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

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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