As a child, this experience shook my sense of safety and crushed my self-confidence. For decades afterward, I dealt with periods of depression and near-constant anxiety. These symptoms interfered with all aspects of my life, stunting my career aspirations, and robbing me of countless simple pleasures. In my mid-twenties, I sought treatment for the abuse and so began a long, arduous process of working to address the emotional impact of my trauma. -- Read More --
What is the Second Wound?
Many survivors feel re-victimized by our own families when we speak up about sexual abuse or assault. In a surprisingly high number of cases, family members fail to believe survivors, minimize our trauma, and blame us for causing trouble in the family. They ostracize, scapegoat, shame, and silence us. They may leave us out of family events–even as they include our perpetrators. These hurtful responses are far more widespread and detrimental than most people recognize. Often, they have no endpoint.
Survivors end up feeling blindsided, confused, and alone, all while we work to heal from our original trauma. These experiences create a “second wound” which can mirror the trauma of the abuse itself. The Second Wound is a site where we can feel understood, supported, and empowered by the people who truly get it, our fellow survivors. We are not the troublemakers. We are the truth tellers.
If you are a survivor, you need guidance and resources as you navigate the potential minefield of family reactions. You need to know you can overcome this second wound and lead a healthy, fulfilling life. As a fellow survivor with a Masters in Social Work, I understand what you’re going through and I am here to help. (Read my story in the About page.)
We have the truth and we have the power.