Were You Sexually Abused as a Child ?
If you were sexually abused as a child, and are silently suffering the consequences, taking help from a qualified professional is the best way out.
WERE YOU SEXUALLY ABUSED AS A CHILDChild sexual abuse , also called child molestation, is a form of abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation. It is not always that the child remembers sexual abuse. Sometimes such painful memories may have been locked away by our well meaning mind, only leaving us with an uneasy feeling. If you were sexually abused as a child, following facts, may help you:-
1. Many times the victim has a feeling that she is probably the only one , who has had this experience. What you need to know is that this problem is not that uncommon. As per the statistics, one in four girls and one in six boys, yes boys as well, are sexually abused before reaching the age of 18. These statistics are based on the reported cases. Actual cases may be much more. And the researchers have found that these figures are not specific to any area or ethnicity, race or financial status, they are common to all places and communities. So everyday out of the total people you meet, it is very likely that 25% of the girls and 15 to 20% of the boys have similar secrets as yours. So at least have comfort in this fact that you are not alone. There is a large population of males and females , who may have been subjected to similar or even much worse experiences than you.
2 As a consequence of sexual abuse, the victim may feel that, since she was a party to the abuse, may have enjoyed it and even willingly permitted it ,she is to blame. The fundamental thing you have to understand is that the abuse was the fault of the perpetrator alone. He chose to use you for his pleasure without any regard to your wellbeing and feelings. You may have been manipulated in ways that you were too young to know and recognise. If you were a neglected child , the molester may have used that fact to exploit you. No matter what the circumstances, you were a child and you did not have the understanding and the maturity to give consent to such sexual acts. Think of the same situation today when you are wiser. Would you permit such a thing today. Accepting that you had no role in the abuse and it will help you move past your feelings of guilt, shame, and confusion.
5. It can be very difficult to admit, emotionally and intellectually that you were sexually abused. Even though you may want to open up, the fear of others judging you, looking down upon you and your family may prevent any such move.
6. Letting out pent up emotions is the only safe way to get relief from the mental agony. So, you do have to open up to someone. Though you could have close friends, elderly relatives who may appear to be ideal for such a disclosure but their shock and reactions and consequent confidentiality may leave much to be desired. The best person to contact is a trained professional. The following factors make him most suitable:-
a. He is professionally trained and has experience to give you relief. On the other hand, friends and relatives, unknowingly may do more harm than good with their well intentioned advice.
b. The confidentiality is assured for life, as part of the professional agreement.
c. The therapist will take measures that are in your best interests, and not anyone else’s (something your friends and relatives may find hard to do)
d. The therapist will diligently continue to work with you till you are fully relieved and free of the stigma and anguish. Anyone else will only try to close the issue as early as possible.
6. Working with a therapist will help you live through the experience and learn methods to deal with the same. Certain NLP tools could really get the sting out of the experience, and leaving it just another memory. Some tools of Inner Child Healing could help you live through the experience one last time and reach a closure. You will learn to convince yourself , that abuse was not your fault and best thing you can do now is, to ventilate and let the wounds heal. You will also realise that, the coping strategies used during the abusive event have outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced with those in compliance with the current reality.
7. The advantage of therapy is not the relief that you get by the end of all the sessions. The advantage is the ray of hope that you see right after the first session. Suddenly you get a sense of relief that there is , in fact ,a way out of the dungeon that may have held you captive for so many years. You may have lost something, but you realise you are much more than just that one thing. One helpless experience does not have to define you or your life. You will realise that you are much bigger than that one experience and the moment you have that realisation, you are out of the bubble. Free to move on happily with life.