If someone asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ he will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zech 13 v 6

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Are We Doing? (part 1)

A natural question you might be having is, "How is the victim (survivor, as I like to say) doing now?" I will say right now that our child is doing well, as far as I can tell. We stayed in counseling until the counselor felt our child was stable and we were given specific things to watch for that might require us to return to counseling.

There are different stages that someone usually goes through in order to process what has happened to them. The stages are important for true healing. Because of the age of the victim and the complete inability to put any context to what actually happened to them, the stages will likely have big gaps between them. Immediately following the discovery of the crimes, the child was fearful of losing all friends and the fellowship with the church. This is exactly what happened, because of the way the elders handled everything. It didn't have to be that way.

Also, our child dealt with some anxiety and fear issues. The child's limited memory has protected them from a lot right now. Is the memory limited out of protection? It is amazing what the mind can do to help protect oneself. This child does have a hard time expressing real feelings about the situation. This was where the counseling really had an impact. Through everything, I will say that this child held the strongest connection with God. Our child really held tight to some basic scriptures. I didn't respond that way, but was so thankful to see this child really holding onto scripture.

The future is what makes me a little nervous and is the reason why we choose to handle everything in the different ways that we have. We really want to minimize any lasting effects childhood sexual abuse can have on our child.

A counselor will tell you that there are typical trigger points in a survivor's life. For this child, it will likely be when they reach an age where they have true romantic feelings for someone of the opposite sex, when this child gets married, and when this child has their first daughter. The issues at these times could be minor or there could be traumatic memories or strong emotions. Only time will tell. Of course, we pray that the effects will be minimal to nothing, but the reality is that our child will be dealing with this for the rest of their lives. That is where my anger comes from.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

"Through everything, I will say that this child held the strongest connection with God."

That is huge. It is by God's grace...but it is also because you, as her parents, never betrayed her. You did not listen to your church leaders - you did not minimize what had happened, pretend it away, or force her to reconcile with her abuser. Your daughter can believe God is faithful because you were.