“Dear Survivor”: A letter about the hard truths of healing from child abuse

Trauma-focused psychotherapist Laura K. Kerr, PhD, IMFT writes a powerful and touching letter to survivors of child abuse.

ACEs Too High

Dear Survivor,

Credit: Oldangelmidnight from Northampton, MA Credit: Oldangelmidnight from Northampton, MA

“Because then I knew it was over.”

That’s what most strive to feel about the lingering effects of childhood abuse, although not about the actual events. Those are long gone, and often dissociated from awareness.

Rather, most want to end sleepless nights and startled awakenings; feeling as if they live in a parallel universe, outside the world inhabited by ‘normal’ people who lack histories of abuse; intrusive images, feelings, sounds, and smells; the desire to drink, smoke, toke, shoot up, sex to oblivion; the avoidance of intimacy because of a seemingly endless reserve of anxiety simmering below a brittle surface of civility; or fighting because the rage never seems to dissipate and you just want to push back, because the planet is not big enough to hold all your hurt, let alone the emotional needs of another person.

At the first inkling of…

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Child Advocacy Center Spotlight

Centre County, PA experienced heartbreak as news about the Jerry Sandusky scandal surfaced. Centre County will be opening a child advocacy center next week. We are relieved that children who have experienced abuse in Centre County now have a safe place to turn to, a safe place that will honor their voices.

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — “After years of work, and as the dust continues to settle in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, officials in Centre County have opened a new facility designed to help children who may be victims of sexual abuse. The project to create a child advocacy center in the Centre region started just days after Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November 2011. He was later convicted. On Monday, county leaders and local officials gathered to showcase the new center.”

Read more here: http://www.wjactv.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/child-advocacy-center-now-open-centre-co-1615.shtml

BELLEFONTE — “A child traumatized by abuse or neglect in Centre County might once have been interviewed a police officer. Later, she might tell her story again to a social worker. then to a doctor or a psychologist. Before she was even old enough for preschool, she might have to talk about the most horrible moments of her life half a dozen times before she even started to get help. With the opening of the Centre County Children’s Advocacy Center in Bellefonte on Monday, the experience changes to a child-focused single stop that aims to get past the hard part and begin the healing.”

Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/2014/02/10/4029113/centre-county-opens-child-advocacy.html#storylink=cpy