It's never too late to begin the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. It's never too early to fall in love with the person God created you to be. Long ago someone made a choice to take away your innocence, but today that someone can't touch your freedom to heal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

On Loving Survivors Well (Part 2: A Shockproof Friend)

“I keep telling you things that I think will shock you, but you don’t shock easily.”

My survivor friend was letting me in slowly, giving me more information over the course of months that turned into years. I was thankful that she didn’t see shock in my eyes because I was purposeful in keeping my eyes soft and compassionate whenever she took our conversations to her place of hurt and shame. I never wanted to be guilty of ripping the scabs off of her painful wounds. She needed a friend to listen and listen some more. She needed a friend to trust that her memories were true as she was finally able to translate her memories into words. She needed a friend who wasn’t shocked by her abuse, her abuser, or the consequences of her abuse.

I think Dr. Diane Langberg states this concept well in her book, Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse. She writes:

Calling back memories that one has never been able to voice is a massive struggle. Hearing about such things can cause great denial in the listener. Yet we who believe that sin is so hideous as to require the death of God himself [Jesus] should of all people find evil believable.
(Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse, by Dr. Diane Langberg, page 280.)

I am not a professional counselor. But I am a friend to over twelve women who are survivors of sexual abuse, and I’ve had the honor of listening to their hearts over the course of the past fifteen years.

If 1 out of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys are molested by their eighteenth birthdays, chances are, you have a survivor friend who needs a shockproof friend too.

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