By Sophie Olson
This is me; this is my story. But of course, it’s not just mine. This story has happened to and continues to happen to many people. The details may differ but the impact is devastating.
At best, we might experience feelings of shame, confusion or lack of self-worth. At worst, we might feel our lives are blighted by unbearable emotional distress or physical illness. A lack of support for Child Sexual Abuse survivors might lead some to develop coping mechanisms such as the ones described in this blog.
If you relate to anything here, I hope you are reassured to know that you’re certainly not alone. Navigating your way through life as a CSA survivor can feel overwhelming. At times, it might feel insurmountable, but it’s not. There is always hope. There is always a way through.
Continue reading “Fall Forward (my journey in a nutshell)”
I recently watched an online discussion about ACE’s and outcomes for the individual. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Trauma; how we react to trauma, and the consequences of trauma will vary between individuals. We are all different, and labelling trauma survivors must be done responsibly and with caution. Most would agree that support for trauma survivors is lacking and inconsistent and must be more widespread, but care should be taken when striving for a trauma-aware society, not to inadvertently end up with a one-size fits all model of care.
Continue reading “ACE’s: Proceed With Caution”
A Sense of Solidarity was first published in Epione Training and Consultancy “See Me – Hear Me” blog.
I have always had a thing about groups. I don’t like them, I don’t trust them. I have been wary of groups, ever since the time an eight year old girl with stocky legs and suspicious eyes accused me of laying eggs during a playground game of 4040. This was the worst crime imaginable in Year Four in 1985. Hand on hip, she stood back to watch as thirty indignant little girls and boys formed a menacing circle and she stared unblinkingly at me as I stood in the middle wondering how the world had suddenly turned so dark. Thirty shrill voices began their chant:
Lay-ing EGGS!, lay-ing EGGS!
It was untrue and unjust but I did nothing; I didn’t defend myself, didn’t shout, didn’t cry or tell a teacher, I just braced myself and waited for it to end.
Continue reading “A Sense of Solidarity”
Recently I was pleased to have had the opportunity to take part in a survivor/journalist interaction. We had a behind-the-scenes conversation about child sexual abuse, discussed the way it’s currently covered in the media, suggestions for how this could be improved and how we personally are contributing towards solutions in our own work and activism.
As an ice-breaker exercise we were asked to share something meaningful and the item I shared made me reflect upon the connections survivors make with one another, how precious these connections are, how we just understand each other.
Continue reading “Precious Connections”
Trigger warning (CSA, suicide)
I wrote this shortly before being admitted to a psychiatric hospital. I think back and wonder if I knew why I was so unwell. Did I equate this depressive state with child sexual abuse? The answer is yes, but I don’t allude to it here. When I wrote this, The Black Door was locked and bolted, but it was a deliberate choice to keep it that way. These memories were always clear to me but I didn’t allow myself to let them out. At this stage, they were beginning to find a way through the gaps, but I wasn’t ready to write about that. I was silent about the abuse, even inside my own head.
Continue reading “Left vs Right”
Some of the most desperate in society have suffered more than you can possibly imagine.
Continue reading “Trained Thoughts…”
I live near an organisation that provides help for the homeless, many of whom have challenging mental health needs. A lot, if not all of these people will have suffered trauma in the past and now face daily judgement.