Helping Survivors Heal Their wounds From Relational Trauma
It’s hard to love yourself and to love your life when you are consumed with feeling like something is wrong with you. You feel broken and anxious. You're lonely all the time. You feel like you're on the outside looking in, as people all around you seem happy and whole, while you feel sad and fractured. It's a feeling you've had your whole life. As a survivor of child sexual abuse or other (trauma) wounds from your childhood, you've always felt different. Not only have you always felt different from others but it's almost like others can see how different you are. And not in a positive way. All you want is to be "normal". Like everyone else. To have love and connection, with a partner who nurtures, loves, and respects you. To feel supported. But so far you've only had heartbreak and "toxic" people. Even your friendships don't fill you up any more. You feel like they don't understand you and that no matter how often you are there for them they are not there for you. They don't show up for you. You find you're always "overthinking" and questioning things. You are filled with hopelessness, anxiety, and dread.
These thoughts and feelings you have are all consuming. They have impacted you for too long and you're wanting to change. To get get unstuck and change unhealthy patterns such as choosing the wrong romantic partners, lacking confidence to go after your dreams professionally, leaving an abusive relationship (even if it's with your own family), struggling with parenting, or negative thoughts about your self worth. You want to let go of past burdens and feel more freedom in your body. To heal from your past traumas and move on. You're wanting to have a felt sense of empowerment to care for yourself, keep yourself safe, keep others around you safe both emotionally and physically. . You want to feel a sense of peace, contentment, and wholeness. You're ready to truly experience love for yourself and others.
No matter what stage in your life that you are, child, adult, an older adult or even a parent (or soon to be parent) you can heal. You can let go of many of the burdens that keep you stuck in place. Peace and contentment can be something you experience.
Children often do not use words to say that someone has harmed them sexually but they do show it in their behavior. The #1 reason children do not disclose ongoing sexual abuse is fear! They are afraid they wont be believed, that they or you will be harmed, or they will be blamed for the abuse. The 1st step to helping them heal is that they are believed by you and that you support them on their journey by remaining present and active during their treatment.
You’re worried about your child who has experienced sexual abuse. You have read the statistics and research about what happens to adult survivors who didn’t get the help they needed early on, so you want to make sure that this doesn’t happen to your child. As of now you notice that your child is acting a little differently than before. You've noticed she's more anxious, even jumpy. She doesn't seem to like the things she used to like before. You've also noticed she seems withdrawn, not quite sad, but quieter and sullen. At times she explodes in anger, even when it's something small and then she will burst into tears. You also worry because she doesn't seem to be sleeping. Sometimes she reports nightmares but what you notice is that she has a hard time sleeping through the night. It takes her a long time to fall asleep and sometimes, even at 2 and 3 am, you hear her moving around or talking in her bedroom.
You've tried to talk with your daughter. To give her a safe space to talk about what happened. You try to let her know it wasn't her fault and it's ok for her to have all the feelings she does. But during these talks she just seems to close up even more. To withdraw and disconnect. It's like you has disappeared and you can't reach her in these moments. You are incredibly worried about her and just want her to be ok to not be burdened by this trauma.
You're seeking therapy so that she can heal. You want her to be able to talk about what happened and to learn how to cope with all of different feelings that have come up since. As her parent all you want is for her to be happy and healthy. This is something that is possible. When child survivors are surrounded by nurturing and safe adults who truly see them and validate their experiences they often enter adulthood unburdened by their past trauma.
In therapy together your child will have an opportunity to process what happened to her in a safe space moving at a pace that is most comfortable for her. She will also learn how to express her feelings to you and be able to ask for what she needs from you in the form of support. Many survivors learn to disconnect from their bodies because of the pain of from the abuse. Part of healing is reconnecting to the body, even for children, so they can then learn how to identify when they are feeling scared, anxious, sad, etc and how they can self regulate (or co-regulate with you or a trusted adult) so they can feel safe and settled in their body. The skills that they will learn will not only help them heal from the abuse but are also important life skills that can help them later on as they become teens and into adulthood have better relationships with their own bodies and their peers. We want them to experience a felt sense of safety, love, and deserving all things good not feel like they are bad or broken.
The 5 Ways Sexual Abuse During Childhood Is Impacting Your Life Now, That You Never Considered Before:
- Feeling worthless, like you can never do anything right or that bad things are always happening to you, no matter how hard you try to avoid them/change your life
- Feeling like others take advantage of your kindness so your always wondering who you can and cannot trust
- Feeling worried all the time about everything.
- Feeling the need to talk about your past abuse to anyone who will listen
- Having a difficult time making and keeping friends or romantic relationships
...And Therapy Can Help You Overcome These Challenges By:
- Helping you discover the patterns that keep you stuck in life and creating a plan that will help you replace those patterns that don't serve your needs with ones that do
- Supporting you with reconnecting to your body, so you can learn to trust and feel strong in yourself (again).
- Examining the way your worry is holding you back and providing you with the tools to work through your anxiety
- Helping you develop appropriate boundaries, so you can feel more empowered and in control over your impulses and emotions
- Teaching you how to love and accept who you are so that you feel more confident and happy. This skill will help you choose quality relationships
I will help you...
- Process the pain of child sexual abuse and other complex traumas
- Support and guide you on your path to healing and recovery
- Learn to Love yourself and have better quality relationships with others
- and your child reconnect as part of your child's journey to healing
- Feel like a better parent and give you tools help your child
- Have a happier, more fulfilling life
Have more questions and want to make sure its a good fit for us to work together?
Expert tips from trauma therapist that will help a sexual abuse survivor live a better and happier life
DISCLAIMER: Jessica Lang, LMFT is not affiliated with Betterhelp, Talkspace, Caredash, or any other corporation affiliated with them.