There are four common traits found in adults who have been abused as children. A person who has experienced severe sexual, physical, or emotional abuse will usually have all four. A person who experienced limited abuse will probably have only some of the traits, and those that are present will interfere with this person’s life in only a limited number of situations. The first trait is the tendency to be triggered by specific events, which has been called time tunneling… The second trait is difficulty modulating emotions. This means that it is easy for a person to become anxious or angry, and, once angered or frightened, it is difficult for this person to calm down. An adult who had to suppress many emotions as a child may also find it difficult to feel emotions at a low-level because the tendency to suppress emotions has become automatic. The third trait is a tendency to view oneself and the world negatively. The three key areas affected are the ability to trust, feel safe, and believe that it is possible to bring about desired outcomes. Two key areas in terms of one’s self image are whether or not one is normal and whether or not one is lovable. The nature of the abuse can greatly affect the form of these negative views. For instance, if a person was abused by a stranger, he or she may feel a sense of safety when close loved ones, and a sense of danger when far away from them. However, if a person was abused by someone who was supposed to protect and give love, the identification of what and who are “safe” becomes confused. The fourth trait is a reduced ability to understand events. People with this tendency find that they often go into a daze or become confused, especially when they are stressed, dealing with conflict, or emotionally upset. When a child is being abused and cannot escape physically, the child often takes the only other form of escape possible: dissociation. The more frequent and severe the abuse, the greater the tendency to remove oneself mentally from the painful experience. …people with abusive childhoods often find it difficult to distinguish unhealthy individuals from healthy ones. Their childhood experiences taught them to ignore the important indicators that to those raised in healthy families became danger signals. Instead, they “numb out” or use an old response pattern that causes them to walk into harm’s way without even knowing it. In addition, an abused child often develops a self-concept that contains beliefs about being dirty, inadequate, guilty, or responsible for what happened. As a result, a person like this often makes up a “cover story” and tries to hide who he or she really is… From article by Reneau Peurifoy http://rpeurifoy.com/Articles/TraitsinAdultswithAbusiveChildhoods.aspx
Not all scars show,
not all wounds heal.
Sometimes you can’t
always see the pain
that someone feels.
Grief is a natural reaction to loss, and the breakup or divorce of a love relationship involves multiple losses: #1) Loss of companionship and shared experiences (which may or may not have been consistently pleasurable). #2) Loss of support, be it financial, intellectual, social, or emotional. #3) Loss of hopes, plans, and dreams (can be even more painful than practical losses). Allowing yourself to feel the pain of these losses may be scary. You may fear that your emotions will be too intense to bear, or that you’ll be stuck in a dark place forever. Just remember that grieving is essential to the healing process. The pain of grief is precisely what helps you let go of the old relationship and move on. And no matter how strong your grief, it won’t last forever. Don’t fight your feelings – It’s normal to have lots of ups and downs, and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, and confusion. It’s important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process. Talk about how you’re feeling – Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Remember that moving on is the end goal – Expressing your feelings will liberate you in a way, but it is important not to dwell on the negative feelings or to over-analyze the situation. Getting stuck in hurtful feelings like blame, anger, and resentment will rob you of valuable energy and prevent you from healing and moving forward. Remind yourself that you still have a future – When you commit to another person, you create many hopes and dreams. It’s hard to let these dreams go. As you grieve the loss of the future you once envisioned, be encouraged by the fact that new hopes and dreams will eventually replace your old ones. Know the difference between a normal reaction to a breakup and depression – Grief can be paralyzing after a breakup, but after a while, the sadness begins to lift. Day by day, and little by little, you start moving on. However, if you don’t feel any forward momentum, you may be suffering from depression. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/coping_divorce_relationship_breakup.htm
No, the divorce
It was the marriage
Over the past decade, evolutionary psychologists, neuroscientists, and pharmaceutical researchers alike have begun to shed fascinating new light on heartbreak. The forces that bind two people in union are powerful, but love’s dissolution is more potent still — a trauma to the brain and body that in some cases can be all but indistinguishable from mental illness. For example, in a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that of 114 Americans who had been romantically rejected in the 8 weeks prior to the study, 40 percent remained clinically depressed — 12 percent moderately to severely so. “A heart-broken from love lost rates among the most stressful life events a person can experience,” says David Buss, Ph.D., the author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating. “It’s exceeded in psychological pain only by horrific events, such as the loss of a child.” The end of a long-term relationship can be extraordinarily traumatic, especially for a man whose mate cheats on him, suddenly announces she wants a divorce, or dies. Researchers have discovered that the flood of stress hormones accompanying such events can weaken the heart, one reason laymen and clinicians alike have dubbed the phenomenon Broken Heart Syndrome. But even when the heart is not literally broken, heartbreak can still prove lethal in other ways. Rejected men kill themselves at three to four times the rate that spurned women do. And the mix of grief and alcohol almost certainly dispatches a legion more men through car crashes, fights, and assorted misadventures, even though they aren’t called suicides on death certificates. From an article by Jim Thornton http://www.menshealth.com/sex-women/pain-lost-love
Yet nothing can to nothing fall,
Nor any place be empty quite;
Therefore I think my breast hath all
Those pieces still, though they be not unite;
And now, as broken glasses show
A hundred lesser faces, so
My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
But after one such love, can love no more.
The divorced individuals in the study who blamed ex-spouses, or even themselves, had more anxiety, depression and sleep disorders than individuals who blamed the way that they and their partners interacted. Those who held on to anger were less likely to move on, build a strong new relationship and address future problems in a positive, proactive manner. It’s hard not to blame. In the study, 65% of divorced individuals blamed their ex-spouses, with more women blaming an ex-husband (80%) than men blaming an ex-wife (47%). And 16% of men blamed themselves, compared with only 4% of women. Dr. Orbuch (Dr. Terri Orbuch (psychologist the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research) says the men may simply accept their ex’s view of the breakup. More men than women admitted to an extramarital affair. How do you blame in a healthy way? Say “we,” not “you” or “I.” Say, “We are both so tired lately,” not “You are so crabby.” When you remove blame, it’s easier to come up with a solution. Ask your partner for his or her view of a problem. Say, “Why do you think we aren’t getting along?” “There are multiple ways of seeing a problem,” Dr. Orbuch says. “By getting your partner’s perspective, and marrying it with your perspective, you get the relationship perspective.” From “Divorcé’s Guide to Marriage” by Elizabeth Bernstein http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444025204577544951717564114.html
People do not get married
planning to divorce.
Divorce is the result
of a lack of preparation
for marriage and the failure
to learn the skills of working
together as teammates
in an intimate relationship.
Children learn how to be in relationships from their parents through a process of social learning, and especially observational learning. They adapt the behaviors they see their parents do. The children in the family watch their parents and learn positive as well as dysfunctional coping styles in dealing with stress and threat. Research studies show that there are three social skills that create happy marriages: problem solving, emotional distress regulation and conflict management. Expression of positive words, maintaining a pleasant attitudes and the avoidance of conflict and negativity are other major skills in creating happy unions. People, who have poor coping skills in handling internal emotional distress, often become anxious or angry. Aggression is learned behavior. Children raised in families with above average in rates of violence are at greater risk for being physically aggressive toward their romantic partner. Violence is passed down through the generations. Parental physical punishment of the adolescent has been associated with later dating violence. Increased risk for overall antisocial behavior in general in turn increases risk for aggression toward a romantic partner. Children, who aggressively fight with their siblings, can carry this destructive fighting pattern over to their adult years. Parents who discipline their children by emphasizing positive interactions and inhibiting negative behaviors promote skills in conflict management. Parents who do not monitor their children’s behavior or give inconsistent discipline create children who do not have the social skills to succeed in happy relationships. Achieving emotional intimacy is a necessary developmental task of young adults. Close social ties promote personal well-being. The failure to establish or maintain positive relationships sets up physical and emotional distress in the individual. From “So You Love An Angry Person” by Lynne Namka, Ed. D. http://www.angriesout.com/family2.htm
There are two things
a person should never
be angry at,
what they can help,
and what they cannot.
Sibling sexual abuse is as traumatic as sexual abuse by a parent (or any other form of sexual abuse) and has a lasting impact on the victim. Studies have shown that sibling abuse often includes the most serious forms of abuse. However, in spite of this, sibling sexual abuse is more likely to be overlooked, normalized and discounted by families and the wider community. This minimization by others can mean that survivors themselves are less likely to view their experiences as abuse and also find it more difficult to talk about. Like all forms of sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse (sibling incest) is an abuse of power, where the more powerful sibling abuses the less powerful. Power can be physical, intellectual or emotional. Sibling abuse is sexual contact between siblings who are of a different age, size, strength or developmental level. Sibling sexual abuse often, but not always, involves some form of force, manipulation or intimidation. Sibling incest can involve forms of non-contact abuse, such as forcing another to view pornography or exposing of genitals. In most cases, sibling sexual abuse does not occur in isolation but alongside physical and/or emotional abuse. The term sibling includes all children who grow up together in the same family, including step, foster and adopted children. Survivors of sibling incest often describe spending their childhood in fear, unable to tell anyone of their abuse for fear of being blamed, not believed or suffering retaliation. This fear, along with shame surrounding the ‘incest taboo’, can mean the victim’s silence extends over the years of childhood, and for some, continuing into adulthood. For those who did speak out, many report being further harmed by their families response, with the abuse being ignored, excused or worse still, the victim blamed. http://www.secasa.com.au/pages/sibling-sexual-abuse-information-for-adults-abused-as-children/
In my family, you can rot to hell
on the inside as long as you’re
flawless on the outside,
which is really sick,
but also hard to unlearn.
Forgiveness doesn’t come automatically – but the party who wronged you does not have to ask for forgiveness for you to give it. The party who wronged you doesn’t even have to admit they made a mistake or did anything that requires forgiving. The party who wronged you doesn’t even have to make amends in order for you to forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not a gift you give to another, but rather something you do inside of yourself – for yourself. Forgiveness IS a choice – you have to choose to forgive and let go of the pain. Reconciliation and forgiveness are two separate things – they are not mutually exclusive. Forgiving someone does not mean you have to reconcile with that person. If the other person has wronged you so severely that you simply could not trust to allow this person in your life in any capacity – reconciliation is not possible, but forgiveness is. Forgiving doesn’t mean opening yourself back up to be hurt again. Forgiving doesn’t mean allowing the other person’s behavior to continue. For reconciliation – the other person must admit their wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness, and then they must take action to prevent that wrongdoing from happening again. Reconciliation requires both you to forgive and the other person to take action. Forgiveness on the other hand doesn’t even require the other person at all. http://voices.yahoo.com/forgiveness-gift-give-yourself-84466.html?cat=5
People have to forgive.
We don’t have to like them,
we don’t have to be friends with them,
we don’t have to send them hearts in text messages,
but we have to forgive them, to overlook, to forget.
Because if we don’t we are tying rocks to our feet,
too much for our wings to carry!
C. JoyBell C.
Getting over a broken heart is never easy, especially in the social networking age, when photos of you and your ex in happier times remain plastered on your friends’ Facebook pages. Worse, recent research suggests that romantic rejection can cause physical pain in a way that no other negative emotion—not even anger or fear—can.But it’s actually good to go through the insane despair and bouts of endless tears that result from being dumped, contends bestselling author and relationship expert Susan Piver. We should embrace these feelings rather than run from them, she argues in her book, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart. “As unlikely as it may sound, this sorrow is the gateway to lasting happiness,” she writes, speaking of her own two-year experience recovering from heartbreak. Piver and other experts described ways to ride through those uninvited waves of grief.
1. Make friends with your heartbreak. You may be tempted to try and forge past it, numbing the pain with rebound sex or a date with a gallon of ice cream. Or you may harden your heart and swear off all future relationships. But that’s the cowardly approach, and one that won’t serve you well in the long run. “It takes a lot of courage to be sad,” says Piver, “but a fantastic life is not one that is placidly happy.” With grieving comes increased awareness: of what’s truly important to you; whom you love; who loves you. “Of course, no one wants to feel that way, myself included,” Piver adds, “but if you allow [the sadness] to teach you, it actually will resolve faster than any effort to fight it.” By Deborah Kotz, Angela Haupt http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/03/22/8-steps-to-mend-a-broken-heart
Scars have the strange power
to remind us that our past is real.
Ask yourself whether you are withholding your thoughts, opinions, or feelings because of your fear of your partner’s reaction. If so, this means that you cannot trust that your opinion will be valued in some way by your partner if you say what is true for you. Think about what that says about your relationship. Nor do we condone spewing out your feelings without some forethought or consideration about your delivery. Being aggressive or abusive with your feelings is just as unhealthy as walking on eggshells or tiptoeing around somebody. Being forthright and “adult” means expressing yourself directly, as in “I feel ______” or “When you do this particular thing, it makes me feel _____”. No one has the right to criticize you for the way you feel.
Excerpt #1 from “He Said, She said: Codependency vs. true love — how to tell them apart” By Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D. and M’Lissa Trent, Ph.D.
I believe all suffering
is caused by ignorance.
People inflict pain on others
in the selfish pursuit
of their happiness or satisfaction.
Recovery from codependency has been about discovering myself; not the pretend self I created in my youth; not the mask I learned to show the world, but the person hidden deep down I have been since childhood; the one I barely knew for most of my life. As a kid I played survival hide and seek with my emotional self to the point that the game became all about hiding. The ability to allow myself to just be a child got lost and I stopped seeking to unfold the ‘me’ I was born to be. Instead I became adept at showing what I thought I had to show; to try to be “good” so my parents would love me. They too lost them self in their young years and in ways of parenting were nothing but children. And the same had to be true of their parents before them and their parents before them… Codependence is a family tradition that often runs deeply backwards into generation after generation and out to the many branches of a family tree. That’s why it can feel almost normal. When a kid is completely surrounded by dysfunction it appears natural and the way one can grow up to be.
Drop the idea of becoming someone,
because you are already a masterpiece.
You cannot be improved.
You have only to come to it,
to know it, to realize it.