||National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
- Feature Article -
|EDITOR'S NOTE: Here are a few recent stories and feature articles from a variety of sources that are related to the kinds of issues we cover on our web site. They'll represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who've suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update this page regularly, bringing you just a few of the featured articles on the web site.
|| The Art of Processing
by Teresa Joyce, NAASCA representative in the United Kingdom
It's something that we all have to do daily to enable us to settle within that place surrounding our abuse, because there's no avoiding process, a place that we are taken whilst initiating our thoughts looking towards our recovery. The speed or manner in which we do so is so completely varied and it is as individual as we are and it's to be expected.
We'll all go through this procedure in a way in which we are able to digest and absorb and in a time frame that suits us, there is no hurrying the wind or pushing the tide it's what's right for us and our ability to face that in which we find ourselves faced with.
We cannot expect any help to be available within this situation because that's just not how it works, no one could hope to work with you at the exact speed that suits when it doesn't suit them and their own speed of travel. In essence, our mental processing is just that it's ours and unfortunately eventually that's where the buck stops because it has to.
Let's concentrate here on two of the different approaches in which we as individual's deal with our abuse and an analogy thrown in for good measure.
We had to find some sort of placement some type of filing system within, we had to gain some type of control indeed any control and that truly was the one that we had in the bag. We could choose as to when or how we processed our abuse and within a place the power taken from our abuser. At least we were able to make that choice of just how we faced that mental entanglement of acceptance or reached a settlement within, if our abuser ever thought we would follow their direction in that area it would have been farcical and unachievable that they couldn't take.
But to be honest, why would they even care or think about us long enough to wonder just how we would do so? How would we cope with our memories of our child abuse? They simply weren't bothered it was never in their agenda and the scars that they left behind within that child were never even recognised.
There are many pits falls in our processing whether we take our time in dealing with our thoughtfully reached decision, or if we arrive there with exhilarated speed and the procedure required quickly completed. Either way, we are not going to find it easy but nothing has ever been easy right? But we are still here. Whether you compare yourself to the tortoise in the vision above or the hare. If our way of dealing with our abuse takes us a long time to complete well then it does, although at times we may feel that we run the risk of overthinking. If we arrive at its end seemingly in a dash for the finish line, do we then question ourselves as to have we really thought things through really dealt with them?
So, there we sit corundum in hand looking for our truth and struggling towards pure thought, hoping this little gemstone will provide the answers we seek. Just to clarify corundum is a gemstone that imparts power luck wisdom and peace.Let's discuss this a little further using only two examples of how we deal with our abuse and a metaphor thrown in for good measure.
If we were to compare ourselves to the tortoise seen in the image above then our processing and movement is an arduous task, we play things over and over in our mind each time we seem to arrive at a different decision. We just don't trust our own judgement as we second guess every thought never fully accepting, that the decision we have at last decided upon is the right one.
Around and around we go on what seems to be a never-ending loop, never really sure trusting or gaining control of our emotions with the need to feel safe paramount so just what is our next move? We are just not sure and back we go into the loop it seems to be the only solution things like this can't be rushed.
The hare is a different matter it's never been one for sitting still unable to wait for the starting pistol to go off, it wants to run so what's the hold up? Their thought processing is at least ten steps ahead of the tortoise grasping at each thought easily, whilst continual sieving each one so quickly it's astounding as it passes through their mind. Each emotion or question is dealt with at great speed as it moves forwards inviting another, their well-oiled system at least from the outside can be a little envied.
Just how do they make it seem so easy? How is it possible to move through their emotions so directly and positively, whilst keeping an upright stance and seemly in complete control? How is that even possible?
Okay. In truth what we see and what is really happening is only ever known to us, and it's something that we chose at a very early age in order to survive. In essence, one choice could have been to sit within our abuse and deal with it on a conscious level, because somehow we were not able to make that emotional run from our mind. Or did we choose the second not to stay there long enough to allow this deep emotional abuse to take hold, so we learnt how to run from within away from our mind, in essence, we were really not there at all. It sure must have been a difficult choice between the two but I guess choice does not apply here, but you get my meaning I'm sure we had to learn how to survive whichever way we chose to do so.
Anything is possible within the mind of an abused child even capture or escape, because both things can mean something completely different in the eyes of the child concerned. What I impart here is that neither or either will work we all deal with our abuse in the only way we can, although from afar other people's choices of coping seem to baffle us. But we don't need to understand or indeed compare our differences. Choose that which works for you and it does not need to conform to another it just is.
Of course, there are so many other abusive memories dealt with differently than the two examples I have talked about above but I'm sure you get my gist. We are who we are and that's enough without the need for an explanation, so we have to do things our way because another's way may not be the right way for you. We can only work within our own abuse so who cares if you are the tortoise or the hare? If I remember that story correctly it's not that straightforward as to who will win through, but it's not a case of winning it's a case of movement at whatever speed we need to take us towards our recovery.
Child abuse affects every child uniquely because their situation is always unique guided by many things, their living situation or whom their abuser may be, the type of abuse or the severity, just how prolonged, or whether they are believed or supported. Or could they do nothing more than to remain silent in a world of pain? Some may have even suppressed their memories never allowing them to rise to the point of awareness, and that is completely understandable because they were not able to cope with the aftermath. This can happen as an unintended subconscious consequence and the abuse can lay buried deep within for a very long time, until something happens that triggers that deep awakening completely overwhelming the consciousness.
At times we must all sit and wonder just how our life may have been without the trauma of our abuse, this thought is within the mind of any abused child but that will never bear us any fruit. We have to move on or stay within the pain and until we do so we are stuck. So we need to plant a new fruit tree one that we can see through to fruition, in doing so we learn there is a different orchard in which we can learn to grow.
Eventually, we come to understand that all fruit trees grow at a different rate, but in time they will all stand tall, their branches will then bow from the sheer weight of its fulfilled fruit. There are so many analogies that can be used within this piece around our abuse and I have imparted but one, whilst trying to stay away from the textbooks they may have been read many times. But in essence, they all point towards the same conclusion that in time we can all move past our abuse, we can learn to live a happy and fulfilled life in which our abuse is finally and firmly in the past.
We can't or even won't forget because that's just not possible, but we can put it back where it firmly belongs at our abuser's feet. Even if we feel that they will not have the knowledge that we have done so because we do so for ourselves, it should never be for them they have already taken to much we don't need to allow them more.
To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be, but always be you.