Ask Ava

Ask Ava, Episode 178: "What if I remember abuse from when I was younger, and I need support now?"

September 07, 2023 Safe+Sound Somerset Season 1 Episode 178
Ask Ava
Ask Ava, Episode 178: "What if I remember abuse from when I was younger, and I need support now?"
Show Notes Transcript

Episode 178: "What if I remember abuse from when I was younger, and I need support now?"

Support the Show.

You’re listening to the Ask Ava Podcast, where we give real answers to real questions from teens and young adults about relationships, consent, dating violence, and more.

My name is Jessica Skultety. I’m an Outreach and Prevention Manager at Safe+Sound Somerset. We are Somerset County, New Jersey’s lead organization for domestic and sexual violence services and prevention, and we have free services for children, teens, and adults who have witnessed or experienced violence.

Today’s question is: Dear Ava, “What if I remember abuse from when I was younger, and I need support now?”

We get this question sometimes in classrooms and groups. So, whether you remember abuse from when you were younger, or you remember witnessing abuse between your parents or family members, or it’s happening to you now, there is help available today.

Sometimes our brains repress or hide trauma, which is a way of protecting us from remembering what happened. And sometimes the memory follows people every day of their lives. It really depends on the person.

So if this is coming back to you now after many years, that can be really hard to deal with. And if you’re struggling, reach out to talk to someone. First, if you’ve never told anyone before, you could choose to talk to a trusted adult, like a parent, guardian, coach, teacher, friend’s parents, a therapist, a counselor. Even if you don’t share all the details, this person can support you emotionally. They can help point you in the right direction to get further support.

You might decide to reach out to a therapist. They can help you find ways for coping with trauma, and they can help support you on a path towards healing. These days, there are many options in different price ranges and for virtual or in person. If you have insurance, some insurances cover mental health care. So for example, you can find free counseling services at Safe+Sound Somerset with our licensed clinicians – you don’t need insurance. This is for anyone in Somerset County who has experienced or witnessed domestic, dating, or sexual violence, even if it happened years ago. We also treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, which is a common diagnosis for some survivors and victims of violence. If you’re outside of Somerset County, New Jersey, other counties  and agencies around the world have similar services. 

The last thing is: be gentle with yourself and give yourself grace and time. Do things you enjoy, find supportive friends, even if they don’t know the whole story or at all, and people in your life you can spend time with. This can also help with healing. And know that reaching out for support is actually a really strong thing to do. So, know that there is help available.

To speak with an expert about relationship or sexual violence, call or text the Safe+Sound Somerset 24/7 confidential helpline at 866-685-1122 for supportive listening, information, and safety planning. In the United States, you can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-4673.  

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