Author Topic: Living with the results of abuse.  (Read 891 times)

Dave

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Living with the results of abuse.
« on: December 16, 2017, 02:34:53 PM »
This post contains a "generalised" account of personal effects of abuse,  hoping, as it says, to give those who have only second hand knowledge an idea, an insight.

I have checked it with another who largely aggrees with the account.

----------------------------------------------------

There is a well known saying, "Forgive and forget". Another goes, "Time cures all". Neither are relevant to victims of child abuse. You can never forget, the results live with you, conciously or unconciously, every day of your life, waking or sleeping.

They affect your relationships with others, subtly or in a gross way. There may be a constant undercurrent of fear of being "'used" by another, regardless of gender. There may be a constant feeling of being under-appreciated, of having never having your positive qualities and talents fully recognised... even when they are, positive feedback is constantly needed. There maybe a difficulty in accepting sincere compliments from others.

This can be interpreted as "attention seeking" by others which, of course, usually has negative outcomes that reinforce the problems of the victim.

Most people suffer self-doubt, a lack self-value, of confidence etc but, after an experience that involves being used as merely an object of sexual gratification, at an age when one's personality is just starting to form, a permanent psychological scar is formed.

Work done on PTSD may work for some, but those daily invasive memories, often triggered by present events that only have a very lose connection to past events, are hard to settle.  Something like noticing an engagement ring may invoke a memory of a relationship that, basically, failed due to things linked to the early abuse and the subsequent reaction may seem out of context to an observer.

So one may avoid circumstances that might invoke such, being wary of close relationships, avoiding being noticed, even becoming reclusive. Behaving, noticeably, "a bit weird" in public exacerbates the whole thing, negative feedback that increases the "volume". Pets may become more important than socialising.

Memory can be affected. I have no memory of the actual events, which I am led to believe is not unusual, though I do remember events surrounding the offence - being given "treats" like ringing the church bell and bring alowed to light the candles and invited for "private singing tuition", important things for a 7 year old. Grooming. But, all my life, I seem to have been driven to "trying to forget something", and this has had a permanent effect on my memory in some ways. Bit like a whole life with very low level Alzheimer's. This affected my social, academic and professional life. It also had the reverse of the desired effect because it made the "pop-up" behaviour of the trigger memories even more serious.

I have a deep-set distrust of authority which is balanced, sort of, by more intellectual attitudes - however I will always assume a rebuff but have educated myself into progressing applications etc with a little discipline and approaching authority figures with an attitude of "respectful equality." The doctor, say, knows more than me and has a degree of authority over my future, but that does not make him a better person than I. But this has to be a concious behaviour on every ocassion.

However I do not hate these abusers, in some cases, where a personality disorder or other mental illness is involved I may even pity them. I do wish to see a legal and humane way found to prevent them abusing further - even if that means life incarceration for out of control ones. I think those who protect abusers, whilst knowing the nature of the crime, should also suffer severe punishment. Those who knowingly and actively aid and abett should suffer the same punishment as the offenders.

I will never be free of this experience, will constantly seek ways to earn the respect of others because I have to fight for every iota of self-respect, self-esteem. This is mainly the source of my drive towards voluntary work, I practice what skills I posses - giving them value - whilst (hopefully) being appreciated by others. That is not abnormal in itself, but the fact that it is a constantly concious and "driven" thing may be. The more objective part of my mind does recognise that the net effect on society is mostly positive, so I do not let the "motives" get in the way. It eventually becomes a sort if "inbuilt learned behaviour," part of my personality. However I find it very hard to do certain things for myself.

It may also be the source of my tendancy towards Humanism, I think my atheism itself has a more intellectual source, but I need some kind of association even though I have grown not to need actual company.

So, though I feel HAF members are mostly open minded and empathetic I hope this gives you a bit of insight into why others might act a little, er, "abnormal". Their sudden exclamation might be because of one of those memory triggers and an established reaction they have little control over.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 03:08:43 PM by Dave »
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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Living with the redults of abuse.
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 02:50:13 PM »
 (((Dave))) :hug2:
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Dave

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Re: Living with the redults of abuse.
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 03:00:09 PM »
(((Dave))) :hug2:
Thanks, Silver!

Er, can you change my typo in the title please?  :grin:
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 06:52:33 PM »
"I hope this gives you a bit of insight into why others might act a little, er, "abnormal"." --Some people act "abnormal" for other reasons, so when someone acts "abnormal" I don't immediately associate it with sexual abuse. After talking about pedophiles/child molesters, here, I think it's good that you speak on behalf of the victims/survivors, and the lifelong suffering these predators cause.

I knew someone who was sexually molested, she said that the abuse affected many aspects of her life, mostly her behavior and coping mechanisms. But she noticed that there are areas where the abuse didn't affect her. She concentrated on those. She said it didn't affect her intelligence, her resilience, her sense of humor, etc., etc., etc. She said she wasn't gonna let "them" win by being miserable all her life, instead, she was gonna try to live a happy life, with the help of therapy, of course.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Dave.  :hug:



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Dave

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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 07:03:18 PM »
"I hope this gives you a bit of insight into why others might act a little, er, "abnormal"." --Some people act "abnormal" for other reasons, so when someone acts "abnormal" I don't immediately associate it with sexual abuse. After talking about pedophiles/child molesters, here, I think it's good that you speak on behalf of the victims/survivors, and the lifelong suffering these predators cause.

I knew someone who was sexually molested, she said that the abuse affected many aspects of her life, mostly her behavior and coping mechanisms. But she noticed that there are areas where the abuse didn't affect her. She concentrated on those. She said it didn't affect her intelligence, her resilience, her sense of humor, etc., etc., etc. She said she wasn't gonna let "them" win by being miserable all her life, instead, she was gonna try to live a happy life, with the help of therapy, of course.

Thank you for sharing this with us, Dave.  :hug:

Your friend has the right of it - if the victim is lucky and does not slide into a life of despair, substance abuse, sex-working and all those negative things that trap the non-copers. That is not to mention those who go criminal "to get their own back", even violently psycho. Etc.
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AngelOfDeath

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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 07:13:51 PM »
sorry to hear about that, Dave

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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 07:15:41 PM »
Your friend has the right of it - if the victim is lucky and does not slide into a life of despair, substance abuse, sex-working and all those negative things that trap the non-copers. That is not to mention those who go criminal "to get their own back", even violently psycho. Etc.
Yes, hurting themselves is part of it. Many hit "rock-bottom." But to watch them come out of it is glorious and priceless.


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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 10:26:31 PM »
It took a lot of guts to tell us that. I'm sorry to read what you wrote but immensely glad that you felt you could share that with us here. [[[[Dave]]]] 
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 11:26:32 PM »
This is a wonderful post, Dave, thank you for it.  There's so much need for the information you've shared so well. :hug: 

I've always been fascinated by who remembers, and why, and is it better to remember or forget?  I suspect both have their advantages (or they wouldn't both be common reactions) and which way one goes depends on personality.
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2017, 12:39:10 AM »
Thank you for that post, Dave. A touching and courageous piece of writing.  :bravo:
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2017, 03:09:33 AM »
Dave, I think sharing it here in our open-minded and supportive community will have some beneficial effects.

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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2017, 05:51:27 PM »
It's the sort of thing I can only talk about when I'm drunk. That's probably part of the reason I very rarely drink. It's tough.
 

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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 09:55:46 PM »
I've always been fascinated by who remembers, and why, and is it better to remember or forget?  I suspect both have their advantages (or they wouldn't both be common reactions) and which way one goes depends on personality.

Me too.

While there is still some controversy, many believe some traumatic memories are state-dependent. 

How Traumatic Memories Hide In The Brain, And How To Retrieve Them

State-dependent memory
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2017, 09:57:25 PM »
It's the sort of thing I can only talk about when I'm drunk. That's probably part of the reason I very rarely drink. It's tough.

It is indeed.
Sandy

  
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Re: Living with the results of abuse.
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2017, 11:30:03 PM »
were you abused by clergy?  if so, catholic or?
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 11:26:28 PM by AngelOfDeath »