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  • Abuse.... :-(

    A few folks here know about the abuse i suffered as a child. So I thought the first place to start is to get it out and have a place to discuss all types of abuse with other pw.com folks. I know it is a very difficult thing to talk about.. and i know i may not receive many posts to this thread and i truly understand..Feel free to pm me. A very good friend told me that now that my kids are grown it was time to get to a place where i should not be ashamed of the things that happened and no longer abuse myself with thoughts of the past. I figure that talking about it is the best way to heal. It is a slow process but one that is needed to be made. I consider myself a strong woman but recently things have caused me to examine who i am and that is not my way... ok hugzzzzzz to everyone who posts here. everything is gonna be fine. :)
    "finding your best friend in life and love is glorious"

  • #2
    I wasn't abused as a child but when I became pregnant after high school, my boyfriend at the time began getting violent with me. It's too hard for me to go into details, but I was so broken down by him. We had another child and the violence just go worse, it also happened in front of my children. We were together for about 7 years, been broken up for 2 + 1/2. A year and a 1/2 later when I started my first serious relationship since him, I found someone who was completely different him, so I thought. He knew everything I'd been through and showed sympathy towards me. But once we moved in together, he put his hands on me. I called the police who did nothing because I had no marks and cuz he lied and said I also hit him, while his mom who was there denied he did anything. The second time it happened, still the police did nothing cuz of no marks (he had hit me in the head with a hard object). Both times they threatened to have my kids taken away from me even though he was the abuser. They told me I needed to leave the apt. with my kids even though I was the one who paid the rent and everything else, and I should've had the right to stay over him. They even refused to write up a police report. I told the cop,"So he can put a gun to my head or hold a knife to my throat, but if he leaves no marks, you won't do anything?" The next day, I was gone, I moved out while he cried and begged me to stay. It was easy to leave cuz I was a lot stronger and I promised myself I would never let someone do this to me again. People always wonder why women don't just leave when their man becomes violent. What they don't understand is that most of the time, the man tells you he will kill you if you leave him. And if he beats on you while you're with him and when he's supposedly loves you, imagine what he would do if you try to leave him. My ex was very controlling and possessive and I thought no matter how bad he was while we were together, he would be alot worse if I left him. I had no help from the cops who were supposed to help. After callin them twice in one night after he did something and took off, they complained that they couldn't keep coming out here. As if I was just wasting their time. I believe if somes cops would do their job and lock abusers up, alot of abuse could be stopped. You've seen in the news how these men are killing their pregnant wifes and it upsets me cuz that could've been me. I think something happens inside the heads of some men when they are about to have a child and they don't know how to deal with it. Some take advantage of the fact that now that their girl's pregnant, they can do anything to her,cuz she won't go anywhere. It still hurts me that I had went through this but I have no shame in talkin about it, I know it wasn't my fault. I think talkin about it has helped me to deal with it better. Unfortunately ALL of my close friends have been abused and some chose to stay. I just hope them and any other women will gain the strength to leave a violent relationship like I did.
    Last edited by ndnmama80; 06-11-2005, 04:16 PM.

    :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat
    www.myspace.com/ndnmama

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    • #3
      Well, for me, I know what abuse is and the torment it leaves. As a child, it isn't something you can make sense of when it happens. Now that I've grown I understand it more but what it left on me took it's toll throughout my life.

      Comment


      • #4
        [QUOTE=NDNKIDZ] I know it is a very difficult thing to talk about..

        For me it has been hard to talk about when I'm trying to really be honest about the effects and especially about how I feel, but I've been told most of the time if I try and talk about it I sound like someone reading a script. Don't know if that makes sense.

        i should not be ashamed of the things that happened and no longer abuse myself with thoughts of the past.

        This is the hardest part for me, and the part that it is so hard to explain to others. i get caught in cycles that can last for days or longer where i can stop thinking about things, kicking myself for what happened (most of the time I remember that it wasn't my fault).

        I consider myself a strong woman but recently things have caused me to examine who i am and that is not my way...

        I know things have been rough for me the last week or so again, not sure what teh trigger was but it's been a fight.
        ok hugzzzzzz to everyone who posts here.
        Hugs right back.

        Sarah

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ndnmama80
          I just hope them and any other women will gain the strength to leave a violent relationship like I did.
          ndnmama80 is there anything a friend or family member could have done to help you leave either relationship earlier? The reason i ask is i have a friend who is probably getting pretty close to a divorce, but recently has been showing up with bruises and won't leave or call the police.
          We have offered places to stay and to help any way we can but wasn't sure if there was something more specific that would be helpfull. She is afraid of being left with nothing.
          I just want to help her the best way I can, without making things worse.

          Sarah

          Comment


          • #6
            I am the child of an parent who was abused as a child. I've watched the cost.

            When you can not control what happens outside you, you look toward the one thing you can control -- you. When the outside force is parent it is natural to assume the cause of their actions is you. Obeying is hardwired by the patterns of society and what the Creator written into us. When this relationship is damaged, it short circuits us.

            Being too critical of your behavior is normal. You had totally out of kilter feedback. So naturally you have to struggle with an exagerated level of self criticism.

            The spirit that binds us to the past and forces us to re-live what has happened to us, must be placated. When peace is made with this power then you can begin to be free. This is a process that requires mustering what ever spiritual powers you believe in. You can teach your head but the Creator can and will teach and heal the heart. There is always hope and healing, even on the days when past rises up to claim the day (but not the battle).

            This is another step on that route. Walk strong.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by momme
              ndnmama80 is there anything a friend or family member could have done to help you leave either relationship earlier? The reason i ask is i have a friend who is probably getting pretty close to a divorce, but recently has been showing up with bruises and won't leave or call the police.
              We have offered places to stay and to help any way we can but wasn't sure if there was something more specific that would be helpfull. She is afraid of being left with nothing.
              I just want to help her the best way I can, without making things worse.

              Sarah
              Honestly, I kept most of what was happening to myself. Especially from my mom cuz I didn't want her to be worried about me. Sometimes I would tell my friends what happened, but they would just say I need to leave him and he's this and that. I never had a real serious talk with anyone about it, nobody knows the really bad things he did. Some just didn't understand at the time what it was like and I don't think they knew how to react. Others were in similar situations themselves so they weren't goin to tell me anything while they were puttin up with it too. As for your friend, it's hard to leave because she's scared to leave her life behind. Just make her understand she has a life beyond her husband. She doesn't need to keep him for security. I don't know what it's like to be in a position where you might lose everything if you leave, but I can understand that would be a scary position to be in. As for stayin with a friend, she probably feels like she'd be bringing her problems along with her and she doesn't want to involve anyone else in it. She's probably scared to call the police on him cuz she fears retaliation. That was my reason for never gettin a restraining order. I knew that would only feed the fire and a piece of paper wasn't goin to protect me from him. Just try to spend time with her and make her feel she's important and that she means something to you and you don't want anything bad to happen to her. Tell her she's worthy of having happiness in her life and she doesn't need to be brought down by him. Just don't feed her all this stuff about findin a better man cuz my friends always said that. It wasn't encouraging whatsoever cuz the last thing I was thinkin about was another relationship. Try not to preach to her what she should do, cuz once she hears it enough, she'll stop listening. Ask her to share her feelings, what would ultimately make her happier. Even if she says she doesn't wanna talk about it, encourage her too, show her you care. And please, if you witness anything serious, don't let it go cuz she's too scared to do anything about it. Cuz if you don't react like it's a serious problem, she won't either. You would feel a lot worse if something were to happen to her when you had a chance to step in and help. Many times, things happened to me where nobody stepped in to help, and let me tell you, that's one of the worst feelings in the world.

              :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat :moon: :heartbeat
              www.myspace.com/ndnmama

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by OLChemist
                I am the child of an parent who was abused as a child. I've watched the cost.

                When you can not control what happens outside you, you look toward the one thing you can control -- you. When the outside force is parent it is natural to assume the cause of their actions is you. Obeying is hardwired by the patterns of society and what the Creator written into us. When this relationship is damaged, it short circuits us.

                Being too critical of your behavior is normal. You had totally out of kilter feedback. So naturally you have to struggle with an exagerated level of self criticism.

                The spirit that binds us to the past and forces us to re-live what has happened to us, must be placated. When peace is made with this power then you can begin to be free. This is a process that requires mustering what ever spiritual powers you believe in. You can teach your head but the Creator can and will teach and heal the heart. There is always hope and healing, even on the days when past rises up to claim the day (but not the battle).

                This is another step on that route. Walk strong.

                thank you for these words.. You put it so well.. and to all the wonderful pw.com folks who have told their story.. When i wrote this thread i was hopeing that there would be someone besides me who could benefit from it.. I want you all to know that we will lose the scars someday and be so much stronger.. hugzzzzzz to you all..
                "finding your best friend in life and love is glorious"

                Comment


                • #9
                  The kind of abuse that I have been through with my mom was mentally not physically. So after reading what others have been through, what I went through doesnt seem that bad, but when you are a child, you dont know the difference. You think things are supposed to be that way. Big Hugz to everyone.
                  90% Angel
                  10% Lil Devil


                  But I've been told it's the other way around!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Who Says mental is'nt as bad as physical? It leaves it's marks as well. You get scarred on the inside and it can be as bad to worse than physical. Regardless it's still abuse, it still hurts and it's still wrong.

                    NDNKIDZ: You know hon, you have done a great job in not repeating what was done to you. Abuse has it's cycle to repeat and just by not doing what was done to you, you've already overcome more than most ever do. Give yourself some kudos and don't beat yourself up by second guessing yourself. I'm glad you brought this up... with our young readers here, you might have just helped someone else as well as all the others that post here.

                    NDNMAMMA80: Girl you got it! It's maybe a little easier for us that did'nt grow up in abusive homes to break away from abusive men than the ones that did, but abusers sure know how to use fear control, but it sounds like you got their number and I can only wish you the good, strong, loving relationship that you deserve from a man. If you have that now, AWESOME! No one deserves to be treated like a punching bag. And no one deserves to be told they are'nt good enough, or that they are not worth dirt.

                    I have to say, I've never been abused by parent or lover. I've had it good most of my life and when it came to my man, I was not going to settle for less than the kind of man my father is to my mother. I had some standards on looks and race, but those I would happily toss away for a man that loved me no matter what I looked like, treated me with respect, never lay a hand on me in anger, and would take great care of his family. All women deserve that.

                    Right now I'm grappling with a problem I have with a friend. My best friend. I know her husband and her are not going well and has been abusive in the past and it sounds like he might be again. But she does'nt answer the phone, does'nt call me back .. I don't know how to help her if she won't let me and it's breaking my heart because she is'nt letting me be there for her. Now I hear she and he have gotten into some big trouble but I don't even know what that trouble is... and that really scares me.
                    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BB, my mom did things like leave me alone at night with no babysitter when I was only in second grade and I remember this because I used to hide under the table and that is where she would find me. I remember being in a car behind a bar being scared that "The Hand" was going to get me, I dont even know how old I was. When I got older even all the way up to a couple of years ago, she would pick out one thing to say to me that she knew would bother me, stupid little things like "you dont have on masscara," "yes I do," "well its not enuff then." ????? The other thing was that she had a boyfriend of about 8 years that used to dangle me over the sides of things thinking it was funny. LIKE buildings! I remember we once went to an alligator farm that had these long wooden bridges that you walked over to see the gators and I was terrified that he was going to dangle me above the gators. He didnt but I still remember the fear. I cant get close to any edges today, looking over cliffs on TV even brings up that tremendous fear. I became a somewhat overprotective and spoiling mother because of the things I went through. So I was never hit, but I am still damaged from it. But I have a wonderful husband and a great son. And I sat my mom down in 2003 and had a long talk with her. Come to find out, she was abused. So I guess both are bad and the results of abuse decend among the children if you let it. I stopped the cycle and it sounds as if NDNKIDZ did too. Thank you for what you said, I felt like these things were pretty minor compared to others but I shouldn't compare abuses because they are all wrong and they all hurt.
                      90% Angel
                      10% Lil Devil


                      But I've been told it's the other way around!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by NDNKIDZ
                        A few folks here know about the abuse i suffered as a child. So I thought the first place to start is to get it out and have a place to discuss all types of abuse with other pw.com folks. I know it is a very difficult thing to talk about.. and i know i may not receive many posts to this thread and i truly understand..Feel free to pm me. A very good friend told me that now that my kids are grown it was time to get to a place where i should not be ashamed of the things that happened and no longer abuse myself with thoughts of the past. I figure that talking about it is the best way to heal. It is a slow process but one that is needed to be made. I consider myself a strong woman but recently things have caused me to examine who i am and that is not my way... ok hugzzzzzz to everyone who posts here. everything is gonna be fine. :)
                        Even a strong woman needs a little help once in awhile. Don't be afraid to see a therapist. What you, and others who were abused have in common has a name. PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Now, I know some will say "that's what combat soldiers come back with". Well, that's partially right. PTSD is most frequently experienced by victims of very 'personal' abuse. One on one abuse like child abuse and rape. NDNs can have another type of disorder that the profession refers to as Post-Colonial Stress Disorder as a result of the displacement we have experienced over the last 200+ years. What you describe as your shame is typical of PTSD patients. They can carry the "what could I have done differently" thoughts with them the rest of their life if they don't get help. If you'd like, I'll tell you more, but I just want to let you know, NDNKIDZ, that you are not alone and you are not crazy, just hurting deep inside. Oh, I will add that sometimes the symptoms of PTSD don't even show themselves until years later when something 'triggers' the feelings of victimization we had at the time of the abuse. WE LOVE YOU!!! YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL PERSON!!!
                        Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

                        The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

                        The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Good response Plenty Fox.

                          I've struggled with this damn post for the last couple days. Should I post?.....should I just forget it? But in the back of my mind it was gnawing at me. It has brought up some feelings that I've tried so hard over the years to deny, hide, cover, medicate and etc just so I wouldn't have to deal with them.

                          So here goes. Plenty Fox......... maybe you can give some help or pointers on how to choose a good therapist and what to watch for pro and con in one.

                          I have had several therapists........ and some have not been good ones. With one I would just sit all stoic and not say a word... because I would not be ready to deal with what she was suggesting or she would want me to read a book every week. Well when I didn't say anything she would get uncomfortable with the silence and then say .... "could be... could be not.... just an idea". I didn't respect her for being so wishy washy so I quit going. Then the last one I had was trying to "incorporate symbols of my native heritage" and want me to do all this stupid ****. Like one thing was to make a "talking stick" so I would have permission to be able to talk when I felt the need when and to whomever I chose. I was supposed to carry it with me. Or to make a lance...to show I am a warrioress

                          Anyway..... get the popcorn ready.....here goes. And the only damn reason I'm even saying anything now is to let you younger ones know......... I am a survivor! I have not given up or given in. It's been a struggle...... I'm 51 and it is still not done for me. But got dang....... I'm here..... and I'm growing everyday.

                          This hasn't been spoken of yet so I'll open the can of worms for ya. I was raped at the age of about 8 buy a friend of my brother. He was like 16. It started as molestation and progressed to abuse because I never said anything. He threathened me about saying anything. So I didn't. He told me it was my fault so I was ashamed of what had happened. Then finally the rape happened and I totally shut down. I remember alot of things changing then. This was when I got into the wine used for cooking for the first time. I quit going out as much. Sat in front of the tv or played with my pets. I guess some way I blamed my brother because it was his friend and I wondered if he knew and just didn't choose to do or say anything.
                          I distanced myself from my mom. Because I was afraid of her finding out. What really messed it up with her was months later she asked me about the blood she found in my underwear at that time. She pressured me to tell her and I finally remember telling her I would tell her if she never spoke about it again. So I told her...... and she never did. That was in like 1961 and I never spoke about it again until we got into an arguement in 1992 couple months before she died. Mom had her own stuff going on which I now realize.... but she was mentally and verbally abusive at times. She would also beat me with a belt cause cuts and bruises because she couldn't handle her own stuff. Then my dad died at 13 and I was upset he left me alone with her.
                          Anyway...... making a point...... I carried the shame, guilt with me and still am trying to break from the final bondage of negativity I've lived my whole life under. I did the alcohol and drug thing.... (been clean and sober for 22 yrs) I did the food thing (still fighting the effects of that one ) . But I'm here. I have fought the demon of despair my whole life. It has wanted me dead. Wanted me to give in. But something deep inside has kept me going on. I know what it is for me. You have to find what it is for you. I just know life can and does go on. Things do get better. It takes work..... but it can be done. I know. I'm still alive which at times I didn't think I would be or other times I didn't want to be. I just had to determine I was not going to let this over take me. It had gotten enough energy from me.
                          Like I say...... take from this what you can use. If it's nothing.... then thanks for taking time to read it anyway. If there is something you can use... then be blessed and live your life to the fullest.
                          ~Mato
                          "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mato Winyan
                            I have had several therapists........ and some have not been good ones. With one I would just sit all stoic and not say a word... because I would not be ready to deal with what she was suggesting or she would want me to read a book every week. Well when I didn't say anything she would get uncomfortable with the silence and then say .... "could be... could be not.... just an idea". I didn't respect her for being so wishy washy so I quit going. Then the last one I had was trying to "incorporate symbols of my native heritage" and want me to do all this stupid ****. Like one thing was to make a "talking stick" so I would have permission to be able to talk when I felt the need when and to whomever I chose. I was supposed to carry it with me. Or to make a lance...to show I am a warrioress
                            ~Mato
                            Firstly, Mato, I congratulate you for working through your trauma enough that you can share your experience instead of remain in isolation.

                            Sometimes it is necessary to see several therapists until you find 'the right fit'.

                            Therapists treating trauma disorder patients first have to gain the trust of their patient. THAT has to happen before the psychotherapy can be effective. Patients with trauma disorders are not easy to treat because of this (trust being important for any patient-provider relationship but moreso in this area than others). It is because trauma disorder patients tend to isolate themselves that it is difficult. Individual therapy is usually just the first step; as the goal of therapy should be to reconnect the patient to a larger, healthier support system. Some therapist's ego doesn't allow them to see this far once they become 'the center of another's universe' and they lose their objectivity. There is a fine balance between assisting a patient to move beyond isolation (due to the shame mechanism that drives them) and enabling them to become codependent on the therapist. That defeats the purpose of the therapy. Therapists need to use other community resources in treating the patient: trauma support groups, relapse prevention groups, AA or NA (Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous), nutritional consultants and the clergy. And, in some instances, residential care may be beneficial.

                            Client splitting is a common problem during a therapeutic process. The patient unconsciously manipulates the therapist into believing that everyone has been mean-spirited or is incompetent. The client seeks unconditional support which puts the therapist in a bind. Therapists walk a fine line between being too sympathetic and feeding a 'victim mentality' to being viewed as rejecting the client if they 'challenge' the client to consider other points of view.

                            So, what shold a therapist be doing?

                            1. Validate the patient. It is important to soothe and reassure the patient without coming across phony or insincere. Saying "I understand" is not the best way to do this because there is no way anyone else is going to know how you really feel. Instead, encouraging the patient to talk about what they are struggling with, not making promises of cure--because there is none--but enabling them to understand where the pain comes from and how to manage it.Self-forgiveness should be the long term goal, and this should be pointed out to the patient. [I'll try to deal with this in more detail elsewhere, but in simple terms PTSD clients believe they should have been able to control what are actually unmanageable events, and when they are not able to 'control' them and 'bad things happen' they blame themselves and are filled with 'shame'. Oversimplification, but it works.

                            2. Address 'victim thinking'. It is common for a PTSD patient to look at something that happened the day before and put a spin on it that just isn't 'there'. This doesn't lessen its reality for the patient. Thing is, something about that incident the day before 'triggers' memories of the past which set off a chemical chain reacion in the limbic system of the brain (yes, there is a whole chemical explanation for PTSD) filling the patient with anxiety, fear, anger and pain. Typically, when the patient has experienced this recent incident and the triggers set their 'survival' aka limbic system off they strike out at those nearest to them. If their response to the trigger is not brought under control, the self-destructive emotions escalate and it's a good way to lose or alienate friends and family, which all plays into the need for self-invalidation, victim thinking. The therapist needs to help the victim resist this tendency, re-empower themselves by recognizing they do have a choice and being in a highly emotional state does not empower.

                            3. Of particular importance for patients with a 'dual diagnosis', PTSD and an addiction (alcohol, food, drugs, sex...you name it) is participating in recovery meetings. 12 Step work found in AA/NA and others are helpful with gaining sobriety but also work in trauma recovery by forcing the patient to deal with other people and build a support system--again getting away from the isolation common in PTSD. Therapists should include a recovery meeting in treatment plans. In our culture this is evident with the talking circles. Some of our Native therapists do use a 'talking stick' both in group recovery meetings and individual therapy. The 'talking stick' is a symbol of empowerment; another method to get patients out of their shell. When they have the 'talking stick' in a meeting, it means 'it is my time to share', basically. The talking stick can also be used as a 'transitional object', as it is called. Think of the soothing affect of a baby blanket or pacifier. Obviously, if the therapist doesn't have the necessary rapport with the patient the 'stick' isn't going to work. Sounds like this was a non-Native counselor trying to 'connect' with you by attempting to be what is referred to as exhibiting 'cultural competency'. I have always maintained that non-Native counselors shouldn't try to be something they are not and leave this type of thing to those who are enculturated by birth and heritage. No amount of Shaman 101 classwork is going to turn a Non-Native counselor into an NDN healer. to be continued...
                            Last edited by Plenty Fox; 06-12-2005, 05:14 PM.
                            Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

                            The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

                            The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              more on trauma treatment...

                              Individuals with both trauma disorders and addictions need to be diligent with treatment for both. Without getting treatment for the trauma disorder a person in recovery from an addiction is more prone to relapse and begin drinking, drugging or eating to excess-again. Because--the underlying cause has not been treated. Simultaneous 12 step work and treatment for the trauma disorder are very important. When the time is right the therapist should encourage the patient to share with their group. The disclosure has more power once it is shared with others--MATO, GIRL, THIS IS WHAT YOU JUST DID, BASICALLY!! POWER TO YOU!! Sharing helps us to desensitize, takes away the mystery and power of our trauma.Getting past that need for secrecy that feeds our shame isn't easy! It is a HUGE step!!!

                              Mato mentions her therapist's 'silence'. Classic therapy has always promoted active listening; with an equal proportion of silence to feedback or therapist interaction. This doesn't always work with trauma disorder clients. Early on it is important for the patient to hear a therapists observations or even summarization of what they have heard; it tends to soothe, making the patient feel they are safe and truly being listened to.The therapist is supposed to be helping the patient see the big picture and learn objectivity. That isn't going to happen if the therapist sits there like a lump during a therapy session...

                              Now, better late than never, some basics...PTSD is a Normal Response to Abnormal Events!!!!

                              10-12% of the general population have PTSD. Gender affects the rate, females double males in prevalence. However, this may be more due to how the symptoms are manifested, because males (particularly adolescents) act out instead of holding it all in. 33% of clients in an addiction treatment program also have PTSD.

                              The biggie. What percentage of folks who've gone through traumatic events (this includes rape, street crimes, auto accidents, war, etc., develop PTSD? About 25%. So, what about the other 75%? Why don't they succumb to PTSD? A number of factors come into play. One's social support system, religious/spiritual beliefs, expectations, etc., factor in. Symptoms may take place months or years after the traumatic event. Example: WW II vets who came home and functioned 'normally' until they saw a movie like 'Saving Private Ryan' and then displayed symptoms. The average incest survivor will not display symptoms until he or she is about 30 years of age.

                              What types of events are we talking about? Research shows that events such as 'Acts of God', i.e.nature, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, produce PTSD 4 to 15 percent of the time. Events that are one-on-one the rate increases to an average of 80%. Why? Research shows that patients take more personal responsibility or feel they should have exercised more control in one-on-one events that those where the trauma was not perpetrated maliciously of if they do recognize it was beyond their control.

                              Stress levels are different in everyone; it is a matter of genetics and environment. Some folks are hyper-sensitive which can lend itself to creativity. The other extreme is folks whose arousal threshold is much higher; it takes more stress before they react which means they get bored easily, perhaps under perform in school or at work; they look for risk and excitement in life. A maladaptive form of this would be a sociopath or anti-social person. Not all risk-takers are unhealthy; otherwise we wouldn't have our firefighters, law enforcement and/or military who like more of a challenge than most but use it in a more socially acceptable fashion.

                              What happens when 'Joe Blow' goes through a traumatic event? The individual reverts to a vacillating pattern of behavior that includes exhibiting anxiety/disassociative disorders AND seeking sensation with high-risk behavior. A survivor can be so very fearful that they disassociate by acting out or doing risky things as a way of saying "I don't care" when they really do... Unfortunately, in some cases this behavior has led society to blame some rape survivors based on post-rape seductive behavior. This contradiction is one of the key markers of PTSD--cycling between extremes of behavior when the patient is needy and obviously hurting to when the patient becomes assertive/aggressive in a self-destructive manner.

                              Trauma survivors that have gone through these cycles tell us when they feel these contradictory urges they feel like they are going crazy, damaged and like they are being split apart. Yet, this phenomenon is normal under the circumstances.

                              Again, exposure to traumatic events may or may not result in the survivor experiencing symptoms. A number of factors come into play.
                              Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

                              The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

                              The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

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