Sexual trauma can get in the way of your current relationships if not properly addressed (Image: Shutterstock)

How to help yourself heal from sexual trauma

A while back, a friend of mine had the worst encounter of her life. It was when we were in campus and they were at a party, of course everyone was drinking, having a good time.

Come the following morning, when she woke up, she says she didn’t quite feel like herself and decided to go for checkup, where she was told she had been raped.

The worst part is that she didn’t even remember how it happened or who did it. For months she cried and starved herself for weeks unable to accept she had lost her innocence to a total stranger.

It’s been years now and she still hasn’t fully recovered from the ordeal and this has gravely affected her relationships. This is not an isolated case; this is just amongst the many sexual ordeals women go through in their lives, everyday.

According to data collected by the United Nations Women Org, almost one in three women have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life. 30 per cent of these women aged 15 and older.

It is for this reason a lot of women struggle to heal from sexual trauma depending on age and how many times they have been abused.

And even though the healing process is a bumpy road, you have the right to take charge of your body, feel whole again and get intimate again.

Although it may work differently for all women, here is how mindful sex can help you heal from sexual trauma:

  • It’s okay to say no

Sexual abuse takes away your ability and power to say no or yes. And in order to reclaim back your power you need to be able to make your own decisions as you see fit. Say no to any sexual advances as much as you want, say yes as well but never be coerced into doing anything you don’t want.

  • Pay attention to your body

It will be a while before you can be yourself again and let go freely in the bedroom. You may feel lost and void but your body still communicates what it needs. Focus on these specific tingles and build them into desire, the act itself doesn’t have to happen, that can wait for as long as you want.

  • Start with what makes you comfortable

Sometimes it’s the thought of somebody on top of you that cripples your sexual thoughts. You don’t have to do things that make you uncomfortable, if penetrative sex still scares you, start easy with kisses here and touches there but let it be at your own pace and at a location of your choosing.

  • Talk triggers with your partner

As you slowly get back into exploring intimacy, it is important for your partner to know good touches and your triggers. If you don’t let them know, they might unknowingly do stuff to you that will take you back to a dark place and ruin your healing process.

  • A good therapist is key

Sexual trauma is not something you can just forget overnight. The ordeal will play over and over in your head and this can drive you insane. You will need a good therapist who will help you channel negative thoughts and turn your trauma around.  

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