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Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse | Moving Forward with Renewed Hope

Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse | Moving Forward

with Renewed Hope


The memory of childhood abuse and being stripped of innocence can be very traumatic for an adult. Lost and bewildered, surviving the emotional turmoil of grief, guilt, fear, hatred and distress, can be extremely difficult. If you are an adult survivor and have gone through the same experience and you’re still carrying the pain, it can continue to haunt you in ways you may not realize.

You may find trusting others too difficult, which can hold you back from taking the steps to move forward where you want to go in your life. As an adult, know that you aren’t helpless anymore. You have the power to move on and resolve your emotional issues. Therapy with a caring, right-fit counselor can help.


The Negative Emotions You Want to Escape From

For adult survivors of sexual abuse, the devastating effects are varied and can be manifested in different ways. In general, it is common to experience hopelessness, so you may have the tendency to become indifferent about others.  You can be gripped with fear, so you become vulnerable to anxiety. Your trauma may excessively bother you, resulting in sleepless nights or bad dreams.

The trauma can have short-term and long-term effects. Immediately, it may have caused you to exhibit regressive behaviors. The bad experience may also have disrupted your overall emotional development. You may have had difficulty interacting with others, functioning in school, or in daily routines, such as sleeping and eating.

The long-term effects are wide-ranging, including vulnerability to anxiety, self-harm, depression, risky behaviors (like substance abuse), and insomnia. If you are in this stage right now, have faith. You can still move forward with renewed hope.


The Emotional Repercussions of Abuse

The degree of repercussions in your life may vary depending on a lot of factors, such as the degree of your closeness to the abuser and how it was received by your family. Abuse can significantly contribute to your emotional turmoil, not only immediately after, but possibly throughout your life; particularly when there was no proper intervention after the trauma.

You might experience varied emotions and you may also become more vulnerable to emotional issues after the abuse, such as anxiety/PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression, as well as other mood disorders. Trust issues may reinforce your tendency to dissociate from people. This can stand in the way of developing social skills and in maintaining healthy friendships, personal, or work relationships.

Anger can consume you, venting it on people love you, particularly on those whom you believe should have protected you. Though this is a common reaction, it can be counterproductive if it has remained for a long enough time in your life. It can result in your hurting yourself, literally or by resorting to risky behaviors or by sabotaging your personal life, as a way of not facing the pain.


Why Feel the Way You Do?

If your trauma has not been completely healed, the past can continue to loom over your life, affecting your decisions and interactions with others. If you have kept it a secret, and you were not provided with any form of help or support, the impact of the abuse can grip you longer than usual. If you still feel unsafe, ashamed, guilty, afraid, and have poor self-esteem, it may be because you have not healed from your traumatic experience.

These remaining hurtful feelings may prevent you from having a healthy romantic relationship. Painful reminders and memories of your past experiences can come as flashbacks and interfere with intimacy. You may have difficulty trusting your partner or spouse and you may be perpetually struggling with setting boundaries to feel safe in your relationships.

Your trauma may go beyond your relationships. If you feel guilty, thinking you caused the abuse, it can further deter you from moving forward as you continue to blame yourself. You may feel hopeless, powerless and vulnerable all the time, even with the people you love and respect the most.  Without closure, negative emotions can consume you, standing in the way of feeling secure and living a fulfilling life.


Gaining Closure and Starting Over Again

Remember, you aren’t as powerless as you were as a child. You have the strength to seek intervention, address your issues and change the way things are to feel better and improve your life. If you were not provided with interventions after the abuse, it isn’t too late to reach out for help now, as an adult. A capable therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Cameron, NC – on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks, can help you understand your experiences, resolve the associated negative emotions, and to start over again.

If you feel unsafe, it is important to assess if it is real or something imagined because of anxiety or depression. A caring therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services in Cameron, NC, can help assess your emotional symptoms, so you can start trusting people again and move forward with your life. Sexual abuse is not something to be ignored, and you can’t let it prevent you from living the happy life you deserve. Call CCS – Cameron, NC now to gain closure and resolution, so you can move forward with a renewed hope.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!
Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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