Our Body is a Recording of Traumatic or Negative Experiences

What I have experienced, and know first-hand, through the work my therapist has done for the past 40 years, could be the medicine of the future –that is, if enough people get fed up over being lied to by the medical industry and the U.S. media.

As most of my readers know, my therapist has helped me heal me from illness and disease that medical doctors could not treat or cure. The only “treatment” they say “might” help some people is dangerous prescription drugs -drugs, that if you read the side-effects, you know you take a great risk to your health, or could even commit suicide or murder.

Surgery is no better.

The video E Motion, explains perfectly, how our unhealed Subconscious energies create current-day stress and more serious illness and disease like cancer, fibromayalgia, or myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, cfs, cfids).

Every physical or psychological symptom is the past talking to you -a cry for help- your inner child begging you to pay attention to her or him. Your body is your wounded child, crying to be heard, to be helped, to release those toxic emotions.

As explained in the E Motion video, the Subconscious Mind has no knowledge of time, past or “present.” Time does not exist in the Subconscious, so when the body is in pain, or when a person is experiencing a panic attack, it simply means that something in the outer world, has triggered the ‘inner world’ of the SC Mind.

Triggers can be a sound, a smell, something someone says, the color of someone’s shirt, a painting, a song, a betrayal, a co-worker being obnoxious, or even happy events can trigger the SC Mind to a past experience -usually in childhood- that has a negative connection.

The Subconscious Mind probably retains 90% of our unhealed emotions, memories, and negative experiences, and drives our lives until we heal them.

The good news is that the Subconscious Mind is a holographic image, or a computer (if you will), that knows everything we need to heal ourselves, because it knows how we got sick in the first place.

The SC Mind is a holographic computer that remembers everything. We don’t remember much consciously. Every day, we forget our keys, wallet, sunglasses, what we ate at a restaurant last week, or once in a while, it forgets things like having been invited to a movie with a friend.

On the contrary, the SC Mind knows exactly what’s wrong with you if you come down with psychosomatic symptoms, or illness, or disease that is rooted in unhealed emotions.

The SC Mind also knows exactly how to fix you. It knows what the trapped emotions are, who was involved, and every detail of how the experience impacted you at the time.

Emotions provide information

static1.squarespace.com

The human body is a doorway to the unhealed energies in the Subconscious Mind. The conscious and Subconscious Mind send signals to the cells in our body –even to our hormonal cells and skin cells, and also to the chemicals in our brain and body.

The Subconscious Mind is like a lens that blocks our true vision of the world.

Until we totally heal and free the Subconscious Mind, as well as our social and religious programming, and until we change our childhood negative conditioning, memories and emotions about how we view the world, we will always view life from an unhealed person/child state of mind, and also from social conditioning about how we ‘should or should not’ be/think/feel.

This programming and emotions are invisible, unseen, energies that have the ability to create negative energies in our body and mind –negative energies that, if ignored and unrecognized, can cause serious disease, illness, and mental illness. I believe that about 90% of all disease and illness has a psychological root cause.

The E Motion video has people talking about the power of the mind in ways that I have never heard anyone else say, except my therapist, and the video describes the power of the mind –describes it in the exact way in which I have personally discovered in my own healing.

The long-list of illnesses and diseases, and chronic suffering that I have been liberated from and are found in millions of other people, create a loss of hope because medical doctors are treating serious unhealed emotions -disguised as illness, disease, and chronic pain- with dangerous RX drugs and surgeries, both of which only anger the SC Mind even more.

The patterns of pain, re-traumatizing, illness and disease, chronic pain, relationship issues, and self-sabatoging behavior will continue until we heal those patterns at the Subconscious level.

As I have written many times, the conscious mind cannot heal us, and RX drugs, surgery, marijuana, and “positive” thinking will never heal a person because it will never get to the root cause of the problem. These things only suppress the real problem and cover it up, and it is our inner child, and thus our body, wanting our attention. If we do not listen, the SC Mind gets our attention through pain and suffering.

If we tell the body, “I am not going to listen to you,” then it will cry out louder with more serious problems.

The leading cause of physical pain, is the storing of negative emotional molecules

–Creators of the E Motion Video

If a person does not know how to release those negative energies (negative emotions and traumatic memories) then they continue to be stored in anatomical sites, and affect the physiological function of our anatomy. This is when they become diagnosed as disease and illness.

 Trapped emotions are what keep us from our Divine Nature.

If people understood the power of releasing these blocked and unhealed energies, then they would be amazed and blown-away at how much creativity and positive sexual energy, loving energy, spiritual energy, and altruistic desires can flourish through them and out into the world.

True transformation comes from within, and the result of true transformation is joy, love, connection with The Divine, and a deep desire to make the world a better place and to be a better person.

FB One

16 years ago, I was bed-ridden, too sick to go for a hike, and hated my inner child. 16 years ago, I could never have experienced this kind of moment.

 

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Pry Open Those Wounds With The Truth

“Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues; the world is rotten because of silence!”

~Saint Catherine of Siena.

Many people -even survivors of child sexual abuse- are disturbed by my honesty. But my articles are written for those who have experienced what I have, and who want to hear the truth.

Every topic about child sexual abuse demands to be addressed, and thus, survivors can get hurt and angry, and have their wounds pried open. But truth is compassion.

People need to evolve and heal, not stay stuck in their dysfunction and pain.

People must face their wounds in order to heal them. Hiding serves no purpose. Pretending helps no one. Avoiding truth is a sickness in this world, and on the soul of those who were sexually abused as children.

By writing this article, I hope to help people to come to their truth about any physiological reaction they experienced from being sexually abused –any bodily reaction that created pleasure, or even an orgasm.

I want people to know they are not alone! I want other abuse survivors to understand that they are okay…that any physical pleasure or enjoyment from the sexual abuse or molestation –or even rapes– is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

A child does not have any understanding of “right and wrong” when they have been groomed by a sexual abuser –especially when they had no other love from anyone else, and when their body just does what the body does.

If you were sexually abused or raped by anyone –even by someone of the same sex– and you felt pleasure, or your body responded to oral sex, or the rape, or you went to your abuser for love, to gain acceptance, or to feel human contact with someone you cared about, or with someone you wanted to care about you, or if you felt sad when the abuse ended…. let me assure you that you are not alone, and you are among millions of survivors of child sexual abuse who were cheated, confused, and betrayed by their body because they were too young to know any better.

You might have come from a home that had very little love or affection, and maybe you were even resented by your parents. You might even have been sexually abused by one of your parents, or your brother, or an uncle, or even a grandparent or sister…. and you have probably wanted to die inside because you lived with so much shame and disgust at yourself for taking pleasure in the sexual abuse with your parent, other relative, or even a Minister/Rabbi/Priest.

Know this…the only disgusting person was the perpetrator who tricked you into thinking that being sexual with them was “love,” or that you needed to do it in order to gain their approval or affection, or to be treated well.

But we cannot heal from what we do not want to deal with. We cannot expel what we are too afraid or ashamed to think about. We cannot heal ourselves, children, or the earth if we do not stop lying to ourselves, and speak these ugly truths to one another, and allow those truths to be spoken.

Human beings, especially children, have a need for love, attention, and affection. They will often take it any way they can get it –even if that need is fulfilled by a sexual predator.

This can cause a deeply embedded “guilt neurosis” in the victim.

Experts would do better by victims, if they openly discussed this and did not allow it to be just one more dirty little secret that victims have to deal with by themselves because no body wants to hear about “THAT” subject.

Subsequently, the victim feels isolated, different, defective, and left to try and heal this on their own, or in most cases, they will not heal it at all because they will not face it without someone helping them to be honest with themselves.

It is truth, which liberates the victim from their self-made prison.

To be quite clear –the perpetrator is 100% at fault. The child rapist, or the child molester, is the one who manipulated and coerced the child. The predator is the one who holds sole responsibility for the the acts, for the child’s reaction to the abuse, and for the crime.

Letting Go of Repressed Guilt Can Set You Free

But in order to heal this issue, victims need to hear that it’s okay to admit they enjoyed some of the sexual abuse, and if they are not allowed to grieve that guilt out of their mind and body, then they will always feel there is something wrong inside themselves.

I spent years with an unknown feeling inside, an instinctual feeling that there was “something deeply wrong with me.” I had no idea what was wrong with me. It was merely a deep knowing –a strange feeling that something was not okay inside me.

I was not able to expel that wretched feeling until I began to remember, and feel the truths of going to my father for sex, having orgasms with him, and that I enjoyed the attention and felt competitive with my mother.

I needed to feel those realities, release the emotions, and to validate with my own self, that there was nothing wrong with those feelings. 

People Fear What Lurks in Their Subconscious Mind. If They Only Knew That Facing the Unknown, Can Liberate Them

It is vital to speak openly about this subject, because if we do not, victims will develop a guilt neurosis that can cause them a lifetime of physical and psychological problems.

If victims of rape and child sexual abuse, who felt pleasure or went to their abusers for more –if they are not given the truth, or not allowed to remember the truth, they will suffer the rest of their lives with repressed guilt.

I suffered for two decades with repressed guilt. It took me that long to allow myself to fully remember, accept, and to heal those ugly truths.

I hope this article helps others to not have to wait that long.

In order for the soul to heal itself, it needs truth.

Below is a list of the ways in which my guilt over having felt pleasure and orgasms, and intimate contact, with my father had affected my life.

Please note that this is NOT a symptom check-list. This is not a list of symptoms that one should, or can, use to determine if they have repressed guilt like I did. This list is MY experience, my personal list of symptoms, but it can be used as a reference by others..

  • Chronic stomach aches
  • Serious problems with food (which would have been defined as several different “eating disorders.”)
  • Migraine headaches
  • Back pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome pain
  • Severe gas pains
  • Self-sabotaging behavior (not allowing myself to experience joy, making life harder for myself).
  • “Accidentally” cutting myself with kitchen utensils and kitchen knives on a regular basis.
  • “Accidentally” banging my head on objects all the time.
  • Fear of having fun.
  • Not allowing myself any pleasure or enjoyment.
  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Extreme need for attention from men in order to establish my self-worth.
  • Repressed anger over having been cheated into thinking the sexual abuse with my father was “love.”

In my case, my guilt neurosis was magnified with the fact that my mother punished me, not my father, for the incest. There were also incidents of being punished immediately after having felt sexual pleasure with him. This really screwed with my psyche for a long time. As soon as something good or enjoyable ended in my adult life I would immediately experience a negative physical reaction, or depression.

Right after the enjoyment ended, it is as if I was saying, “okay, I’ve had a good time, so now I have to pay for it,” and thus, my unhealed subconscious made me pay with physical suffering.

I also suffered with psychosomatic symptoms because when the abuse ended, I was disturbed by that. People need to know that that many children disclose child sexual abuse because it has ended, and not to end the abuse.

Some children only tell because their abuser has started to molest a younger sibling, and the previous victim tells someone about the abuse out of jealousy. This is common, normal, and nothing to be ashamed of! The child was victimized and sexualized, and the guilt lays 100% on the abuser.

I believe that one of the worst violations of child sexual abuse and incest is not the rape of innocence, or the physical violence. It is not the emotional pain of betrayal by a trusted care-giver, or even the death threats and secrecy. For me, the worst part of child sexual abuse is the psychological violation of having confused the child into thinking that the sexual abuse was “love” –and I am positive that this issue has led to countless cases of eating disorders, over-eating, and other unhealthy relationships with food.

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Our Endangered Species: A Hard Look At How We Treat Children

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This article is almost 17 years old, but I remember the day I read it in 1998, in The Los Angeles Times (Parade) Magazine. It was only a few months after I remembered my father had sexually abused, raped, and psychologically tortured me for ten years, but the article is still very powerful and timely for all victims of child rape, incest, as well as victims of mothers who don’t protect their young.

By Andrew Vachss
Originally published in Parade Magazine, March 29, 1998

“Years ago, I was in the middle of a hotly contested trial, representing an infant who had been so tortured that the testifying pediatric expert said the baby actually appeared “suicidal” even at such a young age. One of the opposing attorneys argued for the return of the child, saying his client was the “natural mother” and had certain rights. There was nothing “natural” about the “mothering” this baby boy had received. He would have been better off in a P.O.W. camp. And I began to reflect on how even biology has failed some children, how our human species no longer practiced the lessons of our predecessors. I wondered, even then, if it was too late for us. I do not believe it is—but I do believe we are running out of time.

Andrew Vachss

Our notion of the human family as the safeguard of our species has not evolved, says the author, Andrew Vachss (above). Instead, it has devolved—putting our very survival at risk.

Although we all believe our human species to be the highest point on the evolutionary scale, there is one critical area in which we have failed to evolve, one area in which we do not represent an improvement upon our predecessors. And this is a failure so fundamental, so critical, that our long-term survival is at stake. Ultimately, it poses a greater threat than war, poverty, hunger, crime, racism and tribalism—even of the genocidal variety—combined.

That fundamental failure is this: We are not protecting and preserving our own. Our notion of the human “family” as the safeguard of our species has not evolved. Instead, it has gone in the opposite direction—it has devolved.

It has devolved to the extent that we tolerate un-protective, even violently abusive parents. It has devolved to the extent that we tolerate predators within a child’s circle of trust—in schools, in clubs, within religious organizations. It has devolved to extent that abusers, even when they have been identified, are permitted further opportunities to prey. It has devolved to the extent that we insist on the “rehabilitative potential” of those who viciously injure and/or sexually assault their own children. And it has devolved to the extent that we permit convicted predators of children to be released and walk among us.

One distinguishing characteristic of highly evolved species is a long period of postnatal helplessness, when offspring are not able to fend for themselves. Another characteristic is pack behavior, a collectiveness which requires that all activity be geared to the ultimate survival of the group.

Among other mammals, non-protective parents are considered defective by other pack members. Not only will they decrease the pack’s numbers through direct attacks on their own young, but they also cannot be relied upon to guard the offspring of others while pack members forage, hunt or gather. And so they are expelled. Likewise, predators within a species are not tolerated. They are banished, avoided or killed. These are not moral judgements; they are biologically driven and, among all species but our own, compelling.

wolves

 
Wolves may be predators, but they are biologically driven to protect the young within their pack. To survive, our human pack, the family, must make protecting our own a priority.


family

Human animals, by contrast, have tolerated—even tacitly condoned—the non-protector and the predator, leading to an escalation of the rape, murder and torture of our children. Rather than making their survival, and the survival of our species, an unquestioned priority, we watch indifferently while the evolution of cruelty continues. Much of it comes from the individual family itself; all of it from the human family as a whole.

Instead of blaming the “destruction of the family” for every social ill and evil, we need to face the fact that this is a self-inflicted wound. The “family” is self-destructing—destroying itself from within by its failure to nurture and value its offspring. What are “family values” anyway? Unless and until the ultimate “family value” is protection of our children, such a term deserves no respect.

We cannot continue to tolerate those who prey upon our children—the future of our species. Evolution is a race, a relay race, with the baton passed from generation to generation. The competition is between those who value children as the seedlings of our species and those who value them as vassals and victims.

We are not winning this race. And we cannot, unless and until we change our priorities and our conduct. All the pious rhetoric on the planet will not save one child.

And while we endlessly debate the “right” of pedophiles to post kiddie porn on the Internet, our species moves farther away from its biological roots.

We must take the abuse of a child as an offense against (and threat to) our survival. And we must replicate the conduct of our animal ancestors and respond as they did—or fail to do so and vanish as some of them did. Forever.


Justina Morales was killed by her mother's boyfriend while her mother held the little girl's hand on December 31, 1995, in New York City. The two then dumped the 8-year-old's body in a vacant lot.

Justina Morales was killed by her mother’s boyfriend while her mother held the little girl’s hand on December 31, 1995, in New York City. The two then dumped the 8-year-old’s body in a vacant lot.

Unconditional love is a popular talk-show topic, but it is little understood. All infants are biologically entitled to unconditional love and protection. It is their birthright, and it is their parents’ birth obligation. There is no such thing as a “good baby” or a “bad baby,” which is why love and protectiveness must be unconditional for them all.

Those not given such love as children seek it throughout their adult lives—some in ways very dangerous to themselves and to others. But unconditional love can never be received by adults. It can only be given. All love between adults is conditional. It requires behavior; it must be earned and maintained.

I once represented a child who had been horribly tortured by her “mother.” On the witness stand, the abuser explained why she had burned the child by holding her little hand against a hot stove grid: “She wouldn’t leave me alone!” The child’s crime was to follow her mother around the house, attempting to wring from her the love she so desperately needed. Slaps and kicks did not stop the child’s search for love, so the “mother” decided more extreme measures were needed to “teach her a lesson.” Too many of our children are being taught that same lesson, in a variety of hideous ways. And yet our tolerance continues.

Here’s what I tell so many formerly abused children who are now adults: Look how desperately you wanted to bond with “parents” who would not love you. That is not a defect; indeed, it can be a strength. It proves that the ability to love has not been eradicated in you. But you must choose carefully. Test, establish criteria, search—and resolve to be alone if you cannot find what you deserve. Bonding, in and of itself, is of no value unless the current flows in both directions.

When our biological families no longer function, the only option is to create a family of choice—a family defined by shared purpose and mutual respect, not ties of blood. When, as an adult, you can adopt a child-protective pack mentality, you can bond with others and have the family you need.

But that means to contribute, not to demand. You are no longer an infant, no longer entitled to demand. You are no longer an infant, no longer entitled to the “unconditional love” of which you were robbed as a child. Yes, you were cheated. But if you devote your life to the celebration of that theft, you are doomed.

Why it Takes a Village To Rape a Child

A classic illustration of devolution is our laws against incest. What is the difference between sex with a child of another and a child of one’s own? We all know—and the data prove—the truth. When a male (note: I do not say a “man”) has sex with a neighbor’s child, prison is a likely possibility. But should such a creature have sex with his own child, we euphemistically deem it “family dysfunction” and call in the therapists.

Incest laws were enacted to prevent the birth of biogenetic defectives. But why do such laws apply to children? Children do not have the biological capacity to reproduce. Laws prohibiting sex or marriage between closely related adults protect the species. But incest prohibition as to children has no such value.

Simply put, we as a nation consider children to be the property of their parents. And we provide a special immunity to sex offenders who grow their own victims. Which is more destructive to our species: the random sexual assault of a child or the sexual assault of a child by the very individual whom all laws command to protect that child? What is the moral, social or ethical justification from distinguishing sexual assault by blood relationship of the victim to the perpetrator? We can come to but one conclusion: The laws against incest exist not to protect children but to protect predators.

Yes, our human race remains the only one that tolerates non-protective parents and same-species predators. The incest laws make that point, written in the blood of innocents. This is the question about incest laws for every legislator in the land: Explain it or change it. And unless we, as a society, start asking that question, we will continue our “evolution” until we have lost our humanity.”

© 2000 Andrew Vachss. All rights reserved

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The False Love Between Victims and Sexual Abusers

“There are pictures of everything except the fondling and the oral sex that my father forced me to perform for him”

~ Joyce Allan

Many victims of child sexual abuse are disbelieved because the child was captured in photos showing the child smiling with their abuser.

I have seen photos of children, who were severely abused for years, and whose perpetrator has confessed –photos where the children are smiling with their perpetrator.

Colleen Stan with the man who kidnapped her, tortured and raped her for years as a sex slave

Colleen Stan hugging the man who kidnapped, tortured and raped her for years as a sex slave

Children often love their abusers as well as hate them. Both children and adults feel several different emotions about a person or situation at the same exact time. More pointedly, child sexual abusers are not committing the abuse every minute of the day. Sometimes they were riding a bike with us, or building us a dollhouse, and once in a while… they made us laugh.

No one knows what pain lurks behind a photo. Children live in the moment, and it is usually during a vacation or family celebration that someone has a camera ready.

In my case, I clung to my father because my mother was cold and distant, showing no affection or love for me. On the contrary, the woman who called herself my mother wanted me dead.

Until my early thirties, I kept a loving image of my father in my mind because as a child, my soul could not handle that both of my parents hated, abused, and betrayed me. I gravitated to my father and convinced myself that his form of “love” and attention (the sexual abuse) was better than having none at all.

This kind of idealization is the child preferring the illusion instead of accepting what parent truly was. It’s sort of a “denial via fantasy.” There is also trauma bonding, and of course, dissociation.

Many victims speak of a positive relationship with their perpetrator. In one study, over half of the victims expressed love for their abuser.

The following case of two young girls, who were being sexually abused by their father for years, provides a good example of the victim’s need to create a fantasy relationship with their perpetrator.

In this particular case, both girls were exposed to pornography and were made to play sex games with their father. One of the girls told her mother but the mother didn’t take any action and the abuse resumed two weeks later. The oldest daughter eventually told a teacher.

The father was convicted and sentenced to life, plus sixteen years. After he was incarcerated, both girls began to write love letters to him –despite the fact that the oldest daughter was repeatedly raped by her father. The girls even begged the court to let him go..

Law enforcement authorities often cannot get the truth from the victim, and the child will often lie to protect the abusing parents. Children will sometimes defend the abusive parents, even to the child’s death.

Melissa Salcedo was a victim of enslavement by her mother. She was not permitted to go to school, she was choked, she suffered beatings, was kept in a closet, and was forced to drink toilet water. The abuse lasted seventeen years, beginning at birth. Experts said it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen.

While standing in court on the day of her mother’s sentencing, Melissa, with choke marks and scars still visible on her neck, said to her mother “I love you. I miss you. I hope that when you get out we meet again.”

Former FBI agent Kenneth V. Lanning has consulted on thousands of cases involving sexual acts inflicted upon children, and was an expert witness in both Federal and State courts on child abuse matters. Lanning says many child victims remain silent or deny the abuse when it is discovered.

Children most often deny abuse because of extreme fear and guilt. Even if the abuse is discovered, the child fears no one will believe them.

Sometimes the child knows they will not be protected and sense that they will be punished or removed from the home if they tell the truth. Children know very well there are consequences for revealing abuse within the family –punishment by the family itself.

For some children, they deny the abuse because they like being special and feeling pleasure with the perpetrator. Some children feel like ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ with their abuser, and the child often loves the abuser enough to defend him or her in court and later in life as an adult.

To read more on Colleen Stan (The Case of the Girl in the Box), click here.

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Sources:
Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Child Abuse, Jennifer J. Freyd, Harvard University Press, 1996,
Does Incest Hurt Worse Than Grief? Cendra Lynn, Ph.D.,
Close to Home, Mark McGwire Foundation for Children and Big Year Productions, Vanessa Roth and Alexandra Dixon Producers, Discovery Health Channel, 2002
Behind the Playground Walls: Sexual Abuse in Preschools, Jill Waterman Ph.D, Robert J. Kelly Ph.D, Mary Kay Oliveri MSW, Jane Mc Cord, Ph.D, 1993, The Guilford Press page 242
Dissociation, Repression, and Reality Testing in the Countertransference, Jody Messler Davies, Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation, Jason Aronson Inc., Edited by Richard Gartner, Ph.D, pages 60-61
Arts and Entertainment Channel, Investigative Report’s, L.A. Detectives, Juvenile Investigations Team “A Dangerous Mom”.
Source: L.A. Times 5/16/00 “Mother Gets 9 Years in ‘Slave’ Abuse Case”
Child Molesters: A Behavioral Analysis for Law-Enforcement Officers Investigating the Sexual Exploitation of Children by Acquaintance Molesters, Fourth Edition September 2001, Kenneth V. Lanning, Former Supervisory Special Agent Federal Bureau of Investigation, Copyright 2001 National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, page 58
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The Term “Hysteria” Came from Patients With Repressed Memories of Child Sexual Abuse and Trauma

“No patient is eager to discover that she [or he] was violated by people she loved and trusted. In fact, patients tend to cling to their doubts long past the point where most impartial observers would be convinced.” ~~Harvard Mental Health Newsletter

The term “hysteria” is derived from the Greek word for the uterus. “Hysteria” was used for hundreds of years as a term for a mental disorder in women. In the late 19th Century, French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot began the first systematic research into this disorder.

Charcot’s work inspired Sigmund Freud of Vienna and Pierre Janet of France. Janet and Freud discovered through their research that “hysteria was the result of unbearable emotional reactions to traumatic events, most often from incest or other sexual trauma.”

Janet proposed that people with hysteria were unable to integrate their traumatic memories, and those memories were set apart from normal memory processes. Through the years, mental health practitioners found that the only way to relieve the patient from their suffering, was to help them integrate the memories and the emotions into consciousness.

Dr. Jennifer Freud’s “betrayal trauma theory” is that the victim’s amnesia for childhood abuse happens for survival, in the face of terrible suffering –and not because of the suffering itself.

In a number of ways, recovered memories are not like continuous memories. Most first appear in the form of a flashback, a bodily sensation, a sensory impression or memory, an intense effective response -such as a panic attack- or even a dream. These sorts of memories can be “remembered” in the body and senses. They might be described as snapshots, often without context or sequential ordering, but are vivid in some details and laden with intense emotion. Memories often come up while hearing something on television, or watching a television show or film. Something might “click” in the mind, accompanying a terrible feeling of panic or extreme emotion. The person may not even know why they are reacting to the image or dialogue.

In many cases, memories are often originally triggered by some external event in the environment, a personal experience, or an event.

Linda Stoler found forgetting more likely in women whose abuse was a family secret, likely happening to other related children, but who could not get any adult to believe them or to intervene.

Repression is also more likely found in victims whose abuser/s developed and displayed a public persona as an exceptionally “good” person, and in victims who were told, or otherwise made to believe that the sexual abuse was their fault, their idea, and were groomed for self-blame.

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Source: Recovered Memories, Linda Stoler, Kat Quina, University of Rhode Island. Anne P. DePrince, Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon. Encyclopedia of Women and Gender, Volume Two
Harvard Mental Health Newsletter, April 1993
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“Abuse? What Abuse?… Please Pass the Potatoes”

Repression and dissociation of trauma is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).

I don’t particularly like the word “disorder” because I believe that memory repression is an ingenious, rational, and methodical way for a child’s mind to handle severe trauma, sexual abuse, death threats, and extreme emotional betrayal.

Repressed traumatic memory is normally diagnosed as “dissociative amnesia” or sometimes called “psychogenic amnesia.” There are several diagnostic features for dissociative amnesia. The main component is one’s inability to remember vital, personal information, and this lack of memory is too substantial to be explained by normal forgetting. The memory loss can last months, or years –often, decades.

Most professionals use two different terms to explain how a victim ends up with amnesia for a sexually abusive experience in childhood. “Repression” was defined by Freud as a method of defense in which a victim of severe abuse or trauma forces the overwhelming, extraordinary, and horrifying events out of the conscious mind and into the unconscious.

Pierre Janet preferred “dissociation” as the explanation for blocking the distressing information. Janet believed the trauma was split off from the conscious mind rather than pushed away. Experts continue to interchange the two terms and some disagree about which mechanism is utilized by victims, although, dissociation seems to be the preferred explanation among mental health professionals. It is possible that some people mentally “split” from the trauma and others repress it. Maybe some victims do both.

There are many significant factors about traumatic amnesia that have not been widely discussed. Some of the common causes of the amnesia can be any or all of the following:

  • The trauma or abuse began at an early age.
  • The trauma or abuse continued for an extended period of time, usually years.
  • The abuse involved rape and intercourse or other forms of violent acts.
  • There were threats to the victim or their loved ones.
  • The victim’s need for self-survival was a major part of the abuse (The abuser was a trusted care-giver or parent, and or, there was a lack of protection by the other primary care-giver or parent).
  • The child had an inability to express what was happening.
  • The experiences were so personally overwhelming and horrific, that retaining the memory of them, would cause extreme psychosis, suicide, or “craziness” (insanity, madness).

Each of these very significant reasons can directly contribute to DA, but denial, shame, and guilt can indirectly contribute to the amnesia.

Let’s examine the theories for why dissociative amnesia takes place:

Nature’s System of Self-Survival:

Human beings have an intrinsic fight or flight system. When an authority figure, a primary care-giver, or a powerful stranger is sexually abusing a child, then the fight mode is normally ineffective. The child is physically powerless, so when fleeing is impossible, the child must escape mentally.

Physical Threats and Heinous Acts:

Threats of death and harm to others or pets are probably more linked to dissociative amnesia than the child’s age and some research supports this. Heinous acts -that are so shocking or frightening to the victim-  would also contribute to the victim’s psychological need to mentally remove themselves from the abuse.

One repression case involved a woman who had been forced to eat her own vomit and drink her own urine. She was also forced to eat her feces after it had been smeared on her.

To the adult survivor of child sexual abuse, that included death threats, remembering the abuse can be equated with severe punishment or death.

Truddi Chase on Oprah

Truddi Chase on Oprah

Truddi Chase, author of When Rabbit Howls, was threatened with death if she told, and her mother reinforced the threats by telling her that she would kill her if she misbehaved. Truddi went through the same experience as I did when she began to write her own book. She felt she was “breaking the rules” by writing her story. She was an adult and the threat was gone, but to her subconscious mind, the danger was very real. For Truddi Chase, and me, telling our story was equated with death. (note: my book manuscript went on hold several years ago when I had to deal with major life changes and new memories of sexual abuse that I have not disclosed on my Blog).

People wonder how a person can block out repeated and brutal experiences, but it makes more sense to repress shocking trauma than to have a clear recollection of it. Not only did I do exactly what my father told me to do when he used a knife to threaten me with death, but I obeyed his threats so well that I pushed the abuse and the threats, right out of consciousness. We can’t disclose what we don’t remember. Self-survival is the strongest component in human nature. By blocking the abuse out, I assured myself of keeping the secret and thus, staying alive. If my mother would not protect me, I had to do it myself.

Frequency of the Abuse:

Repeated events allow a pattern of defense to be generated. The victim might automatically and instinctually teach themselves a sort of self-hypnosis. They may also begin the process of denial, numbing or ‘leaving their body’ during the abuse.

In the book, Betrayal Trauma, by Jennifer Freyd, she explains how continuous trauma and betrayal by a primary care-giver can create the need to develop amnesia for survival. When a child is being molested, raped, or threatened by the person who is providing them with shelter, food, medical care, and emotional attachment, then the child cannot react in a normal way to the harm being done to them. Even though the abuse is degrading, painful, and brings terrible trauma and shame, the child is forced to try and survive in the home with the perpetrator. Repression is sometimes the only way the child can endure the cruelty, and at the same time, physically and emotionally survive. This is why dissociative amnesia is more likely to be found in cases of incest.

When memory repression is found in circumstances where the abuser was not a family member, but someone the child loved or trusted (like a priest or family friend), then the amnesia may be more connected to shame, guilt, denial, and threats of death. Although, in some cases, being sexually abused by a priest can equal the depth of betrayal by a parent.

Age the Abuse Took Place:

Some experts still believe that a significant factor in repression is the age of the victim at the time of the first sexual assault (many mental health experts have minimized this reason). The theory is that if a child is pre-verbal when he or she is first abused, then the violation would not be understood in a context that allows the victim to form any thoughts about it. If the child is too young, then the abuse would not be symbolized and it would go unspoken. Therefore, it would remain unorganized in the mind of the child, and subsequently, not comprehended. The young child would have no understanding, or judgment, of what is happening to them.

Even if the abuse continues after the initial trauma, and the child is abused well into their teens, every subsequent act of sexual abuse will still be blocked out by the older child, or teenager. This is why Marilyn Van Derbur blocked out her father’s rapes –even when he was still raping her at age eighteen.

Denial and Grief:

In families like mine, the only way to survive was for everyone to blind themselves to what was happening. If everyone is acting as if nothing is wrong, if the child is incapable of understanding what is going on, and if the perpetrator acts normal when he is not actively being abusive, then the child would have every reason to question their own reality. The family then reinforces the victim’s denial and the child is never allowed to outwardly suffer emotionally or to grieve.

In a 1992 case of repressed memories, the victim was raped at around the age of ten by her father. The victim was told by her father that disclosing the abuse would break up the family and that he would kill her. She was also given the responsibility to initiate the sexual encounters, which she did, but only to stop him from molesting her younger sister.

When the child attempted to tell her mother about the “white substance” on her genitals, her mother did not help the child, she instead gave the child a book about menstruation. This girl was forced to behave as if nothing was wrong. She was not given the opportunity to properly express her pain because her mother would not hear her. She was also forced to take care of herself, and her mother was subtly telling her that she needed to protect herself from getting pregnant with her abuser. When a child is forced to suffer in silence, unable to grieve, and forced to protect themselves, the child can easily begin to repress the abuse. But this method only lasts so long. The day eventually comes when the memories, psychological dysfunction, or an illness surfaces.  If childhood trauma and emotional grief is not spoken about, then the body will do the talking.

Maternal Abandonment:

Professional research confirms that mothers who look the other way to the sexual abuse, or who directly allow the abuse to happen -blaming the child, or allowing the perpetrator to have easy access to the child- is a contributing factor in traumatic memory impairment. It makes perfect sense that a child’s self-protective system would immediately need to shift into high gear when their mother does not rescue them from a predator, and instead, embraces the victimizer. Sometimes the mother also participates in the sexual acts, and this magnifies the need of the child to mentally block out the events. As Lenore Terr M.D. says, “Denial stops memory before it gets much of a start.”

Lack of Validation for the Victim:

Skeptics ask why so many victims of the Holocaust remember details about their traumatic experience. Many war crime victims do not remember much of their experience, and others remember nothing at all.

Nevertheless, the tormentors in the war were not trusted family members and there was no secrecy about the crimes within the prison camps. It was common knowledge among everyone in the camps that suffering and imprisonment was taking place and the victims had each other to validate what happened each day.

Prisoners of war did not go to school, to the office, or to social parties during their time in the camps and then later return to being victims of war crimes after the normal activities had ended. They did not take vacations with their perpetrators, or go to church or a synagogue with them.

In addition, people rarely tell victims of war they were never imprisoned, that it was their imagination, or blame them for being prisoners of war. More importantly, friends and relatives of war crime victims do not coerce them into thinking that their captors were “good” hardworking people who loved them.

Prisoners of war were eventually liberated at some point by people who confirmed the atrocities and who provided them with some kind of help. In concentration camps, there was also a great deal of corroborating evidence. Victims of war often have tattoos with their camp number or there are military documents about being liberated.

People who endure prison camps don’t normally have the same level of interpersonal shame and guilt that a victim of child sexual abuse does. Even if guilt and shame had been a factor during the camp imprisonment, it was not a secret guilt or a secret shame. Incest and child sexual abuse involves deep humiliation. It is a dirty secret that was perpetrated by a loved one, or trusted care-giver.

Children of war were not being raped by a parent and they did not engage in family meals, celebrations, or loving moments with their victimizers. They did not have to deal with the confusion that a child of incest endures when they try to find reality in the midst of two different worlds. One world is full of pain, rage, fear, betrayal, guilt, and isolation. The other is one of birthday celebrations, Merry Christmas dinners, movies, popcorn, and trips to Disneyland.

As noted in Behind the Playground Walls, a child being abused within the family makes accommodations in a “world where few things are as they seem and the power of the abusers is pervasive and magical.”

This conformity creates defenses that are seen as crucial by many children. They block the bad, only remembering the good, or at least what is humanly bearable. For many children, it is more useful to repress the trauma than to retain the memory of it.

It is not usually advantageous for a child, or an adult, to preserve the knowledge that someone they loved sexually violated, abandoned, or threatened them. Repression and dissociation allows the child to remain attached to the parent or other loved one who is assaulting them, and simultaneously providing the child with food, shelter, and the necessities to live.

In Memories of Sexual Betrayal, an incest victim revealed she had been forced to watch her father rape and sodomize her sister. She then described that after a night of sexual abuse, life was back to normal the next day. Her mother was preparing the family breakfast and her father was reading the paper. She said, “Everything was just as it had been the night before when I went to bed.”

Jennifer Freyd points out that repressed memories of incest is more likely to be found in families that are somewhat functional.

I see Marilyn’s face saying, ‘I am going to keep his secret and pretend that nothing is happening…It’s even a secret from myself.’

I see Marilyn’s face saying, ‘I am keeping his secret and pretending that nothing is happening…It’s even a secret from myself.’

Marilyn Van Derbur and her sister Gwen, came from a prestigious and outwardly functional family. Even though both sisters grew up in the same home with the same sexually abusive father, and the same mother who ignored the signs of abuse… the dynamics of the two sisters were very different. Consequently, the sisters displayed two very different coping defenses.

Marilyn, who felt no anger for her father while growing up, was the one who repressed the abuse entirely. Gwen on the other hand, felt hatred for her father and wanted to kill him. The remarkable difference is that Gwen has always remembered being sexually abused by the father.

In 1992, Ross Cheit began having dreams and memories of being molested almost nightly by a camp counselor for the San Francisco Boy’s Chorus named William Farmer. Ross had spent the summer at the camp as a child. Cheit’s memories began to return after two separate incidents. The first was a phone call from his sister. She was calling to tell Ross that she was sending her son to a San Francisco Boys chorus. The other trigger was a newspaper article about Father James Porter who molested and raped hundreds of young boys, decades earlier.

After Ross Cheit remembered that his perpetrator was his camp counselor, he searched for more victims and discovered that other perpetrators also worked at the camp. Cheit subsequently discovered an enormous cover-up at the boy’s camp. He found at least a dozen other victims who had been molested by Farmer or another camp employee.

Madi Bacon, founder and director of the Boy’s Chorus, openly admitted to Cheit that Bill Farmer had done questionable things with some of the boys at the camp, but Madi Bacon blinded herself to it.

Madi Bacon told the boys many times they were lucky to have Bill Farmer, and this is how she helped create a distorted reality for the boys at the camp. She generated the image of a respectable perpetrator, while denying his dark side, and she pretended the camp was a joyous and normal place for the boys.

Madi Bacon said she kept things at the camp a secret because she wanted the camp to have “a happy ending.”

Madi Bacon is the epitome of those who shove child sexual abuse under the rug. She is just like all the mothers who choose not to see incest going on because they want the outside world to see a “normal-looking, happy” family. In this case it had been the reputation of the camp which was preserved over the children’s well-being.

After an emotional and difficult phone call to Bill Farmer, Ross Cheit waited for a promised apology by mail, which never came. Farmer refused to admit much responsibility at all and acted as if the abuse was no a big deal.

He probably learned that from Madi Bacon.

A contributing factor to Ross Cheit’s repression was most likely due to the fact that each morning, after Ross was molested by Farmer, life was back to normal. Everyone engaged in his or her daily routine, including Bill Farmer and Ross Cheit.

If an adult continues to tell a child wonderful things about the person who is abusing them, and creates the fantasy of an all-American home, then the child will cling to that false image, instead of relying on their own experiences. When a child has no sense of self-worth and cannot even trust their own experiences, and when the majority of the other family members do not acknowledge what is happening… the child will say to themselves, “Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it never happened.”

Blog One

When a child, who has just been raped by his or her father, comes to the dinner table to find that everything is normal again, and no one says a word about the molestation or rapes, and the child hears “please pass the potatoes” or “would you like some more milk?” The child is forced to choose his or her reality.

Does the child choose the reality of the incest and rapes, or is it the pleasantries and falseness of the dinner table?

The victim chooses the dinner table in order to survive.

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Sources:
Behind the Playground Walls: Sexual Abuse in Preschools, Jill Waterman Ph.D, Robert J. Kelly Ph.D, Mary Kay Oliveri MSW, Jane Mc Cord, Ph.D, 1993, The Guilford Press page 242
Stacey Lannert, Free Stacey Lannert Website, Stacey’s Writings
Dissociation, Repression, and Reality Testing in the Countertransference, Jody Messler Davies, Memories of Sexual Betrayal: Truth, Fantasy, Repression, and Dissociation, Jason Aronson Inc., Edited by Richard Gartner, Ph.D, pages 60-61
Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Child Abuse, Jennifer J. Freyd, Harvard University Press, 1996, page 45, 76, 77, 78
Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found, Lenore Terr, M.D. Basic Books, 1994, page 146
Bearing Witness A man’s Recovery of His Sexual Abuse as a Child Mike Stanton The Sunday Journal Massachusetts edition of The Providence Sunday Journal Volume CXI, No. 19 A-1 May 7 1995
Bearing Witness A man’s Recovery of His Sexual Abuse as a Child Mike Stanton The Providence Journal Morning Edition of the Providence Journal Bulletin South County Monday May 8 1995 A-8 and A-9
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, Washington D.C., American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
Recovered Memories, Linda Stoler, Kat Quina, University of Rhode Island, Anne P. DePrince, Jennifer Freyd, University of Oregon, 2001)
Posttraumatic stress associated with delayed recall of sexual abuse: A general population study. Special Issue: Research on traumatic memory. Elliott, Diana M.; Briere, John U California-Los Angeles Medical Ctr, Child Abuse Crisis Ctr, Harbor Campus, Torrance, US Journal of Traumatic Stress, 1995 Oct Vol 8(4) 629-647
The Recovered Memory Project” Ross Cheit, Memorandum and Order, pp. 1-2; Hewczuk v. Sambor, C.A. 91-6562 February 18 1993
Lenore Terr’s work described and quoted in Betrayal Trauma, pages 138-139, Freyd, 1996, Harvard University Press
Betrayal Trauma, page 139, Freyd, 1996, Harvard University Press
In a personal letter to me, used by permission via personal correspondence.
Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories, Lost and Found, Lenore Terr, M.D. Basic Books, 1994, page 129
Posted in Child Abuse, child molestation, child sexual abuse, Crime, dissociative amnesia, false memory syndrome, Headlines, Health, News, repressed memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

When Rape or Incest Results In Pregnancy

Dear Readers,

I am about to engage in a very disturbing subject. This article has the potential to trigger emotional, physical, or psychological reactions in anyone who has become pregnant due to rape or incest, or anyone who has ever been forced into an abortion.

Someone might ask themselves: “How can anyone block out ever having been pregnant or forced into an abortion?”

Because the mind has the ability to block out all kinds of trauma –not just rape, death threats, physical assaults, child molestation, or torture.

Pregnancy is a very possible result in cases of rape. The scientific consensus is that rape is as likely to lead to pregnancy as consensual sex. Some research suggests that rape might even result in higher rates of pregnancy than consensual sex.

When a woman finds out she is pregnant from a rape, or from incest… the discovery and pregnancy are part of the original trauma, and can be so emotionally overwhelming to her, that she can block out the pregnancy and having a traumatic procedure – like abortion- performed on her. This would be especially true if the woman’s relationship with the rapist was inter-familial.

Some women, and teenage girls, have given birth without even knowing they were pregnant. My guess is that this situation could be more common than we think in families where incest is taking place.

Last week, when I decided to write this article, I was reading the morning news, and one of the first reports I saw was “Father, accused of getting his 11-year-old daughter pregnant”

Apparently, Michael Adkins, 33, of West Virginia got his 11-year-old daughter pregnant. Both parents were involved in forcing the child to have an abortion.

Michael Adkins was originally arrested in March 2014, and charged with sexual assault, incest, sexual battery, child neglect, intimidation by a witness and conspiracy.

Michael and Amanda Adkins

Michael and Amanda Adkins

According to authorities, Michael, and his wife Amanda, the girl’s step-mother, arranged two abortions within 15 days for the eleven year-old.

Amanda had been charged with child neglect, creating risk of injury, intimidation of a witness, obstructing an officer and conspiracy. Since then, both have cut plea deals and are scheduled to be sentenced in November.

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There are beautiful accounts of young teens who choose to give birth to their rapist’s child, some of those cases are due to incest, like Tressa Middleton, an eleven year-old girl, raped by her 16-year-old brother.

Other young girls are forced into abortions after rape or incest -forced against their will- and experience tremendous trauma and anger over being forced into aborting their child.

One brave 15 year-old, whose father had been raping her regularly, gave testimony of how her parents took her to a strange hospital after she became sick with flu-like symptoms.

At the hospital, she and her parents found out she was 19 weeks pregnant. Her father flew into a rage and demanded she abort the child.

In spite of the pain and guilt I felt, knowing who the father of the baby was, it was far better to have a baby than the alternative – to kill it. I refused to have an abortion. My father flew into an uncontrollable rage and demanded that I consent to the abortion, or that the doctor do it with or without my permission. The doctor refused because of my wishes. My father demanded that an abortionist be found – regardless of the cost.

Traumatized by being strapped down by three nurses, the teen continued to scream that she didn’t want an abortion. She was injected with muscle relaxants -against her will- and eventually placed under general anesthesia, and her child was murdered.

I was told that an abortion would solve my problem, when it was never really the problem in the first place….I grieve every day for my daughter. I have struggled to forget the abuse and the abortion. I can do neither. All I think of is, “I should have done more, fought more, struggled more for the life of my child.” My situation may not be common, but I know it’s not unique either. The emotions and problems I’ve had to deal with as a result of my abortion are common. The trauma of the rape and abuse were only intensified by the abortion. The guilt of knowing my baby is dead is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I was violated and betrayed over and over by my father, who God created to love and protect me. I was humiliated, hurt, and yes, violated again by the abortionist.

Her father continued to rape her after the abortion.

This young woman was twenty years-old when she wrote her account of the abortion in order to help others. She is still healing and it is still very difficult for her to share her story as there is so much shame, trauma, guilt, and depressive emotions connected to such an experience. She has not shared her story with many people, as it can feel like a horror story to the victim.

There are many beautiful human beings who were conceived from rape or incest, but each case is unique, traumatizing, and complicated.

If you were raped by a family member (or a step-father), and forced into an abortion, and cannot handle the devastation, shame, guilt, or traumatic feelings of horror…then please privately (personal and confidential) contact my therapist to help you. I promise you, that you will feel immediate relief and will continue to improve with the sessions.

Contact me (Alethea) to get in touch with my therapist…sanjuanangel7@yahoo.com

 

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http://www.lucidpages.com/rmem.html
http://www.lifenews.com/2014/03/11/parents-arrested-after-taking-raped-11-year-old-daughter-for-abortion/
http://www.lifenews.com/2015/05/15/11-year-old-bravely-rejected-abortion-after-her-older-brother-raped-her/
Dellorto, Danielle (22 August 2012). “Experts: Rape does not lower odds of pregnancy”. CNN Health.
http://clinicquotes.com/15-year-old-incest-victim-forced-into-abortion/
Posted in Child Abuse, child molestation, child sexual abuse, Denial, dissociative amnesia, Headlines, Health, News, Priest Abuse, rape and abuse, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment