Archive for November 26th, 2008

On my blog entry entitled Struggling with Depression after Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

Is there anyone out there as old as I (69) who is still, still trying to overcome the effects of traumatic childhood … I am not religious, but I must have faith in something because I keep trying to keep going. My own problems (self-doubt, rage) show up in my relationship to my son and daughter-in-law, who have two little girls that I adore. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who can relate in a positive way. If your inclination is to tell me to “just forget it” or to “stop feeling sorry for myself,” thanks, but that’s not helpful. – Loretta

I would never tell another child abuse survivor to “just forget it” or accuse her of feeling sorry for herself. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious disorder. We don’t tell soldiers returning from war just to “get over it” and “don’t think about it.” Why shouldn’t we give survivors of child abuse the same courtesy?

I do not believe that the passage of time, in and of itself, heals anything. I was in my mid-thirties when I began healing from my child abuse issues. After each flashback, I felt like the abuse had just happened, even though decades had passed. Pain is pain. Those of us who encapsulated the pain so we could survive will carry around that pain until we process it, whether that happens at age 20 or 90.

As long as you are still breathing, you can reclaim your life. It is never too late to give yourself the gift of healing. Healing is very hard work, but you can do it. You deserve to live a life freed from the past. You deserve to love and accept yourself without having to battle self-deprecating messages from your childhood on a daily basis.

If you do not already have it, I would strongly suggest that you purchase the Survivor to Thriver manual. This is a wonderful resource that walks you through the healing process, no matter what type of child abuse you suffered. This was my “bible” during my early years of healing.

Good luck along your healing journey!

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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