South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence

Reflections on SECASA

For Female Survivors, Male Survivors

Tags: Counselling, Groups & Workshops, Survivor's Stories

I am amazed and delighted to report after 6 months attending SECASA I am leading a life I didn’t know was ever possible. It is truly a ‘new’ life for me. Initially it took time to believe it was here to stay. It was too good to be true. Enjoying life, feeling stable, sleeping well each night, being trigger proof was all new for me. How can this be? Being free from beating myself up or blaming myself constantly was certainly refreshingly different for me. Also not feeing responsible for all and sundry was also extraordinary to behold in my life. Realizing that going to a Psychiatrist, who never addressed the childhood trauma, actually triggered me into ‘powerlessness’ was a lightening moment. Being labelled with a mental illness and being subscribed medication was not very healing for me. 

Upon attending SECASA what a relief to be validated and affirmed in 1 on 1 counselling sessions by a gentle, skilled, caring woman who allowed you to unlock years of horrible unspoken memories and experiences. Traumas that had been locked away in the dark where shame, disassociation and powerlessness dwelled.

Being able to voice the pain, grief and loss of years of depression, anxiety and dysfunction was a true gift. To be able to piece together my tattered, broken life has brought tremendous understanding that enabled me to move from being stuck in grief (since childhood when the abuse occurred). It has helped me establish healthy relationship boundaries and to love and nurture myself. I now feel able to speak up, or have a voice, and feel whole and strong inside.

I remember the revelation of sitting in a room with 9 other women (Support Group) and realizing I felt safe and that all these women understood my experience. Wow! That was certainly an amazing occurrence. Being able to share ‘hard stuff’, anything I needed to express, knowing that I was understood and no longer isolated or alone. 

What a different world we’d have if everyone who’d suffered the trauma of childhood abuse found what I’ve found at SECASA in the counselling sessions, mosaic group and the support group. Finally the past is laid to rest and I can live the life that was intended for me. Sincere thanks to all those before us who have laboured to establish this service and I salute all the wonderful women and men who journey with us to recovery. 

Liz

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