July 27, 2017

I Am Talking, Writing, and Healing

Every survivor of childhood sexual abuse has a different story. Every person deals with it differently, and everyone finds healing in their way. This blog is about a survivor, but not just one survivor. This is a combination of stories from several survivors of childhood sexual abuse. These feelings and experiences are common among survivors. If you’ve faced any of the feelings described in this blog, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Have you ever noticed how once you start thinking about something, you see it everywhere? Like, you buy a car and suddenly you see dozens of cars just like yours that you’d never noticed before. That’s what it was like for me. Once I realized I needed to deal with the trauma I suffered as a child because of sexual abuse, I started seeing it everywhere. Articles on sex trafficking, news spots about women who’d been sexually abused, books about healing from trauma.

I even started talking about it. Only a little bit and only with people I REALLY trusted. I never referred to my abuse, just sexual abuse in general. I wanted to see how people would react if I brought it up.

The craziest, saddest, most amazing thing happened – people I knew and loved and trusted UNDERSTOOD! Some of them because it had happened to them, some because it had happened to someone they knew, and some because they were just wonderful and caring people.

I’d thought that if I broke my silence the world would come crashing in around me. That no one would believe me and that all of that guilt and shame that I’d carried around my whole life would overwhelm me and swallow me whole. But it didn’t happen.

One of my best friends, a writer, suggested that I write about what happened. She even recommended a book to me, Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo. Look, I’m not a writer, but that book changed my life. Suddenly I had an outlet to write down all of these things that had been pushed away inside me for so long.

Now, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, and it didn’t get better overnight. Some days were good, and some were terrible. I tried going to a therapist, but I couldn’t really open up to him. I almost gave up on the whole therapy thing until a friend recommended someone who specialized in working with trauma survivors.

After feeling broken for so long, I suddenly had the tools to repair myself. You have no idea how amazing it felt to wake up in the morning and know that the choices I made were making a difference.

I am healing!

Healing from the impact of sexual abuse is a journey. For more information about how you can find healing, please refer to Reclaim Hope, a free e-book available on our resources page. Also, you can read more about the journey of survivors at: I Was Abused, Broken, and Lost and  I Will Hope, Laugh, and Share.