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Sep 15 14

The Pain of Weeping: Trapped, When All I Want to Do Is Splash This Life

by Brittany Ann

My flame has been burning as ever it was. Surviving childhood abuse including Mother-Daughter sexual abuse, and the unimaginable number of abused little souls who grew up into big girls and big boys, it tunes my heartstrings until I’m heard a mile away.

Those wounded little souls can thrive when they are finally unchained from their abused days. What I never imagined though, is how a hell can still rain down upon us.

There is no danger behind me or beside me- check. There is no danger immediately before me- check. This skin I’m in, it has been rubbed raw enough, but one’s skin has since replaced itself many times.

Here where I stand is me. “This is me,” goes the internal dialogue. 


Derealization. Dissociation.

First, it was dissociation that troubled me from time-to-time. As fellow survivors, we know that triggers can do that. But I’m not here to talk about that, because looking back now, it feels like a normal process. I would say that triggers, flashbacks, and dissociation to cope while learning coping skills is a normal process of healing.

No, I want to talk about the trappings of diagnosed mental illness within the survivor community. How much can be attributed to genes, and how much is the obvious fact of being abused, having one’s little body and mind whirlwind while that blow to the body cracks down or that confusing, foreign touch rubs genitals or prods inner flesh with fire?

© photo by chez_sugi via flickr.

© photo by chez_sugi via flickr.

When crucial wiring is tampered with, we might have the makings of a mood disorder. We might have the makings of a personality disorder. You might find us with this or under other conditions in the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) even more than you imagine.

These days of my life (and I know of many others’), I’ve never felt more trapped. Some days, I plead with the sunny morning sky or plead with what pitiful options for breakfast there are when symptomatic. Though, what the hell good have I just accomplished when I spend the rest of the afternoon in hypomania, the following morning feeling restless and agitated without money to burn a hole in my pocket. Soon, I will wake up in a hard crash.

photo by Kristaps Bergfelds via flickr.

© photo by Kristaps Bergfelds via flickr.



I can only describe the past while as it has worsened as feeling like a monkey swinging from tree limb to tree limb. There are quick highs with swift and low falls. What aches are when the tears fill my eyes, pour and then glaze over until my eye sockets ache. There is not so much catharsis as there is a body laying in full defeat.


© photo by shingleback via flickr.

© photo by shingleback via flickr.

Fuck the moments when I feel normal and steady again. They last long enough to inspire my very core. I’m a happy little girl again, splashing up droplets of possibilities and rewards from successes. I was really a sad little abused girl, though. It was no surprise when my mood disorder became apparent in my childhood. I’ve had an official diagnosis since age 17.


If you are struggling with a mental disorder after surviving childhood abuse, I hear you. I don’t know what we are meant to do, my friend. Here we are- never alone in the struggle once again, survivor of what was then and the fallout now.

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Sep 4 13

God Bless The Never-Ending Bond

by Brittany Ann

It’s been 12-ish years since I’ve seen or spoken to my abusive father: truly mentally ill, sadist, the most evil eyes. The domestic violence in our house, the child abuser who fucked my sexuality, who raped my body and violated the path to emotional health that every child deserves for life.

But… he had the most translucent blue eyes.

The truth is that anymore, I can list just as many reasons to want to contact him as I can not to contact him. Maybe the reason is that it is unnatural to sever, to just slice right through, the connection to one’s parents. Maybe I want to get my mother’s attention in the worst way; her knowing that I’ve talked to her own abuser after so many years. It would wind her up that I’ve talked to him but haven’t spoken to her in over 3 years.

Really though, I think that I just want it all to come full circle. I don’t want to do it for anyone but myself. But what if that’s the last straw for me? What if the grime that I can’t scrub off of me increases and drowns any (survivor) coping skills out?


© photo by emma.kate via flickr.

© photo by emma.kate via flickr.

Call me a liar. Call me a whore. Do one of your favorites: pushing a woman down from behind and pummeling her with your fists. But why can’t I have you if I need you? Why can’t I move on to peace between us if I don’t want us to hurt each other any more?

I will never be able to completely heal the sickness you have infected me with. So why do we have to pretend that you aren’t in my life? We both know that I wake up with you affecting me each and every day.


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May 5 13

Missing Out With Friends and Family To Avoid Abuser

by Brittany Ann

You feel empowered. You’ve ended contact with your abuser. Then, oh damn. Sure, I’d upset some family and friends by putting that abuser out of my life. What do I do though when I’m expected somewhere where they will be? I’m not only expected. I am really wanted there.

© photo by Pink Sherbet Photography via flickr.

© photo by Pink Sherbet Photography via flickr.

You’re a broken seedling now. You were emerging, unique to yourself as peace comes when you put the shame and the blame where it belongs: with the abuser. Now you’re on unstable ground and there’s only a small stem where there used to be a slow bloom.

It usually doesn’t take long for a first dilemma to arise when you’ve got family and friends that don’t understand why you’ve cut off a somehow still beloved person to them. It hurt enough at the start when you decided that you wouldn’t share anymore air with the abuser, and you were criticized and misunderstood. Somehow, you got through it. You’ve followed through and haven’t seen the one who hurt you so in some time now. Here you are though, on unstable ground and all you may have for support is yourself.

“What do I do?” Your head goes from a throbbing ache to screaming that question at you.

  • Are you due at a close family event or even something very personal to you but he/she is there?
  • Is it a 1st birthday you so want to help celebrate, but that abuser will be there, too?
  • What do you do if a dear family member makes an achievement but the abuser will be there to celebrate?

These questions are reality for us, for childhood abuse survivors. They tend to pack heavy “consequences” no matter the decision to either go or to stay away from the abuser.

My mother hasn’t abused me for years, but three years ago I made one damn fine commitment to myself. I wouldn’t share the air with her anymore. If you’ve made a commitment like that, be proud of you too. No doubt that it’s taken what has felt like an endless supply of your physical and mental energy sometimes. It is not “natural” to separate from ones parents or family member in the forever sense. We can recognize the truth of that without taking on responsibility for it coming to this.

Do we go and please someone important but (maybe) heavily trigger and break our commitment to ourselves, or do we stay away physically and give what we can to them emotionally instead? “Damn” comes to mind again because there are so many things to consider.

It is my commitment not to go, not to share her air.

We are not at fault if our loved ones and friends won’t consider our feelings. They don’t have to know the “entire story” to know that it must be heavy for it to have come to this. 


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