The Three Stages of Healing
Please use the information below to get an idea of which stage you most affiliate with. This isnt to put you in a box, or to make you feel restricted to a certain title, but rather to help you identify how best to move forward. Knowing your stage will also help you decide which events to participate in during our retreat. You may not fit perfectly in one area, and that's ok! Just find the one that fits you best and use that information to sign up for the sessions you feel with help with your healing journey.
This is the emergency stage where you discover the effects of sexual abuse you suffered as a child are having a significant impact on your life. In this stage you deal with the memories and feelings that may have been suppressed. You acknowledge it happened and start to move out of denial and into truth. At this stage it is time to break the silence and begin to share your story with those who genuinely care about you. Some need less direct methods to share their story, such as through writing or art.
"But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless."
This stage begins with understanding it wasn't your fault, where you give the responsibility back to your abuser. You begin to understand the child victim and allow yourself to have empathy and compassion for your "inner child". You also begin to grieve the abuse, which allows you to honor your pain, release the hurt and live more fully in the present. This stage provides you a chance to use your anger as a catalyst to move through your pain, hurt, and despair.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
This stage is about disclosure and truth-telling. You may confront your abuser at this point, though not all chose to. Forgiveness can happen at this stage as well. Forgiving yourself releases you from self-blame, shame, and humiliation. Some find it freeing to forgive their abuser, but this usually comes after a long, committed healing process. Many in this stage find spirituality helps them with the strength and support services they need to work through their healing process. Finally, this stage can lead to resolution. As you work through these stages, you experience more awareness, integration, and compassion. You gain the ability to move toward a better future.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves recieve from God."
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4