A = Abuse Survivor #SpankA2Z #AbuseSurvivor #ChildAbuse 8

A =  Abuse Survivor 

I’m starting this A2Z post a little more sombre than my normal posts–usually they are light and airy, funny even.

But it seemed that this needed to be said. I couldn’t shake the need to post this. I’m a survivor–a child abuse survivor. I was physically abused. I’m not going to focus on the abuse–that would give the abuser too much attention.  Even though the abuse was totally unwarranted, cruel, and evil, it formed who I am. Survivors are made in these circumstances. 

The storms and fires of life change us, melding us into beautiful glass vessels of superior strength and beauty.

When I saw this  picture, I sat staring at it for a long time.  You can feel it–can’t you? Is it just me? I can feel–and even taste–her fear.  I had difficulty breathing just looking at it.

He’s calling.  I have to go to him.  Have to do as he says ‘or else’.  But if I go, it’ll hurt.  He’s shouting now–hiding won’t keep me safe.” 

I lived in fear like that almost every single day. Just before my seventh birthday, my mother and grandmother kicked him out and changed the locks. People said, “Oh she’ll be fine.  She’s so young” or “She has years to overcome this, she’ll forget most of it.”  I didn’t.  I remember it clearly; and I still have nightmares all these years later.  And, yes, my mother remarried when I was ten and my Dad is the sweetest, most loving father. I adore him, and he adores me also.  I can’t imagine my life without him–he gave me his name and his heart.  For that I’ll be eternally grateful.
But in those first seven years, the formative years–scars were left on my soul, spirit, and body. Abuse (in all forms) changes who you are. It makes you strong. Things that scare most people, don’t scare you.  When you deal with fear daily with someone who is triple your height and strength, you learn to move forward in the midst of threats or fear. You aren’t someone who whines when life becomes difficult — and for better or worse, you have a low tolerance for women who are whiners.  

It changes how you deal with people.  I’m pretty gullible and I trust pretty easily (surprisingly), but if I feel that someone may hurt me or let me down, I will scurry off, retreating to a safe corner hoping that I’ll be sought out and assured that all is fine.  But if it looks like someone is positively going to hurt me (or my family), I’ll come out fighting.  It’s a defense mechanism.

Even as a young child, survivors make promises/vows to never let anyone hurt them ever again, and they vow they ‘ll never let anyone hurt their children. 

I’ve had a lot of years to work on this.  A lot of years of reading and doing self-help books.   And remember how I said I worked with all those psychiatrists for years–well, it was free therapy for sure.  I learned how to address my fears, talk about them before I react, openly address concerns before they become issues, and to openly state my needs and why my needs matter too.

The one things I learned through the years–Inside, everyone is five years old. But as a dear friend said recently, ‘If that five year old was abused, it’s even more difficult.” 

We all want to be loved and cherished.  But, if I may dare to say this, I think adults who’ve been abused feel this more.  Their emotions and bodies have been scarred from years of being told they don’t matter, their feelings don’t matter, lack of affection, daily spankings (or beatings), verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, lack of affirmation, and many other abuses.  All of these things have made them wish for stability, peace, forehead kisses, someone who’ll just listen, they want more “good girls” and less yelling, more cuddling, and someone who just wants to sit with them quietly enjoying their presence. 

I’m one of the fortunate ones. My husband is all of those.  As Abuse Survivors–we’ve spent most of our childhood feeling like we are not enough and yet, too much.  It spills into our adult lives–work, friendships, and relationships.

I think for the most part I have overcome this.  And I think most survivors have too.  We’re the strong people, we’re the ones who defend the defenseless.  We’re the ones who walk up to abusers in stores, schools, or wherever and defend a child.  We’re the people who take care of the children, the elderly, abused animals, or the mentally disabled in our community.   We have a heart for the vulnerable.  We’re the ones who stand up to bullies in the workforce.  We spot injustice and we react.  We don’t sit back passively.

We’re also the best friends, spouses, or parents you can have–we love fiercely.  We’re loyal and protective.  We live life with a zest and laugh heartily. Survivors know what it’s like to be unhappy, we don’t want to live that way anymore.  So when given the chance, we will grab life by the horns and scream to everyone.  “C’mon get your asses up here and sing karaoke with me.  And bring the tequila with you!” Hehehe

I promise that the rest of my posts will be fun and make you laugh.  I just couldn’t shake the need to write this post–I’m sure there are many survivors out there.   I salute you all. 

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8 thoughts on “A = Abuse Survivor #SpankA2Z #AbuseSurvivor #ChildAbuse

  • Natasha Knight

    I for one am glad you wrote it. I'm sorry this happened to you and am glad you are who you are today. I would not call you a victim at this point in time. You're tough as nails, and funny and thoughtful and considerate. I may add sweet but don't let it go to your head. Love you lady!

  • Leigh Smith

    Congratulations Megan on having the courage to address this topic. Your story is one I've heard many time during my years working in Social Services and it doesn't get nearly enough attention.
    Glad you survived and although you will never forget the first seven years, I'm so glad you have pleasant memories from then on. God Bless

    • Megan Michaels

      Thanks, Leigh. It's a tough topic–but silence doesn't make it better. I have had some great experiences after that first seven years, and am glad I was blessed–not everyone was 🙁

  • Ruth Staunton

    Hey Soul Sista, 🙂

    I know all too well the courage it takes to put this out there. You're not alone by a long shot. I'm a survivor too, though in my case it was verbal/emotional. It still leaves scars and casts LONG shadows.

    • Megan Michaels

      I actually thought of you when I wrote this–I had a feeling. We are definite sisters from a different mother!! ALL abuse leave scars–it's so awful, But I truly believe we are like spun glass, it add to our beauty 🙂