Recovery: Healing And Transformation

The lecture is about Recovery from Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Rape, Substance Abuse and the process of Recovery and Healing.
These are subjects which, emotionally, are both highly charged and devastating to the person subjected to them as well as the family of the woman, man or child who has been made a victim.

Because of the nature of this lecture and the need for confidentiality for each of you, I ask that any personal issues revealed remain confidential and not be discussed in a public forum with the identity of the speaker in any way revealed.
I truly do hope that this is an informative lecture. For anyone who has been subjected to any of these issues, I pray that you find something here to assist you in healing.

I'll open with a poem that VorTiger, from #ascension, wrote for me after an evening of discussing issues and has graciously allowed me permission to use here:

"The Storm"
I feel your broken spirit racing unbridled through
the violent storm of memories deep hidden.

The force of a thousand suns released,
exploding through the cosmos in final death throes.

The search for pieces of a once-ordered existence,
lost in eternity, as nature observes.

Reflections in silence draw back an understanding
of what was your sanity.

Composure regained, you continue in daily effort,
the ceaseless flow.

At this point, I'd like each of you to close your eyes for a minute or two and center yourselves...
As you do, I'd like you to breathe slowly and deeply, allow the day's thoughts to clear. Find a place of serenity and beauty within. When you are ready, open your eyes again and feel refreshed, relaxed. And we will begin...

My real name is Ricki and I am a Registered Nurse, working as a clinician in Psychiatry. Currently, I work on a unit in a general hospital in Connecticut treating a general psychiatric population as well as working with Substance Abuse Detox. I have been an RN for 10 years
and working in the medical field for 14.

I am in recovery and healing from issues of abuse, rape and substance abuse. The abuse and rape issues occurred 30 or more years ago up until I was 14 years old...I was unable to deal with them then and the wonderful support systems that are currently available were not then available for a woman, a man or a child.

Because of that, a few years later, I wound up trying to further suppress and block the memories through substance abuse. And again was, during a period of prolonged and severe substance abuse, subjected to a rape by more than one individual and significant violence.

It was a lonely, secret journey that I dared share with no one in all of those years... Because of fear, shame and anger. But, this year, I allowed myself to seek healing when those memories were recovered and use my career to help others heal.


Child abuse is rampant within our culture and growing at a terrifying rate as society becomes more complex and the economics of life today impose severe stresses on families and individuals. Child abuse can be sexual, physical or emotional. It takes as many forms as there are people perpetrating it.

It results in emotional and/or physical scarring and, in too many instances, death. Either during the initial phases of abuse, or as a reaction to the abuse being something the victim is unable to live with. Either way, an innocent life is tragically altered or lost. It is the duty of any woman or man aware of a child being abused to report it.

The states all have ANONYMOUS reporting mechanisms in order to avoid the reporter from being concerned with retribution by the abuser or the abuser's family. AND to retain the focus where it belongs: FOR THE CHILD.

The damage to a child from abuse is devastating and can result in severe emotional or physical damage that endures for a lifetime. The damage is something which can cascade throughout the psyche, giving rise to other emotional dysfunction and may even possibly result in the child himself or herself eventually becoming an abuser, if untreated. In being a recipient of this abuse, the genesis of later substance abuse may occur.

Yet, if treated as soon as it is identified, the child can be successfully treated and have a life that is as rich and full of the beauty of living that she or he is ENTITLED to as a BIRTHRIGHT.

It IS preventable: if you are an abuser, PLEASE seek help NOW. If you are AWARE of such abuse PLEASE REPORT IT. And thereby prevent a lifetime of misery or possibly death.

<purplrose> not everyone who was abused becomes an abuser or
a substance abuser tho right
<oldsoul> that's far, the majority do not
in the main, purpl, those who have been abused try to heal...
* GrayMind nods
<Gwendy> I believe abuse is a control problem given by a very
insecure person, afraid of a natural free relationship.
<oldsoul> that may well be, Gwendy...
<purplrose> i still think its more pure meanness then control
<GrayMind> Could they control you out of sheer strong will,
as opposed to just fear? Imposing their reality on you.
Judging your thoughts and opinions as being of little importance
<oldsoul> yes, GrayMind
<GrayMind> we are all deserving of love
<AriannaSR> We must love ourselves.. be that rose that smells
sweet in the garden, not worrying who is pleased by its scent
that is owning your power
<Participant> hahaha that is what I said to myself today. If my
husband don't loves me, I will.
* GrayMind applauds
<daysi>Remember, Eleanor Roosevelt said,
" No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
<Gwendy> :)
<oldsoul> we will continue?

Sexual abuse occurs, today, for both girls and boys. It is perhaps the most secret of all forms of abuse and the most emotionally devastating. The victim is frequently subjected to significant coercion, manipulation and blackmail by the perpetrator to maintain secrecy. The child who is, or has been subjected to it, frequently suffers significant damage to the joy and expression of sexuality.

Sexual abuse may be perpetrated by an older member of the nuclear family such as a sibling, a parent or another relative. It may also be perpetrated by an adult known to the family, such as a teacher, cleric, daycare worker or ANY individual that has contact with the child.

The child may or may not present symptoms of the abuse, such as outright physical signs or may present with personality changes, evident during any activity which requires removal of clothing or when an activity occurs in an environment resembling that in which the abuse has occurred. The need for being sensitive to your child and maintaining communication cannot be stressed enough, if you suspect sexual abuse.

If your child tells you that she or he has been touched in a sexual manner or otherwise describes an activity that you do not intuitively feel is right, GENTLY explore it with the child. And DO seek counselling for the child IMMEDIATELY if it is evidenced, as well as yourself to deal with the emotions that will arise.

Either start or allow LEGAL action against the perpetrator to be initiated. The reason for allowing such action to be taken is to prevent OTHER children from becoming victims. The healing will be more successful the earlier it is begun! Yet, even in the case of an adult who suffered sexual abuse as a child, therapy and counselling DOES result in healing and the ability to potentially live a life free of pain, fear and anger.

<purplrose> child abuse on any level is criminal
<oldsoul> and must be dealt with as such
<Gwendy> The abuser gets away so many times and the victim
and the parents have to deal with it, and is overwhelming.
<purplrose> the system needs to be changed too
<GrayMind> It is so hard to imagine that someone could do
such things to the helpless.... The roots leading someone
to sexual abuse of a child must run deep. Any thought on
what might lead a lost soul to such criminal activities?
* lora1 Most of the time the people who abuse have been
abused themselves
<oldsoul> here in CT we had that situation, recently
an elderly man and teenage boys...
<AriannaSR> Our children need to know that their sexuality
belongs to THEM. They do not need another to experience
pleasure and release b-4 they are mature enough to handle
a real relationship
<oldsoul> yes, Arianna
<pheonx> bravo
<purplrose> yeppers ari
* GrayMind nods his head
<oldsoul> how do people feel about the media?
<Gwendy> TV is usually already limited at home.
<AriannaSR> When I see a really inspirational great movie, it
is not smutty...hollywood can provide us with uplifting
entertainment and make money too...for example... Apollo
13, Forrest Gump, Star Wars
<purplrose> or casper, Powder is good too

<oldsoul> yes, Arianna... there are MANY movies that present
an appropriate quality of entertainment without devaluing
sexuality nor blatantly providing prurient images that are
inappropriate for children...but it is VITAL to monitor
television time
* oldsoul will continue...

Rape occurs to women and men, girls and boys. It is a crime of VIOLENCE and CONTROL and
does NOT involve sexuality, on the part of the perpetrator. Men are the most frequent rapists, yet women are also rapists. It is a reportable CRIME which leaves enduring emotional scars and may cause sexual dysfunction, chronic depression or suicidality.

It is frequented on the victim most often in places where the victim is without the assistance of others and places of safety are inaccessible or absent. Women and girls are most often the victims, yet, as statistics prove, men and boys are also at risk. Any place where the perpetrator feels control and secrecy are possible is a potential site.

Awareness of surroundings and the ability to sound an alarm and/or rapidly leave an area are the best defenses. Self defense techniques are VERY desirable to learn yet should NOT be employed beyond providing a means for escape due to the potential for being overcome by a larger and stronger assailant than the potential victim.

If you are out at any function where alcohol or other substances have been used, try ALWAYS to leave with someone you trust to decrease vulnerability. Date-rape occurs VERY frequently and, for this reason, be VERY careful in allowing yourself to suffer ANY loss of control when in the presence of someone when safety may be an issue.


<AriannaSR> There was once a woman who was being mugged, who
was just reading some psalms about being sheltered under the feathers
of the wing of God and she hollered FEATHERS, FEATHERS
FEATHERS!!! That scared her attacker away
<oldsoul> GOOD FOR HER!!!!
<AriannaSR> must have thought she was nuts, haha
<purplrose> feathers that's a good one, better then fire
<oldsoul> YA!

<oldsoul> our society is still VERY much in need of learning
sensitivity for victims of rape...
* GrayMind 's heart goes out to those hurt. I hope love is
there to heal the scars rather than cover them up
<pheonx> where is Bradshaw when ya need him?
<Gwendy> rape is not about sex, is again about control.
<oldsoul> I HIGHLY recommend Bradshaw's works...he has
SEVERAL books out......the titles of 2 of his
books are "Home Coming" Reclaiming and Championing Your
Inner Child and "Healing The Shame That Binds You"
<pheonx> The Family is an excellent start by Bradshaw
<oldsoul> and society does NOT make it easy for a single
parent!!!!! and the current political climate is WORSENING by
removing much of what little financial and daycare and
meals and transportation and job training there is...
<Gwendy> to be able to talk with your children is the most
important factor.
<pheonx> Less is actually more and children don't know the
meaning of poor in a loving family...
the kisses and tucks into bed at night....

<oldsoul> the LOVE in a family is the most
important factor of ALL

Substance abuse is currently at epidemic proportions throughout the world and causes tremendous physical, emotional, financial and social damage. To analyze the genesis of abuse is beyond my ability but I do treat the results on a daily basis. The number of substances which are being abused are significant.

The most damaging of those, in sheer numbers of people affected and not necessarily viewed by society in the same class as drugs and alcohol is cigarettes! But, for our purposes here, drugs and alcohol are the focus. These because of their addictive properties and the necessity of professional assistance in both the initial detoxification phase (which is the easier portion of
treatment) and the aftercare which is absolutely vital to assist the individual in enjoying sobriety and a life free from dependence on the addictive substance. Any substance which produces a physiological or psychological change and allows a euphoric or mind-altering state can result in abuse.

This is a situation which is understandable, because we, as people, LIKE to feel good. The problem arises when an individual abuses a substance and cannot control repeated and continual use of the substance due to desire or physical addiction. It is something that occurs when an individual either enjoys the sensation or uses the substance to numb the mind due to physical or emotional pain.

The evolution of addiction can be rapid, such as in the case of a narcotic like heroin, morphine or a synthetic narcotic such as Demerol or the tablet form of pain relievers with codeine bases like Percocet. Some tranquilizers also present the potential for addiction, such as, the most common, Valium and Ativan.

The individual who is physically dependent is addicted. With heroin, addiction occurs within 5 days of initiating use. With alcohol, psychological dependance rather than physical addiction occurs. Yet the withdrawal is treated VERY carefully. With prescription narcotic or synthetic pain medications due to chronic pain or non-medically indicated use, the addiction may also occur

within 5 days of initiating use. Addiction to the benzodiazepine family of tranquilizers, now thankfully controlled by law, such as Valium or Ativan or a HOST of others is also a potentially life-threatening addiction, particularly with the use of alcohol. Withdrawal from heroin is VERY uncomfortable but not fatal.

With alcohol, the chronic abuse creates psychological dependence than actual addiction, but the withdrawal from significant and/or prolonged use can result in Delirium Tremors, hallucinations, seizure activity or death. For this reason, withdrawal from alcohol abuse is treated medically.

<Gwendy> there has to be a cause to get on drugs and
if the cause is not treated then all that work is waisted.
<purplrose> gwendy true but what if the cause is chronic pain
from an injury that takes time to heal if it heals at all
<lora1> there is such a thing as deliverance
<Arlena> ok any specific methods of healing or self emotional
<AriannaSR> You must KNOW that you are whole and
complete and WORTHY in your spiritual essence just as you
ARE... Loving yourself will allow a freedom for the need
for the crutches of addiction

<oldsoul> And finding our Spiritual center and embracing it,
as we acknowledge our need to heal
These subjects would require WEEKS and time in our
)Gaia*Lecture( is limited to an hour for the purposes of discussion.
Instead, I would like to focus on the RECOVERY aspects
and allow the POSITIVE discussion of RECOVERY, HEALING and

Recovery is a continual process... The first step is to acknowledge the need for help. This, for most people, is a difficult acknowledgment to make...
because it requires that we admit our need for help.
That requires that we let go of denial.
The denial that the pain is greater than our ability to deal with alone.
For if it were not, then would we not have already healed?

Spirituality can play a very great part in the Healing process. For it allows us to admit our pain and our need to receive the care of others. And allows us to let go of ego sufficiently to accept that care. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have this surrender to "A Higher Power" a central tenet in their 12-Step Program...and it DOES work...

They do not attach any particular religious beliefs to their program. Just the concept that there IS a greater Power than us. If you are in pain, you CAN reach out. You must. And in so doing, you allow yourself to be cared for. And Recovery, in reaching out, allows us to access the care
that is VITAL in healing.

There is a belief, in many Spiritual and Religious Paths that we, as human beings, have three integral parts: the Mind, the Body and the Spirit. All three, like a triangle, are involved in maintaining us in Balance. When one is not balanced, it can affect the others. When we allow the therapist or counsellor to heal the Mind...the physician or Nurse Practitioner to heal the Body, we must NOT neglect the Spirit.

And finding our Spiritual center and embracing it, as we acknowledge our need to heal and receive care provides strength... The strength to continue in the Healing process despite the pain and anguish of dealing with and clearing the emotional trauma. To let ourselves receive the loving care of a Higher Power or Principle or Goddess or God or Creator that is greater than us.

Many people find that prayer or seeking the loving assistance of the Goddess or God opens a kind of spiritual and emotional Gate, allowing us to access the Way towards healing. ASK for help. And ALLOW yourself to RECEIVE help. By acknowledging our inability to heal alone and seeking the loving help and healing by a Deity, Higher Power or other Principle or Being greater than mortal womankind and mankind we may get through and past deep pain.

The depth of pain can be so crushing... And this is why we must allow ourselves to receive help. To cease living in pain, or misery or fear. And it IS a process... the greatest pain will pass, when you open that place to healing. Regardless of whether it is in dealing with Child Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Rape or Substance Abuse.

It may return, at times... New memories may arise periodically, for our psyches tend to only allow that into thought which we can deal with at any given time. And the pain may feel to be greater than can be dealt with. It is at that time when, having admitted our need for care, we MUST reach out to others and find solace and a safe place, emotionally. To have a respite from the process to regather our strength.

The concept of "safe places" is important. In a physical sense, a particular room or special placer outdoors can be either where you go, or imagine yourself when pain emerges during the healing process. If you are unable to physically travel there, a visualization can be of great help. Perhaps listening to music or creating music or walking. Being alone - or being with other people or being in a forest or on the seashore or a mountain or desert.

What each of those has in common is the concept of defocusing on the pain and refocusing externally. To shift and realign our perspectives and attention by focusing on the external. This allows us to rest a bit. And let the anxieties pass to avoid being overwhelmed. Along with this is the need for good nutrition and rest.

As we are, going back to the Triad, made of Mind, Body and Spirit, we must care for all of the parts of that Triad. nutrition allows our bodies to maintain the physical strength that is affected by our bodies physical and biochemical response to stress. Which the process of Healing initially causes, on an ever-decreasing basis.

Sleep allows our conscious Mind a period of rest, away from thought and memories. It also allows our brains, on a biochemical level, to remanufacture the neurochemicals necessary to avoid clinical and physiological depression. And our bodies to rest from the physical manifestations of stress.

<pheonx> Nutrition is key
<oldsoul> yes, a very important one because it provides the
basis for health by allowing adequate energy to be
converted by the body
<purplrose> letting the pain out
<Gwendy> Meditation helps, and also exercise,
concentrating in day at a time, the present and let the pass
be gone helps too.

* oldsoul will finish up with some URL'S!!!

There are many resources available on the World Wide Web.
A search browser of the topic will allow you links to various homepages
that may list therapists, reading lists, organizations, bulletin boards,
action groups and more. Here are some URL'S specific to Abuse:

// This is a Home Page for "The Wounded Healer:
It is perhaps one of the finest and most comprehensive sites I have ever seen,
for both the professional and lay person. For those in Recovery from Abuse Issues.

// is another SUPERB Home Page for Abuse
Issues and includes newsletters. I highly recommend it.

// is more activist and politically oriented...
on an international as well as domestic perspective.

My e-mail is if you have either comments or suggestions.
Thank you for attending this lecture...I hope it has provided stimulation and,
for those who are in Recovery, additional perspective or info or useful links.

<GrayMind> This lecture/discussion has been emotional and moving
and my heart goes out to you all.
Please take care, I love the spirit in each of you.
<oldsoul> bye GrayMind *hug*
<Gwendy> Well old soul thank you for your help,
you have been most enlightening. Bless you.
A big cyber hug and a profound admiration for one
that turned his grief in healing strength
<oldsoul> you're welcome, *:*:*:*:*:*:* Gwendy *:*:*:*:*:*:*>
<purplrose> bye gwendy
<oldsoul> bye:)
<Ganesha> good night all, nice to be home and come
online..the undernet is a cool place....goodnight sweet
recovery and dreams...:):)
<pheonx> good show old soul
<AriannaSR> Thank you for being the host tonight, old soul!
<oldsoul> thank you for inviting me:) *kisshug*
AriannaSR> {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs to all}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Note: personal information was edited to protect the privacy
of those who shared.