When time doesn’t heal all wounds

A blog post share.

#Speak

After you go through something painful, people love to give you advice. And one of the most common pieces of advice is the infamous expression “just give it time.” With time, the hurt and suffering you are experiencing will gradually decrease until one day it’s gone for good. And yes, I know this phrase may hold true for various situations. But when it comes to recovering from an abusive relationship, it’s a different matter entirely.

An abusive relationship strips away everything you thought you knew about human nature and the world. With abuse, you experience someone you love transform into a monster before your eyes – they degrade you, hurt you, put you down, threaten you, over and over and over again. Experiencing this kind of trauma leaves a very real and very profound mark on a person. It makes you question your previous beliefs that people are genuinely good…

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Book review: “Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors – Emotional Resource Guide,” by Carolyn Spring.

This book brings a number of articles and concepts that are designed to help people learn how to take back control over their traumatised emotional and bodily states. This is through understanding concepts such as the back brain and the front brain, the window of tolerance and the trauma traffic light.

Contents of this book:

  • Introduction
  • Coping with crisis
  • Emergency box
  • Managing triggers
  • Body sensations
  • Managing flashbacks
  • The trauma traffic light
  • The window of tolerance
  • Emergency cards
  • Alphabet of emotions
  • Safety kit: Emotional thermometer
  • Mental Health Act 1983

This 57 page guide-book, I bought from Amazon and it is for those who experience frequent states of debilitating, even life-threatening distress and is also a resource for those who work with this client group.

The book advises on its contents page to take care when reading, as some content may be triggering.

I like how this book explained the ‘back brain’ and the ‘front brain’ and, how and why we respond the way we do. Even more so, due to our past trauma we may have experienced.
I also was reminded by reading this book, that how I react to my triggers is not my fault and to not give myself self-hate because of it, as this does help either.

When being triggered, it gives tips on how I could get my front brain to switch back online, after a trigger.

About the author

Carolyn Spring is an author as well as being Director of PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) and its charity framework START (Survivors Trauma and Abuse Recovery Trust). PODS works to make recovery from dissociative disorders a reality through training, informing and supporting.
Carolyn Spring is also Editor of ‘Multiple Parts,’ a magazine/journal produced three times a year for PODS and also spends a large proportion of her time training at PODS’ many events throughout the UK.
She developed Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a result of prolonged and extreme childhood abuse, but believes passionately in recovery and the dignity and respect that is due to all human beings, but especially those who have been abused as children.

Childhood retreat

When ‘Beauty and the Beast’ aired on British TV, I absolutely loved it, when I was a kid. Staring Ron Perlman, as Vincent and Linda Hamilton, as Catherine, watching it was an escape from the world of bullies and things that sometimes went on at home. The trouble was, it was only on one day a week, which wasn’t enough for me. I would escape into my own world, when it was time for bed and imagine being there with them, giving myself a new name and creating new stories. It was my safe world, because this was a safe world for all the different characters that lived there, below the city streets. Each of them with a past story, before they came to live there, where they felt safe and loved. Having a purpose.
I watched every single one, except for the very last one, or the one also before that. I was absolutely gutted I missed the ending, which I recorded and did not catch the end. It obviously started late, because I always used to put an extra ten minutes past the finishing time. I kept looking in the papers each week, wondering why it was not on and wondering when it would be on again, not realising it had completely finished altogether. It wasn’t until I was an adult and having access to the internet and Googling it, that I had learnt it had completely finished and how it ended.
For some years now, (but I don’t know how long exactly,) I own the whole episodes on DVD’s. As a late-deafened adult, I totally rely on subtitles to watch anything, so when I ordered the DVD set from Amazon which the DVD’s are import, I made sure it said that they had subtitles. Which it did. But when it came to playing them on my all-region DVD player, I only found that the subtitles were only on the extras, not on the series itself. I was disappointed, but because I needed the escape again, I kept them and watched them all. But watching only, as I could not follow the conversations and the character, Vincent is not a person you can even lip-read for a start.

Fast forward to the present, I bought a second external CD/DVD player for my laptop of a different model, so I could just play my American import DVD’s. Not only do I have ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ I have ‘Sue Thomas FBEye’ complete series too. (No problem with Sue Thomas though, the subs were available when watching them on my old DVD player.) When I played a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ DVD, to check it worked on this new external player ok, I could see there was an options for closed captions and so I clicked on it and before my eyes I seen subtitles pop up to what was being said at the time. (Theme music that starts at the beginning and the words of Vincent.) So I am expecting this will happen on every one now. I was so happy to see this and cried with tears of joy. This TV series means so much to me and I can’t see I will ever get bored with it. It’s my escape still, when I watch them, but the only difference is I won’t be creating new scenes and jump into that world when I go to bed at night, as I did when I was a kid.

Book review: “Untangled: A story of resilience, courage and triumph,” by Alexis Rose.

“Untangled: …” by Alexis Rose is her own true life story, recalling her life of unimaginable abuse and explicit threats. Alexis Rose repressed these memories of her past, until a family tragedy forced her to face what her life had been.

This book gives a note to the readers before the story starts, to warn how it could be triggering because of descriptions of sexual and physical abuse.

A history of abuse, torture and threats to maintain her silence or be killed, could no longer be denied.
This book is her story of facing the truth and risking the consequences of breaking the silence, to start a healing journey and to learn to live her life. Alexis Rose had to also learn to accept the effects of the trauma that echo through her daily life as PTSD.

Through reading this book, it shows just how our mind dissociates while being abused.
Dissociation is something I have experienced as you know from my blog posts. But to experience what Alexis Rose had all through her life, I could not imagine. This book certainly lives up to the title of resilience and it gives hope to other victims who have suffered trauma and abuse, that you can get through it too. This book helped me to understand more about PTSD and the way my own PTSD had effected me, when I was struggling with mine at the beginning of my counselling sessions, when it was raw to start off with and during, that I revealed to my counsellor.

When I got to page 204, I shed tears of relief as Alexis Rose found the missing link with her counsellor.

I have been following Alexis Rose’s blog, ‘Untangled’ for some time now, which you can find here at: https://atribeuntangled.com/blog/

Alexis also did an interview you may like to read at, Vilina Christoph.

The power and necessity of self expression in healing trauma — Emerging From The Dark Night

A well-written post that caught my eye this morning, that I would like to share with my readers. Please visit “Emerging From The Dark Night,” to read all of this post.

I woke late this morning to hear the tail end of a very powerful interview with an aboriginal writer and artist. Rhonda Collard Spratt who has recently written a book on the trauma of being one of the stolen generation, those precious young children who were forceably removed from family and community ‘for their own good’ by […]

via The power and necessity of self expression in healing trauma — Emerging From The Dark Night

A year ago, on 5th February…

I don’t know if you have realised, but I have only realised how my blog was one year old, on 5th February. It all started with my first post, Hello world.
When I first started writing this blog back then, I did not realise how long I would write this for. I did not have any long-term goals for it, other than this blog be therapeutic for me.
I have met some lovely supportive people via WordPress and who are mostly bloggers themselves. You have shown me what a supportive, lovely bunch you can all be, to say you have not met me personally and only know me through my blog. (Although there are friends who read this too and have met me, or know me personally in some way. Some are even from when I wrote my deaf blog.) Although I have said thank you before for following my blog, I thank you again.

I have expressed some triggering contents in my posts. A lot of them was at the beginning of my blog journey and for those who have read this blog from the beginning, will know certain things I had to do, to help me on my healing journey after counselling had finished. I also revealed bullying and the effects. (As if I did not have enough already in my childhood.)

This year, I revealed for the first time publicly, how one time I was raped some years ago. I shared this after #ITSNOTOK campaign. I felt such relief by sharing this, than I personally expected and weight off my shoulders. I suppose because I felt shame underneath, which I know I should not. It goes to show rape can happen anywhere and #ITSNOTOK.

I have learnt from feedback received, that this blog is a positive inspiration for you in lots of ways. I am happy to hear this and while I feel the need to write, I will continue. This blog covers a wide variety of things as I grow. It will still cover depression etc… whether I share my bad days, or news I learn from elsewhere, but also it will still cover my wellbeing at times and learning I do. There is also my garden that has caught interest with some readers last year. I do plan to share further this year, than I have already. So if you want to continue following the garden progress, then do keep reading.

NO, means NO.

(Content warning: rape.)

As I have mentioned in two earlier posts, (that are at the end of this one,) I have said at one time I was raped. It happened once, but once is enough to affect you big time. A few days after it happened, I walked out with just the clothes I was wearing. There was no way I was staying in that kind of relationship.
I was already questioning how he spoke odd occasions to me, whether directly, or indirectly. I realise that some, if not all, were emotional abuse. Some of the emotional abuse did not click with me till after I left.

I collected my belongings later. (Clothes eventually all replaced, as I said in post, ‘To feel clean.’)

Rape happened, in marriage. It started off at first as consensual sex and we had been making love for some time, but I started getting tired and I told him to stop and he didn’t. I told him again to stop, then I said no, no, no, stop I am tired and it hurts.
I could not push him off because I was tired. He stopped sometime after, probably not as long as it felt for me at that time and he lay on his back or side. (I can’t remember which.)
I pulled myself to my left side and moved myself so I was lying near the edge of the bed, because I did not want my back to touch him. I was curled in a ball crying as quiet as I could, but if he was awake, I’m sure he would have felt the bed trembling because of me trying to contain my sobbing.
The next morning he said, “Sorry,” as he tried to put his arms around me. I quickly stepped back and I remember putting my hands up saying, “Don’t touch me! Just don’t touch me.” I remember saying to him, how I told him to stop the night before and how it hurt because he didn’t. There was more said, but that is such a blur now.

I remember that next night, I chose not to sleep with him and I slept on the floor, in the spare room. I can’t remember if it was the following morning I left, or the day after. All hazy now. But I don’t need to remember, because at the end of the day, I left him.

Some time later after getting my things, I remember he wanted to chat and so I met up with him. My mum was not comfortable to the idea, but I reassured her I wasn’t going back and that I was going to be in a public area, so he could not harm me if he tried. I listened partly, the rest I don’t know what he said, as I was miles away.
After he had his say, I looked at my watch and said, “Right, I’m going.” He looked gobsmacked at me and said, “Don’t you want to say anything?” I didn’t and I said to him, “Did you really think there be a chance for us to get back together? cos there’s no chance. Now I am off, going back home, as my mum is expecting me for lunch and if I am not back at time stated, she will be getting rather nervous.”
I walked off and at one point where I was walking, there was no need for him to follow me that far, as it was going out of his way. He challenged me, saying “Am I really going to throw our marriage away just like that?” and I replied that I already did, the day I walked out. I turned my back, but he was still going to continue to follow, that was when I threatened him and said that if he was still following me after I had counted to ten, then I would scream rape. He replied that I wouldn’t dare, which I responded, try me, cos after all, that’s what you did when we were together and that is why I am no longer with you. I continued walking, counting to ten, then I turned around. Thankfully, he wasn’t there following me still and chosen to go back the other way. It was it was the last thing I wanted to do, but where I walking, I may not have seen anyone, leaving me vulnerable spot to be in. I also felt very vulnerable at that point and scared, although there was no way I was going to show that in front of him. I was so glad when I came across someone I knew and I was so glad when I arrived home.

If you are in a relationship where you are receiving verbal or physical abuse, just get out of it. Go somewhere else, where you are safe. Don’t accept their apologies, as it will only happen again. YOU deserve more than that.

I did not report mine because of how messed up I was mentally and I know I could still never report it. But also because it was just me and him and I wondered if there would have been good evidence to have him for that. I have been told it does not matter how many years ago it happened, it is still not too late to report and there are ways to prove. But it’s not for me, so please don’t judge and respect my wishes. This has been a hard post to write than expected.
But if you want to report your attack, then please do and get the right support of family, or friends, the Police, or Rape Crisis.
I know Rape Crisis will support you if you need counselling and if you are ready to report it, they will support you all the way, as they offered this support to me.
Rape Crisis also pointed out to me that it is never too late to report rape, but they also pointed out to me that there is no pressure to do this, until I am ready.

As I write this post, I feel that SAME sickness now, as I did then all those years ago, when it happened. So between me writing this and it going to air, I will be doing my necessary comforts. This will be to feel the softness of my fleecy blanket while draped over my legs and drinking a blackcurrant tea, observing the taste and smell as I drink it.

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