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Monday, December 17, 2012

Can a Victim of Rape and Abuse Ever Trust Enough to Find Love? - Part 5

[Dear Readers,

The writer in this series has endured some pretty bad experiences with guys.  So bad, that one can understand why she has trust issues and why those issues have her concerned that she may never meet a man she trusts enough to marry.  So she starts by asking what will be the Eternal Consequences for her if she doesn't get married in this life.

But the emails reveal other concerns as well.

Below is Part 5.  

Please keep your comments sensitive to her situation and experiences.

 - Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

I thought that you'd like to know I've been able to receive counseling.

I never realized how many blocks I've been putting up through the years. And how hard I tried to numb the pain.

Even though I could talk about my experiences I didn't want to have any emotional connection or think too much about it because it was too painful.

The recovery road sucks.

It's long and dark.

But there is a light at the end of this road. And I'll get there.

And hopefully one day I'll be blessed enough to find a young man who will treat me with respect and take me to the temple and I won't have to worry about the past.

Thank you for your help and for your kind words.


- NW

Dear Little Sister,

Good to hear from you!

And I'm glad to hear that you were able to receive counseling.

What happened in your life that you took that step?

Where did you find the help you needed?

And would you mind sharing with us what you think others who are going through what you have, who have felt the way you have, need to know or do? What counsel would you give them?

Thank you for sharing your testimony about the light at the end of the tunnel.

God bless,

- Bro Jo

PS: For the record, I want you to know, that I do believe that you will find a Good Man who unconditionally loves you and that you can trust. I pray that joy will be a part of your life.

Dear Bro Jo,

That's an interesting question.

Honestly what changed was I hit an all time low.

I was ashamed of what had happened, and I blamed myself. I was depressed I felt like I had no control.

As a way of coping with my emotions I began to self-harm.

There were times I felt so anxious; like I was crawling out of my skin – I felt like didn’t do something physical to match the way I felt inside, I would explode. I hurt myself to take my mind off of everything that I was going through. I no longer cared what happened.

It wasn't that I was suicidal, I just felt so horribly about my self on the inside- I had to match the way I felt on the inside to the outside. If that makes sense.

 I HAD to change. It was taking a toll on my health, education and career. I didn't want to live the way I was living.   In fear.

I was taking a psychology class at the university, and had to talk to my professor about a project approval. So I visited with her about my project after some discussion she knew something was wrong with me, through some coaxing she was able to get a little bit of my background out of me and referred me to a close friend of hers for counseling, she even made the appointment for me.

I was done fighting it. I knew I needed help and gave in. It has been the biggest blessing.

I'm happy.

There are some days that are so hard, but that's to be expected. It gets better.

As for advice, Take note that this is what I learned from my experiences.

  1. Healing takes time. Once I understood that healing takes time and that the effects of an experience like this isn't going to go away in just a day, that helped my progression. I wanted to be "normal" , I thought if a put on facades and masked the way I was feeling I would magically feel better. It doesn't work, in fact it makes things much worse.

  2. Your body is sacred. After being sexually abused and abusing my self I had a hard time seeing my body as sacred. It had already been through so much physical damage I didn't care anymore. It’s crucial that you get your feelings out — but don’t ever inflict harm on your own body because your body is so sacred. I think it's important to remember that you are worthy of life and that your life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything.

  3. Get help I was SUPER skeptical about this one. I didn't think anyone would care enough about me to want to help me. I feel like a lot of times counseling is seen as abnormal and that if you go something must be REALLY wrong with you. I didn't want to be seen as weak. But seeing a counselor isn't like that at all. Through the help of my counselor I've been able to face my challenges and overcome them. Some are bigger than others and it takes longer to over come. But through the love of Christ, overcoming them is possible

  4. Take it one day at a time Some days are so hard. Some days are easier. And on those hard days I remembered something I would recite in young women's "I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me" which brings me to my last piece of advice, 

  5. Your Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother love you. This is what got me to the light at the end of my tunnel, strengthening my testimony of the pure love of my heavenly parents. I am their daughter. They love me. They want the best for me. And most of all they want me happy.

I hope this all made sense. I apologize its kind of a lot. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement to help me get where I needed to be.

- NW

Dear Little Sister,

Please don't apologize. Not only does it make sense, I think your wise counsel may help others.

Thank you for sharing all of this.

- Bro Jo

[Dear Readers, 

It's been my hope through this series that others who have had similar experiences and feelings to this brave sister would be inspired to seek the help, the counseling, that she eventually sought out. I know that some of you struggle with self-harm. I'll be running a series about this early next year. Please take this sister's words to heart: self-harm is not the solution you seek. I pray that each of you, what ever your challenges and trials may be, will feel our Savior's love. If you need help, please get it. May the Lord bless you all, 

 - Bro Jo]

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