Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, usually develops for girls who have been sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned. Author and social worker, Kenya Aissa joins the, Transform Your Mind Podcast, to share strategies to develop, Life Skills, and conscious programs for, teenage girls with, post traumatic stress disorder.
How to cultivate consciousness and life skills for, Post traumatic stress disorder, in teenage girls,
Today I am speaking with author, Kenya E. Aissa, MS, is a Social Worker whose experience counseling girls, ages 12-22, has given her valuable insight into their thoughts on the validity of spiritual practice. As a primary counselor in a, residential drug rehabilitation program, created specifically for traumatized girls (one of only a handful of such programs in the U.S.), Ms. Aissa created and implemented a weekly spirituality group.
In the next few years, she discovered that confusion, insecurity, and fearfulness are pervasive amongst girls, and they have few internal skills with which to combat these issues. Education and information about women’s spiritual lives are greatly lacking in our schools and in our society. For young women, this dilemma can result in:
• • Banishment of all spiritual and/or religious beliefs, due to anger and disappointment;
• • Adopting non-traditional practices simply for shock value, or to gain a sense of control;
• • A sense of abandonment and loneliness born of fear, which may result in filling the emptiness with negative people, substance abuse, unhealthy sexual relationships, or early motherhood;
• • Feelings of hopelessness, which may result in depression and other mental health issues.
Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls
How did you transition your Masters in psychology and counseling into specifically helping, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls?
I started working back in the late 90s with my girls that were at a residential treatment center. I was really dropped into that position. I was a little bit blindsided actually, because I really wanted the job. I really wanted to work at a drug treatment facility. I really loved working with
children and I already had the experience. When I got the job I didn’t know that I would be specializing, that my caseload would be specifically,
treating, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, I quickly gained the experience because I was with them all the time. I ran groups I worked with them and their families.
I drove them from place to place. I did all kinds of activities with them, and so I had to learn really quickly how to work with, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, These girls were neglected, abandoned, sexually abused etc. I had a couple of girls that were very involved in gangs and so then there’s all of the stuff that comes with being involved in a gang. Often there’s a lot of sex, a lot of sexual assault, sometimes unwanted pregnancies a lot of drugs.
Then there’s a lot of fear because of the behavior. Then of course once the drugs become a factor that’s another layer to the whole thing, because a lot of girls with, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, will get involved in drugs to mask the pain of their childhood. I had some girls who were prostituting. So there was there were a lot of things that I would say that every almost every kid had some sort of, sexual abuse, or, sexual trauma.
Why adoptions cause post traumatic stress disorder
When I was in, adoptions, that I had had a lot of experience with, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, I could have real conversations with parents because we had parents that, especially with teenagers, we had adoptive parents that would give their adoptive kids back. No kidding. Teenagers are hard under the best of circumstances. They are worst with, Post traumatic stress disorder, in teenage, girls,
Teenage boys have a different set of coping skills. The way of treating boys with, PTSD, is different than it is with girls. My book Sacred Girl: Spiritual Life Skills For Conscious Young Women focuses on, on what works for, Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls. Helping them to find their voice and helping them to use tools to strengthen themselves and to gain empowerment.
I then came up with the appropriate strategies to treat, Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls. Our goal it’s very action-oriented and so it’s my belief personally that talking just isn’t enough. You hear a lot about talk therapy and all that stuff and talking just doesn’t do the trick for, Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls, You can’t just talk your way out of the problem and so you really have to do something.
There has to be some action. That’s really what my what my book is really about. It is allowing, Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls, and let’s just say youth in general to understand that they have the power, they can cultivate life skills and coping skills. I really felt like the movement and the actual thinking of the activities was a way to connect to what was going on with their brain and connect them to their emotions. So we did a lot of yoga. Now I’m a yoga teacher but back then I really had no idea what I was doing.
We did the whole altar thing. In my book there’s a whole section about altars.
For helping deal with, Post traumatic stress disorder, in, teenage girls, an altar could be their bedside table. Whatever have meaning for you, or that make you feel spiritually or psychically connected.
Studies show why teenage girls are more likely to develop PTSD
“Among youth with post-traumatic stress disorder, the study found structural differences between the sexes in one part of the insula, a brain region that detects cues from the body and processes emotions and empathy. The insula helps to integrate one’s feelings, actions and several other brain functions.”
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Author Traci Thomas offers, reflection on her, abandonment by her mother in her book, Reflection 4 Rejection. Traci answers the question “Is child, abandonment, rejection by the natural mother?” If so how does this rejection affect the child’s self worth and self esteem for the rest of their life.
On, reflection, I feel that, rejection, by your natural mother, it’s such a unique, unusual, weird, inhumane space to be. It nonetheless served such a great purpose in my life, and what I mean by that is the following. It’s one of those preambles whereas once you have survived this type of, rejection, you pretty much can walk on water, and I mean that literally and figuratively. It’s one of those scenarios and situations very few people ever experience or understand. When you suffer from, abandonment, you’re in your own community and it’s isolating; but yet you’re so powerful at the same time.
With that being said once you overcome this, abandonment, and it is a challenge, it’s a lot to muddle through. However, once you get through it, and you’re on the other side, there’s nothing you can’t do. So in my situation, it’s like a head of bipartisan. I had two scenarios, two lives coexisting at one time. I had a father who had full custody of me at three years old. That’s when my natural, mother, and my dad were divorced back in 1968. I was born in 1965, that was unheard of within the United States. Very few fathers gained custody of their children or their child, so that in itself is a profound statement. That also shows you how little fight my natural, mother, put up to keep me.
I do remember one particular time my, mother, did quote, unquote kidnap me. She did take me when I got off the school bus when I was in kindergarten, and she took me to Philadelphia and thank God my father and the FBI came and rescued me. But even when she’s so-called put forth some effort, to show that she wanted me, it was still a situation where I was locked up in a room, there were German Shepherds downstairs and the FBI had to come and get me. She never really exemplified that she wanted me; but that’s okay and that’s what I explained in the book. It’s perfectly okay, because I define what, abandonment, is. It’s a supernatural definition. I actually give you, hind sights, definitions, elaborations and explanations as to what’s going on. What’s happening, why your natural, mother, abandoned, you. It took me 50 years to figure it out, which is sad, but at least I figured it out.
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What does, Abandonment Issues, Mean?
Wikipedia says that, abandonment issues, causes Abandoned child Syndrome.
Abandoned child syndrome is a proposed behavioral or psychological condition that results primarily from the loss of one or both parents or sexual abuse.
Abandonment issues, may stem from physical (the parent is not present in the child’s life) or emotional (the parent withholds affection, nurturing, or stimulation). The abandoned child syndrome is not recognized as a mental illness.
Mothers, who leave their children, or when a parent is alienated from their children by the other parent (after a bitter divorce, DCHS, or foster care), can cause psychological damage to the child. This damage is reversible, but only with appropriate assistance. Abandoned children may also often suffer physical damage from, rejection, malnutrition, starvation, and abuse.
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I want to comment on something you said that’s a little different from my normal association with, abandonment, you said it took you about 50 years to get to the other side and it was very isolating; but once you got to the other side you felt like you could walk on water. Which is a very positive spin on, abandonment, because if you were to take a survey of the, child abandonment, community you will find that most kids end up having a lot of self-esteem issues, they don’t think they’re good enough.
When you feel, abandoned, it’s not your imagination. When you make every effort imaginable to connect or contact your natural mother and every single attempt, every single effort, every single expendable energy that you put forth, the end result is just this repellent. It’s this, rejection, of your natural, mother, not wanting you or your natural, mother, treating you as if you’re a bill collector. Your natural, mother, is literally tolerating you and can’t wait to get you off the phone. When you’re in a scenario like that again and again, it’s so bizarre.
On, reflection, once you’ve been in a situation where you’ve made every effort and did somersaults, headstands, back-flips, anything you can think of to connect with your natural mother, and every single attempt is unproductive and counterproductive. It’s toxic, and it’s unhealthy, because of the way that you feel afterwards. You literally feel as if you’ve been punched in the stomach with every single attempt to get the love of your, mother.
You’re in tears and you’re shaking, and you have anxiety, and then you go through life thinking that you’ve got to kiss every behind in the universe. You have this feeling of inadequacy this feeling of I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me. That’s why I wrote the book, because I do not want another human being going through five decades of what I went through. That’s why I engineered and composed the book.
My objective in writing the book, is for someone to have an open mind and instead of going through life telling themselves, my own, mother, didn’t want me. Even though that is true, instead they can tell themselves that they have every right and privilege to not want her either.
Power is something you take, nobody gives you power. You snatch power.
So what I wish to do with this work, with this writing, is to allow an individual to look at being, abandoned, in hindsight. Let’s really look at it and put an autopsy and microscope on, abandonment, for a second. If you really do this it’s not hard at all, you won’t have to go through all these dog and pony shows and tail spins. Kissing this one’s tail, and doing back flips for this person, and making your, mother, love you, trying to buy this person, begging for love, please love me, please like me. You don’t have to go through all of those mental gymnastics. It’s not necessary. I’m trying to save somebody 50 years.
Abandonment, from Relationships
Can this scenario be also transferred to people who are, rejected, period? I mean because, rejection, and being, abandoned, are not only synonymous with, mothers, or parents. Men can reject you, your friends can reject you, jobs can fire you. Is this information transferable?
I placed a laser focus on this particular relationship between a child and a natural, mother. This ironically is not, rejection, and if you read the book you’ll totally comprehend what I’m speaking about. The natural, mother, is not rejecting you, the natural, mother, is rejecting the reminder of neglecting you. The natural, mother, doesn’t even know you. How can somebody reject you when they don’t even know you? That makes absolutely no sense.
I’ve seen that the trauma that it is caused in young lives and almost every aspect of being , abandoned, or, rejection. So it’s kind of good to tell yourself that your natural, mother, didn’t reject you because she doesn’t know you. If you actually do believe that I can understand that it is easier to get to the other side. That’s good, I like that spin.
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What is the main message of your book Reflection for Rejection?
I wrote the book to give some insight to, child abandonment.
What message would you give to that listener of why they should go out and buy the book?
It would be in their best interest even if they don’t get the book, if they just listened to the podcast, because it summarizes the book. It’s their prerogative if they wish to purchase it or not. I mean that’s their choice; but with that being said.
Don’t ever allow another person, place or thing to define your self-worth. Don’t do that. Don’t ever give someone that opportunity or luxury.
I know you talked about your natural mother not really rejecting you because she didn’t know you; but did you touch on psychologically what was happening to her for her to have that unnatural response to her biological daughter?
My father, God bless his soul, was extremely intimidating. He was a very wealthy, powerful, articulate, worldly man. He traveled a lot because he was a computer programmer, so he was extremely I guess very controlling. So I give my, mother, an inkling of understanding, because he was pretty much a womanizer.
I’m not giving her a full 24-hour pass, but I am giving her an hour pass. I can’t really give her a full 24-hour pass, because there are, mothers, who have gone through the same episode and they didn’t react that way.
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Are You Angry at your mom for her Abuse and, Abandonment?
One of the things that I noticed talking with you Traci is that I see no evidence of PTSD from being, abandoned, by your, mother. Post traumatic stress disorder in teenage girls, usually develops for girls who have been sexually abused, neglected, or abandoned. You said that every time you tried it to communicate with your mom, or tried to make her love you, or tried to form a relationship; you felt like you got punched in the stomach. At those times were you ever angry?
What’s so interesting is that I got angry at the end. Like right in the last year. My book goes in chronological order. In the book, I actually highlight the events that have occurred during the last five decades, and what’s so flabbergasting to me is that I didn’t get angry and livid until the very end. I wasn’t angry at her, I was angry at me for participating. I was so livid at myself for wasting so much time, that it took me decades to come down from the humiliation, the frustration, the hurt, the pain, the disappointment, the monotony, and the redundancy.
Getting to the other side, puts you in a disposition where you’re at total complete peace. I call it a, mother, transplant because once you realize why she acts the way she does, once that clicks in your brain, a light bulb goes off and you’re free.
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How did you handle Rejection and Reflection?
When you read the book you’ll completely understand what’s going on and it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
Your, mother, didn’t reject you, she can’t reject you because she doesn’t know you.
Yes, I understand what you’re saying. After you become immune to the, rejection, and you get on the other side of, abandonment, when you get to the other side, you feel empowered like you can walk on water. Nobody else has the capability of hurting you.
Childhood trauma, #1
1. Addictions – as a child, did your parents have any addiction?
Now we typically think of drugs and alcohol, but there’s also sex addiction.
If your parent was a cheater or watched porn, have an eating addiction, was a hoarder,
spending or gambling, workaholics etc. There’s 11 addictive behaviors.
Childhood trauma, #2
2. Verbal abuse – Did you witness your mom and dad screaming and
yelling at each other? The typical is yelling screaming but
this also includes no verbal alkaloids, no compliments, not hearing I love you
verbally humiliated, or put down, your opinion means nothing, or statements like
“you’ll never amount to anything.” Comments like that.
Childhood trauma, #3
3. Emotional abuse or Neglect – Your parents were not around, being gone for
long periods of time. Research also shows latch key kids let’s say they
came home from school at 3 o’clock and mom if they’re in a single household mom
had to work 9 to 5. That child is alone for two or so hours. There’s anxiety around that.
So that even falls under the neglect believe it or not. While we’re out trying to support our
kids there home alone.
Childhood trauma, #4
4. Physical Abuse, Rape or Molestation – The rape or Molestation could have happened
in or outside of the home. Physical abuse is being beat hit in any way other than
the typical spanking like a quick spank on the butt. Research shows that spanking does nothing to help teach your child anything, so I always say when I do parenting lectures in the schools
we’re supposed to teach our child another way. If you’re beating them or hitting them you’re teaching them to be violent back. We don’t want to do that.
Childhood trauma, #5
5. Abandonment – There’s two types, childhood trauma from, abandonment. Fault and No Fault, abandonment.
Here are three examples of no-fault, abandonment.
• a parent has to go off and serve at war
• a parent happens to die early
• early a parent travels away from the home a lot for work. 20:24
Here is an example of “Fault”, abandonment:
• Divorce and the mom or dad leaves the home
and is supposed to see the children every weekend and is either late or
cancels, does not pick up the child. The dad is spending more time with his new
girlfriend than he is paying attention to you the child.
Childhood trauma, #6
6. Adoption – if you were adopted, part of the foster care system, or you needed to
live with relatives because mom or dad couldn’t take care of you, that even
includes Grandma’s, aunts or uncles. I had a client who signed up with me she
asks “How about if we chose to live with another family because we didn’t
want to go home? I said yes that falls under this category because there was
always yelling and screaming in her household so she didn’t want to go home.
Childhood trauma, #7
7. Personal trauma – This comes from being bullied, feeling different not
fitting in, being a little overweight as a child or like me skinny and gawky.
Many people remember being bullying not part of the sports teams.
8. Sibling trauma – Your sibling could have been born with a
medical issue where it demanded more of moms and dads time.
Or they could be bullying you, but most often this one applies to if you
perceive your sibling as being the golden child. They were more athletically beautiful
or handsome or intelligent getting better grades and mom or dad gushed over
them versus you. You were always trying to prove yourself and say see I’m
Childhood trauma, #9
9. Community trauma – If a parent was incarcerated, if you moved
a lot like military families. In the U.S.A military families move every two to four years.
Growing up in lack, growing up in dangerous neighborhoods, that’s all
family trauma and community trauma.
Today we have active volcanoes, massive fire, floods, hurricanes, mass
10. Mental Health – Bipolar, Manic Depression, Hidden personalities.
We have Sociopaths and narcissism is part of community trauma.
Sociopathic means that they have no regard for your emotional feelings, they
act on what they want, when they want without thinking about their partner or
Two examples of sociopaths are Steve Jobs and Tiger woods.
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Uninvolved parenting, sometimes referred to as neglectful parenting, is a style characterized by a lack of responsiveness to a child’s needs. Uninvolved parents make few to no demands of their children and they are often indifferent, dismissive, or even completely neglectful.
Child abuse happens when a parent or care giver of a minor child allows, inflicts or permits physical or sexual abuse or allows a situation where there is a risk of physical injury. Child neglect means a minor child lacks adequate care and is danger of physical or psychological harm.