As children, we’re so vulnerable and susceptible to our environment. And all too often, we go through things that no child should experience. Like sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse is an issue that impacts many of us and our loved ones, and the statistics are sadly shockingly high, with 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys experiencing it on some level. What is equally alarming is that in 93% of childhood sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator is a family member, friend of the family, or someone that the child knows.
The pain of childhood sexual abuse runs deep, following victims years later and into their adulthood. It can increase the risk of toxic relationship cycles, addiction, and poor mental health.
Recognizing and Healing from Childhood Trauma
Now you’re probably thinking back on your childhood and wondering if what you went through is considered sexual abuse. Or, you’re thinking that your sexual abuse affects your life, but you aren’t sure exactly how. If either of these thoughts is going through your mind, my heart goes out to you.
I stand with you in mourning for all that was stolen from you.
Healing from childhood trauma is not easy, and you may never feel completely healed. However, it is worth it to put in the effort to overcome the pain you feel so that you can work towards a better future for yourself. The future you deserve.
Accessing memories of scary experiences from your adulthood is probably not very difficult. However, for various reasons, we often don’t immediately recall them from childhood. Memory is complex. It’s like you have scattered pieces of memory, and you can’t figure out how these pieces fit together.
Oftentimes, the trauma of sexual abuse causes us to forget things and entire blocks of time. You may think back on the time you were being abused and not remember events that happened or even weeks, months, or years of events. This is because our brains can hide memories when we experience times of extreme stress.
One part of trauma healing is uncovering these hidden memories where possible, and working through them so that you can move on.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It
The silence and secrecy of sexual abuse have a way of keeping you alone and isolated and can do so for many years. You may not truly feel connected to anyone or anything. Throughout your life, maybe you have wanted to let others know how you really feel or even wanted to open up to someone about what happened to you. However, it’s common to feel that you can’t find the words to speak about it or can’t trust anyone enough to let those words be heard.
Shame is Lying to You
Feeling embarrassed or shamed about your story, you may have been keeping it to yourself. Feeling stuck in the past, you might even blame yourself. But, keeping so many intense emotions bottled up inside can cause immense damage to your mental health.
If you feel shame, know that it should not be your burden to bear. I want you to know that what happened to you is not your fault.
“Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.”
— Anais Nin
Trauma Healing Means Finding Your Voice
Sexual abuse stole your voice. Therapy is one way to learn how to regain that voice. In therapy, you can open up on your own terms and at your own pace. In the therapy space, you are free to think and feel without the pressure of others in your life or society. And, you can try on new ways of thinking about things and communicating, all with the validating guidance of a therapist who is on your side.
Healing from childhood trauma is the ultimate way to find and reclaim your voice and your identity.
I Don’t Want This to Hold Me Back Anymore
Throughout your life, the hurt you feel may have prevented you from being able to pursue your true desires or even prevented you from knowing what those desires are. You may feel like you’ve been living on the sidelines, watching others accomplish their dreams and reach milestones.
Sexual abuse doesn’t have to keep you from achieving your dreams and goals in relationships, education, or your career. Healing from childhood trauma can help you move past the roadblocks standing between you and each of your goals.
Breaking Free From Isolation
A healthy relationship with a romantic partner is probably on your list. You want to heal from your pain, so your children or future children won’t have to go through what you have.
But relationships are problematic, whether you are avoiding being in a relationship, or have a partner who doesn’t understand what you’ve been through.
While healing your trauma, your relationship fears will begin to fade away. You’ll learn how to find and develop an authentic bond and share your needs with your partner so they can support you.
It’s Time to Face This Together
Feeling your pain may seem too overwhelming, but avoiding it will make the pain deepen and resurface in your life more over time. Working your way through the hurt will eventually bring freedom and transformation. After you experience the process of healing your childhood trauma, you will live the rest of your life without your sexual abuse holding you back.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your trauma healing journey, I will help you understand what you are experiencing, your reactions, how the brain and the body process trauma, and how to be kind to yourself as you heal.
I believe you have the strength and the power within you to heal, build the life you desire, and accomplish your goals.
Let’s start walking together on your path to feeling whole. To get started, contact me today to set up a consultation so that I can begin getting to know you and your needs.
Serving women throughout California and specializing in relationships, self-esteem, and trauma, Encino therapist Kirstin Carl is here to help you improve your mental health and find the fulfilling love life you’ve been looking for. Whether you are working through anxiety or depression, healing from childhood trauma or toxic relationships, or trying to figure out how to boost your self-confidence, Kirstin is here to take the next step with you.