“It isn’t what you think. The most damaging aspect of child sexual abuse isn’t the abuse. It’s what the abuse does to you emotionally and psychologically. It’s the hidden burden you had to carry for too long. It’s that shameful secret.
Here’s how it works. My stepfather was a great guy. He was nice to me and to other people. He was charismatic and outgoing. Everyone enjoyed hanging out with him. I did, too. But I didn’t like what he was doing to me. I didn’t understand why it kept happening or what it meant. None of it made sense. It left me feeling alone, disconnected, and confused.”
As an adult survivor, it’s the things we learned as a child that keep us from being healthy. I know this is true. I wasn’t being abused as an adult, but the things I believed about myself, and the world, and my inability to connect to anyone around me, prevented me from truly living. Those things take time to unlearn.