It is important to realize that long-term terrible neglect and abuse during the earliest most important ‘critical windows’ of infant-child growth and development lead to what developmental neuroscientists such as Dr. Allan N. Schore refer to as ‘cascading changes’ that are permanent within these survivors.
I suffered ‘that kind’ of abuse. I have ‘those kinds’ of changes.
I believe it is imperative that survivors such as myself DOCUMENT both what happened to us then and how we are now. NOBODY else can do this work. Nobody.
All the research findings in the universe cannot describe what living with the permanent consequences of severe malevolent treatment in early life is like on the INSIDE for survivors.
Our documentation – stripped, as I call it, of all illusion and delusion – reported as fact including what we FEEL like – is the great gift we offer to humanity – whether or not humanity is ready to listen to what we have to say.
It seems to me that it is the current state of affairs that if a survivor lets go a snippet, releases any tainting words or signs of the permanent life-changing effects of early abuse, the temptation is to either try to rush to the rescue of such a survivor or to suggest that they ‘get help’ to try to improve, change, fix, heal etc. ‘what happened to them’ and hence what we survivors live with.
True there are some pharmacological adjustments that can adjust some of the physiological biochemical changes in a survivor’s body that are problematic.
Equally true is the fact that some of us are just so ‘plain changed’ from the start of our life that we would need to be issued an entirely new and different body-brain to experience much alterations in our reality whatsoever.
Meanwhile it is crucial for us to grasp the truth that in cases such as mine (start to finish) every single instant of trauma and abuse not only left an indelible mark on the direction my physiological development took — but also formed an underpinning to what came next – every single step of the way.
There have been ways to make adjustments in the way I experience life — but in the end the ONLY truly useful adjustments that have been made have taken the form of EDUCATION!!!
I found the education about how what happened to me the first 18 years of my life affected HOW my body developed to be completely missing when I first found a door marked ‘recovery’ and stepped through it in 1980 when I was 29. Not to fault the rather primitive state of the ‘mental health’ system back then — it has taken very real advancements in scientific technology to ‘discover’ many of the leading points that severe abuse survivors need to know about what matters most: That the biochemical affects of terrible stress during our development — changed our development.
We can absolutely honor and respect, if not cherish as awesome, the emotional consequences to our abuse that we can identify — and work to modulate and adjust with our every breath today. At the same time knowledge about the very real changes that happened TO OUT BODY during our critical windows of development allows us to recognize that our body (including our nervous system-brain, stress-calm response system, homeostatic set point of equilibrium, immune system, etc.) has different patterns of operation than does that of a person who was NOT extremely stressed/distressed by human-caused trauma during their development.
While ‘therapy’ may be available to some people, may be necessary for some people, may be helpful to some people at different stages of their life journey — I will NEVER say it is ‘the answer’ to what might trouble severe early abuse survivors.
The answer truly lies in our willingness to stand naked in front of our inner self so that the truth of what we knew as little people and hence STILL KNOW at our core can shine right back at us.
It is ONLY our own truth that heals us, comforts us, supports us, affirms us and gives us the hope of a willingness to march or crawl forward through our lives.
Any helpful WORD or ACTION that a person outside of our own self proffers to us is, to me, nothing more than a helping hand to assist us in polishing our own inner mirror so that we can better shine our own true self back to our own true self.
Healing is living. Healing and living are intimately a personal affair — in the beginning, all the way through our lives and out the other door at the end of our days.
Any person – one who is paid to assist us, one who simply brings to us what gives us assistance any old time it is needed — carries worth and value to us only so much as they help us to more firmly stand within our own true reality with dignity, respect, honor within our own power.
I guess today I must again (as I have mentioned in previous posts) be in touch with my own inner Scottish Warrior. I have the right to document and to share and to speak about my reality – true. I also have the right to understand that I might do so with no request for assistance whatsoever!
I am NOT sick. I am NOT broken. I am different because of the consequences of growing up in a completely malevolent traumatic extremely toxic home under the burden of abuse from a complete MADWOMAN of a mother without one single other person to form anything like a safe and secure attachment with.
The more I learn about the’burden of stacked traumas’ I experienced, the more I understand what happened to my physiology during my early development and to my perspectives in life (very real and powerful and many unchangeable, I might add), the more I can celebrate that I found a way to use whatever inner and outer resources I could find to make it out of there alive.
When I document and describe my reality (then and now) in words I am NOT making a statement of ‘sickness’ in any way. Struggling? Often. Suffering? Yes, at times. Difficult passages through my life do not come as a surprise to me.
But I am not ‘sick’ in anything like the usual sense of the word when it comes to so-called ‘mental health’. We are in so many ways still entirely in the dark ages about what it truly means to be a human being. I expect humanity will remain in that darkened, ignorant state for the rest of my lifetime. So I am content to do what everyone else is hopefully doing — making continual progress in the right direction.
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