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My Journey to Loving Myself Following Sexual Abuse

Sam Thinks details their journey to self-love following sexual abuse during childhood. They share what they have learnt during the last ten years of therapy, which first involved dismantling their self-loathing inner voice, dubbed the ‘beast’.

Published on PsychCentral

Sam had initially rejected and even felt anger towards the notion of self-love as written about by others:

“Historically any article with “self-love” in it has given rise to a feeling of anger in me. Every cell in my body has been rotting in self-hate and loathing for a long, long time now. Any self-love talk made me angry and tempted to vent my resentment and jealousy in phrases such as ‘what sort of a deluded twit writes these articles?'”.

The idea of loving the self seemed like such a large, impossible leap from Sam’s current self-view, which was expressed non-stop as a hateful, unrelenting voice inside their own mind. “This voice operated twenty-four hours a day on full acceleration. It was a raging beast and interfered with every second of my days and nights.”

The first step was the awareness of this negative thought pattern, and the realization that we are not our thoughts. Finally, that these thoughts can be changed, no matter how long they’ve been ‘in charge’.

With time and therapy, Sam knew that this voice needed to be tamed, to be replaced by one that was loving and empathetic. Afterall, they would never speak of others in the degrading way that they had been speaking of themselves. That the abuse was somehow their own fault. Why are we less compassionate towards ourselves than we are towards others?

“Now I have the crises more under control and don’t feel like a danger to myself so much anymore. I am building on this self-love thing”.

Sam’s journey has been finding out what self-love really looks like, and how it can help us in a real, practical way.

“I can only hope it may help one person. If it shortens his or her journey by even one long, painful, depressingly suicidal day it would be well worth it.”

Read full article here
Published October 28, 2020

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