all things social work

Sexual Abuse: Where Do I Start?

on December 28, 2011


Welcome to Overcoming Sexual Abuse. If you’ve been traumatized by the horrors of sexual abuse, you are not alone. OSA is a community of survivors whose histories range from incest to stranger abduction to childhood prostitution to being leered at by a creepy coach. No matter what happened to you, it matters and you deserve to heal.

All of our histories are different, but the way the abuse affected us is very similar. We each have a unique path to healing, but healing is possible for each of us. As horrible as the abuse was and how far-reaching its effects, healing is possible. Thousands of survivors of abuse are now thriving.

The abuse was not your fault, but you have the responsibility of dealing with the effects. Nobody has the ability to heal for you. That thought may seem overwhelming, but in small steps, it’s much easier. And you don’t really have to be alone on this journey. None of us can heal for you, but we can heal with you. We’ll share the journey together and share insights and encouragement. You’re not alone.

The shame and fear that surrounds abuse often forces us to hide in the shadows, living with the secrets.

The shame and fear that surrounds abuse often forces us to hide in the shadows, living with the secrets. You’re invited to come out of that lonely silence by commenting on blog posts or joining in the discussions forum. In the discussions, there is a community of survivors who share their stories, questions, poetry, art and other projects . You can use your real name or post anonymously.

If you’re on Facebook, you’re invited to join us there for daily healing quotes and the support of an active community of survivors.

The Overcoming Sexual Abuse website is full of inspirational and informational blogs on a wide variety of topics. These are a few of the posts that you may find helpful to start with:

Is Overcoming Sexual Abuse Really Possible?
I hate blood and gore, but I love watching medical shows. When they show mangled flesh, I have to cover my eyes. It’s hard to imagine all the pain the person is suffering and even if they can be saved, the struggle of recovery. Sometimes I think it would be easier to let the person die because I don’t understand how someone could possibly recover and have a real life after having their body so torn. [continue reading...]

Preparing to Heal From Sexual Abuse
Does time heals all wounds? I’ve heard many survivors of abuse try to soothe themselves by saying, “Soon, this will pass.” It does take time to heal—and lots of it. But time alone won’t repair the soul mutilation of abuse anymore than it will repair the destruction caused by an earthquake. Sexual abuse ravages the depths of your being and to be restored, you’ll need to face each wounded area. Healing takes great quantities of perseverance, courage, strength and yes, time. [continue reading…]

Microwave Healing: I Want to Feel Better NOW
It’s time to face the facts. We live in a microwave world. We want it done and we want it done now. If I can’t put it in the microwave, I don’t want it. Every once in a while I will take the time to stir and mix my ingredients, throw it in the oven and wait a few hours for it to cook. But everyday, something is put in the microwave, a button is pushed, a few seconds later, we are ready to eat. [continue reading…]

Why Do I Need To Tell?
When I talk about my childhood sexual abuse, I see it as an opportunity to validate my inner child. As I reveal the horror of what happened to her, I’m inviting her out of the shadows of fear and shame. She’s accustomed to other’s dismissive denial, but telling the truth gives her the honor she deserves. [continue reading…]

How Do I Disclose My Abuse?
I talk about my childhood sexual abuse very publicly now, but I didn’t start there. The first time I ever told anyone I’d been abused it didn’t go very well. For years, I’d repressed most of my childhood memories when suddenly, in my early twenties, I knew I’d been abused. The knowledge came in a flash. I didn’t have any specific recall, know who my abuser was or feel any pain, but I was sure I’d been sexually abused. [continue reading…]

Six Million Dollar Healing: Completely Invested in the Process
“Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.” Oscar Goldman in the opening narration to the “The Six Million Dollar Man” [continue reading…]

Getting to the Truth: The Role of Truth in Our Recovery
Abuse misinforms us about our identity and our value. Recovery is the restoration of our true selves. Find out how we uncover the truth in this ten minute audio discussion by Christina Enevoldsen and Darlene Ouimet. [listen to discussion…]

Here’s what other survivors have to say about the healing journey:

“Stay with it! It isn’t easy, it can be painful, it can exhaust you, it can even feel as though you will never come through it, but you will – and the YOU that you find on the other side of it all is worth every bit of hell finding it!” Carla

“I always thought I might die from my feelings. It took a long time to understand these feelings, just keep working at it and you will get there.” Ronald

“It is a process. Remember not to skip through healing. It takes time, a lot of time and there is no rush. Be patient and allow layers to peel off and heal as you are able. Push yourself once in awhile but be mindful of balance while this journey of healing begins. Blessings…” Freya

“I was certainly vicitimized but no longer a victim. More than a survivor. Today I am a thriver. Good luck on your journey. Hard climb but very much worth the view.” Frank

“Quite bluntly-it sucks. It’s the hardest thing that you will probably ever deal with. There will be days that you wonder if it’s worth it. You will want to just give up. For a while it will feel like you are all alone in this huge gaping hole where no one can reach you. There will be times that you want to hear that it will be okay, but even after you hear it, you still don’t believe it. However, when you make it through, it’s amazing. Just never give up. When you want to give up, know that you can be that happy again. It’s hard work, but totally worth it.” Pamela

“Sometimes you may take two steps forward and ten steps back, never give up. Deal with your feelings as they come and always be good to yourself. Surround yourself with people who encourage and empower you to be you, let go of people who bring you down and just think you can just get over what was done to you. Give your inner child the love he/she needs from your adult self. That is so important in your healing. God Bless.” Kimberly

“It’s hard, hard, exhausting work, but it’s the greatest thing in the world to be able to laugh and play and trust. It’s not something you only do in the therapist’s office or during group. You have to work on it everyday! Find something good to say to yourself everyday – even if it’s just “Hey, you parted your hair straight”, “Hey, you woke up”. Just say something and you will eventually begin to believe it. I KNOW that I am an amazing, compassionate, strong woman!! Never did I imagine that I would say something that powerful. It’s a wonderful life! You are sooo worth it!! ?” Ann

“Though it seems never ending and ‘if another person tells me it gets easier I will scream’ and a whole range of things you may be going through, actually dealing with it sooner- rather than bottling it up and then exploding later- is the best way. That way you won’t have the extra years of coping skills that didn’t work for you as an adult to unpick. It’s never easy to change how we react to things but doing it slowly and truthfully is the best way. Each of you will find the way that suits you personally, be kind to your self and take the time you need to heal. Big hugs!” Carol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: