We discussed abuse in all in its forms in the last blog. This week I want to share more about the journey to healing.
How long does it take to heal from sexual abuse?
Although many ask this question, a response is impossible. There are many factors affecting the impact of the occurrence. Every person is unique and every sexual abuse experience and dysfunctional family system is different. However, there are some factors that can affect the healing journey:
- Your age at the time of the event (s).
- Whether you told someone and the degree of support you received and whether you were believed.
- Were there multiple forms of abuse at once?
- Were you able to get away from the perpetrator (s) (at the moment and throughout time) and find a safe space?
Resources and access to services play a critical role in healing.
- Don’t be afraid to seek support, both traditional and non-traditional.
- Find resources that encourage you and guide you to address not just your thoughts (mind), but your body and spirit. In my case I did not stop with talk therapy. I explored many different ways, and every healing experience bought me closer/returned me to my true self.
Although many believe that the process of healing from sexual abuse occurs in stages and in a linear fashion, what I have discovered from my healing journey and that of hundreds of survivors I been honored to work with, is that the journey again, is different for different people. But what many have in common is, both the desire and fear to tell the story of what happened, and the immense degree of shame, self-blame and anger often towards self for “allowing it” (NOT TRUE).
The healing process is more a circular experience, where you revisit some of the same issues and even behaviors, but as time goes on, the experience is a bit more and more distant from the impact of the trauma, sometimes making it possible to address areas that were either not available before or too scary to visit and explore, the first time around.
How long have you been on your healing journey?
What therapies, rituals and practices have you explored?
Here are some of the many things I tried in search for wholeness:
- Talk Therapies (of which there are many)
- Massage and Dance/Movement Therapies,
- Energy Work (such as Reiki, Polarity and Reflexology, etc.),
- Spiritual Practices
Would you or have you explored some of these modalities, what was your experience?
Stay tuned. We will be exploring ways to assist in the healing process further in the coming weeks.
Be Well, Be Blessed