(the following is an excerpt from my book REPAIR Your Life, A Program for Recovery from Incest & Child Sexual Abuse)
The quality of becoming aware includes many components. Sensibility, prudence, knowledge, visualization, feeling and foresight are a few. They are siblings in the same family, gifts given to humans at birth. But when you were sexually abused as a child you lose them. I talk about this in the Awareness Chapter of my book REPAIR Your Life. REPAIR is an acronym that stands for the stages of the program: Recognition, Entry, Process, Awareness, Insight and Rhythm. I say at the beginning of the chapter, Understanding is the key, acceptance is the door. I really believe that. There is nothing bad that understanding doesn’t make more acceptable. Once we understand why child sexual abuse happened to us and what it contributed to our life we are more able to accept it and go on with our life only with new tools. Now we can regain those gifts given at birth and lost through child sexual abuse.
- Sensibility – the capacity to reason, to use your head and think things through, an invaluable tool to have by your side as you journey through life. But how can a person filled with despair begin to put pieces together to find answers that make sense?
- Prudence – Without reason or sensibility, one cannot have prudence. Prudence is cautious, not headstrong and impulsive. Prudence doesn’t get one in situations that leave scars, because it’s skilled in good judgment and knows all the resources available. Prudence uses that reason to discipline itself and once disciplined, life falls into order rather than chaos. One finds peace and tranquility, in that order. But once sexually abused as a child, reacting, rather than responding to the daily happenings in our lives is the only tool we know to use, thereby eliminating prudence.
- Knowledge – Knowledge gathers experiences and sorts through them for the right answers. Knowledge is cognizant of the full range of truths available in one’s life. Knowledge investigates, observes and studies both human nature and the nature of things. This extends to the nature of the universe. In the gathering of this knowledge, one gains power, especially personal power. One who is sexually abused as a child may instinctively know the answers but is unable to follow through with the right choices. Knowledge only becomes a powerful tool when utilized in conjunction with the other properties of awareness.
- Visualization – The ability to see all that you know, bringing it to life so that you can choose your next step, is a rare but not impossible quality. Vision, throughout the ages has progressed men from the humblest backgrounds to some of the greatest positions on earth. On a smaller scale, visualization forms mental images that propel us into our dreams. Without visualization, we have no dreams. When you were sexually abused as a child who can see anything but hopelessness when all you hear is a child screaming inside of you, when all you know is that nothing ever works out for you?
- Feeling – The capacity to respond emotionally to everything that happens in our life is a strength, not a weakness. People who are aware of what is happening in their universe can feel. Feelings bond us to others, give us drive, protect us against wrongs and danger, offer the gifts of humor, pathos, joy, and sorrow. Even sorrow has a healing property necessary to becoming a whole person. It is not feelings that get people in trouble, it is the actions they take based on those feelings. The wounded child has plenty of feelings, all of them either out of control or locked into that closet in their mind for fear that, once unleashed, they would be uncontrollable.
- Foresight – This simple act of looking forward takes us from the past to the present and into the future. We can do nothing about what has gone before, but the present, although elusive and shifting, is the arena of change. Healthy choices made in the now will open a future that promises the fulfillment of your God-given potential. The emotional growth of a child who has been sexually abused is locked in time at the moment of their trauma. There is no foresight for them, for they see no future, only a despairing past and a chaotic present.
This is what childhood sexual abuse has done, robbed us of these six God-given rights and many, many more.
(If you want to REPAIR Your Life please order a copy of the book and begin recovery Now. See my website www.thelamplighters.org and go to the book page on REPAIR Your Life to see how to order or go to any on line book distributor such as amazon.)