Though passing time ferried us out of our childhood sexual abuse, many of us continue to feel stuck in the same current. In the river of life, we feel unable to paddle to new possibilities for happiness.
Our moods and needs determine how we feel about rain as we dash between the drops or turn our face upward to enjoy its glory. A rain storm is a monster inconvenience. It’s manna for plants, joyous puddle-makers for kids. It’s Mother Nature’s tears, turning sunny days into depressing gray.
Answers and energy for our dreams come to us as steadily as the surf. We can miss them if we get lost in old thoughts or rush forward, but they keep coming. Self awareness helps us notice the waves of our potential. It makes all the difference so we don’t walk along the beaches of our dreams making footprints in the sands of time while the surf sings our song.
Each of us is challenged by desires that don't fit the collection of beliefs we have gathered over time. We carry a backpack filled with things we want but can't seem to manifest. And when we look around, it often seems others have walked many miles in the experience we are seeking. Our yearnings fit in their lives like a pair of comfortable, old shoes.
Author Jeanne McElvaney Offers An Insightful Journey Into The World Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
It’s only been thirty years since Judith Herman's newly published book labeled sexual abuse a crime, challenging social belief that it was harmless. Survivors began telling their stories. For the first time in history, social attitudes began supporting the victims of perpetrators.
Childhood sexual abuse severely diminishes self awareness. Ask a survivor what others need from them and you will get an instantaneous, perceptive, clear listing. We are tuned into this as though our life depended on it. And it often did.
Our journey to health can be much more than riding a raft in an uncertain ocean of concern. If we turn to the wisdom of our spirit, we have a guide for empowerment.
Though we don’t often stop to recognize it, we hold a tightly bound bundle of beliefs about our bodies. These are potent rudders when we are challenged by illness, but we can steer ourselves to new possibilities when we consciously encourage a spirit adventure by seeking fresh information. Then we become intrepid pioneers, exploring a new world. Rather than holding onto old truths, we might discover bacteria aren’t our enemy. These 100 trillion invisible body residents are essential health allies and, in a new approach to health known as medical ecology, scientists are showing us how to work with them to help us heal.
The lessons we learn as children shape our choices many years later. For those who experienced childhood sexual abuse, this influence was ramped up and tied to our sense of survival. We left home armed with the same instinctive responses that helped us manage the chaos of our youth.
We sometimes get together with other people hoping their mood will elevate ours or, at least, soothe, energize, or distract us. In a way, we want to bring leftovers as our contribution to a potluck while hoping we’ll find apple pie to fill our plates. Experience shows us it doesn’t work that way. Energy explains why it can’t.
We do it so often… and so well. We think understanding why someone abused us diminishes its effect on us. This is a disempowering web for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Though it gives us the comfort of not upsetting other people, excusing our abuser because we understand them will keep us firmly trapped in our experience. Drinking, anger, exhaustion or depression can never, ever be an adequate reason for harming us. If our abuser was also a victim at one time, he/she needed to seek help rather than use our childhood vulnerability as an opportunity to violate us. Not ‘knowing what they were doing’ or ‘recognizing how much it affected us’ denies responsibility and asks us to carry the load.