There are very few traumatic events that are more devastating than childhood sexual abuse. It leaves long term consequences in adults including low self-esteem, addiction, depression, PTSD, trouble with developing relationships, trust issues and the inability to identify your place in the world. Long term therapy can help, as long as you have a qualified therapist who understands how devastating the damage from childhood trauma can be. Fortunately there are qualified therapists where you can get trauma therapy in Vancouver BC to help overcome childhood sexual abuse trauma.
If the childhood sexual abuse comes from a family member then it is not uncommon for those to have also suffered emotional abuse, physical abuse and neglect. This compounds the initial trauma and make trauma therapy even more necessary. Here is a video breaking down how childhood sexual trauma can affect you as an adult.
Trying to function as an adult
When you experience childhood sexual trauma it takes a part of your soul and leaves it behind where the trauma started. You can feel emotionally and sometimes even physically stuck at that point in time. This is the “wounded inner child” concept. While most of us can deal with ordinary stresses just fine. For the person who suffered childhood trauma, every day stresses can make it impossible to function.
Taking care of your inner child can help the healing process, imagine yourself taking with your younger self who is scared. Be the understanding, loving, competent and capable adult you needed as a child. Be patient and understand with yourself, this can be simple as saying to yourself “everything will be okay” or “it’s fine to be scared.”
Expressing your feelings
People with a history of abuse or trauma can find expressing their feelings to be difficult, they learned very young that their feelings about a situation were not important. Therapy and time can help you to understand that your feelings matter and you have the right to express them. There are plenty of outlets you can use to express your feelings, music, art or writing. Talking through your feelings with a qualified therapist in a safe setting can be helpful. Remember it is okay to be scared, lonely, stressed out, but it can take a while before you feel comfortable being able to express your feelings.
Learn you are worthy
The other issue that survivors of abuse have a difficult time with is low self-esteem, and not feeling that they deserve happiness. This is one of the things that you’re therapist will help you with. Not only how you allow other people to treat you but how you treat yourself. You have value and you are important and there isn’t a thing wrong with allowing yourself some simple luxuries. Simple luxuries are any activity that is both healthy and makes you feel good. Take in a movie with a friend, have that $5 cup of coffee at Starbucks or simply take a pleasant walk and enjoy some sunshine.
Learning to cope with childhood sexual abuse is hard and it takes a lot of work, but learning how to enjoy some simple pleasure and deal with life’s stresses in a healthy manner will help you to function more effectively. Getting the right therapist who understands the devastating effects of childhood trauma will help you live a happy and fulfilled life.