Sadness comes when the person who was abused realises that they were wronged and that they have lost something that will never be retrieved. It is very unpleasant and many people seek to avoid the sadness phase. They prefer to stay angry and see that the sadness will show their weakness. All the time they remain angry they maintain their sense of power.
Holding onto this anger can be very damaging. It can mean that these victims maintain their anger and become abusive to others in stressful situations, such as arguments because others do not hold the same views as them, particularly about child abuse etc. They have learnt that they were not responsible for their childhood abuse but are not responsible for any of their actions.
Without moving onto sadness then the final stage also remains out of reach.
There is obviously much to be sad about when considering childhood abuse. As a result of abuse the following have been lost; innocence, self-worth, virginity, trust of others, sense of safety, and time.
During the sadness phase people tend to become very sensitive – they cry for ‘no reason’ or at the slightest provocation. It is not surprising really when you consider how long some people suppress their sadness and pain. This stage is only temporary and will pass but is an important phase in the healing process.
Tears come difficultly at first. May be you will feel ashamed by them or try to repress them, then they will seem to come from a very deep down place and often accompanied by the feeling of being a very small child again. There is often a sense of loneliness and a sense of a great loss. This is the time that being held will seem very comforting. still later in the recovery process those tears are followed with a sense of healing, coming together, wholeness.
When faced with the sadness phase you can gain a great deal by writing goodbye letters to the things you have lost because of the experience of childhood abuse. For example the relationships you never had because of your shame or fear of intimacy, or the type of parents you never had.
Another way to acknowledge your sadness is by buying yourself a sympathy card and sending it to yourself through the post. Ask others who care about you to do the same. as you read these cards notice what thoughts come through to you.