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Sharing – Are Adult Survivors of Child Abuse Ever Fully Healed?

Many of us ask this question, but I always like to point out that you must define what “fully healed” means to you and whether your definition is realistic.

When I see Gregg McBride (no relation) write this, I see a definition of “healed” that isn’t realistic.

Like me, many survivors of abuse react to things differently, live a little differently, and must handle life’s watershed moments differently.

You could easily replace survivor in that sentence with someone who was in a bad accident, lived through an earthquake, or lost a loved one. These events leave an impact. This is what life events do. Some make significant impacts, while others can be relatively small. But we are an accumulation of events. That is what makes us human.

I can identify with Gregg’s story of people not understanding the dysfunction in his family and his reactions to his father passing away. He’s right; major life events can bring back the abuse and impact how we react to things. I didn’t attend my father’s funeral at all. I was on a plane going to Australia when he passed. Some might have immediately turned around and tried to make it back. I chose to stay and work, visiting my mother a few weeks later. If I had a healthy relationship with my father, I might make different choices.

But does that fact mean that I wasn’t “healed?” Or is the ability to make my own choices regarding my father’s passing a better sign?

This is why I look for the definition when I read anything about being fully healed. What does being healed mean to you? Is your definition possible? A definition that includes the abuse having zero impact on who you are today? Because that’s not realistic. But it also doesn’t mean you can’t go on to have a healed life while acknowledging that it is still part of who you are.

It was a traumatic event; they became part of us. They don’t have to rule us, though. That’s healed.


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