Sunday, October 12, 2014


 I am reading a book at the moment which I think I would recommend to every abuse survivor or victim. It is called the boy who was raised as a dog and other stories. It is written by neurologist and it explains very well how our brains are damaged by the abuse even if our abuse was not physical.

It has certainly helped me understand myself much better and it has also taken away a lot of the self blame I have over my behaviour and especially my self harming behaviour because according to this book I could not do anything else as my brain was programmed to do this is by the abuse to give you an example of very simple one:

When I was about six and after a particularly upsetting abuse scenario I went and I ate a load of cornflakes and sugar. This made me feel numb. I did it again. And again. By doing this I laid down a neural pathway  which means that when ever I feel pain or abused all discomfited I want to eat these "comfort" foods.

There are other more complicated pathways like my dislike and distrust of men which has been with me since early childhood. I remember turning up at school for a new term. I was about seven years old and up until then I had only had female teachers. To my horror my class teacher was a man. I hated school from that day on.

 even today I have to make a concerted effort when it comes to men despite the fact that I'm gay and I am married to another gay man whom I have been together with the 33 years. (While it's unlikely I'll be married to a straight man I think that little piece of information about him being gay was unnecessary :-)) 

 the reason I think this book is such a good book for us to read is that it takes a lot of our pain away slowly it's not a magic recognition.  However reading it it slowly dawned on me that much of what I had punished myself for I had no control over.  I have yet to finish this book but still feel confident enough to recommend it. I found that from me it explains so much about my behaviour and how especially at the age of 55 I was still battling to stop or cure behaviour but I have no chance of being able to do and neither is it my fault. As a child on neural pathways  asked set down according to our experiences from birth onwards and we have absolutely no control over it at all. Absolutely none. This is true of everybody those who were loved and cherished and those that were not we have no control at all over how our brain set itself. I see it rather like a computer and we had no control over how it was programmed and we have very little ability to control that programming today. We do of course have to do what we can. Some of this programming can turn a c us into sociopaths but with help we can still made choices with help that do not cause pain to others. 

 Although  well above average IQ I do not feel comfortable in saying that I have interpreted this book correctly however I do feel very comfortable in recommending it as a read that will be of help to most victims and survivors. 

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