Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Overcoming the effects of childhood sexual abuse

The effects of early childhood sexual abuse are difficult to categorize. So many factors contribute to the effects of child abuse on an individual, based on the specific kind of abuse, longevity, etc. The effects of sexual and emotional abuse on me have been chronic and hard to overcome.

In my memoir, "Following the Whispers," the reader journeys with me from childhood to present time as I seek to rid myself of the personality and character traits which developed as a result of being abused, and create a fulfilling life. One of the most damaging effects of child abuse has been an inability to stand up for myself without guilt or worry about whether someone will still like or love me. Oftentimes, a feeling of shame would overcome me, even though my behavior was not out of line or bad.

Somewhere I read that when we feel guilty, we believe we have done something bad; whereas when we feel shame, we believe we are bad. Shame makes us feel something is fundamentally wrong with ourselves.

That was true for most of my life. For many years, saying “no” was damn near impossible. Hating how I look, another one of the effects of child abuse, has thankfully shifted to loving acceptance. "Following the Whispers" illustrates these and other effects of child abuse, which impacted not only me, but all my relationships.The key to overcoming effects of child abuse is not slipping into a victim mentality. Awareness and acceptance of the impact this had on my life has allowed me to face the consequences and move forward towards healing and wholeness.

To read more about shame and its impact on children, check out this website: http://www.goddirect.org/mindemtn/writings/january/toxshame.htm



Patricia Stoltey said...

Karen, your posts are so poignant. They make us think of the little ones in this world who are so vulnerable, and how hard they have to fight to grow up happy and at peace. You are providing a wonderful service to teenagers and adults who need to know they're not alone.


Anonymous said...

It takes courage to write posts like this and, a book like yours. Believe me, I know. When I wrote my memoirs about my fall into the depths of narcotics addiction, it was part of a healing process that I somehow knew I had to do - very cathartic. Did you find the same thing when writing Whispers?

I'm very proud of you and impressed, Karen. Not everyone has the strength to pull through an experience like you had and become whole and healthy. And very few ever get to the point of forgiveness and letting go.

The Old Silly from Free Spirit Blog

Jina Bacarr said...

Strong words from a strong lady...you have so much to offer with your blog posts that can help others, Karen. Thank you for sharing.



Karen Walker said...

Thank you so much for these kind words. And Marvin, yes, writing was extremely cathartic.


C. Margery Kempe said...

There is something amazingly strong within you that has kept you together through such a perilous journey. How kind of you to share your wisdom with others who may need it. The ultimate survival is to flourish and heal. You are doing so much.

KK Brees said...

Karen, I can't wait to read your book. You've got a special gift and the courage to use it.