I am currently reading the book Dragonfly in Amber, which is book #2 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I wonder if the author is a fellow child abuse survivor because her books weave in some great advice for healing from trauma. I was struck by the wisdom of the following passage from Dragonfly in Amber:
Still, if I couldn’t do much for Rabbie, I could help his mother—or let her help herself, at least. Healing comes from the healed; not from the physician. That much, Raymond had taught me. ~ Dragonfly in Amber page 544.
There is so much truth in the line, “Healing comes from the healed; not from the physician.” I think this explains why two people with similar histories can wind up in therapy for different lengths of time. One person might work very hard in therapy and be ready to exit therapy after a year or two while another person might have been in therapy for seven years and still not really have scratched the surface. I think that the difference is not the therapist but the patient!
I am not making this observation out of judgment but out of empowerment. When we, as the wounded, have the power to choose to heal ourselves, the rate and depth of healing is completely within our own control. This is a concept I find very exciting!
Of course, a therapist can help you along the process of healing yourself or hinder the process. I was fortunate to have a therapist who never sought for me to be dependent upon him, and he pushed me toward independence at every step. He only let me see him weekly for six months and then strongly encouraged me to try to go two weeks between sessions as he weaned me toward independence. He explained that the real healing work was happening between the sessions. It was his job to guide and validate, but the work of healing was mine to do, not his.
I have learned along my healing journey that healing is a natural process with its own direction and rhythm. I don’t need to read a book or be tutored through how to heal any more than my skin needs a book or a tutor to heal itself. The process of emotional healing is built into who I am, and I naturally heal as I release myself into the flow of that process.
I don’t mean to discount the value of books (or blogs!) in the healing process. I found healing books to be very validating, which is why I added a Recommended Reading page to this site. However, I had no resources for integrating my host personality into my core, which was a huge leap in healing that happened on its own initiative with no instructions provided from any source.
I continue to work my way through the healing process, healing parts of myself that I have not read about how to heal. I am working on a book (in the very early stages) about what has worked for me, which I hope will be useful to others. However, the real answers are inside of you. The healing process runs its own course, and you are the one who chooses to heal yourself.
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