As May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I had an idea to write a letter each day to a person, or group of people that have had an impact on my own personal health. The first portion of the month has been delayed, however I hope that I will catch up and there will be a daily post. Thank You for taking the time to read these and I appreciate any comments or support you can provide on each post.
Please remember that if you are struggling with your health, both physical or mental, there may be some triggers in these letters-please seek support if you find these letters trigger any distress. Look after yourself!!
Letter 21 – Not everyone that has been abused has experienced physical abuse.
There are several forms of abuse, all of which are damaging.
I have never classed myself as an ‘abuse survivor’ because I always thought that what I went through is nowhere near as bad as many others and their stories. However, on the other hand my experiences have been damaging to me in their own right.
Those that have been abused, especially during childhood are far more likely to experience mental illness in their adulthood and often throughout childhood. The abuse may have been physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, verbal or psychological – each type can be identified in different ways, however people can experience more than one ‘category’ of abuse and symptoms can overlap. But abuse is not always obvious and I bet you have seen, walked past or sat by someone this week that is being abused/has been abused and you had no idea!! It can be easy to hide.
Support is crucial , sometimes you do not know what to say to someone when you find out they have been abused, but it is important not to treat a person differently, perhaps be more understanding and allow more time to process information (and of course be careful what you say). But you just need to be there.