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04

June, 2019

I am an adult survivor of childhood trauma

My Personal Journey As An Adult Survivor Of Childhood Trauma.

It is my intention to begin breaking down the barriers of shame and guilt by sharing my personal journey as an adult survivor of childhood trauma.

These barriers seem to surround adult survivors for decades after the abuse ends.

My apologies if this is difficult to read

We may find ourselves living in isolation when it comes to the abuses inflicted on us as innocent children.
As survivors, we tend to cover for our abusers. We tend to protect the ones who hurt us. Not because we think they were right, but because we developed an extreme fear of exposing them.

Many of us were not emotionally capable of blaming them as children. Instead, we accepted that it was our own fault. In this way, we inherited a mysterious sense of responsibility for what was done to us.

Talking about the conditions we endured and the ways we found to survive those conditions is traumatic.
It often creates a sense of misplaced guilt and shame.

We are not guilty of abusing ourselves. We did not deserve to be treated with such disregard for our health and well being.

 

So, having said that here is my story:

 

I was removed from my biological family at age 4 and was with my younger brother until I was 7 years old. Together, we went through 11 or 12 foster homes. We suffered incredible neglect and abuse.

Then it was decided that we needed to be separated.
We were considered ‘too close’ and unable to bond with a new family because of our background together.

Me and my baby brother

At 8 years old, I was adopted by a ruthless woman who ruled the family with bullying, aggressiveness and a cunning intelligence.
She ran a foster care home by vocation and I became her slave.
Her husband, my foster father, was a carpenter by trade. He was emotionally unavailable and rarely communicated with me.

My adopted mother insisted that I call her mom. So, I will use that term (loosely) to identify her throughout this story.

We once had over 10 babies present in diapers. This was back before Pampers and canned formula!
I cleaned, changed diapers, prepped dinner, fed babies, sterilized bottles, scrubbed floors, cut grass and did the many other tasks that were assigned to me.

Mom tortured me with unspeakable beatings, spiritually and emotionally brainwashed me and psychically abused me.

I often went to school with my hair caked in blood.
It was the age of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

I discovered I could use the pink attic insulation as a blanket!

 

There were several years when I spent my summers and after school locked in the attic cubbyhole. This was after endless chores and being beaten and slapped around. I was forced to endure extreme temperatures with no water in the summer, not even a sweater in the winter. I once was so cold that I tried to cover up with Christmas wrapping paper!

My religious training

 

One of moms favorite activities for me was to stand on my toes up against the basement wall. I had to stay there until I completed writing ‘I must not be lazy” 1000 times.

Over the course of one summer, I was forced to kneel on Lego building blocks and read the bible out loud.

For hours and hours on end.

She beat me if she could not hear me from anywhere in the house.

This was not a small bible, but the big family kind that weighs several pounds.

Mom would repeatedly drill into my head that I was evil. She told me I would grow up to become a junkie prostitute, like my real mom.

I was told while being beaten that I was fathered by the devil.

I was accused of being boy crazy and a two bit whore long before I knew what that meant.

Girl First Communion Catholic

Image by Annalise Batista from Pixabay

She was an excommunicated Catholic due to marrying a divorced man. Even so, she insisted we practice this religion and attend Mass.

I believed myself to be in a state of mortal sin and knew I going to hell by the tender age of 8.

This is how I began offering my pain and suffering to God.

I desperately wanted forgiveness. At the same time, I wanted to be like the saints of the church, to offer my pain for the benefit of a broken world.

There is so much more, but I think it’s enough to paint a picture.

Finally, when I was 15 I screwed up my courage and made a move. She had beaten me with a baseball bat and I felt like I was near death.

I began hitchhiking away from that life.

Offering my services as a live in babysitter for young couples provided me with food and shelter.

I bounced around this way until I was old enough to waitress at small restaurants.

Of course I was taken advantage of by strangers, but they actually spent some time trying to gain my trust first.

This was the most respect I had experienced in my entire life.

I thought they cared because of the hugs, compliments and kind words.

It was then that I began treating my unhappiness and confusion with drugs and alcohol.

During the 70’s, drugs were everywhere being cheaply distributed.

The after-effects of this on my mental health was devastating.

 

It is not too hard to understand that I suffered from anxiety, depression, fatigue and  emotional disorders.

The term they now use is PTSD.

That endless search for love, acceptance and approval landed me in early motherhood.

Regrettably, my first child, my oldest daughter, was adopted.

I was all too aware that taking care of a child financially and emotionally was beyond my abilities.

I was not able to care for myself!

This was still another trauma and I grieved for my baby; silently and alone. The guilt, shame and horror or giving her up filled me with despair.

I still could not fully comprehend that I was still being traumatized and abused.

The childhood trauma and programming was cemented . It directed every decision I made.

It wasn’t long after that I met and married a pretty good guy.

 

We raised our two youngest children with our best efforts.

We bought a nice home in the suburbs.  For awhile, things seemed to be improving. We had hobbies and friends and tried to be good parents.

adult survivors of childhood trauma

Sadly, this developed into a co-abusive relationship.

Neither of us is without blame.

Realistically, I was so damaged that it was impossible to act or react in a rational way.

When we were together, we often drank and had terrible arguments. We could not understand what was wrong with me, with us, with everything.

 

I searched for answers; therapists, testing, brain scans, even hypnosis.

 

It was around this time that I developed digestive issues. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) was the diagnosis. 

That was the only diagnosis I ever got from months of diagnostic testing. It offered no solutions, no treatments and the cause was unknown. Aside from it being stress related, they did not know what caused it.

There was an attempt made to get me on antidepressant medication.

My instincts told me that was not the answer, but I tried them out of sheer desperation.

What I found was that the drugs made the people around me happier with my behavior. The problem was that it suppressed my emotions. 

I felt even worse on the inside. So, as so many do I stopped taking them.

The only way for me to blow off the unrelenting pressure inside me became inappropriate behavior.

Emotional explosions, passive aggression, obsessive activities, drinking binges and bouts of religious fervor.

Without these survival techniques, I found myself trapped with the pain and seriously wanting to die.

I stopped using most drugs when I became a mother. Using an occasional tranquilizer was about all I dared.

Marijuana made me terribly paranoid, so that was never an option.

Alcohol became my friend.

Why Childhood Trauma May Be The Hidden Enemy Behind Chronic Stress

I began gaining weight and craving comfort food between drinking binges.

 

Tired, depressed, anxious, claustrophobic, emotionally stressed; I could not feel comfortable in my life.

There was a persistent inner voice constantly belittling me. That voice made me feel guilty for being alive.

It convinced me that everyone else was better, smarter and superior to me.

I knew that being an adult survivor of childhood trauma had everything to do with all this! It I just seemed beyond my ability to find any form of help that felt safe.

My marriage ended after 17 years. I suffered more guilt, shame and abandonment.

I had to sell my beautiful home and move into a trailer park.

Self treating my depression with alcohol, I worked too hard for too many hours and stayed up too late.

Sleep deprivation and grief over my lost life became a persistent and driving force.

I discovered Alcoholics Anonymous during this time.

Alcoholics Anonymous became my only option at this point and I got myself sober. One day at a time.

I began to reevaluate my religious conditioning. This was vital to my recovery.

I discovered ways to manage anxiety and other problems without alcohol.

I began educating myself about adult survivors of childhood trauma. It was a relief for me to learn that the emotional impact is known and documented.

Discovering this information set me on a journey to find ways to manage the damages.

This was where I began to find hope.

 

The wound is the place where the light enters you
Rumi

 

I was sober for about 18 months when I met my husband and my best friend.

I met my second husband in 2000. He is also a recovering alcoholic and had around 20 years of sobriety when I met him.

He is my best friend and we enjoy a loving and mostly peaceful relationship.

We had some wonderful first years together!

Even though our life was not perfect during these years, we were happy.

We had financial stability and enjoyed a close friendship and true romance.

There were vacations and  lots of fun activities. 

Spending quality time with family and especially with the grand-kids became our central focus. Being childless, he loved that he was an official Grandpa!

We would take them on camping trips and vacations. It was common for us to have them a week or so several times a year. 

Life was good.

Then came trauma of the sort nobody should have to endure.

It was at this time that my youngest son completed suicide at 26 years old.

I went down hard.

Once again, I found myself facing off with religious dogma and despair.

Blaming myself and reliving my entire life. It was so bad, I found myself questioning things I had done as a child.

I wondered if actions taken at every point in my life had caused this to happen.

I was responsible. It was my fault. I knew I had let him down.

Convinced that I was a failure as a mother and as a human being, I was  destroyed emotionally.

Adult survivors of childhood trauma

My son’s funeral

I found myself screaming at God and at life.

The rage I felt is nearly unfathomable.

My childhood wounds were once again exposed. All of the trauma poured back into my mind, my heart and my spirit.

So many times I would crumble to the floor with sorrow.  I actually felt the tentacles of his roots being pulled from my heart, my body and my spirit.

I fought it hard, but of course I lost the battle. My precious son was taken from me.

This was an ongoing and severe for quite a few years.

My husband, my children, grandchildren and myself all rallied around each other.

We did what we could to comfort and support each other. Our priority was to simply keep ourselves functional.

My son was so proud of my sobriety. It was in honor of his love and respect that kept me from falling back into alcoholism.

I also began attending a support group at:


The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

 

This is a fellowship of people in all walks of life who have lost a loved one in this way.

I found a family there and will be forever grateful for the love, compassion and healing that is offered by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Over the years since my son’s passing, I have experienced countless psychic interactions with him.

The first was 8 days after his passing. He connected to me and ‘downloaded’ his state of mind at the time of his passing.

He gifted me as well with all the love and compassion he still carries for me.

He has been guiding me on my journey ever since and I trust him completely.

It is a form of trust I have never experienced on a spiritually before his passing.

I took a course on Afterlife Connections. It was through this course that I learned how to communicate with him in the afterlife

We enjoy a beautiful garden that is always accessible. We can sit and talk or just be together.

This, of course, does not fix anything.

He is still gone from this world.

I will always grieve that loss, but I am not without connection to him. 

This spiritual interaction is my salvation.

It is now my mission to support other adult survivors of childhood trauma.

I know firsthand the forces we are up against as an adult survivor of child abuse and trauma. This has become my calling and my vocation.

There will always be traumatic events in our lives.

The problem is that childhood trauma leaves us ill equipped to hold up under the pressure. There is a weakness in the structure. This weakness is not a fatal flaw however, it can be supported. 

Adult survivors of childhood trauma

Image via Pixabay

For the purposes of spiritual healing, I became a Reiki Master/Teacher and Healer in the Usui system of natural healing.

I went back to school and spent years learning to create and teach coaching programs and courses.

Becoming certified as an Integrative Lifestyle Coach, I learned how to use self care meditations, positive mindset practices and energy healing to combat self sabotage. 

It is important to quiet the voice of misplaced guilt and shame.

I also educated myself on our current political, marketing and environmental issues.  These issues affect our food supply, natural resources, social structure and nutrition quality.

They have a profound effect on how manipulated we are as a society and how dependent we are on it for our education and survival.

I discovered that damaged people are a thriving source of income that drives our economy.

There are a lot of resources and avenues of healing that are unused, ignored and even suppressed. This is primarily due to the fact that they cannot be bought and sold on Wall Street.

My specialty is supporting women who are adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse.

Together, we uncover the forces that may be keeping you trapped in negative thought and causing self sabotage of your wellness objectives.

Being an adult survivor of child abuse is woven into the fabric of our foundation. It rarely, if ever ends when we become free from the abuser(s). 

However, we can learn to  manage the lingering effects with positive mindset, meditation, intentional self care and other very useful tools, practices and disciplines.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read about my story.

My decades of suffering is mainly due to a lack of information.

Millions of troubled adults have endured and survived childhood trauma.

They are suffering from symptoms and side effects due to unresolved self esteem injuries.

I spent so many years feeling isolated!

Only recently have I been discovering the massive number of those who have endured childhood trauma.

Many addictions, including food, substances, obsessive behaviors and self sabotage are rooted in childhood trauma and abuse.

We can overcome the roadblocks and obstacles to emotional well being!

Knowledge is power and our body, mind & spirit instantly recognizes and responds to positive energy. It is a truly miraculous experience.

 

You are not alone!