Very informative and inspiring. I follow them on Facebook. You should check them out.
Here’s one of their recent posts:
“Do you ever notice feelings of trying to escape? Feelings like you “deserve” to escape your feelings such as anxiety, fear or self hate? The root of this desire to escape is in not being taken care of as a child victim of abuse. It comes from being pushed aside and not protected. When that feeling comes up, self care is very important. Listen to yourself and find out what you need.” Darlene Ouimet of Emerging From Broken
I moved out of my parent’s home feeling disconnected and I did anything that I thought I was grown and bad enough to do. I indulged daily in drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, popping pills and partying. This destructive suicidal pattern progressed to cocaine and hallucinogens. I had numerous blackouts there are many times and experiences that I still have no recollection of. It was utter madness I could have died at any time and yet I thought I was having fun.
What I didn’t know was that I was addicted to drugs. My insides were twisted up with so much pain. It didn’t matter where I lived because I took me and all of that mess inside everywhere I went. You can’t run from yourself but I tried.
I won’t go into detail about all of the things I did, places I went, or the horrors that I saw on the dark side of this world, but I will say that I lived a humiliating, degrading, depraved and desperate way of life. My every thought and action was about feeding my overpowering compulsion for crack by any means necessary. If I had to lie, cheat, and steal I did it at the cost my health, mind and soul as I waited expectantly for death to come.
What I know today is that my abuse of drugs and myself was a symptom of the abuse I had endured.
I found myself drawn to activities that were destructive and led to nothing but trouble. I began drinking wine and beer, smoking marijuana (reefer).
I got in so much trouble during this time skipping school, and breaking curfew.
By the time I was 15 or 16 years old I was going to nightclubs and living an all consuming lifestyle that consisted pf indulging in drugs and alcohol to the extent that even I can’t fathom how it didn’t kill me and worse yet I loved it, anything that was against the norm I was all for it. Drugs were similar to leaving this world I felt good all over and I never wanted that feeling to stop. The only time that I felt normal or laughed or seemed to enjoy life was when I was high half out of my mind. In my drug hazed state nothing and nobody could touch me; all the pain and dreadful memories didn’t exist and I nearly killed myself trying to stay in that world.
I finally my mother about being raped and she held me and cried with and for me for a very long time. For the first time someone told me that it was not my fault and I exhaled, I let wall down, opened the floodgates and I cried, really cried. I felt validated, loved, and safe. Her anger at whatever it was I had done subsided. I thought that we had crossed over a hurdle and that we would become close again.
Some days later she came to me in tears and said that she didn’t believe me about the rape. She had thought about it and decided that I made up the lie to get her sympathy and to go unpunished. She compared me to the boy who cried wolf. She said that if she was wrong she was sorry but I had been so sneaky and dishonest about so many things that she just couldn’t believe anything that I said.
I was devastated. Didn’t she know me well enough to know that I would not make up something like that? No she didn’t, the reality was that no one really knew me, the true me, the real me. People had no idea what I was capable of, what I felt, or what I thought. Here I go again taking the blame, believing her and feeling like the guilty one. Yes I was difficult and lied about where I had been and things like that but would never lie about being raped. How could she not believe her child; what was wrong with her?
I grew bitter and resentful I thought I’d never forgive her. From that day forward I began to behave even worse spiraling completely out of control. Anything my mother told me not to do I did with a vengeance with no care of the consequences or her feelings I was breaking her heart and I think that I wanted to hurt her. I wanted her to feel my pain, and wrath and to feel betrayed and unloved like I did.
After I was raped the guilt, shame, and self-disdain I felt was unspeakable. I went in that house I was not forced in, I liked these people, and I even had a crush on one of the guys and I believe that he knew it. Did I somehow make him think that I wanted it because I liked him?
Was my need to be a part of their group so strong? Did I bring this on myself? These questions beat me down daily for many, many years leaving me bruised, battered and broken. I felt like Humpty Dumpty must have felt when he fell off the wall and no one could put him back together, I was shattered into a million pieces.
I was in a desolate place lonely, depressed, & hopeless.
I existed safely behind the walls I built around my delicate heart sure that no one could get through, over, under, or around them because they were impenetrable. On the outside I seemed to be strong while inside I was weak and afraid. I became deceptive pretending not to be sad, afraid and mistrustful. What you saw was a pretty, smiley face mask that hid my deepest pain. The words that I spoke and the way that I looked were part of the costume that I had designed. I was so ashamed that I convinced myself that if others got a glimpse behind the mask they’d see all of the cracks in my walls.
I began overeating bingeing regularly. Food became my medication drug; my comfort; my distraction; my friend. However this friend became my enemy as I gained a tremendous amount of weight which opened me up to further embarrassment, humiliation and low self worth.
As the pounds packed on I’d berate myself along with my mother and others who teased me ruthlessly. My doctor put me on numerous diets that worked temporarily in taking off the weight that I’d regain and more on top of it but the real weight that I carried no diet could take away. What was seen on the outside was simply a symptom of what was on the inside.
I read an article written by a Psychologist who explained that oftentimes victims of abuse will attempt to destroy their physical selves as a means of self-protection. In other words if you do not find me attractive then you won’t desire to touch me in inappropriate ways. I found that statement profound and alarmingly true.
Do you blame yourself? Self blame led me to self hate/disdain, self hurt, drug addiction, overeating, and lack of trust and love. I spent much of my life listening to the voices in my head that said “you’re nothing, what you think and feel don’t matter” and I’ve hated and hurt myself more than anyone else ever could. I felt responsible for my abusers actions. I believed I was bad or guilty and felt ashamed. It didn’t help being told at a very young age that the molestation committed on me by my grandfather was my fault. I tried to figure out what I did or didn’t do or what I said or didn’t say that made this happen. I couldn’t come up with anything specific so I figured it was just me, my mere existence. As a result I willed myself invisible, rarely, spoke, moved, smiled, or laughed. If you could not hear or see me then you couldn’t hurt me. Right? I heard the words “it was your fault” over and over they played in my head as if a recording had been turned on and kept skipping and repeating. Even when no one was around to say the words I heard them, they were a constant reminder of what a bad girl I was. I decided that it was me against the world and that I had to look out for number one it was up to me alone to take care of and protect myself at all costs because no one else would. I became very quiet and introverted locked away within myself, emotionless. How else could I survive and somehow continue to live in this unfamiliar and cruel world that I now found myself in? I made the decision to disengage; I threw in the towel giving up emotionally, mentally and physically. I tried to no longer exist it was a kind of suicide a way of leaving a place that was too much for me to handle. I felt that I couldn’t be as I once was because that person was subject to being hurt and I swore that no one was going to hurt or control me ever again so I buried every familiar aspect of myself. I looked the same but was not, something was missing.
Though a little uneasy something inside of me wanted to trust and to believe that people didn’t want to do me harm if I let them get close. I wanted to know that someone I liked could like me enough to not hurt me. I went in hopeful and I was raped.
They warned me that if I told I’d be blamed and that my family would be angry with me and I believed them because I had already experienced my grandmother’s wrath in a similar situation and had been trained to stay silent and to believe that I was the wrong one and somehow deserved these things. I thanked God that there were no visible scars so no one had to know. I was dazed and beyond shocked and immediately tried to erase what had happened from existence.
Because I was so good at controlling my emotions I dried my tears, stilled my trembling and walked in the house without a word to my grandmother as though nothing had happened. She asked what took me so long and I don’t remember my response. I went immediately to the shower and scrubbed myself trying to wash away the feeling of their hands on my body. I wanted to scream but was afraid I’d be heard so I screamed in my head and as I turned off the water and it ran down the drain I imagined that the rape and my feelings went down the drain also. It never happened I told myself.
“When I kept silence, my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long” Psalm 32:3.
That day is committed to my memory. I can still remember their names and faces. I can see the clothes that I wore; light blue bell-bottomed, high-wasted pants, a white tank top and white platform shoes that were the style. They told me how much older I looked, how beautiful and sexy I was and yes I might have looked like a woman but nevertheless I was a mere child.
How does a 10 year old hold onto something so vile, so contemptible and traumatizing in silence? I sealed it in the vault deep within my soul that holds the painful, incomprehensible secrets, feelings, & thoughts that I couldn’t speak or think about. I’d never have to face them again, or so I thought. The reality is that abuse will surface in some form at some point.
I’m thankful for those rescued may they get the help, nurturing and love they surely need. Be at peace those of you that did not make it, I pray the pimps and abusers get what they deserve.
Let’s remind one another that we are not forgotten and no longer have to be silent, we are safe to speak out loud to one another.
Cleveland kidnapped women move from Victims to Survivors.
Resilience: Build skills to endure hardship
Resilience means being able to adapt to life’s misfortunes and setbacks. Test your resilience level and get tips to build your own resilience.
When something goes wrong, do you tend to bounce back or fall apart?
When you have resilience, you harness inner strength that helps you rebound from a setback or challenge, such as a job loss, an illness, a disaster or the death of a loved one. If you lack resilience, you might dwell on problems, feel victimized, become overwhelmed or turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance abuse.
Resilience won’t make your problems go away — but resilience can give you the ability to see past them, find enjoyment in life and better handle stress. If you aren’t as resilient as you’d like to be, you can develop skills to become more resilient.
Resilience means adapting to adversity
Resilience is the ability to roll with the punches. When stress, adversity or trauma strikes, you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning — both physically and psychologically. Resilience isn’t about toughing it out, being stoic or going it alone. In fact, being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of being resilient.
Resilience and mental health
Resilience offers protection from various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Resilience can also help offset factors that increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as lack of social support, being bullied or previous trauma. If you have an existing mental health condition, being resilient can improve your ability to cope.
Tips to improve your resilience
If you’d like to become more resilient, consider these tips:
- Get connected. Building strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Establish other important connections by doing volunteer work, getting involved in your community, or joining a faith or spiritual community.
- Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
- Learn from experience. Think back on how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify both positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your behavior in the future.
- Remain hopeful. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but you can always look toward the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. To restore an inner sense of peace or calm, practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer.
- Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems or try to wish them away. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
When to seek professional advice
Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. If you don’t feel you’re making progress — or you don’t know where to start — consider talking to a mental health provider. With guidance, you can improve your resiliency and mental well-being.