Was anyone else sexually molested when they were a child?

Dr. Howard

Peacock
Gold Member
Not myself but have been around others.

First wife attempted suicide as a teenager, and did "real" drugs during her teenage years, had depressive episodes as an adult. Psychologist she was mandated to see after suicide attempt was convinced she was abused, she denied it. Odd, disassociated and juvenile sexual behaviors as an adult that matched the alleged abuse. She flat out refused to talk about, or even acknowledge her weird bedroom behavior. This only became a red flag to me after case 2...and because I was blue pill as anything.

Case 2, girlfriend raped in her early teens. This was not mattress girl rape, this was confinement, escape followed by immediate arrest and jail time. Add to the fact that it was removal of virginity and there was an aborted pregnancy as a result, it really traumatized this girl but she put on a brave face, but her sexual behavior again was where it was manifest. She was one of those girls that was way too into 'rape fantasy', and that was before I knew this history about her. After I found out about her past....her 'favorite game' seemed like an insane request.

I have experienced violent events that replayed for months in my head every time I tried to sleep but they went away with time, these traumas for these women seemed to be on repeat in their subconscious. I do not doubt the struggles of adults who cannot get past things like this that happened in their childhood, decades earlier. It is worth praying that those burdens are lifted.
 

iOneIndividual

Sparrow
Suspended
What can I do to be normal?
Forgive him.
It's helped me tremendously to get past what happened to me.

EDIT: I am compelled to say more for worry you'll think I'm oversimplifying your problem. But because of the opposite, I will not say much else:
This behaviour is a cycle. It happened to him, if he did it to you. Before you inevitably become what infected you: purge yourself. Purge the anger, the hurt, the pain, and realize he in many ways, didn't realize the depth of what he was acting out. He couldn't possibly have, or he wouldn't have done it. Nobody is truly a monster, we are all sinners.
But we can choose a better path. God gave us that.
Make the choice. That's the best advice anyone can give you. You're the only one who can make it. The Lord gave you that much: free will. Choose wisely. Your post rings echos I find familiar: echos of someone who wants to, but doesn't know they can. Give yourself that permission.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I knew that the Bible says to pray for your enemies, and God will heap coals upon their head. I thought heaping coals sounded good, but I would have to pray for his good, and I didn't want to do that at all.
Thank you for mentioning that, RoastBeef. I finally remembered the second component of that Forgiveness Prayer I mentioned in my first post, as my Priest explained it to me originally about eight months ago.

The first part, "Lord, I forgive n. in your name..." is about lifting the hatred that is crushing you up towards God: a vertical movement.

The second part, "...and I ask you to bring down your blessings upon them," is about him 'showering down coals' upon them. It's a metaphor, and it doesn't mean a literal kind of punishment. What that's referring to is calling down the Holy Spirit upon them. If you know your Rules of Discernment, when someone is in ongoing mortal sin, the Good Spirit will burn, bite and prick at their conscience in an attempt to call them back to God. For someone very far from God, this is a very painful process, and those of us who have suffered later conversions in life can attest. But, understand, it's an act of charity, not condemnation. Note also, it's a shower: the vertical movement towards God has been returned with a horizontal movement towards the Sinner: the rain comes down in a wide spread, and they have nowhere to hide from the Holy Spirit.

One act of forgiveness might return a soul to God, and save them from eternal damnation. That's our power as Christians, and why forgiveness is Divine. There's a pattern of Christians throwing shade around online over our leaders, but I wonder why its never occurred to everyone to simply pray as a group for their leaders instead of calling them murderers and pedos. When my Sister's Priest gave her that new age (((Miriam Starr))) translation of 'The Dark Night of the Soul', rather than react with anger, or fear, my Sister and I said "Perhaps none of his congregation ever pray for Him", and started doing so.

I have regularly-used this prayer since last September. I pray this prayer any time I'm tempted to irascible anger, and it has taught me mortification and temperance of that sensible appetite. Whilst Anger is a useful emotion when faced with an Arduous Present Evil, it has to be tempered and correctly-ordered so you're not reacting to a mild ego wound as if it's World War III, which is highly-useful when we're forced to interact with the world, and particularly-online, in this climate. We can't control the fact that others might disagree with us, but we have definite power over our reaction to that disagreement.

It becomes particularly Divine when you react to unjust and unprovoked attacks, when you know you're in the right. I watched this play out with a friend over the last 17 months who was always being dragged into big internet fights: his reaction would be attempting to justify himself out of 'righteous anger', which only made the problem escalate. He accepted my advice, went through a harsh period of trial, of denying ego, of letting attacks stand, even when his attackers moved their attacks into the physical world, and now God has rewarded his attempts to put Self to death, by blessing him and showing him incredible grace that even moved me to tears.

So, even in the case of being a 'victim' of child abuse, it is possible to let go of the hatred and anger, of the need to even see yourself as a Victim. If you think think this self-identification works, look at the leftist women who base their future identity around the wound they've received and ask yourself if their lives are something worthy of imitation.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
First wife attempted suicide as a teenager, and did "real" drugs during her teenage years, had depressive episodes as an adult. Psychologist she was mandated to see after suicide attempt was convinced she was abused, she denied it. Odd, disassociated and juvenile sexual behaviors as an adult that matched the alleged abuse. She flat out refused to talk about, or even acknowledge her weird bedroom behavior. This only became a red flag to me after case 2...and because I was blue pill as anything.

Case 2, girlfriend raped in her early teens. This was not mattress girl rape, this was confinement, escape followed by immediate arrest and jail time. Add to the fact that it was removal of virginity and there was an aborted pregnancy as a result, it really traumatized this girl but she put on a brave face, but her sexual behavior again was where it was manifest. She was one of those girls that was way too into 'rape fantasy', and that was before I knew this history about her. After I found out about her past....her 'favorite game' seemed like an insane request.
Both of these cases are what St Thomas predicts: their cogitative power has been damaged by Abuse, it has incorrectly taught them to judge that all sex is evil, rather than being created by God, and therefore, having no evil in it, when correctly-ordered.

When sex arises, correctly-ordered and in the legal sacrament of marriage under the natural law, it would felt as a desire to seek rest in a present good in what is known as our Concupiscible Appetites: the pleasure emotions. However, due to the negative experience of childhood abuse, a conflict arises because what is known as our Irascible Appetites, the abused reacts with Fear: sex is seen as an Arduous Future Evil, where the guilt and grief from taking part in it might spiral on for months, out of control. Both of these Appetites exist in our Animal Soul, or Psyche, which the Demonic has access to, and can interfere with.

These two appetites are often at war with each other, particularly during the process of temptation, and keep seeking their object (desired 'end'). In an emotionally-healthy person, resolution is sought by the Cogitative Power, which exists in the Spiritual Soul, or Pneuma, which the Demonic cannot access. The Cogitative Power would make a decision between these two warring appetites and help their achieve their object: you may, you may under certain conditions, you may definitely not. The appetites then fall into line, and this process gets easier as you practice mortification regularly: this is why prayer, fasting and penance is so stressed in Catholicism. Your appetites are being trained to submit, for they're like little children, and will always scream to see what they can get away with.

Now, look at what might happen when the Cogitative Power has been damaged by abuse:

The concupiscible wants. The irascible fears. They turn to the Cogitative Power to resolve the conflict. It looks back at them:



Without being given a clear directive, this war continues. Usually, Fear wins, and, superficially, it looks like the matter is settled. Except it's only the Cogitative Power than can help the Concupiscible achieve its object - to be put to final rest, which means, it keeps seeking it's goal, but Fear has repressed the Desire - driven it into a subconscious level of behaviour. Meaning, it will become a constant inner war, until it eventually flares up and the bizarre acting out you saw in your exes arises.

Note, this can also happen without abuse. If you train yourself to react to every sexual temptation that comes your way with Fear that it is innately-sinful, and, through sheer force of will, drive it from your conscious mind, you will eventually end up with damage to your Cogitative Power. This is why I have been strongly-stressing that William of Ockham was teaching heresy when he stated you can 'will' yourself to holiness and that sin begins in the thought, not by putting the thoughts into action, which sets up an impossible standard beyond human capability. Note that some Saints carry on this Heresy, such as St Alphonsus Ligouri. This is not what the Summa Theologiae teaches, and why the current Catechism teaches Ockham taught a Heresy.

Years of practiced constant sexual repression can lead to the kind of medical issues I have, where the doctors say the problem is obviously-real, but they have no medical explanation for it. One neurologist told me what I have is a known condition, but science doesn't understand it, all they know is that the common factor is childhood trauma.

This can all be healed. The Cogitative Power can be retrained. All I have been trained to do is to react to a sexual temptation not with fear, but inviting God into the process, and referring all pleasure received back to the source.

It's the difference between:

- "beautiful woman! ahhhhh! wish it away or I'll go to hell!" (Says 50 prayers in a row).

and

- "Beautiful woman. Her beauty is a testament to your power of your creation, Lord, and it naturally inspires sexual desire from me, and I thank you for this pleasure I'm receiving. However, she is not an object to be used for my gratification. Out of love for you, respect for her as one of your children, and respect for myself, I choose not to act on this desire. Thank you. All glory and praise to you."

This is a process known as RAAPRA, which is standing in for a damaged cogitative power. It puts the war between the appetites to rest.

In the first case, I would think about that woman for days until it resulted in masturbation, where the Concupiscible, acting subconsciously, achieved it's end.

In the second case, I've forgotten that I wanted anything from that woman by the time the conversation with God finishes. This is what St Paul means when he says to refer all pleasure in all things back to God. You're allowed to feel pleasure in lawful circumstances as long as you refer it back to our Creator, rather than seeking it for its own sake.

This is also why I stressed Freedom for Excellence (New Testament Merciful Father) over Freedom of Indifference (Old Testament Legalistic Judge). Jesus reveals the fullness of Truth. God is not Stern Judge forbidding you from ever feeling pleasure, ready to cast you into hell at the slightest minor transgression of the Law. He's simply what Jesus teaches us: we are not slaves, but His children; he works with us for our correction, he doesn't punish us for our transgressions; and that he is Love itself. This is the New Covenant, and why Jesus died for us.

Rather than reacting with Fear, pretending you're going to an idealised, perfectly-patient Father for advice. Understand, God doesn't send anyone to Hell. He's revealed to multiple Saints that we cast ourselves into Hell when confronted with the reality of who we really are, not understanding that pain we're feeling can be taken away by his mercy, if we turn to him.

I mentioned this to my Priest yesterday morning, when I mentioned him saying in a homily how Pagans who haven't accepted Christ then go to him under His Judgement, rather than His Mercy. He brought up St Catherine of Sienna, whom dictated God's words on this during an ecstatic state, and then said "Have you ever seen the Never-Ending Story? The main character has to defeat his enemy by looking in the mirror, and sees himself. That's all that happens at Judgement. Some people thought they were God, and throw themselves into Hell when they see how far from His perfection they truly are."

They don't understand that even in that moment, they can still throw themselves on his Mercy and all will be forgiven.

This is why I also stress the superiority of Catholic Tradition. Mortification, Reconciliation, the Consolation / Desolation Cycle, the Three Ages, learning the way the demons regularly lie to us: we are being constantly-prepared through a pattern of humiliation, seeking forgiveness and falling into obedience, and therefore have no delusions about who we really are, and what we are really capable of. Even the Saints understood they were terrible people, and were capable of absolutely nothing good in themselves, and that everything good that came out of them was only because of God's grace. When I first converted, I remember being horrified and upset at considering that concept: that I am nothing and incapable of anything. Now, through fall after fall; no matter how far I get finding I haven't traveled anywhere; through begging God for forgiveness then going right out and doing it again; I find joy in such a statement. It's only when I unite myself with God that I'm capable of everything by being effectively, no more than a hammer in his hand when necessary.

We seem to be being prepared for that moment of Judgement in a way that the Schismatic Churches are not.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Remember how I wrote yesterday I gave permission to Jesus to come into the darkest part of myself, that even I didn't allow myself to see?

Just finished therapy about 10 minutes ago, and am having a quiet cup of tea. Jesus showed me what I didn't know.

I was six years old, and had been given drugs without my knowledge.

I was taken into a backyard shed with a dirt floor. My hands were tied up, I was held down by a hand on the back of the neck and sodomized.

My vertigo attacks are a recreation of this sense of drugged dislocation and not knowing which way was up.

This explains my lifelong disinterest in drugs, due to the sense of not having full control over my body.

It also explains my childhood suspicion of any adult who wants to be around a child for any longer than politeness would require.

This explains why I always loathed girls putting their hands on my neck.

This explains why I became a bodybuilder, so no-one would ever, ever dare to mess with me again.

This explains why I've always have fought to bring child abuse to light.

It was the much older brother of the three girls my age who lived next door. If you'd asked me two hours ago to describe him, let alone name him, I couldn't have done it.

I also was shown that he came to my Father on the night he killed himself. Was my Father his drug source? My Father turned him away and I was shown a memory of the next night, when my Father cried in my Mother's lap, blaming himself.

He drowned himself in the river when he was 17 and I was maybe 8 or 9. If you'd had asked me if I'd had any single interaction with him besides in passing two hours ago, I would have said no.

I also understood that out of the four children in the street, it wasn't just me he got to.

When I was working for the Police here, years later, I came across his autopsy photos by chance. He'd been in the water a long while before they found him.

What a terrible, messed up world we live in that this is what we do to each other.

I forgive him.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.


Understand: I'm OK. I was ready to see this, and Jesus knew I was ready. I feel no need to cope via sex, drugs, alcohol or fighting. All I'm sensing is that I want to have some quiet time alone with Jesus for the next few days, so, please, no-one worry If I'm quiet for a couple of days.

I'm going to go for a quiet walk with Jesus up the hill and sit for a while. God bless all of you.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
Scratch that: it's already processed.

I went for my walk, intending to give this burden to God, then I remembered my last few years of Experiential and lntellectual Knowledge of God.

So, understanding that God exists outside of time, I pleaded for the soul of my abuser: that in between the decision to throw himself off the bridge and his eventual drowning, he would be given the grace to repent of his actions.

I also understand that there is nothing I could ever possibly do in my lifetime to merit such a request in my fallen state, but also understand that Jesus would have felt every moment of pain that my abuser experienced in his life that lead him to such a dark place as to do what he did to me, and, as such, have the greatest compassion for such a Lost Sinner that all I had to do was request this be done via his Beautiful, Merciful Heart.

I understand via Saint Therese of Lisieux that God won't inspire an unachievable Holy Desire in a soul if it be His Will, and he asks us to forgive others for how they sin against us.

So, I then requested that after I die, could I be taken to the moment of his judgement, so as to be there as my abuser sees the full weight of his sins, so that he does not throw himself into hell in despair.

I then saw it. He was, obviously, in a bad state.

I saw two versions of myself: the man I am now, and the child I was then. Child Me held my abuser's hand, and told him he loved him.

The Adult Me looked over at him and told him that I forgave him.

Child Me pulled at his hand excitedly and said "Come and meet my Daddy. He loves you very much and can make all the pain go away."

We both went closer. Whilst I didn't see or hear Jesus, I intellectually-understand what happened. My abuser was asked 'who here condemns you?' The Adult Me who desired Judgement for the wrong committed against him said nothing. The gentle, trusting Child Me, who sobbed in pain to my Priest just under two hours ago and described what was happening to him was like "my heart is being pulled out of me and I can no longer feel it in there, I've lost it forever", had been given his heart back, could show innocent, merciful love, and so also remained silent.

My abuser looked around, suddenly freed. "No-one, Lord."

"Then neither will I."

Adult Me then told Him I'd leave Him with our Father, knowing he was in safe hands, and I wouldn't worry about him again.

By this stage, I found that I'd reached the top of the hill, so left them to it, and discreetly-slipped away.

I have utter certainty that this happened.

----

I was talking quietly with Jesus on the way back down, and I asked him to never let me forget this again. That I understand it can be integrated back into me without it hurting me, the way it has for 43 years. And I thanked him, very much, for unchaining both myself and my abuser from the crushing weight of sin and guilt that neither of us were capable of carrying.

So, I suspect I'm OK going forward. I know, I know. It sounds horrific, but this is what accepting Divine Providence brings. I guess it will just be a matter of observing the fruits of this experience.

All glory and praise to God.
 
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Horus

Ostrich
Gold Member
Sincerely thank you to ask the people who took the time to reply, especially AB. There's so much to take in. I picked up a Bible yesterday for the first time in over 20 years.
 

Sherman

Ostrich
Religion is important, but it won’t do anything to resolve trauma. Talk therapy is worthless. The body oriented therapies look more promising (google “somatic therapy”).

Here is an excellent free site to start learning about how the mind works.
http://sfhelp.org/gwc/personality.htm

Why talk therapy doesn’t work

 
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Reactions: Zep
'The Sedona Method' is a book I bought 15 years ago to get over emotion. It really changed my life where I still use the 'Releasing' method every couple days.
 

Zep

Kingfisher
AB, I'm so sorry man. That is awful, just horrifying, what happened to you.


I want to chime in here but don't want to disrespect the rules. I can only use the language or concepts that I know, I don't know about God, meaning I neither believe nor disbelieve. I'd prefer not to be called an Atheist because it comes with negative associations. I have said before that I have experienced The Divine via LSD, this was not a "party" drug or time, I've had loads of those, this was something different. I felt love, just love. So I know, that "Love" really is the answer to so many problems, and it sounds so cheesy doesn't it? Does this make you cringe? It used to make me cringe? But, it is true. Love heals.


I want to talk about therapy and "why talk therapy doesn't work", from the post above.


I did about fifteen years of talk therapy. It didn't work. I've seen about four different psychologists, the process has too many flaws, and those flaws are why I didn't get better. I'm going to use mechanistic language because it's what I know. The ego, the unconscious ... where repressed memories are stored. When a child is raped it dissociates as a coping mechanism, the dissociated part gets stored away to be processed at a later time when the ego is strong enough to handle it. The problem with talk therapy is what therapists call "resistance", this means the client can't access unconscious content or is unwilling or unable to travel towards it because of fear, or most likely 'self' preservation. Self preservation means keeping your ego intact to interface with the world, with reality. Who's going to do your ego for you on a day to day basis when it is shattered by the memory of trauma? no-one.


Psychologists and medications are Management, not Resolution. Unless you have the ability to go to a very dark place with 50 minutes, ball your eyes out, and then 50 minutes later, put your everyday face back on and operate in the external world as usual, I can't see this working for most people. I think women might be able to do this however, they seem to have more emotional flexibility than men. I knew a girl who was satanically ritually abused who could go to a horrifying place within the hour allotted to her and then go back to her life a day later, but, this I think is very very rare. Even if you have a perfect environment, say three weeks away from your normal life, out in the country, with therapists around you, can your ego even travel past itself in that time to go to a traumatic place? I don't know. Especially if you're an older man, your personality is pretty well set and patterns are deeply embedded.


How to get past yourself then? Like the above says, a psychedelic, used in a safe environment, with people you can count on and trust. The psychedelic will immerse you into your unconscious, and like the speaker from the video above said, if massive anxiety comes up, it can be managed, yes, this is when you use Benzodiazepams properly. A little bit of Ativan or Clonazepam used once or twice is definitely not going to make you an addict, and the anxiety from going into the unconscious can cause damage, so you should use the anti-anxiety meds. Don't play around with psychedelics, they can be dangerous. But in a context with professionals, it may be a life saver. An actual life-saver.


I wish I could do what AB has done, taken his mind and applied it to religion and then 'given' his horrifying experience over to God. I wish I could do this, I can't. I have to go a different route, talk therapy didn't work, so I want to try the above. My spirit is heavy, while I have made incredible strides over the last 5 years, i.e. detoxing off of 20 yrs of benzos ( hell, absolute hell), then finding an SSRI that worked and bringing me up another level to be able to work, and now getting a new and better job because my work was done well and my boss noticed, I feel unhappy and I think I know why. I need to talk about some stuff that went down when I was a kid. My mother could be violent, I'm torn, I feel guilty talking about her this way. I know she was tormented, but she beat me on one occasion so bad I started having aural hallucinations, I was hearing glass smashing around me and looking up and seeing the windows were still intact, I was 6 or 7 at the time. My sister said on another occasion she had her hand around my neck pushed me up against the wall and my sister was screaming at her to stop ... I have no memory of this but now understand why I have these moments of rage and in every one of them the fantasy involves me with my hands around someones neck. She caught me playing doctor with girls and made me gone on all fours, like a dog, like a f**king dog, and beat me with a wooden spoon. This made me intensely shameful about my sexuality, so much so that I didn't touch or kiss a girl all through high-school. So, I made some growth in the last 5 years, but I think I may have hit the ceiling and now have to talk about what went down inside my house. I don't want to take SSRI's anymore, yes, they were excellent for a while, but now I can't feel and experience fully and it's hurting me, I want to get off of them, I want to not need to take them and I think the only way to do that is to process the trauma that occurred when I was a little boy.
 

iOneIndividual

Sparrow
Suspended
why I became a bodybuilder, so no-one would ever, ever dare to mess with me again
Fascinating you wrote both these posts. You have a lot of insight, something we have in common.
Ironically I would suggest on a darker level (the part you don't allow yourself to see perhaps) you did it partially because it would allow you to make it much easier to repeat the act if you were strong enough to hold another person down.

This is precisely the reason why I've avoided physical activity most of my life, not allowing myself to become physically capable of repeating it even though I never would. A failsafe so to speak.

The concupiscible wants. The irascible fears. They turn to the Cogitative Power to resolve the conflict. It looks back at them:


You may have just oversimplified all conscious experience with one beautifully profound statement and an exceptionally accurate image to
represent it. Truly, man's best friend.

I think we are all kidding ourselves if we think that without God we are any better at resolving that conflict than this dog would be. Abuse, or no abuse.
 

scorpion

Ostrich
Gold Member
After we go through any kind of misfortune or trauma there is an unfortunate tendency to engage in all sorts of navel gazing about it. We like to think there is something particularly unique or terrible about our personal traumas, and so we dwell on them endlessly. Repression of memories is simply another form of this. In both cases - dwelling and repression - you are refusing to accept the trauma and deal with it for what it is. You are essentially keeping the wound open and not allowing it to heal.

This is a world of sin, death and despair. It is a fallen place. It is filled to the brim with tragedy and misfortune. We are all slowly dying. We were literally born into this world under sentence of death. Given these facts, why on Earth should any of us be surprised that we have experienced trauma or misfortune in life? It is literally to be expected. On the other hand, the miraculous thing is that we are able to experience any type of joy in this life at all.

Everyone is going to have their own unique crosses to bear in life. One guy was molested as a child. Another guy watches his five-year son die of brain cancer. Another guy has his life fall apart from a drug addiction he can't kick. These are the things that happen in a fallen world. Did you think you were going to get through this life without trouble? If so you need to go back to the Word (John 16:33). We were promised trouble and tribulation. Indeed, you might even say that our experience of trouble and tribulation is the entire purpose of our existence, for it is only through these experiences that we come to understand our absolute reliance on God for all things.

Bad things happen to good people.
Bad things happen to bad people.
Bad things happen in a bad world.

Everyone is a victim of evil in this life. It's not personal and unique to you. You did not experience some unprecedented injustice. Everyone suffers. Let go of the anger. It's a slow poison that will destroy you.
 

Zep

Kingfisher
After we go through any kind of misfortune or trauma there is an unfortunate tendency to engage in all sorts of navel gazing about it. We like to think there is something particularly unique or terrible about our personal traumas, and so we dwell on them endlessly. Repression of memories is simply another form of this. In both cases - dwelling and repression - you are refusing to accept the trauma and deal with it for what it is. You are essentially keeping the wound open and not allowing it to heal.

Everyone is a victim of evil in this life. It's not personal and unique to you. You did not experience some unprecedented injustice. Everyone suffers. Let go of the anger. It's a slow poison that will destroy you.
Scorpion, I'm a big fan of your posts, but not this one.

Most trauma survivors I know will say they are sick to death of their story. They just want it over with and to get on with their lives. I've addressed the big problem with the therapy that's available to most westerners at this time in history ... and IT SUCKS. It just doesn't work.

Not "everyone is a victim of evil in this life". No. This equates your getting beaten up by your dad ( for example ) to the satanic ritual abuse suffered by a female friend. The resulting damage of these two situations is not even close. I heard things about what was done to her that was very disturbing, grotesque and unbelievable really. She did in fact experience "some unprecedented injustice".

It's all good, I'm still a fan of your writing.
 

scorpion

Ostrich
Gold Member
Not "everyone is a victim of evil in this life". No. This equates your getting beaten up by your dad ( for example ) to the satanic ritual abuse suffered by a female friend. The resulting damage of these two situations is not even close. I heard things about what was done to her that was very disturbing, grotesque and unbelievable really. She did in fact experience "some unprecedented injustice".
So your friend believes she won the suffering Olympics? Did you ever consider that perhaps the reason she keeps talking about it is because she gets a brief feeling of catharsis every time you acknowledge her victim status? As you noted, this is the core problem with the idea of therapy. Endlessly talking about and analyzing trauma is the exact wrong thing to do. It prevents the wound from healing. To move on you must simply accept the trauma as something that happened and leave it in the past. People like to believe that their traumas somehow define them, and again this is a toxic mindset because it elevates the traumatic experience and creates a permanent space for it in the psyche. By holding on to trauma like this you inevitably give it power over you.

The degree of the evil that befalls a man is much less important than the manner in which he responds to it. The most powerful thing you can do to get past traumatic experiences is to refuse to view yourself as a victim. The only way to do this is to accept the fact that bad things happen, and that in this particular case a bad thing happened to you. But bad things happen to people every day. This is simply the state of the world. You have to take your own ego out of the equation. Unless you spend your every waking hour in a state of mourning and despair for the endless amount of suffering going on every hour of every day across the world, you have no moral or logical basis to elevate your own suffering to a higher level of importance than anyone else's. If the fact that you, personally (or someone close to you) experienced a trauma is the only thing that makes that trauma relevant to you, then you need to recognize the source of the pain is actually your own sense of self-importance. It's the idea that you should somehow be immune from trauma and suffering, or at least trauma and suffering to this special degree. But you have no such guarantee or promise.

If something traumatic happened to you, it doesn't make you a victim. It makes you a human. Holding on to trauma does you no favors. Leave it in the past, reject the mantle of victimhood and find peace in the Word, which promises us that all things work together for good for those who love God (Rom. 8:28), which includes any evil which we suffer in this life.
 

squiggly

Sparrow
Suspended
The denial of trauma is deeply ingrained in western society, and it has a lot to do with basic philosophical assumptions about the mind and psyche, in particular that the psyche is something that must be able to control or change through concious thought alone. It has deep ramifications for social structures like the legal system, which is based on the idea of absolute personal responsibility (at least for men). If we allow the idea that people's psyches (or brains/connected systems) have been affected in ways that we cannot control or simply "get over", it is perceived this will down a slippery slope where people can "blame" their thoughts, feelings and actions on some damage or trauma they cannot escape, and that this excuse will prevent people being held accountable for their actions. Note how the legal system is both more willing to excuse female criminality, as well as be more accepting of the concept of trauma when dealing with women - this is no coincidence. The idea that people must be able to control their own thoughts aand minds is like a bedrock assumption in western society, and if we meddle with it we are seen as pulling on a thread that might cause the whole ball of yarn to unravel. This why talk of psychological trauma, which should be as straightforward as talking about physical trauma, generates such strange and deep seated reactions.

After all - no one walks into a hospital with a gunshot wound to the stomach to be told "don't let it define you, you've just got to move on with your life".
 

squiggly

Sparrow
Suspended
So your friend believes she won the suffering Olympics? Did you ever consider that perhaps the reason she keeps talking about it is because she gets a brief feeling of catharsis every time you acknowledge her victim status? As you noted, this is the core problem with the idea of therapy. Endlessly talking about and analyzing trauma is the exact wrong thing to do. It prevents the wound from healing. To move on you must simply accept the trauma as something that happened and leave it in the past. People like to believe that their traumas somehow define them, and again this is a toxic mindset because it elevates the traumatic experience and creates a permanent space for it in the psyche. By holding on to trauma like this you inevitably give it power over you.
The event happened in the past - the trauma is very much alive in the present as physical damage to the brain, nervous and adrenal systems. Denying injury is the one sure way you will never heal it - be it denying that pain when you urinate, or denying the difficulties you have in forming relationships or becoming intimate or facing conflict.
 

Zep

Kingfisher
To move on you must simply accept the trauma as something that happened and leave it in the past.
If only it were this simple. Why don't you try this on veterans who are haunted by seeing their comrades blown into pieces on the battlefield.

It won't work.
 

Sherman

Ostrich
Trauma has been identified in the lower brain, and it even reaches into the nervous system and the fascia of the body. It needs to be healed or it never goes away. When you want to get your car fixed, you go to an auto mechanic. Saying that the car was broken in the past and thus doesn’t need to be fixed is magical thinking.
 

iOneIndividual

Sparrow
Suspended
He came, He saw, He Conquered.
Suffering is not a competition. If it were, He won; and pretending someone else can beat Him is naive and prideful.
I've been guilty of it before; but I admit it, and when you free yourself from your sin you learn how to see it before it can manifest.
You see the demons (metaphorically, but I suppose in some rare cases literally)

God tests each of us according to what He believes we are capable of. Not what we believe we are. We compete, we compare, because don't know how else to process it. Through these mistakes we learn the right way which is to support each other.
We are all His. Even those who have done terrible things. Jesus was crucified next to a serial killer who was granted one of heaven's greatest positions.

Who the hell are we to judge each other anyhow? we're really just looking through the holes created in our own souls by OUR pain, and we think we know what we're looking at when we look at someone else?
Come on now. Lets do better than that.

Besides, if I can never forgive someone who might truly not know any better (does a mentally disabled person who is determined by the state incapable of making their own basic decisions in life have to be held accountable the same way an average joe does? does a child?) how could I forgive myself? How could I in good faith ask God to forgive me?
What I'm talking about in my own specific situation was a letter. I wrote a detailed letter over facebook to the person who took from me, and I gave it back to them. I told them exactly what I thought, exactly why I thought it, how I remembered what his stepfather was like and how I thought he did what he did because he had it done to him. That's when I layed an "and I forgive your for it, even if you're not sorry" on him.
Then I blocked him, and I'll never speak to him again.
I'll never see him again and if I ever do I will, hopefully, God willing, have forgotten so much detail that I'll not recognize his face. The face of the person who took from me is gone because I believe God will take it from him some day, if he repents.

Bad things happen, it IS a fallen world. God never promised us the world--He promised us something better. He promised us a reason. We need patience enough to find out what it is. Some of us are lucky enough to have seen it, understand it, and those people become great spiritual leaders surely--but the mind of God is not something a mortal can truly comprehend. We simply don't have the capacity, our cups overflow.
 
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