Most of my adult life I spent repressing the knowledge and feelings of my childhood sexual abuse. Most of it was through drinking, partying, and being promiscuous. That was “single life”. (I was told. I believed.) Doing whatever the hell I wanted without any consequences. When in reality it was eating me alive. I had no idea until about 10 years later, most of my 20s were spent in destructive behavior ignoring facts and feelings.
I could play any game a guy wanted me to, and truth be told, I was better at the game than he was because I was seriously numb to anything going on inside of me. Numb to the emotions, numb to the pain, numb to the conscious thoughts, numb to what I was doing, and numb to caring at all. I was seriously dead inside, as some called me, or soulless as others had called me. Little did anyone really know I cared the most, but I was so protective of myself no one was close enough to know anything like that. I barely knew I cared that much.
Eventually it was time to start healing. I didn’t realize what it was really about. I thought a lot of my problems had to do with my step-father being killed in an accident. Turns out it was just a surface issue leading me down the path of recovery. Honestly it took 5 years and depression to even address my step-father’s passing. Finally when I decided to address it, all I have ever done is peel back layer after layer. Until I am where I am today. Still recovering.
I have learned healing, in general, will be something I always do, no matter how many layers I am able to peel back at once or in a few years. And that’s okay. Because it’s much better than where I was 6 years ago, hell even 6 months ago!
I’m going to share with you the 3 most important things you can do when you’re recovering from childhood sexual abuse. I also learned during my recovery journey. I want to share because it’s not easy and there really isn’t a bunch of stuff out there. It’s like the #metoo movement made it more open, but what really happened? I haven’t really seen women come out and say much past that. It’s tragic women have kept this hidden and balled up inside for this long. But the most beautiful thing about a tragedy is the recovery. Imagine being able to feel safe and unconditionally love people after something like that has happened to you?! That’s strength. That’s courage.
I don’t care what anyone says, being the victim of what happened years before, is not helping anyone. It’s especially not helping our society. But there is a way to change your life from this. And it starts with recovery. And if you’re at the beginning stages or in the middle, these 3 things are the most important things you can do while recovering.
- Trust the details or lack thereof. I’m not sure about you, but in my case I had disassociated every single time. (Disassociation- is pretty much when you detach from reality and go somewhere else in your mind.) I could only tell you what happened until the point of the abuse. Most of the time I was getting “disciplined” and then it would get really calm and quiet. And I could feel him, then I couldn’t tell you what happened. But I know that it happened. There are other instances which helped me put the pieces together. I was blessed not to get all the details. That’s a defense mechanism our brains use to help us endure trauma. Whether you remember all the details or don’t, or if you don’t remember anything at all but your gut/instincts tell you something like that happened. it most likely did. The more you heal and dig, the more will be revealed, if you’re open to seeing it. (Honestly, I am okay with what I know. If I need to know more details, I have faith the details will be revealed to me when the time is right.)
- Get help! This one is probably said a lot. At least it is with any of the articles and videos consumed. It’s true. You should seek a 3rd party alternative to help you recover. Whether it’s therapy, spiritual healing etc, getting professional help is in your best interest. Personally I have only used a therapist since I have been pregnant. Actually being pregnant has caused me to do a lot! (Want the back story? You can check it out here.) I like my therapist. She’s supportive and accessible. Even my mom has come to a session with me to get insights on how she can help me heal. I also have a Spiritual Shaman (Johanna Buckhardt) and using her methods have been truly amazing. I prefer her methods. At the same time, not everyone is open to this type of healing. Which is fine. But getting therapist is certainly an option. You might be thinking: What if I can’t handle going to someone? What if I’m not ready? It’s okay. We all do things at a different rate. If you’re not ready, check out this blog entry. It provides recovery journal entries. Which I highly recommend- getting a journal. Whether you use my entries or not, doesn’t matter. Journaling will help you dramatically. I’ve used mine through both my healing processes. (I used the entries in the blog to help me recover.) That’s how I started healing to begin with. You can also read books, blogs, watch videos etc. With that being said, don’t disregard going to see someone. They can provide techniques and insights you may not be aware of.
- Be honest with yourself. This is one of the hardest ones. But being honest with yourself will help you through everything. When things come up and you’re pissed and screaming at the top of your lungs, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll be able to identify you’re actually triggered. Maybe that guy you’re dating is actually a toxic person and you only picked him because of your life-long thoughts of being unworthy of a good man. If you’re honest with yourself it will always change the course of your life, going through recovery or not. But during recovery it will help you heal so much faster. You have to let yourself know, hey that has to do with your abuse. Being honest with yourself when you look back at your choices, in your life, will help you heal from the abuse because you can see and understand where those choices actually came from. A hurt little girl. Which you now have to help that little girl understand she’s safe. And you can’t do that if you’re still putting yourself in situations that can ultimately get you hurt again. Or killed. That’s why being honest with yourself is so important. Otherwise you’ll ignore facts and feelings just like I did for so long. Remember no one is here to judge. Especially not me. I don’t have any room for that sh*t. I’ve done things in my past because of my abuse, that shocks me to do this day. Don’t feel like you’re the only one. Because you’re not! Remember to be honest with yourself. If you only do one thing, let this be it!
Recovery is a hard journey. But it’s beautiful! And worth it! And all it takes is one step forward. Everything you’ve ever been through is not more powerful than you. And by recovering you’re proving to yourself you still hold all that power. Healing is amazing because you can literally change the course of your life. If you have children, you can change their lives. And it trickles down. Ultimately healing society because you started with yourself. Imagine what the world could like, if you started right here, right now. To heal. To recover. You do have the power to transform. The power to change the world. It just starts with you, by trusting the details, getting help, and being honest with yourself.
Have questions? A story? Can relate? Leave a comment below. Let’s connect.