Healing Stories: Sexual Harassment and Abuse. When Will It End?
The news is filled with recent stories, as well as age old stories, about sexual harassment in the workplace. At home. College campuses. What will it take for it to end?
From accusations against Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein… The list goes on and on and on. And let’s not forget Bill Cosby.
Women, with the #metoo symbol, are starting to stand strong in unification together. Is this the first time this has ever happened in the history of United States?
We wonder, why did it take so long? How come people in positions of power, both men and women, haven’t become more actively engaged to stomp out sexual harassment and sexual abuse before now?
Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has been helping women in particular heal from sexual harassment and sexual abuse for the past 28 years, and yet even he has not seen the attention given to it right now.
“It seems like we finally have reached a tipping point. The point in life and society where individuals are saying enough is enough. I applaud everywoman, every man, who has decided to take a stance against sexual harassment and sexual abuse.
But is it enough? When the president of United States, and leading power figures in the world of movies and television shows, as well as political talk show hosts are finally called out… Will this be what it takes in order to heal and move forward in life, to create a society where women feel safer?
In family counseling, just like in the world of business, we say everything is top down. And by that we mean that whenever there are problems in society especially when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual abuse, it starts from the top and trickles down. What does that mean? Well let’s look at the presidency. Bill Clinton went through it. Donald Trump bragged about his escapades with women before becoming president. That’s as high in society as we can get.
And the family is no different. The core family. Which is where my work has been for the past 28 years. Whenever I work with someone who has sexual challenges, either they are overly engaged in sexual activities, or they completely have shut down sexually, we always look back to the patriarch or the matriarch of the family for clues as to why their child, a son or daughter, is facing sexual dysfunction.
I’ve worked with countless women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have suffered their whole life from sexual dysfunction, only to find out that it started with their father. Or their brother. Or their cousin, a male cousin who took advantage of them during something as innocent and simple seemingly as hide and go seek.
And when they finally open up to me in our sessions, which can often take 2 to 3 months of counseling sessions before they feel safe enough to open up about their childhood tragedies to a male, there’s a trail of distraction they left behind them. And the number one person destroyed? Themselves.
I worked with one young lady who was sexually abused by her father from the age of 11 until 21. That’s right age 21. She felt incredible shame, guilt, in saying no to her fathers advances even when she was in college. He had convinced her that she was dirty. She accepted it. And after 12 months of working together she finally rose up and shared her horrific story with her mother, Who dismissed it. Seriously, once again, damaging her daughters self-esteem.
But she didn’t give up. As we worked together she became stronger and stronger and stronger until she finally approached both her mother and father together and blew the door wide open.
Her strength was enormous. She shattered the family secret. And in doing so, protected generations down the road from having to go through the same abuse from another family member. She decided not to visit her parents in their house any longer, but rather stayed in hotels when she went home. The message was given. And on his deathbed, her father apologized profusely with tears running down his face as his life ended.
She is a born-again woman. Filled with strength and fortitude, and has use this to help others in life as well. She has encouraged me to share her story, over and over again, with some of my clients that are as young as 12 years of age who have been sexually molested. Her story has given them strength as well.
How about my interviews with Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who was sexually abused by her judo coach from the ages of 12 to 16? In my interviews with her she said it was one of the hardest things to do at that young of an age, was to point her coach out for what he had done. But she is at peace, and has become an incredible role model for young women in athletics everywhere.
Recently, I started working with a woman in her 40s, that openly shared her extreme sexual dysfunction that was manifested through promiscuity her entire adult life. When we looked at the core issue, her brother had sexually molested her for four years as a little girl, and had threatened her with harm if she said anything to anyone.
After our work together that lasted almost 12 months, she healed, and for the first time in her life became involved with someone who is healthy. A man who could listen to her past story, without judging her, accepting her as she is today… A powerful, confident, healed woman. Her shame and guilt gone, her desire to be free and do the work necessary has allowed her to become a role model in her community as well.
There are thousands of women who have come forward, and walked into the light of healing. It takes incredible strength. I hope that through all of the media attention that is now being given to the most prominent of names, that individuals from all walks of life will seek help, assurance, and assistance in healing any type of sexual harassment and or abuse that they have experienced .
When a woman is sexually harassed or abused one of the following can easily manifest if she does not do the deep inner work to remove the shame, guilt, anger and resentments:
Weight gain: which is a form of protection, being less attractive to men to protect yourself from any future harassment or abuse
Alcoholism: as a way to numb, and submerge the experiences
Drug addiction: the same is alcoholism, a way to mute the severe emotional damage
Anorexia/bulimia: form of control. Most women who experience on going anorexia and or bulimia do it because it’s the one thing they can control in life. Women who have been sexually harassed or abuse will also do the same. Here’s one way they can control their body after others have misused their body.
Depression: in our practice we see that most depression is caused by repressed anger and or resentments which makes sense in all forms of sexual harassment and or abuse
Anxiety: often created due to feeling out of control, and afraid to face the ramifications if they were to out the abuser.
If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed and or abused, reach out to David Essel who has been helping women in these situations for the past 28 years. David offers a free 20 minute phone consultation in which his desires are to help all women begin the process of becoming free from their past.
Number one. Ask for help. Whether you go to a woman’s shelter, a spiritual center or church, or to professional counselors, the time is now. Please don’t wait any longer.
Number two. Read about women like the clients I’ve mentioned above who have broken through incredible amounts of shame and guilt to become free. As women read more about others who have healed it will give them incentive to walk down the same path of healing as well.
I don’t believe that we can totally eradicate the dysfunction of sexual harassment and abuse from our society, but I do believe maybe for the first time in my 28 years as a professional, that we are on the brink of something big. A tipping point. Let us all hold hands, men included, to expose the dysfunction in our country in order to heal it for good.”