Survivors of child sex abuse (CSA) are inundated with untrue stories of their abuse, the aftermath, and what their healing journey should look like. The truth is those stories are a bunch of hot garbage.
Healing Honestly is a guide for survivors, written by a survivor, helping to break through the negative self-talk and debunk the myths that impact victims of CSA.
1. You are a real survivor.
UNTRUE STORY: There is a “real” survivor out there, and I am not it.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Our pain is real and worthy of healing.
2. Our brains are protecting us.
UNTRUE STORY: We have to remember our abuse clearly in order to heal from it.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Whatever we remember right now is enough for us to heal.
3. No one should dismiss our health needs.
UNTRUE STORY: Our health and trauma are totally separate.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Our health and our trauma are inextricably tied together.
4. We are delightful friends.
UNTRUE STORY: We have too many needs to be a good friend.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: We can have needs and still have meaningful friendships.
5. Our bodies are wise about sexual healing.
UNTRUE STORY: We are having too much sex because of our trauma and are also having too little sex because of our trauma.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Our sex lives ebb and flow with us as a part of our healing, and we have nothing to be ashamed of!
6. It’s unbelievable how fucking lovable we are.
UNTRUE STORY: We cannot love someone until we love ourselves.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: We are capable and worthy of all the love we desire.
7. Our healing journey invites our families to heal.
UNTRUE STORY: We are ruining our families.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: When we focus on healing ourselves, we are also healing our families because we are a part of our families.
8. We are great at spotting abusive workplaces.
UNTRUE STORY: We are failures because our trauma is showing up in our work lives.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Our workplaces can replicate the dynamics of our abuse; the responsibility to fix that is on the shoulders of people in power.
9. We are the experts in our safety.
UNTRUE STORY: We are complicit if we do not report our abuse.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: We are never to blame for our abuse, and we need to make decisions around justice and accountability based on what’s best for ourselves.
10. We always deserve healing.
UNTRUE STORY: Healing is about transforming from a survivor to a thriver.
BUT TRUTHFULLY: Healing is a messy but beautiful nonlinear journey that requires rest, deep care, and celebration.
Interested in learning more? Join the author and the university’s Gender-Based Violence Prevention team for lunch and a talk on healing from secondary and vicarious trauma on Wednesday April 26 at 12:30pm in Room S220 of the School of Nursing Building on the East Baltimore campus. Registration info and more details are available on HopkinsGroups.