Monday, February 23, 2009

When Will We Stop Turning our Heads...

I feel it inside me, and although it remains hidden from plain sight due to the medication, it is always there. And I find myself questioning the ‘professionals’ who treat CSA survivors. I have researched – read article after article, book after book. And the only book I have read that adequately describes the after effects of abuse is the book “Women who hurt themselves” by Dr. Dusty Miller - Not surprising, Dr. Miller is a CSA survivor, therefore has a personal perspective to offer in addition to a clinical one. I am so sick and tired of the *standard* treatment protocol – Patient needs medication and DBT. No one ever gets that there are these crazy, irrational people inside of me, and they are trying desperately to get out, to gain control, to display their “feelings” ~ of rage, fear, sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, dependency….but they have had their say before, and it’s become obvious to me that there is no place for them here, in this methodical, logical world we live in. This world of order, where “beauty” not “ugliness” is accepted…. A world where “truth” prevails, well, if it a “truth” that others want to hear.

We turn the channel on the TV, or the station on the radio, when stories are told that make us “uncomfortable. I do it too – tune out to things I wish not to hear: children being abused and murdered, women being raped and killed~ and worse when they are blamed for it (they were dressed provocatively, they shouldn’t have been walking alone at night), animals being abused. We all do it. Why? Because those stories make us sick, sad, angry, and we don’t want to believe that the world is like that. But, in reality, the world IS like that ~ and it will never change as long as we continue to look the other way. It will never change as long as the ‘abused’ continue to be treated symptomatically, medicated until they no longer feel, and sent to classes to teach them to ‘shut up and behave’ like the rest of society.

I have fears – they are very real to me. But contrary to what the MHPs think, my greatest fears are not rejection and abandonment.

My greatest fear is that everyone will continue to turn their heads while victims are screaming.
My greatest fear is that survivors will express exactly how they feel, whether verbally, or acting out, and they will continue to be invalidated by being told they need medication and DBT in order to control their behavior, thereby reinforcing what they learned as children.
My greatest fear is that victims will continue to be silenced by DBT, or numbed from medication, and the clinicians, the researchers, will continue to ‘theorize’ and develop treatment that, in the long-run, is not helpful because they, themselves were NOT abused and have no idea what really should be done.
My greatest fear is that survivors will continue to be lab rats in the development of treatment that is not helpful, they will continue to drop out, time after time, and they will continue to self-harm, ‘repeat the trauma’, and possibly commit suicide because they believe no one cares.
My greatest fear is that the statistics will grow and no one will do anything about it because they do not know what to do.
In 2006, US state and local child protective services investigated 3.6 million cases of children being abused or neglected. 64% of the children were classified as child neglect, 7% victims of emotional abuse, 9% victims of sexual abuse and 16% victims of physical abuse. Some statistics show that as many as 14% of children are abused or neglected. And this number reflects only what is reported. Imagine what that percentage would be if all of the unreported cases were included.

And of the 3.6M+ children that survive the abuse, many grow up to be adults who are able to put it behind them, succeed and present themselves as an acceptable member of society, and many of them do not. But what are we DOING about it? When will people stop turning their heads? When will we finally stop, look and listen to these children being abused and to the adults who were abused as children? When will we, society, decide that child abuse, and rape, and sexual assault are important, and affect millions of lives every year, and that it can be just as deadly as cancer. When will we finally stop whispering and turning our heads and actually face it and do something to stop it, and affectively treat those who ‘survived’?
I hope it happens in my lifetime, and I hope I can make a difference!

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