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How I’m Healing from Abuse After Going in Circles for Years

TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of sexual abuse and may be triggering to some people.

“Recovery is a process. It takes time. It takes patience. It takes everything you’ve got.” ~Unknown

We are often told in therapy that we need to dig deep and explore our feelings until we find the root of our problem, as though we’ll finally have peace and relief just because we’ve found the “Nugget of Trauma.”

The problem with long-term childhood trauma is that there was not just one Nugget, or one moment that we were left reeling from. For many of us , trauma encompassed our entire childhood and adolescent life.

When I was in my early twenties my memories became a deluge, flooding into my mind all at once. I started with talk therapy, and it seemed like the one recurring question being asked of me was, “What’s the issue or event that you are struggling with?”

So, thinking that they must know more than me about how to deal with the chaos in my mind, I would focus on one aspect of my childhood to try an work through it with them.

I had a lot to pick from: beatings, torture, , sodomy, abduction, neglect, and the big pulsing mass of guilt and shame.

I was ashamed that I could not protect my brothers and that, each time I was raped, it was because of something I had done that required punishment, like not wringing out a wash rag tightly enough. All of my abuse and the abuse of my brothers was, according to my father, my fault because I wasn’t good enough.

Sound familiar? For many of us, the manipulation of how we think about the abuse and ourselves is the most painful and long-lasting trauma, but going into detail about this in therapy is exhausting, mentally and physically, and can cause a spiral into deeper depression.

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