The Critical Moment in My Lifespan DevelopmentAfter completing theLife Span/Life Stages paper, the critical moment that was found to be mostsignificant towards personal development, was that of my sexual assaults, with highsignificance revolving around the parental, and authoritative behaviors involvedin the aftermath of the event. After seeking through my experiences and wantingto utilize a more positive moment; I found that the negative moment wasprofound in my personal development as a girl, woman, daughter, lover and manyother areas.
I chose to recognize the experience/s that proceeded to change me;as I believe I would not be where I am without the negative moments so that Ican value change and positive moments of growth. I believe that the tricklingeffect of the event from my rape to the incident of being molested and notreceiving stability is the forefront of the critical moment.To explain thecritical moment, it started when I was in 7th grade, 12 YOA.
Theclassmates and myself were taken to St. Augustine for a school trip, with theteachers as chaperones. To express this without going into full detail, I wasraped by an unknown male that was scoping the hotel we as the school werestaying at. The event occurred in the evening, where the male came to the roomI and three other girls were staying in. I was so shaken that I did not sayanything two of the other girls were sleeping and the other hid in the bed.
Themale had pushed his way into the room and from there the incident occurred, andhe left the other girls alone and kept me on the floor of the room untilmorning. The aftermath was that I was made fun of as some girls saw theincident and the girls in the room were terrified, but these girls never saidanything because we were scared; accept one. Once we as the school returnedhome from the trip my mind head been all messed up, I did not know what hadhappened, and at times I felt like I was missing the person or had someconnection and then hatred. I was truly mentally disheveled. The girl that saidsomething told the principle as she was scared for me as I thought I waspregnant or something as I had just began puberty.
Once the principle knew Iwas sent to the office where I was scorned for my behavior and told to call andtalk to my mother on speaker phone and tell her what I did, and then wasexpelled from the school. I was made fun of, grounded, and punished for all ofthis. Although it was figured out by my father and the personwas barely prosecuted, and with help I was able to finish 7th gradefrom home but not to return to school.
I was signed up for a brand new middleschool where my story traveled like the telephone game. That event never seemedto end in so many different scenarios I could write pages. I have hadseveral assaults from there onward, and touched by a family member (felt up).However, this rape as a child had scarred me. Physically my body had started tochange, I was losing chunks of hair and I became self-injurious. My mom wantedto attempt finding therapy but inevitably did not.
I never received any helpbut that of figuring out how to work through all of it on my own and deal withhow my family was towards me about it. It broke my family. Overall, this eventhad impacted my developmental stages in the most severe way than that ofanything else, as it proceeded to impact my early adulthood and how I chose toprocess and cope through the events and emotions that preceded. Sadly, reportedby NationalChild Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCAND), an estimated 777, 200 childrenwere determined to be victims of abuse or neglect by a protective serviceagency in the United States in 2008, and 69,184 were determined to have beensexually abused. This a highly predominant issue, and this affects the futureof generations to come if there is not proper application of assistance the same path I had to go through willcontinue to happen to adolescents. My coping mechanisms were that of disconnectto what sex was to mean, emotional disconnect, symptoms of depression and latersevere addiction.
Even till this day I continually have to work on myself-worth, thought process and choices in individuals and how I allow them totreat me as my perception of what that was, was distorted.In obtaining researchthere were many developments and longitudinal studies that provided evidencebased results of the impact on developmental stages. It included therapeuticmodalities that not only the individual/victim, but also the family of thevictim could benefit from.
Regarding the family aspect/unit, it is personallybelieved that such a foundation is crucial to the individual/victim especiallyas it is a child. The support of family is crucial in the regard of thelong-term and short-term results of the child/victim. If the family in short termscannot heal from this wound/s that have affected the family unit; then theyalso are unable to provide stability and support the child needs during thiscrucial life stage/s (Lee, D., & McLanahan, S., 2015).
In caseutilization of exterior motivators and that of psychoeducation to assist thefamily to gain perspective of their personal and unit goals would be theprominent choice.To associate to the lifestage the victim was in at the time of occurrence. Lee, D., & McLanahan,S.
, (2015) report that Child development during early and middle childhood isparticularly significant. The research on the life course and human capitalformation identifies early to middle childhood as a critical and sensitiveperiod in child development, meaning that children’s developmental trajectoriesare the most malleable during this period and, once shaped, may be difficult toreverse at later life stages. When looking at this life stage and the onset ofthis event a major part of the change for me was enduring Major Depression.
Withinthe Journal study from Klein, D. N., et al. (2009), conducted a more in-depthstudy towards adversity in childhood along with it regarding MDD, to which Iwill not utilize it depth in this paper. ———– there was a crucialstatement within the Journal article that helps explain some areas that wouldhave been important to have incorporated at this life stage that could havemade proper adjustments for long-term change for the victim.
The articleprovides an important link with early adversity for the area of study in thepathways, being a possible marker subtype for MDD. There has also been attempts to delineate thesubtype in discussion, by examining between the associations of maltreatmentand specific clinical features. It is reported that a Childhood adversity hasan early onset, greater number of episodes, more chronic course, higher leveldepressive cognitions, and greater suicidality. Most important that was foundin this paragraph was the report that the study found an association betweenthat of sexual abuse and atypical features (Klein, D. N., et al.
, 2009).The purpose in utilizing this informational study was the expressed symptoms,diagnosis, and that of features were relevant to this life stage event. Theaftermath symptoms that followed the event had caused Major Depressive,physical ailments like that of weight loss, loss of appetite, moderate loss ofhair in bulk, isolation, self-injurious behaviors like that of cutting, burningand loss of self-identification. There were also suicidal ideations, loss ofinter and intra relationships, loss of connection to my greater community andlife itself.
Something I am unsure to term properly was that of feelings forthe perpetrator that was very frustrating as I felt like I missed him or wasconnected although I was fully scared of him and he ruined my life.As briefly addressed above, there was an attempt to get therapy for mebut my parents were confused themselves about the event and pulled me out of itbefore a true 2nd session could occur. As they felt uncomfortable asthey were confused of my participation of the event and couldn’t handle theapproach of the therapist and the empathy provided. Through researching theextent to of sexual abuse on the life stage and age, there was evidence basedinformation that provided the following: “42.
2%of female rape victims were under 18 when assaulted: 29.9% were aged 11-17, and12.3% 10 years or younger” (Black, et al.
, 2011). This statisticshows relevancy to the events that occurred at the time of my victimizations.It also includes the importance for instance, menstruation, as a historicalmarker of the beginning of adolescence for girls. Sadly, although this is themarker towards growing into womanhood, it begins even earlier into childhood. Tofurther express the needed therapy Bein, K.
, (2011) with National Sexual Assault Coalition states adolescents, experience similarlyto adults when it regards the impact of emotional, physical, and social aftereffectto that of sexual violence. Furthermore, it recognizes that adolescents for themost part have less experience towards processing life and emotionalinteractions/events in terms of the trauma associated violence (Bein, K., 2011).
Most importantly to berecognized is that of the importance for adults to respond to the emotionalreality of adolescents as stated above. Thereis some evidence provided by Bein, K., (2011)with National Sexual Assault Coalition, that childhood sexual violenceincreases the risk for later sexual violence and domestic violence. Throughpersonal experience I would agree with this evidence as this precluded into mylater years. When referencing the need for early intervention it is found thatyouth-serving professionals who screen and intervene for one form of violence,should be sure to consider other areas. Like that of bullying, neglect, sexualviolence, or teen dating violence, should be screened to be sure there are noother forms of violence than the possible one they may be presenting at thetime.
For many teensurvivors, trauma manifests as risk-taking and substance abuse (Bein, K., 2011). It is crucial to be able toassist them in early intervention and prevention to help reduce the high risksbehaviors from turning into long-term coping mechanisms that cause harm.
Tofollow through with early interventions, it is personally believed to helpeducate the parents and or authoritative figures crucial in the child victimslife. Through research a detailed guide was found that was chosen as a resourcethat would be utilized personally for self and for future career purposes. TheAdvocate’s Guide: Working with Parents of Children who have been SexuallyAssaulted. A 41-page guide in which assists with guidance, worksheets, andpsychoeducational resources to help assist in therapy.
Some of the interestingareas that would be beneficial to have been able to use in the case involvingmy critical moment was that of Section Five: Helping Parents Cope. In thissection it provided the same understanding I found going through my event. Itreports that sexual abuse impacts the entire family even that of the extendedfamily. It reports that of a ripple effect with the child victim at the centerof this. It provides understanding of the thought process of both the child andthe parents within helplessness, grief, and assumptions that affect all partiesinvolved in the trauma. It provides a section to assist the parents withinunderstanding what the child maybe thinking and processing and to recognizethat of emotional and behavioral cues to assist their child; unlike thepossibility of isolating from the situation and in turn neglecting the needsthe child may have in this circumstantial event.
It further providesinformation on somatic problems, nightmares, and coping issues for the parentsto assist the child victim.DialecticalBehavior Therapy (DBT) are good examples of skill-building curricula. DBT wouldneed to be adapted for the developmental stage of teens, as most DBT guides arewritten for adults (some states may require or strongly encourage a licensedtherapist for DBT facilitation).