Jan
20

When Mental Health Providers are not Helpful by Kylie Devi

By

 

Kylie Devi

I am pleased to have guest writer Kylie Devi writing about Unhelpful Mental Health Providers this week at Emerging from Broken. Many of us have been through the mental health system with less than wonderful results. In this post Kylie shares examples of how helping professionals failed her in her quest to overcome the devastation of childhood sexual abuse and how she emerged victorious in spite of them.  ~ Darlene

 To Shrink? Or Not To Shrink… by Kylie Devi

 I have been raped, repeatedly. I have lived to tell my story. I healed by creating my own support systems, and not so much from psychology or therapy. I am sure there are many loving people with good intentions in the field, but the “system” is not set up for healing. The “get better” industry doesn’t thrive on people “getting better.” So for me, I realized I was going to have to take it into my own hands. I did whatever it took. And it took a lot. Writing, crying, sharing my story, connecting with anger, releasing guilt and shame. Forming bonds with people who deserved my trust. Simple things that seemed complicated at the time. That is what allowed my healing to occur.

 I made FOUR solid attempts at rape and crisis counseling. These experiences are comical to me now, but at the time they were re-traumatizing, life shattering, and felt like a second rape. I was addicted to drugs, destroying my relationships, and hanging on to my will to live by a piece of dental floss. I knew that childhood sexual abuse and rape in my teenage years was the root of why I was creating my life in such a way. I reached out for help where I could. Free county rape counseling, student rape crisis centers, expensive psychotherapy. Every time it was so hard to find the courage to ask for help when the previous counselor had either failed to create space for my experience to be real, thickening the denial I already had to deal with within myself, or practiced questionable therapeutic techniques. 

 I recount some of these experiences in a book I am currently writing called Love After Rape. The following three paragraphs are excerpts from this book:

 I wanted to talk to her. I really did. She was a counselor I went to see. I had twelve weeks with her. Twelve weeks to make her understand – to know where all the pain was coming from and how to heal it. By week six she said: “I have to fill out forms to track our progress together, in six weeks with you I have only gotten as far as where we should have been half way through the first session.” Paperwork. Everything was about paperwork, and progress, and moving forward, and being orderly. I could not feel. I just wanted to say “I can’t feel. Can you help me?” But I could not allow the broken notes to escape my locked throat, I wanted to say so badly. Every week I thought about that one hour and I knew that would be the week I could say it. The unspeakable, unsayable, unknowable, shameful thing. I could not, I was not willing, the words were not there. The words were scrambled, the memories. The twelfth week never came. One day she looked at me and said: “I wish I could help you.”

 I did try again, a few years later. I wanted someone to understand. I went to the free state or county funded therapy on the bus. Once again, I had twelve weeks. If I was really effed up, they would reapply at the end of my twelve weeks and see if I could qualify for more. I rode the bus for an hour each way, watching the town sink into itself, watching the filth and the gray of the city I will never call home buzz by. Watching the gray after gray finally turn into brick red and then it was my time to get off. The whole time my stomach was in knots. Could I say it, could I say? What would I say. My clever mind would plan the whole way. Plan it’s defense against the truth being seen, all the while wanting desperately for the truth to be seen. She was short, and had a face that reminded me of a bulldog. It looked out at me with a kind of meanness. A bulldog therapist with brown hair. She kept on telling me that I had anger, I have anger, I must have anger. I don’t have any anger, I have made my peace in the world, have found peace. Peace through marijuana and promiscuous sex. She sent me to Barnes and Noble to buy a book about shame. Healing the Shame that Binds You, by John Bradshaw. I was desperate. Bulldog or not, I needed her. I read it, cover to cover. I was proud of myself for doing so. The next time I got off the bus at the red brick building, and walked up the long flight of stairs, down the hallway that smelled like an attic and too many years of unfiled paperwork, yes, that time. She was not there. Something had happened to her. Instead, a chipper blonde bird lady was there. She said “I cannot tell you what happened to Mary, I cannot.” I hadn’t asked. She went on to say a whole lot of other things. She talked and talked. She did not ask me about the Bradshaw book I had in my hand. We made another appointment, even though not much had happened in this one. I went back the next week, on the bus, through the gray, up the stairs, same as before. She was ranting and ranting. Her son was too young to have a baby. His girlfriend had never even held one before. Did I see the Jodie Foster movie with the rape scene. Did I know how many times she said no in that movie? Did I wonder if I would be raped again? It could happen again. It could keep happening, again and again. This was therapy? She looked at me wide-eyed, at the edge of her seat, and talked, and talked and talked. I am glad someone was getting help.

 I tried one more time, years later. At college. My relationship was falling apart. My drug addiction was literally killing me. I went to the place on campus where they specialize in dealing with rape and sexual assault. I was tired of talking. I wrote a letter to the therapist. I told her everything. That I had been raped as a child, as an adult, that I was killing myself with drugs, that I couldn’t have sex with my fiancée without blacking out. I told her everything. She rustled through the papers quickly, clinically. She said, “You know, we can talk about the assault you experienced in high school. As far as childhood goes, I really don’t want to put ideas into your head.” Ideas into my head? I just told her what happened. It took so much, so much courage to share that. I could not even speak it. There were no ideas put into my head. There were penises put into my mouth. That was all I was trying to say. Even those who are meant to serve this population of me, of me’s, of the women and men who endured what I had, couldn’t speak. Even those specially trained and educated. They did not want to know. They did not want to hear about it. Why were they there? What were they doing there? I never saw her again. Later I learned about an “epidemic” of women accusing families of origin of sexual abuse that supposedly had never happened and it ruined those families. Therapists all over the country were suddenly afraid to touch it. Like it was rotting meat, stay away, don’t touch it, its raw. You could get an infection, a disease. Don’t ruin the families, protect those who abuse, protect their rights, they have them too. File your paperwork. Go home. Enjoy your house, your television. Collect your paycheck. Allow those you serve to suffer in silence, continue this for years. One day, before you die, in the last moment of your life, you will think to yourself. Maybe they were telling the truth. Maybe they had been raped by their fathers, their mothers, their brothers, their uncles. When they confronted their families, it tore their families apart. We were afraid to tear a family apart. Telling the truth is not what tore those families apart, and if it were not true, it would not have torn anyone apart. I will tell you what tore them apart. Sleep well. Enjoy your life.   

You know, I am no longer a drug addict. I no longer consider suicide, I value my life. I may have been victimized, but today, I am not a victim. I am thriving and living on purpose. The “get better” industry is not to credit for that. Not one bit. I healed myself, with the help of others who shared their struggles and their solutions. In the end, we are our own solutions. We all have everything we need inside of us, and within the communities we create, to live the life we are meant to.

Kylie Devi

NOTE: Kylie has written a follow up post ~ Breaking through the Fear of Speaking about Child Abuse

**As always, please feel free to contribute to this article with your own stories, feedback or comments.  ~ Darlene Ouimet ~ founder of Emerging from Broken

Kylie Devi is a writer and healing artist working with men and women who have survived sexual trauma. She offers an eight week course “Recovering the Spirit from Sexual Trauma” in Gainesville, FL, and is writing two recovery oriented books. Her passions are poetry, qigong, bodywork, and transformative communication. She can be contacted through her blog at www.kyliedevi.com

Related Posts ~ Official Notice to Oppressors, Abusers and Perpetrators

Emotional Healing does not depend on…………

Categories : Therapy

112 Comments

1

Kylie,
Thank you so much for sharing your article with my readers here on Emerging from Broken. This is a profound article. It is the perfect mix of feelings, insight and information.

Something that I have also noticed in the helping profession is that so many therapists really DON’T know how to help. They are very often only trained in Diagnosis and Treatment… (and the treatment is so very often medications or other types of band aids, when “surgery of the heart” is really what is needed.)

I paid a lot of money for people to listen to me talk. And they remained NEUTRAL! No wonder I couldn’t tell them everything. If they thought that my recount of abuse that I considered to be “the least of it” was no big deal, then I wasn’t going to tell them about the big stuff. Unfortunately, many of these so called professionals don’t want to talk about the origin of the abuse when it originates in families. I think there are many reasons for this fact and one of them is fear of their own stuff coming up. If they validate that your family was at the root of the issues, then they might have to look at their own history through new eyes. The brainwashing ~ that the victim is always at fault OR lying is huge and when it is even taught to upcoming therapists the survivor is even more reluctant to suspect that perhaps the blame belongs to someone else.

I went to a therapist once who actually listened to me and validated that what happened to me was wrong, and that was the first time there was real forward movement for me. That was the first time I even thought that perhaps I was right ~ that the abuse was WRONG. I have learned since then however, that I can validate me. I can also be the one who hears others in order to get them started.

Hugs, Darlene

2

Darlene,

Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with your readers! I really appreciate it. I hear what you are saying in regards to people not always knowing how to help, even with the socially respected training. For me, I encourage people to realize that they and their communities have everything that they need to heal, though it requires vigilance and persistence. And certainly it is a monumental moment in the healing process when for the first time, someone listens to our stories and does not blame us. It is extremely validating. I had a life coach who really validated me in the way of understanding the emotions of what I went through and told me that for what I had experienced I was doing really well. That she had seen so many people in my particular circumstance really just struggling and suffering and even continuing to victimize themselves. For me, having someone else mirror to me that what I had experienced was in fact, difficult, and that in spite of it I was doing well, was a huge turning point in my life.

3

Thanks so much for this, I’d been thinking I don’t want to try the therapy thing again till I was stronger. Reading how to pick a qualified one,when I feel so vulnerable. So glad it is inside me. That sure rings true. I’m in PA right now & sometimes the news will show Sandusky with his s#*$ eating grin. That along with these articles makes the charades so apparent. I’m so thankful for the sharing & insight. Live long & prosper. Fai

4

Thank you Fai for sharing your experience. I do encourage people to realize we have everything inside that we need to heal for sure. At the same time, I believe in interdependence and sometimes “what we have inside us that knows” is a knowing that we need others to support us through our process. I just don’t believe that in every case that other person needs to be a professional. What is truly important is simply that that person has empathy (not sympathy) for our situation, that they believe us, that they don’t preach or give too much advice, and that they are available to really hear us. I have seen so many people heal from just having someone listen to them in that way 🙂 I just wanted to make that distinction because a lot of survivors tend to isolate and adapt an “I can do everything myself” mentality, and that can be harmful if taken to an extreme. Best of luck on your journey!

5

Thankyou for this important article!

And this important statement.

‘In the end, we are our own solutions. We all have everything we need inside of us, and within the communities we create, to live the life we are meant to.’

6

Thank you Fiona for taking the time to read and share what you appreciated.

7

My one experience with a rape crisis support counselor was pretty much like this…”well, that happened a long time ago and there is nothing we can do about that now, what do you want to do now?” Shut me up for another 10 years.

8

I am so glad you are not being silent anymore!

9

As humans we crave wanting to be witnessed and validated in our lives and it is our humanly right to be and so! I’m writing this as a therapist who has spent the last few years of my life working globally with survivors of rape (women and men, various ages) used as a weapon of war . I believe in my heart that it is human duty to be that validating force for our fellow humans and it blows my mind that our socieities have been reduced to such a level that we need to pay for that. This is a massive topic regarding commentary on our various cultures and a wonderful other discussion! I also completely agree 100% that we have in us what we need for our own healing and growth and I will add that sometimes we haven’t been given the right tools to do so! A ‘good’ therapist, is someone who can help in coaching us by giving us the tools to help ourselves. A therapist is someone who attended a university, studies several years to obtain a degree to hopefully assist others with helping themselves. Please be very weary… just because someone holds the title of a therapist/psychologist/psychiatrist/(add your own title here) does NOT make them a good one! Universities are churning out therapists every year, and there are more graduating every year. Is the world becoming a better place as a result of this! All my love and prayers to the author and those who have posted here!
Peace!

10

Thank you for sharing your insight Ardeshir. And thank you for the work you do in the world.

11

Kylie; excellent article! I felt many emotions as I read your words… sadness over the hellish abuses you have gone through, anger at the way your truamas were compounded by the incompetent therapists you turned to, and great admiration for the way you have overcome!

“When Mental Health Providers are not Helpful.” That would make an excellent book title.

Forty-four years ago, when I was 14, I I was taken to see my first “shrink” by my father and his second wife, who was the head nurse of the psychiatric ward where my dad had been a patient for several weeks after almost killing my mother. Never mind the utter lack of ethics in a nurse getting involved with her severely mentally ill, married patient, with not only a wife, but 5 young children at home ~ these were the people my mother turned to for advice when I began having emotional problems.

Forty-four years later, after having been to more counselors, therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists than I can remember, it has been my personal experience that the vast majority of Mental Health Providers are NOT Helpful, and a significant percentage are downright HARMFUL. When I was 15, my own psychiatriest drugged me senseless and raped me, three times. The final time, he overdosed me, and I went into cardiac arrest. When people talk about the crushing chest pain of a heart attack, I know firsthand what that feels like, because that is what I felt. Fifteen, and I was having a heart attack. He had finished with me, got disgusted with me when I refused to kiss him goodby, he told me, “You will never get well until you learn to stop denying your real feelings.” That was the last sentence he ever spoke to me. Then I was stumbling, floating, dizzy, wasted, trying to walk back to the ward, and I collapsed. And the crushing pain in my chest felt like my heart was being squeezed like an orange in a giant’s hand. Two nurses ran out to me. I was floating up above my body. I could hear one nurse say, “I can’t find a pulse.” The other nurse said, “Her lips are blue!” Then suddenly I was back in my body, gasping for air, with the crushing pain in my chest strangling me again.

He was fired over that one. I was told he committed suicide. And, oh, yeah, I was blamed, by not one, but TWO of his male colleagues ~ one who was also a psychiatrist, the other was a social worker counselor ~ these two men separately came to me and blamed me for “ruining a good man” with my sexual wiles.

I now have a great trauma therapist. My husband and I see him together, because he specialized in PTSD, and my husband and I both have been diagnosed with severe PTSD. We saw our therapist today. Today, the topic of my being raped by my psychiatrist came up again. Our therapist said, “I am surprised that you are able to see a male therapist, after going through that.” Yes… well but you see, my narcissistic MOTHER has abused me far worse than anyone else in my life… so, male or female, I’m going to have some problems! But as I said today, in our counseling session: “I could NOT come here without my husband.” “Why not?” the male therapist asked. “Because I just could not.” How do I put THAT into words? It’s not about that I think he will rape me, I don’t. I just don’t want to have to FEEL those icky FEELINGS…….

Speaking of Icky Feelings and Mental Health Providers: I have recently discovered the hard way that if I do not safeguard myself very carefully on the internet, my head can really be messed with by Mental Health Providers! I used to be on facebook, I am no longer. I also used to have multiple ways for people to contact me through my blog: they could either post a comment, like we can do here on EFB, or send me an email, or contact me via facebook, which I also had linked to my blog. I have recently changed all of that. No more can anyone comment on my blog, no more can anyone send me an email via my blog, and, as I said, I am no longer on facebook.

A big part of the reason that I decided to shut down my facebook account, and also close my blog so that I cannot be contacted in any way, is because of a retired psychologist who found my blog about 7 months ago, presumably by doing an online search for blogs about Complex Post Traumatic Stress. This psychologist contacted me via my blog’s link to my facebook account. He sent me a private message saying that he had read my blog, and that from my Bio information, he saw that we had many things in common: 1. we both have Complex PTSD, 2. we have both written and published a novel, 3. we have the same religious beliefs, and 4. our IQ is almost the same; mine is 156, his is 157. (Of course, he would have to be a point higher!)

So we became facebook friends. I had close to 500 facebook friends, and perhaps that was part of my problem ~ I wasn’t discerning enough. But I thought since it was all just online stuff, I didn’t need to be concerned. If someone gave me any kind of a problem, or if a man came on to me ~ ignoring the fact that I am very happily and loyally married ~ all I had to do was block the guy. Which I’ve done.

But I forgot about how susceptible one can be to Mind Games from someone who is both highly intelligent, AND has a doctorate in psychology.

It didn’t matter what hour of the day or night that I posted on facebook, this retired, twice-divorced, living alone, not involved with anybody psych was RIGHT THERE, immediately clicking LIKE, immediately commenting. Sending me private messages, telling me things like, “Oh I am sorry I didn’t answer your last message sooner, I was lifting weights in front of the tv.” Telling me about the romantic movies he was watching, how this one made him cry. And sharing all kinds of personal things about his life and his thoughts and his hopes and his dreams and his fears. Oh, yes, and he ordered my novel through Amazon, then told me how much he loved it as he was reading it. “I love the way your mind works!” he enthused. “You are an excellent writer!” I asked him if he had done like my husband had done, when he as reading my book. My husband said he got so lost in the story, that he kept forgetting he was reading a book that someone he knew had written (this was before my husband and I were dating, when he read my book, in 2003.) But anyway, this psychologist replied, in a private message, “Oh no, I haven’t for one second forgotten, as I’m reading your wonderful book, that YOU are the one who wrote it. As a psychologist, I know how much we ~ myself included ~ subconsciously reveal of our inner personalities in our writing. So as I am reading your book, I never for a moment forget that it is you, you, you…”

So of course, I ordered his novel from Amazon, and was reading it. And then, just before Christmas, one of my nieces, and a sister, posted some horrible hurtful lies about me on facebook, lies that came straight from my sick narcissistic mother. I was stunned, horrified, SHATTERED, when I saw what my young niece had written about me! It was a damnable LIE and it was right there on facebook for anyone to see!

My husband was gone on an out of state trip, and I was here in my house alone, going CRAZY with P*A*I*N, when those horrible comments suddenly appeared on my facebook. Guess Who IMMEDIATELY sent me a private message saying he was CRYING for me, because he KNEW how BAD that message that Had Just Appeared, must HURT me? The retired psychologist, of course. It was like he sat and stared at my fb wall day and night. So there he was, like a knight in shining armor riding in to rescue the damsel in distress. My husband is not home, he knows this, he had posted on his wall, my husband had, about going to Amarillo for a couple of days. So we are messaging back and forth and back and forth, this very kind caring empathetic affirming genius psychologist with whom I have so many incredible things in common.

Until that moment of extreme duress, with my sister and niece posting such horrible hateful words to me and about me on facebook… and then another half-sister and her husband and another niece joined in, so I was being ROASTED at Christmas time on facebook by my “family” ~ until that time, this fb friend retired genius author psychologist was harmless to me, or so I thought. He lived alone like a hermit because of his severe PTSD, he had no girlfriend or wife, he was just a friend, no problem, we discussed philosophy and religious beliefs and shared music videos and it was all harmless… but then… suddenly it wasn’t so harmless anymore. I was beginning to have feelings for this man that I had only met online, and I don’t want to have those kinds of feelings for anyone other than my husband!

So I thought that I should tell this man directly, and that he would understand what I was saying… in other words, I wanted to be open and honest and not play any games, I wanted to nip the problem in the bud, by telling him flat out, that I was starting to think of him in a way that was not appropriate for me as a married woman and a Christian to be thinking about another man, and that we therefore needed to back off on our online friendship…….

This man got really ANGRY at me. He said some things that really wounded me where I am most vulnerable, and he had to have known that what he was saying would wound me, both because he is trained to know these things, but also because I had shared so much with him over our 7 month online friendship. Here I was already reeling with the pain of my family’s online attacks, I had already shared with this man that the Christmas holidays are my worst time of year because that was the time of year that my mother tried to gas us all to death… plus this was my fist holiday without my close cousin, she drowned a few months ago… so I was already feeling totally MAXXED OUT on STRESS and TRAUMA TRIGGERS… and here this guy is messing with my HEAD, Big Time.

So now, I don’t know what the heck to think! I feel like I have been run over by a truck, and then the truck driver is trying to tell me that it was all my imagination, there is no truck, and it didn’t run over me!

I had barely begun reading his novel, when all this problem started with this retired shrink, so I stopped reading his book. But a couple of days ago I decided that I maybe needed to finish reading his novel, to see if it would enlighten me in any way. So I just finished reading his novel, a few minutes ago… I mean, right before I logged on to read this post, I just finished his novel. And do you know what I figured out from his novel? The guy is full of SH*T.

Plus, he is a really bad writer. 😉

12

PS~ Right up until tonight, as I finished reading his novel, I was thinking that maybe he was RIGHT in the hurtful things he had emailed to me, and that I was WRONG, because, you know, I was GROOMED FROM BIRTH to believe that I am ALWAYS WRONG, in any and all disagreements. I was trying to be all humble and apologetic and honest about my WRONGNESS…. but his novel is just so NOT RIGHT. I don’t know how to put it into words. It’s like he wrote his novel one way, but he lives another way. It’s a mind twister. I guess I’d better shut up, I am probably not making any sense.

13

Hi Elaina,

I am not a profesionally trained therapist or councillor, but I am a human being with a good heart and I just wanted to let you know that I am so sorry to hear what has happened to you.

Unfortunately from my experiences, some people who are “academics” and “educated” people can be just as power hungry and control freakish as the local psychopathic criminal lounging in the local jail. The only difference is they are better at covering up their crimes.

I think that in any profession there will always be people who love to help vulnerable people in society as it gives them a power trip and buzz and makes them feel so important being an authority regarding vulnerable people. Unfortunately you have experienced the most disgusting behaviour from these leeches who literally feed off and exploit your vulnerabilities for their own sick ends.

I am very weary of facebook and this is the first online forum that I have written on as I believe there are a lot of wierdos out there who are predators and get a kick out of getting into people’s heads and kicking people down.

I am amazed at your strength and so happy for you that you have a loving and supportive marriage and I hope that you stay strong and keep reaching out as you didn’t deserve any of what has happened to you.

And you know what, I bet he is a really shit writer!

14

Thank you Kylie for writing this piece. I appreciated your humor in it and the detachment you felt speaking about those traumatic experiences of your past. I can feel your higher vision.

15

Elaina and everyone
Just because someone has a degree in something, doesn’t mean that they are healthy in fact many people with “positional power” are the worst abusers ever. Remember that abusers believe that they are “better” than others and place themselves higher. We have all heard about crooked cops, judges, etc. also. I have a lot of stories about people who had positional power, who totally misused it against me and looked down on me as though I was nothing. This is why I talk about realizing that we have equal value and realizing that at the root of abuse, that we were treated as though we DID not have equal value.

On another note about the internet. We have no way of knowing if people are who they say they are. People can steal the identity of someone else and there are all kinds of other problems that go on. Perpetrators are everywhere. Pedos pretend to be teenagers to lure young girls. mothers even pretend to be teenage girls to find out what their boys are doing online) When it comes to online relationship of any kind, beware and use caution. Many people search for survivors in the healing process because they so often make easy targets.
I am sorry that this happened to you Elaina,
Thank you for sharing that story. Great example of what can happen.
Hugs, Darlene

16

I have horror stories like that also. Would go to counceling feeling down but alright and leave wanting to die. I couldnt trust that person. So wish that someone that is very good at listening and doesnt really want to go through all the schooling could help people that just need to vent it all. I didnt need valiadation I needed someone to tell me I wasnt going crazy! That everything wasnt my fault. That I was not ruining peoples lives just by breathing air. I, also, found other support. And thankfully can hold my head high and scream “ITS NOT MY FAULT” words that helped me come back from the edge of suicide and realize that I am special and worthwhile.

17

I would like to welcome Fiona, Ardeshir, Marie and Kari to Emerging from Broken.

~ Kari
After I went through my healing process, I was so grateful for the fact that I had found a way to take my life back, that I was filled with a passion to tell others. I was in my forties and had 3 kids and although I considered going back to school to become a psychologist, I really didn’t have the freedom to so that. SO… I took training in mental health support, (working for a counselling firm and speaking for a mental health seminar company) and I got my certification in professional life coaching with a specialty in new life story coaching (this was a year and a half of school which I took from home on a bridgeline and my teacher for both was a well known American psychiatrist) and then I started Emerging from Broken. I knew that people needed to be heard and that that was a first step. I knew it because I needed to be heard and it was a big part of my healing process too.

Welcome to all of you!
Hugs, Darlene
Founder of Emerging from Broken

18

Kylie,
Thank you for using your experience to help others. I have often, and recently felt this same thing about the “get better” industry. It’s like rolling in the mud and ick of it all over and over and over again. I also have experienced similar things: listening to the “counselor” because SHE needed to vent, having them tell me I cannot be helped, having them tell me I’m too messed up, having them make me repeat things over and over again because it’s a new person and they want their paperwork updated.

I quit with “professional” counselors, docs, etc. because there is always that detachment and that moment, when you just feel they might care while you are pouring your guts out and begging inside for freedom from the pain, when they say: I’m sorry but our time is UP!!!!

And, yes, it is from within, from the power we have been given that we can overcome these things. We can retrain our minds and hearts. It is hard. It takes a LOT of work. It is worth it. I’m still trying. I am not free yet, but I do feel hopeful and confident of it. This is what has helped me also to advocate for others. Keep up you wonderful, life saving work and your writing. Your insight and empathy are priceless treasures to many.

To Elaina,
I’m so glad you were able to get all of that out and describe it. VERY glad you never met that person face to face as he sounds like a predator. I have experienced this myself and was not so fortunate. This person was someone I worked with and I have had to go through all of the legal channels to remove him from my life. It has been a battle because they are smart at what they say and do. It becomes a battle of whits more than anything. They start accusing YOU of things. I know the drill. All too well. Sounds like you know it too.
You sound like you know that you need to protect yourself and you do not need to give in believing you are worthless. Continue to take care of yourself and trust those who are worthy of it.

To all others who are also healing….you can do it….we can do it….there are people we CAN trust. Your gut will tell you who these are.
Much LOVE–Abigail

19

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read, respond, and share your stories. Elaina, I hear your pain and frustration and also I really want to commend you for your courage to share. Healing definitely starts when we share our stories with each other and are HEARD rather than manipulated, brushed off, lied to, or many of the other possibilities you have brought into the light of day. I tend to agree with Darlene’s response to what you have shared. Please keep writing and sharing your story!

20

Welcome Abigail to Emerging from Broken
I had to comment about what you wrote about the battle of whits… that is so true! There was another post on this blog about mental health professionals and in the comments on that post a woman shared about being publically targeted and smeared online by her former therapist. Telling people that she had made passes at him, and that she was just trying to get revenge by reporting him.. Abusers will do/say anything to keep being right including using their positional power to garner support from others. This is not so different from when an abusive husband tells the community that his wife is having an affair, (when he realizes she is going to leave him) to make sure that all their friends support him and not her. The worst thing about it is that very often it works! I have found that since I did the work to find out where the “broken began” in my life, and what that caused me to believe about myself, that I have not been easily fooled since then. This has been a huge part of recovery for me and has really helped me to see abusive attitudes in others before it goes so far that I am over my head!
Thanks for being here
Hugs, Darlene

21

Kari, Thank you for being here. I hear your frustration. And I hear your hope and power.

To everyone, I had a friend once who had one of the most extreme cases of abuse I have ever heard in my life. She was living in a major metropolis and working full time as well as going to graduate school and life was beginning to really fall apart. She was very much opposed, at that time, to going to any kind of therapy or therapist most likely for many of the reasons we are sharing about here in this forum. I offered a suggestion to her to create her own support group, to find other survivors and simply share with them each week for an hour. She took the suggestion and did it. Though the experience was filled with lots of “room for growth” shall we say, I do believe at that time it saved her life. Not everyone in our support system has the appropriate training to help us to the level that we may need help. However, I continually assert that EMPATHY is the main quality, empathy and the willingness to listen. I know for sure that by Darlene writing her story hundreds and even thousands of people have been able to take the wisdom they find here and change their lives. There are so many ways to heal. I have created my own groups based on what I have been able to do for myself and so many women have told me they feel an empowerment like they never thought possible. This is what it is all about, it starts here. Thank you for taking the time to share your lives with each other, and with me. I am deeply moved.

22

Thank you Abigail and Marie for your encouragement and support!

23

OH Kari…. what you said: “So wish that someone that is very good at listening and doesnt really want to go through all the schooling could help people that just need to vent it all. I didnt need valiadation I needed someone to tell me I wasnt going crazy! That everything wasnt my fault. That I was not ruining peoples lives just by breathing air.”

I SOOOO relate. Especially to your last sentence, “That I was not ruining peoples lives just by breathing air.” ME, TOO!!!

Emma, thank you SO MUCH for your validating and caring words!!! Darlene, I thank you hugely, too, for your kindness, validation, and wisdom.

I have been this way my whole life, accepting people too easily, taking them at face value, believing and trusting when they had not yet earned my belief and my trust. I think I have figured something out, about why I have done this my whole life long… I am “projecting” my caring heart, onto others. I know that I am honest and real and loving, not perfectly, not 100%, because I am human and I do screw up sometimes. But overall, 90% of the time or better, I am those things, realy, loving, honest, and caring, and whenever I realize that I have fallen short in some way, I always do my best to apologize right away and try to make it right.

Because I know that I am not out to hurt anyone in any way, not ever, not on purpose, I expect other people to be like me. In other words, I project my caring and my honesty onto other people. And then when they turn out to be so different from me, I am surprised, and hurt!

It’s like the reverse of my narcissistic mother, who projects her hatefulness and lies onto others. She expects everyone to be as selfish and hateful and twisted on the inside like she is, and so she treats them accordingly.

Anyway… now I have finally wised up to the need to protect myself online. I’ve learned the hard way!

Before I end this comment, in my quest to always be honest and fair, I feel that I need to say this, to clarify what I mean about this retired psychologist being a bad writer: he actually has the potential to be a really excellent writer, but he apparently did not take the time to PROOFREAD his manuscript. His book needed an editor, or at least a high school English teacher who would not be shy about making liberal use of a RED PEN through all of his numerous typos and missing words and wrong words, and dumb grammatical errors that the average 12-year-old could easily see. I believe that his failure to proofread his manuscript before sending it for self-publication is symptomatic of his arrogance. His IQ is so high, and he has a doctorate and many year of experience in psychology, so therefore, whatever he writes must be perfect and brilliant right out of the starting gate, right? “I’m a genius with a doctorate, so I don’t need no stinking editing.” How far the arrogant do fall…

When I was in my late 20s, I had a proctored IQ test done by Mensa, and my IQ score at that time was 156. Since then, I have had a couple of severe concussions, and one very mild stroke, which the doctors told me did not do any lasting neurological brain damage, but *I* could tell a difference in me. SO, I doubt very much if I could come anywhere near to scoring a 156 on an IQ test, today!

Furthermore, this is what I have come to believe about IQ scores: they are about as valuable in the real world, as the paper they are written on. I have a 15 year old grandson who is severely retarded, he was born with a super rare genetic deletion that has limited his cognitive ability to around the age of about 12 months. BUT Erik is BRILLIANT with the best kind of wisdom of all: LOVE!

Speaking of which ~ I LOVE you wonderful women. You are awesome beautiful resilient survivors, every one of you. Life can be a real kick in the head, some times… but you keep going, you keep surviving, you keep THRIVING, and you keep reaching out with your kind generous lovoing hearts, to help others. AWESOME.

24

Kylie
YES! This is so very true. The first key for me was empathy ~ someone who heard me and heard me without trying to convince me that I must have misunderstood, or that it wasn’t that bad or to leave it in the past… etc etc..
~This blog averages 1300 to 1500 legit (not robots, spiders or spam) readers every day!
~In 2011~ over 1,300,000 pages were read here. To me, that is “proof” that this message is something that people are looking for. The more of us sharing it, the better for the world!
Hugs, Darlene

25

Abigail, thank you so much for your kindness and compassion, too. We must have been posting at the same time.

EMPATHY ~ !!!!!!!! YES!!!!

The first time I truly encountered empathy in a mental health setting, that made all the difference for me. I left that clinic in March of 2003, understanding that the only thing that was ever “wrong” with me, was Post Traumatic Stress, and that it was a NORMAL response to extreme trauma, just as it is normal to bleed is one is stabbed. Bleeding when we have been stabbed is not a sign of weakness or ignorance or malignering or a character defect. It is NORMAL.

I suspect, that most people are “normal” for where they have been. If we could only walk a mile in any person’s shoes, we would surely have much more compassion and empathy for that person.

In 2003, when I left the clinic where my normal PTSD was diagnosed, and where I had been treated with EMPATHY, where I had been believed and validated and affirmed, I came up with this personal mantra, in addition to my Fear No Truth motto:

“Turn PTSD into CURE with Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and Encouragement.”

In other words: EMPATHY!

I am no longer so fond of my saying, because I no longer like the “PTSD” designation. If it is a NORMAL response to trauma, then why is it a “diorder” ~?

But anyway, the C.u.R.E. principal, works with all kinds of painful situations, not just PTSD.

The CURE for the ills of humanity is through Compassion, Understanding, Respect, and Encouragement. The CURE is Encompassed by EMPATHY.

HUGS ~

26

thanks for the new post
therapists! well where to begin. I was taken to see a psychiatrist at 12 years when I began having nightmares. I had been taken into local authority care after suffering unspeakable horrors for the first 12 years of my life. In 1971 the answer was medications powerful and inappropriate medications for a child. Whenever my traumas began to surface when ever my mind attempted to heal I was given medications and this continued until I recovered memory and the truth of my condition at 39 yrs old. I collapsed with shock and exhaustion and once again the doctors tried to medicate me but this time I fought back and refused. since then and now I recover through sheer will power and the few individuals who understand this situation and are willing to help. many therapists, doctors, so called experts simply are corrupt at worst or just ignorant to the truth and in my own experience bully and re victimise in order to keep the abuse a secret. Their main agenda to keep the victim silent.As a victim of childhood abuse you are forced to fight this malicious system as well as finding the strength to face and overcome the most appalling impositions suffered as a helpless child. As more people recover and the truth emerges I hope the correct assistance becomes available, I have been fortunate in that I have come across individuals of a compassionate and intelligent nature with whom a thoroughly traumatised person can respond to and in a way that encourages healing. just as sites like this one promotes healing.

27

(see… I’m not the only writer with a high iq who should take the time to proofread my writings. Sorry for all my typos, my sweet best-friend-hubby was rushing me to help him with something.)

28

I can really relate to that sharing. I have made so many immediate “best friends” only to later be really, excruciatingly, painfully hurt by them sometime shortly thereafter. Some of this was mixed in with the fact that I was using hard drugs and feeling more bonded to people because of the effects of the drugs, but much of it was simply that I didn’t understand boundaries. I didn’t understand how to say no. Like you, I assumed that everyone shared my value system of “ahimsa” (compassion, non-harm), and truth be told, unfortunately, the conscious and compassionate are still a minority on this planet. Though I think it is getting better and conversations like these are where it begins. What you said really struck a chord with me, and I am now recounting all the numerous times where I would get in cars with strangers or go traveling with people I had just met, thinking this was all brilliant and adventurous behavior, and regularly getting burned. Today, I have boundaries, and I make safe choices for my life. Thank god!

29

last comment @ Elaina in regards to: “I have been this way my whole life, accepting people too easily, taking them at face value, believing and trusting when they had not yet earned my belief and my trust. I think I have figured something out, about why I have done this my whole life long… I am “projecting” my caring heart, onto others. I know that I am honest and real and loving, not perfectly, not 100%, because I am human and I do screw up sometimes. But overall, 90% of the time or better, I am those things, realy, loving, honest, and caring, and whenever I realize that I have fallen short in some way, I always do my best to apologize right away and try to make it right.”

30

Thanks for sharing Beverly! I hear where you are coming from, for sure 🙂 I am glad you have fought for yourself.

31

Kylie, thank you for sharing your story and your healing so that others can see that healing for themselves is possible. I, too, believe that I have everything inside of me that I need to heal. I have had 5 different counselors over the early years. Two of the four helped me. The last one wanted me to start over at the beginning. I left her office and didn’t go back.

Trusting is so hard for most of us who are survivors. Twelve weeks wouldn’t have been nearly long enough for me to even start to trust much less talk about the incest with a new therapist. I did most of my healing work by myself with the help and support of 12-Step groups. I talked and eventually learned how to feel. I reconnected with my body and my feelings. I learned to love and honor my self and my feelings.

To me, learning to love myself has been the necessary foundation for all of my healing. Recognizing that I hated myself was a major step. With that awareness, I could forgive myself and start to move forward. Healing really is possible if we are willing to do the work.

32

My family keeps telling me, I have to let it go. Go to this rap group it will heal you. Try another therapist or go join a group at your collage. I tell them my group it only. My support is people who hear me and actually understand what I’ve been through. My counselor, ignored what i said like it never happened. Finally she said the same as one of yours did. “I wish i could help you” I never went back, even through many said I should. I want to say thank for sharing your story. It meant a lot, to read other’s words and knowing that i don’t feel alone when it comes to the therapy and how it “helps” you.

33

@Patricia – I know right, 12 weeks? It’s kind of comical. It can take one minute for trauma to impact our lives, and a lifetime to unravel the effects to get back to our core. Yes! Self love!!! Exactly 🙂 And I like how you said “if we are willing to do the work.” There is so much heavy lifting involved in the healing process. It is simply a matter of finding the tools that work for us and then becoming really vigilant about our process and taking care of ourselves.

@Jessica – It is so painful to hear “I wish I could help you,” at least it was for me. I was only 17 or so at that time and extremely vulnerable. For me it was like someone knocked the wind out of me, because I really cared about and felt connected with this person, and to hear that I could not be helped created this sense inside of myself that I really must be defective. I’m glad you found some comfort in knowing you are not alone!

34

Kylie, Jessica, I, too, have been told, in so many words, by a therapist that I was too sick to be helped. What a HORRIBLE, soul-killing, EVIL thing for anyone to say to a hurting person, but most especially horrible when those words are said by a “professional.”

I believe that only that the only people who MAY be hopeless, are the people who lack two things:

1. Empathetic Compassion
2. Humility*

*What I mean by “humility,” for lack of a better word, is NOT that we see ourselves as “less than” anyone ~ but simply that we do not see ourselves as inherently ABOVE anyone. We are all human, we are all imperfect, we are all subject to error. Regardless of our natural talents, intelligence, level of education, or financial station in life, underneath it all we are fallible humans.

If anyone here can think of a better word than “humility” to describe what I am trying to say, please share it! Thank you.

35

Humility is a GREAT word! It’s perfect.

36

Kylie, re your comment #28: “…I have made so many immediate “best friends” only to later be really, excruciatingly, painfully hurt by them sometime shortly thereafter. Some of this was mixed in with the fact that I was using hard drugs and feeling more bonded to people because of the effects of the drugs..”

I had the drinking to numb my pain thing going on for a while, which only made my life problems worse, so I went to AA and got sober, and now I have been without an alcoholic drink for 22 years this month, by the grace of my Creator, one day at a time, YAY! HOWEVER, although I have not been drinking nor doing illegal drugs in all these years, I cannot say that I have been completely “sober,” either ~ not until the past couple of months, have I began to feel truly sober!

In my case, though, the drugs were prescribed by ~ HELLO ~ an UNhelpful Mental Health Provider! These meds were supposed to be helpping me, but the inside of my head was like a twisted up pretzel for a long time, which I have had a medical doctor recently tell me was due to prescription meds that were HARMFUL to me, having been prescribed to me by my previous psychiatrist! My new doctor checked me out and looked at my pill bottles and then told me, “You are Not Sober!”

What she saw, but I was too over-medicated to see, was that the prescribed psychotropics, in my case, were affecting me like the alcohol had done, in the sense that the meds were making my problems WORSE, not better.

I hasten to add… I am not by any means a doctor, and I am ALL FOR EVERYONE deciding for herself, or himself, if she or he is better off taking antidepressants or antipsychotics and/or other psychotropic meds that have been prescribed by their doctor!!! Those meds can be life-saving for many people, and no one should ever feel shamed or in any way made to feel wrong or bad, for taking the prescription meds that their health care provider has prescribed for them, and that are in fact helping them!

On the same token, I believe that we all have the right to determine for ourselves, whether a presciption med is good or bad for us. Last year, when I learned that my narcissistic mother had written a 62-page hate letter to me, AND that she had sent copies of her evil lie-filled letter to my aunt and my siblings (my husband had intercepted my copy of the letter, so I never saw it, nor did he tell me about it, not wanting to hurt me. But he did not know that my mother had sent copies to everyone in the family, and it was from my aunt and later from siblings that I learned about that horrible sick letter) ~

When I found out about that evil letter, back on May 29 of last year, I was beyond devastated. Then, 4 days later, on the evening of June 2, when my sweet young cousin, my aunt’s daughter, who was my only blood relative living in this state, when she called me and we talked on the phone for an hour, as she told me that her mother had told her about that horrible letter, and my precious cousin validated me by saying to me that “it would explain EVERYTHING” if my mother has narcissistic personality disoder” ~ then I felt so affirmed and understood and believed and LOVED, because my cousin had known my mother/her aunt all her life, AND my cousin had a BA degree in psychology, AND she was very intelligent, IQ-wise… So, for the first time in my whole 58 years of living I felt fully believed, understood, and validated, by a relative from my family of origin… and I told my darling cousin how much I loved her, and we cried together, and we laughed together, and we made plans to get together in person in the near future……AND THE VERY NEXT DAY ON JUNE 3 MY SWEET PRECIOUS COUSIN ACCIDENTALLY DROWNED!!!!!!! ………….

I
WENT
INSANE
.

By June 27 of last summer… which was the day before what would have been my cousin’s 39th birthday, the day we were going to meet to celebrate her day, as we had done on my 50th birthday, and on other birthdays… by June 27, I was teetering right on the brink of suicide. I asked my husband to take me to the hospital, and thank God, he did.

This is what I have come to understand, since last June… I was already all screwed up at the time, even before my mother’s 62-page hate letter was sent to the whole family and I found out about it, and before the horrible unthinkable tragedy of my cousin drowning… I WAS ALREADY SCREWED UP, by DRUGS. Not illegal drugs, in my case, but by prescription drugs. My head was in a fog, my brain was in a tangle, my emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE, because of the drugs I had been on for about 8 years, and most of all, BECAUSE I HAD GONE OFF OF THOSE DRUGS VERY VERY FAST, a few weeks before my cousin drowned and my mother sent her evil letter.

So, after the evil letter happened, and my cousin drowned, last year during the month of June, I had inappropriate RAGES going on, I was flipping out totally over tiny little things, and then I was fighting the almost overwhelming urge to KILL myself, and all because I had gone off of 8 years of an antidepressant and antianxitey med which my doctor had prescribed, way too fast. I went off the meds because they had me so totally NUMB and dysfunctional, that I was already an emotional basketcase, even before the tragedies hit.

I have since learned, the hard way, that the only safe way to go off those psychotropic meds is EXTREMELY SLOWLY, and with the help of a good medical doctor!!

37

Thanks, Kylie, for your vote for Humility.

I have your blog bookmarked and am looking forward to reading it.

Time for me to get back to my own writing. I love EFB, but find I can spend too much time here, just as I was doing on facebook. Trying to maintain a healthy balance in my life, with ANYthing, is an ongoing challenge.

38

Wow, what a great post and wonderful comments. In my experience, the only therapist who really wanted to help me was a man my parents sent me to when I was a young teenager. In their minds I was the one with a problem, not them. Now I know I was the “presenting patient,” I was the one person in a screwed-up family who was labelled by the rest as the problem. This therapist really listened to me and wanted to help. He understood it was about the whole situation, and he finally told my parents that we would benefit from family therapy. Well they were so angry at this that they stormed out of his office and didn’t let me continue with him. My father’s wife took to remarking on how crazy HE was and how it was a good thing I wasn’t seeing him anymore. After that they made sure to hire doctors who just put me on meds and didn’t comment on the family. I never even tried to see anyone as an adult.

Thanks for the clarity and insights.

39

Emerging from broken
Humility
CURE
Empathy

And more….

Please all of you…please continue to share. Only because we can trust each other, we know that we understand each other. We are able to see that what we know is TRUE. The lies they tell us ARE LIES! When they BLAME US to reflect the light off of them, WE know it is not us. When others believe them and SHUN US, we know we have others who will love us. We know we are not alone. So many things I’d like to specifically comment on after reading each word above and it sums up with:

We now know we are not alone. And, this gives us power and strength to feel better, to feel good, to feel hope to speak out, to get out, to feel free, to be empowered, to empower others!

I hold back so much because the details of my life hurt more to share them all. Occasionally they slide out like a rupture of spewing tar and then I don’t know how it happened. Where do I start? It started before I was born. At 46, I only now am able to start to reduce the gap between the woman who has been teaching and giving to others and the woman (little girl inside) who goes home and cries for my own pain.
For too many years, I’ve loved and loved and loved and trusted and trusted and trusted only to have the love crushed and the trust, as spoken of by others here, betrayed. I also trusted far to much and the wrong persons.
Even now as I continue to seek to help others and am pleased that they can find freedom from pain, I hide that the pain of my own heart and the aching of my guts doesn’t seem to want to go away.
I know what it is. I’m afraid to say.
PTSD. Such simple little letters that do so much. AND who else here has had someone tell you that YOU don’t possibly qualify for this designation because YOU didn’t go to war! In all respect for those who suffer because of battle and more, PTSD does apply to ALL trauma, yes?
SO…because our scars are inner. The healed wounds are often in hidden places. The years of internal prison because we are shunned by those who believe the lies. The torment of watching abusers getting “away” with things, and being even praised for this or that great deed.
I will say this on that: SO WHAT??!!
And why can I say it? Because of all of you! All of you wonderful, caring hearts who have let me, and others know: this is not an isolated case.
This happens. I know it is wrong. I know I did the best I could. I know I can heal. WE ALL CAN HEAL.
CURE
Humility
EMPATHY (a favorite)
And more….
To Emerge from broken…..with strong wings of freedom.
Deep thanks to all of your dear hearts.
(and yes, i’m too drained after this release to go back and edit)

40

((((((((((ABIGAIL))))))))))

That’s a HUGE hug, in case you couldn’t tell.

I, too, am too emotionally drained after most of my comments here, to edit. I didn’t know that’s what it was that was stopping me, though, until you said it. Just a little thing like that, when shared in this atmosphere, means so much.

I thought I was the only one. It’s so terrible, thinking you are the only one! Not that we want others to suffer, too, heaven forbid, but just to know that IT WASN’T/ISN’T JUST ME. Wow that is huge.I believe it was October of 2010 that I stumbled across this blog and began to read and began to realize for the first time in 58 years, that I am not the only one!!

I’ve been told by judgmental haters: “YOU are the common denominator in all of your problem relationships, so the problem must be YOU.” And I believed it! I believed that “something about me” DROVE people to want to ABUSE me. I’ve had therapists tell me that! When I was a little girl and my mother would often say to me, “I love you of course, because you are my daughter, I just don’t LIKE you,” and she would smile so big and proudly, like she thought she was quite a saint to manage to love someone so unlikeable as me… one day I got the courage to ask her WHY she didn’t like me, hoping to change whatever it was that was so wrong with me, and she said: “It’s just YOU, it’s just the way you are.” How does a little girl, or anyone, fix that?

I believed the problem was all me, that I was too crazy and mixed up to figure out what it was that was so awful about me, that people had to hurt me. Wow. What an amazing and empowering thing it is to learn that it wasn’t me, it really was them. Abusers seek out the weak, they seek out the over-compliant, they seek out the eager-to-please with zero self-esteem. I was groomed as a child by my parents, mainly by my mother, to be compliant and weak and unsure of myself and eager to please. I was taught that I had no rights. I was the perfect target for abusers! No wonder I kept getting into one abusive relationship after another, I had a target tattoed on my forehead that said “I HAVE ZERO SELF-ESTEEM. I WILL TURN MYSELF INSIDE-OUT TRYING TO WIN YOUR APPROVAL.”

NOW… users and abusers go the other way when they see me coming!

41

Kylie,

You never cease to amaze me! I have loved watching you grow and speak your truth over the years. You are an inspiration for others to move forward and I am grateful for you. I know your book will do wonders for our world. Thank you for staying alive and loving yourself.

Love your Homie

42

Thank you for this post and the many comments. I read everything since I’ve come here but am often too overwhelmed to contribute. Often, words aren’t good enough and ironically I’m a writer. I admire you all. You all inspire me.

As the victim of family molestation, sadism, emotional, psychological, mental, etc. etc. abuse I was never allowed to feel anger, nevermind express it. In fact, because I was not allowed to feel it myself, I associated anger, real righteous anger with abuse because my abusers were allowed to show it, so in my child’s mind, I figured anger = abusiveness. My own personal value system from early childhood was also one of love, compassion and by no means, to ever harm another. I also felt worthless and undeserving of love so had no right to feel anything at all. The problem was that I was by nature a ‘feeling’ child and I knew something was wrong so very very early on, I begged for and even demanded therapy. I thought that if a psychologist could only see what was going on, it could be fixed, we (my siblings and I) could be saved, I could save them through getting help. And sometimes my parents humored me. Sometimes child protective services would make my parents and us go to family therapy but I couldn’t say a word in front of them. When I was older, I tried again with pastoral counseling. His answer was to get out of the house. Not helping as far as coping but at least the truth.
Now, after leaving an abusive marriage, and going to a domestic crisis center, having a meltdown and suicidal ideation, and two siblings deaths (from overdoses) possibly suicides, my doctor and advocate both suggested unbeknownst to each other to see one specific psychotherapist and I talked with her very briefly initially on the phone while at the shelter and we clicked. During my first session ever, she told me,’Their abuse, their rejection, their neglect, was not your fault. You are not to blame.’ She believed me. She got me to ‘feel’ my anger. We wrote a timeline of my life from very early childhood and she believes all of it and has assured me over and over again that she has no doubt it occurred and we’re going to work it out together. She herself believes everyone has it inside them to heal.
I’ve been to counselors (one dismissed me as a spoiled brat when I tried to explain that uncles were molesting me) psychologists, family therapists, pastors, etc. the list is endless but I have found one person who is already helping me HELP MYSELF. They exist. You must be wary. You must be cautious because we are so vulnerable but there are many out there who do want to help and are even gratified that they’re able to.

43

hi kylie,

thank you for writing about your life experiences, your an inspiration. Every single person here is so brave and strong. Congratulations kylie, darlene, and everyone here, for surviving and for becoming a force of good and of real healing in this world.

44

I just now wrote this poem. ***WARNING*** RAPE TRAUMA TRIGGER***

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

did i drive him to sin
the way they said i did?
the nurse who found
my unconscious body
later told me
she heard me
SCREAM BLOODY MURDER

but i have no memory
no memory
there is a black hole
where a scream should be

did i drive him to rape me
the way they said i did?
i pushed his hands away
i did not want him
touching me there, looking at me there
stop
NO, i don’t LIKE this!

but then
the needle tore a hole
and cold hot liquid
entered my vein
spreading ice and fire
and pain Pain pAin PaIn PAIN
my heart, my heart ACHES, my heart, I am…
dying
did i drive him to do this
evil thing to me?
am i guilty because i let him
i let him
put the needle in

i thought he was right, you see
i thought i was wrong
i was 15 years old
he was 42
i was a mental patient
a ward of the state
he was a doctor
he was my doctor
DOCTOR
psychiatrist
shrink
and he told me
YOU WILL NEVER BE WELL
UNLESS YOU LET ME HELP YOU!
you have to trust me
you have to stop fighting me
you have to stop
pushing my hands away

i thought he was right
i thought i was wrong
i thought i was crazy
i thought he was sane
that is why i let him
take me into his office
sit me in his chair
and put the needle in my arm
i was a girl
i was broken
i was in an insane asylum
and i wanted him to give me
the HELP he promised me
the help the help the HELP
to restore my mind
and set me free
i will make you well, he said
if only you will let me

i resisted for several months
i did, God knows i did
if God was there, in the insane asylum
He may not have been there, though~
i would not blame Him if He were not there
but i did resist
i did
i would not let my psychiatrist touch me
underneath my clothes
why not?
the answer is simple
because he had a wife
he was married, i knew this
he had told me about her
and i had seen her
once when she visited the ward
he had a lovely wife
so why was he trying to touch ME?

that was why i would not let him
that was why i kept telling him NO
until one day i realized
that he was the only one
who had the power to let me OUT OF THERE!

so then, i asked him
the next time i saw him on the ward
Please. Help me.
Do whatever you must
to fix my mind
and set me free
I will not fight you, not this time
i will not tell the nurses again
they didnt believe me anyway
I want to get well
i want to be FREE
so please, help me

that night
i walked into his office
i sat down in his turquoise plastic chair
the air condtioner was blowing cold air
and the tape recorder on his desk was running
he loosened his tie
then he prepared the syringe
and i obediently
i obediently
like a good girl
a good mental patient
i obediently held out my arm
and i sat still and quiet and compliant
as he put the needle in my vein
as he pushed the amber liquid in
burning cold hot fire
squeezing pain Pain PAIN!!!!!!!
my heart, I said
my heart hurts, I said,
grabbing my chest

he took my pulse and then
pushed more of the liquid in
Have a dream
he commanded
go to sleep and dream
and when you wake up
you will have no memory
no memory
and if you tell
no one will believe you
and i
will stick you back in a hole so far
you will never see the light of day again
no don’t scream dont SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

was it my fault
like his doctor friend said it was
YOU RUINED THE LIFE OF A WONDERFUL MAN!
YOU ARE A WOMAN, YOU ARE NOT A CHILD
TAKE YOUR GUILT LIKE A WOMAN, TAKE IT, YOU WHORE!
I SUPPOSE YOU WANT TO SCREW ME, TOO
RIGHT HERE ON THE FLOOR OF MY OFFICE?
I WAS A VIRGIN WHEN I MARRIED MY WIFE
BECAUSE I HAVE STANDARDS
BUT YOU HAVE NO STANDARDS AT ALL
GET OUT OF HERE, GET OUT!

was it my fault
because i believed him when he said
he knew how to help me
if only i would do what he told me to this time
come into my office
sit in my chair
and hold your arm still
while i put the needle in

45

I hung myself, afterward. But the metal pipe I hung myself from, broke. I fell to the hard floor. Then I was injected with thorazine, and strapped to a bed with steel straps wrapped in leather, that ran around my waist, my wrists, my ankles, and was padlocked under the bed.

46

Lainey, what you share is true and thank you for making the distinction. It piggybacks off of what Ardeshir shared. I didn’t have space in my writing to bring up those points. The truth is I have seen many, many healers and the only ones who could help me were the ones who empowered me to help myself.

47

Elaina,

I will cherish that hug; did not know what it was. Thank you. Safe hugs are very precious to me. 🙂

We do understand each other. Some details are different, some the same.

More importantly, we know we are not alone anymore and we can walk past these events in our lives. And, we know now that others too have suffered much in similar ways. Feeling like no one can understand. Hoping no one else suffers like this. Yes, it hurts to know that they understand, can have empathy, sometimes because they did endure this also. Empathy from those who never suffered is precious, too.

Me and you must have gotten our signs from the same sign maker. I wore that one for many years and did not understand why they kept finding me. Same thing I was told: I am the common denominator. Same thing. BUT THEY WERE WRONG that it was our fault. ONE thing was true and is true: WE are the ones who had to take off that SIGN!!! A new sign in it’s place that says: don’t even try it! I will love you and trust you and be in your life only because you love and trust me and respect me back. Family, for me, is now those who love me and not necessarily those who share my blood line.

My heart ached while reading your poem because I felt you reliving it. I lived it with you just then. Please find comfort today.
Please comfort yourself and find comfort from someone you are safe with, dear, dear Elaina.
You are free now. Free. We are free. They cannot touch us now. If we can release them from our minds and release them from within the stress of our muscles, we can be free.

Were they wrong to tell us to bring it out? To talk about it over and over again? It seems so. It doesn’t release. It is like it takes a stronger hold. It’s like it happened again and again and again.

So years later, we are still hurting. So, the freedom is in letting it go? Forgetting somehow? Detaching? Can we do that? Can we help others and detach from our own pain in a way? I think so and it is my goal to find out how. My brother, one of 12 siblings also suffering, insists on EFT so much that he now teaches it. He says it has only worked in little ways for me because I’m such a severe case and that I can only do it when not alone. (If anyone tries it, NEVER do it alone!) I’ve learned the hard way.

We have such strength that God has given us, and I see you believe in God. It hurts Him so to see people treat one another in a way he did not intend. He says if we just ask he will help us get through it. This has really helped me more than any other therapy.

He is not like our mothers who did not like us, or who are jealous of us for unknown reasons.

We can do what we know to be good and to be nourishing to others.

Let us make today a day to smile.

Look for the sun. Look for beauty. This is my plan as the morning birds are singing outside. Last nights’ nightmare (2nd abuser of many came at me in my mind) will fade away, I am determined, because I want to think of something happy.

Whatever it is you for dearest Elaina, and for all of you, we can be happy today. And free.

(BTW: So glad for broken pipes and that you are here with us to help us push out the bad and bring in the good.)

HUGS to you. ((((((Elaina))))))
And all of you who I do not know but who also need hugs. WARM HUGS
–Abigail

48

Ditto on Kylie’s comment.
This article is deeply appreciated, Kylie, because this issue has been a big one for me, and apparently for many of us. To realize and learn the power we have to help ourselves instead of waiting for someone else to protect us is life saving and empowering in ways I never thought possible.
It does happen, I’m sure, for some to have a protector, and those protectors are so valuable. But, we know we always have ourselves and we must be true and honest, loving and protecting to ourselves.
There is much healing power in this.
–Abigail

49

Lainey, Your experience and advice touched me personally. I also equated any anger with abuse and did not know I was allowed to be angry and stand up for myself.
I learned the difference from my dear brother-in-law who taught me the difference between aggressive and assertive.
I love so much that when we learn, we want to share. Thank you all for this.

50

It amazes me how often I can relate to the posts here. EFB has been instrumental in my healing, like Kylie I had to do a LOT of it on my own. I have a good therapist, but I had decades of the type Kylie mentions in this post before her…and had given up expectations of really “healing” in therapy, and she was my “last chance” in terms of therapy.

Even with her, I did soooooo much healing work on my own. I was blessed enough not to work for the two years following my “realization” that the sexual abuse for the decades prior was the reason for the promiscuity, drug addiction, insomnia, nightmares etc. and I threw every waking minute I had into healing…reading books, blogs, writing, drawing, doing EVERYTHING I could find online or heard someone else say worked for them. EFB and Facebook have helped me in ways I can’t even begin to explain. I know that without them, I never would have healed as much as I have.

Just the realization that other people out there have never felt love and sex connected to eachother and never been “really there” during sex, and that they have nightmares and sleep with teddy bears and all those other things that I thought were “bad” about me, were really not all that strange after all.

We are using normal coping strategies to deal with abnormal events…thats not weird at all…its smart 🙂

Thanks Kylie and Darlene…you both are amazing!

51

Oh elaina…
I am lost for words..
I am thinking of you and I wish I could hug u.
Love Michelle (hug hug hug)

52

This was the first time ever visiting this site for me. I read the article because I myself am currently experiencing a horrific failure by the local mental health providers. I have been seeing them for over a year now and it never fails, if I call my counselor I never get to talk to her then, and no matter if I leave messages or not, I don’t get a call back unless I am practically screaming at the machine.

Any time I have asked for assistance with getting medications or getting transportation assistance due to myself being in the middle of a disability case and my husband being laid off, I am met with statements like “Well I don’t know what to tell you… I don’t know who could help…” and that’s that.

My appointments with my doctor are cursory visits making sure I’m still taking my medicines and don’t have any new symptoms.

I feel very much neglected and abandoned by these “professionals” but have little choice. I have to have the medications in order to have hope of being functional thanks to the base problem being a chemical imbalance that is complicated by years of trauma and abuse, be it emotional and verbal rather than physical for the most part.

The article and the wonderfully written responses have given me renewed hope that I will find a partner in help and a guide through the tools I have already but don’t really know how to use properly for my unique situation. And they remind me that I am not alone in my struggle for balance and wholeness.

Thank you all for sharing. I am honored to have had the chance to glimpse into your lives.

53

Thank you for sharing your story, Kylie. And, also huge thanks to each and every person who shared in the comments.
In all honesty, I have typed out 4 previous “comments” and have deleted them all. So, I’m going to stop attempting to write my thoughts the “right” way, and just say how much this site, Darlene, each post, and each person who has the strength and is so incredibly brave and trusting to post their thoughts, wisdom, and personal stories has helped me in my journey of healing. I have been seeing counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, etc. for over 12 years (I’m only in my early 30’… ha!) and I must say that since finding Emerging from Broken a few months ago, reading and re-reading many of the stories and all comments that go along with each… it has helped me in ways, that none of the “professionals” have been able to.
No one wants to deal with someone who is depressed or sad or just incredibly broken. Of course, we’d all love to interact with those who have nothing but joy in their lives. But, that is not reality. Yet, I have heard, along with so many of you, “well… I’m sorry, I’m not sure what to tell you… “, or “I don’t know what you expect me to do…”, or the best “Just deal with it. It’s a part of life, and I don’t know what you want from me”. All we want from anyone is to understand or attempt to understand (through listening, validation and empathy) what we are going through. Yet, why is it that rather than understanding or attempting to, expressions of annoyance, anger, irritation, just pure lack of empathy in any form is thrown at one in what is usually a harsh way?
It saddens me that we all are here because of traumas in our lives, but I am joyful that we all are here, to support, understand and empathize with one another.
I wish I could hug each of you, and tell you …. although I may not have experienced exactly what you have or are experiencing, I get it. I get how hard it is to even express your feelings, to even say the words in your head, to say outloud the horrible experiences you have been through, the really awful situations you currently may be in, and the feelings that no one cares, understands, or is willing to help you.
That is what I think is amazing about Emerging from Broken. Darlene has given each of us the power to share what we chose, express our feelings, and know that it is safe and that we will find someone who understands and gets it. This is something that is rare in the world of “mental health professionals” (in my opinion) and just in many online forums ~ most are still fully controlling all they can. They are setting rigid rules, and if you happen to overshare, or say the wrong thing (which is, admittedly my biggest fear and biggest hurdle in life right now) you will either be ignored (as in post deleted by moderator) or blasted for all to hear and see. Thank you Darlene for allowing us to feel like the grown ups we all are, and giving us the power and opportunity to write what we wish (of course, in all “group settings” in life, one must abide by the rule to not hurt others ~ which I think is pretty amazing to be able to truly say, I have not seen anyone openly hurting others in this forum… so AMAZING in retrospect, when thinking of other sites I have read, in which it’s just catty chatter).
I appreciate anyone who made it to the end of my lengthy, lacking much sense comment.
I’m glad to know I’m not alone in feeling that there are way too many people who just don’t get it.

54

Thank you Amanda and Ella. You both said it perfectly.
Hugs to you.
Hugs to all of you.
Hope your day and week goes well.
–Abigail

55

Abigail ~ thank you so very much. Every word you have written here is healing and helpful and insightful. Your kind caring and generous spirit is beautiful.

Michelle ~ thank you so very much, too. Hugs gratefully received.

I am so amazed at how much FREER I feel, after writing and posting my trauma poem. I had never written about it, never talked much about it, either, beyond just making the cryptic statement: I was drugged and raped by my psychiatrist when I was 15. He did this 3 times. He overdosed me the last time and I nearly died. He was fired then, and later committed suicide. Two of his colleagues told me that I was to blame for “ruining a wonderful man” with my sexuality.”

Sometimes, but not often, I will add that I hung myself afterward. Not immediately afterward, it was after the two men had blamed me. One was another psychiatrist, one was a social worker/school counselor. (By the way, about a year or two later the social worker drove several hundred miles to my home to tell me he was wrong in accusing me, and apologize to me!)

I did not tell anyone about any of this, for about 5 or 6 years. When I first started talking about it, in my cursory way, I had massive panic attacks, thinking that I was about to DIE because I had TOLD. This happened even though I knew that my rapist psychiatrist was DEAD! His hypnotic brainwashing of me, telling me that if I ever told anyone, I would die….. had that much of a stronghold on me.

This is not something that I have talked about often. But when I have, I have only talked about it in short sound bites. No indepth sharing of the details, or of what the experience felt like to me, until now. Until I wrote the poem, night before last.

I did not come back here to read the responses to my trauma poem, until now. I half-expected to find it deleted, and would not have been angry or upset if it had been. At least… I don’t think I would have been angry or upset. I had steeled myself for that possibility.

I have my poem published on my own blog, now. I have an old black and white photograph of the actual building where I was raped. In the front of the building, you can see the window to the room where I hung myself approx. 43 years ago. I put that photo on my blog, and put a red arrow pointing to the window of the room where I did that. The room where I was raped was on the ground floor, and toward the back of the building, so I do not have an arrow pointing there. But I can still see it in my mind, the inside of that building, the small marble foyer, the long halls, the rooms, the people, they are all still there inside of my head. This building, this hospital, was torn down in 1999, but it still stands in the photograph, and it still exists in my head.

But its hold on me is GONE… or at least much-lessened, thanks to this Safe Understanding Compassionate Empathetic place. Thank you, every one of you, who is kind and caring. One truly kind and caring heart is more valuable than all the riches of the world.

56

Ella ~ I am very glad that you did not delete your commenting before posting it again. My heart was blessed and affirmed by everything you wrote. I smiled when I read your last two sentences: “I appreciate anyone who made it to the end of my lengthy, lacking much sense comment. I’m glad to know I’m not alone in feeling that there are way too many people who just don’t get it.”

YES! I GET IT!! It helps so much to know I’m not alone, it helps so much to know that YOU get it, TOO! As for the “lacking much sense” part of your next-to-last sentence, I have this to say: NOT. Your words are very insightful and wise and good and true.

57

Amanda and Amira, your comments help me, too, to know I am not the “only one.” That’s what all the comments and the posts here on EFB do ~ almost all, anyway ~ it helps us to know we aren’t alone, we aren’t the only ones.

I see in women like us, a very great similarity with the War Veterans. My husband is a disabled Vietnam War Combat Veteran. His best friends, who are more than brothers to him, are all Vietnam War Veterans. They “get” each other, in a way that no one who has never been in the horrors of war, can possibly understand. They are an elite and unique group. The society they risked their lives for and went to hell to protect, can never understand them. They are like aliens living separate and apart, in the country they went to hell to serve.

Our next-door neighbors are a couple our age. We did not know them until we lost our other house to foreclosure almost 2 years ago, and then moved in here next to them. Losing our home felt like the end of the world, now we see it as the best thing that could have happened to us! The guy next door, who is also a disabled Vietnam War Veteran, with severe PTSD like my husband has, is now my husband’s best-ever friend. His wife is very much like me, she, too, has complex post traumatic stress from years of domestic abuse in her former marriage.

Here is the interesting thing, for those of you who may think that PTSD from war must be so much worse than the kind you get from domestic trauma and violence: both my husband, and our neighbor his best friend, have told me and the wife who lives next door, that our PTSD symptoms seem SO MUCH WORSE to them, than their own PTSD caused by WAR! They say that very kindly and respectfully and lovingly, not at all judgmentally. On the contrary, my husband, and the neighbor woman’s husband, say that they have concluded that, AS HORRIBLE AS WAR IS, the trauma of being abused by your own family, is FAR WORSE. YES, it is horrible if totally strangers from another country are shooting at you, trying to maim, dismember, and KILL you. But they did it for the love of the family they had back home, they did it for their beliefs in freedom (EVEN THOUGH BOTH MY HUSBAND, AND THE GUY NEXT DOOR, ARE NOW TOTALLY AGAINST WAR, THEY SAY THAT IS *NOT THE ANSWER*!!) ~~~~

HOWEVER, my husband and the guy next door both say that they have learned from living with us, their wives with domestic-abuse induced PTSD, that the trauma of being abused, violated, and unloved by your own “family”, is far more damaging than even the horror of WAR.

58

Elaina,
I’m glad you wrote that poem and finally released so much hurt. I do get it, too. Could not even imagine it being deleted and your saying that helps me understand even more that some part of you felt it was too much to hear and to detailed to have here. If we cannot tell it here, then who can we tell? You are safe here and that helps me feel safe here, too.

And, thank you for mentioning the details about PTSD. This has been something I’d not been able to describe to those close to me at all. They just think I’m acting. “Get over it already!” It’s been years! It hurts so much still for people to say I’m making it up or making too big of a deal and wonder what on earth I can still be having nightmares and flashbacks about. It does not get me every day, but when it does, it is so hard.

Smells, an image, sounds, things I don’t even know, will trigger it.

You put it perfectly, in a way I’d not thought of because I don’t know anyone personally with PTSD from war. PLEASE thank your husband and neighbor for me, from Abigail. Please tell them how grateful I am that they acknowledge that when our own father, brother, husband, and trusted counselor, and more abuses us, tortures, imprisons and rapes us, tells us it is our fault that this is happening and then tells others that they are the victim so that we will be blamed for years on end: the mental trauma from this far, far surpasses the physical pain the we endure.

It is beyond frightening. And, it is horror beyond words. I can describe it sometimes in some words, but the deep feelings are tightly woven in my body. Trying to hard to get them out.

So glad you finally received an apology, Elaina.

So glad you are freer.

it offers hope.
–Abigail

59

Abigail, I will thank my husband and neighbor friend as you asked, how sweet of you to think of it.

PTSD was not an “official” diagnosis until the early 1980s, and that was due in large part to the Vietnam Veterans, who would not go quietly away! Their war was harder on them, in some ways, than our nation’s other wars. They were a great deal younger, for one thing. Many were draftees, for another, so their participation was not voluntary. Also, unlike other wars, they were trained and sent over as individuals, not as a unit. So they arrived alone, the FNG (F-ing New Guy), and then they left alone, on a plane usually, missing out of the long boat ride back with a company or unit with whom they could talk and laugh and cry and decompress. THEN, when they got back to the states, they did not come home to a Heroes Welcome, as has been done with our other wars, they came back to a country that was protesting and rioting against the War, and calling them Baby Killers and other ignorant horrible names, spit on, cursed at. My husband was one of many thousands of Vietnam Vets who, for many years, LIED and said that he had gone to Canada to escape being drafted… he was that ashamed to admit that he had gone to war! So these young boys, and some young girls, came back from ‘Nam much more emotionally and mentally damaged than most of our War Veterans from our other wars have been. This is why we have the Vietnam Combat Veterans to thank, more than any other person or group of people, for our understanding of Post Traumatic Stress.

But…. for many years, most people, including the ones in the mental health professions, seemed to only see PTSD as something that happens to people in combat. I thought that, too. I thought that even though I had been through multiple extreme traumas in my life, that had nothing to do with my “mental illness.” It was just not something that I put together in my thinking! I was: 1). Born mentally ill, and 2). I had been through a lot of traumas. Double unlucky whammy ~ but not related! Never mind the fact that I was totally NORMAL until I was 14 years old, when my Post Traumatic Stress symptoms began to appear. How could the “mental breakdown” that I had at age 14, have anything to do with my mother trying to gas us all to death, when I was 12? Two YEARS had gone by, between the two events, so I did not see the correlation, nor did anyone else…..

THAT’S why they call it POST traumatic stress… it hits LATER. In my case, it hit me when I could finally RELAX and STOP WORRYING that my mother was going to flip out again and decide to kill us all. When I was 14, she got pregnant and then married my kind and caring, safe stepfather. My mother had someone sane to take care of her and keep her grounded. She could not live without a man, don’t you know. But now she had a man, a very good one. So my family was SAFE at LAST… and THAT is when I had my breakdown. I no longer had to be STRONG and VIGILANT, I no longer was needed, to keep my family ALIVE. I see it all now… but I sure didn’t see it then.

My husband’s PTSD did not become severe until 2002. He left Vietnam in 1972!!! Why did it take him 30 years to break down? Because, he got married to his first wife while he was in the service, they had a couple of kids, and as soon as he got back from Nam, and got out of the Marine Corp, he went to work to support his family. He found that while he was WORKING, he did not have to THINK or FEEL about Vietnam. SO, he became a first class workaholic. He worked well over 100 hours per week, every week, for many many years. He worked his way up to the point where he was a wealthy man. He owned several businesses, and his net worth was something like 7.4 million dollars, by the time he was in his late 30s!

But then his first wife took the children and left him, with no forwarding address. He became so depressed, that he began drinking heavily… which also numbed his thoughts and feelings, so he still didn’t have to deal with Vietnam. And then, the alcohol decreased his depression so bad that he GAVE ALL OF HIS PROPERTY AND BUSINESES AND MONEY AWAY!!! He left himself with just a few hundred dollars, and then moved out west from the east coast, to start a new life. He thought he could start all over again and become wealthy all over again, the way he had done it the first time. But that time, although he was still working a lot of hours, he was also drinking very very heavily, and so he never made any money, every business he tried to start, he failed at. This is the condition he was in when I met him in 2003, dead broke, and with nothing but a pile of bills and no credit. Which is kind of where we still are, but…

When his PTSD got really bad, was just before I met him, when he had 2 heart attacks, and could no longer work. He had also become a Christian and had stopped his drinking. So by the time I met him, he could no longer work, and he no longer drank, so he didn’t have ANYTHING to take his mind off of his long-buried trauma memories. It was about that time that our Iraqi War started, and all those things on the news… and THAT is when my husband’s PTSD got so bad that he could no longer function at all.

I think this is why so many people never put their PTSD symptoms together with their traumas, because it is POST traumatic, it happens AFTER, sometimes LONG after.

60

That explains a LOT!

61

Abigail, and EVERYONE who has been told to “Just Get Over It, It Happened Long Ago, Count Your Blessings and Stop Thinking and Talking about your Problems, EVERYBODY has problems,” etc etc etc…

That is so freaking maddening to be told those things, isn’t it?? To my mind, it’s like telling someone who is in a wheelchair because a truck ran over them 30 years ago and severed their spinal cord, to Just Get Over It, Already, that accident happened DECADES ago! Maybe if you stopped thinking about being crippled, and stopped talking about being crippled, you would stop being crippled. MAYBE IF YOU WOULD JUST FORGIVE THE GUY WHO RAN OVER YOU, you would Stop Being Crippled!

ABUSE WOUNDS OUR SOULS. Our wounded souls do not just magically and spontaneously heal, because years have gone by, or because we stop talking about thinking about our wounded soul, or because we have forgiven the abusers who wounded our soul.

A few months ago, a woman who had been one of my husband’s facebook friends for about 2 years, finally accepted my friend request. I did not know her and I had never communicated with her ever, not even through my husband’s fb wall. He and I both had a lot of friends on fb (he still does, he has close to 400 friends. I am no longer on fb, but before I left, on January 1, I had 487 friends. But my husband and I only had about 113 friends in common, so we both had a lot of friends, both male and female, which we did not have in common, and that was fine, we don’t live in each other’s pocket, if you know what I mean).

So this woman that I did not know, who had been my husband’s fb friend for around 2 years, on the same day that she finally became my facebook friend, once she had access and could see my wall posts, she saw where one of my facebook friends had posted on my wall earlier that day, telling me that she was so sorry that I had such a horrible childhood. This woman friend of mine had posted that on my wall, because she had recently read a post of my blog, which was separate from my facebook account, and on my blog post I had told the story about my mother trying to gas us to death, among many other horrible things.

So this new fb “friend” of mine, who had been my hubby’s fb friend all during the time that he was fighting for his VA disability for his PTSD from Vietnam, and she had been very supportive on his wall during that whole time ~ she goes and she immediately posts on my wall, right under that other friend’s kind comment, saying, “You are in your late 50s and you are still complaining about your bad childhood!! You need to let all of that go, forgive and forget, everybody goes through hard times, we all have been hurt, nobody has a perfect childhood! You need to live in TODAY, you need to count your blessings that you have today, you need to thank God that you are still alive, and stop whining about your CHILDHOOD!”

OK, that is not word for word what she posted on my wall, right after accepting my friend request, but that’s the general idea of what this woman took it upon herself to tell me. Bear in mind, NOWHERE on my facebook wall, had *I* written one single WORD about my horrible childhood! This new fb friend of mine, old fb friend of my husband’s, was saying that because she saw on my wall where SOMEONE ELSE had been kind enough to post a message to me, saying she had read my blog and she was sorry I had had such a horrible childhood. It was my other FRIEND saying that, not ME. Yet this new “friend” of mine, who had no idea of what had happened to me in my childhood ~ the sexual abuses, the multiple attempts by my mother to kill us all, the mulitiple beatings, the multiple verbal abuses, my dad coming so close to killing my mother once, that I thought she WAS dead, my mother throwing me away at the age of 14 by putting me in a notorious insane asylum, me being drugged and raped 3 times at the age of 15 by my own psychiatrist ~~ this brand new “friend” of mine didn’t know any of that. But she didn’t think she needed to know ANYTHING about me and my childhood, in order for her to JUDGE ME… and she was judging me because of what someone ELSE had said on my wall!!!!

Man. Is that IGNORANT, or WHAT. I.Saw.RED. When I read what she was saying, telling me how to THINK and how to BE… I Saw RED. I told her that she needed to stop being RUDE, far more than I needed to stop talking about my childhood!! She comes back saying, “I am not being rude, I am trying to help you!”

Yup. Well, I told her. Then I blocked her.

62

It is sad. Very sad, that some people think they can just “fix” everything with their wonderful advice. How great it would be if we all could be perfect and make the pain go away.

You said it perfectly: “MAYBE IF YOU WOULD JUST FORGIVE THE GUY WHO RAN OVER YOU, you would Stop Being Crippled!”

Been trying to say this to people for a long time. Because we may have all our parts and be able to walk and we are not bleeding from our ears, they just can’t see that anything can be wrong. We should be able to control our thoughts and minds, they must think. Even though, no doubt, they cannot perfectly control theirs. I’d like to ask any one of them, at the moment they lose someone in death—someone that makes them fall to the floor in tears—-can they just NOT feel that? Can’t they just not hurt?

My peace has been to realize that we cannot help those who do not wish to know. These persons are ignorant and don’t seem to want to change.

Hopefully, there are more and more who will open their hearts and eyes to the truth of this agonizing pain.

One woman I know finally wrote her story and paid to have it published. So many people praise it and it seems it’s only people like US. Others say things that are not too nice. 🙁
Someone just said to me last night, after reading it: “It seems she is just trying to put all the blame on him for raping her.” The woman was 13 at the time and the man was 20. I had to hold my breath cause I just could not speak. She then backtracked because she must have heard her own words. She kept stumbling over her words. She says she will think more about it. She said she knew she wouldn’t ever have let that happen. I told her that I did understand because I know what it’s like to be so afraid and not know how to get away so easily.

The result was mixed. Maybe she will think more on it and learn from it. I hope.

This woman on FB doesn’t seem to want to know. It reminds me of a poster I saw once: “Helpful” is sometimes just a nice word for “controlling”.

I’m going to keep hoping that more eyes will be opened.

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to Elaina on complex post traumatic stress disorder;
I agree with you a helpless child abused from birth and by family members(and others) is in a different category to an adult experiencing trauma through war. Both do seem to manifest similar physical and psychological symptoms, the flash backs and nightmares for example yet there is for the young child the additional damage to the self, the self new to the world inexperienced in anything, unable to defend itself from the outset. Additionally war is not denied in the same way as childhood abuse, a child can be silenced by being not believed. The damage I believe is much much deeper and so painful and damaging to the individual. Every aspect of the child’s development has been stunted by the abusers. A person going to war is already an adult and unless they were also victims in their own childhoods will have a strong psychological foundation, and obviously they chose to go to war a baby, toddler does not choose to be abused. I expect people compare the two because of the similarities in symptoms but also because of the continued denial that babies toddlers children are so horrifically abused. Survivors of such horrific abuse have been denied their own voice for decades, just as war veterans in the past were labelled cowards when they suffered shell shock.

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It took me four tries before I found the right counselor. I kept getting stuck. Plus they kept sending me to “men”. I ended up with a woman who had also been sexually abused by a family member and went on to get a degree in counseling and she was the best far for me. I kept getting stuck on wanting my abuser to tell the truth and admit what he had done. She finally got me past that because he was never going to admit it and still hasn’t to this day. He’s 79 years old and will go to his grave with it knowing he has three screwed up daughters. All three of us have had problems. My younger sister married somebody just like him, physically abusive; I married an abusive person the first time, plus I had substance problems; thank God my second husband is not; and my older sister has tried to committ suicide.

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Beverly,
Great comments on PTSD when it comes to the child who has grown up. I suspect that all depressions could be diagnosed as ptsd these days. One of the things that I strive to do here is to allow the silenced voice of the adult child to be heard and validated. That is at the root of so much all mental health struggles no matter what the diagnosis.

Everyone ~ I have published a new post!
“How victim mentality works in relation to keeping the family secrets” ~ why I went along with it, what I was afraid of, and how my mind was conditioned NOT to tell. Hope to see you there!
Hugs, Darlene

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Now that is a topic I would LOVE to read about! Going to right now. Thanks Darlene, and thanks everyone else. This has been an enlivening discussion for me 🙂

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http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftus/Articles/lof93.htm

http://primal-page.com/ph-abuse.htm

The above link is to a chapter in the book ‘THE HISTORY OF CHILD ABUSE’ by Lloyd deMause.

Lloyd deMause is Director of The Institute for Psychohistory, Editor of The Journal of Psychohistory and President of The International Psychohistorical Association and can be reached at 140 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10024.

This chapter is based upon extensive primary source material fully referenced in the 689 footnotes contained in the following sources:

Lloyd deMause, “The Evolution of Childhood.” in his Foundations of Psychohistory.New York: Creative Roots, 1982,

“On Writing Childhood History.” The Journal of Psychohistory 16(1988): 135-171.

“The History of Child Assault.” The Journal of Psychohistory 18(1990):1-29.

“The Universality of Incest.” The Journal of Psychohistorys 19(1991):123-164.

http://www.psychohistory.com/htm/06a1_incest.html

incidence rates are at least 60 percent for Girls and 45 percent for boys. Until someone is courageous enough to directly question the children themselves whether they have been molested – a simple procedure that has never been done in any published study to date – 60 and 45 percent should be considered as the most reliable national incidence rates we now have available for the U.S.

These reports of childhood seduction are considered by researchers to be real memories, not fantasies. Not only do most researchers conclude, like Russell, that “underdisciosure was a significant problem… not fabrication of experiences,” (57) but another study of 53 women that attempted to independently confirm memories of childhood incest found 74 percent could be positively confirmed plus another 9 percent indirectly supported, while none were discovered to be just fantasies.(58)

Adults who molest children have extremely powerful punitive superegos and are often highly religious. They are driven to their acts not by their sexual instincts but by their overwhelming intrapsychic anxieties. Given the seriousness of the perversion, it is not surprising that successful therapeutic methods have only recently become available.(75)

In my study “The Universality of Incest” I concluded that rather than the incest taboo being universal, it is incest itself–direct and indirect–that is universal for most children in most cultures in most times, and that a childhood more or less free from adult sexual abuse is in fact a very late historical achievement, limited to a few fortunate children in a few modem nations, mainly in the West.

The time when one could deny that sexual seduction is extremely traumatic for children appears to have ended.

http://www.deborahkingcenter.com/resources/incest/

Busting the myths about incest

It’s taken a long time to get to the truth about incest. The secretive, hidden nature of incest has fostered a number of damaging myths. Briefly, here are the top four incest myths:
MYTH: Kids invent incest experiences.
TRUTH: In fact, children don’t invent experiences they’ve not had and most are afraid to talk about it when it is happening to them.
MYTH: Children “come on” to adults.
TRUTH: In reality, incest is initiated by the abuser, usually accompanied by bribes or coercion and force.
MYTH: Most child sexual abuse is done by strangers.
TRUTH: In fact, the offender is usually someone they know and trust — a father, stepfather, the mom’s boyfriend, grandfather, brother, or uncle. Child abuse statistics show that 46% of childhood victims are raped by someone in their family. Boys are molested and experience adolescent sexual abuse too, but the great majority of incest is a male with the first or only daughter.
MYTH: Children who are molested by a sibling are just exploring their sexuality.
TRUTH: Actually, if the sibling is older and stronger and more in control, it’s incest and it’s just as damaging as incest with a parent.

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Hi A Believer
Thanks for sharing. I love your myth/truth list!
Hugs, Darlene

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They weren’t comical in my experience, and they STILL aren’t funny.
I don’t need to pay someone $85 an hour to tell me to “forget about it, and think of something else.”
How is a mental health professional giving me that advice different from any Joe or Jane on the street?
I no longer go to therapy, b/c I think it’s ridiculous to pay that much money to a person only to have him tell you what every single member of your family (except the ones who are married in) has said to me for 40 years now: Forget about it.
Only in their cases, they mean, “Act like it never happened and tell everyone you love every single member of your family, even the ones who are still – in the PRESENT tense – threatening to beat the shit out of you.
That didn’t happen in the ancient past. One of my family members recently said it.

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To “a believer”. THANK YOU!

To Vicki: You are right. Trust your instincts. They will not stop saying that. We need to do what we know is right and let what those who do not understand flow past us if we can.
Hard to do, I know. Very hard, because those closest to us are the ones who can help if they just would listen. I had to find others, outside of my family and certainly outside of counselors.
Those others were people like you. Others who had been there or were still there, but who were NOT abusing others, and who were giving honest real stuff I can use.
Hugs to you, Vicki.
Hope being here helps you like it does me.

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I have read most of the posts on here and some of them (like a believer) take me back to those horrible times. I am 46 and still haven’t managed to deal with my incest and mental abuse issues. My mother who mentally abused me for years passed away but I still can’t get over what she did to me. My oldest brother made me feel dirty and nasty and that no one would believe me and my brother about what was happening. Imagine, if you will, getting on the school bus at 10 or 11 years old and being asked if you were having sex with your brother!!! That is not something that was or is accepted in society, so here comes the dirty and nasty feeling!! I have been to therapists and one thought I had a God complex and another wanted to concentrate on my sex life with my husband!! What about ME?!?!?!? Do I not count in this world? Help me deal with this before I have someone else deal with it!!! Unfortunately the older brother and guilty party is still alive and the brother who went through all of it with me has passed away. I have managed to tell my immediate family (my husband and daughter, although my son knows too although I did not tell him) and believe me I kept a very watchful eye on both of my children. I just wish there were someone out there who could help me get through all of this without the God comples and stuff.

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Hi Susan
Welcome to Emerging from Broken.
I am the site author ~ (you have landed on a guest post by Kylie Devi.)
I hope you keep reading some of the other posts in this website. It is all about overcoming exactly the type of stuff you are talking about in your comments. There are lots of stories here, lots of sharing, support and healing. For me healing began when I realized what I came to believe about myself as a result of all those traumas. You are not alone,
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Everyone 🙂
I did not read all the above posts but from what I did I am so happy to read, because of the healing taking place. I am a survivor as well as a therapist and I totally agree on a personal and professional level that there are many therapists who don’t know how to help and who are unhealthy. I have battled to educate them as a client and as a co-therapist. I always try to empower my clients that they have the right to trust themselves and find a therapist that is right for them and validates them and show empathy. I also know how difficult this can be for clients because we often feel confused, weak (even though we are very strong) and looking for help, desperately. I hope to be able to do what I can to help others, continue to help myself (reading this post and feeling supported by what you guys have said is one way) and I hope the same for all of you! Glad to be in your presence 🙂

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Hi Lisa
Welcome to emerging from broken. It is great to hear from a therapist who sees the value and power in empathy!
Hugs, Darlene
(founder of emerging from broken)

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Thank you Lisa, for helping others on their healing journey, as well as for educating those in your field. And I second what Darlene said, about empathy!

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My doctor, as in Psychiatrist, recently told me to go back to therapy and asked why I stopped going in the first place.
I said “Because he was telling me things that people in my family tell me, and I don’t have to pay with insurance (that wants to drop me at the first hint of a pre-existing condition) to hear them say “Forget about it.”
He replied with “Well maybe they’re right.”
I said “Okay. Tell me HOW to forget about it then, b/c telling me to forget about it is giving me advice but it isn’t the same as giving me step-by-step directions on how you go about the process of forgetting it.
He went dead quiet and wouldn’t say anything else, leaving me to wonder if there even IS a way to do it.
People are always telling you WHAT to do without even thinking about HOW you do it.
I’m a Paramedic. We don’t do ANYthing without step-by-step instructions of how to do it and a numerical order that you can’t deviate from when you ARE doing the procedure.
I wish mental health was more procedural, b/c the phrase “forget it about it” without some idea of how you start to do that befuddles me.
I guess I’m too literal, or not able to think up my own way of doing it. I don’t know.
What do other people think about that phrase. When something pains you and the first thing someone says is “forget about it?”

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One of my favorite books is an anthology of poetry called “Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry of Witness” edited by Carolyn Forche. That is pretty much my stance on “Forget about it.” On the other hand, I don’t want to spend my life dwelling in victimy types of thinking and acting. So I don’t want to forget where I come from, ever… because that is not real, that is denial. At the same time, I don’t want to allow my past to get in the way of me living fully in the present. Meaning, I want to be at choice about how I feel, what I do, who I associate with. I do not want to be controlled by my victimizations, but it would not serve me all that well to forget about them either. I wish you much love and strength on your healing journey.

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Dear Kylie,

I want to thank you for your insightful and honest article. I happen to be a therapist who works with addictions, trauma and depression… etc. etc. I don’t think that everyone has to go through therapy and sometimes people find their way out of the cycle that you speak about on their own or without “professional” help.

I put “professional” in quotes because I believe I have a particular training and experience in working with people that grow and make important changes. However, I can not be the expert about any individual or their experiences. Therapists are people and I have found that we all have different points of view. Some are more in touch with their own histories and whether they think that they can talk about experiences more deeply and with validation. There is also currently a push towards “cognitive behavioral” models that want to “teach” people to change their thought processes. On the other hand, there are relational approaches that some therapists abide by more in order to build trust and comfort in addressing the types of trauma and hurt.

I would encourage anyone seeking therapy to get an idea of how the therapist approaches helping you. You can also pick up on the therapist’s individual point of view about negative experiences. You should be in the driver’s seat and you are right that each individual has the potential to heal. This is the most important message that you should not give up finding help in whatever form is right for you.

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Donna,

Thanks for your feedback. Certainly, there is no one way to healing. I have my experience and I was happy to share it with Darlene’s readers. I agree with what you share “you should not give up finding help in whatever form is right for you” as well as “I can not be the expert about any individual or experience.” Perhaps what you share will encourage someone who really needs “professional” help to continue to seek out the right person. And perhaps what I have shared will help someone who has had nothing but “bad” therapy to feel less alone, to know that deep inside we all have what we need to heal, to grow. Sometimes when I say “we have what we need inside” it means we have the intelligence to ask for help when we need it. Sometimes what it means is that we sit in complete silence and fully experience our pain until it passes. The spectrum of possibility is infinite and I am happy to contribute my tiny point of view into the mosaic of human experience shared in writing.

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Very nicely put, Donna.
Your words will be helpful, I hope to a dear friend who needs to hear just what you say here.
It gives a different perspective coming from the point of view of the therapist.
THANKS!
This was definitely a helpful article, Kyle!

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I have also found the gradual reality of not being able to trust that all people in positions of trust and authority will be ethical in their practices. Being educated and writing essays on ethics may get a person a top grade or job position, but nothing stops anyone from closing the door and doing the opposite in private. I am very upset in the system, a breach of ethics happened, secrecy was not just at my expense and no one wants to touch the subject that some mental health workers, councilors should not be working in that field. My blog talks about abuse from supports but I really needed this feedback in order to remember all the reasons I didn’t feel supported in the first place. I can relate to the long bus rides with everyone looking at you after you broke apart being a barrier. I remember being rotated, there holidays, some falling asleep, questioning me and my own values. I tried to talk to crisis councilors and each time there was an inept person or someone who couldnt handle my tests… you know the little stuff. Some who couldn’t handle the information… one had to leave she couldn’t hold back the tears and I think one even threw up. Some just probed, you know the interrogation feeling. Some just wanted information to tell the police. I couldn’t grasp the last reality in my life, I was numb from the secrets that unfolded. I was being emotionally abused and kept in line or controlled to keep there secrets and didn’t even know it for so long. I would be the one the innocent would condemn for harming others by my confronting, or exposing the truth. Poam ! Representing a cause, belief, people, or your love…yet hide things to keep a good reputation.

Hide the truth, so we stay clean.
We stay in the light, for those who cannot see through screens.

We teach of trust, freedom of choice, a voice, respect, even love,
Therefore, the sins or mistakes some did needed to be covered up.

We are moving forward you see,
those wrongs had been dealt with, so were telling you to let it be.

As we slowly crushed the credibility of the few who spoke up, keeping the secret things invisible
We have grown, learned and moved on, so that the majorities ignorance make us invincible

We represented your dignity, voice, choice; we managed and gave people what they wanted
No one complained, whats the harm as so many reaped the harvest

We lived life to the full, meant no harm,
so leave us alone, and shut up about what we do in the dark.

The truth will not hurt us;
we will hide it… hide you.

Trust us!!!
Or dignity and fun times will be taken from you.

April

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I would like to get in touch with Kylie — the website link is not working. Do you have any other contact info you can pass along?

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Hi Courtenay
I will pass this comment along to Kylie.
Darlene

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Hi Courtenay!

I am open to connecting with you in this comment thread!

If it is something more personal the best way is to connect with me on Facebook. 🙂

Kylie

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[…] I am pleased to welcome Kylie Devi back to Emerging from Broken. In January of 2012, Kylie wrote a guest post about having been sexually abused as a child and how much trouble she had getting professional help […]

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Hi Everyone,
Kylie had some ‘unexpected results’ when she wrote this post 9 months ago ~ even though this post was about her difficulties fining professional help from mental health providers, she was contacted and confronted by 2 of her abusers. Today, Kylie writes the follow up post to this one about what happened, how it shut her down for a bit and then how she overcame it and took her life back!

Please read the new post ~ there is so much inspiration and insight into how the cycle of abuse works and how it can be overcome and stopped! ~ here is the link; “Breaking Through the fear of Speaking about Child Abuse by Kylie Devi”
See you there!
Hugs, Darlene

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Yeah, I went to see mental health providers. None of all the therapies helped, until I figured out all by myself what was wrong.

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Hi MZC
We are so convinced that the only way to heal is with ‘therapy’ but I have come to believe that it is through seeing the truth about what happened and learning to fill the voids that were left in us for ourselves, that healing takes place.
Hugs, Darlene

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MZC & Darlene – Agreed!
so true…
Glad you have healed MBZ.
Would love to hear more about how you did!

Much Love,

Kylie

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i’ve just have enough so called psychologists, therapists or whoever they are who live in my country and who I met since I started searching for help.They weren’t supportive, there was not truth at all or in a half but it didn’t help me at all. I’ve just looked at my facebook friend’s page and she put up an article about a famous person who said publicly: there is no good parenting without spanking kids. My friend got angry and she shaid it should be banned and that man is reponsible for crime and should be punished, And I found comment by her “friend”, who works on Blue line( which is a call line for victims of abuse in Poland) that she is getting angry without any reason, because he didn’t anythink wrong!! “He just expressed his own opinion, and maybe controversial” bu he’s right to do it!! and the abuse in measured by its consequences, isn’t equal to what he did, and he didn’t do anything, just tell his own opinion!!” and” we can’t forbid anybody to express his own opinion just to talk to sombody, discussing the “problem’.” And expressing sbdys opinion and discussing it is how problem should be resolved and we live in a free country. I was devastated , I feel like I ‘m afraid again and couldn’ stand for myself never more and for other victims too, because I forbid sbdy a right to his own”opinion” and we live in free country etc etc e.tc and in her words its revolution (what i do)not evolution, what she said she does. I mailed to our site ” I love . I dont spank” but I was told that even Alice Miller said that violent people had violent childhood. I assume that she only understand from A.M. books that abusers were abused too, nothing else -that a therapist should not justify a abuser, not at all!!and also it was proved that abuser is maniputative and and very well know what he does to me and also has the great sick satisfaction from it. But she said” she cant’t write it, because it doesn’t resolve the problem and will scare abusers and parents . and” people get angry , getting mad about it, telling “bed about other “parents-but what does it change”? -she asked me. I feel im wrong after that situation, i know when I will meet abuse it will be hard to me to stand up for children right because of that fucking situation. I feel like Iwasn,t right and i dont.t have right to stand up for victim’s right. It . has made such a mess in my mind. I also read a comment on this side below a picter of that “famous person” which was-like :”asshole, bustard”. But She -that psychologis immediately responded” don’t offend anybody in that side”It weakened me so much, i just have such mess , I feel sick with it. In Poland they are not supportive but manipulative and talk whatever they want , they screw up what you want , and screw up victim’s rights, they say what their mothet/father put to his/her head is covinient to them and isn’t true and don’t want to change!!

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Hi Anetta,

I hear that you are frustrated and angry with the system as you experience it in your country and I totally understand!

I’m glad that you are here. A major part of my healing has happened because of the freedom to express in these forums, and knowing that people are here, and they understand.

Kylie

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Thank You Kylie:)

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Some people who are victims of the type of organized bullying called gangstalking, can’t seem to get good mental health professionals. They are either nasty and sarcastic in the beginning or if they seem to be helpful in the beginning, they soon change and become nasty and sarcastic. There is something very strange going on with the gangstalking and very strange how so many people can be so rude and nasty to the victims even when they go someplace they have never been and no one knows them, they still run into people who are so mean and rude to them. Does anyone know what is going on and how a person becomes a victim of gangstalking in the first place and how to make it stop. They are bullied, harassed and abused by so many people including the police, firemen, ctiy hall, etc even postal workers and librarians,

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That was absolutely brilliant and well expressed. Could not agree with you more. It was when I took my healing into my own hands that my real healing began. I love these stores of hope, courage and strength and I am so grateful when people discover their real worth and value.

If we all keep sharing we will all be healed, this I know to be true.

Bless all of you on your healing journey!

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Hi Lora!

Thanks for sharing.

Bless you too.

Much Love,

kylie

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Thanks for this blog. Recently, I decided to go to therapy (again). Armed with tons more information this time, I was referred to someone who specializes in sexual abuse and ritual sexual abuse. After two sessions, I’m finding that I’m back in the talk therapy format and feeling tortured by the drudging up of trauma. Headaches and stomach aches from the past are back full force and I’m left to deal with the side effects of all of that drudging up of the things that happened. Before I entered into therapy, I researched a bit. I felt that EMDR and CPTSD therapies might be best for me. After the 2nd therapy session, I began to suspect, that my therapist might be like a hair stylist who went to school 20 years ago, gives adequate hair cuts but hasn’t tweaked the approach by submitting to ongoing training. I’ve referred to several of the techniques I thought might be helpful. I’ve mentioned many books that I have read on the subject. There is no recognition of any of them, much less a discussion. I didn’t want the same old same old to happen again, which is my head is cracked open and the albumen and yolk are running out all while the therapist hands me a card for my next hour long appt. next week. I’m really not looking for commiseration here as much as I am truly looking for ideas or referrals to any professional who might partner with me on this healing journey vs making me feel like I’m one of many in a large petri dish.

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At Vicki, March 19 5:51 PM: EXACTLY!

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Hi Lily
Welcome to Emerging from Broken
I work one on one with individuals all over the world on the phone or on Skype through a coaching format. If you are interested in more information about that, please email me through the contact form here. I have an opening coming up in mid to late June.
hugs, Darlene

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Hi Lily,

Thanks for being here and reading my story.

I see that Darlene has offered to work with you, and I have also worked with her on my trauma issues. It was actually the last time I needed any coaching or professional help, since then I’ve been able to manage it myself and with my close friends when issues still come up. So that is a sign of a great coach, someone who empowers you to be able to be your own coach!

I’m glad you are willing to keep moving forward on your healing journey. You deserve it.

Much Love,

Kylie

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Hi Kylie
Wow, what an endorsement! Thank you so much.
You made my day today through your assessment of my passion and purpose; My goal is exactly that; to teach others to coach themselves. To teach a method that can be used over and over again to resolve the false belief system that has developed through the things that we experienced as children.
Hugs, Darlene

102

Darlene & Kylie: Thank you!

Darlene, My therapist responded to my voice mail and booked a Monday appt. Any advice on how to approach this constructively? Therapist has a P.H.D. I was referred to this person by one of the authors of a pretty well known book so I assumed this person’s approach was in alignment with the group of authors view points. It was only the 2nd session so I might be overly sensitized right now and responding to this from that place instead of a place of calm.
Also, I will look up your info & get in touch about June.

Thanks again and in advance for any additional help.

103

I Lily,
I don’t really give advice but I look forward to hearing from you.
Hugs, Darlene

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Denial is always typical in dysfunctional families. I wrote an article on Oxygen about my own dysfunction. In my case, the memories of childhood included beatings, beltings and horrid verbal abuse. What happens to the brain, when you still maintain a family relationship with your abusers is that the memories are there, but something is saying “not that bad, you are exaggerating” internally. You yourself are denying.

But what I would point out to the young poster who is 33 is that she will receive some sort of brain jolt at 50 or past menopause. I don’t know what the mechanism is, but memories of childhood become more vivid. As if they go from the bottom to the surface.

When this happened to me I confronted mom and dad and asked why they thought it necessary to punish a 5 year old with belts, beatings, and horrible verbal abuse? Denial was of course the answer. Fortunately I had an aunt and others who had actually witenessed the abuse, and I spent years neglected by these people who left the country and left me with relatives. The same pattern then repeated by their son, whom they molded to be like themselves. There was always verbal abuse. My aunt who tried to interfere and save me, was called “the crazy one”. When I tried to confront them I was “the crazy one”. In their minds a person who takes a belt to a skinny 5 year old is not crazy.

After years of trying to pretend they were good people in my head, and feeling guilty for secretely hating them, my brain did me a huge favor at 50. I moved on. You see,you can’t inject memories of childhood into someone. Even the Nazis couldn’t do it. What happened to you is recorded vividly in your cells.

I say to anyone that has endured this abuse, it is never too late,and “it didn’t happen” or “so what it happened long ago” are not excuses. I believe they can do jail even years later. Don’t get bullied into not telling. Save that child inside of you, give her or him justice because that child could not defend herself.

But just getting it out of your system and declaring it to the world, and damn how they feel is liberating and will help others. They should have thought of the consequences when they abused a child.

I lost my parents, finally they thought they might take revenge by giving all the cash to my brother and not talking to me. They were punished because my brother dumped one of them on me, and took all their cash. It was pretty awful, but they reaped what they sowed. My brother suffered in other ways from their mind games.

In the end, brother took them both and they died 2 years after he sold their house and took every penny. I don’t think they were happy. I wasn’t invited to the funeral and could not force myself to shed a tear. Remember that I was OK with my parents from age 13 to 23 and thought I had forgiven the early abuses. But it doesn’t work that way.

I was glad they suffered for what they did to me as a child. I was helpless then and they had no right.

105

But what I would point out to the young poster who is 33 is that she will receive some sort of brain jolt at 50 or past menopause. I don’t know what the mechanism is, but memories of childhood become more vivid. As if they go from the bottom to the surface.

VOUCH FOR THAT! That is what happened to me. I’m almost 58 and first confronted my Mom when I was 51. Yeppers, I was in denial, to include living 3,000 miles away to “Deny” it. When I was a kid and I went to, say, summer camp, I hated having to go home.

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Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to make a quick comment on one of my experiences with professional help, which I didn’t realize at the time because I had gone in for some education counselling; not sure what field of work/study I wanted to pursue my education in…
The guidance counsellor started asking specific personal questions about my life at home, which I thought was odd but then realized that she probably just wanted a picture of who I was, in order to get a better idea of how to help me with my future plans.(In hindsight now, I think she had certain intuitions where I was concerned). I answered her questions matter-of-factly, because I thought she didn’t need to hear the gory details of everything, but in my being so matter-of-fact like with my responses, the counsellor burst out crying and told me that I needed to get out of the house because the relationship I had with my mother was NOT normal…and she got that from just the few simple things I was saying. My treating it all as normal to deal with, frightened her and she even went as far as to help me get out of the house and find me my own place to live. WOW! I realized that I must have brought up some triggers for her and recognizing the signs in me, made her want to help me as much as she could. I am thankful to her for that, because getting out of the house was exactly what I needed to further emancipate and heal myself. So, in the end, I ended up taking psychology at university, to better understand myself, people, human behaviour and I used every possible resource within the field and elsewhere in other cultures to begin my healing journey. I do not practice psychology professionally but it has certainly helped me more in understanding human behaviour. My own healing journey has brought me to wanting to help others in theirs however I can; thus passing it forward just like my guidance counsellor had all those years ago…
Cheers to those FEW people who cross our paths and really do have our best interests at heart.

Karen

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In response to Karen’s story, that is great! I had no idea that therapists went this far, until I finally saw a therapist when dealing with my aged father. You see, I had to take in the abuser for a whole year, he was now losing his memory and brother thought to make a nice profit by him selling the house and me taking dad in for zero. But then, I think my parent’s abuse of my brother for years left him totally heartless. That is the danger of abuse that goes unchecked. In my brother’s case it was verbal abuse but it left him without a soul I think. They turned him against his own sister, the only one that helped him when he was a kid. My therapist also heard this stuff “matter of factly”. What a great choice of words. I also did the same thing! I thought all this stuff was normal! I asked the therapist if she could give me a rating from 1 – 10 of how screwed up was this family compared to the thousands of other sad stories she had heard, and she told me 10! That totally shocked me. I had no idea it was this bad. I just thought I was whining. Anyway, this therapist talked to my husband and instructed him not to allow me to even pick up the phone when these people will call, and she warned they will call to screw my life again!

5 years after dad left, he was living near my brother and I never even got a thank you for all the money I spent putting him into his own apartment. Since they were going to cash in selling that house, I wasn’t spoken to. So I get a call from a policeman saying my dad is in a hospital because they found him confused in the street. That was the day my grandaughter was being born! Imagine, they did want to screw up my life. THe policeman told me my brother had not kept the apartment clean and that my father needed care. I told him I lived too far in another state (truth) and my brother lived 10 minutes form dad and owned his condo, so gave him my brother’s number and hung up.

It was just like the therapist said, they were going to drag me into the insanity as soon as they figured they could make a buck from me.

I thank all therapists for helping people beyond what we pay them by the hour. It’s terrific.

108

I guess I’ve been lucky. I’ve been seeing a counselor now for just over 2 months. He’s been great. last week I shared with him about being sexually abused when I was very young. I too did it by writing it all out and sharing it. He not only validated what I told him, but when I acknowledged that I was probably not remembering things well because I was so young, he even told me that the way I remembered things was probably more important than if something happened differently.

it’s been incredibly freeing.

109

I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, for this article. I am a survivor of familial abuse, and also a brand new professional. I was blessed to come in contact with capable and compassionate professionals when I sought help in my own healing process. It helps me to read criticism about helping professionals. It was especially moving to read about therapists not making space for your emotions, whether fear, disgust, or pain. And I am shocked and dismayed that they seemed to make the hour about themselves–paperwork, their own families, etc. The hour is about and for YOU. For you to be so invalidated, for them not to make space for YOUR TRUTH, that’s the antithesis to helping and professional. You had the courage to come talk to a complete stranger, then they tell you what you have to say isn’t true or isn’t appropriate or isn’t important. Unacceptable! This article and the comments gave me a lot of insight into what people need in a therapist. Thank you all for your perspectives!

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Thank you for your bravery and strength in sharing your story. I too have a life-long story of abuse and have felt several pulls to work as a health coach with people who have suffered these traumas and stand up for victims in a world that celebrates the perpetrator. It’s a challenge where there is no support, but I thank you for your courage. I hope to one day be ready to share my story and overcome my fear of public speaking to share and help people overcome such a taboo topic.

111

I feel both sad and mad when I hear about therapists getting it so badly wrong. I had a very bad experience with a female therapist and it put me off for years and years.

My current therapist is a man, and he is brilliant. Not because he is some kind of genius but because he does the things every therapist should do.

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In my country,therapists are entirely focused on giving medication.They usually do one or two sessions with the patient,with the only goal of putting a diagnoses.They do it no matter the patient’s problem:be it rape,emotional abuse or other.Unfortunately,the most horrific traumas are treated in the same way.I think the problem stems from what therapists study in university as students.They are given cold facts about the human brain,which medication is associated with which disease,and that’s about all.

A good therapist should be human and capable of empathy first of all.A true professional goes to the root of the problem and heals the patient from the inside,by rewiring the brain.He teaches the patient how to live so as to feel happy and healthy.

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