The Battle and the Aftermath……..

**Be advised that this entire blog site may be triggering!! Be advised that this blog site is my personal expression and not intended as any form of professional guidance or opinion. Read this blog with care, understanding and kindness**

Do you suffer with days of anxiety, depression or anger, even pain that cannot be medically explained?

Do you have in and out days of  loneliness, isolation, a sense of violation?

Do you have those times when you bark out or blow up at others and not sure what they did or why you even acted that way towards them?

Has your sense of personal safety been attacked or violated?

Are you a survivor of some type of Child Abuse or Intimate Partner Violence?

In my life there have been a ton of years; actually a lifetime, spent at the mercy of someone else. You wake up praying nothing will happen to set of your abuser’s temper, or that your abuser won’t attack you sexually or physically. You do all that is humanly possible not to set off these actions, but for some reason there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening.

You live as a PRISONER, waiting to see what battles you will have to endure today.

When you’re living in this hell all you can do is get through; for whatever reason you have to wake up the next day; sometimes it’s hard to see that reason. Never doubt that it is there!!

You hang on and endure all the pain of  these battles, hoping it will one day come to an end.

Remember that while living in this expectant fear of attack the continued Hyper Reactive Mode connects straight to our “Fight or Flight” reactions. This is a natural reaction that is bred into our bodies and in our DNA. All animals and humans alike have this same survival instinctive behavior. When we endure this ongoing heightened mode of alertness, our body is instantly tensed for response; ready to react in order to survive.

Know that YOU ARE MEANT TO SURVIVE!! There is a purpose for your existence even though you may not yet see where it leads.

People may come to you and say, “You look exhausted, why don’t you just relax?” If only that were possible!!!

Did you know that even when you are rescued; either by someone else or by making that decision to escape, your body tends to remain in this hyper mode. You find yourself living with all of these continued emotions. Sometimes you can’t quite figure out why. You know that you are safe, no one is hurting you or threatening you now, so why are all these days of distress still keeping you down?

We often try everything we can think of to ease these roller coaster days. You may turn to alcohol, drugs, marijuana, or even self harm to let out the emotions or bury them. Sometimes we try getting through by just simply ignoring them, but it’s still there. Nothing seems to relieve the problem which ends up causing a distress of “Why can’t I handle this?” It seems to have a hold on us and can keep us back from taking part in our lives; exercising, planning, dreaming, succeeding our goals.

If you are not a person living with these ongoing daily struggles, you may see it within your family or in your circle of friends. Let me encourage those who do live with these struggles,”It is alright for you to have these days. It is safe to believe in your own happy future”!!! If you know or love someone who is in this daily battle, please do all you can to support them and encourage them to keep believing that peace will come.!!

None of us who deal with the craziness of destruction want our life or our family to be effected by our dysfunction of emotion. When you think about your past and the crimes against you though, I want you to understand that this is completely normal for what you’ve gone through.

Think about what our veterans of war endure long after the battle is over. They to live in the mixed up days of the aftermath. “Isn’t what you’ve gone through similar to what our heroes of freedom survived?”

You’ve had a time in your life, some of us even years into decades, of living in the constant threat of battle; violations against our personal safety. The longer the duration of this constant threat, the deeper the impact on the person.

It bothers me that when our soldiers have days of mental and physical reaction to their days in war, we usually encourage them to go into therapy and work through what’s happened. We support their need to get extra help. We do all we can to help them work through those days when their emotions rant in anger, fire up with pain, or break down in sadness. Sometimes we want to walk away from them, but we don’t. We, those who love our heroes of war, will take care of them and stand by them. We understand all that has threatened them; we love them for the strength and courage they had to make it through.

Let me ask; “Aren’t our children and partners, who have made it through years of sexual, physical and emotional torture, aren’t they heroes as well?” They too have survived “WAR LIKE” crimes against them!! Shouldn’t these amazing warriors be able to use their voice; scream out for recognition and validation for their emotional suffering?

These outstanding human beings have battled through years of survival under constant threat and they deserve to be heard, seek help, be supported and understood by family, friends, society!!

Survivors of these battles, I am begging you to seek a therapist or support group to help you through!!! Research what you’ve gone through; understand the aftermath your body and mind are reacting to, physically attend therapy rather than join a virtual support group. You need that physical connection with others like yourself. You need to see the faces of the many survivors around you; know that they too suffer with many of the same problems and reactions. Use the resources to help you recognize whats going on and why some days you just can’t shake it off.

I can tell you first hand that facing these are not easy; accepting the scars you carry is sometimes impossible. Looking at how your days of destruction are effecting those you love is very difficult, but for you to gain your happiness back it is necessary for you to go through this process. You have to guide yourself through a creative path to finding the person that lives inside the darkness. Like our war heroes you may have a lifetime of different issues that you’re left to deal with, but you can understand, conquer, and overcome this damage.

Please know that a large number of families have some one living in the aftermath of battle. Support them to seek professional guidance and recovery resources. Comfort and understand their bad rocky days. Listen to their voice as they tell you about their fears. Reach out to wipe away their tears, give them a hug and tell them how happy you are they made it through.

THEY SURVIVED THE BATTLE OF FREEDOM!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

References;

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11048821

http://www.apa.org/research/action/ptsd.aspx

http://www.csus.edu/calst/government_affairs/reports/ffp32.pdf

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37 thoughts on “The Battle and the Aftermath……..

  1. Thank you Tricia, this is so true, and with the help of my therapist I am going to be starting “Cognitive Processing Therapy” because I hate these feelings that you described, up and down all the time, not a good place to be…thanks so much for everything you do..love you so much ♥

  2. You always manage to bring a tear to my eye with your honesty, your truth and your passion for helping others. It’s been 43 years since I was first abused, and 31 years since the childhood abuse ended. After this I endured 2 rapes as an adult male, one at 16 and one at 24. In my life I have experienced most of the “symptoms” you mention above, a life “lost” to the abusive natures of those around me. Only in the past tweleve months have I been able to see clearly, to understand and to start healing. I’ve come a long way in those twelve months, thanks in part to your good self. I have met so many wonderful advocates, “freedom fighters” and survivors through the online community. I despair though at the attitudes of most in the “offline world”. As a male survivor in a very “macho” orientated part of the world it has been nigh impossible to speak out, to get understanding. I have encountered such stupid prejiduces and attitudes over the years.

    Getting PTSD recognised as applicable to non-forces/civilians is not easy. I have fought in wars, won and lost battles away from the “armed forces” yet when I tell someone I suffer from PTSD due to childhood sexual abuse the often look at me as if I have leprosy.

    Unfortunately in the U.K getting support is not easy. There are limited resources on a national scale. Most help comes from the voluntary or charitable sector and waiting lists are frequently very long. I was referred to such a group over a year ago. I am still waiting. I chose to try and treat myself. It has worked in most part but is no substitute for “proper” therapy and support from trained individuals. I still get the symptoms above, at least now I can recognise them for what they are and no longer believe I am simply crazy. I wish we survivors had better “recognition” for the frequently invisible wound we carry. We have been wounded, witnessed horrors and atrocities to ourselves and others, our bodies and minds broken by our oppressors. We have walked away, we survived those dark times. So many don’t make it through, losing the batle either at the time of the abuse or through not being able to cope with it’s memory.

    I applaud all the hard work you do to bring this world in which we live in to the attention of the general public. We need to fight for an international day of rememberance for those who lost their battles against abuse and one for those who found or are finding their freedom. Child abuse in an international problem that is on the increase. It requires immediate attention and action. Why are the governments of the world not getting together to fight this war with us? Why do they leave us on the outside of their policy making and budget arrangements? Who will fight for the survivors of today and the children and potential victims of tomorrow? We will, but those that “run” our lives don’t give a damn!

    I too encourage all that are involved in the aftermath of abuse to seek help, to campaign, to make a loud noise! We will NOT be confined to the shadows again. We will NOT be silenced again. Together we CAN and we WILL make a difference.

    Jan, Wounded but NOT broken Warrior!

    • Jan, You know how much I deeply admire you!!! You are indeed a very courageous warrior in this battle and have survived the intense crimes against you. I am so very proud of all that you have done so far, and anxiously wait to see where it goes from here.

      There are a few world activities going on. If you are not sure please let me know and I’ll connect you with them on facebook.
      Stand strong my warrior friend, we will succeed at making a difference and save some lives together!!
      hugs 🙂

  3. “. . . seek a therapist or support group to help you through . . . physically attend therapy rather than join a virtual support group. You need that physical connection with others like yourself.”

    Sadly, this is often unavailable to male survivors. Out of 50 local therapists/shrinks, only 5 would see a “male abuse survivor”. 1 disqualified himself after learning he was friends with my father; another I disqualified on his “Jesus will save you” ad on his counseling page (I have issues with certain organized religions), 1 passed me on to another after 6 months . . . who passed me onto another after a year . . . who passed me on to another for another few years – totally ineffectual, unqualified – just someone to drug me.

    In my area (Augusta GA) there are no “male survivor” groups, nor am I able to form one. I asked at a United Way campaign where they were requesting donations to fund their Safe Houses if an abused man has access to those resources (a safe place with fellow victims, counselors, bed, resources). They said men are not allowed. Instead they put them up in a motel room on the bad side of town and leave them alone . . . I almost got the impression it was “to think about their crime . . . of complaining about being abused.”

    Now on Medicare my options are even more limited. I have ALWAYS had to “do it myself”, starting at age 21. Now in my 50’s I still find myself battling symptoms every day. Every child abuse survivor has PTSD / CPTS (which is defined as prolonged abuse with no foreseeable escape or end). I had nightmares for 48 years – from my very 1st dream up until about four years ago. I thought they were normal. I got used to them. I simply started looking at them as “interesting” – despite the fact some would ‘mess me up’ for days on end. One even spawned a book: “The Boy” (Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK), or paperback (http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). It was written by some of my “alters” (I’m diagnosed “DID”, or multiple personality, due to the abuse I went through – another poorly understood subject, even among the professional crowd).

    Lately I have seen more males coming ‘out’. I’ve been ‘out’ for fifteen years – coming on the internet many years ago and asking my original question: “Is it normal to want to kill yourself on a daily basis?”. The resounding answer was “NO!”. It was at that point that I sought help.

    The best things I’ve learned I’ve had to do “myself” – or “ourselves”, since I am a “multiple being”. It’s been hard work, but we’ve finally gotten through the “shame” thing – what I call the shame & blame game. That belongs to my abuser. And I have forgiven ‘him’ – and ‘them’ – for in a heart hate only consumes one. So we learned to understand them – and being DID has given me that ‘power’ to do so, though sometimes it makes me sick.

    So ‘we’ are proof that yes: a person can get better. The road ahead is hard. No one can do it for you: no one can “stick” those feelings of acceptance, self-love, and forgiveness in your heart; no one can ‘heal’ you. You’ve got to do it yourself. All the therapists and fellow survivors can do is help you along the way – holding you up when you feel down, and giving you signposts along the way. It is up to YOU to follow them; take the lessons, repeat until you get them down to heart. You will know when you get it. It is hard to do. And I’m wishing the best of luck to all survivors – for all you have gone through.

    • This is so unfortunately true for many male survivors of both child abuse and domestic violence. There are rarely any resources and the resources available for females & children will often turn men away, most because they have never been trained how to help a man deal with the scars he carries. If we can look at all survivors as having the basic after-effects as those of our war verterans perhaps they will be better able to help all of us and inspire us to have the courage to face what our past has done. It is only by accepting, facing, processing the very deep wounds of this abuse that we will climb out of darkness and into light. Many advocates and groups for men are now forming. If you would like a reference please check out, Tom Scales w/ VoicesToday.org or Jan Frayne; whatislove.blogspot.com they are only two of the encouraging healing men that are out there for others to connect and if I can help please share anything you wish with me here or on facebook.
      ty 🙂

      • Being a victim …PERIOD!!!!…., just makes you hurt for anybody who deals with this horrible cycle of abuse….even more so the men that bottle it all inside and who are told not to feel or talk about any feeling…. Let alone such a demeaning crime for a person who has adapted to their environment of ” STRONG ONLY SURVIVE ” …SELF MEDICATE and become MISUNDERSTOOD ….

      • Explain reply and thank you for this. I am proud to have your look deeper inside the daily function of that abused and battered person’s life. This is a world where we must teach our children not only ‘THE STRONG SURVIVE’ but take their innocent souls and educate them early on, give them the power of knowledge this is their greatest protection from trauma. It is how we encourage their resilience. It is how we can help them believe there are other options in life, it does not have to be a destructive path. We can rise above and live in all the true power of our own deserved Freedom from Harm, LIVE A SAFE LIFE!! THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

      • Thank you for replying back I am a victim of witnessing as a child abuse of adult woman grew up with. THIER abuse enabled to Love me and I was Raped at 12 years old my LOW SELF ESTEEM AS A teenager reaching out to anyone to love me foolishly fell into TWO 7YEAR A PIECE PHYSICALLY & EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE REALATIONSHIPS. I AM AT a point where if didnt have a daughter…. refuse to go thru pain I know all so well and try and protect her from others as well as by blood in her veins of addiction to drugs and alcohol ….I hate waking open basically… But losing a dad and boyfriend to suicide ….I would never hurt her the way others hurt me….LOSR

      • Your comment was beautiful, so sorry I hadn’t responded earlier. This is the parental true love & devotion, bless you Meazy, hoping you and your baby girl enjoy a magnificent Merry Christmas, xoxoxo

  4. Hi Tricia,
    I wholeheartedly support your suggestion that survivors reach out to a friend, therapist, support group or other trusted resource to begin the process of healing. Talking in a therapist’s office was a good first step for me and helped me deal with the struggle of talking out loud about my sexual abuse as a child. It also helped me understand, at least intellectually, what I was responsible for and what I was not responsible for.

    The next step for me was to join a support group. While these folks respected my privacy, they were not obligated to confidence as the therapist was. For me this was a new level of trust and breaking my silence. In the support group, I learned so much from other man and women who had the same, but different, experiences. We SHOWED each other how to be open, honest and trusting, and in doing so, supported the healing process for all.

    I had never heard the term “negative programming” until a participant wrote it on the white board. For me, “negative programming” is the key to triggering. I see a person, smell a certain smell, hear a voice or have some other seemingly innocuous event, and I am 10 years old again and struggling as a 10 year old. That realization has helped me “reprogram” myself and be released from the clutches of predators who are long dead.

    In the support group I also found that my experiences and insights could help others. I started to see myself as useful and valuable, not as broken, dirty and evil. This whole process helped me build appropriate personal boundaries. In my childhood everything was OK and I had a very poor concept of the difference between appropriate behavior and outrageous behavior. On realizing this, I created impervious boundaries, nothing got in and nothing got out. In a world of people, I was totally isolated. It is not easy, but I now have personal boundaries that allow me to have true friends, warm and affectionate relationships and openness. No one crosses those boundaries inappropriately, including me.

    Finally was the struggle with forgiveness. How do you forgive 8 men and a woman who violated you in so many diverse and devious ways. I spent decades trying to figure out how to extract vengeance without getting caught. Fortunately, I found no answer. Then one day I read Jeremiah 17: 9-10. It says “The heart is deceitful above all things, who can understand it. I the Lord will search the heart and examine the mind and judge a man according to his deeds, according to what his actions deserve”. My intent here is not to preach, but to make two important points. First, as a survivor, I have done many things that have required a lot of forgiveness and I should be as generous with forgiveness on the giving end, as I expect from others on the receiving end. Secondly, we can never know what happens in a persons life that brings them to the point where they sexually violate a child. Who abused them, who programmed them, what devious factors taught them this behavior. What kind of tortured life do they live on a daily basis. This in no way justifies their actions, but looking back now as an adult, it helps me include their probably struggles in my thinking.

    Freedom from shame, freedom from guilt, the sensation of having true joy in my life are the are the extraordinary benefits of the hard work of breaking ones silence and traveling the life journey of healing. It is not an easy path, but well worth the price I have paid.
    Tom

    • Tom, this is an awesome educating, and inspiring response to this blog. I hope that those who read the blog will also read the many amazing responses that have been give.

      Thank you my friend, enjoy the beauty that you have worked so hard to see within yourself and others. I commend you and your courage.
      ty 🙂

    • Hi – so glad you found it helpful. Please feel free to come back anytime and always leave your feedback 🙂
      ty

    • Hi Wilmer, Please let me know what contest it is that you have mentioned here. I’ll take a look and let you know what I think. thanks for the support, blessings 🙂

    • Hi, thanks for the comments, pls send me the info on the contest and I’ll take a look. Always enjoy sharing. ty 🙂

  5. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this before. So nice to search out somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this web site is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little bit originality. useful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

    • Vincenzo, wow, thanks so much for that. Wonderful to have you approve and enjoy the blog. Many more writings to come so I do hope you will come back and join in. ty for the encouraging words 🙂

  6. I’m impressed, I must say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the problem is something that not sufficient individuals are talking intelligently about. I am very completely happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something regarding this.

    • Darwin, I am thrilled that you found the blog useful and impressive. That is the idea and I do hope to touch on all of the topics of dysfunction and repair that a soul is left to battle through. Hope you will encourage others to join in here as well, ty 🙂

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  10. Thank you for sharing this. I have just begun to share with the people around me that I suffer from PTSD. Some women close to me said that they suffered from childhood sexual abuse in a way that made me feel like I was too slow in recovering. I can’t afford therapy and I would love group therapy. Right now, I am dealing with it through prayer. I understand about that leprosy thing. Soldiers are treated better than civilians as far as understanding.

    • Dear Poets, please connect with me on facebook if possible. I would very much like to invite you to come join us in Survivors World which is an incredible group of women all from various pasts, but with hearts full of hope & life after abuse, filled with positive support no matter where you may be in your journey. Please do accept this and connect. I would love to help however possible. Message me direct at tricia.mcknight@hotmail.com or triciagirl@gmail.com Just let me know what I can do to help you believe that wherever you are, it is your comfort place and although we must challenge ourselves into healing, each and every person has their own personal pace in their journey. I am here!!!

    • thank you for supporting and I do hope this gives others the courage not only to look inside and heal, but also to find their own voice and speak out about the horrific past abuses against them. blessings always, trish

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