Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

What abused children Become

Pixabay: Soledadsnp

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From Dr. Nicholas Jenner on his onlinetherapist.blog

“I am convinced that codependents come into adulthood seeking the basic connection with others that they failed to find with their parents.

In a process of compulsion repetition, they engage in relationships with people similar to their caregivers, trying to solve the original problem.

In the specific case of codependency, this means controlling the environment and the people in it to gain reassurance and emotional security, mirroring childhood.

As we know, this means sacrifice, martyrdom, victimhood and the main principles of the drama triangle, fixing, anger and self loathing.

Codependents feel they need to be in a relationship to feel secure and once they are, will do all they can to stay in it.

Our logical mind often tells us that we need to make changes in our lives.

This is often overwhelmed by the emotional part of our thinking that holds fear, shame and reminds us how difficult change might be.

This protective thinking is the main reason we become stuck when deciding what to do.

It protects us from our primary fears, not good enough, abandonment, fear of commitment, rejection.

The thinking we listen wants us to stay exactly where we are so we don’t face these fears.”

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My two cents: In early adulthood I was extremely vulnerable.

I stayed after a public betrayal by my first love, first girlfriend in college.

Staying was humiliating publicly and extremely damaging but I was paralyzed like this article says.

Sad, abused kids need to suffer more in adulthood without knowing why or how to fix it.

Oh yes. We have enormous rage and resentment for all abusers in our life.

We battle an invisible monster, a caregivers treachery, for life.

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Navigating a traumatized existence

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Stating the obvious, we were innocent, helpless kids without the mental or physical abilities to escape or protect ourselves.

For me, healing looks totally different than a normal person.

Everyone talks about how connecting and trusting, having healthy social relationships are part of healing and wellbeing.

I did the opposite. Socially, trusting people was never going to happen except for an inner circle of a few.

For me, isolating from most people, stabilized my nervous system, so I could heal.

I never trusted people, never.

People betraying me, did so much damage after my childhood, I became a loner.

Finding a way to be happy without many attachments was difficult, but the alternative of a loved one betraying me was never an option after college.

I stayed alive, did not commit suicide, got up and created a private world for myself.

I am alive, I survived extreme abuse as a confused, little boy.

Terror followed me, nightmares, sweats, stomach aches, vomiting, anxiety and fear ensued.

Now, when all this explodes life goes back to feeling imminent danger is near, it exists deep inside my memories.

I can not make sense of my life and all the suffering.

Was I born to be a sufferer?

How should I endure a life filled with suffering.

Where is the worth in my life, keeps nagging me for answers

Abused kids can not escape the damage.

Any insight?

Note: I am not advocating isolating, except from your abusers, even if it is a parent until after you improve.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired

https://pixabay.com/users/tabor-1546010/

I have been watching “Queens Gambit” on netflicks, so I find this pic funny. Yea nothing to do with the post but entertaining for me. That’s an active PTSD brain functioning, I think. The Jethro Tull t-shirt completes the picture.

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My childhood Abuse haunts me, it was hard wired into my brain and nervous system before it developed.

It is like a bad dream when it is awakened, it is intertwined with our brains normal development. It existed before some parts of our brain matured.

It is highly irrational by definition and ever so confusing.

I never had a healthy ego, autonomy, or even safety in my entire childhood. There is no core, no resilient piece developed, I functioned in survival mode.

Many healthy circuits are ignored and thus damaging our chances of ever being normal. Survival mode, means high alert, spotting danger replaces any creative endeavors, building deep attachments etc.

If you follow this blog, you have seen me as a crusader of healing and then other times like now, you have also seen me in the abyss of active suffering from PTSD.

It is a battle, those who suffer from childhood abuse, physical, emotional or even rape know the nightmare they live.

Our trauma scares the shit out of us, commandeers our nervous system, then floods our minds with intrusive thoughts.

My healing was like a war zone. Violent exits of childhood trauma that I finally integrated were the best feelings.

Then in a few days more trauma arrived. After five years of daily, 8 plus hours of meditation, reading and applying every healing technique I could find, it was frustrating to have more abuse always surface.

It seemed it was limitless and finding peace impossible.

My optimum space for healing, found me totally focused on my effort.

If things got worse, I practiced more.

Another big advantage, I learned from being a pro athlete.

We worked out five months in the offseason without worrying about results until next season.

Childhood PTSD (C-PTSD) is not going to change much in a day, a week, or a month, so I placed all worry or concern into more practice, more effort.

Worrying is a nasty form of Dissociation, our biggest enemy stopping us from improving.

No great direction in this post. My posts are so different when my PTSD is active or dormant.

It feels a little vulnerable sharing when my ptsd is this active.

Thoughts?

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They feel that they do not have the right to exist.

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Children of narcissist emerge from the crucible with a common and most serious problem.

They feel that they do not have the right to exist.

Their selves have been twisted out of their natural shape since any movement toward independence is treated as a Betrayal and something that can cause the parent irreparable harm.

The narcissistic parents philosophy of rationalized self interest prevents the child from understanding why he feels guilty about having autonomous motives.

The narcissistic parents principal, “you don’t count,” means the child’s effort to be seen as an individual is worthy of consideration if only for trying to understand that her problems are felt by the parent to be an act of treason.

The child’s move towards autonomy is greeted by the parents pain, resentment and anger, from which the child learns that becoming a separate person is wrong.

A narcissist attempts to define his children’s reality.

He tells them what they are feeling and thinking, in contradiction to what they really do feel and think.

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My two cents: Reading in a book about not feeling the right to be alive, shocked me.

I was not the only one.

A narcissist isolates you as much as possible so he/she can have total control.

I see why knowing my identity is so confusing.

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Adult survivors are often isolated, lacking the ability or courage to trust

https://pixabay.com/users/goranh-3989449/

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From https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/docs/librariesprovider16/default-document-library/the-long-shadow-adult-survivors-of-childhood-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Interpersonal Problems

Adult survivors of past abuse may also experience difficulties in relationships with others. These difficulties can influence your relationships with partners, friends, members of your family of origin, and your children.

Evvie Becker-Lausen and Sharon Mallon-Kraft describe two dysfunctional interpersonal styles that they characterize as “pandemic” outcomes of past abuse. Adult survivors may adopt an avoidant style, which includes low interdependency, self-disclosure and warmth, leading to few interpersonal ties. ( I have lived with few deep attachments and enjoy the security of my bedroom over any social gathering)

Or they may adopt an intrusive style, which includes extremely high needs for closeness, excessive self-disclosure and being smotheringly warm. We could call the intrusive style “codependent.”

The intrusive style is overly demanding and controlling. Interestingly, both styles result in loneliness. (You’ll also notice that the two styles are very similar to those of depressed mothers.)

Past abuse influences adult relationships. In a sample of incest survivors, those not in stable or secure relationships as adults were more likely to be depressed (Alexander, Anderson, Brand, Schaeffer, Grelling & Kretz. 1998).

Past abuse can influence your ability to trust others, make friends, and have relationships that are not exploitive. ( I have never trusted a woman in a relationship after the public humiliation in college. Fear was the driving subconscious force that enabled me to not need people)

Adult survivors are often isolated and are less satisfied with their relationships than adults who were never abused. (I Isolated, had few deep connections, never joined groups, and became suspicious of others motives, people were not safe in my world)

If you are an abuse survivor, you may find it difficult to find an adequate support network to help you cope with the stresses of parenting. ( Abused kids have few resources and are oblivious that we need therapy)

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Impaired Self from Childhood Trauma

From Public domain pics
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From https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/docs/librariesprovider16/default-document-library/the-long-shadow-adult-survivors-of-childhood-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=0


Impaired Sense of Self

Women who have experienced childhood abuse often have an impaired sense of self. You may use the reactions of others to gauge how you are feeling about a particular situation.

Because of this, you may be gullible and easily manipulated by others. You may be unable to establish appropriate boundaries, even with your children, and are often the caretaker of others within your network of friends and family.

An impaired sense of self can also increase the risk of revictimization including rape or domestic abuse.

Finally, you may have difficulty asking others for help, gathering a support network or taking advantage of support that is available. This can have direct implications for your emotional well-being and your ability to mother.

Avoidance

Avoidance is another long-term effect—one that is at the heart of many of the more serious symptoms. Avoidance symptoms can occur because they help you cope by temporarily reducing emotional pain.

The first type of avoidance is dissociation.

Dissociative symptoms often first appear during childhood, when they become a way to “escape” from abuse or pain.

Adult survivors often describe how they were able to numb body parts at will, or how they would “watch” the abuse from above their body.

Some mothers can still use dissociation to cope with uncomfortable feelings of intense contact with their babies or children.

Dissociation gets to be a problem, however, when they have no control over when this happens.
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Childhood abuse can also increase your vulnerability to stresses you may experience as an adult.

https://pixabay.com/users/openclipart-vectors-30363/

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From https://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/docs/librariesprovider16/default-document-library/the-long-shadow-adult-survivors-of-childhood-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=0

Childhood abuse can also increase your vulnerability to stresses you may experience as an adult.

In one study, Vietnam veterans who had been physically abused as children were significantly more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after combat than were veterans who had not been abused as children (Bremner, Southwick, Johnson, Yehuda, & Charney 1993).

These findings were true even when comparing veterans who had had the same amount of combat exposure.

What this means for you is that a previously abusive experience, of whatever type, may increase your risk for having a traumatic-stress reaction to something that happens to you in adulthood.

Experiences that could trigger this reaction include being mugged or assaulted as an adult, having a frightening birth experience, or having someone in your family (including you or your child) become seriously ill.

Cognitive Distortions

If you have experienced abuse in childhood, you may see the world as a dangerous place. Because you have been powerless in the past, you may be highly fearful and overestimate danger and adversity in your current environment.

(My comment: The world was dangerous for me, my father beat me violently. That feeling persists in the deepest reaches of my mind to this day. It is subtle now, not overt, it hides in the shadows)

You may also underestimate your own sense of self-efficacy and self-worth in dealing with both real and perceived danger, and feel that there is nothing you can do. You may feel powerless to protect and provide for your children. (My comment: self worth is replaced by co dependency, we lack clear boundaries and become targets of others)

Cognitive distortions can also influence what you think about your baby and child. In one recent study, mothers who had been physically abused had significantly more negative thoughts about their babies than did the comparison mothers, who had not been physically abused (Gara, Allen, Herzog & Woolfolk 2000).

These distortions can contribute to your emotional distress and increase your risk for depression.

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How many kids heal from serious Childhood abuse?

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Statistics cover the many causes and their percentages, absent is any percentage for how many heal and how many suffer and die early.

Finding a ballpark figure of how long it takes to heal is non existent.

I would like to know what chance exists for healing from serious childhood trauma.

So many parts of our abuse are intertwined with our brains development. My brain was filled with abuse before it was even capable of distinguishing between trauma and normal development.

If you have serious childhood PTSD, a regular therapist without outstanding skills and wisdom will not work very well.

Recognize the mountain we have in front of us.

People suffer from a single trauma, we were traumatized for a decade and a half growing up.

Parts of us stayed behind in survival mode.

We act out from invisible fear we spot and isolate for reasons no one else can see.

We are not like normal people and will never be like them.

Even if we heal, our lives will never resemble theirs.

Our brains wired differently and not for our wellbeing.

Our coping mechanisms we used to survive our abuser will damage us in adult life.

Will we ever feel safe, worthy and secure?

I have improved in remarkable ways but feeling safe and worthy, having peace of mind are not my companions even now.

If we are offered another life, reincarnation, how many of violently abused kids would take it.

This little boy would never chance being abused like I was ever again.

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I have two significant traumas in my life: a pattern has emerged

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My traumas waited many decades to explode, coming alive in my consciousness. Usually a crisis, death, cancer, another trauma, etc. activates our stored trauma.

For me, this has happened twice, a decade apart, one with my whole childhood, second a horrible public betrayal in college.

During childhood, my brain wired under duress, fear and survival shut down many normal developmental circuits.

As a child, my complete focus centered around my father (my abuser).

Instead of developing healthy attachments, social skills, all my focus was spent on my fathers mood.

When a caregiver places you in imminent danger, even digestion is interrupted.

So the pattern of being consumed by trauma thoughts is a habit practiced from such an early age.

Now, a second trauma, not childhood but a college tragedy erupted a couple months ago.

Now my mind haunts me night and day playing a short video of the trauma.

My inner world tries to change the outcome. The wounded me in college, does not want to endure this a second longer.

I never felt this humiliated and worthless in my life. We feel the emotions at the time of the event, like reliving a real horror movie.

Of course my trauma from childhood made this new trauma far more damaging.

Abused kids lack emotional regulation skills and healthy coping mechanisms , making us vulnerable the rest of our lives.

Realize, if you have Complex PTSD from childhood, a new trauma will be far more damaging to us than a normal person.

I am finding that two big traumas like this can be overwhelming, so much more power in combination.

Yes, frustration and resentment share my mind with fear and humiliation in the midst of this past trauma.

You can see the rollercoasre ride our traumatized mind takes us through.

This is not an easy life. We isolate to protect our damaged souls.

Not everyday is jubilant on this journey.

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What’s Your ACE Score? Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE Study)

Three Types of ACEs

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There are 10 types of childhood trauma measured in the ACE Study. Five are personal — physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect, and emotional neglect. Five are related to other family members: a parent who’s an alcoholic, a mother who’s a victim of domestic violence, a family member in jail, a family member diagnosed with a mental illness, and the disappearance of a parent through divorce, death or abandonment. Each type of trauma counts as one. So a person who’s been physically abused, with one alcoholic parent, and a mother who was beaten up has an ACE score of three.

There are, of course, many other types of childhood trauma — racism, bullying, watching a sibling being abused, losing a caregiver (grandmother, mother, grandfather, etc.), homelessness, surviving and recovering from a severe accident, witnessing a father being abused by a mother, witnessing a grandmother abusing a father, involvement with the foster care system, involvement with the juvenile justice system, etc. The ACE Study included only those 10 childhood traumas because those were mentioned as most common by a group of about 300 Kaiser members; those traumas were also well studied individually in the research literature.

The most important thing to remember is that the ACE score is meant as a guideline: If you experienced other types of toxic stress over months or years, then those would likely increase your risk of health consequences.

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ACEs Increase Health Risks

According to the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, the rougher your childhood, the higher your score is likely to be and the higher your risk for various health problems later.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Credit: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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Prior to your 18th birthday:

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Swear at you, insult you, put you down, or humiliate you? or Act in a way that made you afraid that you might be physically hurt?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did a parent or other adult in the household often or very often… Push, grab, slap, or throw something at you? or Ever hit you so hard that you had marks or were injured?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did an adult or person at least 5 years older than you ever… Touch or fondle you or have you touch their body in a sexual way? or Attempt or actually have oral, anal, or vaginal intercourse with you?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you often or very often feel that … No one in your family loved you or thought you were important or special? or Your family didn’t look out for each other, feel close to each other, or support each other?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you often or very often feel that … You didn’t have enough to eat, had to wear dirty clothes, and had no one to protect you? or Your parents were too drunk or high to take care of you or take you to the doctor if you needed it?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Were your parents ever separated or divorced?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Was your mother or stepmother:

Often or very often pushed, grabbed, slapped, or had something thrown at her? or Sometimes, often, or very often kicked, bitten, hit with a fist, or hit with something hard? or Ever repeatedly hit over at least a few minutes or threatened with a gun or knife?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did you live with anyone who was a problem drinker or alcoholic, or who used street drugs?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Was a household member depressed or mentally ill, or did a household member attempt suicide? No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Did a household member go to prison?

No___If Yes, enter 1 __

Now add up your “Yes” answers: _ This is your ACE Score

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