Who I am today

 

miracles-happen  “I’m not feeling sorry for myself, so please don’t pity me, it really just makes the situation worse. What I need is to know that something I say or do or write will help you support someone whose been harmed, as well as prevent or intervene when something happens in your circle today.”

Over the past ten years I’ve been on a reality mission to figure out who I am, without focusing on what has been done to influence my past beliefs and behaviors. Learning about the aftermath of my personal war and the influence I have left on those I treasure most. This is not an easy process and one which comes and goes in different situations and challenges as I get stronger and learn more about myself and the actions of others; all resulting in who I am today.

My idea of self appreciation and self worth was never developed because I was put in my place, and lived in the example of who THEY thought I was or the value I carried as a person. Tragically, just in America, we have 3.7+ Million children still living in those same types of environments today. Even worse is that myself and millions of others know exactly who that child might become tomorrow, especially if they are not given help or have at least one positive person who gives them something more to believe in and seek to achieve a greater good.

My stepfather, Malcolm White, was truly walking evil; to me he was and always will be the devil himself. In fact, he used to quote; ‘Heaven doesn’t want me and the Devil is afraid I’ll take over’. I knew in my heart that he would definitely kick the Devil’s ass and de-throne him without an ounce of effort. However ridiculous as it might sound, I am still afraid of his ghost some six years or more after his death. I can still feel him lurking around like an animal after his most favorite prey. I can’t sleep for more than three or four hours at any one time, then suddenly I’m shocked awake and for a split second I’m still in harms way, even though I truly am not.

For Malcolm, the violent molesting attacks that began before he married my mother was not enough. His appetite for cruelty and deviate influence progressed to the point I became HIS PROPERTY; my mother, Mona, stepped aside and did absolutely nothing to help me or care for me ever again. I was told to shut up and stop whining. I still hear this from my siblings today on the rare occasion I speak to them at all. For me the only family I had died in March 1989 and I still mourn his death today. I just stopped by his grave last week and thanked him for helping as much as he could. He was just a boy, a boy who willingly lived in our home until he was 22yrs old; but he was a boy who stepped in front of Malcolm’s rage more than once and he stepped in front of the loaded weapons pointed at my head. He would have taken that bullet rather than see me be harmed. For John, I will never have the chance to repay what he did for me, which was the best that had happened until I was 40 yrs old.

Malcolm influenced my sexual behavior with other boys and men within the community of Freeburg beginning around age 11, when he first arranged a special party with a case of beer and about five neighborhood boys who hung with my brother. I was instructed on who to invite, how to dress, and what to encourage and allow these boys to do with me. It is the most shameful and disgusting memory that I carry. I attended school with these boys. I saw them hanging in the park everyday, and I would party with them being my ‘friends’ for the next five years.

It was just a few weeks later he took me to JB Tavern, just two blocks from our house, where my mother worked and all the coalminers hung out. I was fed double shots of vodka with orange juice, so many that I puked the entire evening and next day. We were there for about two hours when Dave and a crew of miners came in to shoot pool and toss back a few beers. I was given a dollar for the jukebox and instructed on how to ‘shake my ass’ as I played the music. I was asked to pick out the cutest guy, and then taken to his table and offered out for a trip out back or in the car; all it would cost is a couple of beers. This was my value if I had any at all, and when he looked at Malcolm and said; ‘She’s just a kid’, I was taken to the car and beaten for being so ugly no one would ever want anything to do with me at all. ‘I was lucky they wanted to ‘f***’ me’. This was who I became and just part of how I was used until I finally escaped, running to move in with the first guy who asked; a guy from thirty miles away who didn’t know anything about me or my family history. I just needed to get away before I either killed Malcolm or he killed me.

At that time I was 17yrs old; he was going to purchase a mobile home and put me on a plat of ground where he would have his own special key to come over anytime and bring whomever he wished. I didn’t care who helped me get away and I certainly didn’t take time to evaluate who he was or how he treated me. As a result of my inability to realize the inner cruelty he had, the following two years would be almost deadly on a weekly basis.

In the influence of my parents, I became the perfect lifetime victim. It didn’t take much kindness for me to open my legs and my heart; for me to seek their approval regardless of the cost, so long as I felt they wanted me. My behaviors became coping strategies. I was fed a case a beer before I turned 10 years old. It was the way Malcolm reduced my rejections or put me in a manipulating and controllable condition. I was given my first joint before I was 12 and to say the least, this is what I depended on to numb the loss and disgust that I couldn’t escape. Lance was the first to give me cocaine, and I even did a few small hits of acid; but it definitely was not for me and the cocaine was too expensive, so my constant state of being was either drinking or high, or both until I got pregnant and left the country. It was a blessing to be removed from all that surrounded me, but the man I married was not the same man I lived with over there. This man had me in the perfect place; I couldn’t escape and had no one around to talk with or convince me that I wasn’t as low a piece of crap as he insisted I was. Our society wasn’t even discussing the acts of child abuse or family violence back then and I definitely didn’t know anything other than what I had been so well trained to accept; it was my ‘normal’.

From 20 to 40 there was a handful of failed and cruel relationships, some more violent and destructive than others, but each a reflection of the only thing I knew. I fought constantly trying to absorb all of the bad so that my kids would never know that type of pain; however, I didn’t realize just how the chaos was affecting them and the example of womanhood I was giving my daughters. Imagine seeing your mom be beaten to a pulp while you’re sitting at the kitchen table waiting for her to come eat dinner with you. Suddenly the perfect plate of food she delivered to him goes flying across the room, and because she wasn’t going to sit on the couch with him, she was thrown, kicked, punched and slammed against walls, the stove, the sink and the door. Finally the fighting stops and she comes into the table, trying to calm your little sister and get everyone to eat as if nothing happened. Imagine the confusion and human value your children learn in our examples of tolerance. How do you think they will grow to see the world and what value they will hold precious about themselves? What will their children learn and how will they behave in school or in the teenage social situations as they develop?

This is our human conditioning and it leaves an ugly mark on all those affected. It distorts our value of ourselves and how we treat others. Some might become extreme protectors and put the needs of others higher than the needs of themselves and their happiness. Some might become lost in drugs, alcohol, or even deviate attacks on others. Some of those like me get so lost they can’t get out and are emotionally wounded forever; these are those prone to submissive and self harming behavior, that which commonly ends in suicide or overdose ending in death. They can’t hold productive steady employment and have chronic health conditions which studies are finding are actually early onset conditions that first show up as Juvenile Fibromyalgia or Early Post Traumatic Stress; conditions that hold trigger reactions before the person is old enough to realize the effect at all. The overall economic cost to society, becomes the taxpayers burden because of these invading health and emotional conditions that cause a reduction or inability to sustain in self supportive life development. Most have difficulty in learning skills or the development of healthy, productive life skills. After all when did they have time to concentrate on homework or study for that big test?

Personally, I’ve got so many injuries and health problems my body and my daily life are a mess. The cost of my constant healthcare in pain management, medications, various procedures, circulatory and pulmonary progressive diseases; I’ve been on disability since 2007. I would have to say that the worst of my conditions today is the permanent spinal cord trauma which has caused elongated cystic sacs to grow inside of my central canal, a condition called Syringomyelia. This alone causes wide spread severe pain, but add in the intense Fibro & Head Trauma and you’ve got a disastrous mess. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, so please don’t pity me, it really just makes the situation worse. What I need is to know that something I say or do or write will help you support someone whose been harmed, as well as prevent or intervene when something happens in your circle today.

Victims and Survivors need to know that their suffering and their voice matters to someone; that someone cares enough to help heal the wounds and make us stronger so that we can provide a better life for ourselves and more importantly our children. We need the law changes to prosecute these types of repeat heinous offenders. For most of us, we will never be given a chance at justice, because the laws of our past allow absolute minimum time to report or press charges; in Illinois these offense statutes allow only ONE YEAR after victim’s 18th birthday. Hell, I didn’t even know what the word trafficking was and definitely feared this couple so much, along with the condemnation of those around me; my life was something so destructive and disgusting I couldn’t tell anyone what happened to me at all until I was around 35 years old. Some knew that my childhood wasn’t pleasant, but no one, including myself, really knew just how evil and tragic it was.

We are NOT our parents, and we do NOT have to live in the sorrow, pain, and pattern of harm or victim they taught us. We have a choice today and we can actually use the strength of amazing survivors who are finally able to discuss what’s happened; use their courage to speak up as a precious gift. This is a strength beyond measure they cling to and can use, not just to help themselves, but to influence how we help and how we can truly save the life of someone else today. You can be the one to step in and take the bullet; you can stop the bleeding and help stitch up the wounds of our kids lost in the pattern of destruction, crime, drugs, and harm they are trying to survive today. Please don’t sit on the sidelines and judge what that person should or shouldn’t do, because until that same personal violation is against you, then you can never know how it feels or the damage it causes. You may be stronger than they are and bounce back with no problem, but you may watch someone else slowly disintegrate so horribly that it becomes their own extinction.

Today I use my past, all of it; my behaviors and my pain, my bad choices and the influence I’ve seen continue in my children and grand children’s lives; I use all of this hoping that somehow I can help empower one other survivor to believe they absolutely matter. Hoping that I can inspire one victim to get help for themselves and their family. Hoping that I can change the offensive behavior of someone who has been harmed, but reacts and attacks others in their pain. We DO NOT have to harm others or devalue ourselves, because on this amazing planet; every life and every breath taken truly matters and we all have the power to do something about it.

Be a Hope-Line & save a life

Thank you for reading & I do hope you’ll share

Love for all,

‘Trish’

Butterfly Dreams Abuse Recovery

Author: ‘My Justice’     mj-2

http://www.facebook.com/triciagirl62  

Promo 07.17.2016

Head Trauma; Disability from Violence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something to think about…..

Patricia “Trish’’ McKnight

CSA Survivor Force Regional Spokesperson

Family Violence & Child Sexual Trauma Specialist

Cert Human Trafficking Trainer 2013

IL Cert DV Support Advocate 2012

Panel Member DV Offender Education Reform Program

Assisting victims & families since Nov 2010

 

 

Ref:

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

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

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

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