Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reply To Anonymous

Anonymous wrote:

Accepting the fact that abuse in your childhood is not your fault is challenging enough by itself. How does one deal with dreams of the abusers that continue to resurface year after year? If I could find some resolution to this I will have succeeded in my life overcome the abuse.

In my experience such dreams will never go away. In the five years I spent in therapy, I learned that I would not be cured but that i would learn to live with my past and live well. I was also told that the bad periods and bad dreams would become less intense and less frequent. I have found that to be the case.

I still get nightmares/terrors. Not so often and not so brutal. I do find they can be triggered by something I see or hear or by just seeing someone that reminds me or by being teated in a similar fashion. Hence my reactions to events today can be overblown because it triggers the past.

I have days, not so frequent, when I feel vulnerable, afraid and sad. On those days, I have little interaction with others. Not because I wish to hide but because I need to take care of myself and also because being in that space can cause my thinking and reactions to be shaky. Everybody can become the enemy. I have especially learned, mostly, to keep email responses to the minimum!!!

And in response to the person who wrote that accpeting the abuse was not their fault made them feel helpless.

YES!!! Which is why many of us carry the blame. As long as we blame ourselves we can believe that we had power and if only we had been different or done somthing different the abuse would not have happened. Of course, this is a necessary defence mechanism for the child. As children we cannot cope with the knowledge that we are powerless. As adults, such thinking harms us greatly. The realisation of our powerlessness is of such enormity that the grief it produces is almost overpowering.

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Thank all the gods there are that my flashbacks are minimal and I have learned how to turn up the sound on the subliminal tracks that whisper lies in my head. Once I realize that's what is going on, I have a chance to respond appropriately to current stimuli rather than reacting to memories.

My childhood was horrific, but I realize now that those people are old and dying and do not have and will never have the power again to hurt me or mine. And neither does anyone else.

I refuse to let my childhood ruin any more of my adulthood.

Life is very good now. I let myself be loved and also let myself believe it.

I am available to the children in my life and vigilant to the possibilities of abuse in their lives. If I had had one person I knew would listen to me and believe me - all might have been different.

That's my goal - to make sure that every child I know believes that I will champion them no matter what.

That's how I make a difference.