Surviving abuse

It lasted 15 years. Which is why my head is so messed up. I was a kid, I did not know better. I did not know right from wrong. I had no other point of reference. To me, this was normal life.

I am not going to recount what was done to me. This is not the place. But if you want to have an idea, check the ACE scale (Adverse Childhood Experiences) which ranges from 0 to 10 —0 being no form of abuse and 10 being the worst— it is considered that 4 is very serious and leads to long term health effects in adult life.

I have a score of 8.

The wildest thing is that I only realised that I had suffered severe childhood abuse when I reached the age of 40. At which point my world collapsed.

But at the same time it explained so many things about my life up until then. Being able to put a diagnosis on what I thought was just me being all fucked up, being able to put a name on it was an epiphany. A liberation.

PTSD, major depression and anxiety: this is what I had been suffering from, all my adult life.

Once I knew what I was dealing with, I understood that I needed to fight it, but I also knew that I would need help because this is not the type of battle you can fight alone. So I reached out.

First was the anger. Then the grief, the sense of loss. And the shame, the guilt. The pain, the sadness.

It took me at least seven years to deal with all this mix of conflicting and counter-productive mix of feelings and emotions. I have learned to cope. I have learned to deal with crises.

My life is much better now.

I have shared a lot with my various therapists, and it did help. A lot. However there are things I will never tell anyone, because they are too dark, too horrible, too despicable.

But I am better equipped now, thanks to all the help I have received. I feel much stronger, and I can face my demons on my own.