Sometimes the hardest path to choose is the path that is most rewarding, in my case - the healing path. I did not decide that my childhood trauma was actually considered sexual abuse, like many victims until I was an adult (31 years old). Like many others, I did not have a proper understanding of what child sexual abuse was. My marriage had fallen apart, I was faced with losing my house, career, husband, marriage and friends. I did not know that less violent acts such as unwanted touching, voyerism, forced watching of adult materials, erotic spankings, fondling, or using the child to make obscene materials could cause all of the same lasting effects that a rape or molestation caused to a developing child. Sexual abuse is any Sexual act with a child that is performed by an adult or an older child. It is an abuse/misuse of Power and is a planned and manipulative act. When I sought marriage counseling, I was very fortunate to have chosen a very good therapist who also was certified in domestic violence, addictions, and had many years experience working with sexual abuse victims. He never pushed me, letting me come to my own conclusions. I educated myself along the way, and found that like many other victims, I did not know that a lot of my life's problems could be traced back to my childhood traumas. I have included a list of some common effects of early abuse, I hope if you read yourself in many of these items listed, like I did, you will seek out a qualified, caring therapist to help begin your healing journey.....
Do you feel constantly taken advantage of?
Is it difficult for you to trust anyone?
Do you have few close friends?
Is it hard to accept or give affection?
Are you involved with people who remind you of the abuser?
Do you minimize an abusive event that happened in your childhood?
Do you have trouble making a commitment?
Do you rationalize it away (he was drunk)?
Do you deny what happened then, could possibly effect you now?
Are you missing large blocks of your childhood?
Do you ever feel like you can "split off" or float above your body?
Do you find yourself acting obsessive and don't know why?
Do you repeatedly test people and expect them to leave you?
Do you have trouble saying "No"?
Do you lack intimacy in your relationships?
Do you have to have control in situations or over certain people?
Do you unwittingly cause chaos in your or others lives?
Are you Super-Alert, always predicting peoples reaction or actions?
Do you have sensitivity to chemicals, lotions, soaps, light?
Do you constantly stay too busy, moving quickly from project to project?
Are you prone to depression or panic/anxiety attacks?
Do you have trouble expressing your feelings?
Are you afraid to succeed or strive for it above all else?
Do you feel you have to be perfect?
Have you ever attempted suicide?
Do you lack a caring, emotional side?
Do you have flashbacks or nightmares?
Do you feel uncomfortable around children?
Are you unable to set clear boundries with others?
Do you feel spaced out or dazed?
Do you compulsively seek or avoid sex?
Do you Self mutilate?
Do you suffer from an Eating disorders, or eat compulsively?
Have you had subsequent abusive relationships?
If this sounds like you or someone you know, I hope you will seek professional services, after all, we SURVIVORS deserve a long rewarding life, full of all the things life has to offer us!