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Signs of Resolution

In my previous blog I mentioned the Four R’s  of recovery from SV.

Just to review, they are:

  • Ravaged
  • Reorganization
  • Resolution
  • Redemption

Here are some symptoms of Resolution.  Don’t be concerned if you are not noticing any of them.  To get here usually takes a lot of work.  The following is from my book Redeem The Silence; an Unintended Journey:

You re-examine your feelings about your sexual violence experience.

You are becoming more comfortable talking about your story.  The scar tissue from the healing may still get irritated, but your emotional reactions, once at 10 on a scale of 0-10, are closer to a 1 or 2.  You feel glimmerings of gratitude at knowing yourself and at how God is making you a better person.  You tolerate the ignorance of others’ words and reactions more easily.  These may trigger negative feelings, but you have beginning resources you can use, and your reactions pass more easily.  You suffer fewer or no more nightmares or flashbacks if you had them (not everyone does). You’re not triggered by smells, sights, persons, or places with as much anxiety or fear.  Your bitterness and anger toward the offender is tapering off. 

 Your seasons of depression are fading.

Most common, especially on anniversary dates and other backward circling periods, you may feel sad but not devastated.  You may even begin to mark such dates as I do (27 years later) by doing something fun or life-giving.  You may still grieve losses that are a direct result of the SV, such as the effect it left of your children, marriage, and other relationships. But you move on and seek the best instead of looking relentlessly back. 

You are putting your sexual assault into perspective.

Assessing personal growth by evaluating what is different in your life from one or two years ago (quite possibly many more years, depending on when you started your journey), you appreciate the hard work you’ve done.  You are grateful for the supportive people you have found.  You believe God is good, and you are thankful for His work in you.   You have happier days even if you don’t feel content every day.  You now define the SV instead of being defined by it.  You now are controlling its effects on you instead of being controlled by them. 

Believe me, these are no small things!  If you are here you really have been working hard and are on the Recovery Road; you are doing great. 

If you can write out your story and would be willing to do so on this blog, you can with complete anonymity.  You can make up a fake name.  Your email address is completely secure.  It will help yourself and others if you will. 

I am hoping in a few weeks time to have a sort of “Dear Abbey” ability on the website so that anyone out there can ask me questions.  I would love to be more directly available to anyone who would like that.

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