“WINGS has been invaluable to my healing. It’s a place where I can go to ‘unburden’ and share even the ‘worst’ of my life and self with others who will hear me and often love and accept me – no matter what.”
Survivor, WINGS Group Member
How is Trauma Affecting My Life?
Common Symptoms of Unaddressed Childhood Sexual Abuse In Adults
An important step in the healing journey is the process of educating yourself about childhood sexual trauma and its effects on the mind, body, and spirit as an adult. If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you may or may not experience some of the more common symptoms or events listed below. However, this list is not comprehensive, and it is important to remember that every person’s response to trauma is unique.
- Frequent sleep disturbances (insomnia, nightmares, night terrors, sleeping too much)
- Dissociation or losing time
- Difficulty managing emotions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, powerlessness, shame, or feeling “dirty”
- Anxiety, panic attacks, and hypervigilence
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts, feeling destructive
- Cutting, self injury, or self mutilation
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, and/or compulsive overeating)
- Body image issues
- Difficulty with or avoiding relationships, automatic lack of trust of others
- Avoidance of appropriate and consensual sexual intimacy
- Addictions and compulsions (alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, spending, pornography)
- Body memories, somatic symptoms
- Poor boundaries with others (too permissive or too rigid)
- Difficulties nurturing yourself or caring for yourself appropriately
If you identify with some of these symptoms related to the abuse you experienced, it is important to seek help from a professional to discuss and work through them. Healing IS possible with the right therapist and through group support.