April Is Childhood Abuse Prevention Month ~ A Deep Share Of My Story ~ We Just Want To Be Believed & Heard . . .

April Is Childhood Abuse Prevention Month ~ A Deep Share Of My Story ~ We Just Want To Be Believed & Heard . . .

Yes, I am a childhood sex, trauma, and abuse SURVIVOR . . . .

 

“According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, it’s estimated that 679,000 children were victims of child abuse and out of that number, 1,484 children died as a result in fiscal year 2013.”
“In 1983, April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month as part of an educational platform, and in trying to highlight the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse across the globe.”

And it has taken me many years to be able to share this. Taken many years to learn it was not my fault that these disgusting things happened to me. Many years I felt shame, broken, and spiritually trained. That ugly past haunting me until this day. Even after much therapy, overcoming, journaling, healing, walking through all the pain and hurt, today it still haunts my dreams into nightmares.

My psychiatrist tells me this is called, PTSD.  “Just another damn label to place on my back.”
And this was some of the underlying issues of why I got tangled up in addicted gambling. I used it to hide and escape those ugly feelings, hauntings and old pain. So desperate to not remember or feel anything ever AGAIN! When we turn to, and use any addiction to mask how we feel about our past, the damage is that then you don’t feel anything at all except hopelessness.

But why now? Why after all the years of recovery work, the hard inner work that I have done, and for my recovery from addicted gambling and alcohol abuse, why is this still taunting me? Childhood abuse is tough enough to have to accept, why was I chosen as to have my innocence been taken away from me as a little girl? Your left feeling confused, dirty, shamed, broken, hopeless, left in a dark black whole of non understanding of what is happening to me by my abusers, yes there was more than one. Sadly a man in our extended family, and a family friend of my parents. Then you go into the, “WHY ME GOD PHASE.”
.


.
Why God would you have this happen to me? When you get to an age where you find out that what happened to as a little girl was wrong. That it was inappropriate, and men disgusted me. They are sick human beings that shouldn’t be walking the face of this earth!!! Then something happens even more traumatic, all those prayers you prayed to God, to make him die so this boy would not ever lay a hand on me again DIES.   WTF?

He was only 19 years old. A friend’s son of my parents. They found him in his room face down in a pool of blood after he hit his head/temple, he was knocked out when this happened and landed face down. He choked on his own blood and died. I was stunned and shocked all at the same time! So I told GOD that I didn’t really mean it!! I really didn’t want him to die, just not to do those things to me anymore!!!
I just couldn’t process all of it. I felt sick to my stomach that I made this happen. More TRAUMA & Confusion.

Then when the sex abuse stopped? I began a cycle of dissociation. In my teen years I remember hiding in my room a LOT. And when I was around others? I would have a beautiful mask of happiness and comedy about me. No one knew what was bubbling way down below in my soul. They couldn’t see that big black empty hole inside me. Shit, even I had stuffed all this away so deep that at times I would even fool myself that I was happy, healthy and normal.

“Childhood sex abuse has been reported up to 80,000 times a year, but the number of unreported instances is far greater, because the children are afraid to tell anyone what has happened, and the legal process of reporting can be difficult. The problem should be identified, the abuse stopped, and the child should receive professional help. The long-term emotional damage of sexual abuse can be devastating to the child.

Child sexual abuse can take place within the family, by a parent, step-parent, sibling or other relative; or outside the home, for example, by a friend, neighbor, child care person, teacher, or stranger. When sexual abuse has occurred, a child can develop many distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors.”

.

.
I’ve never felt normal since this happened to me. This carried into my adulthood. I feel it changed the way I looked at men, my relationships in my earlier years with men, and never feeling good enough. I deemed to gravitate toward men who abused me, I feel it made me more promiscuous at an earlier age. I was also looking for fatherly unconditional love I never got from my own father and also my mother. This also played a part in my relationship choices. Then through my teen years my parents were very heavy-handed when it came to discipline. My father would use a belt, buckle and all, and mom, well anything around her was a potential weapon! Wooden spoon, broom, rake, anything depending on the area of the house we were in.

But as I got older, early and late teens, my parents would use verbal abuse. My parents began the cycle of judging us by the friends we had, hung around with, and how they dressed. My father would also say many hurt full things to me. He had called me a drug addict, pill popper, just because he may have seen one of my friends smoking a cigarette. He even called me a hooker just because he seen the way few of my friends dressed. I just didn’t get why he would say these hurtful things to me? I wasn’t dressed that way. They were so judgmental. At times I couldn’t believe these two people were MY Parents! It got worse. When I got about 30, is when I sought help for the first time for sexual abuse. The therapist I was seeing at the time told me that I would, at some point, would have to tell my parents what happened to me a little girl. I felt sick.
.


.
WHY? Because all those years ago I remember all the lies I was told by my molesters. And I can tell you the biggest fear a child, or even now as an adult, telling someone opens that door to them “Not Believing that this happened to ME and I was telling lies.” It’s what my abusers told me if I told anyone about what he did to me. No will believe you!

So when I got the nerve to finally tell my mom over the phone, I was 31 years old, living in So. Oregon, married to my husband now, and when I told my mom? She freaked!! She went on the defensive as if I was questioning her parental skills. She told me she’d have known if that was happening to me, or to anyone of her kids. I was never trusted again. SO, again, another bitch slap to my face, as all the hurt and pain came rushing back through me like a flood of poison. My own mother didn’t believe me, nor my father when she told him. It was like being abused all over again. Needless to say, our relationship became strained for a few years. And I went on a very painful journey of addicted gambling for over 11 years. Why didn’t they understand this?

That’s when I went searching for something to help escape this pain! I was never a drug user, drugs didn’t do anything for me, and I never really drank a lot, so gambling addiction for me fit the bill! I did however lean toward alcohol the last few years before entering treatment for compulsive addicted gambling. We look for anything to just get rid of the pain and the hurt if you never address the issues. All of this left huge scars inside me. Endless on and off therapy, then Mental/Emotional disorders began to appear. Today I battle daily challenges with Bipolar Manic Depression, Agoraphobia with panic, pain with my depression, mild mania, and now having problems with PTSD again.

.

.
I had went undiagnosed for years. And the gambling addiction is what finally brought many of the disorders I was suffering from to light. But I’m still in care of a psychiatrist and on meds. I do this for myself, but for others around me. WHY? Because I don’t want to be another statistic. Another person fallen through the cracks of our mental health system. I don’t want to be suicidal ever again. I don’t want to hurt the people I love who support me. Yes, I do this for myself, but also for the people I care for as well. 2 failed suicide attempts were enough for me. I have to much work to do to help others who may suffer the same, maybe in recovery from addictions, and to continue to raise awareness of childhood abuse and sex abuse.

It’s time the public hear our many voices of childhood abuse. It’s time to educate, inform, and SHATTER THE STIGMA around all these important issues many battle with on a daily basis. Don’t feel sorry for me, I don’t. I am not my illness, I am not a victim, as hurt and pain does not rule my world. “Child Abuse and Sex Abuse” should not be happening in our world today! We were abused, so don’t accuse! I am a Survivor!

National Child Abuse Hotline ~  1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
National Child Sexual Abuse Hotline ~ 1-866-FOR-LIGHT (866-367-5444)

“I am a face and voice of Childhood Abuse in Healing and in Recovery!”


.
Catherine Townsend-Lyon, Author & Advocate

 

 

Personal Blogs
blog links

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “April Is Childhood Abuse Prevention Month ~ A Deep Share Of My Story ~ We Just Want To Be Believed & Heard . . .

  1. Pingback: Sharing my past Addiction, Recovery, Living With Mental Illness, and Childhood Trauma to Help others is INTEGRITY. | Recovery Journey of Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon "Gambling Recovery Starts Here."

  2. So, we’ve been doing this discovery and recovery thing together for what seems to be a year now. S/o to the anniversary of a blessed friendship btw you I, Catherine! It’s kind of wild how that all boils down to me coming across another one of your brave, powerful and healing posts. I find myself in many ways, compelled, to testify to you on this powerful platform you’ve created here. I was touched as a very, very small child. By my mother’s boyfriend. The memories were so deeply locked away, I didn’t come to terms with their existence being real, not fake, until last year (in deep midst of my spiritual journey). I have only since, told my mother. Who, though believing of my trauma, was almost too believing, if that makes sense. As if, she already knew. In her heart. And was waiting for the moment when she’d have to be fully honest with that truth.

    As a child, my mother always made a really big deal about telling her if someone touched me. As big a deal, as adults made about not talking to strangers back then (early 90’s, when child abductions and kidnappings were rampant). I never understood why she made such a big fuss. Never. Until I had to come to terms with one of my most haunting and buried truths. It all made sense. Her intuition knew better. But her heart and ego wouldn’t allow her to see. So as her spirit begged me to force her eyes to see, what her mind and heart had blinded, her physical ignored all signs. All signs.

    I haven’t told anyone else this, outside of my mom, until now. Until you. Until this post. I haven’t even dared to pretend to write about it on my blog. What will I say? That I have memories from a time in my childhood that are so deep and buried, any “logical” person would question its validity? That’s why this piece your wrote is so powerful for me. It allows me to accept that even though I’m grown now, and powerful in my own might, I still dare to be afraid that they won’t believe me. That he’ll continue to win. As he has for the past 20 something years. Then there’s the fact that he is also the father of my younger brother. There is this guilt in me, that tells me to remain quiet for the sake of my brother. But Lord knows, I know better by now. I AM better by now. That’s why I chose to take up your offer here, and share my recovery. I am ready to heal this part of my broken childhood. Thank you Catherine.

    Actually, I came on your blog here today, to honor and recognize you, in all you’re doing with this blog and book promotion company. And then I found myself in midst of it again. The Catherine Lyon Experience of Recovery and Healing! Haha! You’re magical woman! I’ve already made it loud and clear how much your blog, mission and bravery mean to me! So, I’ll save the words, and simply parade the symbol. I hereby, nominate you Catherine, and this amazing Recovery Blog for the Real Neat Blogger Award. Not sure how many accolades you already have, but it is my honor to be able to add to them in appreciation of all you do. If you choose to accept, you can find the deets here –> http://wp.me/p3Zjs6-Pw. Peace & Blessings beautiful Catherine! And salute to many more years of a growing and beautiful friendship!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am speechless and read this with tears in my eyes MS. Shaquana.
      Many times I think to myself as I write and share my life experiences here if anyone really reads and FEEL what I try to share of myself. Your comments here proves that you never know when we share our God Given Journey, who it may touch, if anyone at all? I try to empower others to be in touch with their inner self as to not hold all the negative we may have been through in our childhoods hold us back any longer.

      You have touched my heart today with sharing your thoughts and feelings here with No Shame or Judgment. I want others like yourself to know this will ALWAYS be a safe place for all to share, and to have your voice heard and validated.
      And yes, since we first met on LinkedIn, I know we were “kindred spirits” and that God had brought us together in this moment in time. Thank You for trusting in me to share your inner most pain. I bless you that you that you finally find that inner peace you SO deserve my dear friend.

      I also appreciate the Honor of the award. I will put a special blog post to share your beautiful thoughts and share in the award. I don’t have a specific page for those, as I don’t like to “toot my own horn”. . LOL. But this one I will share.

      May God Bless you abundantly,
      Catherine XOXO 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Share Your Recovery Here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s