Many New Mexico residents think back fondly on their childhood and wish that they could be as carefree as they were back then. Unfortunately, not all children have a carefree childhood, and in fact, far too many children experience unnecessary trauma due to sexual abuse inflicted upon them by others. Often, that trauma can have lasting effects, and if not properly addressed, survivors of childhood abuse may face difficulties as adults as well.
Abuse of any kind can cause children to feel unsafe and helpless. They may feel as if they are alone, particularly when the abuse comes from a parent or other trusted adult, and as if they have no way to protect themselves. In many cases, this sense of helplessness, fear and loneliness can carry over into adulthood, and those feelings stemming from the trauma may worsen over time if unaddressed.
Whether an adult who is hoping to better cope with such feelings due to personal trauma or a parent or guardian who hopes to help a child cope, the following tips for moving forward with recovery may be useful:
- Avoid isolation and do connect with others to gain support.
- Don’t feel pressured to talk about the trauma, especially if it may make matters worse at the moment.
- Practice self-regulation by staying grounded, practicing mindful breathing and acknowledging feelings.
- Consider seeking professional assistance from trained counselors or therapists.
It is not unusual for survivors of sexual abuse to bury their feelings and the experience deep down in hopes that it will simply be forgotten. Unfortunately, this tactic can often have the opposite effect and give the traumatic experience more control over one’s life than even the person realizes. While it may be difficult to face the effects of abuse, options are available for New Mexico residents who have experienced such situations, including possibly pressing charges against an abuser.