5 Healthy Ways to Cope with Sexual Trauma
The aftermath of rape or sexual assault can be devastating. The memories of the assault can leave you feeling alone, terrified, and with a feeling of shame because you think you did something wrong. Not only do you experience these feelings, but nightmares, flashbacks, and feelings of dread are also common with sexual trauma.
It is important to know that the way you’re feeling is normal and that you’re not alone. Below you can find a few healthy ways to cope with the sexual trauma you’re feeling.
Join a support group/seek counseling
It’s important to understand not only the physical effects of sexual assault, but the mental effects, as well. The best way to do this is by seeing a trained counselor to help you deal with your feelings of shame as well as the flashbacks and nightmares that many victims deal with on a daily basis.
Joining a support group is a healthy way to deal with sexual trauma, as it helps to know you’re not alone in the feelings you are experiencing. Sometimes, just the act of talking to others who have been through your situation can help. The last thing you need to do is keep your feelings bottled up, as this can lead to physical and mental issues from the trauma you were subjected to.
Take care of yourself
You need to take care of yourself above all else if you are going to be able to cope with sexual trauma. It’s important to note that taking care of yourself is more than physical. It’s important to rest when you’re tired instead of throwing yourself into activities. It’s also important to be careful what you watch. Avoid movies, TV shows, and news reports that could trigger flashbacks and memories. While this obviously includes anything to do with sexual abuse, it is also best to avoid social media for a period of time as well, as it can be too stressful to handle.
Reconnect with your body and how you feel
One of the main problems for someone suffering from sexual trauma is their inability to reconnect with their own bodies and feelings. There are numerous ways to do this, from purchasing sex dolls to meditation and getting a massage to help you become comfortable with the human body and being touched again. Though reconnecting with your body is important, do not force yourself to do anything you aren’t comfortable with.
It’s extremely important not to shut yourself off after a sexual trauma. You should stay connected by looking up old friends, making new friends, and participating in social activities that will help you to cope with what you have gone through. Even if you don’t feel like it, it is important to try to get back to “normal.” Shutting yourself off from society in general will only make it worse, not better.
Know that everyone’s healing process is different
While these are healthy ways to cope with your sexual trauma, it’s also important to remember that everyone heals differently. This means that your way of healing from a trauma may be different than someone else’s. You need to choose activities that help you move forward with your life in a healthy way. For example, some people who have suffered a sexual trauma find that fighting for justice on a major platform helps, while others get help a completely different way.
There is no right or wrong way to recover from this type of trauma. You have to find the avenue that works best for you.