Healing childhood sexual abuse or being sexually assaulted can be shattering, leaving you feeling scared, ashamed, and alone or plagued by nightmares, flashbacks, and unpleasant memories. But no matter how bad you feel, it’s important to remember that you weren’t to blame for what happened and you can regain your sense of safety and trust. Recovering from sexual trauma takes time, and the healing process can be painful. But with the right strategies and support, you can move past the trauma, rebuild your sense of control and self-worth, and even come out the other side feeling stronger and more resilient.
The inner you that went into hiding, as a child, needs to know the “adult” you is safe. To build trust, treat the wounded “you” the way you would have liked to have been treated when you were little.
Validate you by acknowledging that the sexual abuse you were subjected to (or any abuse) wounded you, clear to the depths of your soul. Your response to being wounded was completely normal under abnormal circumstances.
Be angry –
It’s okay to be angry. In fact, it’s better than okay. Be enraged at the injustice. You have to get angry before you can get well. Think of your anger as a healthy response. It is.
Mourn your betrayal, mourn what ‘might have been,’ what your family could have looked like, what a carefree childhood should have felt like. Grieve your loss. People who bury their grief stay stuck in it.
Allow sorrow –
Feel sadness for your inner child’s pain. It was so lonely – this feeling that there was something, somehow, wrong with you.
Face forward –
Acknowledge your history – but do not let it define you. Believe you are strong enough. You are – you survived. You are stronger than you think.
I am who I am today because of my history. I didn’t choose my mom and dad, I was born to them. I would be a different individual — not better, not worse — just different, had I had another set of parents. What I know is that because I experienced what I did, I understand the heart of another in the way only those who share a history of childhood abuse can. In this I am certain: if I can do it, so can you. Take care. You are always loved & supported.