I asked that question a few months into what we now call my recovery period. The pain was intense. In some ways I felt victimized a second time. "I had to go through that as a kid," I said to my wife. "Now that I understand what was going on, it hurts even worse."
Maybe it wasn't worse; maybe it only felt worse.
And the pain went on a long time. I didn't keep any record, but the most intense period was probably about two years. I had opened the door and I couldn't shut it. I knew I had to keep going.
I've long moved past the pain. The memories have begun to dull the way most memories do. That's one powerful reward for pushing forward. But there's more.
I have healthier relationships with my wife and my family. I understand friendship on a deeper level than ever. But most of all, I have a good life. I like being alive and I like who I am.
The journey has been worth it, even with the pain.