When I was 7-years-old I was sexually assaulted by my uncle. After years of shame and disbelief from my family members I decided to move forward, accept my pain, and regain my sexual powers. Here’s how I did it.
“He parked the car in the middle of nowhere shsh-ed me and slowly lifted my skirt …”. I was only 10 years old and my uncle was 25. Before he flew back to London all he said was that it’s our little secret and no one can know about it. Who knew that “our” little secret would haunt me forever. I was so traumatized that even when my elder brother or his friends came to our house I used to hide in my room.
Everyone just thought that I was just a little shy girl. No one was aware of what that little girl was going through. I remember my uncle visiting us after 7 years with his family. Seeing him pretending that nothing ever happened and laughing with my family made me angry. All I wanted to do was to scream and tell everyone the truth.
This is just not my story, it is the story of every 5 out of 10 young girls all over the world. Seeing my culprit all happy made me realize that he should be the one living in hell not me. It was not my fault then why should I be the one who suffers. I worked on myself until I was able to regain my sexual powers.
and the four ways that helped me regain my sexual powers were:
4 Ways to Regain Your Sexual Powers after an Assault
1. Reconnect With Your Body
When I came to an age where I could understand what happened to me. I started believing that my body is not pious. I used to cry day and night and came to a point where I started considering self-harm.
Eventually I realized that disconnecting myself physically and mentally from my body is of no use as it is just making me weaker day by day. I started embracing my body and tried gaining my senses back, this helped me to reconnect with my body and understand that my body is not dirty.
2. Open Up To Your Loved Ones
Sometimes all you need to do is to talk because if you don’t the secrets inside you end up suffocating you. We think that if we don’t talk about it then it didn’t really happen and that’s where we are wrong. Avoiding the truth will never help us heal, and it will just add on to our feeling of shame.
But it is imperative to pick the right person to talk to, one who we believe will not judge us and will be supportive. In my opinion, the best person to open up to is to a therapist or to join a support group as it is easy to talk to people who went to similar trauma like yours.
3. Acknowledge Any Feelings of Shame
I used to cry day and night because I was ashamed of what happened to me. I was afraid of the people around me, I was afraid that they will not accept me. And I thought all I brought to my family was shame.
It took me seven years to understand that I am not to blame for what happened to me, it’s my uncle and he should be the one to be ashamed. It’s really important to acknowledge the truth as it will make it easier to fully accept that you are not the one responsible.
“You did not bring an assault on yourself so you have nothing to be ashamed of!!”Unknown
4. Nurture Yourself
Healing from any trauma is a gradual ongoing process and it can’t happen overnight. I started taking care of myself physically and mentally. I understood the importance of eating right and getting plenty of sleep.
Eating and sleeping helped me overcome my anxiety but one of the most effective thing was exercising regularly. Exercise made me believe that I am not weak anymore and it gave me strength which I was lacking for the past years.
So please take care of yourself, focus on yourself, and be patient as healing takes time. If you ever feel that you are alone, just know that I am with you. If I can overcome my sexual trauma so can you.
This post is a contribution to The Zainab Kanu Blog. Do you have an empowering story to share with others on their healing journeys? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and play your part in helping others heal.