Archive for February 15th, 2010

I was recently contacted by a college student who is writing his Master’s thesis on how blogging helps adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. I gave him permission to use excerpts from my blog as part of his thesis. Now I am going to make his job very easy for him because this is a great topic. I also encourage those of you who blog about childhood sexual abuse to write about your reasons and provide a link over to your blog in the comments so this student can use your blog for his research as well. I am thrilled that someone cares enough to ask, and I want to be supportive.

I actually did not begin using the Internet for healing from childhood sexual abuse as a blogger. In fact, I did not even know what a blog was when I began having flashbacks in 2003. All I knew was that I was having flashbacks of my mother sexually abusing me and that, other than my sister, I knew no one with a similar history. I was fearful of contacting a therapist because I thought that he would not believe me. After all, how often do you hear about mother-daughter sexual abuse?

I found a message board for adult survivors of child abuse called Isurvive, where I found people who supported me and believed me, even when I was having trouble believing myself. I shared all of my memories as I recovered them on that site, so I was kind of “blogging” without understanding what that term meant. I would share a memory and my reaction to it, and multiple fellow child abuse survivors would post supportive comments. They believed me, gave advice, offered support, and pretty much “held my hand” through one of the most painful times in my life. At a time when I was convinced that I must be “crazy,” I had a therapist and my online support system telling me that I was not.

In October 2007, I decided to write my own blog on healing from child abuse. My purpose was to provide support to those who were not as far along in healing from child abuse as I was. I wanted to provide the lifeline that others had provided me years ago when the flashbacks started.

Since then, my blog has met other needs as well. There are times when I still need support, and my wonderful readers provide me with supportive comments. I have used my blog for political activism, such as to help get the Protect Our Children Act passed. I have also used my blog to talk about topics that are not generally discussed anywhere online or offline, including animal rape, dissociative identity disorder (DID), mother-daughter sexual abuse, and masturbation as self-injury. My goal was never to be the spokesperson for any of these topics, but they need to be talked about, and I am willing to speak out about them when most other people are not.

My “reward” comes from the heartfelt emails I receive from people thanking me for talking about these difficult topics. Some readers have had the courage to talk to their therapists about issues like masturbation as self-injury after reading my blog. Others have told me that, instead of reaching for a razor blade to cut themselves, they reached for their keyboard to read my blog. The knowledge that my words are bringing healing to the most hurting members of society gives me immense satisfaction.

I do not get paid to write this blog. I have set my blog up as an affiliate for amazon.com, but every dime is donate directly to Isurvive to help that site continue to help adult survivors of childhood abuse. I lead a busy life, but I take the time to blog because it matters. This blog is my gift back to the community of adult survivors of child abuse. I know what it feels like to believe that I am completely alone. Through this blog, no child abuse survivor should ever need to feel that way again. As long as I continue writing this blog, and as long as I have active readers supporting one another, no adult survivor of childhood abuse needs to worry about healing alone.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

Read Full Post »