View Full Version : PTSD from childhood and infancy

Blanched Dubois
06-16-13, 12:15 PM

"No matter what, I will always be there for you." Every so often those words echo through me like a scratched and chipped 45 record. An overwhelming sadness fills me and I long for an instant replay where I could stop my sister before she ever uttered those words. I need the do over, because those words were not true. When I told my family that my mother had sexually abused me, they each in turn, in time, turned their back and walked away including the sister who had vowed to "always be there, no matter what." However, no one turned their back before telling me I was a liar. In all, the most painful words I heard in response to my memories.

Truth is hard enough for those of us who have survived abuse and trauma. Our truth is not something most people are ready to hear or want to know about. What most do not understand is the following, it is not in our top ten list of favorite things about ourselves either! I honestly did not need my siblings to run to my "side," to say they were sorry or really even that they "believed" me. What I needed from my family was confirmation that they believed I believed. I can fully understand not wanting to think someone you love can hurt another person in any way, but I desperately needed them to hear me and to acknowledge that the possibility existed that I was not insane.

In the days and weeks that followed my shocking disclosure others around me attempted to ease the pain my sudden loss of family had added to an already difficult scenario. "It will be alright." "Your family will come around." "Just get over this." These were the least helpful of all. It was NOT alright. I had recalled being sexually abused by my own mother and my family and I were never going to "get over it."

The most helpful person in my life, at first, said nothing. She simply sat with me, held me, cried with me. Then she said: "What do YOU need. How can I be most helpful." It was the first time anyone had considered what I might need to hear, what I needed in this most difficult time of my life. For me, she was already doing it. I didn't want words of wisdom, I didn't want a pep talk on "going on with my life", I wanted to be held, to be nurtured, to be loved. Sometimes the RIGHT words, may be no words at all.

-Christine Sandor
Author: "Warming the Stone Children."

Blanched Dubois
06-16-13, 12:25 PM
The Stone Child – An Inuit Story
Told by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

There was an orphan that was so lonely and so hungry that no one wanted to be near him. His mouth was open all the time and his teeth were always showing and tears were always running down from his eyes, and he was so wild with hunger that they had to tie him in the entrance to one of the skin houses so he’d not try to eat the hunters on their way to the seal hunt; that’s how hungry he was.

They would, on occasion, leave him some rancid reindeer meat or maybe some spoiled intestines to eat, but, as we know, it was more than hunger that was gnawing at him. Those deep needs that not even the person themselves understands. So everyday he stretched his chain a little bit and a little bit more, until he could get near a stone that was more or less the same size as himself. You see, his mother and father had died one night, and their bodies had been dragged off by bears, and all that had been left behind by them was this one particular stone. So he wrapped both his arms and his legs around that rock and he wouldn’t let go of it. And, of course, his people thought he was crazier than ever, and on their way home from the hunt, with animal carcasses slung over their shoulders, they would jeer at him, and they would say, “Analuk has taken a stone for a wife, ha ha. It’s good for you to have a wife who is a stone, for then you cannot use your hunger and eat her.” And they went on their way.

But the boy was so lonely and so hungry that he really had reached the end of his feeling for life. And even though he had that terrible loneliness and that gnawing hunger, he kept his body wrapped around that stone, and because the stone began to take the heat from his flesh, the boy began to die. The stone took the heat from his hands, and then it took the heat from his thighs, and it even took the heat from his chin where he rested it on top of the stone.

And just as the boy was living his last breath, the hunters of his village came by again on their way home from the hunt, and again they called him down, and they said, “You crazy boy! You are nesting with that stone like it is an egg. We should call you Bird Boy, you good-for-nothing creature.” And because the boy was near death, his feelings were hurt more than he could ever say, and great icy tears began to roll down his face and across his parka, and his cold, cold tears hit the hot, hot stone with a sizzle and a hiss and a crack, and it broke the stone right in two.

And inside was the most perfect little female the boy could ever want. “Come,” she said, “I am here now, and you are an orphan no more.” And she gave him a bow and arrows and a harpoon she had brought with her, and the boy and the girl made their house and had babies. And, if they are not yet dead, they are in that land where the snow is violet and the night sky is black. They are there, living still.

I’ve transcribed this from Estes’ audio recording, Warming the Stone Child: Myths and Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child.
(And I’m hoping that by posting the link to buying it on Amazon and the fact that I’ve transcribed it makes it OK to post online, but if anyone thinks I should request permission, let me know)

She discusses the meaning of this story and several others that she tells in a wonderful, warm storytelling voice. I recommend it highly. Here are a couple other quotes from the CDs that I found online:

"The original abandonment, the original abuse, the original horror has some reason and meaning in it. It is not senseless. It is not like being run down like a dog on the highway. Its meaning most often is the development of tremendous strength, tremendous power, tremendous intuition. And I will tell you frankly that most of the people who are the greatest healers living on the face of this earth are unmothered children. One of the great gifts of the unmothered child - and also the healer, and the writer and the musician and all those in the arts who live so close with their ear against the heartbeat of the archetypal unconscious - one of their strongest aspects is intuition."

"Be proud of your scars. They have everything to do with your strength, and what you've endured. They're a treasure map to the deep self."

Blanched Dubois
06-16-13, 12:42 PM