Maybe We Need To Re-Frame It

What does healing look like?

For some reason, because what happened to me had been ignored, unrecognized, unreal to everyone, I thought that having someone know by undeniably seeing the pain and anguish that lives deep in me would be a relief… the beginning of healing all of this pain and struggle.

Today I got close to it, right up to the edge. There was no magnetic pull inviting me into its presence. Instead I felt the polar opposite. I felt a pushing away like an invisible force that was powerful and I could feel it pushing at me. There was no invitation to enter the presence of my own grief. My physical body recoiled, every fiber of my body was tense and tight. Like I was in a type of vice.

I wasn’t expecting it to be this hard to enter into the core of what has been holding me prisoner all these years. I thought it was there longing to be seen and felt and discovered. But no, it was forcefully pushing me away. Like I was about to enter some crime seen that would be too overwhelming to see. The kind that only someone without a heart or soul could bear to face.

Is this a joke?

Can only those who were sick enough to commit such acts also be the only ones who have the stomach to face the results they leave behind?

I knew no one else was aware of what happened to me. Today I discovered that neither am I, not really. I know it happened, I see images of being there, of being held against my will… without locks, or chains, or the use of physical force. And yet, the power and extent of control was as strong as anyone held in captivity. To the point in which my conscious memory at some point had to flee. I knew I was harmed sexually and physically and emotionally and spiritually, but I have never comprehended the harm done psychologically. Because I have not faced my own pain, what really happened to me, nothing prepared me for healing to feel like terror!

As children, we were not just sexually abused and physically harmed, we were terrorized. I felt that consciously today for the first time. Maybe this is what no one really gets! Maybe this part is missed in how others view what was done to us.

We live in a world that from just observation alone, you would think the most important thing in life is sex. We are told everyday that this is what we want, what we should want, and how to make everyone else want it from us. And we buy it! So how can sexual abuse be such a terrible thing? For most people it is just a physical act that means nothing other than one’s own pleasure and that is all that matters.

Someone didn’t just have sex with us as children and do sexual things to us, they terrorized us! The world is shocked and outraged when they see or hear of terror acts, especially against children. It is horrifying! What the world needs to know is that they didn’t just have sex with us… they TERRORIZED us!!!

Do you now understand, do you get it?

If you look at our reactions, our struggles, doesn’t it now make more sense? What they did was far more than a child or any human being can handle, that is why we can’t handle what happened to us.

This should make the whole world ashamed of their reaction to those who have been sexually abused and raped. We all focus on what was done physically and sexually. And while everyone gasps that these things were done to a child, they still don’t get it. On some level I think people unconsciously see it as something that brings them pleasure, is what was done to us as children. This is not the case.

All the adults who are walking around trying to heal from these acts of violence against them are trying to process things they had to emotionally flee… for a reason! We only think of violence as something physical and yet sexual acts forced against someone’s will is a psychologically terrorizing act. I saw it today, I walked up close and felt the terror all over again! I walked up to the edge of what happened to me and it was not just physical and sexual. That part would have been hard enough to handle.

Maybe because everyone has become numb by the term childhood sexual abuse, we should re-frame it: our children are being sexually terrorized. These are acts of terror.

We are living with the physical and emotional effects of this terror. I could feel it in my body. I got up close to it. You wonder why we have not healed yet? It is terrorizing to face what happened to us. Healing is not easy, it is not simple. It is complicated and frightening.

We don’t have compassion for children who have been sexually abused as a society, not really. Maybe we could find some if we could face the fact that we were terrorized! When you see it through this lens, everything makes sense about how we are struggling with what has been done to us. And it should make more sense to you.

We have been sexually and psychologically terrorized! And no one ever tells someone who has been terrorized to just get over it! No one ever has a hard time showing compassion for someone who has been terrorized!

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41 thoughts on “Maybe We Need To Re-Frame It

    1. Bethany, I had my first session today trying to revisit the abuse and it is overwhelming. Lucy told me it will bring things up and to write about it. Well, this is what came. It is what I felt… what I feel. This was not just for me, but for you and everyone else out there who has been abused… and for those who have not!

      Quite frankly, I did not expect it to be this hard. Everyone wonders why we have not healed yet, but everything in me wants to run from healing.

      OMG Bethany this is not for cowards as I am sure you already know! When we ever get to a better place, we should be able to move mountains!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I had my first session too. Im so glad you wrote about yours. It coincides with what i am going through. Reliving this…way harder than i anticipated! So much work this will be. I am doing it because i know in the end i will be happier than i am now and it will be worth it. But sooo hard.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have been seeing Lucy for awhile now. I have been mostly sharing my writing and through this, having her get to understand me and know me and what happened. All of this has been a part of working on healing. But today was our first day zeroing in on the first target area.

          Not facing it hasn’t worked out so well. And I am sure it will be worth it. I knew it would be hard, but the physical and emotional resistance I wasn’t expecting to be this great… like healing from being terrorized! We did flee emotionally for a reason!

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  1. I believe not only were you terrorized you were traumatized doubling the affect-no it will not be easy to ever overcome completely-nor fully grasp the why me (why us?) its a start to over-coming that it can not and will not happen again. The pattern and your thought process will change as you continue therapy. The pain-terror-trauma must be confronted and released to ever have peace. You are brave and strong and I know eventually it will be clearer and easier to understand you were not at fault. Hugs my friend. xo

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    1. Cheryl, I needed to hear this! My confidence was shaken today… who wants to enter a war zone! Once again your deep understanding lets me know you get this… really, really get this at its core! And this means more to me than words could express! Sincerely and deeply, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. You are a light in this dark reality! I wish more people had your depth of understanding. In some ways I see you get this on levels I have yet to discover! You give me hope! Thank you my dear friend!!! xxoo

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  2. Yes. And people, to be able to comprehend the abuse, I think they compartmentalize it and think of the abuse as a one time event. You are right that people cannot grasp the terror that we lived through. There is no way they can understand it, no way they can picture it, no way they can empathize. Once I started facing the abuse I knew there was no turning back for me. I choose this life of feeling the pain over being a mannequin just pushing through life just to get to the end. I feel like this is the first time I have actually started living. Good for you for choosing more healing. Like you said, it will be hard work but well worth it.

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  3. You bravely found strength to live. After living it you went to that edge. You faced the reality. Hideous as it is, facing it will make you even stronger in time. Though it feels worse now it will get better. I understand. I care. I’m sorry for the horror, the terror, the surreal world somebody forced you into. Find your pace. Breathe. Stand strong. Don’t give up.

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  4. What you wrote needs to be heard, shouted from the rooftops. Too much child abuse. It must be taken more seriously and not discounted publicly so others are more comfortable in the world. It must change. Stand strong. You will heal and you can help change the tide.

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    1. Everything you said is so true!

      (I need to let you know that there has been a misunderstanding and I know how it happened. You read a reply I made to a comment from a man named Paul. And at the end of my comnent I stated: “Thank you Paul.” I think you thought I was signing my name to the end of my comment. But that is not the case. I am a woman. please don’t feel bad, I have made the same mistake myself!) 🙂

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      1. I’m glad you understand. I use the old GS3 as a tablet for WP since the security settings on the laptop typically disallow me to “like” many of my favorite posts. Commenting can be time consuming and a distraction from my actual work. And don’t get me started on speech-to-text errors 😉 This post is a matter I am extremely passionate about, so I got a little lost in the mix => Still, it’s nice to chat. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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  5. This brought me close to tears. I find it impossible to relive my traumatic formative years…

    Yes–it’s interesting that (in the UK anyway) rape is “Sexual Assault” but for children it’s “Sexual exploitation” and “Sexual Abuse”) All of these terms resonate differently.

    Our defence mechanisms are good–too good–which is why we recoil and retreat when we get close to the edge: why would we want to be terrorised over and over. We are essentially protecting ourselves and yet slowly we will get through it some way, some how.

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  6. You are brave beyond words. Words are inadequate to express emotions as I read. Your words will help others and hopefully raise compassion a security for someone going through this. I am sorry is inadequate, nothing seems sufficient …you are one of the strongest persons on this earth.

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    1. Well I am trying to be strong. I can certainly say that anyone brave enough to walk through this is certainly not a coward. At this point it is encouraging to know others have and that it is at least possible! Thank you for your heartfelt words of encouragement. I think writing this is a start in my path forward! And I do hope it is helpful to others. Again, thank you!

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  7. I know EXACTLY what you mean. I resisted (and still do) every attempt to get me to revisit things. The few things I did manage to “get out” left the counselor in tears saying “you weren’t abused. You were tortured.”
    I can’t do it. I tried to talk a bit about it to Loser. Big mistake. His response was “you’d think that after being married to me for five years, you’d get over that shit.”
    I never really have owned it. I don’t think I ever will but it’s kind of a moot point now. Everything and everybody is gone so my phobias and idiosyncrasies really don’t matter anymore.
    My wish is for others to heal and find their way to happiness. For some of us, that will never happen…and it’s okay.

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    1. LAUREL, first let me say thank you for sharing this with me! Your story, from what little I know, is… well there are no words. I thank you because it has helped me to understand you better. I get what you are saying and I believe you. Healing can never happen in a vacuum, in isolation, or with unloving and uncaring people in your life.

      You need to know and feel love. Please don’t take this as pressure or something you need to fix or are doing wrong. You can’t buy love, you can’t make people love you. I do get that, believe me I do.

      The only reason I am at the front door of my pain is because of the love I have allowed into my life. And even that is an ongoing struggle. We do struggle either way. But without love and support I don’t think healing can come.

      I don’t know what you could do differently right now… other than to keep your heart open for at least friendship in your life. I can’t tell you how many times I just cried out that I don’t even have a clue what I need… but please God do not let me go! And I too thought it was never a possibility for me for multiple reasons. And maybe Lucy will need to adjust our approach in order for this to happen.

      I do agree with you, that where you are now, any pressure for you to heal is not realistic. But I don’t agree that it is okay! You deserve far more than life has handed you! And as long as you have life, there is hope. I will hope for you if you can’t right now! Again, thank you!

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      1. I’m not sure I will ever “heal” in the classic sense of the word but I think I can become comfortable with accepting that things just sometimes, don’t work out. Some people are just meant to be alone and I am one of them.
        I may be on the brink of madness and suffering total denial but I am rather fond of being alone.
        I often think of traveling and doing things I never had chance to do before but I’m old now. Going alone…like to a foreign country would be a little scary but I won’t pay somebody for companionship (like Loser.) If it was just ten or fifteen years ago, it would be different.
        I have my bloggies and I am so grateful for them.
        I really do wish I could disappear. I thought I had but “people” have found me.
        I do so appreciate your support and I grieve for what happened to you but I am so happy that you are trying to overcome.
        There was a time when I would have called out to God but no more. I have called out to him my entire life and He always said no.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Laurel… I have no more words for you today… because on some level I get you! And whatever you feel is understandable… sad but understandable! I know there were times in my life when no matter what anyone else said to me, it also could not change how I felt. This is your journey and I respect that! But just know that I do not give up on you!!! Hugs!

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  8. There are so many aspects of abuse that are simply hidden. If you take the chance to trust a
    trained person, that you know has your best interests in mind, the healing can start. It is
    a lot of spurts of starts & pulling back. Honestly to describe the lengths I went to be healed,
    might put you off. Don’t be afraid. Just know that you are wonderful, a good person.
    Nothing that happened to you was your fault. Never accept any guilt fir the harm others
    do to you.
    I honestly can tell it took a very long time to heal those wounds. In order to heal, you
    need to revisit those wounds. Eventually you become a whole person, prepared to
    share with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe we wouldn’t risk it if we knew how difficult it really is… not without finding the right person first. I found that, which is a miracle in and of itself! Thank you for sharing your journey! And for all of your encouragement!

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      1. You have the right person, now trust that they only have your best interest in mind.
        The person I worked with had to hypnotize me using a technique I never
        heard of. I was frightened, but knew I needed to trust that it would bring up
        those buried memories. It took me a very long time, but I am very much at
        home in my own skin.
        Good luck, you can do this.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. In so many ways I found far more than the right person… she is not just highly educated and experienced… this is her calling and gift that she knew from a young age! God knew I needed her. And I do trust her which, I didn’t know would be possible for me. So I guess on many levels I have already made progress. I am very happy for you and this is encouraging. Again, thank you so much!

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