Healing the effects of childhood sexual abuse

Written for the Sentinel

A Happy childhood can provide a strong foundation to build a life on. But a traumatic experience can seem to weaken that foundation and leave bad effects that carry into adulthood. Sexual abuse, like any harmful experience, claims to cause permanent damage because one cannot go back and undo what has been done. When it happens to children, it seems even worse, because they have to deal with something they don't even understand.

Can the effects of sexual abuse in childhood be healed? Yes, if we understand that man, God's child, is more than the physical being he appears to be and that God is something more than a faraway figure.

Here Christian Science can help. For anyone who feels damaged by such a past, there is a way to feel free and whole again: by understanding more about the nature of God, and man's relation to Him. This is how one finds the healing balm that removes every vestige of contamination and worthlessness. A study of the Bible and Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy provides a deeper understanding of God as infinite Love, and with this understanding, one finds that the hurts that may have come from being an innocent victim of another's immorality fade, not just into a distant past but into oblivion. Christian Science heals, not merely by helping us forget something bad, but by showing us that what we really are—a spiritual idea, God's loved child—is eternally good and pure. The effects of a bad experience are removed through understanding man's untainted identity, which is wholly spiritual. These truths can help bring healing to the child who has been abused, as well as bring freedom in our own lives if we have suffered such an experience.

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Memory and gratitude
May 27, 1996

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