Let’s be clear, every path to healing from emotional trauma is different. If that trauma is sexual abuse, there are so many factors at play, and no two cases are ever alike. There are various relationships with the abuser, acts that happened, times in your life, places where it happened and different eras in time. There are literally trillions of combinations of abuse and emotional trauma that we can possibly suffer, but there is only one secret to healing from it.
First and foremost, find safety. If you are in harm’s way of your abuser, you must get away from them by any means necessary. Help is available all around you if you are open to receiving it. But merely getting physically away from your abuser is only the first baby step to a life of healing. To fully heal from your trauma, the secret to it all is that you need to get away from them mentally, and that is where the journey begins to become a survivor from a victim.
Stay away from revenge.
One of the initial things you may feel like doing is getting revenge on your abuser. At first, you may have a feeling of power now that you have gotten away from them and this newly acquired power may make you feel as though you need to strike back at them. This is a natural feeling, we want to settle the score, but think about it, with revenge comes acceptance of them having power over you. While they may not be physically playing your switches, their presence in your life is emotionally triggering you to react. Get away from that.
Your abuser has no place in your healing.
Nowhere in your journey should you allow your abuser space in your healing. When you feel down or angry, and you want to blame this person for ruining your life, you are giving them control over you. Instead, accept your feelings, learn from them and find healthy coping mechanisms to get you through the emotional trauma. Your pain is your yours, not theirs. Own it, live it, accept it and fix it. Blaming always gives up your control and without control, you will never heal.
One of the most significant hurdles that I had when I was healing was whether or not to go to the police to make a complaint. My reservation of going was that I didn’t want to go there for revenge, to put him in jail. What if my complaint wasn’t accepted, or the court proves he is innocent… then what? When I made up my mind to file a complaint, I did it for others, to protect other children that may be in his presence. I didn’t go to the police to heal me. That is my job, not the police or the justice system.
Accept your trauma.
Trauma is yours, whether you like it or not, it is yours. It doesn’t matter who gave you that trauma, it is solely up to you to heal from it. Like a disease in your body, your emotional trauma is yours to bear and yours to seek treatment. You can’t blame the illness for ravaging your body, blaming does nothing to help you heal. All you can do is accept it, and fucking fight with all you’ve got! Trauma is the exact same.
Fight your emotional reactions.
Getting rid of the source of your trauma is not giving them a free pass, it is not allowing them off the hook, it is merely freeing you from their control. You are always in control of your reaction to everything in your life and genuinely accepting that deep in your heart and mind is the secret to healing from emotional trauma.