Surviving the Effects of Abuse

The topic on abuse is a very sensitive one. I was reluctant to write about this when the thought popped up. But as sensitive and disturbing as it might be, it is too real to ignore.

Abuse, for a many people, come in various forms. Ranging from that of neglect, verbal, emotional and discriminatory abuse, which leaves its victims with guilt- the feeling of not being able to do something at the time. Which tends to blaming oneself for being helpless, in addition low self esteem, self pity, anxiety, panic attacks and psychological/emotional conditions.

Ego ran into the sitting room with her skye-blue undie in one hand, while she had her other hand planted on her mouth. It was more like someone catapulted her into the living room where mummy was chatting with her friends. This was very unlikely of her. Mummy stands up and walks to where she stood, terrified.

“Ego, what is it?” She asks, taking her inside to her bedroom. But before mummy could let out the whole sentence, Ego nods her head rapidly in quick successions still with her palm over her mouth. Mummy asks a second time. “Are you okay?”, again the tiny light skinned girl nods her head.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, mummy. Mummy, I’m fine” she replies still terrified with both eyes almost popping out like she saw a ghost.

Mummy signs in irritation, got the kid’s undy and clothes, got her dressed and took her alongside with her to the living room.

Ego was six at the time.

It came from her relative. Uncle Chidi.

That was 12 years ago.

Fast forward to now. She is a beautiful and successful 28 year old lady. A sex maniac, had her confidence and esteem bruised and turned out to be sexually attracted to ladies. The nightmares and panic attacks came often.

Healing for Ego has been difficult, as:

  • The act lasted for some time. Uncle Chidi continued with this until she turned 16.
  • She panics each time an older man tries to touch her.
  • She never told anyone about this. Uncle Chidi knows this and has some sort of power over her.
  • She involuntarily visits the place of her abuse annually (Christmas holidays) which brings back painful memories.

As disheartening as the above story might seem, a lot of people are living with similar stories today.

You act happy all you want because it is what you want people to see, but behind it is a broken heart.

It is difficult to help victims. People don’t know what they go through and it will be unfair for a person to just say “I know how you feel”. No, you don’t.

Don’t push offering help too much, healing is a journey and should not be pushed too hard.

Every child experience shapes the brain for life, it is why you need a specialist.

Some Behaviours of Sexually Abused Victims

Survivors may experience one or more of the following.

1. Extremities With Boundaries

The attack leaves its victim with having either closed or loosed boundaries. A victim having close boundaries may tend to shut the universe out and not let anyone in (emotionally, sexually…). On the other hand, other victims may have no restrictions whatsoever- allowing everyone in, thinking they’d get love and attention through this.

2. Can Become Either Hyposexual or Hypersexual

This is something to look out and address. The ones who become hyposexual tend to observe celibacy and dislike for sexual activities even as married individuals.

On the other hand, hypersexualists have the tendency to become promiscuous, having lots of sexual partners and see this as no big deal. This is not them acting, it is only a reaction to the effect of the abuse. Depending on the duration it lasted.

3. Religion Extremities

A category these victims may turn out to hold tight to religion while the other category become atheists, believing that help would’ve come their way if there were a greater being somewhere. Some others tend to join fraternities with the feeling that they may find solace.

4. Trust Issues

Some victims turn out to not trust people and live with anger against their parents especially their mums for not being there to protect them from the act. Some may grow up not wanting to have kids, so as to save their kids from what they went through.

5. Some victims may become abusers themselves as a form of retaliation against the universe.

The above behaviors are formed due to psychology. It’s just science. It’s the more reason victims should seek for help.

If you have a friend who is a victim, do not directly approach them raising the topic. It is a sensitive one. Be present with them without acting all compassionate or emotional. Act very normal, else they feel less than you.

How to Begin Healing

Very importantly, seek medical and mental help (one cannot shy away from it). A good specialist will take a victim through the journey to getting healed. Your specialist will reassert the sense of safety which was once lost.

Please understand that healing is a journey which has a destination.

It was never your fault. Sometimes, we are responsible for experiences that aren’t our fault.

Fault is past tense while responsibility is present tense. The abuser is at fault but your current happiness and present state is your responsibility. Please take the responsibility to seek and get help.


I hope this helps. If you’ll like to reach out to someone, feel free to fill our Meet-a-Coach form so we can connect you with a reliable Teen Coach.

Do leave a comment below and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog to not miss a post.

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