Domestic violence, death of the natural mother, pregnancy, birth of the step-mother, the mother who is not mother, trauma bond.
The Idealised Man, Prince Charming, the Idealised Father/Brother/Friend, Jesus Christ.
When the 'Transition Object', replaces the Evil Stepmother to break the 'trauma bond'. When the penis/phallus, introduces a fantasy of the idealised Father/brother/friend and all is offered "IF".
Have courage and be kind. These are Cinderella's gentle mother's last words to her daughter before she dies.
Once Upon a time in the far-off town of Griffith, there was a handsome young mechanic named Ronald. He was racy and a little bit wild, his father was a gentleman, his mother was a tyrant. There was also an attractive young woman named Peggy. She had been to the big city near the end of the war and learned how to enjoy the high life with American servicemen.
How did Ronald and Peggy meet, it may never be known, but meet they did and soon after Peggy was pregnant.
Her father, a righteous man with a very respectable reputation in the community, was ashamed of his daughter Peggy because she brought shame to him and his family. Of course, he insisted that Peggy and Ronald get married. Ronald became very angry, but he knew that getting married is what he would have to do..
Several months later there was a wedding where the bride wore virginal white, and everybody smiled.
Six months later a son was born. A marriage that neither Ron or Peg had dreamed about, or ever planned, became their reality.
An angry husband, a young woman just turned 22, there was plenty of fuel, enough for a conflagration. Add to the mix a crying child, post war rationing, and shame in the community, violence erupted.
Ronald at age 24 had high sexual needs, less than one year later another son was born. Did Ronald compel Peg to have sex with him, was it marital rape, where Peg’s sexual needs as demanding as his? It became common for Ronald to violently beat Peg. A third pregnancy seven months later, possibly from Ron forcing himself on his wife, triggered an extraordinary and vicious amount of violence during the nine months of confinement.
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes”?
"As you take small risks, as you gently open, you become extra delicate, sensitised to both pain and beauty".
'No matter how traumatised you are, how hidden this part is, it is there. It is your innate driving force towards wholeness and health, and it has been with you since day one".
‘That’s why time doesn’t heal all wounds, and you may still feel anger, resentment, pain, sorrow, or a number of other emotions about events that took place years ago. They are frozen in time, and the unprocessed memories can become the foundation for emotional problems. … And since the memory connections happen automatically, below conscious level you may have no idea what’s really running your show.’
"Childhood Trauma Splitting is a psychological mechanism that allows someone to tolerate difficult and overwhelming feelings. It is often seen in Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs) who suffer from Complex PTSD or childhood trauma. Having Trauma Splitting, or Structural Dissociation, means we are split into different parts, each with a different personality, feelings, and behaviour. As a result, we feel completely different from moment to moment. Since Highly sensitive people (HSP) respond to Complex Trauma more intensely, trauma splitting may create a split in your psyche, causing a myriad of confusing symptoms. Dissociation and Childhood Trauma Splitting may also be why therapy doesn’t seem to work for you".
Why I came to Deniliquin, "Fear-inducing memories can be state dependent, meaning that they can best be retrieved if the brain states at encoding and retrieval are similar. Restricted access to such memories can present a risk for psychiatric disorders and hamper their treatment".
Some stressful experiences -- such as chronic childhood abuse -- are so overwhelming and traumatic, the memories hide like a shadow in the brain.
At first, hidden memories that can't be consciously accessed may protect the individual from the emotional pain of recalling the event. But eventually those suppressed memories can cause debilitating psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or dissociative disorders.
"In psychology, the scream is an important theme in the theories of Arthur Janov. In his book The Primal Scream, Janov claims that the cure for neurosis is to confront the patient with his suppressed pain resulting from an experienced trauma. This confrontation gives birth to a scream. Janov believes that it is not necessary that it heals the patient from his trauma. The scream is only a form of expression of primal pain, which comes from one's childhood, and the reliving of this pain and its expression. This finally appears through the scream and can cure the patient from his neurosis".
"Neurosis to Janov means defences; the defence are the neurosis".
“I was born with a scream inside me lodged between my heart and throat. Can’t swallow it; can’t choke it down. Can’t spit that motherfucker out".
"I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – ... – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream ...".
The idea of never seeing this again, kept me alive for many years. Being deprived of beauty is a form of death.
"Maternal exposure to excessive psychosocial stressors during pregnancy, such as domestic violence, may have negative effects on foetal and infant neurodevelopment, including delayed mental and motor development, difficult temperament, and impaired cognitive performance".
"During gestation, the foetal brain develops dramatically as structures and connections form, providing the foundation for all future development. The foetal environment plays a critical role in these early neural processes, for better or for worse. Scientists now know that exposure to maternal stress can sometimes have deleterious effects on the foetus, depending on the cause, timing, duration, and intensity of stress. Fortunately, postnatal interventions, such as a secure parent-infant bond and an enriched environment can buffer the potential negative consequences". (Unfortunately, Domestic Violence rarely allows a secure parent-infant bond and an enriched environment, so there is no buffering of the potential negative consequences).
The crimes of family violence and child abuse first hit the headlines in the 1970s and 1980s when political feminist waves exposed the issues within Australian society. For the first time, sexual and other forms of abuse and violence were publicly named, personal stories were told and power imbalance and control were identified as key factors in the perpetration of such violence.
However, until recently, society has continued to ignore and stigmatise the daily challenges often experienced by the five million Australian adults living with the effects of childhood trauma and abuse.
Both childhood abuse and family violence are an exploitation and imbalance of power, predicated on an inherent lack of respect and a betrayal of trust within an intimate and primary relationship of care. Such trauma violates the victim’s right to safety and wellbeing through fear, threat, dominance, control, and repeated physical and psychological harm.
These scourges thrive on secrecy, silence, and the complicit hands-off bystander response, which has characterised our society until now.
Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adults
Experiencing abuse or neglect as a child can have a significant impact on an adult's quality of life. The impact can be felt across several areas, such as emotional health, physical health, mental health and personal relationships.
Survivors of childhood abuse can often experience feelings of anxiety, worry, shame, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, grief, sadness and anger.
Surviving abuse or trauma as a child has been linked with higher rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and self harm, PTSD, drug and alcohol misuse and relationship difficulties.
Children who are exposed to abuse and trauma may develop what is called ‘a heightened stress response’. This can impact their ability to regulate their emotions, lead to sleep difficulties, lower immune function, and increase the risk of a number of physical illnesses throughout adulthood.
"Children who have experienced complex trauma often have difficulty identifying, expressing, and managing emotions, and may have limited language for feeling states. They often internalise and/or externalise stress reactions and as a result may experience significant depression, anxiety, or anger. Their emotional responses may be unpredictable or explosive. A child may react to a reminder of a traumatic event with trembling, anger, sadness, or avoidance. For a child with a complex trauma history, reminders of various traumatic events may be everywhere in the environment. Such a child may react often, react powerfully, and have difficulty calming down when upset. Since the traumas are often of an interpersonal nature, even mildly stressful interactions with others may serve as trauma reminders and trigger intense emotional responses. Having learned that the world is a dangerous place where even loved ones can’t be trusted to protect you, children are often vigilant and guarded in their interactions with others and are more likely to perceive situations as stressful or dangerous. While this defensive posture is protective when an individual is under attack, it becomes problematic in situations that do not warrant such intense reactions. Alternately, many children also learn to “tune out” (emotional numbing) to threats in their environment, making them vulnerable to revictimization".
"The majority of abused or neglected children have difficulty developing a strong healthy attachment to a caregiver. Children who do not have healthy attachments have been shown to be more vulnerable to stress. They have trouble controlling and expressing emotions and may react violently or inappropriately to situations. Our ability to develop healthy, supportive relationships with friends and significant others depends on our having first developed those kinds of relationships in our families. A child with a complex trauma history may have problems in romantic relationships, in friendships, and with authority figures, such as teachers or police officers".
"Children whose families and homes (communities and schools) do not provide consistent safety, comfort, and protection may develop ways of coping that allow them to survive and function day to day. For instance, they may be overly sensitive to the moods of others, always watching to figure out what the adults around them are feeling and how they will behave. They may withhold their own emotions from others, never letting them see when they are afraid, sad, or angry. These kinds of learned adaptations make sense when physical and/or emotional threats are ever-present. As a child grows up and encounters situations and relationships that are safe, these adaptations are no longer helpful, and may in fact be counterproductive and interfere with the capacity to live, love, and be loved".
"What did normal boys discuss? I wondered. Cars? Girls? What about their feelings? The things that kept them up at night? Their fears and insecurities? There was such obvious pressure for young men to be staunchly stoic. There wasn’t much room or acceptance for vulnerability, especially in our small town. A hard exterior grew over time, shielding their souls from the outside world, until that exterior seemed impenetrable. I could see it in the way they stood around their cars, clutching cans of booze in one hand and awkwardly resting the other in their pockets, shuffling around. They didn’t often make eye contact with each other, seemingly uncomfortable holding a gaze for more than a second or two. I wondered how friendships like those worked. What did my brother and his mates have? Did they confide in each other? Did they feel free? Or safe? Were they ever allowed to just… be? Young Australian men carry the weight of their worlds on their shoulders. They don’t often speak up when the load becomes unbearable. They seem terrified to. Admitting that something is hard is seen as a sign of failure. You are less of a man. You are weak. It’s no coincidence that men in Australia today are three times more likely to take their own life than women. And they do so in horrifically violent ways. They want to make sure their exit is certain. And at the same time, there is data to show that blokes rarely utilise support services.
For all that I was battling, at least I had a couple of people who would listen to me, support me and love me unconditionally. I cannot imagine what I would have done without them. How would I have pushed on? Well, I did know, actually. I had glimpsed it in splashes of red blood across the white tiled floor of the flat’s bathroom just a few months earlier. And that’s what filled me with terror for those boys, for my brother. What if they desperately needed that kind of love and support and it wasn’t there, or they were too afraid to seek it out"?
"In some ways, it feels as though we’re on the brink as a species. Maybe it’s just me, but it appears our options are either to find our courage and change things around or, continue on this path and leave the world's children (and grandchildren) to deal with the consequences of our choices".
"What would Australia look like if critical thinking and emotional intelligence played a crucial role in our democracy? Would misinformation be ignored instead of going viral? Would we stop electing sociopaths and villains into government offices? Would our empathy help clear our vision of bias"?
"As I tried one last time to open a vein, the razor slipped, and I sliced my thumb instead. Blood coursed down my hand and onto the floor, pooling at my feet. I panicked. F%*k. There was so much of it, so suddenly. The sight of it snapped me out of my hysterics. It was like someone had clicked their fingers and I was brought back to reality and the gravity of what I was attempting to do, if only for a moment. For reasons I still do not entirely understand, I wrapped my thumb and wrist in a wad of toilet paper"
My school had lofty ideals of moralistic mateship that it simply could never live up to. On one hand, it wanted to produce gentlemen of the future. The school motto is ‘Face the Task’, How someone might read that depends on their experience as a student. From my perspective, it meant that those who were popular did not have to try very hard to get by unscathed. They did not have to question whether good things would come. It was a given. The school desperately believed it was producing a crop of ‘good blokes’ who could go out into the community and lead. But on the other hand, a horrific misogyny, a dangerously unhealthy hyper-masculine culture and rampant homophobia were allowed to fester. The principal and the teachers mostly turned a blind eye to it. They brushed it off as ‘boys being boys’. It was good to toughen up the weak men while they were young. But they threw a few hundred hormone-fuelled boys with something to prove into a confined space and made no attempt to shape or mould their good behaviour. It is little wonder they were met with disaster, especially when the only currency was masculinity. In that respect, I was flat broke.
"Pain lingered, like a weeping wound, while moments of rare joy were so fleeting that I wondered if they had even happened or whether I had imagined them altogether.
I hated that town. Not just a little but with a deep resentment no child should have bubbling away inside of them. I hated who I was there. I hated myself. I believed that this was how life was going to be for me, forever, no matter the sort of person I was inside. Even if I knew who that person was".
Christopher Hardwick "was a name everybody knew, regardless of which school they went to, what grade they were in and whether we had even met. I was a bit like a novelty, but not in a good way. I was there to taunt, to abuse, to bash. To force out of any social circle that existed, to isolate from the peer group for being different. The very first time I saw someone else’s view of me – a disgusting, weak, pathetic deviant – one so contrary to how I had viewed myself, it was soul- destroying. Even worse was when, after hearing the voices enough, I started to believe them for myself".
"I knew there was no going back to that place – the stares, the laughs, the insults, the punches. Those musty classrooms. The uncaring teachers. The complicit ones. The long, precarious walk from class to class. How could I survive there? But where else could I go? I had no other choice. I broke apart the packet of razor blades, gripped one blade between my fingers, hands shaking uncontrollably. I held its cold edge to my wrist and began to cut".
Shneidman defined psych-ache: an acute state of intense psychological pain associated with feelings of guilt, anguish, fear, panic, angst, loneliness (loss) and helplessness.
Bolger defined emotional pain as a state of ‘feeling broken’ that involved the experience of being wounded, loss of self, disconnection, and critical awareness of one’s more negative attributes.
"Domestic abuse permeates all sectors of society. There is no race, ethnicity, class or age group within which it does not lurk. If we accept this, we must also accept that some perpetrators will be talented, respected, and even admired. We must be cautious about using their achievements and standing in society as a way to mitigate and diminish the violence and trauma they have inflicted".
The fact that my father was a great employer and an active part of his community, yet behind closed doors could humiliate, terrorise and harm his wife and children, speaks to a sociopathic level of deceit and manipulation. It should not be praised and represents the deeper, more acute danger posed by these types of abusers.
"It suits us all to believe domestic violence abusers are the very worst of society and far-removed from our everyday social circles. However, the reality is that we often know these people, love these people and, many abusers are talented, well-liked, and respected members of our community. We have a responsibility to hold abusers accountable for their actions. To do this, we must accept that, despite holding someone in high esteem their accomplishments can never outweigh allegations of abuse. We have a duty to recognise how damaging and harmful this behaviour is, regardless of who commits the crime".
Is the river responsible for the thirst of the citizens?
John 5:6, Jesus asked him, "do you want to be made whole"? I said yes!
As I stumbled in darkness from failure after failure, this River and these River Red Gums provided a place in a space that existed outside of time and helped keep me anchored to this life.
"Betrayal. A breach of trust. Fear. What you thought was true—counted on to be true—was not. It was just smoke and mirrors, outright deceit and lies. Sometimes it was hard to tell because there was just enough truth to make everything seem right. Even a little truth with just the right spin can cover the outrageous. Worse, there are the sincerity and care that obscure what you have lost. You can see the outlines of it now. It was exploitation. You were used. Everything in you wants to believe you weren’t. Please make it not so, you pray. Yet enough has emerged.
"Betrayal. You can’t explain it away anymore. A pattern exists. You know that now. You can no longer return to the way it was (which was never really as it seemed). That would be unbearable. But to move forward means certain pain. No escape. No in-between. Choices have to be made today, not tomorrow. The usual ways you numb yourself will not work. The reality is too great, too relentless".
“Betrayal is the sense of being harmed by the intentional actions or omissions of a trusted person".
"The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships" Patrick Carnes
"Trauma bonds are the dysfunctional attachments that occur in the presence of danger, shame, or exploitation...
Trauma bonds on the other hand occur when we are bonding to the very person who is the source of the danger, fear, and exploitation. This type of bonding does not facilitate recovery and resilience but rather undermines those very qualities within us, often with long-lasting impacts.
Symptoms of trauma bonds:
when you obsess about people who have hurt you and they are long gone (obsess means to be preoccupied, fantasise about, and wonder about even though you do not want to).
when you continue to seek contact with people who you know will cause you further pain when you go overboard to help people who have been destructive to you.
when you continue being a team member when obviously things are becoming destructive when you continue attempts to get people to like you who are clearly using you
when you trust people again and again who are proven to be unreliable
when you are unable to retreat from unhealthy relationships when you want to be understood by those who clearly do not care
when you choose to stay in conflict with others when it would cost you nothing to walk away
when you persist in trying to convince people there is a problem and they won’t listen
when you are loyal to people who have betrayed you
when you are attracted to untrustworthy people
"Child Behavioural Health Outcomes of Prenatal Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence"
"Infant post-traumatic symptoms. Prenatal domestic violence exposure is associated with increased levels of trauma symptoms (being easily startled, repeating the same action without enjoyment), while considering cumulative risk and postnatal domestic violence exposure.
Infant temperament. Infants with prenatal exposure to domestic violence are twice as likely as their non-exposed counterparts to be considered as having a difficult rather than easy temperament (being withdrawn, slow to adapt, and a general negative mood).
Childhood behavioural problems. Prenatal exposure to domestic violence is related to more externalising behaviours (physical aggression, disobeying rules, cheating, stealing, or destruction of property) and internalising symptoms (anxiety or depression) during middle childhood compared with non-exposed children. If the child continued to experience domestic violence exposure throughout his or her lifetime, the child continued to have increased externalised behaviour problems and internalising symptoms".
"Stress is an example of how a foetus responds to stimuli in the womb and adapts physiologically. "When the mother is stressed, several biological changes occur, including elevation of stress hormones and increased likelihood of intrauterine infection," Dr. Wadhwa says. "The foetus builds itself permanently to deal with this kind of high-stress environment, and once it's born may be at greater risk for a whole bunch of stress-related pathologies.
So, how does a mom's stress get passed onto their foetus? Researchers aren't exactly sure which stress responses play the largest role, but it's clear that when a pregnant woman experiences anxiety, their body produces chemicals that affect the baby, too. Their nervous system, for instance, stimulates the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that constrict blood vessels and reduce oxygen to the uterus."
This is an image of a Spaniel similar to what I had as a child, Snooky was hit by a car and took two days to die. I have never forgotten him
This report is from 2015, the damage done to me was in 1950.
WHY DON'T WE HAVE THE WILL TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN AUSTRALIA?
"Rates of violence against women are unacceptably high in Australia. A range of international research suggests that domestic and family violence often begins during pregnancy or, if violence already existed, increases in severity during pregnancy and into the first month of motherhood. Women who experience violence during pregnancy are more likely to suffer complications in pregnancy, birth and post-partum and are more likely to experience depression, trauma and anxiety. Exposure to domestic and family violence in utero and infancy is thought to have long-term effects on children's wellbeing".
This little fellow was born on March 11, 1951.
He was born traumatically bonded to a woman who was unable to nurture or form other life-giving attachments to him.
His father was an angry, violent, abusive coward
His 2 brothers were aged 1 year 4 months and 2 years 5 months.
His mother, aged 24, was a victim of violence and abuse before, during and after the pregnancy.
It has taken me all my life to understand the damage that had been done to me and to learn what can be done to achieve wholeness.
Results: Data revealed 1 superordinate theme, Childhood Betrayal, Identity, and Worthiness, that overarched 5 subordinate themes”
(b) the label,
(c) putting the jigsaw together,
(d) stigma, and
(e) better than good enough self.
Legacies of doubt that perpetuated “not good enough” delayed the development of an adult identity of worthiness in these participants. Importantly, the right diagnosis separated self as worthy adult from self as traumatized child and facilitated positive change for breaking harmful cycles, self-valuing, and increased empathy, wisdom, and patience. Conclusions: Findings inform future research and therapeutic practice regarding adult help seeking behaviours in light of childhood trauma, often postponed through fear of stigma associated with mental health diagnoses and services. Similarly, findings suggest that ameliorating wellbeing may be dependent on a therapeutic relationship in which accuracy or right fit of diagnosis provides a conduit for the client to disengage from self-blame, unworthiness, and “not good enough.”
Complex trauma in childhood, a psychiatric diagnosis in adulthood: Making meaning of a double-edged phenomenon.
By McCormack, Lynne,Thomson, Sherilyn
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 9(2), Mar 2017, 156-165
The present study demonstrated that childhood traumatic events not only have effects on emotion regulation and the development of sense of identity, but also may be associated with self harm behaviours in the later stages of life.
[The Relationship Between Childhood Traumas, Identity Development, Difficulties in Emotion Regulation and Psychopathology]