Sexual Abuse Victim Anger and How to Help
Do not be put off by Victims’ Anger; it is a necessary step on the Path to Recovery
People on the board complain from time to time about the anger of other posters, [but never about their own!]; as if this was some inexcusable sin or defect. It is normal for people who have been deceived or abused in any way to be angry to some degree. Regarding victims of sexual abuse the anger can be greater and unknowing people continue to be scandalized by this anger/rage; not knowing that it is normal for people who have been seriously sexually abused to be angry; it may take years to overcome this.
Clinicians distinguish between two categories of sexual abuse: that perpetrated by family members and that perpetrated by others. Regarding the victims of Father Maciel’s sex abuse we conclude from the testimonies that this was the more insidious form of sexual abuse, incest, because they were his children, his sons. A propos this issue brought up by a friend these ideas came together on the spur of the moment.
The Bad News
Most male victims of sexual abuse:
- do not become aware of the abuse for a long time
- do not understand the nature of their abuse [e.g. may still confuse
pedophilia with homosexuality]
- are very confused about their participation in the abuse and about their own sexuality
- were not diagnosed for years
- did not face it for years
- never got proper therapy for this illness
- thought they could get over it on their own
- got on with their lives, e.g. they got married and had careers.
- their ‘lives’ did not solve the underlying problem.
The Good News
- confronting the offender is part of the recovery process
- acceptance and kindness of friends and significant others is basic
- it is never too late to face our past and begin working on the issues
- every little progress in healing goes a long way
- relaxation and stress reduction is helpful
- quiet meditation can be transformative [it probably has to be very different than what was experienced in the abusive environment]
- increasing self-esteem and enjoying success can be restorative
- live in the present moment
- enjoy the simple things of life
- expose yourself to nature to be healed by Nature
- re-learn to trust God when you are ready
- do fun things
- laugh at life, yourself, and the silliness of life
- create a new, more mature Faith Life, relationship with the Church, Jesus Christ, the Spirit and the Father.