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Our Guide - Further Information

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It is important to acknowledge and respect your ability to survive up to the present day. Children and adults find a whole range of ways to adapt and survive having experienced the trauma of child sexual abuse. You may have used drugs and alcohol, run away from home, developed an eating disorder, blanked out your memory, began to self harm, cut off from your feelings, become super responsible, excelled in one particular aspect, thrown yourself into your work or parenting. Each and every one of these was a creative way in which you survived and deserves to be honoured. You may recognise by now that some of these survival mechanisms are useful and effect your life positively others however may, by now, be counterproductive and have damaging effects upon your life. Gradually you will need to begin to examine which of your coping mechanisms are useful and you wish to preserve and which are damaging and you may wish to change. 

As you begin to read and think more about sexual abuse, you may experience long suppressed memories and feelings coming to the surface. During this process it is important that you look after yourself. It may be difficult and painful and at times you may feel you can not cope. Remember you have survived the worst, you can and will cope providing you take care of yourself and gain the support you need. 

It is common, having not been cared for during the trauma of sexual abuse by caring adults, for survivors to be unaware of how to look after themselves. A useful trick is to imagine how you would treat someone you love very much, imagine how you would care for them and apply this to yourself. Your self esteem may be low and you may feel you do not deserve to be cared for, and you do. This was not your fault remember, you deserve to heal and live an enriching life like anyone else. Click on any of the topics at the top of the page for further information.

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