Journal Prompts: Recovery
Before I give you the prompts, I want to touch base on why journaling is so important!
It helps you process. It can give you a deeper understanding and give you a clear understanding of what’s at hand. This is can be really important for those crazy emotions! (And if you need some guidance on accepting your emotions click here.)
It helps you de-stress. Writing in a journal is like talking to a bestie. They just don’t talk back and sometimes we need that! Plus the self-care/self-love aspect is an added bonus.
It helps you stay grounded. Meaning that you won’t just freak out, at a moment’s notice, because you have something that helps you cope.
There are so many other reasons and you might have your own reasons. For me, I love to write. I’ve always been that way. And writing for me makes it easier to express myself. Which is probably why I can text books to people! Lol!
I also want to talk about why recovery from childhood sexual abuse is important. It might seem obvious, but it really isn’t. It isn’t because most of us think our actions and decisions are normal. The secret we have swept under the rug for so long, is truly safe there. Because it never really hurt us. Which is BS. The secret under the rug, whether your family told you to keep there or you did, is haunting you from living a happier and peaceful life. It’s torturing you, if you haven’t healed from it. If you had any experiences like I did, it has affected every single thing you ever did your entire life, and you never even realized. Recovery is important because it gives you back power of your life. Of you! It helps you forgive and let go of the abuse. Maybe you’re thinking: that’s what dealing with the past is about. And you’re right, to an extent. I used to think the only problems I had were related to the accident that killed my step-father. It was just a surface problem that lead me down the other road of deeper baggage. Recovering from childhood sexual abuse is its own journey. Its own battle.
These journal entries will help you get started with your recovery. Help with the pain. Strat cracking this open. Please be aware without commitment, this won’t be something you’ll be able to withstand. This is not an easy task, but it doesn’t have to be daunting. This is for you. It’s up to you how you dive in. Recovery is a real thing. But it’s also a lot easier to pretend nothing ever happened. Especially at the beginning stages of recovery.
Before giving you the prompts, it’s super important I explain some of the questions. Some of the questions might actually cause triggers themselves. Making it important you really ask yourself if you’re ready to take this on. If you’re not, that’s okay. Not all of us are ready. But be aware these questions are real. And the best way to answer is honestly.
Q4- Taking responsibility. I’m not saying you had anything to do with what happened. Or had a choice. Or controlled what took place during your abuse. You didn’t and really cannot change anything that happened. Your responsibility lies in whether or not you’re still the victim. Whether you heal, whether you forgive, whether you let go. In simple terms what you do with the matter now, is your responsibility.
Q8- There are triggers from sexual abuse. It’s important to identify those triggers so when you’re in situation, you’re aware maybe your emotions have nothing to do with the situation but something from your past. For example, when I was being abused, an adult I trusted walked in and th,en walked out. My abuser didn’t stop but said something to me about finishing. If I was hurt during sex and I say something and he would only stop for a minute or two, I would completely shut down. I wouldn’t say anything further. But it would ruin the moment and our relationship. No matter what type of relationship it was.
Q9- The same thing with triggers for defense mechanisms. This could be anything do to keep you safe. Consciously or unconsciously. For example, my dogs sleep in my bed. Although it wasn’t related to my childhood sexual abuse, it was related to when I was raped while I was asleep one night. I think it was a few weeks later I got Maxx. And he and Calypso sleep in my bed every night. Another example is not showing emotions to men. I would refuse to be vulnerable with them. I couldn’t do it. I thought it was weak. I thought it would give them ammunition to hurt me. All it did was keep a wall up. What things do you do that are meant to keep you safe so the same things don’t happen again?
Q10- Again where can you find responsibility. Example in my trigger, if I would have just explained myself and communicated with that guy, the relationship didn’t have to change. I own that. I own how long it has taken me to heal. I also own all my decisions after the fact. Those are my responsibilities. When you look back at your recovery story, what can you identify as your responsibility?
Q11- Writing your childhood self a letter is important. Essentially your goal is to heal your inner child. Let her know she is safe. By writing this letter you make her world change. You almost give back the innocence she lost.
Q21- Writing yourself a forgiveness letter is just as important as forgiving your abuser. Most of us hold onto the shame and the past. Beating ourselves up for every little mistake. You’ll never be able to move on, if you can’t find it in you to forgive yourself and show that you’re worthy and loved. The best way to do that, is to love yourself- forgive yourself.
Q26- Some of your fears were based on your abuse. Now you have started to recover, change the meaning of those fears into something empowering. Something which gives those fears less meaning. For example, I’m afraid no one will believe me about my abuse. It doesn’t really matter if anyone does, because I know what happened. I know the truth. I don’t need anyone to validate my story. Period.
Recovery is a hard beautiful thing. I know you’re capable of doing it!
So let’s start now.
You can download the printable version here. (No email required.)
Want to buy the downloadable journal with 210 prompts? Click here
Why have you decided to face your abuse now?
When you think of your abuse what fears come to mind?
What has your abuse stopped you from doing?
Are you ready to take responsibility for your part? Why/Why not?
What do you want to achieve by facing your abuse?
Write about one abuse incident (recovery story).
How do you feel, what are your thoughts about your recovery story?
What triggers can you identify from your recovery story?
What defense mechanisms can you identify from your recovery story?
What responsibilities can you identify from your recovery story?
Write your child-self a letter about your abuse. How are things different now?
Have some of your choices been a reflection of your abuse? Explain.
Have you told someone about your abuse? Why/Why not? Are you willing to?
If you have not told someone, tell someone and write about how it went.
Do you believe you’re the victim or the survivor? Explain.
Is the abuser still in your life? How does that affect you today?
Identify situations you’re uncomfortable with that are related to your abuse.
How can you change the way you react to your triggers?
Write a letter of forgiveness to your abuser.
Write a letter of forgiveness to anyone who was indirectly involved with your abuse.
Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself.
How can you use your abuse to help others?
Write a list of reasons of why you deserve to be treated better. Why are you worthy?
How can you become a thriver rather than a victim?
Define who you are based on self-love and your real self-worth rather than your abuse.
Go back to your fears and redefine them.
How did the abuse change you as a person?
Explain how much stronger you are, now.
Describe what type of person you envision yourself to be.
How can you develop into that amazing, strong woman you envision?
Which question(s) did you struggle with? Leave a comment below. Let’s connect.