Recovering From Sexual Abuse
Recovery does not happen overnight, but it is well within the grasp of any male who has made the decision to empower himself and recover the life that was interrupted during his childhood. It is important to note that neither drugs or alcohol will aid you in this recovery. They may create a temporary state of solace or amnesia, but this can, and often does, lead to addiction which will only compound the initial issue. Therefore, it is extremely important that drugs and/or alcohol not be used as an emotional crutch when dealing with sexual abuse.
There are no fixed rules or order that healing should take place.
STAGES AND STEPS
Stage 1: Remembering
- I am in a break through crisis, having gained some sense of my abuse.
- I have determined that I was physically, sexually or emotionally abused as a child.
- I have made a commitment to recover from my childhood abuse.
- I shall re-experience each set of memories as they surface in my mind.
- I accept that I was powerless over my abusers’ actions which holds THEM responsible.
- I can respect my shame and anger as a consequence of my abuse, but shall try not to turn it against myself or others.
- I can sense my inner child whose efforts to survive now can be appreciated.
Stage 2: Mourning
- I have made an inventory of the problem areas in my adult life.
- I have identified the parts of myself connected to self sabotage.
- I can control my anger and find healthy outlets for my aggression.
- I can identify faulty beliefs and distorted perceptions in myself and others.
- I am facing my shame and developing self-compassion.
- I accept that I have the right to be who I want to be and live the way I want to live.
- I am able to grieve my childhood and mourn the loss of those who failed me.
Stage 3: Healing
- I am entitled to take the initiative to share in life’s riches.
- I am strengthening the healing parts of myself, adding to my self-esteem.
- I can make necessary changes in my behavior and relationships at home and work.
- I have resolved the abuse with my offenders to the extent that is acceptable to me.
- I hold my own meaning about the abuse that releases me from the legacy of the past.
- I see myself as a thriver in all aspects of life – love, work, parenting, and play.
- I am resolved in the reunion of my new self and eternal soul.
Adapted from an article from ASCA Meeting Guidebook