Thursday 12 November 2015

I wish my brain had a delete button.. #childabuse #memories

Trauma memories can surface at any time. Personally I have found that when under extreme stress in daily life, I am more likely to have flashbacks and the simplest thing can trigger a memory. Thankfully I have learnt techniques that keep me safe and grounded most of the time.

Recovery from child abuse trauma and the frequently ensuing PTSD and other after affects means that we have to face our demons and relive much of the trauma in order to deal with it in a safe manner and reduce or stop it's impact on our lives today.

I find writing to be incredibly therapeutic. By writing out the memories I seem able to take away much of their power. One memory I have not shared before. The abuse I endured was varied in nature. There was sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse and also combinations of the three. 

As a child my feel turned in quite badly. I also spoke far too fast for most people to understand me (apart from when I was in full on stutter mode)..

Grandfather kept an old polio leg caliper in his workshop. At his whim I had to wear it. It had belonged to a cousin of his who had lived with my grandparents for a number of years. His brother, a Calvinistic Minister, had suggested to him to use it on me during one of our visits to see him to give me my "spiritual lessons".. The caliper fitted badly and rubbed harshly against my skin. I would only be wearing underpants (or less) and he would make me walk around wearing the contraption. Sometimes he took his "game" further and in the interests of not triggering others I will say no more about what these events led to. He simply delighted in humiliating me. 

Life has had some very stressful moments recently and since yesterday I have been able to feel the caliper rubbing against my leg and causing me to limp a lot of the time. The pain is real. The body often remembers things that our brain hides from our consciousness. I hope that by sharing this I will be able to minimise the discomfort and also shelve the memories where they belong - firmly in the past.

This is not the actual one used but similar enough to illustrate my point.


Anonymous said...

I read your story and it made me cry. I am suffering the consequences of years of abuse in care. I am not a survivor I am existing. I thought maybe writing will help me. I am hiding what I feel to be a terrible secret which has been haunting me for years. You are one extremely strong person. I admire the courage you have. Pain comes in many forms.

Anonymous said...

I read your story again today. I was the person that cried when I read it. I can feel the pain you feel I so understand when you mention the caliper trigging pain and you limp. I have so much emotional pain I do understand what you are saying. Mine is my stomach whenever I am stressed which is too often I have severe stomach pain. It churns over and over just like it did when I was a child. I think it is because I can not express how I feel. I learnt from a very early age it was best to keep quiet. I wish I could put my memories in my past. I have tried so many times but they keep rearing their ugly head maybe on day the will stay in the past where they belong. It is interesting you say things were done to humilate you. Often when I was in the children's home things are done purely to humilate and dehumanising. I wish I had more strength.

Anonymous said...

One thing I meant to say. I have and always felt that men suffering the effects of abuse is more difficult than for a woman. I am not saying woman don't suffer, but I think woman get more support than men. There is so much victim blaming. It is almost impossible for a man to accept things have happened. This is just my opinion. The fact that you can write things down is incredible. I think you are a truly amazing person. The subject of abuse is so taboo people would rather believe of its non existence. The horror of abuse of levels that people could begin to imagine it is better to pretend it isn't real and that it doesn't happen and it makes there world safe. This is the third time I have commented on this subject with the last two comments. I just would like you and all abuse victims out there, that there are people that care about what has happened to you in the past and that your are not alone. I will leave it here for now. There is much more I would like to write but I don't want to go overboard with what I say and upset anybody.

Beyond Survivor said...

Dear Anonymous,

I truly appreciate your comments and also the fact that you can open up whilst commenting. Your words do not fall on deaf ears.

I often feel unable to reply to comments and my insecurities take over. I am not amazing, honestly. I do try and reach out and give hope. My life is far better than it was. It is far from "right" but it gets better.

I often feel unworthy of "life" but have a stubborn streak that refuses to let "them" win...

If you want to contact me directly you can via email or through DM on twitter.

Don't let the abusers win. Take back your life. That is the ethos by which I try and live.

You are not alone either.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for your heart felt comment Jan L Frayne. I would really like to stay Anonymous it is better for me. I have real bad trust issues which I fight against all the time. I feel safer staying anonymous, I can be almost invisible which I prefer. For a long time I had given up hope. It is slowly getting better. I don't do blogs but this one is something I want to do. It is quite unusal for me. My gut feeling it was right for me to comment on your story. Thankyou for offering me to contact you direct. When and if I feel brave enough I will. I have to be much stronger than I do now.


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