As a Survivor of Abuse, Please Don't

As a survivor of abuse, please don't tell me "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger"..  I fight depression and reliving memories that choose when they want to surface.  That is not what I need or want to hear.  I appreciate wanting to help me.  That tells me your very kind and I thank you for that.  What I would prefer is to have someone listen, tell me they care, ask me if there is anything you can do for me.  If I'm in a depression, I never make myself something to eat.  A home cooked meal would me nice.  If I have kids, find something fun to do with them for a couple hours or so.  Keep asking me if I want to go for coffee or do something with you.  When I'm ready I would like you to still be there.  If my PTSD is overwhelming, could you keep me company so I can distract myself from the memories and stay grounded.  And if you ever want to know how to help, please ask, but also just offer because times like this it's hard to ask for what I need. Thank you for caring, CM

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4 Responses Aug 22, 2008

I never did agree with that awful quote about what doesn't kill us. Thank you for putting into words what you and many of us feel.

Dear Deleted, I could not have expressed or worded what you just said any better. Unless people have suffered sever abuse, and have PTSD along with all the other wonderful assortment of ailments that plague the broken spirit, there is little sympathy or understanding. I relate to what you wrote as if I were the one who did the writing. I started to address my abuse issues at about my mid 30's and had self medicated, I still do somewhat on presc<x>ription medicine. I gave my life and my heart to the Lord 16 years ago hoping that with the love of Gods people and support of a higher being that I would be instantaneously better. I was disappointed, and although I must say life isn't what I'd like it to be, THANK God I am not where I used to be. I have sought help from every place imaginable source in my area, but there are few professionals who practice, and if they do, don't take my insurance. There are days I do not get off the bed, or couch, because I just can't find the motivation or initiative to do everyday things. My son now 17, when he was little had a blast because it was easy being a mom then, it was fun, he was easy to please, and happy for the free things like time with mom. Then at 6 tragedy struck my son at the hands of his peers who'd been exposed to sexual abuse by their heroin addicted mom, and my son whom I'd protected had been robbed of his innocence. I lost my job, because I couldn't stop crying, couldn't function, it was just too close to my heart, and it brought a flood of memories I had pushed deep down with alcohol, food and meaningless sex. Years we spent in counseling, but my son would never open up and reveal what had happened to a counselor, at home he had "bad thoughts" all the time... day and night, Although from the age of 10-13 things were a little better, he was never the same after that experience. At 13 puberty kicked in and there was acting out in ways I just couldn't deal with or handle, and I began to regress in my depression, medicating more, just to get through the days and function. Finally I could take it no more, I was alone, I had no support, and the only support that had been in our lives walked out over a petty argument, and we didn't speak for 2 years. Much of it was my fault, I was needy, and seeking a mentor/mother figure, she had been the pastors wife of the church where I gave my heart to the Lord, and I LOVED her. But, she couldn't understand, and even with all I knew, I couldn't either. I felt like I was irreversibly broken. Being a survivor of childhood physical, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse led me to men who were just like the men my mother married. They abused me, controlled me and put me out on the streets to take care of them, and the crazy thing, is, I left and went back over and over. So, when I finally left my last relationship of nearly 11 years I was pregnant with my now 17 years old son. I had to try and be a mother and deal with the demons in my closet, trying to heal while pretending I was 'normal'. Never has anyone offered to come and 'give' me a break, or take my child for a weekend. I raised him alone by myself with very little help. I lost 2 beautiful children when I was in those horrible relationships, because I feared the men more than I loved my children. I had my daughter until she was nearly 3, and had to flee the state of Va because her father would stalk me, one night he kidnapped me and held me hostage for 2 days, I left as soon as I got free, Virginia terminated my parental rights. When my first son was born, I was being beaten on a regular basis, so my adopted mother offered to take my baby on weekends to help me, all the while planning to take him from me, behind my back. My depression and addictive personality have caused so much pain and loss, and I for the first time began to get angry not long ago at the way I was robbed of a life that should have been healthy and normal, and where I should have been protected, but wasn't. My oldest kids think I just chose men and the lifestyle because I enjoyed it, but the truth is I hated it! I just didn't know how to be set free, or leave and feel good about it when I did escape. I felt I didn't deserve anything good, because of all the awful things I did. I finally confronted my adopted mother 9 years ago about the abuse, that she was witness too, she denied it, we to this day do not have a relationship. ABUSE STEALS, KILLS AND DESTROYS the human spirit, but I didn't know that until recently when I began to go to a therapist. I somehow find myself stuck in the pain of the past, though I desire to move on in the present. I KNOW how you are hurting, and I pray you find someone who will understand and be there when you just need the support, even when you need to be alone. Where do you live? If it were close I would visit, we could have coffee. But I can still pick up the phone and encourage you, because my heart goes out to you and the pain I know you struggle with. There needs to be more options and help for women who have survived abuse and need help moving past to a happy healthy viable life. I will send you my number by private mail. Please, feel free to call if you just need a kind word, a prayer, or someone who will listen and understand . With love and compassion, Michelle

I can't help but wonder if doing any of those things might be considered "enabling". People can be addicts in so many forms. I'm a child of a bipolar parent and I have always seen depression as one of the many addictions. No matter how much I did it was never enough. That need to constantly enable the depression kept it consistent. When the tables turned and I was the one in the depressed state, that same parent minimized it. I just learned to let it run its course because nothing helps.

Thank you! I can think what you just said but the words are never there when I need them.