Sexual Abuse Carries Lifetime Scars
When I coach women who suffered sexual abuse as a child I see women who are carrying the weight of a wound that has left life-long scars. Childhood sexual abuse doesn’t just happen once – it can last a lifetime. The harm lives on and the results are not the same for everyone. Each adult may show reactions in various ways to the childhood trauma.
Children have no choice. They are vulnerable. To say that sexual abuse of a child is appalling is an understatement. I see the results in the women who talk to me and I observe the long-term and deep emotional damage that it has done.
One of “my” single moms has written a book of her experiences. She has worked her way through the pain and circumstances that resulted because of it. Her spiritual stamina is amazing. I’ll let you know when her book is available.
If you were the victim of abuse please reach out for help. Healing is possible. But you have to take the step to ask for help.
You can make the call.
Phone numbers for counselors are listed on the Resources page of the SMORE for Women website. Now I hope you will call a good, trustworthy friend and share your story. Shed the shame you may be feeling.
“Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it—it can’t survive being shared.”
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown
It is possible that you have minimized the impact that the abuse has had on many areas of your life. Beverly Engel L.MF.T, says in her book, It Wasn’t Your Fault: Freeing Yourself of the Shame of Childhood Abuse with the Power of Self-Compassion:
Shame can affect literally every aspect of a former victim’s life, from your self-confidence, self-esteem, and body image to your ability to relate to others, navigate intimate relationships, and be a good parent to your work performance, ability to be able to learn new things, and ability to care for yourself.
My hope and desire for you is self-compassion. Self-compassion is extending compassion to one’s self in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering.
Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in this area of research and the author of Self-compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself. On her website she listed and explains three elements of self-compassion as:
- Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment
- Common humanity vs. Isolation
- Mindfulness vs. Over-identification.
I don’t want to scare you off with too much detail, but I do want you to go to her website and be encouraged. I’m here to motivate you to reach your highest potential. You deserve no less.
You can overcome the pain in your past.
I am a Certified Professional Coach and I hold a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. I married Sam after raising three children as a single mother. I was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing my professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 I founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. My stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My Website.