As someone who was sexually harassed in the past, I know about the inner-pain that victims and survivors experience. But, as someone who spent five years as a counselor and a therapist working in the fields of alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental health, I want to share my observations and research findings about another form of sexual abuse.
Our country needs to start having a conversation about the plight of incest victims and survivors. It is my opinion that these people suffer more deeply and profoundly than victims and survivors of other forms of abuse. Their self-hatred, self-loathing, and self-blame are so severe and extreme that some of them constantly smile even when it is not appropriate to do so.
Experienced counselors and therapists will tell you that they do this as a way to hide and cover up how dirty, disgusting, and miserable they feel deep within themselves. They will also tell you that very few of them ever have a healthy, “functional,” and happy romantic relationship. Incest victims also suffer from very high rates of suicide, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia.
Our society needs to take the next step and try to eradicate this problem from existence.
Stewart B. Epstein
I believe that most of us Americans have been victims of bullying and/or some form of abuse at some time in our lives. As a former counselor and therapist, I worked with and tried to help many victims of everyday bullying as well as various forms of abuse.
I found that the biggest problem, issue, and challenge that they dealt with was that they did not stand up to their bullies and abusers. The best question that I have ever heard a counselor or therapist ask their clients and patients relative to this was the following:
“What parts of yourself don’t you love that allows you to let this bully or abuser to continue to mistreat and abuse you?”
This question prompted many people to finally make some serious changes in their lives and to walk away from and leave their abusers.
Stewart B. Epstein