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Secondary Depression in Childhood

I am her...

The cause of secondary depression in childhood is the absorbed emotional pain from a loved one suffering from chronic trauma, abuse or neglect. Children are emotionally connected to their mother in-utero – what she feels, they feel. They are emotional sponges and when a loved one is in chronic emotional pain they suffer just as deeply as if the pain was their own.

Many children become highly empathetic at a young age and highly sensitive to the suffering of others.

 

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Thinking About Writing A Book

Creating Balance ~ The Bigger Picture Of Healing 

After the experience with my daughter, I feel quite serious about writing a book about my life and what I have learnt in relation to healing.

It will be educational and not solely about day to day abuse or finger pointing. Rather it’s main focus will be on spiritual, emotional and physical understanding of healing and the balance needed between our masculine and feminine sides by using examples.

It’s a book about, the bigger picture.

We need to create the balance within us in order to heal, and then by using our hard earned wisdom together with our logic, we can unlock our full potential and use this to help heal an unbalanced world.

We all have this gift and that power within us. But being powerful in a potentially dangerous world is what scares us the most.

I’m no gifted writer like the many that are here on WordPress, so it will be challenging and a big undertaking, but even if it never gets published I think it’s something I need to do.

I thought about it in the past but it felt a daunting task. It’s complex and a great deal to put together and think about. I wrote 28 pages once for my lawyer and I was triggered and sick for weeks afterwards, so focusing too much on my specific abuse is not what I’m going to do, or want to do.

It’s definitely going to be a very slow process. Being free to work on it while I’m travelling would be awesome.

I may write under a pseudonym, but I’ll see once I start and just how in depth I decide to go. I feel this book has the potential to change the way mental health is viewed. (Thinking big haha)..

I haven’t had the courage to write about my spiritual experiences here on WordPress, but I will in this book. As part of my healing I delved into ancestral history, and the roles or archetypes played by our ancestors and how they are repeated in the present through our DNA.

So it will relate to each person’s perspective/ experience at different times historically.

Studying generational abuse, the origin of the cycle, and the spiritual reason why people abuse, history repeating, roles repeating etc..

Ultimately it’s going to be about education, spiritual healing and fearlessly unlocking your potential.

Love & baby steps

SG x

 

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Unfuckwithable

Unfuckwithable… I’m not quite here yet.. especially in regards to my children.

Only yesterday something my adult daughter wrote bothered me greatly and I didn’t sleep well. I feel hurt and angry, I have a migraine today.

I can’t afford to get sick or stressed, I need to keep moving forward so I’m trying not to dwell emotionally and instead stay focused on what I need to do. I’m trying to put this pain to one side. But it lingers.

Maybe writing about it will help.

I cannot control what my daughter writes or feels but she wrote about her childhood publicly, on facebook and to be published as part of a book.

After she had already written it, and it was posted, she emailed me to tell me she hoped it wouldn’t offend me. I lied and told her I was fine with it .. but I’m not.. I’m not fine at all. I feel broken.

I want to tell her I’m hurt that she wrote this publically, that I’m angry she dealt with my cousin who has a secret agenda all her own, but instead I told her that I was proud of how far she had come… why… because I felt that’s what I should do… she’s my daughter..

I wrote and told her I was sorry for her pain, and that it was never my intention for any baby of mine to have an unhappy childhood, and she replied saying she knows it wasn’t my fault.

I fully believe she has a right to a voice, but another part of me is angry because my manipulative cousin instigated it, and it hurt that she publicized her story.

After reading the story, I never defended myself because I know this was about her life, her voice, her healing .. not mine.

I am here to give her a voice, not silence her as my family did to me. I know the pain of that.

I also know I did the very best job I could as a mother considering my circumstances, and that my daughter will never know the extent of what I have been through in my life. Conceived by rape, seriously emotionally abandoned neglected as a child, sexually abused at 2, drugged and raped at 15, married to a covert narcissist at 18 until 43 years old when I escaped him, chronic fatigue syndrome for 20 + years, C-PTSD, burnout, chronic depression, a spiritual emergency, alienated from my children, regression therapy, abuse and trauma therapy, years of searching for answers, an autoimmune disorder.. the list goes on.

If only she knew how exhausted I am and how hard I fought to heal, to break the cycle of abuse, to escape my marriage and my family so her life could be better than mine.

Even now I’m still fighting to survive.

I respect her reality in her own words and I want her to heal. She didn’t lie but her total focus was on the negative, not a word on anything good.

I guess that hurts a great deal because I feel I tried with all my strength to create good memories. Maybe the bad ones just overshadowed them.

I want to heal too, but we differ as I would never publicly shame my parents. That wouldn’t heal me.

A good deal of her focus was on her narcissistic father but also on my passivity.. if only she knew his true capabilities and how terrified I was. I had to tread carefully to escape.

I have been livid at my parents, they have hurt me greatly and I have zero contact with them. I have written about my them, my family and my childhood on this blog but my blog is anonymous.

Public shaming hurts, she is young, she doesn’t understand the full story. We had been talking in great detail lately and had healed the past. I had suggested to start an anonymous blog of her own and write her heart out.. didn’t quite expect this, but I know my cousin did and that she got her when she was vulnerable.

I’ll survive these feelings. Right now I feel battered all over again and betrayed, what’s left of my heart is so shattered. Will I ever be that beautiful light woman I once was. I can feel a bitterness in me. Too much pain, too much betrayal.

I am so tired, and I guess I feel triggered. I will try to remind myself this is not personal, this is about her not me.. but today I could happily curl up and sleep forever.

We go through so much don’t we.

I have 3 more children to go, 3 more with pent up anger who will need to heal..

I’m a long way off being unfuckwithable..

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The Real Cause Of Madness/ Extreme States..

.. Bad things happen and they fuck you up.

Abuse

Neglect

Trauma

Poverty..

 John Read, one of the leading researchers in the world speaks on what causes madness/extreme states. His central conclusion of his thirty years of research into the psycho-social causes of psychosis is “bad things happen and they fuck you up”. Trauma in all its forms are listed. The medical/disease model and DSM are relegated to the dustbin of history.

Worth the watch SG x

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Where To Find Support..

… when you have no money, no family, or no friends

Many of us have been neglected our entire lives and are used to surviving on our own, we are used to having no support and we are used to being neglected. We almost expect it, so we continue alone, hoping we can change things alone. We can be too passive and get over-looked. We all need capable support. People who are healed and that can support us in practical ways. People who believe in us and help us believe in ourselves again. People who can get us back into fighting mode. The key is to actively look.

Below are some ideas for where to find support..

Can't do this alone. by noukka

Women’s Centres/Men’s Centres – Essential!I pay only $15 for a counsellor and she’s wonderful. Great advice and support.

 Domestic Abuse phone lines – they are kind, experienced and will chat through and give advice on any problems (even after you got away from your abuser), give you ideas and put you through to other free support in your area.

Online Websites – Depression/ mental health websites, Abuse & Women’s Shelters, Facebook closed groups (Mental Health, Spiritual Emergencies, Highly Sensitive People, Narcissism) – ask around for advice on forums or chat rooms

Citizen’s Advice Bureau – legal questions, any question, also access to other forms of free support

Faith – Yep God, faith and prayer.. excellent support but remember God helps those that help themselves. So have faith AND take action.

Peer support (qualified) – talk to your doctor

Meetup.com groups in your area – (Anxiety groups cover mental health issues).. meetup is more social groups.

Your doctor can advise you of free talk therapy if you’re depressed etc.. There are agencies (other than Mental Health) that offer Government funded support for serious depression or inability to cope.

Any other ideas welcome…

The key is not to give up! Don’t give up if you have no money because you’re on a benefit – there is always free help. Don’t give up when your doctor isn’t helpful or doesn’t understand the depth of your issues, find another Doctor, don’t give up when the counsellor you go to isn’t a fit, keep looking, keep asking.

The key is to actively keep looking until you find the right people to build you up.

SG x

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Recovery From Abuse And Dysfunction

“Because of all I have gone and am going through, there may be times when I feel like I have little or no energy. During these times, I will be gentle with myself. I have been through a lot. I need time to recover. I will remember that having an abuser removed is major surgery of the soul. I need time to heal, and I need rest. It is okay for me to let myself take it easy.”

~ J.R Smith

http://myvintagebookcollectioninblogform.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2015-05-03T04:00:00-04:00:

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Addiction And Recovery

Choosing Life

My Addiction

In reality all addictions are the same. Same basis just a different vice.

My addiction was sugar. Sounds innocent doesn’t it.. some would argue whether it’s a true addiction. But for some sugar is poison and as addictive as any other drug. Sugar addiction is cruel and complex because you have to eat every day and food is everywhere. Sugar is not just the white stuff we put in coffee, it’s all simple carbohydrates, it’s everything processed. Overcoming sugar addiction means making choices on everything you eat to avoid high highs and low lows..

In my case I ate for a taste of happiness. I ate for joy. I ate to forget. I ate to numb. I ate to avoid. I ate so I didn’t really have to live my miserable existence.

My weight fluctuated like crazy and my esteem dropped. Stress and binge eating went hand in hand for at least 25 years. If I wasn’t overeating I was dieting and overspending.

It started as a psychological addiction and as I became more unwell developed into a physical addiction as well.

I was seriously depressed. I was lethargic. I slept a lot to avoid living. It was a torturous cycle and in the end I got very very sick.

It was hellish slow death, and the saddest thing was I didn’t even know I was addicted I just thought I was a failure. I never got seriously overweight, I yo-yoed dress sizes. My life was constant binge period/ diet period then as the physical addiction took hold became binge period / detox period

What It Taught Me

By the time you hit rock bottom the addiction has pushed you (whether by a health crisis or major loss) to make a simple choice..

Do you choose to live or do you choose to die?

It pushes you to start figuring out your life, to start healing the pain.

You ask questions.. Why do I behave like this? Why does this substance have control over me? Why am I not happy? What do I need? Who can I trust to help me?

This is the point where real change starts to happen. In choosing to heal you are choosing to live well.

Allowing yourself the time to make the changes you need for your well-being is essential. For me that meant big changes –  initially safely separating myself from my psychologically abusive partner (we stayed together as a couple but lived separately for the first few years), not working for many years while I worked on my physical, emotional and spiritual health and recovery which involved long term talk therapy, childhood regression therapy and the eventual divorce from my husband and my birth family.

Although the big picture of these changes felt overwhelming and terrifying, I thank God the recovery was so slow .. purposefully slow in order for me to overcome my fears one at a time each step of the way.. sometimes with support, often alone but always in baby steps.

During those years I couldn’t believe how long it took but I had a lot of fears and a lot to recover from, there really was no other way.

Self compassion and patience are essential.

How recovery from addiction happens

For me initially it was less about will power and more about the slow development of self compassion and self love.

I needed support, someone who had experienced similar to what I had been through and had the courage to heal. I found that in a great therapist.

How I found her… I’ve never been religious but I’m pretty sure desperate and a sobbing mess I dropped to my knees, surrendered to God and prayed for him to send me someone who would understand me, what I was going through and be just what I needed.

Shortly after that I met Faith (a counsellor and yes her real name :o)

I thought it would take 6 months of seeing her… I saw her weekly for 5 years.

I was not in a good financial position at the time, but somehow I found the money. I never missed a session because I knew it would be an investment in the long run.

Being supported by those that listen to your story, have compassion and understand you, builds your self esteem.

Because of my personal story (there were things that happened to me in my very early childhood that I didn’t know/ remember) I went on after Faith and saw other therapists to heal those parts of my life and also a very good naturopath for my physical health (I had M.E) – not all the therapists were the best choices but even that teaches you something.

As you slowly heal the pain you have compassion for yourself and stop doing things that hurt you, it doesn’t happen suddenly, it happens gradually. The bingeing, drinking, food, smoking, self medicating  etc.. becomes less and less frequent. You stop socializing with people that hurt you or hurt themselves repeatedly (you’d now prefer to be alone than with self destructive people). During this transition/ healing stage you spend a lot of time alone as you start to respect yourself, your body, your health, your emotions, your instincts and your needs.

You are starting to love yourself and you don’t want or deserve your mind, body and soul to hurt anymore. You’ve been hurt enough in life. You are now experiencing some good feelings and come across some good, brave and caring people (in the past you never believed these people existed only because you were surrounded by dysfunction). Getting healthy means meeting like-minded healthy people, it means having the courage to step out of that unhealthy old system you were trapped in.

You can’t change the system while you’re still in it.

When you’re in pain you can now recognize and process who or what triggered your distress. You are now kind and gentle on yourself when you are hurting, and you now know who/ what is good for you and who/ what is not.

You are learning how to care for yourself, emotionally, spiritually and physically. You are learning what feels good.

You find new, kind and healthy ways of coping with life stressors. Your past is now over, and you grow to fully love yourself.

There is hope for a better future.

I love this that Elizabeth Gilbert posted today,

“May every step of your journey be blessed, and may you be braver than you ever knew you could be. But most of all, may you offer limitless patience to yourself along the way.

Changing your life is hard, and — like all hard things — it requires love and endurance. But you are worthy, and you are strong, and you can do this”.

Courage, love & baby steps,

SG x

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When Relationship Abuse Is Hard To Recognize

COERCIVE CONTROL

Signs of coercive control are hard to spot; support and information will help.

Great campaign from @CitizensAdvice

By Lisa Aronson Fontes

Paybacks. Silent Treatment. Isolation. Threats. Humiliation. Sometimes even physical abuse. These are the weapons of coercive control, a strategy used by some people against their intimate partners. A relationship that should involve loving support ends up as a trap designed for domination. Although coercive control can show up in a variety of relationships, the most common is one in which a man uses coercive control against his wife or girlfriend. However, people of any gender and orientation(link is external) can be victims or victimizers.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive and coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, verbal and psychological attacks used to control an intimate partner or family member. Without intervention, violence typically escalates in frequency and severity. safehaventc.org:

People subject to coercive control grow anxious and afraid. Coercive control strips away their independence, sense of self, and basic rights, such as the right to make decisions about their own time, friends, and appearance.

Many men who use coercive control also abuse partners physically or sexually, but some use coercive control without physical violence. Outsiders may not be able to see the signs of coercive control in a couple; those who use it are often quite charming.

 (Do you know someone who is being controlled in this way? Do you wonder if your relationship is too controlling? Here’s a checklist(link is external) from my book, Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship(link is external).)

Victims of coercive control often feel like hostages. Over time, being grilled, criticized, stalked, and monitored may seem routine and inescapable. Victims often blame themselves as they feel despairing and disoriented. It’s easy for a person in this position to lose confidence and accept a partner’s view of reality. They may feel confused as they are told again and again that they themselves have triggered their partner’s behaviors by doing something “wrong.” At the same time, to keep the peace, victims may suppress their own desires, silence their voices, and detach from loved ones. Unfortunately, victims often do not see the connection between their partner’s control and their own isolation until time has passed. Losing self-confidence and close relationships at the same time can be paralyzing.

People who get caught in the web of a controlling person are no different from others. They just have the bad luck to become involved with an abuser at a time when they are especially vulnerable. Typically, an abuser will lavish attention on a woman at the beginning of the relationship. Over time, he becomes jealous, monitors her whereabouts, and restricts her interactions with others. His partner thinks the original “helpful man” is the “real” him, and if she does things right, he’ll go back to being wonderful again. At times he may indeed act loving, if this seems like the best way to maintain his control. Loving acts become another controlling tactic.

Once a controlling man has caught a woman in his web, he will do everything he can to prolong the relationship. Sometimes he will threaten, stalk, assault, or even murder her if she leaves or he suspects she’s trying to leave. For this reason, even if there is no physical violence it is important for a person who is being controlled to contact a domestic violence agency and devise a safety plan.

Only a couple of decades ago, society named and recognized the problems of sexual harassment, dating violence, marital rape, and stalking. Coercive control needs to be similarly named and recognized, so we can begin to address it. We all need to learn more, so we can offer the right kinds of support(link is external) and not allow victims to become isolated.

* If you don’t like the word “victim,” feel free to substitute “survivor” or another term that you prefer. 

Interested in learning more? Check out my book, Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship(link is external).

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Hope In Healing

The Bigger Picture

The work of healing, letting go and moving forward is about self love.

It’s about creating a new beginning and the determination to change yourself and change your life. The healing process is hard and painfully slow but eventually you come to the point where you stop focusing on those that have caused you destruction, loss and pain.

People and actions that once consumed your thoughts and mind every minute of everyday now no longer take up so much space.

You feel clearer as the fog and confusion lifts. You can finally see the big picture.

You have had the strength to heal and the courage to completely remove yourself from the toxic people in your life whether they were family or friends. They are now simply part of your past, part of your tragic past but your past, and you are now completely free to create the future you deserve and fill it with healthy people.

After years of isolation you finally start to find like-minded, healthy and truly loving people :o)

You have developed faith, self love, and have hard earned wisdom. You are stronger and can now clearly see your own unique talents. You see that life can be fun, relaxed and joyous, and you become an inspiration for others to heal and grow, even those from your toxic past..

You have learnt how to truly care for yourself, your mind, your body, and your soul, and you fully trust yourself, your instincts and your feelings to know who is safe with your heart and who is not.

You are finally safe.

You know what nurtures your spirit and what or who robs from it and you know how to protect it.

Your depression lifts and your anxiety subsides as you can now envisage a healthy and happy future.

At this point in healing you regain your long lost energy and determination and motivation kicks in.

You deserve that great future and you are now able to positively and consistently work towards it :o)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s hard but never give up.

Every day you are moving forward no matter how slow it seems.

Be gentle on yourself.

Love & baby steps,

SG x

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Domestic Violence Victims Mistakenly Judged Unstable After Abuse

Trauma continues after someone leaves an abusive relationship, professor of general practice tells Victoria’s royal commission into family violence (Australia).

As a young girl, Alana Levinson struggled with the shame of her father's substance abuse.

The trauma suffered by domestic violence victims after leaving an abusive relationship meant family law court staff sometimes mistakenly judged them as psychologically unstable, a professor of general practice has told Victoria’s royal commission into family violence.

Kelsey Hegarty, a general practitioner who leads an abuse and violence research program at the University of Melbourne, told commissioners that psychological trauma continued long after someone left an abusive relationship.

It meant that when they appeared before a court to seek custody for any children involved, the fear and post-traumatic stress felt by victims could make them seem erratic, she said, while perpetrators appeared calm and rational by comparison.
“I think they have great difficulty telling a coherent story [to the court],” Hegarty said.

“They’ve taken a long time to name what has happened to them as family violence, so sometimes they appear chaotic or difficult or don’t give a linear story. It’s part of my job as a GP to help them to name that violence and give much more of a coherent story.

“But the problem is … they can look mentally unwell and sometimes those diagnoses by court-appointed psychiatrists and psychologists can be used against them in child custody disputes.”

Getting letters in the mail from a perpetrator’s solicitor could be enough to trigger flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety, Hegarty said. Often unable to access legal aid because they did not qualify or because such services were too stretched to help them, many victims had to navigate the legal system alone while still recovering from the violence, she said.

As the third week of public hearings drew to a close on Friday, the commission heard from legal experts about various ways in which court systems sometimes failed victims.

The counsel assisting, Luke Moshinsky, said the commission had heard from witnesses about how a combination of the state child protection system and the federal family law courts left some victims lost.

“One of the issues raised in a number of submissions is each system places different expectations on women on what it means to be a good or protective parent,” Moshinsky said.

“Child protection may expect her to prevent all contact with the abusive father, whereas the family court expects her to facilitate access to children, with the mother criticised for opposing this.”

Leanne Miller, the director of the west division of the Department of Child Protection, told the commission the department received 92,000 reports in one year, of which 25,000 were followed up. Of those, just over 4,000 went to court.

“Certainly we are involved with women and in all instances, we seek to preserve children within their family,” she said. “That’s the fundamental principle of the [Child Protection] Act.”

A lay witness who also gave evidence to the commission on Friday described how she was made to feel she was a “difficult ex-wife” when she phoned a Melbourne court to ask how to get an intervention order.

A court staff member asked the woman, who cannot be identified, if her lawyer had put her up to it, she said.

“I remember nearly hanging up,” she said. “The implication was there that I was being a difficult ex-wife.”

The woman said her case was not taken seriously until she explained her ex-husband had a gun and had made threats to kill her and her child.
The commission heard she was in an ongoing family court battle with the man, who lives interstate, over access to their child.

Legal fees have wiped out any savings she had on leaving the abusive relationship, and she does not feel it is safe to leave their child alone with him.

“I think there are enough test cases now,” she told the commission. “Rosie Batty is the most prominent, but there are many people in the same predicament.

“When people make a threat to kill a child, that doesn’t go away – it doesn’t go away because someone has done a six-week anger management course.

“In my opinion, supervised contact centres are needed from that point in time.”

The woman also said courts need a standard and supportive response for women who reach out for help, as she had done.|