The voice waiting to be spoken

The past seven years I’ve spoken publicly about my ‘Adverse Childhood Experience’ and the life path of continued tolerance of violence. I’ve been extremely blessed to have made friendships and become a ‘Survivor Voice’ through various task force, trauma training, and community events here in Illinois, but even more so are all the survivors I’ve come to know from around the world and being a Regional Ambassador for National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, (NAASCA.org).

The most empowering part has only been happening for the past year since the #MeToo movement first began. It’s a change I know almost every survivor of violating/terrorizing trauma is also feeling; a spark deep inside for their own voice to be heard. When I first started speaking about my history, I was repeatedly told; ‘Your story is just too graphic‘. It actually caused a cancellation for Illinois Dept of Health Women’s Health Conference back in 2015.

It’s true. My story is absolutely horrific, but it’s not like I had much choice, especially during my childhood. It was the 70’s and it was a small rural Illinois mining town. There was not anyone who discussed objecting against any parent, much less getting involved. It wasn’t what we were taught and it’s not what our society believed was any of their business, mainly because it was all so normal.

Back then we hadn’t even begun to talk about child sexual abuse or child trafficking, which victims only connected with the term child sharing. I’ve written before about my case possibly being one of the worst cases of child abuse in Illinois history. Some of you may disagree but in owning ‘My Truth’ it’s truly empowering to know we are finally being encouraged to discuss some of the details of our experiences, especially when we are using those experiences in conjunction with the data & research of today, along with the growing numbers of victims/survivors getting involved to help change this dark course of pain.

The wheels of change move ever so slowly but nothing will change without your participation as a society. Now is the time if you have experienced violence, sexual harm or trafficking; it is okay to seek help and discuss the lasting trauma effects. I saw/shared a great post on Facebook; “The poison chalice of pain will be passed through your family until you decide to heal…’. This is so very true as I’ve learned first hand in the experiences of my children and grandchildren. Regardless of how my story is received, it is the absolute best decision I’ve made and I will never regret being the one in my family that stated with relentless determination; ‘I’m done’!!

Since this is my personal blog site, and for anyone who wants to change what the past has taught us, work to become the person you know you are meant to become; I want to encourage you to either reach out to me personally at trish@butterflydreamsalliance.org, visit our website www.butterflydreamsalliance.org or connect with www.naasca.org – help and support is available and we do not have to feel so isolated in our confusion and roller coaster life. All I ask is that you think about it; practice telling yourself in the mirror what happened to you, let the tears flow, and when you’re ready; connect with a support service or another survivor.

Reach out to find services and strategies to help you get stronger while you change the cycle of negative influence in your family. Remember that rebuilding is a very personal process and there is not one particular service or therapist, or survivor advocate who will work for every person. Our personalities, perceptions, resilience, and traumas are different, so having more than one helped me a great deal. However, for me, the greatest tool was the ‘Survivor to Thriver’ program through ASCAsupport.org; in rebuilding find what helps you most. There are thousands across the country.

More than anything else, for every silenced or isolated survivor there is at least one or more who are still victims. By educating about reporting, warning signs, early intervention, family wellness & rebuilding parents; by using our past we can absolutely change the future for our children and I hope that ‘My Justice’ continues to reach into the souls of our society and let them know just how important it is to help save a life while they are still young enough to know what real happiness and life success can be despite the hardships of their journey.

We can’t go back and change our history, but we can absolutely choose where and how we move forward today!! I hope that those who just won in our mid-term elections realizes just how important enhancing trainings and reaching out to create awareness in every small community is the only thing that will change our learned behaviors taught through anger, mental illness, addictions, and tolerated harm.

Thank you for reading. We are here in Clinton County, Illinois and we want to begin our ‘Survivors World’ support group sessions, and we are posting awareness signs throughout the area. If you wish to volunteer or get involved please contact me directly at the email given above.

We are all #StrongerTogether ūüôā

‘Trish’ McKnight

Butterfly Dreams Alliance, NFP

PS – Some of my history as shared with this post of gratitude that somehow I made it through, some way, for whatever reason – I am still alive and I choose to LIVE!!

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Your Voice Radio Network

yvr-1‘Topics with Trish’ – Thursday – Feb 9, 2017 – 4:pm central time. We are doing a live Facebook Group Video feed during today’s broadcast. ¬†http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yourvoiceradio/2017/02/14/topics-with-trish–chronic-health-conditions-relationship-challenges-love-msg

*Share your special love message on our video feed comments section, Trish will share it on the show

*Relationship challenges – Keeping our relationships together

*Living with Chronic Health Conditions – Needed care, the impact on the family unit and the heavy cost on our financial welfare

It’s a great big world out there; let’em hear YOUR VOICE!!!

Join our Facebook Page conversation, call the studio live 929-477-2779, login to join our chatroom, look for the live video feed of our discussion. It’s a crucial issue today, let’em hear YOUR VOICE!!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/yourvoiceradio2017/

The Battle and the Aftermath……..

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

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

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

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

Has your sense of personal safety been attacked or violated?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THEY SURVIVED THE BATTLE OF FREEDOM!!!

(c)Patricia A. McKnight

http://www.patriciamcknightsjustice.com

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62

References;

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

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

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