Childhood sexual abuse is such an overwhelming, damaging and humiliating assault on a child’s soul and body that they can’t escape the emotional damage. The abuse invades every facet of one’s sexuality, one’s ability to be successful, and one’s ability to trust others and have friends, and the ability to have a strong successful marriage. It causes survivors to be self-destructive, over powering and over controlling. For many survivors they find a path to different addictions which becomes a part of their lives. From drugs to food disorder to alcoholism and much more. They can become attracted to men who abuse them physically, verbally and emotionally. Survivors feel ashamed, guilty, powerless, depressed, afraid and angry, not being able to control what’s going on with them. Emotions are all over the place and their thoughts are in a state of confusion and they lose a handle on life. Losing control takes them into paths of destruction. The damage caused by the abuse only increases with time, this is true for several reason. When survivors are younger, they often have things to
occupy their mind. A busy social life, goals and education, planning a career, thinking of marriage and starting their own family keeps them disconnected to the reality of their abuse. Their distracted from their feeling, but as time passes and moves on the pressure mounts. Survivors must deal with people, cope with more responsibilities and further problems begin to appear as stress grows within them, to the point where something must give.
As the damage becomes even more noticeable a survivor’s life becomes progressively more unmanageable. If a survivor has (MPD) Multiple Personality Disorder or as it is called today (DID) Dissociative Identity disorder. You would have to times the pain and chaos by ten. The survivor or an alter (different personality) beings to realize that time alone can’t heal the pain and the chaos that they are living with and going through. One or the personalities realizes that it can’t be fixed with time unless they seek help, because the system is now breaking down.
A history of sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse is not something that one could learn to live with. As time goes by the emotional damage takes a heavier toll on them. Pain and memories that were hidden for years suddenly become unbearable, their lost and feeling helpless and hopeless not knowing how to handle the overwhelming feelings that are now flooding their lives. Anger once repressed begins to surface, causing those who have been abused, at times will also become abusive themselves. Feelings of dread suddenly turn into panic attacks, depression increases in intensity and memories begin to come up in unwanted places. Sights, sounds and people become triggers for every survivor, causing longer periods of suffering and agony.
Suicide attempts increase with time as they seek help yet not knowing how to reach out. Their attempts increase with time as they seek help, yet not knowing how to reach out, some attempts are a cry for help, and some aren’t. (Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65, (CDC) Some battle with eating and weight control because they believe that they have a sense of control in their lives, yet it’s a false feeling. Once again believing that they can have some sort of control over their lives and the chaos they find within themselves.
Unresolved issues since childhood can result in many disorders like… Anorexia, Bulimia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Multiple Personality Disorder/ Dissociative Identity Disorder, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, Promiscuousness, Prostitution, to name a few. The tendency to drink a little becomes a need to drink more and the same goes with drugs. Survivors are filled with abnormal fears of being in crowds and open places or being in small spaces where they feel trapped.
Survivors continue to struggle through life, they struggle as children, as teenagers and as adults. Unnoticeable for the most part is the struggles of teenager who know how to hide the secrets within them. Pretending to fit in yet feeling like their an out cast within themselves. They suffer in silence and tell no one, wishing they could be free, yet they still live in fear, especially if the abuse is still going on. Teenagers turn to drinking, marijuana, cocaine, opioids, heroin and methadone, to where they begin to feel euphoric and become nub to their feelings and the turmoil within and around them. (These influences also impacts young adults and adults.) (Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 years old in Americans. (CDC)
Unfortunately, the childhood abuse became increasingly burdensome. Eventually in the next twenty years or so as young adults or in their early thirties or so, their life defensive structures begin to break down, their protective mechanisms no longer work. The masquerade is over and they can no loner go on and the underlaying fragmentation begins to manifest. When a breakdown occurs, it can take symptomatic forms that mimic virtually any forms of disorder from the disorders I listed above. Survivors fear that they are going insane by losing control of their lives with the memories that overwhelm them and the flashback that occur. At times the pain is too much that they want to die, which can be high a probability. If the survivor has Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Identity Disorder the fear is the same, but there is always one personality that will not allow insanity to take place. In most cases the interchanging within the system avoids insanity at all cause.
Survivors, whether a child, a teenager or an adult, they suffer greatly, and their lives are overwhelmingly changed. As a survivor myself, I know the intricacies of a survivor’s life and the difficulty that overtakes one’s life. The ramifications are life changing and can come to the point of losing oneself and everything you have ever loved dearly. Many survivors live in silence, suffering in agony wondering where or how they can find an end to what is going on within them and around them. That is why I want and need to reach out to survivors and women of all ages. They need help, safety, understanding, hope and even the true love of God, not with Christians that pretend to be Christians but with believers that know the true love, grace and mercy of God. Those who have been where I and others have been. I know that their wholeness can come from a loving, caring and merciful God as well as those who will be walking with them through their journey. I escaped from being killed twice and suicide was always on my mind and attempts were many. But God, in his mercy and grace walked with me and pulled me out when I couldn’t, even when I was broken, lost and in chaos, not knowing if I would make it through to another day.
Being a survivor is like being on the frontline of a war zone, because it is a battle for your mind and soul. Many survivors are still suffering alone, whether children, teenagers or adults, they need hope, freedom and someone to reach out to them. That is why Gateway of Hope House of Restoration is needed, to save lives and to help set women free from the pain and chaos that they are suffering though each and every day.