Self Help Activity 3: Share and give back in some way eg/mentor, volunteer, etc.

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C.

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Reminder: In order to honor our group process we ask that only current ASCA workbook group members post and respond here please.  If you would like to join in at this time or a later date please send the moderator a PM.  Thank you.

Note:  Your recovery is unique to you.  These topics and activities are suggestions.  Please feel free to do and respond to those that work for you at this time.

3.   At this point you may want to reach out into the community to share your new strengths. If you are attending ASCA meetings, you may want to share your recovery experiences and encourage others who are still on their journeys. One way to deepen your sense of resolution and support others in their efforts to heal is to become a "mentor" or contact for someone just entering recovery. You might become more involved with ASCA in an organizational capacity. You can volunteer with a community hotline that reaches out to parents at risk for abusing their children. You might try your hand at social change by running for the local school board, thereby exercising a healthy expression of power and authority. Any of these activities will affirm the changes you have made in recovery and will give you the chance to share with others what you have accomplished.

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VeryFoggy

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I am so thrilled with my small contribution to helping others who come to this site lost and wandering.  That makes me feel good!  Every time somebody new to the site writes back and says I made them feel welcome and better? Then I feel better!

I may never write a book, or do public speaking on abuse, and why I believe it is so important to speak out about it and expose it for the sake and future of our children and grandchildren?  But I am seriously considering it. And it could definitely happen. Once I finish my recovery.

But for now I am happy to feel like I am helping those who arrive wounded and weary to this site to have some hope.

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C.

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Like VF I give back through the forum.  I love how you describe your experience giving and I feel much the same.  I couldn't put it any better than you have.

But the “aha” came about regards my profession. 

I used to home visit and provide parent education/parent-child activities to promote healthy parenting style.  It was prevention and helping to keep kids from developing things like C-PTSD b/c I could explain to them the importance of bonding, empathy, and helping children w/their emotions.  It was perfect.  Prevention.  And I was very skillful. 

But the families were highly stressed, often with inappropriate parenting.  While married I could look beyond that and “help” families progress along a continuum to healthier parenting.  It was stressful to me, but I could shake it off at the end of the day.  For example some parents just won’t understand empathy the first time.  They receive it as children and they’ve been taught to “suck it up”.  But over the course of the 3-4 years of working w/a family I could help lead them to a place of understanding empathy and the ability to provide that w/their children.   I did this work for 20+ years!  I even administrated and supervised others in this work.  And I was good at it, recognized, and given an awards even.

But now that work setting is extremely stressful to me.  And I think about the home visiting and co-worker stresses of my last job and I realize that I simply cannot be witness to inappropriate treatment of others anymore. 

I watch shows about survivors and justice.  I won't watch people being inappropriate without getting their due haha

Yes, in my example, the parent may develop empathy.  But in the process I see a child hurting more than it needs to, and that is very stressful to me on an emotional level now.  I used to be able to concentrate on being a catalyst for change there.  Now I just see pain.  Then I feel or remember that pain.  It builds over time until I am too depressed and/or anxious to function well.  I cannot be healthy in that profession right now.  I suspect ever again.

I don’t even put my brain to the topic of returning to my profession now b/c I can feel the anxiety start to build up within me.  I experienced emotional abuse almost all my life.  I cannot be witness to more.  It's like there's a finite maximum before I go nuts haha (kind of)

Not with parents, clients, co-workers, employees or administrators. It feels like more of the same, even if I’m “helping” them change for the better. 

I don’t mean that all people are bad and being inappropriate.  But in my profession that was the target population w/the parents.  And the employees/co-workers often came from that population.  So they exhibited similar behaviors, often covertly.

In contrast, at my current job the clients are mostly a delight, and there’s now only 1 ½ co-workers out of about 15 who are inappropriate.  This job pays little monetarily yet somehow God has continued to provide so generously that it doesn’t matter.  My housing and food are nearly free.  My car is paid off.  I am free of all debt.

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VeryFoggy

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Oh C!  It has taken me a while to respond to your post because it was so poignant.  You wanted so MUCH to try and help and you DID.  For so long! Until you injured yourself doing it! I think that is admirable! I think you really, really tried to make a change. To the world. And I applaud people like you who do try to make a difference.  But I also most equally applaud people like you who understand the faucet of giving is finite. There is a limit to how much you can give.

So I am proud of you for recognizing the limit and doing what you could, but at the same time saying no more, I cannot take any more.

It is all of our jobs, really all of our jobs as adults to take care of the children. Not just you. All of us.

I did not take good care of my children. I did the best I could? But tonight after revealing to my daughter that I was most definitely sexually abused?  She wanted to know why I left her with those people.  I have no answers.

All I know is being abused messes with your mind, and you do not know who to trust, so you try hard to trust those you "know" you are supposed to trust, your family.

But doing the right thing for yourself?  Like you are doing now?  I believe leads to a better place, and that we can show our children, one step at a time. If we support ourselves, and reveal that trust in ourselves is most important? Then maybe we are doing even better work, even better than trying, sometime futilely to stop the oppression we see so often.

I don't know C. I am pretty mixed up tonight. But I think I think you are doing the right thing for yourself And THAT is a good example to set for your own children.


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C.

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What a kind and understanding response VF.  Thank you.  You nailed it in a lot of ways.  I know what you mean about trusting untrustworthy people w/our kids.  My son doesn't want to be around my parents w/o me, yet I've wanted him to do so.  But if I really think about it the stress I experience witnessing their conflict is the same for him.

I love what you say about all of us being responsible for children.  As society develops and improves more and more people step up to the plate in a healthy way.

And the faucet exactly describes my experience.  It's like we have a finite amount of water to give and we can wait and use it later in life, use a little at a time gradually, or perhaps like me empty the tank in 40 yrs.