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Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

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Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

Postby bingbongbing » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:46 pm

I know that people with the same/similar accent that my abuser has can't help it, but I just can't stand being around people who sound like they do or use the same words that they do.
It's specifically a Cornish accent- I have nothing against people from Cornwall, it's a lovely place and full of lovely people I'm sure, but hearing that accent or most other accents from England just... angers me? Even if it's just somebody on TV, I'll be fine for a few minutes but almost always have to shut it off or I'll start spiraling into bad thoughts and old memories.
It's probably because they are the only person in my life right now with that accent, so I'd obviously be reminded of them, but I don't want to be like this forever.
Is there any way I can learn to separate the accent from the person who speaks with it?
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Re: Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

Postby avatar123 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:01 pm

As you mentioned, the abuser has been the only one in your life with that accent. So perhaps desensitivity training will help, you could listen to other voices speaking with those accents until they are no longer triggering. This might be difficult at first but will get easier over time. You can build into it slowly. You could listen to women's voices at first, for example, if your abuser was male. Or vice-versa. You should be able to find radio or TV programming or movies that feature that accent.

The main idea would be for your mind to consider that accent as routine or common, and not associated just with your abuser. That is actually the truth, so it won't be hard to accept, once you get beyond the initial trigger, which is understandable in your case.
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Re: Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

Postby HollywoodBard » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:32 pm

Sound and smell are very powerful memory stimulants.

As a child I went through a number of deaths. We used the same funeral home and it was the only time I had been near a grandfather clock.
A few years later I was visiting someone and they had a large clock and when it sounded I went into a trance of some kind and had to be shaken back to awareness. To me it was the sound of the funeral home. Still gets me to this day.
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Re: Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

Postby Colum » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:22 am

Hi

De-sensitization IS very hard at first. I have never been able to persist with it. To step outside your DIScomfort Zone...

The smell of old sump oil and dust triggers me. The abuse at age 8-9 took place in an old sawmill shed with an oiled, rammed earth floor.

The (rather lovely, sad) song "Oh Shenandoah" sends shivers down my spine. I was singing that in a play aged 8 when the abuse just started.

I wonder, if we made a list of triggers, how LONG it would be?

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Re: Specific Accent Reminds Me Of Abuser

Postby Terry E. » Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:04 am

A couple of months ago I realised I was triggered, I could not work it out. I went back over the day and it had been sweeping up with a broom. Last weekend more autumn leaves to get rid of, knew how my mind may drift, and although it drifted that way, my response was okay.

I think knowing our triggers and controlling them, if we can is a big part on faking normal.

I really doubt many of us will ever be normal, but it is nice to fit in, and that in turn makes it less stressful, as when we were young our abuse, our poverty, our strange family, our education, whatever, made that very hard.
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