Online Therapy for Pre-Teen Girls: Sexual Abuse Survivors
The world of a pre-teen is tough for most girls if not all. The combination of hormones, discovering who they are and what they want to be, pressure from school and peers, is an endless cycle of ups and downs. For these young girls who are victims of sexual abuse, incest, or molestation they face the task of trying to find ways to cope with their sexual violations, while also coping with typical teen challenges. They may not have the words to talk about. Their sleep is restless or non existent as they are plagued with nightmares and thought intrusions that remind them of their trauma. Whether this trauma began when they were children oregano occurring as they began puberty, your daughter is struggling to come to terms with it all. Blame and shame, especially if they know the perpetrator, makes your daughter want to shrink away and hide. You want to help her but she only pushes you away. As her mother you want to help her but your at a loss as to how. Getting help in the form of therapy will help her learn the skills necessary to cope with her assault, express herself, find peace and joy.
How Trauma Presents Itself in Pre-teens
- Loss of appetite or over eating
- Depression (sadness, worthlessness, and/or irritabiity)
- Low Self-Esteem/Self-Worth/Self-Value
- Suicidal thoughts and/or acts
- Sleep Challenges (such as: insomnia, restless/interrupted sleep, and nightmares/night terrors, difficulty (fear of) falling asleep)
"My daughter doesn't want to talk to me about what happened. She is angry at me and she blames me for it all. This hurts especially because she doesn't seem to blame him"
This statement above is very common from mothers who are seeking treatment for their daughters. It's true your daughter probably does blame you. She believes that you knew what was happening and you let it continue. This is most likely not the case and on some level she understands this.
The truth is she is hurting and she feels betrayed. She is not only angry at you but believe it or not she is angry at the perpetrator. She is also angry at herself, feeling like she should have done more to make it stop. Part of healing will be for her to come to terms with all of her feelings and process them.
Furthermore for children and pre-teens who are sexually abused the perpetrator often made them feel special. They conflated the normal love, affection, attention, support and guidance that children rely on adults to give them freely by attaching it to sex. The result is that your daughter now has trouble with understanding how to be connected and feel love without the sexually component. She feels threatened by other's attempts to get close to her because in the past this has been tied to sexual violation. She needs a lot of help and patience with navigating how to experience love, nurturance, and affection without being exploited.
Therapy/Counseling will help your daughter find her voice and establish boundaries for herself.
As your daughter moves along on her journey to healing she will share her story and process feelings around the pats that everyone played in it. She will learn to trust herself and feel more connected to her body. Your daughter will discover what she likes, what she needs and what she wants and learn how to achieve these things in a more healthy and safe way. Through the process of healing your daughter will find better ways to cope with feelings of stress and feelings of discomfort without hurting herself or someone else.