A friend asked me yesterday what percentage of the clients in my sex therapy practice have been abused. I knew the answer was “many” but I had never done the math. Out of curiosity I reviewed my cases for the past month. I saw 27 different people, most on multiple occasions of course, i.e., weekly. Of the 27 different people, sadly, 16 had been sexually, emotionally or physically abused. Even worse, of the 17 women I saw, 13 had been abused. 13 of 17 is simply heart-breaking!
Not surprisingly, abuse has a profound impact on the entire family system for generations to come, i.e., the person who was abused is obviously impacted, but so too are their partners, children, grandchildren, etc. Some people who have been abused live their life vowing to never hurt another soul while unfortunately others perpetuate the cycle.
The key to a healthy recovery is to first acknowledge that it happened and truly accept that it is not your fault. You are not to blame and you did nothing wrong. And by the way, a little known fact is that people who have endured long term bullying during childhood and adolescence can experience a wounding that is every bit as deep as those who have experienced a single trauma, i.e., rape or molestation. Abuse is abuse and it’s all bad!
The good news is that survivors are strong and “survivors survive.” If you have been abused please feel free to contact me and I will do the best I can to help you find an appropriate therapist in your area. As bad as it can feel, there is always hope, possibilities and potential.