Soldiering On

[photo credit: flickr user Andre Rodrigues]

I must’ve argued with myself a dozen or so times about whether I should write this post. I loathe writing about myself.

But this post is really for you. See, I understand what a blog reader feels when he or she hasn’t seen a new post at a favorite blog for a long time. You think, “Are they all right? Is everything OK? Has the blog been abandoned? Will there be new posts?”

Many of you have emailed me such questions, and I’ve written back. But then, I thought I’d write here as well for those readers who had the same questions but did not email.

Short answer: Yes, I’m fine. No, The Invisible Scar has not stopped publication. Yes, a new post is slated for Monday, May 1.

Longer answer:  Several months ago, the company where I worked for almost a decade had a major restructure. A few of us were laid off before the holidays. It was a brutal hit, financially, emotionally, everything-ly.

It hurt.

But being the primary breadwinner of a family of six means you cannot fall apart. You get up…even if it’s slowly, if your ears are ringing from the hard hit, if you don’t want to. You put one foot in front of the other, and you get moving. You get done what needs to get done.

You pray, you cry, you hope. You look for a break of the light in the clouds and soldier on.

Soldiering on, however, is exhausting, and it left me little energy for The Invisible Scar. Despite my love for its focus and readers (I pray for you regularly), I had to put the blog on hold and focus on finding work.

Now, months later, the clouds are beginning to dissipate. My resume gleams; I’ve steady freelance work at an amazing content marketing agency; I’ve interviews lined up for full-time work.

Most importantly, I’ve learned to find peace and joy, even while soldiering on.

That’s why I’m sharing this personal story here.

If you’re a regular reader of The Invisible Scar, you know I never share about myself. The focus is you, not me. (My only personal post is about a friend’s suicide.) But I wanted to let you know that everyone goes through bad times.

Everyone gets blindsided at some point. Everyone gets hit hard emotionally and loses their breath. Everyone has suffered. Everyone has really terrible events happen—sometimes, even in succession. You might not think so because people often smile through pain, they joke through tears, they hide their hurts.

But it’s human to get hurt. And it’s also very human to have hope.

So, if you’re going through a really bad time, please know that you’re not alone. Soldier on. Don’t look at the whole path. Focus on this moment, right now, and put one foot in front of the other. Pause but never, ever, ever, ever quit moving forward.

Onward and upward, friends.


Veronica Jarski is the founder and writer of The Invisible Scar, a passion project dedicated to raising awareness of emotional child abuse averonicajarski-profilepic-smallnd its effects on adult survivors. She has extensive editorial experience and a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Her work has been featured on myriad online publications. She also is the author of an e-book about waking up to the realization that one had an emotionally abusive childhood.

From the Editor’s Mailbox | Signs of Emotional Abuse, Links, and Parental Alienation

photo credit: Bjorn Giesenbauer

photo credit: Bjorn Giesenbauer

I tackled my mailbox this morning and saw several repeated questions, so I thought I’d share the answers in a post. Here are the most recent questions from various folks.

How do I know if I’m being used? Am I being abused?

I get a lot of mail from folks sharing their personal stories and asking me if they are being abused. In almost all cases, I do see signs of emotional abuse, but I always recommend that people go to counseling, whether through their church, free counseling at their local college, help lines, pro bono counseling from charities, etc., and share all the details there with someone who can guide them to an answer and, most importantly, resources to awaken from the abuse and get on the path to a healthier emotional state.

If you cannot afford counseling or if  you do not wish to start counseling until you do some research, I’d suggest reading about emotional child abuse and seeing whether you see the signs of it in your own upbringing or signs of the affects in you as an adult.

Some people think that it’s best NOT to read about it because “you can incorrectly self-diagnose” and they equate that situation to reading about diseases and thinking you have them.

I don’t agree with that mindset at all.

In my experience, adult survivors of emotional child abuse find it extremely difficult to awaken in their realization of what has happened (and continues into their adulthood). Most adult survivors of emotional child abuse would rather not wake up to the horrible reality of the abuse… So, there’s little danger of someone reading about emotional child abuse and recklessly thinking, “Oh, this is me.”

If anything, an adult survivor of emotional child abuse will research a great deal to find out the truth of what has happened.

If you are wondering whether you were an emotionally abused child (and an adult child of emotionally abusive parents), I suggest reading this page and checking out these resources.

Also, please know that I always think about and pray for those folks who do send their stories to me… I keep you in my heart.

Parental alienation

That was not so much of a question, but I’ve received emails from readers discussing the “phenomenon of parental alienation” and wanting me to share information about it.

No.

The most I will do is to define it and explain why this site will not address it.

Parental alienation is “a social dynamic when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the other parent or grandparents, generally occurring due to divorce or separation. Characteristics, such as lack of empathy and warmth, between the rejected parent and child are other indicators. The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves.”

The main two reasons I won’t be addressing it on this site are…

  1. “The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves.” The Invisible Scar is about actual child abuse…
  2. The term itself is vague and not widely accepted.

Can I link to your website? Can I link to an article?

You sure can. I mentioned in my copyright section that I don’t want entire articles lifted from The Invisible Scar without express written consent, but a link to an article here or the website is just fine. Can’t spread awareness without sharing links, am I right? If you’ve a question about it, please drop me a line at theinvisiblescar[at]gmail.com.

Where are you?

The Invisible Scar has not been updated since April (well, until I publish this post), but I’m back. As I’ve mentioned before, The Invisible Scar is run by just one person, and I was pulled in several directions for the past few months. The dust has settled, though, so I will be getting back to a regular publishing schedule. Thanks for asking!

* * *

Thanks for all your emails, both with questions, comments, and stories.

We’ll be back to posting regularly beginning this month.

Onward and upward,
the editor of The Invisible Scar