Emotional healing answers, “How were you hurt?”

Family violence research reveals sexual abuse is as high as 62 percent for females and 31 percent for males.

Family violence research reveals sexual abuse is as high as 62 percent for females and 31 percent for males.

by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D. — 

Many men and women experience emotional and/or physical pain that originated in early childhood sexual abuse they may not remember because they were too young or because they have repressed the memory. They may attribute these maladies to adult traumas, stresses, failures or to a genetic abnormality.

Family violence research reveals sexual abuse is as high as 62 percent for females and 31 percent for males. An estimated 906,000 American children were found to be victims of physical abuse or neglect in 2003. The national rate of victimization was 12.4 per 1,000 children.

Whether the abuse occurred once or several times is irrelevant, because the damage is incurred immediately. For some, the damage is profound, extensive and pervasive — it is a soul injury. And time, money, pills, surgery, marriage, children, moving, jobs, divorce, or perfectionism cannot heal the pain.

Traditional psychiatric and medical practices treat symptoms — depression, panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. — sometimes ignoring the core issue, the individual’s experiences. Talk therapy is often inadequate to uncover the emotional pain and heal the trauma trapped in muscles and tissue. This quote from an adult survivor might help us more fully appreciate the depth of this pain: “Even my blood hurts.”

A multifaceted healing process specifically focused on sexual abuse recovery and diligent work is the most effective form of therapy. With this type of varied and diligent treatment, the survivor can replenish emotional and spiritual identity, and regain empowerment.

 

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D., specializes in mind/body/spirit healing and physical/sexual abuse recovery. She empowers people to view life’s challenges as opportunities for personal and professional growth, and spiritual awakening. www.drdorothy.net or 480-704-0603.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

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