I’ve had many dreams lately where I feel ashamed, guilt, rejection, and a loss of control. I’m not just having nightmares about what happened, but of life as I have been trying to recover as well. We have so many “feelings” from sexual assault that it can start to bring us down.
I also have many judgments about how I’ve handled, or not handled recovery. What I should or shouldn’t have done. None of them are helpful and I work at trying to be easier on myself.
I can imagine you have many of the same feelings, and possibly judgments too. About when it happened and as you are trying to get better. So, let’s think for a minute about how people recover from serious physical trauma.
If you broke your leg would you expect yourself to still run or walk the same with no affect from the trauma you endured? Would you think you should be able to do all the same things as if you’re not wearing a cast that immobilizes broken bone? No, you’d allow yourself grace as you recover. After the cast comes off do you expect to be able to run and walk right away without any physical therapy? Probably not.
If we endure physical trauma it takes time to recover, and we are good about giving grace, usually. The same is true for our recovery as well. The emotional (and physical) trauma we endured in sexual assault takes time to recover as well. Just as you wouldn’t expect to recover right after a broken bone, we shouldn’t expect a quick recovery either.
It takes quite a bit of therapy to work through even the emotional effects we endured from our trauma. Then the events themselves need worked through too. Sometimes we also think that we should have stopped it from happening or it happened because we deserved it. That is simply not true at all.
Yet, we feel the shame, guilt, rejection, and loss of control. All those are actually normal feelings for what each of us endured. You are not alone in having them. However, they are not accurate because we have nothing to be ashamed or guilty about, but yes the feelings are quite real.
So, when the feelings come up, as I know they will, I have decided I need to turn them over to God. Ask Him to continue to help me heal and recover, and to replace those feelings with ones that are true.
Join with me today as we pray and ask God to help us with these feelings and may you continue to seek Him for all your needs as you recover. Remembering to give yourself grace.
Please help me realize I have done my best as I am recovering. When the bad feelings come up allow me to realize them for what they are; false. Help me not pass judgments on how I’m doing, but trust you to lead and guide me and my therapist in my recovery. Thank you for who you are and for never letting me go.
In Jesus Name,
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