The effects of sexual abuse manifest themselves in all areas of life. Sexual abuse affects the emotional, physical, spiritual, and relational aspects of our being.
In his book, The Wounded Heart, Dan Allender says, “The damage of past abuse sets in motion a complex scheme of self-protective defenses that operate largely outside of our awareness.”
Let’s take a closer look at areas in which Allender suggests our choices are unconscious, yet directly impacted by the trauma of sexual abuse.
- It guides our interactions with others
- It determines the spouse we select
- It influences the jobs we pursue
- It encourages (or discourages) the theologies we embrace
- It guides the fabric of our entire lives
Once we have a clearer picture of the damage inflicted by sexual abuse, we can look at the dynamics of our choices and help us to make, “more conscious, godly decisions in dealing with other and ourselves,” as Allender points out.
However, this is not an excuse for poor behavior, or to continue on with a victim mentality. Sexual abuse is devastating, but we still have a choice to make, are we going to seek healing or will we give up and continue to live life under the abuse?
Allender stresses, “I do not believe a victim of sexual abuse can aver rightfully say, “I am utterly helpless now and in the future to stop destructive behaviors or change the direction of my life.”
As a victim of sexual abuse, know that you are not helpless, nor hopeless. There is help and there is hope. There are areas in your life directly affected by the abuse. Some of those areas you might not even be aware of. Nonetheless, once you understand how the abuse has affected you, you can begin the process of healing.
As a Christian Counselor, I can help you discover those areas in your life where you need healing. Together we can explore the dynamics in your relationships and how those have been influenced by the sexual abuse. We will look at the theologies that you have embraced and tackle those difficult questions you may have, “Where was God in the midst of the abuse?” Together, let’s bring light and healing to your life.
Images cc: freedigitalphotos.com -“Young Couple Arguing” by photostock
“Angry Couple, Isolated On White” by David Castillo Dominic
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