Dear Abuse Survivors,
Remember . . . . .
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The conservative statistics are that one in every three or four people has been sexually abused under the age of 18. That means that over 50 million people in the United States have been sexually abused as children. Other studies put the number even higher. Similar statistics are coming out of Canada, England, France, Australia, Belgium, and Germany. If you add victims of criminal child physical abuse and neglect to the numbers for sexual abuse, the estimated numbers are in excess of 70 percent of the population.
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, however crazy you may feel right now. You may have overwhelming feelings, self-defeating behaviors, dissociative identity disorder, and a variety of other symptoms of your abuse, but these are symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder - the effects of your abuse. PTSD is a "disorder," not a mental illness, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by therapists. You may need therapy or even hospitalization, but you are not crazy.
YOU ARE NOT YOUR ABUSE OR YOUR SYMPTOMS. The real you, underneath the layers of pain and false beliefs, is pure, eternal, and unlimited. The real you cannot be damaged or destroyed. My experience is that survivors are exceptionally resilient, strong, creative, intelligent people, even though you may not believe it now. We had to be or we wouldn't have survived.
YOU HAVE ALREADY SURVIVED THE WORST THAT CAN EVER HAPPEN TO YOU, and you survived it when you were a child without the knowledge, understanding, resources, and abilities you have now. You suffered unspeakable horrors all alone. You had no one to rely on but yourself and you got yourself through. So you can get through anything. You are a survivor and nothing will ever be that bad again. You can heal and you can live a happy fulfilling life.
You can survive recovering the memories - past thoughts and emotions - you need to heal. Your mind will not let you down now, after protecting you for so many years.
YOUR MIND KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO HEAL. Trust your process and your gentle, helpful instincts (not the inner voices of fear, self-criticism, and anger.) By seeking help, you have already taken the most important step on your journey of recovery. You will heal.
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