Today I would like to talk about the damage, sometimes life long, that is caused by sexual abuse. There are two kinds of harm caused, physical and psychological.
There ha been a lot in the media of late about symptoms of P.T.S.D. in survivors of abuse. It has taken a long time for this to be acknowledged. From a personal viewpoint, I know this to be true.
First indicator; The ‘patient’ has to have witnessed a traumatic event that caused injury to themselves or others. Tick YES!
The patient feels intense fear when thinking of the event. Or/And horror and helplessness. Tick YES!
The patient relives the trauma either in intrusive thinking, distressing recollections, thoughts or images. They suffer distressing dreams or nightmares. Tick YES!
They have flashbacks, feelings that the event was recurring over again. Tick YES!
Physiological reactions such as rapid heart beat, elevated blood pressure etc. Tick YES!
Tries to avoid talking about, thinking about anything that could trigger the thoughts. Tick YES!
Insomnia. Tick YES!
Excessive vigilance especially when thoughts are triggered. Tick YES!
Increased startle response. Tick YES!
Lack of self-confidence. Tick YES!
Mistrust of people. Tick YES! Especially around my daughters.
No self-worth. Tick YES!
Guilt. Tick YES!
I have highlighted the indicators that I suffered for years and that I conquered. I know from experience that these issues can be triggered by anything that takes a person back to their abusive situation. Back in 2012, during the nasty cruel lies of Jade Wood, I was back there and it has taken me until now, to get back to somewhere near how I was before her evil took hold. I worked for years to get through these symptoms and had managed to be free from them for a long time. I am hoping to get there again. I had retrained and set up my own Private Practice helping others who like me were victims, to become survivors. I also worked with suffers of PTSD from other kinds of trauma successfully. I am glad that this condition is now being looked at as a possible mental health issue in survivors of sexual abuse as it is in other areas.
Now the physical legacy and I can only speak for myself and those I have helped over the years.
Numerous gynecological issues. Tick YES!
Irritable bowel syndrome. Tick YES!
Difficulty in childbirth. Tick YES!
Headaches. Tick YES!
Palpitations. Tick YES!
Difficulty in Sexual relationships. Tick YES!
Depression. Tick YES!
So you see, once the abuse stops, sometimes these other issues continue. This is where we need the knowledge, the acknowledgement and the support. Victims often use ‘aids’ to be able to cope with all of or some of these symptoms. Many use alcohol or drugs. Some, like me, consult a doctor, not telling them about the abuse but the symptoms they are suffering. The doctor treats the symptoms, not the cause. Antidepressants, as in my story NOBODY TOLD ME. Others sadly, needing to be loved, turn to promiscuity. Something they know. Some end up homeless because of the legacy, unable to work because of the state of their mental health. Things need to change.
When a child tells you they are being hurt. LISTEN!
When they ask you to believe them. BELIEVE!
When they need help. PROTECT THEM!
If you keep them safe and either report this to the authorities, tell their parents if the child isn’t yours, or the police. The abuse might stop.
If an adult tells you they have been abused, raped or exploited, sign post them to the right place, the police or an agency dealing with their claims. Try not to get too involved. Most will be telling the truth about what has happened to them. Some will be lying, these are the people who make coming forward in genuine cases, hard to do. These are the unforgivable nasty individuals who make the police sometimes doubt the truth. These are the ones who belittle true victims of these horrific crimes.. This is now a crime. If you cry rape or sexual abuse, when their is no truth in the allegations,you could face prison. I only hope this is done in retrospect. It is not only the harm they do to genuine victims, but the damage done to the person who they tell their evil lies to, the ones who try and help them, when in reality, they are laughing at the listener. If told to someone they know has suffered in this way themselves, the damage done to that person can be irreparable.. Unforgivable in my opinion..
I really don’t believe we will ever stamp out child sexual abuse sadly. It has always happened, it is still happening and will possibly always happen. We don’t just need to teach stranger danger, most abusers are known or related to their victims.What we can do is to try, every one of us, try and make our children body aware. Give them the strength to be brave enough to say No if someone is touching them inappropriately. To do this, they need to be shown and educated in what is okay and what is not. They need to know that you will listen them, believe them and act to make it stop. We all owe this to all children. We don’t want to scare them, to take away their trust, to make them think everyone is bad or nasty. We just need to make them feel safe and trust us. That way, we will keep them safe and the result will be happy, healthy adults and not people suffering the legacy of this evil abuse.
Thank you for reading this blog, I hope it has raised some thoughts so please comment if you feel the need. Bye. x.