South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

A journey of change: Lost in the maze of life

For Female Survivors, Male Survivors

Tags: Survivor's Stories

One Man’s Journey with Childhood Abuse

Have I changed? Physically yes, however, I don’t know if I can answer the question with any degree of certainty regarding myself as a person. People can make their own assessment as they are wont to do.

Do I feel any different or have a different outlook on life. I feel that I can tolerate ignorance and arrogance from people better, including myself, however, as for trust, intimacy and social interaction that is still a work in progress. I am and probably will always be hyper vigilant to any changes to routine and personel. Call it fear or wanting to stay in control, but I am an expert at sabotaging both professional and personal relationships if I consider it to be the best way to extricate myself out of a situation. You will detest me on my terms not yours.

Other peoples’ comments or judgement do not bother me anymore as I am my own worst critic and probably do a better job anyway. Show me an alleged perfect person and I’ll show you a liar. I am constantly amazed that people still tut tut me, yet their own actions prove they don’t believe their own advice (hypocrites). Every piece of advice I have received I have retained in my memory, not that I would throw it back at you if such circumstances arose, but, it would be very hard for me to take anything you said to me again seriously. Harsh probably, hypocritical of me? probably, but it’s my bloody brain and how it perceives the world around me. Besides nobody really knows what makes me tick, not even me.

Currently nobody has seen me at my very best (including myself for a long time), when I can function as a “normal” (societal label) person engaging in day to day life. I miss that feeling of purpose and validation of my ideas/actions that interaction brings, however, trust and safety are very important emotions that need to be constantly addressed to operate effectively. Imagine for a moment a roller coaster ride at an amusement park twisting, turning, going up and down, you strap yourself in for the thrill of the unknown. You are excited to be taken by surprise, this is what you expect and pay for, well this is the emotional roller coaster I experience on a daily basis. I am constantly on edge with feelings of conflict and dread. Sometimes I can hold these feelings in check. Sometimes they become so overwhelming that the only way to vanquish them is to destroy myself through self harm i.e. cutting, drinking till I drop or dissociate, wherein I have no idea what I have done and in all honesty don’t want to find out either. It’s a part of me that without question I absolutely hate about myself and no amount of reassurance or counselling will change my attitude to it.

It has taken a long time and numerous visits/consultations with various health professionals to get to a stage where I want to move forward both emotionally and as a person. I hate the fact that I am relying on other people as this entails me having a sense of responsibility and obligation to not fail and/or slip backwards which I loathe. I know nobody is perfect, however, I do not like the feeling and sense of vulnerability which accompanies these episodes. Logically everybody has doubts, everybody makes mistakes, however, this does not alleviate my own sense of anticipatory failure.

I have been trying to give 100% effort to change and work with people to facilitate this (not easy when trust is an issue). At this point in time there is only one person I trust completely. I can rage against this person, however, they don’t see the beast, they see me for who and what I am, a flawed and scared person trying to answer the question that haunts me to this day – why?

It’s time to dance to a different tune – but with whom and who selects the music?


Return to top