ABUSE CAN BE FATAL (now or later). If the body survives,
the effects could remain for a life time.
There is often a cluster of symptoms
and signs which include changes or problems in one
or more of the following:
Faceless people, frightening figures,
ghostlike creatures will remain,
In the deepest, darkest, innermost regions of my brain.
In vain, I've tried to eradicate them,
But they stubbornly continue to be a problem.
Up and awake is the only known way
To keep them from bothering me, so the entire night
How long will this last? How long can I fight?
I'm tiring rapidly and the end is not in sight!
Panicking, panicking, panicking greatly
Is what I've been doing an immense deal of lately.
I'm beginning to wonder if ever an end there will
These nightmares plague me constantly, will I ever
Exhaustion becomes paramount, insipidly
doubt is able to creep
Right into my soul, so I dare not sleep!
I don't even care who they are anymore
I can't imagine it being worse than what I've remembered
There's no one I entirely trust, there's
nowhere to go
It's as if I'm trapped in some crazy freak show.
I no longer care to decipher what this is about
All I want is a license to Get The Hell Out.
Entangled and cornered by family and
few friends that are giving,
Who continue to tell me that life is worth living.
I must ask the questions, "Worth living"
It certainly isn't for me, perhaps I can do it for
My son and my daughter and my husband
Deserve better than me and my moods from this agonizing
I've tried and I've tried to get out of this mess
I'm exceedingly tired of trying, death is tempting,
But this, I am told, cannot be a choice
My family is important and must have a voice.
It is a difficult task to be in this place of grieving
However, it is incredibly selfish to even think of
Of this, I keep reminding myself for
To stay focussed on family, both adult and the small.
I must endeavour to continue to cope,
Perhaps down the road, for me, there will be hope.
Hope for a brighter and sunnier tomorrow,
A time when I'll not be so full of sorrow.
How will I manage? I really don't know.
I supposed one day at a time, is the best way to go.
MY FRIGHTENING JOURNEY
INTO THE HELL OF MY MIND
Why did I do this, why did I try?
I’ll never truly understand why.
There are things that should be left unsaid,
Alone, untouched at least ‘til I’m dead.
Why did I think that I could remedy
There’s no changing the past nor the memories
Left buried in the subconscious part of my brain,
It would have been safer there to remain.
Instead, I’m a fool to have uncovered
If I had left it alone my pain would have been less.
I constantly seem challenged to keep making decisions
If I could only go back now and make some revisions.
I’d go back through time to the
And delete all the abusers who keep sinning and sinning.
If this were not possible, I’d then delete me,
At least in a non-state. I would simply be free.
Free from the child, free from my past,
Surely in this state, the pain could not last.
There would be no pain, for I would have no existence,
Thoughts would not torture me with their persistence.
Is this preferable? I honestly do not
All I hope for now is that it will soon go
Out of my thoughts and out of my mind,
Please dear Lord, do not let it rewind!!
-- self-destructive behaviours,
cutting, suicidal thoughts or attempts, substance
abuse and other addictions, inability to maintain
or develop healthy relationships, acting out, running
away, fighting and aggression, extreme withdrawal
or passivity, chronic forgetfulness, eating
disorders, sexual promiscuity, lack of healthy
bruises, injuries, sexually related infections,
chronic health problems, sleep disorders, malnutrition,
low self-esteem, fear,
anger, depression, dramatic mood swings, recurring
nightmares, shame and self blame, emptiness
inside, numbness, denial.
The pain of abuse can be expressed
in widely different ways, such as being an under-achiever
or an over-achiever, being withdrawn or overly gregarious,
not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, rigid
boundaries or lack of boundaries.
Signs of abuse are not always perceived
as negative signs such as over-achievement, perfectionism,
The presence of a single symptom
does not imply abuse, but clusters of symptoms are
cause for concern. Physical or neurological problems
can also cause many of these clusters and should
be checked out in addition to exploring possibilities
of child abuse.
Life long effects which remain long after the acts
of abuse stop.
An extreme continuum in which the
pain is expressed in different ways, such as under-achievement
Willingness to acknowledge or name
abuse. Abuse can happen to anyone. It can happen
close to home!
Discussion - The Signs and Symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Signs and symptoms of abuse
can be tangible or intangible. Behavioural signs
such as withdrawal or low self esteem are often
evident. Physical signs such as bruises or injuries,
especially to the genitalia, may be visible, as
well as sexually related infections, chronic health
problems, malnutrition and/or stunted growth. Self-destructive
behaviour such as cutting, drug or alcohol abuse,
suicidal thoughts or attempts, sexual promiscuity
or eating disorders are often apparent.
Other signs and symptoms of abuse
include rebellion, acting out, aggression, chronic
running away, inappropriate age-related behaviour
or knowledge, a lack of healthy boundaries, dramatic
mood swings, sleep disorders, nightmares, feelings
of shame and self blame, an inability to develop
and maintain healthy relationships, depression and/or
abrupt behavioural changes. Signs of abuse are not
always perceived as negative signs, and may appear
as over-achievement, perfectionism or workaholism.
The person may feel empty inside, and may be in
denial about the abuse.
Issues and Concerns
A diagnosis of abuse can be
difficult because of the substantiating evidence.
Survivors often encounter willful blindness or minimization
on the part of family members, doctors and other.
They frequently suffer a fear of reprisal or repercussions,
physically, legally and emotionally. There is often
a lack of acknowledgement of the extent and prevalence
of abuse at a personal and societal level. The legal
system supports current cultural and societal norms
such as the victims self-blame and blaming
the victim. Often the root causes of the abuse are
not identified, and accordingly, intervention is
ON THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ABUSE:
Sexual Abuse: The Family. Film. Canada: Distributed
by National Film Board. 28 min. 25 sec. 1977.
Gilman, Susan Thomas and Mimi Rail.
Canadian Council on Children and Youth, Co-producers.
Put the Child First. Film, directed by David Maltby,
written by Brian Hanington. Canada: distributed
by the National Film Board, 15 min., 1989.
Grim, Pamela. Taking A Stand:
An ER Rule of Thumb: Be Suspicious of Parents With
an Injured Child Who Want to Leave Quickly (Child
Neglect and Child Abuse). Discover, July 1997 vol.
18 no. 7, p. 36, 38+.
Lawren Productions Inc. Sexual Abuse
of Children: A Time for Caring. Film. Canada: Distributed
by National Film Board, 27 min. 1979.
MacFarlane, Kee and Jill Waterman.
Sexual Abuse of Young Children: Evaluation and Treatment.
New York: Guilford Press 1986.
National Film Board. Lawren Productions
Inc. Sexual abuse of Children: A Time For Caring.
Film. Canada: Distributed by the National Film Board,
27 min., 1979.
National Film Board. University of
Toronto Media Centre, Co-producers. The Preschool
Abused Child. Film. Canada: Distributed by the National
Film Board, 12 min., 1980.
Pittaway, Kim. Sex Offenders:
What You Need to Know. Chatelaine (Eng), March 1995,
vol. 68 no. 3, p. 57, 59+.
Rench, Janice E. Family Violence:
How to Recognize and Survive It. Minneapolis, Lerner
Publications Co., 1992.
University of Windsor, Department
of Sociology and Anthropology. Use of Normalization
as a Strategy in the Sexual Exploitation of Children
By Adult Offenders. Canadian Journal of Human
Sexuality, Winter 1997, vol. 6 no. 4, p. 285-95.
VEC (distributor). Child Molestation:
Breaking the Silence. Film. Canada: Distributed
by VEC, 20 min. 1996.
Child abuse affects peoples
Mental and physical health.
Tarah, age 10
It's something every child
wants to STOP.
It causes pain that must
Make it STOP.
Child abuse is something
everyone fears STOP IT.
Don't make children
have faces like this --
It's not right.
Its's the total opposite
STOP CHILD ABUSE.
Amy, age 10
My life is not a pencil.
You can't erase
Stop child abuse...
We're just children.
Stop the violence.
Help kids live.
Al, age 76
Child abuse is a major
cause of eating diorders.
One one deserves to go
through any devastating
expriences or disorders.
Children are the future!
Child abuse will die,
like many of its victims.