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  • Writer's pictureJessica Trainor

Navigating Intimacy: Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse

Hey there,

I’m so glad you’re here.

Let’s talk about something real, something raw, something that might stir up some emotions but is crucial to address: the impact of childhood sexual abuse on intimacy as an adult.

First off, if you’ve experienced this kind of trauma, know that you’re not alone. It’s estimated that around 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 13 boys experience some form of sexual abuse during childhood. That’s heartbreaking and infuriating all at once.

Now, let’s dive into the aftermath. Childhood sexual abuse can leave deep scars that affect every aspect of our lives, including intimacy. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological abuse, the wounds run deep and can linger for years or even a lifetime if left unaddressed.

One of the most significant challenges survivors face is trusting others enough to be vulnerable. After all, intimacy is about letting someone into the innermost parts of ourselves, and when those parts have been violated in the past, it’s natural to put up walls as a form of self-protection.

These walls might manifest in various ways. Maybe you struggle to open up to your partner about your needs and desires. Maybe you find it difficult to enjoy physical touch without feeling anxious or triggered. Maybe you avoid intimacy altogether, fearing the memories and emotions it might bring up. Maybe you dissociate during intimacy, thinking about your grocery list or the laundry and are never fully present. 

But here’s the thing: healing is possible. And it starts with acknowledging what happened and giving yourself permission to feel whatever comes up. Therapy can be a game-changer in this journey, because though you can tell yourself logically that you are safe now, your body continues to react as though it is not. 

Be patient with yourself. Every step you take towards reclaiming your sense of self and your ability to connect with others is a victory worth celebrating.

So, if you’re struggling with intimacy as a result of childhood sexual abuse, know that you’re not alone, and you deserve support and healing. 

You are worthy of love, respect, and pleasure.

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