Why doesn’t she just leave him?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

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Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma

Religious Abuse

Each time I hear a mention of this abuse, I shake my head thinking “here we go again, another child/adult child sexually abused, coming forward despite their courage and pain, to be treated like garbage or accused of making it all up and the church deals with it in their own way, which is nothing”.  I seethe inside.

It is difficult to define what “religious abuse” means, as it carries with it implications of forcing someone to believe in a faith, but principally it is abuse committed by someone who is a representative of a religious body.

Usually, the abuse takes the form of:

~ physical abuse

~ sexual abuse

~ emotional abuse

~ neglect

The abuse occurs as a result of the religious representative taking advantage of his/her position of responsibility within the religious organisation.

There has been widespread publicity surrounding the abuse by and criminal conviction of priests of the Catholic Church all over the world leading to several leading legal precedent judgments in the higher courts concerning the scope of the responsibility of the church for the criminal behaviour of priests.

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PTSD ~ “We are Invincible” (Kelly Clarkson) ~ This song is for the Survivors of Abuse

This video had me in tears.  Sometimes I forget I’m a warrior, yet I struggled most of my life hiding a secret and believing it was my fault for the sexual abuse.  I know now that it wasn’t and I finally accepted this and can breathe.

(repost)

7 Ways to Avoid Re-Traumatizing a Trauma Victim

I found this article somewhat helpful appearing in PsychCental.com.

Trauma is a complex phenomenon. Many of us have probably experienced an event that we struggle to not only forget, but emotionally cope with. If I were to ask you if you have ever experienced a traumatic event what would you say? Was it severe, moderate, or mild? Was it long-term or short-term? Were you able to easily get over it? Whatever the case may be, a traumatic experience must be an event that we find difficult to cope with over time. Sadly, many people who tend to lack knowledge about trauma fail to recognize that anything a trauma victim comes in contact with can re-traumatize them.

For example, I previously had a client who witnessed his mother slit her throat and commit suicide. Prior to this suicide, the mother had been playing hiding-go-seek outside with all 4 of her children. This child struggled with understanding why his mother would walk away during hiding-go-seek and kill herself. Now, at the age 10, he watches movies with his father that often include crime scenes, murder, and suicide which tends to trigger memories of his mother’s suicide. He is unable to sleep at night, relax, or put the past behind him. Yet, his father is unaware of the reality that he  is possibly re-traumatizing his own son with these movies.

This article will discuss 7 things we, who are close to trauma victims, should be mindful not to do. I will also give suggestions on what we should do instead.

It is sad to say but a large amount of individual, families and parents come to therapy with unrealistic expectations about the therapeutic process. I often have parents and families ask the following questions when they see me for the first time:

  • “How often will he/she see you?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that if the child/teen sees me more often throughout the week, progress will happen faster.
  • “Will you make him/her talk?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that I am someone who should make an individual talk about the “bad” things that have happened to them in order to stimulate great progress.
  • “Has she/he talk to you about what happened to them?” This question is also asked with the unrealistic expectation that an individual, who just met me and may be slow to warm up, will open up like a fountain and start talking. Many families often tell the child/teen “your therapist is not going to judge you so just open up.”
  • “Why isn’t he/she talking about what makes him/her so mad?” This question is asked with the unrealistic expectation that if the person talks about their past, they won’t be so angry anymore.

Remainder of this article @
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2015/06/7-ways-to-avoid-re-traumatizing-a-trauma-victim/

(repost)

 

PTSD & Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness

I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger.  Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words ~ either way I felt empty.

My previous postings on Validation & Childhood Emotional Neglect include examples of emptiness.

 The article below is from an article on PsychCentral.com

Emptiness. It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness. You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected, as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.

People who don’t have it don’t understand. But people who feel it know:

In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?

But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.

Empty is the “unfeeling” feeling. It’s the painful sense that some vital ingredient is missing from inside. I often have talked about the root cause of empty feelings: Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). But the type and depth of emptiness you feel is determined by the type and depth of CEN that you grew up with, plus some other parenting factors. Continue reading

PTSD ~ Transference & Countertransference in Therapy

As the daughter of a narcissistic mother, who was seldom validated, shown empathy or only criticized and felt worthless, I began therapy and suddenly this outsider (therapist) was appreciating me as a person.  This was positive ‘transference’ in my situation.

I felt I mattered; someone thought I was worth taking the time to listen to and not disregard, nor snap back with vicious words or interrupt me.  She was validating what I had to say, and it was it was comforting not to feel like a loser or a failure finally.

Transference refers to the fact that we act towards people in the present based on our experiences from the past, particularly with our parents while we were growing up. In other words, we repeat patterns of behavior in the present that we learned in the past. Transference occurs all of the time. One example is when newlyweds react towards one another as though their spouse was their parent. They come to expect that the spouse will act to them as their parent once did.

In psychotherapy, there are times when the patient behaves as though the therapist were the parent from the past. This transference behavior becomes tremendously important in the “talking” or psychodynamic therapies because it helps the therapist correct the misperceptions and reactions of the patient in order that the healthier behavior occurs. An example might be of a patient who was always criticized by disproved of by their parent with the result that they constantly expect the therapist to be critical and disapproving.

Counter transference refers to the fact that the psychotherapist also has feelings in reaction to the patient. The therapist’s reactions to the patient could be based on things that happened in his own past or might be in reaction to the way a patient is behaving. For example, if a patient has a transferential feeling of sexual attraction towards their therapist, the therapist might find himself having a counter-transference sexual feeling towards the patient. Continue reading

What about the Funeral? ~ When Your Abuser or Estranged Relative Dies

Yes, what about the funeral.  Are you expected to attend, expected to pay for costs, feel guilty and makes excuses for not attending?  It’s a crappy time for everyone.

My narcissistic mother is not in the picture anymore, however, if she passed away how would the funeral be handled?  (I’ve already answered that, but will keep my answer private).

Searching high and low for a detailed answer, I came across this well-written article:


One of the biggest dilemmas faced by escapees from abusive families is what to do when our abuser or estranged relative dies. Should we make an appearance at the wake and funeral, or not? Should we go to the burial?  Should we send flowers? Should we offer our condolences- and if so, to whom?

To the very people who took our abuser’s side against us or shunned us from their family?  What kind of an act will we have to put on if people offer condolences to US?  How will we be able to pretend that the death of our abuser was a great loss, when we can’t even come up with one nice thing to say about him?

See the remainder of this article at:
http://www.luke173ministries.org/655609

(reposted with editing)

Imagine your child handcuffed in school because of ADHD?

Officer sued after handcuffing school children with ADHD

Now this is taking things too far, the child now thinks he’s a criminal for a disorder that isn’t even his fault.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two northern Kentucky women have sued a county sheriff and one of his school resource officers for placing their two disabled elementary school children in handcuffs.

The 8-year-old boy and the 9-year-old girl and their mothers are identified in the lawsuit only by their initials. The children have both been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The lawsuit says school officials asked School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner to help after the children were being disruptive in class. A report from the sheriff’s office says the children tried to hit Sumner.

The lawsuit says Sumner placed the handcuffs around the children’s biceps behind their backs.

A spokesman for the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office said Sheriff Charles Korzenborn had not been notified of the lawsuit and declined to comment. An attorney for Sumner said he acted appropriately.

9 Important questions to ask at your 1st Therapy Session

A first therapy session can be very intimidating for both therapist and client. But first sessions seem to be more  intimidating to clients because they are unfamiliar with the process, do not know what to expect, aren’t sure if they will like the therapist or office, are anxious about the conversation, and are sometimes fearful of the therapist “psychoanalyzing” them.

That first therapy session could also be the very first time you have ever seen a therapist. Whatever the case, the first session can be so stressful that you forget the most important questions to ask. This article will discuss questions you should be asking during the very first session.

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Narcissistic Parents – The most harmful kind of parent

This well-written article is from::   on PsychCentral.com/Psychoanalysis Now (blog)

Over the years I have often been asked what is the most harmful thing a parent can do to a child. There are many harmful things a parent can do, too many to point out. It is easier to focus on the kind of parent that does most harm.

The most harmful parents are the parents who have a narcissistic need to think of themselves as great parents. Because of this need, they are unable to look at their parenting in an objective way. And they are unable to hear their children’s complaints about their parenting.

Such parents indoctrinate their children from an early age to think of their parents in only the most positive ways. Any other kind of thinking is considered family treason. If any of their children develop behavioral problems, they see such problems as an accusation of their parenting. Their response is, “Why am I so unlucky as to have this bad seed?” Not for a moment do they ever consider that anything they did might have had an effect on their children.

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AND YOU THINK YOUR HUG MAKES UP FOR SLAPPING ME ACROSS THE FACE?

Some things hugs can’t fix: Parental warmth does not remove anxiety that follows punishment

A loving mom can’t overcome the anxiety and aggression caused by corporal punishment, and her otherwise warm demeanor may make it worse, according to research led by Duke University that was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

 “If you believe that you can shake your children or slap them across the face and then smooth things over gradually by smothering them with love, you are mistaken,” wrote lead researcher Jennifer E. Lansford on the Child and Family Blog.  Lansford is a research professor at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University.  “Being very warm with a child whom you hit in this manner rarely makes things better.  It can make a child more, not less, anxious.”

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Passive Aggressive Behavior

What do Passive Aggressive behavior and domestic abuse have in common? When someone hits you or yells at you, you know that you’ve been abused. It is obvious and easily identified. Covert abuse is subtle and veiled or disguised by actions that appear to be normal, at times loving and caring. The passive aggressive person is a master at covert abuse and, as a result can be considered an abuser.

Passive aggressive behavior stems from an inability to express anger in a healthy way.

A person’s feelings may be so repressed that they don’t even realize they are angry or feeling resentment. A passive aggressive can drive people around him/her crazy and seem sincerely dismayed when confronted with their behavior. Due to their own lack of insight into their feelings the passive aggressive often feels that others misunderstand them or, are holding them to unreasonable standards if they are confronted about their behavior.

See more @ http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/abusiverelationships/a/Pass_Agg.htm

When Your Abuser or Estranged Relative Dies ~ The Whole Funeral Thing

My toxic mother is not in the picture anymore, but the question still remains, what about the funeral? The response would be ~ NO for my abuser if he were still alive.

Searching high and low for a detailed answer, I came across this well written post. My intention is not to shove religion down your throats believe me, as this article was written by a minister on a religious site, however, it answered my questions and more.


One of the biggest dilemmas faced by escapees from abusive families is what to do when our abuser or estranged relative dies. Should we make an appearance at the wake and funeral, or not? Should we go to the burial?  Should we send flowers? Should we offer our condolences- and if so, to whom?

Continue reading

Is Face-to-Face Bullying Worse Than Cyberbullying?

Face-to-face bullying is more cruel and harsh than online attacks, a survey of school students found. The findings of this study indicate that significantly more victims perceived traditional bullying to be more harsh and cruel than cyberbullying. “It clearly indicates the feelings of the children and the very real threat they have of being physically harmed by another child,” the lead investigator said.

The study showed 59 percent of the children participants felt face-to-face bullying was worse for them than being cyberbullied.  Twenty-six per cent reported that both forms of bullying were equally hurtful and the remaining 15 per cent perceived cyberbullying to be worse.

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TELL

Can I tell? Will I tell? Should I tell?
Will they believe, will they laugh, will they comfort?
Will they act, will they turn me away, will I cry?
Will I be damaged goods, will I be whole again, will I ever be me?
Did I make this up, did this really happen, am I sure?
Was it dark, was it morning, afternoon?

My mind is cloudy, no it’s not, it’s clear
It happened

Did it smell, yes it did, he did
Why didn’t I fight, why was I weak, why was I stupid?
Sure I knew better, no I didn’t, they said I should have
It’s confusing, I’m confused, why are you confused?
You think I’m lying, I know you do, why?

Is there light ahead, will I live, am I strong?
Do I want to die, yes I do, yet I don’t
Please save me, no don’t, I want to die
I’m in tears right now, look what you’ve done, leave me alone

The pain, it’s too much
It’s your fault, not mine
I’m cold, you think these thin blankets are comfort?
I shouldn’t have told

~~Deb

(reposted from Jan 27/14, I find myself struggling with PTSD as I was last year)

This “Everything Happens for a Reason” crap

I think about this statement often and it pisses me to no end.  What precisely does it mean, and why do people say it?  Does it mean when there is a world disaster, a school shooting, childhood sexual abuse, serial murderers and rapists, riots, war veterans killed or any other horrible occurrence, it happened for a reason?  Please explain.

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Warrior Child Award

I received both membership into the “Mental Health Writers Guild” this week for my blog and also became aware and accepted an award that I have never heard of called “Warrior Child Award”.

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