Self Help

Facing abuse and each other


Understanding the effects and assessing the damage caused by child abuse can take many years, sadly, there will be those that are never able to do so. For those that remain within the pain of their child abuse, life will always continue to be a struggle. Albeit the child abuse adult survivor themselves, or a loved one, and at times both. It is important for us to remember that child abuse is not only felt by that child abuse recovering adult. Understanding, or connecting, is painful. At times it may seem easier to avoid. Looking into the face of that painful abuse to achieve that understanding, for many, is something they will never be able to do in unity. But if we were able to dissect each set of their emotions independently, it would be extremely enlightened. Quite simply, we would find two very different set of emotions. Although inexplicably linked. For that child abuse adult in recovery, they may still be struggling to go within. They may not as yet found, or possess the strength in which to do so. For their significant other, well they have only ever seen their loved one’s abuse from the outside looking in. Which is unfortunate, because at times the difference can unwittingly create an unintended impasse.

That child abuse adult may have openly chosen to stay hidden and withdrawn from the world, they just can’t face that experience of movement. I’m talking here about a movement, which will enable them to dig within their shadow self. On the flip side, we also have to understand, that the subject matter is so extremely sensitive for their partner to address. Their loved one’s child abuse is of course within their realm of acquired knowledge, but how can they truly understand? How do they approach that conversation within a margin of complete safety for them both?

It must feel as if they are about to enter into a dark hole somewhere out there in the abyss. Ever present at the forefront of their mind is to comfort, by saying just that. They understand. But in all truth, they are fully aware that they really can’t. That of course, is not a failure to consider on their part it is just the reality of the situation. The subject matter they are facing was never within any mainstream curriculum, just where do you go to experience such knowledge without the experience? That doesn’t mean that they are not trying to understand. They can plainly see the pain that their loved one is consumed with, that has never been the problem. But trying to support without real knowledge is extremely difficult, at times, even the professionals put their hands up in desperation.

If an adult child abuse survivor has chosen not to look towards their own recovery, or to share openly with their loved one. For the most, they have convinced themselves that it is safer not to do so. This can be for a multitude of reasons, and those they feel they can only share, with their broken child within. For some, a choice is made to stay within denial. Well, that of course, comes with its own set of concerns. In time, they will hopefully find that strength in which to address their shattered past. For the person that is sitting on the outside of that abuse, still searching for the knowledge of understanding. There is the pain of not knowing how.

It is a huge challenge, to be able to sit and converse within this painful subject. Because in all truth once entered, it will be without the aid of any safety net. They’ve arrived there without the experience of child abuse themselves, and for most, they will feel, that whatever they say it could never make a difference? If their loved one is completely within a self-enforced positioning of exclusion, how can any movement be made in addressing their pain? Surely, they feel, this is of their loved one’s choosing. Maybe they wish to stay within that place, other than to painfully address their abuse. Could that be right? So what can be achieved if they have chosen that for themselves? Clearly, they don’t want that painful interaction? But don’t they?

Just maybe, they are acutely aware and can recognise, the adverse effect on the person that they love. They may even feel, that the knowledge of their abuse alone, is already too much for their partner to hold. Holding is so very difficult and they are so very aware of that. They have become masters in doing so when they were forced to hold that secret. All the while being told that not holding it alone, would bring immense pain to those that they loved. They can’t do other than to be so very reluctant to pass that measure holding on to the one that they love. Holding hurts.

They have never really shared that secret in its full capacity, they are just so used to holding it alone. As an adult survivor, they may also feel, that they can’t, or that they won’t, put their relationship in such jeopardy. There will always be an underlining feeling even if it is not explainable. A legacy left to them long after the abuse has subsided. Just how much can they divulge within their approach to that loved one? Should it be head-on letting the pain escape? Commit to full expression. For many, they truly feel, that the end result of doing so, may mean that they lose everything. How can they judge what is too much for their partner to digest? Will it change how their loved one sees them? That feeling is simply felt, because of how they see themselves. They have no chance in hell of knowing their full reaction on impact. Just maybe, they can’t find the trust within themselves in which to try. Because once out there is no putting it back in the box.

To lose more within their salvaged world, well, that is something that they are not sure they could survive. It is important to realise here, that we are looking at the situation through their eyes. Not our own. That feeling remains alive and it is so very real and deeply felt. If we were to analyse this a little further, there are questions they ask of themselves often. Can I really dispense of my pain in that place? How could that be fair? Should I ask if it is OK to do so? Will the reply only be obliging? That list is endless. The reaction from their loved one is unknown, even armed with some knowledge. It is the unknown which is feared, that is a place in which they once had to survive. That place they will never forget to return to it. Well, that may seem unthinkable. A tirade of voices within never seem to stop asking the questions, whilst they are never quite able to correlate any reply. We also need to recognise that this stance can also be used as a great tool for avoidance, in the convincing of themselves towards abstaining. Let’s not forget that it can also be the direction that they themselves prefer, in essence, it is their choice, and that is a rarity. For some, that avoidance has been in place for so many years that it has become an art form.

For that significant other, yes, of course, they are aware of their partner’s abusive childhood and their memories. Even so, they may feel that there is no real need for full disclosure. What would it achieve? Somehow, they are afraid to look towards any real answer. Is it not safer for them both if they let it stay where it sits? In all truth, often, they just can’t or don’t want to dig within that painful place. OK, I’m aware that may seem as if they are being somewhat callous, or uninterested. But that will be their intention. Believe me in that. It is fear which guilds them towards that place because getting it wrong is a huge weight to carry, by choosing to abstain. Well, that weight has been removed. They may feel that if the said abuse were to erupt beyond all control, they would then be consumed. Deep within an overriding feeling of helplessness. So do they then choose to carry on like nothing is wrong? Do they stand toe to toe with it? Their thoughts at that moment in time are a disjointed mess, only able to revolve around that particular day. Is it easier to convince themselves that tomorrow will be different, that everything will settle down? But will it?

For a child abuse surviving adult within this relationship, the altering turn of events in order to defuse will be completely confusing? Yes, they don’t want to look within themselves, because it is still painful. But equally, they just can’t understanding why their significant other is choosing to withdraw. Yes, I know, that may make little sense. But whilst embedded within their past abuse and those painful memories. Well, there was never any real sense to be found in which to rationalise. So here it is that we find them both. Facing each other whilst trying to control the situation, but what that so immensely difficult, is that they are also trying to control their own set of emotions. Both or either may feel at that time that talking about the said abuse, well it would only serve to inflame, the already igniting situation. They have reached an impasse. No movement can be felt in either direction, whilst neither may really understand why. It is the elephant in the room as large as life, taking up all the space. It is far too huge emotionally to push it into a corner.

They are within deadlock. Any entry into each other’s emotions remains firmly locked it is just too difficult to share. Whilst in truth, they each hold the key in which to unlock that shared suffering. That elusive locked imagination truly exists. Imagination, we know just where that can take them. Sadly, they just don’t know how to approach the other. They are both locked within the fear of bringing pain to the other. So why? To be emotionally held within a place of unknown fear, whilst gripping tightly on to your own world. Well, that fear is unimaginable. Fear will always override everything else so completely. It is as much as they can do, just to hold on to their own life raft.

So they say that love makes the world go around, so does it really? Sadly not for all. Not when that emotional turbulence is still so deeply bedded within, and the memory of abuse seems to be the only thing within their world. Well, sadly then even love somehow seems to stand alone in the shadow. Within a journey towards recovery, there are real needs which will need to be addressed, alongside that said emotion of love. A place of understanding, a place to understand, a place to feel held. To know how it feels to hold without the pain. Before that point of achievements, then there is not much which will compare to these requirements. Love, of course, is seen and recognised in their here and now. But it still stands alone. Those accomplishments are sorely needed, to reach a complete place of healing. For a broken person, desperately trying to become whole, there is a real deep-seated need to be loved. But just what is this thing they call love? To be standing on the precipice looking towards a sheer drop into oblivion, for that abused child, the understanding of the word love within any natural state. Well, that said love had so very long ago fell off the podium.

Whilst writing this article today, it is within all hope, all of the above will be achieved for every child abuse victim. To feel nurtured and loved in life is so very deserving, for every one of those child abuse survivors. Life has already tormented them for so long within their wakeful hours, within their sleepless nights. Within their childhood and beyond. My hope is that peace love and understanding in every way, will one day reside in a place where there is none. Love in all sense for a child abuse recovering adult. Well, it has not always been something that was looked upon with joy. Their abuser will have almost certainly used that word so many times throughout their abuse. They are left questioning themselves endlessly, is that really love? For them, it would have seemed extremely preferable to be unloved and not abused. We can’t help but see their confusion around this emotion called love.

That confusion, is also easily understood, within the mind of their significant other. Although very different nevertheless there is confusion. It will never be a walk in the park to watch someone that you love within a world of pain. At times, there will be a real need to reassure that love felt towards them. Nor is it easy to get the balance right on the tight rope of what if? What if? That is so very daunting. What if the choice made on approaching their loved one’s abusive past is not the right one? Just how do they enter a dimension that for themselves was never experienced, and feel confident that their input will be well received or even helpful? Wow, that is a tough one. But nothing in life is unachievable if given time. Well, that may be the one thing that they have in abundance.

The sorry story that surrounds child abuse is that no one will ever have all of the answers. As for myself, I can speak from my own understanding. I also have the experience of my own child abuse in which to draw upon. So I’m guessing that maybe I have a few. I can also draw upon the many heart-warming, although painful interactions, of those I connect with whilst conveying their emotions also. Albeit through my own website, my many radio shows, or the huge amount of emails in which I receive daily. My feelings around this are that any interaction is better once shared. We are inexplicably linked through the devastation of our past, so let’s use that force to the full capacity. Together, we have never been in such a powerful position.

They say that love shouldn’t hurt, but sadly it does, when love has been somewhat mired……

Migration

They say there is safety in numbers

In 2011 after many years of considerable thought, I found the determination and strength in which to be able to write and publish my book “There’s a fine line” The journey that I was about to embark on in truth could lead me anywhere but I was just so very tired of standing still.

It was a difficult process for sure but until I found movement in using my own direction I would never really know. What was completely clear was that I had to deal with the residue of my emotions. Emotions within me, that were still holding fast to their power and they had the ability to tie me up in knots inside. If I’m honest they had me within a continual place of circling. Questioning my abuse within that circle and as we are aware a circle has no end. But where did I start to write a book like that? Where did my abuse begin and end? Because it still felt so very much like it had never left. Within me, there were so many emotional wounds I needed to heal that was still so extremely painful. In truth, once I had begun it was seemingly no longer the issue. I was on a roller coaster without the ability in which to stop, I had to expunge that which was inside of me before it destroyed any margin of sanity that I still felt was mine

My story is accessable to everyone in the form of a free e-book. I invite you to take this journey with me. Who knows just maybe it may help you find your own beginning………

The direct link to obtain a free copy is within the navigation tap.

Since that time I have been active within the world of adult abuse support and recovery. To be able to continue I had the task of setting up a website my book alone was no longer enough. In doing so I was extremely hopeful my words would continue to contribute towards another’s recovery. I felt such a powerful emotion to reach out of and beyond my own abuse, towards all of those that were still within their own struggle daily. Today I continue to write and post new articles within my website, hopefully, I am able to give just that little bit more insight into child abuse. After all, my insight was deemed through my own exposure and it will never be forgotten.

For everyone the way in which we move towards recovery will almost certainly be very different, therefore, I am only able to contribute the knowledge from my own experience. Yes in all truth, the damage inflicted on each child may differ because their abuse always had its own direction.

I receive many emails on a daily basis directly through my website from those still looking towards their own recovery, I feel so extremely privileged to be a part of that. The emails I receive daily seem to be unbelievable but they are so very real. To think that another human being would inflict such devastation upon a child is hard to imagine. Sadly, where child abuse is concerned it seems that the imagination of those who abuse is limitless.

Every email I receive will in time receive a reply although done so in date order. With repeated succession within those emails, the subject matter I will address below is always so extremely paramount. Quite simply it is repeatedly asked. Resoundingly expressed, that dark penetrating feeling of not knowing where they belong or who they are.

I have been a guest speaker on many radio shows I have also been asked to return on many occasions. Those radio show hosts that are also forthright with their own input surrounding child abuse. Often exposed to the horror of child abuse themselves. Across the miles within that calibration, we try our best to contribute towards another’s recovery. We stand together with one aim to create awareness around the atrocities of child abuse.

Being a part of the NAASCA family has created a whole new level in which I’m able to communicate and it’s something that is felt deeply. When I connect with another child abuse survivor, who could be anywhere in the world, it’s as if they are sitting next to me. That common bond will always shine through and is exchanged without words. I also have the privilege of being a UK representative for NAASCA to be included within that platform.

The piece below is my attempt at trying to explain just how it feels to be that lost child and an adult survivor. To address that ever burning unanswered question I spoke about above, just where do they belong? I hope that I am successful within that attempt, it’s an experience that so many have shared to include my self among them. Travelling down this road was never going be easy but it is achievable and given time we can all walk that road to its end.

I will be using an analogy today as a tool in which I hope will assist me whilst writing. I hope that everyone will be able to relate to the subject matter, equally I’m so very sure that it will be understood completely. It’s a common emotion shared between all those who have suffered within the complexity of child abuse It’s seen without question, but why? Simply said, we have all suffered to find and address our ability within that emotion of integration. Life it seems has left us with a completely empty space when it comes to this emotion and the feeling of painful separation. It can take many years to learn how to migrate to that place where everybody else just seems to fit. During which we will at times feel that others only hinder us rather than help, and for that, I am unable to offer up any explanation.

OK, if we were to think about a flock of swallows they know exactly where they belong and their direction of travel is obvious. They are within the group and there is the consistency of the whole. If the group move they follow it’s never second guessed. They are a part of that bond. Migration whilst either moving away from or progressing towards matters not, they follow because they belong within it.

They have a shape that feeling of togetherness a place within the world in which they fit. I don’t suggest here that we should all behave like those swallows, of course not, neither am I saying that we should mindlessly or blindly follow. But is that really what they are doing? Maybe they are in fact engaged with the art of following mindfully. It’s a huge difference. The point I’m making here is that they have a direction they are among kindred spirits, they understand each other and they are able to relate.

Migration adheres it is part and parcel of their being, overly more, regardless of where they may be they want to be there. Not to leave with the others when movement occurs would leave them completely exposed, not sticking with the flock? Well, that could have a very adverse effect. This effect is not created by the others on leaving, it’s created because they no longer know how to be, where they belong, or with whom. By sticking together they are able to feel safe, protected, and recognised, most importantly they recognise.

Do they not say that there is safety in numbers? That child was alone…….

Within that accepted group, they feel held supported and understood. They belong. Within this analogy, the image above captures just how strong that bond is felt they are within that flow. So when ready to move it is within that complete structure. There is no need to glance behind they know the others within their group are there with them. Without a glance, they are felt and they remain complete.

So just where is that place to be found for an abused child? Where do they go to find their place in life where they will also fit? Somewhere that they can also feel complete and within that feeling of oneness? The answer to that question is nowhere. That feeling just isn’t there. Who can they feel safe enough with to find that integration? They have never had that experience of just being, they have never experienced a group in which to belong, or been anywhere even near to another’s protection.

In time, as that recovering adult abuse survivor, they will have access to a different knowledge where they will then understand completely. Where their questions have answers. You see they were always within a potential group for inclusion, but even so, once met it will feel just as equally foreign to them. After so many years of being held in forced exclusion, they now have to learn the art of inclusion. But what does that mean? Avoidance through their experience of the unknown is just so strong, and the inclusion that should have been theirs as a child, well, that has to be learnt. Are they even recognised in that so unfamiliar place? They as sure as hell can’t recognise it.

As a very young child, they wouldn’t have had any awareness that now an adult is be armed with, not that the adult knows just what to do with it either. When faced with that knowledge that they weren’t alone, just how can that broken inner child understand this adult world of abuse in recovery? In all honesty, whilst alone, everything they thought was true now isn’t. They were told that they were special and just how much they were loved, how lucky they were to be wanted. The question they now find themselves asking is how could they have been? The only thing that they were told made them special is ripped away within seconds, the vessel of their being feels far emptier than before. When they have experienced nothing other it’s always going to be profoundly felt, emotions that we struggle to understand will not always be under our control.

It was difficult before this knowledge all they were doing was just existing, somehow they feel that this knowledge has the potential of taking away far more than it gives. We would have to be within that troubled mind to have any hope of understanding.

If questions were asked all those years ago at best they were left unanswered, and in truth never really knowing what they were asking. As that adult, they at least now they understand the questions, but all answers will elude them for a time. Sadly at times when that knowledge arrives it’s just far too late to assist that adult, it seems far safer to hold on to that abused child. The other option in the unknown.

If we think about the analogy that of the sparrows we are then able to relate to that child’s situation, as they desperately try to find out for themselves where they also fit. God knows they have experienced such painful exposure, they were alone, and somehow also badly different. They were never safe within any structure. An oddity, within a world, that they just didn’t understand and unable to share with anyone. The empty space they were within must have felt just as vast as the sky above carrying those tiny birds in unity.

By sheer definition, that’s just where their abuser had placed them within a place of secrecy while exposed to all of the elements, to include, any knowledge of who they were, or just how to be. They never had a group enabling them to see that life could be any different. They had never felt held there was only the abuse. There was no access for them to have any hope of understanding differently. There truly wasn’t. As that recovering adult, it will take much adjustment to integrate with life and the biggest adjustment of all will be to trust. Trust is delicate, it will mean sharing those abused pieces of themselves, and in order to gain that trust, we need to allow them the time in which to give it.

When suffering within the repercussions of their abuse as children it would, of course, be less than helpful to have joined any particular group. As that child, they would never have felt able to hold another’s abuse as well as their own, that knowledge would have only served to add to their confusion. Just like a sadly lost abandoned sparrow, they were splintered away from everyone by their abuser’s design and hidden away from any inclusion. There was just no placement in which to be so you can clearly see their dilemma.

Sitting on the outskirts of life is so completely devastating whilst at all times feeling different and not knowing why? What makes this so completely overwhelming is that they feel as if they are not even noticed, whilst they can do nothing other than to notice, that everybody else is not quite like them. Quite simply, they are not a part of anything in which they felt mattered. All they have ever really felt with consistency was their abuse, within that the newly acquired knowledge it’s now seen and it’s felt immensely. They were only ever owned……

An adult child abuse survivor in time they will come to that realisation, that whilst within that dark macabre act they were never alone, but it’s still met with loneliness which fills them. As they try to battle with this new realisation of their ever changing vision, and regrettably, they now understand the price in which they had paid. That price had been their childhood……

That feeling of not belonging never really leaves any of us there will always be some residue, but with time it can be distanced to a place of management.

To arrive within that placement in the here and now even if engaging with support they will experience the feeling of being empty of everything, the person they always thought they were just isn’t. When this occurs they can be continually pulled back within that controlled abusive past as they engage with that feeling of being lost.

At times the experience of being pulled back and within their childhood memories of abuse will happen and it seems somehow inevitable, during that time all we can ever do is to sit and wait. It’s surely not where they want to it’s where they are being taken, So why? It’s where they felt inclusion and yes it is anything but logical, but whilst there, they experience some remanence of belonging. Their need to feel a part of something at that moment in time prevalent and it can’t be ignored.

It’s not so difficult for us to see that even whilst within that solitary imposed confinement at least they were a part of something. Oddly within that place they had never felt lost, they couldn’t lose direction when its something they never had. Although the direction to be followed was that of their abuser’s it was still a direction. How do they shake off that life long feeling of being directed?

They will always feel slightly less lost whilst being within the known, the unknown, well, that’s a different story. The unknown freedom and is feared, but why? Because it now means that they have to find their own direction. Through that acquired knowledge they are now also armed with a staunch resentment of being directed at all. Where do they go? They are back within that never-ending circle, once more within that solitary confinement. Only this time its self imposed.

Confinement is a place in which us humans will never bode well……..

It’s such a dreadful reality, that at times in adulthood regression is experienced towards that child and to where that damaged child had no control, at that moment in time control becomes just too difficult for that damaged adult to hold. They need to exercise control but where is the experience in which to do so? Or is it now that control that is holding them? That, of course, means that there is no control whatsoever. By returning to that child within they are able to avoid that much requested emotion of self control. No direction is required within and there they will stay until direction is no longer asked of them.

knowledge of and understanding abuse is so completely different and the adult they have now become is as equally devastated. Only in time within self realisation will that migration to a better place seem possible. Where they can start to feel that yes they do fit within the jigsaw of life they just need to keep looking. There is now an understanding that transition is possible, and recognition that it was never a weight that could have been carried as that child. On reaching this point in our recovery we then truly understand our inner child and its where we are now ready to take on the responsibility as that adult complete.

With work and support and the coming together it’s at last clearly seen that placement in life is possible, that flock in which to belong had always been there. A flock in which myself and many others will spend a lifetime trying to bring together. Enabling adult abuse survivors to find that place in which they belong is extremely paramount. Somewhere that they are understood but what’s far more crucial for them to reach a place of understanding.

Birds will always experience movement by opening their wings……

But the movement for a child locked within abuse will never experience such freedom……




Post traumatic stress disorder and complex trauma

It’s a much talked about corundum and something that can be incorrectly diagnosed, but experiencing these two mental health symptoms is so very different. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is mostly the result of a specific episode, an individual subjected to the horror of rape or being witness to a horrific act or incident. All of which can take someone to a place of complete breakdown with the outcome that mental health intervention is sorely required. For the most, it can be related to a singular experience by the individual concerned, which of course doesn’t make it any less horrendous. Even if experienced over a prolonged period of time i.e. a soldier returning home brings with him images that he has been subjected to whilst on deployment, although it would have been experienced over a longer period of time, it remains a singular episode and unbroken. This, of course, could easily become a different situation if he were to be deployed again in the future, and eventually relating and migrated to complex trauma.


I mention PTSD here alongside complex trauma for comparison, but that doesn’t make it any less devastating. Unlike complex trauma, this disorder can now be addressed with complete concentration on the content of the said act, directly, and deliberately. It’s recognised within its own particular area and it stands alone within that support. It can now be reached through that support far more successfully. With the knowledge as to when it started and when it reached its conclusion. Concentration can then be applied in the most helpful direction. But this is a scenario that is so completely different from those suffering from complex trauma. Yes, there will be a beginning but the end is so far out of sight, that it’s never really believed by the individual that it will stop because it’s unimaginable.

Complex trauma often reaches back as far as childbirth, it’s the only template available in which to build upon it’s the only experience that’s remembered. Love was never shown protection and care was never given, nurturing is unknown, and any help in which to grow within life’s structure just doesn’t exist. Yes, its life but only by the smallest of margin any positivity is alien they just exist each day reliving the torture. They re-experience all of the of pain, fear, mistrust, and anxiety. There is no sense of being or of mattering, abuse is always the state of mind, and they are treated as inhuman. Never able to find hope within themselves whilst used and abused, and even at times sold to another for pleasure.

They are lost, clearly not seen they are nothing to those that should have been their protectors. They are just a commodity no more and for sure so much less. Predicting how this child will be able to deal with life and function within their future as an adult, well it could be that it has already been mapped out in front of them. Their journey of abuse is the only one in which they have ever known, and it will almost certainly leave them without the art of parenting skills, which may in time be required with their own children. Sadly for some, the effects of abuse will continue directly through them and on to their children and then on to their children’s children. As the abusive pattern continues to spiral out of control affecting so many lives. At times, without it even being a conscious decision but just where could they have learnt the art of parenting? All they have ever had access to enabling them to make reference is their abuse so just how would they know? That’s not even a serious question.

I also want to mention here generational complex trauma, which is extremely prevalent and held within a particular individual or a whole nation. The atrocities suffered in every sense can only amount to being mass murder. The destruction of their ancestors forever altering the landscape whilst fleeing in fear from the place they called home. This will always be held within and the succession of those to come after them will forever feel it’s repercussions. Unwillingly, they have become a catalyst a tool of transference and it is carried through the centuries. Nowhere feels like home no matter where they reside, their country had been sociologically raped, their culture denied, out of necessity they are spread to the four corners of the earth. Their identity compromised and never able to feel a deep connection anywhere, just how can they feel a sense of belonging? There are so many unanswered questions and no repercussions it seems at all for the perpetrators not even an admission of their crimes.

Suffering from complex trauma is a completely different issue than PTSD it has an enhanced set of symptoms and the support required is also very different. We are no longer dealing with a single episode or event but a mammoth range of repeated experiences, without doubt, complex trauma will contain an array of abuse which can be within all avenues. That may and still can be felt within that individual and nation even today. In essence, there will be a complete jumbled mess of consistent abuse, creating immense pain and suffering on a daily basis, without doubt, it leaves them feeling that there really is no future or release.

Abuse is not always felt as being sexual, there is a range of abusive situations that will leave that child forever struggling, indoctrinated by a set of belief that will need to be addressed in adulthood. So let’s list but a few here. Along with sexual abuse, there is psychological abuse, physical abuse, complete neglect, rejection and starvation. Sadly for many, they have suffered within all of the above. Just where do they go to find that someone that has been lost inside? Some will never be able to do so, for others it will take many years of therapy, even then it will never really leave them. Sadly it’s a legacy they will be forever left with.

Travelling through such a complex set of circumstances completely owned controlled and unloved, how can they ever really trust any support or recovery offered when abuse is never-ending? When there are so many overwhelming continual episodes of abuse to deal with, and even more so if this abuse is still in their present. Of course it could now be in the distant past, but even so, it would still have spanned over so many years of their life. Repeated and continued abuse in any manner imaginable. So very often it’s a family member or even members, and then there really is nowhere to escape. For some, they may have been caged in or chained to the wall, left alone until needed sexually that was their reality, never ever to feel needed in any positive aspect of the word. Just how can the past be redressed in the here and now? when tomorrow is feared? When abuse is something as felt like part of you? when each day brings with it abuse, terror, and sexual acts. With the uncertainty of never knowing when or how. When there is nothing you can do but to exist in this horrendous living nightmare of a doomed existence.

The above for me is something that I myself lived through since the age of seven, and it is still ever present today in a turn of fate, that in all honesty, I was half expecting. Even now at the ripe old age of sixty, it seems I am to continue along this road that I’ve somehow come to expect. It has been forever present in my life, it has always been there for as long as I can remember. It is an integral part of who I am because it was placed there so very long ago, but it no longer holds any power over me in that manner we have parted ways. I am now able to stay within my truth and I can now see my worth. I am extremely lucky to have now found the strength to stand my ground and it took time, I guess on learning that even with support, it was still something that ultimately I alone had to deal with and it created a change in me. Whilst within the arms of that given support they were only ever able to go so far and that is by no means their undoing. It’s the system that continues to fail so many child abuse survivors. Even when support is given whilst trying to deal with our abusive past and maybe even in the here and now it can be addressed, but when the here and now is ever changing and the oncoming future is completely unknown. Well, the professions are also lost…

In this type of situation, the fault can never really be placed at the feet of any support you are receiving, they really aren’t able to have input with the unknown. There is only one place where we can put this down and it’s none other than at the feet of our abuser. Unfortunately, at times there is another to include, who has also been left with our abusers legacy whilst living within entanglement and a web of lies. Here we see just how it’s possible to invade the mind of an innocent by the abusers sheer will power alone, simply because their own life has also been controlled they were also subjected to their own scenario of abuse. In all truth, knowing the person that they were subjected to in my own case, I can clearly see that they never really had a chance. The abusive control within their own existence is still ever felt and taken as if said by the gods so just where does this ever end? You can clearly see the pattern.

In truth for me, I now find myself faced with this ongoing mental abuse and the much-wanted control by another, directly delivered through my abuser’s manipulation. Yes, he may be gone but I am to be reminded that in essence he is never really gone. The big difference is that I am now within a completely different place in my life, I have taken control of myself and my actions and they are and will now always be mine. Even with many years of therapy behind me which although enormously helpful, I came to accept that it was me that would have to make that difference which was much required. I arrived at a point where I had to choose and so I consciously made that choice, never again would I be directed by another I had to take back my life.

I had reached a point of recognition it was either fight or flight and it was no longer in my nature to do the latter. We all survive the best way we know how but I was no longer going to stay within that flight. I had arrived at a point of understanding that it was no longer an option for me no matter the cost, I was done running period! I would face that which was in front of me as I embarked on a journey with a completely different mindset. Control of my life had to be mine by either dealing with it directly or controlling the element at a distance. I’m far from saying that it was an easy thing to do, and it requires management daily. But I’m now able to do just that by using a structure that I have created within my own growth and recovery and it’s so very far removed from my abuse.

So let’s talk a little more about complex trauma. It is so very different than PTSD speaking from my own experience. Which in all truth is all I can do. But just maybe, by sharing a little more of myself it may give others a little more understanding. My aim here is not to give you direction, but to hopefully help you to find your own direction because information is never unhelpful it’s instructive in the direction of understanding. I.e. my experience will differ from your own and it still hasn’t reached its end, but the big difference here is that I had reached my end. There would be no more. It was then that I had to stay strong but the details I am unfortunately not able to share with you here because they are unnecessary. I also feel that just by doing so I would somehow be relinquishing my power. But more so I would in a sense be giving my abuser air time power over me and my life, that is something they will never again receive from my direction even if demanded through inheritance.

In trying to explain complex trauma it’s so extremely difficult to find the right words because it’s beyond overwhelming, it’s a state of being stuck in a place of pain where there seems to be no end. So for myself, I created a safe place as a child somewhere that the devil couldn’t follow me. In truth, it was just too unnerving, painful, and gripping to be able to stay there my whole body was in a state of alert. But somehow I had arrived at a place of acceptance without choice, I had to change that feeling even if only within my mind. Within my own being, I could no longer stay in that place of sexual abuse, and any hope of it being removed had long past been extinguished within me. There really was nothing that I could do for so many years because I was just a child, I was only just in essence existing I was living my life like a ghost. At that time abuse became something I had to live with only ever counting the hours until the next time. I couldn’t even imagine a place where it wasn’t there if this was my reality (bodily) I just couldn’t stay there.

My abuse was known, painfully felt, and somehow it had become the norm I lived within it daily, and so I had to adjust my life accordingly. I lived in a potential world without joy I never remembered or experienced any happiness. I was in a world of pain without recognition I wasn’t even noticed. I felt unimportant without a voice it had long been taken from me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Somehow I was in a world of shadow, overly more, that was just where I wanted to be within that shadow. Because then just maybe I really would go unnoticed but that was never my reality. But I could leave my reality and abuse behind in the only way possible for me whilst still being there bodily. Although it was only through circumstance in my adult life, that I would ever come to this realisation and remembrance. I am now able to recognise just how and why I conduct my life in the here and now. This would only become known to me at the hands of my abuser and ultimately it was to become his undoing.

So out of necessity that’s just what I did, I just left me behind I was in an altered state of complete separation from my being. Even though the acts were occurring right in front of me it was no longer happening to me. That was someone else, it was someone that I was able to see at a distance, but I was only watching the said sexual act as if I were a conscious observer. Every physical activity or touch was seen but not felt bodily. My mind had become a filter. Everything was just passing through me, I felt no shame, I felt nothing, how could I because my only crime was being there right? Yes I felt sorry for that other child at the other end of the room but I couldn’t do anything, I was in a bubble of my own creation nothing could penetrate my world in that place I was always safe.

Once this process had started it would continue to be with me for a lifetime, it really was where I learnt the art of separation and I continue to do so when needed. Although I am no longer in a place of sexual abuse, as we know, abuse doesn’t need to be sexual. The mind games continue either spoken or unspoken and threats will always remain a need for concern. It’s how I deal with that concern that now differs from its creation as that very young child I am now an adult and I’d done my homework. As that adult, I am now able to stand at a distance from life’s tests and painful emotions and it is now something that I mostly do with ease. Which has meant that as a seemingly functioning adult I can at times be seen as being aloof or withdrawn? That I am unaffected by any of the traumatic events that may be going on all around me. What’s not seen is the complexity of the happenings within me. I am once more engaged in that stand-off position where filtering has begun as I observe everything objectively, I am within a thought process which needs that withdrawal, I’m in a place of safety within that bubble that I created as a child.

This is where I rearrange everything to a correct place of seating by untangling my emotions, and I leave this world behind me for a time to deal with the problem I am faced with. I open a box deep within me where I place that happening by the use of my own sheer will power. Which oddly I had learnt from that childhood abuse so very long ago and then I detach myself from the issue. I place that once dealt with the problem within that box and that’s where it remains locked within. With a knowing that I am the only one with access to that key. In truth, although ironically said this process has served me well at times in my adulthood for the good. But the art of this skill has also taken so much away from me in other avenues. When thought about I guess my abuse has taught me something in life, that survival without choice can be altered to survival with choices. It was either do that or die and for all of us, the instinct for survival is without a doubt always prevalent.

Complex trauma is a psychological disorder that develops in response to prolonged abusive and repeated experiences, it’s interpersonal, a situation in which the individual has little chance or no hope of escape. It’s a world of delayed response to trauma to include persistent fatigue, sleep disorders, nightmares, and flashbacks. For me, it also became that in which I could use the art of avoidance from my emotions or anxiety at any given moment. Complete withdrawal back into my world of darkness because I feel at that time it’s my only option, it was tried and tested, eventually it never fails me. Going within means confronting memories which will always bring pain on the point of entry, but once I’m there, I know just how to control that emotion from a distance. This is what I know and so I return to it because at the time of doing so it seems far safer than facing that which is unknown. This is a legacy which I have carried for a lifetime and it’s so very ironic, that returning to that place seems far safer than the place I sometimes find myself within in the here and now. When faced with a situation that is not controllable it’s where I return to take back that control, and I stay there until control is ready to leave with me and we return to a life together.

For myself, I have been lucky enough to mostly now avoid that return journey without feeling too much pain from my past abuse, I’m thankful. I am now able to go within at a much shallower entry and I’m still able to do the work required. Without the need to go deeper where I had eventually been able to place my past abuse. But this is a much-practised art that took me many years to accomplish and it requires that I distance myself from everyone and everything. I am then able to put my full attention on the task confronting me and the rearrangement required of that crowded space within begins. It has become for me somewhat like second nature where I don’t really need to confront my abuse anymore, I am entering that place for a completely different reason I’m not there to unearth my past. I am there in a completely altered state of mind. I’m here to find the answers in my present not to face the questions of the past they have long ago all been asked and answered.

I can now step around it with ease, but of course, that does not mean that the outcome I return with will be one of my own liking, it just means that I can now deal with it objectively. Simply because I have removed myself from any emotional reaction. Of course, my self-removal is not always seen as being helpful to others, but not to do so would create a situation of no control whatsoever. Control is something that I could nor would ever lose again because today I will never be placed in a situation of no control. So for me, it is my lifeline and at that time of removal, it is in everyone’s interest that I do so.

Events in life will at times always catch us out and when we are unaware of something’s arrival, we will sometimes fall resulting in us being somewhat battered and bruised. But it is never about how many times we fall it is about how many times we get back up. For sure, I’m not spared these events by any means either they still come along. I have my own share to contend with at times even with this practised art at my disposal. But for the main, I now stand for who I am and not who I had been made to feel. I now know beyond any doubt that my innocence was taken from me and it was not freely given. It’s for us all to remember that we are who we can be and not how we were made to feel. And yes, we do have the right to life after our child abuse even though our childhood may be lost to us. We really do have a future if we take hold of it and live within life’s precious moments in spite of our abuse. But even more so because of it, and with that now hopefully altered mindset it becomes so very clear as to just how precious those moments are.

As abused children in adulthood we are a complex structure but surely that also means that given time we are able to structure complexity…….


Complex trauma

All abused children will hopefully reach a point in their adult life in which their painful child abuse memories can be addressed where they feel able to start that process, a place where they will come to terms with the horrific atrocity that they were subjected to. The only unanswered question left to be addressed can only be as to when? The only one who is truly able to answer that question, in all honesty, is that inner child, that until now has been in hiding away from the world and may not feel strong enough just yet to trust that abused adult’s request. The journey of going within to engage with that childhood takes timing and child abuse survivors around the world that I have engaged with have always related to the statement of bringing their truth to the fore, of course with hindsight and recovery, they felt somewhat like they had underestimated that child’s strength.

Within that realisation and recognition of the mountains that they had crawled over on their journey towards recovery, it was visible just how far they had already come simply by surviving but that knowledge had taken time. At that point of movement, they were able to feel that strength within, just what that child had survived and the world of pain that they were exposed to so long ago. Until they connected with their inner child from the outside nothing could ever have really be revealed, it had to be one of the hardest things that they had ever had to do by taking that first step because it would have been just like walking into the abyss. What was in front of them was unknown and shrouded by a cloud of darkness, but they were somehow able within that moment of support strong enough to have bought the light to that place with acceptance of what they would find there.

In all honesty, it had to be as difficult as their journey whilst within their abusive years even though that abuse may be now firmly in the past, so why would that child want to come out of the shadows and unearth all that pain and trauma? Their objection will carry a lot of weight and there will be a lot of haggling to be done before they allow to be taken by their tentative outstretched hand, their adult self will need to make that inner child feel safe and supported within that journey. So only when able they will reach back towards that pain and feel strong enough to meet that child and their grip would have needed to be firm and held with assurance, they are the only person who can bridge that gap and be able to meet somewhere in the middle because it’s no man’s land.

As their support they will look to you for reassurance for help to really see that this separation they have endured from within is one which no longer needs to be continued, they will be feeling anything other than sure about that very unfamiliar feeling of movement towards that hopeful and in time completed union. We need to remember that togetherness for them and feeling whole is something untried and tested because until now they have survived apart they had to and it has taken enormous strength in which to try, but what they may not be aware of is there is surely not much in this world of ours that they would not be able to contend with on the completion of this unity. When eventually emerging from this extremely dark place together and whole the person that stands there is in truth a complete stranger, they now have to learn within that unity it’s somewhat like a child taking their first step and they will feel more than a little wobbly at the onset.

At the start of their journey where they tentatively start to look for any support available to aid them it will still be a very difficult journey ahead, and it’s a completely new realisation to understand that support had always been there just waiting for this mutual connection. It’s now that they will not only find the camaraderie of other child abuse survivors around the world but also a network of caring professionals. At that time more than ever before they will need to learn how to trust but finding that trust in which to do so also takes practice, it can be far from being found just on opening that first door in truth it’s somewhat like they have to enter a maze in complete darkness, they question themselves as to if I enter will I ever find my way out if a panicked retreat is required?

Truthfully it’s was never going to be an easy road to walk for them and away from those chilling memories but at least they are now on their own two feet and moving and that’s immense progress, yes there will almost certainly be many false starts falls and faltering and that’s where they need to know and to be reassured that no one is counting. It’s movement and at times they will not be able to do anything other but fall but falling should be and can be used as an important part of recovery, just by the happening of the above they are still moving forwards just testing the water. An adult child abuse survivor should always be in charge of the speed of travel within their recovery, to see and feel that they have not relinquished any part of what they were still holding because they can’t afford to lose more, whilst inside their journey we need to state very clearly that we are there to give and not to take anything away because there is no other manner in which this journey will be successful.

Support means just that no longer do they have to shoulder this weight alone maybe now they start to feel truly understood by those waiting in the wings to offer that support, it needs to come in the direction of an outward source but only when requested, never should it be pushed upon them there is no easier way for them to lose that trust if the pressure is overriding. Support can really only ever be used to walk alongside them in their recovery because that’s where it needs to be, however much we may wish that we could do more and maybe even wished for by either party. It’s where in time we can and do watch that growth manifesting, the potential of this growth becomes far greater than their abuse with work and holding on to it is literally life changing. It’s also so important that we understand that boundaries will need to be given from the on start, this is necessary not only for the survivor but also for those supporting, because of the nature of this support we should never allow and always guard against possible codependency, neither are we there to create dependency ultimately what we are looking for is complete independence where they are able at last to stand alone.

When they finally enter a time frame in which they are able to feel movement towards support that transition will be difficult but they will come to see that they are no longer alone and that’s a huge difference. On arrival, their defence is firmly in place and their mind is full of questions bouncing around in their head, just how do you see them and the abusive road which they have travelled? Are you judging them? Do you think that it was their fault whilst they look for confirmation from you that it wasn’t? Are you wondering why they have kept quiet for so long? In all truth, their questions can be endless even if not spoken they are there. They have already lived within self-judgement for it seems like always and it’s for sure that they will feel completely alone unprotected and so very confused, they will always gauge your reaction to every question once asked and answered, because that child within has never found any positivity in this grown-up world and the adult they have become was never able to give that reassurance or understanding. But in truth how could they? Yes, they are now adults but we need to remember that they have also been carrying that child that was never able to heal from the abuse, and the spilt through the middle made the ground feel so unsafe as if it were moving from under them although they had done their best.

When this process begins a gentle reminder needs to be given that there are no right or wrong answers to those ever burning uncomfortable questions, working together we will create that much-welcomed safety net for that surviving adult and that very new union with their child in mutual recovery, there will be confusion whilst emerging as this very altered person it will be new to them and the blend may take some mixing. Of course, this will be an immensely difficult experience no doubt but once tried and tested it will be seen with remarkable realisation, they will see and understand that it’s a completely different situation to heal than their controlled journey of abuse, That they now have a voice and what’s more they were heard and it’s quite incredible to witness this manifestation of a new form emerging, just by the giving of our time support and understanding and the confirmation that all that now stands in their way is time before they stand within their own power.

Let’s just think about that for a moment and just how this has now manifested? They are now in a position where they are in complete control although still dealing with their emotions, they are no longer within that separation and their broken inner child that they have been defending for so very long now walks tall along with them. The strength and power this brings about are so very difficult to explain they are now an adult abuse survivor and it’s overwhelmingly felt within, they are really here despite the time and suffering it has taken to get there, they can now see the end of the road on this journey simply because they were the one controlling the speed of movement. Their journey began and should continue in the right way by guiding and not driven but it’s more than a little new for them to feel, what is this magically more in their life? But it will take time to get used to living without feeling life’s pain. It’s worth mentioning that so many adult abuse survivors after recovery and in their own time reach out themselves to others that still need the guidance that they had been given, they have travelled so far that they want to give back and just how amazing is that?

Everyone’s experience within a support network will be different and it may take time to find that person that they can start to trust, but what’s important here is that they have never stopped looking. They will become just that little bit stronger and more complete as each day passes and in time they will walk through the right door for them and out of the other side. There are so many labels attached to child abuse but complex trauma is by far the one that even comes close to any of them and in truth even that doesn’t cut the mustard, every experience of this journey has its own nature and is integral to the child concerned it should or could never be safe to second guess. A journey of past abuse can only be explained or felt from within that particular child because they will always be the one that has survived those particular events of trauma, it stands alone with all the ramifications that were so very devastating and long-lasting. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel for everyone with the right help and with the right support in which to get there.

The first attempt to visit this journey of support may not be the right journey for that particular person for so many reasons, and I would never be able to list them all here even if I tried to do so I would never get it right. The support that they are looking for may not be clear even to them at that time but they need to make their own choice and at times it may be unexplainable. But if we were to look at this a little closer for them it’s just like moving a muscle that until now has never been flexed, and this freedom of thought and recognition leaves them feeling completely in the unknown. It takes time to really believe that it’s safe because they are just waiting for that other shoe to fall from above whilst covering their head awaiting the impact.

Getting it right needs to be explored and it can result in hours of complete silence but it’s required and surely needed this is the place where they start and are trying to trust, within this silence they are doing no more than trying to judge that another sitting in front of them. It’s a process of elimination that may never move away from that space in time, and where they can’t find or see movement with that particular support and this is completely normal and should be seen and observed by both. It’s not difficult to understand we all gel with others differently or some not at all and for an abused child in adult recovery this is felt tenfold and not trusted, they need to feel completely secure and if that’s not the right place for them there will be another in which they can find that connection.

In time the right place for all can be achieved because along the way they are dipping into that sore place within more often, and it can be a case of simply not arriving at the right place at the first time in asking. It may seem or even perceived as if that time was not profitable within that encounter but that’s so very far away from the truth, encouragement was given even if not spoken and if it’s only minimal that should never be discarded. If we were to look at it another way they have in fact been allowed to choose and that’s a mighty big deal for a child abuse survivor, they have been able to walk away without feeling any restraint and able to approach another open door when they are ready to try again. And it’s just that little bit less feared which means that the support has indeed made a dent or chip in the armour of their struggle to find themselves, nothing is wasted when freely given to a child abuse survivor every little gesture allows them a feeling of hope and helps to soothe their emotions that they now matter has been taken in and it sits in residency within.

Everyone involved in this process even though it may have only been days or many months we will all be a part of that recovery journey no matter how large or small our input may have been. Our support wherever or however has mattered we have been part of that chain of support, simply because we have allowed and encouraged those steps to be taken. For one I always feel so completely humbled in any which way I may have played a part in this struggle against the ongoing fight against child abuse, each one of them had a right to a childhood in which they were loved and protected and regrettably we can’t change their past or rid them of their horrific memories but what we can do is to be there for them now.

When a child abuse survivor reaches out all we can ever really do is our best in reaching back it will always be enough…………

Negative Reaction

A negative reaction will never be escaped by any of us because it’s a human response entangled within every aspect of our lives and we will never be able to second guess it’s arrival, it arrives without warning a deep penetrating emotion that creeps up from behind intent on defending either the situation that we are within or our pure desperation. One thing is for sure it’s completely unlike a pleasant reaction which leaves us feeling it’s warmth or gives us pleasure, it comes loaded with TNT a highly explosive fully charged defence mechanism, arising from our pain holding us in that place as each emotion ignites and dissension becomes the order of the day. Sparks are set to fly in every direction as our feelings seem to consume us completely our stance has changed into one of a complete defence, no longer can this situation be accepted and if that’s the case then we’ll be the one to act first right?

It starts with a rumble not really recognised for the devastation that it’s about to create but it’s something that we still have control over at that time because we are reasonably right? There will be no need for this feeling to hang around for too long as we exercise our control, we really do have hold of it and we remain in that place of peace and accord it was something over nothing. We are aware that it could have been obliterating but it has been sidestepped and avoided as we move on with our day, it was just another blip on the horizon which is now completely out of sight and our emotions at least this time have stayed firmly in check.

But what if it’s not? An angry within that seems uncontrollable begins to build a powerful emotion that as it rises multiples and we are completely overwhelmed by its magnitude, by the time we realise we are about to lose control it’s far too late this reaction has become far too great for the good of anyone concerned. We feel complete justification for the onslaught that’s about to escape and what’s more the longer we try to avoid it only results in it brimming over with more vigour, creating an immense exposition it’s become inevitably so now there really is no way back. At this point, we move from caring to not really caring at all our negative emotions have consumed everything, who is right or wrong in truth matters not at that point and in truth we are no longer listening to anyone to include our own self reasoning.

All we feel at that moment is the onslaught of the attack we feel is upon us or that deep pain that consumes us leaving us feeling lost and alone, whilst any margin of sense surrounding our control leaves us without warning our pain becomes uppermost. Within that place of pain or loss, we can never see the bigger picture because our vision is completely clouded by our emotions, the need to express just how we feel is far bigger than us at that moment in time and we are not too careful as to its deliverance because our pain has full control. What’s to come later doesn’t seem to matter our own pain is our only focus and we at that time have no idea of how to once more gain control, the pain that we may be creating during that time is not really being ignored there is just no room for it to be recognised. This, of course, is a temporary measure because with cause there will always be an effect but recognition of this fact right at that moment in time will be lost to us.

It’s a road that we have all travelled on I’m sure many times and it’s completely unpleasant for all concerned so just why do we continue to walk in that direction? For us being a survivor of child abuse we have our own set of reasons attached among the norm for others, they can be extremely complicated beyond doubt, as we strive to walk a different road than we’ve been on the one towards recovery so it creates uppermost devastation. Our negative reaction which pushes us into action is always felt as needed because we feel a direct assault upon who we are, whilst we are still within the act of trying to understand ourselves so you can clearly see it’s never going to be straightforward. Abuse affects so many areas of our adult life that at times it can be an uphill struggle, there has been so much negativity in our lives it’s so extremely difficult not to feel the need to defend where in truth no defence was required just understanding. Negativity is nothing new to us it’s like an old pair of slippers that although uncomfortable we can’t seem to them throw away, because even though they are that way how do we know that the new ones we purchase will even fit?

As human beings, we are social creatures and it seems that it’s important as to how other’s see us, although like those slippers this doesn’t fit for all, in truth, it’s far more important as to how we see ourselves. This is our struggle and the end result is that any negative action felt even if not meant or accidental it questions how we see ourselves, our overwhelming history needs no explanation, by pure default, there are so many situations that trigger our emotions. It will take time for us to feel that we need no explanation as to who we are and that we are here in our own right of being.

A better understanding of who we are will never rid our lives from these reactions because there is a need for this state of mind at times, but what I am trying to say here, is that knowing the difference will aid us against the feeling of being judged because that’s a humdinger. Judgement is, in all honesty, the hardest emotion to control and overcome with a history of child abuse, and it will always push us into the reaction and the reasoning for this is simple we have spent a lifetime judging ourselves. The fact that we feel judged by others will only add to further create this negative angry reaction more often and at times it can be well out of proportion.

There is no greater judgement than the one we impose upon ourselves because there is nowhere to run with it quite simply there is no walking away in any direction, and it’s almost always the heart of our negative reaction even when it’s not required. There it will sit until we make that movement away from self judgment and accept who we are. External Judgement is a fact of life and it’s not going away any time soon but it’s far less painful than from within and felt with far less negativity, but if we change our mindset within that excepting, then our accelerated pushed reaction will become a place that we visit less often and life for us will become far less agitated.

We are no longer at the start of the new year we have already moved into 2019 but maybe that action of letting go of our self judgment should have been on our new year resolution bucket list. We always have a choice but when pushed coerced or directed by others into a negative reaction that choice will never be our own, we have to find our own direction which truly lays within so make no mistake this has to be our own inner work or it just doesn’t create the impact required.

We matter so make it our choice……..

New year

A new year has just begun where we will say goodbye to the old as we reminisce on the year that has now pasted us by, during this year we have encountered many things and as always they are stored away in our memory. The passing of time happens and there is nothing that we can do to alter it, but the one thing for sure is that this trend will continue until we leave this world. I’m not trying to write an obituary here I am only stating the obvious of which is no surprise to anyone, that’s just the cycle of life that some may even feel and believe will be repeated as there are still life lessons that we need to complete within this realm.

Whatever we believe is for us to know and to be at peace with but in the here and now we have to live within what we were given, we must strive to fulfil our dreams and find happiness which can be found in the most unexpected places. So where does it start this taking back control of who we are? How do we even know who we are? Can we stop living in the past by letting go of negativity? To accept that things happen in life because we are all capable of ridding ourselves of life’s hiccups, although they may seem huge at the time and so they may be because our overriding mind has far too much to hold on to. Until we can achieve a coping mechanism with everyday life we will never arrive at our biggest challenge, we can’t afford these distractions because our focus must be completely on the journey in front of us. Once this journey has been completed those hiccups will seem to be just what they are life.

Child abuse is the biggest obstacle ever possible that we will have to rid from our mind and unfortunately, it will be our biggest struggle, the pasting of another year I guess is not really recognised by us because our suffering seems endless. That statement really hits hard and I’m so completely exasperated by it, simply because it’s a true statement for so many out there that are still within their pain. So our job for the coming year is to once and for all heal ourselves from within we can’t move from that place until we decide it’s time, in truth, it’s most likely way past time so let’s change it because it starts with us and from within and not from without.

We are all so very aware of our own suffering and so we should be it’s relevant painful and distressing, its part of who we are and there is no separation from our child within or a magic spell that can take it from us. We have learnt to model our lives around our abuse because acceptance and recovery are all that we strive for, and for many, it’s an uphill journey that they are never quite sure that they can make. Life’s memories will always be a part of us but if we look deep enough they are not all as dark as they may seem, any memory that holds the stage front and centre will always crowd out any that are comforting or even verging somewhere in that not so often visited grey area. If we are brave enough to look seek and to find them they are there somewhere waiting and we are one more clear step towards our recovery, as for searching for anything even near to being in the light completely then maybe that’s reaching a little to far-but only for now. Although that may sound a little negative that’s not my aim because those memories are yet to be made they are out there in front of us. If we stay in the negativity we then become a prisoner of the past and that’s where we will unfortunately stay.

Being brave enough to make a movement towards peace and recovery is never going to be a walk in the park it’s going to take enormous strength, but you have it in spades that you should never be in doubt of, just take a look at where you are today your movement has already been huge. We should never doubt our ability to heal or kilter on self-doubt because that emotion is owned by the past which is something we can’t alter or rearrange. Once our mindset is in the right direction well that’s movement and movement in the right direction is where we need to go, with clear positivity we can turn our world on its axle creating a huge shift that we alone have the ability to achieve. All of the above may seem a little daunting because it’s our task and there really is no other way that first step has to be taken by us.

What we do have is an enormous support group throughout the world, and it’s to be envied even by those superpowers worldwide that think that they have all the answers. We have direct access to a network that didn’t need a textbook or to have studied child abuse because they have lived it, I’m not sure that we could ever find anyone quite so qualified to stand with us in our corner. We just need to be brave enough to ask and asking is something we are not that good at and receiving it extremely difficult. That may sound like an odd thing to say but if we look at it a little deeper asking means that we have to move and movement is our Achilles heel it’s painful right? Why should we turn over all of those painful abuse memories? The answer to that question is that until we do we will never let go of the past. The existence of a network of survivors is waiting to help you face that painful journey when you’re ready, but being ready is something you have to do alone with that support waiting all around you. OK, I guess that’s not sugar coating anything but what would be the point in that?

It’s going to be a completely scattered mess cast all around in every direction, we won’t know where anything is and our emotions will be mixed and painful. At times we won’t even own that which lays before us because acceptance hurts so why should we enter that place? The answer is that we have to or any support that we are given may feel as if it were pushed upon us when we are not ready to hold it. So the work starts with us at a level we can control until we feel we are on solid ground, when you arrive there you will know that it’s the time to ask for that support in a network that is fortunately unparalleled. When you are ready we are here just waiting in the wings and the knowledge you will have access to at that time will be that of real life, of shared abuse knowledge and you will always be understood and the emotions that we will feel will be shared because they have been experienced.

We will walk with you on this painful journey once asked but we can’t walk it for you it’s your healing that can be supported once your ready, we are here to lighten your load even help to carry some of it with you, but you first need to look for that solid ground on which to build. Make that start on your work within and as it emerges naturally it will emerge differently, that’s the time when asking is the right time so I’ll see you on the other side where your new year begins and what’s more your new life.

I will leave you with this last thought if we don’t hang together we will surely hang alone………….



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……….

Tolerance

This is a re-post from many years ago it went missing it’s back…………….

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. It forms 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 heavy weight 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 pullback 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

http://www.naasca.org/

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