How To Heal From Abuse (Sexual, Physical And Emotional)
4th February 2013. Updated Saturday 23rd August 2014. Written by Manashantii
I believe that every tragedy in life is always the perfect opportunity for transcendence and for emotional and Spiritual healing. Manashantii
Secrets opress the secret holder, don’t keep secrets that may affect you or someone, tell and you will begin to heal. Manashantii
If you were abused sexually the first thing you need to know is that it was not your fault and the abuser is responsible for the abuse. If you had sexual feelings during the abuse then you must understand that you body reacted automatically and it doesn’t make you .a bad person, no matter what you think. God loves you and forgives you and you must forgive yourself.
You can heal the memories by letting go off the feelings of shame, guilt and the feelings of disgust caused by memory triggers. Explore your sexual feelings during the sexual abuse through therapeutic writing or psychotherapy. Learning compassion for yourself helps you to let go off negative judgement towards yourself. Learn to listen to your body and physical sensations, do breathing exercises combined with body awareness exercises and grounding exercises.
If you abused someone physically, sexually or emotionally you must apologise to the person and make sure that you don’t do it again. Recognise that you have a sinful nature and that you need Jesus the unblemished lamb and King of Kings to save you from your past. You need to work on yourself in Christian centred psychotherapy to change your behaviour(s).
When a person experiences trauma in early childhood especially, it makes the person question the existence of a creator God who is loving. We are living in an imperfect world because sin entered the world due to Eve who was deceived and Adam who disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. (This story can be found in Genesis 2 v9 and Genesis 3 of the Holy Bible). God is merciful and He chose to be born as a man who lived a sinless life. Jesus who is God died for all who believe in him in exchange of us dying a second death, which is the death of your spirit and He (God) will restore and balance our soul so that we can be reunited with Him in the Spirit.
People who have been abused may feel guilt, shame, fear, have lack of confidence and low self-esteem, until they resolve it through working on themselves psychologically and spiritually. The victim may have deep intense emotions of fear and love for the abuser. Victims are sometimes protective of the abuser but have no belief in the need to protect themselves, this is usually learned from childhood. They usually lack anger towards their abuser and transfer blame on themselves.
Remember the following:- When you blame it usually means that you are holding on to anger. Denial is a way of avoiding what you know is true consciously or unconsciously. People who have been abused sexually feel guilt and shame and then when the feelings overwhelm them they go into a state of emotional numbness and denial and block the memories. Forgiving yourself about the past is the only way to release yourself from the recurring guilt and emotional numbness. Forgiving yourself may help you ithe survivor to remember the abuse and to begin healing.
Trust yourself that you can make good choices. Don’t trust too soon or confide in people too early. Let people show that they are trustworthy and let them earn your trust. It is better to be distrustful and safe, than too trusting and a victim. I do encourage you to talk to friends that you know and trust and ask if they think you are too trusting or that you don’t trust enough.
Victims of emotional abuse, physical abuse and or sexual abuse become enslaved in a cyclical pattern of abuse. The victim may be coming from a history of trans-generational trauma. If this is you, then I recommend that you seek help in the form of Biblical Counselling and take a permanent break from the abusive relationship(s) if possible. The victim of abuse may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D) .
Victims of abuse sometimes have loss of memory of the abuse experience in varying degrees, and or emotional detachment. Statistics shows that generally abused boys grow up to become abusive men and abused girls become victimised women in their adult relationships and in some cases (but not always) are abusive usually emotionally to their children. (This is because they didn’t have a good parenting examples from childhood and they don’t practice self-parenting).
It is important to stop the cycle of abuse. So long as you remain in the chain you will not be able to function in a healthy way. If you don’t have healthy relationships then you won’t have time to resolve your problem and heal. Stop the recurring theme of you hurting others and you being hurt. Although others have hurt you in the past and you have hurt others also, please don’t live in the past. Do recollect the things that happened but always with the aim to come to a resolution. Be solution focused and work on your self-esteem.
Victims who have been abused usually have not had positive examples of love in their lives, and therefore don’t know what love is and how to love. They may also have experienced so much hurt and can’t cry. I mean they are emotionally numb or emotionally detached. Victims may be detached from their emotions this is usually a coping mechanism which helps them to cope with abuse, further abuse and day to day living. The victim may cut themselves physically (self-mutilation) as a distraction and relief from emotional pain. Physical pain is sometimes easier for some people to bear than emotional pain. Other coping mechanisms may be denial of the abuse, memory loss of the abuse and or minimisation of the seriousness of the abuse. These coping mechanisms helps them to survive the trauma but does not offer the opportunity to recognise the cycle, step out of the cycle, and heal. Most people find it hard to face their pain. Some people who have been abused often mistake abuse, passion, possessiveness, obsession and lust as love.
Emotional detachment from past abuse and lack of memory recall of the abuse experience can be psychologically draining on the victim.
People who have been victims of abuse have the following list of issues :- 1. Bad parenting in childhood. 2. Exposure to severely mentally ill people (or person) in childhood who were abusive to the victim. 3. Victim has shattered trust. 4.Victim uses Denial in order to survive past traumatic experience. 5. Victim has abusive memories that he or she can’t recollect. (memory block) 6.Victim uses food (anorexia,bulimia, overeating, food addiction), gambling, sex, alcohol, drugs, self-mutilation as a way to numb and detach from the emotional pain. 7.Victims of sexual abuse in some cases have problems with sex and or sexual orientation. This could mean being celibate, avoiding sex or Asexual (non-sexual) if they are traumatised and feel guilty, having sexually degrading relationships if they lack self esteem such as abusive sexual Sadism, masochism, promiscuity, working as a prostitute and or being promiscuous if you under value the meaning of sex and you are detached physically and emotionally, and sometimes but not always people become homosexual if they have been abused sexually.
Some abusers test the victims initially to see how much they can abuse the victim. The longer the victim stays in the relationship the more abusive it becomes. The abuser likes to reinforce his power over the victim. The abuser uses fear and guilt to control the victim. The longer the victim stays the more manipulative and cunning the abuser becomes. Most abusers get pleasure and an adrenaline rush from seeing the victim suffer. The abuser also breeches the victims boundaries. The victim usually (but not always) has insufficient boundaries.
The abuser constantly abuses the victim’s trust, honesty and respect. The abuser may use manipulation, abuse and false affection to control the victim. Abusers in a domestic violence situation sometimes isolate, financially abuse and use degradation. Abusers who rape or sexually abuse usually want physical and psychological power over the victim.
Lack of remorse is a form of denial that abusers use to avoid feeling guilty and to justify their actions. The abuser may even get the victim to feel guilty for being abused by telling the victim that it is his /her fault. Abusers are in summary dominating, abusive and unremorseful then at times the abuser may be abusive and then asks for forgiveness and is appologetic. This is usually common in domestic violent relationships.
75% (Seventy five percent) of both the abuser and the victim usually come from an abusive childhood background or a broken family and or violence in the home s/he grew up in. The abuser may have killed a pet or someone’s pet during his or her childhood. 90% of mentally ill people have an addiction and an addictive personality. There are many forms of mental illness the abuser could have, but I have chosen to talk about the emotional nature of both the victim and the abuser for the reason that I want to simplify the mind of the abuser and victim.
You must thank God daily for all that He does in your life. Despite the pain you have been through your pain and suffering could have been worse. Possess a committed heart to God, be a humble servant to God. Allow God’s plan to manifest good things in your life. Start to know God today, develop a daily prayer life. Trust the Holy Spirit. Let peace reign in your mind and give all your problems to God. God is your judge and the protector of your whole being.
You must understand that every trial and or tragedy in life is a perfect opportunity to develop in the spirit and also psychologically heal. Trials are character forming. Have faith that you will overcome this experience and remember that God loves you. Letting go and forgiveness of the past makes it easier to heal from an abusive past. Be humble and know that forgiveness is possible, trust that God will heal your hurt. Experiences helps you to grow.
Your goal should be to heal and forget the past, let God help you let go off the past. Write your thoughts and feelings down and then express it afterwards. Either keep your writing in a safe place or destroy what you wrote and only keep written positive thoughts and action plans. For writing skills see Manashantii’s writing method which is on this website. Reflecting on your past too much lets negativity pour into your life. Prayer and the word of God in the Bible develops you Spiritually. Forgive yourself for everything that you believe you have done wrong on your part.
There is no one perfect in the world and there is no perfect family, because everyone loves imperfectly this is because of original sin. It takes most people quite some time to forgive. The more you are in touch with your pain, anger and blame, the longer it takes to forgive. Letting go off the past and accepting that nobody is perfect helps to heal and ease the pain. Letting go of judgement helps to begin the stage of letting go off hurt. It takes time but you can let go off grudges and bitterness. Jesus is an example of perfect love and Christians aim to show mankind a better way to love.
Psychotherapy is an opportunity to talk and reflect over your feelings, thoughts and problems. Writing down your thoughts and feelings regularly and exploring them with a Counsellor, friend or therapist can facilitate your healing. I recommend a Biblical Counsellor who has knowledge and experience of healing trauma, is Spirit led and encourages the Holy Spirit to facilitate in the counselling sessions.
I believe that conventional psychotherapy can affect the mental health and the well being of the abused victim. I know this from experience as a psychotherapist and also from having received 32 years as a client in conventional psychotherapy for the treatment of abuse, which I fully healed from over a decade ago. Dwelling on the past constantly in conventional therapy can be like constantly re-opening a wound, this does not allow space and time to heal adequately and deal with issues of the present moment effectively.
I believe it is important to come from a point of view of pacifism, be loving and solution focused. Psychotherapy is usually client directed and as a result of this if the client lacks insight into the problem and is unable to see the best solution then the client will be stuck in a state of despair, frustration and will feel lost.
Sitting quietly and listening to your feelings (without emptying your mind) will help you to develop your intuition if you do this daily. Trust your intuition and your instincts. Your intuition is a quiet voice in your head, the more you listen to it the louder it will become, trust your intuition. Victims of abuse usually don’t trust or listen to their intuition. The Holy Spirit will talk to you as you read the Holy Bible. God’s love will fill your soul eternally, if you open up your soul to God.
Remember that God’s plan for sexual relations is in a loving married relationship.Talk lovingly to yourself every day and do at least three nice things for yourself everyday. Start the process of forgiving yourself, today. Remember also that grieving helps to heal trauma and the release of tears brings a feeling of peace afterwards. You must grieve for what you have lost so that you can let go quickly and heal.
Pray to God daily to give you strength and direction to help you overcome and heal. Always remember that God is the King of Love and a Powerful Healer, trust in God’s ability to heal you in every way. God is your maker and He understands your mind more than any psychotherapist ever will, trust in Him.
Abused victims should not accept or tolerate abuse. Asserting yourself and expressing your anger as a way to protect yourself from further abuse is vital. Victims should gain skills in assertiveness and skills in setting boundaries with people. Assertive people who set boundaries are less likely to be abused continuously. However anyone can be a victim of abuse as a once experience.
The Holy Bible says that we are all born in sin and that we have a sinful nature. Remember that if you are Christian the blood of Jesus has set you free from bondage, pray, apply your faith in action and believe.
When you get to know Jesus the Son and God the Heavenly Father through the Bible you will learn and experience God’s love through the Holy Spirit. Express what is in your heart to God through prayer and you will know God’s heart through reading the Holy Bible. Jesus died on the cross in order to set us free from bondage and abuse. The blood of Jesus broke all curses and eternal sin. Jesus died so that we would all have access to heaven regardless of our past sins. God is a loving and forgiving God that is why He offers the gift of eternal life in heaven if you believe and worship Him.
Forgiveness comes at the very end of a grief process. Forgiveness is the purest form of love. Love is an ancient remedy that heals hatred, soothes pain, melts grudges, grief and hostility, this is an eternal truth. Our thoughts forms our soul. Our thoughts forms us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Seek knowledge that brings you true peace. The more you can empathise the easier it is to forgive. Empathy builds trust in the receiver. Letting go off judgement helps to begin the stage of letting go off hurt, grudges and bitterness. I believe abuse is spiritual warfare. Learn to fight war with Peace and Love. Acceptance of your past experiences is the healing salve which helps you to leave the past behind. Leave it to God to judge your abuser’s actions, remember in the Bible God says the following:-
Deuteronomy 32v 35, Leviticus 19v18, Psalm 94v1, Romans 12v9, Hebrews 10v30 and Ephesians 4v32
Written by Manashantii
Read the following Bible sections and verses:-
Deuteronomy 22v 25-v26 Clearly states that rape is the fault of the rapist or sex offender.
Jeremiah 29v10- v14 especially v11
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
New Living Translation (NLT)
4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
1Corinthians 10v13 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
2Corinthians 12 v9-10. 1Peter 1v7. Psalm 55. Psalm 56. Psalm 57. Matthew 11 v28. Psalm 35. Psalm 25v7. Psalm 51v9. Psalm 66v18. Psalm 199 v10-v11. Romans 3 v23. Romans 8v28. Proverbs 28v13. 1st John 1v9. Isaiah 64 v 6. Hosea 5v15. Hebrews 9v6-v14. Exodus 12v7-v8. Exodus 12v13. Hebrews 13v20-v21. Job 7v1 (N.L.T.) Is not all human life a struggle?
Please read other articles related to this on this website. Anger. How to forgive others. How to forgive yourself. Relating skills. Love and forgiveness. Trust. Relate to God. The Manashantii writing method. Sexual abuse books that I recommend. Unhealthy Boundaries.