Happy New Year to all of my devoted readers. I so very much appreciate you taking the time to read my ‘scribblings’. I apologize for being absent the last two weekends. I spent them with my HUGE family in the Los Angeles area. We had a great time and I hope that your holiday was as good as mine was.
I will be dedicating the next six blogs to the acronym REPAIR, the title of the program I have devised to help people recover from child sexual abuse. Certain portions of this blog have been taken from the book, as I have no desire to reinvent the wheel. We have the original book, REPAIR Your Life, and the next three titled, REPAIR For Kids, REPAIR For Toddlers and REPAIR For Teens. There is also a REPAIR Your Life Workbook. All are available either through my publisher, Loving Healing Press or on any on-line book distributors such as amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. We also have hardcopies of REPAIR Your Life in 40 libraries throughout the world including Singapore, San Francisco, the US Air Force, the Library of Congress, and throughout many US states and Canada.
For those who haven’t yet begun the REPAIR program I’d like to share with you how the word REPAIR is a perfect description of what needs to be done when we have been sexually abused. When I began the outline for the program, I knew that it cried out for a title that aptly described what needed to be done. Repair was the first word that came to my mind. It literally means to restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken, to restore to a sound or healthy state. What better word describes our goal in the case of childhood sexual abuse? In particular, I knew that it was not enough to rid ourselves of the pain; we needed to fill the void with something good. I also knew that the ultimate reward was making healthy choices and living a life free from the despair that kept us bound by dark shadows, doomed to live in a three-sided prison.
My next step was to explain the six stages of the program beginning with the first “R” which stands for Recognition. This step is vital as, without it, you will get nowhere with this program. Recognizing and accepting that your adult problems stem from childhood sexual abuse is paramount to recovery. Over the years, I have heard many excuses for postponing recovery, because of this first step. Knowing we were sexually abused is one thing. Recognizing the truth of where the blame lies and what we can do about it, is another. The profile of an incest victim or a child sexual abuse victim includes, but is not limited to, such individual behavior patterns as: people-pleasing and rescuing at an early age, insomnia, excessive need to control, obsessive, compulsive behavior patterns, needy, low self-esteem, suicidal, weak boundaries, unhealthy choices in members of the opposite sex, neurotic tendencies, addictions (drugs, alcohol, sex, food, relationships and others), eating disorders, chronic illness, severe depression and manic-depressive behavior (emotional extremes).
Some of the excuses I’ve heard are: “It happened so long ago, what difference does it make now?”, “It hasn’t impacted my current life in any way so I don’t need to go through a recovery program”, (never mind that more than half of the behavior patterns fit me), “My family would be angry at me if I started bringing all that ugliness out in to the open”, “It must have been my fault, he (or she) said it was”, “I don’t want to rock the boat now; it will only make things worse” and so on.
Recognition is a tough step to take but once you get through it you will be on your way. It takes soul searching, extreme honesty, courage, and an intense desire to live a happy and healthy life. Keep in mind that there is one more extremely important reason for getting on this path to recovery. Children of an untreated child sexual abuse victim stand a five times greater chance of being sexually abused themselves. If you either have children already or plan some day on having them, you owe it to your progeny to give them the healthiest raising possible. You cannot do that if you are carrying baggage around, making poor choices and subjecting your children to aping what your life has become. I can personally attest to this as all three of my daughters were sexually abused before they were eighteen. The guilt of that will haunt me until I die. Do you want that to happen to you?
Get started. Get the book REPAIR Your Life and if you work a rigorous and honest program I promise you that one day you too will say to yourself what I said when I completed the REPAIR program: “If I had known life was going to turn out this good I would have started it sooner.”