Once you recognize the effects of abuse in your life, you need to make an active
commitment to heal. Deep healing happens only when you chose it and are willing to change yourself.
THE EMERGENCY STAGE
Beginning to deal with memories and supressed feelings can throw your life into utter
turmoil. Remember, this is only a stage and it will not last forever.
Some survivors supress all memories of what happened to them. Those who do not forget
the actual events often forget how it felt at the time. Remembering is the prodess of getting back both memory and feeling.
BELIEVING IT HAPPENED
Survivors often doubt their own perceptions. Coming to believe that the abuse really
happened, and that it really hurt you, is a vital part of healing.
Most survivors kept the abuse. Telling another human being about what happened to you
is a powerful healing force that can dispel the shame of being a victim.
UNDERSTANDING THAT IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT
Victims usualyusually believe the abuse is their fault. Survivors (key word) must place
the blame where it belongs--directly on the shoulders of the abuser.
MAKING CONTACT WITH THE CHILD WITHIN
Many survivors have lost touch with their own vulnerability. Getting in touch with the
child within can help you feel compassion for yourself, more anger at your abuser, and greater intimacy with others.
The best guide for healing is your own inner voice. Learning to trust
your own feelings, perceptions, and intuitions forms a new basis for action in the world.
GRIEVING AND MOURNING
You are no longer the person that was getting abused, you are a survivor-starting a
new life, so to speak. Grieving is a way to honor your pain, let go, and move into the present.
Anger is a powerful and liberating force. Whether you need to get in touch with it or
have always had plenty to spare, directing your rage squarely at your abuser, and at those who didn’t protect you, is
pivotal to healing.
DISCLOSURES AND CONFRONTATIONS
Directly confronting your abuser and/or your family is not for every
survivor, but it can be a dramatic, cleansing tool.
Forgiveness of the abuser is not an essential part of the healing process, although it tends
to be the one most recommended. The only essential forgiveness is for yourself.
Having a sense of a power greater than yourself can be a real asset
in the healing process. Spirituality is a uniquely personal experience. You might find it through traditional religion, meditation,
nature, or your support group.
RESOLUTION AND MOVING ON