As professionals we know that individuals who have been sexually assaulted often carry with them a variety of emotions. These emotions include depression, fear, terror, self-blame, guilt, rage, anger, grief, spiritual crisis and isolation. And just because someone says its Christmas, doesn’t make those things go away. If you or someone you know has been assaulted, recognize that the healing process is different for everyone. Some people may experience healing quickly for others it is a longer process. It is also important to recognize that the holidays can be a challenge. I encourage you for the sake of your loved ones be vigilant.
- An important part of the healing process is having some one or some where to go to be able to talk. Keep counselors numbers close by or if you don’t have a counselor a local or statewide hotline. (RCASA 540-371-1666 and Statewide 1-800-838-8238)
- Develop a safety plan. This doesn’t mean just physical safety, but mental, emotional, spiritual. Do you know where to go or what to do if you get in a bad place. Develop a plan. Can you call a friend, family, member or pastor? Do you need to be around people? Do you need to escape to the movies? What is going to keep you safe? Talk with someone you trust and develop a working plan.
- Journal, blog, read a book, watch an uplifting movie.
- Attend church.
- Spend time with friends and loved ones.
- Speak life to yourself-that is say positive and uplifting things to yourself.
- Change your environment for the better.
I could go on and on with all types of ideas. You can check out websites such as http://www.rainn.org/ for more information.
The bottom line is that the healing process is so important. Whether you have been a victim of assault or you know someone who is, start researching what it means to heal and how you can apply that to yourself. If we don’t start that process, the bottom line is things cannot begin to get better. Begin to think about a new way of life…a new start and a new you. We must begin to seek out the healing that will make our lives flourish..