Hi, my name is Janet. Welcome to the very first podcast on my website, Recovery from child sexual abuse. There aren’t many voices of survivors online and I hope that survivors and therapists alike will find it helpful to be able to hear mine.
I have put this site together because I want to reach out to as many people as possible, to as many survivors and to as many supporters and therapists as possible, to share some of my struggles and my successes. To show you that, whatever stage in your journey you are at, recovery from child sexual abuse is possible.
Every survivor of sexual abuse will have a different story. You may have been assaulted as a child, as an adult; recently, or a long time ago. You may have been abused by a family member or family friend, by a trusted adult, or by a stranger. There may have been a single incident or abuser, a few, or very many.
My story, some of which I have included on the site, is a lengthy and complicated one. What is important, whatever your story, is that we will have thoughts, feelings, experiences and struggles in common. What is even more important, is my message that there is hope for healing. Recovery from child sexual abuse, as well as from other trauma, is possible.
I don’t have any qualifications in therapy, but I do have an extensive CV of being a client. I’m an expert by experience, I guess you could say. I have been very lucky in that the vast majority of the counsellors and therapists I have worked with at various points over the past forty years have helped me enormously. I will be looking at some of the ways that I have been helped to heal in some of the blogs and podcasts. There is also a Resources page on the site, which includes some practical ideas and strategies for both survivors and therapists.
I have made huge progress in my recovery over the past fifteen months or so. This has stemmed directly from going to a gig by Ruby Wax in November 2018 in Buxton. Ruby was plugging her latest book, “How to Be Human”, which she has co-written with a monk and a neuroscientist. All three of them were on stage for the second half of the show, which included a Q and A from the audience. Towards the end, the neuroscientist suggesting reading a book written by Bessel Van der Kolk, called, “The body keeps the score; mind, brain and body in the healing of trauma”. This book was revelatory for me. It showed me scientific explanations for some of my symptoms, such as being literally unable to speak about abusive incidents. Crucially, the author also makes suggestions for ways in which we can heal from our experiences of trauma.
One of the book’s suggestions led me to a clinical psychologist, who is accredited in using Eye Movement Desentisation and Re-processing, or EMDR. This approach has been incredibly helpful for me in my recovery. There will be more about EMDR in future blogs and podcasts.
I hope that you find the site informative and inspiring. Be gentle with yourself while reading or listening to some of the more emotive material. Good luck on your journey to recovery.