Trying to Escape an Abusive Situation, Don’t Forget About Your Tech

I posted this to my tech blog the other day and wanted to make sure that survivors were aware of it as well. If you are trying to escape from an abusive situation, be it domestic violence and otherwise, don’t trust any technology that the person you are trying to escape from had access to. It’s pretty easy for them to have set it up to track or snoop on you.

Go read the post if you, or someone you know, is thinking about leaving.

And if you have someone in your life who feels the need to use this technology to always keep tabs on you? I don’t want to get in the habit of offering relationship advice, but I have to wonder about how healthy that is.

#BellLetsTalk Day is Today for Canadians

You can learn more of the details from this article.

Not only is Bell encouraging all Canadians to share their stories about mental health and help people understand just how many people around them every day are dealing with mental health issues, they are also contributing five cents for every Tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag or sharing of the image on Facebook to mental health initiatives.

If nothing else, no matter where you are, check out the hashtag on Twitter or Facebook to see just how many people are talking about mental health today. You are not alone!

What I’m Sharing for Survivors (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learn About Psych Central

The Psych Central website is celebrating 20 years of existence this year. On Monday evening, EST, they will be hosting a free webinar to share the story of the site, and to help folks learn about what resources are available on the site.

During this webinar, you’ll:

  • Learn about the power of online information and support groups
  • Discover how the Internet has changed the way people first research their mental health concerns
  • Hear first-hand how an award-winning, globally recognized self-help site was created and expanded
  • Get the low-down on Psych Central’s future and how we will better serve your needs

BONUS: Ask Founder Dr. John Grohol your questions about Psych Central and how we can help you!

Registration is limited, so please sign-up below to attend this celebration!

I’ll be on an airplane Monday night, so I won’t be able to attend, but if you are interested in the site, or in using the internet as a self-help resource, definitely check it out, and then leave a comment here letting us know what you thought. Or leave a comment if you’ve been on the site. Personally, I used to take part in some of the chat rooms way back when they first started, before I even had my own website, and I still follow many of the blogs on the site. If you follow me at all, you’ve seen me share any number of articles from the site, so I’m happy to see them celebrating 20 years!

What I’m Sharing for Survivors (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What Happens When One Spouse is Psychotic?

There’s been a lengthy article making the rounds of social media the past couple of days.

My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

It’s an interesting look into how relationship dynamics change and the roles can really reverse when one partner has a psychotic episode. Especially the struggles to regain the trust of each other after dealing with that episode and the appropriate treatment.

The one thing I took away, beyond that, though, was the concept of mad maps, of sitting down and making, and agreeing to a plan of treatment during  time when the sufferer is actually lucid. In their case that can lead to a lot of arguments, but those arguments are worth having.

Last night, I decided to approach my wife about the subject. Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any issues with depression, let alone fugue states. So long, in fact, that my wife wasn’t around to see them. (MY first wife was, and if you read what I said above about the struggles of living a trusting relationship again, that may help explain why I have a second wife too. It’s not the whole story, but it played a not insignificant role.) Anyway, the question I had for my wife was, do you know what it looks like when you need to simply overrule me and get help, and what should hat help look like?

The conversation wasn’t really fun, or easy, to have. Still, I’m glad we had it. Hopefully, it will never come to that, but there is some reassurance in knowing that we are on the same page in terms of what to look for, what to do, and when to do it.

Do you have a similar plan of action?

What I’m Sharing for Survivors (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What I’m Sharing for Survivors (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Unbroken Movie and Real Experience

(ed note- This is a guest post by Lindy that also appears on her own blog. It contains some religious messages along with her genuine story of seeing the movie. If you are offended by that, well, you’ve been warned. As you know, this site welcomes all survivors, regardless of religious faith, or lack of religious faith. The only thing we ask is a respect for all survivors in any posts or comments.)

Everyone that goes in to see a movie is bringing his own life experiences in which he views the cinematographic entertainment through. Of course, it is the same with reading a book, or in fact, even how we view life itself. We all interpret what we input through our mind, that holds the memories of our life, our worldview, our mindset, and our emotions. No one can see a movie the same way as the next person. A movie actually is unique for each viewer.

Most think of Country in War, But often it is a Cross to Bear.

Unbroken – The Movie

“Unbroken” is a phenomenal, expertly-directed, war movie that will become a classic. The acting of every character is so believable. From the moment the movie started on the big screen until the credits started to roll, I was captured in the details, creative camera shots and difficult subject matter.

The movie was about two-thirds finished when a scene became too real for me. Sadly, I experience a trauma trigger response and was pulled back to my abusive childhood. The Japanese officer of the prisoner camp ordered every prisoner to punch the face of Louis Zamperini, the lead character, as one of his punishment. The first prisoner refused, so a sick, weak prison was brought out and beat with a cane stick until the Louis screamed begging his fellow prisoners to punch him in the face. And then it happen, man by man, each punching Louis in the face. Of course, this is a war tactic that rips to the core of both the one punching and the one receiving the punch. It is demoralizing and it is a horrific reminder that you are not in control but under the command of a cruel master. This was the reality for the prisoners of war held in Japanese camps.

Unbroken – My Life

More than once in my life, I have been in “that position” of having to punch or belt a sibling against my will. Being forced by my father to box a sibling, pull their hair or beat them with a given instrument of punishment (usually one or more belts). If we did not inflict the injury hard enough, we would were told that both would be beaten by him. Demoralized, we complied. In the movie, I thought about how I literally cannot wrap my mind around what caused my father to be so wicked.

Was it a mental disease or was the emotional, human core of his sole rotted out by abuse he endured or a demonic influence? It seems to me that he was too evil to be simply mentally ill. Mental illness is usually a disease that turns within and that creeps through the emotional capacity of a person to be in touch with reality. But violence like what we endured is usually only dealt out by a human whose core soul has been torched by violence itself, or a person given over to demonic spirits of evil. It is so inhuman.

Lessons Learned

I regained composure and allowed myself to move along with the movie even though the torture scene riveted my emotions to my childhood memories. I, thankfully, was not overcome or controlled. I didn’t come unglued or have to find the nearest exit to fall into a catatonic, self-soothing rock. Praise God! I have recovered enough from the torture of my childhood that I rebound.

Though I cried, I did not crumble. I was able to finish seeing the movie, and appreciate the message of the life story Louis Zamperini. His brother told him when he was young, “If you can take it, you can make it.” This is a lesson my siblings and I learned, also. It is the lesson learned by every survivor that does not surrender to lifelong abuse and give up resisting evil in order to gain freedom.

Victory of Torture and Death itself.

Within mankind, God places a seed of hope, that almost rebells and says, “If I can take it, I will make it.”

I know I believed this as a child. I taught myself to not feel, to actually disassociate (though I did not know what I was doing when I did it). I know some of my siblings did the same survival tactic. We instinctively learned how to cut off our nerve endings so that pain was no longer felt. We developed skills of looking like we were present while we drew within our soul going to a far-enough, distance place to not be harmed in that moment. For me this caused split personality, now known as disassociate identity disorder, from which I took ten years of trauma therapy to integrate and heal from during my thirties to forties. (I thank God the healing techniques are available in brain trauma therapy today. I used brainspotting, birthed out of EMDR therapy techniques).

Another life lesson Louis Zamperini learned was to forgive. This movie only touched on this fact in the credits, but it is the greatest part of Louis’ healing story in real life. He is quoted over and over telling people that it was through forgiveness that he was able to get through the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being in the Japanese labor prison war camps. I reflected on this after the movie, and know that forgiveness has been one of the pivotal lessons in my life, a cornerstone from which I am able to forgive anyone of anything because God has first forgiven me of all. Jesus is and always will be the greatest forgiver of all time! He teaches us and heals us through forgiveness.

Lessons Lived

After we left the movie, I noticed that I tried to make eye contact with anyone that would connect with my eyes. Oddly, no one did until my dear husband turned the corner looking for my daughter and me. This idea came to me from the movie. The Japanese commander ordered Louis to make eye contact and then beats him for doing it, and also orders him to not make eye contact and beats him for it. This paralleled the no-win situation of my childhood. We knew we would get beat regardless of our answer or action. The only right answer was abuse. That is what an angry, violent person intends to do and the person who is on the receiving end really has no control of stopping or starting the abuse.

So in trying to make eye contact, I thought about how I usually connect with people by looking right into their eyes. It can make some people come unglued. Some are not use to having someone took at them directly or feel exposed. I don’t glaringly stare but simply look, usually when I talk to them or nod. The eyes are the window into a person’s soul. You can find out if anyone is really there or if the person is really faking a persona. I love when I find warm, gracious eyes; I know I am safe with this person.

When I got into the car with my husband and daughter, I remarked how it was an excellent movie but explained that part of the prison camp reminded me of my childhood torture.

“You know it is a shame that there is not a sticker of some kind, a medal given, to people who have survived the tortures of child abuse, as they give to war hero,” I stated. “We will get you a sticker,” my husband joked. “You know, I think in my graphic design class coming up, I will make an emblem for people who survive child abuse, kind of like a ‘prisoner of child abuse’ designation,” I replied. “That is kind of morbid,” my husband said.

But I like the idea! It is an honor to know that I survived 18 years of child abuse torture and that I have not been a child abuser myself. It is a victory of God that I have–to the best of my ability–healed from my past and forgiven my abuser and my mother, the co-abuser, who allowed the abuse. We should have celebrations for survivors, yearly parties for those who have made it through and won the war of child abuse!

An Unbroken Life

“Unbroken” is a great movie. I recommend it highly to everyone. But especially to those who, in life, have endured their own “torment,” have survived, and either have or still are in the process of overcoming the violence done to them. In many ways it is an oxymoron to say survivors are unbroken, because is it through being broken first that we can be remolded into a vessel of God’s grace that is for Him – An Unbroken Life. We are living models of broken vessels that by God’s healing and grace can return to humanity and become the person He created us to be — “Unbroken.”

Blessing to you and those in your life!

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