If you have suffered adverse experiences during your childhood or if you are related to one who has undergone a difficult childhood, you are already familiar with the trail of psychological, sociological and physiological disorders that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can leave behind. Much of this injury is not immediately visible or apparent to an observer because it’s not like a broken bone that has been plastered over to immobilize it so it can heal. That’s perhaps the biggest challenge in understanding the depth and degree of the damage that has been caused to the innocent mind and soul. The sense of loss and the resulting emptiness can be vast and deep.
The first assault of ACE occurs on the innocence of a child. It rips apart a sense of unbridled joy that a child is naturally disposed to experiencing. The earlier the abuse or chronic stress occurs, the larger and longer lasting are its effects. The list of the resulting losses can be endless…
loss of innocence
loss of laughter and joy
loss of familial bonds
loss of friendships
loss of peace of mind
loss of ability to love
loss of ability to form emotional bonds
loss of self-confidence
loss of trust
loss of passion to pursue life’s goals
loss of control over addictions
loss of control over emotions
loss of self-love
loss of academic excellence
loss of productivity and focus at work
loss of natural persona
loss of hope
loss of belief in God
loss of marriage
loss of job
loss of respect among colleagues…and, most importantly,
loss of precious time!
An adult rape victim will likely identify with some or all of the losses listed above. Rape of innocence is no different. Rape, whether it occurs in childhood or adulthood, is not the victim’s fault. The resulting disorders, therefore, cannot be their fault either.
It's time for us to understand that we did not create this reality. It's time for us to stop the vicious cycle of self-blame, guilt, and self-pity. It's time for us to forgive ourselves and others, even those who hurt us. Because it is time for us to heal. It's time for us to love again and it is time for us to allow others to love us. It's time for us to laugh and experience the simple joys this amazing life has to offer. It's time for us reclaim our innocence. It's time for us to grab destiny by its horns and pursue our passions. It's time for us to accept help when we need it. And finally, it's time for us to save our soul so it can take flight once again and soar to the heights it was supposed to attain.
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