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Helping Survivors and Victims Heal: Things Not to Say to Someone Recovering

show starting post by AnoraE
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Poppyday13   in reply to Buckley
Hi , I found this for you , so maybe if you follow the lead somebody will be able to stop her testing you before her actions make you leaving a self fulfilling prophecy. If they cant help , then I hope that they can signpost you to somebody that can.
The challenge for the mental health community is to learn how best to help people who are suffering from ill effects of traumatic events. Within the past decade, a number of programs have been created to bring appropriately trained mental health services to trauma victims. Examples include:
The American Psychological Association developed its Disaster Response Network (DRN) in response to the need for mental health professionals to be onsite with emergency workers to assist with the psychological care of trauma victims. Over 1,500 psychologist volunteers provide free, onsite mental health services to disaster survivors and the relief workers who assist them. The APA has worked with the American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state emergency management teams and other relief groups on every major disaster our country has experienced and many smaller disasters since 1992.
Under the auspices of The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) 15 state departments of mental health have initiated formal efforts to better address the needs of persons exposed to trauma with state-wide trauma initiatives and resources. Now "tool kits" have been developed to better help trauma victims.
The University of South Dakota developed the Disaster Mental Health Institute (DMHI) in 1993. Psychologist Gerad Jacobs, Ph.D., helped create the Institute in response to his involvement in helping airline crash victims in the 1989 Sioux City airline crash. The DMHI is designed to bring together practice and research in disaster mental health and help prepare psychologists to deliver mental health services during emergencies and their aftermath. Furthermore, educational opportunities exist for students to learn how to serve their communities in times of disaster. This undergraduate program includes working with the American Red Cross Disaster Service.

Pacific Graduate College and Stanford University created the National Center on Disaster Psychology and Terrorism (which has been renamed National Center on the Psychology of Terrorism), which trains doctoral students to help victims of catastrophic events.

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Buckley   in reply to woman in a shoe
Thank you for your loving response. We have been seeing our 4th counselor in 3 years. Nothing seems to reduce her anger. She reacts when triggered. She says she is being dismissed, it is unsafe to talk to me and not trustworthy. She often threatens to leave and/or divorce. When we are doing well, she will create or exaggerate the condition to recreate the drama. She can not differentiate the true from the false. I know it is not all about me, but after years of the same behavior, I am losing hope and am depressed. We go to couples counseling, to learn ways to validate her feelings, which helps defuse, but I think she needs some one on one trauma counseling. Please give me some feedback. I am still in love and want to stay married, but not like this.
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Poppyday13   in reply to Buckley
Hi , Please check out some of the organizations listed above such as women helping women. You could also contact a womens refuge phone line , explain the position and ask them to advise you as sadly , they deal with it every day.. I really hope it works out for you as it must be very hard.
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woman in a shoe   in reply to Buckley
I was abuse from my 2 ex husbands it is heard for a woman to over come it I still not over came it. But for u got to be very under standing with her and let her know u there for her and u will do anything for her and give her all the love u can it will take her along time to come around but just keep tell her u love her and u will be not s thing like the others was to her. I would like to talk to her. If she don't want talk where everyone can see it I will talk to her on one on one and if u don't know how to do that I will tell u how to do
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How can I help my wife heal from her abusive relationships. She is suffering from the trauma of physical and mental abuse from 3 previous husbands. All alcoholic, drug addicts and rager, just like her father.
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Buckley   in reply to charles05
How can I help my wife heal from her abusive relationships. She is suffering from the trauma of physical and mental abuse from 3 previous husbands. All alcoholic, drug addicts and rager, just like her father.
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Possum76   in reply to colgate
Colgate thanx for that, I wanted to know if I would ever get over it. Bless you
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I was abuse when young, by a family member.. I have had people say to me, you need to move on and you did not have it that bad, it could of been worse.. Or you need to put it in the past and move on, or they compare you situation with some elses. You never get over being abuse, sexually, phsically and emotionally.
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rusherD   in reply to mothersscapegoat
Your words: "I am a hard-working, college educated, single mom who made the mistake of hoping my own mother would someday love me." Your words nailed me - in the chest - hard. I understand what you were communicating with these words in the context in which you used them. I do not intend to preach and/or correct you, and I write these words for myself as well, because what you wrote hammered me. How is it a mistake to hope the very person who carried you, bore you, and was to be 'mother' to you might one day love you? I believe that is an instinctive 'hope' or need, and I believe it would indicate just how normal you are to want that love. If there is a mistake here, it is that you are left to HOPE for the love that you have always deserved, and I do not believe it is you who made the mistake. I, too, was raised by a mother with a malignant form of narcissism. When you speak of evil, I hear you. I do not doubt there are things in your past that are nothing less than psychological/emotional torture. As far as it "really not being that bad" . . . living at the mercy of someone with a narcissistic character disorder is a brand of hell I cannot find words to describe. When it is a child at the receiving end . . . it is toxic, and not the "icky feeling in your tummy" toxic . . . it is the potent, poisonous toxic. I recently learned this truth about my mother. I know your hell, mscapegoat. It was real. It cannot be minimized.
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Court22   in reply to Desertguy
I was beaten and raped by my own parents and at age 17 I was finally able to leave. I had such a rough time the first few years and it took me along time to let someone touch me without having a panic attack. Still almost 8 years later I still sometimes have trouble falling asleep because of it. When I was 22 I told one of my good friends at the time about it and it was the first time I had told anyone. I still remember the look she gave me when I told her the things my father did to me. She just looked so disgusted and then said "You f***** you own dad!" and processed to joke about me being an incest freak. After that, instead of feeling relieved like some people say they feel when they tell someone, I just felt disgusted with myself and everything I thought I had dealt with re-surfaced. I moved shortly after that. I felt like I was the 17 year old girl who just ran away, I didn't solve anything I just buried it. I was a complete wreck. Shortly after I moved I had a horrible break down when someone bumped into me and I fell. I had a really vivid flashback in the middle of a grocery store isle and that when I realized I needed help because I couldn't do it alone anymore. It took a lot of time and I know I have a long road in front of me but I'm getting better.

This really actually helped me a lot! Thank you.
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I was in an abusive relationship when I was eighteen years old. After being beaten, raped, and tortured I returned home to escape my abuser. After telling my mom and trying to seek justice years later my mother said "why can't you move on? Obviously you must not be happy with your life now that you have to write about it and talk about it?" I was so mad she said that to me! My mother says she doesn't know anything about that kind of abuse and she now wishes to live away from me because I am not normal.
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ToniLB   in reply to Desertguy
Desertguy, that is very beautiful and really sweet....
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My heart breaks for any person who was abused that hears or believes that no one will ever want you. Met a wonderful lady this year. She is kind, considerate, and so much fun to be with. She was abused by her ex-husband, knocked out and beaten up. She still is being harassed by him in various ways and got very upset. I love her very much and have told her so. I will continue to be here for her, and love her unconditionally and sacrificially. She is such a beautiful person and has touched my heart in many ways. I am a better person for having her in my life and pray to God for her emotional, spiritual, and physical well being.
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Thank u so much this helps a lot. I just got out of an abusive relationship not to long ago.
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Thank you so so much for writing this! it means a lot to me as a survivor, and hope you don't mind but I am going to keep a copy for myself...
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beenthere...   in reply to mothersscapegoat
i can undersatnd you exactly..from the outside-nice house, nice clothes and so on. my mother hated me and told me she did every opportunity she could in every way possible. i feel for u and since her death 10 years ago-i am finally relaxing. i did the therapy thing, the confiding thing and did not help me because she was the one that needed help. if u can put some diatnace-half way house, friend something-at least u will be able to rest. blessings
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BobbiA   in reply to macdoodle
A few years ago I was badly re-abused by my parents. And I do mean badly. I have never told anyone about it though, just kept it in even though it is very painful. But recently I told my sister about a few of the things our parents did to me. Her answer was to say, "I didn't do those things to you".
I was stunned. Speechless. Stunned. My sister was also abused by our parents. In an email to me in 7 - 2012 , she mentioned she still had problems in her life because of abuse she endured growing up.

So don't ever tell an abuse survivor, I didn't do that to you. Its actually a hateful thing to say and I'm now wondering about my relationship with my sister.
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For me it's been "why didn't you just leave?" or "why didn't you just tell somebody?" I hate those questions. It's not that simple.
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For me, it's the "Didn't you call the police"/"Did you make an official complaint"/ or anything else that basically says to me that it couldn't be that bad if you didn't complain/these things are my fault for not taking official action. Mostly because the people who make them can never see how hard it is and are using it to hold up their status quo.
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You can survive! I appreciate your choice of words, calling yourself a survivor, that is what you are! Be proud of it, it is not an easy accomplishment but so worth the journey.

After 12 years in a bad relationship, I started my life over. While it was rough for a while, I feel that I have overcome my initial challenges and have once again found happiness. I have been out of the relationship for quite some time and remain single by choice. Not because of fear but because I have found myself and enjoy where I'm at in life, all of things I was once denied are now mine - selfish maybe, but I am worthy of every once.

People who chose to speak negatively about abuse are not well informed, so I believe. If someone speaks negatively and you do not appreciate their words, you should create separation between you and that person. For lack of understanding they can become harmful to your healing process. Instead, be around those who can be comforting when needed or those who want to be a friend and help you celebrate life!

Remember, you alone are important!
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