Below is a portion of what he shares in his four page contribution to UTD.
The way to begin resolving trauma is to talk about it, to bring it to the light of day. As one of the contributors to Unlock The Door states, “When one person’s words flow and another person listens, magic can happen.” In this book people speak and we, the readers, listen. And listen we must.
For twelve years I worked as a physician in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, notorious as North America’s most concentrated area of drug use. Within a few square blocks thousands of human beings chase the chimera of oblivion through the injection, ingestion or inhalation of mind-altering substances, seeking an evanescent escape from the pain of their existence. It’s a quest that often leads to their death, whether through overdose, suicide, HIV or a multiplicity of other diseases. In those twelve years I did not meet a single female patient, out of hundreds, who had not be sexually abused in childhood. Many of these same women prowl the streets offering cheap sexual favours in exchange for drug money, an endeavour that is more than a financial transaction: having been objectified sexually as children, they may have little valuation of themselves other than as sexual beings. Sexuality is the only aspect of them that ever received attention. Among the men, at least a significant minority had been sexually abused as well.
No one should think, therefore, that the consequences of sexual abuse are only psychic – although those would be devastating enough, as I discuss below. Addiction is one frequent outcome, both because sexual abuse generates searing emotional pain that substances like opiates, cocaine and alcohol temporarily soothe, but also because abuse alters the developing brain in such ways that make it more receptive to intoxicants.