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We live in a multi-cultural world, where political correctness was designed to maintain a level of mutual respect and understanding. However, when our beliefs don’t quite fit into the establishment, they can indicate distrust or even disrespect…but even when a part of the global establishment embraces those beliefs, in other parts of the world those beliefs are not acceptable. Regardless of what we believe, as long as we do not abuse our beliefs to justify acts of violence, we are entitled to the level of religious freedom that enables us to pursue self-realisation through whichever religion. (It should be noted that violence takes many forms: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual/religious etc. This also includes neglect, which is defined as the failure to care for those aspects)
Although countless of athiest keep an open mind toward the spiritual, many are rather nihilistic toward the subject…To the point, where they cannot maintain ‘normal’ relationships with spiritual and/or religious practitioners of any kind. This is not an uncommon phenomenon, where any faith or lack thereof is concerned. We feel annoyed or resentful, when others display a certain disregard toward what we think or feel, but that should not mean we have to change our entire belief system to accommodate them. Any philosophical or mental construct, even peace, can be perceived as an insult, dependent on the situation.
On a related note, we all have an acquaintance or two that we avoid theological conversations with. No matter how hard we try, we often agree to disagree. However, for as long as neither party is forced to submit to the beliefs of the other, there can be a modicum of freedom.
We only have collective freedom of expression, as long as we display compassion, when our opinions or beliefs are questioned… After all, verbal or physical aggression has never turned anyone into a true believer. Conversely, unquestioning submission to a belief, particularly when forced, cannot bring peace. It can never lead us to the truth. Moreover, without occasionally pushing the boundaries of religion or spirituality, where would be the development? How could we strive to attain higher levels of experiential knowledge?
This leads us to the question, why are some so easily offended, when others do not share their beliefs or outright deny their possible merits? (1.) Desire (2.) Attachment (3.) Ignorance
(1.) Desire: When we do not share our beliefs with another, it can put a strain on the relationship from the word go. Their priorities often wildly differ from our own. However, in life, we are bound to desire acceptance, unless we understand that not everyone can or will accept us. If we do not understand this, then we are far more likely to attempt to change others or ourselves to gain social acceptance. Although such desires do not have to be self-serving. They are only rooted in good intentions in rare cases, but especially then it is of profound importance to maintain boundaries and respect that others muse learn to make their own decision. It is not our right to choose for them.
Being accepted comes from showing acceptance without causing physical and/or psychological harm in the process. Without the aim to control or dominate. However, if we cannot accept ourselves, how can we accept anyone else?
In numerous cultures, women are perceived as second-class citizens. Saudi Arabia and now Pakistan, for instance. In addition, they are held responsible for the actions of men around them. In reoccurring textbook examples of abuse, they are held liable for the desire they inflame, which frequently leads to sexual assault. Upon rejection of romantic or sexual advances, they are scolded with sulfuric acid or even burnt alive, as a disincentive for other women. This serves as a means to show them what may happen to them should they refuse to comply. Fear becomes the ultimate weapon of control to fulfil mens worldly desires reinforced through a system of oppressive religious laws that currently strives for global domination.
(2.) Attachment: When we cling to faith, as if it was a life-raft, there is going to be a conflict of interest. Not everyone will want to float on it with us. Our attachment to religious or spiritual beliefs may enable one person to get through the day, but other people may not feel the same way. I’ve encountered plenty of men, women and children that do not share the same beliefs as their relatives. Some weep and pray for their souls still, as they cannot bear the notions that they will not share a place in the afterlife with their loved ones (which is simply not true, but their expectations can make it so!)
When we love unconditionally, all we long for is happiness, regardless of what shape it may take. For what it is worth, they could worship Lucifer, the Light-Bringer or former Sun-God, and we would let them get on with it. (as long as there is no animal or human sacrifice) For as long as they are free and happy to make their own choices, we are content to let them be. That is the difference between love and attachment. True love depends on non-interference without the urge for the object/subject of our affection to satisfy our needs and wants.
(3.) Ignorance: Our lack of knowledge always becomes the source of someone else’s power to do with as they please. It is the cornerstone of inequality, fear and hatred.
It is the ignorance of our true nature that prevents us from realising that we are all connected, no matter what we believe. For as long as kindness and open-mindedness is not an integral aspect of our religious practices, they can never bear any other fruit than resentment. When we perceive others as an extension of our own self, we cannot see them for who they truly are: a vibrant, unique part of a greater whole that we are also a part of. By harming them, we only harm ourselves. By liberating them, we can liberate ourselves. Ignorance is a grave betrayal to our spiritual/religious beliefs, as it leads us to view ourselves as seperate from our fellow man. Worst case scenario, it fuels our ego to the point where we view our beliefs superior to theirs…
Ignorance may be bliss for a while, but eventually it leads to immense suffering, when everything comes crashing down…when we have no choice other than to accept the reality that we’ve been denying all along. As is stated in the Upanishads, human beings cannot live without challenges. They cannot live without meaning. We are driven by a deep, inner urge to achieve the impossible, to know the unknown, to shed any and all ignorance in order to arrive at the Absolute Truth
Thou Art That🌹
What you are about to read is highly controversial and disturbing. This blog does not take any legal responsibility for your actions, so if you try any of what you’re about to read, it is at your own risk!
Don’t die for your possessions. As long as you’re looking at a simple mugging, just hand over your wallet. If they’re after more, however, you have every right to defend yourself. Bear in mind, there is the possibility that you are confronted by only a fraction or half the group, while the others lie in wait for an opportune moment to reveal themselves. In the case of 1 against 30 combat-trained assailants, only the most skilled martial artists walks away unscathed, so be realistic.
Every woman should have a basic knowledge of self-defence, the will and ability to apply it in life-threatening situations. Without the ability to act in self-defence, all the skill and force of will are of limited use. For many women that have never taken a punch to the face, it renders them completely immobile. Many self-defence classes do not advertise the fact that when anyone takes a punch, they have to force themselves to bounce back. To push through any haziness and let the adrenaline kick in. If need be, they force the mind to compensate for the pain and run on auto-pilot for a second, but they do whatever they need to do to stay conscious. They know on every level that if they go down after the first punch, they are not going to get a second opportunity. They may wake up restrained or tied down or they may wake up during or after rape. More importantly, they are going to be at the mercy of their captor(s), which means that they may die at their hands.
This may be much to take in, but it’s vital that women understand that a sex attack is not just 5 minutes and afterwards they’re thrown into the streets out of a van like in an 90’s crime thriller. The migrant crisis has shifted the entire dynamic of rape. Whereas it was statistically more likely to survive, that is no longer the case. Every other day, young girls, teenagers and women are left barely alive after 24-72 hour sex-sessions with 5-50 men and only one or two female participants. The younger the victim, the more likely the internal organ damage is going to be fatal…Regardless of how many participants. Under the age of 10, for example, repeated force can easily result in major blood-loss. It may take hours until the blood-loss results in the loss of unconsciousness, but inevitably the damage done is irreparable.
On a related note, the sexually transmitted diseases in survivors are yet to become a public issue, as none of them are officially “curable”. Despite the fact that corporations profit from every single tragedy without alleviating any suffering whatsoever, survivors do not have to cope with the situation by themselves. Their grief is openly disenfranchised, but that does not mean it is unnatural. In a rape culture, where society prefers to turn a blind eye, women have to look after themselves and one another to heal after such an ordeal. There are many support networks for men, women and children that have experienced all kinds of abuse.
Side-Note: Instead of going out to meet a rapefugee, go out and meet the homeless or unfortunate in your area. Volunteer to support survivors of the migrant sex attacks or speak to an apostate of Islam. In other words, inform yourself without putting yourself in harms way. Don’t take any unnecessary risks…Many women that have insisted they’ll gather evidence to support Islam is a peaceful religion have been raped and killed.
Now that we’ve reviewed what happens on average during one of these attacks, here are a few tricks that were not covered in the previous post:
A home invasion allows you to control the situation through preparation. Be creative. There are an infinite number of ways to make a window entrance into a hidden trap. For what it’s worth, I once cared for an elderly woman, whose house was broken into by a burglar that climbed through the window and instantaneously fell through the floor-boards onto the concrete cellar steps. Unsurprisingly, he remained unconscious in the locked cellar until the authorities arrived, but things could have looked very differently. So, here’s what you can do pre-emptively:
Imagine that one that dark night, you awaken to a massive thud at the front door. From that moment, dependent on the size of your residence, you have under 60 seconds to prepare. For families, the sleeping arrangements often allow children to seek refuge in their parents bedroom in case of an emergency, but that implies there is a brace-period of some kind in-between the break-in and any physical confrontation. In other words, without a brace-period, just rolling over to grab your weapon of choice and get out of bed will things cut very close… Too close. By the time that a group or a few individuals have made it to the bedroom, you’ve lost. You have one room left to the defend, from which you’re most likely not going to get out of.
Exit Strategy: Unless you possess the skills and equipment to withstand a home invasion, perpetrated by a group of 15+, you must learn to assess the situation. Know when it is best to quietly sneak away and how you can do so. If you sleep on the second floor, make sure that you have more than one emergency exit, but ensure that its not visible from the outside. If the bedroom is large enough and somewhat obscured from other windows, you may have the space to store a ladder to climb out the window. Conversely, if you live in an apartment building, you may have access to a fire escape. Dependent on where you live and the tools you have at your disposal, the escape route you design has to be laid out carefully to suit your strengths.
Migrant home invasions may seem opportunistic, due to the weapons used for the break-in and inability to get a confession. At least with a lock-pick, the justice system would be able to evidence the premeditated nature of these attacks, but as they use less sophisticated means to gain entry, it becomes hard to prove. As stated earlier, home invasions are a grey zone. It is your constitutional right to defend your family and yourself in your own home.
The purpose of these random, premeditated attacks on women is to send the message that no one is safe. Not even in their own homes or bodies. That’s why they call it terrorism, because even when they are doing nothing…the uncertainty and fear they’ve created continues. Since Orlando, people have much to be afraid of. Governments across the globe are turning against their people…And that can scare anyone out of their minds. It makes us not only vulnerable to attack, but also defenceless. Or would you dial 999, after almost getting raped, only to most likely be fined for using pepper-spray or prosecuted for unreasonable force when you were clearly outnumbered? No, most people move in with each other or just arrange emergency contacts to help them. They turn their back on the law, when it no longer serves to protect them from harm and serves to imprison them instead. We are one step from returning to a time, when having trusted friends to dispose of bodies wasn’t commonplace but a regular occurrence that went unspoken.
Force Through Freezing: Whatever you choose, I urge you to think carefully. Every decision we make has its moral repercussions, even if we are never prosecuted for any crime committed. When the mind is paralysed with fear, we can’t be pre-occupied with philosophical debate. We freeze, we die.
A soldier would say that you are dead already the moment they break through the door, therefore you have nothing to lose. A monk would say that you were never born and that you can never die, because you are infinite consciousness, which equally implies you have nothing to lose. This universe may be an accident. It may be a glitch, a test or a holomovement, but whatever it is…unless we try protect those we love from suffering, none of this is of any consequence.
The reasons why people freeze are simple, but uniquely diverse. Some are afraid and do not truly wish to hurt anyone, others are pre-occupied thinking about what might happen. All of these reasons have one thing in common: The situation is bringing up all this unprocessed content, while the mind is scrambling to find a way out. (1) Failing to find any suitable behaviour, often due to lack of combat training, they freeze. (2) They know what to do but are hesitant, inexperienced first-timers, causing them to freeze (3) They have not decided how or whether to defend themselves. More often than not, they don’t know how far they are willing to go, which can either be a disadvantage or lead to psychotic violence and/or extreme overkill.
Combat & Invasion Tactics
The first question you must ask yourself, are you prepared to take a life in self-defence? If not, create a strategy that immobilises as many attackers as possible without inflicting fatal injuries. In any case, you have to render multiple attackers completely useless in a very short period of time. For that you need to understand, every battle has its physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects. The first strike does not just serve to defend yourself. It is an open statement that allows your opponent to assess your skill, strength and determination. If the attack is feeble, they are more likely to overpower you in a group. If there is a pause or hesitation between one strike and the next, they may gain the upper hand. Therefore, your defensive strategy has to be conducted in one fluid movement. The least time between attacks, the more protected you will be. The ideal timespan between strikes should be one second, leaving just enough time for one strike per assailant. So, make it count. Educate yourself in basic anatomy and physiology!
Study the anatomical weaknesses of the human body. Learn how to maximise the potential of your attack with minimal effort. Use the momentum of their attack against them. First of all, when an oncoming attack is imminent and multiple attackers are charging towards you, you’ll feel the desire to step backwards. Remember, any ground, you give, is ground that you’ll have to fight for with tooth and nails. Hence, soldiers are desensitised, so that they are able to stand still and blankly stare at an attacking force, waiting move through them without hesitation, once they get close enough.
As they charge, they are vulnerable from a distance. The more you render immobile through non-fatal means, before they can get to you the better. Apart from an automatic pepper-solution dispersal system at the front door, or other high-tech security measures, the selection of choice is generally limited by technical skill or accessible long-distance weaponry. (Cross-bow, nail gun etc.)
(On a related note, Home Alone offers some creative ways to use basic everyday objects for self defence, but in case things don’t go according to plan, anything can be used as a weapon, if you’re creative enough)
The easiest means to defend yourself is to make it almost impossible to get to you. If there’s only 3 perpetrators, your preventative measure should hit them hard enough that they can’t get far. Every window, every door and every weak spot is a possible entrance point from which people can converge on the residence, so ensure that you have all your bases covered.
Warning: Booby-Traps aren’t just explosive charges, they can be made of anything that slows down an attacker in a camouflaged manner. Although not all are lethal, they’re heavily regulated. Take some additional time to study the law and follow it to the letter. Obtain the expertise and licences necessary to use them, dependent on where you live. If you have an understanding, pro-survival attorney or friend in the legal industry, inform them of your plans and discuss possible legal concerns. They’ll most likely remind you that any trap can be potentially lethal, if all goes wrong.
Trip Wire: A trip wire should be as thin and invisible as possible. If it serves multiple functions, I’d recommend the kind of transparent carbon-fibre, which is sharp enough to inflict small lacerations around the ankles or calves. With multiple attackers, this can out one of out commission, plus however many the mechanism at the end of the trip-wire can take care of. Whereas some prefer to use the trip-wire as an intruder alert, it’s often counter-productive. Unless you’re looking at a highly sophisticated set of economic criminals, you’ll be awakened by the noise of a window or front/back-door breaking. Anyhow, you’d be better off connecting that wire to something capable of disabling 1-5 people or seal off the path to the communal areas.
Under the Floor: Concealed traps hidden under wooden floor-boards at a door or window serve as another suitable means maim a burglar. For the more technologically equipped, a pressure sensor can be used, but that’s just one idea. Defence in the home is limited by creativity and perhaps madness. The only limits that exist are in the mind. Contrary to popular belief, the more creative you can be, the less or more lethal you can be. For example, electrical charges sufficient enough to stun, tase or even kill could easily be installed through miniature holes in the floorboards with something to direct the current that can be raised and lowered manually. However, this is highly controversial, legally grey territory and should not be tried at a whim. (Just please take into account that family members could accidentally stumble onto any trap implemented before its time, if they’re not equally educated on arming and disarming it. Beware teenagers and general ignorance!)
As stated before, there are an infinite number of variations, when it comes down to booby-traps. If we won’t be able to avert a Third World War, it may be useful to know that the Geneva convention will most likely be thrown out fairly quickly…It’s one of the fastest means to escalate a war to its peak in the shortest period of time available. For those that don’t know much about the Geneva convention, it prohibits the use of excessively torturous weapons, such as spring-bullets and depleted uranium rounds etc. (and unofficially, directed frequency weapons…)
For those worried about a door-to-door massacre, the objective during such an is to delay the attackers and deny them entrance into the property. For a massacre, fire is on or the most useful weapons, as long as you keep in mind to use top-grade chemical fire retardants to prevent the spread into living areas. Few attackers will step through a pit of fire too large to leap over…They’ll either divert more manpower and resource, which is useless against a napalm-based fire. It’d easily melt the asphalt or concrete at the front of the house in a short while, but if done properly…Most do not have the skill or materials to put it out until the fire brigade arrives.
Warning: When playing with fire, expect the worst. Keep it away from your house, but in-between you and the attacking force. That means lay it on pathways, your front and back garden…but use it to seal every available entrance. Hell, if possible, you could even enclose the property in a ring of fire wide enough that no Olympian Medallist would be able to jump through. More importantly, expect that any fire may still grow out of control, no matter how many precautions you take, so ensure that you have a contingency plan, if it does spread to the house or neighbourhood. Gas masks can also be a very useful thing to have, if an attacking force attempts to burn you out of your home or aim to use the fire you’ve laid against you. It should be noted that this cannot be done with napalm. In the military, as soon as an infantry is confronted with Napalm, the objective is to get around it. When all paths to all entrances and ground floor windows are cut off, this is not an option, as long as the fire is laid wide enough. However, that often doesn’t stop an attacking group from converging on the only resisting force. – In videos of refugee centres and blocks, you’ll often notice a lot of rubbish lying around…Seemingly chucked on the floor at random, but if you look more closely, they connect burnable pieces of cardboard, newspaper, mixed in with bits of plastic to create a trail along the walking path and over the patches of grass. One match and the entire entrance to the apartment block is inaccessible to law enforcement until the fire brigade arrives.
A physical confrontation should be avoid at all cost, especially when vastly outnumbered and outgunned. However, its advantageous to consider how to defend yourself should the need arise. Contrary to popular belief belief, attackers are rarely unarmed. The more attackers are coming up against resistance, the more they’ll utilise firearms and knives to gain instant co-operation out of fear. (Mind you, in some of my more gruesome case studies, there was a significant percentage of convicted offenders that exhibited the desire to carve new orifices to penetrate. So, it is truly a matter of gauging the extent of your attackers likely intentions) Although knife fights can last up to 10-15 minutes in Hollywood, in reality, they last under 30 seconds. Often the first to deliver a successful strike walks away.
In all honesty, snuff film footage of amateurs against experienced attackers is highly depressing. After 3 hours of ‘block’, ‘slash’, ‘dead’ in almost every possible variation, (including even the Prometheus school of running), I decided to approach to the situation from a different angle.
Size Matters: The longer the reach of your weapon, the better. You’ll either want to be as far away from the attacker as possible, or so in their personal space that they cannot attack until it’s far too late. (Throw knives as primary and back-up weapons may also be useful. Just be sure to practice)
Ideally, you should be carrying separate weapons, equipped for long-distance and close combat, when facing multiple attackers. Without the legal use of firearms, the situation becomes rather violent and bloody. Without any form of long-distance weaponry, there is only one way to confront and subdue multiple attackers: From the first strike onwards, your defence tactic has to frighten even the most combat-hardened attacker. It has to be gruesome, but preferably non-lethal, unless you are truly fighting for your life.
Protective Clothing: If all fails, a stab vest, chainmail, kevlar or any form of armour can be of extreme use. Even if they’d manage to deliver an otherwise fatal blow, the worse they could do is fracture a rib or two or cause moderate trauma to the chest.
Tips & Tricks For Women
Muscle may weigh more, but it also takes more nutritionally-dense food and regular exercise to maintain. Also, it is a great psychological disincentive when a woman has more muscle than her attackers and knows how to use it. Not to mention, the tactical advantages of strength as well as skill in a neat, sexy package, disguised by appearance.
When attackers prey on fear, call their bluff. Be confident. If they are going to try to rape and kill you, they’ll have do over your dead body. Whatever they are going to do to you is nothing compared to the moral consequences of their actions. Just concern yourself with your own survival and that of those under your care, failing that…I personally wouldn’t want to be taken alive, but I’d fight until my last breath. This is a decision that should never be taken lightly, but it is one every woman has to make for herself. Particularly for single-mothers with young daughters. Many women can easily be driven to the degree of desperation, when killing one’s offsprings to save them from harm may seem justifiable, but investing all that energy in self-defence can be much more powerful. The miraculous feats we are capable of to shield our children from harm should be enough evidence of that. If we have the strength to lift a car during pregnancy, we have access to the same amount of strength to defend our children after birth. We just have to make up for with intelligence, where brute force will not do.
When an opponent is taller, there many advantages and disadvantages. However, it is often an unspoken truth that the shorter one is, the more one vicious and agile one has to be from the first strike onwards. Throw away any inhibitions, they’ll only slow you down in a fight. When the adrenaline surges, don’t resist it. Simply go with the flow. Let your actions be fuelled by whatever you feel in that moment, but don’t allow yourself to be overpowered by emotions…Channel them through your body and throw your entire weight into it.
On a related note, the sex attacks across Europe have shown that the attackers objective is to knock women out and restrain them, while almost fatally injuring any man present.
Game Over: An old friend once gave me a piece of advice, he said that it is more important to know when the game is over. Women have to consider the brutal reality of what will happen to them, if they are captured and even imprisoned for breeding purposes. In some ancient societies, it was a custom to put the children to sleep and then administer a fatal dose of whatever compound was available at the time. However, other societies operated far differently. For example, Norse communities would prefer to slit their throats, whereas in Japan, women were educated to slide a short blade up behind the solar plexus to pierce the heart. Although euthanasia or ritual suicide in these cases should never be an option, it can be a more compassionate solution to seemingly endless suffering.
This morning I opened up the newspaper and to my surprise…Euthanasia is now administered to sexually abused, chronically ill children around the age of 12, if they feel that they cannot move on with their lives. The article went on to state that many more people are choosing euthanasia as a result of mental illness. As a psychologist, I may be able to shed some light on how to cope and intervene without taking such desperate measures. (Taking my personal history of mistreatment into consideration, I might not be the most objective observer, but at least I speak only the truth.)
If this topic concerns you, I’d like you to know that I understand…I have been where you are. It is easier to be ‘put to sleep’ and simply restart at another time or place, but what lesson are we teaching? What we are basically saying to others and ourselves is “It’s okay that you’re hurt, but since we can’t fix you, how would you like us to assist you in your suicide?” when we should be letting them know that they don’t have to go through this alone…that they don’t have to die, because the world is corrupt and there is little other free support.
Many that fall victim to a sexual predator can’t simply forget or move on, especially children. They no longer view themselves as innocent. Moreover, if the parents push their own responsibility for the abuse onto their child, this can develop into severe identity problems. After less than a year, their view of the world becomes distorted. They begin to feel guilty and undeserving. Many stop speaking, eating and socialising. Every breath they take becomes a reminder of how responsible they were for what happened… The pain, they feel, doesn’t vanish. It festers…but many never say a word for one reason: The majority get hurt for being hurt.
This can occur in countless ways, but most commonly, victims of sexual assault express how these experiences continue to harm them internally, which leads to one of several negative reactions: (a) apathy/cold indifference, (b) dismissal, (c) misplaced rage, (d) misplaced sadness
Many of the people I’ve worked with struggled to make their voices heard initially. When they discuss what they how they feel during recovery, close relatives tended to drift off topic. One minute they’re crying their eyes out about how Uncle Joe bent them over the table, nearly tearing them a new asshole, while the relative that they’re confiding in is too occupied, thinking about how Uncle Joe still owes them a tenner. In my early student years, I despised conducting family therapy for that reason, simply because sometimes there is no happy ending. Some people will never love their children or family members the way they would like them to. With or without the application of force, they probably never will, but telling a survivor that is painful. It pries into a primal fear of abandonment that we all share. No child should be expected to deal with abuse and then neglect, it sets very bad standards and lowers expectations in others from the outset.
None of the responses listed above are rational or even helpful but that has never stopped people. However, before we judge, it’s vital to understand that they don’t know how to cope with the situation. If forced to confront the reality of the situation, they’d shut down, cry hysterically or experience a depressive episode. It should be noted that approx. half have traumatic experiences of their own that they keep bottled up that need to processed first before they can support loved one’s through such tough times.
On a related note, we can all be rather self-centred without meaning to be, when someone we care about shares something to deeply personal. However, when we don’t take them seriously, it can have grave consequences. Particularly, when the tables turn. Many abused children drift apart from friends or relatives that are then later abused…and the first person they call is someone they know who experienced similar. Although what these friends often do not take into consideration is that no half-hearted apology makes up for something like that. In frequency, these friendships were imbalanced from the start. One cared more about the other and less about themselves. Then, the assault occurred and they no longer care about their own life, let alone the problems of the former prom-queen, social butterfly or alpha female of the group.
Post-Traumatic Stress: Dependent on when, where and how an assault takes place is important when it comes down to moving forward. Many survivors struggle to return to their old life. In cases, in which a boyfriend is a part of the equation, recovery can become complicated. Whereas some men are more supportive than others, the subject of sexual intercourse is bound to cause tension, unless there is ample space for open dialogue.
Identifying Stressors & Flashbacks: After a traumatic event, latent impressions of the experience inadvertently imprinted themselves on the mind. Survivors can develop aversions to the opposite or same sex, tools used during the assault, specific locations etc. For example, if an individual was tied and gagged during repeated assaults, they can easily be spooked by S&M. Conversely, some survivors unconsciously relive the experience by engaging in self-destructive behaviour, which can become heavily sexualised.
Although typical responses are sadness, rage, panic or other forms of extreme emotion, when coming into contact with a stressor or object/subject that triggers a flashback. From personal experience, I’ve found that resistance is futile. The more we resist the memory or image, the more it rages underneath the surface. Therefore, it is highly important to be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. Reminders will crop up, but they don’t have to rule your life. One day, you’ll be able to look at something that would usually remind you of the worst times in your life and it’ll no longer be the root of your stress or the first thing you are reminded of.
Confront your stressor, but don’t go overboard. If it scares you, approach it slowly. If it angers you, charge at it with all your might. If it upsets you, let it out through a good cry, but never bury it. Burying a stressor is dangerous! The more you aim to ignore it, the more ferociously it’ll come through. If it sets your teeth on edge, there’s a reason. Learning that reason will benefit your personal growth and make your more resilient.
Stressors can awaken memories of a time, when we felt powerless, violated and/or deeply injured. In combination with flashbacks, they give the impression that the event is still ongoing. In a split second, a survivor can feel as if they are right back where it all started…As if no time passed. The lines between the past and present can become blurred, particularly if the abuse remains ongoing or happened not too long ago. In other words, living in present time becomes a challenge, when we are locked in a mental prison of our past. Every deeply traumatic experience forces us to re-learn how to live. That means learning how to accept what happened and moving forward.
Survivors Guilt: Thousands of men, women and children throughout the ages have experienced the most horrific forms of sexual abuse. Some of which survive, when those close to them did not. Driven by the experience, some strive to make their lives mean something. With every nightmare, failure and accomplishment, the guilt compounds, until it literally becomes the prime motivator behind their actions. In their eyes, the amount of suffering they feel was created by them, through whatever they did. In rare cases, it can manifest through the very fact that they survived, whereas others did not. More importantly, it is something that they cannot forgive, overcome or let go without assistance…Without some form of acknowledgement that it is okay, others simply need to hear that there is nothing wrong with them. They did what they needed to do to survive and they are still loved regardless. In cases with a high suicide risk, associated with survivors guilt, it can be very helpful to give them to opportunity to express themselves without being judged or criticised. In therapy, I use the method of creating a safe space for them to share their thoughts or unburden their darkest secrets. This can be easily done with friends or relatives at home. In some extreme cases, survivors just need to hear that they are forgiven to forgive themselves, which is more effective when it is conveyed by people that knew them before the event.
Relationships: As a survivor, the world no longer looks the same, nor do we connect to it in the same way. Opening ourselves to others can become difficult for the lack of empathy or shared experience. To the average man, women can be instantly downgraded to just another ‘rape-case’ or ‘woe-woman story’. So many women avoid sharing as to not make themselves look like a victim. This makes genuine relationships difficult and fosters commitment issues.
Many women choose not to share their past experiences with prospective or actual partners. Although this may seem like a justified defensive measure, how close can we truly be to someone, when we shut a part of ourselves off? If they cannot accept that part of ourselves, how can they accept us for who we truly are? My personal advice is for survivors to take a chance. If we never openly discuss what happened, how are we meant to find closure? How are we supposed to be expected to live with what happened, when we can’t acknowledge it to those we love?