How do you feel about your femininity? Have you experienced sexual abuse or rape?
Experiencing sexual abuse in our childhoods and as adults can leave damaging and far reaching consequences. We may be left with feelings of shame, anger, humiliation, hurt, isolation and fear. These feelings determine our level of self esteem and consequently create our feminine identity. Being immersed in this cycle of victim mentality produces a mindset that can be self-defeating. No matter how hard we try to move forward with our lives and find happiness, there could be a spectrum of issues that continually hold us back ranging from promiscuity, sex/love addiction, weight issues, compulsive eating, self abuse, alcohol dependency, dysfunctional relationships and fear of intimacy. Our core inner beliefs define and create our external reality and it is only reasonable to assume that this will continue until we make some internal changes.
Rape and sexual abuse are so devastating and powerful that they can transform the way we feel about our femininity entirely. In many cases as a direct response, and a way of coping with these horrific events, an alternative alter ego may be created. It was a matter of survival, a reaction totally out of our control, but it is an automatic response that may generate many uncomfortable feelings and painful issues. We may feel a sense of disconnection from our bodies and our sense of self worth, which in turn creates certain behaviours that add to our feelings of unworthiness. For instance, we may behave in a promiscuous way, justifying our actions with “you only live once” or “girls just want to have fun.” Authentic intimacy with another person can feel extremely difficult for survivors of sexual abuse or rape, and as a result, we can actually have sex and disconnect from our bodies at the same time. Sex is an act, a sequence of events and not a felt experience. In that moment we are communicating “you can have my body, but you can’t have me” albeit a subconscious standpoint that drives our sexuality by default. The tragedy of this type of abuse, is that our perpetrators not only stole our innocence and trust, but also took our right to define our femininity on our terms, a role that is the solely the domain women. However, what is done cannot be undone. Sometimes it is only in experiencing the polar opposite of who we are that we painfully discover who we are not. We are not who our perpetrators caused us to be. We define ourselves. This is real empowerment.
The pain we endured is horrendous, but if we look deeply enough we might reveal the seed of potential within those experiences, and that is our innate strength and courage. We can then develop a new level of self esteem and self value that serves us more fully in life. This requires looking at, acknowledging and confronting the ‘self’ that evolved from abuse. This part of ourselves is to be loved, not judged or scorned, for she has coped with extreme pain and survived. She deserves reverence for keeping us safe and alive. She embodied the victim archetype as a matter of survival, as a direct reflection of all the components that were her inescapable reality. Back then she didn’t have a choice, but now she does. We now have a point of reference to orientate ourselves in another direction, the opposite direction, to come through stronger, wiser, powerful, resourceful, determined and self loving. Something very precious and priceless was momentarily stolen from us. Nonetheless, through Hypnotherapy and Inner Child therapy we can give that part back to ourselves and this time it is for keeps, simply because authentic self empowerment is the truth of who we are and nothing and no-one can change that fact. Eventually we find our way home, lies do not stay indefinitely. We are more powerful than we fully realize, we just need to open our hearts and remember that reality. What happened to us is not bigger than our lives, of who we are at the core of our being.