Recovering from Sexual Abuse

Several years ago when I was at a particularly low point in my life; I was a failing actress in an emotionally abusive relationship, one woman's story changed the way I defined success. For seven years I was an active participant in the Al-Anon 12-step program which I credit for helping me completely turn my life around, and it was in one of these meetings that I heard Julia's (a pseudonym) story. Julia was a fair-skinned, strawberry blonde with hidden eyes and bitten down nails. She always sat in the back of this thirty to fifty person meeting. I rarely noticed her because her withdrawn, tomb-silent energy made her invisible; almost a cypher in a room of messy, emotional, larger-than-life people fighting to recover from volatile, dramatic pasts.

I have a client I'll call Josie who has had three pregnancy scares in the last year. My initial advice was fairly simple, "Start using birth control, yo!" I'd helped Josie get out of a long-term, toxic relationship so she thought that if she quit taking birth control pills she'd be less likely to have casual sex and end up in another inappropriate relationship based solely on hormones and headed nowhere fast. But sex is a sticky-wicket for we mere mortals and the temptation proved to be too much three times in the last year and because she hadn't intended to have sex, birth control was forgotten in the heat of the moment.