The Blue Knot Foundation explains that PTSD & complex trauma are not the same. They are Australia’s national centre for excellence in treating trauma. They have lots of information to help you, if you’re a survivor.
Their first recommendation is that you nurture yourself and especially create a list of things that you can do to self-soothe when you’re distressed.
The next thing that’s important for you to know, is that there are three stages of healing trauma. The more you know about these stages, the better informed you’ll be to understand how other survivors have healed.
Impacts of child abuse & trauma
Child abuse and trauma often leave a survivor struggling to just feel okay. Some have never felt okay. Others have never felt safe, emotionally or physically. Many feel bad and blame themselves. Many others are angry or distressed, and can be agitated and shut down at different times.
Some survivors struggle with seeking help, feeling safe and trusting enough. Many have contradictions between feelings and thoughts e.g.`I know it wasn’t my fault but I feel that it was’, Others have split loyalties e.g. positive and negative feelings towards perpetrator/s &/or family members. Many despair of ever getting beyond `the mess’.
The abuse is not who you are – it’s what happened to you
Survivors are often labelled as ‘difficult’ or ‘attention seeking’. This is judgemental and unhelpful for all. Survivors have shown enormous strength, courage and resilience to have survived. What happened to them was wrong. The ways survivors cope and react make sense in the context of their trauma i.e. their reactions and apparently ‘challenging behaviours’ make sense given their experiences.
Recognise that the abuse is not who you are (you are a worthwhile being) but rather what happened to you. Reach out & get expert help to deconstruct and let go of shame, guilt and disgust that is often passed on from the perpetrator to you. Knowing who you are (a unique being) not what the perpetrator told you who you were.
Contact the Blue Knot Foundation 1300 657 380 Monday – Sunday between 9am – 5pm AEST or via email email@example.com