Sunday, August 16, 2015

Incest Survivors Ready To Heal

Today is Day #14 and the last day of the Start Your Book Challenge on ChallengeBug. Our challenge leader was Christine Kloser who calls herself "The Transformation Catalyst." Her website is . 

My blog post "Transformation Through Writing" came from Day #1's challenge. I will add the link to it at the end of this post in case you haven't read it already. I have enjoyed and learned from this 14 day challenge. I am still working on some of the challenges that I didn't want to rush through. I enjoy the researching as much as the writing part of some of the challenges. 

On Day #2, I was asked, Who is your ideal reader? Here is my answer.

The ideal reader for The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress is an incest survivor who is beginning to acknowledge that she/he is a survivor. This survivor wants to finally let go of the denial that they thought would protect them from the pain of awareness and memories. She/He wants to heal but may not know where to start. Fears and maybe memories are starting to surface because she/he has cracked open that door in her/his mind. Once that door is open, she/he can't close it and pretend the door was never open. She/he stays stuck in the fear and the pain or she/he moves forward. My ideal reader is ready to move forward.

For ease of writing and because more girls are abused than boys, I am going to use "she" and "her" from here on out in my article. I am not excluding boys/men. One out of three girls are sexually abused and one out of six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. I am grateful that boys/men are finally joining the ranks of female survivors in speaking out and breaking the silence of incest/childhood sexual abuse. I know, personally, the challenges and fears they face to find and use their voices. 

My ideal reader has acknowledged that she is an incest survivor, at least in her own mind. She may or may not have told anyone else yet. She probably doesn't have any idea what step to take next. Fear, rage and hurt are battling for the top position in her mind. The survivor is feeling overwhelmed, if she even knows what she is feeling. Many times feelings aren't allowed. Feelings are denied, stuffed or hidden by addictions. She may be afraid of change and some part of her is resisting those first steps. Resistance has to be faced and overcome before healing happens. Sometimes, the survivor has to hurt enough before she is willing to move forward. My ideal reader is ready to move forward.

Once feelings start, grief isn't far behind. All survivors of incest have to grieve the loss of innocence and the loss of the childhood they didn't have. Most survivors have no idea what normal is. They have never seen healthy in their dysfunctional families. Incest is only allowed to happen in an atmosphere of dysfunction. Every family member plays their part in keeping the secrets of the dysfunctional family. 

The incest survivor is usually full of rage at her abusers but probably taking that rage out on herself and those closest to her. Depression becomes a constant companion. I have seen depression defined as anger turned inward. That definition feels right to me. Often what doctors call depression may be the deep, deep sadness of grief. Survivors have so many losses to work through and let go of. I don't believe just taking a pill solves those feelings of loss. As a survivor, she has to feel her way to healing.

What is my ideal reader seeking?

Release from the overwhelming sadness, fear and rage that is inside of her is one answer. She wants the hurt to stop. Feeling and growing are the only ways that I know of to do that healing. My book The Case of The Three-Year-Old Adulteress will take her through my own journey of healing from incest.

What transformations do I want for my ideal reader? 

I want my ideal reader to be able to experience freedom from pain, rage and sadness. I want her to be able to work her way through all of those feelings and then release them. Joy and peace are attainable goals. Learning to love herself is an important part of the healing journey. Letting go of addictions and codependency are necessary to healing. In reading my story, she will be given healing tools to use in her own journey. She will learn to express feelings in healthy ways. She will recognize the lies of her abusers and see how they may still be affecting her life today as an adult. She will find her sense of self-worth and not rely on others to get her self-worth from. She will love herself first so that she has more to give to others. She will learn that some people don't belong in her life. Some people don't want her to change or to move on. Those people will either change themselves or they will move on. 

My ideal reader is someone who is tired of hurting and ready to heal no matter how much it hurts to begin with. She is ready to step into survivor mode, ready to move forward with courage, hope and commitment. As a survivor, she is ready to strip away all denial and ready to be extremely honest with herself. She is open to change and willing to look at the source of resistance that she may feel. 

Trust is something that she will have to learn---trust of herself first and then trust of others. Not everyone deserves her trust. She must learn to trust herself and that inner voice that guides her when she is willing to listen. Part of trusting herself means learning how to shut up that mean, critical inner voice that came from her abusers. I will teach her how to use affirmations to turn that inner voice to positive and away from being negative all of the time. 

Making friends with her inner child is a very important step in healing. The inner child is the one who carries and remembers all of her pain. The inner child is the one who is so full of fear and is afraid of moving forward. All the inner child knows is the pain and fear of incest and the words of her abusers. She has to gain the trust of her inner child. Together they will grow and learn to love each other. The inner child isn't the enemy. The abusers are.

Strength and courage are both needed to take one healing step after another. The rewards of being a survivor are worth going through all of the challenges she will face along the way to healing. Healing isn't an instant cure. 

I am not a doctor or a therapist. I, too, am a survivor of incest. Today I am a thriver and I know that my readers can all accomplish what I have. I encourage you all to take that first healing step and share your story with some caring person that you trust. 

Related Posts:

Transformation Through Writing @ 

Stages Of Loss And Grief For Incest Survivors @

Journey To Your Heart - Learning To Love Yourself After Abuse @

Denial, FEAR's Companion And BFF @

Inner Child Work And Feeling Safe @

The Secret---Affirmations Change Your Life @

No comments: