Tag Archives: impacts of abuse

Addiction – animated explanation of the science showing the source of addiction

Science now shows that the cause of addiction is not the addictiveness of the drugs themselves, but the underlying reasons for taking the drugs – the emotional pain, trauma, and disconnection/loneliness that users feel. The drugs are simply an escape mechanism to avoid feeling the pain and to feel connected to something. If as a society we help people to heal the pain, to feel connected to others and enjoy life, then the use of drugs will decrease. Love and connection is the answer.

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How to let go of disappointment and expect the best?

When a person has suffered many disappointments in life, they learn to switch off from life, from expecting good things or even believing it is possible for their life to work out okay. This is a self defense mechanism aimed to limit the pain received and protect from further disappointments.

But switching off from life, hope, faith is a disasterous thing to do, it is a giving up of life force energy, of joy, of hope, of happiness. It will inevitably lead to judgement, ridicule, low self-esteem, depression and feelings of unworthiness.

If the major traumas occurred when a young child, 0-7 years old, it is highly likely that a pattern of learned helplessness was embedded in the child’s unconscious and as an adult plays out constantly in all aspects of life, leaving the person feeling a victim, feeling unable to change anything and accepting life is always going to be this way.

With such pessimism life becomes drudgery, one boring or scary or threatening and dangerous day after another. It is easy to see why people may self medicate through addictions to avoid the emotional pain and sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

It is a cruel way to exist, it is a numbing out of life, a walking dead scenario, feeling as if there is no point in staying alive or trying to change anything, because it feels like it never works or changes, it never gets better.

This is a very painful place to be in internally, to feel this hurt and broken that you don’t know how to go on, how to survive, how to live. You give up trying and just survive one day at a time. Life is monotonous, bland, boring and suffocating. Sadly this is a common state of being for many people. Gladly, you don’t have to stay stuck in it.

You only feel so helpless because it is younger parts of you that got hurt and disappointed, whose pain is so high, that it is over ruling everything else. If you heal these wounds and help free your inner child or younger selves then that pain will not be your primary emotion or experience of life.

You the adult has every opportunity to make different choices, to have fun, to be positive and enjoy life. It is just hard to do when your vitality, your life force is stuck in the past, playing out a repetitive loop of negativity.

So how do you free yourself of the wounds? There are many ways that help. At this stage it is just important to know you can break free, that you can heal and that life can become better. To let a glimmer of hope exist.

Just because people in your past hurt you or disappointed you, doesn’t mean it has to reoccur over and over. If you heal the wounds you can flourish. You will no longer attract in that treatment as you will no longer be a vibrational match to it. Once you have released the pain, your body can relax, come out of fight or flight and shut down zombie mode. Life force energy can flow freely through your veins again, revitalising you to live life fully, embracing possibility and taking action to live your dreams, your greatest potential while here on Earth.

To achieve this the wounds must be healed, the emotional pain must be released / transmuted and your heart opened back up to allow love in, to trust and take action, to risk changing / trying something new and letting people close.

When people are closed down out of disappointment, it is like they have bolted the door, put up a security fence, have guard dogs snarling, attempting to keep out anything good from occurring, so that they will not be disappointed or hurt further.

People with good intentions attempt to come close and they are faced with snarling dogs, electric fences and machine guns aimed at them, as if they are the enemy, when all they want to do is love you. It takes a strong and determined person to persevere in this situation and say “Let me in, it is okay, you can trust me”.

Many just walk away, they see the wounding in the other, the closed door, so they turn away. Hence the hurt person ends up alone, isolated, desperate for attention, for love, but not allowing it. No wonder they feel so hopeless.

There is a war going on inside, keeping the goodness away. When someone does come close they can over react with anger, feeling like “How dare they expect me to let them in, how dare they expect me to take a risk”. You push the person away so hard.

Depending on how deep the wound will depend on how automatic this rejection process is. It can be so strong that rage is triggered and a feeling that you could set the person on fire because they have threatened you and your safety by daring to enter into your closed kingdom, and it literally feels like a threat to your existence. So sad when really the other is saying “Hello, do you want a friend? Do you want to play?”.

toddler-sulkingIt is like two young children meeting in a playground and the first person has planted their feet, crossed their arms, stomped on the spot and said “NO”, shouted “NO, you will not play with me, go away, leave me alone”. They are totally closed off in their tantrum about how they feel and what has occurred to them in life. Then they sulk, pout, kick and scream about how unfair it all is. Most of us can see this behaviour in toddlers, young children quite easily, but we fail to see that as wounded adults we are doing the same thing.

Life can’t change dramatically for the better unless you uncross your arms, suck in your bottom lip, and you open up to connection, to playing, to having fun. While you are shouting NO nothing much can change. So you have to be willing to lower the defenses, to open up to another way of being and to feeling and releasing the emotional pain underneath the wounds, then it dissolves, then you walk free of it and you can see the blue sky and sunshine and let it in, you can see the beauty in life and let yourself be replenished by it and experience good things and have your life work out more enjoyably.

It is clear that it is up to you to take action to heal the wounds. Noone else can do it for you. Even those brave souls who wear suits of armour and non-flammable overalls who come close wanting to help you move forward. Their efforts can only help if you let them in. If you keep shouting NO energetically or actually saying it through your words and actions, then their efforts can’t help.

It is up to you to take the risk to let life be different. You can do it and it is worth it, so worth it, to walk free from misery and enjoy life, to be pleasantly surprised by the mystery of life and finally see the goodness in all things. You can achieve this, simply by healing the past so it doesn’t cloud your future. It can be done and I and many others can help you do it, if you let us, if you open up and say “YES to life, YES I am willing to move forward and to risk being happy. YES I can do this, I will do this, I choose this”.

Then life will lead you forth to the right people, places, books, courses and whatever else you need that best suits you to help you heal and break free from the pain. It will be different for each person based on their current state of awareness, willingness, and ability to feel and release their pain. Some will need to do self-study at first, before they would be willing to risk seeing a therapist and trusting someone to help them move forward. Some may prefer talk therapy as they don’t yet feel safe enough to go into their bodies and feel what is there. Some may prefer to start with body work modalities to help the body relax and let go, preferring this as they are too scared to voice their concerns or speak the truth that they have tried to hide from their whole lives.

pathThere are many roads home, to healing, to your heart and wholeness. It doesn’t matter which road you take, what matters is your willingness to take a step forward into the unknown, into life being different. If you are willing, the Universe will meet you and guide you forth.

May you learn to run joyously along your path, knowing you are taken care of, and see the beauty of life and love all around you. For it is there just waiting for you to open your arms and embrace it. Life really is good once you heal your pain and can see more clearly. May you obtain inner peace as quickly and as easily as you can. With love, Amen.

By Jodi-Anne (08 October 2016).
Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.

Why are families so disconnected?

Some are and some are close, still maintaining a heart to heart connection between family members. In today’s world people are very busy, achieving, being better than others, obtaining things / material objects. These advances in gadgets, in stuff, are valued more highly than taking the time to BE, to connect with friends and family in real life. It is quicker, easier, more hassle free to just connect on social media and keep your physical distance, to have space for self, to rest and recover after working hard all day or facing your own emotional turmoil.

We are here on the planet to go through our awakening and this requires events to hapen to get us to stop and rethink our choices. It requires events that totally alter what we see as important and valuable in life, that is why the tragedies occur, the near death accidents or illnesses, the loss of relationships, family members or careers, the bankruptcy and crime. It all occurs to get us to stop and feel.

While we are busy living normal life we are often on autopilot, we go about our days the same way, over and over. It is comfortable, relatively easy, we don’t have to expend too much energy. Our comfort zone is stretched if we are asked to do much more and we may resist by shutting out that person and their demands or whatever it is that is asking us to stretch. It is easy to get lazy, to just rest and watch TV, to cuddle your pets or children or partner and to switch off from what is occurring to everyone else and the larger world. This is not callous, not personal, it is just human nature, to care for those you hold dearest and to draw a boundary around them and your way of being and to keep that safe, happy and easy.

Anyone wanting to come into your space may find it hard, if your boundaries are very strong. You simply don’t let them in, there is no time available for catching up or getting to know each other. No time for interaction. This is not necessarily a personal rejection, it is just that the person or people inside the circle are contented with their lives as they are and do not see the need to let anyone else in.

This may change in time, they may become more open and available, a career change, a new child, a special event, starting a hobby, or a loss of some kind may lead them to open the door a little wider. Their circumstances may change and they may need more people to help them, if someone was ill, if there was a new child or if their was unexpected loss in some way, whether that be a death of a loved one, loss of a job, crime and loss of posessions or finances. These losses occur to get people to open up, to step out of their comfort zone and to expand their consciousness. These life changing events kick-start the next phase of your evolutionary growth. They are meant to occur and they serve us. They shake us up and get us moving again.

hurting againIf you are upset that people will not let you in, that the door is closed, their boundaries too high, then look within yourself, look within and see why you are upset. You as an adult don’t need these people, you just want them. You can survive on your own. Any pain you are feeling is a trigger to heal that pain inside.

Many of us in childhood did not get our own needs met. We were left with an emotional deficit and we are hungry, starving for love and acceptance. We try to get it from many places and one of those is our families. We assume that they are our blood and we should be close, together, supporting each other. We should be happy, friendly and caring of each other. But this is just your thinking, your judgement.

You chose to incarnate into your specific family for a reason. If you chose a family that is disconnected, you did so for a reason. Perhaps you wanted to learn independence, self reliance and contentment outside of the family realm. If your family was all loving and kind and life was easy, you would not evolve at the rate you do when life is challenging. The challenges occur to help you go within and heal, to reconnect with your own divine nature and that of Source.

heart wateringAs you heal yourself you find that you don’t need love from others, you realise you are love, that is your true nature, and the nature of the Universe. We are surrounded by love and support all the time, but we don’t see it until we heal all the pain and trauma through which we view the world and those in it. We judge based on what is inside us. Each person, each family is doing exactly what they need for the evolution of its members. In time as they all heal and become one within themselves, love will flow freely throughout that family system. Until then there will be blockages, their will be conflict or separation.

You can’t force people to change, to heal, to let you in. What you can do is choose to love them anyway and to focus on healing your wounds and reconnecting to peace and love in your heart, so energetically love flows from you to everyone, instead of pain and judgement, shaming or blaming of those involved.

Try to be compassionate, try to accept that each is doing what they need to for their evolution and each is awakening at their own speed, evolution cannot occur over night, it takes time, lots of time and different people have different abilities to do so. We need to learn the skills to change our thinking patterns, our subconscious beliefs, our conditioning and emotional density. We need to learn how to take responsibility for our own lives and make the best out of what we have. We need to learn the power of gratitude and positive regard, seeing the best in things, as opposed to the worst.

Life truly can be Heaven on Earth if we do the work to heal ourselves. When we do so we make it easier for others to do the same. Energetically our freedom radiates out into the family system affecting others, making it easier for them to do the same. This is how we can help and make a difference  – by loving everyone as they are and accepting their choices and journey. We can focus on our own healing and evolution and know that when everyone’s hearts open back up love will flow freely between us all and families will be more harmonious. This will all take time and we can’t force it.

Don’t torture yourself by judging your family. Heal yourself instead, enjoy your life as much as you can and the doors will open in time, allowing greater connection to those you love. First you do the work internally, energetically and then it manifests in the outer world. Choose peace and love – that is what the world needs and what you are craving. You have to give it to you. You have to heal your blocks to receiving and to letting people close.

When you are healed and energetically open people will come, some of your blood family and some your Soul family, those who resonate with you, love you and want to be with you. These are your true tribe or family. The ones you birthed into were just the catalysts for your evolution and growth. Know in your heart you are okay, you are loved and you are held dear by all who know you, it may not seem like it, but the love is there, just waiting for you to heal enough so you can feel it. May that day come soon. Blessed BE. Amen.

By Jodi-Anne (27 July 2016).
Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

In this short video Nadine Burke Harris explains how adverse childhood experiences impacts the health of the child and continues to do so over the lifetime of the person. She explains in scientific terms why this occurs and ways the impacts can be reduced. She believes that this is a public health issue and should be addressed as such with multidisciplinary teams available to help affected individuals to heal the trauma and reduce the impacts.

How to overcome the tendency to isolate?

People isolate themselves when they are feeling overwhelmed by life. They may have been hurt badly and not trust anyone or they may be fearful and depressed. Either way hiding out alone feels safer than risking contact with a world that to them seems harsh, unforgiving, cruel and threatening.

Life is not like that at all. You are always surrounded in the love of God, however, most people are so busy in their heads that they don’t notice it. You rush from one place, one task, one test to the next. You don’t rest fully in the peace of God, in your heart or spend time in nature deeply connecting to the Earth and your true nature.

People rush, rush, rush and then feel exhausted, then they wonder why they have no energy to enjoy life, to go and have fun. They get caught up in negative thoughts and conditioning, which just play out on an endless loop, until they wake up from this state of exhaustion and seek the light.

Sadly all this busy-ness has led to diminished connections with other people. It is rare for you to stop and meet another fully, to look into their eyes and feel their essence, to hear what is going on in their hearts and to talk honestly, truthfully about their experience of life.

empty-cup

You are all walking around like empty cups. Your cups should be filled with love and be over flowing from you to others. Connecting to God, to nature, to each other deeply fills your cup. But most people, nearly everyone, thinks they are too busy to slow down and have their cup filled.

If conflict occurs and you feel fearful, your cup is drained of the little amount of love you have in it. Then you feel empty, drained, exhausted. You know that it was the conflict with that person who led to you feeling drained, so you vow to isolate yourself from people like that, so you don’t get drained further. But in isolating yourself out of fear your cup stays empty. You get stuck in fear and that is the opposite vibration of love.

To love fully you need to be filling your own cup from God/Source/Nature, then you have so much love it doesn’t matter if a little conflict occurs. You will be able to respond to it more lovingly and be less affected by it as your cup is full and over flowing. Instead of getting upset, angry or blaming the person for negatively affecting you, you would simply send them love, feel compassion for them, as they are obviously having a hard time and have an empty cup.

So the key to feeling good is not to isolate out of fear, but to connect with love to God/Source/Nature, to listen to your heart and do things that bring you joy. Do this and your cup is filled, then it is easier to face the other aspects of life.

With people that you do feel safe and good around, make sure you take the time to connect, to talk heart to heart, to fel seen, heard, validated. You will never have that kind of connection with everyone, but when your cup is full the interactions that are less pleasant don’t bother you so much.

Yes you should have boundaries between yourself and those who disrespect you, abuse you or take advantage of you. That is self love, to say no to their demands. But make sure you spend time with those who do love you, respect you and treat you well. Don’t isolate and hide – at home, in social media, in work, etc. Come out into the open and breathe in fresh air, absorb the love, take the risk to open your heart and be present to what life is bringing you. It is all helping you grow and all leading you forward to a higher vibration, to the vibration of love. It is a process, a long one for many who resist out of fear, but know you will get there in the end, everyone will. You just have to open your heart, love yourself and others and just BE.

Be present to all that occurs, choosing faith and peace, knowing it is all perfect and all of life is made of God and is doing God’s will. There are no bad people or places or choices, just learning opportunities. Just people who have closed their hearts to love and the light and who will open back up in time. Nothing to do or force, just trust God’s plan and love all that arises. Send love to your fear, to your pain and to your sadness. Send love to those who you perceive have harmed you. That is what they need most – love. Noone who is feeling good about themself and is at peace within would willingly hurt another. They know that to do so hurts themself. So know that anyone who does hurt you is suffering, they are struggling within themself and with life.

You don’t need to accept the poor treatment, but try to send them love instead of hate or anger or judgement. They are judging themselves harshly and that is what leads to their angst. It can be torture when you are stuck in self defeating patterns of self judgement, self hate and self loathing.

isolation_by_lordnetsua-d5kci61

Sadly many people speak to themselves more harshly than they would speak to others. They beat themselves up internally calling themselves names and feeling not good enough. It can be a very dark place. Know that noone will treat you as badly as you treat yourself!

When you are in that dark place the whole world seems dark, but the light is there, just waiting for you to see it and let it in. This is the process of awakening to love, light, God, peace and joy. This is the path back to wholeness. Become your own best friend, be loving and kind to yourself, say nice things about yourself to yourself. Be the loving parent you wished you had. As you become more loving to you internally, the outside world will mirror it, bringing you people who treat you with more kindness and love. Life is just a mirror showing us what we still have to heal.

Heal it and see the truth, there is nothing but love around us. Anything else is an illusion created by our minds out of fear, judgement and hate. Heal it and you wil see peace, joy and beauty wherever you go. for it is there, we just have to clear out the blocks, the filters to seeing it. Blessed BE. Amen.

Remember everyone is on this journey, you are all isolating out of fear to some degree, not showing your true self for fear of rejection or ridicule. Yet you all are longing for love and acceptance, so why not give it. Just love everyone as they are. If you could do this the pain and fear will drop away and you will all feel safer, happier and more able to enjoy life fully. Choose to love and be loving, that is the key. Blessed BE, Amen.

By Jodi-Anne (5 November 2015).

Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.

Impacts of Child Abuse

There are many impacts of abuse on children. If the child does not receive assistance to break free from these impacts they often carry over into adulthood. Bradley and Johnson-Marshall (1993) explain the following impacts:

Loss of childhood – abused children lose their sense of innocence, their sense that the world is a safe place. A sense of mistrust that persists develops with the abused child often expecting people to abuse them. They therefore do not let people close and often go inside themself, close down and withdraw. They begin to parent themself and protect themself as best they can. They may even try to parent their parents to gain a sense of safety. They cannot relax and enjoy their childhood. They may act inappropriately sexually or become withdrawn, confused and silent. They may become less intelligent than they were or more bookish if they find some safety and security in being alone.

Repetition of abuse – abused children have acutely low self esteem. They feel there must be something wrong with them because of what happened. This low self confidence makes meeting people and relationships difficult. It leads to difficulty in creating appropriate boundaries and recognizing their own needs. Abused children often accept more abuse as they grow, as they do not know any different and they may feel that it’s their fault some how. They can’t easily identify the kind of person or behaviour that is harmful to them; only that something doesn’t feel good. They become more likely to be bullied in school and abused in adult relationships. A sexually abused child is 4 times more likely to be sexually abused again than a non-abused child. Castine (1989) points out that 50% of the time daughters of alcoholic fathers marry alcoholics while Jorgensen and Jorgensen (1990) report that one out of every four children of alcoholics develop alcoholism themselves.

Blaming ourselves – children can’t bare to believe that those who are supposed to love them and care for them can be wrong, so they take responsibility for the abuse themself. Blaming themself gives them a sense of control. It’s easier to live with the guilt of themself having caused it than to accept that their caretakers could be so terrible. Abused children believe that they are bad. Some may try to hide their feelings of weakness by acting strong, while others will be cowardly and subservient. They live their lives afraid of being confronted at any time with their badness. This sense of badness may not be conscious; it may be suppressed however it affects all parts of a person’s life (this is what gets changed through therapy).

Emotional rigidity – the abused child carries their hurt and their damaged inner child with them as they grow. The emotional damage affects their development. They tend to become rigid, stuck in particular feelings, thinking or a particular way of looking at the world. They often can’t feel all emotions or express them and may be stuck in feelings such as happy or loving or angry or fear or complaining. Being stuck is a defense mechanism protecting them from feeling the other emotions that they see as threatening or that may result in re-experiencing an aspect of some earlier abuse. An adult who was abused as a child is often unable to be spontaneous. They do not see their rigidity, but are aware of a vague dissatisfaction with their life. They tend to see both people and situations as either positive or negative, good or bad, there is no middle ground. They may blame others unnecessarily and direct their bad feelings and suppressed anger at them.

Isolation – starts from a young age as abusive families often try to hide their dysfunction from others, siblings don’t talk about it and they compete for the attention of the parents. They may abuse each other as they try to cope with what has happened to them. They don’t bring friends home from school or venture out into the world for fear of someone discovering their secret. If an abused person feels they can’t deal with the emotions they’ve buried inside such as sadness, anger, and shame, they will often continue to isolate themselves as adults. They feel separate to others. They do not have a sense of a way out of their position and may over react to any situation which touches on a felt memory or when people seem like their abuser, or where the feeling is the same as when the abuse happened to them. They may act as if in danger and push people away even though they’re not in danger.

Control – Often abused children as adults feel a need for a strong sense of control. This is so that awkward, painful and difficult to handle emotions / feelings can be kept at bay. Giving up control means facing the pain, which they may feel is overwhelming and therefore must be denied. The need for control can show up in rigid demands that partners, children and others also hide their feelings and control their emotions carefully. It may show up in compulsive behaviour like obsessive cleanliness and tidiness, excessive fussiness, or a need to get things right at any cost whether at work or at home. This anxiousness or desperation can be sensed by others and often makes them feel uneasy around the abused person.

Dependence and insecurity – abused children and adults often have an external locus of evaluation. They judge themself on whether or not others love and accept them or on the size of their career success and assets. These people, who feel a need for someone else to nurture them, to tell them they’re okay, are often taken advantage of by others who see their desperate need and know they can do what ever they want to them and the abused person will put up with it, they won’t leave.

Ambivalence – abused children as adults are often ambivalent to what occurs to them. They learnt to be ambivalent while being abused. They didn’t want to dob in their parents as they wanted their love, feared their loss and the consequences of telling the truth. If the parent only abused them occasionally, they may have seen it as an occasional error to be put up with. They may have pretended that they liked the abuse or told themself that not making a fuss is better or that they might not be believed even if they did say something. Hence they learnt to accept it and just get on with life. They are ambivalent to the affect of this on the rest of their lives. They may never relax and feel safe with those they love. They may never allow themself to be emotionally supported for fear of the loved one becoming an abuser. They may believe that anything good can contain bad and vice versa. The result is apathy, not knowing what to choose or where to turn.

Identifying with the abuser – identifying with the abuser can make an abused child feel strong rather than a weak victim. They will therefore act strong using anger as their dominant emotion, blaming others for things. This is a defense against their underlying feeling of danger and the fear that they may be abused again. If they were sexually abused they may be sexual with other kids. This can be an angry gesture: it happened to me now you; it may be a confused way of trying to share the experience, trying to make sense of the pain and humiliation; or they may have felt the abuse was pleasurable and want to do it again; they may want their child friend to feel what they felt. Many kids who are abused are also cruel to or abuse siblings, kids, pets or wild animals. They may feel ashamed or guilty of this and beat themselves up. It’s really important to always remember it is not the child’s fault. They learnt what they lived, they know no different, be compassionate, do not abuse them further.

Abusing our bodies – abused children as adults often have a high level of self contempt and self loathing. They abuse their body by over or under eating; alcohol or drug abuse; physical abuse or ignoring their body’s needs. They may scar themself in an attempt to make themself less attractive to others or to punish themself.

Splitting and multiple personalities – if a child cannot cope with what happened to them they may go inside themselves, go somewhere else. People often report leaving their body and looking down upon the scene when being abused / watching from outside themselves. Everyone has sub-personalities, parts of themselves that are happy, sad, achievers, doers, relaxed, etc, but they are all a part of the one person – they make up me. Some people after extended abuse, however, can form almost whole or partial separate personalities. Their sense of ‘I’ is not always the same, the different personalities take control. They never know when they wake up who’s going to be there. This interrupts their memory as each personality has their own preference, skills and memories. The different personalities may or may not communicate and the person can feel horrible, trapped, unable to control them.

Continuing family abuse – when abused kids grow up they often repeat the pattern with their own children. They frequently fail to connect with their children emotionally and do not know how to behave appropriately so the cycle of abuse continues They may feel horrible about what is occurring, but do not know how to break free from it.

The impacts of abuse often go wider than just affecting the individual who was abused. There are also impacts on siblings who were not abused and on their partners, children and those they interact with in their adult life. The following information is offered for non-abused siblings. Recognise that it is normal for you to have felt glad not to be abused, but guilty that you weren’t and your brother or sister was or you may have been jealous of the attention they got and sought it out too – being afraid and eager at the same time. You may feel that you should have protected the abused sibling or at least protested. You may have tried to be perfect to avoid abuse and pointed out how much better you were than the other child as a way of trying to protect yourself. Remember you were a child. You coped the best you could. Don’t avoid the abused sibling now because of your guilt. They’ll probably value your friendship and you can both seek assistance in sorting through your issues and developing a closeness.

Partners of adults who were abused as kids may face all sorts of feelings. They may want to rescue their partner, trying to help them heal and protect them from hurt. This can be problematic as relationships always have some tense moments and both partners need to be able to express their feelings and get their needs met – don’t be silent about your needs as this will only cause problems down the track. The abused child as an adult may occasionally behave poorly trying to get the partner to treat them like their abuser did, provoking them. They are trying to feel familiar, comfortable as they are not used to always receiving love. They’re testing you to see if you really do love them and will accept them. If this pattern occurs talk about it, don’t abuse them.

Partners may feel a lot of confusion about what to do, how to handle it, they may get impatient or tired of their mate always being affected by the past and wish they would get over it. They may then feel guilty or ashamed of themselves for thinking this. Don’t bash yourself up over it. It’s normal for you to feel these things. Talk to your partner about your concerns or seek help or if your partner is open to it you can both seek help together. Accept your feelings of helplessness, your pain at seeing their hurt and your anger at their parents. It’s normal. It’s also normal for you to dislike interacting with his or her parents and not saying anything. However, if this is what your abused partner wants you need to respect their wishes. But look after yourself and vent your anger and frustration healthily when you leave from visiting their parents. You need to get out any negativity, sadness, anger, etc that you have inside about the situations. When you do this you’ll feel better, more in control and react less to what is occurring. You will be able to change the dynamics of how you interact with your partner.

Learn to own your feelings and behaviour and express yourself effectively with no blaming, no judgment, or criticisms. Learn to use I statements – when you do X, I feel Y and I’d prefer it if you could do Z. If you can do this, creating a safe space for them, with love and encouragement it creates the conditions required for your partner to consider facing their own issues. They have to be ready to change. If they’re not keep working on yourself so things don’t upset you so much and you can enjoy your life fully. This is the best thing you can do for both of you. When your partner does become ready to take action you’ll be able to show them what to do or point them to where they can get help. Remember that what we focus on expands so focus on the positive and create more of it! Be a role model for your partner. Don’t see them as sick, but as a healthy person yet to take action and break free of their symptoms.

Prepared many years ago by Dr. Jodi-Anne M Smith. Some content is summarised from:

  • Bradley R & Johnson Marshall C, 1993, A safe place to begin – working to recover from childhood sexual abuse, Thorsons, London.
  • Castine J, 1989, Recovery from rescuing, Health Communications Inc., Florida