Articles

Is It Possible to Heal From Abuse Without Therapy?

Healing from abuse without a therapist

by Patty Hite, Jennifer Stuck & Christina Enevoldsen

Patty: Thirty years ago, when I started to heal from sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, there were no support groups for survivors. No one talked openly about abuse, especially not about sexual abuse.

I tried to talk to my friends. Though they felt compassion, they thought the best solution was to forget it and try to move on.

I lived in a very small farming town of 750 people.  Seeing a therapist or doctor who understood the effects of abuse was not an option.

Child-on-Child Sexual Abuse: It’s No Game

child on child abuse

by Jennifer Stuck

Still to this day, anytime I hear the phrases “playing doctor” or “show-and-tell,” I feel a shiver run down my spine.

Only recently have I realized that this is because my mother used those phrases to make light of my abuse from an older neighbor boy. She would even speak to other people casually about it right in front of me, like it was no big deal, saying things like, “I caught Jenny playing doctor with the neighbor boy again.”

I think using playful terms like those helped ease her own guilty conscience for not protecting me. If I was just “playing doctor” she could tell herself it was normal childhood exploring instead of seeing the reality that I was being sexually abused by an older child.