Having touched on the trauma of sexual abuse, I feel the need to share some information I gathered a couple years ago. I hoarded articles found in magazines and got a couple books. I wanted to understand how to deal with what I was going through. I read over them and put them away. I understood the psychological part, but I disconnected the emotions brought up with what I was reading, especially if it was stories from others. What I wasn’t ready to add was the human connection.
Victims need this so desperately, but their experience(s) has led them not to trust so easily. To protect yourself, you live in hiding. You put up a false front that has it all together and you smile and say, ‘everything is okay, I’m doing good’. In reality you’re not okay. There’s turmoil in your mind from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, and more than likely that’s also affected. When flashbacks occur, they’re enough to make you question what’s real and what isn’t. Not because you think your mind is making the memory up. In reality, it’s your way of protecting yourself as you’re reliving the trauma. Personally, I couldn’t accept them. I would ask myself, ‘Why would anyone do this to a child? How can anyone look at a child and have sexual arousal and act on it?’ I wasn’t seeking to understand their perverted mind, I just couldn’t believe that they saw me that way.
I would fight these flashbacks and the feelings that came with them. My body started reacting to this internal struggle. I began getting migraines. I’d had headaches since I was very young, but this was a whole new level of pain. I was always achy. I couldn’t even wash dishes with out getting exhausted. I started to indulge in food, because of the comfort I felt, especially sweets. I knew I was harming my body by eating this way but I didn’t care. I was worthless anyway, right? I mean, I could’ve done something to avoid this abuse from happening to me in the first place, no?
As long as I refused to hear what this little girl inside me was trying to tell me, I was gonna feel that toxic shame. She needed me to listen, to acknowledge what had happened to her, and assure her that it wasn’t her fault and that the danger was over. I had to make her feel worthy and loved and valued once again. I also needed to let her vent her emotions. It was okay to feel anger. They crossed a boundary they shouldn’t have.
I’ve been releasing grief and anger this past week because of a flashback. Yes it’s painful, but I know it’s temporary. That inner child is finally receiving comfort and love, much like what I would give my child if he were in pain. Any kind of healing needs to start with love. It lets us know that we are valuable. Our loved ones wouldn’t replace or ignore us if we had physical wounds, we shouldn’t do that to ourselves either. Those wounds many of us carry should be healed. It’s an act of self love, not selfish love.
It’s time to comfort that inner child. ; )
As for those articles, I’ll be sharing some of those in days to come.
Love you guys.