I’m guessing that by now, many people are probably wondering, what on earth is this guy’s story? What is his past? And, why has he all of a sudden started doing so much art and music now? If he could do this, why wasn’t he doing it before? And, maybe people have other questions too. I can’t address all of that in this post. However, there is one issue I do wish to address.
This is very difficult for me, and honestly extremely scary. But, the honest truth? I was the victim of non-stop abuse my entire life from multiple people, until just a few weeks ago. Who were they? That is not what I wish to get into. Some people, however, will know some of them as a result of me publishing this.
Victims are generally shamed, threatened, and so much more, to never speak out. But, I am breaking my silence, in order to stand up to those I fear. The abuse I experienced as a child, resulted in severe developmental problems, and as a result, I have struggled significantly with numerous mental health issues my entire life.
Psychological, physical, sexual, verbal/emotional, financial/economic, and spiritual abuse, are all forms of abuse I experienced throughout my life. Yet, the most insidious abuse I experienced was something I had not known about until just a few years ago. Gaslighting.
Gaslighting is truly the most horrific form of abuse, because it can literally push you into the realm of mental illness. This is quoted from Wikipedia, “Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment. It may evoke changes in them such as cognitive dissonance or low self-esteem, rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction and disinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim’s beliefs.”
They often accuse the victim of being crazy or mentally ill. And, often gaslighters will provoke the victim to anger, explosiveness, even abusive-like behavior, and then accuse the victim of being abusive. If you imagine a terrified, cornered animal that lashes out in violence to protect itself, you can imagine what the victim of such provocation is experiencing.
In addition, gaslighters may twist reality in order to create illusions of things that simply never happened. This is even more destabilizing as the victim struggles with thinking that maybe they were wrong about the details, or maybe they had done something they were unaware of.
All of this happened to me. The cognitive dissonance I experienced for decades was utterly crippling. To experience such dissonance truly shuts down the mind. There is no certainty. There is no confidence. There is no stability. And, at times, it can lead to racing thoughts, as the victim seeks to make sense of that which is impossible to comprehend.
In my case, according to my most recent psychiatrist, the combination of my developmental harm, ongoing abuse, intense levels of stress, as well as my anxiety disorder, triggered a period of about 10 years, where I experienced periodic episodes of full-blown psychosis. Yet, at no point did I ever fit the criteria for a single psychotic disorder specified in the DSM, which is what psychiatrists use in diagnosis. At some point in the future, I wish to provide more detail regarding these experiences. However, for now, that is sufficient.
Now, my primary diagnosis has nothing to do with psychosis. It is simply an anxiety disorder. However, it is significant enough that I am still on Social Security Disability.
So, the reality is, that I am a survivor of abuse of horrific proportions. Breaking free of that abuse, has allowed my sanity to return, and for my stability to be restored. I am far from healed. However, I am finally starting on my way. And, as I have been healing, my capabilities, my talents, and my skills have “come back” to me as it were.
Abuse is far more prevalent in America, than most ever realize. And, a large proportion of cases, are never discovered. It never was in mine. Though I finally understood what had been happening. Abuse is very real. And, abuse is very horrific, crippling, and catastrophic for victims.
One of the greatest fears for me, is that they will come after me with allegations of abuse of some sort. Abuse is all about control. So, the fact that I have “severed” their control over me, is likely to result in them seeking to regain abusive control over me. So, as you can imagine, posting this is terrifying for me. However, I have done this, for myself, and all victims of abuse. Abuse victims need to speak out. And that, is exactly what I have done.
So, why did I all of a sudden show up online? Well, because I had begun breaking free from my abusers. To this day, I struggle greatly with fear of them. It is quite difficult at times to even work on my artwork, or on my website posts. However, I will not give up. And, I am hoping that in time, I may be able to fully recover from the unfathomable harm that I experienced.