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3/4/19 10:27 P

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Cynthia, emoticon Sharing the painful parts of our lives can be challenging, and freeing, and can be an incredible gift to other survivors--to know they aren't alone, and maybe give them the courage to share. So I appreciate your opening up to us. I only wish this were a more active team, so you might get more responses.

The forms of abuse may differ, but the betrayal/harm/violation we suffered can have a deep impact on our psyches and sense of self even decades later. The severe sexual abuse I suffered as a child--which began more than 50 years ago--had a huge impact on me. I am incredibly thankful I had 2 great therapists and many awesome teachers along the way.

I don't think we are ever "cured" or completely healed, but my PTSD episodes are extremely infrequent these days, and while I don't deny or hide my status as an incest survivor, it's not the main way I identify myself anymore--though it was for a number of years as I really battled to face my demons and overcome feelings of helplessness, anxiety and overwhelm.

So I applaud your bravery in joining us and in sharing your story. And I celebrate your working with a new psychologist--I pray it is a good fit for you. There's been a lot of good information posted here over the years. Feel free to explore and add your own comments and threads. I'll try to check in more often. Welcome.

Blessed Be, Amanda

"I love myself the way I am, and still I want to grow;
But change outside can only come when deep inside I know:
I'm beautiful and capable of being the best me I can,
And I love myself just the way I am."

[by Jai Josefs in his amazing song I Love Myself the Way I Am]

Co-leader of the Babysteps Brigade (BBs), A Gathering of Goddesses (GGs), Survivors of Abuse (SAssies) teams.

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3/3/19 4:59 P

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Hi everyone.

I've seen this group for a long time, but have put off joining. A lot of stuff I haven't posted with online groups of friends.

Cynthia here, I have been struggling with depression and anxiety since about 10 years old. I am a very emotional person (struggle to keep emotions in check), but I grew up in a family where emotions were not really allowed to be shown. (When I refer to family, I mostly am referring to my mother's side relatives. )

I grew up in a single parent family. My mother suffered from severe depression and most of my childhood I was more like a parent than the child. My mother tried to be a good mom, but she failed to protect me from the emotional, and verbal abuse that my aunt's and uncles doled out to me. She didn't stand up for me. They blamed me for my mom's illness and it wasn't until I was about 16 years old that I was told by my aunt by marriage that my mom's sickness wasn't my fault.

When I was 14 my mom could no longer care for me, so custody of me was given over to my aunt and uncle. Things were so different. My mom had little rules, wasn't angry...I basically raised myself up until that age. But my aunt was authoritarian....Yelling, very strict household,. Lots of rules. I had trouble coping. When my grades slipped bad because of depression, I was grounded for weeks, sometimes months at a time with little to no contact with friends...except with schoolmates. But I was bullied, so school as a teenager was awful. My friend's from my former high school were not allowed to see or call me while grounded. I was isolated and alone.

At age 16 I had my first manic episode. I felt euphoria but it did not last long. The crash was almost unbearable. My family didn't try hard to get me the help I needed. I guess they were just ignorant not go bad things were. But emotions were to be hidden...and you best not show anger. But my family sure could show anger. My mom died suddenly when I was 18. It shattered my world.

As a result of emotional neglect, abuse, ect. I have trouble with emotions. I have some PTSD. I have bipolar 2 disorder , which doesn't help...just make things worse. I am fortunate to have a few close friends, but romantic relationships are impossible for me. I find the abusers, emotionally unavailable most of them like my family where emotions are not to be shown. I have become aware that I too can be verbally abusive when triggered. My anger frightens me.

I need help healing from the trauma. I just started seeing a new psychologist. We are working on self compassion and coping skills when I feel intense painful emotions of depression.

Sorry this is so long, but I really wanted to share some background.

I really want to change the maladaptive coping mechanisms I use.

Thanks for letting me share!

Edited by: HLTHAPPINESS4C at: 3/3/2019 (17:02)

South Carolina The Palmetto State
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Proverbs 3;5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; acknowledge him, and He will make your paths straight.

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