Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sexual Abuse - Stages Of Recovery #Amsosa


Looking Forwards, NOT Backwards

Is recovery possible? Can I make it? Is it worth it?


All too often, we tend to spend too much time looking back on the abuse we have already survived, and instead of living our lives, we give the past too much importance over who we are now, as opposed to what and who we were when abused, namely victims of sexual abuse or rape.

Why listen to someone who has not experienced what you have and believe what they tell you? If they are fully experienced in working with male survivors, by all means listen and talk to them, but don't allow anyone else to try and convince you that you were bad, complicit, wrong, dirty, or whatever negatives that tend to throw your way, because they have no idea how you think and feel.

This confusion often occurs because we are told or ill informed that the abuse defines us, but in reality it does not, as we were victims of sexual abuse or rape, but from day one, we became survivors and thrivors of sexual abuse and rape.

So how to get beyond that and start to feel better about who you are;

Understand the grief process that is involved in recovery and know that it is possible to get through the trauma's that you currently feel and experience.

Denial, shock, horror, pain, guilt, fears etc, are all common parts of the recovery process, but will diminish as time goes past.

Don't be afraid to say whatever is clouding your mind.

There is not an original act of abuse that has been done to you, just your version, so it has been heard before, and there should be no guilt or shame attached to what you need to say, in order to recover.

If you hold back, and keep the secrets that are not yours to keep, it will prevent your healing and keep you locked in shock and denial.

Break that barrier and you will see that hope is possible and that life is waiting. Don't buy into the bullshit version that life is just an existence, instead start to live your life!
 


All rights to this post belong to AMSOSA. Please do not copy without their permission.

6 comments:

touched2mysoul said...

"there is not an original act of abuse that has been done to you, just your version" this statement is very profound. Hopefully more survivors will breathe it in. Thank you for sharing this on your blog.

Veronica Messegee said...

When I think back about my own journey (yes, I'm still on it...but that pain is finally gone) I thought I'd never get to the point where I would be able to let it go and feel better....no matter how much I talked about it.

I then realized over a long period of time, that there was a positive lesson to be had in those painful experiences. I recently read somewhere that to be resilient and overcome our challenges, we are more likely to be successful if we can find some positive lesson out of the evil experience.

I cam imagine how far fetched this may sound...but I've learned that it it true. The good I gained had nothing to do with the abuse, but how some aspect of who I was was perpetuating that aspect (albeit in usually a less harmful and damaging way) onto other people. When I began to change and cut out the negative aspects of my own personality, values and behaviors.....the more I became the kind of person I always wanted to be....the more pain I was able to let go.

I don't know what normal is. Who cares about being normal. I just don't want to hurt. I want to live my life IN THE MOMENT and be excited and overwhelmed by all the good stuff around me.

I personally don't think the mental health experts can help because they are looking at us and our problems in a cold and clinical manner. We have 'disorders' or 'disabilities' or 'dysfunction'. I say 'BS!' We had crappy experiences! lol

I think we need to get out the gunk from the past, but there does come a time where it is time to put it behind us and not look back. We'll never get anywhere if we keep stopping to revisit the past.

Patricia Singleton said...

To me, recovery is more of a journey than a destination. As long as I am alive, my journey of recovery is ongoing. New experiences bring up new issues. That doesn't mean I am always in the pain of being an incest survivor. I am not but when the pain does come up, I have the tools to deal with it, to acknowledge it and then let it go rather than holding on and wallowing in the pain. My journey is also about allowing myself to feel all of my emotions which means letting pleasure and joy in as well as the pain that has been with me since my early years. I no longer punish myself for the incest. It was never my fault.

Faith McDaniel said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is pertinent at this very moment as I try to stay focused on breathing in between the pain, the sobbing, and total confusion. I know I have the tools to deal with this unexpected pain tonight and reading the following reinforces what I already know:

So how to get beyond that and start to feel better about who you are;

Understand the grief process that is involved in recovery and know that it is possible to get through the trauma's that you currently feel and experience.

Denial, shock, horror, pain, guilt, fears etc, are all common parts of the recovery process, but will diminish as time goes past.

Don't be afraid to say whatever is clouding your mind.

touched2mysoul - breathing it in...

Veronica Messegee - I so agree with your words: I don't know what normal is. Who cares about being normal. I just don't want to hurt. I want to live my life IN THE MOMENT and be excited and overwhelmed by all the good stuff around me.

Patricia Singleton - New experiences bring up new issues. That doesn't mean I am always in the pain of being an incest survivor. I am not but when the pain does come up, I have the tools to deal with it, to acknowledge it and then let it go rather than holding on and wallowing in the pain.

I just hope it doesn't take forever for me to sort this one out and I know I first have to get the irrational thoughts out of my head.

Anonymous said...

I never thought my past would come back to haunt me but it hit me like a spade to the back of the head...i didnt evn c it coming. since the truth hascome out ive lost my family including my mother....i nvr thought i could get thro the pain - i didnt evn knw if i wanted to but with the help of a fantastic counsellor, husband and friends as well as my 3 yr old son for inspiration i am well on my way...i nvr want to go back to those dark days....so what +ives hve i gained? Well for one im not carrying sme1 elses dirty secret...im free....no mask required....iv let go of negative traits that i acquired as a result of abuse...i can focus my love on those who genuinely care for me and most of all i am aware of what i need to do to protect my child frm having the experiences i had. i have learned that i am very resilient and i dnt fear anything that life throws at me because ive survived the worst! Im proud of ME x

Anonymous said...

You stated: "You hold back, and keep the secrets that are not yours to keep, it will prevent your healing and keep you locked in shock and denial"

I remember talking with someone April of last year. He was sitting next to me as he started discussing his childhood and how his close friend was being molested... then he suddenly stopped and said (while looking down) that he escaped before he was targeted. I knew right then, he had the horrible experience of being molested. I said nothing even though my heart was aching for his, but I could feel he was just too uncomfortable in telling me what happened. So I gave him his space and what he perceived he needed “his dignity” However, In that moment of silence, I fully understood. I believe he felt comfortable enough that he started down that path of conversation, but when the pain became to close, he needed to distance himself from the horror of it all. I only hope that he has worked through some of the grieving process and I pray that he did not do this alone. That breaks my heart more than anything else.

There is some controversy about talking about some of these issues with professionals that have not had the experience. I admit, many have the empathy, but they truly do not understand as “deep understanding” comes with experience. You can watch someone die, but you truly do not know the experience until you do. In my grief and desperation, I found it most meaningful if the other person had the experience. Without the experience the equation is “Mind to soul”“ and if they had the experience the equation would read “soul to soul” and reason I fully understood in his silence.

Thank You, Jan for the experience of a lifetime

~ Nina Fox

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