Sunday, February 8, 2009

Healing and Restoring Wholeness For The Sexually-Abused Person

Child sexual abuse may be hard to believe but it really happens and it is more prevalent than one would believe. Race, religion, and economic status notwithstanding, children are getting sexually abused. And its effects don't stop until the child grows through adolescence and into adulthood.

Victims of sexual abuse usually grow up insecure and have a hard time trusting people. They experience bouts of depression and self-hatred, that may lead to eating disorders and deviant behaviors such as alcoholism, drug addiction, and thoughts of suicide.

These children often feel hopeless. They experience nightmares and would wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. There is the feeling of being crazy, that there is something wrong with them. Once they get involved in a relationship, they find it hard to be sexually expressive. They shut off during sexual encounters and most of the time, they just feel empty, disconnected, and alone.

Sexual abuse comes in different forms. It could be an unwanted touch by a babysitter, a brother or sister, a parent, step-parent, friend, or even a minister. Recurring instances sexual abuse may last for a long period of time. For others, it could just be a one-time occurrence, such as date rape or coercive sex with a partner.

Survivors of sexual abuse don't speak about their experience, keeping it as a secret all their lives. They usually blame themselves, feeling shame, guilt, and depression. Some victims experience flashbacks as they live in fear. Others just try to block it all out. Their spiritual struggles and injuries are often deep and painful. They may feel abandoned by God, lose their faith, or feel a pervasive sense of spiritual isolation.

Healing and restoring wholeness from the trauma of sexual abuse may not come easy. But it is not impossible to regain a sense of wholeness once again. Spiritually-integrated therapy helps a lot in overcoming deep psychological issues and addressing wounded spiritual beliefs. It involves counseling on how sexual abuse creates deep feelings of shame, and how this shame covers the true beauty within. Spiritually-integrated therapy allows healing and empowerment for the sexually-abused person.

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