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Is this you? Many have unfortunate childhoods.

newborn Community member Posts: 832 Pioneering
About half the world's population are not wanted children (U.N.)  Others are unwise arrivals  to parents who cannot parent.

 There is at least one uncontroversial sensible site (Crappy  childhood  fairy) which may be useful for the majority.  The  woman had alcoholics as parents, and has quietly pointed out that there are flaws in the  traditional approach of assuming, for example,  that everyone who has a difficult childhood must be crazy.   Her you tube talks include one called  'four myths' about childhood abuse, and another describes her personal method of settling herself if she is troubled ( She writes down a few words about what she is afraid of, then ignores it and does a quick meditation).

She has a couple of posts pointing  out there  are  actually advantages of having  what she calls a crappy childhood.   (She  is uses the term Complex ptsd and Childhood ptsd interchangeably,  but, as mentioned below  in this post,  ptsd is not  an acceptable  term, with it's implications that it is  mentally deranged to have normal responses to life threatening situations. )

Another excellent organisation is N.A.P.A.C., but they too are stuck in the past over not rejecting the crazy labels and  not featuring the  statistics that the majority of survivors are  not running round behaving in any  untoward manner.  Their ability to think independently and to push themselves even when times are uncomfortable  or  difficult means they are more likely  than average to  be  achievers. 

(And more than average likely to be empathetic,  just less than average likely to have a high sense of entitlement,  which can lead to them being exploited and re-abused. Sense of entitlement is not the same as confidence or esteem.   It is not appropriate to assume a person running a business  or addressing a public meeting has a fundamental  belief he is entitled to be alive, if from birth he was often beaten to nearly dead,  with nobody  to defend him and nobody who wanted him alive, or cared if he lived or died. )

Counselling and medication merely make any sadness worse. (N.I.C.E and MIND advise against lumping together people whose secure routine lives have been upset by a one off distressing event, and people who for years, especially in childhood,  were helpless in the power of abusers.)   

For extremes,  there is a Canadian  organisation Survivors Of Non State Torture,  which is beginning to get recognition from United Nations, to accept that torture is not only something  to do with captured soldiers who are prisoners of war. They refute the word 'abuse', to describe  torture. (They have an illustration graph called the torture wheel, to explain. ) 

 They also refute the term 'post traumatic disorder '.  As they argue, there is nothing disordered about doing whatever it takes to stay alive.  They concede that automatic RESPONSE is deeply  ingrained.  It has to be, if it is a way to survive.

  A child may learn never to cry, to avoid making  an adult angry.   But later, people  may think he is unfeeling, because  he doesn't  weep.  Just as a  battlefield soldier learns to throw himself to the ground at the sound  of shots, never to wait around thinking it over.  Later, he may  automatically  insantly dive for cover when a car backfires, or may  puzzle his family  because he cannot  bring himself to go to a fireworks show.

Another  site is Pandora's  Aquarium,  for survivors of the more extreme neglect and abuse.  It can be a relief to see,  for example,  that lots of other people are uneasy about being told to lie back while hairdressers  pour water over their heads, or by a dentist, or they cannot face attending some medical procedures.  It isn't  proof they are crazy, merely perfectly  natural  they have  to make  more effort than others would, to get through what nobody else  would think of as an ordeal.

Most ex-abuse survivors are not at all snowflakes. The opposite.  Nor are they the least bit  mentally ill.  The opposite.   They are unusual, often driven to achieve,  but exceptionally strong and resourceful. The resilience and independence they developed as uncared-for children stands them in good stead as adults..

The biggest problem seems to be inadvertent isolation.  Being self sufficient is all very well, but  personal  and social  relationships  are harder  work,  for those who have not experienced good healthy parenting and seen a mother and father with an equal,  balanced, happy marriage.  Their partners and even  children may sense some reserve. They can't be open.  Their past experience is not the acceptable  norm.   

They wouldn't  even want to speak  about anything, or remember  it.  Similarly to ex-p.o.w.s,   or concentration  camp survivors,  they could  only relax among fellow survivors,  not to dwell on the past but merely to be with people  who  take a completely  different set of assumptions  for granted.  Friends, colleagues and  family would not comprehend.   It is like speaking a different  language.    


  • newborn
    newborn Community member Posts: 832 Pioneering
    Thank you Cressida.   It posted without editing,  but only needed minor rewording here and there.   I  also didn't  want it to go in mental  health,  but  had not  yet worked  out where to put it.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,586 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing this @newborn. We understand the complex nature of this and value insight from people like yourself. I hope writing these things down can help you in some way.

  • newborn
    newborn Community member Posts: 832 Pioneering
    Well, l hoped to help others. It wasn't meant as self indulgence.  But nobody has read it, so can you suggest how to post it somewhere visible? Maybe it should go in the mentally ill section, but only reluctantly,  since the whole point was that the abusers, not their targets,  are the mentally disordered people.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,133 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @newborn - Just to let you know I read your post shortly after it was written, but didn't comment.......perhaps others have done the same, & you certainly may have helped some people without knowing. I've read it through several times more this evening.
    To me, you wrote about the issues you raised both clearly, & objectively, which is very hard to do. Perhaps others haven't replied because you are talking about very emotive subjects, especially as regards abuse in children, & we may not have adequate words with which to reply.
    Whilst getting a 'diagnosis' helps many to have their condition validated, some terminology is definitely incorrect. Names for some different 'conditions' eventually get changed to better reflect what a person has experienced. As well as incorrect 'labels,' there should not be anyone who has suffered any form of abuse thought of as having mental health issues as you so poignantly describe; rather their abusers.
    Thank you for raising awareness of these difficult issues.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 11,145 Scope online community team
    Hi @newborn. At the risk of sounding redundant I just want to echo what @chiarieds has said. I've read through your post on more than one occasion and found it both informative and helpful on a personal level, but really struggled to put a reply into words.
    I think what @chiarieds has said is correct in that people will have read and what you've said has resonated with them, but not everyone is in a position where they feel able to discuss or address things. 
    Community Manager
  • Jean Eveleigh
    Jean Eveleigh Scope Member Posts: 185 Pioneering
    I have also read this post several times but didn't know how to respond to it - the headline seems to be asking people to "out themselves" for want of a better phrase by asking "Is this you?" obviously people who read it do so because it resonates with them but they do not necessarily want other people to know this.

    I will out myself, I always suspected something was different about my relationship with my mother and other peoples with their parents but I know it to be true at 10 years old when she told me I was the booby child she had to keep - as my family do not agree with abortion and she would have been ostracised - not the son (who had died) that she wanted, she also told me the reason she and my father had split up during her pregnancy with me was due to his wanting her to have me aborted.

    Although I was loved and wanted by other members of my family (until they passed away) - it is not the same and yes it has left me with issues, issues that affect my relationship with my current partner even now after 12 years together 
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