As survivors of (sexual, incest, rape, etc.) abuse, we tend to believe that we – alone, are the only person affected by the abuse. After all, we are the one who has endured the memories, the nightmares, the physical symptoms and more. But wait, what about those closest to us? Do they feel immune from these feelings?


Empathy, understanding anothers feelings

In all actuality, we have the ability to feel *degrees of empathy. Recall a time that someone has been physically or emotionally hurt, did you feel something too? Did you feel a similar pain, in recognition or compassion? We share our story with those who we feel safe with, maybe a teacher, coach, friend, sibling, parent and/or spouse (partner). Once told, our experience becomes their shared experience, to some extent. You don’t have to break your leg to know that it hurts, when someone else has a broken leg! Those whom we have shared our story of abuse, likewise have feelings of empathy for us and our experience.       

*Degree of empathy – honor your feelings, in who you feel safe, with sharing your experience, not everyone is able to have the degree of empathy that you will require to heal.


Possible feelings that others may experience include:

  •       Feeling – helpless, hopeless, angry, irritable
  •     Sleep issues
  •     Hyper-arousal – fidgety, restless, over protective
  •     Constriction – shut down, isolating, numbing, depressed


Empathy allows for recovery to take place, this shared process allows for a distribution of the emotional wounds in order to heal.


No matter our age, we need emotional support

As we begin the process of recovery, it is important that we include support people in our therapy as needed. For young children and adolescents, family sessions may occur more often than for adult survivors. For adult survivors, our family may also include our committed relationship partner/spouse, as well as family. Depending upon the family dynamic and makeup, family sessions may include siblings, grandparents or other extended family members.


Recovery begins by breaking the silence

The abuser is still in control, up to the point that you choose to break the silence. The importance of finding our voice is imperative to recovery and healing. Honor your feelings, in who you feel safe, with sharing your experience, not everyone is able to have the degree of empathy that you will require to heal.

When we begin to listen to our soul and seek assistance through our support system or professional therapy, there is a shift in our consciousness and change will be able to take place!




Male (Adult) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery 

Healing childhood wounds for men is possible, someone knowledgeable needs to be present to take witness and hear your story, a story that you probably have never told before.


Female (Adult) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery  

Recovery for females from childhood sexual abuse is possible. Once therapy begins to heal the lifetime of gaping wounds, you begin to feel a sense of personal empowerment, and control over your life from the perspective of the adult that you are.  


Adolescent Male & Female (8 yrs – 18 yrs old) Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery  

Healing earlier in life rather than living with the emotional pain for years, can lead to a more fulfilling life. 


As your Transformational Coach we can work together in finding new and effective ways for moving forward.

Cheryl L. Wheeler MA, NCC
Cheryl L. Wheeler MA

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Cheryl Wheeler *only providing Life Coaching Services. Please note coaching sessions are not to be considered psychotherapy in nature, and are not appropriate for Serious Mental Health Illness’.