Support and Listening (Reposted from Treebeardgarden’s Blog)

Support and listening

Support and listening

This has been reblogged from Treebeardgarden’s Blog - it is a very good account of how a different approach and change in perspective can make all the difference to the healing process.

As someone who has suffered abuse both as a child and an adult. I’ve always found it difficult to accept the support I have always needed.

I saw it as other folk showing me sympathy and that I did not need ever. I had enough of other people controlling my life.

These day’s being a little older and a little calmer. I realise that if I had accepted that support earlier in life then perhaps my eldest daughter would not have seen some of what she did and should never have seen.

The way I had been offered support in the past had been rather twisted. Being told that no matter what they would be there for me and then backing it up by saying you can’t help the way you are. I mean seriously, we’ll help you and you can’t help being a b*****d. This is how I always saw myself but no more thanks to finding my best friend and soulmate. She not only listened but never ever judged my past. When an opinion was called for, I’d receive an empathetic response hearing the love and caring in her voice. Not being judged for the first time in my life was a strange experience to say the least.
I’d been used to being told it all happened because of the nasty person I was…(View original to keep reading)

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Doubts.  Doubts. Doubts.  

Doubts are everywhere.  Doubts are surrounding me, engulfing me, consuming me.  Doubts are eating at my soul, piece by piece, morsel by morsel.

What am I doing?  I’ll never be good enough.  I am never good enough.  Useless, hopeless, ridiculous.

No one understands.  No one knows the truth.  What is the truth?  What I know is true, no one else believes.

I’m tired of fighting.  What am I fighting for anyway?  What do I think I will gain from this?  Who do I think I am? 

Oh, what is the point?  I’m too stupid to be of use.  Too dumb to know anything.  Too scared to take a chance.  Too full of doubts.

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Hey Universe, I Hear You This Time! (Reblogged from Well Call Me Crazy)

Reblogged from Well Call Me Crazy:
I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this on Writing From The Ashes. I very much understand what the woman you met was saying as I have experienced something similar myself – it was not until I changed the way I thought about myself and started to ‘accept’ from others that I truly started to heal.

Hey Universe, I Hear You This Time!

This post is about a tremendous AHA moment I experienced on Friday. It is so powerful that I needed to share it with all my fellow seekers out there. You see, like many others I am aware of way too many moments in my daily life where stress, anxiety, depression, and a sense of despair threaten to undermine if not destroy my happiness. With all the daily practices I have in place to increase my conscious awareness, I still am a work in progress and prone to ruminating about the tragedies in my past and fretting over my future.

I begin each morning with a silent gratitude session, before my feet even touch the floor. This small ritual is a fabulous way to set the tone for the day. After I drink my deliciously flavored coffee, finish with my personal hygiene, and dress – I then have my morning meditation session. There are days when I am not as religiously adherent to this schedule as I would like myself , but on the whole it is a steady routine of mine. Later on, typically about 6 PM, I have an evening meditation session and finally about thirty minutes before I go to sleep…..or attempt to go to sleep at least…..I put on one of my self-help relaxation CD’s and drift off. Sounds good, right? So what is the problem… might ask? Well, even though these steps have positively impacted my physical, mental,emotional, and spiritual health…..I still find myself in states of extreme anxiety throughout the day with a feeling that there is a giant boot poised right above my neck about to stomp down and crush the life out of me.

So, I muddle through day by day, seeking solutions and tools that will help me increase my life satisfaction. I am a firm believer in the concept of Go Give. I find that by giving back and helping others…..even in small ways such as offering a smile to a stranger…..I gain just as much satisfaction as the person I am helping if not more. One activity I do in that vein is volunteering as a legal advocate in the local courthouse for people who want to file for PFA’s…..or protection from abuse orders. This is where, on Friday this week, I met her.

She was a well dressed middle-aged woman with piercing green eyes wearing what looked like elasticized bandaged sleeves on both her arms. She was glad she had made it here….. in the tiny coat closet sized room given to the woman’s advocacy center I volunteer for in the basement of the courthouse.  As is my custom, I offered her a seat and a box of tissues and asked her how could I help her and what brought her to here this day. As she began to tell me her story, I found myself so captivated that time just seemed to stop. Over the next hour, she shared with me story and why she was seeking a protection order that day. But it was not so much her story that hit me like a bolt of lightning hurdled from the sky… was her attitude, the peace and love that radiated from her, and the sense of unflappability that she displayed. The universe was speaking to me, through the form of this brave woman…..and I was listening this time… (View Original to Continue Reading)

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Trauma is trauma is trauma

Trauma is trauma

Trauma is trauma regardless of the source

Along the healing journey, it is common to hear comments from others, such as, “You don’t know what it’s like for me,” “I went through so much worse than you,” “He only did it to me, so it doesn’t matter,” “You don’t understand,” and “He only touched me, so why I am having so much trouble?”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of trauma is:

  1. A deeply distressing or disturbing experience;
  2. Emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may lead to long-term neurosis;
  3. Physical injury.

The long-term effects of trauma is very similar for anyone affected, regardless of whether the cause of trauma is child abuse, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, assault, war trauma etc.  With this in mind, any comparison of my trauma, your trauma, or anyone else’s trauma is irrelevant.  As a friend said recently, “trauma is trauma is trauma is trauma.”

However, I would like a right-of-reply on some of the comments I have heard, and, unfortunately, some I have said.

For 32 years I tried to keep myself sane by saying to myself over and over and over, “It’s only been done to me, so it doesn’t matter.”  In effect, what I was telling myself was, “I DON’T MATTER,” and I conveniently supported this statement with the actions of others who seemed, in my own mind, to disregard the pain and trauma I had experienced.  Over time, one of the things I was most sure of in life was that I did not matter – nobody cared what had happened to me, what will happen to me, or what was happening to me right then and there.

There are a couple of points that need to be made clear regarding this.

  1. It was not just me my father abused, although I did not have strong evidence to the contrary until I was 37;
  2. The reason people seemed not to care and think that I did not matter, was because at no time did I stand up and say, “I DO MATTER.”

As for not understanding the trauma of others, I have this to say – No, I don’t know what you experienced, and yes, my experience may not have been as ‘bad’ as yours, but what is your measure of ‘bad’ anyway?

My parents did not sell me into prostitution.  I was not tortured, had my finger- and toe-nails removed one-by-one, burnt with cigarettes or acid, or had slices cut out of my skin for not doing exactly what I was told (yes,these type of things do happen every day, and yes, even in Australia).  I did not die from my experience, nor was I left in a vegetative state because my father went a bit too far during one of his violent rampages.  Just because I did not experience any of those things, does that really indicate what I did experience is trivial, left no impact, or means nothing?

What if we go the other way?  My father did more than just ‘cop a feel’ every now and then, here and there, but does that mean the trauma experienced by someone whose father did do ‘that little’ is any less than my own?  In fact, from the people I have met, it is highly possible that the effects on someone who experienced ‘that little’ is far more intense than the effects on someone who experienced much ‘worse’ trauma.

The effects, regardless of their intensity, generally have very similar characteristics.  All you need do is read some of the blogs written by survivors of childhood abuse and domestic violence to see that insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, inability to trust, pain, body memories, anger, etc etc etc are experienced by all.  Can we really sit back and judge one to have more trauma than another?

What is to be gained by comparing our trauma or healing to others?  We are individuals and our experiences are unique to ourselves – even if two people are submitted to the same treatment, the way they process and experience it is different.

Instead of wasting energy on ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’, it is far more practical to be concerned about our own healing and progress.  By all means, use the experience and wisdom of others as a guide for what is possible, what might or might not work, and as a source of hope that things will get better, but becoming obsessed, or belittling the experience of others is generally unhelpful for our own healing.

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Writing from The Ashes has a new home

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