How do you survive trauma as a child?

I’ve written things about my past that have been hard to read. They have been hard to write when though I don’t feel those feelings anymore. I will never forget them either. Part of me sharing my story is so that those that may be in abusive situations can find help or can speak out about it. Back when I lived in Ireland from 1972 to 1984 people did not interfere with what was happening in people’s lives, so if anybody knew that things were very wrong in my family, nobody spoke up. Things are very different now especially for children. I remember feeling brave and telling my dad that I was going to go to the police and tell them everything that was happening in our home and I still remember to this day that he said if I told anybody that I would be taken away forever, and I would never see my family again. As a kid that scared me a lot so guess what I stayed quiet. Who would believe me anyways?

One of the hardest things about how I lived locked in many rooms of different homes we lived in was the neighbourhood children would often come and play in my house. They had no idea I was in the house as well. On the odd occasion when I was allowed out to play the children would ask me who I was and they asked me where I lived. I would tell them I lived in this house and they all said no you don’t. We’ve never seen you there and we play in there often.

In one of the first homes we lived in I remember watching the children play outside my window on their bicycles. It’s so hard to understand why you weren’t allowed to go and play with them. I went to school with a lot of those children.

As an adult I often wondered how I was able to survive such a horrific childhood. I do know now that God was with me, because there is no way I could survive that in my own. When I was at the ranch in Oregon one day walking along the dusty path through the Sage bushes with my good friend Kim. God showed me that when I had called out to Him that He was there right beside. After we had prayed I saw him behind me. He was by my side the whole time. I remember sitting in a corner of my room crying out for God to hear me and change my life.

That’s how I survived. How else could one person survive been beaten, starved and abused in every way possible. I do know that the people who helped me out in my life and gave me food, friendship and hope in my life also helped me survive. I’m internally grateful. God put the right people into my life to help me along the way.

School was my saving grace. It was a safe place for me but I still had to figure out who to trust. I went to a private school and boys from all over the world were borders there. They had a school nurse that I often went to see who gave me milk of magnesium to settle my stomach that was often in knots from the stress of my life. It was a safe place for me to go to. One day she was away and in the second day of going to see her she called my dad to tell him that I was sick too often. I was beaten when I got home for pretending I was sick. I never went back to the school nurse again. I could not trust that would not happen again.

School was a place that I could be away from my home for 8 hours everyday. I loved school even though I was a terrible student. I know understand why because you can’t concentrate on school work if your hungry or constantly in survival mode. I hated when school was out for Christmas and the worst was summer holidays two months away from school was awful. In my next entry I will write about my friends at school and more about school.

Lastly I want to reach out to people if you ever suspect a child in an abusive situation please don’t remain silent. Please speak out even if your wrong. If your in an abusive situation please get help. Tell someone what is happening. You don’t have to remain in that situation. 🙂

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