|Spiritual Non-Fiction posted December 24, 2017||Chapters:||...8 9 -10- 11...|
A chapter in the book Beauty for Ash and Stone
Isolation - Day 10
The author has placed a warning on this post for sexual content.
Christian Devotional for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
~ Isolation ~
“I’m all alone and no one understands me or what I’m going through.” “If I tell, no one will believe me anyway.” “If anyone finds out, they’ll think I’m weird or a freak.” Adult survivors isolate themselves for many reasons. If you were neglected or abused in your home, isolation for self-protection is common. For those that don’t receive love or support at home as children, they learn to stop asking for it at all. Survivors can also believe they don’t deserve the good things in life, like healthy relationships or romantic interests. If past attempts at breaking isolation have failed, learned helplessness can result.
Survivors can also isolate themselves from romantic relationships due to triggering from past wounds. As a child, my mother hadn’t been diagnosed yet with major depression, and had fits of rage, crying, and screaming, followed by crying and remorse. In my teen years, when someone raised their voice at me or even near me, I started shaking and had to bolt from the room. After counseling, I no longer “trigger” at angry people, but I can still walk in a room and know right away if someone is angry. For those who don’t get healing, they will sabotage relationships in order to avoid being the one who is rejected and abandoned or eventually isolate themselves altogether.
Adult survivors can also isolate from themselves – disconnecting from their own emotions and thoughts, because thinking and feeling can bring emotional distress. When emotional pain occurs, survivors can remain guarded around others, stay away or seclude themselves. Food, alcohol, drugs or other coping mechanisms can also be used to comfort while in seclusion (more on coping mechanisms on another day).
I’ve seen women who also try to make themselves as unattractive as possible to isolate from others. Some will wear large baggy clothes, cut off all their hair, put on a baseball cap, and not wear makeup. Others will seek comfort in food, overeat, and gain weight. Sometimes it’s a conscious decision and other times, it is in the subconscious mind. But, the intention is the same – if I make myself unattractive, no one will be able to hurt me again.
If you’re isolating yourself, take things slow. Continue to journal your feelings. If you haven’t sought out a person you can trust, find one. Keep talking about what happened if you’ve already found this person. A Christian counselor can help you to start working through the healing process. Hearing other survivors’ stories at a sexual abuse support group will also be helpful. God didn’t make us to be alone. We are to have fellowship with other believers. We are also to help, support, and encourage each other. By reaching out to others, you will unlock the door to your prison of isolation and work up enough courage to leave.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
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