(This post comes from John Joseph*.)
Recovery from childhood sexual trauma doesn’t happen in isolation. Of course, we want it to, hoping that we’ll never have to share the grisly details of our abuse or have to feel awkward that there was some part of it we may have enjoyed. Childhood violation is a very complicated thing and always requires the love, understanding, and intercession of a community to progressively heal.
Telling our story in a safe environment is one step toward healing. Being able to receive the love and encouragement of others is also a healthy step. Coming to the place where we can own what happened, own our responsibility for our sinful responses, and even moving slowly toward forgiveness are important progressions often facilitated in a healing community.
The abuse happened in secrecy, but the way out is by acknowledging it and sharing it with others in safe environments. Much of my own healing has occurred in 12-Step meetings or one-on-one counseling or prayer encounters in which I could safely share what happened and how it has affected me.
*John Joseph is a pseudonym of a pastor. He's a regular contributor to this blog.