A reader asked me to write a letter explaining why I believe going through the healing process from child abuse is worthwhile. Here is the letter I sent her. I thought I would share it with all of you as well:
You asked me to write a letter to you explaining why I believe going through the healing process is worthwhile. In a nutshell, the healing process is the bridge from being a child abuse victim or survivor to living your life. As long as you stay in victim or survivor mode, your life is all about the past. You act and react based upon your hellish past, which keeps the past feeling ever-present. The healing process is the way out — the way to living instead of just existing and waiting for the blessed sleep of death. Your life can be more than just a daily (or hourly) exercise in pain avoidance.
Before healing, I hated myself. I did not believe there was a place in the world for me. I did not believe that I fit in anywhere. I saw no value in my life or in myself. I felt like I had to apologize for my mere existence. I believed I had to earn love and acceptance, but I was so broken that I could never do enough to earn my place at the table.
Now that I am much farther along in my healing journey, I see my life — my past, my present, and my future — through different eyes. I recognize that the only love and acceptance that was missing from my life was my own. I don’t have to earn my place at the table or fight for my right to exist. The fact that I exist gives me a place at the table. I don’t have to “do” to belong — I just have to “be.”
The biggest surprise was recognizing that I was not something broken that needed to be fixed. Instead, the abuse put blinders on me that caused me to see myself through a distorted lens. The healing process is helping me to remove the blinders and see what was always there — the miracle and beauty of ME! The essence of me — my spirit — has never been and never could be broken. The brokenness I perceived came from buying into my abusers’ lies. The healing process is not really about healing brokenness but, instead, about awakening to who I already am.
Choosing to heal is giving yourself a gift of love, compassion, and kindness. It gives you the gift of being content now, in the present moment, instead of waiting for some future point in time when all of the stars align so I can be happy. All that I need to be at peace with myself is already there inside of myself and has been all along. The healing process is what helped me remove the blinders so I could see it.
Good luck with your healing journey!
Photo credit: Hekatekris