Something I’ve been thinking about since reading Sean’s post to this forum topic has been just how important it is to understand that recovering from childhood abuse, whether it be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, or whatever combination of those are in your experience is not a quick process. It takes time, and a lot of work to learn to overcome it. I started going to therapy in 1995, spent two years in and out of therapy, and on medications before I even began to see any “improvement” and even that was small and sublte things. It’s now 2004, and even though I’ve been off meds and out of therapy for a long time, I still have bad days and issues that can set me off into a depression-like state for a few days. All that work didn’t eliminate the bad days and bad feelings, it helped me recognize when they’re happening and deal with them more effectively than dissociaiting like I did before.
And that’s just been my experience. I’m sure many other survivors who talk about their experiences overcoming abuse will give you many different stories. Different people, and different abuse, different healing processes. The important thing is not how long it takes you to be “Normal”, (If we can ever really be whatever you want to call normal!) but that you’re working to overcome and gain healthy control over your own life at your own pace. Remember, your childhood may have been taken away, but your adulthood is your’s. Overcoming abuse is about learning to be an adult, and learning to make healthy choices for yourself. There’s no timeline, and , in the end, there’s no real finish line either. It’s an ongoing process for the rest of our lives.