I am a Southeast Asian Woman who suffers from 7+ ACE score and CPTSD/multi layered abuse/trauma (non-sexual) continued by parents, siblings, partners, coworkers. By not seeking help and not recognizing the detriment of ignoring my experiences, my actions and the emotional impacts led to the end my career and so-called life as I knew it. I have found it extremely difficult to find help, ie therapist in central Jersey who specializes in treatment in adults. It is easy to find child therapists but for an adult who demonstratedly has experienced the after affect of the trauma, I just need help. Thank you in advance.
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Hi Hope, thank you for your post; I appreciate your vulnerability and it is clear you really want help and I'll see what I can do in this short post. I have an ACEs score of 7 (with sexual abuse) continued by a range of people. I have been working on healing for at least 5 years now and am much, much better than I used to be.
First, just like if someone wants to get fit - they cannot go to the gym for two days and then be fit. When someone is fit, they have to keep going to the gym/working out to stay fit. Our healing works the same way. it will take time and it must be consistent and lifelong.
Second, it starts with a commitment. This commitment must involve looking inward with compassion, care, and forgiveness. Then you must commit to learning; learning by reading/watching videos and learning through experience. Learn about CPTSD - the symptoms and the healing techniques advised. Also ACEs science and how it affects the brain. Understand that most of your patterns (if not all) are the result of a complex set of interactions and reactions from childhood trauma and it is important to work on not engaging in self-blame and releasing shame.
I recommend reading the Body Keeps the Score, look up Bruce Perry, Gabor Mate, transformative justice and healing, somatic healing, read the book: Complex PTSD by Pete Walker. The book "The Four Agreements" is AMAZING. There is a YouTube free audio of this book....I recommend reading about harm too and why parents/partners harm - Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft is a good book. Podcast called Love and Abuse is AMAZING - check that out.
If you cannot afford to buy these books - there are libraries that you can borrow from online. Many libraries have e-books. If you cannot do that, then I recommend looking up these books, the authors of them, and then youtube them to see if they have any talks online you can watch.
I recommend keeping a diary/journal to document your inner thoughts and re-visit them regularly. Like write for 10 minutes each day - even if it is a massive word/thought vomit. and then on Sundays spend an hour reading over that week's material. See what your repetitive thoughts and look under the surface to make visible your fears. Often times we take on the narratives of our abusers (i.e., you're stupid, no one will love you, no one wants you, etc). and we need to recognize that this not truth; it was abuse. So if you catch these thoughts in your journal, circle them and give them a name. Who is saying that? your mom, dad, sibling, partner? all of them? Journaling is proven to help with trauma.
Mindfulness - deep breathing. This is really really really important. Look into it. Start at 5 min in the morning, 5 min at night. Just focusing on the breath. You can google 5 min guided meditations online.
Talk to yourself like you would a close friend! Try to understand yourself and give yourself compassion - like you would to a friend! In the moment - when you have a thought that stems from someone that has abused you - come up with someone that always makes you feel bad and imagine that negative thought in that person's voice. You're going to be able to see the ridiculousness of their abusive comments and this might set you free from self-perpetuating those harmful narratives.
There is plenty more but this is a good start - email me if you want firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Ms. Pugh,
Hope, my introductory guide on recovering from what I named family scapegoating abuse (FSA) may be of some help to you; I also list various resources on recovering from family scapegoating and complex trauma as well.
Some readers written me to share that they have asked their therapist (or a new therapist) to read it so the therapist can better understand what they have been through. I also include an FSA assessment in the book and information on assessing complex trauma.
I wish you the very best in your healing journey. Link to my book here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KHS41K4; if you prefer to buy someplace other than Amazon, you can find more retail links on my website at https://scapegoatrecovery.com