Snake Oil

Over the years of writing this blog, I’ve come to be very accepting of the different ways that survivors heal. What worked for me, may not work for you. We’re individuals, with our own issues tied to the specifics of what happened, and saying that there’s only one way to heal would be foolish. Some survivors have taken great comfort from religion and/or spirituality, others were harmed, directly or indirectly, by a religious or spiritual group, and want nothing to do with that for that healing. Again, whatever you, the survivor, need to do to heal, is welcome to be discussed here.

On the other hand, I got a comment here last week advertising a course of healing that I simply removed. One, the commenter wasn’t offering any advice, any insights, or an idea. They were linking to a paid seminar that promised to heal the wounds associated with PTSD, rape, sexual abuse, etc. Secondly, they claimed to be able to completely heal survivors of their trauma in this one day, intensive, seminar.

On the first issue, I don’t make any money from this site, I make no commercial endorsements, take no donations, and seek to provide a place for all survivors to feel welcome, and most importantly, not alone. There’s no way I’m going to welcome someone else trying to make money from survivors on my site.

More importantly, on the second issue, this promise of quick and easy healing is complete hogwash. Unfortunately, too many survivors buy into the idea that healing from trauma is about taking the right pill, or the right “experience” that will make it all go away (including the right relationship, the right job, etc.). There is no magic bullet, sorry. It takes work, and it takes time, to truly heal from trauma. Trying to convince survivors that they can be healed quickly and easily does a tremendous disservice to the survivor community, because it only results in survivors losing heart as their healing takes work and time, and giving up. Anyone offering you a quick solution to healing is selling you snake oil, plain and simple. It won’t work, and the only thing you’ll do is spend money to have some experience, and when it doesn’t do much past that one day, they’ll of course, offer to sell you more experiences.

Nothing can replace the time and work it takes to heal. It’s not over night, so give yourself a break and stop expecting that you’ll be “fine” in no time. Healing can, and does, happen. I know, because I’ve seen it, and had it in my own life. But it required me to do things that were hard for me, and it took me time to learn how to live as an adult, and take responsibility for myself instead of allowing others to control me. Do you really think anyone can learn that in one day? Not a chance!

Don’t buy the hype. Keep on the healing path and it will come. The growth will be slow, or non-existent, at times, and overwhelming at others. You’ve been living with this trauma for years now, don’t expect that it will just go away suddenly. It’s part of who we are, and will take time to redefine ourselves to live without it.

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