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  • Writer's pictureSusan Stubbings

Normal responses to abnormal situations

In recent years, the media quite rightly, has highlighted historical childhood sexual abuse which has been raising awareness. The magnitude of offences perhaps beyond belief for some. It happened - it’s true! 

All this media attention however can have an adverse effect on victims by triggering their memories, they may come to feel they have an obligation to tell their own stories because others have.

Victims can be left feeling pressured from all angles.

The dilemma - to tell or not to tell?

Remember - you have a choice. That choice is to speak or not speak out. To whom, when, what and how you speak, do not feel ‘pressured’, feel you ‘must’ or ‘should’ tell because others have.

The effects of experiencing sexual abuse as a child for both male and female victims can last a lifetime.

The child is left with a complex mix of feelings swinging on the pendulum of emotions, sometimes from one extreme to the other. Sexually abused as a vulnerable child robs children of their innocence, intimacy with self and others, their right to a safe, secure, free of fear and protected childhood.

Robs the child of trusting self to handle life’s conundrums, the world, the people in it, halts the child’s trust in love, joy, beauty, robs their curiosity, wonder and halts questioning, introducing them to the world of adulthood long before their psyche can process such thoughts, feeling and sensations. 

Robbing the child of having a natural progression through life's, ‘what ifs’ and ‘what might have been’, can dominate adult living, helps to keep us stuck in unhealthy emotional cycles, patterns and skewed perceptions. 

Let’s be clear, children are not responsible for what adults choose to feel, think, say or do. Children are not responsible for the behaviour of adults.

Sexual abuse is traumatising, leaving the child with hurt, pain and confusion, they reach adulthood faced with major life decisions, procrastinate, engage in co-dependant or dependant relationships. The child’s self-worth, self-esteem and confidence replaced with terror, fear, denial, self-doubt, weak or non-existent boundaries; grow up feeling different to others; unable to cope with what life throws at them, unable to ask for needs or wants fulfillment or feel believed by others, unable to believe in self, perhaps going from one trauma to another.

Many children will develop complex post-traumatic stress disorder C-PTSD and post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. The younger the child when the abuse started, the more likely the child will have utilised dissociation to cope.

Instilled into the child unfounded blame, shame and guilt which is toxic, blocking the adults healing path. Feelings may be repressed, painful memories buried but leak out in so many unhealthy ways, affecting relationships with others and self, perhaps feeling this is all you are worth.

It’s not - you are normal.

You survived the worst, now find your best! Because you matter - I believe!

If you are reading this because you are a victim, you can make a difference to your life - now!

Healing one step at a time, with an experienced counsellor.

I offer a free 30 mins video call so you can meet me before our first session.  Contact me at or telephone, text, WhatsApp message on 07867938630 and lets connect and realise the possibilities and your potential. 

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