(Here is the place to put a graphic picture of sexual abuse; but that might be considered child pornography.)
I am talking about the abuser, not the victim. The chances are extremely high they will offend again and probably had committed other offenses before they got caught. Also offenses tend to escalate over time as it takes more and more of a thrill to “get off”. Some people protect and support offenders because they think they deserve a chance and they would like to believe that the offenders have reformed.
It takes extreme vigilance to protect potential victims from these offenders. You and any other responsible adult who know about the offender should attempt to shadow the offender and keep them from being alone with potential victims. To do this, you have to think like an offender.
The sexual abuse often reflects the offenders’ full time commitment to getting access to potential victims and to collect information that would help them do this. A sexual offender never says to a responsible caretaker I will watch your child for you while you go to the grocery store and while you are there, I will get your child to undress and play a “fun” game with me from which I will get sexual pleasure.
Should you believe me? Yes! I have conducted interviews with many victims of sexual abuse, often by play therapy and by using drawings, One thing I have been careful not to do is implant an idea in a child’s mind where one didn’t exist and to try not to commit further trauma. The child may be frightened and somehow feel guilty. These are ways that the abuser knows to keep the victim from talking about the abuse with anyone.
When abuse occurs, children do many things in an attempt to help them handle it. They may learn not to trust their feelings and/or intuition. They might put a lot of it out of their mind as it is too hot to handle. But the unconscious usually retains the memories of sexual abuse somewhere and also the feelings associated with it. It is like a splinter. It may hurt a little if you leave it alone but it might hurt a lot when you take it out. Then the pain can go away.
Possible consequences of sexual abuse are confusion about sexual identity, decreased or even absent libido, and a sense of inferiority that never goes away. Don’t wait for someone else to do something about it! The sexual abuser counts on this.
How do you define yourself? By what others tell you? By what you think you should be? By what you really are?
Most of us grow up learning to define ourselves by the first two ways given? Thus we may never learn who we really are! Often we reach middle age or our golden years, not knowing who we are! Then we feel we have lost valuable time actually we could have been being ourselves in our lifetimes.
Who are you? In our society, we are subject to many outside influences trying to control who we are. We are unique human beings (one of a kind) who are shaped by varying outside influences and by inborn internal constraints.
Even identical twins are not entirely identical. In their bodies in some ways, they are mirror, rather than identical, images of each other and, of course, inevitably they are not treated exactly alike by other people and have experiences that are not exactly alike.
Yes, we inherit certain abilities and disabilities from our ancestors; but not always in the way that our family is happy with. Because that is so, many parents and grandparents are unhappy with their children and grandchildren who are unable to follow in their footsteps.
Even if we find idols other than our parents or grandparents to follow after, we might still not be qualified to do so. My parents were not college graduates so when I went to college something that my parents had not had the opportunity to do), I chose to become a psychologist, something that no one in my family had ever done.
I ignored some of my creative artistic and musical inclinations to become a knowledgeable scientist who would successfully do research to prove certain principles in the science of psychology. I felt had to do this to become what I was interested in being a practicing therapist and intuitive diagnostician and this was a preliminary step!
Actually, I was really interested in helping ordinary people before their problems became serious which is something I am doing now by writing this blog. I have also discovered that instinctively I have a good singing and speaking voice and artistic sense. That led me to rethink my past interests in projective drawings and hypnosis and other forms of altered states as an aid in therapy. I had briefly become involved in these things and then rejected them because they did not represent mainline scientific psychology and because I thought I was not talented enough in these areas.
So who are YOU really?