Today I am delighted to have Spoonie-Mama as a guest blogger today. A must read article with actions that you can put into place if you have experienced sexual abuse and have become a parent.
Most women have experienced some type of sexual assault at one point in their lives. It has unfortunately become the norm to be groped, catcalled, or raped. I am not the exception. From a young age I had experienced being touched against my will and as I grew older things didn’t get better.
Like, a lot of teen girls, I thought I fell in love in high school with a great guy…but not all love is beautiful. This was a tragic love affair where my body wasn’t my own and neither were my emotions. It’s funny how now being abuse free for years, certain smells, words, or noises can trigger the memories of being hurt. It never really goes away, and as a mom…it’s really tough.
5 Struggles of Parenting after Past Abuse and How to Cope
- I get touched out frequently. Meaning that I can’t stand being touched my own children who love me. I try to recognize the warning signs of me reaching my limit before it freaks me out. This way I can distract my kids with the TV, coloring, taking a walk outside, etc. It gives me the time I need to calm down and get some space to myself.
- Panic Attacks. They happen at the worst times. I don’t always realize they are about to happen, so I try to be as prepared as I can. My house is completely baby proofed and I have made a plan for when they happen so it’s instinctual to put my children in a safe place, get them a snack, and turn on the tv.
- Dissociation. For me, when I dissociate I’m basically a zombie going through the motions of life. I like to make a list of things I need to accomplish that day, that I follow so I stay on track of meals, diaper changes, and playtime. When the kids are occupied I then try to reach out to family and friends to talk to, in order to center myself.
- Anxiety. The other day my two year old went in the room of a male relative that I trust completely. He babysits frequently and I know him really well…but the overwhelming fear of something happening to my sweet baby boy had me running to the room to make sure he was alright- and he was. For this reason I am very selective with who watches my children and I have nanny cams in my house. It helps me feel safer knowing I can check in and make sure that my children are in good hands.
- Disbelief. I live in constant disbelief that my environment is actually safe now. It feels unreal that I don’t have to worry about being abused anymore, and worry about my children being abused. They never have been, but I just can’t completely accept my safe life. This makes me prepare mentally for any eventuality which helps me be a better mother. If I write things out logically in my journal or write in my blog Spoonie-Mama, I am able to let go and focus on having fun with my kids.
Parenting is a tough enough gig for the average person, but for survivors of domestic violence of any kind, it’s a constant battle. We must fight everyday to get better and not let our past affect our families in order to create a healthy environment for our children. I hope this post can help other parents in similar situations. Just remember that we are strong and to try to take everything one step at a time.
If you need support please seek it, theres a support page on here to help, don’t suffer in silence.
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