Lots of good information here, but none more so than recognizing why it's so important to see childhood emotional abuse for what it is:
"Unfortunately, because emotional abuse is often tolerated or because the abusive parents are very secretive in their abuse (hiding their true selves when in public), emotionally abused children will assume that how they were treated at home was natural. They have no frame of reference. And so, the child will develop a skewed sense of what a healthy relationship is."
Something to look out for in people you care about. These can be helpful in helping determine when a person has gone beyond a bad day, or is simply dealing with a sad event, and has moved into depression that is affecting their ability to function.
Some good ideas here, but especially important is number one on the list, recognize that healing is different for everyone. Some of the things on this list resonated with me, others did not. We are individuals after all.
Interesting description of what it's like to deal with social anxiety. As a survivor I was never officially diagnosed as having social anxiety but I know that I was extremely shy, fearful of how other people viewed me, and generally avoided most situations that called for a lot of personal interaction. As I healed from the abuse, that fear also went away, but I can recall many of the same things that are written about here.
""[P]arents are so naive—they're worried about strangers and should be worried about their brother–in–law. They just don't realize how devious we can be. I used to abuse children in the same room with their parents and they couldn't see it or didn't seem to know it was happening."
"I was disabled and spent months grooming the parents, so they would tell their children to take me out and help me. No one thought that disabled people could be abusers."
"[P]arents are partly to blame if they don't tell their children about [sexual matters]—I used it to my advantage by teaching the child myself."
"[P]arents shouldn't be embarrassed to talk about things like this—it's harder to abuse or trick a child who knows what you're up to.""
I think this quote really hit home for me as I think about my healing, and others. When we've lived for so long as one thing, even if it's not healthy, changing requires us to see ourselves in a new way. It requires tearing down the current vision of ourselves and rebuilding it. In the middle of that process, this quote is wholly accurate.
"My clients in the above workshop were confronted with an existential crisis. They didn’t know who they were anymore. They could draft business plans, complete financial models, write inspirational speeches—but when they looked in the mirror, they didn’t know what they saw.
This disorientation led to weeks and months of stopping and starting, coming and going, and launching and pulling back. To outside observers, the situation seemed schizophrenic. Criticism was constant.
Yet, my brave clients were on the front lines of an enormous struggle. They were redefining who they were as people. Making the business changes was the easy part. Knowing who they were was hard."
We would do well to remember this about anyone trying to heal, or overcome depression, or any other trauma. They are in the midst of trying to redefine themselves, which requires a time of not knowing who they are. Not knowing who you are can look quite messy from the outside, but it's an important part of getting to the next step, knowing who you are now, and using that understanding to move past the trauma.
I'd agree. Whether talking about child abuse survivors or folks with depression, you are not alone.
This is interesting. There's no question that our mental health system in the US is not getting the job done, and a big reason is because it simply isn't funded properly. But could it be the stigma of mental illness that is causing that problem in the first place? Could it be that not having sympathy and understanding for those "crazies" leads to an underfunded system? It definitely doesn't help!
Another good list of things to keep in mind, and ways we can all look out for each other a little better.
"5. Throw any idea of a timeline that they should be “over it” out the window and then run that mental schedule over with a car."
#5 is my favorite, but the other 9 are good as well. If you know someone coming out of an emotionally abusive home, or relationship, these would be good things to keep in mind.
"“If you were sexually abused, it’s OK to talk about it,” the three friends shared at the end of the video. “Just say it. And be proud of yourself and stand up for yourself. Don’t let anybody knock you down.”"
"According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Mental Health, Black people are 20% more likely to suffer serious psychological distress than White people. Although our suicide rates are lower, it’s clear that our community is under severe mental health distress and there are many of us who find ourselves either suffering or supporting someone who is."
Obviously, this site is targeted to black women, and I'm am not in the demographic, but I found the article andI still think the advice is good for everyone!
"Part of the healing came from the realisation that the morass of distress which felt so unique and personal is all being lived by other victims and survivors, too. It isn’t our fault and we are not to blame. There are kind people who understand. Nothing can ever erase an abusive childhood, but healing is possible. We don’t need to struggle alone any more."
Couldn't have said this any better myself.
A Canadian website named Heads Up Guys is taking direct aim at the silent epidemic of male depression, mental illness and suicide. Andrea has very positive things to say about it!
I know from conversations I've had with forensic examiners about investigations into child porn, and how that can have a lasting negative impact on you, and I know from my interactions with many who advocate on behalf of children, or survivors like I do, that you have to step away from it. Living your life day in and day out in the muck of child abuse stories is bound to have a negative effect on your mental health, your relationships, etc. Let's hope the folks involved in this inquiry are getting the help they need, and anyone out there who is currently, or thinking about, working in this field would do well to remember the advice in this article.
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