Tag Archives: fear

Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) & The Labels We Wear…

8 Feb

Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) and the LABELS we wear… More often than not, a child that has been Sexually Abused go inward. Children, victims (some) are often asked directly or indirectly to suppress, to cover, to hide, to shield. This action then creates a negative chain reaction…

FEAR: The most significant of the labels. Fear, experienced in many different ways and varies on a case by case basis. However, the fear similarly experienced by the majority; The fear initially instilled by the perpetrator, he/she making do on said threat (For me it was the threat of cutting my younger siblings throats while they slept) Fear of being ostracized, criticized, judged, not being believed, the fear of someone finding out…

LIES: The lies we are forced to tell, we basically lie to everyone but the biggest lie, the lies we tell ourselves.

GUILT: The guilt we feel caused by knowing, thinking, feeling I/we did something bad or wrong.

SHAME: The embarrassment, the feeling of sadness and constant regret, afraid of being disgraced.

PAIN: The pain of having to live a life suppressing, covering, lying, maintaining secrets, pretending; The memories, the sudden and unanticipated flashbacks, the anxiety etc

SECRECY: Forced, sometimes asked and expected of a victim not to speak about their experience/ordeal. Victims are forced to cover for family, for the perpetrator (especially that of a family member, family friend, a prominent or (considered) elite etc) because no-one wants to talk or acknowledge truth…

ANGER: Victims become angry, often times wanting to speak, to share, wanting someone to acknowledge your pain and come to your aid but, more often than not, there is no-one there.

SHAME: Victims are ofter made to feel as if they/we were the reason or cause of the abuse, that they/we somehow wanted, warranted, caused or deserved being raped, fondled and violated. Family members, relatives, friends, society often blames the victim. Some parents blame the child/children…

UNWORTHY: The feeling of unworthiness, feeling disgusted, worthless, nasty, filthy, used and used up…

HELPLESS: Having no-one to turn to or confide in. Feeling alone and unsure of what to do.

LONELINESS: Being alone, misunderstood and isolated

TORMENT: The extreme mental, emotional and physical pain…

ANGUISH: Suffering mental grief, confusion, pain…

MISTRUST: Violators, perpetrators are often a family member, relatives, trusted friend, pastors, coaches, a person thats expected to protect a child should be able to trust but…

SUPPRESSED: As victims we suppress we are forced to keep it all bottled inside, we don’t speak, we often pretend all is well, and, asked and expected to lead normal lives.

These are just a few of the labels we wear as victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, BUT for those of us that still struggle, we CAN and will SHED these labels… 

Let’s Reassign The Shame… Speak! 

Join me as I/we shed these labels and journey2free. From my heart to yours! God Bless

The Fear Of The Unknown

3 Jul

The Fear Of The Unknown

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Self applied limitations are the hardest to break free,

Loosening the restrains, overstepping the boundaries, reaching above the confines I placed on me.

Change is scary, who wants to take the chance?

Fact is, fear intensify at first glance.

I heard them say nothing tried, nothing gained,

Overwhelmed from the fear of the unknown?

Live your life, lighten up, take risks… have fun!

You may be thrilled,  surprised even at new strengths found.

Scary yeah… taking chances creates self-doubt…

Re-examine yourself, determination to succeed lies within,

Push, Try, if not, fear grows and troubles surmount.

When fear is confronted…contentment, joy,  you flourish comfortably in your skin.

No-one hinders your chances; no-one stops your progress but you…

Timid… controlled by fright…frozen… The fear of the unknown.

Risks are meant to be taken,  confidence grows this proves true,

Give no thought to failure…make the unknown known to you!

Fight the urge to wallow in self-pity, pull yourself out of the funk

Fear will hold you hostage…  FIGHT… show the world you’ve got spunk!

Conquer your fear, take chances, watch fear lose its hold.

It’s OK to be frightened, I’m sure all will agree, but, not to the point where you’re crippled  mentally

Have courage; take refuge, be at peace in knowing, it begins internally

Vanquish your doubts… watch fear release its grip

experience the experience of the unknown, now transformed into the joy of knowing.

In Pursuit of Trust

22 Apr

When I decided to finally open up about my child sex abuse issues, I was told by some family members “It’s in the past, it’s time to move on.” What some people do not understand is, there are many psychological issues associated with child sex abuse. One of the major psychological effects/remnants of being sexually abused is TRUST. While it’s an *emotion* we all battle, in my case it is heightened to another degree. I find it rather difficult to trust, often times I find myself questioning the honesty and integrity of innocent bystanders who come into my life.

My little prince begins his nursery program on Monday and I am shit scared!! Registering him was bitter-sweet, I was both anxious and excited that he’s about to embark on a new stage of his growth and development. The closer the date drew for his attendance the more frayed my nerves got. I have been playing every possible scenario in my mind, where my son is concerned everyone is a suspect. This place of mistrust is not an ideal place to be mentally. It’s rather stressful and nerve-wrecking.

As I think about these new stages that my son and I must enter I find myself thinking. How can I keep him safe?  If someone hurt him, touch him inappropriately, would I see it, would I know? I try to convince me that I have built a strong, honest, confident relationship with my son and that he will tell me everything.

Then I revert to thinking, the fact is no matter how much we want to believe he/she would never hurt our children, how we try to be secure in our beliefs that we built a great trusting relationship with our babies and they would say something, we try to convince ourselves “my child would tell me” I would see it, I would know, the truth is you may not know, I may not know. Children are often afraid to speak or to tell someone for various reasons, threats is the most likely, being told no one would believe, people will think they wanted it and or played a part in it, being shunned by peers, fear that if they tell someone, it will cause their parents to separate, the feelings of guilt that they would be held responsible for all the dissention in the family….and the list goes on….

I was born with an incurable illness, therefore when I decided almost three years ago to attempt to conceive a child I was very afraid, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to carry the baby to term and afraid that I couldn’t control the sex of the child if and when I had the baby, I was worried about having a daughter for fear that she would be faced with the possibility of having my childhood experiences thrust upon her. I prayed countless prayers, I prayed for a healthy baby; my most recurrent prayer however was that my little miracle be a boy! My fear had me so distraught that I couldn’t see myself with a little girl. I wouldn’t know what to do with her; I was afraid that I would not be able to take care of her and she would grow up resenting me because of my inabilities. I convinced myself she would not understand the struggles of her mother in trying to protect her and keep her safe. From experience I know that many young girls feel that their parents are being mean to them when they try to protect them, some think their parents are trying to hold them back, stop their progress and the works.

Fast forward two and a half years later, here I am harboring identical concerns for my boy!  I realized the minute I held him in my arms in the hospital that “bad people hurt little boys too.”  As he grew that fear intensified, I remember holding him for the first time in that hospital room, I cried, both with relief that I made it through my pregnancy and he was finally here, the overwhelming emotion of love and finally having my own little person to call my own, but mostly because of fear, I had done it, but what now!! Will I be able to love this little being with all I have, would I be able to provide for him and meet all his needs developmentally, emotionally, would God grant me enough time to see him grow up? Would I be able to protect him from sexual predators? The reality hit me that boys are just as susceptible to child sex abuse as are little girls. I was so paralyzed by fear that someone could hurt him sexually and he wouldn’t be able to tell me, he had no voice, he was just a helpless little boy, he needed me all the time, I have to protect him, I cannot let him out of my sight, I would never forgive myself if someone did something to him and I wasn’t there to protect him, all these thoughts rushed through me as I looked upon the angelic face of my beautiful little miracle.

While in the hospital the nurses would insist I send him to the nursery so I could get some rest. Each time I had to let him go my heart bled. I was paranoid, my head was always filled with thoughts of someone touching my baby inappropriately and I wasn’t there to protect him, I felt helpless, I would relive the trauma of being abused in my mind simply because I was separated from my son. I remember buzzing for them to bring him back as soon as they walked out the door. Not because I was so overjoyed but the anxiety I felt from not being where he is. I needed to see him always.

Upon taking my little prince home the fear and inability to trust went through the roof! Reason, I have four brothers and a sister in addition, three adopted siblings (not legally), as much as I love and trusted my siblings, the thought of either of them taking him for more than a millisecond, I would display panic attack  type symptoms. If one of my brothers took him to their room I would start heaving in as little as fifteen minutes. My adopted siblings and their biological mom would offer to watch him so I could get some well needed rest, unbeknownst to them I wouldn’t and couldn’t rest or breathe easy so that was short-lived!

 I remember falling to pieces in front of a friend, finally admitting after a series of questions that I don’t trust anyone with my baby not even those I was partially responsible for raising!  After my melt down, my dear friend said to me “Ris, you are going to drive yourself insane,” and pointed out that which I already knew that with this bunch my prince would be safe, funny thing is deep down inside I knew that! But fear! (I never mentioned this to any of my siblings I almost hope they don’t read this post.) Lol.

Now here we are, after making the decision to keep him out of daycare, now realizing that three is fast approaching and he will indeed have to go out into the world without me, I have to release my grip on my child, knowing I can’t keep him locked away forever, he must have this experience as a prelude to starting school in the fall. My nerves are on display. Each time I think about letting him go, I feel so sick to my stomach, I can feel the panic and the anxiety creeping in, fear impaling my heart and engulfing my entire being.  But, knowing I have to release, I have to let go and let God. I have to trust God to protect and guide,and for others to be kind to my baby. I have to be vigilant yet not overbearing, protective but not stalker like, talk to and not at, verbalize my concerns but not be judgmental, worry but not to the point of exertion or border line psychosis. Truth is, I’m not sure how to feel or approach, but I know I don’t want to eventually drive my child away with my endless worries.

So, as a part of this process, my journeying to free and whilst I maybe at the beginning of the spectrum than closer to the end, I pray as morning comes and I take my son to his program and relinquish my hold/power to the teachers and caregivers for these 5-6hrs a day for the next six weeks that my past does not ultimately alter my present. As I nervously count down the hours, pray excessively, love him uncontrollably, defiantly question self, and talk to him as much as his little two-year old brain can  process/comprehend, I’m releasing and getting another fear under control, pray with and join me as I/we journey2free.

 

From my heart to yours

Larissa