I cannot get my mind off of how I was abused as a child, how can I help reduce that?
Last Updated: 04/07/2020 at 1:52am
Tracy-Kate Teleke, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I assist adults and couples in CA experiencing relationship challenges and interpersonal struggles including anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other life challenges.
Top Rated Answers
Make a list of things that give you joy: hobbies and activities, favorite memories, meals you can cook at home, friends whom you can call for a distraction, self-care or pampering ideas, favorite uplifting movies and music. Post this list somewhere very prominent and go through some of the options when you are ruminating on the bad memories.
Everybody heals from trauma differently, especially from deep-seated childhood trauma. I have not been abused, however, I have been bullied which induced severe mental consequences for me. The thing that helped me was reading the blogs of trauma survivors on the net. They gave me a sense that someone shared my common experience, that the feelings I had were universal. Overtime, as I began to confront my feelings, I began to accept them too.
Acceptance is the first step. If you know what happened and realize you can't change it, you will be more open about it. Try to understand what happened, and that it wasn't your fault.
try to keep your mind off of it and do something you really like if you like writing or playing instruments or something like that
Your past is your past. Remember that you can only change one thing at this point: your future. And you have a great tool: your self knowledge. You know what makes you happy or how to make yourself happier. Good luck!
It'll sound cliche but, get professional help, there are people out there trained to help you deal with haunting memories, about any topic really, the first step is finding help, the second step is allowing them to help you.
I was also abused, and it affects me a lot. What I do to get my mind off of it is I talk to my school counsellor about it, I draw, write stories, get involved with sports (even though I'm not very sporty), and be around friendly people as much as possible. Fill up your life with busy-work!
Being abused as a child are memories you will never forget. It is what you do with those memories and how often you choose to see them. Firstly, let me say that reflecting on abuse whether it mental, physical or sexual is painful in so many ways. But each time we reflect on them we are almost sending ourselves back in time to experience them again and again. Some people talk about confronting their abusers and what you do and they apologise. The memories are still there. This is where I point you to a skill called mindfulness. When you are tempted to look back, immediately put yourself in the moment RIGHT NOW. Whether it is something you are doing or simply your breathing and the sensations around that.. Mindfulness is your most powerful skill against any memory or emotion you do not want to experience. I cannot push this skill enough. Acceptance is also part of what you need. There is actually a book called "the happiness trap" by Russ Harris. It is about acceptance and seeking peace and acceptance rather than chasing the immediacy of "happiness". you can be unhappy but content. Happiness is just a feeling. Contentment is a state of mind. I do not promote this book with justice but its also Mindfulness with a twist. Trauma that is done to us in the past is gone. Fears we imagine are in the future and have not arrived yet. All we have in reality is this very moment we live in. The rest is not real, simply imagination or memory. Peace is in this moment.
Talk to people you trust about it. When you talk about something more and more it helps you let go. Also trying praying and forgiving the person who done it too you.
You may have experienced significant trauma as a child. It is extremely difficult to work through that type of trauma alone. In your local area, try to find a therapist who specializes in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). A therapist trained in TF-CBT will help you work through that type of childhood trauma.
One way to reduce the reoccurring thoughts is by talking about them and facing them. That way you could finally put them behind you and move on.
I don't have an answer that can perfectly mould to fit anyones individual situation. Though, I believe we more or less can choose to suffer and let the past define us, or realize we were meant for so much more than that. This topic is so sensitive, I don't want to come off as cold or cut throat. But at some point, as when I was dealing with my own adversities, I had to decide who I wanted to be. And it certainly was not the person who lived with the horrible cards she was dealt with in the back of her mind every moment. So, how to reduce memories of child abuse you ask? I would say, keeping busy and focusing on the fact that your life is meant for so much more,that you're worth every happiness, that things will get better - let these promises guide you and you will find,soon enough, that the overwhelming positive can outweigh any past :)
It is important to remind yourself that what happened is not your fault. The person who abused you had something going on that prevented them from thinking clearly. In order to move on you should remind yourself that you cannot change the past but you can accept it.
If you cannot get your mind off of how you were abused as a child, you can reduce that by telling a close friend about it. If the abuse was severe and quite traumatic, consult a local mental health professional.
I'm sorry that you've had such an experience. You can get a lot of support here at 7Cups! You could also see a counsellor/therapist who you can talk to about what you're experiencing or you could talk to someone you're close to. Speaking to someone about it and how it's making you feel is the first step to healing. :)
By letting your feelings out and start sharing them with people and you will feel better overtime and those will make it much more easier to cope.
Child abuse leaves scars no matter how much a person heals. A normal life is certainly possible. When your mind wanders in the direction of the past, choose to think instead on something you’re looking forward to. Maybe you can focus on future plans for a career. Or a new friendship. Think of ways to brighten someone’s day. Think of a charity you could join. Just the physical act of smiling can release positive chemicals to your brain and thereby changing your outlook on the situation at the moment. Focusing on others when anything negative comes to mind helps you to move on with your life and create new fulfilling memories.
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