From a comment
I saw this comment hit the blog this evening, and have since sent an email response, but I wanted to share my thoughts with others, and perhaps get a discussion going around the topic. Here’s what Amie wrote earlier:
No victim of child abuse will EVER live a happy life. Somewhere deep down inside, they will always be depressed. They’ll just appear to be happy to everyone else.
Here is the email I have sent to her.
I’m truly sorry that you feel this way. I realize that in the midst of dealing with depression it can seem like there is no hope of anything ever getting better, or that you will ever feel joy in your life again. I also happen to know for a fact that it can get better, and you can find joy in your life.
I feel fairly confident that many other survivors will tell you the same thing that I’m telling you. That I’ve been where you are now. That I’ve known the depths of depression and despair, and though it took many years, and much hard work, I’ve also managed to know joy and happiness. Not that my work is done and that I don’t ever struggle with my own issues tied into depression and surviving abuse from time to time, but I can honestly say that I’m happy with my life. It’s not just a faÃ§ade for others to see.
I truly, truly hope that you will find happiness in your own life. In the mean time, if nothing else, just continue surviving, because as long as you continue on there is always hope.
Take care, and feel free to write and communicate with another survivor,
I’d say there have been moments of acute depression and attempts to take my own life (twice). It was only three years ago that I got proper counselling. It was just three sessions of offloading. I realised I could let go of the unhappy person as I didn’t enjoy it or like it. It took some work. It took a lot of writing for 10 mins a day to get the vile posion steam out of my system and somewhere else. It was a rough ride in my previous life (yes I see it as a past life). Full of manic highs and crashing lows. Now I am stable. I am the happiest I have ever been. But I am not far enough in lala land to think that anyone is ever completely happy. I wanted that ideal but it doesn’t exist. The key is when bad things happen or go wrong, it isn’t because you “deserve it” or “expect it”. It’s just life. Successs is when you are able to roll with the punches and laugh at just how fucking ridiculous life is.
There comes a time when you are at a crossroads. You can chose the path the happiness but it is possibly a more painful journey than depression. You have to work hard to get there. More than you can imagine. But, boy, is it worth it.
I wish anyone at the crossroads immense courage and determination, as that is what is needed. It’s not easy to conjure when you are at the depths of despair.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Emily. You are right, of course, being happy isn’t about always being happy, it’s about being able to take the good and the bad about life for what it is without the added baggage of depression.