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Hi P'skid,

Thank you for reaching out to the EmpowHER community.

I commend you on the courage it took to share this post, because you took the first step to healing -- you shattered the silence. And with this one courageous act you will bring about potentially helping a child or helping a sexual abuse survivor.

It saddens me to read that as an innocent child, the very people who you expected to protect you, were the very ones who harmed you. Survivors knowing and trusting their perpetrator, often times, is the case. It's as if their explicit role in a child's life protects them instead of other way around. The fact of the matter is, you were surrounded by people who were in the position of knowing and took advantage of your vulnerable "not knowing" state in a very intimate way.

You mentioned feeling like you felt bad for the younger " you". That makes sense because as an adult and remembering, you are grieving for that inner child inside of you. The one who is having memories, so yes, if you feel like crying, give yourself permission to mourn. You are not responsible so please don't accept any guilt or shame. Go ahead and allow your inner child and the adult woman in you to cry. Crying can be very cleansing to the soul and as your tears dissipate, the absence of them will mark your progress on your journey to heal.

If there is one thing I want you to take away from this exchange is that they (your perpetrators) didn't destroy you and you can't let it (the sexual abuse) define you. Take this opportunity to invest in yourself and explore counseling. Think of it as an act of "self love" because you need to nuture and heal your inner child so you can continue to be the amazing woman, wife and mother that you are today. It may not be easy but it will be worth it.

While on your healing journey, you can turn what was meant for negative.... into a positive. You may not be able to understand how, but it's possible. For starters you can use your experience, knowledge and strenth to educate and protect your own children.

In the meantime, in addition to seeking counseling, some other suggestions to help soothe any anxiety or low moods are to use tools like prayer, exercising (i.e. practicing yoga, indoor spinning, etc.) and/or starting a gratitude journal.

I hope that you are proud of yourself for taking this very important first step. Remember, as you go forward, let your faith be bigger than your fear.

Inhale the future.....exhale the past.

My prayers are with you.

With Love and Wellness,

May 17, 2016 - 10:48pm


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