I wish I could say that my messing up stopped with my attempt at spiritual suicide, but it didn’t. As time went on I remembered more things and continued to make bad decisions while trying to make myself feel better.
But here is the amazing thing that I have now learned: God has loved me all along and He has forgiven for all of the stupid things I have done.
Here are some statistics about survivors of childhood sexual abuse from Darkness to Light website, which is trying to bring an end to the abuse:
- Female adult survivors of child sexual abuse are nearly three times more likely to report substance use problems (40.5% versus 14% in general population).
- Adult women who were sexually abused as a child are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women who were not sexually abused.
- Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt.
- Females who are sexually abused are three times more likely to develop psychiatric disorders than females who are not sexually abused.
- 24 year-old women who were sexually abused as children were four times more likely than their non-abused peers to be diagnosed with an eating disorder.
- Middle-aged women who were sexually abused as children were twice as likely to be obese when compared with their non-abused peers.
- Adult survivors are more than twice as likely to be arrested for a property offense than their non-abused peers (9.3% versus 4.4%).
- As adults, child sexual abuse victims were almost twice as likely to be arrested for a violent offense as the general population (20.4% versus 10.7%).
Use this link to find out more statistics about childhood sexual abuse: Darkness to Light website
Here is the thing… as a survivor, you do not corner the market on the sins you have committed and the wrongs you have done. All of us have made numerous mistakes and some really bad ones at that. But here is something you may not know, which I will repeat in this blog more than once, you are NORMAL. It is completely normal to have done the things listed above and others I will list later. It is a normal reaction to a completely terrible and devastating evil that was committed against us. That is probably one of the best realizations as a survivor… YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! YOU, MY FRIEND, ARE NORMAL!
Now the trick is to accept the grace and forgiveness that is freely given to you from God and may I dare say to forgive yourself. Read this short devotion on Rick Warren’s website. It may help.
“Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don’t hang your head in shame.” – Proverbs 4:25 (TEV)