There IS Happiness After Incest and Child Sexual Abuse
Living a happy life following incest, child sexual abuse, or rape is often elusive to many survivors and a daunting task for those who seek a happy and productive life. Some survivors seek counseling but stop because they don’t believe they’re improving.
Counselors become frustrated because clients are not progressing. Family and partners have no idea how to help.
This book will assist survivors, partners, family members and professionals understand a new approach to obtaining happiness following incest and child sexual abuse and rape. By understanding “The Acceptances”, following “The Promises And Permissions”, and invoking “Trigger Busters” survivors will journey to happiness with greater ease and understanding.
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Read the Introduction
“There IS Happiness After Incest and Child Sexual Abuse.” This statement is my message to all survivors I meet. For most people who read this statement, however, I know there is immediate doubt. There is immediately doubt, because too often virtually every book you pick up regarding surviving incest and child sexual abuse does not directly address this particular issue. And when you consider the survivors I have spoken to who have been in individual therapy for years, the number of nonbelievers is even greater, I’m sure. But yet this is the question that every incest and child sexual abuse survivor asks in one way or another. Usually the direct question is, “Will this pain ever go away?” The unspoken question is: “Will I every be happy?”
This book is about YOU having an opportunity to find the happiness you deserve in your life because it IS possible to be happy following being a victim of incest and child sexual abuse! I know what I am saying firsthand because I am writing this book as a black woman who was sexually abused by my stepfather, a teenage female cousin, and a friend of the family. In addition, sexual abuse even occurred in my intimate relationships as an adult. I obtained a master’s degree in counseling, so I was able to learn objectively that so many of my self defeating thoughts and actions were directly related to my sexual abuse experiences. As a result, I too struggled with the question, “Will I ever be happy?” A “Yes” response eluded me for years, even after multiple therapists, support groups, books, magazines, journals, conversations and tears shed with other survivors, etc. I now know happiness eluded me for so many years because I did not know how to find it. For over thirty years I was caught up in the pain associated with having been sexually abused as a child. I was caught up in my confused thinking and in my resulting actions for too many years. I really thought happiness would somehow present itself to me as soon as I finished reading a particular book, or, as soon as I finished a therapy session, or as soon as I finished my college degree, or got married, or had children, or as soon as I got my big break. Well, all of those things happened in my life, and I was still unhappy. Survivors like to think that if we just work hard enough, strive hard enough, accomplish enough on the outside, then happiness will come. Other survivors don’t have the energy to do all of the above, so they choose self-destructive means, still hoping one-day happiness will arrive.
Eventually all of us realize happiness will not just arrive on its own. Once a survivor realizes all of her efforts were for naught, that’s when the question, “Will I ever be happy?” returns. That’s also the time when survivors realize we don’t know how to get the happiness we deserve and desperately desire.
The purpose of this book is to share with you what I truly believe is the essence of what survivors need to understand and do in order to expedite obtainment of happiness in their lives. The contents of this book are the result of countless interviews with incest and child sexual abuse survivors, personal research, having developed and facilitated incest and child sexual abuse survivor support groups, work as a life coach for survivors, and my personal experiences as a survivor. I believe if survivors understand exactly what I have outlined, they will find the happiness they truly deserve. This book is for male and female survivors alike. You will notice, however, that many of my references are related to women. This is because for most of my career I have worked directly with women and not as often with men. I have learned, however, that male survivors share many of the same issues as women. Additionally, men have another challenge to their recovery that women do not. Specifically, men have to combat the whole notion of a challenged masculinity when they have been sexually abused. I don’t want my male readers to be turned off by my female references because the information in this book will help you also.
I have divided the book in three sections: The Acceptances, So What’s A Trigger? and The Promises and Permissions. I have written the book so you can start anywhere you want. Just go to a particular section of interest, and you will find the information you are looking for. I tried to write the book in a simple format for ease in reading and interpretation, which is why you won’t find, footnotes and references throughout. I have included, however, a detailed bibliography and resource list at the end of the book for you to use as you continue your journey to happiness.
Always remember, “There IS Happiness After Incest and Child Sexual Abuse.”