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More on brain Reorganization

Wow, there is so much in the news these days exposing beyond sadness and devastation   story after story of sexual violence (SV), both past and present.  Are we becoming desensitized to them?

The “Kansas City Star” did a brave story recently telling the story of one courageous survivor.  I will let you know later about that, but we seem to be so ignorant, ignore, or just do not realize how much the survivor has been damaged in his/her brain, heart and soul.  So, today is a continuation of one of my Four Recovery Stages. The name of the chapter is Healing Through Reorganization. (The book should hopefully be up as an e-book by the end of next month).  So, I will continue where I left off last Nov. 29th.

“Children who were not protected from sexual violence and who endured repeated assault grow mentally disorganized.  Their coping strategies usually do not serve them well.  Their prognosis is still good, but treatment may be longer and more difficult.  children who are fortunate enough to be believed and then protected from the abuser, then taken to a good child therapist are the fortunate ones.  The earlier the diagnosis and the earlier the treatment , the better the chance that the effects of the SV will be healed, exactly as in breast cancer.

When the Brain Reorganizes along fault lines: A survivor who has not been able to Reorganize in a healing way usually exhibits symptoms that are not generally understood to be related to SV.  Patricia writes, “Determined not to let the rapist ruin my life, I forced myself to get back to normal as soon as possible.  everyone was amazed at how quickly I recovered.  But I had started drinking and overeating.  I didn’t know why, but only that I had to lest something terrible should happen.  In actuality, the terrible thing had already happened–I had been assaulted.”  Well said.

Another woman came up to me at a conference and said she no ill effects of her rape.  As I began to ask her questions I discovered several relationship problems,including a few divorces.  I do not mean to imply that all divorces involve SV but we may be surprised at the number who do.  When I mentioned this possibility, she had an “ah-ah” experience of how her anger contributed to these problems.

Commonly related to SV are fits of rage, depression, all kinds of eating disorders, cutting or burning oneself, suicidal ideation and/or attempts, trying to control others, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares and fears, trouble on a job or keeping up at school.  There are so many types of additions that ease the pain for awhile, alcohol, pornography, and drugs just being the obvious.  Just this morning on KCBS News there was a report that they are now starting to identify Cyber additions.  Every person I’ve treated who has come to be help for homosexuality (Christians usually see this as a problem) has also had a history of SV, often incest.  Often there will be extremes such as promiscuity or complete rejection of sexuality.  All of these are symptomatic of unresolved pain and evidence of how Reorganization is actually taking place as the person tries desperately to cope with the pain of the violation.”

This excerpt is only part of the chapter, so don’t let it get you down.  Identifying these problems and their source is the first step of healthy brain Reorganization.

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