Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)

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Wife#2

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Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« on: January 10, 2017, 07:48:25 AM »
I do think that there are differences in the experiences of abuse as an adult and as a child. I've survived both and the impact is different in my experience.

As a child, nobody asks why you didn't just walk away or tell on them. If the perpetrator is a family member, a child reasonably is frightened to put him/her self at risk by having that family member prosecuted. Children often do try to tell only to be disbelieved. The split between the healthy child, the inner child who becomes 'stuck' in different developmental stages and the persona presented to the outside world takes a different kind of therapeutic work to reintegrate and to heal.

As an adult, we must take more responsibility for our choices and actions. Still, we find ourselves in these situations where we feel powerless, as powerless as a child. But, we rationally know we aren't. It's a different kind of psychic injury on top of the abusive situation itself. Plus, there is a level of self-deception that often comes into play, so that we stay in the situation long past the first abuse. We are more aware of the split because it is often employed intentionally to cope. The therapy in that situation is less about integration and more about learning better coping skills than splitting and self-deception.

I really do look forward to having two different forums to learn from. There are things I don't want to talk about on the childhood boards because they don't really relate there. I use my journal, but that isn't as helpful as the open boards. It is encouraging to me to have a place to discuss this. Perhaps for those of us who were abused in childhood, we can look at the new forum as a place to see the impacts as we become adults and to explore how we can protect ourselves WHILE we heal, to prevent further damage from abuse as adults.

Especially with the number of younger folks (teens to mid-twenties) joining the boards, I'd love to have them explore the adult boards and perhaps see something, anything that could help them save themselves from further pain. Re-injury as an adult stinks (I am thinking harsher words, but, you know...). Anything that can prevent any young person going through what I or any other 'adult-onset' adult survivor has gone through is worthwhile to me.

I don't see this new board as divisive. I see it as a place for adults to discuss adult abuse in an environment safe from judgment is a good thing. I do believe that those with strictly adult onset can also feel safe to join - a place where they will feel welcome.
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Contessa

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Re: Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 02:15:18 AM »
I like what you say. This is by no means meant to pull away from anyone, I personally feel more in place with this new board.

My childhood wasn't the greatest, but I was by no means traumatised by it. Its been difficult trying to reconcile my fears/anger/behaviour with those of seven years ago as a seamlessly happily functioning adult. This dedicated form may be of help with that.

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sanmagic7

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Re: Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 11:50:19 AM »
thanks, wife2.  it truly is a different dynamic, that feeling of being stuck and powerless as an adult as compared to those feelings as a child.  technically, i could have 'walked' at any point in the process, but i felt beholden to stay in there, fight the good fight, attempt to fix everything that was wrong or i was a quitter, a bad person, bad wife, bad mother, bad you-name-it.  i wasn't going to abandon the ones i loved emotionally the way i was abandoned by my folks - i wanted to do everything possible to be perfect at all that i was involved in, including abusive relationships.  those i would look at rationally, keep analyzing what i might be doing wrong, try something else, re-analyze, etc. ad nauseum.  but above all, i was trapped by the notion that it was my job and my duty to stay and make the best of every situation, no matter how horrible it might be, or die trying. 

in the end, my sense of survival won out.  thank you, god. 
learn something from everything.

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PhoenixRising2015

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Re: Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2017, 07:29:05 PM »
thanks, wife2.  it truly is a different dynamic, that feeling of being stuck and powerless as an adult as compared to those feelings as a child.  technically, i could have 'walked' at any point in the process, but i felt beholden to stay in there, fight the good fight, attempt to fix everything that was wrong or i was a quitter, a bad person, bad wife, bad mother, bad you-name-it.  i wasn't going to abandon the ones i loved emotionally the way i was abandoned by my folks - i wanted to do everything possible to be perfect at all that i was involved in, including abusive relationships.  those i would look at rationally, keep analyzing what i might be doing wrong, try something else, re-analyze, etc. ad nauseum.  but above all, i was trapped by the notion that it was my job and my duty to stay and make the best of every situation, no matter how horrible it might be, or die trying. 

in the end, my sense of survival won out.  thank you, god.

Sanmagic - it's like you're in my head lol!  Thank you for sharing that.  I'm sorry you have to go through it. But I'm glad to know I'm not alone.  I've been feeling a little adrift lately after a pretty good spell so it's been nice to hear from others and know that I'm not alone in these feelings. :hug:
Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams
I no longer feared the darkness once I knew the phoenix in me would rise from the ashes -W. Hannan
Until You're broken, you don't know what you're made of. It gives you the ability to build yourself all over again, but Stronger than ever.

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Autumn_Dryad

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Re: Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 03:35:51 AM »
... i felt beholden to stay in there, fight the good fight, attempt to fix everything that was wrong or i was a quitter, a bad person, bad wife, bad mother, bad you-name-it.  i wasn't going to abandon the ones i loved emotionally the way i was abandoned by my folks - i wanted to do everything possible to be perfect at all that i was involved in, including abusive relationships.  those i would look at rationally, keep analyzing what i might be doing wrong, try something else, re-analyze, etc. ad nauseum.  but above all, i was trapped by the notion that it was my job and my duty to stay and make the best of every situation, no matter how horrible it might be, or die trying. 

in the end, my sense of survival won out.  thank you, god.

This is my experience too and the first time I feel like anyone understands just how powerful that need to be "good", "self-improve", and a "strong survivor" is.

Friends, family and even one therapist (I have a better one now) just don't seem to get how it becomes a core part of identity and so normalised. The idea of walking away in the midst of some (minor?) troubles just seems a betrayal to all and self, especially if you've invested so much energy to bringing harmony or healing to something or someone. Just quit? That's weakness! Or worse: abandonment and neglect, which is what we never want to subject another person to because we know how crushing and dehumanising those acts are.

So we keep on muddling through, thinking "it'll get better!" (if there is any justice or karma then it must!) but we become broken, exhausted, self-doubting shadows of ourselves until one day something happens and the accumulation of all those things we've been carrying crushes us into the ground. And worse, we realise we don't have others to care for us as we cared for them, because they never really cared in the first place. Now we look at everything and question it all because it was our core identity that was crushed too.

Or at least that's my experience. What you said about yours resonated.

Autumn.
"Nevertheless, she persisted."

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Wife#2

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Re: Thank you and trigger warning (sorry)
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2017, 05:25:02 AM »
How many of us here heard the words in our head that guilted us into staying?  Those horrific words, 'You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.'

I can't say how often those words rang in my head as I debated. I've finally silenced those words, but the commitment I made is still hard to break free from. It takes a lot of struggle to get past the commitment itself to the realization that we were bilked. We were sold a bill of good about who this partner is and of what they are capable. It was a false contract. We don't OWE these partners for becoming our partners! I'm still working through that. It's really easy for me to type and VERY, VERY hard for me to live. But, I think I'm getting there.

For each of you who have been through an abusive relationship, I am so very, very sorry. I also want to encourage you that - even if you're still IN that abusive relationship - you are going to make it through. Today, you are not as blind in the FOG as you used to be. You can do the work, though it is harder still 'on the inside'. You are worth discovering your strength, your abilities, your core self and your self-worth. It's there. Whether we stay in these relationships, for whatever reason we feel we must, or we have dashed away to freedom, we are all worth becoming authentic to ourselves.

Yes, that does mean you. Grab a tissue box, have a great cry (men, too), feel your value as a living, breathing human being on planet Earth. Feel. Breathe. Be. Today, that is enough, unless you feel up to more. Tomorrow can take care of tomorrow. HUGE HUGS to each of you. You survived. That alone shows what a spectacular human being you are. Now, take a little time to enjoy the act of living.
Breathe. The rest of life can be established once you're sure you can breathe.

Join us on the Healing Porch. There is room for everyone. It's a wonderful place to just be. Alone or together. You are welcome on this porch!