If you’ve experienced so-called ‘conversion therapy’, you may find that it has impacted your emotional or psychological wellbeing and/or sense of self. There are a few things to keep in mind during the journey of recovery to help keep you on track, and hopefully make the process easier:
Speaking about what has happened or is happening to you is a brave and positive step
Everyone deserves to live free from abuse and violence. Telling someone about what you’re experiencing, are afraid of going through, or have experienced in the past takes a lot of courage, and is a positive step towards a better future.
Recovery is not linear
There will be ups and downs as you go through this journey, no matter how recent or how long ago the abuse may be. There may be days when you feel fine and can cope, days when you are not feeling okay, or even days when it feels very difficult to cope.
It’s important to listen to yourself and acknowledge how you are feeling on any given day, and work with how you are, rather than how you think you are ‘supposed’ to be.
There is no right or wrong way to feel
So-called conversion therapy isn’t always a one-off event, sometimes it’s a pattern of actions which are intended to make you feel afraid to be yourself. If someone is trying to change or cure your gender identity, and/or sexual or romantic orientation, we’re here to help.
You may be facing the impact of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in every or any aspect of your life from your relationships and friendships, to work, study, the ability to do everyday things, your physical and mental well-being, and your identity. Reporting your experiences to the police can seem scary and the processes that follow can be quite daunting. It’s absolutely OK to feel that way.
You may find that the way you feel gets worse as you start to process what has happened to you. It could become more difficult to sleep, or you may find it harder to concentrate. You could experience flashbacks, or feel hyper-alert to the world around you. You might find that you feel the opposite: more disconnected and unable to think about what has happened to you.
While you’re going through these emotions, remember:
- No one should ever be forced to suppress or change who they are. Your identity does not need to be cured.
- Conversion therapy is an impossible task, it does not work.
- We can’t choose who we are and we can’t consent to abuse.
- There is support available to you. You don’t have to face this alone – we’re here to help.
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing or has been offered conversion therapy, you can get in touch for support and information.