No matter how committed you are, or how brave, it is very difficult to recover from childhood sexual abuse in isolation. In fact a lot of the problems surrounding that abuse may have been the secrecy and silence that comes along with it.
To recover in that isolated silent place is almost impossible.
Many of us have found that speaking about this for the first time is both frightening and healing at the same time. Breaking the binds of silence is however the first step towards recovery.
Be careful, do it gently, don’t shout it from the rooftops yet, you are still vulnerable.
Your safety and peace of mind is the only thing that matters.
It may be that you have a supportive partner, friend, family, counsellor, support group etc.
Ideally it would be good to have a combination of many supportive resources to call upon while you are healing. But what is more crucial is to find the right people.
They need to be aware of the severity of this issue, and in the case of a therapist, have the right background to help you.
It is not necessary, or appropriate to tell everyone about your history or what you are trying to do, but you may want to talk to those closest to you, so they understand how you may suddenly feel angry or sad, need to be alone, overwork, or shy away from intimacy.
They will be much more able to support you, and you will start to create healthier relationships.
Because we are all unique, and will have a variety of differences, there is no set way to do this. Each of us will have our particular preferences. But we will need to carefully choose our army to help us fight this battle and win.
You may need a bit of space after speaking your truth for the first time, it may bring back some pain, and memories that you have thought were hidden. So allow yourself that time to recover from each step, give yourself chance to breathe again, before you go on.
There is no time limit, take as long as you need, but get the balance right, don’t take so long that you never get there.
Each time you talk about this you might find it a different experience, feel different reactions, so above all else be compassionate towards yourself.
Remember your recovery is a growing thing, and with new fragile shoots we need to be very careful how we look after that precious growth. So be very careful and discriminate who you would like on your team. We have designed our “Survivors Tree” to help you find the best resources, the right fertiliser!
When speaking for the first time, choose a time when it is comfortable for you, in an environment where you feel you will be safe, and remember – The most important truth ever told is yours!