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Multi Dimensional Model 

Intrusive memories

I found my journey of recovery

was and is regularly disrupted

by intrusive

or triggered memories.


      some used to say

   "you are easily destracted"

  not by choice.

  in those days my memories of csa

were locked in the vault

  yet even then

   the memories could be triggered

     and destract me

     or set me on a tangent

    to some I was avoidant.

 not so.

   during my university studies I poured energy

 into reading texts and journals and field studies

 into writing my essays


       So how do I deal with intrusive memories?

   I set out to process them

   I find a resolution.

  I have found survivor helplines

can sometimes answer my question

or to identify the issue.

    though some recommend returning to the present.

   I think I find releasing the trauma from the 

    initial memory required much effort

     but it's worth it.

   I do rely on God's help.

   and my drive to know.


    other's  find triggered memories painful

   than so many survivor helplines use returning to the present I assume many survivors find this helpful.













overcomming denial

the first issue I faced was overcoming denial.

I was having general counseling

I knew I had a hidden problem  

   one day a memory bubble surfaced

       I suddenly recalled that at 14 the Dept Principal of my High School

             had locked me in his office and after the pretext chat he indecently asaulted me.


my memories of csa were locked in a memory vault at the end of a long dark tunnel guarded by guilt and shame.

      in face my mum had put bolts on the outside.


later during a survivors recovery group in my church  a psychologist mentioned shame

      I prayerfully resolved to break the shame barrier


when 12 years ago my mum disclosed a few basic facts eg that I was taken to the perps house

     and on return "you had behavioural problems for three days"

    I suggested that was out of character and that that was sirens and searchlights.


the memory door opened and memories flooded out

after during a survivors recovery group in my church  a psychologist mentioned shame

      I prayerfully resolved to break the shame barrier


overcoming denial has been an ongoing issue for me

       which was good, because I was not overwhelmed   overcomming one denial at a time


I had Pastors praying for me

I was seeing counselors

and I was on Survivor Forums.


*  I find overcoming denial to be an ongoing issue.

    less now

     in my early stage of walking my path of recovery

     I found there were walls to tear down

          walls I was hiding behind.

    during covid-19 restrictions I found I retreated to my cave.



       one experience was I was in a dark cave

  then a ray of light came in

 I looked outside - there was a lush green field

eventually I opened the door  and let God come in

    I invited Him to shine His light

     and a clean my cave.

  and He gave me the courage to go outside.


 ( sorry  I mixed my metaphores)

   maybe I'm meant to invite Jesus Christ into my heart

    and have a cuper and bread.

       (or more appropriately a glass of wine and bread)

  then go for a walk in the field in His strength.


 each survivor has a story of how you overcome denial

or how you survive whilst remaining in denial.



Symptoms of csa

even before csa memories surface

or whilst csa memories are locked away

  symptoms are observable





inner confusion


see Alienation below


  I was abondonded during csa

  so many times in my life I felt alone.


I remember longing to meet someone who understood me.


 sadly I have often

been abondonded by professionals

who were providing counseling for a time..


some mis understood me

some were great but they moved on or retired

or they reached the limit of their training.


a list  of issues

my first  list of issues


 my apologies for listing issues without references which I am obliged to add 

Finding help and support

When I commenced my journey of recovery

I fund it difficult to find or access support.

it was before I had access to the internet.

     I  rang service after service

    I was referred from service to service to dead end.

today there are more services

     some more publicised than others


  • Phone lines
  • Internet sites of support services
  • I learnt about the existance of

  sexual assault units in regional hospitals.


Google search words:

  • sexual abuse counseling
  • sexual trauma
  • sexual abuse support  services

Support services web sites:


Developing inner strength and resiliance

once again  this dimension has sub dimensions

and alternatives


Which strategies work for us?

sometimes survivors have opposite strategies.


some survivors have  secular approaches

    especially if religion is triggering

    most secular therapists discourage accessing memories

      though many survivors do develop means of coping

                     and a resolve to regain power over ones life.



whilst I try to be sensitive to the fact that many survivors were sexually abused in religious institutions

       and whilst I have a zero tolerance of such a betrayal of trust


I can only be true to my life experience that my church was one of my main safe places.

                  it really infuriates me that some survivors found it unsafe.

        I support Mandatory reporting by Clergy and church leaders.


  ***   trigger warning

      this is my story   it contains religious references

       if you find this triggering I understand

          but for your safety please stop here and read other issues

            or write out your strategies for building up your strength and resolve.


   on the other hand I trust you will understand I need to tell my story

   and to include the faith dimension.

   for to be true to myself and to you

   I can do no other.




I  tell my soul to hope in God.

  as I put my hope and trust in God I find hope lifts me out of depression.

I pray for God to give me strength - accessing  traumatic memories is tough

    one therapist said he'd only let me access traumatic memories because my Pastor is praying for me

I find God's powerful love casts out fear ( ie trauma)


many survivor helpline services  ensure callers are safe

some use grounding techniques.


commonality - don't take on traumatic memories without support and  preferably a sexual assault counsellor

   and / trauma release therapy.

( see interdisciplinary  trauma release therapy. )


a healthy diet

physical exercise or sport

music or art or theatre  affirm our humanity.


    any strategy which assists us to see our self worth.


I find my self worth in my belief that God created me for a purpose.

    in this context csa was an interruption.

I find applied redemptive theology very helpful.


some find psychology alone is supportive


being a survivor of very early csa  that has it's own dynamics

    being pre cognative

so prayer and remedial (trauma release) massage are relevant

     as most of my memories are right brain and body memories.


survivors of csa at say 8 or 14  and adult survivors of sexual assault in adulthood

   I assume have more cognative memories.







handing back the abusers guilt

it's not my guilt

the abuser committed the crime - I'm handed  it back.

    just as if I see a person walking in front of me drop a $20 bill

     I pick it up  

      but it's not mine

       I return it to it's owner walking in front of me.


self regulation

regaining self control

resiliance to being destracted by intrusive memories

needs to be further explained

psychological impacts

long term impacts of child sexual abuse

PTSD    details to come


impacts on short term memory

impacts on long term memory


symptoms and impacts vary from survivor to survivor


In my first year of Sociology

 I learnt that alienation is composed of: 

normlessness, meaningless, powerlessness.


for me as a survivor

   during csa I experienced powerlessness ( abusers are often in positions of authority and abuse their power )

   csa was outside my "real world"  


finding resolution

as memories surface

or memories are triggered

or questions arise

   I seek to find resolution

or find resolutions

   I need to write up methods later

     wit references


the power of forgiveness

forgiveness  took away what might have been

    overwhelming bitterness and resentment

jumping from issue to issue

My reason for writing this grid of issues

was not only to identify issues we face

   but to highlight the randomness of the surfacing of the issues.


I find as I go through life

as I walk along my road of recovery

as I am dealing with an issue

  another random issue becomes the issue needing attention.

  I have placed the acknowledgement that I find I am

   jumping from issue to issue in this place on the page

   to highlight how this process is non sequencial.


  sometimes as one issue begins to be resolved

   another issue that the first issue was holding back

     demands attention.

other times an issue is triggered by something in the present.

   a word, a sight or sound or smell.


there may be other reasons why one jumps from issue to issue.




sword of abuse

partly a mystery

 a conceptualisation


could it be the sword of cruel words?

could it be the bodies auto pleasure

    being thrust into the pain

a toxic mix


I found the sword of abuse

  whatever it is

wounded me


I needed first aid

the removal of the sword of abuse

   (like removing a splinter deep down)

the wound to be washed

healing balm applied


self loathing

self loathing is an issue for many survivors

a sence of worthlessness


our self esteem needs to be built up

there is much more to this

more later



may survivors report

being sexualised during csa.


It is quite overwhelming

 to be

involuntarlary   sexualised

before puberty.

I need to add referances

   and links.




I feel that if one can

be sexualised during csa

then hypothetically

during recovery

I could be desexualised.

  (use backspace to return here)


this is not something for may survivors

to consider  as it may have sub issues

or not worth the effort


what it means may be different


these are complex matters

which often have sub sets

and many variables.


when not sexually traumatised

when not vulnerable to

   triggered memories

 sex is a part of life

  sex is meant to be enjoyable.


  What is sexualisation?"

is a complex question.


the kind of issue

discussed on a forum

or with a therapist.





seeking Justice

remedying the injustice

recovering costs

recovering lossses

the pain

csa leave one in pain

numbing out

   or numbing the pain

is symptomatic of the pain

 or numbing out to get relief from the pain

or numb the pain.


finding alternatives to numbing out


dealing with addictions


finding better coping mechanisms


knowing what to avoid

   to protect oneself from being retraumatised


boundry building


sexual confusion

various combinations of the

sex of the abuser

and the sex of the survivor

  can leave one confused

  asking embarrasing questions

    best only discussed between survivors

    and trauma informed counselors

see also sexualisation


 another issue is sexuality.


survivors are vulnerable to being revictimised

this is an area where we need support to build resiliance

to be less vulnerable to revictimisation


abusers may  exploit patterns of previous grooming

         or previous compliance or obligation


as children we were powerless


as adults we can  undo past grooming

we become more aware

more to be written