Healing Women Who Hurt From Childhood Sexual Abuse
SELF - WORTH? While it was all going on, you felt completely helpless, powerless, defenseless and hopeless. You couldn’t do anything about it. You were stuck with no way out. Nothing would make it or him stop. You did whatever he or they told you to do – or else. You were told he’d hurt you or your family if you ever said anything and as a young child, you believed him. Even when you tried telling someone, they didn’t believe you or they blamed you; they either thought you were making up stories or they defended him and allowed him to keep hurting you. You’ve been emotionally trained to instinctively give up and give in because you were imprisoned in circumstances that seemed to have no chance of ever changing. You assumed that you weren’t worth much, weren’t worth cherishing, weren’t worth protecting and that you still aren’t. You now gravitate towards people who will make most decisions for you because you feel inadequate and unable to cope with life’s complexities. You have little to no confidence in your own decision-making skills. In lots of ways, you still see yourself as a child even though you’re now an adult. No one around you knows your secret and how you struggle with simple things in life they don’t struggle with. You grew up way too early physically yet you were never allowed to grow up emotionally. You were treated like a wife but then you were treated like a child. Which were you then? Which are you now? Yes, your childhood years were stolen. What a shame! God is best equipped to instill new feelings of dignity and sanity into your life and restore all those lost years! He offers you a spirit of power, love and self-control instead of a spirit of timidity. No matter how deep the pain is, His grace is deeper. He can best show you what you’re really worth as you walk with Him…
SELF-DESTRUCTIVE OR SELF-DEPRECATING? You can spend a whole lifetime trying to forget a few minutes or many years of what happened to you. ..Maybe you were outwardly rebellious and wild because you were trying to deaden the pain or trying to get us to see what was going on behind closed doors. Maybe you ran away from home to get away from it and him. Maybe you’re trying to make up for the years you lost in not being able to be a playful fun-loving child. Maybe you’re excessively over-protective of your own children now to shield them from the same kind of hurt? Maybe you’ve been trying to deal with this deep-seated misery and pain by engaging in behaviors that have been downright dangerous or degrading to you. Some (but not all) victims of prolonged sexual abuse end up having serious weight or health issues, an attraction to the lesbian lifestyle, or a strong addiction to alcohol or drugs. Some women want to look as bad outwardly as they feel inwardly. The last thing some abused women would ever want is for men to be physically attracted to them. You might not realize how much his past behavior has come to influence your present imbalance of either frigidity or promiscuity. Some women go the opposite extreme and flaunt their femininity because they realize that their body gets them things. Unfortunately, they learned that way too early in life. You’ve become overly dependent or overly dictatorial in your approach with people – and it shows. Finding moderation and balance is one of the hardest things you have to do as a result of being sexually molested or abused. Regardless of your past pain, God will make you more into the image and likeness of Himself. That’s His promise and He will keep it. He is able to complete the good work He has begun or will begin in you, in spite of your years of suffering. The past pain is nothing in comparison to His present power. He came to bring you life and life abundantly. Would you like to learn how to overcome this tendency and learn a new way?
SELF -CONTROL? Maybe you’ve become a walking time bomb with such suppressed emotions of anger and rage that can be triggered by the smallest infractions or injustices. You don’t know why you have such a short fuse and blow up so easily or quickly. You might have created alter personalities or worlds in order to handle the pain. Many do. People have wondered if you’re bipolar or if you’re going to snap. You wonder why you can’t stand certain types of people, not knowing that they remind you of overly dominant or extremely passive people who contributed to your sexual abuse. You weren’t allowed to ever question, talk, tell, scream or even cry. You weren’t allowed to go or do much outside the house. You were forced to go to family reunions where you would have to be with – or touch – or be touched by your relative who seemed so squeaky clean but instead was so sneaky evil. So much went on behind closed doors with you being so quiet. So many voices and so much pain are too much for you to handle… God is able to produce in you what you can not: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. He’s included lots of instructions on the benefit of restraining your tongue and your temper. You’re not a product of your past; you can be His new masterpiece.
DEEP HOPE FOR THIS DEEP HURT. In the Bible, there’s a story about a man named Joseph who had enormous family treachery and personal injustice done to him. His own brothers tried to kill him but instead sold him into slavery. Later on in life, he was doing the right thing in fleeing another man’s seductive wife and he ended up being imprisoned for many years and left alone to die. Sound familiar? Years later, when he finally met up with his perpetrators who originated the torment he endured, he knew that they meant only evil towards him but that God had turned it into good. He also named his first son, Manessah, because “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” His second son was named Ephraim because “God had made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” That’s what God can do: make you forgetful AND also make you fruitful - just like He did with Joseph and all his family dysfunction, deceit, and disgust. You don’t see this yet and it’s okay. It may take years but let’s begin to learn this lifetime lesson of Joseph and his abuse… God can do things that no one else can do.
When you tried telling someone, they either didn't believe you or they blamed you...
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