Practicing Being Grateful: A Process of Recovery from Childhood Abuse

Practicing Being Grateful: A Process of Recovery from Childhood Abuse

I first learned about “being grateful” in Narcotics Anonymous 33 years ago. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, these words sounded foreign to me. I learned to suffer at a young age, which became a conditioned way of life, and it was a shadow that followed me into adulthood. In short, I had nothing to be grateful for. It took me two years to become willing to look at my resistance to being grateful because I was afraid to challenge my conditioned belief that I deserved to suffer. My unwillingness to begin being grateful … Read more

8 Steps to Heal Negative, Shameful Beliefs That Prevent Us From Developing Self-Worth

As a survivor of incest, I felt shame in the deepest part of me – my soul. I believed I was damaged; my insides felt like a criss cross of ugly scars that no one could see. I hid my shame by always looking “good” on the outside, while believing I was “getting one over” on everyone. I always thought to myself, “If only they knew.” I believed I was unlovable and unworthy since I was merely an outlet for my father’s perverse sexual needs coupled with my mother’s lack of protection. How could I … Read more

Identifying Feelings and Knowing How You Feel

Identifying our feelings can be difficult and confusing. For a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it can seem daunting. If you are a survivor, like myself, you have been successful in avoiding sensations in your body through dissociation, which is a very skillful way to separate from yourself. To further disconnect, you may have turned to addiction, such as being a workaholic, food, drugs, alcohol, shopping, sex, or relationships. Your body is at war with itself . . . to feel is frightening. Often when a survivor is asked what he/she is feeling, the survivor … Read more