One of the first helpful articles I found was in an Awake magazine. The title of the one I’ll be sharing is, “The Secret Wounds of Child Abuse”. This article was, and still is, painful to read over. I won’t summarize it, just share some highlights. I hope you guys find it insightful, and if you want to know what issue it is, just let me know.
The article begins with two victims sharing how the abuse affects them now as adults. One expresses feelings of self hate and being dirty. The other feels alienated from people, and at times wants to die. These are all too familiar feelings and thoughts for victims. Abuse leaves a child feeling overwhelmed, damaged, and humiliated. It’s an assault on their mind, and body. It helps to understand what is lost when abuse occurs, because it’s not just the innocence.
During the the first few years, the foundation for emotional health and development is laid. A child’s sense of personal worth and moral boundaries are also developed. An abused child is not only robbed of these; but what also disappears is their sense of security, safety, privacy and self respect. Having this in mind helps us to see why it’s hard for some to recover, and why many fall into destructive behavior.
The article also mentioned how victims have a hard time maintaining healthy relationships. They either can’t relate to men (if the victim is a woman) or have a hard time respecting authority figures. Some may become controlling or abusive and thus sabotage friendships and marriages. Others may avoid close relationships altogether.
This article gave me insight into why I behave and think the way I do. Yes, I was born with personality traits, and I’ve acquired habits throughout the years, but now I understand a lot of my fears and general distrust. I also know why I have deep feelings of guilt and shame. Realizing where all of this was coming from marked the beginning of putting the pieces of me together. I have lived life with bits of me left in the past. What I now desire most, is to feel whole again.
It’s a learning process. Some days I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. Other days I feel like I’m backsliding. I’m aware that on bad days I should look back to a year ago and see how far I’ve come, and I don’t even have to go back that far because at the beginning of this year I was sabotaging my relationships!
I’ve found that the best thing to have is a good support system. Friends who will listen, but not try to solve my problems. Who will give me a needed hug or some encouraging words. I’m glad I’m not on this journey alone! Friends are so eager to help when we let them.
Love you guys ; )