have been a difficult choice between the two but I guess choice does not apply here, but you get my meaning I’m sure we had to learn how to survive whichever way we chose to do so.

Anything is possible within the mind of an abused child even capture or escape, because both things can mean something completely different in the eyes of the child concerned. What I impart here is that neither or either will work we all deal with our abuse in the only way we can, although from afar other peoples choices of coping seem to baffle us. But we don’t need to understand or indeed compare our differences. Choose that which works for you and it does not need to conform to another it just is. Of course, there are so many other abusive memories dealt with differently then the two examples I have talked about above but I’m sure you get my gist. We are who we are and that’s enough without the need for an explanation, so we have to do things our way because another’s way may not be the right way for you. We can only work within our own abuse so who cares if you are the tortoise or the hare? If I remember that story correctly it’s not that straightforward as to who will win through, but it’s not a case of winning it’s a case of movement at whatever speed we need to take us towards our recovery.

Child abuse affects every child uniquely because their situation is always unique guided by many things, their living situation or whom their abuser may be, the type of abuse or the severity, just how prolonged or whether they are believed or supported. Or could they do nothing more than to remain silent in a world of pain? Some may have even suppressed their memories never allowing them to rise to the point of awareness, and that is completely understandable because they were not able to cope with the aftermath. This can happen as an unintended subconscious consequence and the abuse can lay buried deep within for a very long time, until something happens that triggers that deep awakening completely overwhelming the consciousness.

At times we must all sit and wonder just how our life may have been without the trauma of our abuse, this thought is within the mind of any abused child but that will never bear us any fruit. We have to move on or stay within the pain and until we do so we are stuck. So we need to plant a new fruit tree one that we can see through to fruition, in doing so we learn there is a different orchard in which we can learn to grow. Eventually, we come to understand that all fruit trees grow at a different rate, but in time they will all stand tall, their branches will then bow from the sheer weight of it’s fulfilled fruit. There are so many analogies that can be used within this piece around our abuse and I have imparted but one, whilst trying to stay away from the textbooks that may have been read many times. But in essence, they all point towards the same conclusion that in time we can all move past our abuse, we can learn to live a happy and fulfilled life in which our abuse is finally and firmly in the past. We can’t or even won’t forget because that’s just not possible, but we can put it back where it firmly belongs at our abuser’s feet. Even if we feel that they will not have the knowledge of us doing so because we do so for ourselves, it should never be for them they have already taken to much we don’t need to allow them more.

To be or not to be is not a question of compromise either you be or you don’t be but always be you……….


This is a repost from some years ago somehow it went missing

Let us first look at the word tolerance which wears many hats-There is an outdoor sculpture in Israel near the Goldman Promenade-The Tolerance Monument. Does it form a visually broken column which stands divided but still very much linked-So are they tolerating each other? It can be the study of accumulated and variation within mechanical parts and assemblies. There is the tolerance or drugs or alcohol, simply because the more we use or drink the more our bodies deal with the substances we consume or inflict upon it. Pain tolerance is also very much up there, oddly it seems that the longer we live the pain our tolerance increases. Before I rattle on here in danger of sounding very much like a dictionary, let’s move on to something that we neither would nor could think would sit right within the middle of that word-Abuse tolerance. 

So how do we make this distinction? I have mixed it up-Turned it over-Beaten with a stick-Along with juggling all of the parts within this puzzle. But still, I am not wholly aware of why we would do so? So I am going to stick my neck out here and make a guess to the best of my knowledge and past experiences. If we were to crawl around amongst every word sitting here right above us at this time, then maybe we could find the answer to my ever-burning question. Why would anyone much like me tolerate abuse? The entire variables above stand fast in our every growing effort to make our lives have meaning. 

Let’s first look at the Monument-Over many years it has stood there trying it would seem to break away from the base that holds it together. Each part seems to want to leave the other behind, but unable to make the final splintering at the base to make that possible. Are we not splintered that way whilst we still hold on to our abuse? No matter how far the pillars move away from each other they are still only bending not breaking.  

Mechanical-If we were to think about the working parts of our bodies are we not, in essence, a machine? All parts need to hold fast working within our tolerance. We do this every day with our abuse. The problem is that no matter how hard we try these parts will always fail never tolerating this intrusion into our bodies and minds. Until we take over the maintenance because we are the only ones holding on to the tools to alter that part of us.

Pain-Pain tolerance is something I can vouch for. After having an accident in 1998 in which I injured my back it’s been a challenge. As time passed I became drug/painkillers tolerant-Result I had to increase the dosage. On reaching the ceiling of that painkiller I could no longer increase the dose safely-where was I to go? In truth, it has almost become apart of me. 

Drugs or Alcohol-This comparison is very different because we already have the key in hand to stop the continued use. Please don’t think that I am saying-It’s your fault why are doing this to yourself why can’t you just stop? In all honesty, I could never say those words to you because I used one of those props for so very long. I never went down the road of drugs, but alcohol was very much where I went to hide from the world. If I am being even more honest it was also where I went to find myself.
Yes, we may be able to see the drink in our hand or the particular choice of drug sitting in front of us, but that only means that these props are visible. The other three comparisons I have used are just as accessible to us when we learn to look within. Within our mind’s eye, we can repair break away and alter every part of our being, it doesn’t need to be seen with the naked eye. 

So why am I here today? It’s to share with you the oddest thing that I may ever encounter within my life-Although it’s taking me a while to get to the point-Sorry.

There is knowledge deep inside of me which recognises that for so many years I was totally tolerant of my abuse along with its memories. I guess that everyone needs an anchor of sorts somewhere; to feel a connection to this world. It pains me to say that for so many years my anchor was my abuse. It was all I remembered as being the largest portion of my life. As sure as hell it was not the anchor that I would have hoped for it was the one I was stuck with. I was in a position of needing an anchor in life to feel that I was on solid ground, whilst trying with all my might to leave behind the abuse that I had suffered. I tried many times before I succeeded but the point to make here is that in time I did-You will also. 

So there I stood a plan in hand, intent on moving forward; but time after time I was left holding a spanner in hand ready to throw it into the works. Once thrown each time it caused my best thought out plans to crash and burn. The mental effort I had thought through so carefully giving it my up-most consideration. I was left with the remains of a car crash with myself being the only mechanic in town. The truth was that I was the one applying this outcome each and every time it happened. Why? It was natural for me to hold on to an anchor for stability, but I was burning my hands with every touch. I needed an anchor in my life, but the one I had was only destroying me. 

An anchor is something solid it gives us the strength when necessary to hold on. Without it, we would find ourselves flailing around unable to make a connection to anyone or anything. The end results deep down inside finds us thrashing around vigorously, aimlessly crashing around like a puppet with broken strings in an endeavour to find that solid ground. Everyone needs to feel a connection to the world and our place within it. The one thing that dominates our lives is a structure implanted as we have grown. Something put in place that had or has an overbearing effect; if you like we can even call it our shadow. It’s always there but unless we are standing in a certain light it’s just not visible to us. Given a situation where we are standing where our shadow should be visible and it’s missing, it’s a very unnerving situation as we really cannot fathom its departure. Never in a million years should we tolerate our abuse. But we are so very unsure of our place in the world without it. Quite simply it’s all we know. It has been our anchor which sounds so completely off the wall and it’s been a heavyweight to carry. 

Just like the picture depicts at the top of this piece we are somehow shacked to its longevity. So I should not need to tell you that for those of us that have or are still suffering abuse it’s by far one of the hardest things to overcome. We are left with nothing more than cause and effect. We need solid ground-The only solid ground seemingly available to us is our abuse. I know all this astounds but that’s where we will stay until we realise that there is another way. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just obliterate our past or remove it completely leaving no trace-Wipe it out-Destroy every memory? I admit it sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But choosing that path is never a sure bet there could come a time where it will be back with you biting at your ankles. Suddenly tolerance seems the only action that can be taken. 

But there is another action that will bear far more fruit; we should never feel that all we ever had through life was our abuse. It took me many years to be able to pull back the curtains just to take a little peek beyond my abuse; that’s where I found to my delight that there were good memories to be found they were simply lost within the circus. From that day forward I began looking for solid ground that I could build on. It’s a little scary out there because for a moment within that time, you find yourself without the anchor that everyone needs to feel safe. The reality check is that you were never safe because the ground beneath you has always been rocky; it seems at times we feel that what we know is safer than the unknown no matter how fearful the right there and then seems. 

There is a metaphor that comes to mind here quite readily – Keep both feet on the ground have they ever tried that when the ground beneath you is so unstably…………

An unforeseen accident can happen to any one of us which requires that we head towards the medicine cabinet to pull out a plaster or a bandage, and maybe even a visit to the hospital to get patched up. We feel a little sorry for our self we may even revel in it a little it’s nice to feel cared for even if we play the old soldier for a little too long but soon enough we heal and get back to living our lives. We may even have a battle scar that we proudly exhibit so that everyone gets to see just how injured we were. That, of course, depends on the person or the child and both my grandsons and granddaughter know just how to play me within that to its full effect. It seems that sweets and fizzy drinks will heal all and I want them to get better right? Well, that’s the question I am asked often.

These cuts graze bumps and bruises are visible and although they may be a little painful at the time they will soon be forgotten, we don’t need to hold on to it there is no real purpose or reason for doing so. It will for sure happen again somewhere in the future life is full of trips and falls which we would rather avoid. That’s just how life is but we pick our self up brush our self down and normal activity resumes because the pain we felt was sudden and unexpected, they will heal over and our bruises and bumps will disappear and if we are lucky they leave no trace evidence.

But what I’m here to talk about today is a world apart from the above if only that were the extent of the pain felt by an abused child. For the purpose of this exercise, I’m going to use a jigsaw puzzle as a point of reference whilst engaging with you today, the many emotions within us that are so completely fragmented, that separation deep within us, and just how we can change that mindset and work towards our recovery. Our open wound will never completely disappear and we will spend year after year trying to apply that plaster only for it to be painfully ripped away time after time. Even when we feel stronger we know that there will be another bad day coming our way, unfortunately, maybe that’s a mindset but we are proved to be correct time after time. Our abuse is part of us and it always will be in varying degrees so the medicine cabinet will never really aid us.

We have to find a different way and become masters of selection and learn the art of compartment, yes that bad day seems to be a frequent visitor so where do we need to go to find our healing? The answer was never going to be an easy one our child abuse and its effect upon us can’t just disappear but it can be altered in the way that we perceive it. In time we can all learn to control that which we already know which is far more than we have ever expressed to another, we have always kept something back because that’s our safe space. Our mind is so much stronger than we imagine in truth we have for many years been carrying two sets of emotions i.e. whom we seem to be externally and our damaged child internally and that takes enormous strength. Maybe it will always be that way but we can’t wipe our memory or the pain that it creates that would be like painstakingly piecing together a 1000 piece jigsaw whilst blindfolded.

We can never hide or forget the past or have our memory altered and why should we it’s integral to us and if you remove a section it alters the whole, it may sound like a good thing if we were able, but in truth, it couldn’t help but disturb the balance that we have spent years achieving. What’s needed is a change to our thought process and the end of our separation from our inner child, because if that separation has never been addressed it will remain the place where our residual pain sits. It’s so important to know that until we find a way of coexisting with our thoughts feelings and emotions we can never become as one, so we learn to control our exchanges until the time where we are mostly able to stand together as one. OK, there’s no mistaking that at times we really won’t get along and what the other is feeling expressing or imposing upon us will seem so completely alien.

During this time it may seem to others that we have become a little distant but that’s fine and I’ve learned through life that what others see really doesn’t matter, they can’t enter that place within us there is only room for two and at times that may feel like it’s one too many. But when it’s time and if we are ever going to make that change then we must at least be looking at the same jigsaw, even if at times we may argue as to where we should start or who place’s each piece where it’s needed and it may end up in total destruction! Here we go again on our knee’s searching for those scattered segments. But it doesn’t have to stay that way the more we practice going within the exchange becomes a little easier and in time we will find that well-earned compromise.

We will find that our processing becomes a little smoother that we are in control more than ever before even if we slip back a little it’s expected, or we seem to be taking three right turns when in fact it was only one left turn that was required. We are learning to coexist because neither of us should need or want the other to leave we are just in a different place’s right now, and yes it’s scary when we decide to make this adjustment buts it’s achievable.

Counselling is so very important when we move towards recovery it may take many years until we feel strong enough to stand alone and complete but in time we will. When we are nearing that place we alone will need to insert that last puzzle piece because it’s part of our recovery and we have to feel strong enough to do so. It’s now within our grasp whilst in the past we were so often found scrambling around on the floor within a search of desperation, where is it? When we finally come together as one in love forgiveness and with complete acceptance our jigsaw will be complete.

That’s the time that our wound heals over and the scar it leaves behind is nothing less than beautiful……

Interview with NAASCA

I was completely honoured to appear on NAASCA radio show last night and to be able to talk directly to other child abuse survivors even though they live across the pond. I myself live in the UK and NAASCA are situated in the US and represented internationally. I was very humbled to be asked to be their UK representative and a direct port of contact. Also in the very near future the UK ambassador officially representing NAASCA when they expand globally. My involvement in this venture will add to their reach of support for so many others around the world. They also requested me to write directly on their website as often as possible as a guest author reaching those that have yet to find their own path. Extended support is something that I am passionate about and it will allow me to stretch my wings a little further.

NAASCA webisite below

Copy and paste the words below to a search engine for a direct link to my interview or visit the NAASCA website.

Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN) – 2020