Family Key - Divulging Abuse From Inside

One of the hardest pieces of news a family can hear is from within. To discover that a member of your family, a close relative you have understood all your life, has mistreated another, is disastrous. I understand because I have been on both sides of that coin, both recieving the news and announcing it to my own relatives. For the PTSD sufferer it is among the most courageous but most challenging steps towards healing. By breaking the silence, unveiling the secret and putting your experiences and your soul out in the open for those you love most to question and hopefully understand, you're healing. The decision to tell family members that you simply have PTSD - and perhaps more significantly, what the injury which caused it was - is one that many sufferers agonize around.
Imagine if they dont believe me? I 'll create a rift in the family. I'm upsetting the apple cart. So theres no point causing all this heartbreak its in days gone by -- these are only the beginnings of various trains of thought a sufferer is likely to go through when debating whether to tell not or . It is hard enough when the perpetrator is not a member of the family, a friend, maybe, in the case of sexual abuse. However, if the abuser and the victim share the same family, it becomes a great deal more cluttered. Once the naming and shaming of the abuser is out there, and everyone understands what you as a survivor of abuse have been through, theres no going back.
So, imagine if youre the family member whos just been sat in a front room, having made a pot of tea, only to have the get-together blasted into smithereens by son, granddaughter, your daughter, neice or nephew? Theyve not slept for weeks (PTSD plus the do-I, dont-I argument), and now theyre silently sitting with the teacup still shaking on its saucer, anxiously anticipating your response.
First, engage your brain before you speak. Your emotions are high, you dont understand what to believe, and - disclosure of child abuse - the image of the man who abused them and the individual before you has been shattered like glass on concrete. Blurting out I dont consider you cause them to doubt themselves and their recollections, perhaps activate an emotional flashback, will ostricize the sufferer and make you the target of hurt, frustration and fury. Maybe you cant accommodate the image of the accused with the accusation, but that doesn't mean it didnt occur. So, think before you speak and do nt undermine the bravery it took for the sufferer to tell you.
Please, do not go and start a fight with the accused. It helps nobody, least of all the sufferer. Going over there and having it out will result in the abuser denying everything, retaliating, possibly attacking yourself or the first victim. If there is evidence that could be used in legal proceedings should they follow, the sufferer has lost it.
Third, remember that outing an they'll be exhausted, and an abuser is a very courageous decision for the sufferer. A match of 20 questions is not proper right now! To have been trusted enough to discover that they developed PTSD because of it and have suffered from abuse places you in a privileged place. Recall that, and make an effort to refrain from asking about all the details of the abuse, the duration, if anyone else was involved, or the dreaded "why didnt you tell us earlier? Some of the replies wont be clear to the sufferer (hint: notably the last one), and some of them hurt too much to talk about. The time will come where you learn the facts of the injury and the impact on the sufferers life since. Is nt it.
Enough of the don'ts. What should you do? Listening is significant; being there and taking time to hear the sufferer is the best gift you'll be able to give them. Perhaps the relief of having someone in the family know will result in an outpouring of emotion and grief. Be there for them, and let them know that you're available to talk with, if and when they need. Offer support and give them the safe space they'vent had to vent how they feel. On the flipside, the individual with PTSD might totally freak out and not want to say another word. Listening is still significant, even in the silence. Make the person you love feel safe and supported and free to discuss, or not talk, not, or request help.
Do ordinary things with this person. Them having PTSD doesn't define them nor should it define your future relationship with them. Take them out, invite them to meet-ups (without the abuser present) and value them for who they're. As with tons of mental illnesses, sometimes socializing appears difficult, but if you get discounted or rejected, continue while also letting them know it is acceptable for them not to join inviting them. Empathy and patience is the name of the game.
Additionally, look after yourself. Chances are the news has come as a jolt, and you're now fighting with conflicting emotions regarding the abuser, particularly if you understood them and are close to them. It really is understandable to be bewildered and upset, so take a bit of time to process the info. Frequently it is helpful to talk to someone you know, such as counsellor or a friend, about your feelings. Getting an outside view from someone who doesnt know the PTSD sufferer or the abuser can not be useless. It is easy to feel like anything you say or do will be wrong, but seriously, you understand the people involved and the way to speak to them. Trust instinct and that knowledge.
I am only able to speak from personal experience, but theres a nugget or two of guidance in this section to assist you to learn about the abuse that can happen within.