Head Trauma; Disability from Violence

Many times in a person’s life they may come across another person who is violent to the extreme. Sadly they end up with ongoing physical, maybe neurological, difficulties with their health from that moment in time. Reading this might cause some triggering, ‘bad emotional response; anger, anxiety, sadness, pain). However I do feel that what I’m discussing here is more critical for you to know than to ignore because of possible negative response. Please do take the time to read, share, respond. This is our ongoing multitude of issues revolving around our history of tolerating personal violence inside our homes, which simply ‘trains’ our children to tolerate this in their life, affecting their children, who then accept their own level of suffering in their life, which then affects their children and so on, etc……..

Our topic of Head Trauma from Violence can be viewed as the same information provided for the football players in repeated concussions. The biggest difference, the football player has a helmet and body pads. Inside a home of violence however, you never know when things might go extreme and if you are a child, to have a person twice your size and maybe 3x your weight; the end result can most definitely be death or lingering physical or neurological issues from the trauma.

We, our ‘decent’ human society, often feels as if this subject matter is being discussed to either get pity for things they have already survived or climbed above, or it is considered to be ‘Too Intense’ for common conversation. How about the fact that most of us know someone who is being violently or sexually attacked on a regular basis, or at least once in their lifetime anyway. The length of time a person endures these traumatic experiences depends on a few specifics;

    • How old are they? – Do they have the ability of age to speak up, get help, drive a car; get away, or work to support themselves?
    • What is their level of tolerance learned? – How long have they been living in this pattern of accepting violence?
    • What is their perception of self? Do they feel they deserve this type of treatment? Do they believe they can survive to pay their own way through life without someone who hurts them verbally/physically/sexually?
    • Do they have a close friend to talk to or who will get them help when needed; hopefully medical help and a police report?

This constant level of extreme violence, which quite often involves threats with weapons, use of weapons, threats of death or sudden violent attacks without cause of anger. This happens more often when people on are heavy types of illicit drugs such as Meth or even heavy drinking. I personally know a lot of people who are affected by drinking Whiskey or Tequila. Drinking, rather it is wine or whiskey is a very common act which happens in almost every household. This is something our kids learn as social behavior and many of them in our inner city or urban areas see drastic levels of drug or alcohol use on a regular basis. This is not to leave out our rural or rich society, because it most definitely is a staple of coping life in their homes as well.

Since I’ve worked much of my life as a bartender, (an excellent backup skill to always have an income); also I grew up in an alcoholic and drug enticing environment; I’ve seen people under the influence on different levels of drinking or illicit drugs. In this type of human acceptance of drinking and the BAR environment; I’ve seen first hand how alcohol has the greatest negative response for many people. They are trying to cope with the struggles of their life, maybe past trauma, but instead of finding a peaceful place they find an angry place. This will cause many family arguments, many of those simply because someone was in eyesight so they end up getting attacked. Violence is an instant reaction caused by someone who has reached their angry place inside. The choice to act against another person can be triggered by conversation, being in a difficult environment, around people they feel are a threat to their identity, or from the chemical reaction of the alcohol itself. 

The violence usually begins on a verbal foundation, suddenly a rage in the person’s reactions; slamming a fist on the table or couch, stomping their foot, throwing an item, or suddenly grabbing the person who is closest to them. The violence can quickly become intensely dangerous, which results in kicking, punching, strangulation, or by slamming the person’s head against a solid surface. This is when it becomes most life threatening and could cause a lasting trauma within the brain itself from possible bruising on the brain, just like what happens in the concussion injury of our major NFL Players or the controversial high school football when they begin to get more physically developed to cause an injury.

Myself, I lost count of how many times I was actually knocked out or had my head bashed against a solid surface in a violent attack. I’ve been slammed repeatedly against dashboards, windows, mirrors, stoves, refrigerators, doors, walls, even a huge tree slab that was meant to be a table top about eight inches thick. There was NEVER any type of medical follow up to confirm a concussion, especially during my childhood. No way could my parents risk taking me to the doctor and having my leather strap lashes and bashed up head examined; the state would have taken their family slave immediately. This is why most people in a violent home rarely receive the necessary medical treatment. I’ve had cracked or broken ribs, couldn’t move or breathe well for weeks. I’ve had both collar bones broken at the end from having my shoulder area smashed against a wall or stomped on while being kicked in the head.

Today, in my mid 50’s, there are a lot of chronic pain issues from injuries. There is also the Fibromyalgia from living in a constantly high stress environment. Our medical community have confirmed that Fibromyalgia ‘can be directly connected to the Fight or Flight Response’. Our human system is designed to enhance our adrenaline and heightened response to threat. However, if you cannot change your situation and cannot avoid being harmed, your body’s reaction to stress becomes confused. Your nerve endings go into an intense reaction from the heightened response, yet you are physically not able to do anything to get away; this causes a ‘trained’ intense neurological response to any sense of ‘threat’ and becomes a cramping, burning and intense pain in the upper body, pressure builds up in your forearms and calves, then shoots down into your fingers and feet as if they are on fire. I’ve found that Lyrica is the best medication for this type of pain, but Coping Skills must be used to calm your intense reaction so that your body & adrenaline response also calm, which then loosens the muscle contraction and burning sensation. Fibromyalgia is commonly found in those with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. It is also found more in women, but I believe that men have not yet been fully examined in this research as they are just beginning to seek out help when in a violent relationship. Fibromyalgia is also found in those who have been in a threatening situation for a long period of time.

These are just a few lasting injuries from violent trauma, which are directly linked to possible ongoing disabling and chronic results which impact our nation’s healthcare system. Since many of us are harmed as children, we tend to accept a certain level of violent (verbal, physical, sexual) depending on what you lived through during your formidable years. It’s important to consider the types of influence on our growing deficit as well. The cost of those who cannot work for their independent survival income, either because of physical or emotional injury from violence and abusive actions; these millions of persons become a national responsibility, which we all know is already crippled, bankrupt, and out of control.

However, if we are trained to spot the WARNING SIGNS OF TRAUMA & VIOLENCE, as given from many reputable organizations who are experts on these traumas. I have also developed a presentation which connects all factors of violence, sexual trauma, and the result of what can become human trafficking or exploitation. A View from the Inside’ is available for viewing but is copyright research which has taken about three years to put together in the total connection of what can become the most dangerous place in the world; the connection of ‘Family Violence & Human Trafficking’. This is a crucial topic in our society and should be a priority topic for all of our elected officials and our service providers, regardless if you are a neighbor, family member, educator, law enforcement, or healthcare professional. You NEED to know what are those unspoken signs of trauma?

According to this attached article & graphic from American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, there is a very strong correlation between Adverse Childhood Experience, especially in those who score between a 4 to 8 on the counted scale of what you endured. The higher your score on the ACE Study creates a 95% greater risk of early disability, which can become a complete dependency on Social Security Income & Medicare/Medicaid for ongoing health related challenges.

In closing, think of Shaken Baby Syndrome, if we consider how detrimental to natural development is interrupted by shaking a baby, causing their brain to bounce off the skull, then what is also the cognitive and lasting affect after concussion or bashing a teen or adult head repeatedly for an extended period of time? This is something I am researching now as I focus on the growing impact of violence in our society, especially in family violence with rarely any type of medical attention received. Most of the injuries go unreported as a whole, and the victims are taught to ‘simply walk it off’ type of conditioning to tolerance. We cannot end the travesty in our society of street violence or school violence, until we tackle the growing pandemic of ‘Family Related Violence & Trauma’.

Thanks for reading and I do hope you will help share this crucial information. When we can provide needed medical help, we reduce the possibility of permanent injury and in the end also reduce the high risk of injury and early disabling conditions.

Something to think about…..

Patricia “Trish’’ McKnight

CSA Survivor Force Regional Spokesperson

Family Violence & Child Sexual Trauma Specialist

Cert Human Trafficking Trainer 2013

IL Cert DV Support Advocate 2012

Panel Member DV Offender Education Reform Program

Assisting victims & families since Nov 2010

 

 

Ref:

1) National Institute of Health, Pain Treatment Research, Article 2011; 2012 Manuel Martinez-Lavin

2) Copyright © 2014 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMID:24486921 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] PMCID:PMC4306581

3) Types of Abuses & Warning Signs: Patricia A McKnight, Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery (Child Abuse Warning Signs & Relationship Violence Red Flags) Pub 2012 ©

4) ‘A View from the Inside – Family Crimes & Human Trafficking’ © Patricia A McKnight 2015

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

3 thoughts on “Head Trauma; Disability from Violence

  1. Very informative.. I cab relate to this , being a survivor of DV which included extreme trauma to my head in 2001. 15 years later i am still having severe repercussions from this trauma

    M

    1. So sorry M, it is a lot more important than people believe. I have been having small cognitive issues most of my life, but as I get older I have more difficult days and challenges. I do wish you well. Please take care.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: