In Recovery from Sexual Trauma: Slower is Better, Breath is Remedy and Body is Guide

After a sexually traumatic experience, your body does not easily return to its normal functioning. You suffered a violent act, and a result your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is in a state of overwhelm. This is known as sympathetic or parasympathetic shock. The outcome is a constant state of vigilance or the inability to act at all.

The force of this event is now imprinted in your body with or without conscious recall.

When shock states linger in the body, the symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks, unexplained fears, deep sadness, long periods of sleep, the inability to sleep
  • Spacing out, feelings of unworthiness, numbness, and a general sense of impending doom
  • Addictions, mood swings, over or under eating
  • Panic, rapip defensive speech or the inability to speak up for yourself
  • Dominating anger, being stuck in abusive relationships, sexual contact without intimacy, frozen sexual responses
  • Confusion about vocation, relationship difficulties, lack of confidence, low self esteem, overwork and feeling tainted

The trauma leaves its mark on your circle of friends, co-workers and family. You and your community may want to believe you can just “move on” without treatment. This is also a symptom of shock and it buries the trauma, causing complex and troubling issues later in life.

Treatment makes freedom and joy possible!

At some point in therapy, you will notice that you can connect with your emotions and your body in a new way. Perhaps you will even see your body with its emotions, as an ally in healing. The body and emotions will teach you to dream again. Perhaps for the first time, you will know what it means to trust your feelings, using your intuition as guides on the healing journey.

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