Where You a Resilient Child?

I'm going to do a little thinking out loud; feel free to chime in and reflect and share if you like.

I wonder if I was resilient as a child?

Definition of: Resilient
re·sil·ient| rəˈzilyənt | adjective
1 (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions: babies are generally far more resilient than new parents realize.
2 (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed: a shoe with resilient cushioning.

I feel for that 12-year-old boy that didn't know what to do with the situations he endured. But were the survival skills he adopted, faulty as they were, also brilliant in that he made it to adulthood.

I struggle with this question because I have always viewed myself as a patchwork human being. That is to say, did I make it this far in life because the child I once was figured out how to keep the ugly inside. But unfortunately, it wasn't until I was 50 that the patches no longer held and fell apart. So maybe I am not giving credit where credit is due?

Children of domestic violence and abuse have many more resources accessible to them today than when I was a child.

In the past years, the system believed that a child who experienced domestic violence had very little chance of recovering and living an emotionally healthy life as an adult. However, based on current research, this is no longer excepted knowledge. We are learning more and more every day about how children exposed to domestic violence grow up to be healthy partners in relationships and as parents.

I can't help imagine how my life would have been with the awareness that is out there today. I feel that part on so many levels inside, but I can't dwell on that because that was yesterday.

I imagine he/I was a resilient child and did the best one could do with the trauma he handled on his own. Thank you for getting me this far in life. It's my turn to hold you up, and in a way, we are bouncing back together. I got it from here, little man!
 

Olddog

Registrant
I can relate to a couple of things. I'm having a harder time carrying the burden of CSA now than when I was younger. At 55 I'm struggling with sadness and depression more than ever, but I often find myself pulling strength from that resilient child that managed somehow to survive. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish in a way.
 

ODAT

Registrant
I’m amazed at how the little boy me at 8 got through it. The trauma, PTSD, always looking over one’s shoulder hoping not to run into the abuser, then going with him to desolate places knowing what was about to happen. At 65 now, I don’t know how he survived it all…
 
Resilient child? I guess if we made it this far and to MS then we are in the technical sense, but we have a whole lot of extra wear & tear to show for it too.

My shame kept me from being involved with kids/friends who had normal lives, normal kids mirrored back everything that I wasn't or didn't have so I befriended other misfits. These friends came from broken homes too, uninvolved parent(s), some abuses, etc. These were the kids I was comfortable being around as friends. As far as I know I was the one with the most strikes against me as far as my family situation and then the ongoing sexual abuse. I even dropped out of high school too so that was another strike against me.

All my friends ended up battling alcoholism and some also drugs, one died at 18 from a drinking caused accident, my best friend Drank himself to death at 52. The rest had problems with the law with drunk driving. The couple that did get married had broken marriages and messed up their kids childhood due to their own demons. Some early on ended up in the gutter homeless never marrying, never owning anything simply failures to launch thanks to their childhoods. With these statistics, I should've ended up worse than any of them.

I had one thing going for me that my friends didn't, I never touched a drink or a drug due to me never ever wanting to lose my control and put myself in a vulnerable position to be abused or assaulted ever again. My friends started experimented with drinking and pot at 12.

Another thing that got me through my childhood and other rough times was my Christian faith that I took on at twelve while I was grasping at anything to keep me from drowning. That faith and hope helped get me through. My father started dragging us to church when he found God thru AA when I was 11. We went kicking and screaming and then were pushed into the churches scouting program. I can say that this church and that scouting program was the only bright spot in my childhood and helped save me. My friends never had any of this, there was no bright spot for them as far as I know. I know that others were abused in churches and scouting groups and that grieves me to know this, I'm angry that happened to them in these situations. This was one of the few things my father got right...

Even with all my warts & failures I've been happily married over 32 years, have happy kids who had an awesome childhood, became financially successful, pushed through and survived a couple earlier business failures. After dealing with the abuse issues starting 23 years ago I'm everything that I statistically shouldn't be. But there is a lot of wear that the odometer doesn't show.
 
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Olddog

Registrant
Amen George, you and me both. I'm not sure how I stayed out of the rabbit hole but I did. I played around with drugs and alcohol but my analytical mind kept me safe. I knew that any pleasure I gained from them was only temporary and futile. Somehow I managed to raise a family and be successful in my career. I'm cooked though...close to retirement and holding on. I just feel like I need to rest. I fought the good fight but it's time to remove some of the weight...kids are out and stable, wrapping up my career, need to focus on me now. There have been costs...I'm trying to deal with some of them now. One has been an emotional disconnect. I've always been slightly distant from everyone emotionally.
 

Bornfree

Registrant
I'm going to do a little thinking out loud; feel free to chime in and reflect and share if you like.

I wonder if I was resilient as a child?



I feel for that 12-year-old boy that didn't know what to do with the situations he endured. But were the survival skills he adopted, faulty as they were, also brilliant in that he made it to adulthood.

I struggle with this question because I have always viewed myself as a patchwork human being. That is to say, did I make it this far in life because the child I once was figured out how to keep the ugly inside. But unfortunately, it wasn't until I was 50 that the patches no longer held and fell apart. So maybe I am not giving credit where credit is due?

Children of domestic violence and abuse have many more resources accessible to them today than when I was a child.

In the past years, the system believed that a child who experienced domestic violence had very little chance of recovering and living an emotionally healthy life as an adult. However, based on current research, this is no longer excepted knowledge. We are learning more and more every day about how children exposed to domestic violence grow up to be healthy partners in relationships and as parents.

I can't help imagine how my life would have been with the awareness that is out there today. I feel that part on so many levels inside, but I can't dwell on that because that was yesterday.

I imagine he/I was a resilient child and did the best one could do with the trauma he handled on his own. Thank you for getting me this far in life. It's my turn to hold you up, and in a way, we are bouncing back together. I got it from here, little man!
GO GET the book "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU" by Dr. Bruce Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. It is EXCELLENT!! And I am not using caps without good reason. You will find out whether you weathered the "storm", resilient, or malleable. I think I have only weathered the storm, still battered and bruised, cut up all over from being bounced against the rocks in the rough seas. The barnacles cutting into me like thousands of sharpened knives, but just enough to draw blood and let the salt water sting me all over! That is how I feel. Now after reading your thinking out loud to the part where you mentioned "Resilient" I shall stop and go back and continue reading!!, OK, I know I'm a little crazy sometimes, but don't we all?
 

Bornfree

Registrant
GO GET the book "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU" by Dr. Bruce Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. It is EXCELLENT!! And I am not using caps without good reason. You will find out whether you weathered the "storm", resilient, or malleable. I think I have only weathered the storm, still battered and bruised, cut up all over from being bounced against the rocks in the rough seas. The barnacles cutting into me like thousands of sharpened knives, but just enough to draw blood and let the salt water sting me all over! That is how I feel. Now after reading your thinking out loud to the part where you mentioned "Resilient" I shall stop and go back and continue reading!!, OK, I know I'm a little crazy sometimes, but don't we all?
One word I struggle identifying with is the label of calling me a "man". For some reason, I can not stand using that word. It hurts, it feels like salt being rubbed into a raw wound, I don't know, am I a man or what? Thoughts?
 

ODAT

Registrant
Bornfree,
I’ve often struggled with that too. When I’m around other men, especially in a setting like a locker room, I feel like they can see through me and know who I really am.
The residue of abuse…
 

Bornfree

Registrant
Resilient child? I guess if we made it this far and to MS then we are in the technical sense, but we have a whole lot of extra wear & tear to show for it too.

My shame kept me from being involved with kids/friends who had normal lives, normal kids mirrored back everything that I wasn't or didn't have so I befriended other misfits. These friends came from broken homes too, uninvolved parent(s), some abuses, etc. These were the kids I was comfortable being around as friends. As far as I know I was the one with the most strikes against me as far as my family situation and then the ongoing sexual abuse. I even dropped out of high school too so that was another strike against me.

All my friends ended up battling alcoholism and some also drugs, one died at 18 from a drinking caused accident, my best friend Drank himself to death at 52. The rest had problems with the law with drunk driving. The couple that did get married had broken marriages and messed up their kids childhood due to their own demons. Some early on ended up in the gutter homeless never marrying, never owning anything simply failures to launch thanks to their childhoods. With these statistics, I should've ended up worse than any of them.

I had one thing going for me that my friends didn't, I never touched a drink or a drug due to me never ever wanting to lose my control and put myself in a vulnerable position to be abused or assaulted ever again. My friends started experimented with drinking and pot at 12.

Another thing that got me through my childhood and other rough times was my Christian faith that I took on at twelve while I was grasping at anything to keep me from drowning. That faith and hope helped get me through. My father started dragging us to church when he found God thru AA when I was 11. We went kicking and screaming and then were pushed into the churches scouting program. I can say that this church and that scouting program was the only bright spot in my childhood and helped save me. My friends never had any of this, there was no bright spot for them as far as I know. I know that others were abused in churches and scouting groups and that grieves me to know this, I'm angry that happened to them in these situations. This was one of the few things my father got right...

Even with all my warts & failures I've been happily married over 32 years, have happy kids who had an awesome childhood, became financially successful, pushed through and survived a couple earlier business failures. After dealing with the abuse issues starting 23 years ago I'm everything that I statistically shouldn't be. But there is a lot of wear that the odometer doesn't show.
It is a good feeling knowing that you've been married 32 years, me too, and that your kids had a good childhood and now careers. My kids, though not perfect childhood years, were not overly bad. Now they are striking out on their pathways to good careers, much better than I ever could achieve. guess there are miracles someplace! Just too bad we had to endure the pain for the good of others. I wouldn't wish any of what I had even on my worst enemy - uhm,,, (me?)!
 

Greybeard

Registrant
It's an interesting question, a different way of looking at things. Since I have come to accept that I was abused as a child, and remembered much more about what happened, I tend to think of myself as a passive victim of it all.

Thanks to my T, I have discovered that I experienced severe dissociation as a way of coping, of blacking out the memories. I thought of that as further victimization.

And yet, perhaps it was resiliancy. It allowed me to keep going, to continue living, despite everything that was happening to me. I'm still around, after all. Still struggling with the effects, but at least I am here.
 
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