Many friends and family believe that I should not talk about my childhood sexual abuse. They say it has been too long since it took place. They suggest I think about how it would affect my family. Should I or shouldn’t I disclose/share my secret?
Discussions around disclosure are very personal. This too can only be assessed by the survivor.
More importantly than should one disclose is the question of when and too whom, and for what purpose. It is always risky to disclose that you have been sexually abused.
You want to consider whether your confidentiality will be honored, whether the people you share it with will offer support or judgement and whether you will be believed. It is also recommended to not disclose with the expectation that the perpetrator may then apologize or ask for forgiveness.
Disclosing is about breaking the silence, no longer holding the paralyzing and shameful secret of what was done to you.
Many survivors keep the silence/the secret for many years, sometimes having no verbal memories, and at other times unconsciously repressing and denying the memories, because to remember can be overwhelming.
At times disclosing becomes available to the survivor when the perpetrator no longer has power/ access to the survivor; they die or become incapacitated or by some mean get disarmed and disempowered.
Disclosing frames, the beginning of the healing journey.
It is that this moment when the survivor begins to address their needs and concerns for themself and place that above other’s needs. It is not necessary to disclose to family and friends, but disclosing, at least to a trusted friend, a professional /healer or at a group of other survivors, when ready, is suggested.
What are your thoughts about sharing your experiences with others?
If you have a sexual abuse history, have you shared your experience with your family?
What was their response?
Please know that I am with you in your journey. Feel free to share your thoughts with me and let me know how I can support you in your life.
Be Well, Be Blessed.