Your job as a parent is to teach your children how to surround themselves with safe people. You didn’t know how to do this until you were an adult. However, your kids should not only learn this skill, but they must also experience it.
First and foremost, your children need to know you’re safe. They need to trust you and know they can come to you for validation and support. They need to be able to talk to you about anything and know you’ll listen.
Most victims of child sexual abuse begin their healing journey when they’re already parents. Some of your kids may have been very young. They remember how messy and painful those early years were when your heart was closed with shame and fear.
Because of this, it’s important to encourage your children to express their feelings about that time in their lives. They didn’t feel important or noticed, and they need to talk about it. You’re a different person today, and they realize that. But subconsciously they’re still dealing with those devastating feelings from the past.
Let them cry in your arms and tell you how upset they are about the way you treated them. Invite them to tell you what they need from you now. Never dismiss or minimize their feelings. Let them know you’ll do whatever it takes to help them heal.
Otherwise, they’ll carry these painful feelings from the past into their future relationships. This is what continues the toxic cycle of generational abuse.
Parenting isn’t easy. Victims of abuse were not given what they needed by their parents in order to thrive. Instead, they were raised to become a copy of their parents. That isn’t the kind of role model you want to be for your kids.
Fortunately, the generational cycle of child sexual abuse can stop with you. Create an open, healing atmosphere in your home, so your kids will feel safe enough to talk about their painful past. For your children’s sake, start now. It’s never too late.
Were you sexually abused as a child? Is your life stuck as an adult, and you can’t seem to move forward? Svava Brooks is a child sexual abuse survivor, as well as a certified CSA instructor and an Abuse Survivor Coach. She offers private coaching sessions by phone or skype for child sexual abuse survivors just like you. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 619-889-6366. Let Svava help you move forward again on your healing journey!
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