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Monday, September 13, 2010

The Abuse Survivor's Stages of Grief

Here are the stages of grief as I have experienced them with my own relationships, good and bad, especially when it comes to sexual and psychological abuse and my contribution to my own abuse. Some of these stages go in cycles.

1. Projection. Denial of Incident or Reality.
"That's not rape".
The sun shines out of the abuser's ass. You have the utmost confidence in him because you trust him. Which means he can not hurt you. He is your friend. You must be mistaken. People who care about you cannot hurt you that way. It didn't happen. You never talk about it. You cannot write about it, even to yourself.
2. Bargaining. Denial of Self.
He will love me if I am a better person. I am too disgusting for another person to care about. If I can just fill my life with activities, I won't have to think about what's wrong. If I do nice things for him, he will see that I care, which means he will do more to show how he cares for me.
3. Depression. Denial of Resolve. Self Hate.
Feeling of utter hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness. Unexplained feelings of woe. Grieving over things which you have no words for. Irrational sadness and moodiness. Nightmares, night terrors. Never letting your guard down for others. A period of prolonged aloofness, emotional distance, feeling that every relationship must have profundity or else your time is wasted. Slow realization of what has happened.
4. Anger. Denial of Happiness.
This stage may cycle with 3. Feelings of irrational anger. Feelings of mistrust and suspicion of others. Feeling that no one may be trusted. Defining what may have occurred. Admitting to others what has happened. Reaching or acting out. Finding methods to cope.

5. Acceptance.
Is there such a thing? Are you destined to let your memories haunt you? Is there a way out of the mess?

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