Advice for Someone Starting Out?
I got a message yesterday over at the Facebook page for this site. It was from someone who has been an adult for awhile, yet is just starting to deal with the effects of an abusive childhood. They were looking for a “good first step”, a place to start, where they could get some ideas on what was possible and how to go about starting down a healing path. They don’t have access to pay for therapy at this point, and aren’t sure that’s right for them to begin with. I’m thinking of something like a good book, an online community, etc.
What were some of the things that first inspired you to start your healing journey? If you had to do it all over again, what would be the first step you would take? Let us know in the comments. I’m sure this person will be checking in to see what you all have to say!
On thinking about it more in the six months since I emailed the above for Mike to post: There’s not a lot I would have done differently except checking the entire top 10 of the list of Child Abuse help sites that I googled, then I would have seen this blog a few months earlier than I did. Back then AEST was the top search.
The person asking the question has no money for therapy, so get the following books from the library;
Victims No Longer if you’re a man (currently 2nd ed), The Courage To Heal and a magnifying glass for women (typeface still too small) – the workbook is in normal print (ie bigger than 9pt) and readable. Budget to buy one and borrow the other according to gender to save money. There’s also Abused Boys by Mic Hunter which is a quick read with challenges to your world view of the type you will encounter in therapy. For other books check our review archives as there are a lot of them.
I kept a general diary anyway so had three years of keeping one that was more about the therapy as it started and peaked. It helped to map out exactly what happened so I could go and make a police report about it and be accurate over details, that wasn’t any kind of goal, just another step on the journey. As for thinking therapy “isn’t for you”, get the money together, actually try it, and then go straight to a group instead of individual therapy if you find it too expensive. The therapist isn’t God and you need to have done your homework as to what you want to talk about and get off your chest, if you are in America and waste your time with not disclosing straight out it’s your money getting wasted. Diary-keeping for yourself, or blogging, will get you into that self-aware pattern.
Online communities, for men there’s malesurvivor.org which is good for checking their public discussion board – donate and you can access the private ones which won’t be open to Google searches and be public. It’s got a pretty good news channel that the community updates regularly.
Menthriving.org , which received more publicity due to Oprah’s show, requires more participation. Those are two of the best for men but just put “Male Survivor” into Google and see what else has been launched since 2010. If the person asking advice is female there’s literally the rest of the internet.
Anything else I will think about it and put it into another post.
Thanks CBG. I should have pointed out that I was talking about a female, but I think all the recommendations you gave cane easily be applied for her as well. There are lots of good books that should be available at a library, and online forums such as isurvive, and Psych Central, or The Wounded Healer Journal (twhj.org) which accommodate anyone. I can’t say that I’ve been an active participant in any of those recently enough to have a recommendation, but certainly try them out and see which ones you are most comfortable with.