If someone was abused as a child, they can be in a very bad way now that they are an adult. Like a car that has been in a massive accident, they won’t just have a few scratches; every part of them can be messed up.
So, their thoughts and emotions can be all over the place, their brain might not be functioning properly, and their body can be in pain. With so much going on, it can be more or less impossible for them to enjoy their time on this earth.
A Miserable Existence
Being on this earth is then not going to be seen as an opportunity; it will be seen as a punishment. But, due to the amount of pain one is in and how much they have suffered, how else would they be?
They could wonder how anyone could be happy on this earth. What is clear is that one needs to do something to change how they experience life, or else their life is only going to get worse.
Now, even though one was abused as a child, and this could mean that they were physically, verbally, emotionally and/or sexually abused, it doesn’t mean that they will realise this. One will then be in a bad way but they won’t necessarily be aware of why they are experiencing life in this way.
If this is so, it can show that their mind has blocked out what took place to protect them. They will then have all the symptoms of someone who was abused as a child, yet they won’t have the memories to back it up.
Too Much To Handle
This will show that they are carrying an incredible amount of pain, so much in fact that it could wipe them out if they were to face it. Therefore, although not remembering what took place will have stopped them from being able to heal, it will have kept them alive.
However, what is clear is that even though their mind has blocked out what took place, their life is still being affected by it. In a way, it is as if what took place is oozing out of every part of their being.
As a result of not being in touch with what took place, they can end up taking some kind of medication. This may deal with some of their symptoms, but it almost certainly won’t allow them to develop self-knowledge or enable deep healing to occur.
If they don’t go down this route, they could end up working with a cognitive behavioural therapist or someone similar. Once again, this could just be a time when they will focus on their symptoms and try to resolve them.
A Short-Term Solution
If this approach does work, what it may do is allow them to feel slightly better for a short period of time. Like a gardener that clears a garden by cutting off the top of the weeds, this approach won’t get to the root of anything.
So the progress that they do make will most likely be greatly appreciated, but if this approach doesn’t last, it could be even harder for them tolerate what is taking place. They will have had a taste of how different life can be, only to end up right back where they were before.
This approach can allow someone to disconnect from what is taking place in their conscious mind, pushing it down even further into their unconscious mind. The force that was used to push it down will then end up being the force that pushes all this pain back into their conscious mind further down the line.
Like an arrow that is pulled back, this pain will wait until it can spring back into their awareness. The trouble is that if one works with someone who believes that it is all about the mind and they come to believe this too, they won’t be able to see that they are repressing anything – they will simply be removing it.
The Next Step
If they are able to get beyond this stage, and even if they don’t take this route, they can hit another road block. Once they come to see why their life is the way it is and are able to join the dots, so to speak, they may find that they have the need to protect their caregiver/s.
It is then not going to be possible for them to get in touch with how they feel and to work through it, as their need to maintain the idealised image that they formed of their caregiver/s will keep them at a certain level. Protecting them is going to be more important than their own growth and healing.
One Level at a Time
This is not a problem per se, providing that one stays with this process and gradually gets to the point where they can see through the illusion that they have created. With the desire to heal, a curious mind and a good therapist, there is no reason why they can move beyond this stage.
Underneath their need to protect their caregiver’s can be the fear of being abandoned and/or harmed. With this in mind, the stronger they get, the easier it will be for them to face the reality of what took place.
In addition to the challenges that have been laid out here, there are many other things that can get in the way. What this shows it that healing from child abuse is rarely, if ever, a straight forward process.
Even so, if someone has had a rough childhood, it is essential that they reach out for support and don’t give up on themselves. Ultimately, what took place wasn’t their fault and they deserve to live a life that is worth living.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.