Trauma of the mind or body can be difficult to overcome. Far too often, trauma that manifests itself in mental hardships, like PTSD, anxiety or depression, are overlooked or belittled because they are not as visible as physical injuries that result from trauma. Unfortunately, numerous individuals in New Mexico and elsewhere struggle to heal after surviving childhood sexual abuse, commonly, because they lack support and resources.
Though deciding to face one’s trauma and acknowledge that the abuse happened can seem like too much at times, it is one of the first steps toward healing. In some cases, tackling this difficulty with the help of others, whether through individual counseling or group therapy, could help survivors feel less alone and less intimidated by the idea of talking about their trauma. It could also allow individuals to release some of the shame that often accompanies surviving such an experience.
Some other ways that survivors and friends or families of abuse survivors could help during the healing process include the following:
- Being compassionate and understanding
- Validating the emotions one feels about the abuse and as a result of it
- Educating oneself on the effects of abuse and ways to help oneself and others on their healing journey
- Finding and focusing on positive aspects of life, such as new hobbies and activities
- Reminding oneself that the abuse does not define a person and that reclaiming one’s body and mind is possible
For some, the journey to healing from sexual abuse may include confronting or holding the abuser accountable. That type of action may look different for each person, but it may be worthwhile to consider taking legal action against an abuser. Even if years have passed since the abuse, survivors may have legal options for pursuing justice, and discussing the matter with compassionate legal counsel in New Mexico may be beneficial.