Childhood Sexual Abuse: The Choice to Heal

Childhood Sexual Abuse:

The Choice to Heal

By Dawn Damon, author of When the Woman Abused Was You:
A Guide to Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse

(material adapted from When the Woman Abused Was You)


Some women live for decades unaware of their abusive past. Others who were abused as children live in the shadows of shame, afraid to confront the monsters of the past. Still other women let their abuse define them.

But there is another choice: the choice to heal. The choice to heal can be difficult, yet it is the only choice that brings healing and new life.

So what things hold us back from making the choice to heal?

Potholes on the Road to Recovery

  • Fear: We are afraid we will slip into an emotional “hole” and never get out again. Or we’re afraid to give up our old coping mechanisms or to be seen as “weak.” Or we may fear going crazy, losing a relationship, or facing the truth or allowing ourselves to feel. No matter the fear, denial is destructive. Ignoring a wound only brings festering. Commit to honestly looking at your past and grieving your losses.
  • Pride: We’re unwilling to admit we have a problem. We’re not one of “them.” We don’t want to be identified as weak or a sexual abuse survivor. Everyone else has a problem. We default to control and manipulation, and we are afraid to trust people.
  • Negative Attitude: We develop a victim mindset. We stake a claim for what we believe we deserve and build a case for ourselves. But our attitude is our choice and the basis of self-control. We can refuse to think like a victim by refuting “thought saboteurs.”
  • Thought Saboteurs: anger, apathy, blame, criticism, depression, dishonesty, fear, guardedness, hatred, indifference, intolerance, irresponsibility, jealousy, mistrust, pessimism, pride, resentment, revenge, sadness, self-pity, shame, skepticism, suspicion, and a victim mentality.

Self Evaluation

Are you struggling with pain from your past? With childhood abuse? Is it time to take steps toward healing? Pray through the areas above and ask God to help you face your fears and recognize pride, negative attitudes, and thought saboteurs. You’ve taken your first steps toward healing, and your life will never be the same.

Healthy and Simple Recipes: Yummy French Toast


Okay, so we’re always looking for something yummy to eat around here without consuming too many calories. In case you haven’t heard, I lived the first fifty years of my life pretty much creating slop in the kitchen.

Then I met my best friend Wanda, and under her tutelage, I have blossomed into a fledgling cook. But a pretty lazy one. If a dish has more than five ingredients, I’ll probably never make it.

So here’s a recipe for low-cal French toast to warm your tummy on a snowy winter morning. (Did I mention we’ve had 100 INCHES of snow here in MIchigan this winter?And it’s almost April and it’s snowing AGAIN today.)


2 slices of 35 calorie bread (I use whole wheat)
2 large eggs
cinnamon to taste
1/3 C. skim milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 packet Stevia/Truvia
Mrs. Butterworth’s Sugar Free Syrup (20 calories per 1/4 cup)


Whisk eggs. Add all other ingredients except for syrup and mix well. Soak bread on both sides in mixture and grill in non-stick pan sprayed with Pam. Cook until golden brown. Spray with zero calorie I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and serve with warm syrup.

Makes one serving. Total calories 195

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Monday Munchies: Travel Tips and Road Snacks


About ten years ago, I lost over 50 pounds eating food I loved. How did I do it? By eating healthy versions of things I loved, cutting my portions, and refusing to “diet.”

One of my biggest challenges, however, is eating healthy when I travel—which is often. So I’ve decided to share my top five “tried-and-true” tips and also a few new travel snack ideas.

  1. Go for the protein. My friend Wanda and I often travel together, and we’re both diabetics. It’s important for us to keep protein snacks on hand. Our favorites: raw almonds, light string cheese, Jif-to-Go, instant oatmeal, Laughing Cow Cheese, and Special K Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Meal Bars (180 calories, 25 g carb). We often hard boil eggs when we know we’re staying at a hotel that offers a continental breakfast. And we choose healthier versions of nuts and pre-package them in calorie-conscious portions. And when we have a frig at our disposal, we love diving into low-fat cottage cheese topped with natural applesauce, cinnamon, and Splenda.
  2. Eat fresh. Our favorite fruits and vegetables mini carrots, bananas, Fuji apples (don’t bruise easily), Cuties, and berries. Once we settle into a hotel, we shop for fresh produce, even if it means paying a bit more. I can almost always pull a piece of fruit out of my purse, which actually can be kind of scary at times…
  3. Eat what you like, but share it. I have to say that I love the shrimp with candied walnuts at P.F. Chang’s. But if I’m honest, half an entrée does me fine. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that I’m usually full at half a meal and stuffed after a full meal. Considering sharing your meal or asking your server to box up half of it before it comes to the table.
  4. Choose wisely. The following fast food restaurants offer healthy choices: Subway, Taco Bell (bean burrito or the “Fresco” menu), Au Bon Pain (80 calorie garden soup and customizable sandwiches), Culver’s (soups and salads), Wendy’s small chili (210 calories). When choosing salads, remember to dip your greens in the dressing, rather than pouring the dressing onto the salad. I also recommend taking along The Calorie King Calorie, Fat & Carb Counter. This travel-sized book is updated every year with nutrition content for both fresh and fast foods from your favorite restaurants.
  5. Remember the 100. I happen to love the convenience of 100 calorie snacks. One of my new favorite is the 100 calorie Nutty Bar. But I’m also cheap. So before a trip, I pre-package some of my favorite treats in snack-size zip-lock bags and tuck them into the corners of my suitcase and travel bags. Just read the packaging to figure out the appropriate 100-calorie serving size to slip into the bag.

What about YOUR ideas? We’d love to hear from you.