Too many boys and girls are the victim of abuse. Abuse can come in many forms such as emotional or physical but many are sexually abused. I would like to emphasize that sexual abuse does not always involve penetration. Many times, a trusted person uses the child’s body for their own sexual pleasure in other ways. When a child is abused, their spirit is wounded.
These abused boys and girls grow up and will likely marry. Many times their spouse is not even aware of the deep wounds that exist. The scars are deep and can wreak havoc in marriages. Sexual dysfunction and undeserved mistrust of a spouse can occur. There are many cases where the sexually abused spouse will begin to mistrust their spouse just because their child has reached the same age that their own sexual abuse occurred.
Abuse will haunt us if we don’t deal with the memories. Abuse will cause us to believe lies about ourselves. The lies can cause us to doubt ourselves, feel shame and unworthiness. What then should you do?
>Stop telling yourself that it didn’t happen.
>Stop doubting that it was significant enough to cause you pain.
>Start journaling. Write about these memories. Include as many details as possible including your age.
>Identify the lie that you have believed all along and replace it with the truth.
>Choose to forgive the other person or persons that hurt you. You won’t forget but you will no longer be held a prisoner by what they did. It may hurt again. If so, embrace the pain, identify the lie that you have believed and tell yourself the truth.
You may notice that you continually struggle with certain issues. It is critical that you deal with them biblically but also identify whether or not there is something in your past that is linked to your struggle. For example, do you find that you doubt yourself or feel less important than other people? What has happened to you, in your life journey that made you start to believe a lie?
To summarize, you must always cast away any shame that you feel – you did nothing to cause this – they victimized you but you do not have to be a victim any longer. Believe that you are not damaged goods. Recognize that your spouse is not the perpetrator of your abuse. Don’t turn your anger inward – you are valuable. Recognize that healing will take time and that you might have to deal with these feelings again. If you are unable to resolve this on your own, you may need to seek help. Be thankful for the good things in your life. If you are the spouse of an abused person, walk this journey with your spouse realizing that they will need a lot of patience especially in the area of sexuality.
It is horrible that people are hurt in this way but you can heal. You can do it and you are worth every bit of effort that you put into this journey.