The shame that occurs from sexual abuse of a child transcends generations. Approximately one in every three girls and one in every six boys are sexually abused. I find these statistics mind-boggling, just think about it.
When a child is molested the shame and guilt that lives within them for the rest of their lives molds everything they do. Often intimacy is never achieved, as they are too vulnerable to connect with another person. The shame is often built upon the belief that they, the child, are the ones responsible for their being sexually abused. Their guilt follows this.
It is only recently that people are recognizing that so many boys and girls are sexually abused.
I have a friend whose mother killed herself when she was thirteen. Until my friend found out that her mom had been sexually abused she thought in some way she had let her mom down. Upon learning of her mother’s abuse, she is now able to understand that her mother’s issues were not her issues.
A forty-three year old man had been sexually abused at age nine by a boy of fourteen. It took him many years of working with me to truly get that he had done nothing wrong and had nothing to be ashamed of. It was much too challenging for him to maintain a lasting relationship because when he felt close to a person, his feelings of shame would come up and he would feel too vulnerable to allow anything more than a superficial connection. After lots of self-reflection, insight and growth, he is now dating a woman and for the first time he has allowed himself to shared his story. He is beginning to allow himself to feel vulnerable and connected. As he lets go of the shame and guilt he is able to allow the intimacy of connection.
The shame and guilt of childhood sexual abuse can and does affect all of us. If you even sense that there is a child being sexually abused, reach out and be the voice for that child.