Sexual Abuse Survivors' First Steps Toward Healing
- Be willing to have feelings in order to heal. It's absolutely possible to heal and to fully recover. It just takes time, and it's important to have that hope and to keep reaching out for as much support as you need.
- Learn to breathe slowly and deeply. There are many books on mindfulness practices, which will help you feel more in control of your body, mind and soul. Remember, you cannot be tense and relaxed at the same time: It is physiologically impossible.
- Ask for help, and then ask for support. Men learn they shouldn't need help; as survivors, we didn't get the help we needed. Now, it is essential to have help from people who've been on the recovery path and have wisdom to share.
- Practice daily affirmations. These affirmations are designed to help you practice being disloyal to the dysfunctional messages you may have learned growing up. Say them out loud, preferably looking at yourself in a mirror, or say them to someone who cares about you as you look them in the eyes. Be mindful of whatever feelings arise as you say the affirmation; any feelings you have are okay, even if you cry. Every tear you cry validates your worth and the worth of the boy inside you.
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