My Life. My Voice

Going to warn you again. This contains triggers and you have a choice about whether to read it or not. If you are a teenager or a child it is most important that you understand that this is written to to explore a sense of overcoming obstacles and not drowning in the crap that life chucks at you. Because life does that, and sometimes its tough to see a way out, especially when you are young and have much to learn. 

So I’ve been thinking long and hard about this….. its tough to write but I think I have reached a point where I need to say what has been going on with me of late. 

So again I going to warn you before you go any further that this will contain triggers. You may well think I am wrong to write it publicly but I have warned you and you can turn around now. But I need to do this and I have to think about myself first and foremost. 

My brain imploded last year due due to all the multiple stresses that I have been through over a long, long period of time.
The stress of bringing up a child on my own, the stress of studying at Higher level for 5 years at the same time as bringing up that beautiful child on my own, the stress of working in an ever changing and incredibly stressful health field, and sadly the stress of holding an unknown secret.

That unknown to me secret, was that to all intents and purpose, that I am now an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  
I imagine its tough to read. it’s hard to believe at times. It’s tough to write it. Even tougher to have lived it. But it is what it is.
Not going to tell you any more than that, because you don’t need to know it and I don’t need to tell you.

But you know what? I am looking at my life and looking at what I have managed to do in spite of it. It turns out it is not unusual for women of my age who have experienced this kind of thing to unravel later in life. Its like having a huge piece of a jigsaw put into place. Once it is there everything becomes so much clearer. I find myself thinking ‘goodness me, that is so obvious now’ about all kinds of things. 

I have cried a lot as I have come to terms with what had happened to me, it has truthfully broken my heart and smashed all of me into tiny pieces. Everything that I understood about myself, everything I treasured in my life is all up for scrutiny now. This is clearly an ongoing process but I am now very much in the process of gathering all of me back together.

Of late, I have made myself laugh by watching my own reactions to events past and present. Back when I was 21 years old and life all got a bit to much for me, I unravelled slightly and my GP sent me to a locally newly created Community Mental Health Centre where I attended a relaxation course. The first thing I noticed when I did this was my reaction of ‘oh my goodness these people are so much worse than I am’, and I have done exactly the same thing recently when I recently joined an abuse  survivors website. And from this I find myself needing to acknowledge that I have a problem in being defined as being broken. I know I am lucky that I was able to escape and that I had a family that encouraged me in so many ways, who loved and supported me. At this point I have no idea who knew what or if they knew nothing of what went on. Not sure if I am ever going to have the answers to those questions. So I feel I need to make my own peace.   

The second thing that happened back then was that it planted the seed of training to my chosen career, it took a while to get there because of life’s twists and turns but I graduated back in the early 2000’s and I am now a qualified health professional. And because of this I am able to help others in helping themselves overcome disability, and all other events, that stop people from functioning properly. And lets be clear in doing this, I very much help myself. I gain so much by helping others. It is what is called in negotiation language a win/win situation. I am not going to apologise for that, it is this thinking and feeling that motivates many people into such a profession, that is probably why it is considered a vocation.

So regardless of what has happened in the past, I chose not to stay broken by it, to not be defined by it. I remain as ever a warrior of a woman, I will always be a defender of the weak, of people, of all animal species, of the environment. I will never stop questioning why those with the power to stop injustice choose not to, why such people are happy to exploit the perceived and actual weaknesses in others.

That is what defines me. Kindness and compassion. Along with beauty and happiness. 🙂    

 

 

 

        

Modern news reporting does my head in…

It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog. My last post, which I have not re-read, was written in September as I was starting to slide off the rails. I am not ready to read it at this point. I may never be ready to read it again. And truthfully even if and when I am, I think it can stay here and be a recording of how I was feeling at that point, for posterities sake.

So, today I am feeling a little physically unwell, bit of a head cold and all that, but it is a nice sunny spring day and I am currently feeling a little more calm and upbeat. It has been commented on over the last few weeks that I sound a little calmer now. Which is good. Today I have been doing things around the Little House and the Little Garden, enjoying the sun and the better weather.
And I am making the most of that calmness, as there is no guarantee it will last.  Recovery, is most definitely not a linear process and it is best to be aware of that.

So what has prompted this post?

Well, it is my reaction to the news-heavy reporting on paedophilia that is a constant occurrence in our lives nowadays.
To be honest, it has and is doing my head in. It makes me feel as though I am constantly being hit around the head with a brick.
I have my own reasons for feeling like that and I am choosing to keep that to myself.

So what is it that is about this issue that is bothering me enough to prompt me to put fingers to my keyboard today?
Lets be very, very clear, It’s not that this subject is being reported, I think it is good that it is being reported. It is how it is being reported.

But we hear next to nothing of what the survivors or victims of abuse are actually saying. What we are told is who has been charged and what with. And boy oh boy do we hear it if the alleged perpetrator happens to be a celebrity of some description or other. That criteria seems to make certain people very news worthy. We then get told that they are at court and the trials are reported. They may go into more detail then and there maybe a chance then for the survivors story to be heard but I switch off because I simply cannot cope with how they are being reported.

I find that I query why this issue is reported in this way. Who benefits from it?

What seems obvious to me is that there is little discussion about the impact of the abuse and how the lives of those making the allegations have been affected. There is no discussion about how difficult it would have been for the individuals to report these allegations. And of how the allegation are investigated. There is nothing of any substance about how the reports of abuse are being investigated and what the criminal justice system is doing with the results of all those investigations. There is nothing of how the criminal justice system makes a decision about what cases have sufficient evidence to proceed to court. What in fact is enough evidence?

This seems to me at it’s worst, to be gravelly wrong and at it’s very least, it totally misses the opportunity to have a grown up, sensible discussion about an issue that is simply just is not going to go away. And it won’t go away, no matter how much anyone wants it to.

So shall we all start thinking about how news is presented to us and look at how we react to news of any kind and think about how it affects us?  Does it make us feel shocked. Does it make us feel horrified. Does it make us feel shame. Do we feel bad that we did not see it. Do we want to carry on pretending that it does not happen. Do we not care. We can all feel any of these responses to any issue reported in the news. Actually stopping to think about how you as an individual feel in response to all these allegations and stories is the first thing that we as a society is the first step in dealing with any issue. And in particular this issue.

It is difficult for any of us to do.
But don’t we all owe it to those affected to do this?

Once we have an understanding of our own reactions, then we can we start to discuss what it is that has actually occurred.
And when we do that, we can start to talk about what we can do to improve the lives of those affected and what we can all do to change our society. Then we might actually be able to do something that does help to prevent it happening any more.

My head is starting to really hurt again. So that is enough for now.