Archive for February 23rd, 2009

Last week, I wrote about my struggles with accepting that the aftereffects of the child abuse will always be a part of my life:

I also wrote about this topic on my professional blog about adoption on a blog entry called Is an Abused Child Ever Fully “Over” the Abuse?.

A reader, who is both a child abuse survivor and parent of abused children that she adopted out of foster care, posted the following comment. It was so profound that I wanted to share it with all of you here:

The problem I see is not that abuse and trauma leaves lifelong scars, but that it keeps people from living their lives. Many smart people spend their whole life chasing after “normal”. They think that they will begin living when they finally achieve that, and get on the other side of their issues. So sad to discover that life has passed them by while they work and wait.

Personally, I feel better with the hard reality that “You will never be like people who didn’t have to go through this. Don’t waste your life trying to be.” This is what I tell myself, and this is what I tell my adopted children. I tell them, you will deal with your crap over and over again. At every major stage of life it will crop up, and you will have to come to terms with it. Expect it, and do the hard work. And never put your life on hold while you do.

The only way abusers win, is when they steal our lives. We don’t have to let that happen. ~ scrapsbynobody

I really needed to hear those words, and I suspect that many of you do, too. We might not have loving parents to nurture us, but we can learn from the pearls of wisdom offered by adoptive parents of traumatized children who have understood the dynamic of healing from child abuse from the outside.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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