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.