Thursday, March 31, 2011

Harm of Sexual Abuse. Part 4.

What happens with victim’s self-esteem?

Victims of sexual abuse often say that they have their souls have been burned. It seems to them that there is nothing left in the world which is to protect and care about. Many girls try to tell everybody about their pain, but mostly they do not find understanding or sympathy. The girls become thick-skinned, mentally mail-clad that protects them against people’s heartlessness. Unfortunately the iron, clad on girls’ hearts chokes up their own feelings and finally devaluate all emotions, makes them senseless. Emotions are an important component of own “ego”, of inner self, so the devaluation of emotions causes the devaluation of own personality. Such a devaluation of own self is perceived as lower self-esteem both by the victim and by the people around.

Everybody who experienced a rape feels a substantial fall of self-esteem. The person perceives herself as a desecrated sanctuary, as a dirty being that is not worth an existing on Earth. Everybody has her own humiliating images on mind. One of the common reactions after rape is to take a long shower to wash off all the filthiness. The feeling is close to a religious feeling of a committed sin and causes rejection of own body, then of own emotions and then of whole self.

Later the girl begins to think: who first pays attention to me let him be my boyfriend. It starts a game called “to marry the first pauper”. But life does not turn out like a fairy tale, when a pauper changes into a prince. An example from life. Parents have witnessed the rape of their daughter, but acted very bad. For some reason father decided that her daughter had fallen, wound round his hand her luxurious braid and cropped it fully. The trauma superimposed on the rape injury, and later, when she was grown, wise, gorgeous 25-year-old lady, who graduated from the college with honors, married a man who was far below her status. In addition he was beating her, did not let her go or feel her worth as a person. At the same time she understood that he was no match for her, but between reason and feelings a great chasm existed. Like a dog that was picked up, caressed just a little bit she was faithful to her husband for a tiny endearment and kindness. But this is not the ground on which people need to build their relationship.

How to work on self-esteem?

First step is to stop blaming yourself. Many rape victims see their body as a traitor: either it was not able to resist and escape, or caused someone to become aroused sexually. At the same time it happens during the rape that women experience pleasant feelings that are doubly hard to realize. Therefore, first of all it is necessary to deal with recovery of self-confidence.

World is a mirror: how we treat it, so it treats us. For example, there was an interesting training session on the Dead Sea. It turned out that one student could easily immerse her hands in mud, but could not do the same with her feet, because she did not trust the way she moved. Rape is the mud that highlights the aspects of personality that were initially disruptive, even before the rape. In this case you need to work not only with direct consequences of the rape, but with mentioned aspects of your personality as well. The confidence is not collapsing from scratch. If a person does not trust the world, then the rape will just aggravate it.

There is wisdom: a time comes to cast away stones and a time comes to gather stones together. In this case “stones” mean feelings, “cast away stones” means depression after rape and “gather stones together” means recovery from depression and return to normal life. When a person is experiencing an aggression and low self-esteem, it is important to realize that. Realize that she is not the person, like which she is feeling and try to find herself as a person who has many bright faces and beauties. Realize that the only small piece of dark remained from the trauma this is not me, it's just part of me.

One of the very efficient techniques of interaction with pain and aggression is enthusiastic yelling. You have to escape into the woods and start screaming, pulling a sound from the throat down, down to the groin so that the whole body have turned into a scream. It is believed that survivors of rape have problems with the protection of their personal space and with the self-affirmation. They speak softly, suppress their voice in every way. It is so good for such people to sing karaoke, to study actor's craft courses so that undergo a vocal rehabilitation. It is very important to let your voice sound, to declare yourself to the world, do not hide. Experts believe that survivors of rape are very fond of scarves, which are associated with voice unit - a girl was not able to scream, to call the help as if she got dumb at that moment.

We must learn to defend our borders and personal space. For example, if you are a fragile girl, then you should be aware that you have not to wear diamonds as you walks to the gangster neighborhood at night. And much better not to walk to such neighborhood at all. You can go for self-defense classes or get a dog. Previous part 3

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Harm of Sexual Abuse. Part 3.

The victim often has a desire for revenge.

In the case of rape the revenge is not effective. As a person has revenged and she can succeed in revenging if she wants it much, she will survive another feeling of void in her. The meaning of life is not to take revenge, but that to find support within yourself. You have to reorient yourself to a positive mood.

Life is wide and great. Persons who experienced sexual abuse have been shocked and so look at the world through a tiny window. She (or he) sees only that is related to her condition. She looks through a little hole, and it seems her that this is the whole world. You have to let yourself to go beyond the limits of your present state, to understand that life goes on, it breathes, it knocks on the window and to attempt to pull yourself out of the swamp of depression on your own. You have not to focus on the tragedy, but on looking for a way out of depression.

What to do in order not to shrink into yourself?

People experience a total sense of loneliness and misunderstanding after rape. So, if you cannot go directly to a psychoanalyst (a psychologist) or a priest, it is very effective to join a support group on the principle of Alcoholics Anonymous, or to create such a group by yourself. People who have experienced a similar tragedy speak the same language and can help each other to analyze and to talk away their painful and tragic feelings. It is difficult to talk away own pain with a person who feels good, for whom the sun shines. The presence of fellows-sufferers reveals to a person that she is not alone, though in a common environment she might feel just that way.

If, however, a girl does not want to tell anybody about what happened, she is ashamed and afraid to address a support group either. How to break through this barrier?

The girl can deal with the simplest therapeutic techniques - to sculpt, draw, write letters to herself, to God, giving vent to her emotions on paper. She can burn the written and see over again and again how the letter burns and smoke goes into the sky like a prayer. She has to write, until her hand got tired, until her brain got tired. If she cannot speak since she is too disturbed then let her write and burn again, write again and burn, draw and burn. Then she will be strong enough to tell somebody her feelings and pains. It is very important to realize that she not alone; help is available and can be used.

What might be the consequences of rape?

As written previously, in Part 1, the consequences of sexual violence can be very sad, right up to coma. In addition, it is worth noting that the psychological traumas resulting from sexual violence contribute to the development of tumors, both benign and malignant. Of course, injuries are mostly psychological, but it does not lessen their severity . Pursuing self-torment, you can bury yourself in your pain and suffering and get a full set of mental changes. You will get it all: frigidity (false frigidity along with sexual deprivation) fall of self-esteem below sewage gutter, total emotional apathy or ambivalence. The most common consequence is the lack of full sexual life and inability to make a family in the way you wish. Previous part 2 Next part 4