The silence was killing me.
And that’s all there ever was. Silence. It was all I knew. Keep quiet.
Pretend nothing had happened, that nothing was wrong.
And look how well that was turning out.
― J. Lynn, Wait for You
Do not stay silent. Ring us for a free 15-minute phone consultation with our Intake Counsellor.
Common coping strategies
A large proportion of sexual abuse survivors have a known history of some form of abuse like alcohol, drugs, or eating disorders.
Some people who have been abused hurt themselves in response to feelings of loneliness or sadness.
You may be more vulnerable to depression if you have been abused.
You may have shut down your feelings to cope with unbearable emotional pain. It can present itself as dissociation or an “out of body” experience.
You may believe that you are not worthy of love. When our sexual esteem is low, it can lead to:
- Inappropriate sexual bahaviour, promiscuity or prostitution
- Withdrawal from sexual activities, physical or sexual problems, or fear of medical examinations
You may find yourself leading a sexually promiscuous lifestyle as an attempt to ‘conquer’ or control situations. You may withdraw from any social or sexual interaction. This can leave you feeling alone and isolated. You may find it harder to form intimate and trusting relationships with men or women.
This can involve:
- Difficulties in concentration or sleeping
- Irritability or outbursts of anger
- Hyper-vigilance or overprotectiveness toward one’s self and other
- An exaggerated startle response
Sexual abuse counselling and therapy
Every person and a life-story is different. Depending on your needs we can help you in the following steps to recovery:
Support to make sense of current experiences
There can be an element of disbelief and confusion surrounding the experience of abuse. Being able to process these thoughts and feelings are key to unlocking healing.
Develop coping skills
It is important to work through any trauma or possible distress associated with the abuse, as well as unhealthy coping strategies, such as alcohol, drugs, or eating disorders.
Assess and change any unhelpful or negative self-evaluations
Some people may blame themselves and rationalise that it occurred due to who they are or what they did. The truth is: it is never the fault of the victim that the abuse occurred.
Restoration and planning
Yes, the sexual assault is destructive, but it is possible to recover and integrate the experience of trauma within an optimistic worldview and lifestyle. Give us a call so that we can help you cross to a brighter life sooner.