Sexual Assault and Childhood Sexual Abuse

Effects of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse/assault leaves emotional and psychological scares that are not always obvious to others or even yourself. Below are ten of the most common *sexual effects from sexual abuse/assault:


1. Avoiding sex or being afraid of sex

2. Approaching sex as an obligation

3. Experiencing negative feelings such as anger, disgust, or guilt with touch

4. Having difficulty becoming aroused or feeling sensation

5. Feeling emotionally distant or not present during sex

6. Experiencing intrusive or disturbing sexual thoughts and images

7. Engaging in compulsive or inappropriate sexual behaviors

8. Experiencing difficulty establishing or maintaining an intimate relationship

9. Experiencing erectile or ejaculatory difficulties

10. Experiencing vaginal pain or orgasmic difficulties


* We are designed to be relational and enjoy intimacy, including sexual intimacy with our partner. 


Sexual issues are not the only areas of one’s life that are affected, usually unsatisfactory sexual relationships are the reason people seek help

Childhood Lost

When we are sexually abused, especially as children, we have been completely robbed of our own power and control. Think about the child who is physically smaller in stature than the abuser (even abusers who are adolescent or similar in age to us), the abuser towers over the child (physically and emotionally). There is also the factor of ranking or seniority, as children we are taught to respect those who are older than us. The abuse puts us in a position of victim.


We tend to continue in the role of victim throughout our life, until a point where we take back the power and control from the original source – the abuser. We are usually not conscious of the role of victim, and thus play the role indefinitely as it has become part of us.


We tend to experience confusion in everyday emotions, this is common in survivors. Notice, the changed of term from “victim” to “survivor”; once we are emotionally aware and willing to accept emotional healing, from this point on we are survivors!


Our minds hold us in a virtual time warp when we are dealing with childhood abuse. Consider the struggling of our adult mind and childhood memories, memories that are not front and center, but subconscious. Issues of depression, addictions, etc. are examples of the child’s pain that continues into our adult life today.


Healing childhood wounds is possible; when you are ready seek professional counseling as this is not a journey one can for emotional safety take alone. Someone needs to be present to witness and hear your story, a story that you may have never told before.

  

Male Recovery:  Healing childhood wounds for men is possible, someone knowledgeable needs to be present to take witness and hear your story, a story that you probably have never told before.


Female Recovery: Recovery for females from childhood sexual abuse is possible. Once sessions begin to heal the lifetime of gaping wounds, you begin to feel a sense of personal empowerment, and control over your life from the perspective of the adult that you are.

Many survivors have lost decades to self-destructive coping patterns. No matter what you've done, the most important thing is that you have survived. You used whatever resources you had to make it through your childhood, so you could grow up and become an adult with the opportunity and free will to heal. 


Quite literally, many survivors would have died if it weren't for their coping mechanisms. We should be proud of our resourcefulness in staying alive, yet many of us feel terribly shamed instead. The truth is, as a traumatized, isolated, and frighten young person, you did what ever you had to do to survive the abuse. What ever worked for you was applied to the same patterns of behavior because they worked for you, at least for a while, because they become habits, because we still didn't have other options. 


The important thing is that you've grown up since then. You have the ability to re-examine your life. You can stop doing things you're ashamed of and began the painstaking work of changing your behavior. 


But you have to start by forgiving yourself for the things you've done in order to cope. Feeling ashamed and terrible about yourself can keep you trapped and powerless, unable to mobilize your energy to make the necessary changes in your life. Sexual Abuse - Trauma Recovery Female & Male Recovery is possible!


Sometimes the greatest loss we experience is that of innocence and power.  Beginning the journey of healing from sexual abuse begins with self-discovery. Power and control is the basis for everything that I teach, and the associating concept of healthy personal empowerment.


When we are sexually abused, especially as children, we have been completely robbed of our own power and control. Think about the child who is physically smaller in stature than the abuser (even abusers who are adolescent or similar in age to us), the abuser towers over the child (physically and emotionally). There is also the factor of ranking or seniority, as children we are taught to respect those who are older than us. The abuse puts us in a position of victim.

We tend to continue in the role of victim throughout our life, until a point where we take back the power and control from the original source – the abuser. We are usually not conscious of the role of victim, and thus play the role indefinitely as it has become part of us.


We tend to experience confusion in everyday emotions, this is common in survivors. Notice, the changed of term from “victim” to “survivor”; once we are emotionally aware and willing to accept emotional healing, from this point on we are survivors!


Our minds hold us in a virtual time warp when we are dealing with childhood abuse. Consider the struggling of our adult mind and childhood memories, memories that are not front and center, but subconscious. Issues of depression, addictions, etc. are examples of the child’s pain that continues into our adult life today.

Healing childhood wounds is possible; when you are ready seek professional counseling as this is not a journey one can for emotional safety take alone. Someone needs to be present to witness and hear your story, a story that you may have never told before.

Trauma and abuse are different for each person; trauma and abuse are perceptional. Two people experiencing the same event may not perceive it to be traumatic.  Peter A. Levine in "Trauma Through a Child's Eyes", reminds us that trauma is in the nervous system - not the event! "Trauma happens when any experience stuns us like a bolt out of the blue; it overwhelms us, leaving us altered and disconnected from our bodies. Any coping mechanisms we may have had are undermined, and we fell utterly helpless and hopeless. It is as if our legs are knocked out from under us."

 

Male (Adult) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery  Healing childhood wounds for men is possible, someone knowledgeable needs to be present to take witness and hear your story, a story that you probably have never told before.


Female (Adult) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery Recovery for females from childhood sexual abuse is possible. Once therapy begins to heal the lifetime of gaping wounds, you begin to feel a sense of personal empowerment, and control over your life from the perspective of the adult that you are.


Adolescent (8 yrs - 18 yrs old) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery Healing earlier in life rather than living with the emotional pain for years, can lead to a more fulfilling life.  

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