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Old 02-12-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Michaux State Forest
1,276 posts, read 3,106,834 times
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If you are an abuse survivor, whether the abuse was verbal/mental/emotional, physical, or sexual, how did you overcome your past and move on to live a "normal" life? I am having an extremely difficult time letting go of my childhood abuse. In my twenties(in my early 30s now), I sought relief by staying busy all the time, but I also engaged in a lot of negative, self-destructive behavior like drinking, ect. Now, I stopped drinking yrs ago, and a life threatening injury has kept me from working and playing(iow, staying busy 24/7) and although I'm recovering just fine from my car accident, lately I just can't seem to stop dwelling on the abuse and it's seriously hindering my ability to live a normal life as I am often depressed, and filled with rage. Thearapy hasn't helped all that much although I haven't gone back in a couple of yrs. So,if you are a victim of any type of abuse, please tell me how you managed to put the past behind you and go on to lead a productive life. Thank you in advance for any/all advice or replies.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: My Private Island
4,941 posts, read 7,591,598 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilred0005 View Post
If you are an abuse survivor, whether the abuse was verbal/mental/emotional, physical, or sexual, how did you overcome your past and move on to live a "normal" life? I am having an extremely difficult time letting go of my childhood abuse. In my twenties(in my early 30s now), I sought relief by staying busy all the time, but I also engaged in a lot of negative, self-destructive behavior like drinking, ect. Now, I stopped drinking yrs ago, and a life threatening injury has kept me from working and playing(iow, staying busy 24/7) and although I'm recovering just fine from my car accident, lately I just can't seem to stop dwelling on the abuse and it's seriously hindering my ability to live a normal life as I am often depressed, and filled with rage. Thearapy hasn't helped all that much although I haven't gone back in a couple of yrs. So,if you are a victim of any type of abuse, please tell me how you managed to put the past behind you and go on to lead a productive life. Thank you in advance for any/all advice or replies.
Lilred,

First, let me say I am sorry you have been a victim of abuse. It is never an easy thing to overcome. I too was the victim of verbal, mental and sexual abuse when I was a child. I don't have a magic answer for you but my faith has helped me tremendously. I still have feelings of anger but I look at how far I have come and what God has brought me through and I give thanks. To this day, my relationship with my mother is strained and I have accepted our distance between each other. I won't open old wounds with her because I feel it will only make things worse. She is who she is and I can't change that nor will it change the past.

I encourage you to talk with someone. Whether its a counselor, family, friend or pastor. It helps to talk it out and starts the healing process. While I can't say talking about it will make the hurt and pain go away altogether, it won't. But it will help you become stronger and move forward. The past will always be a part of you but it's more important that it doesn't define you.

I wish you the best and sending hugs ((( ))) your way!
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,669 posts, read 20,838,456 times
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I, too, am sorry this has been in your past. I have not personally dealt with abuse but know of many that have. I just have 3 thoughts to add here:
First, I do know that not all therapists/counselors are created equal and even some very good ones just may not be able to scratch where you itch so to speak. I learned this after my son died tragically. Long story I won't go into, but one counselor really didn't help, the other was a life-saver.

Secondly, a lot of people get healing from their relationship with Jesus Christ and his unconditional love. You may not be the religious/spiritual type but I'm just throwing that out there because I think this has been the source of healing for many.

Lastly, you might get more response if you asked the mods to move this thread to the relationship forum.

((hugs))
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Looking East and hoping!
28,227 posts, read 20,146,649 times
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Yes scars from the past are painful to re-visit but we must learn to let go. I'm with KK-relationship forum would be the best place.

Bless you!
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Piedmont NC
4,597 posts, read 10,674,563 times
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LilRed, if you continue to dwell on the abuse, you continue to let the abuser(s) win.

Funny what we walk away from abuse with -- my three sisters and I had very abusive parents. My Father would man-handle us, and when I went to school with belt marks and welts, would you believe I lied about it? These were not your normal spankings. My Mother was emotionally abusive -- screaming and cursing all of the time, throwing things, threatening us. It continued well into our young adult lives, even after we moved out of the house, if you can imagine.

I have long since forgiven them, but don't have much to do with them. The middle sister contends we have to 'be there' for them, that these are our parents, and I don't feel that way. The best thing I got from a counselor was to have a relationship with them, if I chose, on my terms. Mind you, I would look after them much like I would anyone else -- want them to be safe, not hungry, have their daily needs met -- but do I feel compelled to have one live with me, or to go out of my way to do something for either of them? No. By contrast, my in-laws have been better parents to me. The youngest of us three has absolutely nothing to do with either of our parents -- doesn't call, doesn't visit if one is hospitalized. I respect that she has to deal with it on her terms; the middle sister doesn't.

You have to find the strength to move on. Pick a date on the calendar, circle it, and tell yourself that after the point, you will expend no more energy on it. It's negative, and it only drags you down.

I would suggest you find a counselor you like, and can connect with -- 'interview' a number of them if you have to. I also set the grounds for how I wanted to approach the counseling sessions, ie. I didn't care to re-hash the abuse, but wanted suggestions on how to look at things differently, and to move on. The counselor was well worth her weight in gold.

If you choose to let the abuse continue to drag you down, the abuser wins. You have given them the power over you.

I'm sorry. It's not easy to move past, but you have to do it for yourself. You also need a support network of other family members, or if not them, then good, close friends. Fortunately, I had wonderful aunts and uncles (one who threatened to take us girls away from our parents), and grandparents, and they provided some semblance of normalcy for us children. I also found, in my life, where I felt good about myself and gave that my all -- for me, it was school, and I was an excellent student. I went on to teach, and could SO identify with troubled youth in my classroom.

YOU are WORTH the effort to move past this.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:48 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 24,386,041 times
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I moved this thread from another forum in hopes Lired would get some good advice and insight from some of the posters here.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
16,224 posts, read 23,375,853 times
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Hi lilred!

I can relate, and I was a total mess in my earlier years. I had this, "I don`t give a damn" attitude, was flunking out of school, trying whatever drugs was out there, running away from home, at that point, I just did, not, care!

How I overcome it all, and was able to move on with my life?
I whole-heartedly forgave that person. By this, I mean, I put it behind me, and actually forgave him for it, not just buried it. I buried it for years, but I knew that the time had come for me to do something, or I could see myself "in the gutter" somewhere, with my attitude.

I hope that you can find it within yourself, to do the same. My heart goes out to you!!!
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:06 PM
 
Location: In my skin
9,227 posts, read 14,935,547 times
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LilRed, it would be a mistake to think you can do this without help. A lot of victims avoid getting help because of the shame they feel for having been in these situations; please don't deprive yourself of the opportunity to heal sooner than later.

Counseling would be the first thing I'd recommend. There are also some online support forums where you can go and share your story, or just read about how others have healed.

I'm sorry you had to go through all that.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:10 PM
 
5,683 posts, read 9,454,328 times
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LilRed, I echo and endorse the wise counsel that others here have offered, and I share their hopes that you can achieve a measure of peace and healing. I'd also like to offer you a data point that may or may not be of use to you in your quest; take it and run with it if it fits, leave it if it doesn't.

Recent research has confirmed that survivors of child abuse as a group show a much, much higher incidence of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) than does the general population as a whole. That is not to imply that EVERY abused child will develop PTSD, of course, any more than it is accurate to say that every combat veteran does. But it does provide some insights into why the echoes of abuse can resonate in a person for decades after the abuse has ended, and why some folks seem to carry those emotional scars for an entire lifetime.

And at the same time, it also suggests specific treatment modalities that can have a significant impact on a person's longterm outcome. PTSD is a tricky condition to treat, but there have been some major strides made just within the past decade that have really made a difference.

Your description of how your memories of the abuse are hindering your ability to function in the here and now suggests that this could be a fruitful avenue to investigate. I absolutely agree with KayKay and RDSLOTS about the need to shop around until you find a counselor who resonates with you, but I'd also suggest that in the process, you might consider looking specifically for counselors who have experience treating PTSD sufferers.

I send you strength, peace and healing, LilRed, and I dearly hope that you can liberate yourself from the demons of your youth. Know that you are worthy of love, of nurturing, of respect, and that you never, ever deserve abuse. Not now, not 20 years ago, not 50 years hence. Never. Be well, and keep on taking good care of yourself.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Michaux State Forest
1,276 posts, read 3,106,834 times
Reputation: 1427
Default Thank You!

I wanted to say thank you so much to everyone who replied to this post, it means a great deal to me. It was very hard for me to even write this thread as I generally try to forget and stiffle the bad memories but lately this is becoming impossible. I guess I have to confront the past in order to move on from it, sigh. I just wish I could somehow magically forget the whole thing, but the faster and farther I run from it, it's never enough. It's only made worse by the fact that my abuser(mother) refuses to acknowledge that it ever happened. Yes, we are just one happy, perfect family(yeah, right)! I'm torn apart by the fact that I will never even get an apology for my horrendous childhood experiences. I'm not by nature a whiner, blaming the past for my current actions, I actually detest those who use the past as an excuse to treat others abominably. However, by refusing to deal with the past isn't working for me. I did have a wonderful therapist who was like a family member and I saw him for yrs. I felt like he was one of the only ppl to truly understand what I went thru and its impact. Unfortunately he died very young and very suddenly from a heart attack and I miss him very very much. He helped many ppl and did most of his work with juveniles, often free of charge. I haven't found a therapist I "click" with since but I guess I must try. Thanks again for all the kind words and support, it means the world to me. Take care, - lil red -
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