Monthly Archives: July 2015

Restoring Life After Sexual Abuse

restoring life after sexual abuse

 

Restoring life and happiness after being sexually abused takes time and a lot of work. Sexual trauma is a life-shaking experience that greatly affects a victim emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. In the United States, an alarming number of individuals suffer from sexual trauma – male or female. Most of them do not get the proper help for years following their abusive experience; some undergo counseling but still experience trauma reactivation later on in their lives.

Sexually abused victims who do not get proper treatment and counseling are prone to suffer from grave depression, cardiovascular diseases and anxiety. They may also develop a habit of substance abuse, smoking and drinking alcohol.

Many victims of sexual abuse experience difficulty in getting their lives back; they have lost the vital qualities of life!

 

Restoring Life and Happiness through Faith

Hope walks through the fire and leaps over it.’ – Jim Carrey

Having the right mindset can help you bounce back to life and happiness after experiencing tremendous trauma. Building your spiritual connection with Jesus can help you endure traumatic experiences including death, divorce and sexual abuse. You have to believe that there is something bigger than yourself and everything will make sense.

With faith, you will realize there are valid reasons for what you’ve been through. You will see the opportunities available to you in your new life and realize that your tragic situation is a stepping stone for your bright future.

Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean you are religious, but you can have a closer relationship with Jesus – allow Him into your life and He will heal your wounds and take away your suffering. Have faith in the fact that you are now safe, loved and that you deserve to be happy.

 

Restoring Life After Trauma

Having a strong sense of spirituality may give you an enduring sense of hope.

Living in fear and going into ‘freeze’ mode for a long time has a big impact on your body as well as your mind. The proper functioning of your digestive and immune system may be affected if there is too much stress chemical in your body. Moreover, chronic stress and trauma may lead to serious illnesses and can contribute to psychomatic symptoms.

 

Restoring life and rebuilding trust and happiness in your life may seem like a challenge in the beginning. However, turning the page to the next chapter of your life is not impossible. You can create the life of your dreams and be the person that you want to be – stronger, wiser and incredibly resilient!

You have been tested in ways that others have not; your difficult past has probably helped you hone skills that you did not have before. You may feel more connected to your spiritual self now and perhaps, more harmonious with life. Take advantage of the lessons that you’ve learned. Call on to Jesus for help and trust with all your heart that He will.

Child Slavery

child slavery

 

Child Slavery pertains to the enslavement of children at a very young age. Back in the day, children were sold to pay for their family’s debts or if their parents need money to live. Some children were even sold to pay for the crimes that their family has committed.

 

Short History of Child Slavery

Somewhere between the 1700s and 1800s, the rise of the machines diminished the need for hand labor. Factories began to open everywhere and the owners found it convenient to hire children to run their machines; the labor cost is cheaper for children than for adults. Child Slavery became very rampant in the mid-1800s and children could be seen working in farms and other industries.

Many children began working before they even turn 7 and they had to work at least 12 hours a day just to earn a dollar. Working children were deprived of their right to play or go to school. Many of them became very ill because they had very little time to rest and their working environment was damp and dirty.

Many groups were angered by the cruelty – church, teachers, labor groups and so forth. The British government was the first to pass a law against child slavery. The laws gradually shortened the children’s working hours, increased the age of qualification and improved the working environment.

 

Child Slavery in the Chocolate Factory

Countries in Western Africa supply most of the cocoa in the world and as the demand for chocolate grows, the rate of child slavery also increases. The children of West Africa grow in an environment that’s characterized by extreme poverty; most of them are forced to work at a young age to help their families.

Majority of the working children in chocolate factories are girls and they stay there for months while some end up working through adulthood. Their working day usually begins at 6 in the morning and ends late in the evening. Their tasks include climbing cocoa trees to cut bean pods and others clear the forest by using chainsaws.

The use of heavy and dangerous equipment obviously violates the international laws of labor, and groups like UN are working on eliminating these forms of child slavery. Human traffickers often abduct these young children and take advantage of their innocence while their own family sells some to traffickers.

 

 

Stop Child Slavery Today

Awareness can help stop child slavery today. Slavery is rooted in vulnerability; traffickers always prey on the poorest and weakest society. The vulnerability of abused communities can be empowered through education, organized groups and liberation.

Educating members of the community – parents, teachers, church and children will make them aware of their rights and opportunities. Awareness will prevent the traffickers from luring and trapping them into slavery. Always remember, a little education can go a long way.

The presence of organized groups in communities can also help liberate victims of child slavery. These groups can help watch out for the children’s welfare and provide counseling to community members. Non-profit organizations also work with the police to track down enslaved children and free them from their perpetrators.

How to Overcome Painful Memories

painful memoriesWe all have painful memories that make us want to hide from our past forever. Unfortunately, life is a bittersweet combination of joy and suffering – most of the time, suffering outweighs the joy. Our unpleasant experiences can leave intrusive emotions in their wake. However, we should face these painful memories head on or they will consume our entire being. It may take some time for us to do this; but with determination and the healing power of letting go, we will cope with our past and move on to greater joys that life has to offer.

 

Face the Problem and Let Go

Suppression is never a solution. It only delays the problem until it gets too much for us to handle. Talking to someone that we trust can help us accept the painful memories that we have. If we think that we are not ready to talk about it, we can write our feelings down on a journal – writing is very therapeutic. We just have to find a way to let our feelings out.

After sharing our experience, we can now let go. Letting go of our experiences, may it be good or bad, means accepting that it was not our fault. Every experience is meant to teach us a lesson. Instead of looking at things negatively, we should see it as an opportunity to learn something new. We needed this experience in order to advance to where we really need to be in life.

 

Allow Peace to Enter Our Being

We should try to create a mantra that relates to our experience and the lesson that we have learned from it to allow peace to enter our being. A painful memory of abuse may have a mantra like this one: From the experience of being abused, I am learning to be a stronger and braver individual who will never allow anyone to abuse me again.

Remembering our mantra can help us find peace and calmness in our life. We should never let negativity live inside us because it will only hinder us from letting go. Acceptance will help us live in peace.

 

Forgive

We should learn to forgive the people who have wronged us. This is a big part of letting go and moving on. If we hold on to grudge and let anger fill our hearts, we will never find our inner peace. Our painful memories will just continue to haunt us and gravely affect the person that we are today.

Inner Healing for the Sexually Abused

inner healing

 

Survivors of childhood molestation are haunted by conflicting feelings long after the abuse is over. When they become an adult, some may feel mad at the child they were back then for not doing anything to prevent the abuse from happening. They may regret not doing things like telling or running away; some may even feel guilty and responsible for what happened. Failure to process these feelings usually result in hatred or resentment towards an inner child or the representative of their childhood self.

Inner healing for the abused child needs intense work. Survivors must reconnect with their childhood self to be able to forgive and move on. It is very important to have a strong support system and be in a good place before a sexually abused person can start his or her inner healing. If you have been sexually abused, it is highly advised to ask the assistance of a therapist before beginning the process on your own.

 

Reconnecting

Reconnecting with your childhood self is an important step; you have to assess what you feel about the child you were now that you’re an adult. Are you mad or sad? Do you feel that you could have prevented the abuse from happening, especially if it occurred in a repeating pattern? There may be so many questions that you want to ask but to begin your inner healing, you have to understand how you thought as a child.

You were naturally trusting and you were abused by the person whom you thought you should be able to trust. As a child, you needed affection, reassurance and unconditional love and you strived to get all these from the adults that surround you. Now that you’re an adult, you may find it difficult to understand why you felt like that as a child. However, it is the only way to understand your actions and reactions as a child.

Repeated abuse may have been possible at the time because you trusted your abuser. He or she may have been someone you loved; you sought for the person’s attention and the abuse was the only way you received it. As an innocent child, the way you behaved could not be considered as being stupid or not knowing any better. You were a child – trusting, believing and loving; you were innocent no matter what!

You have to make a connection with your inner child. You don’t have to be compassionate for your inner child; you just have to reconnect and understand the relationship that you share. This is the time when you can begin your inner healing.

 

Forgiving

You were only a child. It may take some time for you to comprehend what that means. This can be difficult for some survivors of sexual abuse especially if they feel responsible. For victims who acted as their own parent, understanding the concept of ‘only a child’ may be quite a challenge. It may help if you look at a photograph of yourself at the age when the abuse happened. This can help you realize how small you were to even fight with your abuser; the threats you endured if you tell anyone what was going on.

Realizing how helpless you must have been as a child can give you some answers about your inner child. Even if you grew up as an ‘adult child’, you couldn’t have been capable of handling such ‘adult matters’ at that time. Being a responsible child does not mean you could also handle that kind of burden, so please be gentle to your child self.

Acceptance that your child self is really just a child is vital for your inner healing. And though it would be difficult to go down memory lane, you have to remember what your life was like back then. Many survivors of sexual abuse grew up in ‘chaotic’ environments; there were many family problems happening such as substance abuse, fighting and your abuse may have seemed minimal compared to everything else. Do you remember how you felt as a child? What were the things that soothe or comforted you?

Your child self didn’t have anyone to comfort him or her. You had no one to share your problems with; no one understood. You may have felt very alone. Remembering all these things is difficult but it will help you understand your inner child better. You have to understand that none of what happened was your fault – forgive your child self.

 

Healing

Many survivors of sexual abuse who have their inner child wounded feel that they are not in control of their life. If this feeling is not resolved, you may do things that you are not able to control or understand. You need to learn how to be a parent to yourself; be the parent that you never had.

If you have the ability to be a good parent to your inner child, a trust can be built between your adult self and child self. List down things that you can do to protect and comfort your inner child; tell your inner child what you can do now that you can’t before. To maintain a good relationship with your inner child, always be honest in your parenting role!

Learn to parent with good discipline. Good discipline is not demeaning; it doesn’t hurt and it’s not painful. Your inner child should learn the value of good discipline because without it, he or she will have no rules to live by.

Keep your inner child safe at all times. There may be some things that can still hurt your inner child even if you’re a good parent to it. You have to maintain that sense of security and give special attention to your inner child. Be a kid again! Enjoy life and continue working out things with your inner self. This will help you achieve inner healing and peacefully move on with life.

Abuse – How Do Victims Deal with It

abuse

Abuse is any form of maltreatment that can leave psychological wounds to the victim. The ‘injuries’ of abuse take more time to heal than any bodily wound. Oftentimes, the survivor of an abusive act is haunted by negative feelings and experience difficulty in coping with reality. Some may even struggle to lead a normal, happy and peaceful life again.

Distressing memories, trust issues and paranoia are just some of the challenges that victims of abuse have to overcome after they have been maltreated. Each victim copes differently; some may take a while to move on from their pain while others quickly overcome their distress with the help of a support group.

 

Psychotherapy for Abuse Survivors

Therapy is one of the most important forms of help that an abuse victim can get in his or her road to recovery. Victims of abuse need a person or group that they can trust to express      and process difficult emotions that are related to their experience. Therapy and support groups can develop self-compassion and self-care strategies to help the victim overcome overwhelming moments and learn to trust again.

There are several types of therapeutic approaches that are used to help victims of abuse. These approaches employ mindfulness techniques like meditation or experiential techniques like painting. Being a part of a support group has proved to be effective in helping abuse victims cope with the trauma. It offers social support that helps transform their feelings of shame, guilt and alienation from others as they meet people who have undergone similar experiences that they’ve had.

 

Psychological Repercussions of Abuse

Abuse can cause a negative impact on the life of an individual. However, some emotional or psychological problems are not necessarily caused by an abusive act. In fact, the severity of a victim’s trauma is dependent on many factors – the relationship of the victim to the abuser, whether the abuse was recognized or dismissed by family and friends and so forth.

Children who are victims of abuse undergo emotional problems that affect their academic and social performance.  Adults who survive from abusive attacks may find it difficult to keep healthy relationships and may lose focus on their work. Victims who are at high risk of developing mental health issues due to what they have been through, may experience depression and other serious psychological problems like anxiety, dissociation, anger and self-destructive behavior.

Top 5 Benefits of a Healthy Diet

healthy dietFollowing a healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables has a lot of benefits to offer. It can lower our risk of developing heart disease such as a heart attack and stroke and it can also protect us against certain types of cancer. Whether we are trying to get in shape or just live a healthier life, eating healthy food is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Here are the top 5 reasons why we should make our daily diet more nutrient-packed:

 

More Productive

Our brain and body needs ‘quality fuel’ to function effectively. A study shows that whenever we eat unhealthy, we are increasing our risk of productivity loss of up to 66 percent. However, if we incorporate healthy foods into our diet, like fresh fruits and vegetables, we ‘fuel’ our brains to function well and our body feels energized which allows us to become more productive at work and in life.

 

Happier

What we eat affects how our brain functions. Dark chocolate can give us the feeling of happiness because it is packed with polyphenol, which is known to boost serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is targeted by antidepressants. Bananas are also good for our brain because it is packed with dopamine which is a chief mood booster for the brain. Seeking professional help is advised if we experience serious mood changes throughout the day. But, maybe just eating a dark chocolate covered banana is all the fix you need!

 

Stress-Free

Cortisol is a stress hormone found in our bodies and there are certain foods that can help moderate it. If we eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and Vitamin C, the cortisol levels in our bodies will be reduced. Too much stress is unhealthy for our overall well-being; it breaks down our protein supply that protects us from diseases. To keep our protein stores at a healthy level, we should include fish and dairy in our healthy diet.

 

Eat Less

Quality trumps quantity. This holds true when it comes to eating healthy. Fresh foods consist of fewer low-nutrient fillers that our bodies burn through quickly. Other advantages when healthy and less is the savings in your pocket book.  For some, you should experience weight loss while everyone will have a greater sense of well being and a clear mind.

 

Live Longer

Healthy eating can reduce our risks of developing chronic diseases that may shorten our lives. Eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise are guaranteed by health experts to increase our life expectancy. Moreover, we can save from spending on expensive and painful Botox procedures because our skin will look glowing and young. Fruits and vegetable are high in antioxidants and can help protect our skin.

All About Human Trafficking

human traffickingHuman Trafficking is against the law and a serious violation of human rights. In the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, it is defined as a form of recruitment and harbor of people by means of threat, force and deception.

Traffickers abuse their power and position against the vulnerability of another person for the purpose of exploitation. At a minimum, exploitation may be in the form of prostitution, forced labor or the removal of organs. Whatever it is one thing is common among all human trafficking victims – they lose their freedom.

In the United States, the most common form of human trafficking is prostitution. It often occurs online, in residential brothels, in the street or in businesses or spas that secretly function as brothels. Labor trafficking, on the other hand, is prevalent in domestic servitude situations. It is common in large farms, restaurants and carnivals.

 

Primary Factors of Human Trafficking

High Profits and Low Risk. Human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is defined by the principles of demand and supply. Traffickers are earning millions and billions of dollars annually by exploiting other people. They prey their victims with promises of money, improved lifestyle, support for family, education and escape from war.

 

Victims of Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking have no limits. They can be men or women, adult or children, local residents or foreign nationals. But women and children are the key target group of most traffickers because they have limited economic resources and are mostly in need. Traffickers take advantage of people from impoverished and low income households. They like preying on young girls that run away from home and people with low levels of education. Traffickers always look for victims that they can take advantage of and seduce with their false promises.

 

The Perpetrators

Traffickers ensnare their victims into forced labor, prostitution and other forms of exploitation through manipulation and threats. They often use force, lies and other psychological coercion to recruit and exploit their victims. In some cases, they even kidnap their victims and use physical violence to control them.

Unfortunately, traffickers often share the same ethnicity, cultural background and nationality with their victims. They use this to their advantage because it can help them better understand the vulnerabilities of their victims.

The type of traffickers may range from individuals to extensive criminal networks. They can be pimps, family members, small business owners, gangs and so forth. The common thread among traffickers is that they are willing to exploit other people for their profit.

 

Overcome Obesity Today

overcome obesityObesity is a serious issue in the United States and other countries today. Some say that it’s a lifestyle disease but it can also be a result of other illnesses such as diabetes and thyroid gland disease. Anyone can be a victim of this condition – old, young and even children. It poses great danger not only to an individual’s physical health but also to his or her psychological state.

People who are obese experience many difficulties in their daily lives. They may suffer from difficulty in breathing, develop heart disease and emotional challenges such as bullying. So how can you overcome obesity today? Read on and find out.

 

Exercise

Time and again, you may read and hear how important regular exercise is to your overall well-being. Health experts and diet gurus all agree to its efficiency. It helps burn calories and extra fat in your body. Doing exercise at least three to four times a week can help keep you healthy. It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or jogging. You may also do sports like swimming, playing tennis or cycling. Whatever it is, keep in mind that your body needs exercise. It releases endorphins that improve your mood and makes you sweat to flush out the toxins. Additionally, exercise will distress your mind and body; stress can cause serious illnesses; disease is a “dis-ease” happening in your body.

 

Healthy Diet

Watch your diet because what you put in your body really matters! Make sure to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Cucumber and green leafy vegetables are great to include in meals as it contains very little calories and is good for the digestive system because it has a lot of water. You don’t have to completely cut off meat from your diet. You can replace it with fish or a portion of skinless chicken. Also, avoid eating junk food, instead replace it with nuts and other low carb snacks that won’t affect your blood sugar and put on weight.

 

Weigh Yourself Regularly

Keeping your weight in check is one way to prevent obesity. Knowing how much you weigh will keep you motivated to reach your weight goal. It will keep you informed about your progress and you will know how close you are to getting your ideal weight.

 

 

Avoid Weight Reducing Diets

There are innumerable weight cutting diets out there, each having its own promise of giving you a glorious body in just a few short weeks. However, those aren’t really good for you. So instead of following those diet plans, go for a program that’s based on vegetables, low fat meat, olive oil, coconut oil, exercise and lots of clear liquids. There is no shortcut to health so avoid crash dieting. It may help you lose weight at the beginning but as time goes by, you’ll notice your body weakening because you’re already losing essential nutrients.  It’s vital to feed your cells, don’t starve them. Starving your cells will pack on the weight you don’t want or need!

 

Finally……

Keep a Positive Attitude

Don’t’ think about what you can’t have or are missing….think about a lifestyle change to get healthy. Your motto should be to “eat to live not live to eat”.  Focus on your health, and the benefits you will gain by changing bad habits to good ones. Whenever you fail, don’t beat yourself up over it, just start again and keep a positive attitude; do better tomorrow!  Think about how long it took you to get this way, it started maybe years ago from poor eating habits and lack of taking care of yourself. Making a lifestyle change doesn’t happen over night, so be patient, give yourself the time you need to make the change but try everyday to do something better for yourself.