What can we do in our family unit to be sure this doesn’t happen to a child in your life’s circle……

 

biopic3      coverkindle

Ask a survivor of forced familial child trafficking; how can we ever end these atrocities within our family unit?

As a survivor of this vicious act against children, I have shared my voice publicly through training seminars, various speaking venues, including the Speakers Bureau for Southwestern Illinois Rescue & Restore Human Trafficking Coalition; Panel Speaker for St. Clair County Illinois Domestic Violence Reform Program; Prosecuting Attorneys Association Of Michigan’s Annual Victims Advocate Training. You will also find me through many web based radio program interviews, and anywhere I am given the opportunity.

It’s only after these past ten years spent in recovery, rebuilding, and training to assist other victims, that I am finally able to face many of the evil nightmares which have haunted and held me silent with shame & disgust. The fact that my mother and stepfather encouraged, allowed, and actually invited groups of grown men to come into our home for late night parties with their young developing child; the daughter well trained to tolerate such ugly acts; it is still a troubling part of my history. In truth I had to accept the complete disregard I suffered throughout twelve long years of repeated molestations, beatings, rape, physically scarring neglect, and at the age of eleven my stepfather began his most favorite activity; he commonly sold or traded me out for sick pleasure or the price of a couple of beers.

This all sounds extreme and you may not want to believe it all; however, back then it was all a ‘normal’ process for me and something my mother and stepfather did on a regular basis. How was I supposed to know I had any other value as a human being or that I could refuse what was enforced by the parents who had all the control of my very survival? It was a common practice on late Friday night for groups of men, coworkers at Peabody Underground #1 in Freeburg, Illinois; to come to our house for the entertainment of molesting and sharing a young child. When I speak today I use my voice to raise the dark curtain about how those who are in our family, protected by their given parental rights, then use us and destroy us through deviate acts they insist we endure. Remember, a child has no voice that others actually respect. Sadly this was true back in the 1970’s and although it may be slowly changing; it is a way we teach our children through family secrets and tolerance today.

I grew up in a small quiet town located in Southwestern Illinois. For nine consecutive years I attended the same school district and lived in the very center of town. It was during these years I was given as property to be my stepfather’s play toy and trained to be his ‘child prostitute’ from the age of about nine years old. This is just a few years after my mother willingly married the devil; a man whose own son had warned her about his evil. When he came into my life the value I had as a person, the happiness I felt as that innocent little girl; all of it was gone. My mother’s complete disregard for her own child, the neglect of all basic human needs or any form of medical or dental care led to rot, filth, and permitting her husband to destroy all that was good in her bright blue eyed little girl. This permitted destruction created a path of self loathing and an intense need to die; this is what I carried within the hidden secrets for most of my life. This type of disgusting abuse and disregard of a child is something we don’t forget, something we can never just erase from our existence; it is who we see in the mirror and the part of us we come to hate.

My mother permitted his acts and actually sacrificed her middle child to this monster for him to use however and whenever he chose. She ignored her own daughter and as he took over control of my life, she chose to treat me as less than human. Our family had the best health insurance back then, but yet the only time I ever saw a doctor was to be put on birth control at fifteen. She permitted, and the community who knew me so well watched, as he began taking me to bars and then eventually started collecting a few dollars from every adult man who wanted to come to our house for the late night entertainment. The men were allowed to get me high, feed me alcohol until I could hardly walk, then trade me from lap to lap as they probed and used the child who should have been sleeping for school the next morning. He took me out to tugboat parties with the workers he met at his common bar stop where my mother worked. My parents took me on their private dates and looked for adult men who wanted to be entertained by the child who was then just twelve years old. My stepfather repeatedly through parties at our house where schoolmates were invited for marijuana and alcohol, then as always; I was the prize & entertainment. Some of these nights included me giving everyone oral sex or allowing them to take me into my own bed. The price of refusal was a beating or his own sadistic acts as I lay in fear each night. I still have nightmares today about these parties, especially when it was more than one single person at a time, but I have learned through research & therapy my stepfather was a sociopath and my mother a narcissist; neither of whom could care less about what they did to this one middle child. in fact I believe their comment when I spoke with them both about all that had happened was simply, ‘You got what you deserved.”

The school personnel of Freeburg, the law enforcement, family friends, and even schoolmates who had been lured into his dark circle of trafficking his stepdaughter; they all knew who I was and who my parents were, yet not a single person ever questioned my care. There were many who avoided any physical contact with the child whose skin was covered with ugly puss filled sores, which left me today with deep pitted ugly scars. They said nothing about the rotting, broken black fangs, hanging in my mouth, which should have been my young beautiful smile. They saw vicious bruises and witnessed beatings in the street or heard the screams from my house as he beat me for the slightest infraction or late response to answer the ring of that little brass bell; all were signs of extreme abuse and evil against this one little girl growing up in the middle of this family, yet not a single person felt I was worth saving or heard my silent screams for rescue.

The reason I am sending this out now is because I have done a lot of work in my recovery, but unfortunately the trafficking has been the most difficult part of healing. This dark training of permitting multiples of men & boys to use and probe the child I was; it all created a lifelong pattern of extreme violence and degradation from boyfriends & husbands. I endured more than thirty years of severe physical battery, which almost ended in death more than once or twice. Through these vicious relationships I was threatened with weapons, attempted drowning, strangulations, concussions, broken ribs, broken collar bones and constant fear. The impact of living in these types of relationships, eventually left its own twisted pain and fear in my children’s lives. It wasn’t until my oldest child was fourteen years old that I finally found the courage to fight for my life and give my children the safe, loving home they deserved. They had spent their young years watching and hiding as their mother was beaten beyond recognition and repeatedly told how ugly, stupid, and useless she was. Today my children still see a lot of those same horrible things in the woman who loves them more than life itself. I have watched as the evil inflicted against the little girl I used to be, has crept through the veins of my bloodline and invaded the lives of my children; today they suffer in their own dysfunctional relationships. It is now in trying to parent their children and develop safe, healthy lives, that they are repeating some of those same behaviors which had become so ‘normal’ for them.

Above I have attached a photo of myself along with a picture of the memoir I published back in 2011, sharing my voice for the very first time and explaining to my children why their world was so disrupted by all the repeated vicious attacks and disregard of just one human life. The story, ‘My Justice’, is a true account of what happened in the protective window of family. It is a written apology to my children for how the trained acceptance of these crimes was such a huge part of my life; actually was my life.

In my healing I have become a strong advocate for those crimes which exist within our homes and our family unit. However, our modern day society, even with all of the many extremes we have learned to accept on our televisions, in our neighborhoods, and on our streets, it’s sad to accept that no one seems to want to acknowledge or speak about these issues. If we as adults cannot speak openly, without the feeling of shame and fear of judgment from others, then how are we to empower our kids to know we will help them, we understand, and they have nothing to fear? It is crucial for the adults in our communities to remain vigilant and take the initiative to prevent these acts of harm so commonly overlooked. Our society can no longer trade out our children for drugs, food, beer or for the sick pleasure of deviate thoughts. These are people’s souls we are destroying and when the circle of family friends, teachers, and others in these small communities blame and condemn the child victim, see them as less worthy rather than reporting and helping to rescue that child, then we are partly responsible for the destruction of who that person should grow up to become.

Today we are a new generation in charge and we know just how dark the dangers inside our homes can become. We have study after study about the many emotional disorders left on the child victim. Most often the adults who grow up inside this pattern of life, which many can never seem to escape; they live in an aftermath of Complex P.T.S.D, Depression, Anxiety, and extreme personality disorders that require treatment and medications, which usually cannot be afforded by the survivor. The burden of these healing treatments become the responsibility of our society, which is estimated by Center for Disease & Control at approximately $124 BILLION in the lifetime recovery cost of a survivor today. You can review a report on Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery which is research from the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data Systems, (NCANDS). This report, along with the allowance announced by Congress,(For every one report that is made of child maltreatment & sexual harm, there are at least three others that are not.); in the balance of this report it proves that at least 1 in 3 children are being forced to endure the brutal acts in heavy silence & family secrets every single day in the U.S. alone.

It is now that our children need us to hear their voices more than ever before. We already have generations of dysfunctional parents wounded by these vicious ugly acts, so when will it be enough that we finally begin a true active prevention within every family circle, every small community school, every law enforcement training, and most definitely throughout our entire medical provider services. We must begin to spot the silent children who endure every single day in the terror of their parents or other close family members. This support and strategic planning of protection for all children will only be possible when we stand strong as a united human society; making the choice today to teach value in every person, and empower every child to believe they deserve safety, love, happiness and that we will end the acceptance of these violent crimes within our very homes.

I do hope you will check out the website and organization of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery to find out more about my story and the stories of many others like myself. You will find a campaign we are leading to create your own ‘Family Defender’. It is with a prayer that you will hear my voice and help the many developing grass roots resources provide an understanding of just how common it is for those in our home to be the most dangerous to a child. Together, with the support of many incredible people today, I am proud of who I am and I am learning to see just how important my survival and healing has been; this is the path so that I could encourage others to be the ones to help end the cycle of harm we have been teaching throughout centuries. Our children are not for trade or sale. Our children are not objects for sexual gratification. Our children are not born to be destroyed by the parents who should love and protect them. Our children are soon going to be the next generation in charge, what will they know? Will it only be pain, sadness, violence, degradation? It’s never to late to be a powerful force of positive inspiration in a child’s life. Hopefully you will not turn away from the opportunity to truly leave an impression on a child in your circle.

Thank you for any time or consideration you have given here in what I’ve shared. You can contact me personally by emailing, butterflydreamsteam@live.com or trish.mcknight@live.com . You will find links below for the organization of Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Butterfly Dreams Talk Radio. Spread the message through telling your own survivor story or by sharing the truth of how dark the evil can become inside this man-made hell for children. We cannot allow these ongoing crimes of human destruction. Please stand strong, be proud, and be a voice in ending the repeated generational teaching of silence and tolerance within our family unit.

We have the duty today, the knowledge, the studies, the many thousands of adult survivors who share the horror they endured. How many more human beings will we permit to be used, sold, traded out, and forced into a life long pattern of self destruction. Please pass this on and help our society understand exactly what they can do to prevent these crimes and how every living being deserves to be happy, know the feeling of love, and most of all sleep in safety without fear of the hand covering their mouth and taking away their most powerful protection, the power of their own voice.

Together we are empowering our society to defend our children, connecting hearts & holding hands of help around the world.

Thank you,

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Owner/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery  www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

Author: ‘My Justice’

Advocate/Keynote Speaker/Radio Host/’Steps to Recovery’ Trainer/Survivor

bdarbanner(artwork via Michal Madison Art; Watercolor Artist)

 

Bring true awareness to our community, check out the ROT OF ABUSE, the child a town forgot http://awe.sm/s5Ezs

Triggers; what are they and how do we work through them?

What I’ve learned about these horrible little bugging annoyances.

Here is a list of definitions:

    • 1:  a piece (as a lever) connected with a catch or detent as a means of releasing it
    • 2: something that acts like a mechanical trigger in initiating a process or reaction
    • Psychiatry
      A factor that initiates and aggravates a behaviour or response.

Etymology

D, trekker, that which pulls

a substance, object, or agent that initiates or stimulates an action.

For ‘Survivors of Trauma’ triggers are any combination of person, place, thing or action, which sets off a remembered emotion or fear. These are instinctive reactions ingrained in our system from the attack/traumatic situation, which caused the original terror.

Just like we have remembered happy moments, which set off laughter or tenderness; compassion, we can also have negative and fearful moments. In fact; as my therapist shared with me, ‘When the trauma is severely impacting our body will gravitate strongest to the negative memory before a happy memory because the negative emotions are much stronger.” We have to challenge ourselves in working through our triggers. One of the first ways in this healing process is understanding what they are and how they work. Know that a trigger will lose its initial power as you first accept the fearful reaction; note here I highly suggest if the terror is extreme then please break down the memory and the challenge of the trigger in sections. Please do not run headstrong into  that which could result in a permanent break in our psyche. In facing little bits of the trauma at each step, we will find it easier to breathe through the trigger, rather than instantly respond; we can learn to control our reactions just like we do with anything else in life.

Its important to have patience with yourself or the person you are supporting during these challenging times. It may take years to finally be able to gain control over the trigger, rather than the trigger controlling you. Sadly the how and when of your control really depends on the person themselves; what they can tolerate, how badly they were traumatized, what specifically was done, if it was a repeated trauma, then how often did it occur and how long did it last overall? All of these go into play when we are learning to deal with these instinctive reactions, the emotions suddenly felt and the memories which take over our thoughts.

Society doesn’t know that you are sensitive to loud noises, or that you get sick when you get around the smell of a certain cologne. Even our family & friends would rather hear how you get ‘turned on’ by a certain cologne or giggle everytime they see you jump out of your skin from being startled. We have to be able to cope in society’s rules. Not everyone will be sensitive to our responses, which means we have to take away the trigger’s power and learn how to control our reactions & actions.

Now you can pretend it didn’t happen; you’ve already been doing this for years and it hasn’t helped you any yet. So instead, try to recognize the physical impacts of your body’s reactions, (tense muscles, clenching teeth, holding your breath, heart pounding, other types of specific body pains). Understand there is something about your surroundings at that moment that just hit a nerve. What nerve? Why did I react like that? What is it I’m afraid of in this situation? Try to connect with the emotions and understand the memory which is flashing through your body. Sometimes we may not understand the connection, because as a mode of self-protection our mind might have tried to completely blank out the memory. However, if you come from a trauma filled home or life, then you can pretty much put the dots together. You don’t need to know every horrific detail in order to take back control of your actions and reactions. Keep in mind you survived something, something which must have been excruciating, but you survived it.

In becoming adults and parents, we know there is a huge level of responsibility, self-responsibility is part of that development. For certain situations in life society doesn’t accept your wounding, no matter how terrifying.  What if you are a parent who is triggered by something that either happens to YOUR child or something YOUR child does? You don’t want to freak out in front of them, so instead we have to take responsibility for our reactions, let it out at a more opportun time. While organizations like N.A.M.I. are developing and thousands are discussing the mental health of adult survivors of child sexual violence, there is still more which needs to be done,  so be patient with yourself and with society. Explain to yourself just as you would to someone else. Comfort yourself and congratulate yourself for your accomplishments, just as you would do for others. Continue educating as many people in our circles as will listen. The more we understand, the more we accept and the better we are able to assist victims today.

Think about this:

(We wouldn’t blame a soldier for being in a public place and suddenly breaking apart from a remembered fear. However, you will hear people whisper; “He/she needs to stay home and work through this. They need held. Be careful you don’t know what they might do. We warn others about their responses, be it for their sake or ours.)

Living in society is a lot different from sitting in our homes with our family. To LIVE in society means to work, run errands or be out in the public rules on a regular basis. Being out among friends, enjoying a meal out, taking a walk; these are all things which make our lives enjoyable. What if you suffer from the issues of ongoing triggers, or you have your own societal fears; the feeling of constant shame or judgment by others? You can see how this would be a problem.

Often times we are out doing something quite pleasurable in society, escaping the isolation of living with these pesky flare ups; this is when we are suddenly faced with something that sets off our reactions. We aren’t expecting it to happen, in fact we would rather it didn’t spoil our good time. There are some triggers which may take a few seconds before we realize it is setting us off at all. Many times if the trauma itself was a way of life then it may well be a trained behavior, so the initial traumatic response may not be as intense, but it may grow in momentum. It may be three days later when suddenly the memory has us swirling, it has taken over our thoughts and set off a series of tensions & fears, which may be completely incapacitating for a few days or more. I’ve seen this occur within adult survivors of child sexual violence time and time again.

Recognize the trigger as a trauma induced memory or reaction. When we look at it logically rather than emotionally (even if at first it is emotional; try taking a breath, snap your fingers, step out of the moment and regroup). As we learn to recognize this in connection to a serious perception of fear, then we can begin working through each reaction or memory of that specific trauma. This can be done on your own through simple daily tasks in life rebuilding skills to help gain back your sense of self-confidence, prove your value to yourself in completing little chores and set goals for yourself that help you in the rebuilding steps. However if you are having difficulty you may want to seek out a support group or mental healthcare professional for guidance.

Understand that some of this healing may involve teaching ourselves a completely new process of life. Meaning of  course, that we completely change our living behaviors and learn to re-do something without the trauma being a part of that specific behavior, such as some of the things I’ve challenged in my own healing. These things may seem pretty stupid to others, but for my life in extreme horror they are very real issues. One of the things I had to completely re-teach myself to do in life, driving. I learned how to drive beginning age 11 driving drunk stepfather around in the country while he repeatedly attacked me with sexual actions, but ‘Don’t you dare wreck’. When I got to be about 17 I couldn’t drive without liquor or the use of marijuana to relieve the initial trauma. These days I still have issues when driving sometimes, especially if I’m in or around my hometown area. However, today I do not have to be under the influence of any medications to get behind the wheel and take off for a day.

We can’t work through the emotions if we do not re-visit the trauma itself. As we work through the imposed fear, we become stronger & the trigger loses its power. True healing comes when we begin changing the impact the trauma has on our life. Understand how it’s all connected, then share that knowledge with others around us. Explain it is proven to be worse than the recovery of our amazing veterans returning from battle. The one important connecting factor in these two realms is that our vets travel around the world to do battle with a weapon and a team around them; survivors of child sexual violence have only themselves, there is no weapon to defend from an attack, an attack can happen on any level and at any moment, the attack can be a repetitive lived action, which most commonly is an attack from their direct parent/caregiver; the one person who has complete control by law and has the responsibility to make decisions about their daily life and how they are raised. In this type of harmful environment it normally doesn’t just happen for a period of time, but rather continues throughout the entire lifespan. This is when the end result is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and recovery takes an extreme personal commitment.

May this writing help you understand a bit more about these life changing & impacting difficulties, which will invade our children’s lives if healing and support are not achieved. We as a society can continue to pass forward all of this dysfunction or we can begin to understand all that’s connected and how it directly affects our personal development, then begin teaching our children about what it means to truly live strong and to live safe even inside their homes.

Healing begins when we make the effort to understand!!

Love, strength, and courage for your ongoing challenge to heal <3>

Thanks for reading & be well Smile

Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight

Author: ‘My Justice’

Owner/CEO: Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery & Talk Radio Programming

http://www.butterflydreamsabuserecovery.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/butterflydreamstalkradio

https://www.facebook.com/survivorsjustice?ref=stream

©ButterflyDreamsAbuseRecovery 2014

Prisoner of War;The hell inside the house down the street -Passing the ‘Family Terrorist Act’ – ‘Trecia’s Law’

Friends & all person’s affected by the ‘Family Terrorist’ please read this blog. Help us gather 1000 more signatures to support passing this  law. Please think of all those who endure ‘terror’ inside their homes everyday, just waiting for a chance to grow up enough and escape the repeated attacks against them or other family members. We cannot leave our children inside the care of these types of abusers. Hold the attacker responsible for the constant imposed fear or impending thoughts of doom. Help us by inviting those you know to sign this petition.

Friends & visitors to this site and blog, may find some of its content to be disturbing or triggering of their own emotional wounding. Please be cautious of your responses to what is shared, particularly if you were once a person trapped inside a home filled with horror. If you find yourself reminded of your own troubling past, please go to something more pleasant to relieve the debilitating thoughts.

You might first think, ‘She used the word debilitating about a blog?’

Yes, indeed I did. You see the subject of being a ‘Prisoner of War’ stuns us and evokes emotions from within our deepest recess. Instantly we feel compassion for those #veterans who endured any form of this meaning. However; this particular writing isn’t about our typical Prisoners of War. Its not about the courageous men & women who go off to fight our country’s battles and are suddenly taken captive by the opposing soldiers.This is something even more horrifying; something many of us normally wouldn’t consider when thinking in terms of battle or being held prisoner. This is about the child prisoners who are held captive, many of them terrorized for years without ever revealing the truth to the outside world. We see these survivors walking around in our society everyday, in every walk of life, but we may never know just how much they have suffered or what battles they are still fighting as a direct result of the emotional trauma left in the aftermath of their hell. There may be many who read this and never connect the dots of their suffering to any form of harm they may have witnessed or personally endured during their young years. Sadly, they are still blaming themselves for the dysfunction or turmoil they feel inside, or for the lack of being able to connect with their own children. They are searching for the path to achieve the peace they dream of in their adult relationships, but it always seems to be beyond their grasp.

For them I would like to say, ‘This is NOT your fault!!’

These past ten years we have learned a lot about the emotional trauma of our returning veterans and endured trauma from the house down the street. Studies have been done to look inside the impacts of child maltreatment, witnessed violence, or even the acts of bullying from childhood peers. Experts in mental health treatment have been documenting and reviewing what these types of actions, or witnessed actions against another being, can do to our psyche. They have worked with patient after patient, noting the similarities of these private traumas.

‘What have they learned from these studies and the many thousands of cases unreported or even spoken about for decades?’

The link I’ve attached here discusses Complex P.T.S.D. Syndrome.

“In DSM-IV field trials, Roth et al (1997) found that complex PTSD is associated with the experience of prolonged exposure to trauma (i.e. over days, months or years), and first exposure at an early age. Complex PTSD is also associated with prolonged interpersonal victimization, such as battering by a partner, torture or prisoner-of-war experiences, and child abuse.”

I believe this is one of the best informational resources on this subject. You will see they share here those who usually end up with this type of diagnosis. These are those who have endured the worst of mankind’s actions, those who have been held prisoner during wartime and those who are a different kind of prisoner, they have been prisoners within their home!! Those who were tortured, terrorized, sold or traded, imposed threats against their person for years and the actual evil inflicted or forced against them with no way to protect themselves or a way to escape the perpetrator. Many endured years of painful acts against them, then they were brainwashed to believe they somehow deserved it; to believe it was their fault they were beaten, raped, tortured or degraded; controlled by extreme acts of violence or even the imposed fear of violence.

Maybe they witnessed violence committed by one of their parents against another parent or step-parent. Maybe they were traded or sold to someone to be used in sex or beyond ‘normal’ physical labor. Maybe they went to bed at night waiting for the monsters to come prowling around and strike within the darkness. Maybe their schoolmates inflicted constant harassment or violent acts against them.

For whatever acts they may have endured or witnessed, these are victims of extreme harm & mental control by intimidation, even threats of death if they ever said a word to reveal what was really happening in that perfect little home down the street. It could also be the dysfunctional family we all knew but never did a thing to investigate the level of harm being done behind those walls. Was it because we feared that same controlling person the child or spouse feared? Maybe we turned away because we didn’t think it was any of our business, or we were just taught to believe it was acceptable for some families to use extreme control or physical harm as a form of punishment. Either situation has resulted in the same outcome, severe emotional harm which can lead to the life altered wounding and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with many physical illnesses such as Heart Disease, Chronic Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Lung Disease, Kidney or Liver Disease. Yes these many illnesses can  be the result of inflicted trauma, especially when it is endured for years without ever having resolution or rescue to heal the emotional wounding. Remember these types of survivors have been hiding who they really are, what they really feel, how they really think, and maybe even how they react to these actions. All of this trying to hide one’s true self can result in extreme stress. However, it is what this survivor had to do in order to get through it all and come out to be the individuals society will accept; rejection and blame is a constant threat. Many times rejection from family, the lack of being able to connect with others, the lack of understanding from others, the need to hide inside themselves for fear of being tagged with a mental disease or being considered an under-achiever; all of this can push them to commit suicide.

They take their life because they have been psychologically tortured to believe the tortures against them were THEIR fault, and it is THEIR fault they have all these battles going on inside, or maybe they fear hurting someone else as the result of losing control. 

Think of what these miraculous survivors have been able to accomplish while hiding inside the wounds of their imprisoned childhood or a dangerous relationship. Many become over-achievers. They will push and push themselves to be WORTHY of society, to be WORTHY of love, to be WORTHY as a parent or partner, to be accepted & promoted in their professional life, or perhaps they fall to the bottom of the pit and because of their inner pain they get lost in drugs, alcohol, self destructive behaviors attacking themselves because of the believed shame or blame they carry for their horrible existence. Often they will NOT openly display their emotions or disappointments.  They never had a weapon to hold off their attacker. Most were children who couldn’t even say NO to the attack. They couldn’t scream, they couldn’t cry, they couldn’t let the outside world know what was happening. If they ever showed some sign of the inner horror of their home, it could cost them their life or they believed they would be taken away; manipulated to believe they would be locked up because of what someone else was doing to them. No one would believe them and many would even place the blame of the sexual interaction on them, making them believe they DESERVED the attack is part of the manipulation itself.

Remember these children became experts in hiding the truth because if they ever showed any sign that lead to someone getting suspicious or invading their home to investigate possible harm; the price might be too much to pay. These prisoners believed their perpetrator and believed in their control. They knew no one could ever get them out in time; they would be murdered before the perpetrator would ever let anyone find out about their true secret.

If you review what the explanation of Complex P.T.S.D. reveals, especially the comparison between our war veterans and the adult survivors of these types of trauma, you will NOT see any variance between these two types of traumatized individuals.You WILL find more connections between the two than our society would like to accept or believe. In fact, it is only because of our war veterans returning home with these complications and mental trauma that we ever began investigating this disorder in the first place. Complex P.T.S.D is not a personal illness, it is a direct result of trauma endured throughout years of pain, repeated attacks, and inflicted emotional harm or the belief in controlled constant fear. (Think of these conditions as they relate to our grown men & women who are held captive or sent to battle; it is that same endured fear and emotional trauma.) As a society, we accept this condition in our war veterans and support all of the needed resources to help them recover. However, when someone shares they carry these wounds because of a life filled with horror and torture from their parent/s, we turn away. We don’t see the connection, so instead we make ourselves believe some of the following;

‘No parent could inflict such painful acts against their own child’; ‘No home could ever be as dangerous as what our veterans have endured’; ‘Mrs. Smith has never shown anything but kindness and caring in our neighborhood’; ‘Mr. Thomas would never use a weapon to threaten or rape his own child’.

These are the things we tell ourselves, because to accept the truth; to believe that ‘YES’ our homes can become as dangerous or even more horrifying than wars being fought on the other side of the world, well that would mean we would have to accept the possibility of our own guilt in refusing to see the truth when we saw the bruises, heard the cry for help or knew that other adults were using that child. Instead we blame the child. We can accept the possibility of the child needing more control over their behaviors. We use the diagnosis of things such as A.D.H.D, A.D.D, Bipolar or other such behavior or personality disorders, rather than to accept or question the possibility that homes within our quiet little suburb could ever be ‘dangerous’. When we are discussing possible relationship violence, we are made to believe the spouse is emotionally unstable resulting in them attacking and the perpetrator having to defend themselves with force.

We create excuses for what we see or the acts we have become trained to tolerate within our family unit.We can accept these possible scenarios because then we do not have to accept that our gut told us something else was going on, but we didn’t know what to do or how we could possibly change anything?

Readers this is the reason we should be listening to the many stories from these types of survivors today. Our society has finally opened the door to possible ‘Domestic Violence’ in a home. We have finally accepted and put into law that no person has the right to harm another, even in their own home. However, we still do not want to accept just how horrifying or damaging some of these actions can be. We don’t want to listen to the gory details or the constant sadness left as a result of such trauma. The only time we are accepting this today is if it is a case discovered today, if it is a child rescued today, if a perpetrator is caught TODAY!!! I’m writing this to hopefully encourage you to support the loved one in your family circle who may have been a child victim of the past generations. We must believe in their emotional trauma from the painful homes. We must support their journey to FINALLY be able to use their own voice and speak about what nightmares they actually endured. These may have been some of the most ferocious acts from the very parents who were entrusted with their care.

We never really know the people living behind those walls across the street. We never really know what happens when the door closes on the outside world. Only these persons know the evil inflicted against them. Only these persons know what battles they feel inside today. Only these incredibly strong individuals have endured these evils, then walked through life hiding who they really are because of their fear of being blamed or rejected by others; tagged with some form of mental disease and blocked from being promoted in their jobs or becoming a success on any level.

Understanding the aftermath of their survival is the beginning of their healing, rebuilding who they are so that they can become the positive person’s needed to parent their own children. When we deny their truth, we deny their existence and continue to trap them in the cage of silence. We can only help them when we listen to them, when we have patience and compassion for what they have been forced to do as a result of the sick minds who attacked them. It is not their blame, it is not their shame, they did not ask to be raped, to be beaten, or sold out for someone’s sick pleasure. They had no weapon to protect themselves. They had no voice to speak against what they didn’t want to do. They were prisoners controlled and manipulated by evil. Forced to take part in unspeakable sexual encounters or beaten beyond their own recognition for the slightest imperfection or dereliction of duties. They have been manipulated and tortured, some beyond our wildest imaginations, but they have survived. They are not diseased with some mental or emotional dysfunction, they are traumatized individuals who with the appropriate support system and understanding can be the most affectionate, compassionate, and empathetic persons in society today. No longer do they have to survive as ‘Prisoners of War’. We have the resources, we have the teachings, we have the studies to show how we can help them heal and become the leaders of tomorrow.

 If we can do it for our veterans, if we can do all of this for the cases we hear about in the news headlines today; then why are we so adamant about turning a deaf ear to the stories from yesterday’s hell?

Mine is one of these stories, as is hundreds of others I know or have interviewed. We see the published stories, we see the comments and the posts on our social sites. We know these persons. We can help them become the true outstanding individuals they are inside. We can hear their voice and comfort their pain. Healing from trauma, as any therapist or psychological professional will tell you, is a journey filled with support and compassion. Trauma recovery is a process of rebuilding the soul and allowing the voice who witnessed or felt the extreme fear to finally be heard. You can be part of their journey to freedom by simply providing the support system they need in friendship or as a respected partner; teaching them self appreciation and self love for the decent person they are and who they are trying to be as they present themselves and their truth to a society trained to tolerate and dismiss the evil inflicted by those meant to protect us. It is in this type of hell these wounded warriors have survived being a ‘Prisoner of War’. It is compassion and understanding that can set them free and end the ongoing battles they deal with to hide their emotional aftermath today. ©Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery Patricia ‘Trish’ McKnight Acknowledgements: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/177/2/144.full#ref-9 Herman, J. L. (1992) Trauma and Recovery. New York: Basic Books. Lindy, J. (1996) Psychoanalytic psychotherapy of post-traumatic stress disorder: the nature of the therapeutic relationship. In Traumatic Stress: The Effects of Overwhelming Experience on Mind, Body and Society (eds B. van der Kolk, A. McFarlane & L. Weisaeth), pp. 525-536. New York: Guilford. Roth, S., Newman, E., Pelcovitz, D., et al (1997) Complex PTSD in victims exposed to sexual and physical abuse: results from the DSM-IV field trial for Post-traumatic Stress http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/complex-trauma/effects-of-complex-trauma Disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 10, 539-556.