I Was Mistreated!

Have you ever said that? Everybody has been treated unfairly. However, there are some types of unfair treatment that go beyond what is considered normal. We call this abuse. And yes, abuse is very unfair.

Abuse is about power and control and can take many forms. Abuse can be physical, mental, sexual, emotional, or even spiritual. At its core, abuse involves exerting control and power over others. Abuse is the opposite of protection, which involves using strength to help the weak. Abusers are often very manipulative.

The abuser often expresses remorse for what he or she has done. However, an abuser is often triggered by tension. This means they are likely to abuse again. This is not the victim’s fault. This is the act of another person, it is his or her choice to abuse.

So let’s bring this back your way.

If you have been abused, you may experience a number of feelings. You may experience what is called ‘hypervigilance,” which is experiencing sensitivity to situations which do not pose a real danger. This may be very confusing, but it is common in trauma, especially severe forms. You may experience vivid dreams. You may feel as if you were removed from your body, called ‘derealization.’ You may experience flashbacks, which are not simply memories. Flashbacks feel as if you are re-experiencing the trauma. This can be very frightening, and it does NOT mean you are going crazy. It means your brain and body were overwhelmed by such hurtful and/or shameful actions that it produced a shock to your system.

What next?

First of all, get safe! If the abuse was a crime, report it to the authorities. Once you are safe, seek out a trauma recovery center. You may need to be physically evaluated. Posttraumatic stress is very treatable. The most important thing is your recovery. If this is you, please seek out help as soon as you can. There is hope for you!

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