Healing and Wholeness After Sexual Abuse

“Do you feel like you will ever feel whole and complete after your experience of sexual abuse?” Adam asked me, in an interview for zentactics.

I do feel whole and complete, I answered.  This includes seeing how daily events in my life evoke old patterns and trigger old emotions. For example, I am sensitive to feeling someone does not believe me, because of my mother’s response (or lack of response) to my telling her about the abuse. But I can sense those feelings coming up and reassure myself that I’m not that child any longer, and my life is enriched by that knowing. I believe that all of us are carrying wounds from various times in our lives, and I am sure that acknowledging mine makes me a stronger, wiser person.

I’ll never ‘recover’ in the sense of being a person who had a safe childhood. I’m a different person from that—and, I think, a more empathic and even creative person because of the early trauma and the process of healing.

My memoir, The River of Forgetting, captures a particular part of my healing journey. In the process of writing it I came to understand and articulate the events and feelings more clearly. I saw how love and understanding had redeemed my life.

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