In a consequential environment where every action draws a reaction of similar or greater proportion, childhood sexual abuse affects our own behaviors, which can interfere with our closest relationships, which in turn impacts society with high divorce rates, crime, suicide, drug abuse, alcohol misuse, eating disorders, etc. Taking responsibility for choices can help a victim to understand that just as the history of abuse may have led to behavior patterns that have become out of control, one can choose other behaviors that will bring a sense of freedom from the emotional and psychological destruction of the abuse, as well as a sense of fulfillment in life.
Victims of childhood sexual abuse need to acknowledge the abuse and any related addictions we may have. Most addictions are attempts to counter a sense of helplessness, or loss of control in our historical lives as victims, stemming from our previous abuses. Often we find ourselves living for the abuse. Our addictions are influenced by our historical past relationships. When we feel a sense of helplessness toward past abusive relationships, then we tend to try to control our present with an addiction related to those past abuses. If we were sexually abused as a child, then we may become an abuser, or we may turn to opposite behavior, avoiding sexual relations in an attempt to control the present. When we feel that we are letting our abusive past take control of our present life, then we need to acknowledge that yoke and take responsibility for our choices. We must make a conscious decision to let go of that servility to the past before freedom can come to us. We need to learn new coping and relationship skills and learn to accept ourselves and others as we are. Many times it is our failed expectations and inflexibility that drive us to seek fulfillment in our own addictive and abusive behavior patterns. We need flexible thinking and adaptable behaviors in order to cope with the unfulfilled expectations of life. An abused person has to make a choice to recover from the abuse or continue in the destruction of the past abuse by remaining in their own addictive relationships and behaviors. Historical Abuse often affects our judgment on what is and is not safe and healthy behavior. Victims often participate in self-destructive behaviors due to a low self worth. Victims of abuse need to consciously choose recovery as a way of life. It is not an immediate restoration, but a continuing day to day effort to recover from the abuse. Prayer and Scriptural Study are good means to the daily renewal of your mind and continuing Spiritual growth.
Co-dependency is frequently found in families with a history of abuse. All those associated with an abusive person are under the tremendous stress and influence of the abusive behavior. Millions of families are dominated by the abusive behavior of a close relative. When we allow abusive behaviors to continue at the detriment of our self and our loved ones, then we are co-dependent. We must be strong enough to let the abusive person suffer the consequences of his or her behavior in order for them to understand the destructiveness of that behavior. Co-dependents often rescue abusive persons from personal responsibility and societal consequences, by hiding or minimizing their behavior, and reacting to the behavior in inappropriate ways. When victims make excuses and take the responsibility and consequences from the abusive person and place blame on themselves, they enable the abuser to continue in inappropriate behaviors. But eventually perpetrators of childhood sexual abuse will face some of the societal consequences of their behaviors. When the abusive person is removed from the protection of the existing support system and is forced to face societal consequences such as jail time, and embarrassment for their behavior when the abuse is brought to light and is treated in a consequential manner, sometimes this can be a catalyst for healing both the abusive person and the abused person. Other times the abusive person continues to blame his inappropriate behaviors on others.