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The holidays are meant to be a time of joy and merriment, according to Hallmark. For survivors of sexual abuse, the picture may be different.

The holidays can involve a lot of socializing, visiting family, seeing those from the past which can be triggering.

It's essential we have our grounding strategies down to a fine art to navigate the festive period with as little added discomfort as is possible.

What's grounding? Grounding is simply the process of anchoring ourselves back in our bodies in the present moment.

There are many ways of achieving this, but engaging the senses is the easiest of all.

The first task is to list the dates, times and people that may feel challenging for us. This could include dinner at our childhood home

Read 25 tweets
Tonight we're discussing navigating the holidays - can be tough, what with the societal pressures of parties, gifts, family and friends, and work commitments - difficult for anyone yet especially hard for survivors. We'll discuss ways to cope #SexAbuseChat
The holiday season is upon us, complete with festivities, music, food and a sense of social obligation to "eat, drink and be merry", or something along those lines.

For survivors of sexual abuse, who may have degrees of anxiety, PTSD and general dislike of loud, crowded places, the bustle and social nature of the holidays can feel at the very least, pressured, and at the most, depression and anxiety-provoking.

Read 32 tweets
What does it mean to be "triggered?" In recent years, this term has been casually used to refer to the experience of having an emotional reaction, usually to some type of disturbing content in the form of media or in another social context,

be that violence, mention of suicide, or other situations.

However, from a mental health perspective, being "triggered" more narrowly refers to the experience of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

re-experiencing symptoms of a traumatic event (such as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation) after being exposed to a trigger that is a catalyst or reminder.

Read 29 tweets
Grounding is essential for survivors, especially to manage symptoms of PTSD.

Grounding is about connecting with our body and anchoring our body in our surroundings, to calm anxiety and control dissociation patterns when feeling triggered.

By grounding, we can stay present and make sure that we are in control of decision making and can respond soothingly to our inner child who may be suffering a trauma response to feeling triggered (so maybe reacting with fight/flight/freeze). #SexAbuseChat
The simplest way to approach grounding is to tap into our 5 senses.

Just asking ourselves what we can see, hear, smell, taste, feel (physically) can bring us back into the room and help us to feel secure and safe enough to do what we need in the moment. #SexAbuseChat
Read 15 tweets
Helpful info on grooming from @CHILD_USA:

1. Child sex abusers “groom” their child victims. Child sex abusers are patient and cunning, and often the “nice guys” you want your kids to spend time with. Often generous, fun activities, cash, candy,

jewelry, special clothing, trips, adopting endearing nicknames, telling the children he/she “loves” them and their families, and other special treatment. Telling children that sex abuse is how they show “love” to each other. Using showers, alcohol #SexAbuseChat
and pornography to lower defenses. Telling children that God means for them to be together. Having mock wedding ceremonies complete with clothing and rings. #SexAbuseChat
Read 11 tweets

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