Mental health system

Nature

Nature never fails to surround us if we only take the time to look at its beauty, at times, it can leave us breathless. But what is often overlooked is it’s healing property. Within the physical world, we are met by such things as the diversity of the plants, the wild animals living alongside us. The majestic stance of the mountains, the oceans, reaching out so much farther into the distance than our vision allows. The stars which tap into our imagination as we ponder, is there life out there? As they twinkle within that black canvas, our questions go unanswered. This beauty in which persists despite human intervention and disturbance.

Mother nature is the common personification of that nature, and within it, sits a horde of nurturing aspects, that we can all tap into if we so choose. It allows us to feel held within its energy and to look past the pain that child abuse inflicts. For some, to be within nature is so crucial, when the conventional way of healing just doesn’t work for them. Allowing us to feel it’s freedom within, and providing a place in which to put down that pain, when it’s just too heavy to hold. That feeling of the warmth received whilst within it, a warm blanket which seems to reiterate, that survival is possible against the odds.

Then we have human nature, which identifies our species uniquely, and relates to who we are as beings within our mental gymnastics. Our physical appearance, our spiritual characteristics, and our judgement, which set’s us apart from all other warm-blooded mammal’s. In total, its the primary container which is essentially there to carry that description. Basic human nature can’t be changed from the description above, but essentially, there are many circumstances in which it can be altered, by how we or other’s behave. To understand human nature is to grasp the essence of what being human means, and how its typically understood.

Natural forces will always contribute towards that which is within our world and the way a person or animal behaves. As human beings, we contribute within that nature, whether or not we would like to see ourselves as a separate category. Within nature sexual abuse is never present, it sits squarely within a margin of the human race, and those who divulge in such depravity. In this instance, we are transported towards the inhuman nature of some, and the life-shattering alteration of that nature, that has been imposed upon an innocent.

For an adult child abuse survivor, nature can greatly help reduce such things as depression, it improves psychological well-being and it benefits our cognition. Nature has so much to give if we work within its beauty, it involves positivity, it gives us that feeling of freedom. There is something about nature that is quietly contagious within its majestic view, which in turn aids us within our efforts of calming the mind.

For a child within sexual abuse their surroundings would have always been bleak, the view from their window of life mattered not, seasons would have seemed as if they never altered. It was always raining no matter the weather forecast, the sun would have always seemed to shine elsewhere. The beauty of each flower which adorned their surrounding would have been lost to them, the leaves from the trees would have always seemed as if falling year-round. The clouds above them would have always been dark and brimmed with gloom, the riverbank would have always been tousled within that storm and continually breaching its bank.

Life itself could be nothing other than stormy, with the wind without fail ripping its way throughout their agonising life’s journey. There would have been no shelter from that storm and its nature, which held something far less than beauty. A child abuse recovering adult will hold a very different insight into nature, their insight would have been that of inhuman nature, which still resides within that dark and desperate place. Inhuman nature, placed there so extensively, and the nature in which they found themselves subjected to.

It was that internal nature that would have seemed as always constant, their lives entwined within a tornado of huge magnification, which only seemed to increase in ferocity daily. It was the only nature in which had consumed their life, and what was happening externally? Well, that would have been a view that was lost to them. Inhuman nature it would seem for many has an awful lot to answer for, and if believed, there should be a special place in hell just waiting for their abuser’s arrival.

For a child abuse recovering adult that inhuman nature will still sit within, no matter how much I play with the word nature, and its interpretation. It’s difficult to find your way back whilst lost within a troubling nature when you have no clue as to where it will end, and when the forecast is interchangeable. But there is a need for us to remember here, for every one of those adult abused survivors there truly is a way back. A way back to that nature of a different kind and the beauty of their surroundings. But to do so freely, they first have to find their way back from the inhuman nature that they were subjected to as children.

How can you appreciate the wonders around you when your eyes have never been open? when you’re locked in a place without joy? When your mind is so full of pain, and every day is just another to try and live through? In all truth, adult abuse survivors can never fully leave behind the wreckage in which dominated their life, they can only endeavour to find a way in which to live with it, which is all-consuming. In every direction in which they turn they are pulled back within the storm, which is so full of agonising memories, sadly, all that nature holds and it’s beauty as yet is going unseen. In time, that appreciation within each season, the wonder that each one brings will be recognised. Yes, the storm may well arrive, but it’s knowing when it will pass which is so important.

In time, they will all find a way to walk towards the sun, a way to watch the leaves falling from the trees, as they are playfully tossed and dance within the wind. Be able to gaze at the mountains in awe and to appreciate the distant horizon. To sit and absorb the ocean, so extremely vast, as the surf crashes against the shore. As the sun sets within its array of variance before them, they will, at last, find their inner peace. These transitions on arrival will occur within their mind’s eye as never before being experienced, simply put, until they can escape from that storm inside within recognition, sadly, their eyes will metaphorically remain closed. Until that time, nothing which is external will feel remotely possible for them to alter.

To appreciate nature is not always a glance out of the window, or a walk in the park when your view never alters deep inside. When your soul is gripped from within by inhuman nature, it’s extremely difficult, to value nature within any narrative. Until they can find the strength to no longer accept that inhuman nature’s legacy, and to fight back against their abuse, that inhuman choice and direction will always be made for them. To be within that storm and the ravage it creates is indescribable, but there is a way to finally walk towards the sun if you don’t mind your head getting wet in the process. In truth, the most difficult part is in the search for the umbrella, and to apply the strength in which to open it for the first time. Being sexually abused as children and now finding themselves in adult recovery is a scary prospect.

For the many onlookers of this world they can seem as if broken, that somehow, a way must be found in which to fix them, but that assemblage they will need to arrange alone. We can offer the tools in which to help with its construction, but the strength in which to use them will always lie deep within that present fragile soul. A soul that is fragmented and pulverised to such a degree, that finding all the pieces lost within the storm will take time to achieve. It’s somewhat difficult, to understand the struggle that takes place within the mind of a child abuse survivor. It’s a place in which they alone can only ever completely preside, no matter our good intentions. It’s the place where the nature of another still remains hidden within the shadows, and in truth, it’s a worrying trend. But a day will come where their view of nature in all aspects of it will be their own, to be free within the understanding of the inhuman act that was placed upon them with clear vision.

Nature should always be natural, and there is nothing remotely natural, within the abuse of children……

Looking into the mirror

This is something that we do every morning without thinking, we brush our hair, we adjust our clothing, we question ourselves as to how we look? So you would be right in thinking that this daily ritual should not need much thought because we are on automatic pilot. But for some, that could never be further away from the truth. We all stand in front of the mirror and judge ourselves it’s human nature. There are mornings when the image looking back at us clearly shows that maybe last nights one more drink was a mistake. We know that we will suffer from the after-effects of the alcohol and that very late night throughout the day, as we stare back at our reflection it leaves us with little doubt. We all find fault within our image and there is always something that we would like to change if only that were possible. Seemingly that the image we see reflected at us can be so very different as to how others perceive us, we see it differently because self-recognition is not always clear. In truth, we are our greatest critic.

Fear of the mirror is generally known as catoptrophobia it’s an all-consuming fear of reflection and at it’s worst can even cause the arrive of an apparition, and that image can alter with every glance. Written within those books of infinite knowledge they state that it’s an abnormal and persistent fear, which creates such extreme anxiety that those effected become completely terrified. This phobia can so often be caused by a life-changing traumatic event, and child abuse to my mind sits at the top of that list. The trauma created within child abuse is eminence and on a scale that in all truth is unimaginable, and that mirror for some seems to reflect with such gravity the abuse that still resides within. We can’t try to make any sense of the whys or wherefores because it can never be explained, quite simply it’s unexplainable, even to myself after many years on my journey. It still sits within me and it’s true to say that we crossed swords for so many years. It’s still recognised within and somewhat war-weary, but today, fortunately, we have been able to somewhat call a truce, but make no mistake the mirror is a formidable opponent.

So if looking into that mirror creates such unmanageable fear then clearly in all sense it needs to be avoided at all cost, right?

When you’re reminded repeatedly that the abuse you were receiving as a child was a punishment, well, mud sticks, even if you have no idea of the wrong deed. You are a bad seed, this was self-induced, quite simply, you are the devil’s spawn. How can that image when reflected towards an abuse survivor not be seen as bad or evil? So many adult child abuse survivors still believe that they had input, and by doing so they create within this dark image which is viewed with such revulsion. When your image is feared there is nowhere to run.

Negative thoughts within our self or others are stored in the brain by the amygdala, we each have one on either side of our brain. Among other things they are responsible for the brains flight or fight stressors, it’s where our survival instinct resides. When that stressor is induced calling for either flight or fight from the one thing you can’t leave behind i.e. your image, where can you go?

The image seen and reflected creates such bitterness, life becomes somewhat purposeless, and the pain felt towards their abuse is further prolonged. Their reflection towards them becomes somewhat contorted, well, that’s if they can stand there long enough in which to look. Within those feelings of disgust and revolution towards the abuse they rightly feel somewhat stuck, they come to believe, that no matter how they try, they will never be able to outrun the mirror. Rooms are walked within the avoidance of those mirrors and shrouds are placed either physically or mentally at all times upon that mirror. A reflection within a shop window can create that feeling of revulsion and disapproval, Why? The answer is very simple, somehow, they still believe that in which is so very wrong that within that reflection the devil still resides.

Changing rooms within department stores are surrounded by mirrors and the thought of using one is terrifying, to enhance or expose more than their facial image is a complete no go area. Because surely, everyone around them will then be able to see the abuse that they feel is emitting from every pore. The answer must be to take it home to begin the ritual of correct sizing in a mirror-less room of their choosing, even if that means returning the item tomorrow it’s the only way in which to avoid that mirror.

The camera has to be avoided at all cost because the fear of being looked at and that image recorded by others is unthinkable, that image will be scrutinized and the devil within will surely be recognised. They just can’t let that happen so they avoid any situation of being asked to smile for the camera. At times even the sight of that camera is enough to bring on a cold sweat, and so begins the mental arithmetic of scanning the room to avoid. The mental exertion needed within that avoidance leaves them feeling completely exhausted, sadly, it may take many years in which to be able to address this issue fully.

Body image and that mirror can be a real concern for an adult child abuse survivor, simply because, their body and its function as children was so completely messed up. They grew up with the feeling that their body is somehow dirty, a stain, that no matter how they try, it can never be washed away. Undressing in front of a loved one can also be feared, intimacy is only ever conducted when the lights are firmly in the off position. The thought of mirrored wardrobes within the bedroom would insight sheer panic, they would never feel comfortable with their installation. That reflection which is seen by them alone has been judged internally and it has to stay hidden, even from the ones that they love, which can be so very difficult for a loved one to understand.

It’s not difficult to understand why this poor body image and terrifying reflection will never be considered a friend. When a singular thought seems to grip their very soul, that no matter what their body is tarnished. Coupled with the overwhelming emotion that was wrongly placed within, that secret, that is a huge and cruel burden for any child to carry. Child abuse of an innocent can never be altered only survived, what was taken can never be given back, those memories deep within are there to stay. On becoming a child abuse surviving adult, well, they must feel that their life is beyond shattered. But if we are ever to believe that our soul still resides within, then we need to remember that the soul is imageless. But that’s a huge leap of faith and a mountain in which to climb whilst seemingly blindfolded.

For another to take an innocent and place them within such self-hate is beyond any words it would seem at this moment I possess, many can be used, but there are none possible, that can adequately describe child abuse. All children come into this world with little more than blind faith that they will be cared for, a recognition, which was founded within the womb whilst being carried throughout those nine months. How could they know just what awaits them? So many children suffer within child abuse and the actual figure is astounding, which then leaves them as adult survivors in the fight of their life. When you have an intense dislike of one’s self it’s so very difficult to feel that you can succeed in winning that fight and to be able to trust that others won’t judge you in your efforts.

Their worth has been so tragically diminished, it’s so very difficult to stay focused, as they walk towards the future on a new path of trust. The truth has left them so far behind that self-questioning is inevitable, and that first movement upon the road to recovery will take time to achieve. Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good for an adult child abuse survivor, it’s in finding the self-appreciation of any movement made however small. In truth, the more they learn to love that reflection in that mirror, the less of that self-hate they will inevitably tolerate. With that comes self-recognition, that nothing was given, it was always taken. They can never be anything other than themselves, and so it’s by trial and error that they learn to gingerly cradle their soul. By recognising who they are and not how they were made, will bring that understanding of the truth, finally, it will be seen. It was never their mistakes choices or bad deeds, it was the invasion of a new soul that did not have the resources in which to fight back.

Self-love is the foundation of everything and every one of us has access if only we dared to look…….

Acceptance

Acceptance is the action of receiving or undertaking something which is offered without the need for judgement, it’s the process of fact or receiving something as adequate valid or suitable. It’s a management process and a series of steps that need to be taken, to remove the need for alteration when the alteration is not required or possible. It’s the opposite of non-acceptance and it allows us to see and accept the reality of our own emotions or the emotions of another. Acceptance removes our frustrations when the world around us doesn’t quite seem to meet our expectations. Acceptance is to recognise another way of being without bending our purpose or beliefs, as we should also not try to bend the belief of another. Without compromising just who we are and neither should we expect that from another don’t we each walk our path?

The essential element of a valid acceptance can only ever be unconditional and absolute without conditions, we have to alter our thinking with regards to situations as being good or bad because they simply are. We need to see them as such if we are ever going to be clear within the management of our thought process. Acceptance of yourself or others doesn’t imply that you are either weak or giving up without any achievement. Acceptance whether we connect with it within our spoken words or our actions will never be effective until it is communicated from within and heartfelt. Acceptance removes that negative clouded emotion of needing to feel that we are right or another is wrong never bending with the wind, that emotion has no place within acceptance and it will never allow forward movement.

The description I have given above is the acceptance which relates between the interaction of two people, but there is a much larger implication within that description when we have to accept the past the present and we still fear the future.

For a child abuse recovering adult acceptance was something that they had to practise often as children, they had little choice other than to do so if abuse came visiting daily. I’m sure that if we were to pick at this word others may resonate far more with another but the wording matters not. When that child is within a place where there is nowhere to go and if they could do so there would be no one who would take them what else was there? Acceptance was the only thing left indeed at that time anything would have been better than nothing. Every adult child abuse survivor given time can find that place of deep tranquillity within, where acceptance is achieved, even within the depravity of the past where they were immorally condemned within its torture. Not an easy task for sure and that should never be said lightly, but the strength required in which to do so is already proven in their survival.

Acceptance from within will never mean accepting outwardly that an abuser had a rite of passage in which to abuse, in truth, it no longer concerns that abuser in the here and now it’s about finding that peace within. Acceptance will never mean that the past can be altered, unfortunately, that is here to stay. But at least within acceptance, it enables the ability to regain that long lost command of the past and its effect upon them in adulthood. Quite simply, by addressing that emotion they are no longer allowing that said abuse to have a permanent hold upon their future. Acceptance of the past makes it possible to begin to extinguish that burning pain within, but make no mistake, that is so very far removed from the acceptance of abuse or the absolution of those who choose to abuse.

Acceptance will never be reached until a place is found where self-blame no longer exists and we truly understand that emotion is misplaced. Until we let go of anger hatred sadness and guilt, not to forget the misplaced shame, abuse still holds on to the future. Whilst holding on to that relentless self-questioning of why me? and the ensemble of questions in the queue just waiting at the rear, we are forever stuck because these questions can never be answered. Unfortunately, we can never make those questions magically disappear, but what is possible is the removal of the urgent need to look for the answers where quite simple there aren’t any. Even if that were possible the questioning would become elongated and without peace.

But what is possible is to find a place whereon revisiting the abuse it will be within acceptance and where those all-consuming questions will no longer dominate above all else. Within that acceptance, regardless of the painful abusive past, they will find a place where there is a choice and they decide just what happens next. Choices are not always of our own making and for sure every choice with regards to the past was never their own. Emotional acceptance is thus a far better strategy than avoidance or holding on to those painful memories within non-acceptance. Within the ability to accept those horrendous experiences of child abuse, there comes a time of acknowledgement and power that’s absolute.

Child abuse survivors could never hope to reach a place within acceptance where they can forget their abuse, but neither should acceptance if found be seen as forgiveness, they have just reached the point of holding. Acceptance doesn’t mean that the abuse is minimised or the significance of the scar placed within is no longer felt. But resistance towards acceptance will forever leave us within non-acceptance, which will never bring light because by its very nature it’s a dark place to be within. When acceptance is approached with openness and fluidity and without expectation, we can stand in awe at the power of that movement. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we agree, and overly more, acceptance doesn’t mean that something is either right or wrong. It’s the realisation that we can’t change that in which is behind us and the recognition that life is still out there in front of us. No matter the past, when we accept and decide to live that life it’s a huge change of direction. They say that what we can’t accept we have to endure, well, it’s long past time to endure any further.

Acceptance may not always be what we think it is and it may just change a life……

Dreams

All of us encounter dreams nightly whether we remember them or not. They normally occur during rem sleep where the body is completely relaxed almost to the point of parallelisation of the muscles. Its where the mind is at its most active without our control and we have entered our subconscious. There are so they theories debated as to the effect that our dreams have upon us, but what can’t be argued is that they occur so why do some people remember their dreams whilst others don’t? It’s said by scientists that people who tend to remember their dreams also respond more strongly to their emotions during the day. That not everyone recalls the mental escapade on waking it is also believed that emotional dreams are far longer more intense and easier to remember.

If a dream has a psychological trigger there is so much more for us to consider. A trigger is something that sets off a memory or a flashback, transporting that person back to an event of his or her trauma. They are always extremely personal and completely individual, and the intensity of it is felt and relived just as strongly as when the trauma occurred. This trigger creates a multitude of things such as sleep deprivation and an all-consuming fear that even the thought of sleeping can invoke a cold sweat. I could never adequately convey here the intense distress that can accompany child abuse survivors each night when ascending those stairs.

When we consider all of the above we are now connected with that in which every child abuse survivor can and may need to encounter nightly.

Before I continue I’d like to share here that all of the above for me is still experienced even though I am now standing within a place of recovery. As with all of us I had to complete my journey and the experiences that came with it. Its the one thing that has always alluded me so it seems that it’s not so easy to gain any control over my subconscious. The word itself speaks volume and is so closely linked with the word suppression. I am still required to descend into that world of revisiting my past trauma often.

The difference now is that on the other side of recovery I can deal with those nightmares in a way I never could before. I am now able to untangle the web of those painful emotions and torment that were weaved within the dead of night. In all truth, whilst writing this piece I recognise every syllable written from my book of life. It seems that I am to be grouped within those of remembrance and my dreams are almost always within recall even if not completely.

For a survivor, dreaming will never be something that they would like to enter into mindfully when they are armed with the knowledge of being swallowed up within that darkness. They are never quite sure what the night will bring as they lay in their bed full of apprehension. They can spend hours just trying to avoid what others may call peaceful sleep because they know far too well that for them that is never a guarantee. To be within the darkness trying so hard not to close your eyes with the fear of knowing only seems to feed the trauma. They are taken to a place of visitation even before they enter their subconscious which sits there just lying in wait. They are so aware that any control they may now have at that moment will soon be overtaken by the terrifying journey throughout the night.

To understand the affliction of the night for a child abuse surviving adult can never be fully understood without the experience, there is no control over those painful emotions and reminders. As they rush towards the past and out of the present just as if the abuse had never ended, with every remembered touch they feel the crawl of their abuser’s hand across their body. They are consumed within a cold sweat unable to awaken on this roller-coaster of trepidation. Each turn or movement they make seems to be towards their abuser and not in the opposite direction. Any understanding escapes them, any effort to take back control alludes them, they are onboard a ride that can only be explained as a runaway train with no way in which to stop it.

Not to forget the night terrors they are in a completely different league than any nightmare experienced, they are the big guns and there impact is formidable. They can awaken you abruptly from a deep sleep which is thought of as non-dream sleep. They usually occur in the early part of the night and they can be encountered several times, they are a prologue before entering dream sleep otherwise known as rem sleep. If we think about that statement by the time rem sleep arrives that child abused recovering adult can rightly feel that any resistance is futile. Of course, this judgment is always taken during the darkest of hours which can be without remembrance or choice.

If they remember on awaking the effect upon them is absolute, as they set about trying to distance themselves from the night and embark on the day in front of them. The anguish they feel burns within that remembrance and it is so overwhelming it can induce sheer panic. They are never refreshed within this place of disturbed sleep and the exhaustion only increases the situation. For them, they are engaged in a struggle within as to how they had even survived to see the morning. Living life this way and not being able to see an end in sight is beyond comprehension. There is a great need for trust to be found from an external source until they can stand alone. But trust is more than difficult especially so if the abuse took place within that in which they called home. They feel as if there was never anyone within that home that they were ever able to trust in which should have been their haven.

Nightmares and night terrors leave them powerless and out of control in a fight for their existence, and it will only ever be reconciled when they can confront that real-life residue without the painful confrontation. But just how do you confront the night when the night is a place that is so completely feared? Abuse leaves without explanation and there will never be any found by an abuse survivor, simply because there is no explanation for abuse just devastation. The world of dreams will forever be a fork in the road for a child abused recovering adult, with no forward knowledge of which road to take, when they are no longer able to stop their eyes from closing. Given time, it’s possible for every child abused recovering adult to find that place in which I now occupy, where it’s possible to rearrange those nightmarish dreams so that they will no longer continue to occupy the wakeful hours.

Recovering adult abuse survivors may never fully find a place of complete release from the abuse or be able to find complete control, but control is always relative when control has never been within their grasp before. If a way can be found to move forward even if the progress may seem slow, in time they will find that courage to enable them to face each morning with hope. Once achieved the impact is immense and in doing so the difference it makes to that life I would find myself struggling to express. It will feel like finally finding wings when life has always been flightless. Being able to take back any control is a huge achievement and to have input where there was none is life-altering.

For me, the journey I embarked on now allows me to be a small part of that alteration, as I connect with other child abuse survivors throughout the use of countless avenues. On seeing that strength when it begins to emerge from within that adult child abuse survivor it never fails to leave me with my remembrance, which in turn then becomes an exchange and one that they may not even be aware that they are making.

If we each give that of which we are able together we can give everything……..

Imprisonment

When we think about the word imprisonment we naturally feel it represents incarceration, but that is not the only way that we can be within a space of imprisonment. A place where we are still held within its walls that are completely invisible to an onlooker. I’m talking here about a place where there will never be a daring break out staged, where there is no parole or any early release for good behaviour. A place where there was never any crime committed by that individual, but still it seems, it was their fate as abused children which holds them within that imprisonment for a lifetime.

An adult child abuse survivor knows that place well because it’s within them and to remove themselves from that incarceration will take time. They will need to endure the pain that can’t help but accompany them on their journey on that road to recovery, and so the question is asked, is it not far less painful to stay within that imposed Imprisonment? It’s so very difficult to break down the walls surrounding them and it may take many attempts. They are fully aware more than anyone just what they will need to encounter once that breakout is attempted. It will never really matter in totality others offering the sledgehammer in which to do so, they are the only ones able to take that deep breath within and take that swing.

The one thing that we know with complete certainty is that each one of them has lived within the horrors of sexual child abuse. It’s an impossible task for us to sit within another’s child abuse experience, in all truth, our involvement should be in guidance alone simply because we aren’t able to take this journey to its conclusion. On this, they stand alone.

So let’s just think about the tormented mass of abuse within that has always dominated their memory, the walls have been built so high they will seem impossible for them to climb. But what we need to remember here those walls were constructed by themselves to contain the past, and many years have passed for them to do so. The child abuse they suffered was inserted into the mind of that trusting innocent child by another, and the walls were a necessity to live life in any way that felt normal. So breaking them down? Well, we can see that there would be more than a little resistance. It would seem preferable to them not to disturb those walls and why wouldn’t it?

To be imprisoned from within there is just no escape just how you can you run from yourself? To be able to look towards the result of controlling the memory of their abuse and its effect? The walls at this moment in time for them they feel are still standing fast, even if with great difficulty and their input daily for it to be contained. But at least they are there they feel familiar and the work required to contain their abuse has become part of their life. Why invite that in which could proportionately undo that which took them so long to build? During the daylight hours, it’s somewhat achievable to hide behind these walls. But during the feared darkness of the night within those twilight hours, it’s a very different story. The abuse takes over within their subconscious and it becomes a place where all control is lost, its where the fight is always lost to them regardless. To be imprisoned within is unparalleled and surrender during the darkness of the night seems to be the only thing possible.

Here we find a space where nothing seems as if it fits overlapping with confusion and still there is no escape. The night sweats and the terror of thrashing around without any feeling of movement and always accompanied with the inability to awaken, its where they relive the pain of each abusive touch but somehow as if they are paralysed. Asking for it to stop becomes an endless loop within an echo in the distance as if it was being asked by another, the words ricocheting from wall to wall as every request returns to them unanswered and hollow. Incarceration, when measured against this torture, will seem like a preferred option. There is no mandatory time away from that cell or the giving of access to the exercise yard where they can at least feel the suns ray on their back. There is nothing remotely resembling my words above within the mind of an adult recovering from child abuse. It’s always dark whilst within the sun has no access their freedom just doesn’t exist

There is never any code of conduct that has to be followed by those implementing their incarceration, if it were ever so they would think that they have somehow entered fairyland. For an adult child abuse survivor, everything they encounter will be far less accommodating, there were no written rules their abuser had a free hand to tear their lives apart at will.

To live life within that dark imprisonment was never as a result of their actions and to experience this isolation is devastating. To look for that key enabling them any access to see the way out is achievable but for them its a huge undertaking. So do they take a sledgehammer to those walls? or stay within the maximum-security within and that cell eagerly waiting for their return. Somehow as if it was aware that leaving the cell behind them had never been a possibility.

Their liberty was taken without any wrongful deed and for that, there can never be any justification…….

Memories good or bad

Our memories bring us to pleasure fond remembrance and joy to state but a few, but on the other side of life, they can bring us to pain a feeling of desertion and deep isolation. Either way, neither will ever be able to aid us with the gift to predict the future and as for the past? Well, that can never be altered because it’s somewhat set in stone. The past is set to stay with us as we journey through life, and we can only ever make the best of that situation in which we are able. This journey is one that all of us need to make because within the acceptance of life it needs to be lived. So we endeavour to take the bad along with the good, as we continue to experience, the ride on the roller coaster called life. If we are lucky the good will always outweigh the bad, which in turn, gives us the strength when required to shoulder the bad as and when it arrives.

But what if we were to turn that statement on its head where the bad has always outweighed the good? What if finding any good has never seemed possible? Well, we are then destined to travel a completely different journey, on the roller coaster into hell. Where the downs are always present and the ups seem to be impossible to reach. They just don’t seem to have any influence or contribute at all within that ride into the dark side of life.

For a child abuse recovering adult, the paragraph I’ve written above is no great mystery. In fact, all that I have achieved whilst writing that paragraph was to randomly tear a page from within their book of life. So let’s stay with that analogy and I will endeavour to use it to emphasise my meaning.

If we were to think of life as being much like a book, we pick it up at birth where every book begins on that first page beneath its front cover. Then there is the intrigue of what may lay within each chapter which sits between both covers. Its where we really don’t know where we will be taken as we plough our way through the pages towards its conclusion, At times, we may have already somewhat guessed its ending, but that doesn’t deter us from continually turning to the next page with enthusiasm. On reaching its conclusion we reflect upon its content and mull over the story and any effect it may have left upon us.

Even if it was so very far-fetched and off the scale we still accept that it was only trying to reach within our imagination. If it was distasteful within its content, well, then we could have easily chosen to put it down. If it was a love story then we are washed away within the romance and for most, the girl always gets her guy, or clearly, she was not destined to be with him. There was no one standing above influencing our choice of whether to read on or not to do so, as we choose to pick it up or put it down at our leisure. Whatever the above triggers within you they are still very much scenarios of choice by their very nature they can be no other.

But if we were to pick up the book of life of a child abuse recovering adult none of the above relates. There is no beginning that they remember, there are no chapters that they can recall within totally recall, in truth, it’s just far too muddled. Most certainly there has never been an end in sight even if the book’s author has now departed. Indeed there is no conclusion that can be made on this now unfinished unedited manuscript. If we were able to pick up each and every one of the books I’ve described above tear them into tiny pieces, before once rearranging them without care. They would still make more sense combined that way than the book of life for a child within abuse. They were given no other choice other than to read on whilst holding on to their emerging book of life alone terrified confused and controlled.

The front and the back covers, well, they were always open on demand with a force that unless you have experienced child abuse is impossible to understand. There was never any second guessing its ending because there was no end to be seen, at times, they can’t even remember its arrival it just seems as if it has always been there. Controlled by discipline and by exterior elements, and the content of the continuing chapters was always written in another’s hand. There was no foreword page outlining the story and their abuser as sure as hell did not want any recognition for their work. Or ever contemplate another’s contribution to the book of life they were heinously destroying. That abused child would have been the only one to ever glimpse within its open pages, although completely, without the art of understanding or being able to read from the devil’s pen.

In all truth, our memories are the foundation for the book of life that will form from within us as we grow, it just hasn’t as yet reached its end until the end comes to us all naturally. We could say that on birth all of our pages are just blank just waiting for the input of life where we start to accrue our memories. As they arrive they are mentally jotted down within our memory because we are a manuscript in progress. The content within the chapters has many years in which to formulate our story and its unavoidable that the end will at some point arrive.

But for a child abuse recovering adult, those chapters between the covers from beginning to end will have no distinction, they are all within the same unaltered and extended manuscript. Scrambled, confused with no access to the oncoming yet unwritten pages. As they rapidly and continually turn over each day without any real sense to be made, without compassion and without any aid from any direction. Their book of life experience could never be put aside or discarded there was never any finality, even if many years may have now past them by.

As I have stated above the past can never be rewritten, but let us hope beyond hope, that in time they can at least begin to edit those already written pages within. Enabling them the ability to at last pick up that tarnished book unaided, and start to rewrite their future within recovery for the first time in their life. Choices that was never theirs before are now in full view and on there arrival it will take some getting used to. In its entirety choices will need to be made, and oddly for the first time, they may feel that they are completely alone. That is quite easy to understand when abuse has always been an integral part of who they were, they now have the real challenge of acceptance of the past which will never mean to forget. They will need to really look inside to find the answer to so many of their questions but at least they now have some idea of just where to look.

Change brings with it so many obstacles in which to encounter and the view from their standpoint can all on its own can bring chaos, it’s not surprising because the work required at times will be extremely painful. Getting to know who they really are is an odious task when the trauma of abuse is unearthed and encountered, in a way in which they have never needed to hold their abuse before. When face to face with that abuse the image can be less than pretty but now at least it’s honest. Looking in the mirror for all of us is not always pretty.

For a child abuse recovering adult, the image they are faced with is something that they have never seen, and for it to be overcome it will always take immense strength of their character and without the act of self-judgement. Honesty at times for all of us is not always favourable but to ourselves, we can never lie. For a child abuse recovering adult honesty has never been theirs so just how can they judge? The answer for that now recovering adult is within time and practise. For that child who is within every one of them embroiled within so much pain and deceit, have they not yet earned that privilege? The answer to that question should be on the tip of your tongue without the need of adding my own.

There is a book inside of us all just waiting to be written and each and every one of them are more than able……

Footnote

I don’t normally add or share more here other than where each of my pieces take me whilst writing. But I shall do so today. I was requested to be a guest last night on live radio as the expected guest was unwell. In this situation you are never armed with any answers to the questions, neither do you know the questions you may be presented with its a case of holding on to your seat.

A lady caller rang into the show to ask me how she could outrun her past abuse and be able to feel as being whole and good, she continued, trying to outrun her abusive past was just too difficult for her and she would never be able to find any acceptance.

That question really wasn’t very long but sometimes they hit a nerve and this time was one of them. I took a moment to digest her words because they really touched me. My reply could only ever be given from my own child abuse experience, whilst moving into the position of a recovering adult myself. The answer may seem to be a simple one but on reflection, it felt huge and so extremely personal. I had to re-enter that place within me and seek an honest answer and when it came it was met by silence but hopefully it was still heard.

Today, it’s so very clear to me, that I was never able to outrun my abuse, I was always trying to outrun myself which is an impossible task, I can only hope, that by sharing a part of me the light had been shone upon her but I’ll never really know…….

Lawful prosecutions

Lawful prosecutions will never really be healing for a child abuse surviving adult although it may be looked for and rightly so. Every child abuse recovering adult, without question, deserves that atonement. But when I look around me I don’t see a world that’s lacking in retribution, quite simply, it can only ever be acted upon in law if easily proven. In so many cases of child abuse, it is so very difficult to prove that the said abuse is beyond any reasonable doubt. Simply because it requires the art of reaching back over many years that are past gone within childhood to be able to do so. As the years go by time seems to shift and the memory can become confused, this happens because the lines have become more than just a little blurry during that shift. There is also the fact that these memories are extremely painful, and over the years they may have become as one. These now blurred timing of events and the effect upon their vision of recall is only ever the inability to separate each event.

Memories have become diluted and mixed within and it is never going to be easy to shine a light upon the experience, if it ultimately means, they will also be required to broach the dark and its shadow. There is a world full of souls out there that are still suffering within their childhood abusive past, many, still feel too afraid to shake it up and reawaken that pain. Simply because of the familiarity of holding that past abuse seems to be the safer option. Can they really face that in which for so many years they have kept buried out of pure necessity? The fear of the effect in the here and now will almost certainly cause immense pain and upheaval. It is so very daunting without a clear path ahead that feels safe enough to be able to be tread upon. The question is asked of themselves from deep within is it less daunting to sit with the devil they know? Rather than the devil in which they feel could ultimately emerge?

Just how can a child abused recovering adult really relay each and every abusive act going back over so many years? How can they remember- times? Dates? Places? Where the initial abuse took place? How often? Did you tell anyone at the time? The list of the questions asked of them are so deeply felt and the painful answers required seem to be endlessly. Just how will a child abuse recovering adult untangle all those years into separate incidents? As that child they once were even if they were asked could that child relay that secret to anyone? The answer to this question is very simply no they had to keep it that way, a secret, or lose their world and it is an abuser’s ultimate weapon. As that child, they lived within the fear of rejection and the total dominance that they were continually subjected to. In all truth, during that time whilst children, the abuse would rightly have been received as continual and there were no separate incidents. Fear of the impending abuse was always present how could it not be? It was only ever a matter of when.

The consequence in the here and now is that so many answers from to those penetrating questions, well, they seem to elude them.

Their life is somewhat of a jigsaw puzzle that has been stored away somewhere at the back of the cupboard, each and every time it’s taken out, somehow, weirdly, more of those pieces seem to be missing. Recall for a child abuse recovering adult may even be something that they have strived to avoid, and it may have taken many years in order to be able to block those painful memories. It is enough for them to survive each day as it arrives within those painful memories that nevertheless are still alive, those in which however hard they tried they were never able to block. They arrive within the depth of sleep where the subconscious has all the power, what’s more, they are then carried throughout the day that is still waiting to emerge.

Recall for an adult survivor will always need to rely upon that child’s given recall so just where do they start to unravel those nightmares in full clarity? That adult survivor at the very onset is compromised by that child’s recall, to be able to supply the answers to those heart-wrenching questions. It must never be forgotten that during this attempted recall at another’s request towards the adult, the answer is still deep within that child, who doesn’t even what to comprehend those painful questions. It is little wonder that the adult survivor will then find themselves at a loss. At the time of the abuse they were just children, overly more, they were terrified children without any access to the answers. As much as it may be required or requested within complete clarity, well, it is more than a little difficult to catalogue those events in sequence.

In all truth, as that abused child complying a diary of events would have been the very last thing on their mind. Sadly, with those answers seemly missing or muddled some may interpret the lack of total recall within these heinous acts as being untruthful. They may feel that a response to their questions should be lined up and ready to go. Well, if only it were so easy to do so. To comprehend that a child abuse survivor would invent such atrocities against themselves, well, that truly escapes me.

Justice for so many will never be achieved whilst looked for through the considered lawful and proper way, justice is often left begging and inaction is so very often all in which is received. As talked about above the onus is placed upon the child, in order to support that adult survivor, and to present a flawless case. Wow! just how wrong does that sound? There can be no separation they are as one although apart desperately trying to find that unity whilst both are severely damaged. It may seem that over time they may both feel and share the loss any real of hope of redemption.

So very often all that any child abuser really needs to do is to do nothing just that and no more!

They rely upon the years that have passed by with that secret intact, they rely upon the ordeal that any adult child abuse survivor will be faced with if lawfully reported and investigated. They know that it is a huge ask for that adult to return to that place of horror and still be able to protect the child. Child abusers are fully aware that if any action were to be taken, that abused child will once more need to stand within such fear as if it were yesterday. Some adult child abuse survivors will never be able to do so, which in turn, will mean that so many child abusers will fall through the cracks. Within a justice system which only ever requires just a smidgen of reasonable doubt for it not to be proven, with the result being that the said abuser will never receive any atonement for their crime.

How can a child that has been sexually abused prove to others that which they could never tell of at the time? For a child abuse adult survivor it may feel that it is the only way to justice within that courtroom but is no place for the child, even within that place there may still be no peace to be found. Even if justice were to be found within the letter of the law that inner peace may still not be achieved. But ultimately, at times life can bring with it that in which was not expected and that peace will be found in another direction. I guess what I am trying to say to you today is that at times life can be trusted to find its own truthful direction, enabling that journey towards recovery and atonement in a direction in which they never knew existed. Their hands will be no longer tied and the peace in which they crave will be found within. That direction can be found and achieved by everyone, without exclusion, and rightful so.

Incarceration of an abuser is always hoped for but even if achieved the abuse is still forever felt, it is now part of the fabric of who they are and still within the struggles of today. As a sexually abused recovering adult incarceration is a familiar concept, as children, they were always within that situation. Yes, the prison cell may not have been invisible to the naked eye, but still, they were continually held within abuse and the bars proved to be formidable. The incarceration of any child abuser will rightly seem to be as if justice has been served, but that could, or never would, heal the terror of those childhood nightmares. But maybe it is just enough to recognise that every journey has its own path and timing, and that ultimately, life still holds a real possibility for everyone in time to become complete with their inner self.

Justice may not always be on view to us but it pays us to remember that justice has many guises……

Where it burns

Growing up with the horrific memories of child abuse is unimaginably and not easy to comprehend for those that have never experienced its devastation, a child abuse survivor has for so many years been within the dark side of life. Finding any light within their abuse was never possible and oppression was the order of that life, for many, even today, it can be felt that it is just not possible for them to find that light.

We think about the light and the dark in many ways, i.e. the daylight hours in which to occupy our minds before the arrival of the night, there is the light that just appears simply by the flicking of a switch. The light which is talked about spiritually, the light in which we see others differently denoted by their actions. If we look upon it from the other side of that spectrum whilst within the darkness of the night, it is seen as a time in which to relax the day away to sleep and to recharge. It is regarded as a quiet time within that peacefulness where we awake refreshed and ready to start another day. Both bring with them those experiences in which we encounter a difference simply known as day and night.

What I’m talking about above is the cycle of the 24-hour clock and our planetary position in relation to the sun, or a spiritualist finding peace within their belief, and the invention of electricity. We can use these examples and so many others to compare and explore the difference between the light and the dark. But there is a completely different kind of darkness that cannot be so easily explained, although I will try my best to do so here within my own experience.

What if that has never been your understanding or consciousness with regards to the light and the dark? What if those differentials were never experienced? What if the clock never altered-ever? What if peace could never be found or love was never felt? What if Spiritualism was unknown without the experience of life? What if prayers were never answered no matter how practised? Well, we have now moved so very far away from the example of the suns presence and the arrival of the moon or any other noted veritably.

If we are to think about those “what if” questions above as being someone’s reality? Well, then we are about to enter into the mind of a child abuse survivor. A dark place in which they were forced to remain where the sun never shone, night or day, it really mattered not. Within that place any explanation or comparison between the two, well, it was simply not present they were always experienced as one. How do you explain remaining within the darkness when there is no escaping it and the light is never present? No matter how many years continually pass you by, just how can that darkness be escaped or any perception of the difference be altered?

For a child abuse survivor striving to find any differential between the two just where can that differential be found? Quite simply, wherever the sun chose to be, they were locked within the darkness that goes far beyond my explanation above. They have always been within the darkness because they were placed there by their abuser, and that darkness could do no other than to follow them into adulthood. Peace was something that was never felt and any belief that it could be found amounted to nothing, only an unanswered recurring dream. Every day, living within such a dark place of complete terror that at times even the dark was not enough in which to hide. The only hope would have been to search for the shadows surrounding that darkness, a short revival if found but only ever experiencing a glimpse before the darkness returned.

I’m going to use an analogy here that may aid my writing and its purpose, hopefully, I will further create a deeper understanding of child abuse and the damage it creates for a lifetime. That pain is forever felt continually burning within, creating so such devastation, in which a forest fire would look upon with envy.

So let’s stay within that theme.

When a firefighter enters a building until that moment in time they can only see the flames and the smoke from their outside vision. It is not until they enter that building that the true extent of the destruction is seen. To gain control of those flames is their mission but just how do they gain that upper hand? There are so many variables which will need to be taken into consideration, with an inferno which could at any time switch direction. The smoke surrounds them and the heat is felt throughout even with their protective clothing. But the fire is dealt with in unison through acquired knowledge their training and their colleagues. They are prepared for all that may be in front of them, but still, there are times where they have to withdraw regroup and reassess the situation. Many heads are better than one and they look to the chain of command and those of greater experience.

At any time that building may collapse and the way they went in may now be closed to them it is no longer a safe exit, there they stand locked within the heated smoke and imminent peril because the situation that they had been facing has altered. But they were never alone and this situation has been considered their safety is always paramount. It was always a professional career choice and they understand its perils, there are many safe hands in which to rely upon. They are all working towards the same agenda to take control of the situation and put out the flames.

Moving away from the real-life today situation of the above I will now hopefully arrive at the point I’m trying to make within this analogy.

A child suffering within the heat of sexual abuse will of course never have had the experience of a firefighter. But they had never needed to stand within the flame to feel it burn. The protection and aids in which to keep them safe were just not there, within that place there is no one in whom they could rely upon, guiding them out of the impending devastation and formidable danger. The smoke stinging their eyes and no matter which exit they choose they cannot escape the flames. There is no access to any breathing aid as they continuously choke upon the smoke, there is no clear way forward because their vision is always obscured. They walk alone in the ever-expanding ashes as their world continues to burn and they are as always unaided. Whilst always aware that no one is coming to help nobody ever did.

They are trapped within the solitude and gagging for breath just as if it will be their very last-which it may, within the haze of that swirling smoke hanging above them. They crawl around on the floor where any available air may still be trapped below that ever-increasing toxic cloud, but even if they were able to find it they know that it is just a temporary reprieve. That it will only be a matter of time before another fire ignites and the process of their survival will once again need to be repeated.

At times, we can be forgiven for asking if escapism from the dark is ever really a reality for any child abuse survivor? How can that be the case if another fire will ultimately implode? So will there ever be a complete retrieval for them? The answer to that question without hesitation is a firm yes. I have been humbled to witness many journeys were child abuse survivors have done just that and continue to do so. In truth, the continued succession of this repetitive painful scenario can be halted, by simply taking back control of the matches. I’m sure that you are fully aware that I am not talking here about being handed the box. In truth, all child abuse survivors, when ready, have the ability within in which to do so. Simply by taking back the control of the life in which they still have to live, but it will never be done as so easily said until a point is reached where it is felt. With the passage of time that fire dominating their mind will become nothing but a cinder. We are also no longer talking here about bricks and mortar in which to rebuild a structure, but the inherent strength which exists within every one of those child abuse survivors. No matter the pace or passage of time in which they have travelled-extinguishing that fire is possible for all.

Child abuse is not so very different from my choice of analogy above because every child abuse survivor has been so deeply seared within, and they carry within them the scars of that entrapment within the fire. Creating the effects that any fire would leave in its wake when there was no clue as to how to put it out. For the child abuse surviving adult it was never a job choice to be within all of the variables given above. But just like those firefighters within this comparison, they continually transverse within the heat and unclear vision that their child abuse has created. They were never able to touch anything tangible or real without being scalded or expect help from the outside, as they transverse from one place to another trying to outrun the flames. Gingerly at times placing their hand blindly towards the darkness to find something, anything, with the bellowing sound of the fire which surrounds them and its ever-changing direction.

So much time is spent trying to address the atrocities that child abuse has created but what is surely needed is to find a way to put out the fire……….

Blessings beyond our child abuse

It is so very difficult to see beyond our child abuse and move on to a place of counting our blessing, but I have had the privilege of being witness to just how child abuse survivors can and do turn their life around. It is quite rightly felt that all life is lost within the legacy of child abuse, but each and every one of us has the ability to change that thought process given time.

So just where do we start that process? In truth, the only thing required is for us to be open to that possibility. Those allusive answers as to how we do so, are only questions that until now haven’t been asked. So they say that time is a great healer? It is also true to say that at times, time can be anything other than healing. When it holds back our progression of movement because time will always keep moving by its very nature with the real risk of leaving an adult survivor behind.

In order to make that start, it requires the art of us being able to look past our abuse and recognise the blessings that may already surround us but are going unnoticed. That is not said glibly, because it is another difficult battle in which will require real work from us to triumph over. But just like the other preceding battles that we have already mastered in time, we will be triumphant. I speak to you today from a place that took me many years to arrive at and I never cease to stop learning. To feel that life can alter after so many difficult years required great vision and it will take time and practice in which to do so, but if I were to look back through the years at my own journey, at that time, I myself never thought it was possible.

So just what is to be considered a blessing? For each child abuse survivor, those requirements may differ and that is much the same for anyone of us. It is also true that we all look towards that in which we have belief and to that which is personal. That in which we are all blessed will never really be recognised until the clearing of that fog in which child abuse binds us.

In truth, that which will be required comes from within us a change of vision and the ability to find the good amongst the bad but rightly said, I know that will be easier said than done.

A blessing can be found within those who show us love and where that love is exchanged, it’s within the miracle birth and the joy of watching our children grow. It’s within the joy felt and the blessing of our grandchildren and their joyful rhythm of life, it’s within our home which provides us with shelter and a sense of safety that it brings with it. It’s within the friends that enable us to share our happiness or pain with. It’s within the world of our present where we are no longer mired within our past abuse, it’s within the beauty which surrounds us as that adult abuse survivor today. It’s within the magic of all life if we no longer allow the past to define who we really are.

All of the above will continue to stay hidden and unseen never recognised as a blessing until we find that trust and strength to let go of our child abuse. In turn, opening a door for us to where all of the above can be embraced, and once explored that which we may ultimately find within can be infinitely more.

Blessings have the ability to surprise us but only if we find the vision in which to count them……

Defensive emotions

This emotion is a real tricky one to infiltrate just as the picture above illustrates and it won’t be easy to gain access into this mindset. But it is an emotion that is so often visited within adulthood by child abuse survivors. On arrival, they will be so very far away from an open position of acceptance. This emotion is one of the hardest to move beyond and is usually addressed within therapy once accessed. The need to defend that damaged child at that time will now be so very paramount, but that emotion does not arrive or ever stand alone. Rightly, or wrongly, for many, they will also feel the need to embrace justification alongside it. It is a knee jerk reaction felt towards a non-reactive parent, a staunch defensive emotion, towards a parent that they are now being uncomfortably quizzed around. There is no escaping this subject and the ever-burning question of did they know? Advancing towards the inevitable and that until now unspoken painfully reality will be extremely difficult. Accepting that which they have spent their life avoiding, well, just how do you process the fact a parent may just have stood silently by? By reverting to that which they have always done they defend.

This defence may be completely flawed and difficult to understand, but for that survivor, it is so very much easier, than embracing that the said parent had full knowledge. This choice will have been made so very long ago, the choice to believe that ignorance was the only culprit that withheld a valiant rescue. Within that place and time, for them, it just had to be. That belief has to hold fast, of course, there would have been an intervention if only they had the knowledge. Whether that sounds completely deranged within any clarity of thought today, at that time of choice, clarity of thought would have been nowhere in the equation. Things may not always make sense to the onlooker, but within child abuse can there really be any sense to be found? All be that a much mused over atrocity and the dark question that we may ask ourselves, for that child within that said abuse they had no hope in hell of correlating any reply.

In truth, to gain any acquired vision or access into the mind of a child abuse survivor it needs to be at their own request. With the understanding and requirement, that we can only ever enter where we are invited. In all truth, we are only ever accompanying that survivor on their journey, and as for our own vision and staunch emotions around this subject Well, they matter not and they will always be required to take a back seat.

The need to justify the actions of a none reactive or passive parent happens, simply because it is much less painful than to accept the opposite choice. That opposite choice requires difficult self-questioning entering a mind field of emotions. If this were to be chosen just where do they start? Was I ever really loved at all? If they knew why did they allow it to carry on? Was I just invisible to them? Was I worthless? Was it my fault? Was it a punishment? If so what did I do? In all truth, this list could become endless. Even before they start to question the truth of that parental protection that they were never given, as you can imagine it is a painful place in which to choose to go. It is inevitable, that in time some way needs to be found to deal with that conflict of acceptance and staunch resistance to the truth, but it is a process that will never be easily travelled through. That said, recovery will never really be constructively worked towards until acceptance of that truth is recognised by that child abuse survivor themselves. Within that achievement once arrived at, we can expect a very painful accompaniment. A painful realisation which can no longer be avoided and that said parents own truth will be staring them in the face. But still, all is not what it may seem.

It would be acceptable to think, that every child abuse survivor is filled with hate for that none reactive parent. But it will never be so very black and white, or even explainable to the onlooker even when shared within therapy. At times, it is so very difficult to separate emotions within this place because they are within that very murky colour of grey. As an abused child defending themselves was never possible, but the pain that will be immensely felt is that none was ever given in their name. At the time of visiting this defensive emotion, the child is no more, and the response that may be expected is that of an adult reaction. But what should never be forgotten is that this healing process is still very much being directed by that child.

What is seen in front of us at that time is an adult prop, a mannequin, because it is the only thing in which is visible is it not? But what is seen at that time is so very far away from the engagement which is taking place within. What is happening within for that child abuse survivor at that time, is so drastically different from any expectation. Within we find a child who is drowning, unwilling to feel that painful reality, a child that still needs to believe that they were loved. A child still trying to hold on to any memory where they believed that they mattered. That quizzical questioning child within immense pain, who in truth, never really experiencing anything that resembling love whilst subjected to their abuse. So just why would they want to return to that place voluntarily within the acceptance of betrayal, if the outcome of that journey would leave them wide open to another mountain of pain? Somehow, right there and then, denial doesn’t seem all that bad. It is only through time and patience that we will ever be able to yield any fruit in this place, enabling that healing journey of connection to take place.

When looking towards recovery all child abuse survivors will have two foes in which to face, the pain of their abuse, but also the pain of acknowledgement surrounding that said parent’s inaction. At that time an endorsement may even be looked for from another, because of course that said parent couldn’t have known right? Desperately looking for any confirmation that indeed they couldn’t have known. Just how can a point of apportioning the truth of reached within that mindset? How can they hold that said parent accountable, if they hold on to that belief that there was no knowledge? Denial can continue to be an active emotion within therapy for many years because it is rigidly defended within that belief. The smallest amount of recognition within any kindness remembered from the direction of that inactive parent, well, it is held on to tightly with a grip of iron. Even the slightest remembrance is felt like an endorsement of that said parent’s love, only aiding and confirming to them that they are right. It has become a life raft that they are unwilling to let go of easily.

When a child has never felt love within childhood and only the abuse, imagination is all that they have at their disposal. Suddenly, they are being asked to let go of that image, the one in which they had created to survive, just how can they do that easily? It is still a huge part of who they are today and it is a part of themselves that is still greatly needed. That child is still very much alive and within all adult child abuse survivors, the uppermost reasoning and understanding must be made whilst making any connection. Within that image, they were loved and protected even if that was never really their reality. Removing that segment within where they imagined that they were held is never going be easy for them, it is easier not to hold that parent accountable than to feel the pain of true acceptance and admission brings with it.

Of course, I hope that it goes without saying, that there are many child abuse survivors in which the situation above was never their own. That the assumption they hold within regarding their own abuse, and that the said parent was oblivious is completely right, but that is so very far away from being a reality for all.

Every child abuse adult survivor has their own story to tell and their own demons to address. But for many, it is still within the realms of their imagination to choose to stay within the need of that belief. A place where they created a picture postcard memory, one in which was sorely needed to have had any chance of continuing to exist. To allow any escape from the abuse they were experiencing because not doing so was not an option, Being thrust forward enabling them to put down that abusive situation within a very dark corner of their mind. It was somewhat a necessity at that time in order to achieve any balance of mindset, because what was seen felt and experienced had to go somewhere. Or that although faltering balance, could never have been achieved at all. Any life would have then ceased to exist completely. As that child which may be contrary to belief when faced with this situation they may choose that inventory life.

It is easy to see that holding on to that belief has merit just what do they have without it? Whilst processing through a child’s eye at that time it is easy to understand their motive, but sadly, it is not so very different when seen through the eyes of that adult they have become. In every essence, that child is still where it has always been still desperately seeking a way out. The difficulty in understanding and recognising such a misplaced defence, is that they are trying to find acceptance and understanding in adulthood. Whilst still being directed by that emotive and deeply pained child. Make no mistake, that child at the onset of this stage of therapy will always be the one holding centre stage. We will never really have any hope of reaching that desperate to recover adult, until we are invited to do so by that child, that said, it must always be on their terms.

An Untruth? Well, it would seem that statement very much depends on the direction in which your life had been taken……