When our boundaries have been violated, particularly in childhood, but also at any other time in our lives, the greater difficulty we have in recognizing ourselves, and the more likely we'll become victims of continued sexual, or other forms of abuse as adults. Blurred family boundaries within our families or close circles causes us to feel stressed and confused when we try to identify our own goals and limits within relationships. Plagued with a lack of a solid sense of ourselves, we doubt our own rights in relationships. We feel unsure and constantly insecure. That uncertainty and lack of a solid sense of self often leaves us vulnerable to abuse, sexual, physical and emotional attack.
Those of us who have suffered multiple sexual abuse and/or assault can be helped by directly confronting our sexual abuse. Fortunately, recovery doesn't have to take place alone. Sexual healing can include participating in self-help groups, Twelve-Step programs, and individual and/or group therapy. The kind of treatment we need and how long the healing takes depends largely on how much damage the abuse caused us and how ready we are to find peace.
Achieving sexual healing...
To achieve sexual healing we need to learn to recognize and respect the child (or the person we were prior to the abuse) within us as 'innocent, powerless, and good. We need to shift our perspective from shame, guilt, and self blame. It's the child in us who was hurt. The adult remembers. We must begin to separate from identifying with our abusers and gradually develop a nurturing internal adult/child relationship. We must learn to be our own parent. This allows our self-hate to become self-love and allows us to nurture our body and mind. It allows us to experience being loved. Sexuality then becomes a choice of being touched. Arousal becomes an experience of choices, rather than a response to aggression or a feeling of internal betrayal. Arousal is within our control rather than outside of ourselves. Sexuality, arousal, and choices then become empowering for us.
For you who is coming here looking for answers but is afraid of being hurt again...
Fear is a neurophysiological response to a perceived threat. Fear activates our fight-or-flight response by stimulating the part of the brain which directs the nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system to prepare our bodies for danger. This can happen suddenly with a surge of stress hormones into our bloodstream, or we can experience a slow drip of anxiety that creeps up on us as dread. We inherited this “survival circuitry” from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Those who developed it were better able to survive having to wrestle a tiger or run from a pack of wolves. During an encounter with extreme fear, blood is shunted from our limbs so it’s more available to our hearts. Our breathing and heart rates accelerate; we sweat or shiver; our stomach “drops” and our vision narrows as our bodies prepare to flee or freeze. As much as we might sometimes like to eradicate this disabling feeling from our lives, fear is part of our survival kit. Fear is actually a gift like pain, a gifts we all too often do not appreciate but is vital. The experience of fear is inescapable, butwe can work with it. One way to overcome fear is to study fear in ourselves andbecome familiar with it and understand it better. Diving into fear is contrary to our habitual reaction, which is to push away or deny what frightens us, but getting to know our fears actually soften or even stop it. Time and again,men and womenrisked and gave their lives for an idea. Men stand up to attacks and torture without breaking, showing a strength and resiliency that defies the imagination. Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. I felt fear myself more times than I can remember, but for years I hid it behind a mask of boldness. The brave person is not one who does not feel afraid, but one who conquers that fear.
Fears presence in our lives is a drain of vital energy and an obstacle to happiness. Understanding that you are not alone but one of many who struggle with fear helps dissolve the sense of isolation that fear perpetrates. Accepting that fear is part of your life as sentient beings is essential to your ability to generate hope and faith in your life.
Understand that fear restricts your life and imprisons you. Fear stifle you from voicing your opinion and needs/desires. But unlike other creatures, humans have the ability to reflect on our fear, and this gives us the capacity to counter the overwhelming sense of anxiety and the dread that infiltrates our life. The essential cause of our suffering and anxiety is ignorance of the nature of reality. The movement toward fearlessness is in accepting whatever is happening in the moment and looking deeply into what is feared. In this way, you can begin to develop self-awareness of the patterns that inflame your fear and self-acceptance of the nature of who you really are.
When you choose to stay present in the moment, you are not worrying about the past, which is gone, nor are you afraid of the future, which does not yet exist.
A common tread survivors of sexual abuse share is thatwe tend to get comfortable in our state of mind and get used to ignoring the damages that was inflicted upon us. And once we arrange our life in accordance with the principle which tells us that we must always trust in the difficult, then what now appears to us as the most alien will become our most intimate and trusted experience. How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of time, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into prince charming? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princes who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpful that wants our love.
I’ll say that again in a different way… Perhaps everything that frightens you right now is, in its deepest sense, something helpful that wants your love.
Love and faith in my ability to move forward is what got me free from the bondage of sexual abuse and that same love and faith is the gift I was freely given and I am freely giving now to those who needs it.
A helpful way to think of fear is as an edge we come to about what we know about ourselves. As fear is the unknown in us, understanding our fear enlarges our perception of ourselves and can be a transformative experience. Sowing the Seeds of Understanding As a way of more deeply understanding your fear, please consider trying the following exercises.
In a journal, write a letter that begins, “Dear Fear. There is something I never told you . . .” You can write this in a list or as an actual letter. Don’t overthink. Continue to write until you stop.
In a journal, write a letter that begins, “Dear (Write your name here)I’ve always wanted to tell you …” This is a letter directly from your fear to you.
Draw, paint, sculpt, dance, or write a poem about what you’ve learned about you and your fear.
(I know this will not be easy but trust me in this) Write down in as many details as you can remember the event that took place that turned your life around. Write what you where doing before the incident, how and why you ended up where it happened, who did it, how many people were involve directly or indirectly. What happened after. How did you feel during the event. How did you feel after. How do you feel now. Once you’ll be ready to take the next step to come and see me, bring these notes with you…
Post-coital dysphoria: Why it is normal to sometimes feel miserable after sex
The condition can make a person feel sad after consensual sex The world is so obsessed with how often, when and where people are having sex, that it’s easier to forget to address how we feel after. And for the people hit with an explained sadness after sex, it can be a frightening and lonely experience. “Even when I was single, the post-sex depression morphed into a different shade of empty. I always attributed it to the fear of being abandoned,” Jerilyn, 27, told Mic of her episodes of post-coital dysphoria. “I started to wonder if something was being taken from me every time I had sex, even though I enjoyed the act itself.” Denise Knowles, sex therapist and counsellor at relationships charity Relate, told The Independent: “It’s not uncommon to feel sad after sex. It’s not necessarily due to a trauma or because they’re regretful: it doesn’t have to mean anything sinister is going on.” She explained that it comes down the explosion of hormones in the body after sex, including endorphins, oxytocin and prolactin. “Having sex is a hugely intimate act and an orgasm releases lots of wonderful feel-good bonding hormones. Those hormones drop following the peak of an orgasm, and as you separate from the closeness that brought it about, a sense of sadness can follow.” “You go from absolute joy and pleasure to being separated. That in its own way can cause women, and some men, to feel a bit sad. But it’s an organic biological function which happens to a greater or lesser extent to many people. “It usually means that you’re in a very heightened state of emotional arousal and the come-down on the other side of that is what naturally happens.” A recent study into the little-understood phenomenon revealed that 46 per cent of 230 female participants experienced post-coital dysphoria “a few times” in the past month. Researchers found that the intimacy of the relationships didn’t affect this. This chimed with a separate study in 2011 that found that a third of women feel depressed even after sex that they described as satisfactory. Scientists believe this may have an evolutionary function. But Knowles stresses that regularly feeling down after sex should not be regarded as normal. “If you’re feeling upset and it’s not just about the natural separation after sex, that needs to be explored. It could be indicative of a bigger problem. If you’ve got these feelings sex therapy and or counselling can help. It might be a problem in the relationship rather than the sexual relationship."
How I can help...
First of all I would like you to know that I understand the challenges you are facing for having been there myself. I was abused regularly between the age of 9 and 13 by a local police officer who provided children to pedophiles holding parties all over the greater Montreal area in the 70's. I found my own healing in the practice of meditations, astral projection and Tantra. I have found freedom, peace of mind and a joy for life by learning to overcome regrets, anger and resentments. I have learned to forgive and move on for my own personal healing and I am happy and passionate about helping others find healing in their lives. The victim of sexual abuse must become aware of the inter-relationship between past and present in order to grow and heal in the here and now. When we were sexually abused we suffered a loss of self. This is a profound and life altering loss. It must be realized, undenied, faced and grieved for. For some it's the trauma of the previous violence that gets in the way every time they are touched. A major issue for survivors is that of boundaries. When one is violated at any age, one is less aware, if at all, of one's right to individualization. One's sense of self and others often becomes blurred. In healing from sexual abuse, it is vital to learn as much as one can about boundaries, their definition, how to instill them, and very importantly, how to maintain them in such a way that enables the survivor to meet their own needs as opposed to 'people-pleasing' and putting other's needs ahead of their own.
In healing from the scars , the deep wounds of sexual abuse, it is very helpful for each survivor to assess their current strengths. In surviving the abuse and coming this far, and in looking to heal, you are truly a strong person and you need to know and recognize this about yourself. Focus on your positives and not the negatives.
In healing the self, one must first remember and feel what are, or have often been, very repressed memories. Giving healthy expression to these, and letting them go in a process of grief and sadness, is part of the over-all self-nurturing required to truly heal.
The way I come in to lead you towards sexual healing is first of all by listening.... I can empathize with you for having been there too. Your story won't shock me. My role is to empower you and support you in facing the past and leaving it behind where it belongs. I have ways to help you along the way. I will help you recognize your strengths, re-establish boundaries and become whole again. I do a ceremonial washing of the feet symbolizing the renewal of your self and leaving the past behind. I perform a complete massage of the hands and feet when the time is right. Holding hands is symbolic of solidarity... you are not alone. The foot massage is also symbolic of renewed strength for the journey ahead. Little by little, using different forms of massage, we will work together in creating and reinforcing your boundaries, your own enjoyment for physical contact, and for you to recognize and exercise your right and power to choose. You will learn to love your body again, and to love the pleasures it brings. You will be empowered to make your own choices and be able to lead and show your partner, spouse, lover or whomever you choose to allow to touch you, how to really please and satisfy you...Your sexuality will be your choice for who touches you where and how you are being touched. Arousal will be an experience of choice rather than a negative response or feeling of internal betrayal. Your arousal will be under your control rather than outside of yourself. You will be empowered in your sexuality, arousal, and the choices you make...
Your journey towards self discovery, healing and self empowerment begins with YOU...
"They were both naked and were not ashamed..." Claim your freedom now... it is within your power and it is your right!
Please note: As a survivor of sexual abuse myself, I offer my services in this area free of charge to all who need and want healing but cannot afford the fees normally associated with such services. Do not let financial pressure prevent you from living your life.... You did not choose to be a victim, but it is your choice to remain one... or not. If you are in such a position where you can afford the fees for such therapy, great... your support makes it possible to help others who would otherwise continue to suffer needlessly in silence.