I Was Hurt Long Ago
It was a time in my life that I want to forget, but the wound is deep. Life has a way of causing me to remember even the smallest of details. I’ve read self-help books, sought counseling, and even joined a church. Nothing helps. The pain just won’t go away. It influences the choices I make and the way I live.
To ease the pain, I try to:
- Forget by filling my life with busyness.
- Sleep, but am too often haunted by nightmares.
- Build a wall around myself promising never to trust anyone ever again.
- Make it go away with alcohol or drugs.
Many people secretly bear the scars of childhood abuse. They desperately struggle with hidden trauma that interferes with their spiritual growth and relationships with others. Some of the effects resulting from abuse are:
To ease the pain, I try to:
- Low self-esteem, guilt and shame
- Chronic illness and pain
- Chemical dependency
- Sexual problems, such as aversion to sex or compulsive sex
- Marital/relationship problems
- Suicidal tendencies
- Obsessive/compulsive disorders, like overeating, bulimia or anorexia
- History of exploitive relationships
Whether the abuse is physical, sexual, or emotional, it can cause long lasting emotional problems. We want to help victims understand some of the effects of their abuse, and see the need to participate in their own recovery. They need to be encouraged to know that many victims have recovered and gone on to live satisfying and successful lives.
The recovery from the ravages of abuse is a process; a lifelong struggle to face and deal with emotional and spiritual repercussions. Those who have suffered the trauma of abuse deserve to receive help rather than condemnation. “When someone sexually abuses you, they don’t just invade your body…they invade your soul.” The entire person is touched by the trauma: physically, emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, and spiritually.
Some common feelings of victims of abuse:
- Tired- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Tired of trying to please others and God, just tired of living.
- Always feeling that something is wrong with them or that they are “less than” others, low self-esteem.
- Guilt, fear, anger, difficulty trusting.
- Professionals who regularly deal with victims of childhood trauma believe that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced some form of abuse before the age of 18.
One of the first steps in breaking the silence about the “secrets” surrounding the abuse is to share those secrets. This needs to take place in a safe and caring environment and with those who are trustworthy. This sharing will help the individual to identify shaming messages that they received, perhaps from many sources, in addition to the abuse.
Growth and freedom from shame will occur as the victim talks about the experience and the shame they feel.The first step in the recovery process is the victim to see the importance of getting support from others: a counselor, pastor, or a support group.
I’m afraid it’s impossible to heal… or is it? Is there anyone out there who cares enough to help me?
Yes! If you are currently in crisis, please contact RAINN
You may also contact Word of Hope at 1-888-217-8679
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