For First Time Visitors

If you are a first time visitor to this blog, I invite you to start from the beginning, especially if you are unfamiliar with the potential emotional impact of long-term child abuse.

Trigger caution to unhealed survivors!

Understanding the Incomprehensible

Children of incest or long-term sexual abuse grow up to be wounded adults with complicated emotional issues. Unfortunately, some symptoms are misinterpreted or often dismissed as "crazy", only serving to maintain a tormented victim status. We, as a society, have the power to change this dynamic. Each of us can make a difference.

Sep 2, 2008

Fear factor

Fear is not a sufficiently strong word for situations in which a child is placed to create terror. Terror is a necessary factor to ensure dissociation. Terror is also the means for creating the trauma memory that locks in components of the intentionally bizarre and incomprehensible abuse. Fear of telling is so embedded into the brains of victims, the level of panic when the abuse is remembered brings up more terror than most can possibly imagine. What may appear as paranoia to someone who wakes from a life of amnesia from years of abuse is coming from threats and horrific experiences where the victim may have tried to tell or was placed in to reinforce what would happen if she told.

It doesn't matter whether elements were real or not real. Organized pedophiles have access to extreme technology. They were using virtual reality long before it was known to the greater world. If you have ever experienced virtual reality, you can understand why a child would believe they just witnessed something "real". This is not to minimize any survivor's memory of actual horror. As a survivor, I'm saying I really don't know what was real or manufactured to appear real. What is absolutely genuine are the emotions of tremendous fear of a perp (if recalled), fear of perps coming to lock up those who remember *and never get out because whatever you tell they will think you are crazy*, fear of an abuser showing up on your doorstep and killing you. I probably spent several months in that heightened state of fear/paranoia and have residual PTSD after many years of healing.

A therapist's job is to help provide the client with coping skills to work through the emotions and provide new messages of current life safety and view the child messages "through adult eyes". Healing from the terror is the main objective. Imagine not having ever felt safe in your lifetime. Many survivors have no crossover of fear into their conscious lives. The best scenario is that the fear/anxiety/panic attacks do crossover so the individual seeks therapy. Learning coping skills for anxiety is helpful for survivors when that tremendous fear wells up if/when they begin to remember. If that component isn't in place, it is difficult for a survivor to *hear* coping skills while in a state of panic.

For many, a compassionate therapist knowledgeable in working with that level of fear becomes the first safe person. The therapist's office may become the first safe place. Becoming that first connection to safety is an honor and also essential to healing.