National Child Abuse Awareness Month: Emotional Child Abuse Is Real and Its Effects Last Long Into Adulthood

This hit close to home. Throughout childhood and adolescence, I experienced near constant emotional abuse. I remember feeling trapped; my inner critic certain that I was a “bad” child. Years later I battle my inner critic. I hear the critic less, yet I still hear the whisper. This post did a remarkable job explaining emotional child abuse. I found it to be a great resource, especially considering how little we hear about it.

The Invisible Scar

Editor’s note: April is National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month. The Invisible Scar is dedicated to raising awareness of emotional child abuse, so in honor of this month’s focus, we’ll revisit the definition of emotional child abuse, types of emotional child abuse, and its effects for those who are not yet familiar with the fact that emotional child abuse is real.

[photo credit] [photo credit] When child-advocate lawyer Andrew Vachss was asked, “What is the worst case you ever handled?” when protecting abused children, he answered, “Of all the many forms of child abuse, emotional abuse may be the cruelest and longest-lasting of all.”

When compared to physical child abuse or sexual child abuse, why is emotional child abuse the worst kind?

It’s because emotional child abuse seeks to destroy the person’s very being.

“Emotional abuse is the systematic diminishment of another,” Vachss writes in You…

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Erin’s Law Could Prevent Abuse

Mandy wrote about Erin’s law in a recent post. I agree one-hundred percent this law must be passed. We need many voices to advocate for change.

Erin’s law is vital if we want to protect our children.

There are a disturbing amount of sexual predators blending into the masses. Unfortunately, even “safe” places such as church and school are not sacred. In my late teens, I had a cross-country coach groom me. Raised catholic, sex was a shameful subject. Off limits. There was no “the talk” much less education on my parent’s part regarding sexual predators. In their defense, there was little dialogue in the 90s about sexual predators. It was a subject people seemed unaware of or found uncomfortable-inappropriate even-to talk about. If Erin’s law existed perhaps I would have better understood the signs of grooming and would have listened to the little place in the pit of my stomach screaming something is not right here the first time he lured me to his apartment.
Please spread the word about Erin’s law.

New Year’s Resolutions-Healthlutions-and Reflections

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In the coming New Year, I’m ready to continue on the path to recovery.  Writing continues to sustain and support the continual shedding of my pain, shedding like an onion, each smelly piece of mental illness falling onto mother earth to be recycled into a being that can fully live.    I think of it as healing through words.  Instead of art therapy let’s call it “word therapy.”  For tonight’s “word therapy” I’ve decided to turn my new year’s resolutions into my new year’s healthlutions.  Read on for my list of plans in 2015.

Write

Writing allows me to process my trauma and break through to health.  I want to finish writing my story so others do not feel alone and the little girl inside will finally feel like it is okay to tell the truth about her abusive childhood.

Express Through Art

In recent months, I’ve rediscovered how enjoyable and healing drawing, painting, and crafting are for me.  My grandparents were both artistic and crafty.  They were much of my stability as a young child so it gives me the feeling that I’m happily crafting beside them at the farm.

Therapy and EDMR

I’ll continue with my therapist.  She has helped me heal so much in a short time.  I’ve tried EDMR therapy with her, but often cannot get past the first few steps.  I’m hoping my mental health improves to the point that I can tackle the root of the trauma and get rid of much fear and anxiety.  No longer being triggered by the sound of putting on a belt will be sweet relief.

Yoga and Spirituality

Each time I lay on my mat it’s as if I’m laying on a protective sacred blanket.  I grew up traditionally catholic, but like many things in my life, I did not choose this religion.  My mother chose it.  It was how my family believed, so it had to be how I believed.  There was no separation between myself and my mother’s identity.  I have no hard feelings about Catholicism.  My great aunts were nuns.  I loved and respected them.  As I’ve grown older, I respect them and understand them much more clearly.  Yet, my spiritual place is on the floor of Evolution’s yoga studio.  On the floor of my writing den.  In front of my altar.  In meditation.  It lies within the wisdom of Buddha and the contemplative practice of yoga.  In my words and the words of others.

Working Out

I feel like my body has healed enough that I can slowly return to running, cycling, and swimming or whatever fun physical activities I discover.  I’ve not spoke much about this, but I was a runner, coach, and gym rat prior to the constant PTSD.  I’ve used yoga to heal physically as well as mentally.  I signed up for an indoor triathlon at my gym.  It is an hour long.  It takes place on January 18.  Perhaps a bit aggressive, but I’ll just take it easy on the running leg.

In twenty-five minutes the ball will drop on Time Square.  As my husband and I watch the countdown to 2015, I hope you are all happy and full of hope for the New Year.

If you can create a healthlutions list in the comment section or better yet create your own post I would love to hear from everybody.

Peace, love, and health in the New Year friends,

BDLheart