I’ve written a fair bit about childhood sexual abuse. Children are young, small, and without resources. Grasping the innocence of those children is easily seen and understood. As adults, trauma survivors can more easily grasp the complex dynamics of being forced into abusive dynamics when still a small, young child.
But for some folks, trauma and abuse doesn’t stop in childhood. It may have started in childhood, but it might not have ended yet.
What about those situations where an adult is battling sexual abuse?
What if the adult dissociative survivor has younger parts still trapped in the roles of ongoing sexual abuse?
What if an adult gets raped or sexually assaulted?
What truths apply in these situations?
- Even as an adult, it is not your fault when any other person chooses to force or demand unwanted sexual interactions with you. This includes physical attacks, drugging, physical restraints, emotional blackmail, group attacks, weaponry, mind control, etc. There are numerous ways adults can be overpowered by other adults. It is absolutely wrong for anyone to use their force and power to harm you.
- As an adult, you have the ability to make choices and decisions that can create more safety for yourself. It takes courage to make new choices, but you have more options and resources now than you did as a child. Discover what’s available for you now.
- Breaking the pattern of long-term, chronic sexual abuse is possible. Difficult, yes, but definitely possible. You can do this. Yes, you can. You are allowed to be safe now.
- Chronic adult-aged sexual abuse usually has roots in childhood sexual abuse. Learning how to tolerate and endure long-term childhood sexual abuse creates patterns, skills, and beliefs that can be difficult to change later in life. It is not your fault that you had to learn how to comply with abuse. You did a brilliant job of surviving your early years of abuse. Don’t blame yourself for that. You were strong enough to survive the unthinkable.
- Even if you have Insiders in your system who participate in unwanted or unhealthy sexual activities, you can do the necessary system work with these parts to teach them new options, including how to create distance from sexual abusers. Your insiders are there to help and protect you. Encourage everyone to work towards safety for everyone.
- When you find the courage to listen to your system, to help those that are still battling abuser controls, and to forgive yourself for getting tangled in unwanted or unhealthy sexual activity, you can find deep peace, comfort, and healing.
- It’s not your fault that you and your Insiders are caught in adult-aged sexual abuse. However, it is your responsibility to fight for your freedom — including freedom for your whole system — and to heal the wounds of the insiders who were injured.
- Those terrible perps won’t want to let you go easily. You will have to battle for your freedom and safety, but you and your insiders can do this. You have the right to be safe, free, and unharmed.
- While adult-aged sexual abuse feels shameful, humiliating, and devastating, these horrific experiences do not define who you are. You can turn this trauma into triumph with the skills, strength, integrity, and courage that you have within yourselves. Life still holds a wide array of options for you. Work hard to make your life how you want it to be.
- You are beautiful, even if ugly things have happened — or are happening — to you. You are talented, skilled, strong, and vibrant. Your life has positive value and purpose. Find it!
Believe in yourself. Fight for your freedom. You are beautiful too.
Here’s a video, especially for Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse.
I hope this helps your heart.
I hope you’ve found this page to be encouraging. Read the words over and over again until you understand them.
Take this page to your therapist and talk as openly and honestly as you can.
Yes, you too can have safety and the freedom.
Be kind to yourself, and know that I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2021 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation