The best I can think is simple. We’re dealing with people again – and there’s an infinite variable if I’ve ever seen one. It depends on the environment; the experiences, their genetic disposition, familial teachings, morals and codes; society’s ones – their prejudices and fears based upon such things; the frequency (and expectancy) of abuse – so many things: those things which makes each person unique. We all know no one is exactly the same; nor the consequences of abuse.
And I think the ‘healing’ also depends on their surroundings, environment, and support. The ‘severity’ has some bearing – but the EFFECTS are what are more important; those are what are affecting your life TODAY. Too many therapists and psychologist concentrate on those ‘events’ and less on the effects – and (in my opinion) – encourage an endless rage. (Makes them more money in the end.)
I’ve been on the web helping other survivors for over fifteen years (helping others helps me sometimes) – and I’ve seen a lot of it. What I’ve also seen is some survivors getting ‘trapped’ and falling into holes in the road. Again, sometimes it seems the psychologists encourage this. Feeding you endless pills for depression, or having you have anger fests all of the time. Or (more commonly) – bouncing in-between. And (I hate to say this) – some people get off on the attention it brings. It gives them “life”, something to do. So they find when they are wallowing in a pit of depression others come in, come to their rescue. And they do it again. And again. Until they are doing it all of the time. A sympathy gambit and an *unconscious* ploy. But that’s okay, too. (smile.) We can forgive them. It’s hard enough being a survivor. Sometimes it’s even harder to move on.
Does sensitivity come into play? I’m sure it does. My wife says the fact my past bothers me means I am a sensitive man. But what makes a child – or person ‘sensitive’? I’m willing to give some credence to the genetic theory – but that is just a part of it. Those genetics merely give a leaning, an inclination. It seems it takes an environment to ‘bring them out’ – or else the genetic inclination goes suffering. Which I suppose it did in ‘our’ case.
My mom says I was a gregarious kid. I *loved* doing artwork and animals; beauty, nature, flowers, writing stories and things. Use to spontaneously sing. But I quit singing by the age of 7; ‘shut up’ by the age of 10. Our life was a military one; my parents either absent, distant, or cold – and emotions were often highly suppressed. They had to be due to our environment. And a lot of ‘things’ happened. So I look at my abuse as an environmental one – but the effects are within.
As far as those effects – those are what’s really important. ‘Curing’ them, or at least getting them under control – recognizing them is a part of it. But I’ve been dealing with ‘this stuff’ for a long time (and usually on my own) – and I’m a slow learner. And I’ve noticed some things: some survivors get trapped in their pasts; some thrive on the attention it brings. Others get ‘caught’ in these traps and things, where they give into the rage against their abusers – and then never move on. (And it almost seems the psychologists seem to encourage this, keeping their clients on an extended rage and things.) It really hurts them in a lot of way – they never seem to move past that point (or wallowing in a pit of depression – I did that for a four year stretch at a time, both times it was a living – and suicidal – hell). That kind of bothers me when I see people getting ‘trapped’ into those things.
I know for my mom that ‘rage’ was (and still is) an emotion which makes her ‘feel alive’. I’ve discussed this with her and my dad: that she uses every little thing (and her inability to control them – from the rain to the neighbors next door – to HIM, my dad) – to get mad and fly into a rage. And she says this makes her feel good. And she’s never going to advance ‘beyond’ that point – because she doesn’t want to. Because the release of all those endorphins and adrenaline makes her feel ALIVE. But that’s just one simple case. There are a lot of them – and I’ve been cruising the web (and trying to help other survivors, because helping them helps me some of the time) – for over 15 years doing ‘this kind of thing’. And I’ve seen it: people getting emotionally addicted to their abuse, because the emotions makes them feel ‘alive’. NOT necessarily happy. But when it gets them attention they feel good – or their anger and rage keeps them going. Just one point of view, you understand.
Getting ‘unstuck’ and continuing on that ladder of progression – moving out of ‘realization I have been abused’ to anger at the abuser, releasing that rage and anger – for us it was forgiving them, forgiving ourselves – however you do it – moving on towards a more contented plain of human happiness – keeping that sort of ‘hope’ in mind – well, to us, anyway – that’s sort of what it’s all about.
(compliments – and complaints – can be directed at my Science Authors, Mark Twain, and a few of my analytical selves. And blame M3 while you are at it. Just for fun . . . and hey! – did you catch that symbolism in the title? The one we put on this blog? For there are differences in being different- as well as differences of opinion (both professional and laymen) regarding child abuse, healing, and what’s ‘fine’. Strange kind of world we live in. I hate it some of the time. Love, Matt)