Were you a victim of childhood sexual abuse?
If you've experienced sexual abuse when you were a child, it's likely that it impacted your life in many big and/or small ways. The term molest used to be popular, but frankly, the word does not do justice to very real reality that someone stole your innocence. Most perpetrators are known to the victim, whether it's a family member (in which case it's often coined "incest"), family friend, a coach, a teacher, a doctor, a neighbor, priest, etc. For many years there was a myth that "child molesters" were creepy men in trench coats standing around the playground. This myth did not serve in preventing and protecting children because many adults were not able to properly educate children about sexual abuse and who to look out for and that it most likely would be someone they knew. This crime then, coupled with the fact that it was a known and trusted person, is responsible for many of the after effects which victims will often suffer with their entire lives without treatment. Common struggles for survivors include:
-A pervasive sense of shame about themselves
-Sexual problems including complete sexual avoidance as well as sex addiction, issues with flashbacks during sex, fear of being close to one's partner.
-Issues of self-doubt and lack of trust in oneself, in one's inner voice/gut feeling.
-Struggle to trust others
-Long term chronic depression
-Possible post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which includes symptoms like: intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of people or places, numbness, hypervigilance.
-Poor self-esteem which may show up in partner choice, areas related to job/career, friendships
-Alcohol/substance abuse and addictions
-Poor relationships, multiple marriages, lack of intimacy and closeness
-Chronic conflict/issues within family if abuser was related
-Overfunctioning to overcompensate for feeling of shame, successful on the outside but dying on the inside
-Problems managing anger
-Anxious thoughts, mind won't turn off
And the list goes on. Perhaps you only relate to a few of the struggles, perhaps you've checked them all. No matter what, you can begin your recovery now or continue the recovery you already began. You are not alone. The good news is, you survived it. It was NOT your fault!
I've worked with many abuse survivors in my career as a therapist and find it incredibly rewarding work to help someone heal this tremendous wound. I take the utmost care in listening to you, validating your fears and feelings, while we work together to uncover the ways that this wound shows up for you. With recovery from childhood sexual abuse, trusting your therapist is CRUCIAL and I promise you I take that responsibility seriously. I have helped my clients recover using cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation and guided imagery, prolonged exposure therapy and now am using EMDR, which is a scientifically backed therapy for treatment of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).
You don't have to suffer in silence anymore. Call today for a free consultation 904-599-8320