“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” Audre Lorde
A few weeks ago, my friend Jane Ellis, the VOCAL Network Program Director, asked me to take a look at this article and what were my thoughts regarding – “Victims of Sexual Abuse: Do They Ever Get Over It?”
“Every year, there are tens-of-thousands of new child victims of sexual abuse and while some say that these people grow up and never fully recover from the sexual abuse, many professionals believe that abuse survivors do “get over” their abuse. Adult survivors of child abuse do not necessarily show any dysfunction due to the abuse they experienced. The earlier an abuse survivor deals with their abuse, the better their chance of a full recovery.”
I let Jane know that I liked it…the article raised a lot of key points. And personally, I do believe that we can heal….but getting the right treatment and validation from family, friends, peers and society, is very important – most survivors do not get that special support. I’ve long felt we survived and now we want to thrive – that said…I know we can still be emotionally impacted from time to time from emotional charges, flashbacks or hot spots of the past – whatever they may be….So we heal, but given the complexity of our abuse and subsequent mistreatment by others…our healing journey may be a lot longer than it is for some.
I personally don’t feel I will truly, “ever get over it” – it is always with me, and not by choice…but I am healing and I am thriving!!! Too many of us have had multiple traumas and abuse that played havoc with our well being. There is too much research showing how the sexual abuse affected our brain and nervous system development – and the younger the abuse started, the more harm it caused to our overall health. So, can one ever really get over that??? A case in point – many survivors, including myself, contend with these two issues, and for me, it happens on a daily basis – hyper-vigilance and hypersensitivity.
I have known some young people and children who were able to address their sexual abuse at an early age…and though it was unfortunate that they had to experience the horror and the degradation of sexual abuse – they seemed to do a lot better in life because they were validated, loved and supported. Too many survivors struggle and are left alone, they don’t receive that type of help.
I look forward to the day when sexual abuse survivors, heck…all trauma and abuse survivors get the emotional support and validation from all of society, their non-abusing family members, friends and peers…and they are able to obtain the all important trauma-informed and trauma-practicing treatment provider to help them with their healing journey…and it may be a long journey for so many.
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” Peter Marshall
Take care, Mike
My song of healing, gratitude and giving thanks – “JOY” – You Tube 4:14 minutes – performed live after the workshop presentation – “The Silence of Suicide” – at the NYAPRS Annual Conference September 2103 – their link also shares the song lyrics
Related article and show I was involved with:
“Fox News thinks the idea of men as rape victims is hilarious. A survivor has a message for Tucker Carlson and co.” by Katie McDonough
2] ‘I Grew Up In A ‘Pedophile Ring’ – 3:15 minutes – Huffington Post Live [full show posted below]
Michael Skinner joins Ricky Camilleri to share his harrowing story of growing up in a pedophile ring, and to talk about why he waited until much later in life to come forth with this information.
3] Half Of Young Men Sexually Coerced – 22 minutes – Huffington Post Live – host Ricky Camilleri
A new study has found that 43% of young men say they’ve had an unwanted sexual experience and, in most cases, the sexual coercion was perpetrated by a woman. So is there enough help out there for men who are victims of sexual assault?
Bryana French (Columbia, MO) Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Missouri
Dr. Howard Fradkin @DrHFradkin (Columbus, OH) Psychologist, Co-Chair Male Survivor Weekends of Recovery, Author of “Joining Forces: Empowering Male Survivors to Thrive”
Michael Skinner @MichaelSkinne11 (Goffstown, NH) President of Michael Skinner Music; Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Cory George @IamCoryGeorge (Washington, DC) Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse; Advocate for Victims of Sexual Abuse