where the writers are
RHYTHM
The life of a sexually abused child

When we were born we already had a blueprint of what we were going to be like as we grew older, our own personal DNA. Maybe we slept through most feedings, or responded to music when our mother sang to us. Then again maybe we grinned when Dad made goofy faces at us. We are all unique. We are all special. One of the wonderful things about life is that we are given so many gifts when we are born. We are handed (most of us) a sense of humor. We were blessed with sensibility, prudence, the ability to access knowledge, visualization, feeling, foresight and many other blessings that only a human has. We had our own natural rhythm.

Sexual violation shattered the serenity of that rhythm. Once sexually abused, the older a child grows, the more unnatural adaptations are made to their own rhythm. They hide their intense emotions out of fear of punishment and a parent’s rage. When laughter at the dinner table sends a child to their bedroom without food they learn to contain their sense of humor and playfulness. Building tunnels in the living room out of blankets and chairs, a marvelous example of a child’s creative nature, causes Mom to go into a fit of anger over the mess. The child learns to stifle their creativity.

As the years go by, out of a sense of fear, rejection, and feeling “less than” the real person hides deeper and deeper until once into adulthood, little remains of that spontaneous childlike person. The mask they wear contains a great deal of anger. Who wants to be somber when your nature flows with joy? Why pretend we are submissive when being strong-minded is the real us. Being stiff when we inwardly crave hugs is a sad, almost anguishing part of so many humans.

Natural rhythm is just that – natural. It is the essence of who and what we are. Being able to return to it once you have gone through recovery and especially the REPAIR program is freeing as well as strengthening. All the tools for a happy life were taken away by the childhood sexual abuse. At birth we all had potential for the inner strength needed to deal with life’s problems. As a child of sexual abuse, we lost it.

There are 60 million child sexual abuse survivors in the United States alone. Think what it would mean to a world that is filled with problems, some of them seemingly unsolvable, for all of them to regain their own natural rhythm. One has only to watch nature to see the importance of following your own rhythm. As the seasons change, so does that rhythm. If you follow the path of nature, you can see that rhythm is inherent in all things of God.

We must reach everyone who was sexually abused as a child and has not attained happiness through a strong program of recovery. If you are reading this article and are one of the 60 million who have not yet crossed that Bridge of Recovery, get a copy of REPAIR Your Life and begin working the program. Once you reach the end of the program, the other side of that bridge, you will be amazed to find that you will begin to return to one of the greatest joys all living creatures possess, their own rhythm.Even animals have their own rhythm and would fight mightily against anyone who tried to take it away. If you go back far enough, you can remember waking at the same time every morning and getting tired at the same time every night. You had a time for hunger, a time for energy, and a time for languor. Being a part of that natural rhythm brought joy as well as serenity. Life, predictable and comfortable, contained meaning and purpose. It was like a dance, one where we moved freely through our own universe, bending and swaying our bodies in time to our own inner voices.

Many celebrities, most recently Ashley Judd, are coming forth with their stories of being sexually abused when they were young. It takes great courage to do this and we applaud their efforts. They are helping to drag this problem out of the darkness into the light where it will embolden others to come out of hiding.

(parts of this article were taken from the book REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse published by Loving Healing Press)