How many times have you had a well meaning friend or loved one tell you to just ‘put it aside for a while’, ‘forget about it’, ‘get over it’, ‘don’t live in the past’? I suspect it has happened to you, as it has to me, more than once. How do you feel when people say this to you? Do you feel honored? Heard? Understood? Does it make you think there is something even more wrong with you than what is wrong with you? Do you get angry? Do you cry? Ya. Pretty much all those things and more are my reactions.
Survivors of the trauma of childhood sexual abuse can not just ‘get over it’. Yes. We can heal and move forward but it takes time and hard work and money. Yes, money. Therapy is not cheap and it is what is needed if you are to really move from surviving to thriving. And sometimes the therapy is good and it helps and sometimes the fit is not right and you give up for a while. The process of healing is long and painful. The process of healing is also filled with moments of beauty and appreciation and gratitude. And the people I know who are survivors are among the most generous and beautiful souls I have ever met.
I want people to understand that survivors NEED to do the hard and ugly work in order to get to a place where they can live the life that was taken from them by their perpetrators. To just ‘put it aside’ is what many of us have done most of our lives. I personally HAD to put it aside and minimize it in order to raise my family, be gainfully employed and a productive member of society…to ‘fit in’. Without dealing with it though, we live fragmented lives. Pieces of us are scattered and we are never really ‘free’. The ONLY way to the freedom and feelings of worth and wholeness is to face it – and deal with it.
The writing of this is reminding me, once again, how much is taken from a person when they are sexually abused as a child. I want my LIFE. I DESERVE to feel free and whole. I will get there. I AM getting there. Please support me and honour my healing journey.