The distorted views, perceptions, value I passed forward……

Coming from my history where sexual activity, alcohol, drugs, and value was only felt through being desired by a man; I’ve done some pretty horrible things in my life.

“If someone wanted to have sex with me, then I was worthy of existence”

My only perceived value was in my sexuality as an object, not as a person. Needless to say, seeing my value only through my being wanted by a man flowed into my adult relationships and my example as a mother. The broken spirit of ugliness, overweight teen with scarred disfigured skin from not bathing; black broken fangs for teeth from never having a toothbrush or given the human kindness and decency for proper hygiene; the teen I was with all my distorted perceptions felt grateful for any man wanting to be with me or choosing me as their wife.

“I was well trained to be submissive; accepting their degradation, control, beatings and almost murderous actions because I was nothing without them.”

Carrie Underwood– ‘Blown Away’

This pattern of life was all I knew, it was who I was as a person. The training of all those childhood nightmares was such a huge part of me and controlled how I viewed my self worth; how I behaved and presented myself to others.

“The value of me was only in what others allowed me to feel.”

To say the least my behaviors and choices we all made with a broken and distorted thought process. These distorted views drove who I chose to have sex with, who I chose as my husband or boyfriends and how I allowed them to control my world.

Sadly it was those ‘bad’ choices and ‘bad’ behaviors that infected my children’s world. It is the greatest regret and guilt I still carry today. They grew up believing that the men in my life were more important and I’m sure my behaviors are what led them to believe this.

“How could they possibly believe they carried more value in my heart, if all of the men controlled my actions as a mother?”

Throughout my marriages and relationships I did everything to perfection to ensure the men were never disappointed. However, ensuring their satisfaction was done for reasons other than their importance to me. I ensured perfection in all details of my home in hopes to keep the man from exploding, which was my biggest and constant concern. I needed them to love me, but even more so I needed them not to harm me or my children. Thankfully I can say none of these men ever charged and attacked my children. However, hiding in the closet filled with terror because your mom is being slammed and beaten is nothing a child should ever know. My kids saw their mother’s crying battered body trying to console them and assure them it was nothing. “He was just drunk, just upset because of something I did or didn’t do, or listen as their stepfather beat me and raged because of something the kids had or hadn’t done, which I didn’t correct to the standards expected. Of course there were the times when he raged and beat me damning the kids, “How horrible they were and how I didn’t make them do this or that.” My kids absorbed this and perceived the beating and rage as their mother being battered because of their ‘BAD’ behavior.

“I accepted and tolerated this and then went to be sure this or that was never done again. What view did this give to the children? How could they possibly see themselves as being my most important concern?”

dvmm2                 dvmm3                  dvmm1

Artwork Created and Provided by the magnificent talent of Michal Madison

Advocate/Watercolor Artist/Talk Radio Host Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Radio   http://www.michalmadisonart.com

There were extremes of these nights of rage that resulted in a family round table meeting with me, my 11 year old son, my 9 year old daughter, and my 6 year old daughter. Sometimes these round table meeting even included their father, whom I would call to come join us and then in my distorted thinking that I was trying to get them safe; I would ask my children who they wanted to live with and ask them to make a decision to leave me and go back to a man that ruled with an iron fist, a slap, a dancing leather strap.

“My poor babies, how could they think their mother wasn’t choosing to send them away for being bad or not worthy or not important enough for me to take us all and run?”

Thankfully, this is exactly what I started working on after a doctor insisted on my getting help at the local psychiatric counseling center when he was treating me for some broken bones and stressed out nerves. During my first round of therapy I began to understand how the demons of my childhood trained me to be so controlled by the men in my life and believe that getting beaten was completely normal. My eyes started to open and my soul started falling apart. A new me was found and the strength started to grow inside. The belief in my personal value was born and I started trying to escap0e the insane relationship. Twenty years of my adult life was spent in this destructive, volatile environment of distorted through processes and choices; even worse my children had to live and grow in this mess, be influenced and forced to accept it as well.

Thankfully I finally found the courage, the belief, the determination to leave and get my children and I into our own SAFE environment. Yes there was still the need to be loved, to find love, to have someone want me for me and there would be more boyfriends to come and go, but we would have our home and I wasn’t tolerating anymore raging, abusive, controlling behaviors. No one would control what my child did or didn’t do, except of course for me.

“It wasn’t perfect but we were a family. We were safe in our own home, although it took a couple years to finally get there. We were close to each other, had dinner together quietly, happily with laughter and tears as we discussed their day each evening. It was our SAFE HAVEN!!”

Unfortunately there was already much damage done by the time this happened. My behavior to go out drinking once a week, dress up sexy and go seek out the ‘value’ I still had issues with in myself, influenced my children’s view of personal value and what was acceptable behavior. My daughter’s were the most impacted by these behaviors and how they grew to see their own value through their sexuality and needing to be wanted and loved, accepted by a man to be a complete and worthy person.

Everything that encompassed how I viewed my own value by needing to have someone want me or want to be with me, all of these distorted thought processes is exactly what has left the deepest impression on my children, especially my baby girls.

This is now the root of all I commit myself to working on each day. It is my drive to end the insanity of generational abuse and/or the acceptance of family/relationship violence. It is an even greater hope that I can give my children a new perception of their mother and, even more so, themselves. To leave this world knowing that I gave it my all to change what I had so deeply wounded in them and distorted in their perception of their own personal value is what keeps my heart pounding each day. Every soul of broken mess that I can touch through the website, the radio shows, my writings; those who carry the same distorted perceptions because of what happened and how we are trained as children to see our value and worth, to be submissive and accept the brutal actions of others – this is the belief and the generational cycle of soul destruction we can no longer allow.

For my children; Brett, Jessica, Miranda…….

I give you this ————

‘The Reason’ by Hoobastank © 2003 Island Def Jam Music Group–Official Video

Change what you can for your children before there is no second chance. I am grateful to have this chance and pray that I change what I have influenced in their lives today!!!

~~Love you always my babies~~

~~See your value in all that you hold within~~

Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Advocate/Speaker/Writer/Talk Radio Prod & Host/Survivor

Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamsabuserecovery

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

© All rights officially copyrighted and protected Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery 2012

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

8 thoughts on “The distorted views, perceptions, value I passed forward……

  1. Oh my this is so powerful. I can feel you speaking to your children and makes me want to go hug my son & daughter too. Thank you for speaking to & for all us survivors of abuse.

  2. As I read your post I had inconsolable tears running through my cheeks because this is the same damaging behavior that damaged my older girls. I was so hurt and felt so worthless that I would give my body to any man. I allowed these men to control me and abuse me over and over without realizing who was getting hurt. The most wanted feeling for survivors is to be loved and this feeling is exactly what can make us fall into so many mistakes. During my journey I also used drugs and alcohol to self-numb the pain from the past. I did many horrible things but the worse is the damage to my girls. Today I have forgiven myself as they have chosen to forgive this imperfect woman but I still struggle sometimes with the thoughts and my inability to stop the harm done to my children. I would like to take this opportunity to ask survivors to seek help before they hurt the people they love. You don’t have to suffer in silence anymore because now we have so many resources available to you.

    1. Cecibel, dear friend I walk with you in sisterhood to building a better path for others. If we can only make a committment to protect just one child and empower just one voice, then we can change what tomorrow brings. We carry this guilt but like you said so elequently above, we lived what we knew and at those times we fell prey to other abusers, deepening the wounds to us and passing it forward into the lives of our children without truly realizing how it would effect them later simply because we didn’t actually understand the impact it had left on us. It just was that way and we moved forward to survive the best we could with what we had. Honored to connect and support all you are doing, thank you dear friend, please take care of yourself 🙂 trish

  3. Trish, what an amazing powerful testimony to your children. Having the childhood that you had, growing up without guidance all you knew was what was ingrained in you. It wasn’t your fault, and I know that you know that, and I hope that your children understand that. I am sure that your children are SO proud of you, of who you have become, and love you beyond a shadow of a doubt. You got through those horrific years, and are an inspiration for those who may be going through what you did. You are an inspiration to all survivors, showing that you can turn your life around. It takes much work, but is so worth it in the end. Like my poem says, “Be yourself, be who you are. See the beauty in life. See the beauty within yourself…” You have done that Trish..Love you..<3

    1. Mary thank you dear, pls never stop believing and seeking the path to freedom from our past. One step, one breath at a time 🙂 trish

  4. This made me cry… it was honest and brave of you to tell this story. I hope your kids understand that you always loved them but it’s hard to show it correctly sometimes when you don’t love yourself. Most of all I hope they love themselves and know they are worthy of respect and true kind love so that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Dear Monika, thank you very much for commenting and leaving such wonderful words. I too hope they understand the love I carry for them, the guilt of how their world was so deeply impacted, most of all that the dysfunction they feel is not their fault; it has been passed on through the trauma of their mother’s pain. You are truly kind 🙂 trish

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