It’s the start of a new year and I have been receiving many messages from survivors of child abuse and sadly the same issues keep being mentioned. One of the biggest issues is that the survivor feels let down because the people they expect to get the most support from don’t even want to acknowledge that the abuse has happened. Although hurtful and in many cases not excusable, there is logic and rational behind this.
One of the main reasons is guilt, the closest people feel guilty that the abuse happened and it is too unpleasant for them to admit it and take the consequences, whether it is to feel the guilt or to accept that the abuse happened. Sometimes it is that they don’t want to believe that the person they love so much has been through so much. Other times it is because to take it on board they have to also accept that another person they love is the abuser as well. The people who are the closest are the ones that are going to be affected the most and for this reason in many cases it is these people who give the least support.
This can cause even more hurt and resentment to the survivor and is detrimental to the recovery. The survivor often feels more rejected worthless and their self esteem which is already low sinks down to a new level. This can increase self harm, depression and a lot more so the recovery is even more prolonged.
Survivors at some stage have to use their inner strength and tell themselves that they are worth a lot more. They have to believe in themselves and they have to rise above the rejection, guilt and look to the light.
A survivor has already suffered trauma, and they already have shown the strength to pull through this. They therefore have this inner strength to pull back on and to get through the next stage. Sometimes the hurt from the support not being there is as strong a the hurt from the abuse, the only way to get through this is to believe deeply that you are worth more and believe that there are others who do care and want to help you through.
Sometimes you also have to take a step back and look at the facts if you were in denial for so long, then although not right understand that others can go into denial too. My mother went into denial and it was her way of coping it didn’t help me but I could understand it. The unfortunate issue is that most people want their mother out of all the people in the world to understand them the most, to hug them and to reassure them that they are loved and that they are worthy, so when the survivor is rejected support from their mother, the hurt digs deep and causes so much damage. I personally took years to get over this but can stand back and realise that my mother does love me she was just incapable of managing what had happened in the way I wanted her to. Step by step I built myself back up and I realised that I could not judge my Mum. I believe sincerely that she tried her best top deal with the situation. I just hope that I am never in that situation myself. This does not excuse everyone as some are in the wrong and again this takes even more strength to know you have to rise above it.
Recovery tales time and with child abuse there is so much complexity, time is a main component. Yet within this timeframe one can draw strength from each stage and build back confidence and self esteem and not only build back the confidence one should have had, but increase that confidence with the knowledge that survivors come out stronger and tougher then most people, as we have had to build this inner strength to survive. We also learn to appreciate so much more and can take pride in ourselves that we were not beaten.
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