I am a survivor of extremely severe ritualistic childhood abuse and sadistic systematic torture. Without God's intervention in my life I wouldn't be here - NOW is the time for me to tell MY story by speaking the TRUTH about MY life. I will be silenced no more! On this blog I share MY life, MY healing journey; helpful quotes/stuff I come across and MY thoughts along the way. The more I speak out the more liberated I am from the shame and trauma of the abuse. My broken wings are gradually being restored. This blog has helped me begin to get my voice back and documents the journey God is taking me on to heal me from the trauma and damage caused by that most appalling abuse.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

SEXUAL ABUSE GROUP THERAPY

It's really nice to have something positive to write about for a change.

After nearly 9-years on the waiting list I have been offered a place in the group therapy which begins in January and will run for 12-weeks to the end of March.

Yay!!!

It feels great to finally be at the brink of doing this therapy, which I have been working towards during the last 5-years of one-to-one work.

This group work is the next logical step in my healing journey. It will be a new phase in my recovery process.

I also know it is going to be hard. I know I don't think I can ever be fully prepared for how hard this therapy may turn out to be. It is a massive step for me to take!

But for now, I'm just thrilled to have accepted the place offered to me and to know that it is going to happen now!!

Scary!!!!
Exciting!!! 
Daunting!!!

RELATIONSHIP ENDED WITH TRAUMA THERAPIST

I ended my relationship with my trauma therapist on 16th November 2016. I had the help and support of my mental health Care Co-Ordinator and her manager. This was after months of damaging comments, atmospheres, arguments, manipulation and lack of focus which had me walking on egg-shells around her. I got to the point where I did not want to turn up to sessions and dreaded our sessions. The relationship had become toxic, damaging, and abusive. There was real damage being done to me, to my therapy experience and to my mental health. And it had to end. 

The many questions evoked for me were along the lines of -- how is it going to be possible for me to end the relationship? Can I end it? Am I just going to have to tolerate it until a more natural ending presents itself? Or do I just walk away? What do I do? How do I do whatever I decide to do? Can I do anything? Will I be believed? All those questions and many more went through my mind.

When I asked myself early in November why I was tolerating a relationship which was actually hurting me and making me feel bad - my answer was "because I have to". My response to that was err no!!!!! I don't know have to! I'm trying to do things differently and get out of patterns from the past. 

Shortly after that I reached breaking point and just could not do it any more so decided the only right course of action was to end the relationship as quickly as possible.

The trouble was I didn't think I would be believed when I found the courage to tell my care co-ordinator what had been going on. That showed me how abusive the relationship had become. 

My Care Co-Ordinator was horrified by my revelations. She fully believed me and was totally supportive. She gave me all my available options and left it to me to decide what I wanted her to do next as well as what I wanted to do.

It was really hard walking in to that final meeting with my now ex-trauma therapist. She was extremely evasive, manipulative, defensive and argumentative. I was very glad that I had my Care Co-Ordinator to witness it and to safeguard me.

She pretended it was all a big surprise to her, that there was nothing wrong, that I had never intimated to her that I wanted to end the relationship, that I had misled her. 

When I challenged her she eventually stopped the arguing and lying and admitted that I was speaking the truth. 

She also admitted that she had been holding a grudge against me for an entire year. I knew that but had telling myself for months that a therapist of her standing could not be holding a grudge against me and I must be imagining it. But I had, in fact, been absolutely spot on!

What was even more shocking how she admitted it, she lounged casually in her chair and said... 
"oh yes, I've been holding that against you". 

There was no sense of regret in her manner. There was no recognition that it had been wrong for her as a therapist to do that, and for an entire year. There was also no awareness from her that there would be consequences for such an admission. She was as casual and careless as you like. 

For a moment I was silent in total disbelief of what I had just witnessed!

Unbelievable! Staggeringly and shatteringly unbelievable!! 

I still cannot believe that. I am finding it very hard to get past that. Deeply shocking does not get anywhere near it!

She actually used that grudge against me 2-weeks earlier when I informed her that I was thinking of ending the relationship and attempted to blackmail me in to taking a different course of action.

That final meeting was utterly awful, it was like pulling teeth. But I stuck to my guns. I refused to let her get away with her lies. I refused to be manipulated or persuaded by her to not end the relationship. 

I gave her a letter to read there in the meeting stating my reasons for ending the relationship very clearly with no ambiguity or room for interpretation.

Her response to it was shocking. We both watched her read the letter to the end very very slowly. Then even more excruciatingly slowly she folded the letter up. It was obvious that she was deciding how she was going to respond as she did that. And her response?
"I don't understand!!"

Which was met by a totally shocked silence for a few moments.
"I don't understand" is always her response, it is her "go to" default response to things she doesn't like and is how she manipulates and creates confusion and arguments.

I was not to be drawn in to any of that and kept bringing her back to the fact that I was ending the relationship and I was not going to change my mind.

After nearly 15 minutes of arguing I decided I'd had enough, got up to go and told her I was leaving. At that point she pulled out her masterstroke. She turned on the tears are said... 

"but there's all the things I can't tell you about what's been happening to me."

Erm so!! 

I was halfway out the door at that point and turned back a moment and said...
"and that is the problem and is why I have to leave"

It was staggering that as I was walking out the door her focus was not on me, her client of 5-years walking out the door to never walk back in again -- but upon herself and her personal difficulties. 

I had known for months that personal stuff was going on because she brought it into every session with her lack of focus and inattention. And again I was spot on! 

But for a therapist to act like that, it was deeply shocking. I have no words!!!

All that happened in that room confirmed to me how totally right it was for me to end the relationship and to do it there and then and to do it the way I did with a witness and support.

However, emotionally the impact on me has been enormous. I've had to deal with feelings of guilt, of having been horrible to my therapist, of having "ratted" on someone. Even though the facts show I wasn't. 

All the stuff about being a bad person have been triggered too. 

I seriously self-harmed a week later after I received a letter from my ex-therapist acknowledging the ending of the relationship but pretending nothing had been wrong and she could not understand why I would not want to continue working with her. 

My Care Co-Ordinator was absolutely furious - not only at the content of the letter but also at the fact that she had bypassed all due processes and sent it direct to my home address instead of through the proper mental health channels. I believe disciplinary action was taken over that, but the outcome of course is unknown to me. What I have been told is that several other clients have had similar experiences with that therapist and that I have helped them by doing what I did.

I was re-assessed by the Psychiatrist following that episode of self-harm and changes have been made to my medication as a result.

I am the only person who thinks I am a bad person. I am the only person who think I did a bad thing. 

Mentally, yep I get it, but emotionally, it's a different matter.

And I was heard, believed and supported in the process and since. As I am the only one who thinks I did anything wrong, it proves me to that I did nothing wrong. And somewhere deep down, I know that is right.

It was all really hard. Much harder that I can find words for.

But the main thing is I don't miss her!

I miss the atmospheres and the fear I felt every time I had to see her. I am very relieved I never have to see her again. But, no, I don't miss her, and that tells me all I really need to know!

But if there's one thing I have learned it is that my gut intuition is always right and I can totally trust it.


Thursday, 17 November 2016

NEW CARE CO-ORDINATOR

I've been working with my new Mental Health Care Co-Ordinator since 30th September. She is a social worker and she is phenomenal. She is really professional and very good at her job. She's an absolute gem to work with. I've been really surprised and impressed by her and by the relative ease with which we've been able to build a relationship. The rapport we have is incredible. It's turning in to a very positive and healing experience for me. And it feels like a real privilege to have the opportunity to work with such a good worker during the prolonged absence of my assigned worker. It's really good to have something positive to blog about!! Especially when it involves local mental health team services!!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Care Co-Ordinators

My mental health care co-ordinator is off sick at the moment. I have not been seen by anyone at my local mental health facility since early July. 

There were supposed to be 2 workers who I could contact by phone if my worker went off sick. So more than a month ago I requested a phone call and was informed that I was not allowed one because patients were being allocated temporary workers. It had taken me so long to find the courage to use the emergency phone call to be told it was no longer available to me pulled the rug out from under me.

Instead I've had emergency phone calls with duty workers but no allocated temporary worker until last week when I got voicemail message followed up by a letter introducing me to my new temporary worker.

Today I was due to meet my new temporary stand-in care co-ordinator for the first time. In fact I should have been meeting with her right now. 

Instead, I had a message on my voicemail this morning informing me that she has gone sick.

Oh the irony of it. And the frustration too. And so the lack of support goes on!!

Monday, 5 September 2016

The 4th Anniversary

It was the 4th Anniversary of my father's death last week. And it was hard. It told me that there are issues left behind after an abuser dies which do not get better with time.

I experienced a spike in random nightmares and vivid dreams and disturbed sleep during the fortnight leading up to it. That has only just begun to calm down although my sleep is still massively disturbed.

I also had the memory of an incident when I was 6 resurface during that time. It was a memory I thought I had dealt with, but it came up with a different perspective and different feelings than I've had about it before.

I was 6. The family was on holiday and we were visiting Birmingham. It had been a very long, hot day. We were traipsing around the outdoor market of the old Bull Ring in Birmingham. I recall that I had had enough of wandering round. I was hot, tired and cranky and gave voice to my feelings. 

My father was walking in front of me. He turned around and hit me so hard that I was sent flying through the air and smacked hard into the chest of a stall holder and upturned him and his stall. 

He was understandably very angry, not at me, but at my father, as were a number of bystanders. I remember thinking "oh great, the police are going to be called and he is going to be locked up and it's all going to end.

But my mother being such a charmer in public managed to talk everyone down and convince everyone that they had not seen what they thought they had seen and nothing had happened.

A few things stuck with me about the incident.

First, it was virtually unknown for any abuse to happen in public. Image was everything so a happy, smiling family was what was presented to the outside world regardless of the truth. So for my father to hit me, and to hit me so hard in public was a very rare event - it just did not happen.

Secondly,  it struck me that me, aged 6, was not shocked by his actions, I was used to being on the wrong end of severe violence. So, on one level, nothing out of the usual had happened. It was what I was used to. But for him to hit me and to hit me so hard in public was extraordinary and so I felt it must bring an end to everything. And, of course, it was all my fault. I had made it all happen by my "bad behaviour".

I now recognise my "bad behaviour" as being quite normal behaviour for a cranky 6-year old.

I remember feeling crushed when I realised the police were not going to be called and the crowd slowly melted away as if nothing had happened. 

I remember thinking "no-one is going to rescue me from them, there is no escape and no rescue." I felt very alone and very afraid. 

I remember feeling hurt, confused and disappointed by all those adults who witnessed something appalling but who turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. I remember I was disappointed, deeply disappointed, by those were taken in by my mother's charm, which of course only existed in public. 

I remember how I couldn't believe that no-one held my father to account for his actions that day. Not even the disgruntled stallholder who was not quite so convinced by my mother's silver tongue but was mollified enough to do and say nothing about what had occurred and who just turned and set about putting his stall to rights while I stood there alone, confused, uncertain, wondering what had just happened. I couldn't get my head round it. I still can't get my head round it.

I also remember how I knew that I was in for it, a line had been crossed and I was going to pay dearly for crossing that line and creating that situation! I was shit scared, and with good cause.

I cannot tell you what happened afterwards. It is a total blank. I have no memory of what happened, which tells me the repercussions were horrific. There's always a good reason why there are memory blanks.

So along with the resurgence of that particular event came very conflicted feelings about my father. I've always had conflicted feelings about him which have got worse since he died. Now I understand a little why. 

My father was someone who could be very nice to me, and he was very nice to me sometimes, especially in parts of my early childhood. But he was also someone who could quite literally turn on you. One second being very nice to you, then a split second later being the total opposite.

I often used to hide him behind the fact that many things he did were because my mother ordered him to do them. But as this incident shows, there were times he did terrible things off his own bat, not to please her. His indifference to my feelings and needs, his terrible violence and unpredictability were partially offset by his moments of kindness, which created confusion for me and conflict in my feelings and my memories.

So I still feeling conflicted by how I felt about him then and how I feel about him now. My feelings and my thoughts are conflicted. And I hate him for creating that scenario. And I guess it suited his agenda to do so.

But I am still very glad that he is dead and cannot hurt or abuse anymore.

I am also very glad that he suffered towards the end of his life, although no amount of suffering could ever compensate for the suffering he meted out to me.

I still have to deal with deeply rooted thoughts about how that makes me a bad person. But I know that it does not actually, and that is isn't really about that. It is all about and because of the brute of a human being he was.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

6 YEARS

It is six years since my parents and brother were on bail following my police interviews. What a six years that has been for me and for my life. I am more accepting of myself, how I am and how I deal with the challenges of life alongside living with the consequences of severe abuse every moment of every day. 

I have no regrets about going to the police, though I still feel betrayed and let down by them and the CPS. It may not have turned out the way I hoped - with my still living abusers charged, found guilty and put away for a long time. 

But my life is very different now. 

I am proud that I broke my silence. I am proud about the hard work I've done in therapy during the past four years. 

I am not the same person, and that is all for the better. 

Yes life is still an enormous struggle and it always will be. I often wish I wasn't around having to deal with the pain, abandonment and trauma, every moment of my life. But my self-understanding and self-acceptance is phenomenal which I would never have believed possible. 

The last six months has been one illness after another, the trauma of the PIP process being the main contributing cause.

But I'm still here and I've turned 50, which is another miracle too.