Last week I wrote a little article that touched briefly on Incest. You can read it here.
Incest is a huge subject, that cannot be covered in one blog post. Therefore over the next few months I will be putting up case studies and discussing ways that healing can be achieved.
For now though, I would like to encourage you, if you have ever been abused, sexually, emotionally, physically or even vicariously to seek help from a therapist that has studied Family Dynamics. Professional help is essential in the recovery process of reclaiming your life.
Healing yourself begins by acknowledging the pain in the emotional trauma.
In order for this to happen you need to gently erode your denial system, by looking at your life as if you are someone else.
The relief provided by denial is temporary at best, and the price for this relief is high. Susan Forward author of Toxic Parents states that "Denial is the lid on our emotional pressure cooker. The longer we leave it on, the more pressure we build up. Sooner or later, that pressure is bound to pop the lid, and we have an emotional crisis. When that happens, we have to face the truths we've been so desperately trying to avoid, except now we've got to face them during a period of extreme stress. If we deal with our denial up front, we can avoid the crisis by opening the pressure valve and letting it out easily."
Paint a picture in your mind of what your current life looks and feels like, whether it is a good life, a whole fulfilling life, or is it boring, scary or stifling...this will give you a sense of who you are and how you are feeling.
Then start talking to people, find out whether they see things the same way.
Read books, begin a journal, attend workshops and seminars, do questionnaires from treatment centres. Find a therapist. Get some mindful conscious bodywork. Do some Unwinding of the Belly. Reiki, Journeying, NLP, Talk Therapy.
It is really important to release the emotional traumas that have been repressed. In order for them not to manifest as disease in the body, mindful bodywork allows for this release to happen in a safe space.
I have seen clients with numbness and tingling sensations in limbs, from disconnecting from their bodies, due to incest trauma. I have seen men with erectile and prostate dysfunction, Peyronies disease and women with issues about intimate touch and orgasm phobia. These symptoms have been affecting their relationships with their partners and with themselves. They are still living in fear, guilt and shame, and their bodies are literally shutting down on them. Theses beautiful people can be helped. All is not lost. If healing is to take place, it is important to face the fears head on. Kiss your monster on the nose.
Make a decision about your current lifestyle and past lifestyle. Try to release other addictions or compulsions as you access your pain. (most of our addictions are taken on to numb ourselves from feeling), so we need to realize that we cannot work on ourselves if we have other addictions. Try replacing our naughty addictions with some healthful ones,...
nurture yourself by getting out in nature, swimming, walking on the beach or in the bush, meditating, dancing and taking long bath's, spend time with positive caring people, take it one day at a time.
Become aware of your body, how it feels and how it moves, it's sensations, start getting in touch with your essence. When emotions come up, feel them, sit in them and allow yourself to cry, laugh, spit, scream...whatever comes up let it, and then release it.
This is how you get on the road to recovery, it ain't easy, it will get really shit before it get's better. But what is the alternative? Living in a state of numbness? Walking through life like a Zombie or in constant fear? Always living in the past? Seeing their faces when you make love to your partner, if you are one of the lucky ones who has a partner.
These are all choices, what you do now is up to you!
Remember that you are NOT alone, here are some images from other survivor's
Resources to help:
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming your Life Susan Forward
Betrayal of Innocence: Incest and Its Devastation - Susan Forward
Men who Hate Women and the Women who Love Them - Susan Forward
The Road Less Travelled - M. Scott Peck
Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for those who have been physically, sexually, or emotionally abused - Steven Farmer
Home Coming: Reclaiming and Championing your Inner Child - John Bradshaw
Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families - John Friel & Linda Friel
The Creation of Health: The emotional, Psychological and Spiritual Responses that Promote Health and Healing - Caroline Myss, Ph.d