Step Two Self-Help
  1. Write down the date that you first acknowledged the abuse to yourself. This date will signify the beginning of your recovery. Remember it well, as you will want to honor this date in subsequent years when you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.
  2. Over the course of a week or two, look over any old family albums and photographs or home movies you may have. Just leave them around the house so that you can look at them and think about them at your leisure. If you have no photographic records of the past, try some visualization exercises, such as imagining taking a walk though your childhood home, your relatives' houses or your old school.
  3. If you enjoy art, draw a picture of your parents and family members. Draw a picture of yourself as a child. Include as much detail as you can recall. If the words to describe the abuse episodes are still escaping you, try drawing pictures of whatever memory fragments you have of the abuse. More details of the visual images will probably come to you as you continue to sketch out what happened, and eventually the descriptive words will follow.
  4. You might consider writing your autobiography, starting with your earliest memory and working forward to the present. If you can, make a trip back to your hometown to research your autobiography. Interview the people who knew you as a child and ask them about their memories and perceptions of you back then. Just let the impressions, memories and feelings wash over you. Write them down in your journal for future reference.
  5. Start recording your dreams and nightmares in your journal. A week or so later, reread them and write down any impressions, specific feelings or images that come to you. Don't worry if everything seems disconnected. As you add the feeling and image details to the picture of your childhood, the whole picture will start to take shape.
  6. In ASCA meetings, share your acknowledgement about being abused as a child and your feelings about this realization.
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Survivor to Thriver, Page 65
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06