Unless you are an abuse survivor who is continually positive, continually looking at the bright side and telling everyone how well you are doing and how strong you are…….. you are written off as weak, acting like a victim and a failure.
Society demands success, demands positivity, demands outer strength, even at the expense of lying and denying the truth. By society’s standards, and many other survivors, I am a failure.
I am honest, genuine and speak exactly what this journey can be like for many. There are many profound reasons why this journey is not an escalator ride up, is not about being positive and how to assume it should be, is unhealthy and wrong. Survivors are shamed in this way all the time.
Society raises ‘success stories’ up all the time, to show you what you ‘should’ be doing. Other survivors who claim to be healed – parade their stories as a success and an inspiration, telling others this is what they should be doing. They don’t stop and realise that may be their idea of inspiration, but their journey is different and should ‘not’ be compared, because there are countless reasons that affect healing journey’s.
Does the fact that I am not a ‘success story’ in society’s terms of success, make me failure? Weak?
I have survived significant levels of trauma, since birth. With virtually no support, no family, no-one in my life who loves me or cares about me, and yet the very essence of healing interpersonal trauma, is to develop healthy interpersonal relationships.
For some of us, this is virtually impossible. Due to those subconscious core wounds of intense fear, fear of trust, fear of abandonment, fear of allowing someone ‘in’ enough, and/or not having anyone healthy enough … to help heal those deep and profound wounds.
People say abuse/trauma doesn’t define you. Demand it ‘should’ not define you. Tell you – you are weak if you ‘let’ it define you. Shame you some more.
Well, they are wrong, it can and it does define many of us. And I am honest and insightful enough to see this, and accept it.
My childhood was fear and abuse every single day. A child’s brain is shaped by the experiences they are grow with. Shaped by trauma, if that is what they endure.
As per Prof. Bessel van der Kolk, “A child’s brain is virtually nonexistent. It’s being shaped by experience. So yes, it’s extremely malleable.”
On the subject of childhood trauma being far greater damage to adulthood trauma he stated “Yes, because of developmental issues. If you’re an adult and life’s been good to you, and then something bad happens, that sort of injures a little piece of the whole structure. But toxic stress in childhood from abandonment or chronic violence has pervasive effects on the capacity to pay attention, to learn, to see where other people are coming from, and it really creates havoc with the whole social environment.”
He also stated “Psychologically traumatic events change the physical structure of the brain. They can change the connections and activations in the brain. They shape the brain.
The human brain is a social organ that is shaped by experience, and that is shaped in order to respond to the experience that you’re having. So particularly earlier in life, if you’re in a constant state of terror; your brain is shaped to be on alert for danger, and to try to make those terrible feelings go away.
The brain gets very confused. And that leads to problems with excessive anger, excessive shutting down, and doing things like taking drugs to make yourself feel better. These things are almost always the result of having a brain that is set to feel in danger and fear.
As you grow up an get a more stable brain, these early traumatic events can still cause changes that make you hyper-alert to danger, and hypo-alert to the pleasures of everyday life.
Abuse created who I am.
It created the way my brain
is wired. For fear.
Abuse has affected my entire life, all my relationships – which have all been with unhealthy people and unhealthy experiences. Adding to the trauma, as a result.
Abuse has affected every single day of my life and still does. In profoundly painful ways.
I have been surviving abuse, dealing with abuse and grieving abuse, for decades.
I am being very honest about this, and yet I will be considered by many – to be a failure and weak as a result.
I refuse to pretend and say things are better than they are. I’m not supressing and faking. I’m not deluding myself that I am doing better than I am.
I did the whole ‘suppression, avoidance, positive thinking, got on with my life, didn’t focus on my past’ – for 2 decades and it made my life worse, as a result and yet then, I would be considered ‘stronger’. It wasn’t being stronger at all. But, it was how I coped. Back then – I could not face the reality of all the trauma and how profoundly is has affected me. Now, I am facing it.
I am honest about horrendous this is. I don’t think that is being weak, or a failure.
I think it’s honesty and integrity to the truth and reality of the horrendous affects of severe childhood complex trauma.