Clickety clack is the sound my fingers will be making as they strike the keys on the keyboard for the next (approximately) few weeks of blogging.
That’s because Summer went and got herself inspired yesterday at an AMAZING training day called CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE. HOPE FOR HEALING. The talk was delivered by Carolyn Spring, a Cambridge educated abuse survivor, and the creator and director of PODS. Find her website here. http://www.pods-online.org.uk/
Most of the delegates attending were in the counselling/psychotherapy profession (and then there was me,) and her training is to inform professionals working in the field about abuse, how abuse happens, the psychological effects of abuse, the grooming and offending process, and what things professionals need to work on with us to facilitate our healing.
I actually felt proud to be there as an empowered survivor, as all the concepts she talked about had extra resonance for me, having gone through an abuse history so damn similar to the speaker. Because our similarities were so striking, it was almost like having someone SPEAK FOR ME for a whole day. She described everything so well and said almost the exact things I would want to say to therapists and counsellors to facilitate them helping me to their maximum.
I am not a professional. Neither was the speaker. But I am well informed and I am intelligent. No one can take that away from me. I have two degrees in psychology,and as survivors go, am pretty intellectually aware of all the concepts surrounding CSA. and even more so now I’ve attended the training day. Who better else is equipped to talk about sexual abuse for a day, than someone who has lived it, and walked the walk that they talk!?
At the start of the day she warned us all that it was going to be emotional, and that we had to do whatever it took to take care of ourselves throughout the day-which may have included leaving the room, not participating in the buzz group discussions if we were introverts and wanted to process everything quietly in our own heads, or doing distracting activities like tapping on our phones or heading for the refreshment room to relieve tension.
Personally I am SO PROUD that I lasted out and stayed right to the end of the day. Some people left early as they had obviously reached emotional saturation point by then. It was gruelling in places, and increasingly draining, but so brilliant, that leaving early was not an option to me.
I know that six months ago, I might not have been emotionally in a robust enough place to attend a course that is as blatently trauma based and potentially triggering as this was in content…so I proudly recognised my treatment progress yesterday, and gave myself a large pat on the survivor back for that.
There will be a series of posts to come, all inspired by yesterday. I am not plagiarising Carolyn’s work, as I am saying here and now, the content of these posts are ALL based on her handouts, her talks, and her research. I’ll be of course adding my own unique flavour to it, and writing about the personal reflections that came up for me as a survivor, hearing a talk from another CSA survivor.
I just don’t think it is fair for me to hear a talk as enlightening as that without passing it on to you all via my blog. Not everyone lives in the UK. And not everyone would be able to afford the £80 course fee. So I am bringing the hope for healing day to you, via my blog.
The posts will all be called #SECRETS NO MORE
You’ll notice I haven’t sweared once in this post. This is because I want to not turn off those readers that may be offended by swearing. I want these posts to have mass appeal, and be read by many and shared and reblogged. So I am holding back on my usual swearing and intense expressiveness. Prepare for serious Summer- muted, and subtle. Is this really possible?! I’ll try anyway ;)
The lush lady that I sat next to yesterday (who I swapped contact details with) said she’ll potentially retweet my posts for all her therapist contacts, so it’s time for me to be the serious journalist here me thinks.
One final point… you may be thinking, HEY SUMMER WE DON’T WANT LOADS OF POSTING ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, it just isn’t a nice topic to read about on blogs…well that’s exactly why I’m going to do it. CSA is societies silent epidemic.
WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT, BLATENTLY, FULLY, COMPREHENSIVELY AND SHAMELESSLY!
So that is what I will do :)