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Adult Survivors This forum is for you to share your stories on how life has changed, how you coped with issues in your life and inspirational stories for others.

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Surviving trauma. - April 13th 2021, 10:18 PM

I survived some pretty bizarre trauma that took me a long time to recover from. I would rather not get into any details about it; but it stuck with me for a very long time. It's why I have a very poor perception of myself today — or I did up until very recently — and why I use food as a way to cope with the negative emotions that linger from those traumas.

However, it's been in the past year or two that I've been able to move on — even if slightly — from these traumas. I realize that everyone's traumas impact them in a way that's significant to them; no trauma is bigger or more scarring than other in the grand scheme of things because we all went through something that nobody should have gone through.

For me, I've been trying to channel the negative energy/vibes and bitter resentment towards something positive. I want to focus on helping the youth of today and tomorrow — which is why I am still here on TeenHelp going into my late 30s — so they know they:
• have a safe place to turn to, that being TeenHelp.
• with it being the 2020s, they have more resources.
• they have a story to share for the future generation.
• they can make a difference for others like them.
• that they aren't alone in the nightmare of the trauma.

It's a lot of work, the world is a very large and scary place. I don't believe I will make a profound difference on a global or even a national scale. But I have several online communities, TeenHelp and a few others, that I hope to make even a slight difference in.

What has your trauma taught you? Has it inspired you in any way?
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Surviving trauma. - April 14th 2021, 12:36 PM

My journey with trauma has been...different. I've been through things that could be called trauma and, originally, I felt like I really wanted to help those who have been through similar things and be the person that I wished I had in my life when I was younger and going through some very difficult times.

I still do, but in a different way.

I don't like saying that other people's trauma has affected me because I feel that takes the spotlight from them and puts it onto me. But at the same time, I can't deny that it has. It's changed me greatly, in ways that I never even knew were possible. I guess...in a way...it's like second hand trauma. It's this second hand trauma that has had the biggest impact on me, as opposed to my own stuff. I've learnt so much from this and it's changed how I want to help others too. Instead of wanting to be the person that I wish I had when I was younger and helping those who have gone through similar things, I've ended up refining it a bit. I've realised there's more to my trauma and the second hand trauma than I originally thought, so now I'd like to spend time creating the resources (e.g. writing articles) that I wish I had access to when I was younger. And hopefully, any young person stumbling around the internet will get something out of what I've written and I hope that it helps them to be more informed in the way that I never was, and hopefully won't feel so alone either.

Pretty much what you said really

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Re: Surviving trauma. - April 17th 2021, 11:52 AM

I'd say that all the abuse I've experienced has taught me to be wary of other people. Family included. I've learnt to be less trusting.

I wouldn't say my repeated abuse has inspired me in any way, but it has helped give me a lot of life experience that a person wouldn't normally have. I've experienced various types of abuse, sexual, physical, mental/emotional. Each time it has happened, I've been given the opportunity to share a story of what happened, and how I overcame the abuse I endured. It helps give me the opportunity to help others who are going through one or more of the same types of abuse because I've experienced each of them at one point or another.

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Re: Surviving trauma. - April 17th 2021, 08:14 PM

Aside from any potential triggers and flashbacks, do you experience any negative feelings when you talk about any aspect of your traumas? An example would be anger; do you feel angry when you discuss it? Is the anger directed at yourself or at the person/people who inflicted it? Do you feel vengeful towards the person you are supporting?

It's hard to support people and while you have a frame of reference in your own trauma, it's hard not to let your emotions spill out from the top. How do you manage that? I hate showing vulnerability, especially if there is something that reminds me of any aspect of my trauma(s); so, instead, I lash out in anger to show that I am powerful.

It's childish but I really have no other way to channel that energy. Does anyone else have that same issue?
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Re: Surviving trauma. - May 23rd 2021, 01:28 PM

I actually took a few weeks to think about this. My traumas taught me to trust my instinct or my gut feelings. Whenever I stray from my instinct I regret it. I have instincts about everyday things, though, not just trauma. I know when people close to me are hurting or when something is off. And with someone I am very close with I often bring my phone to my face right before a text message pops up.

I was leaving school one time and my gut kept telling me to make a right instead of go straight at a bad intersection. I went straight instead and totaled my car. Of course now that horrific intersection has a traffic light.

Another time, there was a man following me around a store when I was by myself. I look a lot younger than I am - about ten years younger - which doesn't help. He wouldn't stop following me and getting close, or making faces so I instinctively ducked into an aisle with a few people in it and stayed there until he left.

This is probably going to sound really weird, but I can pick out perpetrators quite easily out in public. I don't go out of my way to do it but I can feel them especially if there is one nearby. It only happens maybe once every few months or so. I have that 'sixth sense.' There are times when I've had to leave places because the sense is overwhelmingly strong. Ironically, I can sift out perpetrators easily but if any man looks at me or flirts with me I totally block it out. Only the people I am with can see the flirting.

Also, I know you deleted your account but I do feel angry sometimes. Usually I struggle to show vulnerability especially when I'm angry or deeply anxious. But, instead of being angry I shut down and my walls go up very high. I shut everyone out without meaning to and it is very hard for me to break those walls back down. When it comes to supporting other people (those with trauma outside of my immediate family) I am detached but in a good way. I care about my friends and the people I am talking to but I keep a bit of detachment so I can support others without letting my own stuff bubble up.

When I look into the eyes of an animal
I do not see an animal
I see a living being
I see a friend
I feel a soul.

They whispered to her
you cannot withstand the storm
she whispered back
i am the storm.
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Re: Surviving trauma. - July 3rd 2021, 07:11 PM

I know I'm late responding to this.

I have been having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I have endured trauma. Part of it was emotional abuse. My parents were very well-meaning but there were times where I did experience emotional abuse towards them, and it made things very difficult for seeking help. I don't talk to them about things like mental health nowadays and it makes it hard to be open and honest. I've done a lot of sneaking around, such as getting my meds in secret (thankfully my sister helped before I got the option to get them delivered), saying I'm going out with a friend when I'm really seeing a mental health professional, etc. Thankfully being an adult has opened doors for me in that aspect, but I'm still living downstairs from my parents and don't drive so there are some limitations.

The other thing I realize was probably traumatic to me was my father's health issues growing up. He had cancer when I was in the fourth grade and at first they thought he was going to die. Thankfully he is still here with us, but watching him go through treatments was obviously not a fun time for a child. Nowadays he has had a lot more scares and my mom has had a few health scares too, so I am unfortunately still dealing with that and sometimes still have nightmares about it. I do have things I have to worry about with my health still and things I need to get under control, but it has taught me not to smoke and things like that. I'm also better prepared to deal with my own doctors and healthcare providers and I am willing to seek second opinions. I'm the point person for their own health communications nowadays, which helps.

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