Built-in support group helps family deal with abuse

  • Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dear Liz,

Thank you addressing the issue of child sexual abuse so tenderly, yet in a straightforward way (last week’ column? As a result, my sisters and I went on the From Darkness to Light website www.fd2l.org. We started talking and all realized we were abused by an older cousin - over the holidays when his family came to visit.

We cried together, even laughed, but were amazed at the different ways it affected our lives. He has since passed.

We are going to attend some counseling together. Is there anything we can do to prepare? We are surprised at how relieved we are.

Freedom


Dear Freedom,

Congratulations and many blessings in this very special Christmas gift of moving toward relief and into healthy freedom as you enjoy coming out of isolation. Sexual abuse is so common, yet usually only 10 percent get treated. You have a built in group, which is great. Make sure your licensed counselor is experienced in healing from sexual abuse.

I recommend letter writing, in the following format:

1. This is what you did to me, 2. This is how it made me feel, 3. This is how it affected my life, 4. This is what I want from you now.

This is effective whether the person is living or not. Let your counselor guide you in who you share this with and what follow up you may need.

Happily, properly addressed, sexual abuse healing has a great prognosis. This letter format is effective with just about any issue and as a format for meaningful discussions.

Best wishes and true joy and wholeness in the New Year.

Dear Liz,

I am absolutely overwhelmed by all the sales flyers, TV ads, email offerings. I want to feel like a smart shopper, but it has me so confused I don’t know where to start.

I do have a list, and a budget - it is just where to start. I am usually an online person, but that has become overwhelming too. Help.

Frozen shopper


Dear “frozen,”

Couldn’t agree more. I do have a suggestion that was echoed by Mount Pleasant Mayor, Linda Page, shop local. We have a wealth of variety including creations by unique Lowcountry artisans providing ideal gift ideas for anyone on your list. It helps our economy, and can get you truly in the Christmas spirit.

If you are shipping, watch the deadlines and utilize the flat rate priority packages (boxes are free) at the post office. Enjoy.

Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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