8 Steps to Managing Your Fears

Socialworkmania

I have worked hard to overcome my fears. I had a lot of fears, as I have anxiety issues, and sometimes things that can seem like an everyday task or part of life seems so overwhelming to someone with anxiety. I have been lucky in that I have found a way to manage it, while also challenging it. I don’t have the more extreme kinds of anxiety, I don’t experience panic attacks (Though I came close once or twice). I do however always have anxiety, it is constant and never fully goes away. I originally was going to title this “overcoming” your fears, but as I was making my list of fears I realized that I am still afraid of all of these things, but I do them anyways.

I was/am afraid of many things. And I am ok with this. I refuse to let it hold me back in…

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Journalling through the pain

Youth Of A Nation:Bent not Broke

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“With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism, and accusations slowly eat away at the victim’s self-esteem until he or she is incapable of judging a situation realistically. He or she may begin to believe that there is something wrong with them or even fear they are losing their mind. They have become so beaten down emotionally that they blame themselves for the abuse.”
― Beverly Engel
We used to call them “diaries,” and then we progressed to start talking about them as “journals.” Today, the benefits of writing in a journal have become so well known that “journal” has become a verb: hence, the act of “journaling.”  People struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or any mental Illness for that matter can benefit from the therapeutic act of “journaling.” People with PTSD  will often go to great lengths to avoid thinking or talking about their feelings and what triggered the PTSD. You don’t need…

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Every Single Little Broken Piece of Me

My Little Corner of the WWW

Screenshot_2015-03-25-13-03-24-1You want someone to feel
the pain that you feel;
to feel how deep it hurts;
to know how unbearable it is;
how shattered you have
become because of it all,
yet still capable of sharing
unlimited love in spite of it all.

You know you’re broken.
You know how broken you are.
You’re content with being broken.
You’ve accepted yourself
in all of your brokenness.
You don’t want to be fixed.
You want to be seen.
You want to be loved.


You want to see that you’re seen
and feel that you’re loved,
all the way deep,
down to your core,
to the very center of your existence.

You need to see that you’re seen
and feel that you’re loved
for who you are,
as you are now.

Every Single Little Broken Piece of You.

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In My Head – PTSD and Migraine

Roots to Blossom

I’m in a migraine holding pattern, meaning my brain has forgotten how to be ‘normal’ and is hyper-responsive to anything right now. I have super bionic senses – all of them. I am truly highly sensitive. I am not ‘feeling’ sensitive but I am over-reacting.

I turned on the water in the sink and screamed in pain from the roaring sound that overwhlemed me for a moment.

I have dimmed all of the lights and displays to ease up on my eyes. No interest in going outside, the sun, if we had any shining, would be too bright through closed eyelids. Makes me see spots.

My skin feels as if it is bruised all over, so a simple brush or bump causes near black out as I recover from the shock.

These are not me imagining everything is too loud. The actual neurons in my head have changed how my…

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Incest

Incest is sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.

Laws vary from place to place regarding what constitutes incest, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape.

How common is Incest?

There are very few reliable statistics about how often incest occurs. It’s difficult to know how many people are affected by incest because many incest situations never get reported. There are many reasons that the victim might not report the abuse.

  • The victim has been told that what is happening is normal or happens in every family, and doesn’t realize that it is a form of abuse
  • The victim may not know that help is available or who they can talk to
  • The victim may be afraid of what will happen if they tell someone
    • The abuser may have threatened the victim
    • The victim may care about the abuser and be afraid of what will happen to the abuser if they tell
    • The victim may be afraid of what will happen to them if they tell
  • The victim may also be concerned about how many people will react when they hear about the abuse
    • They may be afraid that no one will believe them or that the person they confide in will tell the abuser
    • The victim may be afraid that people will accuse them of having done something wrong

What makes Incest different than child sexual abuse?

All forms of child sexual abuse can have negative long-term effects for the victim. You can read about some of those effects here.
Incest is especially damaging because it disrupts the child’s primary support system, the family.

  • When a child is abused by someone outside the family, the child’s family is often able to offer support and a sense of safety.
    • When the abuser is someone in the family, the family may not be able to provide support or a sense of safety. Since the children (especially younger children) often have limited resources outside the family, it can be very hard for them to recover from incest
  • Incest can damage a child’s ability to trust, since the people who were supposed to protect and care for them have abused them.
    • Survivors of incest sometimes have difficulty developing trusting relationships
  • It can also be very damaging for a child if a non-abusing parent is aware of the abuse and chooses—for whatever reason—not to take action to stop it.
    • There are many reasons that a non-abusing parent might not stop the abuse.
      • The non-abusing parent may feel that they are dependent on the abuser for shelter or income.
      • If the non-abusing parent was the victim of incest as a child, they may think that this is normal for families.
      • The non-abusing parent may feel that allowing the incest to continue is the only way to keep their partner.
      • The non-abusing parent may feel that their child was “asking for it” by behaving in ways that the parent perceives as provocative or seductive.
        • Unfortunately, many non-abusing parents are aware of the incest and choose not to get their child out of the situation, or worse, to blame their child for what has happened. This makes the long-term effects of incest worse.
What should I do if I am a victim of incest?

First, know that this is not your fault! No one deserves to be abused.
Get some help. You do not have to handle this on your own!

  • Tell a trusted adult.
    • If you can’t talk to a parent, can you talk to…?
      • A teacher?
      • A school counselor?
      • A friend’s parent?
      • Your doctor?
      • Your minister (or pastor, priest, rabbi, imam, etc.)?
  • If you do not have any trusted adults in your life, you can also call Child Protective Services (CPS) for your area. (Even if you are over 18, CPS may still be able to offer assistance.)
    • You can find the number for CPS in RAINN’s mandatory reporting database.Information is listed by state.
    • You can also find the number for Child Protective Services in the Blue Pages of your phone book.
    • Your local police department can also help you contact CPS.
  • Be prepared. Not every adult, even trusted adults, are able to help. You may need to tell more than one person before you find someone who can help.
  • If you need some help thinking through these options, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline any time at (800) 656-HOPE or contact the Online Hotline athttp://www.rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-online-hotline

Remember that no one deserves to be abused! Help is available.

What should I do if someone I know is a victim of incest?

Listen.

One of the most important things that you can do for a victim is to listen to their story and believe them!

Help keep the victim safe.

  • This may mean different things depending on who you are and what your relationship is to the victim.
    • There may be legal considerations. Depending on where you live and your role in the victim’s life, you may be required to report their situation to the authorities.
      • Teachers, ministers, counselors and other professionals are often “mandated reporters,” or people who are required by law to report child abuse, including incest.
      • Check RAINN’s mandatory reporting database if you are not sure whether you are required to make a report.
  • Even if you are not a mandated reporter, calling Child Protective Services (CPS) may be the best way you can help protect the victim.
    • You can find the number for CPS in RAINN’s mandatory reporting database.Information is listed by state.
    • CPS workers will be able to investigate the situation in greater detail and take steps to protect the victim.
    • You can make reports to CPS anonymously if you are concerned about the victim’s family knowing who made the report.
  • You may also contact the local police department, particularly if you have concerns about the victim’s safety at the time you find out about the incest.

Follow up.

  • Let the victim know that you still care.
  • Listen! Even after the victim is out of the incest situation, they will still need support.

Remember to take care of yourself! Being involved with an incest situation can be scary or upsetting.

If you or someone you know is in an incest situation, do not hesitate to ask for help.

    • You can call Child Protective Services (CPS) for your area.
      • You can find the number for CPS in RAINN’s mandatory reporting database.Information is listed by state.
      • You can also find the number for Child Protective Services in the Blue Pages of your phone book.
      • Your local police department can also help you contact CPS.
        • If you believe that the child is in immediate danger, call 911!

Learn more about the laws in your state through RAINN’s state database.

Hate Crimes

A hate crime is the victimization of an individual based on that individual’s race, religion, national origin, ethnic identification, gender, or sexual orientation.

Acts include:

  • Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Physical assault(s) with weapons
  • Verbal or physical harassment
  • Vandalism/robbery
  • Attacks on homes or places of worship

How does this relate to rape and sexual assault?

While any targeted group can experience rape and sexual assault as a form of hate crime, there are two groups that are often noted for being victims of this particular form of hate crime.

  • Women: Many believe that all violence against women, including rape andsexual assault, is a hate crime because it is not simply a violent act, but is “an act of misogyny, or hatred of women” (Copeland & Wolfe, 1991).
  • People in the LGBT Community: Members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered (LGBT) community are often targets of hate crimes, many of which include rape or sexual assault. In one study of almost 2,000 lesbian and gay individuals in Sacramento, CA, about one-fifth of the women and one-fourth of the men had been victimized at some point during the past 5 years (APA, 1998; “Safety and Hate Crimes,” 2006).

Effects

Because a hate crime is an attack on an individual due to his or her identity affiliation (race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, etc.), the emotional effects of a rape or sexual assault as a hate crime can be compounded. An individual may not only experience the reactions that often follow a rape or sexual assault, he or she may also suffer from additional effects brought on by the attack of their identity. These reactions can include:

  • Deep personal hurt, betrayal
  • Feelings of powerlessness, vulnerability, anger, sadness
  • Fear for personal and family’s safety
  • Changes in lifestyle (where they walk, how they answer the phone, their reactions to strangers)

In addition, research has shown that victims of hate crimes are more likely to experience psychological distress such as post-traumatic stress disorder,depression, and anger than other victims of other crimes. Therefore, if an individual is a victim of a rape or sexual assault that is a hate crime, he or she is more likely to experience psychological effects that are seen both with hate crimes and rape and sexual assault.

Finally, the recovery time can also be prolonged. Research has shown that it can take as much as five years for victims of hate crimes to overcome the emotional and psychological distress caused by such an attack (APA, 1998).

References:
National Center for Victims of Crime
U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, Hate Crime: The Violence of Intolerance.

Learn more about the laws in your state through RAINN’s state database.

Characteristics of Incestuous Fathers

A sample of 118 recently identified incestuous fathers and a matched comparison group of 116 non-abusive fathers were interviewed to determine distinctive characteristics of incestuous fathers.

The men were interviewed about their childhood experiences, family life, and sexual and social histories. The incestuous fathers also provided information on the sexual contacts with their daughters. The comparison fathers were asked about their relationship with their daughters. The study concluded that incestuous fathers are a heterogenous group that consists of five distinct types. The “sexually preoccupied” group manifested clear and conscious sexual interest in their daughters, often from an early age. The group composed of “adolescent regressives” also had a conscious sexual interest in their daughters, but the interest did not begin until the daughter approached or reached puberty. The group that consisted of “instrumental sexual gratifiers” apparently did not experience sexual arousal specifically for their daughters, but rather used the daughter for gratification while fantasizing about some other partner. The “emotionally dependent” group of incestuous fathers consisted of lonely and depressed men for whom the abuse satisfied urgent needs for closeness and comforting. The group of “angry retaliators” showed little sexual arousal toward their daughters, but used the incest to express anger toward their wives for perceived neglect, abandonment, or infidelity. Generally, the incestuous fathers were more likely than the nonabusive fathers to have been rejected by their parents, physically abused, or sexually abused when they themselves were children. They were more likely to have been sexually preoccupied or inept as a teenager, to have a high frequency of masturbation, or to have committed adolescent offenses. They tended to be more anxious, poorly adjusted, and avoidant of leadership as adults. They also tended to be socially isolated and have more difficulties in their marriages.

Original Site: click here 

 

Author(s): L M Williams ; D Finkelhor
Date Published: 1992

Can an Abuser Change for Good?

Purposefully Scarred

Link to "Can Abusers Change?" Link to “Can Abusers Change?”

Women and men remain in – and return to – abusive relationships for many reasons. For example, it is not uncommon for victims of abuse to remain in the abusive situation because they believe that the abuser will change. This is most common in situations where the abused individual has a great emotional investment in their abuser (i.e. dating or marriage relationships). They love their abuser, despite the violence, and so they hope that some day the abuse will stop.

Is that false hope? Do abusive people ever stop? Violence is a learned behavior and, thus, it must be unlearned.

Before answering the question, “Can an abuser change for good?” we should consider two illustrations of abusive behavior*:

1) The Cycle of Violence represents the three most common stages of the abuser-abused relationship. These stages repeat over and over until either the abuser chooses to…

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A Parent’s Guide to Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse

Purposefully Scarred

Link to "Coping with the Shock of Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse" Link to “Coping with the Shock of Intrafamilial Sexual Abuse”

Secondary victims of sexual abuse face many challenges as they seek to assist in the healing process and find healing for their own hurt. This is especially true for the parent of an abused child. It’s not unusual to assume that your children are safe with your partner/spouse, parents, or other close family members. However, most cases of child abuse are intrafamilial or come from within the family. When the abuser was your partner/spouse, your parent, or  close family member, the pain of the situation is heightened and the familiar family structure is quickly undone. Intrafamilial sexual abuse is a serious betrayal of the trust and safety which ought to have been ensured by the adult members of the family.

Beth Loerke describes what happened when she learned that her husband had been sexually abusing their daughter, Bethany:

“When she…

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Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault

7c13918cfcfec36df48a70eb33c6b8a8Drug facilitated assault: when drugs or alcohol are used to compromise an individual’s ability to consent to sexual activity. In addition, drugs and alcohol are often used in order to minimize the resistance and memory of the victim of a sexual assault.

Alcohol remains the most commonly used chemical in crimes of sexual assault, but there are also substances being used by perpetrators including: Rohypnol, GHB, GBL, etc.

Diminished Capacity

Diminished capacity exists when an individual does not have the capacity to consent. Reasons for this inability to consent include, but are not limited to: sleeping, drugged, passed out, unconscious, mentally incapacitated, etc.

It is important to understand diminished capacity because oftentimes victims of sexual assault in these situations blame themselves because they drank, did drugs, etc. It is essential to emphasize that it is not his or her fault, that the aggressor is the one who took advantage of his or her diminished capacity.

Rohypnol

Rohypnol is not approved for medical use in the United States. It is smuggled into the country and has become an increasingly popular street drug.

Street Names: Roofies, Roach, the Forget Pill, Circles, Mexican Valium, Rib, Roach-2, Roopies, Rophies, La Rochas, Rope, Poor Man’s Quaalude, Whiteys, Trip-and-Fall, Mind Erasers, Lunch Money, and R-2.

What is it?: A small white tablet that looks a lot like aspirin. It quickly disolves in liquid and can take effect within 30 minutes of being ingested. The effects peak within 2 hours and may have lingering effects for 8 hours or more.

Effects
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Memory impairment
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Nausea, aspiration on own vomit

GHB

GHB has not been approved by the FDA since 1990. Therefore, it is illegal for distribution and sale in the U.S.

Street Names: Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH), Liquid X, Liquid E, G, Georgia Home Boys, Easy Lay, Cherry Meth, Soap, PM, Salt Water, Vita G, G-Juice, Great Hormones, Somatomax, Bedtime Scoop, Gook, Gamma 10, Energy Drink, and Goop.

What is it?: Pure GHB is commonly sold as a clear, odorless liquid or white crystalline powder. Because it is made in home labs, the effects are often unpredictable. Once ingested, GHB takes effect in approximately 15 minutes and can last 3-4 hours.

Effects
  • Sedation of the body
  • Intense drowsiness
  • Hampered mobility
  • Verbal incoherence
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Nausea, aspiration on own vomit
  • Headache
  • Respiratory failure
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizure-like activity
  • Coma, death

GBL

A GHB-like product, GBL is often sold under the guise of a dietary supplement or an industrial cleaner.

What is it?: When the body metabolizes GBL, it becomes twice as potent as GHB. It has a bitter taste that can easily be masked by strong-tasting drinks. GBL now comes in flavors such as lime, cinnamon, and cherry. Once ingested it takes approximately 30-45 minutes to take effect.

Effects
  • Severe amnesia
  • Nausea, aspiration on own vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Confusion
  • Hypothermia
  • Coma
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Seizures
  • Agitation
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Death

NOTE: People who take GBL may act normally (i.e., may not appear intoxicated or sedated) but will have no memory of the time period. This effect can make it difficult for friends or acquaintances to identify that the individual has been drugged.

Benzodiazepines

What is it? Commonly prescribed as anti-anxiety and sleeping medications in the United States, these drugs can be put into an alcoholic drink or soft drink in powder or liquid form. These are legal forms of Rohypnol.

What it does: Like the other drugs described above, Benzodiazepines can markedly impair and even abolish functions that normally allow a person to resist, or even want to resist, sexual aggression or assault.

GHB, GBL, Rohypnol, & Benzodiazepines

NOTE:For all of these drugs, alcohol increases the effects.

All four of these drugs have some common effects that make them appealing to perpetrators. These drugs are common weapons of sexual assault due to the combined efforts of the sedative effect and the memory-impairment qualities.

How they Work
  • They are typically odorless, colorless, and tasteless when placed in liquid (except for GBL).
  • 5-30 minutes after ingestion, the victim of the drugging may struggle to talk or to move and may eventually pass out.
  • At this point the drugged individual is vulnerable to assault.
  • A survivor of such an assault may have virtually no memory of the events that occurred.

Another factor that makes these drugs dangerous and difficult to detect is that they leave the body rapidly, leaving little time for detection.

  • Rohypnol– leaves in 36-72 hours
  • GHB– leaves in 10-12 hours
  • GLB– leaves the urinary system within 6 hours and the blood stream within 24 hours.
Some Good News

The producers of Rohypnol have recently changed the chemistry of the pill so that it changes the color of clear drinks to bright blue and makes dark drinks go cloudy. It will, however, take a while for these new pills to hit the streets.

Ketamine

A dissociative general anesthetic that has stimulant, hallucinogenic, and hypnotic properties. It is usually used by veterinarians.

Street Names: K, K-Hole, Special K, Vitamin K, Purple, Psychodelic Heroin, Kit Kat, Jet, Bump, Black Hole.

What is it?: A fast-acting liquid that can be slipped into drinks. It can be used to sedate and incapacitate individuals in order to sexually assault them. Ketamine is especially dangerous when mixed with other drugs or alcohol.

What it does: Ketamine causes individuals to feel detached from their bodies and their surroundings so that, while they may be aware of what is happening to them, they are unable to move or fight back. In addition it may cause amnesia so that they do not remember what happened.

Effects
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation
  • Disorientation
  • Impaired motor skills
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Depression
  • Potentially fatal respiratory failure

Ecstasy

A toxic hallucinogenic and stimulant that has psychedelic effects. It is illegal to sell or to produce in the United States.

Street Names: E, X, X-TC, M&Ms, Adam, CK, Clarity, Hug Drug, Lover’s Speed.

What is it?: Ecstasy is commonly sold as small pills or capsules and is also available in powder and liquid forms. It can be slipped into an individual’s drink in order to facilitate sexual assault.

What it does: Ecstasy causes individuals to feel extreme relaxation and positivity towards others while it increases sensitivity to touch. When under the influence of ecstasy individuals are less likely to be able to sense danger and it may leave them unable to protect themselves from attack.

Effects
  • Increased blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Strokes
  • Seizures
  • Hypothermia
  • Heat stroke
  • Heart failure
RAINN’s top safety tips for safe drinking:
  1. Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the ladie’s room, or making a phone call.
  2. At parties, don’t drink from punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
  3. If someone offers to get you a drink from the bar at the club or party, go with them to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself.
  4. Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. Always leave the party or bar together. If a friend seems out of it, is way too drunk for the amount of liquor she’s had, or is acting out of character, get her to a safety place immediately.
  5. If you think you or a friend has been drugged, call 911, and be explicit with doctors so they’ll give you the right tests (you’ll need a urine test and possibly others). The National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE) can often send an advocate to the hospital to help you through the whole process.

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Learn more about the laws in your state through RAINN’s state database.


References:
Information for this section was adapted from www.911rape.org and materials provided by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.