Thursday, November 16, 2017

Child Abuse Survivors Are Not Alone

Written By Don Shetterly
Far too many times we think we're all alone out in the world.  We believe there is no one else that has suffered through situations like we have.  We see our experiences as isolating us from others, when in fact, many have also walked in similar shoes on the road of life.

When I was first starting to deal with the memories of child sexual abuse, I thought I was alone.  I didn't think anyone understood.  I didn't know there was anyone else that had gone through these things.  Boy, was I so wrong!

In the early days, there were not the online resources that exist today.  There was not a team of therapists and support people that you could reach out to for help.  The internet was beginning to come alive, but resources were few and far between.  I remember going to one of the first support forums for male survivors.

The thing that this place helped the most was letting us all share our experiences and how we were struggling and dealing with them.  When you started to read the things other members wrote, you began to see that you weren't alone.  It was like a shot of a Hallelujah Chorus singing for all the heavens to hear.  It was that powerful.

When you go through abuse, even if the innermost parts of you can determine it is harmful and wrong, there's a part that says, "this is what is normal in life."  When you are a child experiencing these horrendous acts, it blurs the line between what is normal and what is not.  You carry that through into your adult years as if it is a conflicting truth which you have built your life upon.

Knowing that others have gone through experiences I had and that the trauma and abuse were anything but normal, helps significantly in reconciling your life with truth.  It is in that vulnerability that we come to know more of what the truth is.

One of the hardest things for survivors of abuse is feeling like they are alone and no one understands.  I'm grateful that there is a network of support out there for child abuse survivors.  The tricky part comes in getting those to see that they are not alone and others will be there supporting them as they begin their healing journey.

I can almost guarantee you that if you feel you're alone in what you are going through, there are others out there that understand this.  When you meet that individual, you will find a sense of strength and determination in healing from the horrors of your past.  It may not make the path easy, but at least you do not have to do this alone.

 Some great resources

  1. Male Survivor
  2. Surviving My Past
  3. Mind Body Thoughts Blog (this blog)

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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