Coping with the after effects of child sexual abuse, years after it has happened or even years after you may acknowledge it is difficult. It is important that you face the trauma and fight against its harmful effects. Here are some things to focus on and some things to avoid when dealing with childhood trauma as an adult.
What to focus on:
Relax and find things to do that make you happy. A lot of times, people that have gone through trauma feel that they don’t deserve to do things for themselves. Your health and well-being are the first thing you should be taking care of. Spend time with family and friends; people who love and support you. Have a steady routine that you can handle and be comfortable in. Be kind with yourself because although it may be hard to cope, you shouldn’t give up on being the best version of yourself.
Confronting the situation.
Don’t steer away from facing your trauma. Although it might be scary to confront the situations relating to the experience, it is important to be able to have the courage to do it. It will reduce your anxiety about it over time.
Talking about it.
Talking about the situation is just as important as talking about it. Talk about it with family, friends, and other loved ones. It has been proven that collective grieving will help you find solidarity and peace. It can also help you steer away from the negative effects of trauma.
Recognizing when you need professional help.
It is okay to reach out to professionals when you don’t know what to do. Lawyers or therapists, that’s what they are there for. They will be able to give you a fresh and outside perspective. With help, you can reach milestones sooner than later.
Don’t let other parts of your life be an added stress. Take care of the little conflicts you face day-to-day and they will make you a stronger and wiser person. Keep yourself grounded. Soon enough, you will have been coping so well, it isn’t a trauma anymore.
What to avoid:
Suppressing your emotions.
The worst thing you can do for yourself is neglect what’s going on. It can be hard not to think about, but it is not healthy to try and control. Suppressing your painful emotions about the situation will only make it more difficult to get past. It can cause anxiety, stress, and even depression.
Watching TV or news reports.
Although it is important to keep up and be aware of what is going on, it’s not healthy to watch the news all the time. The media has a way of dramatizing certain news reports which can be anxiety-triggering. Keep up, but don’t overwhelm yourself.
Coping in the wrong ways.
There are many ways you can cope after experiencing trauma. The last thing to do is to turn it into something worse for yourself. Find healthy outlets to deal with your emotions such as going to the gym, getting involved in the community, or even picking up a hobby will be a good use of your time. Understand that it is okay to have your moment, but bouncing back from it is where it matters.
There’s no reason to blame yourself. For what happened or for waiting to come forward. It’s a situation no one should ever have to go through, so not knowing what to do right away is okay. It’s not your fault. You will come out of this better than before.
There are many ways you can go with dealing with this childhood trauma. Make good decisions for yourself and don’t fall back into the trauma. It will always be a part of your past but leave it there. There are resources out there that can help you get there. But your biggest change will be taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Be a survivor, not a victim.