A Path to Healing: Supporting Survivors of Historic Sexual Abuse.

If you are reading this, there is a likelihood that you or someone you care about has been a victim and a survivor of historic sexual abuse. It may go back many years, and you may be wondering, or have wondered all those years, whether it was in fact sexual abuse.

If you are still wondering this so many years after it took place, then I feel we can safely accept that it was sexual abuse and that you have carried it, either in the deepest part of your conscious mind or that you have tried your best not to think about it for a very long time.

You may have arrived at a moment in time when you are more likely than ever before to be able to share what happened and be heard and believed than at any time since the sexual abuse took place.

Why, maybe because there have been so many big-name revelations and finally authorities involved in supporting survivors of historic sexual abuse have started doing what they should have been doing a long time ago, listening and believing.

People with historic sexual abuse.

Although I know from experience that it has been a very difficult existence so far, you are in fact a survivor of historic sexual abuse, and I will from this point on refer to you as a survivor, not a victim, because you have gotten through it the best way you knew how.

You have managed to forge a life and a way of coping with the pain and, in some cases, the guilt that some survivors talk about. Let me say right now that the guilt is not yours to carry, it belongs to the abuser. In the case of a loved one being the perpetrator, this can be very difficult to cope with.

Many survivors of historical sexual abuse have found that they wanted to talk to the authorities about what happened, but for many more, the headlines and countless press articles that seem to be everywhere at the moment have raised feelings and emotions to the forefront. You may be struggling to keep a lid on your pain and emotions, and your friendships and relationships may be suffering as a result.

Whether you want the abuser to face charges or you just want to share your past harm with someone in complete confidence, I would consider it a privilege to hear your story and to support you however you need.

The reason I have added this page is to provide online counselling for survivors of historic sexual abuse and to support you in a different way.

Many survivors don’t want to go to the police or aren’t ready, you may never want to take that step, and that is your choice, but nonetheless you may need the support which can help you to get through this once and for all.

Counselling isn’t necessarily about reliving the actual sexual abuse and what happened, some people don’t want that, some do, but what can be helpful are therapeutic tools which will help you to:

  • Manage your emotions and feelings.
  • Help you build trust.
  • Function better in your relationships.
  • Feel happier about yourself.
  • Get closure to the historic sexual abuse.
  • Learn to live a happier life.

Many survivors of historic sexual abuse find that online counselling offers them a safe way to explore their hurt and pain, you can be anonymous, you can access it from a place you find comfortable and safe, work, home, even in your car on a mobile phone via Instant Messaging Application of your choice.

No one else needs to know, I don’t keep records and I work alone. I have worked with survivors of historic sexual abuse, children and adults in my time with the NSPCC and with the Samaritans, as well as working with hundreds online via my online counselling website.

If you’re wondering about the safety and confidentiality of our counseling sessions, let me assure you:

Choosing to work with me via text-based communication, like chat application on smartphone, provides a secure and confidential space for your healing journey. During our sessions, you won’t need to see me, and I won’t need to see you—unless, of course, you feel more comfortable with that arrangement. This approach allows you to freely express your feelings and thoughts while benefiting from therapeutic tools tailored to help you move towards a happier and more peaceful life.

Your privacy and well-being are of utmost importance, and our sessions are conducted with the highest level of confidentiality and respect. Your words are safe with me as we work together to find a permanent path forward and achieve the closure you seek.

Here are some examples of sexual abuse:

  • A girl who was abused by her father until she was a teenager when she finally told someone, and her father went to jail.
  • A boy who was abused by his soccer coach and thought he was the only one until other boys came forward later.
  • A young girl whose step-brother did inappropriate things with her when she was little, which she realised was sexual abuse when she got older.
  • A boy who was regularly abused by his trusted uncle and aunt during visits, and he couldn’t explain why he didn’t want to go see them.
  • Two sisters who both suffered abuse from their grandfather but didn’t talk about it until many years later.

It’s important to know that sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender. In the UK, about 10% of children go through sexual abuse at some point, with most victims being girls. In more than 90% of cases, the abuser is male.

Sometimes, survivors of sexual abuse might not remember everything that happened for a while. These memories can come back later, especially when they feel safe or when certain things trigger them, like starting a romantic relationship or becoming a parent.

Here are some things survivors might experience in later life:

Flashbacks and Nightmares: They might have sudden memories of what happened or have bad dreams about it.

Feeling Shame and Guilt: Survivors might blame themselves or feel really bad about needing help. This can lead to low self-esteem, depression, self-harm, or thoughts of suicide.

Intense Anger: They could be angry at the person who hurt them and want to confront them or stay far away. They might also feel angry at others who didn’t help.

Trouble with Relationships: Some survivors might avoid close relationships and not trust other people. Others might get into very intense relationships that are emotionally exhausting.

Worry About the Future: They might wonder if they can have normal relationships or if they might hurt someone else. Enjoying normal sexual activities might also be hard.

Feeling Alone and Different: Survivors can feel like they’re the only ones with this experience. They might think others can tell something’s wrong and treat them differently.

It’s important to know that everyone’s reaction is different. Some people can cope with severe abuse more easily, while others are deeply affected. There’s no right or wrong way to respond. And remember, it wasn’t your fault.

If you’ve experienced something bad like sexual abuse in the past, it’s possible to heal and feel better. Here’s how:

Talk to Someone You Trust: Find someone you feel safe with, like a friend, family member, or counselor, and share your feelings and experiences. It’s important to let it out and not keep it a secret.

Seek Professional Help: Consider talking to a therapist or counselor who specialises in helping people who’ve been through similar experiences. They can provide you with guidance and support.

Take Care of Yourself: Focus on your physical and emotional well-being. Eat well, exercise, and get enough rest. Treat your body kindly.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself and don’t blame yourself for what happened. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Learn Coping Skills: Therapists can teach you coping strategies to manage difficult feelings like anxiety, anger, or sadness.

Set Boundaries: It’s important to establish boundaries in your relationships and make sure you feel safe and comfortable.

Stay Connected: Surround yourself with supportive people who care about you.

Be Patient: Healing takes time, and it’s different for everyone. Don’t rush the process and remember that it’s okay to seek help.

You’re not alone, and there are people and resources available to assist you in your healing journey. It might be tough at times, but with support and self-care, you can move towards a happier and healthier future.

Certainly, Historic Sexual Abuse Counseling can be a crucial step towards reclaiming your sense of wholeness and rebuilding trust in others. In this type of counseling, you’ll find a safe and supportive space where you can openly express your feelings and emotions, allowing you to explore the impact of past events on your well-being.

Through therapy, you will gain valuable insights into your own emotions and reactions, helping you better understand and manage them. You’ll also develop coping strategies tailored to your unique experiences, which can be invaluable for navigating the challenges of healing. Additionally, therapy equips you with healing tools and techniques that empower you to gradually work through the trauma that has affected you.

As you engage in this therapeutic process and address your feelings related to historic sexual abuse, you may begin to experience a profound sense of healing and a gradual restoration of your inner self. While healing is a journey that takes time, it is entirely possible to rebuild trust in others and find a renewed sense of wholeness with the guidance of a trained therapist.

Over time, you may discover that as you heal and grow, it becomes easier to trust others. This transformation can profoundly impact your relationships and your ability to connect with people in a more meaningful and positive way. The support and guidance of a trained therapist can be a beacon of hope along this path to restoration.

In conclusion, remember that healing is a unique journey for each individual, and it may have its ups and downs. However, with the right support and therapeutic guidance, you can embark on a path toward rediscovering your sense of self, rebuilding trust, and finding a brighter, more hopeful future.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI have helped many survivors who had historic sexual abuse in the past, especially by someone they trusted or by their family members.

I keep my clients’ confidential as my top priority, and I make sure people feel safe and comfortable when they talk to me.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

‘When I was twelve, my older brother touched me every time our parents left us at home alone. He was sixteen at the time. Now we are both adults and we get along quite well, but I kept recalling that experience time and time again. I felt bad because I let him do it and I liked how it felt, but then I felt dirty and ashamed. I still fantasised about him making love to me even years later. I felt depressed and I wanted the feelings and the fantasy to go away.

I found Paul online, he came and rescued me just in time. His understanding and support put me at ease, and I was comfortable to tell him everything that happened, even he told me that I didn’t need to talk about the past in detail, unless I wanted to.

He explained that the pleasant feelings were natural and normal as our body is designed to respond in that way, and there is nothing I should be ashamed of.

With Paul’s help, now I can leave that part of my life in the past and feel ok with myself. I don’t feel dirty or ashamed anymore, and I also stopped fantasising about my brother, once and for all.

Now I am looking forward to a brighter future with no shame and depression in it. Thank you Paul’.

Adam. USA.
February 2023.

‘I’m a survivor of abuse who believed I had moved past the trauma until I began dating someone special. When we decided to become intimate, my past trauma resurfaced, leading to intense flashbacks and panic. I sought help and found Paul, a compassionate therapist who provided a safe space and equipped me with practical coping tools.

Through Paul’s guidance, I realised that healing takes time, and I needed to communicate openly with my partner about my past trauma before attempting intimacy.

This communication and the tools Paul taught me, transformed our relationship, allowing us to navigate this sensitive issue together and rebuild trust.

With Paul’s support, I worked through my fears and regained control over my life and emotions, embarking on a transformative journey of healing and growth.

I owe my newfound strength and happiness to Paul’s expertise and unwavering compassion, and I’m forever grateful for his role in helping me reclaim my life.’

Monic. UK.
December 2022.

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