Still coping with physical and emotional abuse..

by ColdRedRain 13 Replies latest jw friends

  • xmkx

    It sounds like you may be dealing with what they call complex PTSD, which is a relatively new disorder that hasn't been included in the standard DSM IV yet. It's like PTSD only it's got slightly different symptoms and it's born out of long term trauma (such as abuse) rather than short term trauma. One symptom that it does share in common with PTSD is flashbacks. In a flashback the emotions/memories of the original trauma flood you even though you're in a different and safer situation than you were in the past.

    Growing up in an abusive environment also sets one up with certain limiting beliefs that can later make life a lot tougher for them because these beliefs perpetuate the cycle of abuse they have known.

    It is very important that you seek out some form of professional help with this as soon as possible. The longer you wait the tougher it gets to recover.

    I was abused while growing up as well. I tried every trick I could think of to recover from it on my own, and even believed for quite a few years I had recovered from it and blamed myself for the continuing abuse in my life. I learned the hard way that you CAN recover and you are the only one that can do it BUT you have to be equipped with the right tools to be successful... and when one grows up in an abusive environment, the tools they are given are few, mismatched, and mostly broken. With counseling you gain a good set of tools to accomplish the work you need to do in order to recover.

  • VoidEater

    How did other survivors of physical and emotional abuse learn how to cope with the abuse?

    I never learned to cope with the abuse, but I have overcome a great deal of it:

    Years of therapy
    Focus on breathing - when your mind goes spinning, bring yourself back to your breath, your body
    Notice that you are not being beaten in the present moment
    Speak about your fears to someone willing to listen and who can understand

    ...and break off contact with all abusers until you are strong and ready to tell them off.

  • ziddina

    OOOh! What "VoidEater" said! And Minimus' and Shamus' advice, too - seek a GOOD counselor! If possible, as so many others here have suggested, one who is familiar with 'cult' mentality...

    Wish I'd had that advice when I first left; spent many years trying to explain to good-hearted but clueless counselors what it had REALLY been like, being beaten into the JW cult...

    I personally use "abuse-stoppers" every time a negative "parent tape"/saying or "WTBTS tape"/saying pops up in my head. I personally use "Ding! VICTIM!" whenever I slip into the despondent, "I'll-never-get-out-of-this" mentality... [They're sort of like "thought-stoppers", but in a positive sense...] If I start 'beating myself up' mentally for not being 'perfect', I use this saying, "Which moves me forward faster, LOVING myself or HATING myself?" The correct answer is, "Loving myself, for then I take good care of myself, am much more efficient in reaching my goals, am reasonable in my goals, and focus on the positive in my life."

    Make up your own. Another expression I use [came up with this one myself...] is: "The purest revenge is to see reality clearly..." Meaning that, when you are injured by a nasty, vicious person - and how much worse if that person is a blood relative - if you 'see' how small, petty, and mean that person is, they start to 'shrink' in your mind...

    See your brother as a cowardly bully - for that's what he is... See your parents who allowed him to bully you as weak and ineffectual; probably not successful in their lives either - which is probably what they are... They've certainly failed at beating you into a state of obedience and slavery - you're OUT and they're still stuck IN - and totally clueless, too, as to the nature of the 'deity' they worship...

    Self-hatred and self-denigration slow a person down, and drags them away from achieving their positive goals - I KNOW THIS THRU BITTER EXPERIENCE. The sooner you learn to derail those negative thoughts - with the help of a good counselor - the faster you'll move forward.

    Best of results to you. Zid

  • oppostate

    Your choices have a lot to do with how you're treated.
    If you come home late on purpose just to test the waters 
    to see if you may not like the reception at your new place
    then you're putting your new hosts to the test, they may
    not like that. Think about what you can do to improve your
    lot in life, talk to these new host parents you have, be 
    helpful to them, talk with them about being afraid to make
    mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, hang in there and
    do seek professional counseling that may help you deal
    with the PTSD. I don't think we have many professional
    counselors on this board but some have a lot of experience
    with handling abuse cases and giving support. I hope you
    find peace and a happy situation in your life.

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