The Courage to Heal

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Dee

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The Courage to Heal
« on: July 24, 2017, 09:44:15 PM »

Recently, I stumbled on the book, The Courage to Heal, A Guide for Woman Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in a bookstore.  I picked it up and flipped through the pages.  As I became entranced in the book, I was also trying to hide what I was reading.  I decided I wanted to read more so I hid the book as I walked to the register and put in on the counter face down.  I was mortified just buying the book.  I reasoned with myself that I was in a different state, different city, I would never come back.

It seems here too we don't post that much considering that this is my (any maybe others) everyday.  Everyday I relive it in some way.  I tell myself that there is more to my story than this.  This is not who I am, but some days it is.  It has effected every aspect of my life.

So I thought I would post some about what I read as I work through this book.  Today I read about the effects.  It talks about how it affects self esteem, affects feelings, affects the body, affects the capacity for intimacy, affects sexuality, affects parenting, affects family relationships. 

I shouldn't of been surprised to learn that the list could have been written about me.  It was like reading a checklist of myself.  It talks about many survivors and some survivors.  I identified with most everything.  I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach.  A sadness to know how my life has been because of this.   I wasn't angry, just sad.  It truly has been devastating. 

The next chapter is about honoring what you did to survive.

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Blueberry

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2017, 12:42:51 PM »
Dee, I have that book too. It's one of a very few pushed to the very back of a cupboard under piles of stuff so nobody else can ever see that that's what I've got. I haven't read it for a while now. But in years that I did read it, I found it very validating.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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texannurse

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2017, 02:14:07 PM »
I too have read this book. It helped me feel like what I went through and how I dealt with is real - not just made up in my head. It somehow validated all the pain and although I haven't read it in a while, it did help me at least take the first steps to seek out help - because I finally realized that what I went through was worthy of healing.
Texannurse

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caroline

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 03:24:29 PM »
I've recently gotten this book.  It was in a second hand bookshop when we were on holiday. I was too embarrassed to buy it but showed it to my partner and he paid for it while I left the shop.

Not really had the chance to look at it yet, just flicked through.  It seems to cover alot of stuff.

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Blueberry

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 08:49:20 PM »
I was too embarrassed to buy it but showed it to my partner and he paid for it while I left the shop.

Similar here. I got a friend to order it for me online. This was quite a few years ago and I couldn't face even ordering for myself.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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caroline

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »
I hear you Blueberry!  It's a shame we are still ashamed, or needing to be worried about someones reaction to us buying a book!

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Resca

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2017, 07:45:21 PM »
I just want every one of you to know that I think facing that kind of trauma is the most incredible and brave thing a person could do. I completely understand the shame that must come with having that "stamp" on you, so to speak, so it makes sense that you would want to hide anything that labels you as someone who experienced sexual abuse, including that book. I know that shame a bit; my experience with sexual abuse was so early in life that I remember it more like a movie than something that happened to me. So I can't 100% relate, and I'm sorry if this is more painful than helpful to you. All the same, I hope someday you can come to see yourselves the way I do: as amazing, strong women who overcame the impossible.

What you went through is unforgivable, but the way you have survived it's aftermath is amazing. You are all survivors in the truest sense, and that is something to be respected. I hope that book, hidden or on your coffee tables, helps you to celebrate your own resilience. Some day.

Love to you all :hug:
Your experiences are painful, but they made you so strong. You are valued here.
<3 Resca

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caroline

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 03:36:46 PM »
Thank you so much Resca.  I for one needed to hear that today xx

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Blueberry

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 03:50:49 PM »
No, it's not painful for me Resca! In fact you've clarified for me why I feel embarrassed by and ashamed of the topic, and given me words for it. Words often fail me. Thank you!

You also are a survivor. CSA in very early childhood is no less devastating. I can't say more than that. Except take things as they come and go at your own pace. If you don't want to look at the topic, don't.  :hug:
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Resca

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 12:55:46 PM »
Thank you so much Resca.  I for one needed to hear that today xx

My pleasure. Let me know if you need another boost. You too, Blue <3
Your experiences are painful, but they made you so strong. You are valued here.
<3 Resca

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Andyman73

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 07:27:01 AM »
Haven't read it. Maybe never will. But if there's a guy's version...

Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape

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Blueberry

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2018, 09:27:24 AM »
Idk what there might be for guys, but if I remember correctly female abusers are mentioned in this book. Not being male, Idk exactly but I imagine that some of the patterns are the same.
Should is
never good,
for me.

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Dee

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2018, 08:18:02 PM »

It is not gender specific.

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Kat

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2018, 09:18:23 PM »
Andyman, my heart breaks for you...  I hear so loudly how awful and unfair it is that so few in this world want to acknowledge, accept, and truly, deeply understand what you have had to survive.  For that, I am sooooo, soooo sorry.  I HATE that you feel so alone in your experience and your pain.  I HATE that the looks on the faces of those you entrust your experiences to don't show understanding and sorrow, but discomfort and fear.  (At least, that's what I assume you see.)

I think it's absolutely true that the majority of people "out there" won't understand.  I also believe that pain, humiliation, rage, shame, feelings of weakness and guilt, feelings of absolute despair and alone-ness are gender-less.  The people here all understand those feelings all too well.

I recognized the name of the book and went to my closet to pull it from a shelf.  I had ordered it online.  I left it in my living room as I read it.  My oldest sister must have seen it.  She doesn't believe our father was abusive and especially NOT sexually abusive.  She slowly stopped talking to me and then created a fight that gave her a reason to no longer talk to me.  Anyhow, I opened it up just now and read "When children are sexually abused, they learn that the world, and their bodies, are not safe."  Children.  Not girls.  Not boys.  Just children.

I realize that I'm simplifying your experience.  That's not my intent.  I just think it makes perfect sense that once you experienced the world and your body as unsafe, that it opened you up to further trauma in adulthood.  Look at how many of us are struggling with abusive/dysfunctional relationships with our significant others.  My husband has raped me.  I know for a fact that if I had known what I do now--after years and years of therapy and healing--I would never have even considered a first date with this man. 

The book is a powerful one.  I think you would get a lot out of it--maybe not all of it, but then I didn't identify with everything either.

I really enjoy your insightful responses and your thoughtfulness.  You are a wonderful person.  It hurts to see you in so much pain.  Be well.

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Andyman73

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Re: The Courage to Heal
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2018, 12:16:13 PM »
Blueberry,
While I do recognize that some of the patterns would be the same, somethings are different as well.  I tried to read Lundy Bancroft's book "Why does he do that?" Some have said just change the gender of the abuser and it would work for guys to read the book. Well...yeah...not so much.  In the second chapter he was going through the myths of abusive men. One of the myths was that men can be victims of DV by females. He was quite firm that he didn't believe it possible. He stated that women hurt women in gay relationships, and men hurt women, and men hurt men in gay relationships. But in his experience, as a dv trauma therapist, women don't hurt men. He did say the it's possible, in theory.  But he never met one, or even heard of one. So he didn't think we exist.

Dee,
Would still be a bit strange for me to read a book that's been written as a guide for Women.

Kat,
Thank you so much for recognizing and validating me. It's not easy being me, never mind trying to share, IRL, what it's been like. My parents have totally blown me away. I have seen huge gains in personal knowledge of this kind of thing. They never lifted a finger to help me, over the years...for what ever reasons...not that I was really talking to them or even asking them for help. Maybe they just didn't know, like most don't, that men are victims too.  I hold nothing against them, and this new direction in their lives makes me glad I don't.  I feel like they are rather surprised how much this really does effect men(due to society's blind ignorance to men being victims) and that there are more men that commonly believed, that are survivors of abuse. Not just adult male survivors of childhood abuses, but like me, survivor of adult abuses. 

Many of those feelings are truly genderless, because they are basic human emotions. Which nearly all of us have. However being told that men can't be raped(outside of prison environments) or abused (DV by women) simply isn't true. To be systemically told that I couldn't have been, based on my gender...just reaffirms in me what my abusive wife had always told me, that I'm not a real man. Because as a "man" I know what I've been through, as an adult. So if it can't happen to men...guess that means I'm not one, right?

I'm so very very sorry about your sister. MY two brothers are my closest supporters. Well, they did grow up in the same house as me, even if I was the only one physically abused by our parents. They still received plenty of the non-physical forms of dv abuse. And they remember so much more than me, too. So they have helped me understand more from our childhood, and I've learned about some things that happened to me, that I haven't remembered yet.

Honestly, I don't feel that you were simplifying me, or at least, not too much anyways. I too feel that if I knew truly, how my wife was, I wouldn't have gone through with it...but then again...I was looking for a punisher. So...I accept responsibility for that one. 

Thank you for recognizing my pain and allowing my experience to have it's space. Feels good to be accepted like that. Thank you for saying how you like my responses and such. I try to speak from personal experience and from my heart.

Been 41 years and not free yet. Most recent 21 years in abusive relationship/marriage...trying to escape