More and more we are being exhorted to ensure we maintain a good level of self-care, to consider our needs and to respond to stresses in our lives.
This isn’t about being selfish or not being concerned with others but making sure that we do not neglect ourselves.
This is particularly important, and emphasised, when you are struggling with mental health issues. therapists, peer group facilitators and Online chat moderators all emphasise the need for self-care. This is particularly true when a difficult or ‘triggering’ topic is being approached.
But many people find it difficult to ‘self-care’, to focus on their own needs and requirements and to make sure they are, and remain, safe. I count myself amongst these people.
So, what is it that makes Self-Care so difficult for some?
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It has been said that one of the most powerful things that you can say to an adult survivor of nonrecent child abuse is ‘I believe you’.
Why is this so difficult for people? Because in my experience it is almost impossible for people to say, at least people that haven’t experienced it for themselves. On disclosing nonrecent abuse I have been met with everything from ‘Well I don’t disbelieve you’ through a silent, confused look to ‘You must have dreamt it’ and I wont even go into the ‘well all teenage boys are up for it’ type responses!
So why is it so difficult for people?
It maybe that my experience of childhood abuse happened in the home, by a parent. This is something that while making up forty plus percent of abuse cases is something that go against deeply held and engrained beliefs. The belief that family is safe, that parents are loving and that because the vast majority of cases reported on are ‘stranger’ abusers then if it does happen in the family then it must be very very rare indeed.
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