On my Facebook I have liked several pages that look or talk about mental illness and different things in child abuse. Often these pages have many inspirational quotes or things that are really food for thought.
I saw a couple of them today, they both kind of link in and probably caught my attention because of personal matters. One of them states that abuse survivors suffer many losses and it isn’t until the healing journey begins do we see these losses. This I find myself to be very true, once I opened the box to the hidden pain I’ve carried for such a long time, I also got to see what I have lost and as many times I have seen there has to be a period of mourning.
The repercussions of childhood abuse seem to be never ending. First there is the loss of innocence, something that is so freely given, yet for people like myself it was taken so young I don’t remember having it. We lose our families and parents. Not in the physical sense of the word, but what they are supposed to be we never experience. I do not know what it feels like to have my mothers arms around me, or to see my father smile proudly at something I have done. My family was stolen from me and I became just someone that lived in the house with these people. I do not know what it feels like to lie safely in my own bed or to share the excitement of a family gathering. My birthdays and other members of my families were nothing but pain filled dates for me to dread with that burning inside my stomach as I would wonder what cruelty I would suffer this year. Such simple things, the list is endless, but I lost them, not that I ever had them to begin with.
The post also mentioned the loss of friends, friends who do not understand and yes I have had my fair share of that, often the loss of a friend just reinforces the messages from parents, that I am not good enough. I was never good enough to be loved as someone’s son and my parents were right, if my parents couldn’t love me, how can anyone else? With the loss of friends along the way, it seems that whatever my parents saw that made them treat me that way, other people see too. But it isn’t just that, there is the loss of the friend who doesn’t understand, or can’t listen.
Which brings me to the other post I had read a couple of days ago that said, as survivors we should limit what we tell to our friends, they can only take so much and whilst we ask for understanding with whatever repercussions we face, we must do the same.
I see the point of it, I understand that not everyone can take hearing these terrible stories, it makes me ask which is fair? Is it fair for the survivor to have to be quiet and continue the silence endured a life time already, or should the friend just listen and deal with whatever they are being told even though they have not had the same years of conditioning so it’s all very hard for them.
I know I hear often a true friend listens etc, and whilst that is also true, I realise that it is another loss. Child abuse doesn’t just steal from the past, it takes from the future too. My health, my friends and simple things that just hurt too much.