How to Stop Abusing Yourself

Originally published on Speak4Change on February 3, 2015 By Svava Brooks.

How to Stop Abusing Yourself

I was victimized as a child by my stepfather, a person I trusted, looked up to, and loved. Yes, I did love him. That’s why it was hard to understand why he would sexually abuse me, or why he would do something that left me confused, shamed, and in pain.

As an adult, I continued his cycle of abuse by turning it inward on myself. The anger and fear I experienced as an abused child became self-loathing and self-hatred. I used alcohol, smoking, and sex to numb the pain. Even worse, I put myself in high risk situations and bad relationships where I would be abused again and again.

It was a vicious cycle.

But that’s not all. I turned the anger, pain, and shame outward toward others, as well. I manipulated people to get what I wanted. When the shame overwhelmed me, I withheld love or affection to punish and blame others for my circumstances.

I was a mess, and it just kept getting worse.

Finally, I felt so horrible about my life and my rotten choices I knew something had to change. I had to change. I needed help. Badly. I had to find a way to plant the seeds of healing in me. But I didn’t realize I’d have to fight as hard for my healing as I had fought to repress my pain.

Yet with support and coaching, I did it. Slowly, I began to feel better about myself, my life, and where I was headed.

For me, the toughest habits to break were the anger and self-hatred I had turned inward on myself. They still whisper their toxic advice, but I don’t listen. I know better now.

Have you turned the abuse you suffered into self-abuse? If so, I want you to know you can stop at any time. You just have to take that first step toward healing. And then another step. And then another. Baby steps, one day at a time. We all have to start somewhere. You can do this, too. If I can do it, so can you!


Were you sexually abused as a child? Is your life stuck as an adult, and you can’t seem to move forward? I offer private coaching sessions by phone or skype ($55.00 per hour) for child sexual abuse survivors just like you. To set up an appointment, call (619 889 6366) or email, today. Take the time to invest in yourself. You’re worth it!

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