Dwelling On Past

by Anon
(Location Undisclosed)

I've read quite a number of the accounts of childhood abuse on this website and they are all terrible. My concern though is that the focus seems to only stay at that point. Almost encouraging a continuation of wallowing in self pity about the past. A past that cannot be changed.

Surely though there should be a way of moving from that sad past to a happy future. I don't mean to deny the past but how does one encourage the person to not let that bad memory of the past dictate depression in the present or dread for the future.

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Comments for Dwelling On Past

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Feb 11, 2016
To Anon:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

The purpose of creating this website was multi-folded. I created the stories pages in order to provide a safe haven for abuse survivors to post and share what they may have been either too ashamed to tell or prevented from disclosing in the past for fear of not being believed. It has never been about wallowing.

There are more than 10,000 stories within the pages and comments of this site, almost 5000 through the stories invitation pages alone. Anyone who reads all of them would of course walk away feeling a sense of wallowing, especially if that person didn't scroll down to read the comments that followed.

The opportunity for healing comes within the comments. I have personally commented on every single story posted on the site through the stories pages. This has been a massive commitment on my part. I've been doing this for close to a dozen years.

There is also opportunity for healing among those who comment, especially when they themselves are walking a healing path as a result of the child abuse they themselves endured. It can be very cathartic to write a supportive, encouraging comment to another survivor. It not only helps the other person, it can also help gain clarity for themselves. It's sometimes much easier to see things from an objective place (when offering support to someone else) than seeing it when it's so close to home.

I have also created pages for those who ARE walking a healing path, inviting them to share their own healing stories. As well as a lighter side, which is a way to share how others are lightening their own load.

But I will also admit that I have wondered myself if I should continue with this site. I have wondered too if all I'm doing is enabling people to stay stuck. I seldom receive gratitude for what I do here (and am very grateful whenever I do receive a thank you) but I get a tremendous amount of anger, backlash, sometimes even hatred leveled at me. That, and absolute quiet, no regard whatsoever. It's not a computer that responds to every story, it's me, the human being on the keyboard of the computer who types a tailored response. A response I hope will resonate with the anonymous person who wrote the story. A response geared to help them see their own self-worth, to encourage them (and others) to see things in a different more positive way, to offer hope when there isn't any hope to be found.

Everyone is in a different place with their healing, if they've even begun to walk such a path. Not everyone is ready for healing. Not everyone wants to heal. I have to respect where everyone is, which can be challenging given where I currently am in my own life. But I will continue to expand my services to help those who do want healing in their lives.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Feb 12, 2016
Dwelling on Past
by: Carol

Anon, as a survivor of many different kinds of abuse, I've spent close to 20 years in one kind of therapy or another. Some of it good, some of it not helpful and one - sad to say, was yet another abuser (rapist). You can imagine that might put a person back a few.

If you've been abused and recovered well and quick, good for you. I'm sincerely happy for you.

I thoroughly love when people reminisce about their wonderful childhood, adolescence. young adult lives. How they got in and out of mischief and still get a good laugh. Or all the awesome people they've had in their lives who loved and cushioned theirs, gave them everything life has to offer. Or how poor they were yet how close their families were, working hard together to make ends meet. Even if they didn't have everything - they still had each other and they knew they were loved. These stories help me learn perhaps how life should be. It gives me images and ideas of what kind of goals I might make for myself. But I cannot live vicariously through their memories - sitting by and reveling in their stories without acknowledging my own simply discounts my existence.
It used to be heartbreaking for me that I couldn't share experiences like those. But my memories are different. And while many people don't care to hear it, I and people like myself still need a place where we can meet and tell our stories. We can share our victories in these situations as well. Over time, with healing, it becomes easier to venture out and make new good memories that hopefully we'll be able to share with others like those who have not been abused. But we always remember. It is our past.
To someone who hasn't experienced abuse, hearing these things might sound like wallowing, but inside ourselves we hear how others learn to cope, learn to see ourselves differently, learn how to think and do differently even though it isn't always expressed here. It also helps me to know I'm not alone in my experience. Sometimes I read here and I go, wow, that was me back when I started dealing, now I'm at a better place. Or I'll see something I need to learn. Or I'll be reminded that I've got it pretty good compared to someone else who is really struggling. And for others I hope when they read my stuff, it gives them hope too. Nothing is worse than feeling like you're the only one who has ever had to deal with the experiences that you read here.
For some, this might be the only place they are able to feel safe and supported, literally the only place they are safe to tell what's going on for them.

I wouldn't know how to keep a site like this going and I hope Darlene, you won't ever shut this down. :) Like you said, you've put a lot of effort and hard work into this place. I for one, appreciate it very much.

Feb 12, 2016
used to be a regular
by: Anonymous

My story is on here and many comments from myself. Not being as involved certainly isn't an indication of lack of interest I regularly watch for new added stories. Its how I don't feel alone in this struggle reconfirmed. Many times I have thought of commenting on a new writing but part of moving on is moving on. Actually I have thought about asking for my story experiences of abuse be removed since after Im gone it will be all that's left behind and feels kind of none of anyone's at that point. As for positive, thanks to Darlene I have found in this world we best not wait for that "pat on the back" and really that's not why we do the good deeds we do. I get uncomfortable when someone finds out Ive done some anonymous good deed it upsets me. Some of us who actually do good do it for ourselves so that in our hearts we know. Helping others is our strength. Lack of comments from myself now are to keep quiet because here I've many times been accused of being too loud. So yes I'm still working out negativity in this world. It's worn me down so. And that leads us to negative comments. Why would Darlene get negative hatefulness when doing good? Of course I know the answer to that through my life experience. But to answer it myself will sound so very negative. So now with a new idea maybe Darlene should post her own vent page. It wouldn't be dark so much as true and scold those in a round about way who deserve it. Darlene has earned a place to be heard. Good comments and thanks. I have thanked Darlene quite publicly on here and she knows in her heart of hearts why she continues to give a place for those. Where else safe do they have to open up? In various stages of healing or not. I'm appreciative of this place to vent and tell. Thank you Darlene.

Feb 12, 2016
To: Used to be a regular...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

In my heart, I know who you are, but I also respect that you choose to be anonymous here. I want you to know that you most definitely HAVE been supportive and quick to lavish me with thankfulness as a regular contributor, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Thank you again for all you've done to help make this site what it is and continues to be. I can only hope that you your Self are able to reap the benefits of coming from and sharing so freely from your heart space. Much love to you, always.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

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