How do you write about something that people are afraid to see? How to you expose an undermining, but insidious, practice? How do you change peoples’ minds? How does a civilization heal from the wounds of abuse?
Sexual abuse may result in the most pervasive symptomatology, because it is invasive to the body in a very intimate way and often requires the person abused, to disassociate from the experience. Disassociation means the person detaches physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually from the experience in order that the experience can feel unreal or as if it happened to someone else. The trauma of sexual abuse is further complicated when the body responds with arousal sensation while being harmed. This confusion, alongside disassociation, leads to cognitive distortions regarding what happened and who holds responsibility for what happened.
Here are 6 important things to assist in healing:
1. Surround yourself with people who forgive, recognize worth and value it, challenge fear, believe in wholesome living, and trust themselves to contribute to the greater good.
2. Forgive yourself for what happened.
3. Recognize your worth and value yourself.
4. Challenge your fears in safe places.
5. Believe in yourself.
6. Trust that you have a purpose in life that is greater then your experience of abuse.
Tami Boehle-Satterfield, MSW, LCSW-C, NBBCH, HTP, a licensed psychotherapist at attentiontoliving.com has challenged herself in 2016 to post weekly about the unpopular topic of abuse. Learn more about Tami at attentiontoliving.com