The trauma of being sexually assaulted can be shattering and make one feel ashamed, alone, and unaccepted. It would invariably give way to nightmares, horrifying flashbacks, and a host of unpleasant memories.
Regardless of how you may feel at that moment, you must tell yourself that you cannot be blamed for everything that happened and you will be able to regain back your normal sense of trust and safety if you try. It will undoubtedly take time, and the process of healing can also be painful. Thankfully, with the right support and strategies, you can leave the trauma behind while rebuilding the sense of self-control.
- Reframing what happened: It can be extremely difficult to admit that you have been sexually assaulted due to many reasons. It can make you feel offended and weak while also thinking how others would react to it. You are likely to feel that you don’t need to talk to anyone regarding it and act as if nothing ever happened. However, hiding facts will never allow you to heal but add to the feeling of shame. You should choose someone who is not just supportive, but calm and empathetic towards you as well. If you do not have anyone to speak to, you can always go for therapy sessions with a psychiatrist.
- Preparing for flashbacks: Traumatic experiences, particularly the ones that involve sexual issues can cause the nervous system to get stuck in an unpleasant state. The human brain can become hyper-sensitive to even the smallest stimuli. This is especially the case with those who have endured sexual trauma. Nightmares and intrusive memories are very common, and you should try to avoid the triggers that incite such feelings. You should pay attention to your health and your emotional state since that will help you track the warning signs such as stress or depression. You must immediately calm yourself down by slowing down your breathing as a panic state sets in.
- Nurturing yourself: Healing from sexual trauma is a gradual and time-taking process. You must be very patient throughout. It may not have any effect in a day or disappear completely. This would make your life a lot more difficult at times, but there is a lot that you can do to cope up with the anxiety and fear. You may feel isolated and disconnected from others, but you should try to stay connected with your loved ones since that is vital to your recovery.
Trauma is bound to make you feel powerless as well as vulnerable. It is significant to remind yourself that you have the strength to cope with your tough times. You may also join support groups that can help you cope with these issues and help you lead a fulfilling and healthy life.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!