Monday, September 26, 2011

Sara's Steps for Incest Survivors

I put together the following version of the twelve steps in my process of recovering from incest. When I wrote these steps I never expected anyone but me to see them.. What I wanted was a personalized set of the steps, one that brought together ideas and words that were particularly meaningful to me....These steps are based on the words of the SIA (Survivors of Incest Anonymous) Twelve Steps, the Feminist Steps, and the many people who have helped me to recover. Take what you need and rewrite the rest.

1. Admitted that we had been sexually abused, were powerless over the abuse at the time, and that its consequences had deeply affected our lives.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves and deep within us could restore our hope and bring healing.

3. Made a decision to seek help from our higher power and others who understood.

4. Searched deep within to honestly appraise our strengths and weaknesses, and how they affect our lives and others around us.

5. Admitted to our higher power, ourselves, and another person the exact nature of these concerns.

6. Became ready, with the help of our higher power and others sent to aid us, to discard behavior and thinking that was no longer useful or healthy.

7. Honestly desired to abandon these behaviors and pursue instead those that bring strength and renewal.

8. Made a list of the people we had harmed, including ourselves, and became willing to make amends when possible, change our behavior, and forgive ourselves.

9. Made amends with respect for all concerned.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when falling back into harmful behavior, promptly acknowledged it and started again, remembering to appreciate how far we've come.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our contact with our higher power and inner spirit, seeking to realize our potential for a generous and meaningful life. Came to believe that every time we accept our past and respect where we are in the present, we are giving ourselves a future.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we sought to spread this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

- Charlotte Davis Kasl, PhD, Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the 12 Steps

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