Sexual Abuse: a “Gateway Experience”

Sexual abuse is a “gateway experience” that often leads to drug addiction later in life

By Jim LaPierre,

“Lesser known fact about Sigmund Freud – early in his career he was all but laughed out of his field for suggesting that sexual abuse within families was a significant social problem. To remain respected he recanted his findings. Toward the end of his career he went back to his original claims and backed them up, demonstrating that this ugliness was indeed not simply at the fringes of society.

We’ve known for many decades now that sexual abuse is a significant social problem. We’ve made gains in our efforts to create awareness and reduce other forms of sexual assault, but we remain largely at a loss with regard to what happens within a family unit. Our laws treat children as property and we continue to maintain startlingly underfunded and overworked Child Protective Services as our primary form of intervention.

Our discomfort acknowledging the prevalence of sexual abuse is evident in the language we use. Media reports tend to minimize its significance and impact.

One rarely reads of a child being raped. One reads of a child being “molested.” I’m repulsed every time I read about a child of 12 or 13 who engaged in “sex” or “sexual acts”, when in fact a child of this age is incapable of consent.

We water down and minimize because we are sickened to imagine what so many children experience. We cannot expect to make significant gains with social problems we’re uncomfortable discussing. It’s additionally problematic that our social problems are intimately connected to each other. As we struggle to make progress in prevention and intervention of substance abuse; we overlook the frequently underlying dynamics of surviving childhood sexual abuse.

We have language for “gateway drugs” but fail to identify gateway experiences. There’s little or no shame in admitting to alcohol or marijuana use. There are a myriad of obstacles to discussing a history of sexual abuse. The degree to which surviving traumatic experiences in childhood lead us toward addiction and alcoholism cannot be overstated.

We need to re-conceptualize “dual diagnosis treatment” as existing within a social context that perpetuates shame. We have language for disgrace but not for transformation. I have the honor of serving what our society labels as: drunks, junkies, druggies, whores, and welfare cases, who are characterized as immoral, weak, lazy, and crazy.

What I often see professionally are the combined effects of residual grooming, (the molding processes that manipulate a child’s understanding of their abuse), the excessive loyalty of being an Adult Child Of An Alcoholic/Addict (ACOA) and the social stigmas of living with addiction(s), mental health conditions, and being a survivor of what remain unspeakable acts. Each of these individually can be debilitating. Their combined impact requires that the survivor progressively claim personal power and develop a new identity.

Children who survive abuse and neglect learn shame from their earliest days. Every one of us was placed at greater risk of abusing substances because we survived traumatic losses at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and nurture us. Yet we live in a world that does not grasp the disease of addiction and are afraid to hear our stories.

We search for those with similar experiences. We find people we relate to in self help programs and group therapy. We seek out clinicians who get us. Bit by bit, we come to understand ourselves and we cease our self destruction, hiding, and hopelessness. We learn to speak the unspeakable. We accept that we need not be ashamed of what was inflicted upon us. We learn to live one day at a time.

We come to take pride in what we incrementally overcome and refuse to allow anyone but ourselves the right to define us. We come to accept that we are forever works in progress and that “failure” only occurs when we stop trying.

The outside world rarely learns of our successes. Our milestones occur privately in therapists offices, in AA, and NA. We are supported by kindred spirits and we celebrate with only the closest and most trusted of loved ones. [or sometimes, our Blog readers 🙂 ]

The average person will never experience the joy of witnessing transformation, much less achieve it for themselves. They cannot grasp the heroism of maintaining sobriety, overcoming the feeling of never being clean, or the guts it takes to break free of unhealthy loyalties. We remain marginalized and misunderstood. Mores the pity, for we are the very best of people.

When at last we are no longer stigmatized, we will revolutionize. Too many of our brothers and sisters become forever buried under the shame of judgment. What we survived does not define us. Our resilience and determination to achieve the lives we want does.”

This post originally appeared as Sexual Abuse and Addiction in Recovery Rocks, by Jim LaPierre.

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103 Responses to Sexual Abuse: a “Gateway Experience”

  1. bladerunner says:

    Touching your breast once does not constitute “abuse” or trauma.

    Nobody else has the right to tell someone if experiences were traumatic or not. Sexual abuse is like racism: not even a little bit is okay.

    • Alethea says:

      Sorry BR, but I have every right to tell people that placing incorrect labels on certain aspects of human experiences can be harmful to the person who believes it about themselves, and to victims of child sexual abuse.

      Trauma: Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, child sexual abuse, rape or natural disaster, or a serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. The emotional response can cause psychological shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. TRAUMA is a very serious thing.

      Child Abuse: Not defined by a man touching a teenager’s breast one time. The man crossed boundaries, but it is NOT child ABUSE. To define it as such, waters down true child sexual abuse and traumatic incidents.

      Telling a teenager, whose breast was touched once, that she was abused or traumatized, can create more psychological harm in her than the man touching her breast ever will.

  2. Little Nel says:

    “No one owes you an apology. It was your karma.”

    OMG! I remember my mother stating that exact thing to me as a child. My mother was into New Age and Edgar Casey when I was a child.

  3. Little Nel says:

    Did anyone see the Dr. Phil program about the child prostitute who shot and killed her pedophile pimp? She was 11 when he started abusing her, then he put her to work on the streets LA, Las Vegas, and Hollywood.

    She was molested starting at age 5 by her mother’s live in boyfriend. She told her mother about the sexual abuse and her mother said that she “kicked out” the molester, but wasn’t sure that her 5 year-old daughter was telling the truth. There was more abuse as the girl got older.

    The “mother” was a mess and CPS knew it.

    Other family members tried to help the little girl but the “mother” wouldn’t acknowledge that she neglected and failed to protect her daughter and CPS did nothing but document it.

    • Star says:

      Little Nel,
      I did not see it, but I am appalled at this mom’s behavior. When a child tells a mother she has been hurt or harmed, she needs to believe it! She kicked the molester out! That means very little to me,, because she failed to get the child sexual abuse help, which is readily available. She essentially left the door open for another abuser to sexually assault her child. This is what happened to me. I did not get any help after the first sexual assault, therefore I concluded that it was my fault and skipped off into the sunset. I was sexually assaulted 3 more times. I am glad this show aired.

      • Little Nel says:

        Hi Star,
        You are so right about the “mother.”

        When Dr. Phil pointed out that she failed to protect her daughter, the “mother” who appeared to be medicated/sedated said, “I don’t want to be attacked.”

        Dr. Phil then said that this was not about her, but her daughter who was sexually abused starting at age 11, to the point that she shot her pimp out of rage.

        • Star says:

          Dr. Phil then said that this was not about her, but her daughter who was sexually abused starting at age 11,
          to the point that she shot her pimp out of rage.

          Yeah! I am so glad that Dr. Phil put her in her place and told her this was not about her, but about her daughter. I LOVE IT! I wish he could have spoken to my parents who provided such a dysfunctional home for me to live in. He really puts deadbeat parents in their place….. sooooo good. He is a beautiful child advocate who stands up for the rights of children and put some boundaries in place for this mom to stop stepping over. He essentially drew a line and told her to stop crossing it with conversation about herself. Let’s talk about the child who was harmed and hurt by your negligence!

          • Star says:

            I like the word negligence which means failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.

            • Little Nel says:

              I got the impression that the mother of Sarah was so consumed with self-pity and guilt that she was incapable of being a prudent person or a caring person.

              • Star says:

                Little Nel I agree with you 100%! The 3 quotes below on guilt and 1 (quote) on self pity prove that your words are profoundly true. She would not even be able to exercise good judgment or common sense with a puppy. 😦

                Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.” ― Veronica Roth, Insurgent

                “Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action.” ― Audre Lorde

                “I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me. But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.” ― Rosamund Lupton, Sister

                “ Guilt is a weight that will crush you whether you deserve it or not.” ― Maureen Johnson, Girl at Sea

                Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. Helen Keller

              • Alethea says:

                Hi Star. In my experience, guilt can be heavier than grief, and one can say that guilt is grief turned inward on the self.

                ~Alethea

            • Star says:

              Hi Star. In my experience, guilt can be heavier than grief, and one can say that guilt is grief turned inward on the self.

              ****** I totally agree with you. I liked the quote (Grief is not as heavy as guilt, but it takes more away from you.”) but I hadn’t paused and thought about it.

              For example, guilt over murdering someone can be heavier than grief over losing a loved one, and one can say that guilt (regarding running a red light and causing someone’s death) is grief turned inward on the self.
              Thanks for helping me understand this. 🙂

        • Star says:

          http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/free-sara-kruzan/

          This is the link to sign a petition to free Sara Kruzan. I just signed!

          Dr. Phil said, she is a child victim who killed pedophile pimp.

    • Star says:

      http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/1896/

      I think I found the link to the show you mentioned. This mom is claiming to be innocent in the video on this webpage. Wow! This is a repeating pattern with these types of mothers. I love seeing the brief clip….. where he told her, this was not about her!
      I pray Sara is released or re-sentenced to less time.

  4. Little Nel says:

    “gateway experience” is a good term for emotional distress/pain that snowballs as we age. The distress seems to find it’s way into all areas of our thinking until it is resolved and dismissed.

    • Star says:

      The distress seems to find it’s way into all areas of our thinking until it is resolved and dismissed.

      So True! I want it resolved! Well said……

  5. Jess says:

    Wow! I absolutely loved this! It’s an amazing and so true article. I felt like every word was just right on and it’s amazing how much words can make us feel either really understood (like he just did!) or really marginalized and devalued like he explained.

  6. Little Nel says:

    Great post, Alethea!

    Many of us who love our alcoholic/addicted relatives know that “we are as sick as our secrets.” Many of us know that substance abuse is just a symptom of severe emotional pain, but we are clueless about their needs. They need treatment to uncover the source of their destructive behavior.

    Many of us who have worked with the families of substance abusers see a high rate of denial about incest and sexual abuse. It is usually when the substance abuser gets treatment that the covert existence of sexual abuse within the family is exposed. This exposure creates a crisis within the family and the family usually tries to get the “patient” to recant without any concern for the sufferer’s pain or recovery.

    All they know is to hide the shame and guilt associated with the “secrets” so they attempt to “shut up” the patient. It doesn’t occur to them that what they are keeping “secret” is the source of their ills.

  7. Tornad0sRul says:

    This is a very creative way to discuss the link between sexual abuse and chemical dependency, but the reality is that mental illness causes chemical dependency, and mental illness is the result of unresolved child abuse/neglect/trauma. It is so sad to me that simply because of the “nobility” attached to parenting, the stupid ideal that you should always “respect your parents,” people are unable to change, and unable to address their childhood issues. One simple reason blocks most adults from seeking help, speaking up about it, and addressing their issues, and that reason is their parents. Not until the parents are dead can their child(ren) actually talk about their erroneous behavior/parenting, and by then they have no doubt already passed on the dysfunctions to their own children, enabling the cycle. No one can come out and say “my mother is a narcissist who manipulated my mind to think negative constantly,” or “my father is a chronic liar”, or “my mother always criticized everything I did,” or “my father was a control freak,” therefore they most certainly cannot come out and say “my father molested me,” or “my mother knew my father was molesting me but she did nothing,” or “my mother beats me,” or “my father verbally abuses me.” No one is able to address their issues because they simply cannot blame someone or something for the way they turned out. Supposed “professionals” are always advising to refrain from “blame” but in return the victims blame themselves, which everyone is ok with? We need to stop the parenting misconceptions and start waking up to the fact that every little parenting mistake will adversely affect their child for a lifetime, which ultimately affects society as a whole. Parenting needs to be taken more seriously, and “parental rights” need to be thrown out the window. Every parent alive thinks that they have an inherent “right” to raise their child how they feel, and most parents make crucial mistakes every single day. Parenting successes and mistakes are what forms our world. Period. Parents who are overly needy will create children who are overly needy. Parents who are violent will create children who grow up to be violent. Parents who are controlling will produce narcissists or bullies, who wreak havoc on society, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. The list goes on and on the major errors committed by parents that are minimized and ignored. Unresolved childhood trauma, abuse, and/or neglect are the main reasons for all of our problems.

    • Jane says:

      Parenting successes and mistakes are what forms our world.
      Unresolved childhood trauma, abuse, and/or neglect are the main reasons for all of our problems.

      I agree with your comments! My parents did such an awful job raising me, I often wonder, “Why did they even bother to procreate?” Nothing else to do that day…….

      • Little Nel says:

        “Parenting successes and mistakes are what forms our world”

        How true. I know that my world was “punishment based” growing up because my parents had a punishing god, not a loving God.

        When I found a loving God in adulthood, that loving God healed my wounds, repaired my broken heart, and pointed the way to happiness, growth, and prosperity.

    • Alethea says:

      GREAT COMMENT!

      “the “nobility” attached to parenting, the stupid ideal that you should always “respect your parents,”….”

      Any two degenerates can meet, marry, and have sex. Any two selfish, unloving people can marry and have sex.

      “No one can come out and say “my mother is a narcissist who manipulated my mind to think negative constantly,” or “my father is a chronic liar”, or “my mother always criticized everything I did,” or “my father was a control freak,” therefore they most certainly cannot come out and say “my father molested me,” or “my mother knew my father was molesting me but she did nothing,” or “my mother beats me,” or “my father verbally abuses me.”

      That’s right, and if anyone dares to say these things, and if anyone actually listens, the adult child is then told, “well, your parents did the best they could”….”I’m sure they loved you.”….”Everyone has a dysfunctional family.”….”You should forgive them; after-all, they are your parents.”

      “Supposed “professionals” are always advising to refrain from “blame” but in return the victims blame themselves, which everyone is ok with?”

      Yep! It’s proclaimed, “You need to stop blaming your issues on your parents.” It’s not about blame! It’s about putting responsibility for mental health problems squarely on those who perpetrated the abuse. It’s about removing the blame from the victim and pointing the finger at those who have harmed a child. Because who the hell does society think is going to accept the blame if we are not allowed to point our finger at those who commit crimes, or who commit unloving acts against a child?…… Who? the victim!

      • Jane says:

        That’s right, and if anyone dares to say these things, and if anyone actually listens, the adult child is then told, “well, your parents did the best they could”….”I’m sure they loved you.”….”Everyone has a dysfunctional family.”….”You should forgive them; after-all, they are your parents.”

        *Your words are so true! This is what I heard when I told my story to people. It only made me feel worse.

        • Alethea says:

          “well, your parents did the best they could”

          This was said to me once by a friend, whom I did not disclose my mother’s sexual abuse of me to…but they did know she caused me great pain. I said to myself, “yea, right. She did her best to sexually abuse me, and her best to allow my father to rape me.”

          • Little Nel says:

            “well your parents did the best they could.”

            As the head goes, so goes the house. Funny, how that works. When my father moved out of our home, my mother picked up his abusive ways and continued under his “absentee” leadership.

            I expected her to be different than my abusive father as head of household, but she walked in his shoes comfortably and justified her behavior the same way as he did.

            • D.L. says:

              When my father moved out of our home, my mother picked up his abusive ways and continued under his “absentee” leadership.

              _ Your words resonate with me…..My mom did the same thing. She became just like the abuser (my father) in many many ways. I do believe she was clinically crazy ( I know the right word is distorted thinker or something….but I like this word. She became like a crazy person with a nervous breakdown or something. She cussed, banged pots and pans, snulled me ..rejected me, did name calling, favoritism, pulled sheets off me early in the morning and said get up at 630am on a Saturday, whipped me with extension cords and the list goes on…….I GOT married to escape her tyranny.

              I now understand that my mom was severely abused and without therapy she acted out all of her emotions….that she felt toward my father. She is still accountable though.

              • Little Nel says:

                “I now understand that my mom was severely abused and without therapy she acted out all of her emotions.”

                Without therapy, I acted out all my rage. It wasn’t until my rage came out I knew that I needed therapy. I thank God, that I was able to see my own rage and not damage other people in my misery. I blamed myself for the abuse as a child.

              • Alethea says:

                I blamed myself for the abuse as a child.

                Rage and anger are a serious issue for most all abuse survivors, and depression is highly linked to a history of child sexual abuse. Depression is anger turned inward on the self. I wish psychiatrists understood this. There are so many people on anti-depressants. If only mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists would find the root cause of the depression instead of labeling it as a mental disorder and sending patients home with an RX for anti-depressants.

              • D.L. says:

                Without therapy, I acted out all my rage.

                This is what I did also. I spent about 20 something years doing this. It looks like the choice is, go to therapy, or act out emotions. I prefer the latter. I did not know I was sexually abused, so I could not do anything about it during those 20 something years. Thank God… the truth came out.

              • D.L. says:

                It looks like the choice is, go to therapy, or act out emotions. I prefer the latter.

                UhOH ……I meant to say, I prefer the former. (go to therapy) 🙂

              • Alethea says:

                Yes D.L., acting out emotions is never good because it affects others. And we can act out those emotions until the end of time, but unless we get to the root cause of them, and re-act/transform THE ROOT out of our mind and body (in therapy) we will never release the emotions in a way that heals us.

              • D.L. says:

                unless we get to the root cause of them, and re-act/transform THE ROOT out of our mind and body (in therapy) we will never release the emotions in a way that heals us.

                I am just wondering if a person is physically sick due to rape and trauma, which is the best thing to do…..try and get stabilized from the sickness or deal with the family trauma’s and/ or rape that is causing the sickness. It seems easy to focus on the sickness and alternative medicine, due to fear that it may do severe harm. I am asking for a friend with multiple chemical sensitivity and is home bound. Thanx.

              • Alethea says:

                D.L., can you be a little more specific? I am a little unsure what you are asking…

                🙂

                Alethea

              • D.L. says:

                D.L., can you be a little more specific? I am a little unsure what you are asking…

                I guess I am asking, Is it best for a person to keep seeing natural doctors to get well (or better off) or began working on the trauma that is causing the sickness? I think fear causes a person to want to keep working with the naturopathic doctors but they will only keep treating the symptoms and not the cause. I hope I am clearer…..

                I assume at some point you may have worked with doctors (&natural doctors) and then decided it was best to work on the actual cause of the sickness and stop wasting money.
                Thanks.

              • Alethea says:

                Hi D.L. yes, always best to work on the cause of the symptoms. Working on the symptoms gets a person no where. The symptoms always return, or get worse. Or, if they do happen to be alleviated, they manifest elsewhere in the body because the cause is not being taken care of. The subconscious mind gets angry when it is ignored, and treating the symptoms is ignoring the subconscious (the soul, the inner child).

                After seeing multiple medical doctors for a couple of years, and after countless vitamins, herbs, and holistic remedies, I began seeing my psychotherapist and immediately found relief. Symptoms began to disappear within a few sessions.

                Human beings must work with the subconscious mind, or they will be forever seeing holistic physicians, chiropractors, medical doctors, and conventional therapists. They will be forever creating relationship problems, and re-creating trauma. They will always be looking for a cure, a quick fix, a drug, a pill. They will be forever trying to calm anger and looking for approval, and striving for self-worth through work/sex/ etc….etc…..etc….

              • D.L. says:

                D.L., can you be a little more specific? I am a little unsure what you are asking…

                >Hi, I located the answer to my question on your webpage entitled “My Journey”. Thanks for having such a well put together website.

                Your information below answered my question fully: I can now conclude that it is always best to address the trauma or rape (amnesia) that is causing the sickness, rather than focusing on symptoms….. with an alternative doctors help.

                ——–The only thing which set me free from the CFIDS disease, and ultimately from my childhood horrors, was to allow myself to finally recall the incest, and then release my long-repressed grief and transmute the traumatic memories. The hypnoanalysis therapy provided the only relief for my physical suffering. My body had been a walking memory which was unable to speak for more than thirty years. The CFIDS was a substitute language. Amnesia for child sexual abuse can cause serious disease in the body of the adult who survives the abuse.

              • Alethea says:

                Thanks D.L. I am so happy you found what you were looking for. 🙂

                The human body carries the emotional pain until the subconscious mind is satisfied.

              • Kendra says:

                *Amnesia for child sexual abuse can cause serious disease in the body of the adult who survives the abuse.The only thing which set me free from the CFIDS disease, and ultimately from my childhood horrors, was to allow myself to finally recall the incest, and then release my long-repressed grief….

                I am very glad to have read this information. I now see why I have been avoiding the memories of sexual abuse, that are imprisoned in my mind. I have been afraid of the long repressed grief! I liked feeling like I have it all together, which is denial. I now see that avoiding the grief and the betrayal… is not serving me any good purpose. I will have to face the unknown! I am at acceptance of this truth, after reading the above information about amnesia causing disease in the body. I have been sick for a long time, and I would like to get well. “No pain, No gain”

              • Alethea says:

                Kendra, it’s okay to not ‘have it all together.’ Everyone walks around acting like they have their lives together. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what they do.

                When people answer the question “how are you?” it is always a lie….”I’m great.” or “just fine.” When most everyone is suffering inside, feeling the open wounds of their deeply embedded emotional pain, and trying to just exist like everyone else….acting like they have it ‘all together.’

                It’s okay to let go. It’s safe to feel, to grieve, to experience the pain. It’s safe to be powerful again, and to be free one day.

                ~Alethea

              • Kendra says:

                =====Kendra, it’s okay to not ‘have it all together.’ Everyone walks around acting like they have their lives together. It doesn’t matter who they are, or what they do.
                It’s okay to let go. It’s safe to feel, to grieve, to experience the pain. It’s safe to be powerful again, and to be free one day.

                Thank you! Your writing has encouraged me a great deal today!
                I often feel like I am the only person suffering. It is nice to have you confirm that everyone acts like they have it all together. Many Thanks

              • D.L. says:

                }Hi D.L. yes, always best to work on the cause of the symptoms. Working on the symptoms gets a person no where. The symptoms always return, or get worse.

                Thanks you for your thorough response………. 🙂

          • Jane says:

            “well, your parents did the best they could”

            This is what two female counselors in a group therapy setting told me. They had made mistakes with their children and this is what they told me… to help me feel better. They both felt they did the best they could raising their children.
            I never felt better with this lie. My mom did not do the best she could and neither did they! They were lying to themselves! I guess the truth hurts and a lie feels better. I hate lies!

  8. shanakd9 says:

    Wow this really says it all. It is easy to forget what survivors we are and how we are the lucky ones. Most victims of sexual abuse and drug and alcoholism addiction don’t survive.

    • Alethea says:

      It’s true Shana. For many, the wounds are so profound, that the person allows the addiction to kill them. Or they die of disease, lack of love, or despair….their soul just gives up.

      • Jane says:

        / Or they die of disease, lack of love, or despair….their soul just gives up.

        My soul will not give up; I am here for a reason. I believe the sun will come out tomorrow!
        Tomorrow is a better place! I am waiting on my tomorrow.
        p.s. I love this blog! 🙂

        • Alethea says:

          Thanks Jane. Today is the first day of the rest of your life….make it beautiful. Treat yourself well. Allow your inner child to be/run free today.

          Alethea

        • Little Nel says:

          Hi Jane,
          Your life is better because you have made a choice to live and not give up on yourself.
          I believe that you are here for a reason also. One day at a time is how we overcome our pain, guilt, and fear.
          Be good to yourself and give your brain a kiss for being so smart.

      • Little Nel says:

        “or they die of disease, lack of love, or despair…their soul just gives up.”

        I can relate to the despair that I felt as a child and the search for a cure of that despair starting in my young adulthood.

        I tried counselors, psychics, “past life” therapists, diets, medications, doctors, education, religion, yoga, physical therapy, meditation, mental and physical activities, and anything else that I thought might help my despair subside. NO ONE suggested that my despair was caused or rooted in childhood sexual abuse and/or the family disease of alcoholism.

        My first inkling of the sexual abuse link to my despair came at an AlAnon meeting where many people discussed the connection between incest/rape/sexual abuse and alcoholism in our loved ones. I was addicted to alcoholics and over achieving, so this was of interest to me, but it still took years of therapy to allow myself to acknowledge that I was a child victim.

        • Alethea says:

          I tried counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, herbs, medications, vitamins, doctors, yoga, mental and physical activities, alcohol, and massages. No one, and nothing, helped me until I found my hypnoanalyst….she literally saved me life.

          • Little Nel says:

            Alethea, I look at people like us and think why are we so fortunate to have found a solution to replace our anguish?

            • Alethea says:

              Little Nel, not only that, but when I walk around the grocery store, or run errands, I am beyond grateful when I see how much misery there is. I once saw a husband and wife in a store, who were about 10 or so years older than me and my husband. The man was limping with a cane, and looked weathered. The wife was in a wheelchair and was buying herbs for anxiety. If it were not for the therapy with Ysatis, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN MY HUSBAND AND ME.

              Ysatis helped Mike heal from bad gout, and you know what she helped me heal from.

              I thank God on my knees every day for the therapy we have.

            • Jill Scott says:

              I am glad that you have found a solution. Your encouraging words help others to know the solution…….Many Thanks to you!
              Many Thanks to Alethea also.

        • D.L. says:

          NO ONE suggested that my despair was caused or rooted in childhood sexual abuse and/or the family disease of alcoholism.

          Little Nel, I can identify with your comment.
          It pains me to look back and see all the therapists I told my story to. I told them I was hurt sexually, but I did not know…. to call it rape. I was 23 and it took 25 years more for me to know it was rape. A email from the rapist, and I then became aware of what he had done to me. I remember sitting with so many counselors who could not figure out my despair was caused or rooted in childhood sexual abuse. I forgive them but I sure was angry at first. One counselor, even asked me if the sex (or rape I described) was good. She, herself, had been raped, but still could not identify rape when she heard it during a counseling session. That is so appalling or terrible. This leads me to believe she was not fully recovered, as she claimed to be.

          • Little Nel says:

            “One counselor, even asked me if the sex (or rape I described) was good.”

            This counselor sounds like she is a Freudian therapist. I have known several rape victims who had the misfortune of having counselors like the one you describe.

            Sigmund Freud believed that rape victims were not rape victims at all, but women who were setting themselves up for sexual encounters without having to take responsibility.

            In other words, BLAME the victim for the rape, which excuses the behavior of the rapist. It is another way of making the victim feel guilty and ashamed and make the rapist feel justified or entitled.

            • D.L. says:

              Wow! I have to say you are right about this counselor being a Freudian therapist.. That is exactly what this counselor was like.
              +In other words, BLAME the victim for the rape, which excuses the behavior of the rapist. It is another way of making the victim feel guilty and ashamed and make the rapist feel justified or entitled.

              She would sort of always be on the side of the rapist. She even pushed me to forgive him too fast. I called him a pig and she did not like that. She sort of wanted me to be holier than thou or something. I said, my husband is a better man than he will ever be. She said, lets not compare. I felt she knew the rapist and was on his side, after a few visits. It was awful and I am glad I fired her. I can’t believe she says she is a survivor of rape.

              • D.L. says:

                The counselor even told me that I can’t blame the rapist for not being able to be everything that my parents were not. She is insane …I sure can blame him for creating a trauma bond and the expectation of him being all that my parents were not.

              • Alethea says:

                Sounds more like a new-age minded therapist than Freudian. I do not think Freud was stupid.

              • D.L. says:

                Sounds more like a new-age minded therapist than Freudian. I do not think Freud was stupid.

                Can you tell what a new-age minded therapist is like? It helps me understand why I was treated like this by this stupid therapist. Thanks.

              • Alethea says:

                D.L.,

                The “New age” belief system is:

                ‘We are all going to the same place when we die.’

                ‘Forgive immediately, and “love” everyone.’

                ‘Love means to be a people-pleaser, “don’t judge” anything…even that which warrants discernment that can help another person or child.

                ‘No body is really responsible for their actions, live and let live, be irresponsible and don’t have regard for others because we all need to live for ourselves.’

              • Alethea says:

                I forgot to say that the new age belief system is sometimes, “No one owes you an apology; it was your karma.”

              • D.L. says:

                The “New age” belief system is:

                ‘We are all going to the same place when we die.’
                ‘Forgive immediately, and “love” everyone.’

                >Thanks! This therapist did some of this and some of the Freudian. I see what you mean about her more like a new-age minded therapist than Freudian. Thank You

    • Jane says:

      Most victims of sexual abuse and drug and alcoholism addiction don’t survive.

      This is unfortunately true. I know a girl who told me her story before she died. she was raped by her uncle nightly in her home as a little girl under 9 years of age. he told her he would kill her and her sisters he molested in different rooms… if they told. she finally told her mom, a few years before she died…. of a gastric bypass malfunction surgery. Her mom told her she was lying and why bring it up all these years later. Her mom never supported her story of sexual abuse. She got gastric bypass to try and look skinny like her sisters, after an aunt told her she was fatter than her sisters. I spoke to her at length before her death, and she was a very beautiful soul. The bad things that happened to her, had made her into a beautiful butterfly. I am honored that she felt safe enough to share her story with me. Heaven has one more angel.

  9. Lula Bell says:

    My friends are good but none have been thru the process of identifying experiences of sexual and physical assault and realising the effect they have had on their whole lives.

    * I feel the same way about my friends. They have sexual and physical assault but they have decided to not realize the effect it has had on their lives. I have lost a few friends, because my conversation is not up to par with what they want to talk about anymore. Oh well……

    • Alethea says:

      Lula Bell, I have lost a few friends because they cannot handle anything other than sports, the weather, recipes, or shopping.

      I now know that they are not people that I would want to spend time with anyway. I now choose only those who are also trying to walk the same path of consciousness as I am. I would rather be alone in nature, with animals, than with superficial humans.

      🙂

      • Little Nel says:

        I concur, Alethea.

        I only feel “alone” when I am in the company of “superficial people.”

        When I am pondering nature, animals, and Creation I feel connected.

        • Star says:

          When I am pondering nature, animals, and Creation I feel connected.

          I just started recovery and I am sensing this disconnect with people. I can see better and sometimes I do not like what I see and hear. I will remain a light, but I will be picky about who I spend time with.

          • Alethea says:

            Beautiful attitude Star. I think as most of us become clearer, we are much more able to see with special vision (if you will), that allows us to see dysfunction, lies, ugliness, and selfishness much easier –sometimes, even in those we think were “good” people.

            I will always help anyone who needs it, but as far as spending personal time, I use mine for truly close friends, animals, nature, and my wonderful husband.

            • Star says:

              I think as most of us become clearer, we are much more able to see with special vision (if you will), that allows us to see dysfunction, lies, ugliness, and selfishness much easier –sometimes, even in those we think were “good” people.

              –sometimes, even in those we think were “good” people.

              You have summed up exactly what I see and hear in others…..and do not like.
              I was stunned when I first began seeing dysfunction, lies, ugliness etc…. in supposedly good people. As I learn more about the ills of mankind, I am no longer stunned. I am at acceptance……of the universal depravity of mankind! ! !
              The depravity (or moral corruption) is evident in every part of the universe or creation!

              • Little Nel says:

                Hi Star,

                When I first started to “notice” the dysfunction, lies, ugliness, and selfishness…etc., it was traumatic for me, but there was also another reality that I began to see also. It was the opposite side to all that and it seemed to neutralize or counter my anguish and fear in ways that I never dreamed were possible.

              • Star says:

                When I first started to “notice” the dysfunction, lies, ugliness, and selfishness…etc., it was traumatic for me, but there was also another reality that I began to see also.

                It was the opposite side to all that and it seemed to neutralize or counter my anguish and fear in ways that I never dreamed were possible.

                > I think I know what you mean Little Nel. I have began to see the reality of what it means to be functional, operate in truth, unselfishness, and what it means to be beautiful (inner beauty). When I see these traits in others, I am very pleased and I feel very fortunate to be in that person’s company.
                The majority of survivors on this blog embody these traits or characteristics.
                Lastly, The ability to encourage and inspire greatness that comes out of a survivor of sexual abuse is breathtakingly beautiful! ! ! 🙂

              • Alethea says:

                Star, what a beautiful comment.

              • Star says:

                Star, what a beautiful comment.

                Thanks! Have a great day!

              • Star says:

                Star, what a beautiful comment.

                >I like how my comment proves that “good triumphs evil”. God has given us good and the rapist only immerses himself in darkness and evil. We become beautiful and breathtaking and the rapist becomes dark and sinister! They reap what they have sow.

              • Star says:

                They reap what they have sow.
                Typo….. They reap what they have sown!

          • Alethea says:

            “I will remain a light, but I will be picky about who I spend time with.”

            What a beautiful statement 🙂

            • Little Nel says:

              Hi Star,

              I like to think about the kindness of God and how He took the evil that was perpetrated against me and turned it around for my benefit.

              The sinister perps who have harmed us will never know the kindness of God that we experience.

              • Star says:

                The sinister perps who have harmed us will never know the kindness of God that we experience.

                I agree with your comment, but I am torn. I feel inside, a certain level of benevolence or wishing good to the person who harmed me. This is my inner child’s voice.

                On the other hand, I an adult, feel malevolence or a desire to see him suffer. I am sure I will end up somewhere in the middle or on a rollercoaster.. going up and down during recovery. I don’t think it is bad that my inner child wants him to experience the kindness of God. I don’t want to teach my inner child in a wrong way. I know this is trauma bonding that makes my inner child want to cry because he may remain lost.
                However, It is true that most perps will never know the kindness of God that we experience. Rape is a crime that definitely takes them farther away from God.

              • Alethea says:

                Dear Star,

                Your desire to feel goodness towards your abuser could be several things:

                A desire to be loved and accepted by a parent or sibling.
                An honest desire to forgive them.
                Minimization of their crimes, in order to stay connected to them, and or, to not deal with the severity of the crimes.
                Or it could be all of these things, or two or three.

                The thing about the mind is that we cannot know for certain why we feel, think, or do things…without penetrating the subconscious mind to see what is truly going on.

                The feeling of wanting good for them vs. wanting to see them suffer will change, and come and go too. One day you think you have totally forgiven them, and the next, something triggers the issue and you feel resentment towards them, or irritation.

                The therapy I do makes a person become “clean” so to speak inside –totally free of any negative feelings, but also free of the need to be accepted and loved by them.

                The subconscious mind is an entire other realm. It does not lie, pretend, people-please, or cater to what our conscious mind desires. This is why talk-therapy is limited.
                ~Alethea

              • Star says:

                1. A desire to be loved and accepted by a parent or sibling.
                2. An honest desire to forgive them.
                3. Minimization of their crimes, in order to stay connected to them, 4. and or, to not deal with the severity of the crimes.
                Or it could be all of these things, or two or three

                I’ll ponder what you have said. I might be operating with 1, 2, 3. and 4. Tough to admit this.

        • Alethea says:

          So true!!!! Can I use this quote in my book?

          • Star says:

            Yes! Most certainly…… I am deeply humbled.
            I am sure your book will be very awe inspiring…………………..

      • LuilaBell says:

        I now know that they are not people that I would want to spend time with anyway.

        Alethea, this is the conclusion or decision I have reached after deliberation. Thanks for your beautiful words. I am uplifted. I once heard a speaker say, If it was just me and God, I would get along just fine. I believe this…… with all my heart.

  10. melissa lee says:

    It is indeed a lonely road, to give voice to our inter child, for most would prefer to not hear it or understand the terror one goes up and thru to come back from rape done to us by the very person or person’s that are there to protect you from such a thing.. The most important thing I have found is to give voice to the child that had none.. It is time we all started to stand up and talk….

    Melissa Lee

    • Lula Bell says:

      The most important thing I have found is to give voice to the child that had none..

      I concur!
      Sometimes I feel like my voice was snatched away or I was muzzled to prevent me from expressing my opinions freely. I can not be silenced anymore! ! ! I will speak up and out!
      Thanks for your lovely comment.

    • Little Nel says:

      “most would prefer not to hear it or understand the terror…etc.”
      This is what reinforced my need to keep silent for years, thus adding to my terror.

    • Alethea says:

      “It gets lonely when you show yourself.” ~Dixie Chicks

      • LulaBell says:

        “It gets lonely when you show yourself.” ~Dixie Chicks

        I love this quote! It helps me understand why I lost some friends; I showed my real self. I spoke up about sexual abuse, family dysfunction, codependency, and narcissism and my phone stopped ringing. In addition, I began setting boundaries, and I quit people pleasing or caretaking. I am lonely now, but I am never alone.

        • Little Nel says:

          The road to recovery is sometimes lonely, as we experience new horizons to counter our anguish. There are many people who have gone before us on this same path who have had that the same feelings of loneliness that remind us that it is worth while to keep pressing forward.

          “This too shall pass”

      • Little Nel says:

        “It gets lonely when you show yourself.”-Dixie Chicks

        When I read this quote, I thought, it gets lonely and humiliating when you talk about abuse.

        When I was sixteen, my best friend’s dad took her and me to a billiards parlor. When my best friend went to the rest room, her father took the opportunity to walk up behind me while I was contemplating a cue shot. I didn’t see his moves coming. He put his hands around my waist and then slid them up to my breasts. He leaned his body against my backside and groped my breasts, until I got angry and peeled his hands off my breasts.

        When I got angry, he laughed and his partner laughed with him. It was humiliating.

        I told my best friend the next day what her father did to me. I got a response from her that sent me reeling emotionally. “You’re lying and making up stuff about my dad. Shut up about it!”

        Not only was I humiliated by her father and his friend after he “did his thing” with me, but now I had the added humiliation of not being believed by my best friend.

        • Lula Bell says:

          My friends dad touched me on my breast while we were delivering newspapers. My friend was collecting money at a home. I always thought it was strange that he went in the bathroom with my friend. I now know he was sexually abusing her. What a perp! I told my mom about him touching my breast. It was so disgusting. I was wearing a training bra.

          • Alethea says:

            What did your mother do or say when you told her?

            • Lula Bell says:

              My mom said, “I knew he was a nasty old person.” She kept saying she knew this or that about him and that is all. I still liked being heard. Do you think she should have done more? He did not actually do the worst stuff. I know my words are not what you want to hear. I feel small and my words are coming from my inner child. This stuff is hard to talk about and look at. I have just made many facial expressions while typing this out…..

              This is probably a silly question. Can you report someone to the police for touching you on the breast??? Feeling powerless… It is my word against his.

              • Alethea says:

                Lula Bell,

                I hate to say it, but your mother is one of the people who allow child molestation to continue. Touching your breast once does not constitute “abuse” or trauma, but it is indicative of a man who has boundary issues and has probably done it to others, and will keep doing it to others. She should have done something.

                How old are you? When did it happen? I am more concerned that he is sexually abusing your friend though. Your mother should be told about him going into the bathroom with her, and any other evidence of him abusing her. If your mother won’t do anything, you should speak with a school counselor right away –someone you trust. But make sure you are sure in your accusations. Do not falsely accuse anyone, ever. But if you are SURE, you need to report it, or tell your mother to report it.

              • Alethea says:

                She should have gone to him in private and told him, “if you touch my child again, I will take further, legal action.”

                Her silence gave him permission to do it again.

    • D.L. says:

      the terror one goes up and thru to come back from rape !

      Profoundly true words! I am just beginning recovery and I am stunned at how much this rapist has terrorized my inner child. I am sorry that my inner child was exposed to this poison called rape, but I am glad that it can be healed!

  11. Kevin F says:

    Very insightful post, Alethea. For me fellow blog readers/followers are the only ones who are likely to understand my experiences and ‘milestones’. My friends are good but none have been thru the process of identifying experiences of sexual and physical assault and realising the effect they have had on their whole lives.

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