“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.