“This too shall pass”
I’ve come to believe that I am a healer. That is the only conclusion I get when I look back on all the experiences that have taught me what pain and suffering is. And because I understand what they meant to me on a grander scale I’m destined to share and heal others through my own healing; story of my life! But Sexual trauma, again!? This is becoming exhausting and it’s taking a toll on my mind and body. I decided to get in journal entry, self healing, knowledge seeking mode and start the healing process.
I was sexually assaulted a few months ago by someone I know. (Whoa, you know that feeling when you finally get something off your chest?!) I didn’t know it was going to happen so I felt violated. I’m still coming to terms with it as I cannot seem to express the details. It was really confusing and put me into a state of shock. Did that just happen to me? Did I do something wrong or cause this to happen? I thought I was done with the trauma and now this!? I didn’t want to admit that anything out of the normal happened.
These feelings of guilt, confusion, anger, shame, fear, and anxiety are common amongst people who experience sexual assault. In addition, I am unable to touch myself or feel sexual. I even committed to being celibate. Because of my past trauma, I’ve been very in touch with my sexuality. This is the only time that I felt a complete void of feelings when it comes to arousal and connection. I knew it was time to heal because me without sexuality is very rare.
Sexual trauma can be depressing. It’s hard enough to be open with our sexuality because of the negative connotations attached to sex and being too sexual. Uncomfortability comes with the unknown and not understanding something truly. Add in negative feelings about ourselves and you get avoidance all together. For most, sex is the least interesting topic. Anything associated with sex, including relationships and intimacy, will have a hard time thriving without support and continuous healing efforts. Sex is a natural behavior and it’s healthy and beneficial when it’s understood and practiced in respectful ways. For those that are living with sexual trauma the burden is on us to heal ourselves if we want to function better in life. It takes so much courage to dive into pain over and over again but it only makes for stronger and wiser outcome.
Sexual trauma develops when we encounter experiences that we have no control over. These experiences cause continuous unwanted reactions such as the inability to say “yes” or “no” fully, steady anxiety or depression, becoming bothered with genital contact or have a negative reaction to sex, only feeling self worth through sex, and feeling no connection between intimacy and sex. (Blue, 2007)
I’m definitely traumatized but I want to heal because with healing comes growth and I’m addicted to growth. I know that once I begin healing I begin to feel better about myself and eventually connect with my sexuality again, something that all women need to feel secure and balanced.
Ways to healHealing sex– Trauma can cause a gap between the self and the body. As an example, the self may feel something weird and not so pleasant when touching or even thinking about touching the body parts associated with the trauma. Healing sex and therapies involving sex are intended to provide an understanding of healthy sexual beliefs. Counseling and education will provide the knowledge and tools to handle the impact of the experiences. Under the belief that we have to “face our demons”, sex therapies introduce safe sexual practices that get the person to actually feel the pain and pleasure while trying to understand its connection to sexuality, bringing back healthy perceptions of sex and intimacy. Take it slow and move at a pace that feels right for you.
Self love-The benefits of self love is universal. If you do things that inspire you and that make you feel good then you will heal yourself and live happy. So much of our energy is extended outwards without the balancing ourselves of bringing it back in. Just as the flight attendant tells us to put your own mask on first before helping another, it is true in any other situation that we must think of ourselves first. Pamper yourself, take care of your hygiene, surround yourself with positive energy, feel good about yourself. Be what you want to feel, happy and healthy.
Stay healthy– Do things that are good for your mind and body. Eating nutrient rich foods will reduce physical ailments and increase mental functions and moods. Other self care methods such as exercising and getting quality sleep also get the body feeling good again. Eating right and keeping the body healthy will increase our perceptions of our bodies and consequently change our moods and receptivity for growth.
Reach out– Talk to someone, join online support groups, attend a support group in your city, read about others’ experiences. We can gain so much insight through the perspective of another. We can also gain insight with support. When there are others who can relate and/or are supportive it makes it easier to express your feelings therefore releasing the trauma from the body. Having a trusting relationship and environment are two aspects that are much needed to recover from sexual trauma.
Research– Knowledge is powerful. The more we know about things the better understanding we have and are able to see in terms of the whole being made up of parts instead of seeing lost puzzle pieces to an unknown picture. When we can understand something it is easier to approach. What was once strange and unknown has some meaning to it now and is better understood. Research exercises and expands the mind. With an open mind we can flow through life holding on to only what is needed to grow us. Read a book or interview those who can relate or have some expertise. Watch a moving involving aspects of the trauma. A better understanding can make for a faster healing process.
Remember to also utilize personal resources such as your heart and your energy to stay connected and in tune with yourself.
As for the assailants, I didn’t report them. Karma will advance or stagnate them. I’m okay with that. They will experience the same energy they are putting out, continuously, or they may grow and become better people, either way is right by me.
Bulletins for Teens: Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2016, from https://victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/bulletins-for-teens/sexual-assault“From Sexual Trauma to Healing Sex / Author Staci Haines Opens up to Violet Blue about Sexual Healing after Incest, Rape or Abuse.” SFGate. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.Self-Care After Trauma | RAINN. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2016, from https://www.rainn.org/articles/self-care-after-traumaSexual Healing – Page 2 « Sacred Sexuality. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2016, from http://www.spiritualtantra.net/sexual-healing-page-2″The Neurochemistry of Sex.” The Neurochemistry of Sex. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.
“The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma.” The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 June 2016.