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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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I was physically, mentally, emotionally abused by my mother from the time I was 3. daily beatings, sometimes several times a day. with her hands or whatever was near. being attacked while sleeping. it ended when I was 19. I ended up punching her in the eye...and that stopped her. this page is EXACTLY what I tell people who try to act like they know better than me about abused people, yet they don't' know any but me, they aren't a clinical therapist...
today I was told by my own brother, who grew up with me but wasn't abused, to keep it to myself, his wife also said the same thing. they are trying to shame me for speaking out about the abuse. I gave them this link so they could read it and get a clue. the memory of the abuse is part of me. I am not ashamed, I did nothing wrong. I will not keep quiet. I will speak out, maybe some needs to hear my story to come to healing themselves. I forgive my mom, and I love her. but those memories are always with me.
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woman in a shoe   in reply to RZimmy
I was in two abusive relationship with two baby's the first one for 2 half years. The number 2 was for 3 mos I said than that no man would ever hit me again.number 1 broke my baby's arm back than if u call the cop oh they would come but only take a report and leave u there with the person that was hitting u. There was no help back than for anything but welfare. I hope u the best good luck
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I stumbled across this page and definitely felt it was worth a bookmark. All survivors should read this. I lived through a personal hell for 13 years......with a highly emotionally and verbally abusive husband. I finally got up the nerve to leave him. Now I'm trying to rebuild only to find just how deep the damage is. Healing will definitely take a while......But the aforementioned comments are all too common and people who've not gone through this sort of thing have no idea how their 'well meaning' comments hurt. This simple page should be a 'must read' for friends and family of abuse victims.
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Poppyday13   in reply to missjanie
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missjanie   in reply to Poppyday13
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Poppyday13   in reply to nevermoregirl52
Well done. It will take time , but one day you will share the deepest part and then you will feel a big weight lifted off you . I hope that day comes soon.
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nevermoregirl52   in reply to Court22
I can only imagine, I think with my own personal experience it helped me to talk to others who had been through similar circumstances, now in group, still have flash backs from time to time, but using coping skills helps, i still find it hard to completely open up dont think I have ever truly told everything but I am a work in process,
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woman in a shoe   in reply to Buckley
Please don't give up on her I know its heard on u but u got to very unstand with her and one day she will come around for u can't post that much right now my husband gets mad when I am on here but Mon morning are before 7 pm post to me and I will post a lot to u
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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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