Recovery in the aftermath of hell

 

butterfly dreams logo                MyJustice You can & will recover

You hold the tools to change your life beginning right this very moment!!

IMG_6807     Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Author/Advocate/Key Note Speaker/Radio Host/Survivor

Founder/CEO; Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio

Always believe anything is possible with you in the active equation~~trish mcknight

As a person rebuilding your life after someone has taken your value there are a few things I would suggest doing to help you through.

1) Make a list of long term goals; You can start by creating a list of long term goals, such as I want my education or to build may career in abuse recovery. This will give you and end goal and when you hit this mark you will see yourself as a true thriver, not just a survivor.

2)Make a list of your daily goals; This can be anything from cleaning out closets, going to the grocery store, or checking into a school to begin those classes to keep you as an employable person, which then makes it possible for you to earn a paycheck, pay for housing, food, clothing, vehicle or other transportation. If you have had to relocate to escape your abuser, moved away from your parents or your abusive partner, you may want to have your goal list include such things as; applying for work, finding an apartment, apply for assistance through the state to help with shelter and therapy services. These daily goal lists are important to keep you going. You will see yourself checking off your accomplished tasks, doing silly little things by yourself and getting them done teaches us that we CAN do and CAN succeed at taking care of ourself, supporting ourself, and you will begin your life over again.

3)Start a Positivity List; this list is important for you to realize the good in you as an individual. You want to take a good look at yourself, not necessarily physical traits, but more about your inner person; such as, I’m nice to other people, I have good manners, I have good hygiene, I can accomplish my daily goal lists. These little positives will help you when you rebuild your self esteem from that inadequate sensation your abuser drilled into your head. Many times our abusers have to strip away our value and make sure we are dependent upon them, so we tend to lose sight of what is good in us. Make your list and add one new item to it each day!!! If you are around family and friends who support your healing, it is good to ask them to write down one thing they see good in you. This helps you to see that others have value in you as a person, so you don’t feel as if you are all alone in believing your personal worth.

4) Learn About Your Wounds; It’s important to understand how the abuse has effected you in other ways and learn to recognize the wounds you carry inside. There are many levels of emotional damage that come from the abuse. Every abuser is different, while they may have many of the same traits, their abuse is carried out in their own dark ways. This means that not every survivor is effected in the same way. We are all different souls with different tolerance levels. While one survivor may be able to walk out the door of their abuser and never look back; others may hang onto the abuser because of the deep need for parental approval or because you truly loved that particular partner; when it was good it was good, but when it was bad it was evil type of thing.

Having gone through multiple abusers and relationships myself, there have been different reactions to the leaving and rebuilding, recovery aspect. Each abuser left different wounds from their emotional degradation, control, battery, rape and attempted murders. Therefore, I find it important to understand what wounds you carry from the abuse.

1)​Do you have issues with anxiety over small things that wouldn’t matter or seem important to a ‘normal’ person?
2)​Do you wake with nightmares or have flashbacks which make you feel your life is still in danger?
3)​Do you have those really down days and not sure why?

​​These are all signs that your wounds are emotional and mental health scars such as; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Generalized Anxiety because you were always living in high alert of the next action against you. It’s important to know the scars you have and understand how to live with these scars of your abuse​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

Recovery and rebuilding from abuse is like trying to put the pieces to your personal puzzle back together again. We may have known who we were before the abuser got to us, but then we have to learn who we are now. I have had many different issues from the abusers in my life. I’ve had to study on these conditions to learn how they impact my life now. Once I began to understand the why and the how of these conditions it has made it more possible each day for me to live in my present day life, rather than thinking constantly about what happened in those thirty-two years of hell.
As you gradually begin understanding how the abuse has effected you, then you too will learn how to see the new you.

There is a lot of personal strength gained from being an abuse survivor. We have to live as ‘normal’ in society while carrying these physical and emotional wounds from the trauma. We still have to support ourselves and society expects us to act as if nothing happened. They often don’t want to hear our sad story of pain. They don’t want to understand how we have these scars that still effect us. In most cases of family abuse (child sexual abuse or incest) the family will ignore it all together. No one will acknowledge the abuse or that it has any lasting affect on you. No one will stand up to protect you, instead they protect the abuser.

Find and Treasure the piece of you that was taken so long ago; FIND YOUR VOICE!! Hold it tight, admire its power. You can use its power to heal you.

Positive Thoughts About You
You deserve a safe place to sleep 

You deserve respect 

You deserve kindness and support

  You deserve as much love as you freely give to others 

You deserve roses in your garden of life

©Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Nov 2012                                   Purple Rose_13

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamstalkradio

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

#MARSocial Author of the Year Competition – Give it a share and help get our survivor stories recognized for the numerous voices of silent children still living in this hell today!!! Thank you tons Smile 

http://marsocial.com/docs/marsocials-author-of-the-year-competition-my-justice-triciagirl62-another-excerpt-foxnews-cnn-msnbc-bbc/

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Why would you just stand there and watch me die?

This blog takes me deep into thought and I wonder about even publishing, but to heal I must see the reality of my world.

You all allowed this to happen!! What the hell did I ever to to you? Then you have the audacity to turn away and abandon not only me, but my children. My family actually damns them because of what our parents created in me. The town of Freeburg, Illinois watched for NINE LONG YEARS as I rotted in the hell of my world. Not a single one of those 1500 citizens ever questioned or urged someone to get involved.

‘Why would you just stand there and watch me die?’

‘My Justice’ is a cold hard look into what you all watched or took part in throughout those many years. Sure there are those who were only children, as I was; still many of those young men enjoyed the whore this man created and shared or encouraged others to play with; still everyone ignored her existence every day.

It is not possible for me to complete my healing until I have processed all the emotions I was forced to bury. The tears I was forced to swallow, the madness I’ve carried and the pain I felt. There was not a single day that I didn’t pray someone would help me. There was not a single night that I didn’t ask God for His mercy to take my out of my nightmare.

‘How am I supposed to deal with all of this now? Should I look back and say they didn’t know what to do? How can I blame them for what my parents did?

What would you do if it was you?’

Is it possible that you would see the reflection I see and feel no pain or sadness? My skin is covered with the scars of the rotting infected sores. You remember, the ones you saw on me and made sure your children didn’t associate with me because of what they might catch or what they might be lured into doing? You blamed me and judged me, shunned me and saw a young girl as the village whore. The one your sons were never to date. The one who might infect your child with some skin eating disease. You remember me now? How would you feel if it were you? Would you have allowed this to happen to any other child? How do you see your moral standards now? Is there any remorse for your ignorance?

‘Why would you just stand there and watch me die?’

‘Do you understand what happened and just how serious, almost deadly, these grievous attacks became? Believe me, Mona and/or Malcolm committed or silenced me in servitude and protecting my personal terrorist?’

To the school officials and teachers who I had contact with every day; those from Carl L. Barton Middle School during the years of 1974 ‘til 1977 and those of Freeburg Community High School. Although I started school and moved to your town when still a very young child, entering third grade with Ms. Boyer; it wasn’t until I was around 11 that things really started getting deadly in my home.

Was I really that transparent that you didn’t notice me at all? Seems a bit funny to me since the P. E. teachers and kids would not only avoid any and all physical contact with me, but you made sure to shame me in front of the others. You stared at my filthy unwashed uniform filled with the stench of my unwashed body. You glared at the scabs and flesh eating sores that covered my arms and legs. The girls who I changed clothes with in the gym locker room for six years stared and whispered about the rumors and bruises that often cover my young body. These are my memories of you and I cannot erase my reality.

To the law enforcement; you knew of his alcoholic rage and perverted behaviors. You knew, around 13 years old (1975 – 1980), that our home was constantly the party house. Almost once a month these parties consisted of one grown man, one young girl, and at least 5 young boys. You heard all the rumors about the pot that was smoked or the girl offered out like candy. You definitely knew from the kids wandering around inside and outside, each holding cups or cans of beer; the loud music and traffic that concerned the neighbors, but you did nothing.

In my eyes, none of you were not brave enough to do your job and check on the children of this home. When you stopped me out on the street, to either talk or question me, you saw the rotting teeth and in our roasting hot summer days you saw my arms filled with filth and huge sores. You did nothing!!

You knew either by rumor or being told by the bar owners, that he was so dangerous when drinking my mother warned all of the tavern owners to ban him from whiskey completely. However, since they too were afraid of what he might do, they watched his fury grow, then sent him home; knowing there were young children. Remember the little girl who came in to get her mother a pack of cigarettes almost daily? Remember the man that charged his beverages and never paid you back? Remember what you thought of the man?

 How could you just stand there and watch me die?’

For the adult men and family friends who came through my life; you supported my mother and felt pity because of her husband. You looked at her and said, ‘Poor thing, she’s got to put up with so much hell from that man.’ Do you know he would have crawled naked over fire for her, not once did he ever threaten or harm her, she had the power to stop him and chose to pretend there was nothing wrong with it at all.

The adult men who knew me, watched as he first began exploiting at just 11yrs old at JB’s Tavern. You all got a great thrill out of feeding me Vodka & Orange Juice, or Seven & Seven. You enjoyed watching me ‘shake my a**) as he ordered me to play the jukebox, entice you all to buy him drinks. What about those who came to our home on those late Friday night’s smoking joints & groping a child as you passed her from lap to lap as you watched ‘Debbie Does Dallas’; have any of you ever thought about that child? Did you even pay attention to the filth, the broken teeth, the sores on her body? Your kids all shamed me about it in school almost daily. Eventually it became just the way I was and this is when the mothers prevented their kids from hanging out at our house, friending me, or permitting their sons to date me. Did any of you ever wonder for a moment about that young girl? 

How could you just stand there and watch me die?’’

I write this and feel the anger boiling in my soul. I know the mix of emotions racing about trying to figure out who to forgive and who to blame. What would you do if it was you? Was I not human? Was I not a child? Do you see the many torturing wrongs you allowed by your refusal to intervene? Do you see that when you chose to ignore the screaming, crying child you watched get beaten in the street or passed out like candy, how you abandoned her and deepened the belief she was his object instead of a little girl?

‘How could you stand there and watch me die?’

‘Why did you shun and abandon me?’

‘What am I supposed to do with these memories now?’

Comment about ‘My Justice’ from my therapist; ‘The entire town of Freeburg should be required to read your book so they can see what they allowed to happen to this beautiful little girl’.

My therapist tells me how wonderful I am, how the horrific childhood didn’t destroy the good loving soul within. She tells me to see the beautiful person she sees, but how do I do that? The pieces of me are torn apart and thrown around in the wind as if merely dust. My heart lies on the side of the road as if a pile of shit left by some creature! How do I grab these pieces of me and mold them back together to see the wonderful, happy child God created?

I feel her strength in me. The child who held on through every night of his disgusting, horrifying, brutal crimes has finally come to the realization that she is a human being and more importantly that she matters. That little girl has found her voice in the midst of all those swirling particles of madness and she speaks to anyone who will listen.

 ‘Please look into the world of the children around you. Look deeply, through the many silent screams; is there darkness or evil around them?’

There are millions of children who are still being harmed today; in this country, right at this very moment! Do not judge them, shame them, abandon them, blame them;. Rescue them, help them, support them, encourage them, inspire them!

 Or, Will you just stand there and watch them die?

Perhaps one day my voice will be heard. Perhaps one day it will matter. More importantly perhaps one day this story will empower you to save the life of a child today!!

~~~~~ Never to be silent again~~~~~

I AM HUMAN! I AM WORTHY! I AM ALIVE!!

©Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’              mj-2_thumb.jpg

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

Survivor/Founder: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamsabuserecovery

Facebook.com/triciagirl62    

Cycles of Abuse–Stop Whispering by triciagirl62

Thank heaven Miss Carrie Underwood says it clearly; ‘Blown Away’ Official video

Official video ‘Blown Away’ by Carrie Underwood

 

 

The Maddening Silence!!

The Maddening Silence!!.

The Maddening Silence!!

When you come from a battered past, whether it be emotional, physical, sexual or even a neglectful pattern of generational abuse/family or relationship violence; we are trained, as anyone would be, to behave in certain manners.

These teachings can reflect in many ways throughout our life.

 
Patterns & Beliefs Of Victims:
    

1) We don’t see any personal value

2) We often see ourselves as objects

3) We don’t have any feeling or acknowledge any pain

4) There is no good example of what love or life is really like

5) You do everything to accommodate others (i.e……having sex – its just sex so give it up when they want it, right? Isn’t that your purpose in life to be an object without feeling or deserving of tenderness, consideration?)

m1    stained1

However, because you are living in these patterns of abusive behaviors, which shut you off in every possible manner; you are unable to see your feelings. As you grow into life and relationships, education, career; you present this to others around you. Unfortunately this often opens the door to another abuser. It seems they can pick you out in a heartbeat and know exactly what to do to lure you into their world. Throughout your journey in the ‘norm’ of life, you simply follow the lead of others.

“Maybe you’ve experienced those relationships where you are so terrified of being attacked that you actually breath in motion so you don’t disrupt your attacker.”

After living in these generationally trained actions for five, ten, (thirty or more years for those more traumatic cases); you tend to walk through life like a cloud is all around you.

“You’re in a heavy cloud of fog and can’t see see to steer the car. You try and try to make the right choices. There are times when you really think it’s all over and it’s going to work out, then you get a little way into positive and suddenly you crash. However, when you look around there’s nothing to grab hold of to help you through, but all you can do is keep moving onward.

Simply put, ‘ The world keeps spinning and you have to keep moving with it. Life comes in responsibility, financial independence, family, children, and you have to take care of all of it, that’s your nature.”

Remember every human action, every human perception, every human response is absorbed; it’s built into us because of the actions to us and around us. Also, every human has a different spirit and each spirit has its own level of tolerance. Each will be traumatized in their own separate way and no one can say how deeply an action did or did not hurt you. No one but you knows the depth of your wounds.

You get to a point where you just want to stand up and scream; I’m a human being! I’m Alive! Listen to me please! He hurt me, help me…” You want to scream so loudly, so fiercely and for so very long that others cannot help but to hear you. For whatever reason though, whether its because you are terrified/traumatized or have simply shut down inside; you just can’t seem to make any noise. Hell, many of us cannot even mouth the words I’ve been raped and beaten.” Then one day, although it may take years or even decades before you can begin to see the pattern of acceptance you’re living inside, it begins to attack in all different directions.

monster appears

If your abuser was your parent and then you become parents, you may even be prone to doing some of those very same acts against other kids or your own kids. These may be physical, or perhaps emotional outbursts they don’t understand or deserve. You’re screaming because of the reflection of yourself and your childhood you now see in them. This sets off a huge trigger and in being humans, having been traumatized in our own separate way; we then respond very differently. There are many abusers who have been victims. There are resources of help for parents who were once victims, one such resource is; Fighters Against Child Abuse.

Remember when you react to children, even a simple, ‘Your stupid’, will stay in their head forever. They will always remember those words, regardless of how hard they try to erase them.

Some of us may turn our head even when our gut tells us something different. Perhaps you are, in a habit or trained manner, and allowing the same Maddening Silence, which once blocked your voice, to continue; unfortunately, this is simply our human genetics.

It is what it is and we’ve been abusing our kids for centuries, probably going back to the creation of mankind.

The silence is all around us, it’s bearing down on us like this huge burden. It’s stained with shame and guilt, and it’s darkened with abandonment and blame.

why

You’re brain, in functioning like that of anyone else, being in its normality; follows what you’ve been taught. You get confused when you see the reality of your world. Then it suddenly hits you that you’ve been living in your entire life in this ‘Maddening Silence’. Your emotions aren’t normal, life is falling apart around you. No matter how hard you try you still can’t scream, you can’t get out; you’re a shattering China Doll.

m2

You walk through life trying to keep the pieces together. When something falls off or gets broken; just get out the glue and keep going. As my friend, Michal Madison so eloquently stated, ‘There isn’t time to slow down and mend the pieces, so just put them in your pocket and go.” One day all the glue disintegrates. Your pieces are all over the place. You can’t pick them up and glue them back together fast enough.

Then as you are on your knees, weeping and begging for it to be over, you suddenly hear something inside of you, it’s like a little scratchy laryngitis voice, but it’s there. You’re completely drawn to what’s going on around you, in a sense you have been letting things happen.

In all practical purposes you’re an adult and the decisions and choices are yours to make. You have to own them, own what the rebound effect of these decisions has been, then get up and make those changes to create something better.

If you’re still a minor then you’ve been going through it long enough and it’s time to break free! You don’t deserve what’s happening to you. Your strength for enduring should be noticed and seen as a great quality. Please give yourself a hug. Forgive what you have done and what you have allowed to go on. Look around where you are right now. See an island in front of you. Take a step and then jump into a new path of life, a new chance at just being you. This happens when you hear that voice and you decide to just start talking.

At first you may say it to yourself, ‘I’m done, and never again will they hurt me. Never will I be raped and beaten again, disrespected and degraded; no I will not do it anymore.’

You have to feel that explosion of madness screaming out,

‘If I don’t change things I’m going to die!!’

no

Now you may not die in a physical sense, but you will die emotionally. Your spirit will slowly disintegrate as you live trapped inside the maddening silence. Unfortunately there are many that break apart and never come back to us. Perhaps you may know someone who’s taken their lives, because they believed they couldn’t change things or they couldn’t escape.

You may know someone who’s died emotionally or the pieces have all fallen apart and they don’t have the strength to put them back together any longer. Tragically they can’t find away to escape the nightmare so they live in a separate world completely. How sad when you know someone like this, so deeply traumatized never to return to the normal happy person as they were born to become.

Rather than allow this to happen to yourself, you are going to learn about your pieces. As you put yourself back together you will see them for the creation they hold; the strength, the wit, the intellect, and the possibilities. As you learn, you are able to see what you do like and what you don’t like. You have a choice to put down and redo the pieces. Shave off a bit here and remold those parts you don’t like. Those pieces that contain the shame, the blame, the stains of your past; these are not who you are, they are the actions from those around you.

 This darkness and stain is not where you are anymore, so those shadows do not have to show any longer.

know where you are

It’s truly magical when you find the piece that is your voice!!! You hold it close, appreciate its value, know its strength, and be proud that you can finally let out the madness, you can stand up and say ‘No, I don’t like this’.

In a sense, you should be extra proud of this ability. You’ve been living as an object all these years, now you are just learning what some have known all their lives. We see them around us and their world seems so wonderful, but it is your perception. You never know what another person holds inside, what they’ve endured or what they battle down each day before they leave the house.

One day you wake up and this pounding Maddening Silence is everywhere. It seems to be louder, although no one else seem to hear it. They wonder what is troubling you,

‘What’s wrong with them? Why does that bother them? It’s only sex, even though it is her father? Why is she all upset and going crazy?’ 

You hear yourself screaming. You know it’s the truth and finally you can speak it. You have found the path to taking care of you. This is the beginning steps and you decide what happens next. It is possible to live safely; trust your own actions, choices; see your true beauty inside.          

spinthepastaway

‘It’s blossoming like a gorgeous butterfly, learning to spread it’s wings and soar into possibilities.’ 

It’s possible to see a future and more importantly you learn to believe in that future. ‘You are human, you are alive!!

You deserve kindness
You deserve respect
You deserve to be safe
Your deserve to be happy

As your life builds and your dreams begin to become your reality, the more confident you become. Those around you will see that strength shine inside you. Your career and relationships, the partners you choose will be safe. We have to learn the true beauties of who we are without all the ugliness because we are not in the ugliness or the maddening silence any longer. We can speak and be heard; hell some may even respect what you say.

If you’re really blessed; you are safe, found your voice, learned what you don’t want, and accepted the things you can’t change.

Life is never fair, some of us get hurt, some of us die; but some of us heal – become strong and have someone who loves us despite what has happened.

They see our wounds, the scars, the dysfunction; but you are glorious and have the world waiting to see you. One baby step forward each day, one learned acceptance of all that you are, the true beauty of your soul, the spirit you were born with comes out to play and suddenly you are truly beginning to live.

See your beauty, be amazed by your strength, absorb your wounds, build and chase your dreams.

true beauty1 

Be all that you were born to become. Your soul is still there. All the magic you hold is waiting to be opened. Shine on!!

©Patricia A. McKnight rainbow butterfly dreams

All artwork courtesy of: Michal Madison Art

Advocate/Watercolor Artist; http://www.michalmadisonart.com

Founder/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamsabuserecovery/2013/02/21/survivors-world-w-trish-michal

Author: ‘My Justice’

Amazon, Barne’s & Noble, Authorhouse, Lulu

Paperback/Ebook/Kindle & Nook

Survivors World Online Support Group – Private by membership resquest only when visiting the website.

Bookcvr1

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

Three Coping Skills Everyone Can Use–becoming your own thriver!!!

We all have something that has happened to darken our world, even those who are just regular folks and have never experienced any form of abuse or violence, still have something that has invaded their life with a cloud of bad memories. It’s really hard to focus on our present life when we have all of these dark thoughts around us; even sharing online with others and staying in the advocacy mission can keep these memories bouncing around and often they will overpower what is good.

It is painful to acknowledge what happened. To accept the pain and anger, the grieving and sadness is important to fully heal and process what has been buried for so long, but at the same time we have to remain conscious of our present day life in order to find the strength to get through this. I really find it is hardest during the beginning process of this because you have to accept the truth and come out of your dissociation and denial mode of living. There is a lot I’ve learned about living in my present life rather than being sucked into the horrible times of my past. There are many times during the days of being home alone with just my thoughts, when I find myself facing these memories. It’s during all these quiet moments of being alone that I have to work hardest at a practice I’ve been doing for about 12 years, DISTRACTING MY BRAIN FROM THE BAD!!!

The truth is WE CANNOT TAKE AWAY WHAT’S HAPPENED and sometimes it is very difficult to accept; even more so when family and loved ones shut us out, blame us, abandon us and turn away from the pain we carry. We feel as if we are in a cyclone of whirling emotions and don’t know how to stay grounded. It is indeed a tragedy of what’s been taken from you, what’s been lost in your world and the good others invaded. However, the hard part is realizing the world keeps spinning and you must find a way to go on with your life.

Finding ways to GO ON with life, doesn’t mean living in denial nor does it mean you are ignoring what’s happened; it means  YOU ARE NOW IN CONTROL OF WHAT HAPPENS!!! Yes, you have choices and you are in control of how this effects your life.

1) You can whine and wallow in the horrible trauma you’ve suffered and stay in the rut of darkness. However if you choose this place you must realize the world will not stop spinning and others will go on with their life; no one will stay in the dark world and you will find yourself sinking deeper each day.

2) You also may think you have the option to take yourself out of the picture because it is too hard to deal with, but let me assure you; THIS IS NOT AN OPTION!!! If you respond to your pain and allow it to control your world, then you may think the only way to beat this is by harming yourself in some way. YOU MUST NOT ACT ON THESE THOUGHTS!!! Suicide or committing an act of harm in any way is NEVER AN OPTION!!! You leave behind pain for those who love you; your children, their future, your spouse or partner; these are the people who want to be part of your life and want to make fresh happy memories with you, which will ease the pain of your past when you allow them to blossom!!!

(National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; when you need immediate contact with a voice!!! Please Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Do not allow the abusers of your past to have control over your future. Build something better for yourself. Chase the life you were meant to have and replace those bad thoughts with positive, happy, loving memories of your children or what you want to have in your life. No matter how difficult it may get, and it is very difficult at the different stages of acceptance and healing, but never allow yourself to be over powered by these dark memories. Never give in to the thoughts of being overwhelmed, reach out to connect with anyone when these thoughts begin to take control. You may not believe there are people who depend on you to make them complete and happy, but every soul in this world has at least one person who needs them and loves them unconditionally.

There is a lot we fear; a lot we are angry about; a lot of things can set off a feeling of panic, this is now just a part of who we are. No one can erase or change what has happened. Believe me I wish there was a way to make it all just disappear, but there isn’t. None of us can turn back the clock and what would you do if you could? You would still be that same person faced with the same fear, so why be stuck in that time?

It’s important for anyone who struggles with depression, PTSD, flashbacks, or bad dreams and memories to seek out what is good in their life now. A few important things to focus on, which may help you fight through:

1) Are you in a safe environment? Remembering that you are now safe and no longer have to fear another attack is vital. Although you may be dealing with painful memories or flashbacks of what happened, you can always direct your focus and control your thoughts to feel the area of safety around you now.

2) Who are those you can turn to when things feel overwhelming? Creating this list, complete with phone numbers, will give you a quick go to list of someone who can brighten your moment during your time of need. When you build this list take extra time to think of your partner/spouse; determine if you can talk to them about your darkest thoughts. You want to talk and help them understand why you bounce back and forth between happy and depressed times. It makes it easier for them to stick it out and support you or help you through.

3) What are the positives in your life now? You want to think about your life and where you are now. Not only are you safe and loved, but what about your ability to keep food, clothing, shelter, for you and your family. Our world is in economic crisis right now, so if you can manage those three vital parts of surviving you are doing much better than some others in our country. Many are without housing, hungry, out on the streets or living in their cars. Many do not have jobs of any form to keep a steady flow of income to ensure the necessities are being maintained. This is a HUGE POSITIVE for you and should be your main focus, especially if you have children. Also list any other positives about your life right now, such as; your professional success or the fact you have risen above any other person’s expectations. This meaning, you may have been beaten down to believe you had no value, but if you are in a career or professional status of maintaining your survival; then you have risen above what others may have tried to take away from you.

I realize this time of year is difficult for many of you, but if you are not focused on what is good around you now, then your bad thoughts will win control and the depression will become heavy. You must work at being a thriver in society, but that’s OK because everyone has to work at being a thriver. You are no different than anyone else in our society. Sure you have had bad things happen, or have family who continues to be offensive or battering to you, but if you really take control of your thoughts and where you are right now, then you become stronger with each passing moment and you will build your foundation for the life you want to achieve.

My wish for all of you at this time is that you see how truly strong you are. I wish for you to look in the mirror and see an amazing person standing there. A person who has climbed out of the darkest hole to see the brightness shining around them. A person who is stronger than anyone ever believed possible. A person who has overcome the challenges against them and have pulled themselves from the ashes of destruction and built a magnificent blossoming rose in its place. May you find a breath of strength to seek your own life and see your value, absorb the positive around you, and build fresh happy memories to replace the darkness of your past.

May you break out of your cocoon and spread those beautiful wings to fly upward to your new beginning!!!

Patricia A. McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Founder/President: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

Join me in Survivors World by visiting the website above and completing the membership form. Both men and women who are victims/survivors are welcomed.

© copyrighted All information shared on blogs by Patricia A. McKnight, under the titles of Survivors Justice or Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery are held under copyright protections. Please respect the efforts to bring you this information and all that’s produced to help you succeed.

Thank you

Here’s to providing a positive influence on our tomorrow!!!

So what is this healing thing? Can we accept who we are now? What about accepting what we have either done to others or how we have impacted the lives of those who love us?

I’m thinking about where I am now, who I am now; mainly because of building the Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery project. I’ve been looking inside myself and trying to find the real me inside the damage for about five years now. It’s been hell!!!

The constant doubting myself and my ability to be me without all the mess attached; trying to get it all back together again and believe that I can help make a difference somehow. This is the struggle of people like us. This is our daily reality, it sucks!!

As I watched one of my most favorite movies this morning, “When a Man Loves a Woman” with Andy Garicia and Meg Ryan, it dawned on me that the process of dealing with an addiction, such as alcoholism as Meg was facing, and seeing how it played in her family life touched a part of me I didn’t recognize.

‘When a man loves a woman’ Meg Ryan, Andy Garcia, directed by: Luis Mandoki–Phenomenal

We’ve all done horrible things and we all have at least one thing we are ashamed of, so does this make us all similar in life? In many ways it does. Each of us has our own mess we are struggling with to keep our heads above water. Each of us is human and we all make mistakes we have to face and forgive ourselves for doing? Each of us is influenced by the ways of our childhood lessons and what we’ve learned in our adult life. To me this makes each of us more like the other than we want to admit sometimes.

At the present, I’m building my dream of providing some form of understanding, support, help for others like myself. The hardest part is believing in my ability to succeed at this and how I can build it into something really amazing. Of course I understand this cannot be done without a huge amount of support from the public. It is another huge step for this survivor and I do pray I won’t fall on my face in the process.

I’m not a perfect person and have never claimed to be one. In fact, most often I am my own worst critic and can be my own abuser. Like the millions of others who have felt this, it is darkest to see what we have done to others throughout our lives and how the choices we’ve made have impacted them. I’ve over celebrated events, such as this past 50th birthday, and then I reason away my stupidity. I’ve inappropriately yelled at my children with an undeserved voice, especially as they were growing up and stressing me out. I’ve taken and popped them upside the head when they did something senseless or talked back. However, slapping them and yelling at them can also be reasoned away as a broken parent who was merely stumbling through life not having a clue how to function in a ‘normal’ world.

‘Does this make the bad we’ve done OK, simply because we can reason it away? Can’t we reason away almost anything?’ 

Thankfully, my kids have all come to me separately and told me I didn’t abuse them so I can give myself a break for this, but that doesn’t mean that the choices I made and decisions to stay didn’t upset their world. My chaotic behavior brushed off on them and its taken longer for them to become functioning and stable in their world.

‘Oh how I hate what my parents created in me!!’

When I published ‘My Justice’ it was my public apology to my children; explaining to them how it all fit together and why it all matters in the big picture of who they are today and how they cope through life. It was admitting all the dark secrets I had been carrying, the guilt and the shame over what happened, but also for how it passed forward into their world.

If they could have seen inside me at 37 years old, making the decision to build a life on our own, walking away from all that had been so normal to me and a man I sincerely loved; perhaps if I had let them see me break down they too might have been able to release what was going on in them; to open up their wounds and allow them to break free from the darkness as well. I fell to my knees in our house when they went on weekend visits with their father. This was after we left their drunken stepfather, got away from the drunken boyfriend, and we were on our own.

Therapy was breaking me into pieces and everything was falling all over the ground. I was like a child trying to pick up all the jacks that had been kicked around for those 32 years. Every time I thought it was alright and I was going to make it; I would start dropping them again, losing one here or there as I went along trying to pretend I could handle all of it. I was a complete wreck. Didn’t realize it was the first time I’d ever FELT about anything that had happened, it was my first mental break down!! Work was a bitch and I under bid myself in pay status so horribly; due to my lack in self confidence and having to prove to myself that I could succeed and break out. This meant we were barely able to make it by, in fact, I had worked my way into a heavy debt trying to make up for all the bad, but I was determined to change their world. If I hadn’t gotten so sick with first the hysterectomy and then the pulmonary embolism, we might just have made it through. However, then I would never have come back to Illinois and would not have met the most wonderful man I have in this present place.

‘There is a purpose for all things; even those we do not understand”

Recovery to me is being able to see all of it for what it is and what it has done to influence the person I am today. I believe that through understanding these wounds and the horrible choices I’ve made, the problems any of us have caused others; we see ourselves in the true light of what is good in us. We don’t have to be perfect. In fact many of us will never be able to get close to that status in society, but isn’t it what we carry inside that matters most?

If we try to keep struggling to meet the standards of others and accomplish only what they expect out of us, how can we ever build our own standards and see the good we’ve accomplished in ourselves?

Recovery is being able to see your good and accept your mistakes, own them, learn from them, understand where your perceptions and mind set was when you made them and then see where it sets with you today. Do you feel the spark of a peace within? Do you have respect for yourself and the fight you’ve put forth to build something better within yourself? This is the beginning!!!

When we understand the how and why, when we admit to our imperfections and how we have been stumbling around in the dark; this is when we begin to see the light ahead. We begin to feel our soul come together as one good human being. We learn to see our reflection as the beauty within rather than the scars we carry. When we reach the point of feeling our present life instead of reacting to our past, this is our baby steps at learning how to live again. We can see the new person coming to life and we have the ability to change what we don’t like in them. We have torn down all the walls protecting that person who was battered. It is now they can begin to spread their wings. We are learning to be a new person and to believe in our possibilities. This is when we have reached the other side of the mountain and have finally been able to grow into who we were intended to be.

If you are at the stages of seeing all that has happened and being sucked into the darkness of your pain and the guilt of harming those around you, this is a dark place for you and I get that completely. You don’t have to stay there however, you can do what’s needed to come into your own person; the good person who huddles inside that block wall. Don’t worry, each of us has our own imperfections and this is who we are. Accepting them for what they are allows you to see past them and you will see the good in you as I have. You will become a new person a person you know is good and would never harm another living soul. A person who shines from within and simply puts her best foot forward each day. Will we slip and drop our jacks, of course we will? Do others have to live life constantly combatting themselves from within? I believe on some level yes they do.

Take a second and close your eyes. Think of who you were just five years ago. Think of all you’ve done that might have negatively impacted the lives of those you love and put them in danger. Now open your eyes and see who you are today, right now!!! What do you see? Would the person you are today make those same choices again or would they try to do it differently and turn it into something more positive? I believe, that most of us would do the later. This is the new person coming to life inside of you. If you like this person build on what you see in their good. Keep making it stronger and challenging yourself to do things a better way. This is how we begin to change the world, one healing survivor at a time. Every painful action matters because each one has influenced the life of another.

Remember, this is the point where every good action matters, because each one will influence the life of another!!!

Here’s to OUR new beginnings and building the person we want to thrive in our world today!!! Here’s to providing a positive influence on our tomorrow!!!