The aftermath was that I was made fun of

The Critical Moment in My Lifespan Development

After completing the
Life Span/Life Stages paper, the critical moment that was found to be most
significant towards personal development, was that of my sexual assaults, with high
significance revolving around the parental, and authoritative behaviors involved
in the aftermath of the event. After seeking through my experiences and wanting
to utilize a more positive moment; I found that the negative moment was
profound in my personal development as a girl, woman, daughter, lover and many
other 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 I
can value change and positive moments of growth. I believe that the trickling
effect of the event from my rape to the incident of being molested and not
receiving stability is the forefront of the critical moment.

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To explain the
critical moment, it started when I was in 7th grade, 12 YOA. The
classmates and myself were taken to St. Augustine for a school trip, with the
teachers as chaperones. To express this without going into full detail, I was
raped by an unknown male that was scoping the hotel we as the school were
staying at. The event occurred in the evening, where the male came to the room
I and three other girls were staying in. I was so shaken that I did not say
anything two of the other girls were sleeping and the other hid in the bed. The
male had pushed his way into the room and from there the incident occurred, and
he left the other girls alone and kept me on the floor of the room until
morning. The aftermath was that I was made fun of as some girls saw the
incident and the girls in the room were terrified, but these girls never said
anything because we were scared; accept one. Once we as the school returned
home from the trip my mind head been all messed up, I did not know what had
happened, and at times I felt like I was missing the person or had some
connection and then hatred. I was truly mentally disheveled. The girl that said
something told the principle as she was scared for me as I thought I was
pregnant or something as I had just began puberty. Once the principle knew I
was sent to the office where I was scorned for my behavior and told to call and
talk to my mother on speaker phone and tell her what I did, and then was
expelled from the school. I was made fun of, grounded, and punished for all of
this.

Although it was figured out by my father and the person
was barely prosecuted, and with help I was able to finish 7th grade
from home but not to return to school. I was signed up for a brand new middle
school where my story traveled like the telephone game. That event never seemed
to end in so many different scenarios I could write pages. I have had
several 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 to
change, I was losing chunks of hair and I became self-injurious. My mom wanted
to attempt finding therapy but inevitably did not. I never received any help
but that of figuring out how to work through all of it on my own and deal with
how my family was towards me about it. It broke my family. Overall, this event
had impacted my developmental stages in the most severe way than that of
anything else, as it proceeded to impact my early adulthood and how I chose to
process and cope through the events and emotions that preceded. Sadly, reported
by National
Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCAND), an estimated 777, 200 children
were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect by a protective service
agency in the United States in 2008, and 69,184 were determined to have been
sexually abused. This a highly predominant issue, and this affects the future
of generations to come if there is not proper application of assistance the same path I had to go through will
continue to happen to adolescents. My coping mechanisms were that of disconnect
to what sex was to mean, emotional disconnect, symptoms of depression and later
severe addiction. Even till this day I continually have to work on my
self-worth, thought process and choices in individuals and how I allow them to
treat me as my perception of what that was, was distorted.

In obtaining research
there were many developments and longitudinal studies that provided evidence
based results of the impact on developmental stages. It included therapeutic
modalities that not only the individual/victim, but also the family of the
victim could benefit from. Regarding the family aspect/unit, it is personally
believed that such a foundation is crucial to the individual/victim especially
as it is a child. The support of family is crucial in the regard of the
long-term and short-term results of the child/victim. If the family in short terms
cannot heal from this wound/s that have affected the family unit; then they
also are unable to provide stability and support the child needs during this
crucial life stage/s (Lee, D., & McLanahan, S., 2015). In case
utilization of exterior motivators and that of psychoeducation to assist the
family to gain perspective of their personal and unit goals would be the
prominent choice.

To associate to the life
stage the victim was in at the time of occurrence. Lee, D., & McLanahan,
S., (2015) report that Child development during early and middle childhood is
particularly significant. The research on the life course and human capital
formation identifies early to middle childhood as a critical and sensitive
period in child development, meaning that children’s developmental trajectories
are the most malleable during this period and, once shaped, may be difficult to
reverse at later life stages. When looking at this life stage and the onset of
this event a major part of the change for me was enduring Major Depression. Within
the Journal study from Klein, D. N., et al. (2009), conducted a more in-depth
study towards adversity in childhood along with it regarding MDD, to which I
will not utilize it depth in this paper.

———– there was a crucial
statement within the Journal article that helps explain some areas that would
have been important to have incorporated at this life stage that could have
made proper adjustments for long-term change for the victim. The article
provides an important link with early adversity for the area of study in the
pathways, being a possible marker subtype for MDD. There has also been attempts to delineate the
subtype in discussion, by examining between the associations of maltreatment
and specific clinical features. It is reported that a Childhood adversity has
an early onset, greater number of episodes, more chronic course, higher level
depressive cognitions, and greater suicidality. Most important that was found
in this paragraph was the report that the study found an association between
that 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. The
aftermath symptoms that followed the event had caused Major Depressive,
physical ailments like that of weight loss, loss of appetite, moderate loss of
hair in bulk, isolation, self-injurious behaviors like that of cutting, burning
and loss of self-identification. There were also suicidal ideations, loss of
inter and intra relationships, loss of connection to my greater community and
life itself. Something I am unsure to term properly was that of feelings for
the perpetrator that was very frustrating as I felt like I missed him or was
connected although I was fully scared of him and he ruined my life.

As briefly addressed above, there was an attempt to get therapy for me
but my parents were confused themselves about the event and pulled me out of it
before a true 2nd session could occur. As they felt uncomfortable as
they were confused of my participation of the event and couldn’t handle the
approach of the therapist and the empathy provided. Through researching the
extent to of sexual abuse on the life stage and age, there was evidence based
information that provided the following: “42.2%
of female rape victims were under 18 when assaulted: 29.9% were aged 11-17, and
12.3% 10 years or younger” (Black, et al., 2011). This statistic
shows relevancy to the events that occurred at the time of my victimizations.
It also includes the importance for instance, menstruation, as a historical
marker of the beginning of adolescence for girls. Sadly, although this is the
marker towards growing into womanhood, it begins even earlier into childhood. To
further express the needed therapy Bein, K., (2011) with National Sexual Assault Coalition states adolescents, experience similarly
to adults when it regards the impact of emotional, physical, and social aftereffect
to that of sexual violence. Furthermore, it recognizes that adolescents for the
most part have less experience towards processing life and emotional
interactions/events in terms of the trauma associated violence (Bein, K., 2011). Most importantly to be
recognized is that of the importance for adults to respond to the emotional
reality of adolescents as stated above.

There
is some evidence provided by Bein, K., (2011)
with National Sexual Assault Coalition, that childhood sexual violence
increases the risk for later sexual violence and domestic violence. Through
personal experience I would agree with this evidence as this precluded into my
later years. When referencing the need for early intervention it is found that
youth-serving professionals who screen and intervene for one form of violence,
should be sure to consider other areas. Like that of bullying, neglect, sexual
violence, or teen dating violence, should be screened to be sure there are no
other forms of violence than the possible one they may be presenting at the
time. For many teen
survivors, trauma manifests as risk-taking and substance abuse (Bein, K., 2011). It is crucial to be able to
assist them in early intervention and prevention to help reduce the high risks
behaviors from turning into long-term coping mechanisms that cause harm.

To
follow through with early interventions, it is personally believed to help
educate the parents and or authoritative figures crucial in the child victims
life. Through research a detailed guide was found that was chosen as a resource
that would be utilized personally for self and for future career purposes. The
Advocate’s Guide: Working with Parents of Children who have been Sexually
Assaulted. A 41-page guide in which assists with guidance, worksheets, and
psychoeducational resources to help assist in therapy. Some of the interesting
areas that would be beneficial to have been able to use in the case involving
my critical moment was that of Section Five: Helping Parents Cope. In this
section it provided the same understanding I found going through my event. It
reports that sexual abuse impacts the entire family even that of the extended
family. It reports that of a ripple effect with the child victim at the center
of this. It provides understanding of the thought process of both the child and
the parents within helplessness, grief, and assumptions that affect all parties
involved in the trauma. It provides a section to assist the parents within
understanding what the child maybe thinking and processing and to recognize
that of emotional and behavioral cues to assist their child; unlike the
possibility of isolating from the situation and in turn neglecting the needs
the child may have in this circumstantial event. It further provides
information on somatic problems, nightmares, and coping issues for the parents
to assist the child victim.

Dialectical
Behavior Therapy (DBT) are good examples of skill-building curricula. DBT would
need to be adapted for the developmental stage of teens, as most DBT guides are
written for adults (some states may require or strongly encourage a licensed
therapist for DBT facilitation).