Victim to Victor:
Childhood Sexual Abuse
Characteristics of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse creates fear, shame and guilt in the victimised child.
Physical damage may heal but the emotional and psychological scars remain for a long time.
Perhaps the most severe damage is caused by betrayal.
Betrayal by an adult, especially when that adult is supposed to be protecting and caring for you, is devastating.
The Fear has several components: anticipation of pain, anticipation of disapproval by the perpetrator and worry about
threats to other family members.
Shame seems to be built into most of us, especially when the abuse is incestuous. There’s also the possibility that
the victim absorbs the abuser’s shame and guilt.
Guilt is often felt by a survivor because she or he has become sexually aroused during the abuse. Guilt is also frequently
felt when the survivor does -- or doesn’t -- report the abuse.
Many survivors feel guilty because “they went back for more” or didn’t say “No.”
The helplessness and powerlessness of a child assaulted by an adult is real, terrifying and breeds lasting consequences.
For both abused girls and boys
Dissociation -- the separation of mind from body -- enables a child to survive the horror by imagining that the abuse
is happening to someone else.
Symptoms in Adult Survivors
Among the effects of CSA are the following. Sometimes these symptoms do not appear for decades.
- Sexual hangups
- Physical ailments
- Relationship difficulties
- Suicidal thoughts
These may be direct images, almost recollections, of the abuse or they may be symbolic. While non-abused people also suffer occasional
nightmares, survivors experience repetitious, terrifying dreams in which they feel helpless and suffocatingly trapped.
Sickening sensory images suddenly occur which vividly bring back the sights, sounds, physical and emotional feelings of the abuse.
With good cause, survivors are usually distrustful of the opposite sex, authority figures -- and themselves.
Inhibitions and fears about sexual activity range from mild to severely disturbed.
The emotional, psychological and physical stress of abuse often takes its toll in physical illness as the body "remembers"
Feelings of worthlessness, apathy, self-loathing, can drown a survivor.
A mixture of self-blame for the activity, feeling bad about hating the abuser, horror at partial enjoyment, and possibly, absorption
of some of the abuser’s guilt feelings.
Childhood sexual abuse teaches the victim that the world is an untrustworthy place. Fear can infiltrate every aspect of the survivor’s
Unfortunately often directed inward, anger can be a liberating emotion when the survivor directs it at the appropriate targets.
Uncertainty about what the abuse means (how can pain be love? Why is a caretaker betraying me?) overwhelms the child -- and festers
in the adult.
To avoid the pain and guilt of blaming the perpetrator (especially in cases of incest) the victim may physically hurt herself or himself.
Self-mutilation ranges from tattoos and nipple-rings to cutting, sexual violence and enemas. [HW writes: "tattoos and body piercings
are considered a beautiful thing by some individuals. These practices are celebrated, not condemmed, by many tribes and cultures around
Clearly a distrustful, confused, angry survivor is likely to have difficulties relating with other people.
Childhood sexual abuse is frequently accompanied with verbal abuse. Accusations of being stupid make a deep impression on a helpless,
victimised child. This feeling of powerlessness often persists into adulthood.
Frequently the various parts of the survivor, including the derogatory messages about being bad, stupid, unwanted, unlovable, etc., are
“heard” as thoughts or even sounds.
Somewhat like Flashbacks but which the survivor “sees” in front of her, like blood on the bathroom floor.
Hallucinations may also be "negative", i.e., not seeing something (like car keys) which are actually there.
Self-blame to the extreme. When the pain becomes too much to bear suicide may seem to be the ultimate solution.
Slow suicide. Also an attempt to dampen down the pain. May range from the legal (alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, prescription drugs)
to the illegal (e.g.,street drugs).
A feeling of having been stripped of dignity and effectiveness.
A feeling of being held down, of being directed by others.
Generally noticing what’s wrong, rather than what’s
right. Expecting the worst.
Victims of any kind of trauma are likely to find themselves revictimised.
Sometimes the new victimisation happens in similar circumstances, sometimes in situations that seem to bear no resemblance to the
Why does this happen? Because we all seek -- mostly subconsciously -- to repeat what we’ve already experienced. (This applies
to good things, too, of course). So a person betrayed as a child will often feel drawn to a person who ends up betraying her.
And this may be because our experience of abuse is interpreted by our primitive brains as being our fault. This becomes ingrained in a neural network
The symptoms of shame, guilt and low self-esteem make it easy for a victim to accept the familiar and hard to accept respect and love
from a mentally-healthy person.
A survivor’s memories of abuse are often challenged or denied by other family members, health professionals and the public at
The recovery of "repressed memories" is a major controversy.
My view is that repressed memories can and do surface years after the abuse. They can also be manufactured wittingly or unwittingly
by therapists. In which case they are not really memories, but beliefs.
All memory is malleable. Our memories are not like videos. They are not uncontaminated records of exactly what happened. Memories
are influenced by our thoughts, desires, cultures, by the movies we’ve seen and the conversations we’ve had.
To rise victorious over CSA, it is not necessary, nor is it possible, to know exactly what happened. That it did happen is horror enough.
Closely connected to the fallibility of memory is denial.
We deny we’ve been abused.
Family members deny it.
Society in general prefers to deny it.
And for some people this is how they survive and go on with their lives.
For others, cracking the nut of denial is the major step forward in their healing.
Should the perpetrator be confronted? There is no simple yes or no answer to this question. Confrontation can range from letter
writing to in-person to court proceedings. It can be a plain “I know what you did” or an expensive lawsuit. The more “outsiders” are involved, the more you need corroborative evidence to back up your accusations.
Identity is The Key: whether you identify as a victim, a survivor, a victor or ...?
To overcome the effects of CSA requires a decision to take responsibility for oneself.
And then to take appropriate actions about taking care of yourself.
Some of the specifics towards that are:
- Groups: therapy, self-help, support, 12-step, religious...
- Gratitude diary
- Individual psychotherapy
- Emotional freedom techniques
Forgiveness is touted as the ultimate step toward freedom from the effects of CSA. Like many people, I have difficulty
with this concept. How can you forgive a father for raping his little daughter, or a mother for seducing her little son -- especially when the parent shows no remorse?
Certainly to become whole the victor needs to let go of the shame, anger, guilt and hatred.
Perhaps we need a new word in place of forgiveness because to many of us "forgiveness" smacks of condoning; of implying that
the abuse was no big deal.
It's interesting that the dictionary definition of forgiveness says nothing about condoning or accepting evil behaviour. Only "letting
go of resentment."
Hypnotherapy can help you to deal with the difficult topic of forgiveness.
Hypnosis makes it possible for you to safely delve into those parts of you that harbor grief, anger, resentment, hurt, shame and
In using hypnosis to change subconscious beliefs you can free yourself from the devastating effects of non-forgiveness.
Forgiving does not mean you condone the betrayal, it means you rise above the harm done to you so you no longer continue the suffering.
One of the members of my Victory Over CSA group wrote
the following poem, more than 50 years after her father not only
sexually abused her but tried to murder her as well. I have to tell
you that she now looks ten years younger. Plus all her physical
aches and pains have vanished.
She told us that it was difficult to say these things, that she
had to reach deep inside herself, that for more than half a century
she had not allowed herself feelings about her father.
Do I forgive you?
What can I say.
You broke my spirit
My world went away
You tortured my mind
'till I wanted to die
You showed me no mercy
Not a tear in your eye.
You abused my body
You tore it apart.
You tried to kill me
with hate in your heart.
You gave me life but
You took it away.
Do I forgive you?
Yes, Father, I forgive you
I forgive you today.
Here is some commentary on the topic from a hypnotherapist:
Forgiveness and the Christian Perspective
Del Hunter Morrill, M.S., C.C.H.
At a convention, after giving a talk on healing
past abuse through the use of altered state methods, the Q &
A session elicited concerns about the idea of "forgiveness"
having religious connotation. There was also concern with the possibility
that a therapist might be forcing more guilt upon the victim, by
equating the necessity of “forgiving” with their healing.
I have had clients who already had borne enough
guilt as a result of the action of others. They ended up feeling
more guilty because they couldn't forgive and thought they "should".
Or they thought they had forgiven, only to have all those “negative”
feelings surface again. Personally, I think there is a real danger
in forcing an act of "forgiveness" too soon after some
trauma or other issue.
Sometimes I wonder if the word and concept of "forgiveness"
goes along with the assumptions so many hypnotherapists make about
the religious convictions of others.
For instance, I am continually amazed at how Christianity
is assumed by many Hypnotherapy speakers and writers, including
"script writers." In the last convention I attended at
least one third of the presenters, within the content of their presentations,
made this assumption.
I could have pointed out to those presenters that
in that room of people they addressed sat at least one Buddhist
and two Jews, a couple of agnostics, and myself, a weird mixture
This assumption [of mutual Christian belief] is
evident in informal gatherings of colleagues. We sit around meal
tables talking together, without knowing the religious preferences
of those present. I was baptized a Christian, and yet I am always
offended by such assumptions. Imagine what it must be like for a
Jew, Buddhist, or agnostic.
My greater concern is, that, if this assumption
is made before whole audiences, and among us in informal settings,
then what assumptions are being made in relationship to one’s
This is why, in the client’s intake, I include
questions about the religion in which the client was raised, whether
currently practiced, and what the person believes in. This can make
quite a difference in how the therapist approaches this person.
Also, it can affect how the therapist decides to handle the dynamic
Now, I call forgiveness a "dynamic" (or
a process, if you prefer). "Forgiveness" is just a word
-- like all words are merely words. At some point in history, a
word was put on some dynamic, or process, or event, or experience,
in order to remember it or to tell someone else about it.
Unfortunately, we sometimes let the "word"
itself get in the way, rather than looking underneath the word to
figure out what it really is pointing to.
My own approaches to the dynamic I would consider
"forgiveness" range from “reframing" the incident
or trauma to creating a setting for dialogue among the key figures
involved in the trauma. Certainly, there are other methods one can
use to assist someone through the process of letting go of the hold
of the past.
For instance, when working with healing of past
abuse while a client is in an altered state, I feel that confronting
the issue may be needed.
One method I use is a dialogue with the abuser,
which is staged in a safe environment. The victim of that abuser
is helped to understand where the guilt actually lies, and is given
power to handle that person, including what should happen to the
I consider this to be a major step in "forgiveness."
The client experiences their feelings of new power and confidence.
They then decide whether this new memory and attached feelings are
what they prefer carrying into the future, agreeing to leave behind
the old “stuff.”
Someone who has been raised Christian may well respond
to the above by wanting his or her abuser to be forgiven. If so,
then it comes out from the internal experience they are going through
in the altered state, not because a therapist is suggesting that
they will be healed only if they do so.
For active Christians, the words "forgiving-forgiveness-forgiven"
may be important. But I find that there is a lot less "guilt",
and more power, when they are used to explain the experiences of
healing that the client has gone through, rather than what the client
"needs" or "ought" to go through.
The client may use a different word or phrase to
describe the experience of such a process, such as “cleaning
the slate,” “clearing the garbage,” “releasing
a ton of bricks,” “feeling lighter than air,”
A Buddhist might speak of it as experiencing Buddha's
mercy. A Hindu might speak of it as fulfilling Karma. There may
be many other ways of talking about it. It doesn't matter what it
is called -- the question is, did the person get released from the
past? Did they recover their power and confidence? Do they feel
free to move into the future? (They always were free to do so, but
had not experienced it before.)
Regardless of whether the word "forgiveness"
is used, I think it is important for any therapist to understand
more than one technique and process that can help a client be released
from the hold others have had over them.
The therapist’s job is to help their client
understand that the past is only a set of memories, only thoughts.
Those memories or thoughts can have a powerful hold over someone
only if allowed to have that hold.
Often they must be dealt with if the client (or
the child within them) is to be released to move on.
That's why we use such things as
hypnotherapy. Hypnotic tools deal with that powerful hold most effectively.
Perhaps, "forgiveness" is much like "breaking
old hypnotic spells."
Here's ANOTHER VIEW on forgiveness:
"As you invited comments on the subject of forgiveness - here
is how it feels on my victim end to likely more people than just
Forgiveness toward my childhood abuser (father) would be very counterproductive
to therapy in my case and as I suspect in many other people's cases.
The abuse consisted of intense verbal, emotional, physical and to
a lesser extent sexual but with great emphasis of the other abuse
forms to extremes, lasting from birth until adulthood with a great
deal of repressed memory and more blanks than events/memories accounted
for in the entire childhood years (only a few complete memories
present with much of 2 first life decades mostly blank memory and
mostly only intense body memories/emotions remembered as total fund
of childhood memories), severe difficulty functioning even now 4
decades later although healing is progressing with my own efforts
in the last years, but a history of life-long social isolation to
the point of never having had a close personal relationship or meaningful
friend in my life, to this day constant nightmares, flashbacks,
and spending so much time in dissociation that I have struggled
to hold a job all my life or perform minimal functioning at times
while at other times producing incredible personal successes (virtually
by myself building a humanitarian organization the success of which
landed in the mass media in several countries.
- I worked with orphans and rape camp refugee victims in Bosnia
and became one of the most successful individuals in the humanitarian
scene doing so.
Much such compulsive overachievement to prove my worthlessness-whispering
demons wrong, often alternating great success with inability to
function on Adult level for prolonged periods.
While father was active abuser, mother was passively enabling it
and spent exhaustive efforts placing guilt on me for everything
which occurred by my father and minimizing/denial/guilt by my mother
and assigning guilt to me for everything INCLUDING NOT FORGIVING,
FORGETTING AND DENYING.
It was extreme to the point that not only was the abuse not to
ever, ever be discussed but even a frown on my face was reprimanded.
Tears and stress reactions post abuse were severely prohibited -
no signs of showing abuse and were met with demands to not make
a big deal out of it, forgive for the sake of my father's health
- my mother constantly manipulated that my forgiveness of father's
abuse was a must as my father would otherwise physically die of
grief - "he has chest pains and if you give him any grief,
he may die of heart attack, you MUST go in there and forgive and
make peace" was a reaction to my panting after a tonic/clonic
seizure after a beating and much verbal/emotional abuse and such
comments and forgiveness being enlisted as part of the abuse were
My only defense in adulthood is distance from my parents as they
are still alive in Europe and I have to deal with them somehow.
Forgiving - visibly and allowing them closer in my life than the
great distance at which I insist they must stay from me or even
quietly forgiving for my own therapeutic sake without discussing
it with them directly or showing change in my carefully controlled
very distant relationship toward them - any form of such forgiveness
would not only invite more abuse if I relaxed the vigil and imposed
distance but confirm the denial they instilled into me that nothing
actually happened or the "little bit of difficulty" my
mother occasionally admits to which may have happened in two unspeakable
decades of growing up with them was not such a big thing as to hold
a grudge over and I would partner with them in my renewed abuse
and recycle a great deal of old pain by participating in renewal
of the abuse by "forgiving" which I was programmed since
early childhood to do under pressure and such a forgiving process
would be met not with therapeutic gain but grave setbacks.
My upbringing was not religious but many others have religious
I wonder how many other survivors relive the terror
if "forgiving " - in ANY way - is suggested.
I think therapists must be very cautious with this term or concept
and thoroughly research history/nature of abuse before suggesting
There is therapy in NOT forgiving and indulging in guilt-free rage
against my parents.
The intensity of the rage of course is counterproductive to healing
but it's a phase I find I must go through before letting go gradually.
Rather than "forgiving" which implies very upsetting
ideas such as minimizing, letting an abuser get away with it, giving
up a well-earned rage before its time to let it go, coupled with
guilt, is very counterproductive.
Thinking of it instead as letting go allows at least some degree
of retaining what feels as deserved outrage, guilt and rage while
working on releasing and diminishing that without the pressure of
"forgiving" which seems impossible and too much to ask
Letting go allows rage to diminish in its own time.
Forgiveness is an outrageous concept of being robbed of the only
emotion I have to this day of answering the abuse with.
Coping strategies slowly replace the rage but it cannot be taken
away by a deliberate process of forgiving.
"Forgiving" implies a frightening sanctioning of responsibility;
releasing or letting go in its own time without releasing accountability
of abuser's responsibility or guilt does not. The intensity of the
outrage eases a little with time on its own as incremental "letting
go" is a productive process which does not involve forgiving
which bears the risk of "letting the abuser get away with it".
And here's what M.S. wrote:
"As an abuse survivor of a ritualistic cult
back in the early 70's and the continued denial, minimization, invalidation,
and at times outright abusive manipulations of my family over three
decades, the lack of forgiveness, the anger, hatred, and even rage
have kept me alive so as to not remain in the black hole of shame,
despair and all encompassing wallowing victimhood.
Forgiveness may help me in the future, but without
righteous anger I risk dropping my own personal boundaries to the
many narcissistically selfish individuals we encounter more often
in our good character-less society. At least I have kept my empathy,
love, care and concern and at times taken them to the extreme. Because
I choose to care.
Forgiveness, however, because of past unconcious
damage may not be as easy for any of us to attain if abuse has shamed
us so brutally that we have been cut off from our sense of selves.
Even the mature mind and heart for self protection holds on to anger
and yes sometimes even rage, but still loves to the extreme. You cannot
love unless you can also hate. Our world is missing far too many with
a necessary mix of human compassion and righteous anger.
Because some people in our lives are very dangerous
triggers we as humans have developed very primitive defense mechanisms
to deal with threats to our own self-preservation.
The lack of forgiveness has actually assisted me
in both the help and healing of others as well as sustaining and honing
my own realizations and awareness. Sometimes it takes more anger than
just assertiveness to look back at the wall of assertiveness we need
to back us up when situations call for it.
Not letting go is also an act of maintaining sanity, as it helps
us who have suffered through terrible trauma take a more black and
white stance on life's issues, especially when sitting on the fence
can cause much vagueness and confusion. For trauma survivors betrayal
of the self is by far the worst betrayal of all. Thus living with
a times an unhealthy dose of anger provides many of us with a sense
of direction to make better decisions in world strewn with a multitude
of immature manipulators. Life used to be much harder for a greater
percentage of the population, thus it used to be character building.
Now lack of character pervades every aspect of our society, but
the true survivors know who they are, and if forgiveness helps them,
all the power to them."
P.A. writes: "I am responding to the section
in which you discuss forgiveness. When thinking about my situation,
which I will explain later on, I have mixed feelings about forgiveness.
I was sexually abuse by my brother; he's only four years older
than me. I suppose since it happened I never got angry at him.
I’m now realizing that is protecting the
abuser and owning the guilt, shame and everything else that comes
along with it. That being said, I had forgiven him from almost the
time that the abuse was ongoing.
Now it is said in the discussion that forgiveness
(or letting go etc…) is a very important step, a final step
if you will. In my case the forgiveness came too early and trumped
all my “rights” to any other feelings I may have had.
I thought that because I forgave him I wasn’t mad at him and
always felt a sense of protecting him (by not letting anyone know
what was going on).
I’m realizing now that it is a huge block
to my healing and “letting go.” Now all these feelings
are under the surface waiting to bubble up. Only I’m not sure
how to set them free.
You see my brother had a sexual OCD (obsessive
compulsive disorder) and has and is being treated for it. Now how
do you get angry at someone who is doing something about their issue
and correcting the problem so as not to let it become something much
worse? So I suppose in my case because it was my brother and I loved
him, I didn’t want him to get in trouble. The abuse was not
malicious (I’m not condoning it nor am I saying it wasn't
a horrible thing to do) as it is in a lot of other situations. There
was no verbal abuse, no physical abuse, just sexual and not even that
I would probably be considered one of the less
serious problems (not to diminish what happened). And because of all
this it was hard for me to be angry and still is today but I do have
a lot of anger in me and I don’t know how to release it. Today
it affects me in ways that I wish it didn’t.
My biggest issue is my relationship; I don’t
know how to have one. I still have major trust issues, when I know
that my boyfriend is very trustworthy. That leads to a problem with
fear: of being abandoned, fear of not being good enough for him, fear
of never getting better (I'm also suffering from a Major Depression,
I am in and out of the hospital), fear of never living up to my potential
and I could go on and on.
I am very disconnected from my body and still very
numb. I have no sexual desire and know that I love my boyfriend but
can’t feel the love I have for him. I used to have a stomach
ulcer and now I still get all the symptoms of it, only it’s
not there anymore (psychosomatic).
All this to say, sometimes forgiveness is not what
is needed, sometimes what is needed is expression….get angry,
yell, scream. Be sad, cry, sob uncontrollably and let yourself go
and allow yourself to grieve as if losing a family member because
if it is incest, you have and if it is someone that you knew the same
it true. The moment that the person touches you is the moment that
person dies and someone else takes over. Only when all the feelings
are expressed can they be overcome. Don’t trap yourself like
I did. Now I don't know how to be mad, for the person that abused
me dies twice, once when the abuse started and then again when he
got help. Sometimes 2 + 2 = 5 or 6 or 7.
I do hope that my story brings a little insight to another school
of thought and that it was helpful in even the smallest way. Thank
you for your site."
"After reading the information and other poems on your website,
I wrote my own. I have a good gestalt therapist that is helping
me through my own trauma. Perhaps my poem can help others too.
You ripped my heart away
You stole my innocence too
How can I trust anyone
When I was supposed to trust you
You taught me to hide
You taught me to deny
Not wanting to face the truth
Easier to believe the lie
Even as I write now
I struggle to face all of this
But it's affected me so much
That ignorance can no longer be bliss
I struggle to hate you
Cos u seemed to be the only one that cared
I can't remember too much
Of my childhood we so incessantly shared
All I know is that I’m not healthy
With all my tendencies to recreate
That final eventual feeling
Where I am in a betrayed state
My hopes smashed once again
Where all I want is someone to care
Then I realize all I am to them
Is a body, an object lying there
And here I am now
Stuck in all this grief
Looking for someone to love me
Looking for relief
I've abused myself in so many ways
Over so many years
Can't run from this any more
Can't fight back the tears
I want so much more for myself
Can't hide in the symptoms of my pain
Am willing to go through this grief
To find my rainbow after the rain
My awareness level has reached a peak
Where I cannot disassociate anymore
I want to take charge of my life
And stop picking myself up off the floor
I am lovable for the person I am
For my mind, intellect and soul
Not just for my body
Or my sexual role
I deserve care and love
Dignity, honour and respect
And I wish that what happened
Will eventually lose its effect
No more shame no more guilt
No more internalization of what I feel
Just me, my innocence,
It wasn't yours to steal
So I give back this shame
I give it all back to you
It wasn't mine to begin with
I have some self-healing to do."
"As a 64 yr old victor over abandonment, sexual,
physical and psychological abuses as a child I believe that using
the word forgiveness is counter productive in the healing process.
As several have mentioned, although forgiveness in its true meaning,
has nothing to do with condoning or approval most people associate
it so. I do not believe that forgiveness is an act itself, as it is
an end result of a change in the person's perspective; a change
in how they see themselves.
When a person is filled with anger, shame, fear,
self loathing and all the other negative emotions that goes along
with abuse and being a victim, it is impossible to forgive the person(s)
who made you feel that way. You would have to be a bit masochistic
to do that and I would question ones veracity. It would be so nice
to be able to just say I forgive you and all that would go away.
I believe the key to door to recovery and letting
go (forgiveness) is not in trying to let go as an act but in changing
how you see yourself. For years I worked on all the emotions and read
all the books and gained quite an education which has served me well
(all things are a two edged sword) but did not walk through the door
until a meeting lead by with a simple, uneducated woman who stood
before a group of rape crisis victims and volunteers and told us her
story, the details of which are the same as many others but the conclusion
is what is different. She said it hit her one day that she was still
thinking of herself as "the victim" even though 30+ years
had passed. She always thought of herself as "the victim" in her life.
Not as in I was once a victim of an unfortunate situation
or time in her life, but as an "I am a victim" ; an on
I left the meeting a changed person for I knew
that is what I had been doing all my life and I chose to be a survivor
at that moment. Twenty-five years have passed since that meeting,
I do not even know the woman's name, but I am very grateful to her,
and I don't even think of myself as a survivor any more as none
of that is important to me now. It was what it was. I let go of the
past and it just was.
Once done, I found that my father was a victim
of child abuse by his father and his father's friends. My mother
was the adopted child of the town whore and her adopted father abused
her as did the nun in the Catholic school, she attended, who told
her she would grow up to be like her mother (probably because she
was such a beautiful child) a whore.
We are all victims of abuse of some sort, everyone
has some story they can tell. I am sure the 4ft 8in 90 lb elevator
operator in the hotel I grew up in who molested my sister and I had
been terribly taunted by peers for his size and weight and probably
only felt strong when in the presences of little girls. This does
not mean I condone in any fashion what he did or the others but I
would come to see he was a victim too. When I realized we are all
victims, then the anger which I had turned inward and often outward
just sort of slowly melted away.
We all make poor choices, it would be wonderful
if all of us were so far advanced spiritually that we could survive
these horrors and not repeat any of them. When you begin to understand
we are all victims you can stop judging others and you stop judging
yourself. It takes time. You open the door to learning from your mistakes
and allow yourself to heal and grow.
Life is hard; life is hard for everyone we just don't always
see it because we do not walk in their shoes. This does not mean
that you have to put up with a father that molested you, or a mother
who abandoned you, or a uncle who abused you. You have choices and
you can chose to let them lie in the bed they made for themselves,
their acts were acts of alienation and you reap what you sow and
so shall they. That old saying about you cannot make a silk purse
out of a sow's ear is applicable. How many victims keep trying
to make mom or dad into some loving caring person, make them pay
for the dastardly deeds they did, and what do they gain? Nothing
but the continuation of being a victim by living in the past and
not dealing with the reality of the now. As long as you choose to
be a victim instead of being a survivor you are making the choice
to live in the past and the past will continue to repeat itself.
not something we do for someone else.Forgiving is letting
go so we are no longer the victim and can move on.
But again, it is
a natural consequence of our change in attitude/perspective of ourselves
and our world and not a grace we give to our tormentors."
Here's more on forgiveness from hypnotherapist and nurse,Seth-Deborah Roth:
Learning To Forgive May Improve Well-Being
ScienceDaily (Jan. 4, 2008) Forgiveness may be good for your health, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Holding a grudge appears to affect the cardiovascular and nervous systems. In one study, people who focused on
a personal grudge had elevated blood pressure and heart rates, as well as increased muscle tension and feelings
of being less in control. When asked to imagine forgiving the person who had hurt them, the participants said they
felt more positive and relaxed and thus, the changes dissipated. Other studies have shown that forgiveness has
positive effects on psychological health, too.
Forgiveness doesnt mean forgetting, condoning or excusing whatever happened. Its acknowledging hurt and then
letting it go, along with the burden of anger and resentment.
Theres no single approach to learning how to forgive. Talking with a friend, therapist or adviser (spiritual or
otherwise) may be helpful during the process, to sort through feelings and stay on track. The January issue of
Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource covers four steps that are included in most approaches to learning
Acknowledge the pain and anger felt as a result of someone else's actions. For forgiveness to occur, the situation
needs to be looked at honestly.
Recognize that healing requires change.
Find a new way to think about the person who caused the pain. What was happening in that person's life when the
hurt occurred? Sometimes, the motivation or causes for the incident have little to do with those most affected.
For some people, this step includes saying, I forgive you.
Begin to experience the emotional relief that comes with forgiveness. It may include increased compassion for
others who have experienced similar hurt.
Adapted from materials provided by Mayo Clinic.
Mayo Clinic (2008, January 4). Learning To Forgive May Improve Well-Being. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 6, 2008, from https://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/01/080104122807.htm
* * *
Cybertip is Canada's National Tipline for reporting
the online sexual exploitation of children. It is a centralized
web portal for receiving and addressing reports from the public
regarding child pornography, luring, child sex tourism, and children
who are exploited through prostitution. Cybertip
Google is battling online child abuse. In 2011, reports Google, "the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's (NCMEC's) Cybertipline received 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child abuse. This is four times more than what their Exploited Children's Division (ECD) saw in 2007. And the number is still growing. Behind these images are real, vulnerable kids who are sexually victimized and victimized further through the distribution of their images."
Google continues: "It is critical that we take action as a community -- as concerned parents, guardians, teachers and companies -- to help combat this problem.
Child sexual exploitation is a global problem that needs a global solution. More than half of the images and videos reported to NCMEC are from outside of the U.S. With this in mind, we need to sustain and encourage borderless communication between organizations fighting this problem on the ground. For example, NCMEC's CyberTipline is accessible to 60 countries, helping local law enforcement agencies effectively execute their investigations.
Google has been working on fighting child exploitation since as early as 2006 when we joined the Technology Coalition, teaming up with other tech industry companies to develop technical solutions. Since then, we've been providing software and hardware to helping organizations all around the world to fight child abuse images on the web and help locate missing children.
There is much more that can be done, and Google is taking our commitment another step further through a $5 million effort to eradicate child abuse imagery online. Part of this commitment will go to global child protection partners like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Internet Watch Foundation. We're providing additional support to similar heroic organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America.
Since 2008, we've used hashing technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. Each offending image in effect gets a unique ID that our computers can recognize without humans having to view them again. Recently, we've started working to incorporate encrypted 'fingerprints' of child sexual abuse images into a cross-industry database. This will enable companies, law enforcement and charities to better collaborate on detecting and removing these images, and to take action against the criminals. We've also announced a $2 million Child Protection Technology Fund to encourage the development of ever more effective tools.
Were in the business of making information widely available, but there's certain 'information' that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it's not available online -- and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted."
[The Official Google Blog from which the above was excerpted was posted by Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google Giving].
"True healing of the heart and mind"
"Before I saw Dr. Knight, I had many unresolved issues. I had tried counselling and psychotherapy since
suffering sexual abuse and toxic family environment but nothing seemed to get me the closure I needed.
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Thank you Dr. Knight I will never forget what you did for me!"