Thursday, June 30, 2011

Not a fun topic

This is an article I read on MSNBC today, about the long term effects of sexual abuse on young girls. I'm sure the effects are similar for boys, but that's not who was studied. It's alarming, to say the least, and confirms what has been suspected. Abuse of children changes them forever from who they were. It alters their brain chemistry sometimes for decades. I am so grateful that of Genea's many issues, this is not one we have. But I know that a lot of people who read here have children who have survived abuse in many forms so I thought I would pass it on.


  1. I don't think I want to read this. Anastasia is beginning to remember things.

    But, speaking of brain chemistry - I am reading Born for Love by Bruce Perry; it is amazing. I know you'd find it interesting...

    I was just reading about how early nurture (or lack thereof) actually impacts DNA. Scary stuff.

  2. This is me burying my head in the sand. I can't go there today. Maybe tomorrow I'll be strong enough.

  3. Same here girls, I don't think I can. Not today...maybe tomorrow

  4. We have recently had what we've suspected since first hearing her story confirmed. Even though we knew it was likely it was easy to ignore it before. I started to read the article and had to stop so I'm not a teary mess at work (again). Here's a little blurb:
    “The cortisol levels (of some study participants) wound up looking like Vietnam vets,” says study co-author Dr. Frank Putnam, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. “That tells us they are in a chronic state of stress, and never feel safe.”

  5. Hopefully I can help some of you feel a little better. I had an awful childhood. I was born with mild CP to a teenage mother, who dropped me off with a neighbor and didn't look back. The neighbor got ahold of my grandparents, who raised me. My grandfather began abusing me shortly after I moved in. This went on until I was 14, and I didn't tell a soul. I definitely had my share of mental issues as a result of this, but I am now a healthy, self confident adult. I'm raising well adjusted daughters. I also volunteer at a group home, where I teach creative writing and self esteem to teenage girls. It took me several years to take ownership of my body and sexuality. I think the biggest risk is that they may be victimized again, which I was. My daughter is the result of an assault at 19. I have not let it define me. I refuse to be a victim. Make sure your girls know that their body is theirs, and they get to decide who touches their body. This includes you. Make sure they know it isn't their fault. Have a healthy attitude about sex. If you think it's wrong or dirty, then they feel wrong or dirty. Be open when they have questions about sex, as they have not learned about healthy sexuality. Lastly, help them come to a place where they can forgive their abuser. This is not for him, but for them. Healing cannot happen with hate inside your heart. They will never forget, but they must bury the past in order to have a future. Their abuser does not deserve forgiveness, but do any of us deserve Gods mercy? My most healing moment was when I sang at my grandfathers funeral. I of course sang Amazing Grace, and I truly felt Gods grace at that moment. I was 16, and felt that I had closure. I also chose to be baptized. I felt that this was a final way to cleanse myself. Many victims feel dirty or ashamed, and i wanted to wash my shame away. Do whatever you need to do to get there. If the perp is still alive, you could have a symbolic funeral(he's dead to you) where you burn or bury a picture or letter. A friend of mine had a forgiveness and letting go ceremony, where they burned items representing the abuse, and herself as a victim. They were not religious, but they also poured water over her to "wash away the past" and it seems to have helped her daughter move on. Good luck, and blessings to your girls. They are strong.

  6. wow. Amazing words from the last commenter. I'm like Lisa and want to bury my head. This with a 13 year old girl and 12 year old boy. Let's just skip puberty, shall we?

  7. Thanks for the article! I'll be sure to post it when I blog from the foster kid's "insider perspective" or whatever people like to call me.

    Your blog has been a great resource.

  8. Kristina, thank you so much for your words. It IS encouraging to hear that you were able to fight your way through.

    I think the article says that the study participants either received no treatment, or short term treatment. That long term treatment might be more successful with your kids. I hope so!

    Belovedorphan, please do. I would love to get another inside perspective. It can only help.

    Can I Just Say No to puberty?

  9. Ok. Amazing comments. This article was hard to read as I was reading it in light of my childhood experiences. It made me want to go get my cortisol levels tested. It also give me more insight into a certain level of normalcy to parts of my experience. I agree that there is loads of hope and healing, but I also agree that it's a frick load of work. Not easy stuff. Thanks for posting this, as hard as it is.

  10. Essie, Thanks for the comment. I wish that I could have surpassed that entire phase of my life. I'll add to my list of topics for next week.

    I'll send it over your way.

  11. Kristina, amazing comment! Thanks for sharing. I'm dealing with my daughter's unwillingness to face her abuse issues and I see the unhappy and unhealthy adult she'll become if she doesn't. Stories like your's help to believe that it'll be worth the fight and the work in the end. I KNOW the beautiful young woman she can be, and I won't give up.

    Truest words from you: Lastly, help them come to a place where they can forgive their abuser. This is not for him, but for them. Healing cannot happen with hate inside your heart.

    I KNOW the reality of this. You can't ever forget, but you have to find a way to forgive or else the hate and the anger will eat you alive. As the parent of an abuse survivor, I was so angry, for so long. But in order to be there for my child, I had to let it go.

    Essie, this article and all the comments from the readers were exactly what I needed to read today.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Kristina, your words are powerful and inspiring to me.
    I am a survivor of sexual abuse as a child, by the hands of my older brother. I grew up in such an abusive, twisted household. Although I function remarkably well as an adult (M.A., college instructor, wife and mother of two happy little boys), there are some dark skeletons in my closet, as I still feel the grips of my family and the guilt around raising my kids without them. In particular, I have a lot of mother issues, as she is mentally unstable and invasive in my life. Oh boy. Anyways, I just started blogging about my life and experiences, and it's a work in progress, but if it might help anyone gain perspective from someone who's been there and emerged out the other side:


I love comments! If you agree or disagree, comment away! However if you are a butthead about it, you may be excised.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...