One of the greatest honors of my job is to say the words “It’s not your fault” to a person hurting from sexual abuse. One of the many tragic consequences of experiencing sexual abuse are the lies that get entrenched in your mind. Over and over these thoughts haunt you – and you can’t seem to shake them. You start to live life according to these thoughts – maybe unknowingly – and your relationships and overall joy suffer. Let me tell you clearly: You don’t have to live this way. Those thoughts you believe are lies. You can shake free of them. Here are the main three lies most sexual abuse survivors believe.
1. It’s my fault. No matter the circumstances of your abuse, I know for sure, it’s not your fault. Let’s say that again – it’s not your fault. Whoever chose to hurt you, to ignore your value as a person God created – that’s who is at fault. Not you. If you were a child, and you think it’s your fault because you didn’t tell anyone – it’s still not your fault. As a child, you weren’t able to keep yourself safe – that’s the adult’s job. So, no matter what, the abuse you experienced is not your fault.
2. I’m damaged goods. Many survivors of sexual abuse think they are “damaged goods” – that they are tainted, marked, and therefore unlovable. This is also a lie. You are lovable and have value because you are a person. All people have value, as God made all of us. No one can take that away from you, no matter what they do to you. You can find healing from your hurts, move forward, and know what it is to be loved by another person.
3. All people will hurt me. When you have experienced any kind of abuse, a natural response is to think everyone will hurt you. Sexual abuse especially makes people want to retreat from others, given the vulnerability we all experience in sexual acts. Yet, we can’t live life cut off from other people. Learning to trust others and risk letting others truly know you and love you probably feels terrifying. I understand that fear. I also know that living distant from others is painful. We are meant to live connected to people we love and who love us. If we live like a turtle, and retreat into our shell, we are missing out on chances to heal through the love of others. We will also miss out on the joy we are meant to know in life. A major goal of healing from sexual abuse is learning to tell the difference between safe and unsafe people, and risk connecting to the safe people.
Start Healing With Sexual Abuse Counseling in Ambler, PA
At Lime Tree Counseling, our therapists specialize in helping people recover from any kind of sexual abuse. We understand the fear and pain that can take over your life. We also don’t want you to experience life that way. You absolutely can find healing, and have loving, healthy relationships. We want to help you get there.
We also understand reaching out for help can be difficult. This is why we offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. Schedule to talk to one of our counselors before you come in for an appointment, have a chance to share a little snapshot of your struggles, and hear how the counselor can help you. In our experience, this phone call can really help abuse survivors feel more confident coming in for therapy. Please contact us today to schedule a phone consult or an appointment in our Lower Gwynedd, PA office.
EMDR is a evidenced based treatment for trauma. Katie Bailey offers EMDR therapy. EMDR is just one “tool” a therapist can use to help you overcome your sexual abuse, or any trauma. Learn more about EMDR here.
Along with PTSD Treatment, we also specialize in anxiety therapy and marriage counseling. If sexual abuse has impacted your life, chances are you deal with some kind of anxiety, and most likely your abuse impacts your marriage. We can help you find healing in these areas as well. Please send us a message today to get started on the path to living life as you were made to live.