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First step in healing sexual abuse

Today’s vlog is about the first step in healing sexual abuse.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that healing is not a linear process. Healing cannot happen without acknowledgement, validation, and acceptance.

If you’ve been following CJ for a while, you know I took time off from providing in-person therapy.  Many of you have asked about my “adventure” so when I do a new video in a new location I let you know where I am.  No matter where I am, I carry all of you with me.  You are my inspiration to continue to do this work.  <3

I’d love to hear what you think.  How has the process been for you?

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7 comments on “First step in healing sexual abuse”

  1. Acknowledging the feelings that come with the memories of my sexual abuse and the damage it has caused, was and is probably the hardest part of healing so far. I'm really disconnected with my emotions, which is a huge coping skill for me, I have become so good at switching them off that now I have so much trouble connecting with them. it something I really struggle with today, I often find myself thinking, that if I can retell my story void of emotions (like a newsreader), then it mustn't have been so bad. (It enables my minamising) In fact I think that this is the very reason that most of the people I have shared my story with have just brushed it under the carpet and are pretending like I never said anything, "cause it must not have been that bad if she can talk about it like that."
    I really struggle with the fear of accepting the damage it caused and allowing myself to feel worthy of feeling the pain and anger associated with it. I guess I just avoid it, bottle it up, numb it out and stuff it down with some negative coping skills, because I am so afraid of my emotions. And I have no idea on how to get over that, to allow the feelings and connect the two again. But by the sounds of it, this is probably exactly why I feel I've plateaued in my healing lately.
    Another helpful, thought provoking video Peggy. Thank you.

    1. Hi Suzanne.
      Thanks for commenting! I'm so glad you were able to connect to the video. Your point about people's reactions when you've shared your story is so important. When this happens we take it as "proof" that it really isn't a big deal, not recognizing that maybe we've contributed to the reaction by downplaying the significance. However, there are certainly times people respond inappropriately regardless of how we disclose.

      Coping mechanisms are incredibly powerful and difficult to let go of. They become almost instinctual. It takes intentional practice over time (months and sometimes years) using more healthy mechanisms to be able to change it.

      Thanks again for commenting. I really appreciate your participation.

  2. Hi, Peggy -

    Your vlogs are really helpful and your comments make it much easier to understand the process of healing - which, incidentally, tends to be overused - kind of like - "Hey, after 12 years of therapy, why aren't you healed - read " why aren't you over it yet?!"... But I'm discouraged to discover that I'm in fact NOT, and am currently enmeshed in a work-related situation that is abusive as well. So I wonder if you could you say a few words about dissociation in relation to sexual abuse. I think I have (had?) primary dissociative disorder and my memories are blocked and stop at a point. I've never resolved them, but wonder how to do so if the full memories are never revealed. I feel like they're lying in wait like a time bomb, ready to go off under impact. How do you heal under these circumstances? Thanks again for your contributions - they are very sensitive and also make a lot of sense!

    Best wishes from Tokyo,
    Dee

    1. Hi Dee.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to watch the video and comment. I'm glad you find the videos helpful.

      Healing is really a lifelong process. I think you get to a point where the majority has taken place then it's an ongoing process of continued self awareness and practicing healthy coping mechanisms.

      Blocked memories can be related to DID, though not always. There are many people who have no specific memories or only bits and pieces. This always makes it difficult because it allows you to doubt yourself and your experience even more. However, I do believe it is possible to heal from abuse without remembering the details. The damage is not a result of the details of the abuse, but the meaning you attach to the abuse. You can be very aware of the meaning without clear memories.

      Thanks again!

      1. Oh, and I apologize for the delay in responding to your comment. I've been traveling quite a bit and have missed several comments on the blog. Also, I hope your work situation is quickly resolved.

  3. Hi Peggy;
    Thank you for your video. It provoked a lot of emotions or feelings because I'm probably still in denial where what I really want is to acknowledge validate and move on. I feel so stuck sometimes; it can really be frustrating. And like other people have said its coming from such an uncouscious level. Thank you so much for the work you are doing you provide hope. Thank you.

    1. Hi Ethna.
      Thank you for taking the time to watch and comment, and your kind words.

      Denial is an incredibly powerful coping mechanism. It takes a lot of patience and practice to break through it. It can be helpful to recognize that it also comes and goes. You can be in denial at some times and not others. Paying attention to what is going on when denial shows up can be really helpful.

      Thanks again!

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