Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Stages" of Healing

(c) Jessica McCormick
I just liked it today ;)
 First I want to throw out there that I'm seriously looking forward to going back to the support group on Monday. I've only been once so far, and didn't talk except the courteous hello and nice to meet you. But the people were really nice and welcoming and open. And I could get hot cocoa, which always makes me smile :) I really think that I will feel comfortable enough there in time to be able to talk a little and get some things out- let me tell you it is really nice to hear others' stories and know that I'm not alone and that other people are going through the same things.

Ok, now for what I'm really going to write about: stages of healing (from CSA/SA). I've been thinking about this a little lately as I'm trying to re-vamp my healing efforts. The University of California: Santa Barbara notes that there are five stages of recovery (see the article here):
  1. Before the assault (self explanatory)
  2. Denial (the assault is suppressed and deemed "insignificant")
  3. Awareness (sometimes with flashbacks, awareness of the assault sets in and seems all-consuming)
  4. Healing (life begins to even out and lots of "work" goes into working through the emotional tumoil as the survivor learns to reclaim her life)
  5. Recovery (the assault has a place in the survivor's life and sometimes needs more attention but then takes its place again and the survivor becomes stronger and more hopeful)
I think I am coming out of awareness and moving into a cycle sortof, like I'm not really all the way finished with one and into the other...I think. There are still flashbacks and dreams but I am learning to deal with them and work through them and try to work through everything that I have been through.

UCSB notes (in the same article linked above) that:
"Recovery from sexual assault is not a smooth, linear process. Although recovery here is presented in 'stages,' a survivor does not move from stage 1 to stage 2 to stage 3 in a simple manner until she is 'recovered' and then leave it all behind. The healing process may be accurately imagined as an upward spiral in which a survivor moves toward recovery, but moves back and forth through the different stages. ... For example, survivors may tap into denial at any time as a way of coping with other life stresses, or a survivor who has recovered greatly may suddenly be overwhelmed by an event and find the rape is consuming her once again. This is completely expected, and is not moving 'backwards' in recovery; rather, it often provides a new perspective on familiar feelings, or an opportunity to work through feelings which may have been too difficult at an earlier time."
I thought this was such an important point. Often we expect (or others do) that once we have worked through some part of the SA, we are "ok" with it and it will no longer bother us, that once we have talked out one aspect of it, it need not be visited again. This is simply not how it works, and expecting the impossible will only result in disappointment and hurt and frustration with the healing process.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Link to Info.

Well, this is the only helpful thing I found tonight so far and I don't have the energy to keep looking. I was trying to find information about what to do when I'm remembering, because I think with all the stress lately it's been happening a lot.

Here's a link to a Pandora's Auarium article in a public forum.