Changing the Trained Behavior and Accpetance of Abuse

People have reached out to congratulate me on an awesome blog site. Love that, I really do. They’ve also stated what a great relief to find a blog that shares the truth and depth of being a Child Sexual Abuse Survivor. This again is wonderful!!!

As a survivor who had been drastically trained to accept, live in, and believe that I didn’t deserve any level of human kindness. There is a deeper impact that this training has had on my life. This would be accepting, believing and living in a continued pattern of abuse, which resulted in twenty years of almost deadly Domestic Violence. This is the abuse that has left me disabled today.

When I left my parent’s home at seventeen, I had been swept off my feet by a twenty-four year old man. I couldn’t believe that this guy wanted anything to do with me. Remember that I was carrying the very visible disgust from the child abuse, neglect and rot that covered my body. He was a small man about 5’5″ and maybe 140 lbs, while I was 5′ tall and weighed about 150. He was really very cute and many thought so, both his friends and the few I partied with. I was covered with both scars and still infected patches of sores from the inability to bathe in my home. My teeth were rotted out to the point I would roll up little pieces of bread to try to use as fillings for my front teeth. He “seemed” pretty stable in his world. He’d been working at the same city job since he graduated highschool. I hadn’t graduated and had random waitressing or fast food jobs. Most importantly, he was so kind and gentle towards me. This was new. He didn’t just want to bed me and then ignore me. He drove 45 minutes to surprise me.

We moved in together after just a few months of weekend dates. The kindness seemed to continue. I admired him. I seriously thought, “Finally I’m safe”. After the first day I should have picked up and never looked back. I accepted one huge sign of his control. He deadbolted me in the second floor apartment when he left for work.

He told me, “I only have one set of keys and the neighborhood isn’t safe enough to leave the doors unlocked. I simply responded, “OK”; believing there was a kindness in this act. “Awe, he cares about my being safe.”

Six months later he took his first swing at me and landed a slap across my face so hard that it knocked me backwards. This was because I objected to his locking the doors, AGAIN!!! During the 2 years we lived together his violent control would become almost deadly. He would then tell me he was sorry he lost his temper.

“Why did I have to make him so angry? Why did I insist on him doing this to me? I must like it when he beats me”!!!!

I believed all of it!!! I believed that if I wouldn’t have said this or that, he wouldn’t have slapped or punched me. I believed that he didn’t mean to rage so intensely as he smashed my head off of a tree stump. I believed that he didn’t mean to hurt me as he tied me up with a phone cord and locked me in the bedroom. I believed that he wouldn’t do it again as he held a loaded gun to my head, or when he choked me, kicked me, and almost drowned me. I believed him  as he pushed my face into the mirror and told me how ugly I was and no one else would ever want me.

When I finally decided that I couldn’t stay with him any longer, he exploded, beat me, and then convinced me that it was my fault he found another lady that he wanted to move in with and I needed to leave.

Perhaps you’re thinking’ Thank God she wised up and knew she didn’t deserve this treatment any longer” HA!HA!HA!

There next would be a man who became my husband, father to my children, but held a fierce control over everything in our home. He was emotionally abusive as he told me that I was nothing without him. He was verbally abusive as he referred to me as His Whore while we were supposed to be making love. I accepted and allowed him to control every single decision within our home. I believed his words as they sliced through my soul. Since I had children with him I did all I could to keep my family together; even divorced him and then came back apologizing!!! We remarried, but just after eighteen months both of us were seeing a lawyer for divorce.

When he ran off with my children before the second divorce papers were filed, he convinced me that I wasn’t good for my children. They didn’t need me in their lives. They would be better off without me. He left me in Maryland without a place to live, without anything but a basket of clothes and ran to his parents home in Pennsylvania with all of our belongings and MY THREE YOUNG CHILDREN!!!

The next four months would be spent bouncing off walls trying to figure out if he was really right, that I wasn’t any good for my children. Finally I packed my single basket of clothes in a 10 ft. U-haul and chased after them, moving to PA with only $35.00 and knowing absolutely no one or what I was going to do. It took four years of battles before he would finally give me back my children, but he hadn’t let up on the verbal threats against my life.

“Your alive only because I am a nice person. One day they will find you floating down the Allegheny River and I will get away with it”!!!

Six months after arriving in PA I was again swept away by a handsome man who came into the bar where I had found work. He would become my 2nd husband and eventually my children would come back to live with us.

The first few months were awesome, but of course I was blind to some things, but I couldn’t be so easily walked on. I did start standing up for myself, and believed that so long as he loved me after the beating that we would work it out. I wanted this marriage to last. I truly loved this man. He was most often kind to my kids; he wrestled and played with them. He didn’t ever lay a hand on them and rarely corrected them. He was pretty easy except when he got drunk and that became an every day event. Then I noticed that his beatings didn’t just happen when he was drunk. They started happening over anything. Especially if he didn’t have the money to go get drunk. He beat me and made me give up a new career with a great company. He beat me for giving him a luke warm plate of food. He beat me for the littlest infraction!!!

My children an I lived on eggshells. I didn’t think that my children were really effected by what they saw and heard each night. I thought that since they were never directly harmed that it would be fine and if I could hang in there my family would work out. I needed his help financially and believed I couldn’t keep my kids without him.

The night of his last beating, he almost killed me and the damage has left me disabled now and no longer a productive member of society. When the police escorted me out of our house on Nov. 19,1997 I made a promise to myself, “Never again would I accept any beating or mistreatment from any man!!!”

***Note***- I’m not against men and I don’t believe that all men are abusive; I just wasn’t going to take any more beatings!!!

It took three months for me to finally get on my feet. Thankfully a wonderful friend, Kimmy, became my angel and gave me a safe place to clear my head and get a new job. However my children had to go back to their father’s while I got things settled. I didn’t believe that a shelter would help me and my family. After all, I had accepted all of this cruelty. Why would they help me????

To my surprise I did quite well getting started. The new job, thanks to going back for an education, was a professional position as a buyer and more with a local manufacturing plant. Eventually I even bought us our own safe home and put up a pool for the kids and I to enjoy together. Their father had no problem giving them back to me when I got our first rental. Things weren’t easy financially. I had over stretched myself as I tried to build a wonderful safe, happy place for the kids and I, but we were trying hard together.

There would be three more relationships that came into my life. Each one after the first few months would turn controlling or violent. I didn’t stay with them, but I kept choosing the same types of men. I used to ask myself if God had stamped me with a sign that said, “Beat Me”!!!

I WAS FORTY-TWO BEFORE I MET THE FIRST MAN WHO WOULD NOT BEAT ME, DEGRADE ME, ABUSE ME IN ANY WAY!!!

Now I do live happy and healed, but that is only because I have finally faced all of the demons of my past. I’ve gone through years of intense therapy, beginning back in 1997. The multiples of abusers and the 20 years going from one abusive relationship to another has left extreme physical and emotional damage. Even though I know that I am safe and loved, there are still those instant reactions of worry and fear. I’m happy to say that I know I can trust the wonderful man who understands this remaining damage, but it sure doesn’t make the relationship easy for him either. He is left to love the broken, scarred body of my past; the emotional break downs and doubts of my trained mind and reactions. But HE LOVES ME THROUGH ALL OF IT 🙂

You’ll find a video upload on this blog site that is my plea to anyone who is living this path of trained acceptance and expectance of abuse. Please reach out to just one person, be it a friend or stranger, shelther or church. You deserve better, You deserve love, happiness, and safety. There are places that will help you. You can find a support system that helps you help yourself to a better life.

We have to be the ones to change our lives. Others can lead us to the tools, they can give us the tools, but we have to make the choice to change and devote ourselves to truly succeeding and accepting nothing less. It won’t be perfect or wonderful or easy, but in order to save your life I beg you to please, please believe that you deserve safety, love, respect, and happiness. You can do this!!! There are places to help you through or you can do it yourself by working hard and leaving what you know.

Each new day brings a fresh chance to change what controls you and you deserve all the wonderful beauty of this world.

Connect with me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tricialgirl62

Check out the pages here about the Author, the novel “My Justice”, the Articles & More. I encourage you to leave your comments and know that you can join in with me & many others and walk the path to freedom, as we support and encourage others to do the same.

It’s OK to feel the pain of our past, but we must truly live for our future!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

Advocate/Author/Speaker/BTR Host/Survivor

 

 

Published by @Trecia_Ann

Recently, Facebook locked and removed my decade long creation of work and public profile, which focused my work as an advocate, speaker, mentor, and creator of more than a few programs used throughout Illinois, but also shared nationally and some have reached international platforms. So.... let's start fresh and see where it goes! Please see the writings on this blog dating back into 2011, created after the publication of 'My Justice'. There are two specifically, which have been tagged and shared by many....."Judging Eyes" and "Triggers; what they are and how to handle them" I am a survivor of over thirty years trapped inside the silence and brutality of Family Facilitated Violence, Torture, and Child Sex Trafficking. In Feb. 2011, I chose to publish the secrets and the horrors endured; the many levels of destruction and decay which the community around me witnessed, ignored, condemned and blamed regardless of the injuries and tortures endured. It all became the learned patterns of self-hatred and tolerance which was a huge factor in my adult life. Have you endured childhood harm, or endured terroristic types of abuses? Did you feel unworthy of life, breathing, love or respect? Did you feel as if no one ever really saw you, heard you, or seemed to care about the silent cruelties of your existence? It wasn't until I honestly began a strong focus on healing myself, which took years of researching credible data and published research surrounding the lasting effects of abuse, violence, sexual harm, and human trafficking that I began to understand who I was and why there were many traits and tragedies that influenced my adult choices, relationships, the chaos deep in my soul and the behaviors used to survive. It seemed to control everything inside me and it was filled with pain, and tragedy. The research became my rebuilding journey and my road to advocacy, creating legislative changes, sitting as an active member and providing testimony in the creation of area task force operations, victim/survivor services, trauma informed awareness for law enforcement, educators, social services, healthcare and community providers. I began that research of understanding myself in 2008, wrote the memoir "My Justice' in 2010, began working to change statutes in my home state in 2013, became a Certified DV Advocate and Panel Member of DV Offender Education Program in 2015, which then initiated a decade long career as a trusted, confidential advocate, and a highly skilled and knowledgeable speaker/educator on the topic of Assessment, Family/Survivor Rebuilding, Trauma Informed Care & Response, with the primary focus on family/relationship acts of terroristic abuses and/or human trafficking. Beginning in January 2010 there have been developed programs and connected resources for men, women, children, and families who endured these same types of tragedies. Unfortunately, our human society still has barriers to seek help or speak openly about these types of tragedies, especially if it happened in our homes and families. The laws to protect from such harms were enacted for children in 1963, as an amendment to the Social Security Act. Domestic Violence was not a topic until 1995, when then Senator Joe Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act, which has since been adapted to provide shelters, counseling, protection orders, and rebuilding services for ALL persons regardless of gender or identity. Although slavery was brought to an end by the historical act of President Abraham Lincoln, we unfortunately have millions of human beings still being traded, sold, controlled and trapped in a hellish evil, which often begins by a parent or intimate partner. Legislation didn't arise regarding the term 'Human Trafficking' until the turn of the new millennium. Protection for victims of human trafficking was signed into law as the 'Trafficking In Persons Act of 2000', which with modern day social media it quickly became a new hot-topic point, which then sparked the creation of Trauma Informed Care, Rebuilding & Trauma Therapy, and thus adult survivors began speaking out about the dark terrifying reality of Child Sex Trafficking. Today many use the term, Modern Day Slavery, and we have multi-faceted task force operations and rescue resources working around the globe to end this new form of human slavery. We also have a few hundred thousand or more who are adult survivors of histories involving Parental Child Sex Trafficking. In one recent study from 2018, they found 85% of these victims were trafficked by parents in trade for drugs, family needs, or basic human survival. As I look back on the career that grew from my own personal need to understand the chaos in my head, the constant failed relationships and almost murderous acts committed against me; as I deal with increasing health problems that includes multiples of head and spinal cord traumas; the most important goal for me from day one of this extremely personal experience; the healing and rebuilding of my own children and grandchildren who were all continued generational victims of the trauma influenced behaviors and choices that resulted from the destruction enforced by my mother and stepfather many decades ago. The little girl, 'Trecia Ann', she survived pure evil as an entire community witnessed, shamed, blamed, and dismissed the visible decay and rot, stench and filth covered, battered and intoxicated body of a young girl who was publicly exploited and shared in the bars of that small town, in her home with boys she attended school with and adult men from the local coalmine. It was as if they all got a thrill from watching her respond to the ring of that little brass bell. They laughed, molested, raped, and purchased for a few bucks or a few beers the sexual use of that young girl right in full public view! Her mother held the power to stop it all, but rather enjoyed having a 'slave' to cook, clean, care for the family as well as entertain the sadistic alcoholic man she chose to marry. Today, I'm so honored and proud to have that little girl's spirit with me. It is through the use of my lived experience, along with a decade of research, and at least five certifications in prevention, response, and trauma; I've assisted a few hundred survivors through the multilevel process of rebuilding and reclaiming their voice, their safety, their freedom! I've trained law enforcement, healthcare, childrens service investigators, our school educators, and co-presented in trainings with some outstanding experts in the field. For the many I've assisted or empowered, they continue becoming thriving survivors, advocates, authors, speakers, and most important of all; they are healing their children and grandchildren! It is a truly beautiful experience and I am so amazed to have been a spark, a resource, or a friend in their life reclaiming freedom. The adult children of generations past have broken through the glass ceiling and finally there is a hint of change in the world. "A lifetime filled with daily torture, tragedy, and pain creates someone completely different than we should have been. We feel that person inside, but our lives are altered by the emotional and physical suffering. We cover it up and hide it deep inside through substance abuse, which falsely helps us believe we are doing fine. The extreme physical and emotional injuries leave our mental and physical selves terribly impacted. Thankfully there is more information and resources of help available today for all types of adverse or traumatic experiences. We have specialized therapeutic help and healthcare professionals developing new ways to identify and assist persons harmed or at risk of harm. We have so much more to do, so please help by having casual open conversations with your friends, family, coworkers, leaders, and especially our kids. Teach them early how to avoid both online and in person harms. Encourage adults and kids both to use the BDA Buddy Skills 2.0, which you will find through my list of assessments and prevention strategies. "My Justice' was written through my own beginning of acknowledging and releasing the personal destruction of the girl once known as 'Trecia Ann'. It is not an easy read, but it has opened many eyes about the reality of evil that occurs inside our homes, against those too small to protect themselves or understand what's happening. It was published to release the thick layers of trauma, sex trafficking, and disfiguring neglect. It is the voice of the enslaved child who existed only to answer the ring of 'his' bell, and the enforced burden to keep my own private terrorist alive. 'My Justice' is NOT SUGGESTED FOR ANYONE UNDER 16 years of age. It discusses the permanently wounding life and the cycle of destruction that held me in tolerating ridicule, control, and violence in my adult relationships. This truth was published to inspire others to take an in-depth look at their life and behaviors as a result of their past, in hopes they too will better understand their suffering today, the continued relationships with the parents and family who inflicted those harms, and finally breaking free from that pain so they can reclaim their voice and their true sense of freedom! We always have the opportunity to learn that we are worthy, capable, incredibly strong, compassionate, and filled with endless possibilities. It is a choice. It is a conscious decision to dig into our trauma, take ownership of our own failures, the harm our choices have caused, and the work we need to do to change it and succeed for ourselves and our families. It is such an honor to have 'My Justice' used at the collegiate level for psychology classes, upcoming therapists, and educators. Today my life is very blessed. I'm finally safe, feel truly loved, finally feeling the magic of life! Always choose to see your star and how it shines on others in your journey. My greatest power only began to show when I first made the choice to end the violent relationships and behaviors around my children; to give them something better, something SAFE!! In choosing to share my own story, I've also gone the serious extra step to educate myself through years of research, attending training opportunities, and collaborating with other advocate resources focused in human resilience and healing from abuse, sexual harm, and sex trafficking. Today there are experts digging deep to recreate help and healing. I've chosen to use my past as a way to inspire a greater good and; hopefully, somehow change the cycle of tragedy in our homes so that we empower our kids to live a more positive path. The best education we can give is healing our survivors of traumatic experiences so we understand what they felt then and what they wish they would have had available; those who could have and should have said something. We can change things for our life today, but best of all in healing our wounds, we give communities a supportive working strategy in assisting the people in our lives. One step at a time, one caring soul at a time, we can give them a path to changing our human society as a whole. This is a tell-all, which was written in the midst of my third nervous breakdown as I struggled to put all my distorted pieces back together, and help my children understand how the violence I tolerated against me invaded their well-being. My children have always been my world, but my behaviors, lack of healthy parenting and life skills, and an inability to remain stable have caused another generation of suffering for my grandchildren. This is a very difficult thing to watch and the continued tragedies that seem to keep affecting the choices in my family. Writing this book was only the beginning of trying to release all that has haunted me for so many years. I have finally removed his thick, cruel, coal-stained hand which trapped me in fear for decades. Those hands and his evil, her housemaid and caregiver; created a slave, and that slave submitted to horrific and brutal attacks but always felt it was her burden to bear. I lived with that hand holding me down, continually terrorizing and silencing, stealing my voice to protect their pure evil. Throughout decades the dysfunction caused by the chaos inside my head would affect every relationship, my children, and cast a shadow of darkness on everything good in my life. Living in the true spirit of freedom, I have now become a strong advocate against the life cycle of human destruction. If we want to control our life and achievements today, then we cannot live stuck in the tragedy of hardships and pain. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to see what you can do and what you can achieve, to find out what is important to you. We all become adults. We all have a burden to bear. Stand up and keep moving, keep living, keep dreaming. You have two choices in recreating and rebuilding yourself. Do you stay stuck in the dark shadows of your past? Do you dig deep and find that spirit that kept you alive so that you can become the proud, strong, capable, resilient, kind human being? Which do you choose and how will that choice affect your children and theirs? We can be supportive, and provide resources and suggest help so that families suffering from addiction or past trauma can find a recovery balance to rebuild their family into a more positive life pattern. We will recover, we will rebuild, we will conquer the pains of yesterday to live in the true sense of life, freedom, and safety today. Patricia 'Trish' McKnight Author: 'My Justice' Fndr/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP Mentor/Advocate/Speaker/Survivor

26 thoughts on “Changing the Trained Behavior and Accpetance of Abuse

  1. Tricia, You are such an inspiration to all., I have never experienced DV, just the incest from my father and sexual abuse from my mother’s cousin ., I couldn’t even imagine the torture you have gone through just reading this post, I could visualize everything, and that hurt me to see you hurt like that, I am so sorry for what you had to go through, You have cope so far, and I admire you so much, thank you for this wonderful blog, it will be an inspiration for all victims…Love you …take care…Mary

    1. Mary you have come such a long way from when we first chatted. I am so proud to be your friend and watch you slowly blossom. Thanks for your touching words, so sorry this blog caused you distress. It is the life of millions of women, especially young single moms. It’s alright for them to hurt, others would hurt to if it happened to them. Now we need to empower them to believe they deserve the best of happiness in life, as does everyone. cheering for you girl, love & light 🙂

  2. Only by the grace of God did I not married an abuser. On our first date, he met my dad before hand. They recognized each other as controllers. They hated each other instantly. He later made the comment that he should just take me away from my dad, just because he could. I thank God that he didn’t ask me to run away with him or ask me to marry him. I would have. I don’t know if I would have survived. I know in my heart I would have become a battered woman.

    1. Patricia I am so glad that God stepped in to keep you safe. You endured much as a child, but remember that is where our strength comes from. With you as family in that surviving spirit 🙂

  3. Good day I am so happy I found your blog page, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a fantastic post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

    1. Dear Ike, thanks so much and I’m glad you found the blog. Please feel free to always leave your comments. Hopefully you will return and share with others. It is so important to educate and empower other survivors to speak out and be heard; to give their inner child the voice they were never permitted to use. Now it is no longer taboo to say, “I am a child sexual abuse survivor”. Important to keep this momentum going and break down that barrier of silence.

      Thanks for the compliments and hope to hear from you again,
      Cheers!!

  4. Hello Survivorsjustice,
    I take your point, Bad behavior in dogs can consist of many problems. Does he bark all night long and keep both you and your neighbors up? Are you afraid this biting is going to go on forever? Does he chew everything “except” his toys? If the answer to any of these questions are yes you need to invest some time into a little bit of dog behavior training. A little training will go a long way.
    Cheerio

    1. Mary, While I appreciate the metaphor you have used “dogs” for the trained behaviors and trying to break them of bad habits; I do hope you see first that this site isn’t about dogs or pets of any kind. It is about being a survivor and how we can break free from the cycles to achieve our own goals, our happiness. This being said I believe the termanology of “dogs” is rather offensive to any survivor of these crimes. It is horrific what we have to go through just to try and act “normal” so that we don’t send off signals to others. By your user name, I believe you know exactly what I’m talking about and not sure why you would refer these comments to this type of blog.

      Just sayin!!

      Thanks for the feedback

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    1. thanks so much for checking it out. I look forward to sharing with you. Hope you do pass it forward and suggest it to others.
      cheers 🙂

    1. Wow what awesome words of support, thank you very much. Please do return and always feel free to leave your thoughts :)cheers!!

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