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Development of CPTSD in Childhood => Causes => Physical Abuse => Topic started by: Deep Blue on April 17, 2018, 09:10:20 PM

Title: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 17, 2018, 09:10:20 PM
This is a strange anniversary, but it痴 one that I struggle with every year.  My former best friend痴 birthday is coming up.

The reason it is such a bad anniversary is because of the severe physical abuse that happened that night.

Trigger warning ****


That night I was drug by the hair across a room, beaten till I could no longer stand, then I was yanked up by the hair and struck repeatedly with a belt, and kicked in the stomach over and over.  It was the worst night of my life.  The abuse was so bad that I passed out.  Usually I didn稚 pass out because I had learned to dissociate. 

Now around this time every year I struggle. At night I知 wrecked with nightmares... I can稚 sleep.  Each time I close my eyes I知 being hit... then I wake up with a panic attack.  In the day time, my body reacts as if I知 covered in bruises. I ache and tend to use self harm as a crutch... to remind myself which pain is real and which is in my mind.

What do I do? Saturday is the anniversary and I知 already feeling awful... will this anniversary ever effect me less?  Will I ever stop having nightmares about that night?  Even writing it here makes me feel like I知 going to throw up...  (sorry that痴 all I have in me right now)
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse
Post by: California Dreaming on April 17, 2018, 10:43:15 PM
Thank you for sharing Deep Blue. It's very brave of you.

I have found that the combination of inner work and time does lessen the intensity of a particular trigger. I was massively triggered about 3 weeks ago and finally made it to the other side of it. I have found that the frequency of being massively triggered has significantly decreased over the past 5 or so years. I am triggered daily and usually more than once during the day. However, I am better able to recognize that I have been triggered and how to navigate out of that state quicker.

I also believe that it is possible that one day you won't have nightmares about the absolutely horrendous night that you described. The way that I have come to understand nightmares is that they are not only terrifying but they have no resolution. The key is that in the dream state there is no resolution of the conflict in the dream. At some point, I believe that you will have resolution because you are doing the work necessary to bring the resolution about.

I still have a number of open wounds and plenty of scars. I believe that one day this can be a scar rather than an open wound for you. For now, the depth and intensity of your pain resonate with me. I hope that you will find the soothing that you deserve as a survivor of this horrific abuse.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Phoebes on April 18, 2018, 02:58:26 PM
Deep Blue, thank you for sharing your story here. I really feel for you and what you went through, and what others go through as well. In the past three years I have been working a lot on healing physical and emotional abuse (and verbal). Often it was all mixed in. I too struggle with triggers from belts. I can't have a leather belt in the house or see one on someone without being triggered, and the one soft belt I do own, I cannot hang it on a door knob or leave it lying around. I have to curl it up and put it in a drawer. I always feel silly, but nevertheless, on the rare occasion I wear it, I at least think of the flashbacks. Although I have spent much time healing already.

I echo what california says in that healing can definitely come, in time and with some attention to techniques. I too still have triggers, but I am able to recognize and calm them down more quickly, and get back in my current skin and reality. Please be patient and easy with yourself. You went through extreme abuse repeatedly, which was not in any way your fault, and now you are doing the brave work of navigating healing and figuring it all out. You should be very encouraged and proud of yourself!

When I was still having the most extreme flashbacks earlier in my healing (and I still have these some) concerning the most severe episodes of physical abuse combined with psychological (which I now understand was sadism on the part of my mother), I did an exercise where, when this flashback comes up, to allow myself to view the event like I'm standing outside of it watching. Empathizing with the child who is wrongfully being attacked. Then, in the vision, I could handle it in any way I felt in the moment. I usually visualized hitting her with a bat in the back of the head. In later visions I called the police and they asked me exactly what happened and believed me, taking her to jail. I think what happened was, reparenting the inner child, being the parent I needed to be there, being able to "do something" about it in my mind made it sink in how wrong it was, how it was not my fault, and how what should have happened in my defense simply didn't happen. There was no one to witness it, and no one to tell. It was wrong, not my fault. There are similar techniques, energy work, re-writing the inner voice that have helped me tremendously. Reparenting the inner child always sounded goofy to me, but I have since realized this type of work really does re-wire the brain's activity and things have seemed to calm down a lot.

I really believe over time you can definitely stop having those night mares and be more at peace about it.. please be encouraged and easy on yourself as you give yourself any time you need..  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 18, 2018, 03:52:52 PM
California dreaming,
Thanks so much for the hope that the symptoms may ease... I look forward to that day... the last few days have just been a constant countdown to the next panic attack.  :'(   I wish I could erase it from my mind. 
*** trigger warning again***


My flashbacks are so visceral that I feel as if the wind is being knocked out of me even know. As I type this my lower back is spasming as if I知 being hit with a belt.... sorry have to stop there...

Phoebes,
My abuser was a sadist as well. So much satisfaction from my pain, so much anger if i disobeyed the rules... I have memory after memory of being punished in this way... I just want to break free. 

***Another trigger warning ***


I知 sorry you have walked a similar path as mine but may try some techniques you mentioned.  I have tried rewriting the narrative of that night... changing the ending... but it痴 still difficult.  I知 still that kid that is desperately holding my tongue... counting in my head... focusing on paint drips on the wall and forcing my mind elsewhere....Breathing and absorbing as much as my little body could handle.  An additional problem I have is that the abuse was not over once I woke up... an hour after I came to, I was abused again  :'(
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 18, 2018, 07:04:48 PM
I can relate to the sadistic abusers! I can understand how being physically abused a second time an hour later makes it sooooooo much harder to process.

I also can relate to how real the flashbacks feel. Something that I have learned to do is tell myself that I am not there right now. To stop the "movie" from continuing I will remind myself of what day it is and tell myself where I am currently. For example, it's Wednesday, April 18th, and I am sitting in my home. I will also say, "My abuser is not here, so I am safe at this moment." Depending on the severity of my triggered state, I have to repeat this throughout the day.

What you are experiencing as you approach Saturday is what I call the amygdala bell ringing. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. When the amygdala is "turned on" it causes intense emotion, such as anxiety or fear. Panic attacks are anxiety at its maximum intensity. Sometimes I say that my amygdala is screaming at me. If you are aware of this and do what I was saying earlier, it might "lower the volume" of your amygdala so that you don't have a panic attack. Also, I hope that Phoebes' techniques bring you relief from your intense suffering.

I echo what Phoebes said, "Please be encouraged and easy on yourself as you give yourself any time you need." I realize that this is much easier said than done, but we are here to help you get through this.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 18, 2018, 08:45:18 PM
California dreaming,
Thanks, I will try to go easier on myself.  I have already done what you said a couple of times and it seems to be helping.  I知 in my living room, I知 safe. I知 trying to ground as much as possible too... it seems to be helping as well.  A strange help came in the form of a panic attack this afternoon.  I got myself so worked up that I threw up.  Strange as it may be, it helped bring me more to the present.  The phantom pain is still here but it sorta jolted me back a bit.  Thanks for the support  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 18, 2018, 09:58:08 PM
sometimes those physical manifestations can help cleanse us, in a way.  i often take showers with the express purpose of scrubbing memories off my body and imagining them going down the drain.  i usually feel better afterwards, too.

i hope that as you continue some of the activities that are helping you, the coming anniversary will become less and less aggravating for you, and eventually, you'll be able to manage this horrible memory in a smoother way.  some of my worst anniversaries have gotten less distressing over time and repeated emotional cleansing.

best to you with this, sweetie.  love and a warm hug for you.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Phoebes on April 19, 2018, 06:07:51 PM
DB, is this person still alive? Can you press charges?

I've actually considered it in my case, but the abuse that has happened for the past 30 years has all been emotional and verbal. Including lots of lies dependent on who was listening. I'm still mad at myself for allowing it for so long by going back.

When I finally went NC 3 years ago, it was the physical abuse that rushed to the surface. It had been living in my body all those years, making me sick. The flashbacks were very visceral, like you describe. Aside from the sadistic pleasure and rage attacks, another purpose of the abuse was to silence me, and in ways I am still working on that. I get very paralyzed, tongue tied, unable to express myself around others at times.

One youtuber who I listen to to remind myself of the reality of N-abuse is "Little Shaman healing". She is very good, and has helped it really sink in that NONE of this stuff ever had to do with me. That the N is not fighting me, she is fighting HERSELF, and I was just the easy target to be the tool of choice. Wow. That has really helped me detach. Richard Grannon has some great techniques, as well as others. I really hope you find some sources of comfort and validation to help you walk through this. I'm so glad you're on the path to healing. There was a time I could not fathom getting better I was feeling so triggered so much of the time, but, the healing has come and is still getting better..thinking of you in this.

Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 19, 2018, 09:01:31 PM
Hi Deep Blue :) I am really glad to hear that you are making some progress and that you feel supported. Please continue to keep us posted and let us know how we can be of support.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 19, 2018, 09:36:12 PM
Phoebes,
Yes the person is still alive. No I can稚 press charges.  I have had no contact with them for about 15 years.  Plus like so many of us... I feel I should have could have stopped the abuse. 

California dreaming,
Thanks so much for listening and offering support.  Just knowing that you and this forum is here really helps lighten my load.  Re-reading posts from here are helping me so much.  I知 trying to keep from using my favorite unhealthy coping strategy. One step at a time.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 21, 2018, 12:34:08 PM
San,
Sorry that I am just seeing your reply on this post.  Thanks for the warm hug.  I threw up at work again on Friday due to a flashback.  Today is the day.  I知 here, I知 safe. 

I just wish someone could tell my lower back to stop the spasms.  I知 safe, I知 on the couch so why does it feel like I知 still being hit?  It just makes me feel helpless. 
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 21, 2018, 06:43:47 PM
it might just be body memories coming up, frustrating as that can be.  i hope you keep telling yourself you're safe now, the abuse has stopped, your body can relax.  i've used some guided relaxations on youtube that help get the gunk out and released from where you're holding it.  maybe one of those might help.

sending angel wings to calm those tortured nerves, to gently beat away the pain with their feathered tips, and to embrace you with soothing and safety.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Blueberry on April 21, 2018, 11:42:31 PM
As san said, these are probably body memories coming up. And good to tell yourself and any inner children who might come up that the abuse has stopped, it's now 2018 and not whatever year(s) the abuse was going on. That helps at least in the medium-term even if it doesn't feel like it now.

 :hug: :hug: for going through this. (I never had it that bad, I don't think. My body used to just go cold and shivery.)
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 22, 2018, 12:38:45 AM
I've been thinking about you today. Anniversary flashbacks can feel unbearable. Allice Miller wrote a book titled, "The Body Never Lies." I have learned to listen to my body because it helps me to know what I am feeling. My body never lies to me. Your body seems to be telling you just how horrific your experience was. In my experience, my body continues to purge the memories as I process them. Reaching out to your support system is a way that you are processing and purging this from your psyche and your body...one step at a time. Please take good care of yourself Deep Blue.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 22, 2018, 01:07:22 AM

sending angel wings to calm those tortured nerves, to gently beat away the pain with their feathered tips, and to embrace you with soothing and safety.

Sanmagic,
Thanks so much.  I知 visualizing those wings helping me right now.  You don稚 know how much your words mean to me.  I think I知 going to also do what you suggested and take a take a shower to wash all the memories and gunk off me.   :hug:

Blueberry,
I think you are right. They are body memories.  I知 curled up with my dog and it is 2018. Thanks for your words of reassurance.  Sometimes I question whether I had it 澱ad.  I just really got good at leaving my body mentally.   :hug:

California dreaming,
You have no idea how many times I have read and reread your posts.  They are helping to give me strength when I have been feeling really low lately. 
Just a few more hours and then maybe the memory of this awful day will go back into its vault for a while.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Blueberry on April 22, 2018, 01:26:44 AM
Oh, yes, you had it bad. As I posted to Elphanigh earlier, one of the worst things other than the obvious about abuse is that we seem to believe it wasn't "enough" to count as abuse.

curled up with the dog sounds really good! I think I made it through my childhood and teenage years because of the family dog. Sometimes I still imagine her in bad times.  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 22, 2018, 11:37:21 AM
Hi Deep Blue :) I am not sure what time it is where you are, but I am thinking that the anniversary is now over. I agree with Blueberry: you had it bad! Part of my story is meeting with a psychiatrist when I was 42 and him telling me that I had been severely abused. I did not have the framework to believe him at the time. I started working with him a year later wondering if I had really been abused at all. As it turns out, he was right. It took several years for me to actually realize and internalize the severity of my abuse.

I want to clarify that the memories of my abuse have not been purged; it is the emotional charge associated with the memories that has been purged. More and more they simply are memories. I have learned to use being emotionally charged as a signal to do inner work around the issue that creates the charge.

It feels good to me to know that others are doing the work of healing the wounds of their abuse. I feel less alone in my process. Thank you so much for sharing your healing process with the OOTS community. I feel honored to be a part of your process.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 22, 2018, 12:28:43 PM
California,
Yes the anniversary is over.  Deep breath.  I know I need to do some inner work.  Much of it has to do with the physical abuse I think.  I just keep feeling like I need to push a pause button on it. 

****Possible trigger warning****



Does anyone else feel like they were compliant in the abuse?  I never fought it... I just went along with it.  I realize this is screwed up to no end... I rarely ever mention this... even in therapy... but my abuse was scheduled.  I often knew when it was coming.  That痴 why I was often given a number. I tried to drink a little to help me dissociate.  I better post this before chicken out and delete this.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: DecimalRocket on April 22, 2018, 12:36:53 PM
I relate to that. I had a lot of fight in me in the early days as a kid, but as time passed it dwindled away into being passive, and it took a lot of time to bring it back. Somewhere I was succesfully indoctrinated to believing it was all my fault, so I understand what you mean, Deep Blue.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 22, 2018, 12:51:03 PM
I am glad that you are taking a deep breath :)

Yes, I have felt like I was compliant in my abuse. I no longer feel that way, but it took years of hard work to get there. I now know that I was victimized by me abusers. Predators are really good at convincing us that they need us, and we become good at meeting their perverted "needs."

"I realize this is screwed up to no end." I believe what is screwed up is them and not me. Again, this took time and work for me to genuinely believe. I have internalized the message, "My abusers were/are sick people." I have purged the message, "It is my fault."
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 22, 2018, 01:13:31 PM
Rocket,
Thanks. You are right.  Things never started with abuse.  The fight in me dwindled the more it happened.

Trigger warning*** just to be safe

  I remember over and over hearing... you know why I have to do this right?  You know you brought this on yourself... it was said often enough that I agreed with my abuser.  I always apologized before and after The abuse. I fully thought if I could be better, prove myself, the abuse would stop.  It didn稚... in fact it got worse and worse until I had no fight left in me.  Deep breath deep breath.

California dreaming,
Yes my abuser was screwed up! Not me!  I need to write that on a card and read it to myself over and over.  Thanks for the strength.  Each of your posts give me glimpses of where I hope to get to.  Without knowing it you have become a light at the end of the tunnel for me.  Thank you thank you thank you.  I知 sending a big hug to you.  It痴 one where we hug and take a deep breath together.   :bighug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: California Dreaming on April 22, 2018, 02:04:39 PM
Soooooo beautiful Deep Blue. Hugs and beep breaths together. We cannot do this alone.  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Blueberry on April 22, 2018, 04:38:07 PM
Yes my abuser was screwed up! Not me! 

Exactly! Congratulations for writing it here. That's a forward step!  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 22, 2018, 05:01:40 PM
you made it thru - i truly hope you're doing better today.  if it's not all gone, i hope it's lessened a lot.  keep taking good care of you - you so deserve that.  love and hugs, sweetie.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 22, 2018, 10:31:38 PM
Sanmagic,
Yes I made it through.  It痴 over.  My symptoms are not all gone but have really lessened.  The body memories are more of a dull ache now and not the debilitating pain they were yesterday.  I feel stronger for not having given in to my unhealthy coping strategy too.  Thanks for reading and responding and checking in on me too  :hug:
Things are going to be ok  :hug: :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: sanmagic7 on April 23, 2018, 12:20:54 AM
 :thumbup:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: DecimalRocket on April 23, 2018, 03:00:38 AM
I知 happy you池e better, Deep Blue.  :hug: . It must have been so hard, but you致e done it. You really did.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 23, 2018, 10:35:29 AM
Rocket,
Thanks for the support and the hug.
Sending one back to ya  :hug:
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Deep Blue on April 16, 2019, 12:54:46 AM
Well it痴 been a year and I知 back to this post.

I saw my T today and we read the memory of this night... she says it痴 just words on a page. It a memory, it痴 not real.  So I知 trying to focus on what痴 real around me.

It took almost 30 minutes to read a small 3 page entry.  I kept stopping.  I知 so tired. I致e never been so tired from a session before.  I couldn稚 have gotten through the memory without my T... now I知 just hoping sleep finds me tonight.
Title: Re: Anniversary of worst abuse - TW!
Post by: Three Roses on April 16, 2019, 01:48:14 AM
Healing hugs to you!  :hug:

You're not what they did to you, you are your own person. You can stand strong in the knowledge you are worthy and powerful, and health is your right. I'm cheering you on from the sidelines!  :cheer: