Sexual assault is extremely traumatic and can be life-changing. Understanding your true potential is the first step towards healing. Healing is not a linear process but each step in the right direction will count. There is no blueprint for healing. The trauma is not always easy to deal with but with the right and healthy ways, it can be made possible.
The trauma that results from any type of sexual or emotional abuse will affect the entire functioning of your brain. It is going to affect, the way you are, the way you accept things, react to situations, or the way you accept any relationship in your life. It might also lead to withdrawal behavior. The entire journey of understanding the state one is in and then recovering from it varies from person to person. For example, if a child, who has been sexually abused has a supportive family or someone who he/she can trust then the child is expected to recover early.
It is very important to know that there is no right or wrong way to feel if you’ve been abused.
There are healthy ways through which children or even adults can get over trauma caused by sexual abuse.
· Recovering from any type of trauma takes its own time. Do not rush. Allow yourself to feel, to understand whatever is happening. If you cannot plan for a week or a month, go for one day at a time.
· Challenge your difficult emotions whenever you can. Instead of screaming and reacting to unnecessary situations and talk, learn to walk away. In other words, identify your triggers. Learn how not every situation deserves your reaction.
· Learn to take extra care of yourself. In most cases, survivors tend to neglect their safety and ignore their self-care. In situations like these, remind yourself that it is even more important to look after your well being. Teach your mind to be aware of your surroundings.
· Please learn that it is extremely natural that your body will be in a state of shock after the assault. This may lead to, nightmares, excessive sweating, flashbacks, etc. Do not punish yourself or be harsh. Give yourself that time.
· Try grounding yourself. If you see yourself getting carried away by your thoughts and nightmares instantly try this task, speak to yourself about five things you can touch, three things you can see, and something which you can smell. This will instantly make you realize that you still have a hold over your environment. While practicing grounding make sure your eyes are open. This way you will be at the moment.
· Go for “flashback halting protocol”
This will instantly make you realize that you’re not at the place of assault and currently, you’re out of danger. Focus only on your breathing.
· If you are not being able to sleep or lying awake for more than 20 minutes, immediately get up, have any kind of activity no matter how small till you’re tired enough to go to bed. One important thing to keep in mind is to follow a regular sleep routine. Stick to one particular timing.
· Go for mindful breathing. Choose your comfortable position and start breathing slowly and steadily. Focus on how you do it. Exhale slowly. When you do this, your mind might wander, please remind yourself that it’s normal. Gently bring your attention back.
· Speak. If you’re not speaking it, you’re storing it and that gets heavy. Constantly remind yourself that you are not your past.
At the end of the day, it is extremely important to constantly remind yourself of the battles you’ve won, tasks you’ve accomplished and the things you’ve control over. Go for ways that are healthy, easy to do, and makes sense to you. Do not rush this process. Your body has its natural way of healing, give it that time.
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