A Key Part of Healing: Getting Away From Abusers/Abusive Setting

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MellowMelody

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Hey community,

It has been a while since I have been on this site. I only made a few posts, mainly in the introduction section. I have been doing really great at healing, mainly by moving forward with my goals in life, avoiding re-traumatization, and achieving self-improvement for the preparation of better events in my life. I was doing very well until I got a text message from one of the main people who abused me, my father.

I did not have an emotional reaction to his message, which included him calling me a "disgrace" for getting married "without family consent" (I am mid 20s, educated, and have a decent career, mind you). Somehow I am used to his words and attitudes, and I retorted by calling HIM a disgrace, a response that made me quite satisfied and proud, actually. Yet, when I retold the situation to my brothers and my husband, I definitely felt re-traumatized. It reminded me how I should not feel ashamed to totally avoid all contact with my abusive family. I have learned, from several psychologists who specialize in trauma, that re-traumatization is only hindering healing. Many of us will always be re-traumatized if we are around the people or places where repeated trauma occurred.

Basically, when I told the story to my brothers (who never believed that I was abused anyway) and to my husband (who was really hurt by the message, and asked me more questions about the whole abusive environment with my family), I remembered that hopeless child, and I felt very sorry for her. I didn't go into a full blown spiral of darkness, but I realized that my "inner-child" needed the present, adult ME to protect her from the constant attacks of my father, and the vile disbelief and denial of my brother and other family members.

I moved to a different continent to be away from my family, and it was the best decision for me. But a small part of my sympathetic, adult mind wanted to be "nice" to my abusive family, by allowing channels of contact. This incident with my father made me realize that protecting my "inner-child" is still crucial to my healing, and protecting her comes first, comes before "being nice".

Healing is number one priority for those of us who experienced CPTSD, and many professionals who study trauma know that we must get away from the people and places that abused us, even those who didn't believe you.

What is your experience with this?

Thank you for reading/sharing

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sanmagic7

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Re: A Key Part of Healing: Getting Away From Abusers/Abusive Setting
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 01:00:52 PM »
i agree, if it is possible, to remove ourselves from abusers and abusive environments.  i know that isn't always possible, for a variety of reasons.  even if we're stuck, however, we can still take steps, such as getting support here, to keep ourselves as safe as possible.

kudos to you for getting away, mm.  it's very courageous, and shows a lot of determination to keep yourself safe.  it sounds like you learned something from this last incident with your father, including the interactions you had with family members and husband.  sometimes it's an awfully tricky tightrope we walk, like navigating thru a minefield, knowing who it's safe to share with and what kind of personal preparation we need to undergo when we share with others.

i also agree that healing, staying safe, and taking care of ourselves and our wounded inner children needs to be a priority for us.  because none of us have had the exact same background and experiences, keeping that priority may take different forms for each of us.  i'm so very glad you found the best way for you.  i only hope that everyone affected by c-ptsd finds their own way, too.  love and hugs to you, sweetie.

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MellowMelody

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Re: A Key Part of Healing: Getting Away From Abusers/Abusive Setting
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 01:42:53 PM »
i agree, if it is possible, to remove ourselves from abusers and abusive environments.  i know that isn't always possible, for a variety of reasons.  even if we're stuck, however, we can still take steps, such as getting support here, to keep ourselves as safe as possible.

kudos to you for getting away, mm.  it's very courageous, and shows a lot of determination to keep yourself safe.  it sounds like you learned something from this last incident with your father, including the interactions you had with family members and husband.  sometimes it's an awfully tricky tightrope we walk, like navigating thru a minefield, knowing who it's safe to share with and what kind of personal preparation we need to undergo when we share with others.

i also agree that healing, staying safe, and taking care of ourselves and our wounded inner children needs to be a priority for us.  because none of us have had the exact same background and experiences, keeping that priority may take different forms for each of us.  i'm so very glad you found the best way for you.  i only hope that everyone affected by c-ptsd finds their own way, too.  love and hugs to you, sweetie.

My husband is very supportive these days. It took a while for him to fully understand because he originally couldn't fathom what my family was really like. I wouldn't wish my experience on anyone, and I know people who had "good enough parents" can't understand; only those unfortunate enough to know first-hand really get it. So I felt a little sadness when describing in great detail what I felt to him because that is the best way for him to understand, by really empathizing with the fear, self-loathing, and isolation that I experienced. So he really just asks for as much information as I am willing to share when this comes us, and it can be cathartic, while occasionally reopening old wounds.

My husband is really coming to terms with it, and he is experiencing his own way of grieve for the parents I never had. It is helpful, but it is also making me sad, when I am frankly wanting to just move on from my abusive family.

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sanmagic7

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Re: A Key Part of Healing: Getting Away From Abusers/Abusive Setting
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 10:26:59 PM »
it's great to hear that your hub is being supportive.  it took a long time, lots of explanations, before mine even came close.  i only know the sadness of my own experience, and how overwhelming it can be at times.   still, yes, we move on the best we can.  sending a hug full of caring, comfort, and compassion, mm. 

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LilyITV

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Re: A Key Part of Healing: Getting Away From Abusers/Abusive Setting
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2018, 02:50:11 PM »
It makes total sense that getting away from your abusers would help in healing.  I never sought counseling when I was younger, but I think the fact that I moved far away from my FOO the second I turned 18 meant that I was able to modestly improve some of my C-PTSD symptoms on my own.  My brother, on the other hand, stayed close to my dad and remains much more constrained in his ability to live his own life.  My brother is my dad's mini-me and sometimes I feel my dad favors him because of it, but I feel a sense of power by not being under his thumb.

I am able to set proper boundaries with my dad so I don't have to go NC, but in my mind, I am totally separated from my father and I feel like I am my own person(except for the raging IC in my head). I think it is easier to get to that point when you're totally away, but I think the most important thing is how you feel inside.