The Healing Process
The healing process is a long and complex one which will be difficult at times and requires courage and commitment. It involves feeling some discomfort but we will support you and always make sure that you have a good strong support system and you are in a safe place throughout your journey.
There are a number of stages to recovery, though as everyone is an individual they do not necessarily follow one after another. Some may be missed out all together and some may take longer than others.
Deciding to heal
You recognise the effects of sexual abuse and decide to accept that things have to change in order for you to move forward.
The Emergency State
Things may seem chaotic and you become obsessed with abuse issues. It is normal to think that you are going crazy or may want to kill yourself. It is important to remember that this is a significant part of healing, it is only a stage and will not last forever. You will move on to a better place.
Bringing back thoughts, memories and feelings which have been pushed to the back of your mind for years. Flashbacks and physical feelings are part of this process.
Believing it happened
Accepting that it really did happen to you and was wrong.
Breaking the silence/secrecy
Being able to tell someone is a powerful healing tool.
Understanding that it wasn’t your fault.
As a child you would have been led to believe that the abuse was your fault. In this stage you learn to place the blame where it belongs – with the abuser.
Getting in touch with your own vulnerability
Being in touch with the vulnerability of the child within you – the child you were at the time of the abuse – can be a strength, not a weakness, and can help you become more open and feel a full range of emotions.
Learning to listen to your inner voice – you own thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
Grieving and Mourning
Grieving is an important way to get in touch with your pain, let it go, and move forward.
Anger is a very powerful and liberating force when it comes to healing.
It is not necessary to forgive the person who abused you, but you need self-forgiveness to accept why you behaved the way you did, anything you may have felt ashamed about or negative coping strategies you may have used.
Resolution and moving on
Feelings begin to stabilise and you feel like a whole person. You can make changes in your life, develop good meaningful relationships and explore your potential as a human being.
Don’t forget, healing continues over many years, and indeed the rest of your life. You have been deeply hurt by the abuse which happened to you, but it has made you the person you are today and you are stronger for it. You will be able to move on with your life and become a survivor rather than a victim.