As one long-time member of SIA notes, “Step-work has taken me more deeply into myself. Step questions, inventories and the sharing of my writing with my recovery partners, sponsor, and therapist have opened my awareness in profound ways to how the sexual, physical and emotional abuse I endured affected me. Moreover, Step work has given me the gift of acceptance. It’s helped me to let go of blaming myself for the profound effects abuse has had upon my psyche, my behaviors, and the way I view myself and others. Step work has gifted me with tools to use when I inevitably slip into victim responses. They’ve provide a means for growing a loving inner parent whose support and unconditional acceptance I can count upon at all times. Working the Steps has allowed me to move out of victim responses and into unlimited dreams and possibilities. Without the insights that SIA Step work has provided me with, I doubt I’d be here today, because life was too painful to endure.”
Today’s Roundtable discussion will focus upon the critical role that working Steps 4-6 play in recovering from the wounds of childhood sexual abuse. Steps 4-6 refine our capacities to grow a loving inner parent and healthy adult self, thereby allowing us to begin moving out of isolation and begin taking increased responsibility for our lives. They provide a means for further acknowledging the effects that unexpressed trauma feelings had upon us as children and continue to exert upon our thoughts and actions. Steps 4-6 assist us in this effort by helping us to learn to trust again and end long years of self-imposed isolation. These steps require that we engage in a courageous moral inventory in order to more fully understand the coping mechanisms we developed as children to deal with the abuse. They help us to more clearly see the behavioral responses that no longer serve the cultivation of a loving/healthy adult. In effect, Steps 4-6, move us further toward the promised end of shame and self-blame. They restore our humanity and allow us to walk with our heads held high. As was said in the description for the last Roundtable, working these Steps opens the doorway to original self and thereby allows each of us to reclaim the infinite possibilities we came into this world with.