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After the Ravaged Stage, which typically lasts 3-6 months, just like  our  smart God-created brains go right to work to heal a bruise or a cut, so the brain tries to heal itself of the trauma it has experienced.  Sometimes we end up in what I call Academy Award Winning Recovery.

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Forces within and without want us to be the same as before we were assaulted.  And so we try; really really hard! So others might see us strong, but we are really falling apart!

I tried for the longest time to turn my Ravaged Stage into denial so family, friends, church and myself could be ‘okay.’  I did not want my world to change. I longed to keep the status quo, it seemed to be working well enough before the rape, why not now?  Yet it had changed, not by my choice but the rapist’s choice.

John Fisher, known for his work in developing a transition curve of personal change, describes denial as …”a lack of acceptance of any change and denies that there will be any impact on the individual.  People keep acting as if the change has not happened, using old practices and processes and ignoring evidence of information contrary to their belief systems.

It is important for an individual to understand the impact that the change will have on their own personal construct systems; and for them to be able to work through the implications for their self-perception.  Any change, no matter how small, has the potential to impact an individual and may generate conflict between existing values and beliefs and anticipated altered ones “(#41 citation from Redeem The Silence; An Unintended Journey ).

In the best of all possible worlds, a survivor is surrounded by gentle protectors.  These are the ones who can do the following:

  • listen/ask questions
  • comfort/cry with
  • pack away the judgement/advice giving
  • accept that as a protector you cannot fix or change her/him
  • accept that your truth is different from the survivor and it is not to be imposed on another

While this list is incomplete, what a great place to start.  Immediate family members have been affected also, though unfortunately denial is all too common.  Why unfortunately?  To stay in denial one cannot be a gentle protector like Jesus.




  1. I like the way you have framed this with the academy award winning film. Thanks.

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